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Spicoli
03-04-2005, 02:36 PM
An interesting parallel here. I think this might be fun to come up with some of our own examples for any sports team or even Pacer parallels to musicians. You'll know what I mean after you read this...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/050303

Who is the U2 of Sports

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Editor's note: This column appears in the March 14 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Ever play the musician/athlete game? You just pick a band or singer and then decide which sports star they'd be. For instance, Springsteen is Larry Bird, the workingman's hero. Guns N' Roses are Doc Gooden, the prodigy who flamed out too fast. The Stones are Ali, the greatest until they hung around too long. The Police are John McEnroe -- gifted, tortured, ultimately unable to keep it together.

You can easily kill an eight-hour car ride this way ... as long as you keep U2 out of it. Trying to find a match for that band will make you crazy. Kareem and Roger Clemens had similar longevity, but nobody liked them. Ditto for Barry Bonds, although Bonds' head and Bono's both have grown exponentially over the years. Nolan Ryan was breathtaking in moments, but never transcendent. Gretzky and MJ didn't dominate long enough. The closest comparison? Jack Nicklaus. Big splash in the '60s, superduperstar in the '70s, stunning revival in the '80s -- it's a similar arc, right down to the success of "Vertigo" and the 1986 Masters. But can you compare U2 to a golfer? Of course not.

In rock and in sports U2 has no equal.

Here's the point: bands just don't do what U2 have done. They don't stay together for 26 years without even a token separation (or 20). They don't continue to pump out quality albums and concert tours (sorry, I don't count the Dead, who haven't been nearly as popular). And they don't resonate with three different generations.

There hasn't been nearly enough made of these guys. Unlike what we do with our sports heroes, few of us consider the overall body of work of musicians. It always comes down to what they did most recently, or who died at the optimal time, or whose music aged best. Fact is, there is no black-and-white way to judge them. How can you prove Jimmy Page was a better guitar player than Eric Clapton? Instead of statistics and awards, we rely on emotions and memories, on what a particular band meant to us. It leads to some deceiving outcomes -- like how everyone forgets that, when Kurt Cobain killed himself, Nirvana had been eclipsed by Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins. Had he lived, there's a 90 percent chance Cobain and Courtney Love would be starring in a reality show on VH-1 right now. You just never know. That's why people rarely argue about music ... well, unless they're stoned.

With sports, there is nothing to do but argue about this stuff. If music were sports, Kornheiser and Wilbon would be fighting to the death over "Who's better: Franz Ferdinand or The Killers?" But we don't approach music this way, and so U2 never get their due. Take everything you ever read or heard about MJ, then double it -- that's what we'd have if U2 had played ball. What would their rookie card be worth? How many covers would they have graced? What formula would Rob Neyer have concocted to legitimize their run?

Maybe I'm biased. Some people have photo albums; I have U2. When I listened to them as a kid they were belting out angry diatribes about growing up in Ireland, so who could have imagined they'd provide a soundtrack for my life? There was "The Unforgettable Fire" for my moody years, and "The Joshua Tree" for when I began to put it all together. When "Rattle and Hum" came out, I was also taking myself a little too seriously. "Achtung Baby"? We were both running on all cylinders. "Zooropa" and "Pop"? We were both figuring out where to go next. We finally crossed paths with "All That You Can't Leave Behind." I was covering my first Super Bowl and U2 was singing at halftime of the eventual Pats upset, and yes, it was a "Beautiful Day." With their most recent, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," I'm in a good place, and so are they. They're E.T. to my Elliott.

Throw in the unintentional comedy and general weirdness -- how Bono doesn't age (much like David Robinson); how you can't call "The Edge" just "Edge"; every delightfully absurd minute of the Rattle and Hum documentary (my favorites: The Edge's extended mullet, the Graceland trip and every conversation between Bono and B.B. King); Bono's pompous concert speeches; even Adam Carolla's idea that we should deport Bono so he can annoy Ireland instead of us -- and there has never been another band like this. At the recent Grammys, they were still as strong on stage as anyone else, even though I'm pretty sure The Edge died about three years ago and they're just propping him up. Against all odds, they keep plugging away.

They have no peers in the business, and no sports equivalent. So if you ever play the musician/athlete game, save some time -- skip U2 and go right to a band like Van Halen. (They were Sugar Ray Leonard, but that's a whole other story.)

Los Angeles
03-04-2005, 03:17 PM
04/05 Pacers = Sex Pistols

Doug
03-04-2005, 03:20 PM
04/05 Pacers = Sex Pistols

04/05 Pacers = Spinal Tap

Los Angeles
03-04-2005, 03:20 PM
80's Lakers/Celtics = Beatles/Stones

Los Angeles
03-04-2005, 03:21 PM
04/05 Pacers = Spinal Tap
:D

This one goes to 11.

11th man.

indypacerfan54
03-04-2005, 03:45 PM
U2 is a mediocre band that has lasted 20 years. Simmons is right i cant think of another team that has done that. U2 is like madonna, cher, tina turner. they appeal to adults that have pretty common taste in music.

To put U2 in perspective, they had 2 major hits that were neither groundbraking or very influential. If the pacers were a band they would be U2. Sure they had 2 truly great seasons 60+ wins and a trip to the finals but they havent won the title either.

To compare U2 to being better than nirvana or smashing pumpkis "ie bands that had and still are having an immediate impact" is just innane. when was the last time you heard an up and coming band say U2 was a major influence?

U2=good band not in the same breath as beatles stones

Pacers = good team not in same breath as bulls lakers

Stryder
03-04-2005, 03:48 PM
U2 is a mediocre band that has lasted 20 years. Simmons is right i cant think of another team that has done that. U2 is like madonna, cher, tina turner. they appeal to adults that have pretty common taste in music.

To put U2 in perspective, they had 2 major hits that were neither groundbraking or very influential. If the pacers were a band they would be U2. Sure they had 2 truly great seasons 60+ wins and a trip to the finals but they havent won the title either.

To compare U2 to being better than nirvana or smashing pumpkis "ie bands that had and still are having an immediate impact" is just innane. when was the last time you heard an up and coming band say U2 was a major influence?

U2=good band not in the same breath as beatles stones

Pacers = good team not in same breath as bulls lakers

Someone needs to make some Zeppelin or Sabbath references.

ChicagoJ
03-04-2005, 03:53 PM
It cracks me up that Simmons picked U2 as his band of choice here...

Obvioulsy, opinions of U2 are going to vary widely. They seem to be a very "polarizing" band, you either love them or despise them. No middle ground. And y'all know which camp I belong to, so I don't have much else to add.

DisplacedKnick
03-04-2005, 03:58 PM
U2 is an OK band but his considering them to be the best of the last 26 years is somewhat revolting. What's next - is he gonna say that Britney Spears has talent?

waxman
03-04-2005, 04:33 PM
An interesting parallel here. I think this might be fun to come up with some of our own examples for any sports team or even Pacer parallels to musicians. You'll know what I mean after you read this...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/050303

Who is the U2 of Sports

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Editor's note: This column appears in the March 14 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

Ever play the musician/athlete game? You just pick a band or singer and then decide which sports star they'd be. For instance, Springsteen is Larry Bird, the workingman's hero. Guns N' Roses are Doc Gooden, the prodigy who flamed out too fast. The Stones are Ali, the greatest until they hung around too long. The Police are John McEnroe -- gifted, tortured, ultimately unable to keep it together.

You can easily kill an eight-hour car ride this way ... as long as you keep U2 out of it. Trying to find a match for that band will make you crazy. Kareem and Roger Clemens had similar longevity, but nobody liked them. Ditto for Barry Bonds, although Bonds' head and Bono's both have grown exponentially over the years. Nolan Ryan was breathtaking in moments, but never transcendent. Gretzky and MJ didn't dominate long enough. The closest comparison? Jack Nicklaus. Big splash in the '60s, superduperstar in the '70s, stunning revival in the '80s -- it's a similar arc, right down to the success of "Vertigo" and the 1986 Masters. But can you compare U2 to a golfer? Of course not.

In rock and in sports U2 has no equal.

Here's the point: bands just don't do what U2 have done. They don't stay together for 26 years without even a token separation (or 20). They don't continue to pump out quality albums and concert tours (sorry, I don't count the Dead, who haven't been nearly as popular). And they don't resonate with three different generations.

There hasn't been nearly enough made of these guys. Unlike what we do with our sports heroes, few of us consider the overall body of work of musicians. It always comes down to what they did most recently, or who died at the optimal time, or whose music aged best. Fact is, there is no black-and-white way to judge them. How can you prove Jimmy Page was a better guitar player than Eric Clapton? Instead of statistics and awards, we rely on emotions and memories, on what a particular band meant to us. It leads to some deceiving outcomes -- like how everyone forgets that, when Kurt Cobain killed himself, Nirvana had been eclipsed by Pearl Jam and the Smashing Pumpkins. Had he lived, there's a 90 percent chance Cobain and Courtney Love would be starring in a reality show on VH-1 right now. You just never know. That's why people rarely argue about music ... well, unless they're stoned.

With sports, there is nothing to do but argue about this stuff. If music were sports, Kornheiser and Wilbon would be fighting to the death over "Who's better: Franz Ferdinand or The Killers?" But we don't approach music this way, and so U2 never get their due. Take everything you ever read or heard about MJ, then double it -- that's what we'd have if U2 had played ball. What would their rookie card be worth? How many covers would they have graced? What formula would Rob Neyer have concocted to legitimize their run?

Maybe I'm biased. Some people have photo albums; I have U2. When I listened to them as a kid they were belting out angry diatribes about growing up in Ireland, so who could have imagined they'd provide a soundtrack for my life? There was "The Unforgettable Fire" for my moody years, and "The Joshua Tree" for when I began to put it all together. When "Rattle and Hum" came out, I was also taking myself a little too seriously. "Achtung Baby"? We were both running on all cylinders. "Zooropa" and "Pop"? We were both figuring out where to go next. We finally crossed paths with "All That You Can't Leave Behind." I was covering my first Super Bowl and U2 was singing at halftime of the eventual Pats upset, and yes, it was a "Beautiful Day." With their most recent, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb," I'm in a good place, and so are they. They're E.T. to my Elliott.

Throw in the unintentional comedy and general weirdness -- how Bono doesn't age (much like David Robinson); how you can't call "The Edge" just "Edge"; every delightfully absurd minute of the Rattle and Hum documentary (my favorites: The Edge's extended mullet, the Graceland trip and every conversation between Bono and B.B. King); Bono's pompous concert speeches; even Adam Carolla's idea that we should deport Bono so he can annoy Ireland instead of us -- and there has never been another band like this. At the recent Grammys, they were still as strong on stage as anyone else, even though I'm pretty sure The Edge died about three years ago and they're just propping him up. Against all odds, they keep plugging away.

They have no peers in the business, and no sports equivalent. So if you ever play the musician/athlete game, save some time -- skip U2 and go right to a band like Van Halen. (They were Sugar Ray Leonard, but that's a whole other story.)


Nice man...

The Edge is the reason I picked up a guitar almost 20 years ago.... Sunday Bloody Sunday (the live version from "under a blood red sky") was stuck in my head until I learned to play it. They most Definately are the band I grew up with.... But through all these years I've never actually seen them live.... there has always....always been a conflict of some sort. I thought it was some horrible joke God played on me....kinda like this Pacers season.

But there should be a happy ending here....after 20 years of waiting, my wife and I will be attending the U2 show here in PHoenix on April 14th... it was $300+ well spent.... So now I'm crossing my fingers and praying that nothing will happen between now and when the curtain drops, that prevents me from finally seeing U2 live.


Sorry for the poor puctuation, grammer, spelling and such.:-p

Natston
03-04-2005, 04:42 PM
Sorry for the poor puctuation, grammer, spelling and such.:-p

I don't care about those things, just don't quote the whole article next time...

waxman
03-04-2005, 05:17 PM
U2 is a mediocre band that has lasted 20 years. Simmons is right i cant think of another team that has done that. U2 is like madonna, cher, tina turner. they appeal to adults that have pretty common taste in music.

To put U2 in perspective, they had 2 major hits that were neither groundbraking or very influential. If the pacers were a band they would be U2. Sure they had 2 truly great seasons 60+ wins and a trip to the finals but they havent won the title either.

To compare U2 to being better than nirvana or smashing pumpkis "ie bands that had and still are having an immediate impact" is just innane. when was the last time you heard an up and coming band say U2 was a major influence?

U2=good band not in the same breath as beatles stones


Pacers = good team not in same breath as bulls lakers

2 hits... are you serious?.... what do you consider a major hit?

outside of U2 in the mid-late eigthies early 90's most main stream music was complete crap... The Seattle/Sub Pop/Grundge whatever you wanna call it scene was the next respectable thing that got main stream play....

U2 was college Rock/alternative/indie rock b4 indie rock was coined....in fact you can say that U2, along with a choice few other bands in the 80's, kept the door to respectable main stream music cracked open for the Likes of Nirvana/SmashingPumkins/Alice in Chains/Pearl Jams to eventually go smashing through. Call U2 what you want... but to compare them to Brittney Spears/ or Cher is just ignorant... Yeah U2 layed a pile crap with POP for the most part and had a couple of Adult contemporary sounding hits on "All that you can't leave behind"... I think they're earned the right lay a couple turds.

Nirvana certainly spawned more sound alike garage garbage... thats because any hack thought they could pick up a guitar and write a 4 power chord Teen Spirit.

Here in Phoenix U2 gets airplay right in-between Nirvana/Pumpkins/Chili Peppers/Pearl Jam/Franz Ferdinand/Interpol/Louie the 14th on our local indie Rock station and for good reason.

ChicagoJ
03-04-2005, 05:29 PM
http://www.pacersdigest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9289

Haven't we already tried this?

Kegboy
03-04-2005, 09:24 PM
U2 is an OK band but his considering them to be the best of the last 26 years is somewhat revolting. What's next - is he gonna say that Britney Spears has talent?

Agreed.

abington
03-04-2005, 11:00 PM
Red Hill Mining Town was a helluva song.

3ptmiller
03-04-2005, 11:03 PM
Who is Tupac? :D