Kids and Pythons

Marcia gave me the DVD bonus edition of The Kids Are Alright for Christmas. It’s one of the greatest rock documentaries ever made (about the Who, for those who don’t know it), bar none: lots of concert footage, sure, but from a variety of different sources, well-mixed, so it doesn’t get boring like, say, The Song Remains the Same or The Last Waltz. (And, yes, I know I’m committing heresy by saying anything less than stellar about the The Last Waltz . . . but it’s fine in excerpts and small doses, and dull if watched from beginning to end, so there). The Kids Are Alright also offers some great interviews, and the bonus material is superb and insightful, too. Without putting too much thought into it, the only other rockumentaries I can think of that touch this level of sheer educational greatness are The Filth and the Fury and Gimme Shelter.

I’m also getting ever closer to the opinion that at their prime, the Who may well have been the greatest, most perfect rock band in music history. The whole was greater than the sum of the parts, sure, but the parts themselves were each extraordinary on their own as well. I’ve always been a songwriting snob, so I’ve always discounted Roger Daltrey to some extent since he didn’t write his own material, and since his solo albums were quite weak, for the most part, but in context, and with his band, he was such an extraordinary visual and vocal presence, perfect at what he did. As I’ve ranted before: just listen to the Who and the Limp Bizkit versions of “Behind Blue Eyes” back to back, and hear the difference between a master and a charlatan.

Got The Pythons book, too, the great big coffee table style autobiography of Monty Python. It looks to be a great read.

On sports:

North Carolina State won its bowl game, as expected, kicking the snot out of an inept Kansas, a truly second-tier football school from an over-rated conference: The Big 12. Navy plays this week, and they’re matched against Texas Tech, another second tier football school, again from the over-rated Big 12. Go Navy, stomp BCS!

In fact, though the first eight Bowl Games, the non-BCS schools are more than holding their own against the BCS teams:

BCS Conference Results so far:

Pac-10: 2-0

ACC: 1-0

Big 12: 0-1

Big 10: 0-1

Big East: 0-1

Total BCS Results: 3-3 (.500)

Non-BCS Conference Results so far:

MAC: 2-0

WAC: 2-0

C-USA: 1-3

MWC: 0-1

Sun Belt: 0-1

Total Non-BCS Results: 5-5 (.500)

In head-to-head competition between BCS and non-BCS teams, it gets fuzzier: Bowling Green (MAC) beat Northwestern (Big 10), while Oregon State (Pac-10) beat New Mexico (MWC), so it’s an even match so far. But . . . that’s a victory, of sorts, for the non-BCS schools, since you can’t argue that they can’t hang when they’re going .500 through the post-season to date. One other interesting point: that the Pac-10 is doing the best so far of the BCS schools, since it gets routinely snubbed even within the BCS as the weak sister: witness, this year, USC sitting out the BCS Championship Game, even though they’re ranked number one in both human polls.

Such a crappy system. Everyone should have just watched the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl last week, where St. John’s of Minnesota (the team who beat RPI a week before) upset Mount Union for the Division III Championship. No argument there about who’s the champ, and a great game to boot.

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