Saturday, September 13, 2014

Coheed, Cambria, and the Tragic Story of Love and Lost...

Most of you who know me well know that I am a die-hard Coheed and Cambria fan. Like, crazy nuts over Coheed and Cambria. Earlier this evening I attended their Neverender Concert where they played their second album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. I could spend forever on a blog about the band. How their albums are a soundtrack to a comic book that their lead singer/songwriter, Claudio Sanchez writes. The comics cover their first two albums so far, out of six albums, lol, but the story is all there. Anyway, at the concert, I was able to push my way up to the front, here is a picture we got of Claudio singing and playing away.

Yes. We were that close. Front and center.

Now at rock shows, especially if you want to get close to the stage in a general admissions show, you have to get nice and comfy with the people around you. Mosh pits are the best because they clear big crowds of people out of the way, and it is easy to sneak in and past and get closer. It was closer when my love story starts.

Coheed had been playing for about 20 minutes and the crowd was rocking and having a great time. While being pushed around a little as I was working my way to the front, I stopped moving, the song had just ended. Everyone was regrouping, so I was standing there, and I look next to me expecting to see my friends, Tom and Michael, and there I saw a stunning blond girl. Everyone was all sweaty and stuff from the dancing and moshing going on, but she still looked fantastic.We both bought the same tour t-shirt, which she put on over a t-shirt with the Abbey Road Beatles album cover, (my second favorite Beatles album after Rubber Soul), and she had green ear plugs, Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars (my favorite shoes), and jeans. She looked over at me and smiled one of the prettiest smiles I have received from a girl in a long while now. It wasn't just a normal smile, though. It was like we looked at each other, smiled, and something clicked. Coheed starts playing again and she starts dancing super fun and crazy and looks at me, and by that time, I was under a spell. I couldn't help but jump and dance around with her. We were singing all of the words to the songs together. She smiled, got in front of me, while dancing and kept looking back over her shoulder at me. We shared this dance together. I was completely unaware of my surroundings by this point. One of my all time favorite bands is up playing some of their best music, and I was lost.

The song ends, I feel a tap on my shoulder, and behind me is a guy...matching green ear plugs. He reaches over, and pulls her back by his side, glaring at me with fire in his eyes. I had no idea, of course. He took her back a couple rows of people and with the craziness of the show coming back into picture, I turned around, rocked hard, but didn't see her again.

I always loved the song 'You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, (listen and or download the radio edit, by the way, he says the F word in the regular album version which sucks because it doesn't fit the song, like, at all.) I never felt the weight of the song until tonight. Anyway, I can't remember the last time I connected with someone like that. I never learned her name....nothing. Forever in my mind, she is going to be called "The Coheed Girl", and when I hear their song 2's My Favorite 1 by Coheed, she is the girl I am always going to think of.

They say "It's better to have love and lost than to have loved at all". I never knew that in the right setting in the right way, you can fall in love and lose it just as fast. Tonight the new girl of my dreams is somewhere in the Salt Lake Valley being taken home and kissed goodnight by someone who isn't me. It's a safe bet to say that I will never see her again, but my heart, though a little broken, is a little happier for having that moment.

I don't think I will ever forget you, Coheed girl, and even though you will never see this, and let alone know it is about you, I wish you love and happiness wherever you are and whoever you are with. Thank you for the gift of your warm smile and the dance/rock-out we had. It proved to me that the magic of love is still out there, and that in the right circumstances can still find me.

To end I will quote a line from Coheed and Cambria's song 2's My Favorite 1 about my Coheed Girl, "Cross towards the dance floor and together we will show them who's boss".

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Football Movie Checklist....

It's that time of year again and I am excited. American Football is upon us. I am more partial to NCAA football than I am the NFL, but I love watching both. Since the first week in September hardly has any new movies coming out due to the summer season ending, I thought I would make up a checklist of movies about football. All of the films I name are either available through the Salt Lake County Library on available on Netflix if you have a subscription to Netflix. Let's get started...

Rudy        Rated: PG for language and mild violence

Rudy is about a young man who loves football and dreams of playing for Notre Dame. However he is very small, and in order to play for Notre Dame, he also needs to be a student. The film follows the struggles and triumphs that Rudy has to go through. This is one of my all time favorite movies about football. It's very inspiring and has a very pretty soundtrack.  Rudy is directed by David Anspaugh and written by Angelo Pizzo who are the same team that  brought us the very awesome movie, Hoosiers. Rudy is based on a true story.

Remember the Titans      Rated: PG for mild violence and racial themes

Remember the Titans is also based on a true story. It is about a newly integrated high school football team that struggles with the issues of race. The whole town is upset with the hiring of coach Herman Boone, an African American coach. Everything seems to fall apart, the members of the team are at each others throats about race and losing certain players to make the best team possible and the towns people are threatening and trying to coax the new football coach out of his job. However, with a strong attitude, both mentally and physically, things start to turn around. 

Friday Night Lights      Rated: PG-13   for language, violence, teen partying and alcohol and drug use

Staying to the track of films that were brought about by a true story, Friday Night Lights is probably the most realistic since it follows the book of the same name very well. A reporter from New York heard about how crazy Texans like high school football. He moved to Odessa, Texas  where he witnessed the whole season of the Permian High Panthers. The players were treated like royalty. They had cheerleaders and pep squad girls that would follow a player around and wait on them hand and foot. The town is in an uproar when the newly appointed coach loses a game to start off the season. Can they make it to the champions ship game, or not. There was also a TV show that was called Friday Night Lights, and it was the exact same thing, except with a fictional town, but still set in Texas. The show ran for five seasons. It was a great show. I believe it is still on Netflix. It does a great job and keeping the same intensity from the town as the original story did.

The Blind Side     Rated: PG-13    for one scene of violence, drug and sexual references

Guess what?  Another true story coming at you. The Blind Side tells the true story of Michael Oher. He didn't know who his father really was. His mom was a drug addict and Michael had family members or people in his ghetto neighborhood who were gang members and drug dealers. He was homeless until a wonderful woman and her family took him in and helped him with school, but also helped him by putting him on the football team. Michael didn't really have experience, but he was a natural talent. He is then sought after for colleges putting their new rosters together, and eventually to the NFL draft.  The Blind Side is an incredible film. Sandra Bullock who plays Leigh Ann Touhy, the woman who took Michael in, and was honored with an Oscar for the best performance in a female lead role. This movie is very touching.

Brian's Song    Rated: G            Contains some racial themes

I am sensing a pattern here. Brian's Song is a true story about a football player named Brian Piccolo and his relationship with his friend, Gale Sayers. Piccolo and Sayers were the first players in the NFL who were assigned to be roommates where one was white and the other African American. Their relationship grows into a strong bond of friendship, but that isn't the only thing that is growing. Brian Piccolo develops cancer and fights through it with Gale Sayers. This one is one of my all-time favorite movies about football. There are actually two versions of Brian's Song. The one I am referring to is the 1971 version with James Caan and Billie Dee Williams.

A Triumph of the Heart: The Ricky Bell Story        Not Rated,  but most likely a G or very low PG rating. Thematic Issues.

If Brian's Song doesn't succeed at tugging your heart strings, this one will. Another true story,  Ricky Bell, a pro football player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an education in speech therapy is assigned to visit and work with a boy by the name of Ryan Blankenship who has some handicaps. Ryan's family works at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium, which makes Ryan even more excited to meet Ricky Bell, since he is Ryan's favorite player. They end up forming a bond to each other. Ricky starts spending time with Ryan's family and uses his teammates to do things to help Ryan out. However, when Ricky Bell gets traded to the San Diego Chargers, things start to get more complicated, Ricky Bell who Ryan looked up to so much, turns the tables and it is Ryan who Ricky Bell looks up to for courage and strength. This was a made for TV movie, but it is my favorite movie dealing with football. It is available on Netflix, or  if you look it up on the Internet Movie Data Base,, and it will let you stream the film from there, so it is completely free if you have an internet connection. Remember to have a box of tissues handy for this one. I have seen it quite a few times, and no matter how hard I try, I can't up but tear up.

Invincible       Rated: PG for sports action and some language

This is the true story, surprise surprise, of Vince Papale, who is a 30 year old bartender in Philadelphia who goes to open tryouts for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team and against all odds, ends up making the team. Mark Wahlberg plays Vince, Greg Kinnear plays Coach Dick Vermeil, and Elizabeth Banks plays Janet Cantrell who plays Vince's love interest.

We Are Marshall             Rated: PG for thematic elements and some language and brief violence

We Are Marshall is yet again another true story about the Marshall University football team who loses quite a few players and fans due to a plane crash. The story follows Coach Jack Lengyel and his remaining player and their struggles to keep the football program alive for the rest of the season. Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox are great in their roles as the coaches for Marshall. I enjoyed this one quite a bit.

The Freshman           Not Rated as it was released in 1925   Nothing Offensive.

Finally a film about football that isn't a true story. The Freshman is my favorite silent film. It start Harold Lloyd as a young man heading off to college. He has dreams of becoming the best man on campus, but his quirks and awkwardness get in the way in a hilarious way. He wants to be captain of the football team, even though he is super scrawny, just so that he can copy other student's paths at becoming popular. What he doesn't know and realize is that the boarding house he is staying at is being ran by a girl and her mother. The girl falls in love with Harold Lloyd and is secretly cheering him on, while at the same time loving him for who he is and not his status. He makes the team as a tackling dummy, but in the final, most important game of the season, injuries start to mount up and in order to not forfeit , the coach reluctantly sends Harold out to play. The results are hilarious, but also follow the real football rules at the time. This film is absolutely a joy to watch. All of the comedy and word play are still popular today. This has my favorite silent film caption. The title card reads:  Tate University - A large football stadium, with a college attached. Sounds like schools from the Big Ten conference today.

When the Game Stands Tall                  Rated: PG  for football action.

I reviewed this film last week. Just a quick recap, a true story, a high school football team has the longest winning streak in all of football history. They come into a season and loose two games, but are determined to beat a team who is next to impossible to beat. They work hard to get to the game and even make it to the state championship. There are lots of motivational speeches in this film. Maybe a few too many, but the heart is there. There isn't one swear word to be heard. It makes a great family film. It is in theaters right now.

Well that just about wraps it up for this checklist. Here are a few other films that I didn't go into detail about that you might enjoy.

The Waterboy,  The Longest Yard (the 2005 version), The Express, Necessary Roughness, and Jerry Maguire,

I hope this article has been fun to read and I hope that I have inspired you to watch a few of these films.

If you have other football movies that you like and enjoy, be sure to let me know via the comments or email.