John Lynch leaving?!? [Noooooooo!!!!]

I was at the gym when I saw the devastating news.  I couldn’t read the close-captioning clearly, as the captioning got lost in the bottom TV graphics, so I was hoping my eyes were deceiving me.  Sure enough, unfortunately what I suspected was true:

From ESPN:

Longtime star safety John Lynch is leaving the Denver Broncos.

"I’m going to explore all of my opportunities," Lynch said Wednesday night, according to the newspaper. "Is it retirement? Maybe. Is it playing for another team? Maybe. [Coach] Mike [Shanahan] has given me the opportunity to explore that and that’s what I’m going to do. But I won’t be playing for the Broncos."

JohnLynch

Surprised? Not really. You could see the writing on the well when Denver signed a slew of young safeties to compete for the starting job.  While I was ecstatic that Lynch signed on for another year, I knew that retirement was looming on the horizon, and his chances of starting full-time aren’t what they used to be.  It sucks because like the Packers, what’s in the best interest for Lynch and what’s in the best interest for the Broncos don’t coincide.

Depressed? Absolutely.  Lynch is still an awesome player, a great character guy (much needed for our team) and has done a lot for the Broncos, and I wish him success wherever he ends up.  We’ll definitely be missing him in more ways than one.

Worst of all, I’ll need to get a new jersey.  Who do I go with?

Missing Fake Steve, but loving Real Dan

One of my favorite blogs that I always made a point to read was that of “Fake Steve Jobs“. The offered a hilariously satirical view on the tech industry: Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo and everything in between.  When Fake Steve was unmasked in August of 2007, Dan Lyons went on blogging under the Fake Steve pen-name, cranking out hilarious entries.  For reasons beyond my understanding, Lyons has abandoned the Fake Steve persona and went on to blog under his real name.  This week he debuted his “Real Dan” Blog, and the quality hasn’t skipped a beat. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you want a different view of the tech industry.

Thank you, Rod!

RodSmith

Today one of the greatest players to ever wear a Broncos uniform has retired.  After giving his heart for over 12 years, his body just couldn’t take it anymore and forced Rod to sit out the full season last year.  After two hip operations, Rod had no choice but to call it a career.

Thank you Rod, for everything that made you great.  You embodied perseverance, from starting out as an undrafted free agent, being signed to the practice squad and ultimately becoming a valued member of the receiving corp, ultimately becoming the leading wide receiver through Broncos history.

Despite all of the success you’ve attained – the records, the Super Bowl rings – he’s remained humble.  At an age of flamboyant receivers such as T.O. and Chad Johnson, Rod arguably contributed more to your team than either of those guys, yet remained humble.  In a strange way it seems fitting that your retirement received very little coverage outside of Broncos Country.  You won’t get the media love-fest that Favre’s retirement had, but you’re going out classy nonetheless.

I heard that Smith is being offered a TBD role in the Broncos organization, I hope he sticks around the team for a long time to come.  We’d be lucky to have him.

What do artists owe fans?


Photo courtesy of mykecave on Flickr

In my last post about the Mile High Music Festival, I briefly covered John Mayer’s performance.  Mayer is an amazing guitar player, and the energy displayed at the show poured into the crowd to greatly an awesome, lively show.  At the same time, I think fans who bought John Mayer tickets didn’t get to see what they paid for.

When John Mayer came on the mainstream scene at the turn of the century, his sound was a more melodic, pop-based sound – not N’Sync pop, but pop in the sense that the songs were straightforward and catchy.  With hits like “No Such Thing”, “Your Body Is a Wonderland”, “Why Georgia” and “Daughters”, Mayer established that sound. Then he decided to change it, moving from the pop-based going back to a more blues-based. It seemed to happen when the John Mayer Trio got together (Steve Jordan’s an amazing drummer by the way), when the transformation began.  It spilled out of the Trio and into his next solo album, Continuum.  When you compare the John Mayer you hear today from his 2001’s Room for Squares, it’s a pretty drastic change.

I’m not saying that artists can’t change their sound – it happens all the time. There’s also a difference between an artist experimenting (U2’s "Pop" and DMB’s "Everyday") and returning back to your original sound, or truly evolving your music into a different genre.  Mayer may be experimenting, but I would predict that his sound has evolved and changed and won’t be going back any time soon. 

When some artists change their sounds, they either start a new project or join up with a band.  However, when your sound changes pretty drastically and you’re maintaining the same stage identity, what do you owe those fans that came to hear the music that made you popular?

At Sunday’s show, Mayer didn’t play "Your Body Is A Wonderland", or "Daughters" and his other (arguably) biggest hits, "No Such Thing" and "Why Georgia" were condensed into a medley.  It would be one thing if this was a band like the Rolling Stones that have 70 hits – but if I’m not mistaken – Mayer’s only had 3 studio albums out. In addition, he played 3 cover songs on Sunday as well.  It’s cool to see big acts play a cover, but when you’re playing more than one at the sacrifice of one of your biggest singles, then you probably have a priority problem.

I’m not saying Mayer shouldn’t keep on playing jammy-blues, but if he doesn’t want to play those early hits then he should go out with a different stage name. At least when you show up to hear the John Mayer Trio, you know it’s not going to be John Mayer (just like when you go see Gwen Stefani, it’s much different than No Doubt). 

I feel when an artist is still relatively early in his career (compared to bands like the Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi or U2), then you do have an obligation to play the major singles, regardless of how different they sound.  If you’re not happy with the old song’s sound, change something in that song to better fit your new style – but you owe it to play the music that gravitated fans towards you, especially if you’re using that same musical persona to bring those fans in.

I’d be anxious to hear what other fans & musicians think.