Glazerpalooza '16 (11:45 a.m.)
On Wednesday night, I attended Glazerpalooza, the popular annual Super Bowl party hosted by FOX insider and Ballers star Jay Glazer with The h.wood Group. Ballers is a bad show, but this was a good party. Here are highlights and observations from the star-studded event in the order I recall them (the evening is hazy in spots).
» The Glazer event is where things start to change on the Super Bowl party circuit. You have to know someone or be someone to get on the guest list and, as a result, the crowd is better looking and better dressed with a slight waft of sleaze in the air. There's a wild amount of exploratory eye contact. It's a big party to see and be seen.
» My +1 for the evening was my good buddy and Around The NFL Podcast hero Colleen Wolfe, who was in grave danger for much of the night. This was a thirsty crowd. At one point, Colleen and I got separated, leading to a frantic Colleen text that read, "The sharks are swimming." We live completely opposite life experiences.
» Glazer is one of the most plugged-in guys in the business, so the place was filled with NFL players, coaches and front-office types. I spotted Falcons coach Dan Quinn, Browns coach Hue Jackson, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff. I also saw D'Qwell Jackson, Takeo Spikes, Marshall Faulk, Tony Gonzalez, Jordan Cameron, Michael Irvin, Mychal Kendricks, Charles Woodson and Steve Weatherford. There were probably 100 more players I didn't successfully ID. I snapped this pic with Hue, which made Around The NFL colleague Marc Sessler endlessly jealous.
» This was an open-bar event (that's a good job by you, Jay Glazer), but I still heard the incredibly lame pickup line, "Can I buy you a drink?" three times, including once by a bombed, boorish prominent former player. Later in the party, this same individual accidentally knocked a woman onto the dance floor, drink and all. Wait, is this my first BLIND ITEM? Kill me.
» Colleen and I had looked forward to counting the man-buns in the audience, but found only two men with the mystifyingly popular Los Angeles hairstyle. Super disappointing.
» This party was an amazing people-watching experience. It was an explosive mix of NFL personnel, Guy Fieri, Tommy Lee, this swaggering champion, various media types and girls in absurd dresses. At one point I saw a guy in a Rickey Henderson home A's jersey and I thought it might actually be Rickey. It was just a night where you expected to see unusual things. Late in the night, I was talking with some NFL Network people when I noticed Marshawn Lynch on the dance floor. I approached him and we ended up drinking at the bar together. That's not true. He did offer some insight on his future football plans. That's also not true.
» Yes, there was dabbing on the dance floor. Lots of it. Migos was playing at a high volume and everyone was joyous.
» Glazer has always been a mensch with the troops, and his party helped to benefit Glazer's new outreach program, Merging Vets + Players (MVP). It's a great cause that supports the well-being of American war veterans. You can learn more about it right here.
Super Bowl party week rolls on tonight with the annual Madden bash. I'll provide another full report because that's my job and I'm gonna keep. Here's me, Colleen and Lindsay Rhodes in the cab home. I definitely remember this.
The Case For Coldplay (10:30 a.m.)
This Sunday, Coldplay will take the stage at Levi's Stadium and play 12 minutes of pleasant, accessible arena rock for an audience of 115 million people.
Their ability to deliver a familiar setlist of singalong cell-phone raisers explains how they booked the biggest music gig on the planet. It also helps to explain why Coldplay -- now 16 years into their career -- remain one of the most polarizing acts in modern music.
"Polarizing" is the nice way to put it, of course. Another way to put it is that a lot of people "really dislike" Coldplay, still another is to say Coldplay is "freaking loathed" by plenty of sane-minded individuals. If you need a reminder, I point you to type the band's name into Twitter during their weekend performance at midfield.
Personally, I never got the vitriol. There are plenty of terrible mainstream acts to rail against in a fun, universal manner. Bands like Creed, Nickelback and Limp Bizkit and pop acts like Black-Eyed Peas and Macklemore have been targets of mass derision during Coldplay's era in the public eye -- all with good reason. But why go after Coldplay when there's a perfectly good Train to knock off the tracks?
Quick exercise: Name a current rock band with all its members under the age of 40 that can sell out the Rose Bowl right now? The list begins and ends with -- you guessed it -- Coldplay. The stadium rock act will always be viewed with suspicion by some music fans (Common Pitchforkian Refrain: "They sold out. I only like their early stuff.") -- and Coldplay is the last of a dying breed. It makes them an easy target. Admittedly, naming your kid Apple doesn't help matters any.
This is a band that's been releasing music for 15 years. Some of that outputhas beenvery good, some of it less so (My boss, Gregg Rosenthal, called the 2005 album X&Y "offensive" in a recent Slack conversation), but they've never stopped trying and they don't embarrass themselves. They'll never be as grand as U2 or as smart as Radiohead, but they capably fill their role in the music stratosphere. Their stage on Sunday is proof of that.
And if you still think they suck, just know Beyonce should be showing up any minute.