Everything Dies/Just the Facts Jam

Longtime readers know I generally am not a fan of song covers, but exceptions exist. That’s a fact.

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Analyzing college football coaches’ favorite musical artists

bruce-springsteen-slide-super-bowl-halftime-show

ESPN conducted a survey of all 128 Division I college football coaches, asking them to name their favorite musical artist. The full list of responses is here. My cursory analysis is here:   Continue reading

Winter Jam

Bruce Springsteen is a prolific recording artist and live performer, but if you had to limit yourself to just one of his albums, the decision process would be easy: it’d be his Live at Hammersmith Odeon without question. I cannot imagine a better introduction to Springsteen and the E Street Band than that album and today’s selected Jam, which includes a literal introduction, in particular.

Without thinking about it too much, the E Street Band might be the tightest loose band I’ve heard, and on this album, which spans two compact discs, they play every song as if it’s their last– and this was 1975! Since then, sadly, a few members of the band– Dan Federici and Clarence Clemons– have played their last songs. Thankfully, however, high-definition video of this concert, during the band’s first overseas trip, exists and brings the Big Man, the Boss, and everyone else to vibrant life. Here’s the door:

Super Bowl Jam

The leadup to Super Bowl XVII has gotten a little raucous around here, and I promise it wasn’t planned that way. First, make sure you sign the petition, and then check out all of our Super Bowl coverage. You won’t regret it.

One item buried in all of that is a breakdown of a fantastic GIF of 49ers fans. While preparing my analysis, I came across a number of videos of musical performances that were new to me, even though the songs are well known. One of those was by a relatively recent Super Bowl halftime performer, so I decided to feature it in this spot this week:

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Related Super Bowl Coverage
The Truth: What really happened in the murder trial of Ray Lewis, Reginald Oakley, and Joseph Sweeting (via Atlanta Magazine)
Ravens vs. 49ers: A losers’ guide to Super Bowl cheering

A question about Super Bowl Media Day
Beyond the Archives: How Big Government Cost Southern Conservatives a Super Bowl Win

Super Bowl Politicking

ALDLAND Archives: Breaking Up is Hard to Do
ALDLAND Archives: Why I Hate Harbaugh
Super Bowl XLVII, brought to you by the AARP?

The de jure national championship preview

Nick Saban* and Les Miles

The New Orleans Superdome has hosted a series of big football games over the past few days, including the Sugar Bowl, a Saints playoff game, and now the BCS national championship game tonight.

Keep reading…

Michigan’s unfriendly welcoming of Nebraska

Not pictured: Ndamukong Suh

In what was supposed to be the Big Ole Game of the week, Nebraska’s first visit to the Big House looked a lot like the ‘Huskers’ first visit to Camp Randall to open their first season of Big Ten action this season. The visitors gave up three fewer points to the Wolverines than they did to the Badgers, losing to Michigan 45-17. (The Wisconsin score was 48-17. Maybe Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany told Nebraska that there was a hard scoring cap in place for all new conference members?) Nebraska’s quarterback did not look comfortable in the pocket, the position, his uniform, or his throwing motion on Saturday, and the Cornhuskers’ special teams coughed the ball up repeatedly on the afternoon to give Michigan’s offense great field position.

One quibble I had with the Michigan fans’ assessment of their opponent’s struggles on the day and mixed results in the conference this season was their comparison of Nebraska to Penn State when the latter became the Big Ten’s eleventh team in 1990 and, despite prior success, struggled in its first few years in the conference. The important difference the Nebraska comparison ignores is that PSU had been independent prior to joining the Big Ten, while Nebraska had been a member of the Big XII. I buy the argument that Penn State’s early difficulties were due to adjusting to playing competitive teams every week, rather than the mixed schedule of an independent school. In Nebraska’s case, the Big XII may be down, but it’s conference schedule isn’t comparable to that of an independent. Moreover, Nebraska’s conference play this year really has been mixed, rather than down. They certainly had trouble with road games against Wisconsin and this one against Michigan, and they lost at home to Northwestern, but they also dominated Michigan State. I’d say the jury’s still out on Big Ten Nebraska, and if they end up having a hard time, I don’t think the Penn State analogy helps explain why.

Before the game, I teed up a Friday jam for the visitors from Lincoln that was pretty upbeat. In light of how things went, though, this may be more appropriate:

Previous Live Coverage:
B1G Roadtrippin’: Michigan at Illinois
Nashville recap: Georgia escapes, 33-28

B1G Roadtrippin’: Michigan at Northwestern
The Little Brown Jug stays in Ann Arbor

Recap: Detroit Red Wings’ Red & White Game
Motor City recap: Tigers win, 2-1
Music City recap: Vanderbilt wins, 45-14
Concert report: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
Concert report: An evening with Bruce Hornsby, Béla Fleck, the Noisemakers, and the Flecktones