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Archive for the tag “New York Yankees”

Sports Trash Talking

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With the National Football League season starting, are you ready for some sports trash talking? I’m not. I never understood trash talking; it’s pointless. Because you say your team is better, I’m not going to change my allegiance to my team. I’m not changing my loyalty because you say your team has better players or has a better record than mine. I don’t care how much you love the Dallas Cowboys, think they are the best team ever, and quote statistics to try to prove it, I am and will always be a New York Giants fan. I don’t care how many negative things you say about Giants QB Eli Manning, I prefer him as my team’s QB over all other QBs in the NFL. Even over the New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. Eli is younger, healthier (he has never missed a game in his whole 12 year career), and he’s not suspended for deflating footballs.

 

Gate 4

Yankee Stadium

Has trash talking ever worked? Has anyone ever changed her favorite team because someone else said his team is better? No has ever said, “I know the New York Yankees haven’t won a World Series in seven years so that negates the five previous World Series wins and all the success. I’ll just become a fan of whoever you say is better than the Yankees since your trash talking is so persuasive.”

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A low point in trash talking came last year with the football team the New York Jets’ motto, “What it means to be green.” What does that motto mean? Being green as in the color of the team’s uniforms? Or lack of experience? Or environmental consciousness? None of those traits evoke fear, competition, or respect for a skill level. How do you use “being green” to trash talk? Do you say, “Ha, ha. My team is greener than yours.” I can’t imagine any offensive lineman saying to the opposing defensive lineman he is facing at the line of scrimmage, “Sure your team has more QB sacks than any other team but our team is green.” Jets fans are a very, shall I write, interesting group of people but I doubt even they were going around bragging that their team is greener than all the other teams.

 

Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

I can’t trash talk because it just seems so mean. The few times I’ve said anything close to trash talking, I’ve felt bad afterwards. I love my teams so why would I say anything bad about teams someone else loves? I don’t know how to react when someone trash talks my favorite teams. One of the worst trash talking situations I’ve been in occurred a few years ago when I was at the check-out of a sports store paying for Giants merchandise with my Giants credit card. The cashier ridiculed me for being a Giants fan and said the team was terrible. First of all, the Giants had a winning record at the time so they were not terrible. Second of all, the cashier is working at a sports store where fans of many teams are buying team memorabilia. She shouldn’t be commenting on any team any customer favors. I couldn’t imagine being at a food store buying a bottle of Coca-Cola and having the cashier tell me that Coke is terrible and Pepsi is better.

 

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Field Museum, Chicago, IL

The worst sports trash talkers are the fair weather fans. They usually root for out of state teams whose games they cannot even see on TV. When their team plays a local team and they can actually watch the game, they become very obnoxious. If their team wins, they trash talk about how great their team is (based on the one and only game they watched) and how horrible the home team is. Yet, they couldn’t even name five players on “their team”. They don’t give their team another thought for the rest of the season except to remind the hometown fan that her team lost that one game to their team.

 

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Music does not lend itself to trash talking. Sure, there are battles over who is the better band – The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. (The answer is The Beatles). These battles usually aren’t very contentious. In fact, more often than leading to trashing talking, music discussions lead to listening recommendations. There’s no disloyalty in listening to new music. Even if you become a fan of the new music, it does not affect your feelings for your favorite music. You can be a fan of many different songs and musicians. To stay on a music track, the chorus of the Jon Secada song, “After All is Said and Done” perfectly sums up my love of the New York Giants and New York Yankees.

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So to all you trash talkers out there, it’s fine to be fanatical for a sports team. It’s fine to get excited about games, talk about stats and players, read everything possible about that team, and want absolute silence while you watch games. I just don’t need to hear about it because it won’t change my allegiance. I’ll always be a fan of the 27 time World Series Champion New York Yankees (more than any other team in any sport) and 4 time Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. You can keep your teams and your trash talking.

 

Guitar Train passengers, are you a trash talker? Why? If someone trash talks your favorite team, how do you respond?

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New York Songs

This Guitar Train stop is the first of two stops looking at New York songs and California songs. Since I live on the East Coast, I am more familiar with and associate more with New York songs. Many of the songs written about New York are about one specific area of a large state – New York City. There may be songs about upstate New York towns such as Schenectady or Ithaca but I haven’t heard them.

 

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City

New York songs I like

  1. “Theme from New York, New York” sung by Frank Sinatra
  2. “New York City Rhythm” by Barry Manilow
  3. “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel

 

Gate 4

Yankee Stadium

There’s nothing like a crowd of 50,000 happy New York Yankees fans singing along to “Theme from New York, New York” at Yankee Stadium after a Yankees win. It is a great tradition which brings everyone together in happiness for their beloved team. It is the perfect ending to a day spent at Yankee Stadium.

 

New York City

New York City

Barry Manilow left Brooklyn, New York a long time ago for California but his song, “New York City Rhythm” captures the atmosphere of New York City. It puts a spring in your step while walking through the city in an I’m-in-a-musical-fantasy kind of way.

 

Billy Joel is Mr. Long Island, New York. His song, “New York State of Mind” with its mentions of several specific New York locations does indeed put one in a New York frame of reference.

Phil Collins t-shirt

 

Upon researching this Guitar Train stop, I discovered several Genesis songs with New York connections that I had not previously heard. I found the songs from the Peter Gabriel led 1974 album, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” to be creepy and scary. They reinforced my preference for Phil Collins over Peter Gabriel.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite New York songs?

The Standards – Frank Sinatra

This month on the Guitar Train, Quirky T stops to listen to The Standards – songs from the 1920’s to 1950’s which have been considered part of the Great American Songbook. This first stop looks at Frank Sinatra.

Duets

I really began to listen to Frank Sinatra in 1993 with the release of the CD “Duets” which contains Frank Sinatra’s duets with popular singers. The only reason I bought this CD was for the duet with one my favorites, Gloria Estefan, on the song “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Likewise, I bought “Duets II” in 1994 because of the duet of Sinatra and another favorite of mine, Jon Secada. Their duet on “The Best is Yet to Come” has become a favorite of mine and I think it would make a perfect wedding song. Hopefully on your wedding day, the best is still yet to come, or otherwise what’s the point in getting married?

Duets II

I admire the coolness of Frank Sinatra as evidenced in the original version of the film “Ocean’s 11”. I liked the two “Duets” CDs because it was interesting who Sinatra paired up with and how the songs were re-arranged to become duets. About half of the songs are fastish which I enjoy. Also, some songs even had me finger snapping. The CDs served a good purpose as they exposed Frank Sinatra’s music to more generations such as mine.

Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs

I pushed my interest for this type of music too far when I bought the CD “Frank Sinatra: Greatest Love Songs”. Because of the slow pacing of many of the songs, this CD wasn’t as enjoyable for me to listen to. “My Funny Valentine” strikes me as an insulting love song. What happened to “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? I’m all for overlooking the flaws of a loved one but how about “Accentuate the Positive”? I wouldn’t want this song sung to me; it’s just not romantic.

Frank Sinatra framed photo

I’m so glad I explored Frank Sinatra’s music as much as I have. I understand why those songs are timelessness yet I don’t feel the need to hear more. I’m content to repeated listening of my favorites such as “The Best is Yet to Come”, “For Once in My Life”, “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Come Fly With Me”, and “New York, New York”. For some odd reason, I often confuse “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Come Fly with Me”. When I sing them to myself, they often meld into one song which could be called “Come Fly With Me to the Moon.”

New York, New York song story

The song “New York, New York” has special meaning for me as it is played after New York Yankees games at Yankee Stadium. One year, the Frank Sinatra version played after Yankees wins and the Liza Minnelli version after Yankee losses. That was a bit of disrespect towards Liza Minnelli. When Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998, I drove through town blasting this song on the radio as a tribute to a great singer.

 

Guitar Train passengers, which duet with Frank Sinatra is your favorite? Who do you wish he would’ve recorded a duet with?

 

At the next stop on the Guitar Train, Quirky T listens to one of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack buddies, Dean Martin.

Thanks for the Many Championships

November is Gratitude Month on the Guitar Train.  Quirky T has so many things to be thankful for in her life.  Going back to last month’s Happy Month on the Guitar Train, I believe that concentrating on what you have in life instead of dwelling on what you don’t have is one of the keys to happiness.  On that track, I want to start Gratitude Month by thanking the New York Giants and New York Yankees for many seasons of amazing games and world championships.

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

The last week in September this year was the worst I’ve ever witnessed as a New Jersey sports fan.  On Sunday, September 22, the Giants lost their third straight game to start the season.  Meanwhile, the Yankees retired closer Mariano Rivera’s number 42 while pitcher Andy Pettitte started his last game at Yankee Stadium.  They are my two favorite Yankees pitchers.

New York Yankees logo

The ceremony for Mariano was amazing as all Yankees ceremonies are.  It’s sad that after Derek Jeter retires, there’s no one else on the team to honor.  There’s nothing to look forward to.  I went to a Yankees game in April of this year.  Second baseman, Robinson Cano, was the only returning starter from last year playing because of the huge amount of player injuries.  It was like watching a whole new team.  The season ended basically the same way with many of the starters not returning from injury.  There are so many questions surrounding this team for next season.  Will Alex Rodriquez play again?  Will Derek Jeter be healthy?  Who will the starting pitchers be?  Who will be the closer, not to replace Mariano because that is impossible, but just to close games?  Will Alfonso Soriano continue to play as well as he surprisingly played?  At least, Joe Girardi will still be the manager.

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

That worst week in September continued as the Giants lost their fourth straight game the following Sunday.  At least with the Yankees, they know what they have to do to improve and which positions they need to fill.  With the Giants, the answers are not coming.  They have had injuries, too, but it is more than that.  It’s surprising that this franchise could start the season playing that badly but it shouldn’t be totally shocking considering how badly they played at the end of last season.  The other times I’ve been through losing streaks with this team, the talent wasn’t there.  I would never think that a team that has two time Super Bowl MVP QB Eli Manning and great receivers could be playing so badly.

The only way I can survive this horrible time is to remember all the great seasons in the past.  The five World Series I have seen the Yankees win.  The four Super Bowls I have seen the Giants win.  Some fans never see their teams get to the playoffs, let alone win a championship.  So I am very grateful to have seen my two favorite sports teams not only win but win repeatedly.  I guess because of these big victories, my expectations have been raised.  I have to step back and be happy for the many past seasons of glory and amazing games.

1998 World Series Ticket

I am also tremendously thankful that I was able to see my favorite teams play in a World Series game and a Super Bowl in person.  I went to Game One of the 1998 World Series when the Yankees played the San Diego Padres.  Not only did the Yankees win that game but my favorite player, first baseman Tino Martinez, hit a grand slam.

Super Bowl 35 pins

I went to Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, FL where the Giants played the Baltimore Ravens.  Unfortunately, the Giants lost that game.  It was the worst feeling in the world at that time.

To get on the music track, here are some songs that remind me of the Yankees.  Mariano Rivera entered all his home games to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.   I probably wouldn’t have ever heard that song if it wasn’t for watching Yankees games.  I thought it was great that the band performed that song live on the field at Yankee Stadium during the retirement ceremony for Mariano.  The other song that reminds me of the Yankees is Queen’s “We Are The Champions.”  

That song was played frequently in reference to the Yankees World Series Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.

For the Giants, the songs that remind me of them have nothing to do with the games on the field.  In 1990, I was lucky enough to be able to tour the Giants locker room as part of an event held at Giants Stadium.  While fans walked around the locker room, the Wilson Phillips song, “Impulsive” was playing in the background.  I was already a fan of the group so it really added to the fun of the moment to hear this song playing.  Years later, when I was leaving a Giants game, on the car radio the Green Day song, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”   was playing.  I remember looking back at Giants Stadium lit up beautifully in the night and taking a mental picture of it.  Watching the Giants win the Super Bowl in 1986, 1990, 2007, and 2011 really was the time of my life.

Guitar Train passengers, what sports teams are you grateful for?  How do you get through the bad times with these teams?

Am I Fan Enough?

 

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

Quirky T has always held a high standard for being a fan. I don’t think you can call yourself a fan unless you are really invested in the object of your fandom. I am a New York Giants football fan and I have to watch every single game every season. I don’t think anyone can call themselves a fan of an NFL team unless they watch every single game played by their favorite team. NFL teams only play 20 games (including preseason) plus playoff games each year. It’s not much of a time commitment – one day a week for 5 months to watch these games. And if you’re a sports fan, watching the games is the least you can do. There’s also reading about your team and watching sports news shows about your team.

New York Yankees logo

Baseball, on the other track, is much more of a time commitment since there are 162 regular season games and then possibly the playoffs. The games are on practically every day for six months. I call myself a huge New York Yankees fan but even I can’t watch every game. I do try to watch as many as possible and check out the box scores for the games I miss. I would never miss watching a Yankees playoff game.

 

As far as music, what level of listening and knowledge of a musician/ group do you have to have call yourself a fan? Do you have to have heard every song to be considered a fan? If you like the music, why wouldn’t you make the effort to hear everything they ever recorded?

Beatles framed photos

For The Beatles, I think there are clearly defined levels of fandom. In my mind, everyone is a basic Beatles fan since everyone knows and likes at least some songs by the group. Fanatics are the next level of Beatles fans. These people have all the Beatles’ albums and know the band’s story. Beatlemaniacs are the next level. They have all the albums plus the CDs of previously unreleased demos and songs. They read the numerous books on the band and watch all the documentaries. They listen to the solo works of the Fab Four. The Beatlemaniacs know who wrote and sings each Beatles song.

The Beatles Anthology book

Now I’m wondering if I can really call myself a fan of my all five all time favorite musical artists/groups. As far as The Beatles, I have heard every song they ever recorded. I’ve read many books and watched many documentaries. As I wrote in a previous post, I have not listened to all The Beatles’ solo recordings, especially those of John Lennon and Ringo Starr. I will be writing about that in a future Guitar Train stop. I am comfortable with calling myself a Beatles fanatic. I’ll let others judge whether I am a Beatlemaniac or not.

Cuts Both Ways

I have all of Gloria Estefan’s CDs in English and Spanish except for her latest which is a remake of The Standards. That music just doesn’t appeal to me. I know Gloria’s biography and have seen her in concert several times. I think I qualify as a fan of hers.

 

"Secada" English CD cover

“Secada” English CD cover

I started listening to Jon Secada from his debut CD in 1992. I bought all his CDs since then except for his remake of The Standards. Again, that type of music does not appeal to me. I know his basic biography and have seen him in concert. I think I also qualify as a fan of his.

 

 

Genesis

Genesis

I started listening to Genesis in 1986 with their album, “Invisible Touch”. I then went back to listen to their earlier albums as far back as when Peter Gabriel was the lead singer. I don’t like the Peter Gabriel songs because they are too strange for me. I’m just not a fan of his music. I’ve heard every Phil Collins led Genesis song since “Invisible Touch” and I have seen them in concert several times. I know the band’s biography. So I can call myself a fan of the band (post Peter Gabriel).

cu Huey Lewis Sports poster

I boarded the Huey Lewis and the News train in 1983 with their great album, “Sports”. I’ve stayed on that train for 31 years. I was derailed with 2010’s “Soulsville”, their remakes of soul songs. I just couldn’t get into it. I haven’t taken the time to go back and listen to pre 1983 songs or to really listen to their albums after 1991’s “Hard at Play”. I know the basic biography of Huey Lewis but not the other band members. So am I really a fan? I’ve seen them in concert several times and would definitely buy any new music they release.

 

Guitar Train passengers, have you heard every song by your favorite musicians? If not, why not? What constitutes a fan?

Also, tell me if you think I should give Peter Gabriel led Genesis songs another listen.

 

Next month, the Guitar Train will take another detour off the music track. Hop aboard to read what Quirky T is ranting about this time.

Happy Month on the Guitar Train

October is Happy Month on the Guitar Train because October makes Quirky T happy. I love October with football, fabulous food, and fabulous weather. I love the cooler temperatures of fall, my favorite season, as well as its blue skies and colorful leaves.

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

Being a huge New York Giants fan, I’m excited about NFL football in October. Unlike past seasons at this point, the Giants games so far have not made me happy.

 

 

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

October usually means New York Yankees playoff baseball. Unfortunately, there won’t be any postseason games for the Yankees after an incredibly injury-filled, tough season. As a long time fan, it was one of the hardest seasons to watch. Too bad Mariano Rivera, baseball’s all time greatest closer, and the great pitcher, Andy Pettitte, couldn’t end their amazing careers with another World Series win.

 

 

corn maze -overheadinside corn maze
My other favorite October activities are apple picking, navigating corn mazes, and exploring haunted houses. I love eating fresh Macintosh apples, apple crumble, and hearty stews in the fall.

 

 
Music, as always, is something that makes me happy. Two artists whose songs particularly make me happy are Lou Monte and Weird Al Yankovic.

 

 

Loe Monte CD cover
Lou Monte is an Italian American singer from the 1950’s. He sang novelty songs in both English and Italian. His songs are fun and unique. His most popular songs are “Dominick the Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey”) and “Lazy Mary (Luna Mezza Mare)”. My favorite Lou Monte songs are “Lazy Mary”, “Calypso Italiano”, and “Mama Get the Hammer (There’s a Fly on Papa’s Head)”. All these songs are on the CD, “The Very Best of Lou Monte”. His music just makes me happy with its fun scenarios and sometimes silliness.

 

 
Weird Al has built a whole career on making people laugh. His parodies of popular songs are hysterical and genius. I really admire his genius in parodying songs of many different musical genres in a way that is mostly non-offensive to the original artist.

 
I just recently heard Weird Al’s parody of Huey Lewis and the News’ “I Want a New Drug” called “I Want a New Duck”. I loved it, very funny. My other favorite Weird Al songs are

 
1. “Eat It” – a parody of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” http://youtu.be/ZcJjMnHoIBI
2. “Another One Rides the Bus” – a parody of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”
3. “Bob” – a spot on parody of Bob Dylan which illustrates many things that annoy me about him  http://youtu.be/JUQDzj6R3p4
4. “Dog Eat Dog” – a parody of the Talking Heads’ musical style

 
For a good sampling of Weird Al’s parodies and original songs, I recommend the two CD set, “The Essential Weird Al Yankovic.”

 

 
Guitar Train passengers, is there any music you listen to that makes you (intentionally) laugh?

Slowing Down the Guitar Train

The Guitar Train is going to slow down at a musical intersection so Quirky T can list her top 5 favorite slow songs.

I don’t normally listen to slow songs or ballads.  I’m not the mushy, romantic type.  In fact, there are very few slow songs on my iPod.  So coming up with a list of my favorite slow songs, even only five, was hard.  To make it easier, I tried to come up with one song from each of my five favorites.  This automatically eliminated Huey Lewis and the News.  (That’s also another reason I love Huey Lewis  – he does not do slow songs).  So I decided to substitute Barry Manilow for Huey Lewis.  Then I had too many slow songs to choose from!

Here’s Quirky T’s Top 5 Slow Songs From Her Favorites

  1.  The Beatles – “Yes It Is”
  2. Genesis – “Follow You, Follow Me”
  3. Gloria Estefan – “I See Your Smile”
  4. Jon Secada – “Mental Picture”
  5. Barry Manilow – “All the Time”

Guitar Train passengers, do you prefer fast songs or slow songs?  Or does it depend on your mood?  If you like slow songs, which ones are your favorites?  The Guitar Train is slowing down to pick up passengers, so hop aboard and tell Quirky T what you think.

Gate 4

Yankees Stadium

Congratulations to the New York Yankees for being the AL East Champions.  Next stop is Baltimore as the Yankees are driving the train to another World Series.  Go Yanks!!!

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