Monday, June 29, 2009

The Memories

Man, what a crazy week it's been. Between the Flyers HUGE trade, the Sixers drafting of Jrue Holiday, the roller coaster ride of the Phils, the Eagles signing of Shady McCoy, the Dawgs getting commitments from a couple more top prospects - including the top prospect in the state - and several childhood celebrities passing was packed. Wow, time to exhale. Think I'm going to break this blog up into two parts.

First off, what a sad week it was with the passing of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Gary Papa and Michael Jackson. Seriously, it feels like my part of my childhood was buried last week. Not to sound overly dramatic, but all four of these people were a part of my youth. Though all of these are equally sad in their own rights (as death often is), the two which hit me hardest were Papa and Jackson.

Growing up in Wilmington, we got all of the Philly news, which began my fanaticism in Philadelphia sports (and subsequent seasonal dose of kick-in-the-cujones disappointments). As early as I can remember, my family watched ACTION NEWS - ABC 6 every night to get our news. So many great family memories from those days (when my parents let me stay up to watch the sports at 11:15). I'll put the triumvirate of Gary Papa, Don Tollefson and Scott Palmer against any local sports team in the country. Of those three, Papa was the guy who always stood out for me. He had a phenomenal voice, a smooth delivery, he was very knowledgeable, often did the 5, 6 and 11 pm newscasts and he just seemed like a great guy. He was a talented sportscaster and he fought to the end before prostate cancer took his life at 57. Very sad. Watching ACTION NEWS whenever I return to Delaware/Philly/NJ area will never be the same. Great tribute by Jim Gardner here:

To say I was floored when I heard Michael Jackson passed away, would be putting it mildly. Even after watching about 75 hours of CNN coverage this weekend, it still hasn't fully set-in. Quite simply, he was my generation's Elvis and I feel confident in saying we will never see another like him ever. Ever. He transcended music. He made it okay for white boys to try and dance (and wear jackets with lots of zippers on them). He created mainstream pop and revolutionized music videos and radio. He treated music videos like films. Going back now and watching the intricacies he incorporated into his music videos is simply mind-blowing. While I don't agree with his off-the-stage behavior, I firmly believe this guy was robbed of his childhood by his insanely overbearing father, which speaks to his desire to change his appearance and surround himself w/children and bubbles the chimp. Now, this doesn't justify the many allegations and the rumors of sharing both his bed and his jesus juice with young children. However, I do firmly believe that the tale of Michael Jackson from beginning to end is one of sacrifice, stardom, struggle and ultimately sadness. I simply cannot believe that he is gone and while I think there is a lot more to understand about his death, I have chosen to focus on his amazing musical contributions.

And of course his record sales are now through the roof, his property value has shot up and everything Michael is suddenly cool again. Kinda messed up how that works huh?

So for your reading pleasure I have put together MY top 15 Michael Jackson songs (We Are the World - does not count)...When dealing w/the King of Pop, you can't limit yourself to a top 10. I'm sure some of this will be up for debate, so bring it on.

2-Billie Jean
3-Man in the Mirror
4-I Want You Back
5-Smooth Criminal
6-Wanna Be Startin' Something
7-Got to Be There
9-Don't Stop Till You Get Enough
11-Human Nature
12-Say, Say, Say
13-In the Closet
14-Off the Wall
15-Who Is It
(honorary spot: Can You Feel It)

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