Friday, July 11, 2014

What Brazil-Germany game looked like to Brazilian fans

Cubs Lightning


I watched and listened to the Cubs yesterday and every time Arismendy Alcantara came up, it was like watching a bolt of lightning. That kid is pure excitement...and he's only the fifth or six best prospect we have in the minors. Yowza. 4 for 5, with two infield singles (lightning), a double, a triple, two runs scored, and three runs driven in. He was only supposed to be up in the big leagues for two days, but the brass just changed their mind. He's staying up here. (photo by Tim Sheridan,

Still working on getting the correct pronounciation. Is it AlCONtara or AlCANtara or AlCAntra or AlcanTARA? I heard it all four ways. I guess the announcers aren't quite sure yet either.

By the way, did you see that dustup in the ninth inning? It almost led to a brawl. Aroldis Chapman buzzed a few 100-plus MPH fastballs near Nate Schierholtz' head. The Cubs, understandably, didn't care for that. But it was probably the way Chapman dismissively waved to the Cubs dugout and walked toward it after he struck out a batter that got the Cubs really ticked off. Anthony Rizzo said a few things toward the Reds dugout when he came back out to his position, they responded with some words that made Anthony throw down his glove, and then the benches emptied. This Cincinnati writer thinks Rizzo should have been kicked out. Mmmm hmmm. It was Rizzo who started that fight, not Chapman. (Sigh)

A Statistical Analysis of Classic Rock

I thought this article in 538 was very interesting. They analyzed classic rock stations across the country, and found...

The 10-year period from 1973 to 1982 accounts for a whopping 57 percent of all song plays in the set. Besides a small trickle of music from 1995 onward — a trickle to which the Green Day song that inspired this article belongs — the last year to make an actual dent in the listings is 1991. That’s largely due to releases by Nirvana, Metallica and U2, the groups that make up the last wave of what is currently considered classic rock.

As a classic rock fan (also known as a dinosaur), I enjoyed the perspective of the youngster who wrote the piece. Also, check out this top fifteen list of classic rock songs on the radio (by most plays). You'll notice there isn't a single Beatles song on the list. Beatles fans have apparently aged out of the classic rock demo. Once I get my nurse to help me out of bed, and put in my teeth, I'm going to write the classic rock programmers a very angry letter. Now where did I put my quill?

Cara Carriveau

From today's RAMP newsletter, Cara Carriveau is now doing afternoons at WILV (FM 100.3)...

There has been a noticeable on-air change at Hubbard Radio's WILV (Chicago's 100.3)/Chicago as afternoon personality Jane Monzures exits after a six-month run. She has been replaced by market vet Cara Carriveau (pictured), who slides up from nights. As usual, these moves were first noticed by Chicago media maven Robert Feder and chronicled in his blog. RAMP hit up WILV PD Marty Bender for confirmation. He shared a staff memo, which read, in part, "Jane is a wonderful person and a great talent and we wish her continued ongoing success in her many media and philanthropic endeavors." Monzures is best known for her many years of service across the street at WLUP (The Loop). She was hired by WILV in January of this year to replace Brian Middleton. Bender's memo continues, "Beginning today, we welcome our evening hostess and Chicago radio superstar Cara Carriveau to the 2-7pm drive slot at Chicago's 100.3. Nights will be handled by fill-in hosts until we post the opening and look for our new night star."

I just interviewed Cara for the Illinois Entertainer a few months ago. That interview is here.

Cara has also previously interviewed me for her podcast (seven years ago now) about my first two books...(You can listen to that interview here)

Only Tiger

I'm surprised it's taken them this long to come up with this idea. For the British Open, ESPN will have one channel that only follows around Tiger Woods. It will be on ESPN-3.

Let's face it. Casual golf fans only watch it when Tiger is involved. (I'm one of those people).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Records Truly Is My Middle Name Soundtrack Promotional Video

Courtesy of Tommy Kaempfer...

Zander Out

I was very surprised by this news. I just talked to him recently (via e-mail) and had no indication this was a possibility. From Radio Online...

Mark Zander is out as Program Director of Classic Rock WERV-FM (95.9 The River) and Rock WRXQ-FM (QROCK 100.7)/Chicago. He also handled afternoons for WERV. Zander, who has been with the company since October, 2010, was elevated to PD or WERV in early, 2011, adding Classic Rock WRXQ-FM programming duties the following September. Prior to that, he served as PD of Classic Rock WRXQ-FM/Joliet, IL. WERV morning co-host and Assistant PD Danielle Tufano will act as The River's interim PD.

I just featured Danielle a month or two ago at the Illinois Entertainer. She described her duties as Assistant PD as "doing whatever Zander needs." I also interviewed Zander a few years ago, when he was still working in California. He had just left the Loop, where he had been working as the overnight guy during my very last stint in radio. I was working as a morning show consultant for the Spike, Dobie & Max show.

People are REALLY watching the World Cup

Here are some stats for you.

Germany’s Stunning Rout Of Brazil Results In The Most Facebook Interactions

With 35.6 Million Tweets, Germany’s 7-1 #WorldCup Win Over Brazil Sets A New Twitter Record

Germany’s Victory Over Brazil Top Rated Non-U.S. Team World Cup Game Ever

That's all pretty incredible. I think this has been the most enjoyable World Cup I can ever remember, and I always love the World Cup.

By the way, you have to feel a little sorry for Brazil. They are hosting a World Cup final that features the team that humiliated them versus their most hated rival. I'll put it in terms my fellow Cub fans can understand. It would be like a team featuring Steve Garvey and Will Clark playing the World Series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

Who do you root for?

I know who I'm rooting for, by the way. No surprise here...

A Google Executive's Bizarre Death

The story is recounted this morning in the San Jose Mercury News, and it's surely the most salacious story to ever hit their business section.

The description that chills is this:
It was a camera-caught crime of callousness -- an unconscious Silicon Valley tech executive left to die on his luxury yacht with a fatal fix of heroin coursing through his veins. Police said the prostitute who injected the drug cleared out evidence, stepped over his body and finished a glass of wine before fleeing.

The even odder part, if you ask me, is that the prostitute in question is a rich girl, a daughter of a software CEO, who seemed to just like danger.

I feel a show trial coming on.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


I've never celebrated at halftime of a soccer game before. I may have to finally drink one of these beverages my German relatives tell me so much about. I believe they spell it b-i-e-r. Can't wait to see what it tastes like.

If you can't laugh at yourself...

A Yankees fan who fell asleep and was caught on camera, and (incredibly) gently mocked by the ESPN announcers covering the game, has sued them for $10 million for "defamation". The New York Post has the details.

In a perfect world this suit is immediately dismissed.

We don't live in a perfect world, however.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Green White


One of my on-going writing projects is writing the history of Green White Soccer Club, a club co-founded by my dad in the 1950s.

Each month I write about one year in club history. This month, it's 1989.

You can read it here.

The Trade

Theo pulled the trigger over the weekend, didn’t he? I think I’ve read everything written about the Samardzija/Hammel trade, and I see that there are a lot of people who seem to be upset by this trade. My question is this: Why?

We traded a guy who made it clear he didn’t want to be here anymore (and had rejected numerous contract offers) and a guy we signed specifically to trade (and told him so when we signed him) for the two best prospects in Oakland’s system, and a guy who won ten 10 games for them last year. That sounds like a great trade to me.

The Cubs now almost certainly have the #1 farm system in all of baseball. Plus we have an all-star shortstop who is still only 24 years old (Castro), a near all-star 25-year-old first baseman, a bullpen full of young guys who throw 95-plus MPH, and two young excellent starting pitchers (Arietta, and last year’s all-star Travis Wood). Three or four of the young studs in the minors will be ready within a year. These are players who are considered franchise players. We have three or four of them coming up. The oldest one is 22. We may not have stud pitchers ready to come up, but in the last two years, the Cubs have drafted 40 pitchers. 40.

I’ll admit to occasionally wavering and having my doubts about Theo and Jed, but after this trade, I’m very excited. I know the rest of this year won’t be pretty, but that just means ANOTHER good draft position next year…and next year is when we’ll begin to see the results of this stockpiling on the field at Wrigley. I get why Cub fans are a little hesitant to be patient (how patient do we have to be, right?), but this approach clearly seems to be paying off. I’m drinking the koolaid right now.

18 months in prison

Rupert Murdoch's former News of the World editor Andy Coulson was sentenced to prison today.

His sentence is 18 months.

One of the conspirators magically got away with it (Rebekkah Brooks), but let's not forget this prison sentence and the many guilty pleas associated with this former British tabloid.

Anthony's Radio Career is Over

Anthony Cumia, the Anthony of "Opie & Anthony", is finished in radio after a series of angry and racist tweets were posted by him. His employer XM/Sirius immediately fired him, and this New York Daily News article says he will never be hired by anyone in radio again. Even though there is a petition to get him back on the air, his old employer won't budge.

What caused him to do it? He was punched in the face by a black woman in Times Square. The tweets are here. No question they were way over the line.

I read the article expecting to be totally on the side of XM/Sirius. There's clearly a racist element to this. But it looks to me like he just snapped after getting attacked, and he was trying to get back at her by saying the meanest things he could think of saying. Racist things? Yes. THE word that offends all women? Yes.

Was it wrong? No question. But isn't getting punched in the face even worse?

Seems to me that this shouldn't be a career ender. A suspension? OK. Even being fired, I can see. But never allowing him to work again because he snapped after getting punched in the face? It's not like this was Mr. Rogers saying these things. Anthony's a shock jock who regularly says things that go over the line.

Maybe I'm just getting soft in my old age.