Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Get me down to F-L-A

Some of you have expressed some frustration with the infrequency of my entries here. I apologize. I'm actually headed to F-L-A for about a week, so don't expect anything until next Thursday. But I'll be back, I swear.

In the meantime, here's what's going on out there...
In fast food news, a Stafford, VA Taco Bell worker was recently arrested for something that no doubt happens hundreds of times each day. She now faces up to 10 years in prison.

Tanning salons marketing to teenagers. No way. I want to make sure my hard-earned tax dollars went to funding research like this. But seriously, if you were opening a tanning salon -- purely a vanity business -- who would you target first? You might advertise in sorority newsletters or something (do they have such things?), but I'm guessing your second target audience would be teenagers.

Slate is keeping a running log of hilarious "Bushisms". Check them out.


In sports news...
No real shocker, but Dolphins RB Ricky Williams has been suspended for the 2006 NFL season. I understand it's time for him to go, but you have to admit that doing what he did while smoking that much is fairly impressive. He now owes the Dolphins $8.6 million for breaking contract.

Ahead of the NFL Draft this weekend, what the hell is going on with Reggie Bush? So we got something like three potential agents, one known felon and ex-gang member, a random Indian tribe, and his folks' dirt floor house? Huh? Also, at NFL Rumor Central, John Clayton reports Raiders CB Charles Woodson may be a Packer or a Buc next season.

My main man John Clay reports that this years Derby entries are imitating their celebrity fans and arriving fashionably late.

Arsenal held off Villareal for a 0-0 draw, giving them a 1-0 aggregate victory and a place in the final in Paris. German keeper Jens Lehmann made a dramatic savefrom Argentinian Juan Riquelme's final minute penalty kick to preserve the Gunners' overall lead and vindicate German national team coach Jurgen Klinnsman's decision to bench 2002 World Cup hero Oliver Kahn at this summer's World Cup in Germany. One quick comment: as much as I love the Champions League, I think ESPN has to strongly consider whether or not they want that to be a major year long investment. The quality of soccer is great for a knowledgeable fan -- very tactical, often very defensive -- but it occasionally lacks the adventure, excitement, and -- let's go ahead and say it -- the goals that might draw in new fans. What about showing a weekly Premier League match? What about a weekly match from La Liga? What about an hour long highlight show?

DC United continued their strong start to the season this past weekend with a 4-1 win against the New York Red Bulls. Alecko Eskandarian scored twice. After the first goal, he celebrated by grabbing a can of Red Bull from the sideline, taking a swig, then shaking his head and spitting it out. Clever? Sort of. But anyway, in the most confusing PR move of the young season, the MLS fined him $250 and also named Esky player of the week. I don't really know how much $250 is to Esky -- I'm guessing it's not a ton -- but just think about how much this would cost him in the NFL.
DC United also named their all time best 11. It's a testament to how good some of their teams have been that no other franchise -- save maybe the league's biggest underachievers LA -- could field a team that holds water to these guys. Don't know about Nick Rimando in goal, but the only way anyone could score on the Pope, Llamosa, Nelsen, and Agoos backline would be if ol' Goos went ahead and stuck it in the net for you.


In the music world...
Pitchfork discovers a newly minted Scarlett Johansen song, the standard "Summertime". Sounds like it might be worth listening to once. But just once.
They also reviewed the new release from Bruce Springsteen on Monday, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Despite making it out to the tour for The Rising, I haven't really cared for any of his last releases. As has been well documented, they're terribly overproduced, sterilizing the joy and exuberance of his earlier work. I'm looking forward to hearing him go after someone else's songs too, as the lyrics on the last two albums were a little too literal, lacking the punch that his imagery often carries.

Also, much to my delight, Ween's infamous tour diaries are back. They just returned from a little swing through the Southeast and are gearing up for some West Coast dates later (including two with the Flaming Lips) this summer, with supposedly more TBA. Check them out.

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