(It’s WrestleWeek on POP GOD! In celebration of WrestleMania 32 this Sunday we’ll be looking at the intersection of faith and wrestling. You don’t have to be a fan to hop in the ring on this journey. Read on to see how this fake sport provides real lessons for anyone who’s ever grappled with God.)
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Jake “The Snake “Roberts. The “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Razor Ramon. Mr. Perfect.
What do these wrestlers all have in common?
They’re all iconic performers. They’re all WWE Hall Of Famers.
And none of them were ever World Champion. Continue reading →
Everyone has a pop culture blindspot.
Whether it’s for lack of time or lack of funds or just a general lack of interest we all have those movies or tv shows or books that it seems like everyone in the world has experienced except for us.
One of my biggest pop culture blindspots is James Bond.
This may come as a shock to you, but it’s true – I, a 29-year-old red blooded movie-loving male, have never seen a 007 movie.
I don’t really know how it happened. Maybe watching wrestling satisfied all my testosterone needs in pop culture. I don’t have any moral objection to the Bond series.
If someone were able to make a case for wanting to show me one of the movies I think I would sit down and watch one. But there’s no way I’m going to ever dive through the entire Bond history.
At this point in my life I know I’ll probably just never start watching a James Bond movie on my own. I’ve come to the realization that – even with hopefully many more happy and healthy years in front of me – I just can’t experience everything this world has to offer.
With the amount of quality entertainment in the landscape today and the incredible ease of access we have to it, at a certain point you just have to resign that there are some pop culture phenomena you’re never going to get around to experiencing.
I’m ok with never watching a James Bond movie. But there are some things that I’m not ok with never doing. Continue reading →
Kate and I have some new neighbors. They moved into the apartment next to us a few days ago.
We never really got to know the previous occupants. So Kate decided she would bake some cookies for these new folks across the hall.
I was lucky enough to get to try her prototypes. She went all out, using our new blender to make a special recipe from scratch. So so good.
For 3 days we knocked on their door. In the afternoon and in the evening. Multiple times.
The new neighbors never answered the door. Continue reading →
This is the first time in over 20 years I won’t be spending Masters Week as a resident of Augusta, GA. I have to admit I’m missing the sights and sounds of the spectacle. It’s the biggest holiday on the calendar for the city.
If you’ve never lived in Augusta, there’s nothing really to compare Masters Week with.
I guess the closest thing would be to when a city hosts an event like the Super Bowl. But even then it’s a different city every year.
For 7 days every year the city of Augusta totally transforms. Washington Road becomes the golf capital of the world. Golf Carts are lined up in front of every business. Even members of One Direction show up.
Corporations take over abandoned buildings and parking lots and turn them into pop-up party tents and memorabilia shops. Thousands of residents flee the city, renting out their homes to tourists and travelers and the golfers themselves.
For one week the city of Augusta becomes a spectacle. Then, the Monday after the tournament, everything goes back to normal. Continue reading →
(Earlier this year I had the incredible opportunity to interview Robert Jones IV, the grandson of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, for a feature story for Faith Magazine. The story graces the cover of the March/April edition of Faith Magazine. You can pick up a copy of the free magazine at grocery stores across the CSRA or check it out on the Faith Magazine website. I’m so proud of this interview that I wanted to share a preview of that story with the POP GOD audience. Enjoy this introduction, and check out the full story when you get a chance. )
Bob (as Robert IV prefers to be called) knows the stories well. He can tell you the story of all of his grandfather’s trophies, including the one he broke as a child tinkering around on vacation at his grandparents’ mansion. In addition to his full-time calling as a psychologist, Bob’s other profession is preserving the legacy of Bobby Jones, a man he called “Bub.”
Bob remembers a different side of his grandfather. He saw more than the legend whose name is etched into the foundations of the city of Augusta and the game of golf. He saw more than a statue or a logo or a mythical name. He saw a man who struggled from a crippling disease, who fought valiantly to survive and whose faith kept him on course when his life was fading. Continue reading →
August 15, 2009. Paul McCartney played for tens of thousands at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. A blistering set of 34 songs out under the summer stars, from “Drive My Car” to “The End”. A night no one would soon forget.
I wasn’t there.
There have been a good number of concerts I’ve missed out on in the past decade that haunt me. Maybe none more than that one.
I could have gone. I could have jumped in the car, spread my Wings and spontaneously headed to Atlanta to see Paul McCartney at Piedmont Park. I’m not even sure why I decided to stay home that day.
I’ve regretted ever since then that I didn’t.
Last night mostly made up for it. Continue reading →
Without a doubt the CD I’ve listened to the most in my lifetime is “Double Live” by Garth Brooks.
There is something magical about this album to me. Garth Brooks’ songbook was the soundtrack to my childhood. Growing up in Tennessee and Georgia I was raised on 90s country music. And Garth’s music was the gold standard.
“Double Live” collected all of Garth’s greatest hits across a 2 disc live set. So to begin with every song was a winner. Add in the raucous live crowd that Garth drew to his incredible live performances and you have the makings for an amazing album.
I listened to that CD on my headphones in the backseat of so many family car trips. I blasted it on the boom box in my room. I’ve rocked out to it with the windows down in every car I’ve ever driven.
Those opening chords of “Callin’ Baton Rouge” on disc one stir up a special feeling in my soul no other album does.
So there weren’t a lot of surprises when my fiancé and I saw Garth Brooks this weekend in Atlanta as part of his first world tour in over 12 years.
I knew when all the solos would be. I knew when Garth would stop singing and let the audience sing the words to “Unanswered Prayers”. I knew to expect the mysterious 3rd verse for “Friends In Low Places”.
Yet as many times as I’ve listened to Garth Brooks live on CD, there was something so incredibly different about seeing Garth Brooks live and in person. Continue reading →
“Really, do people still go to the opera? Opera is still a thing? What am I doing here?”
All of these thoughts ran through my head this past Saturday night. My girlfriend and I attended the Atlanta Opera’s production of “Tosca”.
The opera was impressive, extravagant, and I must admit, entertaining.
Never in my life did I think I’d be writing a sentence like that. If you were to tell me two years ago I would soon become a regular attendee of the opera I would have believed you, only if you were referring to the soap opera of professional wrestling.
Then I met my girlfriend. She’s an opera student. She opened my eyes to a section of the arts I did not know was still vibrant and relevant.
So there we sat Saturday night, taking in a 3 hour opera performance.
This is not a post for me to brag about what a wonderful boyfriend I am for gritting my teeth, forsaking football and enduring the opera. I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the entire experience of dressing up, drinking $9 champagne, and taking in the incredible Italian singing.
This post is just to point out sometimes you do crazy things for the ones you love. Continue reading →
The Braves are going to win.
Every game it’s just understood – The Braves got this.
I don’t even have to check the score anymore.
Did the Braves play a game last night? Then they won. It doesn’t matter if it was 10-0 in the bottom of the ninth. This year’s Braves team are the comeback kings.
Maybe it’s the magic of the new Waffle House inside Turner Field. Maybe it’s folk hero Evan Gattis, a.k.a. El Oso Blanco. Who knows?
It’s August 22 and they’ve already claimed the division. Not technically, but still, stats trackers give the Braves 100% chance of winning their division. They are saying there is absolutely no chance in the next 6 weeks another team will usurp their lead.
The Braves will win the division. They will win the league series and then the World Series. I just know it.
Or maybe not. I don’t know. Continue reading →
You can be a rock star today.
You may not be performing before 10,000 adoring fans inside an enormous arena as you read this.
But trust me on this one.
No, I’m not *technically* a rock star. But I did see some live and in person last week.
The Killers are a rock group out of Las Vegas who have been performing their hits “Somebody Told Me” and “When You Were Young” around the world for the past 10 years.
I got to see them perform at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Alpharetta, GA last week. Lead singer Brandon Flowers turned out to be a fantastic live performer and the entire band put on a great set.
As I watched the show, I noticed a few simple traits The Killers embraced which all great rock stars have in common. Turns out you too can apply these 5 practices to your life to become a rock star in your office: Continue reading →