So here’s the thing: it took me like 2 1⁄2 hours to get home from work yesterday (when I am writing this; I am writing to you from the future!) and it’s super cold and icy out. I’m sure many of you are in the same predicament (or were) and whether you are or not, you probably don’t care. But here’s the thing: I’m kinda homebound but also it’s super cold and nothing big happened in baseball yesterday anyway so I don’t have any random takes to add here, but also I have all of the time in the world to write something.
So here is something wildly unrelated to baseball. If you don’t care (I promise I won’t be offended!), scroll down to the parts that are bold and there are links to actual well-written VEB content, including a thing I actually carefully considered and didn’t just rant about.
I made a very simple offer to my Twitter followers: come up with a thing for me to rank and I will do it on my News and Notes. I am going with the suggestion of my good friend Jason, Twitter handle @bradshawjp, who suggested “verses of the song Photograph by Nickelback.”
Like much of the internet, Jason does not like Nickelback. My dad, a regular reader of my posts and possibly this one, loves Nickelback. And truth be told, I can see each camp’s argument. While some consider the Canadian rockers untalented, I strongly disagree—I think they are very, very adept at making a pop-friendly version of a now-unfashionable style of music.
What ultimately separates them from contemporaries like Three Days Grace or Theory of a Deadman or Staind is that Chad Kroeger’s songwriting does include more hooks. Also, they are the rare modern band that barely masquerades as being “alternative” in a post-Nirvana musical landscape (even transparently retro rock bands like the Black Keys, whom I enjoy more than Nickelback, prove that alternative is an umbrella term and not an actual descriptor in the 21st century). Their popularity has faded but not after a long and impressive run of being the most consistently popular rock band on the pop charts.
That said, “Photograph” is terrible. So here are the nine (I don’t know what a verse actually is) verses ranked from best to worst.
- I miss that town, I miss their faces, you can’t erase, you can’t replace it. I miss it now, I can’t believe it. So hard to stay, too hard to leave it. If I could relive those days, I know the one thing that would never change.—This entire song is about nostalgia for your since-left hometown (Nickelback comes from Hanna, Alberta, Canada, a town of fewer than 3,000 people which also produced NHL Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald) and while the lyrics aren’t poetic, cut to the core of the song, particularly the “So hard to stay, too hard to leave it” line.
- Every memory of lookin’ out the back door, I have the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor. It’s hard to say it, time to say it—good bye, good bye. Every memory of walkin’ out the back door, I found the photo of my friend that I was lookin’ for. It’s hard to say it, time to say it. Good bye, good bye, bye.—When this song first came out, I was working at a catering job and a coworker of mine started singing along to this song on the radio. She asked me if I liked the song, and I said that I did not. Anyway, eleven years later and I still haven’t met anybody else who likes it. Whatever. This is the chorus.
- Kim’s the first girl I kissed. I was so nervous that I nearly missed. She’s had a couple of kids since then. I haven’t seen her since God knows when.—Facebook has made me acutely aware of how many of my old classmates now have families. But did THEY spend their Friday night breaking down lyrics to a song they don’t even like?
- I wonder if it’s too late. Should I go back and try to graduate? Lot’s better now than it was back then. If I was them, I wouldn’t let me in.—I think it’s cool that Chad Kroeger(‘s character) wants to go back and get his high school diploma.
- And this is where I went to school, most of the time I had better things to do. Criminal record says I broke in twice, I must have done it half a dozen times.—I mean, you still got caught a third of the time. Side note: I’ve never broken into a building and have no idea if this is a good success rate. It doesn’t seem worth bragging about, though.
- We used to listen to the radio, and sing along to every song we know. We said someday we’d find out how it feels to sing to more than just a steering wheel.—I hate when songs reference the radio. It just seems like a cheap ploy to try to get played on the radio. Country artists do this a lot these days, although the worst offender was an 80s hair metal band.
- This is where I grew up, I think the present owner fixed it up. I never knew we ever went without. The second floor is hard for sneaking out.—When I first heard this song, I thought he was singing “I think the president ought to fix it up.” I then thought it was weird that he’d appeal to a president rather than the prime minister (of Canada). I then stopped caring because I had better things to worry about.
- Remember the old arcade? Blew every dollar that we ever made. The cops hated us hanging out. They said somebody went and burnt it down.—This whole song is about photographs, which was already a slightly out of date reference at the time, but arcades? Seems like an odd way to appeal to young people. Also, I’m not saying Nickelback themselves burned down the arcade, but they had a song called “Burn It to the Ground” on their next album.
- Look at this photograph. Every time I do it makes me laugh. How did our eyes get so red? And what the hell was on Joey’s head?—I literally don’t care, and who is Joey?
Well, anyway, here is some actual baseball stuff.
Winning now vs. winning later
I wrote an argument against the Cardinals trading away future pieces in order to compete in 2017. My belief is that the Cardinals currently have a good chance at a Wild Card spot, but there is very little that the Cardinals could potentially do to pass the Chicago Cubs in the division hierarchy, so the Cardinals should live to fight another day.
The current 40-man roster
Craig Edwards wrote about changes in the Cardinals’ 40-man roster. As a perpetually confused individual about some of the smaller roster moves that the Cardinals make, this post is very helpful.
Last week, I used my Saturday News and Notes post to comment on the impact that a prominent African-American Cardinals player could have on the area at large (one could argue that my post this week is less significant), and yesterday, Lil Scooter observes a noteworthy excerpt from Mark Saxon’s ESPN.com post about the potential social impact of Dexter Fowler.
Minor league players of the year
Josey Curtis wrote about the minor league seasons of Carson Kelly and Luke Weaver, who won, respectively, the organization’s Minor League Player and Minor League Pitcher of the year awards on Thursday.
Anyway, it will eventually feel like baseball weather. And when that happens, that will be good. In the meantime, when stuff about baseball does happen before that, be sure to check back with us.