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Classic Matchup

January 27, 2007

"Conquistador there is no time
I must pay my respect
And though I came to jeer at you
I leave now with regret"
-Procol Harem "Conquistador"

Last night I was listing to Sirius Radio's 70s music station (Channel 7) and heard the song "Conquistador" by Procol Harem. This is a song I heard many years ago and loved, but I did not know the title or artist of it. Conquistador fell into the category that a few songs are in for me that I know and love... but which I have not been able to hunt down. Thanks to the internet, in recent years the songs in that category have greatly diminished, and now another one is off the list.

The only problem: I can't get the tune out of my head, even though I downloaded it and have listened to it 5-6 times since then. And to think that I once believed that Procol Harem was a one hit wonder with "Whiter Shade of Pale."

One week from tomorrow is Super Bowl XLI, Colts vs. Bears. Watching the AFC Championship game for me was a surreal experience; I was still reeling from the death of my grandmother the night before, and when Indianapolis fell behind 21-3, I feared that all was over. Naturally, Dustin picked that moment to send me this text message:

...Atleast Marino made it 2 the super bowl.

I responded with a vulgarity. The last thing I needed at that point was to get my balls busted over it. I could have responded with a dig at Jake Plummer's mustache, or questioned if the Broncos used HGH widespread in the late 90s when they won two Super Bowls, but short and vulgar worked for that situation.

Reche Caldwell
Reche Caldwell looked like a young man at his first strip club in the AFC Title game.

However, down 21-3, the Colts mounted a comeback to tie the game in the third quarter, then competed in a thrilling back-and-forth fourth quarter battle that culminated in a go-ahead touchdown with a minute to play (despite Peyton Manning playing with an injured thumb) that proved to be the difference in the game. The Ghosts of Playoff Past were slayed in one felt swoop: the AFC Title game losses, the Patriots mystique, Bill Simmons, Tom Brady, and King Asshole himself, Bill Belichick.

The great showdown that awaits in the Super Bowl is a perfect setup for my brother Matt and I. Around 1987 I started watching the NFL closely, which happened to be a good year for the Indianapolis Colts. I started cheering for them; Matt ended up jumping on the Bears side, with the buzz of Chicago's 1985 Super Bowl championship proving to be a far-reaching influence. In childhood rivalry ways, we argued back and forth about which team was better.

How intense was it? When the Smart Kid From Overton who lived down the street was selling plastic cups with NFL team logos on them for a fundraiser, we were an easy sell... all that had to be determined was which team to choose. We had no middle ground, and neither side was giving in on it. Ultimately Matt and I convinced/nagged our parents to buy TWO sets of cups: Colts and Bears. For what it's worth, I have most of those Colts cups now and still use them, 20 years later, and I think Matt has most of the Bears cups.

I remember being at Grandmama and Granddaddy Blaylock's house in Harriman, TN on November 5, 1989 when a controversial finish to the Bears/Packers game made Matt (then 8 years old) curse. Unfortunately for him, my Mom heard, and she literally washed his mouth out with soap. No kidding.

So, with that in mind, I hope the Colts beat the shit out of the Bears next week.

In more recent times, the Houston Oilers moved to Nashville and became the Tennessee Titans, giving my whole family one team for which to cheer. But in this Super Bowl battle, we're going old school with it.

On Friday, Velvet is coming down from Huntington to visit me. I spent New Year's weekend up there with her, which was very fun. I can't wait to see her again. She knows that I might act irrational during the Super Bowl, but she explained that she has a high tolerance for football fanaticism. We'll see.

In the interim, I really need to clean up my apartment. The pilot has been circling the runway on my move to Nashville for several months now, and we're to the point where packing is becoming a good idea. Despite my efforts against it, I still have a great deal of my stuff in boxes, albeit with room to store it here since my apartment is huge.

I need to find the digital camera that disappeared when Melissa '05 decided to reorganize my apartment when I was at work during her visit here last year. I don't think she stole it, but it was put away somewhere... but where? I'd like to sell off the backlog of magazines that I have saved for awhile, old Playboys and Maxims and FHMs, including the British version that I had for awhile, and a digital camera would aid in that effort. I might keep the one that had the topless shot of Sheryl Crow in it, though. You know, for historical purposes, of course.

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