Archive for September, 2013

Don’t panic, people. Everything’s going to be okay. It is Monday. Sorry. But these are The Tapes, our weekly links section that usually runs on Fridays, a nice cap to the week. But it’s been a few weeks since we’ve run them and a series of weekend events has led us to running these at the start of the week instead of the end. So hopefully you still enjoy them, even though you still have five days of work left.

* The New Yorker gets a redesign.

* Chris Jones on what happened on the flight from Dallas to Washington after JFK’s assassination.

* The NBA is likely going to change the format for the Finals, which is currently a 2-3-2. They’ll make it like the rest of the playoffs with 2-2-1-1-1.

* One of the Italian scientists convicted of failing to predict a deadly earthquake, who was sentenced to six years in prison, is still trying to say he shouldn’t be blamed. The nerve, huh? When ever someone complains about the U.S. judicial system, make yourself feel better by reading about the Italian one (this case, Amanda Knox, The Monster of Florence).

* The New Republic originally didn’t like Animal Farm.

* Take the Breaking Bad super quiz.

* Grantland goes on the set with Kenny Powers.

* Yankee fan or no, Mariano Rivera’s final appearance at Yankee Stadium was very cool.

Any investigation of the report cards residing in my parents’ basement would reveal my struggles in math classes at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton. Algebra, Geometry, Analysis — the actual title of the class didn’t matter. It it involved numbers, I had problems. Math remains a weakness. But I actually wish I was even worse. I sometimes wish I didn’t even possess a basic understanding of addition and subtraction. That would keep me from playing the numbers game that’s always going in my head.

“Magic Johnson won his first MVP 26 years ago. Twenty-six years from now you’ll be 64. 1987 feels like yesterday, 64 will feel like tomorrow.” “I remember seeing E.T. in the theater. That was 31 years ago. I’ll be 69 years old and, well, if not dead, feeble.”

Normal stuff like that. And here’s one that’s been especially relevant this year: I graduated 20 years ago. Twenty years from now I’ll be 58 and…where has the time gone and how can I slow it down?”


So much for having nothing to talk about.

TV and Fury end up burning this week’s podcast space by discussing the super-sized stadium experience in college football and the impending finale of Breaking Bad. Turns out they’re both fans of the show-recap industry.

Here’s the link.

I enjoyed watching Michael Jordan with the Wizards. I loved watching Magic Johnson in 1996. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar jogging up the court in 1989? I could dial up a YouTube clip right now and watch it. Emmitt Smith with the Cardinals? Fun. Roger Federer being nothing like he once was for so many years? Compelling. And on and on.

Sports fans and writers love legacies and often want athletes to retire at the top of their game so our precious memories aren’t sullied by watching them score 10 points per game or average 2 yards per carry. Why can’t they leave at the top of their game, like Jim Brown or Barry Sanders or Michael Jordan — at least in 1993?

I’ve always thought this was ridiculous. Athletes should go out when they want, whether it’s when they’re still at their peak or one of the worst in the game. What right does anyone have to tell anyone to retire or to quit? It seems to be an almost-childlike desire to preserve memories, as if anything Michael Jordan did in Washington would erase his six titles or 63-point performance in the Boston Garden.


On Saturday afternoon, I covered a game in one of the true temples in America sports: Memorial Stadium, home to the University of Nebraska football team. There were 90,614 souls there, the 330th consecutive sellout in the ever-expanding venue. Some 6,000 seats were added prior to this season, part of a $63.5-million upgrade.

Meanwhile, Fury spent that same day – I’m assuming – glued to a web feed, a ham radio or a Morse code translator in order to follow his beloved St. John’s Johnnies in their rivalry contest against the dreaded St. Thomas Tommies. Juco transfer or not, Fury is a Johnny for life. His knowledge and passion is completely legit.

Lincoln and Collegeville are examples of why college football is so successful: Some love it for the sheer magnitude and excellence and others buy in because it’s theirs. Both lines of reasoning seem plenty sound and can be traced back to feeling a genuine sense of loyalty to a school, be it a major NCAA Division I power or a quaint Division III outfit.

So where did I go wrong? (more…)

I wasn’t able to watch or listen to the St. John’s-St. Thomas game on Saturday so I spent much of my afternoon refreshing Twitter on my phone, searching for updates from St. Cloud Times writer Frank Rajkowski and a handful of fans at the game. It’s not an enjoyable way to follow a football game; the only thing worse might be attending an NFL game and being surrounded by drunks, felons and drunk felons.

And so I learned on Twitter that the Johnnies upset the No. 2 team in the Division III rankings, holding on for a 20-18 victory when St. Thomas missed a field goal on the final play of the game. It was the Johnnies’ first victory over the Tommies since 2009 and followed two straight routs at the hands of their rivals. A month ago, when I wrote about Gary Fasching taking over for John Gagliardi, I included a line about simply wanting St. John’s to beat St. Thomas and nothing else this season would really matter. The Johnnies did, and suddenly every game from here on out does matter.


By Dan Frasier
Guest blogger

Confession time. I’m a gigantic, irrational, ridiculous Nebraska Huskers homer. I refer to the team as “we.” I specifically avoid watching games that I think we will lose because seeing a blowout ruins my weekend. And I, like all the other homers I know, have spent the last few days texting my friends and predicting coach Bo Pelini’s termination.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the profanity-laced tirade that was recorded two years ago and released shortly after Nebraska’s meltdown against UCLA. Good Coach Bo, who took the reins of Husker Nation in 2008 to much fanfare and billboard leasing, has managed to find himself on a serious hotseat.


This week on the pod, TV and Fury discuss all things college football – or at least some things college football. Namely: ESPN College Gameday going to Fargo, N.D., where the guys met.

Also, one Big Ten coach (Minnesota’s Jerry Kill) deals with health issues, while another (Nebraska’s Bo Pelini) fills up the swear jar.

Here’s the link. 


Your boy has a new hangout: The library.

“But you don’t even read, TV.”

No, no, I do not. (Cue sound of future job prospects being flushed down the toilet.) But I do use the Internet. And I like snacks and comfy seats and giant windows and funky decor. And quiet – mostly quiet. (more…)

Brad Pitt unleashes Fury

Posted: September 17, 2013 by shawnfury in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Fury is set in the waning days of World War II’s European theater and revolves around the five-man crew of an American tank named Fury that runs across a desperate German division. Pitt will play a battle-hardened sergeant named Wardaddy.

Somehow I had gone months without knowing that international superstar and celebrity papa Brad Pitt is starring in a movie that was named after me. I only learned about it Monday when I saw breathless reports about the always-handsome Pitt cutting his hair for the role.

So apparently the tank that the Americans use is named Fury, meaning this isn’t a remake of the old comic book character Sgt. Fury. Instead it’s a different Fury, still fighting the Nazis. The movie is supposed to be an honest, harsh look at what life was like for soldiers. It’s scheduled to come out in November 2014. To me that sounds like a movie the studio thinks could be Oscar-worthy. Meaning in February 2015 we could hear Jack Nicholson — yes, wearing his sunglasses indoors — saying, “And the Oscar goes to…(Nicholson grin)…Fury.” Maybe.