Wednesday, April 14, 2010

If Rock Acts Were High School Football Teams

The other day, it was announced that Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame was putting the band (well, OK, himself) back together for the 30th anniversary tour of "The Wall." Which led me, inevitably, to remembering that my favorite band as an overly serious teenager was something of a gloomy joke, wondering just how much money Roger needed to leave with dignity, and why anyone would go to see this... but hey, whatever floats your boat, and it's not as if anyone's ever gone broke on geezer rock plays. Give Roger enough time, and maybe he'll be playing the Super Bowl; he's nearly old enough now.

But enough of the snarkiness about how another man pays his bills, seeing as I'll probably be blogging and riding the train to make ads until I die in the harness. (Yes, I'm cheery today. Blame Waters. You think it's easy to write when you've got "The Final Cut" playing in your mental jukebox?) Thinking of Waters led me to remember a fun little trope, which is to say what the high school football team in the world of Artist X does. Don't worry if you're not quite getting the concept. It'll become obvious soon enough.

UK North

1) The Rolling Stones (10-2):
Champions in a '70s Raiders style with high penalties, aggressive defense and breakout big plays. They win ugly, win often, and have constant off-the-field distractions that make old-school character matters types uncomfortable. Also, they sell a ton of merch, and the tailgate is a sea of free meat, both culinary and sexual. Just watch out for security.

2) The Beatles (8-4): Dazzling passing game in the manner of the Montana Niners, but without the same staying power late in the season to bring home the gold. They start the year 8-0 before the team is torn apart from the star QB and WR falling in love with the same mysterious Asian cheerleader, causing dissension in the locker room and the eventual loss of both players. Despite the turmoil, the stadium never fails to sell out, the weather is always crisp and sunny, and the fans can never stop talking about that 8-0 start.

3) Led Zeppelin (7-5): A thunderous ground game and physical defense that's undone by erratic QB play, along the lines of the Buddy Ryan Eagles. Big lapses in judgment prevent them from reaching their full potential, probably from the fact that the players frequently picked up contact highs from the clouds of pot smoke coming out of the stands. Despite the mediocre record, the team is beloved.

4) The Who (5-7): A hot start and promising talent is undermined by off-the-field fatalities and scandal, along with a too conservative attack that's easily scouted in rematches. More prominent than their record would warrant, for no good reason. Think of the weak Danny White Cowboys, or maybe the Ryan Leaf Era. Man, I miss those days.

5) Pink Floyd (4-8): A buckled-down private academy with strict discipline fields a high school team that undersized, slow, and unrelentingly white. They are frequently overwhelmed by superior athleticism and the cruel machinations of referee crews that seem to foil every comeback; limbs also snap with dispiriting regularity, and every game ends in a monumentally depressing rainstorm. Eventually, the losing gets too much, and the fans burn down the stadium. Good times!

6) Joy Division (2-10): It always rains, many of the cheerleaders have unwanted pregnancies, the stands are empty, the stadium is dilapidated, and the star QB killed himself after winning his first two games, for reasons that will haunt the area forever. But on the plus side, several kids from the school have promising film careers, and those cheerleaders were fun. For a while.

Solo Central

1) Rod Stewart (11-1
): The team never loses, the sun is always shining, the cheerleaders are never out of step, and the refs give them every call. Suspicions of rampant booster abuse and cheating are never investigated, and they play in a brand-new stadium that's surgically clean. Also, everyone hates them, and the fans are total bandwagoners who don't know a thing about the game.

2) Neil Young (9-3): Ferocious passing attack and a big play defense, undermined by dazzling mistakes (Neil and the Shocking Pinks?) that somehow make the team more lovable over time. Everyone roots for them to beat Stewart, but it doesn't happen, because the world is just like that.

3) Bruce Springsteen (7-5): Plucky underdogs that have the season ruined when the running back gets the cheerleader girlfriend of the QB pregnant, then DUIs into a fatality. The QB then drinks himself into irrelevance. And yet, the mood around the stadium is upbeat. Go figure.

4) Jimi Hendrix (5-7): Wildly erratic but talented team that fills up the highlight reel, both for and against. Leads are gained and blown, gadget plays go to the house or get turned into pick sixes, and defensive players either get kill shots or whiff. But some of the sets are truly innovative, and the footage is studied by everyone else in the league for clues.

5) Lou Reed (3-9): It's just hard to win football games when most of the team are heroin junkies, the coaching staff is trying to get involved in the art world, and its always raining. The defense keeps them in games, and everyone who coaches for the team, improbably, goes on to have a career.

6) Tom Waits (1-11): Turnovers, penalties, a cheerleading squad that consists of strange old men, organ grinder monkeys and other denizens of the freak show. Games are always played late at night, in a haze of diesel smoke, in a stadium near the railroad tracks to a smattering of fans and odd groans from the building. All of the beat writers wear battered hats and trenchcoats, and the concession stands sell nothing but bourbon and losing lottery scratch off tickets. Opposing teams win, but also suffer fluke injuries, and the same fans show up every week to watch the games in silence. Despite all of that, people have a good time.

Anyway, feel free to add your own in the comments, and maybe I'll add in some acts from this century in a future post...

1 comment:

azion1995 said...

UK north, Tied for 4th: Yes (4-7)

Team features oddly effeminate quarterback, bruising fullback, brilliant running back and wide receiver with fantastically complicated play calling. The plays either work insanely well, or collapse entirely due to the sheer weight of the playbook. Fans complain when simple plays work well, grumbling that the more complicated ones which they ran in the old days were much better.