It began with the July 26 edition of "Calendar," found in this very newspaper each Friday. (Well, you won't find the July 26 edition every Friday but, oh, you know what I mean . . . )
The feature story was about the Vans Warped Tour, which apparently involved a lot of bands, warped or unwarped.
Bands with a lot of band names.
I love band names — more than I love bands.
The first band name I noticed was Middle Finger Salute. Probably a jazz quartet, right?
A few others: I Can Make A Mess, Sleeping With Sirens, We Came As Romans, Black Veil Brides, Like Moths To Flames, and the eye-catching "Beebs and Her Money Makers."
(When I was a pimply-faced, stupid kid, we would name a pop song and add "beneath the sheets" to the title — and giggle a lot. Go on, think of a song title and try it. I double dare you.)
Anyway — he said, finally getting to the point — that got me wondering why more pop bands did not have sports-related names. Sports is big, music is big, so why no big crossover?
I found a few. Probably the biggest is that Pearl Jam was originally named Mookie Blaylock but quickly changed for fear of a lawsuit.
There's Gnarls Barkley, a play off of Charles. There was Koufax. And something called The Mendoza Line.
You know of any other bands with real sports-related names? I don't so I invented some.
Sports-Related Bands That Don't Exist:
• Babe & the Belly Whoppers.
• Tickling Ty Cobb.
• Joe Maddon & the Lonely Gnomes.
• Tyson's Missing Ear.
• Sammy Sosa's Second Language.
• Black Sox Blues Band.
• Disremembered 'Roid Delight (a really big band).
• Walk-Off Single.
• Can't Count My Concussions (probably better for a cool country song title).
• Lance & the Broken Spokes.
• Smashed Dugout Phones.
• Benny & the Big Heads. (Really like this one.)
• Salary Cap Casanova.
• Down Go the Yankees.
• MMP — Magic's Massive Palace.
• Brett's Retirement Package. (Think about it.)
And my favorite that I should copy write because they will probably be playing the Kissimmee rodeo next year:
• A-Rod's Lifetime Band.
Sad salute to USFL's victory
If you missed the parade, last Monday was the 27th anniversary of the United States Football League's courtroom victory over the NFL. That's right, if you have forgotten, the USFL won a 42-day trial when it was judged that the NFL indeed was a monopoly. Whee! Down goes the NFL!
Hold on, son. Then it was added that the NFL's monopoly wasn't why the USFL was falling apart. Essentially, it was ruled that the USFL was killing itself without any help needed from the NFL.
But they did win — three bucks. After appeals, the check was finally written in 1990 — for $3.76. I'm told it was never cashed so what would it go for at auction?
And for those who have totally forgotten, in the USFL's third and final season, the Tampa Bay Bandits drew 45,000 and were much more popular than the Bucs. And the Jacksonville Bulls drew 44,000, convincing the NFL that it was a worthy site. Plus the Orlando Renegades, in their lovely lime green unis, drew 24,000, proving Orlando might be a good place to put a basketball team.
I loved that league. Broke my leg when I was hit on a practice sideline by a fullback, and had my cast dyed Renegade green to the horror of my family.
Wild Bill killed by coward
Wild Bill Hickok was murdered on Aug. 2, 1876, while playing poker at the No. 10 Saloon in Deadwood, S.D. It seems Wild Bill made a rookie mistake by playing facing away from the saloon's door, so this gunslinger Jack McCall walked in and shot Wild Bill in the back of the head. McCall got hanged but that didn't help Wild Bill, dead at 39.
His poker hand? Two black aces and two black eights — forever known since as "the Dead Man's Hand."
If you have any spooky music, now would be a good time to play it.
The readers write . . .
• From Don L., who says our female readers deserve a joke just for them, so: "What do you call an intelligent, sensitive, good-looking man? Answer: A rumor."
• Lisa D. on the wonders of Kansas: "Kansans appreciate the beauty of a quiet evening filled with lightning bugs, the opportunity to storm chase, and the reality that a 45-minute drive is probably at least a 40-mile trip." — Lisa, your entire letter was so nice that I am resisting a cheap shot at life in Kansas — hard as it is to stop saying something about lightning bugs.
• Jack on his favorite team and least favorite player: "My father was a lifelong Yankee fan. I have been a lifelong Yankee fan. I just want A-Rod to go away. . . . He has become an embarrassment for the Yankees and himself. He appears to be delusional." — But wasn't it the Yankees that were delusional when they offered that contract?
(((•Matt M. of Belle Isle wants to defend someone: "Where was the Beave on the TV Guide Top 60 Kid list? The Beaver was the best !! Eddie was just icing on the cake." Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver of "Leave It To Beaver" was No. 9 on the Guide list, one spot behind my all-time favorite, Eric Cartman from "South Park."
These are the notes, folks
• Yes, it is "Shark Week" on Discovery, including the introduction of "Shark After Dark," a late-night talk show. Sounds like the perfect show to precede a good-night's sleep.
• Over on YouTube it's "Geek Week." Shouldn't there be a crossover with "Shark Week?"
• An entertaining site, sportsgrid.com, made fun of Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson for saying about Alex Smith: "I think we have the best [quarterback] in the league." OK, an easy cheap shot but the site wrote this: "Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the NFL? The National Football League. The same National Football League that has Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Mark Sanchez." — We were good until they threw in Sanchez.
• Finally, I am so disappointed. The New Orleans Pelicans displayed their new unis and they look like all the others. It would have been so cool if their uniform had a giant pocket at chest level big enough to hold a 10-pound fish.
Jerry has a shirt like that. Maybe he will wear it one day when he speaks on The Beat of Sports. The show, hosted by Marc Daniels on 740theGame, airs from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. Or he might have the shirt on while answering your email sent to email@example.com. Have a great first Sunday in August because can't you just feel the football coming?