Your Monday Morning Roundup

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Chris Wheeler: smooth operator

Two cultural observations:

1) Bruce Springsteen’s new album. I downloaded it last week. 

I’m a casual Boss fan– haven’t been to one of his concerts, but own most of his major albums and enjoy songs somewhere between Born in the U.S.A. and deep tracks. I was told that his new album, Wrecking Ball, was vintage Bruce and well worth a download. So that’s what I did.

Does anyone else have a problem with a guy supposedly worth $200 million banging out an entire record about the perceived plight of the American worker? Don’t get me wrong, there are some good tracks on the largely sleepy album (well, 3), but I don’t find many of them believable. After listening to the playlist for an hour or so, you’re led to think that America just stumbled out of a decade of apartheid. 

Sure, corporate greed, the housing market, and the economy in general have sucked for many – myself, friends and family included, at times – but it’s as if Bruce wrote his entire album for laid-off assembly line workers in Michigan. 

That’s not all of us, Holmes. America is in some turmoil, but the country isn't falling apart, either.

Jack of All Trades is a first-person narrative about man who lost his job and will do anything from mowing lawns to “hammering nails” to fight for his family as “the banker man grows fat.” Jeez, Bruce, don’t kill yourself with that social commentary. I was waiting for one hidden track to be titled We Are The 99%. Thankfully, The Boss spared us that insult.

Yes, he’s writing for his core demo, which he endeared himself to, like, 40 years ago, when he was just a kid trying to make a living playing music at the Jersey Shore. Now he’s a multimillionaire and Grammy Award winner singing songs about a closed down factory he saw from the freeway while he was driving up a mountain to his exalted existence. That’s not to begrudge a guy for being a millionaire. Not at all. Rather, to point out how ridiculous it is for someone of his stature to have the balls to write an entire album about a sad family he saw on CNN. How about one upbeat track? Just one??

All of that said, songs like We Take Care Of Our Own and the title track, Wrecking Ball, have a classic Bruce sound… even if they are just a reorganized cacophony of past classics, repackaged to grab 12 bucks from that laid-off factory worker.


2) Pinterest. As someone who uses his iPad mostly to read about the new iPad and other tech who’s its and what’s its galore, I generally like to think about I’m six months ahead on knowing of the next trendy tech or web thing. So, I was a bit surprised when, about a month ago, Ms. CB asked me if I knew how to get on Pinterest.

I had, in fact, requested an invite just days earlier. Now Ms. CB wanted one so she could browse pictures of food, cake, drinks, clothes and jewelry on the mostly female social networking site. 

Both of our requests have since been granted. My request was mostly because, if the thing takes off, I want to be sure CB’s links are there (as evidenced by that “pin it” button after each post). Ms. CB’s was because she wanted to shop… which is exactly what she did this weekend when she bought $100 Fossil watch after seeing it on Pinterest.

Thanks to the site, there’s now a high-probability that when I look over at my love, she’s going to be head-down on her iPhone, oogling pictures of things that are probably going to cost me money someday. Consider this your warning, guys.

Let’s hit it.


But first, a word from our sponsors:

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Meet Scott Hartnell, Bernie Parent, Ilya Bryzgalov and Matt Read. Harts at the BC Sports in the Moorsetown Mall on March 19 from 6:30 – 8. Bernie and Bryz at the BC Sports in the Manoa Shopping Center on March 25 from 3 – 5. And Read at the BC Sports in the King of Prussia Mall on March 27 from 6:30 – 7:30. Details and tickets here.

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For the last two weeks we have promoted our Opening Day ticket giveaway with our partners from TiqIQ. Well, good news and bad news: The bad news is that because lawyers have nothing better to do, we can’t give the winner Opening Day tickets. The good news is that instead of two Opening Day tickets, the winner will get $1,000. Fair trade-off, no? Click here to enter. And remember: prize is not Opening Day tickets… it’s $1,000. Everything else remains the same.

Help us set a world record with Guinness by taking the pledge to drink one of their pints on St. Patrick’s Day. By entering, you can win tickets (on us) or a trip to Dublin (on them). Do it here.


The roundup:

– Nats manager Davey Johnson thinks his rotation is as good as the Phillies’

– Claude Giroux didn’t perform “The Datsyuk” for the first time on Saturday night.

– Jim Thome is scheduled to play first base in a minor league game today. 

– Unlike the Nationals, the Phillies welcome out-of-towners. In fact, they put together a weekend road trip package for a series in July against the Giants. See, this is OK, because the Phillies aren’t trying to sell tickets to visiting fans– they’re trying to bring homesick Phillies fans back to Philly. Plus, places like Fenway Park and Camden Yards are so revered because many of us, as baseball fans, had the opportunity to visit those stadiums when we were younger. The Phillies can create a similar culture by welcoming out-of-towners without sacrificing many sales to local fans. Win.

– Here’s what some asshole Boston fan on’s blogging platform

However, residents of Boston are far superior individuals than the pathetic excuses for life that fanatically root for Philadelphia's sports teams.

To name only a few despicable Philly episodes, these worthless, cheese-steak-eating cretins have gunned snowballs at Santa Clause, shot a flare gun across a live playing field, and thrown D-Cell batteries at Cardinals outfielder J.D. Drew after he understandably rebuffed the Phillies' offer to play for them.

Furthermore, actions of Philadelphia Eagles fans during a 34-0 blowout loss to the Dallas Cowboys in 1997 were so barbaric that the city assigned a Municipal Court Judge, Seamus McCaffrey, to Veterans Stadium to preside over the legions of trash banished from the stands. 


– The Devils still have cheerleaders:

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– Malik Rose hit his season high point yesterday when he commented on a horrified Spike Lee, who covered his eyes as the Knicks got squashed by the Sixers:

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24 Responses

  1. I don’t even like Bruce Springsteen, but I’ll take an album with that kind of theme over some thuglife rapper talking about Bentleys, money, and b!tches for 45 minutes on a record. Your review of the album makes you sound like some affluent preppie guy who looks down on people who struggle day by day. “Bruce, my life it great, so play some upbeat songs.” Maybe the album wasn’t written for people like you, Kyle.

  2. @ Dpettine- he obviously doesn’t get it because in the next post he was talking about his ipad and a $100 watch.
    @ Kyle- Please just stick to sports and no more info about your personal life.

  3. Wow, I’ve never heard anything about what that Boston fan said ever before. How original and fresh.

  4. It’s posts like this that make me embarassed to visit this website. Kyle, no one cares about your personal life. Do you think that we care about “Ms CB” (douche chills), your choice in music, your ipad or hearing you defend why you are part of the 1% of males that are on Pinterest? Please stick to what you do best, i.e. trolling twitter and other blogs to find interesting information to repost so that we don’t have to do the leg work ourselves. And here I thought that your posts couldn’t get any worse than the 2 months that you spent begging people to vote for you for the best blog……

  5. Springsteen grew up extremely poor. His dad was a factory worker who was fired when Springsteen was a kid, and they basically lived off his mom’s salary (she was a secretary in the 50’s and 60’s, so not much). He’s become rich by being a top tier musician for the past four decades, and contributes much of his money and time to various food banks around the country. He’s clearly more qualified to talk about poverty than you are about music.
    At least check Wikipedia if you’re going to discuss things you clearly have no clue about. Otherwise, you’ll sound like a spoiled private school kid who says shit like “holmes”, oh wait…

  6. Regardless if he’s some preppy, private school kid or not, he’s allowed to have an opinion on a cd. He also said they were cultural observations- don’t read them if you’re not interested. All of you people come here on your own will.. and let’s be honest every time we come here, he gets paid- so I say thanks to the haters b/c I like this blog and you’re keeping it in business for me.
    Oh and Bryz.. woohoo. Don’t want to jinx this, but really hoping this continues.

  7. Kyle…I love the site. When it comes to sports, I generally agree with you and think you have pretty good analysis with a humorous spin. Not to be a dickhead with this post, but please spare us the lackluster social commentary. I don’t mind the twitter stuff that some people seem to hate, but its the occasional post like this that is the only downfall to this site, for me.
    A) I dont really listen to the Boss, but I do know that regardless of his monetary worth, hes one of the few non-country acts out there that writes music that the “laid off factory workers in Michigan” type music lovers can relate to. And as dpettine17 said above, its at least better than DeSean Jackson talkin about tits, guns and money. Bruces fans love him and he seems to be one of the few gems in hollywood/music industry who hasn’t let his fame turn him him into a total douche.
    B) “That’s not all of us, Holmes. America is in some turmoil, but the country isn’t exactly falling apart.”
    Do you follow the news at all?
    And dude, you live in Philly. You just railed on Jason Babin for not ‘getting it’ and not having the brains to realize he shouldn’t talk about financial stuff like that to fans, and now you come on all, “Hey Boss! The everyday American isn’t suffering, they’re guys with iPads that make their living off blogs,like me, who are whipped by their gfs into buying them 100 dollar watches, bra.”
    Again man, not trying to be a douche. Its your blog and you’re welcome to your opinion, obviously. I’m just a reader givin ya some feedback. I love the site and rarely criticize it, but some constructive criticism: Stick to sports.

  8. Chicks athletes are banging – ok.
    Your musings on springsteen, having never even been to one of his concerts – not ok.
    Pinter-whatthefuck ? Is it really that slow of a news day ?

  9. fair, but i think you’re missing the point– bruce has been rich for YEARS. yes, he grew up poor and working class – aware and noted – but the entire album is written mostly in first person, and portrays the country as on the brink of disaster. yes, it’s not the best of times, but the whole thing is a gross exaggeration that relates, really, to less than 100% of the country. the lyrics are simplistic and a gross exaggeration of 99% of society. and I’m not the only who feels that way:
    “That’s the problem here: The images are so broad — every song’s got a rising flood or a train of sinners or a dead man’s moon — you’ll be dying for a detail that’s anchored in the real world, circa 2012.”
    “As protest, it’s dead on arrival: Springsteen has no feel for what makes effective agitprop in 2012. As art, it’s a failure. It’s the work of a man who has forgotten what he’s good at.”
    “In some ways, the too-slick production on Wrecking Ball is a scrim that allows Springsteen to compensate for his social detachment from his working-class subjects while perhaps convincing himself that he’s giving the people what they want—a big rock record. But who asked for sanctimonious gospel music from the Boss? With its full choir, tame programmed beat, and lazily rapped bridge, “Rocky Ground” may be the worst thing he’s done since “57 Channels (And Nothing On),” which you’ll know is saying a lot if you’ve heard “Queen of the Supermarket.” On its second half, the album’s rousing bluster and intimations of uprising eventually curdle into a self-righteousness that whiffs of exploitation.”

  10. CB: C’mon man. You’re a few weeks behind on the “Bruce is too rich to relate” comments. Comments which have had holes blasted thru them all over the blogosphere by anyone with even a slight understanding of his body of work.
    Simply put, as he himself has stated many times, he’s interested in writing about the America he grew up in, has lived through, and the one he’s living in today. He’s been writing about social injustice and inequality for 40 years. He’s been rich for about 30 of those and writing about the same subjets. So, it’s not like all of a sudden he’s co-opting the disenfranchised. He grew up broke. His family struggled and moved across the country and back to try and make a living. Some who are fortunate enough to make millions with that same upbringing may forget about where they came from. He never did. God Bless him for it.
    He’s been responsible for millions donated to charity, not to mention all the free benefits he’s done for people and organizations in need. Go to the Monmouth Food Bank and ask who’s solely responsible for its ability to support thousands in the community over the past 30 years. They’ll tell you without Springsteen it wouldn’t exist.
    The album is his best in 25 years and he’s released a few good ones in the last decade (and some not so good). As for the subject matter, I’d remind you the bankers and corporate greed didn’t just affect “poor” people you know. Plenty of well-to-do’s were fucked over as well. Greed and power don’t discriminate, they simply prey on the weak and defenseless first because they are an easier target.
    I’d challenge you to watch him perform the record. Go see the Fallon performances last week or the Apollo from Friday night on YouTube. The dude means and believes every word of it. Always has. His earnestness and effort has never been cool I suppose, but it’s at the absolute least admirable.
    That you’re even commenting on a 62 year old’s most recent album release shows the impact he has as an artist. Very few if any at his age have remained this relevant and this prolific (Neil Young maybe). If there were others you could have tweeted about Van Halen’s new record I guess.(Thank God you didn’t).
    Now get back to tweeting photos of the new CSN girl from Texas. Please…seriously post some more pics.

  11. @Gary, Sharla McBride isn’t that hot. What am I missing about her? Now I’d take her over that squeaky-voiced Leslie Gudel any day of the week, but she’s not amazing or anything. What I’d like to see is a picture of Lisa Hillary in her early 20s.
    Now, while we’re on the subject of local female media personalities, find any excuse you can to post more Sheena Parveen pictures immediately!

  12. Bruce has fuck you money, he actually has fuck you and everyone that looks like you money, so, preaching about greed is a bit disingenuous… a watch is a fashion accessory people! you gotta have a few and if you can’t swing a hundred bucks then you don’t need to be wasting your time surfing the blogs…world needs landscapers!

  13. Man, I have never seen a bigger bunch of ego-inflated assholes. Kyle owns the site, he can write what he wants. Don’t like it? Go read ESPN or something.
    Or get your own blog and try your hand at that. I would LOVE to see what your education(or lack thereof) looks like when it comes to writing posts!

  14. Sorry, Loki. I just came to a sports blog where I’m told that Bruce Springsteen writes disingenuous lyrics because he’s wealthy. What that has to do with Philly sports, I have no idea, but thanks for the commentary on the economy. It was very enlightening.

  15. Ok Loki..I’m free to go on my radio show and act like a fucking creepy ass oldman that has his thumb in diarRHEA Hughes ass and you just have to be fine with that. Eat my shit.

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