Archive for the ‘Top 10 lists’ Category

There is no debate that Marshall Faulk is the best running back in San Diego State history. He still will be 100 years from now — well, if football still exists.

But it also should be pretty clear who ranks No. 2 on the top Aztecs’ back list.  

That would be the current star — Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist Rashaad Penny.

Penny leads the nation with 2,027 rushing yards and has a stellar 7.4 average to go with 19 rushing scores. He has topped 200 yards on five occasions this season and had just one poor contest when he gained just 53 yards on 21 carries during a loss to Boise State.

He also matched the all-time record for career kickoff return touchdowns with seven.

When this month began, Deacon Turner was still the second-best running back in San Diego State history. You can still call him BBF – Best Before Faulk.

But it is now clear that Penny is No. 2, which is plenty amazing when you consider he was the backup to NCAA all-time rushing leader Donnel Pumphrey last season. I wondered a few times if Penny was the best back on the San Diego State roster while he was rushing for 1,005 yards.

We got the answer. He was the best this season. He was the best last season. He would be the best in any season in Aztecs’ history other than the Faulk Years (1991-93).

So we need to have a definitive Top 10 list of San Diego State running backs. I saw most everyone on the list play — ummm, not Norm Nygaard (1952-54) of course — so I am the right person to compile it.

Surely don’t want anyone at the school messing up the list. When I was on the beat and Lynell Hamilton was having a big freshman season in 2003, the game notes didn’t have Darrin Wagner listed among the school’s top-ever freshman rushing leaders.

I told the guy of the omission and he just stared at me. He finally said, “Who?”

That’s what happens when universities hire people who don’t know the school history.

Anyway, the next year I turned to the page in the media guide and guess whose rushing yardage from 1989 had been added to the freshman leaders?

Yep, Darrin Wagner.

OK, here are the Top 10 running backs in San Diego State history:


1. Marshall Faulk — San Diego State had never landed a talent like this and benefited that major schools wanted him to play cornerback. Well, their loss as Faulk set the then single-game rushing record of 386 yards before he ever started a game and got the Aztecs unprecedented national publicity. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1992 as ESPN’s Lee Corso repeatedly belittled the fact Faulk played at San Diego State and single-handedly prevented him from winning the award. Faulk rushed for 4,589 and 57 touchdowns in his three seasons before becoming an NFL Hall of Famer.

2. Rashaad Penny — See above for the superlatives but ranking fourth in school history with 3,435 rushing yards (and likely soon to be third) is pretty impressive when you were just a starter for one season.

3. Deacon Turner — He had a first name of David but nobody ever used it when discussing his exploits. He was the star of back-to-back 10-1 teams – there weren’t 322 bowl games back then — and was part of the biggest victory in school history, the 41-16 slaughter of No. 13 Florida State in 1977. He fell on hard times after his NFL career ended and isn’t in the school’s athletic Hall of Fame, which is a travesty. Claude Gilbert, who coached Turner, was a defensive coordinator at San Diego State in the mid-1990s and told me then that the committee had once decided to induct the Deacon but backed off because it was worried about what kind of shape he was in or if he would even show. Well, the guy is dead now so that’s not an issue. Turner’s absence needs to be rectified because he was one of the biggest difference-makers in school history.

4. Ronnie Hillman — You could go with any order for Hillman and the following two guys but Hillman (3,243 yards, 36 touchdowns) would have shattered Faulk’s then-record if he hadn’t mistakenly left for the NFL after two seasons. He was better than the Mountain West level and repeatedly put up big numbers.

5. Donnel Pumphrey — He’s the all-time NCAA rushing leader (6,405 yards) as long as they don’t reinstate bowl stats from the old days (then it will be Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne) and rushed for 62 touchdowns. The craziest stat is he racked up 33 100-yard outings during his career — heck, the ESPN folks will make a power-conference player a star with three 100-yard games.

6. George Jones — One of the more muscle-toned running backs ever seen and he was the first to break Faulk’s single-season mark when he compiled 1,842 yards in 1995. He had four career 200-yard games while rolling up 2,810 yards and 34 touchdowns over two seasons.

7. Norm Nygaard — I was told by a longtime school expert that this guy was the top running back prior to Deacon Turner’s arrival and that is good enough for me. He rushed for 2,619 yards from 1952-54 and that was well before running backs got 20 to 25 carries per game so perhaps he could have doubled that total with today’s workloads.

8. Chris Hardy — He had a big junior season (1,150 yards in 1985) and then was one of the top players on one of the more beloved teams in school history — the 1986 Holiday Bowl team. He rushed for 2,341 yards and 22 touchdowns.

9. Larry Ned — He ranks third in school history with 3,562 yards and rushed for 36 touchdowns. He once rushed for 285 yards against Eastern Illinois in 2001 — the quarterback of Eastern Illinois was a guy named Tony Romo.

10. Wayne Pittman — Here’s a guy you don’t hear a lot about and that is because he had the unfortunate timing of being Faulk’s backup for three seasons. But he rushed for 1,136 yards in his lone season as a starter (1994) and that is good enough for me.


Missing the cut — Lynell Hamilton (2003-07) was a star as a freshman before a badly broken leg and a 22-month absence changed everything. … Adam Muema (2011-13) had rushing seasons of 1,458 and 1,244 yards before mistakenly turning pro and basically disappearing. … Paul Hewitt (28 scores from 1987-88) was a touchdown machine as a junior-college transfer. … Art Preston (34 touchdowns from 1949-51) has his name plate in the football locker room so that tells me all I need to know. … Jonas Lewis (1996-99) was consistently good while racking up 2,843 yards.


Making a Top 10 list of the 2017 NBA Finals could be done with just one player: Kevin Durant.

The move from Oklahoma City to the Bay Area has been a knockout success for Durant and he was the star of these NBA Finals as the Golden Warriors dispatched the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games.

Durant topped 30 points in each contest and was named MVP of the finals. He averaged 35.2 points and shot 55.6 percent from the field.

The good thing for Durant is he no longer has to listen to any nonsense about not having a ring. Now his only issue is trying to win another one.

The Warriors and Cavaliers have met in each of the past three NBA Finals with Golden State winning two of the crowns. It looks highly possible that the two teams could meet against next June.

The only possible problem might be Cleveland GM LeBron James — we know who runs the franchise — messing things up with his latest teammate demands.

Here are 10 takeaways from the 2017 NBA Finals:


10. Just how mad is Russell Westbrook tonight after seeing Durant celebrating his NBA title?

9. Television announcer Mike Breen yelled “BANG!” after a 3-point basket … which I’m sure families who have had somebody shot to death always appreciate while watching a SPORTING EVENT.

8. Did Golden State’s David West and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson kiss when they had that little love scuffle? Who proposed to whom in that scenario?

7. Kind of funny to me that some people are just discovering how good Kyrie Irving is — do they not watch basketball until the Finals?

6. My back gets sore just looking at Warriors coach Steve Kerr. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to battle spinal fluid issues.

5. LeBron James has been in the NBA Finals seven straight seasons. Was about to think how tough that is to do until I see Cleveland benchwarmer James Jones (eight minutes played in the series) has achieved the same thing.

4. No more Doris Burke questions for five months. Thank God.

3. Draymond Green’s annoyance level is now higher than his talent level, a sad development when you consider what a great story it was for a second-round selection to become a big star.

2. Games feel disappointing when Stephen Curry doesn’t make at least one 60-footer in a game.

1. Some buffoons at an Oklahoma City newspaper once called Durant “Mr. Unreliable” in a headline. Hopefully the entire staff was fired.

If the #DeflateGate controversy wasn’t already weird enough, we learned Tuesday that Tom Brady does a very odd thing when he realizes there might be troublesome information in his cell phone.

Brady has one of his personal assistants destroy the phone.

I got a new cell phone recently and Sprint said nothing to me about destroying my old phone. Perhaps Brady – the quarterback of the New England Patriots – is with Verizon and has the Egocentric Destruction Customer clause in his plan.

There certainly must have been some good info to hide for Brady to revert to such tactics when he is fully aware the NFL had requested access to his text messages. Why else would someone destroy the phone under those circumstances?

The NFL revealed Brady’s cell-phone antics on the same day the league announced that commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in the silly #DeflateGate situation.

According to the NFL, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages on the phone over a four-month span. That sounds like a lot of messages to me. Certainly must have been a lot of chatter over the “weight of balls.”

Maybe there were awkward texts about the “texture of the balls,” — that phrase that sounded oh-so-odd when New England coach Bill Belichick used it in the late January spin-control press conference.

Either way, Brady exchanged 80 texts per day — on average — and it is reasonable to expect there were exchanges that had to do with the deflating of the footballs.

But a famous guy like Tom Brady is certainly hoping to prevent other activities that may hurt his public image from becoming commonly known.

So here we go … the top 10 reasons why Tom Brady has his cell phone destroyed instead of turning it over to the NFL:

10. Been hacking into the New York Jets emails and had all their defensive game plans saved.

9. All those pictures of NFL footballs in various stages of deflation look just a bit suspicious.

8. Has pictures of a large Confederate Flag draped on his bedroom ceiling.

7. Was “sexting” with the wives of 12 different teammates.

6. Several photos of his dart board — all with Peyton Manning’s picture on them.

5. Took private locker room pictures of Rob Gronkowski dancing naked.

4. He owned the lone known photos of Belichick laughing and smiling.

3. Those provocative pictures of wife Gisele Bundchen are supposed to only be seen by him.

2. Turns out Brett Favre wasn’t the only famous quarterback who sent penis pictures to Jenn Sterger (

1. There were indeed shocking pictures of deflated balls on the phone — his own.

What a crazy Saturday full of sports and if you left your house even once today, you kind of fail at life.

If you missed all the sporting events, you are likely one of the following: Incarcerated, marching the streets of Baltimore or wasting your day on a used-car lot.

Suddenly, playing for the Cleveland Browns doesn’t sound so bad. Well, if you can figure out how not to live in Cleveland while cashing their checks.

Before the big fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao even hit the pay-per-view airwaves at $99.95 plus tax per purchase – you mean people don’t understand you can find FREE online streams for these fights? – we got to view an outstanding Game 7 between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers. And it was on FREE TV and it was outright amazing.

Clippers point guard Chris Paul was hobbling on a sore hamstring he injured earlier in the game and sidestepped Danny Green’s defense and avoided Tim Duncan’s attempt to swat it aside to bank in the decisive shot with one second left to give Los Angeles a 111-109 victory. Good bye defending champions. See you next year.

The unexpected thing was that the basketball game was much more exciting than the big boxing bout. Mayweather improved to 48-0 in his career with a unanimous 12-round decision but it was hardly an entertaining tussle and nothing like its billing as “Fight of the Century.”

There was no knockout for Mayweather. He apparently saves those for the women he hits.

Who can forget that American Pharoah became the luckiest horse of the year by winning the Kentucky Derby. Since horses don’t spend money, American Pharoah gets all the bales of hay he wants forever and will never have to worry about sitting hungry in a barn again.

Good food if you can get it. Well, for a horse. Just ask Secretariat.

“He eats bales of hay, Sec-re-tar-i-at.” (Use tune of Toto’s “Rosanna” for full effect).

The NFL Draft finished up but nobody was even chatting about that by dark. Not with all the other good stuff going on.

Oh yeah, the New York Yankees tried to spoil our day of fun by saying they won’t pay Alex Rodriguez his $6 million bonus for catching Willie Mays on the all-time homer list with his 660th blast. It’s hard to ever be on Rodriguez’s side on anything but you know, it is in the contract and it wasn’t written in that it is voided if you cheat.

Wow, so weird to commiserate for A-Rod the fraud.

OK, on to the top 10 list:

10. The Kansas City Royals played a baseball game without getting in a fight. They must have missed the word that Saturday was “Fight Night.” In fact, the Royals were so punchless that they scored just one run while losing to the Detroit Tigers

9. The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 to even their playoff series at one game apiece. I have no idea if this was a big accomplishment or not because it is the NHL but I also know I need to mention it or else my inbox will be filled with hockey fans calling me names over the omission.

8. The NFL Draft is lucky to crack the list as the once-anticipated Saturday has been rendered a complete waste of time due to the league’s switch to a three-day event. When the best thing you have to talk about is whether Blake Petty or Brett Hundley will go first in the fourth round, you know there is no further reason to watch.

7. The big Twitter outburst that CNN’s Rachel Nichols and ESPN’s Michelle Beadle had credentials pulled for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight because they said mean things about Mayweather’s history of domestic abuse. I understand why Mayweather and his handlers don’t like Nichols (see interview here but Beadle is one of those harmless fools who hosts some kind of lowly fluff show on ESPN. She’s just happy to get some pub. Oh yeah, Mayweather’s camp denies there were any games played with the credentials. Um, OK.

6. Shortly after American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, @NBCNews tweeted BREAKING: American Pharoah wins 141st Kentucky Derby. Good thing I wasn’t drinking a mint julep as I would have dropped it upon seeing the response from a Bo Pelini parody account: “That has to be a record.”

5. The bugle at the Kentucky Derby. As soon as that familiar race-day jingle is played, I know my yearly output of two minutes of horse racing is near. Love that bugle.

4. Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros are the talk of baseball. Wait, the HOUSTON ASTROS are the talk of baseball? This is indeed a Saturday Sports Day for the ages. Altuve hit a three-run homer – he came up short in his bid for his 10th consecutive multihit game – and the formerly woeful Astros have won nine straight games and 13 of their last 14. Call them the first-place Astros. Wow.

3. Quite a performance at the Kentucky Derby for American Pharoah and, gosh, do we wish the horse could talk so we wouldn’t have to hear owner Bob Baffert drone on and on about nothing of substance. Jockey Victor Espinoza rode the horse way wide as they hit the stretch and the finishing kick was stellar to win the Run for the Roses.

2. Special thanks to the Website known as vipleague for the free boxing stream as there was no way the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight was worth $100. I knew that before the fight – duh – and it became even more obvious during it. So much hype means so much dollars for all involved. But the actual action didn’t live up to the hype and I can’t believe how upset people must be for forking over that much cash.

1. NBA playoff basketball is about 100 times more exciting and intense than the regular season and the epic contest between the Clippers and Spurs once again proved it. And how badly does San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich want to beat up – Mayweather style – the shot-clock operator at the Staples Center for messing up the team’s last-second play?

College basketball rules the month of March but the NBA was actually at the top of the sports spotlight on Wednesday due to the Miami Heat’s pursuit of the famous 33-game winning streak held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

Thankfully, there was a Running of the Bulls in Chicago and Miami’s bid to break one of the most hallowed records in sports history has ended. The Heat won 27 straight games prior to the 101-97 loss to the Bulls, falling six games short of the Lakers’ record. (see stellar game recap here —

You could almost hear the “Good Job, Good Effort Kid” bellowing out his famous phrase as the Heat left the floor, especially when a Chicago fan upset LeBron James by trying to snag his headband as he left the court. (Listen to the Good Job, Good Effort Kid here —

If you know your history and appreciate the way the 1971-72 Lakers played the game, you don’t need to be told that the Heat falling short kind of feels like the basketball version of Mardi Gras.

So get out your beads and celebratory horns and let’s toast the top 10 reasons to celebrate the Miami Heat not breaking the Los Angeles Lakers’ record:

10. The Lakers never got to play the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats or Toronto Raptors – also known as a night off.

9. Los Angeles used to play three games in three nights all the time and we sure heard the current players whining about that incessantly last season when the lockout forced a few of those situations.

8. The Lakers used to travel on the same type of planes you and I do and had to haul down taxis to get to the team hotel, while the Heat fly on charters and have a customized bus waiting.

7. Some Los Angeles players needed to get a second job to pay their mortgages and feed their families – you know, like 85 percent of the current U.S. population does today.

6. Each one of LeBron James’ paychecks is more money than Wilt Chamberlain or Jerry West made in an entire season.

5. There was no such thing as flagrant fouls in 1972. Players actually played basketball without being thugs.

4. It was a lot more realistic to pretend you were Jerry West or Gail Goodrich shooting jumpers in your driveway than to pretend you are LeBron James or Dwyane Wade dunking on an X-box.

3. LeBron James has already won a championship ring. Last thing we need is his team holding the longest winning streak in pro sports history, too.

2. Heat executive Pat Riley – a player on the 1971-72 Lakers – has to get on a plane with the Miami players after the loss and go celebrate in the airplane lavatory.

1. The 1972 Miami Dolphins needed a reason to celebrate.

There’s a big headline on Yahoo! Sports today about realignment with the headline screaming out “There’s no simple solution.”

Oops, sorry. That article is about the NHL. Kind of funny since most Americans can’t tell you which teams are in which NHL division anyway.

Unfortunately, that’s where college sports appear to be headed with the latest dose of greed permeating the college football landscape.

Rivalries, tradition and the student-athletes once again don’t matter when there’s an extra million dollars or two to grab.

Texas A&M’s move to the Southeastern Conference began the latest craze and then the Atlantic Coast Conference stole Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. So naturally, the Big East needs to pilfer some other schools to protect its undeserved (of late) automatic BCS bid and the Big 12 is surveying the possibilities in case Missouri bolts to the SEC.

Particularly amusing are rumors that the Big East might turn to schools like Central Florida, East Carolina, Houston and SMU in attempt to keep its league relevant. Throw those four in with current programs like Louisville and Cincinnati and you have Conference USA Part II.

Please, someone must fill them in on what little impact the current Conference USA packs. And think, the Big East turned down a contract worth over a billion dollars from ESPN earlier this year.

What school would really want to join a league mismanaged that poorly?

Like the headline for the NHL story said, there’s no simple solution.

Now we’re on to a quick look at 10 schools recently mentioned in the realignment game:

10. San Diego State sent a package hoping to convince the Big 12 it is worthy of joining its conference. Best guess is the Aztecs showed the league its horrid football record against BCS programs and promised it didn’t plan to keep winning basketball games. Either that or San Diego State has gotten a bit too big for its britches after that first bowl victory in 41 years.

9. Air Force is considering a football-only move to the Big East and would move the rest of its sports out of the Mountain West due to competition issues. Funny stuff since the school’s cadets are supposed to be taught how to exceed expectations and overcome long odds. Running from situations isn’t what any of Air Force’s student-athletes signed up for.

8. Rutgers would like to be one of the schools that departs the Big East before it falls apart. Repeat, Rutgers. Most people find it silly the Scarlet Knights are even collecting BCS money when the school’s football history consisted of one measly bowl game appearance prior to 2005. Rutgers insists it can bring the New York television market to a new league. Truth is the school is a nonfactor in Manhattan or any of the other boroughs.

7. Nothing sounds sillier than Boise State to the Big East. The Broncos aren’t even in the eastern part of their own state, let alone anywhere close to the Eastern seaboard. Can’t imagine Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s celebrating about the prospects of traveling to Boise for a conference hoops game. Boise State would be better served by being patient since it is in its first season of the Mountain West and then seeing what unfolds over the next few months.

6. Louisville seeking entry to the Big 12 sounds like a disaster. The Cardinals went 5-16 against their fellow Big East lightweights over the past three seasons and are now famously known for going from being the best non-BCS program in the country over the first half of the last decade to a doormat in a major conference. Rick Pitino’s ego has to be taking a hit that his basketball program ranks second fiddle in the decision-making process.

5. Funny that West Virginia fancies itself as a football force but the Southeastern Conference did nothing but smirk over the Mountaineers’ hints about becoming part of the league. Those “Relying on FEMA Since 2005” shirts to insult LSU fans (think Hurricane Katrina) certainly didn’t help West Virginia’s cause. Been to Morgantown before and best I could tell, none of those trees all over the Interstate own television sets.

4. Good to see TCU in the Big 12 as opposed to the Big East. The Horned Frogs got the shaft from Texas when the Southwest Conference broke up in 1996 and desperation to preserve the Big 12 convinced the Longhorns to let go of their grudges. But how crazy is it that TCU pays $5 million to a league (Big East) in which it never played a single game?

3. Brigham Young apparently was serious about wanting to be an independent as the Cougars have thus far swatted aside the overtures of the Big 12. The Cougars wanted to get some ESPN time after being invisible in the Mountain West and now the secret is fully out – BYU isn’t close to being the force it was during LaVell Edwards’ heyday. Eventually, BYU fans will miss competing for conference titles while the football team continues to end up in the Las Vegas Bowl.

2. Connecticut might be national champions in basketball but the Huskies were unceremoniously rejected by jealous neighbor Boston College when seeking admission to the ACC. Got to love BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo throwing ESPN under the bus by saying the network told them what to do. ESPN’s corporate greed and numerous conflict of interests are no longer surprising to sports fans but people with longer memories can recall how the network all but ignored the presence of the Mountain West for several years when that league refused to re-up with ESPN.

1. Expect Missouri to hold up everybody as long as it can and enjoy the power. The Tigers are more of a force in the realignment game than they have ever been in football and all of their basketball accomplishments are overshadowed by the hair of Wesley Stokes ( The Big Ten didn’t want them a year ago and that somehow didn’t drum home the message to the Tigers that they carry a much-more highly opinion of themselves than the rest of America does.

There are hundreds of reasons to like Boise, Idaho though some long-time residents of the area will argue and say there are thousands of solid reasons. Regardless, Boise is an easy city to like and enjoy.

My hometown of San Diego is the best city on the planet but Boise certainly ranks a close second. More and more people are relocating to the city and the Treasure Valley is growing rapidly – much to the angst of all those people on the western flank that see suburbia and housing developments encircling them in areas that were highly sparse a decade ago.

There are certainly some issues when it comes to the area’s growth plan and there are way too many poorly constructed parking lots (the area badly needs architectural experts). There are no major professional sports teams in the area – unless Boise State is paying football players – and the summer concert lineup is highly pathetic for an area of its size (opportunity awaits for an aggressive promoter with connections willing to shake things up in Boise).

Oh yeah, can’t forget this: Boise certainly needs In-N-Out to wise up and start cooking those delicious burgers in the area. Also would be nice if sports bars didn’t CLOSE before games end.

But hey, no place is perfect, even San Diego. Haven’t seen a true traffic jam in Boise – overly crowded surface streets don’t count as traffic – so all those dreadful memories of sitting in traffic up and down Interstate 15 in San Diego are fading fast.

If it takes 15 minutes to get somewhere in Boise, the drive takes 15 minutes. Period.

Looking out my balcony view, I see lots of sunlight and blue skies. That means San Diego’s weather is here in Boise today (low 80s in mid-July) so there is no time for complaints. It’s time to splash on the sun screen, grab the MP3 player and hustle out for exercise along the Boise River.

Anyway, I recently celebrated my two-year anniversary of relocating to the fine city of Boise. And here are 10 things on my mind for why I love living in the state of Idaho’s capital city:

10. Doesn’t get bitterly cold in the winter despite the picture of my frigid car from last December’s rare snow storm (

9. Tornadoes never touch down or even come near.

8. You never have to spend a week worrying about and/or preparing for a hurricane.

7. Low crime rates with very rare instances of ghastly, violent crimes.

6. The occasional 100-degree summer heat doesn’t burn through you like it does in Las Vegas or Arizona.

5. Seldom is the humidity high enough at night to where you would sweat if you didn’t have a fan or air conditioning.

4. Flathead Lake in Northwest Montana – the country’s top secret vacation spot – is just a day’s car ride away.

3. Exercising always feels fun due to the terrific and shady “Greenbelt” that runs alongside the river that flows through town.

2. Has the comfortable feel that San Diego did when I was a kid before San Diego blew up into one of the country’s most-populated cities. (Note: the entire population of the state of Idaho is less than half the current population of San Diego County).

1. The Boise foothills – the views of the mountains that semi-circle the town look distinctly different from various locations and the views are always soothing whether sun-drenched or covered with snow.

My first-ever MP3 player died this spring and a new one arrived in the mail Wednesday.

That means I have to spend a lot of time burning CDs and finding songs on music downloading sites to get the new bigger model (twice the memory) up to speed.

But I can’t move on from the original MP3 player without the proper ceremony and remembrance. Perhaps the best thing about my relationship with the MP3 player is it never balked at what songs I downloaded.

Fast songs, slow songs, cheery songs, dark songs (that’s you Ric Ocasek), rock songs and even a smattering of country songs and not one peep of discontent from the MP3 player. What a trooper.

My top memory of the MP3 player took place in a hotel room in the godforsaken town of Cedar City, Utah in the summer of 2009. A former co-worker was helping me move and we pulled into town a little bit after 1 a.m. It was time to unwind and have a few beers and listen to some tunes.

My pal was cruising through my MP3 songs list and all of a sudden began howling with laughter. At a voice much too loud for that hour, he blurted out “SIXPENCE NONE THE RICHER!!!!” and began laughing uncontrollably.

I was hoping nobody was in the room next to us. Sure didn’t need everybody knowing that the one-hit wonder group’s song “Kiss Me” was on my MP3 player. Feared authorities stopping by to question me.

It took a while to get back to the task of what we were going to listen to and there was occasional surprise on his part over some other songs but nothing that outright shocked him like “Kiss Me” from Sixpence None the Richer having a place in my MP3 player.

A few minutes later, he got excited when he saw I had a bunch of songs from “The Doors.” So we rocked the Cedar City hotel for the next hour and transitioned into dreamland. (

Sooooo – in memory of my late MP3 player, let’s count down the 10 biggest upsets per songs/groups that had a home on my first-ever digital music device.

10. Toto – “Rosanna” actually had a place on the departed MP3 player. Not because I considered it was a must-have song or anything but because I once produced a “hit song” about the racehorse “Secretariat.” Even sung it on the spur of the moment on a small-club concert stage at the urging of a college newspaper co-worker in a band who insisted on it. The chorus lives on even today … “He eats bales of hay … Sec-re-tar-iat.” (

9. Blue Oyster Cult – Never liked this band and didn’t understand the fuss when they were at the “top of their game.” “Don’t Fear The Reaper” bores me but the 80s hit “Dancin’ In the Ruins” is one of the top 100 songs I’ve ever heard in my life. So a band I don’t like had a spot. (

8. Olivia Newton-John – Never seen the movie “Grease” but there were three songs from that soundtrack with a home on the MP3 player. Good think I don’t have one in the car because I fear the looks at the stoplight if another Newton-John hit “A Little More Love” was blaring through my speakers. (
Yeah, guilty as charged.

7. Deana Carter – Yes, there were country songs on the MP3 player thanks to my sister and youngest brother frequenting country bars in the mid-to-late 1990s. I had no clue who sang the song “Strawberry Wine” but put forth the effort to find it. Great storytelling lyrics with a nice melody by this artist. (

6. Rick Springfield – I hated the song “Jessie’s Girl” when I was a kid. But it was one of three of his songs that had a home. ( This might not be good for public consumption but “Don’t Talk to Strangers” was one of the others.

5. The Carpenters – I admit it – most of their greatest hits were on the MP3 player. The late singer Karen Carpenter (1983 death to anorexia) has one of the top voices of all-time. Pure beauty. “Hurting Each Other” is one of my personal favorites. (

4. Captain & Tennille – This could be bad for the reputation. Three – count ‘em, THREE – of their songs had a home on the MP3 player. “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “Lonely Nights” and the very catchy “Shop Around.” ( Before you make fun of me, please compliment me that “Muskrat Love” has zero chance of ever being played on a device I own.

3. M – Not only was the epic “Pop Muzik” on the MP3 player but so are a bunch of even quirkier songs, including “Unite Your Nation,” “ModerneMan/Satisfy Your Lust” and “That’s The Way The Money Goes.” This dude known as “M” has to be the biggest one-hit wonder artist ever. But nothing compares with “New York, London, Paris, Munich. Everybody talk about Pop Muzik.”  (

2. Starland Vocal Band – “Afternoon Delight” ( has to be one of the best-ever stretch-out-the-syllable songs in music history. The ‘Affffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff …” near the end of the song before the last “Afternoon Delight” is pure awesomeness.

1. Sixpence None the Richer – It is the easy choice when a co-worker finds “Kiss Me” on the MP3 player and shrieks and howls so loud that people two hours away were woken up. Have no clue if these folks ever recorded any other songs. Nor do I care. (

Final thought – with twice the room on the new MP3 player, it is only a matter of time before there are new additions to the list. In fact, I now have room to add Suzanne Vega’s “Luka.” (

Yeah, I think I just wrote one paragraph too many.

RIP MP3 player!

You break down the songs performed by John Waite and analyze the length of his career and you start to wonder if a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech lies somewhere in his future.

Waite first became a star as lead singer of The Babys, who had a string of rock anthems in the late 1970s. He became a household name in 1984 as a solo artist with the No. 1 hit song “Missing You.” He later joined up with Journey’s Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain (a former Babys member) as the lead singer for Bad English and had another No. 1 hit in “When I See You Smile” and a top five follow-up in “Price of Love.”

Notching multiple hits with two different groups and as a solo artist rates as a pretty darn good career. And Waite is still going strong with an album entitled “Rough & Tumble” due to be released in February.

He’s also one of the good guys in Rock n’ Roll. He does meet and greets with his fans after every concert, posing for pictures and chatting with people. He is a down-to-earth star who lacks an ego.

I last caught up with Waite in Sandy, Utah last June when he put on his typical great live show at a cozy amphitheatre. I asked him why he hadn’t played the 80s hit song “Tears” in concert in a long time and his answer made perfect sense.

To paraphrase, he has a number of hit songs fans expect to hear at every concert and then he has to make choices to fill out the show. There’s just not enough time to play every one of his popular songs in each show.

That is a pleasant problem to have.

MrSportsBlog’s personal Top 10 John Waite songs

1. Best of What I Got, Bad English (1989)

2. Head First, The Babys (1979)

3. Midnight Rendezvous, The Babys (1980)

4. Change, John Waite solo (1982)

5. Tears, John Waite solo (1984)

6. Back on My Feet Again, The Babys (1979)

7. Every Time I Think of You, The Babys (1978)

8. Desperate Love, John Waite solo (1982)

9. Don’t Lose Any Sleep, John Waite solo (1987)

10. Lust for Life, John Waite solo (1985)

John Waite hit songs not in my personal Top 10: Isn’t It Time (The Babys, 1977), Turn and Walk Away (The Babys, 1980), Missing You (John Waite solo, 1984), Every Step of the Way (John Waite solo, 1985), If Anybody Had a Heart (About Last Night movie soundtrack, 1986), Forget Me Not (Bad English, 1988), When I See You Smile (Bad English, 1989), Price of Love, Bad English (1990), Possession (Bad English, 1990), Straight to Your Heart (Bad English, 1991), How Did I Get By Without You? (John Waite solo, 1995).

Most underrated John Waite song: Rebel Say a Prayer (Bad English, 1991).