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Monday, 20 October 2014

NFL #MusicMonday: The Makeshift Patriot Edition

Two weeks after using the music of one of the most well known metal bands in music history, I have decided to go the other route and tap an artist that likely very few of you reading have had the pleasure of hearing. Unlike a fiendish hipster, I won’t rub your nose in the fact that I know more about this particular artist than you do, in fact, that’s kind of the point of #MusicMonday. I want you guys and dolls out there to listen to something new and different. I want to expand your horizons. 

There are few musicians in the hip hop world that are more expansive than Sage Francis. 

Francis is not club music. He’s not a “money-cash-ho’s” rapper. He is not going to throw down a guest verse on a Justin Bieber track or the next Lil Wayne and Pitbull collaboration. 

Francis is a poet. He’s a guy who likes Jack Kerouac and Robert Frost and will quote them in his songs. He’s an incredibly smart guy who doesn’t shy away from sensitive topics in his lyrics or revealing extremely personal issues in his life. 

He’s also a guy who loves football; played fullback and linebacker in high school and some in college. He once wrote an angry letter to an airline after his flight was delayed and he missed all but the final Adam Vinatieri field goal when his New England Patriots upset the juggernaut St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

You get the picture. Let’s get to some of his best tracks to breakdown this weekend’s action.       

The Buzzkill - from A Healthy Distrust (2005)

“Supersonic, super destructive, seemingly unresistable
On the job, around the clock, with 24 hour a day reliability”

Peyton Manning assumed the top spot of the passing touchdown leaderboard on Sunday night, surpassing Brett Favre as the Broncos routed the 49ers in spectacular fashion. With all the records Manning stands to crush on his way to Canton, it shouldn’t be surprising that they don’t really matter to him. He’s out there for one purpose and this year’s iteration of Broncos were constructed with one goal in mind: Super Bowl or bust.   

Got Up This Morning (ft. Jolie Holland) - from Human The Death Dance (2007)

“Got up this morning, didn’t know right from wrong”

After a tough game against the resurgent Cowboys, the Seahawks were supposed to get a bit of break against the Rams. 

Chargers and MVP candidate Philip Rivers were supposed to walk through the Chiefs’ defense and rip off another big victory. 

The Browns were riding a huge wave of momentum into Florida and were supposed to take care of business against the winless Jaguars. 

Ha! What’s the old saying? “That’s why they play the games.” Or maybe, “any given Sunday” applies here. Either way, the talent level in the NFL is far too even for teams to take a mental vacation during the season and these are three perfect examples of teams getting caught in the trap.  

Little Houdini - from Li(f)e (2010)

Andrew Luck gets all of the press when the Colts win, and for good reason, but the guys on the defensive side of the ball should get a little love too. In a shutout effort against the Bengals, the No-Name Defense harassed Andy Dalton into incompletions, pressures, hits and sacks and generally made the entire Bengals’ offense look out of sync. They aren’t flashy but they get to the quarterback and keep the game close for Luck to carry them over the finish line.

Hang Time (Bang Bang Boogie) - from Sick of Waging War (2002)

“Like a thief in the night
This hell hounded off his leash”

Let’s pretend you’re Percy Harvin. Your skills were so highly thought of that you cashed in with a big contract and signing bonus. A team in need of a dynamic playmaker gave up a king’s ransom to acquire you. You sat out almost the entire first year with your new team but came back in time to help them in the playoffs on the way to an emphatic Super Bowl victory, of which you were a huge part. 

Your team is stable, successful, and has all the ingredients to get back to another Super Bowl. They’re patient and they really want you to be successful even though you’re always hurt or carrying some of other baggage with you. Still, the organization has your back. For now.

Now that we’ve established all of this, can you give me one logical reason why you would bitch and moan about other players, argue with coaches, and go out of your way to poison a locker room?

You know what they do to idiots like you after you’ve completely worn out your welcome? THEY TRADE YOU TO THE JETS.  

Grace - from Copper Gone (2014)

“You suggested Lithium to get me better again
That is unless if we, uhm, get together again
But that ain’t gonna happen, never again”

While a member of the Browns, Colt McCoy had quite the following. I’m not exactly sure why, though big victories over some marquee teams his rookie year certainly buoyed his reputation among the fans in Cleveland. It was also because he is a bit soft-spoken, maligned by experts, and physically underwhelming as far as NFL players go. Cleveland loves a scrappy little underdog! 

What a lot of members of “Cult McCoy” either didn’t understand, or refused to accept, is that the little guy is just not capable of being a starting quarterback in the league. The NFL is the ultimate sports meritocracy; if you can play, there’s a spot for you. If you can’t play, you’re gone.

Having said that, it was good to see McCoy lead Washington to a late victory over the Titans. He never did anything wrong in Cleveland and he did a great job endearing himself to the fans but he wasn’t the right guy and while I applaud him for his efforts Sunday, I doubt he’s going to lead his new team to playoff glory any time soon.

Over Under - from Copper Gone (2014)

“I’m on a retreat and I’m under the assumption
No matter where I go there I am”

You have to give Kyle Orton credit; he’s been chided as a career backup and thrown on the scrap heap more times than he’d care to remember, yet when he gets pulled back into the fold he can still go out and win a game. I’m not sure the Bills can win longterm with Orton—okay I know they can’t—but I think he has the starting job over EJ Manuel barring injury for at least the rest of the season.  

Monday Night Dedication
High Step - from Human The Death Dance (2007)

“Give me the pig skin, kid
I'm head huntin for Satan”

Because the Browns were embarrassed by an inferior team, I really want the Steelers to lose in a miserable fashion. I hope JJ Watt falcon punches Ben Roethlisberger right in the crotch. 


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