FB8 – Week 35

After the disappointment of last week, a late surge helped put me back above 30,000 steps for the week.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I finished with 3800 steps.  Monday fell off quite a bit, dropping to 2800 steps.  Tuesday saw a very slight increase as I ended the day 4 steps away from 2900.  Wednesday was the week’s low point, finishing with only 2200 steps.  Things started to improve on Thursday, where an after-work trip to the local grocery store helped push me over 5600 steps.  A trip to Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday left me with 5200 steps.  My best day of the week came on Saturday thanks to a trip down to West Lafayette for Homecoming, which left me with 9400 steps.

Total steps: 32.078

Daily average: 4582.6

FB8 – Week 32

A trip down to some old haunts helped put me will over 30,000 for the week.  Things got off to a slow start on Sunday, where I finished with 3400 steps.  A slight increase on Monday saw a jump up to 4300 steps.  Tuesday was the low point of the week, falling down to 2900 steps.  Wednesday rebounded a but, rising back up to 3600 steps.  A trip down to West Lafayette for a Thursday night football game helped me surpass my daily goal, finishing with 8600 steps.  Breakfast with Danny combined with a Purdue volleyball game on Friday, not to mention the end of the previous night’s football game, left me with 6600 steps.  A thrilling White Sox game on Saturday left me 24 steps shy of 5700.

Total steps: 35,188

Daily average: 5026.9

2022 College Football Kickoff

My alma mater, the Purdue Boilermakers, kick off their 2022 gridiron campaign tomorrow night, looking to improve upon last year’s first winning season since 2017.  With Danny now entrenched in the marching band, I’m sure to make it back for a few games this year after setting a career high with 3 games last year.  With that, it’s time to take a look at the results of the now 24 college football games I have attended since the 1993 season, covering 5 different stadiums in a whopping 2 states.

All-Time Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Penn State Nittany Lions 1 0 1.000
Ohio State Buckeyes 1 0 1.000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4 1 0.800
Purdue Boilermakers 15 7 0.682
Northern Illinois Huskies 1 1 0.500
Illinois Fighting Illini 2 6 0.250
Western Michigan Broncos 0 1 0.000
Northwestern Wildcats 0 3 0.000
North Carolina State Wolfpack 0 1 0.000
Michigan State Spartans 0 1 0.000
Michigan Wolverines 0 1 0.000
Indiana Hoosiers 0 2 0.000

The Big 16

Ten years after their last expansion that left the Big Ten Conference with fourteen teams, the league grew again this week when news broke that USC and UCLA, formerly of the PAC-12, would join the conference on August 1, 2024.  The move extends the reach of the Big Ten from the Atlantic to the Pacific and follows the expansion of the SEC last year by adding Texas and Oklahoma.

For the Big Ten, the benefits are obvious.  First, in keeping up with the SEC, they show they are serious about competing for championships in a future of super-conferences.  Adding traditional powerhouses in high revenue sports, USC for football and UCLA for basketball, also gives the conference an added boost in media rights, with their next deal expected to surpass $1 billion.  Another bonus, and huge revenue generator, is the opportunity to expand the reach of the Big Ten Network into southern California and the nation’s second-largest market.

For USC and UCLA, the benefit is mostly money.  In 2019, the last pre-pandemic season, the PAC-12 dispersed approximately $33.58 million to its member schools.  The Big Ten schools, however, took in $54.29 million.  By the end of this decade, that number is expected to be $100 million.  In that regard, the PAC-12 just could not keep up.

The downsides for both sides include increased travel times and costs, though that is expected to hit the two Los Angeles-based schools harder as they will have more frequent travel to the far reaches of the conference.  With the additional time comes increased time missed in the classroom, which will impact the non-revenue generating sports harder.  The biggest loser in this agreement may end up being the Rose Bowl, the traditional New Year’s Day meeting ground between the Big Ten and the PAC-12.

Logistically, this means Purdue will most likely move to the East division in football, helping to maintain their yearly battles against Indiana but also ensuring more games against Michigan and Ohio State, making their road to a bowl game more difficult.  Sixteen teams may also force the introduction of divisions into the basketball ranks as well.

Is this the end?  It seems unlikely, as this move will cause ripples throughout the NCAA.  With more consolidation into fewer elite conferences, good schools in the remaining conferences, like the rest of the PAC-12 and the ACC, for example, may start looking for new landing spots.  Notre Dame may see that, with many of their traditional rivals now located in one conference, their desire to stay independent will start to wane.  Only time will tell where this eventually ends up.

Gone Too Soon

Word broke yesterday morning that former Purdue basketball standout Caleb Swanigan, who was just 25, had died.  Swanigan, who had an unstable childhood before being adopted by former Boilermaker Roosevelt Barnes, spent two seasons at Purdue, declaring for the NBA draft following his sophomore year in 2017.  His NBA career ended in 2020 when he declined to enter the NBA Bubble due to personal reasons.

Swanigan, who struggled with his weight as a child, had started putting on weight again following his departure from the NBA.  At just 25 years old, he died of natural causes yesterday in a Fort Wayne hospital.  Hopefully he can find some peace now that seemingly eluded his life on Earth.

FB8 – Week 13

A pretty bad week, thanks to numerous work “emergencies”, but saved somewhat by another day over goal to end the week.  Things got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, as I managed to score 4600 steps thanks to some mid-inning pacing while watching the White Sox.  Monday saw a slight decline, as I finished 27 steps shy of 4000.  Tuesday was even worse, as I fell down to 3400 steps.  Wednesday saw a slight increase, as I finished with 3500 steps.  Thursday was the low point of the week, ending with a mere 2800 steps.  Friday saw a meager increase, jumping back up to 3600 steps.  A trip down to Purdue to see Danny’s band concert combined with 80-degree weather put me over 8200 steps, the second week in a row I’ve managed to have a single day above goal.

Total steps: 30,331

Daily average: 4333

Top 200 Albums: #61 – 69

We last counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library four years ago. Since that time, the world has literally changed, and my commute has decreased from 1+ hours each way to 25 steps. So, despite the decrease in potential listening time, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through the morning of January 1, 2022.

Today, we continue our countdown with the next batch of ten albums that I have listened to the most over the last 15 years with three compilations, two comedy albums, and a heavy dose of 90s alternative favorites.

#69: Various Artists – The TransFormers: The Movie
iTunes stats: 149 plays
Previous Ranking: 60

A 46% increase in plays for the six tunes, from the likes of Stan Bush and Weird Al Yankovic, from this soundtrack from the animated TransFormers film from the mid-80s.

#69: George Carlin – Life is Worth Losing
iTunes stats: 149 plays
Previous Ranking: 85

The comedian’s 18th album, and 13th HBO special, added 70 new listens while rising 16 spots in the rankings.

#68: Various Artists – ’90s Style
iTunes stats: 155 plays
Previous Ranking: 64

A 56% increase in plays over the past four years for the nine tracks from exciting 90s artists, like Jill Sobule, Green Jelly, and MC Hammer, from this compilation album.

#67: Various Artists – Millennium Hip-Hop Party Vol. 2
iTunes stats: 158 plays
Previous Ranking: 66

This turn-of-the-century compilation added 60 new listens to seven tracks, from artists like Coolio, Naughty By Nature, and Paperboy.

#65: Poison – Swallow This Live
iTunes stats: 160 plays
Previous Ranking: 58

A 52% increase for the eight tracks from this double album, the first CD I ever owned after receiving it for Christmas in 1991.

Continue reading →

Spring Fever

As we kick off Michael’s birthday month, we look back at a collage of him sleeping in cars during the previous year.  After contracting COVID late in 2020, his energy levels have been a bit off, and he has had a tendency to sleep way too many hours in the day.  Including on our way to the Museum of Science and Industry, a tilt between the White Sox and the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, and Purdue/Northwestern football game at Wrigley Field.

Top 200 Albums: #91 – 100

We last counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library four years ago. Since that time, the world has literally changed, and my commute has decreased from 1+ hours each way to 25 steps. So, despite the decrease in potential listening time, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through the morning of January 1, 2022.

Today, we kick off the second half of our countdown with the next batch of ten albums that I have listened to the most over the last 15 years, breaking the triple digit total play plateau with four compilations, and music from the 60s, 80s, 90s, and beyond.

#100: The Beatles – Help!
iTunes stats: 115 plays
Previous Ranking: 94

A 55% increase in plays for the five of the fourteen tracks from this 1965 album, the band’s fifth, and the soundtrack to their same-named film.

#99: Various Artists – Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits
iTunes stats: 117 plays
Previous Ranking: 165

This collection of cartoon theme songs from the 60s and 70s covered by some of the bigger alternative acts of the 90s, including Liz Phair, Material Issue, and Sponge, amongst others, saw an increase of 69 listens to jump 66 spots in the rankings.

#97: Various Artists – Rock N’ Roll Era: 1964
iTunes stats: 119 plays
Previous Ranking: 109

An 83% increase in plays over the past four years for this edition of the Time Life series, featuring songs by Chuck Berry, The Drifters, and Roy Orbison, among others.

#97: The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
iTunes stats: 119 plays
Previous Ranking: 127

The remastered version of this Beatles’ eighth studio album adds 40 new listens across the five songs out of thirteen in my collection.

#94: The Lonely Island – Turtleneck & Chain
iTunes stats: 120 plays
Previous Ranking: 79

A 48% increase for the four tracks from this second album from the SNL digital short maestros.

Continue reading →

Down To Sixteen And Still Dancing

The Sweet 16 kicks off today following an opening weekend with upsets galore, but, thankfully, with my champion pick still alive.  Unfortunately, half of my Final Four was wiped out, but, hey, that’s the fun part.

Only a couple of Xs in this region, though one of them I had going to the regional final.  Michigan State allowed Coach K’s last go-around to continue and helped contribute to the Big 10’s supposed flameout during the first weekend.

Well, this side of the bracket is where my Final Four picks have flamed out, so nothing here really matters.  Continue reading →