#WorldChampionProblems/The end of the greatest band name…ever
I spent the last blog reflecting on my Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl win, because, well, I was in a reflective mood.
This time, it’s time to crow a bit (pardon the pun) with a little thing I like to call #WorldChampionProblems.
First and foremost in my mind is: who gets interviewed for the upcoming “America’s Game” episode? For those that don’t know, “America’s Game” is another in NFL Films’ seemingly endless supply of awesome programs that tells the story of each Super Bowl champion. While starting off as a countdown of the 20 greatest teams, the series has evolved to be on every Super Bowl winning squad. One of the perks of winning the Super Bowl now is you get to open the season on Thursday night, and, you get an “America’s Game” episode.
I am a hardcore junkie on this show, hell, I’ve even watched a few of the Steelers ones. The show is structured around interviews with three (although some have had four) key members of a team's Super Bowl team mixed with NFL Films' usual awesome game shots.
Right after the Ravens won, I speculated on who would be interviewed. To me, Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco and Coach John Harbaugh are givens. But the third interviewee is up for grabs.
It probably won't be Ray Lewis, since he was interviewed for the 2000 Ravens episode and interviewees tend not to be done twice, although there have been exceptions. Joe Greene got on twice because Terry Bradshaw and Chuck Noll didn't participate in any of the 70s Steelers episodes. Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin did both of the recent Giants winners and, for some reason, Bill Curry was a two-time interviewee for the 1967 Packers and 1970 Colts episodes.
My initial instinct was Ed Reed, because he had been there so long and finally won a championship. But upon further reflection, others that could easily be on there are Anquan Boldin, for his stellar postseason, Ray Rice because of the 4th-and-29 play in San Diego and Jacoby Jones, who had two touchdowns in the Super Bowl and the 70-yard pass that saved the season in Denver.
Of those, I think Jones is the most intriguing and likely because his story sort of mirrors the team. Jones was run out of Houston after a horrible playoff game against, ironically enough, the Ravens. Comes to Baltimore and isn't even the primary kick returner until Week 6 (one of Harbaugh's most underrated decisions this season was recognizing he needed more explosiveness on special teams and taking out Deonte Thompson in favor of Jones). Given a chance, he brings back two 100-plus yard kickoff returns, plus a punt return TD against Pittsburgh during the regular season. Then in the playoffs, he has the 'Mile High Miracle/Rocky Mountain Rainbow' game-tying TD and finally a kick return and recieving TD in the Super Bowl. You can reasonably infer that the Ravens do not win the Super Bowl without Jacoby Jones.
One question I was asked on Twitter after postulating who would be interviewed for "America's Game" was who narrates? The first 40 episodes were handled by a host of people, mostly Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Kevin Bacon, Martin Sheen and Bruce Willis. For my money though, there's only one man to do the 2012 Ravens episode: "The Good Wife" star Josh Charles, a Baltimore native and huge Ravens fan (he's probably #2 in the celebrity Ravens fan hierarchy after Michael Phelps) who also happens to have a working relationship with NFL Films, having narrated their "A Football Life" series. Quite frankly, it would be extremely disappointing if it's anybody but Charles doing this episode (Baldwin handled the 2000 Ravens episode).
Other #WorldChampionProblems? How about having the 32nd overall draft pick in this April's draft. It's awfully strange to have to scroll all the way down mock drafts to finally get to the Ravens pick but it's something I could get used to.
The one name I see more and more linked to the Ravens in those mock drafts is Notre Dame lineback Manti Te'o. It certainly makes sense, since Ray Lewis' retirement, Dannell Ellerbe's unrestricted free agent status and Jameel McClain's recovervy from a spinal injury leaves the Ravens thin at the position.
Now, if you had asked me a month ago whether the Ravens should take Te'o I would have said no effing way. Against an NFL-caliber offensive line,Te'o was awful in Notre Dame's blowout loss to Alabama, getting run over with alarming frequency. Then there was the bizarre catfishing scandal Te'o was caught up in that, at worst, he may have been involved in, and at best, makes you wonder if he's one of the dumbest human beings in America.
The catfishing thing was so over the top ridiculous that I believed Te'o would bring a Tebow-esque media circus to whatever franchise drafts him. And really, who needs that at their training camp?
But with a bit of time since the catfishing scandal was at its height, I must say I'm warming up on the idea of Te'o falling to the Ravens. Not sold, mind you, but warming up. After all, before the Alabama game, Te'o was a surefire top-15 pick who had been super productive at Notre Dame in three years as a full time starter and runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
So if Te'o drops to the Ravens do I think they should pick him? Sure, if he's the best player there. The Ravens have done well with late first-rounders before (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Todd Heap, Ben Grubbs and Michael Oher) and a player like Te'o would seem to fit that mold. And if there's a locker room that could handle whatever distraction Te'o may bring, it's the Ravens. This is a room that's handled big ego guys like Lewis, Reed and Derrick Mason, goofballs like Terrell Suggs and oddballs like Ricky Williams.
Finally, this may not be a #WorldChampionProblem, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the whining, sniping and petty "Six Rings" comments from our rivals from Pittsburgh. First, there was the anonymous ripping of LaMarr "The Ravens won't win a Super Bowl in this lifetime" Woodley by a teammate, followed by other teammates wondering who did said ripping.
Then there was Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau saying it hurt to see the Ravens win the Super Bowl. Tough luck, Dick. I'm glad to know it hurt to see us win. I only wish one of our playoff wins could have been at Dick and the Steelers expense. Hurt Steelers are definitely my one of my favorite kind of Steelers, right after anonymous teammate ripping Steelers.
Of course, the Ravens' second Lombardi Trophy doesn't stop some of the dish rag-waving denizens of Steeler Nation from doing their tired "SIX RINGS!" schtick. Fellow Ravens fans, if you get any of this stuff here's what I recommend: ask them to name what years the Steelers won their Super Bowls. I guarantee half of them won't know. And if they do, well, I'm reminded of the scene in "Full Metal Jacket" where the helicopter gunner says, "Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who doesn't run is a well-disciplined VC!"
The other thing you can say is, "Hey dude, we've won 1/3 of the titles in 1/4 of the time."
The end of the greatest band name...ever
This week came the announcement that the band with the greatest name in the history of music was calling it quits at the end of the year.
Yes, Swedish death metal band Vomitory is hanging it up after 24 years together. I can't tell you how awesome I find the name Vomitory. The extreme death/black/grind metal scene is home to many great band names. Its almost part of the package: a crazy sounding band name and illegible-looking logo were almost as intertwined as Cookie Monster vocals.
The template for most of this type of music was England's Napalm Death, who, in addition to having a great name, basically invented the genre known as grind metal, with its furious drumming, growling vocals and pounding guitar riffs.
Death metal, as practiced by bands like Vomitory wasn't quite like Napalm Death, it owed its origins to Bay Area thrash bands like Metallica, Exodus and, especially, Slayer. The Swedish bands that played death metal were rivals with the Norwegian black metal scene, which was marked by its raw, underproduced sound and lunatic, often criminal behavior.
But of all the acts that came out of those scenes, none ever topped Vomitory for a band name. It's a reference to the entrance to Hell, which might only make the name cooler. The name just rolls right off the tongue, and just sounds like an extreme metal band name in the same way Mack Strong was a great fullback name.
So here, without further ado, are my top-5 metal band names:
1) Vomitory - Just explained.
2) C**k and Ball Torture - I have never heard this German band before, mainly because they play a style of metal called "pornogrind." I have no desire to find out what that style is about. This one sounds like somebody at The Onion's idea of a metal band name. I think that's why I like it.
3) Extreme Noise Terror - The "Snakes On A Plane" of extreme metal band names. It is what the name says.
4) Cattle Decapitation - I have actually heard these guys play, and a buddy of mine actually interviewed their singer. Their music is so extreme even he can't listen to it all the time. Cattle Decapitation's lyrics are "pro-animal, anti-human."
5) Agorophobic Nosebleed - George Carlin used to do a bit about putting together certain words in the English language that, when combined, were so bizarre that its funny. Agorophobic Nosebleed fits the bill.