Monday, August 27, 2007

FBO: 'Shape Talk'

This November, Oklahoma turns 100. As the state readies itself for an overblown 'gala' in downtown OKC and first capital Guthrie stages little dances and costumed walk-arounds, it's worth looking at how STUPID the United States of America LOOKED during is under-/over-grown days of awkward adolescence...

...which ended when Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

Note this map, circa 1900:

Now focus JUST on the red parts. That's your country a century ago. Can't really brag at international symposia with a shape like that.

(However, if Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma -- all US territories at the time -- had broke off to become their own nation, 'Mexican Oklazona,' it would easily be the best nation shape in the world.)

--> The Failed Bands of Oklahoma would like to thank Oklahoma for contributing to the United States of America's more logical shape.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, August 23, 2007

FBO: 'Dissecting Iowa State's New Helmets'

The Iowa State Cyclones, a football team searching out an identity, is bringing back its retro '70s cardinal colors and putting up three options for its 2007 helmets for fans to choose. Neat idea. But then again, looking at the choices, does it really matter? Three iffy choices -- why not see what the fans will like, that way maybe they'll buy more merch and go to games?

Well, we'll play along.

All three helmets go with simple white -- a very retro call in the ever-growing trend toward charcoal, black or ultra-reflective helmets to stress how macho the team is. THE FBO ENDORSES THE DECISION. The three styles are all from the same ilk -- simple gold and cardinal logos with 'ISU,' 'I-State' or a cursive 'Cyclones.' The latter is a no-go. Cursive works only for 'Cal' and 'Ucla' -- Florida's 'Gators' cursive helmet looks like a slow child of the athletic director in 1966 drew it, and Tulsa's cursive 'Tulsa' is a 'Ucla' rip-off. 'I-State' is dumb, so that leaves us with 'ISU.' It's easier to read from a distance and doesn't try to be too cute.

But here's a question, why not 'IS'? Drop the 'U' for university, and go with the new slogan to sell season tickets. 'TO BE OR NOT TO BE A CYCLONE FAN? YOU KNOW YOU IS!' With the 'IS' part using the logo of the helmet.

Another interesting alternative would be to simply write 'TEAM' on the helmet.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, August 20, 2007

FBO: 'Is Soccer Ever Going to Hit?'


A decade or so ago, I attended the first-ever MLS game at New Jersey's Meadowlands, where the New York/New Jersey MetroStars -- the worst named team in the history of professional athletics -- hosted the New England Revolution, with that World Cup guy who looked like the lead singer of the Spin Doctors. It was a full crowd, and many Central and South Americans standing atop the backs of seats and jumping in mass with songs and banners. Once the game started, everyone sat to watch in relative silence. American soccer was back! The game that followed, however, was a dreary, sloppy effort, with New England 'winning' 0-1 in the 92nd minute by an own goal by a MetroStar defender. We filed out in numbed shock. American soccer would have to wait.

Attendance this season for the New York Red Bulls -- wearing their sponsor on their jerseys, but wisely dropping the 'New Jersey' from their name -- is averaging 11,000 in massive Giants Stadium. Some teams, like the Columbus Crew (good name, good logo), have created 'soccer-sized stadiums,' with more intimate seats in realistically sized stadiums (say maximum capacity 25,000 rather than 90,000). They seem to understand that soccer will take a while to ever compete with the NBA, NFL or MLB -- and may never compete.

As a representative to the Failed Bands of Oklahoma,
I attended the much-heralded Red Bulls/LA Galaxy game Saturday night
, and for once the Red Bulls needed the seats. Present were 66,000 fans and at least 8000 'Beckham' jerseys on. Beforehand, tailgaters held up 'Arsenal' banners or 'Germany' or 'England' national team banners or wore Brazil soccer jerseys. Three goals lit up the back of the nets in the first ten minutes. The age-old criticism that Americans can't deal with defense-minded sport seem answered. In the end, the home team won huge cheers for a game-winning goal in the 88th minute, 5-4. Beckham said afterward, 'I haven't played in a game like this since I was eight years old.' ESPN said it was the best MLS game in its history.

It was exciting. Too bad no one saw it.

Some observations:

* The bulk of European criticism of Beckham is 'soft play' in the midfield. He lines up for kicks, but does less to contest balls. He certainly wasn't very active on Saturday night, outside goal-assisting crosses and near goal-assisting passes. But it may be because of his injury.
* Merch stands were doing brisk business of $90 -- yes $90 -- Beckham jerseys, yet his corners and free kicks were met with a chorus of boos.
* The $4 hot dog at Giants' Stadium is awful. You have to wait a long time to get fries.
* Why in the world wasn't this game on TV? On every set in the USA? Instead of Little League, NFL pre-season, baseball and boring tennis and golf?
* The 'wave' never died, it just moved to Jersey. Fans had that thing rolling around the stadium most of the game.

Meanwhile, willMLS's multi-million dollar gamble that Beckham's star power -- and he looks a little like a cross of Brett Favre and Sting -- can bring the masses to soccer. His lingering ankle injury has unfortunately kept him from playing in the all-important window of summer when baseball's daily dose didn't matter much and football hadn't started. That's now over. But play of his team and opponents seem to be rising to the occasion when he steps onto the field. When he visited the NY Yankee lockerroom in Toronto, one Yankee said 'He just has this aura about him.' Maybe it can work?

But you have to wonder about the MLS. Last year, during the World Cup, the MLS ran a mere four ads during the multi-week event, missing the chance for exposure when people cared about the sport. This year, the MLS should do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get every Beckham game on TV across America for the rest of the season.

If there's another game like the 5-4 one Saturday night, then America might finally have the soccer it's been waiting for.

A Beckham corner:

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FBO: 'Updated Adopted Zones Map'

For those keeping track -- or making t-shirts -- of the Failed Bands of Oklahoma's ever-growing/diminishing map of Adopted Zones, here is the latest following the highly successful symposium with North & East Delaware.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

FBO: 'Get a Good Mattress'

If you think about it, we spend about 40% of our lives on our mattress. If you have 35 more years, that's 14 years total -- on that dumpy mattress of yours. Back problems aside, there's plain comfort. The FBO believes in not skimping when it comes to mattress purchase.

Here are some tips:

* Lots of different mattress companies create the same thing, using slightly different variations of coil spring and pillow-top features, and 'plush' and 'ultra plush' and 'firm cushion' names -- all to confuse you, don't worry too much: just pick what's comfortable
* Don't buy a mattress on the Internet, only try one out in person
* When you try one out, lie down on the mattress for 15 minutes in the position you normally sleep
* Expect to spent $1000 to $1500, maybe more. Too much? If you're going to spend 14 years on it, that works out to $1.37 per week of use in 14 years (if you spend $1000).

Looking out for the welfare of failed bands and fans of failed bands,

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, August 09, 2007

FBO: 'The Delaware Trilogy (Part III): Cancelled'

The FBO regrets to announce that the third part of the Delaware Trilogy, concocted after a wildly successful North & East Delaware/Failed Bands of Oklahoma cultural symposium a week ago, has been cancelled.


Originally plans for the third, and final, installment of the trilogy was a three-part play entitled 'REVERANCE FOR THE RODNEY RIDE.' The wart-faced hero of Delaware is a legend in the 'first state,' though largely unknown once you cross the Delaware River. Delaware's commemorative quarter features Caesar riding on his horse -- to Philadelphia, in a frenzy, to sign the Declaration of Independence. Statues and testimonials of Mr Rodney's achievement -- without him, it's possible, Delaware wouldn't even be the 'first state'-- are everywhere in Delaware.

The FBO finds it curious that his ride to Philadelphia is so concretely linked with his horse. Surely his penmanship, his conviction are more important? Do we celebrate an Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl victory by waving flags showing the likeness of the team bus? No. But one wonders if it isn't in response to the popularity and lore and legend Massachusetts resident Paul Revere has received for his, likely exaggerated, ride to warn 'the British are coming, the British are coming!' in the wake of the Revolutionary War. 'Hey,' Delawarean historians seem to say, but a bit too late, 'We rode a horse quick too!'

The three-part play would explore the relationship between these two men, much of it would be fictional. The play -- and resultant film -- would star Will Arnett as Paul Revere and Will Ferrell as Caesar Rodney, who'd cry at one pitiful public soliloquy, 'But I rode a horse, I rode a horse too!'

After careful consideration, and discussions heard at the symposium, the FBO now considers Rodney's frantic horse ride made with US independence in mind,as more historically important than that 'Masshole' Paul Revere's. It also happened first. Hence:

--> The FBO bans Paul Revere re-enactors -- and descendants -- from using this site.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

FBO: 'San Francisco Band Needs Help Naming Record'

San Francisco's TENDER FEW -- a band featuring previously failed musicians -- is making a record. And needs help naming it.

Please, if you have time, take a look at their plea.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Monday, August 06, 2007

FBO: 'Will Attempt to Procure the Turtle'

Philip Duke Riley -- called a 'Brooklyn art boob' by today's New York Post, and a 'Sub Moron' by that paper this weekend -- created a wooden replica of a Revolutionary War 'submarine' called the 'Turtle.' Last Friday he floated it in the East River -- he had no means to 'drive it' on his own. The NY Times said it drifted by condoms and dead rats. His goal: the Queen Elizabeth 2 ship, where he wanted to get a photograph of himself drinking a beer next to it. He was detained by terror-alert authorities and his submarine hauled away. One policeman laughed, 'I don't know what we are going to do with it.'

The FBO does not know if this is actually 'art,' as Riley maintains. But the FBO likes the effort.

ACTION POINT: The FBO will contact authorities about purchasing the submarine...

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

FBO: 'The Delaware Trilogy (Part II)'


There are at least half a dozen reasons why one should spend a good hour looking at the following state shape, and stop, and consider, and reflect. Please do so:

For the moment the FBO is interested in just one aspect: EAST DELAWARE (shown in orange), which was the destination of a short field-trip as part of the recent NORTH & EAST DELAWARE/FAILED BANDS OF OKLAHOMA INAUGURAL TWO-DAY SYMPOSIUM.

In the years before Delaware became a state -- the first state -- the Duke of York and Will Penn grew a hatred for each other that transcends the irrational, normally reserved for SEC football fans. Much of their hatred was over the patch of land that is now Delaware. Designed as a 17th-century yielding of land as defined by a 12-mile arc around New Castle, including up to the opposite bank of the Delaware River in today's New Jersey. By 'accident' it includes this peninsular bit of land that lies both west of the east opposite bank of the Delaware River, yet on New Jersey 'mainland soil.' New Jersey has never been happy about it -- the most recent legislation to claim East Delaware dates from 2006.

FBO Representative visited. A New Jersey man with a ponytail and a fist-broken nose pumped gas and fielded a few questions, including the following:

FBO: I hear there's a piece of land near here that's actually part of Delaware?
NJ MAN: Yeah, whatever.

The area is guarded, so to speak, by New Jersey's Fort Mott State Park, a non-uninteresting, largely neglected state park with fortifications facing the water, and a pier that -- if the 12-Mile Arc is to be adhered to stricly -- should technically be in Delaware. Just north of the state park is Finn's Point National Cemetery, a walled compound with a memorial for 2400 Confederate soldiers who perished at nearby Fort Delaware during the Civil War.

A caretaker, carefully planting Confederate flags at the memorial ('today is Garrison Day,' he explained), noted that the wall that rimmed the cemetery -- which also includes a handful of German POWs from WWII -- is actually the border with Delaware.

NJ MAN2: We have an agreement with Delaware that New Jersey polices it -- easier that way.
FBO: What do they police?
NJ MAN2: Not much. Some locals like to go out and drink beer. Other than that, there's nothing there.
FBO: Think New Jersey will ever claim it?
NJ MAN2: No. Doesn't matter. That's just politicians talk.

FBO Fan Rich Trott has proposed East Delaware be the site of an upcoming FBO Performance -- perhaps the sequel to the Panhandle Show. Meanwhile the FBO adopts East Delaware.

Photographic evidence of the East Delaware/FBO Symposium:

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY