Any and all photo content is property of the ECM Publishers Inc. Unauthorized use is prohibited. To purchase photos visit

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


I recently saw that "Eric and Jesse" was coming back (the reality show featuring Rocori standout athlete and NFL WR Eric Decker (who I once played in Little League)). I was confused. Why is a receiver who hasn't done much of anything since leaving Denver, and a country singer, who hasn't had a single hit, get their once-cancelled show back. However, searching through the "new releases" function of Spotify today to find an album to review, I got my answer. Jesse James Decker has a new album out, "Southern Girl City Lights." Not sure why a record company would give her another chance, considering her previous failures to chart, and lack of true talent. Clearly they did, and went all in by getting their boring reality show back too. I've unfortunately watched a couple episodes out of curiosity to see the man whom I once was decimated by as a pre-teen. It was awful and unwatchable. Even worse than this sorry excuse for an album by Jesse James Decker. She's an above average singer at times, but she also has a nasally annoyance on a lot of her notes. Her songs are also super generic. One song, toward the end of the album (which I am still surprised I made it all the way through) was "Hungry." It wasn't awful.

Anyways, fantasy has plugged on. I'm 5-1 in dynasty, but 1-5 and 0-6 in my redraft leagues. It just isn't my year there. As far as dynasty goes, I honestly wasn't planning on being competitive for a few years, but since I am, I went all in. I traded both first round picks I acquired to get Jerrick McKinnon and Deandre Hopkins. I now have a seriously legit chance at winning. I could really use it, because I certainly am not winning anything elsewhere. Daily has been down lately too.

Lastly, I have a number of photos from Upsala volleyball, Little Falls football, Royalton volleyball, Royalton and Pierz cross country. You can see those photos here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Life of the Party

Though it pales in comparison to their earlier work, a decent album was recently released by one of my favorite of the pop punk genre, All Time Low. That album is "The Last Young Renegade." It was kind of disappointing compared to their 2015 release, "Future Hearts," which was a refreshing throwback to their best works like "So Wrong, It's Right," and "Nothing Personal." This was a step back, but that's kind of how it has gone for ATL, up and down. That said, one of my favorite tracks on the album is "Life of the Party."

I dropped to second place and 4-1 on the year in my dynasty league. I also lost in my main re-draft league, falling to a dismal 0-5 after scoring better than 6 of the 10 teams in my league this week. I'm still trying to fight and piece together a team. Wish me luck. I did earn my first win in my autopick league, and am now in 11th place at 1-4. No giving up there either. I've been hovering around even in daily so far, just keeping my money around to try and hopefully hit a great lineup and take home some $$.

I have many photos from events between Sept. 28 and Oct. 3. See them, purchase them, here.

Here is one of the best from Little Falls tennis:

Stay tuned for more musical musings and updates. Have a suggestion for me to review? Leave a comment or email me at

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Breakdown: NCHC hockey preview

My earliest memory of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is listening to the band's greatest hits album in the mid 1990s with one of my older cousins, who was probably in high school at the time. Looking back, she was pretty damn cool to listen to that. I remember specifically being drawn to the song "Mary Jane's Last Dance." Of course at the time, I was naive to who "Mary Jane" was, but as I grew older my love for the song never faded. I also learned to really appreciate the span of Petty, who had mega hits in the 70's, 80's and 90's. His 1994 album "Wildflowers" was brilliant, and contains one of my favorite Petty songs of all time "You Don't Know How It Feels."

I'm writing all this because the world lost another great one. R.I.P Tom Petty.

In honor of Petty, I've named my annual NCHC hockey preview to his 1977 hit, "Breakdown."

First, let's take a look at how I predicted the conference a year ago and how it actually shook out.

No. 1 in 2016-17: UND. Actual finish: 4 (35 pts). The Fighting Hawks weren't as powerful as I predicted.
No. 2 in 2016-17: Denver. Actual finish: 1 (59 pts). The Pioneers were a dominant force a year ago, eventually riding their amazing regular season to a National Championship.
No. 3 in 2016-17: SCSU. Actual finish: 5 (31 pts). I overestimated my alma mater. The Huskies didn't have the fire power I figured that their young talents would provide, plus they were average at goalie.
No. 4 in 2016-17: UNO. Actual finish: 6 (29 pts) Way off, though I predicted they'd be tough to predict, which was true.
No. 5 in 2016-17: Miami. Actual finish: 7 (23 pts) Miami had one of its worst seasons in the past two decades.
No. 6 in 2016-17: UMD. Actual finish: 2 (52 pts) Boy was I off about the Bulldogs having a down year. They went all the way to the national finals.
No. 7 in 2016-17: Western Mich. Actual finish: 3 (42 pts) It was quite the leap that the senior-led Broncos went on a year ago, which I don't think anyone predicted for the perennially bottom half team.
No. 8 in 2016-17: CC. Actual finish: 8 (17). The Tigers have been cellar dwellers for years, and this was the easiest pick to make and I nailed it.

As you can see, predicting is a fickle business, even in an eight-team college hockey conference. However, I did my research and hopefully 2017-18 will prove to be better to me. Here are my thoughts on the upcoming season.

1. Denver: There should be little chance the defending champs stay on top. They return most of their scoring from a year ago as well as goaltender Tanner Jaillet. Denver also has a strong recruiting class, though they will be a bit thinner at D without Will Butcher and others that left/graduated. The key to the Pioneers' season will be keeping Jailet healthy.
2. North Dakota: A lot of fellow prognosticators have the Hawks closer to where they were a year ago, but I think they should really be solid. They will be stout in net with Cam Johnson back for his senior year, and that is going to be a key. They will need to find a replacement in scoring for departed star Brock Boeser, who left early for the NHL.
3. SCSU: The Huskies should be much better on offense this year as most everyone returns and should be a year older and more improved. Goalie might still be a question mark as Jeff Smith is back as a sophomore, but was decidedly average a year ago. Slovakian David Hrenak could challenged for spot.
4. UMD: The Bulldogs should drop quite a bit as goaltender Hunter Miska left early for the pros as did a couple other players. Scoring should be pretty good yet, but defense is also a bit of a question mark. The key though will be finding a replacement for Miska, who was sensational last year.
5. Miami: Miami should be back in semi-contention and around 30 pts this year. They do lose top scorer Louis, but return most of the rest of its scoring and defense. Recruits were light, but the key for the Red Hawks is goalie Ryan Larkin. If he makes a huge sophomore leap, Miami could get a home playoff series.
6. UNO: Head Coach Dean Blais is gone, so a new era begins for Omaha. Goalies all come back, but they weren't particularly good, plus they lose Ortega, their leading scorer. Recruits were pretty good, but the key will be new coach and former Red Hawk defenseman Mike Gabinet. It could be a bit of rebuilding year. 
7. Western Michigan: Two of the Broncos' best left early for the pros. Several others graduated, so the Cinderella story from a year ago looks to be headed back down near the cellar. Recruits are weak apart from Josh Passolt, but the key will be to replace scoring, which could prove difficult. 
8. Colorado College: Bergh and LeClerc return, but Gerdes and Hansen are gone. However, the Tigers were not good a year ago. Can recruits such as Vanderbeck make them better? That will be key. 

Anyhow, that is how it will happen. I'd say five of the teams will make the NCAA as UMD and Miami both squeak in as four seeds. Denver will be a one. UND will be a two and SCSU a three seed. I'm looking forward to a good season. 

For sports photos from the week of Sept. 21-26. Click here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Corner Store

Macklemore is back! I am seriously digging this new Macklemore album, "Gemini." Macklemore rolls out an impressive number of guests, yet never loses himself or outshines his talent. A lot of his guests are up and coming, and from his home in the Seattle area, which is cool. I enjoyed a number of tracks, but one that immediately stuck out was the beat and great verses on Corner Store.

Fantasy football is still a struggle in two leagues, where I'm 0-3, despite what I think is a couple of decent teams.

However, my dynasty league, where I inherited a terrible team in January is absolutely dominating. I scored 174 points this week and am currently 3-0 with by far the most points scored. A lot of that has to do with Rookie draft first round pick Kareem Hunt. I also happened to trade for the No. 10 RB so far (Tarik "Chicken Salad" Cohen) and the No. 1 receiver so far (Stefon Diggs). Shout out to my Vikings. I did inherit Tom Brady (No. 1 QB) and Zach Ertz (No. 2 TE), so I can't take all the credit, but I did most of the work. Oh, and the whole league is super salty toward me, changing their names to some form of "Tyler Sucks" and such. That's the biggest compliment I could receive, honestly. Makes me feel better from the crap I'm doing in my other two leagues.

I've already talked a lot about myself, but one more thing is that I'm back to bowling again. The good ole Over the Hill League in Albany on Monday nights. I've been steadily getting better. Week three was last night and I finally broke a 500 thanks to a clean 214 last game. I missed four 10 pins in the second game (a 148) or I could have rolled a much higher series.

Anyhow, check out the link below for photos from the Lucky Lindy cross country meet, a swim/dive meet, Little Falls football in Albany and girls soccer. It was a Flyer-dominated week, but I'll have some other schools next week.

****Sept. 14-19 photos****

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Subterranean Homesick Blues

Nah, not another Bob Dylan opus today. Just heard a cover of this by The Lumineers feat. Andrew Bird (violinist). I'm glad the version is really different, and I really enjoyed the violin, but the words were so rushed and fast, that the meaning of the song, which is what Dylan really did well (lyrics and stories) were lost. No need to rush boys, just chill.

Anyways, I'm doing really well (2-0, 1st place) in dynasty. However, I'm in dead last in my two redraft leagues. Things haven't been panning out for some of my thoughts thus far. However, it's not time to panic yet, I can still scrape together some wins yet. If I'm winless in two weeks though, then I'll start to panic.

Enjoy these photos from Sept. 7-12: Gallery

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ride My Llama

Considering that there are a few artists (cough) Bruce Springsteen (cough) that I hate almost exclusively because of their voice, it may come as a surprise that I LOVE Neil Young. His creativeness and uniqueness is transformative. Honestly, his voice doesn't bother me that much either. I really enjoy that the majority of his songs compellingly tell a story. Recently, Young released his 38th (Wow!) studio album, "Hitchhiker." The album is a number of re-releases of songs, mostly from the late 1970s, and a few previously unreleased tracks. It is a well-selected collection that shows off Young's story telling abilities. Personally, I enjoyed "Ride My Llama," which was a song off of 1979's "Rust Never Sleeps."

Fantasy football began with the start of the NFL season. I went 1-2 as I'm only in three leagues this season. The winner was a dynasty team that I inherited and instantly made into a contender. One loss was a brutal loss to the highest scorer in the league. It was brutal because my team scored the third-highest score of the week. I would have beaten seven teams in my league. Ughhh.

I have quite a number of photo albums to share, since I didn't last week. Here are the photos, which can also be purchased. It is really convenient. Pick out some photos, edit how you want them, and they are printed and mailed to you:

Aug. 25-29
Aug. 31-Sept. 5

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Annual cruddy NFL predictions

This is the year. Of course I borrowed that slogan from the Madden '18 campaign, but I truly mean it, 2017 is the year that I finally have a great year that is far from cruddy, and maybe even could be construed as genius. This is THAT year. I may have thought that last year. Lets see how 2016 went, it couldn't have been that bad right?

Redskins v. Giants (WC)
Cardinals v. Packers (WC)

Bills v. Browns (WC)
Texans v. Jets (WC)

Panthers v. Packers
Vikings v. Giants

Bengals v. Jets
Chargers v. Bills

Conference Championships:
Panthers v. Giants
Bengals v. Chargers

Super Bowl:
Panthers over Bengals

So, a year ago I picked the Panther over the Bengals!? That can't be. Two teams that didn't even make the playoffs. Two teams that were a combined 11-19-1. Wow. That was off.

To breakdown the nastiness that was 2016, I had 2-of-6 NFC playoff teams right, and only one (the Texans) in the AFC. The AFC was particularly bad as I had 1-15 Cleveland (Cleveland!?) and the 5-11 Jets as playoff teams.

This year, you'd think I'd probably change up my formula. Do something different. Pick the exact opposite. Nah, I'm going to do it the same way I've always done it. Game by game, gut picks. Remember, this is the year.

So, without further ado, here are my picks for 2017 (Winners in Italics):
Round 1: 
Arizona (WC) at Green Bay 
Carolina (WC) at Seattle
Cincinnati (WC) at Pittsburgh 
Kansas City (WC) at Tennessee
Divisional Round: 
KC at New England 
Pittsburgh at Oakland 
Carolina at Atlanta
Green Bay at Dallas
Conference Championships: 
Green Bay at Atlanta
Oakland at New England 
Super Bowl: 
New England vs. Green Bay

Champ: New England

Yep. The Patriots do it again. A healthy Gronk wins the MVP, as the Pats top the Packers in a rematch of Super Bowl XXXI in front of a horde of Cheeseheads who made the short trip to Minneapolis from their farms in Dairyland. Uh huh, Tom Brady has to start using his right hand to wear his rings. Remember now, this is the year, and that means you can take these picks straight to the bank. That might not get you too much, because New England is the prohibitive favorite to win the Super Bowl, as previous winners often are, but it is what it is.