Friday, May 01, 2009

My Daily Commute, 5/1/09

Driving to work is always an adventure. I live in North Andover, which is about 40 miles from my workplace in Needham. On a daily basis, my commute can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes, although lately I’ve realized that leaving around 8 or 8:15 instead of 7:30 actually gives me less traffic, so that’s a plus. Fridays are usually very light in the mornings, traffic-wise. Today seemed like any other Friday until I got within 5 miles of the exit I take to get to work.

This was one of those great, slow-down-and-look traffic jams, as there was no reason for the hold-up on the southbound side of the highway, the side I was on. No, there was just a trash truck on the northbound side that had apparently lost all of its contents all over the road, and the excessive cleanup crews (a firetruck? Really? I can understand the bulldozers to pick up the trash, but Jesus Christ!) were causing a lot of traffic on the northbound side. Again, there was no reason for any traffic on the southbound side, except to stop and look. Once I passed this mess, I had about 2.5 miles of free-and-clear driving. Once I was within a mile of my exit, traffic was nearly stopped again.

I never found out the reason for this second jam, as I slowly made my way off of the exit and onto Highland Ave in Needham. Normally I get right off the exit and merge into the far left lane to take a left at the next set of lights. Of course, today was not normal on any fronts, so there was traffic on the RAMP, and on Highland Ave leading up to the light. There was a red light at the light up ahead, so I assumed this fine large gentleman in a 94 Mercury Grand Marquis was letting me in front of him to get into the left lane, so I pulled ahead. I thought wrong.

“Nice heart, you fucking fag!” was the response I heard for my offensive merge into the left lane. At least I assume he said nice heart. Now, this probably seems like an odd thing to say to somebody, but let me be clear. I have a bumper sticker on the back of my car for the Timothy P. Roberts and Dana-Farber “Reeling in a Dream Fund,” whose symbol is a letter “T” inside a heart. Immediately I thought of witty things to react with, and my personal favorite was “Drive into a lake, fatty!”

Of course, I never actually said this response, as he drove right by me and ended up going through the green light just fine, but still, I was proud of myself for being so quick on my feet. The more I thought about his comment, the more frustrated and flabbergasted I got. I let out a big sigh and just tried to calm myself down, when I looked into the opposite side of the road. There was a man in his 40s who must have seen my frustration and he laughed at me. His windows were open, and he said over to me, “Nice day, huh?” Keep in mind it’s 50 degrees and cloudy outside, not exactly picture-perfect weather. His simple act of friendliness was much-needed, and was a great rebut to the fat idiot who yelled at me only seconds earlier.

I nodded my head and laughed. “Oh, yeah, just great!” I said, causing the man to return a laugh, before the light changed and I made my left turn. As I drove, I became glad that I didn’t stoop down to the fat idiot in the early-90’s Grand Marquis’ level, because it wouldn’t have mattered to him. I would have made him more angry and bitter, two things he most certainly is feeling at all times if he was willing to yell at somebody’s cancer charity sticker for making a legal, in-offensive lane merge. Instead, somebody made me laugh, and I made him laugh back.

Don’t you just love your daily commute?

Friday, October 17, 2008

SOX WIN 8-7!

In the second greatest post-season comeback in MLB history (and greatest comeback in an elimination game), the Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park last night, after being down 7-0 in the 6th inning by a final score of 8-7. Is there still gas in the Red Sox' tank? I think so. Could they come back and beat the Rays and face the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series? Yes, they could. Will they? Will Josh Beckett remember how to pitch? Will the Rays' bats cool off? Will the Sox' bats stay hot? Will I keep asking rhetorical questions? Will you be annoyed reading this blog? Will Joe the Plumber run for President in 2012? Will the Michael Scott/Holly Flax romance on The Office last, even though Amy Ryan is only scheduled to be on a few more episodes this season? I really wanna know!

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

ALCS Game 5 Tonight!

So, can the Red Sox come out strong tonight and leave Fenway with a little bit of momentum on their side? Or will their season end tonight? I think they'll be able to pull it out, at least for a victory tonight, but I still think these Rays look like one of the best overall teams I've ever seen. The Angels and John Lackey can say all they want about the "better team losing" in the ALDS, but they sure didn't look like the better team in that series. In this ALCS, however, the Rays look pretty damn unstoppable.

People say, "Well, this sure ain't last year's team," and they're right about that, but is that necessarily a bad thing? When people in '07 said, "Well, they ain't the '04 Sox," most could argue, "That's true, this team looks BETTER than the '04 squad." I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who will honestly say that this '08 team looks better than the '07 team at this point.

So what do I think about tonight? I'm still excited as hell for the game, but that could change about 2 minutes in like it did in Game 4 once Tim Wakefield had already given up 75 homeruns and the Red Sox looked like they forgot how to swing their bats. But I believe they will win this game, and then probably lose in Game 6 in Tampa. Of course, I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't think it's their year this year.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Random Ten - #3

1. Audioslave "Cochise" from Audioslave

The opening track to Audioslave's 2002 self-titled debut, "Cochise" sounds pretty much like what you'd expect an early collaboration between Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and the band from Rage Against the Machine to sound like. Back when this band actually had something to prove, they wrote groovy, rocking songs that, although not groundbreaking by any means, were refreshing in a period of rock history that was unbelievably stale and stagnant. I had heard the leaked demos from this project when they were called Civilian, and this album version of "Cochise" sounds a lot more powerful. This song is more than overused at this point, having made appearances in Talladega Nights and Iron Man, but it's still one of the better hard rockers of the early 2000's.

2. Megadeth "High Speed Dirt" from Countdown to Extinction

An up-tempo rocker from Megadeth's most commercially successful release, "High Speed Dirt" features some inventing riffing, and a structure that includes a lot of bluesy starts and stops. Many people either saw this as Megadeth's last great album or their first bad album; I'm in the former camp. I think Countdown showcases the band at their songwriting apex, and the catchiness and musical virtuosity shown in songs like "High Speed Dirt" are a good example of that. They can still write a great song here and there (see: "Kick the Chair" and "Blackmail the Universe" from The System Has Failed), but this was Megadeth at their peak, in my opinion. (Don't get me wrong, their earlier, thrashier material is also incredible, but I find this album to be great all the way through, something I can't say about any of the first four.)

3. Talking Heads "Take Me To the River" from Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense may be the best concert "film" ever created, and what a film it is. Picking a setlist of the greatest Talking Heads songs would be difficult, considering they rarely wrote anything bad, but this "soundtrack" showcases them at their live best. This version of the R&B classic is further enhanced by the expanded live band the group employed on this show, and this is probably my favorite version of this song (along with the version Al Green performed with Dave Matthews Band back in 2001 or so).

4. Emperor "The Loss and Curse of Reverence" from Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk

As I mentioned in my last column, Anthems is by far my favorite Emperor album, and maybe even my favorite black metal album of all time. This band manages to be absolutely destructive, melancholic, melodic and dissonant all at the same time on this song, and this album features them at their atmospheric best, before they got too deep into progressive death metal leanings. This song also has the bonus of having one of the absolutely cheesiest music videos ever committed to film, highly recommended for you to check out on youtube if you get the chance. This song has incredibly chaotic-yet-tight drumming, menacing keyboards, and some great classically-influenced riffing on the guitars. Emperor's finest moment.

5. Children of Bodom "Silent Night, Bodom Night" from Hatebreeder

I am not a huge CoB fan, but this is one of my favorite songs of theirs. They've always reminded me of an 80's type melodic metal band (think Europe) with some black metal vocals and masturbatory keyboard and guitar solos over the top of everything, and sometimes they completely suck. Lately they've tried to beef up their sound and get away from the more melodic, high-pitched songs, but they've lost some of their charm along with the cheese. This song is from their second album, back when they just went all-out with the soloing and melody, and on this song, it works. Also, one of the worst song titles ever written.

6. Cannibal Corpse "Hatchet to the Head" from Gore Obsessed

From one of the worst song titles of all time to one of the best! I'm kidding, but you have to give it to CC, they always bring the funny with their titles. This song is quick and painless, much like one would imagine a hatchet to the head feels. Gore Obsessed sounds like pretty much any one of the past 7 CC albums: stagnant drumming; clever riffing; monotonous vocals; unrelenting heaviness. If you're a fan of CC, you're a fan, that's pretty much all there is to it. I'm no die-hard, but I'm a fan, and this song is too short to be boring, unlike some of their more sprawling compositions (if you can call them that).

7. Immolation "Of Martyrs and Men" from Unholy Cult

Immolation are one of the more criminally underrated death metal bands of all time, and this song showcases just why. They have their own distinct style, in the drumming, riffing and vocals, and they still don't get the respect they deserve, which is a shame. This song comes off what I consider their best overall album, and it opens the album up in unique fashion with eerie guitars before exploding in with the full band. The drums have almost a swinging feel for most of the song, and the riffing is like early Voivod put through a blender. One of my favorite death metal songs from one of my favorite death metal albums. Also, the stop-start-tapping that Bob Vigna employs on the guitar solo is fantastic. The slow riff at the 2:51 mark makes me want to hurt somebody, always the sign of a good metal riff. Another one of those, "I should listen to this band more" bands, Immolation own!

8. Deftones "Engine No. 9" from Adrenaline

A fitting album title, as this song is pure energy from start to finish. Call them nu-metal, call them rap-metal, but you're wrong. Deftones were always about energy in their old days, and this song (and album) is nothing but an explosion. Is it funky? Sure, the beat is a little hip-hop oriented, but the riffing is pure metal, and Chino's vocals are at their throat-ripping best on this song. While they sound like a completely different band these days in a lot of ways, Deftones still continue to do their own thing and avoid labeling in a way only they can. This album was groundbreaking (and the more I listen to it, I get a Faith No More Angel Dust vibe from the guitars) and this song is a classic. I had the pleasure of seeing them bust this one out in 2003 at the Burlington Memorial Auditorium in Vermont, and the pit was insane.

9. Local H "Eddie Vedder" from As Good As Dead

This band is mostly known for their hit "Bound for the Floor," but this song was quite a hit itself back in 96 or so. This band was always hard to peg, as they clearly aped a lot of Nirvana-isms in their sound, but they also mocked grunge and angst-rock on a consistent lyrical basis. This song's line, "If I were Eddie Vedder, would you like me any better? That's it, I quit, I don't give a shit," seems like an indictment on the entire early 90's rock scene, yet musically the song sounds like a mellow Nirvana song. I have to admit, whenever I go back and listen to this album, I'm shocked at how much I enjoy it the whole way through. There are some balls-out rockers, and some more mellow fare like this song, and they all seem to work. Were they original? Not really, but they're still playing today, and you have to respect them for that. Plus, I'm sure the singer gets some good royalties from "Bound for the Floor" still being a rock-radio staple, at least in Boston (I can't go for a week without hearing that song on either WFNX, WBCN or WAAF).

10. Death Cab for Cutie "Soul Meets Body" from Plans

I'm far from a huge fan of Death Cab, but I respect their musical innovation, and I think Ben's vocals and lyrics are generally pleasing. I'm not a huge fan of some of their upbeat material, but I do like this song. I also appreciate their clever studio work, as headphones reveal a lot more about this band than simply listening to them on the radio. I first heard this song in my days at St. Mike's; the kid who hosted the radio show before mine always closed his show with something Ben Gibbard-related, and I asked him what song this was and downloaded it immediately.

In some ways, the Random Ten is a way to re-live my radio days, as I basically would just rant about the bands and songs I played for a good 2 hours. While the Random Ten takes a lot less than 2 hours to do, it helps me get out that inner music nerd that I don't think I'll ever be able to fully exorcise. And that's perfectly fine with me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Random Ten - #2

1. Tool "The Pot" from 10,000 Days

One of the hit singles (if you can call anything Tool does a "hit single") from their latest album, 2006's 10,000 Days, "The Pot" sounds a lot poppier than a lot of things Tool has done in the past, but that doesn't mean it doesn't rock. The bouncy bass and drums really propel the song, with some cool riffs thrown in throughout, and a great atmospheric part in the middle where there's some lead basswork, always a plus, in my book. Many people thought Maynard's voice was a lot different on this song than it had been in the past, but he uses a lot more of his higher register on this song than he had done in quite some time, bringing to mind some of the groovier, less-complicated material found on Undertow.

2. Amon Amarth "Without Fear" from Once Sent From the Golden Hall

This album, to me, is Amon Amarth's best. From The Avenger-onwards, they basically turned into the AC/DC of Viking Death Metal. This album had a lot more speed and melody than their later releases, before they started sounding like a watered-down hybrid of Entombed, Dismember, Unleashed, and "insert Swedish death metal band here". "Without Fear" is a decent track from this album, with some good riffs and great drumming from Martin Lopez, just before he joined Opeth. I'm not a fan of what this band has done since; it's solid, but just not my cup of tea. This song is no "Ride for Vengeance" or "Victorious March," but it's solid nonetheless.

3. Judas Priest "Screaming for Vengeance" from Screaming for Vengeance

Title-track from one of Priest's best albums, and probably the best song on that album. Halford absolutely wails on this one, and the riffing is reminiscent of older Priest classics like "Hell Bent for Leather" and "Tyrant". One of my favorite songs in the Priest catalogue, and one that was greatly covered by Iced Earth on Tribute to the Gods. Check it out.

4. Green Day "Are We the Waiting" from American Idiot

This song is more or less a glorified intro to the song "St. Jimmy," but it also stands alone as a very solid song. A sing-along ballad of sorts, the arpeggiated guitar chords are almost U2-esque, but the lyrics and vocals are undoubtedly 100% Green Day. One of the mellower songs from American Idiot, this and "Homecoming" are my two favorites from that album. I was a Green Day fan in my early teens, and sort of "outgrew" them as I matured and started listening to heavier, more complex material, but the songwriting on American Idiot is about as good as it gets for innovative, modern rock. And I don't think I ever thought I'd use the words "Green Day" and "innovative" in the same sentence, but an anti-Bush America rock opera released in 2004 was pretty ballsy, and also a great album to boot.

5. Ryan Adams "Off Broadway" from Easy Tiger

I saw Ryan Adams and the Cardinals open with a rocking version of this acoustic ballad in Boston in early September, and it made me seek out the studio version. The live version was reminiscent of "There, There" by Radiohead, whereas this album version is a stripped-down ballad with just acoustic guitars, sparse piano and very light percussion. Probably my favorite song of Ryan's from his last few albums, the lyrics tell a great story and the music is somber and subdued. I'm no hardcore Ryan fan, but I do like a great deal of his material, and this is a great song no matter how you slice it.

6. Alice in Chains "A Little Bitter" from Last Action Hero - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

I'm a huge AIC fan, and I almost forgot that this song existed until it showed up on my shuffle today. The "other" song from Last Action Hero ("What the Hell Have I?" was the big hit), this song has an atmospheric verse with those sinister Layne Staley harmonies, with a funky bassline underneath, but the chorus is some chugging, metal-esque riffing. For such an AIC die-hard, I've always overlooked this song, and I'm not really sure why, because it's really clicking with me today. I think I'll start listening to this more often.

7. Voivod "Astronomy Domine" from Nothingface

Voivod's first and only exposure to MTV in the early 90's was due to this Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd cover, from the fantastic Nothingface. This song isn't a heck of a lot different than the Floyd version, just adding a lot more distortion to the guitars, and some heavier pounding on the drums, but it's basically a hard rock version of a psychedelic classic, and if you liked the original you'd probably like this. Probably the most mainstream that Voivod ever sounded, aside from some of the songs on 2003's Voivod, that doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Great cover of a great song by a great, underrated, legendary metal band.

8. Dave Matthews Band "#40" from Listener Supported

Not one of my favorite DMB songs, to be honest. I know a lot of fanboys love this song because of it being a rarity and all that, but it's a pretty standard, low key DMB song, with nothing too great on the instrumental front, at least not on this version. I know it's pretty much just a segue to something more upbeat and rocking, but it's not really my type of DMB song.

9. Black Sabbath "Hand of Doom" from Paranoid

You really can't go wrong with any song from this album, and "Hand of Doom" is no exception. The mellow opening with just the bass and tom-toms, with Ozzy lowly singing over them just prepare you for the chorus to unleash fury on you, which it does massively. Essentially a loud blues jam, "Hand of Doom" is very rooted in Sabbath's early days as a bar band called Earth, where they played jazz and blues standards amped up to hard rock levels. I love how about 2 minutes into the song it changes completely and goes into a more swinging, rocking Sabbath anthem, almost sounding like a completely new song, but it all flows together great. Everyone thinks of "Iron Man," "War Pigs" and "Paranoid" from this album, but this song is just as powerful.

10. Kiss "I Want You" from Rock and Roll Over

One of the heavier, more dynamic Kiss songs from their post-Destroyer 70's output, "I Want You" opens up the very underrated Rock and Roll Over, which is almost as good as Destroyer, and blows Love Gun out of the water. Hard to believe all of those albums were released in under a 2 year span, so it's no surprise that a majority of the output is filler. "I Want You," however, is not. The opening acoustic guitar and Stanley's vocals have you thinking they've gone soft into ballad territory to open an album, and then the song kicks you in the teeth. One of my favorite songs by Kiss, and some could argue it all went severely downhill after this album.

Well, that does it for the second installation of the Random Ten. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and musings yet again. Stay tuned for more excitement tomorrow.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Random Ten - #1

It's time for a new feature on The Blog of Steel(e), The Random Ten. Basically, I'm going to open iTunes, click the shuffle button, and listen to 10 songs and write about them. Here we go:

1. Killswitch Engage "Irreversal" from Killswitch Engage

Before Killswitch's melodic choruses were sugar-coated to the point of unlistenability, they wrote extremely heavy songs with thrashy riffs and choruses that included singing, but were still very heavy. The chorus of "Irreversal," with its call-and-response shouting against the singing was unique at the time, and the mid-point of the song is damn-near death metal in the vocals. By the time the acoustic guitar and spoken-word interlude come, you've been beaten over the head and the dynamic expression is welcome. This song was re-done as a bonus track for one of their more recent albums, with Jesse Leach (former singer) and current singer Howard Jones trading vocals back and forth. The scream that ends the song on this, the original version, brings Tomas Lindberg to mind with its throat-shredding quality.

2. Nevermore "This Godless Endeavor" from This Godless Endeavor

This song basically sums up Nevermore's existence in 9 minutes, and gives a good idea of what metal is all about as a whole. The song begins with a dark acoustic opening, then melds into an oldschool, Judas Priest-esque melodic moment and mini-solo, before opening up into a 7-string riff-fest that doesn't really let up for the rest of the song. The "Consume! Conform!" shouting near the end is about as heavy as metal can get, and this song is probably my favorite song that Nevermore has ever recorded. Pretty much everything you'd ever want in a metal song can be found here: melody, great solos, great drumming, soaring vocals, epic structuring, not-atrocious lyrics (really, that's all you can expect from metal lyrics anyways).

3. AC/DC "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" from AC/DC Live

Classic AC/DC hit with Brian Johnson handling the vocal duties. Musically it sounds great, vocally not as much charm as when Bon Scott did it on the album version, but the band is energetic, and Angus's solo is explosive. Great version of a great song, even if the original is better.

4. Primus "Too Many Puppies" from Frizzle Fry

Growing up, I knew a lot of people who liked Primus but never quite understood why. Then I heard "Too Many Puppies". Definitely one of Primus's more conventional songs, this song is a favorite of mine because of the groove and the riff. It opened me up to Primus, and I gained an appreciation for their more eclectic material when I listened to the rest of this album, which is arguably their best overall album, although Pork Soda remains my favorite. One of the few Primus songs that is as heavy on the guitars as it is the bass.

5. The Haunted "Undead" from The Haunted

I first heard this song on an Earache Records compilation, Earplugged 2, in an early demo version. I had read that this was the Bjorler brothers' (ex-At the Gates) new band, and it was refreshing to hear their inventive-yet-rooted-in-oldschool riffing combined with audible, clear, thrashy vocals, provided by Peter Dolving. This was a great start for The Haunted, who remain one of my favorite active bands in the thrash metal genre to this day.

6. Venom "Manitou" from MMV

Some Venom rules, some sucks. This song pretty much sucks, if you ask me. I was a fan of their first three albums and the album Metal Black, where they tried to rip themselves off and succeeded, but this song is just nothing special. No great riff, decent chorus, but awful lyrics, no real speed or emotion. Thumbs down.

7. Emperor "Beyond the Great Vast Forest" from In the Nightside Eclipse

People either think this album or Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk were Emperor's finest. I am in the latter camp, but I do like Nightside a great deal. The songwriting chops were there, but the production and vocals were not as dymanic or diverse on this album as they would become on later efforts. Still, for a debut full-length, Emperor sounded like seasoned vets, and this song has great atmosphere.

8. Iron Maiden "The Number of the Beast" from The Number of the Beast

One of the most revered songs in heavy metal history, what do I really need to say about this? From the spoken word intro, clever bass/guitar riff, and "Six! Six Six!" chorus, this song defines heavy metal from the 80's, and if you had to ask what Iron Maiden were all about, this song and "The Trooper" are all you'd need to hear to know. Satan's work is done, indeed.

9. Motorhead "No Class" from No Remorse

Just a classic rock-and-roll riff, from Motorhead's glory days (although, they still kick ass nowadays, just listen to Motorized for further proof), and one of their best, most-recognized songs, for good reason. Down & dirty rock and roll with a lot of attitude and a lot of volume. Makes me want to start a Motorhead cover band, grow some hairy moles on my face, and live off whiskey and cigarettes. Hell, Lemmy's 60 and still doing this, so it must work.

10. God Forbid "Crucify Your Beliefs" from IV: The Constitution of Treason

Another modern American metal band along the likes of KsE, God Forbid left a lot of their metal-core-ness behind on their fourth album, and became more rooted in traditional, melodic stylings, while still retaining the thrashiness and heaviness that got them where they are today. This song opens with an airy, melodic opening, before really thrashing out on the verses with some great minor-key riffing. There isn't a whole lot about this song that is ground-breaking, but it's solid, well-played, well-produced modern metal. Looking forward to hearing the new stuff from these guys, which should be out in early 2009.

Well, I was hoping for a bit more diversity in my first installment of the Random Ten, but when 75% of your musical collection is heavy metal, the odds can be against you when you hit shuffle. I was expecting Dr. Dre followed by Mayhem after a Dave Matthews jam, but alas, it was not to be. At least I got to hear 9 great rock/metal songs with one Venom shit-sandwich in the middle. Stay tuned for another Random Ten tomorrow!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Football Season, or Why I'm Only Moderately Excited About the Pats in 2008

So, it's football season in New England, just 7 months after the New England Patriots completed the greatest, most perfect season in the history of the NFL!

Oh, wait...

No, they didn't. And THAT is why I am not nearly as excited as I should be about the 2008 New England Patriots. During the regular season last year I felt more excited than I've ever felt about sports, with the exception of maybe the 2001 Patriots season and the 2004 ALCS/World Series. The domination of the Patriots was a sight to behold, and it almost seemed unfair how easily they ran over teams on a weekly basis.

I mean, 16-0! Sixteen-and-freaking-0! That was great, but it only made us Pats fans more excited for the BIG ONE -- the 4th championship in 7 years. We would undoubtedly become the greatest team ever assembled, in any sport's history, this was a certainty.

I'm not going to get into what happened, but I left the end of that game basically happy for Giants fans, and disillusioned with the Patriots. Somehow, all of the hate and vile that people spewed about the Pats and their cheating ways never bothered me during the season, but following that game it all came crashing down onto me. No wonder people hate them, I thought. They can dominate a whole season and then treat the Super Bowl like "just another game." Well, the "just another game" theory works well when you're trying to not get caught up in the hype of the longest single-season winning streak in football history, but you can't treat the Super Bowl like "just another game."

How are the Pats going to do this year? Ah, they'll most likely be pretty dominant in the regular season, and most likely make the playoffs. Will they win the AFC Championship, or even make it? I'm not so sure. I would hope so, as a fan, but I don't think they can pull it off this year. If they do, I'll be pleasantly surprised, hell, even happy, but I can't get as excited about this team as I used to. The allure of, hey, we used to be the worst team and now we're the greatest has worn off. It's hard to feel bad for, or even root for, a team that just seemed to deflate last year on the biggest stage of them all.

Will I watch Sunday's game against the Chiefs? Parts of it, sure, but I'm not going to eagerly anticipate each week as much as I did last year. At least, not because I'm looking forward to the Patriots.