So there’s no way to sugar-coat this or oversell it: This new Bob Dylan video for “Like a Rolling Stone” is brilliant.
If you haven’t seen it by now, I’m surprised, because it’s been all over the Internet. But here it is, and it’s spectacular. It’s an interactive video; the whole video looks like a TV screen, and by using the up and down arrows on your keyboard, you can “watch” people singing the classic song in all different formats. There’s an old movie, a sports highlights show, a “The Price is Right” episode, and a whole bunch more people all singing the song perfectly in sync with each other.
I have no idea how it was done, but I keep watching it over and over. So cool. I really, really recommend clicking on it; it’s a dazzling example of the merger of a great old song and 21st century technology.
If you’re interested in how it was made, Rolling Stone interviewed the creators here.
**I’m sure you all remember the media attention garnered last spring by Jason Collins, who became the first active male pro athlete in a major team sport to admit he was gay.
Collins, a longtime NBA center, was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and hailed for weeks as a hero, as he should’ve been.
Unfortunately, Collins isn’t an active player anymore; most distressingly, the free agent saw not one NBA team reach out to him for so much as a tryout in training camp this year, and as the season rolls on he remains unsigned.
(Now, I completely understand that he’s no LeBron; he’s an aging big man who was never that good in the first place, and teams are totally in their rights to ignore him because of his lack of ability. Still, I can’t believe a man as PR-conscious as NBA commissioner David Stern couldn’t find a way to get Collins in the league.)
Anyway, around the time Collins came out, there were also rumblings that several NFL players were going to come out of the closet together. How close did it really come to happening? Pretty damn close, as Mike Freeman, an excellent sportswriter (and fellow UD Blue Hen!) writes in this story. It was about to happen, and then one of the teams got gun-shy and it didn’t happen; they didn’t sign the player (My fellow Jets fans might recognize the profile and characteristics of one of the players mentioned; if it’s who I think it is, it’s not a surprise; he played with the Jets for several years about six years ago.)
Pretty sad that it’s late 2013 and NFL owners are general managers are still too afraid to actually have an out gay player on their roster. How much longer will it take?
**Finally today, a few words about Dean Smith, the legendary University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach, who Wednesday was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Now as you may know from reading this blog, I’m sort of a big Duke basketball fan (ha), which of course means I hate everything Carolina blue.
But I can never, ever, ever say anything bad about Dean Smith. Of course I admire all that he accomplished at UNC, from his victories, to his principled stand on civil rights (he was a leader in helping integrate the school in the 1960s, and recruited black players long before most others did) to his absolute grace and dignity on and off the court.
But personally, I was lucky to have interviewed him 1-on-1 a few times, and he could not have been more gracious. I’ll never forget asking him a question at a press conference once, the first time I’d gotten to do that, and then seeing him months later at a charity event. He walked up to me and said “Hey Michael, how’ve you been?” like we were old friends.
Dean was all class, and it’s heartbreaking to know that now he’s quite ill, with significant memory loss (no one has quite said what’s ailing him, trying to protect his privacy, but it sure sounds like Alzheimer’s or dementia).
He’s one of the greats, and I’m glad he continues to be recognized for the giant life he has led.