If there is one thing I have learned the past couple years is Hitler watches a lot of college basketball and is very passionate about it.

There are a lot of these out there but I thought this one was pretty well done and worth the post.

Updated – If the Big10 Tournament started today

Posted: February 26, 2015 by jmklee in Uncategorized

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Word around the Indiana basketball team is that Collin Hartman will not play tonight at Northwestern, out with a lower leg bruise.  BDS reporters were able to reach Herb Brooks for comment.

My Favorite First Albums

Posted: February 25, 2015 by nickd0913 in Uncategorized

Prince recently made a statement concerning albums at the Grammy Awards.  He said  “Albums — remember those?” Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter.”  Take what you want from that statement.

I am going to focus on the album part of the statement.  I still think albums matter too.  I am disappointed that buying albums is becoming a thing of the past.  I think sitting down and listening to an album from start to finish is one of the best things you can do.  I try to listen to one complete album every single day.  When you listen to albums you discover great songs that are never played on the radio and you develop an even greater appreciation for the band.  There is no playlist or streaming service that can replace the joy of listening to and owning a great album.

The reason I am talking about albums is because I want to focus on some great albums that have become essential to my collection over the years.    A friend of mine who will remain nameless but has the nickname of Trapper once told me that it is common knowledge that a band’s 1st album is always their best.  That is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard but there are some great 1st albums out there.  Today I am going to share some of my favorites.

The Black Keys – The Big Come Up 

I vividly remember the first time I heard this record.  My brother was playing it in my parents garage.  I got out of my car and heard this album playing.  I could not believe how great it sounded.  It was loud with huge guitar riffs and catchy hooks.  I was shocked to find out this band was 2 white guys from Akron, Ohio.  First of all they did not sound white and they did not sound like they were just 2 guys.  If you claim to be a Black Keys fan, and pretty much everyone does these days,and you do not own this album you need to fix that real quick.  Check out “Busted” from back when they used to still play clubs. Turn the volume up to get the full effect.

Wilco – A.M.

There once was a great band called Uncle Tupelo.  This band had 2 guys that could not get along. Their names were Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar.  So Uncle Tupelo was no more.  From the ashes of that band came Wilco(Jeff Tweedy) and Son Volt (Jay Farrar).  In 1995 both bands would release incredible albums.  We will start with “A.M.”.  If you only listen to the first three songs on this album you will love it.  One of the best starts to any album in a long time.  Don’t stop with those 3 songs, listen to the entire album.  It is a great mix of Stones like rockers and alt country acoustic gems.  The Wilco of today is nothing like the Wilco that made this record.  I love both versions of this band but “A.M.” will probably always be my favorite Wilco record.  Give the nasty “Casino Queen” a listen.

Son Volt – Trace

As much as I love “A.M.” I love “Trace” even more.  I would consider this album a modern day classic.  For all intents and purposes this is a straight up country record, that rocks at certain points, but it would never get played on main stream radio. I think in the world of “Alt-Country” this is a top 5 record of all time.  Jay Farrar’s distinctive voice mixed with the sound of acoustic guitars, pedal steel guitar, fiddle, huge guitar riffs, and great lyrics make for the perfect album.  Not one weak song on this record.  As one record critic once said, “When in doubt, Trace”.  This album has been a go to album for me since it came out and it always will be.  Here is “Drown” from Austin City Limits.

Counting Crows – August & Everything After

In the fall of 1993 I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I was reading Rolling Stone magazine one night and  I read the review of this album.  I immediately went to the record store in the mall and purchased this album.  I had never heard one song from the band or even heard of the band.  After buying this album I wore it out for at least the next year.  This is one of my favorite albums of the 1990s.  I love a lot of the albums that came out of Seattle but at the time I did not connect with those records.  I immediately connected with this one.  “Mr. Jones” was probably the biggest hit from this record but the album is much deeper than just that song.  If you are my age it is pretty much a guarantee you bought this record in 1993-1994. You should bust it out and give it a listen.  It holds up after all these years.  My favorite song from this record is “Omaha”.  Check it out.

Patty Griffin – Living With Ghosts

I did not discover this album until it had been out about  5 years.  It came out in 1996 and I stumbled up on it in 2001.  I found it during a pretty interesting time in my life and basically listened to it every single day for months on end.  The album is pretty much just Patty and her guitar.  It is, for the most part, the demos she made for the album and the demos became the album.  Her voice is incredible, and her songwriting is as good as anyone making music today.  I encourage you to check out this album and every other one she has ever made.

These are just a few “1st albums” that I love.  Some others that I did not mention.

Ray Lamontagne – Trouble

John Prine – John Prine

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin I

Steve Earle – Guitar Town

Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker

Whiskeytown – Faithless Street

Dwight Yoakam – Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc.,Etc.

Sturgill Simpson – High Top Mountain

A little something to hold us over till March

Posted: February 24, 2015 by jmklee in Uncategorized

It is cold, it’s snowy and icy and I am starting to dream about March Madness at nights.  I thought this could do us all good about now.  Just think soon we will all be in the warm spring Indy streets celebrating this years Final Four.  I can’t wait.  Everyone is invited to stay at the BDS compound!

iuThe 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers, the last college basketball team to finish the season without a loss and regarded by many as the best team ever, post the UCLA dynasty.  There has been a few teams that have come close since 1976 but none were able to close the deal.  Until now???  Is this year’s Kentucky Wildcats the team to finally pull of an undefeated run?  Can a team in today’s college basketball world actually go 40-0?  I think they can and I think this years Cats are the team to do it because they are so similar to those Hoosiers from ’76.  Coach Cal has Kentucky currently at 27-0, the same record that Indiana had during their regular season.  Let’s take a closer look at what these two teams have in common.

Disappointment

Both teams entered their magical seasons coming off of a season that ended in disappointment.  Indiana only lost one game the year before and it was their last game.  A 2 point loss to Kentucky in the Elite 8 in which All-American, Scott May, played with his broken arm wrapped in a cast.   Kentucky didn’t have the regular season success as the ’75 Indiana team had but was able to right the ship in time to make a magical tournament run only to fall one game short of hanging banner #9.  UK also was without a major player as Willie Cauley-Stein went down with an injury.

Expectations

Both teams returned many from the year before and were ranked preseason AP #1 and stayed that way all season long.  Many people keep saying that a loss will do UK good but I poo poo that idea.  Both teams had one goal going into the season and that was to win their last game of the year.  Both teams enter games as the best team on the court and if they play to their potential then there’s not a team that can beat them.  If Kentucky enters the tournament still undefeated it does change expectations or the pressure level it will feel.  The goal remains the same.

Coaches 

Bob Knight was in this 5th year at Indiana in ’76.  Cal is in his 6th year at Kentucky.  Both coaches are polarizing with larger than life personalities that keeps the attention on them many times and allows their players to not always have to feel the white hot spotlight that shines on them during as season like this one.  Both coaches had come close to undefeated seasons before and as much as Cal pretends it isn’t a goal you know he would love to complete the feat.

Schedules

When we think about the ’76 Hoosiers we think that they played in the Big10 and what a great conference but the truth was the Big10 was not great that year.  In fact they were about as equally average as the SEC is this year.  Both conferences only had 2 other teams that were ranked at anytime during the season.

1976 Big10 – Michigan (highest ranking) #9 and Minnesota #16

2015 SEC – Florida #7 and Arkansas #18

Overall winning percentage

’76 Big10 – 0.588

’15 SEC – 0.601

The other thing the schedules have in common is a very strong pre-conference schedule.  6 of the 9 teams the ’76 Hoosiers played ended up with at least 20 wins.  (UCLA, Florida St., Notre Dame, Kentucky, Virginia Tech and St. John’s)  Kentucky beat many quality teams leading into conference also.  (Kansas, Providence, Texas, North Carolina, UCLA and Louisville)  At the end of the day these are the types of teams Kentucky will have to beat in the tournament and not only have they beat them but they beat them decisively.  That leads us to…

Dominance

Kentucky has had some close games like Indiana did in ’76 but for the most part they have taken care of business.  Let’s break down the first 27 games.

Average margin of victory

Indiana 18.07

Kentucky 26.92

Games decided by 10+ points

Indiana 18

Kentucky 21

Games decided by 20+ points

Indiana 11

Kentucky 12

Games decided by 30+ points

Indiana 4

Kentucky 10

Games decided by 40+ points

Indiana 2

Kentucky 5

Games decided by 50+ points

Indiana 1

Kentucky 1

The Sum is Greater than the Parts

“None of the individuals on that team was a superstar-Quinn Buckner, Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson, Tom Abernethy, and Kent Benson— but as a group they were unbeatable.”  This is what Al McGuire wrote in the introduction of A Season on the Brink and what many are saying about 2015 Cats.  Yes, both teams have NBA talent but not many teams have been able to come together and make the sacrifices for each other like this Kentucky team has.  Coach McGuire obviously thought the same of the ’76 Hoosiers.

It’s not over yet

This Kentucky team has to do a couple things the ’76 Hoosiers did not.  Play 4 more regular season games and then navigate a conference tournament full of teams desperate to make the NCAA tournament.  I didn’t think it was possible for Kentucky to go 40-0 this year until they won a game they had no business winning at LSU.  This team does not waiver, this team does not wilt and this team expects to make the plays down the stretch to win close games.  Will it happen?  Only time will tell but the ’76 Hoosiers showed us the blueprint of the type of team that can do it and this year’s Kentucky team looks a lot like that team.  Either way this season has been so much fun for both Big Blue Nation and those rooting against the Cats each and every game.  Who would have thought a Kentucky vs Miss St. game in late February would be so important to so many.

If the Big10 tournament started today

Posted: February 23, 2015 by jmklee in Uncategorized

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