eMusic is helping me put some more Mingus on my iPod right now, so it's a good time to take a look at bassists and their place as jazz bandleaders. The good folks at AccuJazz have put up a bass-centric channel called Covering All The Bassists that feature Mr. Mingus and many, many more. NPR has also gotten in on the act with their Take Five sampler. Some of the best are up there, and it's a shame there's only five tracks to peruse. Enjoy.
I had my cellphone out and was almost logged in to ths very site mere hours ago, ready to expound at length about how much I hate kickers. They're the unpredictable quirk of football. You can analyze why a play doesn't work or why an overall strategy was incorrect, and you're willing to cut the players and coaches a little slack. You can't always go undefeated, untied and unscored upon like this DePauw Tigers squad - stuff happens. But the kicker is always expected to make their field goals and extra points, and their success and failure always seems to attract more "mojo" than anything else. You're settling for less points or putting the exclamation point on an emphatic score - you should just suck it up and take care of business. If you make it, great - that's your job. If you don't, you're a failure and everybody hates you. Everybody. Including the mascot. He could do his job running around in a crappy costume for two hours, and all you had to do was make a kick. Loser.
And that's how I felt about eight hours ago, after DePauw's kicker had missed both an extra point and a field goal. The game was surely lost, and it was the kicker's fault. Feh. Until DePauw managed to tie the game. And make a last drive. And then, it was time for the field goal. From a much longer distance than the first one, and certainly longer than the extra point. Both missed. How is this one going to be different? Looks like we're going into overtime for the Monon Bell game. Given that this is the one game most folks from either side care about, this was major. Everybody where I was certainly hung on the result, even though Moe and Johnny's was at least an hour's drive (and several decades in alumni time, based on the wrinkles I saw) from the game.
So the Tigers send in the kicker. But not the same kicker. It's somebody who's never kicked a college field goal before. Never even TRIED before. This is his first shot. To win the game. The Monon Bell game. No pressure or anything, but you're not welcome back on campus if you miss.
So he makes hit. Time runs out, and the Bell stays in Greencastle. The stands empty onto the field, sunlight breaks through the clouds, flowers bloom on the campus grounds, and world peace seems achievable. Except between DePauw and Wabash. 'Cause this all happens again next year.
Glad I didn't make that initial blog post. Instead, I texted a Wabash friend of mine with "See what DePauw did there? That was cool!"
He replied "Never kicked before. . .ever."
"Your face is a secret weapon."