Musician Duff McKagan's column runs every Wednesday on Playbook Sounds.
There seem to be so dang many sports topics over the last week that it is now too difficult for me to choose only one to write about. I will just shoot from the hip here:
• The Oklahoma City Thunder trounced the Lakers in five games. It didn't ever seem close, as far as knowing who really had the energy to win it. Being a lifetime Sonics fan, it was a strange thing trying to take a side in those five games. The Lakers are longtime rivals -- that just goes with being in the Pacific Division (even though the Sonics are gone; old habits die hard, I guess). But it seems I despise the owner of the Thunder even more ... and I found myself rooting for the Lakers on Monday in Game 5. Weird, for sure.
• The Bayern Munich stadium is ridiculous. I went to my pal Steve Jones' house Saturday to watch his Chelsea team upset the favored Munich team, whose home stadium is one of the most grandiose-looking arenas out there. State-of-the-art on steroids.
• The old Dallas Cowboys stadium, Texas Stadium: Yes, I know it had a hole in the roof so "God could watch his favorite team," but GN’R had its worst-ever gig there in 1988. We sucked it up pretty good. Thank god for Iggy Pop that night. He saved it all.
• It may be an obvious point to make now, but the L.A. Kings’ story is kind of ridiculous. They are dominant and completely self-assured. All of this out of an eighth seed?
• John Clayton is already talking NFL on ESPN. Man. Let’s get some football going! I’m down.
• The San Antonio Spurs, while perhaps long in the tooth and not as glamorous as the other teams in the running, seem to be the silent assassins of these NBA playoffs.
• Dude from the Detroit Tigers (Max Scherzer) had 15 strikeouts the other night. Unbelievable.
• Jamie Moyer just pitched at his 50th MLB ballpark. The man is a hero, all the way around. Check out the work he does with his wife Karen at The Moyer Foundation.
• Note to the rest of the country: The Boston Celtics don’t seem to be done yet.
• Saw Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready the other night. His cover band of '80s group UFO called Flight To Mars is one of the best rock bands out there. Seattle dudes know how to rock. Period.
• L.A. traffic was hell last weekend. You had the Kings, Lakers and Clippers playing at Staples. You had the Dodgers in town, and there was a bike race downtown. Imagine what it would have been like if everyone actually showed up at tipoff? Good thing they like to be fashionably late for stuff down there. Being blasé is cool, and has the added benefit of staggering traffic …
• I don’t have a favorite English Premier League team, but the story of Chelsea beating the favored Euro team in enemy territory is just a good sports story (yes, yes ... I know they have deep pockets, etc.). And PS, English football fan, it has been noted that your author doesn’t really know what the hell he is talking about. It’s fun to watch all the hullabaloo when I do write about it, though.
And back to the point of that old Texas Stadium gig being GN’R’s worst ever; I don’t think my pal Slash has had a bad one since then.
Slash has been playing guitar harder and faster and meaner every year since 1988. He has a great group of guys he is playing with right now, and singer Myles Kennedy is a class act who works as hard as anybody I have ever met (he represents the "509," to boot).