Friday, February 19, 2016

Mike Bisping, Drug Crusader...Let It Go...

It was no secret to me that a lot of athletes in the UFC used PEDs, or did other things to increase performance.  I was told after I was no longer allowed to produce for the UFC that the "main reason" I was let go was my "involvement" in the "St-Pierre greasing allegations."

Yes, I WATCHED Georges St-Pierre put grease on his body.  In fact, we filmed it.  And I only knew what to look for because after Nick Diaz fought Diego Sanchez he came into the locker room screaming, "That MOTHERFUCKER WAS GREASED UP!  I COULDN'T HOLD ONTO HIM!"

Watch the fight.

Until that moment, I never heard of being "greased up."  It was only later on when I spoke with former UFC fighter Ricco Rodriguez when he said, "We used to soak ourselves in bathtubs filled with Vaseline the day of the fight so it would sink in."   That's when I knew what to look for.

I saw other things as well.  IVs in guys hotel rooms, needles, hydration tubes, empty blood vials, plus I heard many convos between dirty guys telling clean guys they should "get with the program."  On and on and on.  You'd be stunned to hear who cheated, just as I was every time I found out.  There came a point when I ceased being surprised because so many guys were doing something.

I was no fan of any of it.  Former UFC fighter Kenny Florian and I used to talk about how disgusting it was that so many guys cheated.  He though it was deplorable, and he wasn't alone.  Apparently Mike Bisping agrees.

Except when it comes to Bisping his current act of calling nearly everyone he fights a "cheater" is becoming stale.

Bisping positions himself as one of the clean guys in a world largely filled with cheaters, and I believe he unquestionably is.  However, he is choosing to fight these supposed "cheaters", and it seems he does so solely to position himself as the guy who is above it.  However, if he loses to them?  Well, they're the cheaters!

I'm of the opinion that Anderson Silva took some type of PED either knowingly or naively, but only after his leg snapped in half.  It's fair to call him a "cheater", but it seems to me Bisping is trying to paint his career as one fraught with question marks.  I don't believe that to be the case, and most others don't as well.

Yet as Bisping tells it, Silva's no different from any fighter that ever cut a corner.  They're all the same to him.  Speeding is the same as larceny is the same as murder.  On some level, I get it, but on another level, I think it's bullshit.

If I ran the UFC, and not only scheduled Bisping to fight for the company, but also employed him as a broadcaster, I would not be very happy if he was consistently bring up the steroid issue every chance he gets.  Can you imagine if players in the NFL called out every guy who received a suspension over substance abuse?  It would be absurd, and what Bisping does is no different.

Not for a second do I believe Bisping's doing this because he's intent on cleaning up the sport, for he knows it will never be clean (many reasons).  He's only acting this way in order to garner more attention for the fight, and make himself more money.  But at the expense of the entire sport.

The UFC cannot be happy with their new anti-doping Crusader.

Of course, Silva will do his best to shut Bisping up. Except once that happens Bisping will merely chalk it up to having "lost to a cheater..."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Don't Care or Listen to Local "News" Radio...

...but sometimes I just have to weigh in, having spent time working there.

Nikki Medoro and Bret Burkhart are news anchors with KGO 810 Radio in San Francisco.  I like both these people a lot, and think they do a good job.

Since we're friendly, I follow them on Twitter.  Both of them just alerted me to "tune in to the @GOPTownHall" live on KGO.

I asked @NikkiMedoro if someone was pointing a loaded gun at her, essentially forcing her to "tweet out" this information.  Because in truth, who the hell really gives a crap that the debate will be broadcast on KGO?  But even more to the point, why in the world would KGO be broadcasting the debate in the first place?

For all I know KGO broadcasts all of the debates, and why wouldn't they, right?  They're a "news station", right?

Well, that's where rubber meets road.

KGO certainly fashions themselves as that (when it suits them), but recently decided to slice all of their weekend news coverage in lieu of "Health and Wellness" canned programming, vitamins, I'm assuming auto, finance, Michael Finney (good show), cooking, etc.  I guess I could check the website (checking now - apparently they're giving away tickets for Rascal Flatts - we'll return to this) to find out what's going on.

Bottom line, there's a really good chance that had Justice Scalia died in 2-3 weeks, this "news station" would have had no one to report his death.

News station.

But tonight they're broadcasting the debate, so again, I ask, to what end?  What is the point?

If the debate lasts more than an hour it will cut into a show called "Drex."  This show was put into place by now deceased program director Kevin Metheny, who desired a show that covered topics only a person named "Drex" would actually cover.  "News" probably wasn't one of those topics.  Yet the debate runs through the "The KGO Afternoon News", which mostly covers local news, with a sprinkling of national (if memory serves), and into "Drex."

What person is listening to KGO radio news who doesn't have another way to hear/watch tonight's debate, if they're so interested?  Which of these people isn't watching the debate on television, if they actually even care?

There's a conservative station inside the same building (KSFO), run by the same people, whose audience probably actually does give a shit about tonight's debate on CNN.  They're generally an older white male audience.  But KGO's audience (assuming they have an audience)?  Do they care?  And what is their audience?  Right now they have 3 talk shows from 9 AM to 10 PM with a news show in the middle.  Those shows are seemingly liberal leaning, or if "Drex" is an indication, non-political.

So again, why is the debate on KGO radio?  What is the actual purpose?  What audience is the station trying to capture?  Who is the audience?

Oh, wait, it just occurred to me.  How I forget.  Seriously, I just remembered this...Before KGO's parent company was taken over by new management, the previous managers moved their national news service away from ABC Radio over to CNN.  As a listener you wouldn't know this because they allow local stations to brand the news as their own, but it's from Atlanta and Texas, not the Bay Area.  Maybe there's a deal with CNN which forces them to carry a debate like this?  And maybe in turn their news anchors have to "tweet out?"

I have no idea.

But for the life of me I cannot imagine why a station runs a conservative debate on their "moderate to liberal" station in the most progressive market in America when in fact the shows it currently airs try their best to be apolitical.

I guess I could have summed it all up with just that.

As for Rascal Flatts?  Pretty good indication of what type of audience KGO has.

And to think, AM radio is dying?  No shit.

Incredible programming decisions on KGO.  A real sense of direction...down.

*It's not a "debate" - it's a "Town Hall"
**I'm now watching on CNN.  Thanks, KGO!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Judging Cam Newton

It's 3 days since the Superbowl, and people are still discussing Cam Newton's behavior both on and off the football field.  And the discussion is not being confined to just the Superbowl, but it is seemingly spreading out to every single snap of the football this man has ever taken.  It seems people are now prepared to breakdown his entire career because of how he handled a single moment when he wasn't playing.

Lets cut  to the chase.  Cam Newton is being judged for representing a culture a lot of socially conservative people have a problem with, and that's really the whole of it.

Why is this happening?  I think the answer is obvious, but a lot of people either don't want to say it, or can't put it into words: Many Americans struggle with the way black people express themselves because in many ways it's meant to be a refutation of the way white people do.  Black expression has often come about at the expense of white expression, and for mainstream culture to acknowledge, and/or accept it, would force more conservative people to recognize often negative societal differences they've helped exacerbate.

Newton, like Allen Iverson (and others) before him, is a refutation of what white people have deemed to be "correct" and "acceptable."  Yet who is another person to judge a man when you've never walked in his shoes?  Iverson was told to wear a suit and tie because that represented what the NBA believed the audience viewed as "professional."  But when Iverson walked to grade school in the morning do you think his neighbors were grabbing the attache case and tucking a handkerchief into their lapel just before racing out the door to the office?    

Not likely.  

Iverson's experience was different, and he came to represent it as he saw fit.  He wore it on his sleeve; tattooed into his skin.  Newton has his own way of representing the person he is; the life he has lived.  

Yet the thing with Newton which makes him different from the stereotypical portrayal of a brash black athlete is he doesn't get himself into trouble, so the "trouble" has to be manufactured to fit the stereotype.  Yes, yes, he had issues in college, but as a professional football player the person he was then is a far cry from who he is today.

In order to find fault with the man you have to dig for it, maybe all the way back to his recruitment days.  Do we do this type of digging when it comes to other similarly popular white athletes?  I mean, how quickly was Peyton Manning's HGH accusation cast aside?  There was almost a collective movement within the media NOT to dig for more.  What if this were Newton?  Would it be a non-story?  Or would it have been the ONLY story before the Superbowl?  Would the NFL have announced an investigation into the story itself with the sole purpose of burying it?  

I've heard people mention Johnny Manziel as a counter-argument for how "white people are also treated."  Manziel is an alcoholic who quite possibly hits women.  Is that really the counter argument?

I guess we'll never know the answers to these questions.  Or, maybe we know everything we need to, and just won't say it.

The mainstream media may be liberal in their politics, but when it comes to sports and the way we assess athletes?  It's anything but.  

Lost in all of this is how we expect Newton to act after the worst loss of his career.  Because he's a "showboat" on the field, the expectation is he has to be equally expressive and available in defeat.  Why is that?  It's entertainment.  Who wants to entertain when they lose?  Is it somehow deemed classy and more acceptable that the winning quarterback is trying to dishonestly sell us a product he would likely never touch than it is for a guy to wear his emotions on his sleeve?  We'll accept the fake sales pitch over the real expression?  The guy who can't stop selling us shit on television every second of his life can't give us one moment of true expression?  Nope.  Forever the American pitchman.  

Sorry.  I'll take the guy walking of the podium every time.

Part of me seems to think if the roles were reversed, and Manning walked off the stage without speaking to reporters while Cam Newton was telling us he was about to polish off some Old English, the spotlight would still be in the same place.  


Let it be known I possess no "white guilt", a phrase often bandied about by closet racists.  I've done nothing wrong to feel any sense of guilt, nor am I surrounded by people who have.  What I sometimes may have is "white embarrassment", an emotion I'm sure people of other races often feel about their own as well.  An emotion which comes about because others may judge me because of the foolish actions taken by people who look similar to me.

I'm able to view the world through an honest lens, not scared to point out the realities of our world even if it results in someone else judging me.  

Like Newton, I'm comfortable in my own skin. 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Trade the Kings Missed - Karl Not the Problem

Before writing this I would just like to congratulate Kings Coach George Karl for collecting a few extra million before his retirement, regardless of how this plays out.

Well done, sir.

Now here goes...

Every so often I get energized to write something about the NBA, and today is that day.

About a year ago I was in talks with CBS Sports KHTK-AM in Sacramento about working at the station, so I became much more engaged in the circus that is the Sacramento Kings.  To be honest, I truly enjoy watching the Kings, and noticed many opportunities for the team to get better quickly.  Unfortunately, none of them were capitalized on, and now once again they find themselves trying to climb out of this never-ending hole.

Lets begin with my initial assessment and proposed solution, which I emailed to Kings Owner Vivek Ranadive before last year’s NBA Draft.  

Demarcus Cousins is the problem, period.  Get rid of him.

There’s no doubt in my mind Cousins is one of the 15 most talented players in the NBA, maybe even higher.  But there’s also no doubt that his countless double-doubles don’t result in victories for the team.  Think back to other great NBA centers, be it Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, or Patrick Ewing.  If any of these players were on the Kings do you think they would be as bad as they have been all these years?  

No chance.

So what exactly is the problem?

It’s simple: Cousins does not understand the game of basketball.  He knows how to score, he knows how to rebound, and he can even block some shots.  But he has no idea how to make the players around him better, unlike, say, Tim Duncan.  Whether it's with his on the court play, or off-court demeanor, Cousins is a negative hole.

See, Cousins exists in the era of “me” basketball, trained in his youth by the AAU system, and grabbing the NBA cash as soon as it was available.  Those types of players rarely make others better.  On top of this, Cousins has never been known to rally other players around him, and/or lead by example.  You could say he has done the exact opposite throughout his professional career.

This was the gist of my email to Ranadive (he didn’t reply).  

The solution I offered was to trade Cousins to the Orlando Magic for Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and last year’s draft pick (which ended up being Mario Hezonja).  

My gut tells me the Magic, always enthralled with talented big men (O’Neal and Dwight Howard), take the trade.

This would have left the Kings with a European born center, Gordon from San Jose, and two draft picks, which could have been Hezonja and PG Emmanuel Mudiay.

Right there the entire core of the team would have changed, but even more to the point, it would have been a team Sacramento fans would have recognized.  Like Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic before them, Vucevic and Hezonja could have played similar roles.  Now I know you’re thinking, “This guy is a moron...what a dumb comparison…”  Well, I may be a moron, but the reason for the trade makes even more sense when you think about the types of players who actually want to be in Sacramento.

The types that tend to shun a city like Sac are showboats; guys who want to be in LA, Vegas, or NYC.  The types that do?  Maybe a quieter local guy like Gordon who seems to be intelligent on/off the court, and European born players who are just happy to be successful here in the United States.  European born players rarely gives owners and General Managers a hard time about being in a “smaller market.”

Obviously this trade never happened, nor was it even considered.  Apparently GM Divac and Ranadive thought they could turn the ship around with hard-driving Coach George Karl.

So now I ask: how’s that working out for you?

Rumors continue to swirl about Karl being fired, but letting him go is no solution.

Karl is the least of the team's problems. He's only the problem if the players you currently have on the roster are the ones you plan to keep.  

Truth be told, every coach is going to be the problem with this current cast of players, unless Kentucky’s John Calipari is somehow convinced this is the job for him.  Short of Calipari, who might not even be able to fix this, the problem will remain. 

The opportunity to make the trade I suggested has been missed, but the team should consider cutting their losses before the hole sinks deeper.

Trade Cousins, get new pieces, and move forward.  For as long as he’s the focal point of the Kings franchise this team will continue to be a non-factor in the NBA.

Finally, I ask you this.  Which team would you have preferred to root for:

C - Demarcus Cousins
PF - Willie Cauley-Stein
SF - Rudy Gay
SG - Ben Mclemore
PG - Rajon Rondo


C - Nikola Vucevic
PF - Aaron Gordon
SF - Rudy Gay
SG - Mario Hezonja 
PG - Emmanuel Muddiay

I’ll give you a hint: one lineup would have a bright future in Sacramento. One lineup would be happy playing in Sacramento.

Maybe the GM should fire himself.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Superbowl 50 Run-Up: Pretty Whorrible

Alternative Title: The Week San Francisco Became Los Angeles

I'm acutely aware there are countless people who would have loved to stand in my shoes Saturday as I toured the NFL's numerous San Francisco private parties.  The Media, the glitz, the stars, the free booze, the swag, the private entrances, all of it made to look so beautiful; to make everyone involved feel like they're part of something big.  And have no doubt, it's pretty fucking big.

But you know what it also is?

It's pretty fucking awful.  All of it.

Lets start with the whores.

There were just so many it's hard to pick a specific starting point.  Being that it's the Bay Area, I'll begin with Bob Weir (Grateful Dead). As I entered the massive Fort Mason Pier I immediately took notice of the massive digital screens displaying tie-dyed imagery.  They were hard to miss.  Then I took notice of all the people scurrying about below the screens and thought to myself, "Does anyone here even know who Bob Weir is?"

The answer?  Yes.  About 40 of us.

After a buddy grabbed me a Trumer Pils, I made my way up to the front row.  It was about as difficult to arrive there as it would be to get to the bottom of a water slide.  None of my friends came with me, but I found a couple of like-minded fans who were listening to the music.  Bobby looked quite whorrible.  But even worse was his performance.

He opened up with "Hell in a Bucket", which I found to be quite humorous, as I'm sure he did too.  When he took the check for this event, he had to know hell was officially his resting place.

My laughter from ithe rony of the song selection quickly faded and turned to near-tears.  His singing and playing were so bland it made sense that no one in the crowd gave a shit he was on the stage, or that he wasn't the guy tuning the instruments for the real band.

For a brief moment I started to sing along with Bobby to show some others that I was cool enough to know the words, but also that maybe Bob would see me for a brief moment and think 'thank God someone knows who I am.  But then quickly embarrassment befell me as I realized that admitting I know these lyrics to what this dude is attempting to sing is actually quite sad.  At this point, no one wanted to admit knowing that guy.  Slowly I started backing up.

I casually said to the guy next to me, himself dressed in the day's preferred outfit of designer jeans, button up short, no tie, sport coat, and sneaker-shoes which need cost at least $250, "I can't believe he's actually doing this.  So embarrassing."  I waited for approval.

"Yeah, but I guess $250,000 for 30 minutes is a good gig if you can get it."


"Who is he again?"


I looked all around me to see if anyone else had a similarly distressed look on their face to match my emotions, but in truth, most people were all smiles.  Especially Amber and Samantha from the Bachelor, who were dressed as if they came off the Bachelor in Paradise beach.  If I didn't know who they were I'd have thought, "Whores."  And I mean that in the truly professional sense - like actual prostitutes.  I mean, shit, there were hookers EVERYWHERE.  I'm convinced the NFL gave pimps a steep discount for event tickets because it was hard not to get eye-banged by a group of cake-faced girls recently up from San Diego trying the damnedest not to tip over forward.

Whores everywhere.

In the case of the "bachelorettes" I just thought, "Desperate."  But if you're going to be so, this was a perfect place to wear that look.

Before I made my way outside the venue to the patio area, I noticed a group of 4 girls push their way past the 3 dudes standing in the front row.  They positioned a phone perfectly in order take a selfie with Bobby playing over their shoulders.  The circle of whorribleness was moving toward completion.

Not more than 30 minutes later Bobby comes roaring past me with a guy holding his elbow.  Head down and determined not to mingle with the people who just ignored him for the better part of 30 minutes, there wasn't even a fist bump to the guy who said, "I loved the Other Ones documentary!"

As my friends and I commented on whether he would fall down if not being escorted, the gaggle of girls from the front row nearly fell out on to the patio right in front of us, giddy as can be.  I looked at them and said, "HEY!  Did you guys just see Jerry Garcia?!?"



"Yeah, that must have been awesome for you.  You look like you really love frozen yogurt."



(Giggles, laughters, oh-my-gods-all the way down the pier - "I TOLD YOU!")

Before heading back indoors I noticed tons of bottles, cups and assorted drinks left right along the railing of the pier, moments before they would end up being blown into the water.  No, no, this was not your parents' San Francisco, I assure you.  The people here expected the trash to be fished out of the bay for them.

I grabbed what I could and loaded stuff into a box, and then a moment a later a very intelligent woman said to me, "Are you really picking up trash?"

Then I stopped, and not because of her, but because, "Fuck this city" I thought.  "Fuck this whole place right now."

I went to the bar to grab one more Trumer Pils, handed the 50 year old-ish short gray-haired bartender a $50, and he said, "Thanks.  Appreciate it."  Then he began to walk away.

"Wait, what?"

"..."  He looked back.

"Hey, sir, uhh, can you come here?"

Walks over.

"Are the drinks comped?"

Smiling, "Yeah, of course."

"Oh, wow, I didn't know that.  You gotta give me that back."  Reached my hand out, but also didn't want to seem like a cheap douche in front of this guy next to me who was probably a left Tackle for the Chiefs back in '89.

Slightly surprised, the bartender was, but he forked it over.

I gave him a $5 bill.  Then wondered, "People are giving this dude fifties and it's not even a thing."

As I made one final pass through the room I noticed nearly everyone had purchased hats, beanies, sweatshirts, pants and tote bags.  Strange, I thought.  But then was told by my buddy Hafty, "It's all free, dude!"

You've never seen me move faster.  Full on whore mode.  Get while the gettin' is good!

"Hi, sir, what can I get for you," asked the skinny as a bean-stalk half-Asian girl with "WHEELS UP" cap on her head.

"Uhh, what can I have?"

"Anything you want," as she waved her hand at the display board.

3 sweatshirts, 3 hats, and a tote bag would do.  I would have went for more, but I just didn't.

A friend comes over to me and asks, "Dude, what are you going to do with all that shit?"

"I don't know.  I'll probably just give it to some homeless people when we get back to your hotel."

He nodded, "That's a good thought."

On the way out the door I see Tommy Lee, Chuck Liddell, Baron Davis, David Diehl, JJ Watt, Jim Plunkett, Alex Rodriguez and a number of really massive black dudes with diamond watches the size of sun dials.  Nearly all of them there to whore out some item, be it a Sharpie marker or just themselves (apologize in advance to the dude who was there for charity - and Chuck who is awesome and took a photo with my buddy).

We left the building only to see what looked to be a limo fleet larger than the one parked at the UN when the President appears.

Caught a Lyft.  Gave the guy some swag.

Upon arriving at the St Francis Westin in Union Square, I was immediately overwhelmed by a perfume scent that can only be described as "Stripper."  If you've spent time in Vegas, you know the smell.

My buddy runs into Mark Cuban, who he somewhat knows.  When he gets back over to check-in where I'm awaiting on another friend he tells me of this.  I said, "Go get me a ticket for tonight's concert, dude.!

He went back, but Mark was gone.  I called another friend who said he had 2 for me, "VIP."  Ooooooh...more free shit!

My one friend bails and the other heads up to shower.  I grab my tote bag of swag and head over to the Park Central to get the two passes.  As I walk through the city, down Geary and over to Kearny, I start looking around for people I can give some of this gear to.  I've been here hundreds of times, and of course, there's always someone.  Every night after my wife used to leave work at the restaurant she would bring food to people right in this area, so it was a good place to start.

But not on this day.  Nope.  On this day the city would be scrubbed clean of anyone who didn't have a place to sleep.  And the city made sure on the days leading up to "the BIG GAME", the few places they did have would not be available to them.  "Where did they all go," I started to wonder.  Then Rudy Giuliani's ugly mug popped into my head.

I then changed course and walked up Market St for a bit in the hopes of finding SOMEONE to give some warm Superbowl-related swag to.  I mean, if you're going to find some homeless people in San Francisco, Market St is the spot, right?  At least I thought that would be the case.  Nope.  Not-a-one.  Anywhere.

In the back of my mind I started envisioning some city employees blasting fire hoses at homeless encampments.  And while that did not happen (as far as I know), I couldn't help to think the drama was probably the same for those people the city removed.

'Greg Gopman would be proud of his city today.'

I meet my friend, who works for an entertainment company.  He's in full work mode, as orders are coming in for tickets and passes.  "This guy wants to know what eight thousand will get him?"

"Tell him to hold."

I stood there trying not to bother anyone in this boiler room.  My buddy looks up, "Whoa!  When did you get here?"

I smiled, and reached out my hand, "Your busy. We'll talk later."

He said, "Yeah.  Crazy.  These are VIP."

"You're the man.  Thanks."

Took a dump.

On my way back to the St Francis I saw a slightly-crazed looking guy wondering Geary with a drill in his hand.  While slightly intimidated by this dude, he seemed like a good target for some gear.  I stopped him and asked, "Hey, you want some of this free Superbowl stuff?"

"Sorry, man, I'm working."   He bolted to the other side.

I turned and noticed he was actually piecing together some NFL SB50 banner which had apparently been torn down, or never went up.  I assumed this late in the game, "torn down."

Eventually the swag ended up in my buddy's room.  Where it is now I can't be sure.  Hopefully Maria gave it to her kids.

Back in the hotel lobby I was almost stunned by the number of hookers floating around the place.  I couldn't imagine what the bar at the Clift Hotel looked like, since that place is teeming with whores on a random Tuesday.

Met up with my friends at the bar, had some drinks, and then headed off to Cuban's AXS TV / DirecTV party, featuring RUN DMC, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Doggy Dawwwwwg oh awwwg bow wow...

But while en route we decided to "OMAHA!  OMAHA!" and meet some friends who were meeting clients at Alexander's Steakhouse in SOMA.  Nice place.

After chatting up some nice folks, tossing back a glass of wine someone handed me, we were told our table was reserved for another group, and we had to leave it.

And by "group" I mean 2 pimps and 8 high end prostitutes.  Yep.  No lie.

A guy I just met decided to walk over to them and engage in some comedic conversations.  Within 20 seconds one of the pimps was actually eye-raping his soul, and told him to get lost.  So he did.

Back with us he said, "Man, that's pretty much a table of hookers."

"It sure is."

Onward we went...

In the car I noticed all of this meter lanes closed off everywhere.  The city made sure that the NFL employees, players and media had their own lanes to travel everywhere quickly.  Was good thinking, but it caused traffic for nearly everyone else.

Realizing we hadn't actually eaten, we "OMAHA" again, and hit up La Corneta for some tacos.  Scarfing down as much food as possible among people who would have jumped all over the swag I wish I brought with me, we listened to a mariachi band.

15 minutes later a buddy picks us up, as I gave him my extra pass.

The city made available an old ass warehouse in the Dog Patch section, which probably hadn't be used in 15 years.  It was quite memorable for one of my buddies because within 10 minutes he had to leave due to an allergy attack.  As cleaned up as the place was, dust was everywhere, which could be seen clearly when the stage lights hit the room.

Picture the forum where Batman fought Bain and lost.  That was basically the room we were in.  Thunderdome-esque.

I made my way over to the Peroni sign for some good Italian beer, but was soon told by the bartender, "Those signs are just for looks.  All we have is Miller Lite."

"Perfect.  Tastes great."

After spitting out the first sip I quickly realized why this beer is actually "less filling."

You can't take the can.  Cans are dangerous.  And cause a different debris than the cups which get thrown everywhere.

Me and my boy Thad had higher level wrist bands which enabled us to ditch the first level peons for some second level chicken tenders, tuna tar tar, and dust coated shrimp cocktail.  We scarfed.

I scanned the area, and quickly noticed a number of slightly higher class whores all around me, intermingled with the only attractive women in the room, who were the 40-50+ wives of men who actually brought them with.  Second level whores were better looking than the ground floor.

Sidenote: If you're married, that's how you want to do this event because if there's no woman on your arm, the big-breasted eye fucking will be relentless.  And it was.

Never saw the third floor action.

RUN DMC's music filled the air, as throngs of people in sport coats and True Religion jeans took out their iPhones and filmed their way to ecstasy.  It was as if they had been transported into one of Bud Light's "Up for Whatever" ads, and these people were certainly up for whatever (as long as they could film how much fun they were having on their phones).

RUN did not disappoint.  They took me straight back to 1989, which was perfect for this crowd.  You were either living your youth, or just realized that the guy from Run's House actually sings.

I noticed a couple of large black men standing side stage and said to Thad, "That must give the artists the feel of the studio, where there's always like 5 or 6 people doing jack shit."  

At this point another friend says to me, "7 other bands actually turned us down for last night's party, so we got Joe Jonas.  Can't imagine how many people said no to this."

Another friend weighs in, "$250,000 for 30 minutes?  It's good work if you can get it."  Yes, that happened, again.

The moment Run ended I was standing outside the main concert area as people moved toward the Peroni signs.  My friend Seth and I stood in the waaaay back, watching this all go down.

"'s the motherfuckin' Snoop..."

"'s the motherfuckin' G..."

"You motherfuckas ready to get down with the double G?..."

Luck must have befallen Seth and I because we were standing right under an until that moment unnoticed DJ booth, which was 15-20 feet above us.  Craned our necks backward.  We were now front row for Snoop Dogg's DJ set, and the crowd came running toward us.

We were so close that we started moving the other way to avoid the rush, and to get a better perspective.

At first we were both smiling ear to ear because the idea of Snoop Dogg sneaking up an audience out of left field to start throwing down was both hilarious and exciting.  That quickly passed.

The moment the crowd swelled into an area no bigger than half of a basketball court, just in time for Snoop to finish his joint (which he held high), the "show" was half way over.

People were excited. Except those actually expecting a Snoop Dogg show, what they got instead was Snoop on his MacBookPro DJ'ing HIS OWN SONGS.  And.  ANNNND.  HE HAD A FUCKING MICROPHONE.

So rather than sing his songs to the crowd, he instead decided to just play his songs off a computer.

"It's good work if you can get it."

We started to wonder if they actually paid him less to DJ, or if he just said, "Fuck it.  I ain't singin."

Either way, it sucked royally after 5 minutes.  Unless, of course, you were filming this whole affair and were still "Up for Whatever."

After rendezvousing with more friends, now swelling our fractured group to about 15, we all laughed about the absurdity of this whole thing.  It was nice to see everyone I know dressed in t-shirts and jeans, recognizing full well they were still in San Francisco; not LA or NYC.

We drank a bit, and then made our way over to the stage once we heard Flea's bass begin to rumble.

People scurried quickly.  Tits bounced.  Seal walked past me with 2 girls who in the dark were maybe half as cute as Heidi on her worst day.


"Yeah, he apparently loves the NFL."

Worth noting, the top floor was now filled with celebs none of the proletariat could get anywhere near.

Thad and I went over to the side stage, and he said to me, "We play a game.  Pick up your phone and see how many phones you can photograph filming in one picture."

He got 10.

I couldn't bring myself to do it.

Instead I focused on the band, which proved to be a mistake.

Flea's gut was hanging solidly over his waist, and the hairs on his chest seemed to be trending silver from blonde.  Not a great look.  Wish I had that confidence.

They opened with a song I've heard a hundred times but don't know the name of, but that I would have assumed they'd have opened with if you played me 10 of their other songs I don't know the names of. It was pretty good.  I prefer 'One Hot Minute.'

"What do you think these guys get paid?"

"I don't know."

Another guy, "I heard they were like the 10th band asked to do this..."


Chad Smith still looks like Will Ferrell.

We walked away, making way for some super-duper high end hookers, hoping to maybe catch Flea's eye as he made it over to side stage.  May have worked out for them.  I'm sure someone paid them.

Things quickly went down hill, as my buddy didn't notice a protruding rusty steel beam coming out of the floor, rammed his shin into it, slicing it completely open, and then falling face first only to be saved a set of broken teeth by his now severely sprained wrist that rests inside a splint.

So that was fun.  The only benefit was it got me the fuck out of there.

Both of us limped out of there, him with blood coming down his leg, and me injured by all I had witnessed the last 10 hours.

I caught a Lyft at double the price, which seemed like a bargain.

Every visitor kept saying "Uber" everywhere we went, so Lyft seemed like the much better call.

I checked my phone in the car.  Uber was 3x.

(Edit: Looked up and saw Chip Kelly having a good time, and no joke, the sun was coming through the window and shining right on his ass.  I was not able to get a photograph in time, but it was quite fitting.)