December 28, 2006
There are a lot more, of course, but those are the five albums I find myself listening to over and over again. After far too much internal debate I'm going to give Morrison's Undiscovered my album of the year, which is interesting (to me, at least) given that I was turned onto his music after reading one of Mayer's blog entries.
Whether or not I ever get a chance to meet the lovely Shana Hiatt or even the not-so-lovely Mike Matusow, I'm genuinely excited about a late-night poker show airing six days each week, all year long. And yes, I realize I sound like a complete shill for NBC saying that, but it's true. I am able to keep my infatuation with poker relatively quiet because there's not much money in writing about it and I'm not all that good playing it, but I'd be glad to bore you with bad-beat stories if given the chance.
Oh, and here's the kicker: According to LaTorsha, "The girlfriend before me was LaKeisha."
Jackson's final numbers were indeed ugly, but there's just no way that's possible. He went into Lambeau Field in horrible weather, played a team with a relatively good pass defense while having perhaps the league's worst receivers at his disposal, had defensive linemen in his face all night, and still committed exactly one turnover. I understand that newspapers and their columnists feel the need to write controversial things, but I typically think of Reusse as beyond that kind of silly hyperbole.
My initial reaction to the news was to gloat a bit, which I tend to do when the subject of print media's decline comes up around here, but the truth is that I find the situation far more intriguing than gloatworthy. I know quite a few people involved with the Star Tribune, both on the writing and editorial levels, and my impression has always been that it was among the few truly successful newspapers in the country financially.
If that's true--and I'm just going by what I've been told by people who seemingly should know such things--then it says some awfully damning things about the industry as a whole that the sale price has plummeted so far in eight years. I have no idea what direction the new leadership will take, but I'm not confident that they'll be able to reverse what is now a pretty steady decline in readership, profits, and influence, both at the Star Tribune and in the newspaper business overall.
In fact, unless and until the people running newspapers cease clinging to their out-dated, misguided beliefs about the industry, I think the decline will continue to pick up speed. I've said that before plenty of times, in any numbers of different ways, but one of the Star Tribune's articles on the sale quoted the president of a merger-and-acquisition firm named Robert Broadwater, who summarized my position better than I typically do:
News stories are available for free online, so why would anyone pay for a newspaper subscription, Broadwater said. The Internet has also fragmented the newspaper audience, setting the industry on the course taken by television 50 years ago when the nightly variety show was slowly replaced by a plethora of channels and programs appealing to individual tastes, Broadwater said.
"You no longer have this monolithic claim of all of the news that's fit to print comes in one package to your doorstep," Broadwater said.
I read the Star Tribune each day online, scanning the front page for interesting items before diving into the sports section, but I haven't read a physical, paper copy of the newspaper regularly for years. To me, the Star Tribune isn't the news delivered to my doorstep in a plastic bag, it's just one of countless websites with stuff that's worth reading. That's an important distinction on a number of crucial levels, and one most people in the newspaper business need to discover before it's too late.
For those of you wondering, Smith was arrested for allegedly having sex in a public stairwell earlier this season, has been benched several times for disciplinary reasons, and has a history of problems with guns. That admittedly sounds bad, but I believe he qualifies for sainthood in coach Brad Childress' "Culture of Accountability." (Thank you! Enjoy the veal and tip your waitress.)
I'm never glad for a season to end. That means no more checks, and I can't be violent without getting in trouble.
Thank you for giving me a life in writing. It's all I ever wanted and it's all I'll ever need. See ya in 2007.