Monday, July 31, 2006

baby cham - ghetto story
Styles P Ft Akon can you believe it

The Ghost, the Convict, and Melo. This song rules.
Obie Trice ft Akon - Snitch

Part of today's tribute to the 2006 Nate Dogg, Akon.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dan Dority Fights Captain Turner

Deadwood is the best thing going in TV right now. The development of the beef between these two was flawless, and I had no idea what the outcome was going to be when the brawl began. I just know that I would have been heartbroken if things had turned out differently. Viewer discretion strongly advised.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Non Phixion - 'Rock Stars'

These guys just broke up. It's too bad -- Black Helicopters is one of my favorite songs.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


There was a technician named Urban,
Who had an affair with a turbine.
“It’s much nicer” he said,
“Than a woman in bed,
And it’s sure as hell cheaper than bourbon!”

-Gravity’s Rainbow, pg. 312

No one reads books, let alone novels. Even someone mentioning that he or she took a look at Moneyball on the can makes me want to wail on the guitar and kick my dog in the face. I do know a couple people who like poetry, but I think this is because they have no legs. Philistinism is something I accept; indeed, I would buy into it if I didn’t have transparent skin that leaves my vital organs vulnerable to sun or allergies to playing Frisbee and soap. It’s always been like this. You think people in the 30s read Faulkner? No chance. The Sound and The Fury starts out with a retard who literally doesn’t understand the concept of time and rambles for 60 pages about how his sister smells like trees. It's not as though 80 years ago, normal people had the magical ability to get past this stuff.

So no one will give seven shits that my man TP, the most undeniable living literary talent, just announced that his new joint, Against the Day is droppin in December (Rick Ross actually posted an even more pants-creaming post on his MySpace blog, so that’s cool). But fuck it, you watch when Oprah picks this shit up and it teaches everyone in the world how to be themselves.

It’s a beast, weighing in at 900+ pages, so it should be useful when you’re attacked by roving gangs of violent William Gaddis devotees packin silly string and Zippos.

Here's his description of the book written by TP himself:

"Spanning the period between the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 and the years just after World War I, this novel moves from the labor troubles in Colorado to turn-of-the-century New York, to London and Gottingen, Venice and Vienna, the Balkans, Central Asia, Siberia at the time of the mysterious Tunguska Event, Mexico during the Revolution, postwar Paris, silent-era Hollywood, and one or two places not strictly speaking on the map at all.

With a worldwide disaster looming just a few years ahead, it is a time of unrestrained corporate greed, false religiosity, moronic fecklessness, and evil intent in high places. No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.

The sizable cast of characters includes anarchists, balloonists, gamblers, corporate tycoons, drug enthusiasts, innocents and decadents, mathematicians, mad scientists, shamans, psychics, and stage magicians, spies, detectives, adventuresses, and hired guns. There are cameo appearances by Nikola Tesla, Bela Lugosi, and Groucho Marx.

As an era of certainty comes crashing down around their ears and an unpredictable future commences, these folks are mostly just trying to pursue their lives. Sometimes they manage to catch up; sometimes it’s their lives that pursue them.

Meanwhile, the author is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they’re doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-the-fact occurrences occur. If it is not the world, it is what the world might be with a minor adjustment or two. According to some, this is one of the main purposes of fiction.

Let the reader decide, let the reader beware. Good luck."

There’s a year of my life down the drain. If you hang out with me from Dec. 06 –Dec. 07, be prepared for drunken yelling about this book. In the meantime:

Download – Nirfuckingvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Demo)

Pynchonians (read: the most raging paste-eaters you can possibly imagine, which of course includes yours truly; but I also like rap, so I’m tempered a bit) think that Kurt Cobain read Gravity’s Rainbow and based his little ditty on a song one of 3489 characters in the book breaks into randomly, on page 547 (Penguin “Great Books of the 20th Century Edition). The lyrics include the line: “Spirit is so --con, --tay, --juss,” and the words “nevermind” and “spirit.” I’m not convinced, mostly because you can go into that book and find a connection to basically every single thing in the world ever. Rating: James Monroe

Download – Yo La Tengo – The Crying of Lot G Rating: Millard Fillmore
Download – The Klaxons – Gravity’s Rainbow Rating: Lyndon Baines Johnson

Yo La Tengo does justice to TP's shortest book, the one people actually read. The second one is some discopunk band x you might like if you’re still really into The Rapture. I’m not, so I think it sucks, esp. since it’s named after the great beast.

Download – Thelonious Sphere Monk – Brilliant Corners

TP was really into Monk. It makes sense; each had a highly attuned yet jarring sense of humor that was rare in his respective art form. This is the title track from one of Monk’s best albums. In TP’s debut novel V., published seven years after this song was released, there’s a character named “McClintic Sphere,” who is, one can argue fairly convincingly, a stand-in for Monk. A less convincing case can be made for V, the titular female character, as a stand in for Monk’s mistress and patron, Baroness Kathleen Annie Pannonica de Koenigswarter, in whose New Jersey home Monk wrote Corners. This guy goes for both (if someone actually follows that link I will eat my own feet). Rating: Thomas Jefferson
Dizzee Rascal - Off to Work
Gamma - Killer Apps

Samantha Mumba, salad cream, and cucumber.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I'm glad I used this instead of that Nick Nolte mugshot

Having a music blog is all about making playlists with arbitrary themes. For instance. If it's Tuesday and your elbow itches, you search your itunes for the words "elbow itches Tuesday" and you will probably find a Pavement b-side and a song Daniel Johnston wrote because Captain America told him to. But two tracks will barely get you in the door with Sally Anne Rottencrotch down the street. So you broaden the theme to "appendage discomfort." This is no good either, since this only gets you a Bloodhound gang concept album about venereal diseases. To simplify things, you go for songs with "hurt" or "pain" in the title. If you stretch the theme to include artist names, you can juxtapose "I'm In Luv Wit a Stripper" with "Everybody Hurts"; this winking, virtuosic turn will bring sally to her knees before you can say "drip the hot wax on my toes BEFORE you call me J. Edgar Hoover, not AFTER!"

Now, I want to have a "music blog" about as much as I want an orifice right here (imagine me pointing to the back of my hand, which is somewhere without the proper market infrastructure to support an orifice). But I gotta get that hot wax on my toes as much as the next guy, so I'm going with the theme thing.

Clean, the movie's called. Just out on DVD. Slept on terribly. Although every movie that's (a) foreign, (b) independent, or (c) lacking Portman--is slept on, so not sayin much. But critics were wrong on this one. Nick Nolte holds down the movie. He talks like he beat Tom Waits in a cigarette-smoking contest, but he's not all Blue-Chipped up. Indeed, I wanted to sit on his lap and drink hot apple cider by the end. And Maggie Cheung, a big Hong Kong star, who you know if you're into my man Wong Kar-wai--in the movie she speaks three languages fluently and manages to imbue a character with quietude and charm who is (a) sick because methadone is not as good as heroin (b) just out of jail (c) bisexual, and (d) reeling from her husband's death. Most of what makes the movie good is the Brian Eno music that is deftly placed during shots of skylines and sunsets; and Maggie Cheung's hair's all puffy. The thing's about junkies who die and abandon their kids and stuff, but its treated at a distance (constipation isn't a major theme a la Trainspotting, no sped-up withdrawal tossing and turning a la Ray). Ultimately its about Maggie's character trying to become a normal person and get her kid back (with the help of Nice Nolte). Plus there are monkeys and giraffes in once scene. Everyone in the movie dresses way too cool and Tricky is in it for no reason, but imho this might get close to the founding fathers*. Rating: William Henry Harrison

The Clean, the band's called.

Download - The Clean - Beatnik

New Zealand's best lo-fi post-punk band. Also New Zealand's best rock band (I don't know another rock band from New Zealand, but I've heard this is true.) Rating: James Buchanan

Download - Tricky - Aftermath

Tricky plays himself in the movie. He appears, then declines to help out Maggie and leaves the movie. What a dick! we think. Then we realize that might not be a proper representation of Tricky. Then we wonder why Tricky would want to be portrayed as dick if he wasn't one. Then we listen to this song and think if might be like heroin.
Rating: Martin Van Buren

Download - MF DOOM - Mr. Clean Rating: Andrew Jackson
Download - The Jam - Mr. Clean Rating: Martin Van Buren

If you don't know yo history, DOOM pities the fool like Mr. T (who took off his gilt chains and gave them to katrina victims to eat). The Jam pities the fool who don't wear pleated trousers and listen to skiffle.
Yummy Bingham - Come Get It (2005)

Future Ms. Puppy wishes fewer people would have slept on this track.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Remember magazines? So tactile they were, so foldable.

Download - Girl Talk - Too Deep

Anytime some shit I've never heard of is touted by Sporkfuck, I stay away, lest my cred with drug dealers and female boxers be scuffed irreversibly. Same woulda happened with this, esp. considering the name. Although with a tag like that, I thought for sure this was some hardass sludge metal band who likes irony. I've heard "Girl Talk" is a pretty sick board game though.

Turns out this as a mash-up artist from Pittsburgh who threw all this mainstream shit into a Cuisinart and out came a sort of OCD samplefest that, from the few tracks I've heard, is basically the most fun music to listen to since 2 many DJs mashed Christina Ag. with the Strokes or Max Bedroom (S. Puppy's boy) spread 50 on Reznor. Mash-ups usually suck because they're fueled by whimsy and aimed toward novelty (hey what would happen if Stravinsky had Afroman on top of him? no homo btw), and even if they're good, like Dangermouse's infamous shit, they don't hold up too long. This one fares better because it doesn't give any sample more than 15 seconds of fame, and almost everything on here is recognizable by your mailman. On this track, we got Dem Franchize Children, Dipset verses crowded by KRS-one shoutin for jakes, the fucking Beatles and a brilliantly placed Smashing Pumpkins sample that leads to the ending of the track, which warms my heart. Let's just say Pow Wow get's chipmunk'd and introduced to Misha Barton. Rating: James K. Polk

Download - Gnarls Biggie - Crazy Butt

I downloaded this whole album, some from BK dudes name Sound Advice, mostly because Ce-lo looked funny with Biggie's baby-body on the page. The Biggie vocals sound terrible throughout, but this this one is by far the best. It works alright, and putting Biggie on such popular song is smart if you are a DJ seeking blowjobs, but this fails the Van Halen test (I've found that whether or not i'd rather listen to Van Halen over certain music is a kind of telling taste-threshold). Rating: Theodore Roosevelt

Download - Lily Allen - Nan, You're a Window Shopper

Saw this on the horizen a while ago. First team All-MySpace limey dub-popstress retools sports drink tycoon/memoirist's Macy's banger so she can talk horse on her Granny. I mean, you gotta call out granny for buying tampons for no reason and having lumpy ankles. Otherwise she might get all "I'm the shit" and get shot 49 times over a Bingo discrepancy. Trust me, you don't wanna fuck with bingo. She couldn't clear this shit in time for the album drop, so, like the immortal Flow-be, it can't be bought in stores. This is real, by the way. Rating: Millard Fillmore

Download - The Replacements - Alex Chilton

Not a mash-up or a cover, but a great song from one of the drunkest bands ever. A retrospective just came out that's basically my reason for living right now (besides The Hills). The Replacements were originally called the Impediments, but everyone in the band got hammered (the bass player was like 13 at this point) before their first show and as a result, they were blackballed from playing around Minneapolis; so they changed their name. But Whatta song. Rating: John Quincy Adams
Lil Wayne - Shooter (Feat. Robin Thicke)

Outkast - Morris Brown

Monday, July 17, 2006

Region haters. Spectators. Dictators. Behind-Door...

This has been a long time coming. Furman can attest to the frequency with which this track was obnoxiously blasted through the floors of the multi-apartment palace that we called home for the past year. In an interview released around the time of The Carter II's explosive dropping and subsequent one-upping of everything else I might have been listening to at the time, Weezy F. Baby (please say the Baby) claimed "Shooter" was to follow "Fireman" as the second single off the album. I was torn between cynical disbelief and hope that I would one day see Robin Thicke's (son of Jason Seaver) lanky frame dancing -- and towering -- over Young Carter's in a music video of the best song of 2005.

Months passed, and I sort of forgot about Shooter and its promised 12" release. This appearance on Jay Leno had satisified me, I suppose; it was audacious of me to ever think that such a daring -- and yet, I thought, potentially commercially massive -- record would ever make MTV.

You can imagine the thrill I felt yesterday, when I turned on MTV2 (almost there), Making the Video came on, and Lil Wayne's platinum grill flashed on screen. His face followed a few moments later, and I held my breath -- surely paranoid record label execs had pushed Weezy into putting out that one track on II that I skip, the one where he talks about getting his grown man on (with you). Instead, he started about his spectacular collaboration with Thicke, and I the thrill of anticipation rushed through me.

What a Making the Video it was. Watching these two guys interact would make even the most hardened rap (or is it rock)-is-dead moralist grin and pass the haterade. Wayne talked about how he's been living his dream since he was 8 years old, how he's never had a girlfriend, and how work is never hard if you're doing what you love. Thicke's swagger is subtle but convincing; he's smooth and articulate, self-effacing but possessing of real confidence, the kind that will enable him to succeed as a white R&B singer who likes to talk about rock and can't really dance.

It was fun to watch Wayne and Thicke talk about how much they love the song, and Benny Boom seemed like he was probably having a much better time than he does directing most run-of-the-mill rap videos. I was impatient, however, to SEE THE VIDEO. Until the show was wrapping up and the video began, I kept myself from believing it actually existed; surely someone, somewhere, would realize that the public, having heard Shooter, would no longer stand for rap/singer tripe the like of this. An industry surviving on cheap imitations and formulaic crap would be in real danger of collapse.

I guess it's just the one that got away.


I'm debating whether it says "wamp wamp" or "ostrich"

Download – The Clipse feat. Slim Thug – Wamp Wamp (What it Do)

(note: I got this from, which becomes a hilarious hip-hop message board free-for-all after every post – this one turned into a discussion of a youtube clip with the top ten dunks on Shawn Bradley – thank God for hip-hop message boards.)

From the forthcoming Hell Hath No Fury full-length, which at this point is known on the street as the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot of rap, which is especially apropos given the Clipse’s affinity for Wilco. “Wamp Wamp” is supposedly the second single, but there’s some talk of Mortarboard P and Bill Gates fightin’ over the beat.

The last album we heard from the Clipse, the We Got it 4 Cheap Vol. 2 mixtape was the first beat-biting contraband (mixtape) to escape the insular sphere of its kind and enter another insular sphere: critical acclaim (Village Voice Blogger fellatio). The funny thing here is how the Clipse claim in Mass Appeal (which I think is mostly a magazine about how graffiti is the coolest thing anyone can possibly do) that they saw no camembert from either WGI4C tape. Indeed, they basically say that those mixtapes did them absolutely no good, no money, no show bookings, only bloglove (which deep down they must really cherish for its purity). I quite like the thing, but mostly because the “One Thing” beat is amazing and I enjoy coke slang that involves flightless birds. But regardless of how much critics or even people that bought it loved it, the Clipse are bringin’ the woman’s scorn for being left in the PCP while errbody else leanin’ rockin’ and whatnot at the mall, at the club and at the used book store.

But back to the Mass Appeal interview, which is by Jon Carmanica, who seems to write for everyone, and got me golling (guffawing out loud--ing) when he quipped in his blog about Papoose doing a response to Jay-Z’s live update of “22 Two’s” (44 Four’s) called “The Prime Number rap (Fuck Fibonacci)” feat. John Abruzzi (math/prison break/rap puns get me every time). Anyway, Caramanica uses the “trap music” taxonomy, qualifies the Clipse brand as “outré” and “arty” (Pusha went to RISD) fails to get Clipse to talk shit on W.F. Baby and Divingboard P, then, referring to the new LP, follows the question “Is it drug shit? Is it emotional shit?” with “Is it hard to temper the lessons with wordplay?” If I were him, I woulda gone into Edward Said’s Marxist reading of Supreme Clientele, but he probably didn’t have much time. Their answer to that last question leads me to believe that Pusha and Malice moonlight as a comedy duo:

P: That’s the part of hip-hop that’s missing. It’s one thing to say ‘I sell bricks, I sell bricks.’ But when you saying, “Trunk like Aspen/Looking like a million muthafuckin crushed aspirins,” dog, we getting back to the colors. A lot of dudes is working with the 8 crayons in the box. They do not have the 64 box, yo. They don’t got “Burnt Sienna” They got red, yellow, blue...
M: They got Roy G. Biv.

As for the track itself, it’s Neptunes produced, and for a second, it made me forget how “Change Clothes” made me want to mash The Black Album with Kathy Griffin stand-up and call it the Newspaper-Riddle Album. Besides a vaguely Eastern synth, it’s all drums: steel ones and what sounds like roto-tom bashing with chop-sticks. Sounds like Hugo and Bullitanboard P are following a music-of-the-world beat cookbook here, but fortunately it’s restrained and drives pretty well. Slim Thug cracks this one, even though he's taking the more-travelled path with all the scenes of equine death, rhyming ‘dro with Mo’. I had no idea what “Wamp Wamp” means, but I’m goin out on a limb and figure it’s synonymous with “ostrich.” Weird drug slang though, so awkward sounding, definitely will get Prez and Freamon curious down at HQ. Pusha and Mal coppin us the fishscale (when in Rome…) wordplay - I’d say the 48 Crayola set here (Ghost has shits outta the visual spectrum btw). Plus we got the casual anti-Semitism, which is a must: “I got the wamp wamp when I move it, it still damp / mildewish, I heat it, it turns glueish, / it glues to a tight wad, the Pyrex is jewish.”

Rating: Franklin Pierce*

*rating system explanation: the deader the president, the better.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I think the "look what random shit I found on Google image search" joke has already outstayed its welcome, but man, this really makes me want to learn about the "Legend of BBQ". Also, I wonder what this so-called legend has to do with Jeff Goldblum if he was 6 inches shorter and had seen more than 4 Megadeth shows

List of really bad things that are better than the mtv show "Yo Mamma":

1. The huge pile of dino-poop in Jurassic Park
2. Jeff Goldblum
3. A rapper's name if his name was "Jeff Goldblum"*
4. A rapper's name if it was not "Dan Akroyd"
5. Entourage minus Drama and Ari and the teasing, vicarious thrill that comes with imagining one's real life coming within 89.3 light years of Vince's
6. The non-charm of clammy hands
7. The fact that having clammy hands because of a girl's quasi-attractiveness is more than 89.3 light years away from Vince's life.
8. Bono
9. Bono tricking the entire world into thinking that he knows what its like to have a distended belly as a result of hunger.
10. Cam'ron as a moralist.

*Upon completion of this list, I have decided that "Jeff Goldblum" would actually be the best name a rapper could have EVER.

Monday, July 10, 2006


"Yes, doctor, this is where it hurts. Also, my shame seems to have turned me into a marionette. Can you give me something for that?"

Xenadrine Zidane’s headbutt in the WC final was one of the great cranial batteries in history, and basically everyone in the world wishes FIFA had a mic buried in the pitch (I'm going to start calling all fields 'pitches' by the way) so that we hear what Marco Materazzi said to X-I-mean-Z-to-the-Z.

The AP reports this: "The Paris-based anti-racism advocacy group SOS-Racism issued a statement Monday quoting "several very well informed sources from the world of football" as saying Materazzi called Zidane a "dirty terrorist." It demanded that FIFA investigate and take any appropriate action." If this is true, Materazzi clearly hasn't seen The Battle of Algiers. I mean, you don't hafta rock the Kasbah too hard to get your proverbial discothèque purse-bombed.

This is great: In reference to Zindane growing-up in some PJs in Marseille and playing streetball on concrete, Terry Hank, the great French nose-tackle, was quoted as saying "you can take the man out of the rough neighborhood, but you can't take the rough neighborhood out of the man." Was it the ancient street philosopher Iced Tea (w/lemon) who first said that?

To preempt Letterman:

Top 10 things Marco Materazzi might have said to Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup Final:

10. Who's your barber, a Franciscan monk or Verbal Kent?
9. Your midfield play has been decidedly subpar.
8. Les pince-nez sur votre entraîneur, tres chic!
7. How do you feel about Dutch cartoons?
6. Hey, Zisou, do you think you could pretend my sternum was one of those balls you headed into the back of the net in '98. That would be great, thanks.
5. Remember when you had brain surgery when you were 5? Well, the Italian government was behind the scalpel, installing a powerful magnet in your brain. Another such magnet is in my sternum. Let's see how they work.
4. Jesus takes Muhammed in rochambeau any day of the week.
3. One of those little kids that we escorted out of the tunnel told me you offered him candy and winked.
2. I posit that your government’s continuing deregulation of its economy is fundamentally at odds with much needed reforms in the labor market
1. Yo mamma wears army boots.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Foodmantooth salutes the nation of Italy for producing World Cup soccer champions to add to their already formidable list of triumphs in automobile production and design, cuisine, and female occupants, to name but a few.

Foodmantooth wonders at Zinedine Zidane, whose incredible career will forever be marred in retrospect by this little bit of theatrics on Sunday night. For those of you who are unaware, after having been sent off, Zidane was unable to participate in the post-overtime penalty shootout stage, which France lost. Draw what conclusions you will; apparently the French, for better or for worse, are quick to forgive.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Plagiarism>Sandra Day O'Conner>Cocaine

This, my friends, is what happens when you become a psuedo celebrity and as a result you get a lot of free lunchables in the mail. Watch out Jared!

Two tracks from funk outfit, the El Michaels Affair. They're doin the same thing the Beasties did on Check Your Head; that is, trying to recreate sampling/production wizardry with live instruments. But instead of merely emulating the Dust Brothers and Matt Dike, the El Michaels affair is straight covering two Tu-Tang songs.


Glaciers of Ice

These turn out pretty well, although I wish they'd given a go at the minute long opening of Glaciers of Ice where Raekwon is fucking fired-up about the his idea for a new color scheme for some Clarks. Clarks really should sponsor the Wu if they don't already.

I've heard about some new Thompson Water Seal treatments of rap songs by bands that play instruments and sing and stuff.

Baby Got Back (Sir-Mix-a-lot) - Radiohead.
Sir-Mix-Verywell was after all an early champeen of the limey fucks, even helped em book Arsenio. Although I think he told the fist-pump progenitor that it was Kato Kaelin and Guest Houses, a sweet new rock band.

Fuck the Police (NWA)- The Police.
The bee-man really has a handle on puns. fuck that's great.

Fight the Power (PE) - Ted Nugent.
The Nuge and Chuck D need to be the new Crossfire duo.

Triumph (Wu-Tang) – The Supreme Court (the actual members of the Supreme Court, not a band called ‘the Supreme Court’)
I hear Scalia is fire on Inspectah Deck’s verse.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Big Tings Fi Gwan

U.K. rap gets a hard time from pretty much everyone I know. It's not wholly fair; Roots Manuva has been making consistently decent (at times great) records for years now, and I suppose I'd say he and Ty resemble sage elders of the U.K. rap scene. Anyone who hates on Dizzee Rascal has probably never heard "I Luv U" , "Fix Up Look Sharp," or "Dreams" (what a video) and most certainly hasn't caught him live. Kano makes his best effort at keeping it gully, to mixed results. Lady Sovereign is...well, the jury's still out on the midget.

All that said, there's a lot not to like about U.K. Hip-Hop (or is it garage? grime? dub?).
The relative success of the above-mentioned MCs has opened the floodgates for English (and Scottish, Irish, and, yes, Welsh) performers who've spent a little too much time eating hash cake and have forgotten that they're amateurs. It's no great surprise that the U.K. artists who distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack are those who DON'T act out cheap imitations of their favorite U.S. gangsta rappers. Unfortunately, when these assholes are getting signed to Diplomat Records, it becomes hard for up-and-coming MCs in South London NOT to want to go the uninspired route.

Despite all this, Sordid Puppy will continue to rep for the U.K., in spite of the slings and arrows of the NYC purists and Dirty South trendsters who will probably never accept an English rapper who looks like this. It would do all of them -- and you, discerning reader -- well to put Papoose on ice for a bit, accept that Bubba Sparxxx's creative well has run dry, and check for Sway. Here's something to feel good about.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


When I was a child, my family summered in Cork City, Ireland, the town of my parents' upbringing and education. Each July was spent traveling to visit countless relatives around Cork county and otherwise removing ourselves from the too-small-for-anything-resembling-comfort townhouse which we made home. Miraculously allayed, however, was our discomfiture during the two weeks of the All-England Tennis Championship, Wimbledon, when we were all content to huddle around our tiny living room TV with its spotty color and grainy picture and to soak in the most elegant of sporting events.

The players whose hopes of Wimbledon glory were alternately realized and crushed in front of my pre-teen eyes possessed character unlike any I've found elsewhere in sport. Perhaps the pretentious atmosphere of pristine austerity that is maintained in the courts contrasts with and so magnifies player vivaciousness; certainly the singular nature of the sport fosters individual flair.

On Saturday afternoon, American tennis legend Andre Agassi played in the final match of the final Wimbledon tournament of his career. He was beaten in straight sets by Rafael Nadal, the current world #2, who was born around the same time that Agassi turned pro. I first saw Andre play Wimbledon in 1991, and was immediately a huge fan; he was a rock star and a rebel to me, someone who found Wimbledon's elitism stifling but whose play silenced critics and snobs. For me, tennis became a hobby and Agassi, a life-size poster of whom leapt from my bedroom wall, an idol.

In 1992, Agassi won Wimbledon, coming back to beat Goran Ivanisevic in 5 sets. It was an emotional moment for many, not the least of whom me; the only time since that sport ever elicited such a reaction from me was this, and the Huskers' victory elicited real tears from my overjoyed face.

Andre never won Wimbledon again, though he went on to win other Grand Slam titles -- all of them, in fact, making him one of only five to accomplish that feat. He remains the only male tennis player in the Open era to have triumphed in all Grand Slam singles, the Masters, the Davis Cup, and the Olympics. His rivalry with Pete Sampras, who so often got the better of Agassi, defined male singles tennis in the 90s.

Foodmantooth gives nuff respect to Andre Agassi. He will always remain a hero of American sport and, to be sure, the progenitor of a great line of impossibly talented tennis players. His game was rivaled only by his style. Watch the U.S. Open, Agassi's last tournament-to-be, and know that, as Rafael Nadal astutely realized on Saturday, whatever the outcome, the day will be his.