tom smith | make green bay weird | feb. 2018
Now by the time you read this, the 2017 NFL season will be close to being finished or will have just concluded. If you recall, in the August edition of Frankly Green Bay, I predicted the Super Bowl would be the New England Patriots versus the Green Bay Packers. Well, I was half right, and to all you Packer fans, sorry about the half wrong. A losing record and not making the playoffs must have been a bummer for you all. My personal favorite Packer game of the year was their stunning comeback against the winless Cleveland Browns. If it makes you feel any better, Packer fans, if you would have somehow won the NFC you would have lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, just like the Philadelphia Eagles will. This NFL title game victory will tie Bill Belichick with Curly Lambeau and George Halas for the most titles in NFL history. Belichick, with five, is currently tied with Vince Lombardi. When I engage in conversations in the streets or at work in Green Bay, discussions of the Super Bowl have a common theme of a Patriots bias and the question of, “Wouldn't you rather see someone else there?" My response is, “No, I'm currently cool with marveling at the coaching genius of Belichick and watching a football dynasty unfold before my eyes." I'm an amateur NFL historian and I'm envious of those who got to witness Paul Brown dominate in college, the AAFC and finally, the NFL, particularly the dynasty of the Cleveland Browns. Tom Brady's seven consecutive appearances in the AFC championship game pales in comparison to Otto Graham's 10 consecutive seasons of appearing in the championship game.
Since I was born in 1967, I unfortunately missed seeing the Lombardi years of the Packers, though as an infant, I was in the room while the Ice Bowl was on TV. We were living in Milwaukee at the time and my father had tickets for the Ice Bowl, but he sold them because he said, “I wasn't going to drive up to Green Bay to freeze my butt off." He also had no regret in his voice when he said it. I myself would still be angry about this. This Super Bowl run for the Patriots looks to be the last hurrah for Belichick with both his offensive and defensive coordinators, Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia. It appears that McDaniels will be the next head coach of the Indianapolis Colts and Matt Patricia will become the next head coach of the Detroit Lions. Patricia as the head coach of the Lions is very bad news for the rest of the NFC North. The previous Belichick assistants promoted to head coaches I never thought were “can't miss" propositions — they all left me, by and large, with a blah feeling. I believe Matt Patricia is different. Patricia has had six seasons as defensive coordinator under Belichick. During this span the Patriots defense has played well enough that each season they got to at least the AFC championship game and have won two (and most likely three) Super Bowls. Matt Patricia is also rocket-science smart (as in he could do rocket science). Two other factors that personally endear Patricia to me is that he likes professional wrestling (he also has a strong resemblance to professional wrestler Damien Sandow— side note: WWE, please bring back Damien Sandow — now more than ever, we need the savior of the unwashed masses) and that t-shirt he wore getting off an airplane as Roger Goodell made up as a clown. The Chicago Bears didn't even bother to interview Matt Patricia (for that matter, neither did the Green Bay Packers) for their head coaching vacancy (yes, the Packers did not have a head coaching vacancy, but maybe they should have? They did a big house cleaning at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, maybe they missed a spot? However, I must admit that the Packers hire of Mike Pettine is brilliant, and that's the bottom line). The Chicago Bears currently are in a pattern of fire defensive head coach, replace him with an offensive head coach, then an offensive head coach gets fired and they bring in a defensive head coach, and now they have brought in another offensive head coach, Matt Nagy. To say the least, I'm not impressed by this hiring. Nagy only called plays for the Chiefs starting at mid-season on a team where everyone knows that head coach Andy Reid is the de facto offensive coordinator. The Chiefs also did not win a playoff game this season. The Bears might as well have not fired Marc Trestman. I guarantee you that the last three seasons of the Bears under Trestman would have been a lot more interesting and winning than these seasons under John Fox. Tarik Cohen would have been the Rookie of the Year under Trestman. That, of course, if Trestman hadn't drafted Deshaun Watson in this mirror universe I've created. The Bears ownership is crummy, and so is how they run the team. They like to do things on the cheap and it shows. The Lions ownership is another family-owned disaster, but Matt Patricia will succeed through this chaos. Give Patricia four to five seasons in Motown and I won't be shocked to see him considered an elite head coach. I predict Patricia will surpass Wayne Fontes in longevity as coach of the Lions and do something no Lions head coach has done since George Wilson in 1957 and win an NFL title.
I'm disappointed by the fact I rarely see buzz on “Star Trek: Discovery." It seems to me that every Star Trek fan I talk to hasn't seen it. I know you have to stream this show and that has made it difficult for some people to see it, but hey, it's 2018 and even a Luddite like me has that capability. If you're just cheap, just wait until the current season is over (it should be by the time you read this), get a free trial at CBS's streaming service, and binge it. You'll probably like it so much you'll watch it again. “Star Trek: Discovery" has become my favorite television program and best sci-fi program since the reboot of “Battlestar Galactica." I wasn't sure if Discovery was in the neighborhood of being as good as “Battlestar Galactica" until about the last three episodes I've seen. That's when I became convinced that Discovery currently is in the zip code of BSG. Sonequa Martin-Green, formerly of “The Walking Dead," seems to be the perfect casting decision for the lead role in this series. I was amused when I found that Jason Isaacs, who plays the captain of the Discovery, played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. I took my daughter to the first six of those movies — I haven't seen the last two, so no spoilers, please. If “Star Trek: Discovery" was a record, I would give it a Timebomb Rating of 13.979 out of 13.979.
I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Carroll, singer of such great Texas bands as Poison 13, The Lord High Fixers and Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee. Mike was a superb frontman and perfect singer for these bands. I got to see the Lord High Fixers in Bellingham, Washington, at Garage Shock in 1999 (blown away, I was). Poison 13 became the reason for my first visit to Austin, Texas, in 2000 to see them play a reunion show set up by the late, great record store Sound Exchange. Poison 13 had quite the legendary reputation to live up to. For a number of years I had in my mind lofty expectations of seeing them. Poison 13 lived up to the hype and was totally worth driving to Austin to see them. Austin was also where I got to see Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee at Garage Shock in 2001. Mike's bands have inspired a lot of great musicians who have inspired a new generation of musicians in turn. His legacy is guaranteed to not be forgotten.
I haven't set up an all-ages show in a while in Green Bay and I was feeling guilty so Saturday, March 10th at ZoZo's Kitchen, the former Eagles Club, 1035 Vanderbraak, I will be having my first all-ages show there since the ownership of the building changed. This show will be in the large hall (the small hall is no longer a rental option), there is still a bar for those 21+, and ZoZo's will have a special show menu of their food. I have heard their barbeque is delicious. Bands playing this show are a reunited Last Sons of Krypton, Tim Schweiger and the Middlemen, Beach Patrol, The New Outfit and Ken Appleton + Future Trash. Doors at 7, show at 7:30. I'm also super fired-up for the Supersuckers, Drivin' N Cryin' and Sons of Kong Sunday, March 25 at the Lyric Room. Amazingly, this is the first Drivin' N Cryin' show ever in Green Bay. Bummer about Los Banditos closing their east side location. I always preferred the east over the west, and the east was so close to my house as well. I think this is a loss to Green Bay and our worst restaurant loss since Café Espresso.
Live long and you got any more of that CCQ?
--banner image of Poison 13 courtesy Pat Blashill
Since 1984, when he first began selling records at Galaxy of Sound inside the Port Plaza Mall, Tom Smith has been part of the Green Bay music scene. Promoting his first show in 1986 and hitting his stride with the Concert Café (1995-2001), Smith continues to promote shows in Green Bay. He first honed his journalistic chops while serving as a student DJ at WGBW, interviewing such icons as Motörhead and the Ramones. Today you can find him championing live music and managing The Exclusive Company in Green Bay.