# Save the Crew and Playoff Preview with Brian Phillips and Greg Bartram

- Where are we with #savethecrew situation? What is best case, worst case and most likely case?

Greg B. - First off, there was no way that the mayor and Columbus Partnership folks were going to come home from NYC with an agreement. THere are just too many moving parts to something like this, and it doesn't happen all at once.

I would have preferred a bit more positivity in the statements, but I'm not terribly surprised. I'm not sure this can be saved, as there surely does seem to have been a longterm plan in place by PSV, but the #SaveTheCrew movement is absolutely setting the right tone. Positivity, activity...I'm REALLY impressed with them. Morgan Hughes' catchphrase, "If there's gonna be a funeral, we'll be too exhausted to attend" is gold, and really does seem to be the mantra

I think there are two critical parts to this...if the other owners are pressured enough, I don't think they'll vote to approve in order to keep the black eye offa their own faces. Secondly, the lawsuit by San Antonio has some real intrigue to it, and that isn't to be discounted.

I'm not giving up until there are trucks being packed.

Brian P. -  I really struggle with this one. The efforts from the grassroots organization Save The Crew have truly been remarkable. They've essentially served as the club's marketing arm the past month. My heart  wonders how the league could do this after the display of love for Crew SC here, and the amazing support from fans all over not only MLS, but clubs in lower levels, teams over seas etc. 
Meanwhile I can see and I can read. The league seems to be backing ownership on this one, and seem determined to walk away from this city forever. This is bizarre to me. 
Not ready to give up yet... The Columbus Foundation floated a proposal for a new facility between 5th and 6th near Mount Vernon Avenue. It's far from a done deal, but it's a proposal and that's something ownership contends has been lacking.
There's a very real posibility MLS Cup returns to Columbus. If the Crew get through we get the game here. Can you imagine! It's the movie Major League.

Meanwhile the actual Crew are back in the final four. What should we expect from this series? Who needs to step up?

Greg B. - This is gonna be a tough series. Lets not forget that Toronto ate our lunch in a 5-0 match earlier this season, and did so without Altidore or Giovinco. Having said that, Crew SC have been a totally different team the second half of the season. Hottest team in the league going into the playoffs, and I don't put a lot of stock in the 2-0 loss to a desperate NYCFC team. Keys? The back four have to be the wall that they have been at the top of the team's form this season. We have to contain and control Ricketts, who is all kinds of dangerous. Crew SC has to take advantage of their opportunities when presented with them, and make opportunities when not presented.

This team can definitely advance, but none of the soccer illuminati in the US expect it. They also didn't expect the team to advance past Atlanta. Or NYCFC. Crew SC in a close one. I sincerely believe we can host MLS Cup again, and the players deeply want to give that to the fans. This one's gonna be a monster atmosphere.

Brian P. - Such a great opportunity in game one. Toronto are missing Sebastian Giovinco (yellow card accumulation) and Jozy Altadore (sent off against Red Bulls, must sit out game as result). That's a ton of goal scoring power watching from the press box.
Columbus needs to play their game. Come out attack minded and keep the foot on the gas. They'll be getting a ton of energy from what will be a raucous crowd. One thing I will be watching is the center defense. Josh Williams and Jonthan Mensah need to do a much better job taking care of the ball. Way too many unforced turnovers of late. If we do that goalie Zack Steffen is more than capable of making the saves necessary. 
Bottom line... Columbus will look to go into leg two in Canada with a big lead.

Brian Phillips hosts the CD1025 Morning Show and you have seen Greg Bartram's photos everywhere. They are both fans of the Columbus Crew.

Ranking Every AC/DC Record and a Review of Rock or Bust - by Scott Plez

RIP Malcolm Young. Originally posted 2015.

Stevie Young looks just like a Young.

Stevie Young looks just like a Young.

In earlier columns for Pencil Storm, I have courted the anger of readers by saying that soccer is boring and that “SEC bias” is a myth. I’m a bit of a contrarian sometimes. Always have been. Today, though, I will begin with a thesis that is sure to shock or offend no one. Here goes: AC/DC rocks. There, I said it and I don’t care who hears it!

Colin Gawel asked if I would be interested in reviewing the new album, Rock or Bust, and ranking it within the AC/DC catalog. Is it better than their previous album, Black Ice, which came out in 2008? Is Malcolm Young’s absence noticeable? These and other questions must be answered, and if you don’t trust my opinion on these matters, who would you trust? (Hint: Go ahead and trust me on anything related to AC/DC.)

I can review the album quicker than Angus can drop his pants, actually: It rocks hard from beginning to end. What do you expect? It’s AC/DC. 

But I can elaborate, if you wish.

This album is exactly what I expected it to be because it is exactly what their recent albums have been: one or two good songs and a bunch of filler songs to get it up to album length. Even the filler songs SOUND great, though. By that I mean that the band always sounds like AC/DC. No matter what they’re playing, the AC/DC ensemble has that spare-but-somehow-full-at-the-same-time sound they are known for. It’s amazing. If you have ever played in a band, you have no doubt tried at times to sound like AC/DC, and even though what they do doesn’t sound like it should be hard, you can’t do it, no matter how much you may have studied the supposedly simple formula they use. 

The good songs, predictably enough, are the two singles, “Play Ball” and “Rock or Bust.” After that, Rock or Bust just sounds like a band that isn’t trying very hard, but they still give you that hint of their former greatness even when they’re not trying. At this point, AC/DC is like a late-career Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In the 1980s, he was still a damn good player even though he wasn’t putting much effort into the game, and every now and then, he looked as great as ever. Late Kareem only played like his former self when he really needed to, though: in the playoffs or in the last few minutes of a close game. 

Likewise, AC/DC only sounds like a great rock and roll band these days when they really need to: on the songs they intend to release as singles or play live. I can’t think of a band that is more perfectly defined by their radio hits and stadium rockers than AC/DC has been over the last twenty five years.

In that time, they have released six studio albums, and all of them are more or less totally forgettable other than the singles and the title songs. Blow Up Your Video (1988) had “Heatseeker” and “That’s the Way I Wanna Rock and Roll.” After that, what was on that album? Anyone remember? Probably not. Same goes for all of the albums since then.

I’ll come back to that idea in a minute, but first, let me answer some crucial questions about Rock or Bust.

Q1: Is Malcolm’s absence noticeable?

A1: No, not really, and if I don’t notice it, I doubt anybody would. It could be that nephew Stevie Young is the only guy on earth who can pull off the Malcolm effect this well, or it could be that, with Angus and the rest there to guide the recordings, a lot of people could have stepped in. I don’t know, but really, if anyone tells you they can hear that it’s not Malcolm on rhythm guitar, they are full of it. If I can’t tell, nobody can tell.

Q2: How does it compare to Black Ice?

A2: It’s at least as good and probably a touch better, if only because they limited it to eleven songs rather than fifteen and because they kept the songs rather short. In fact, they seem to have been trying very hard to do shorten songs on this album. Some of them come in at less than three minutes, which is uncharacteristic for AC/DC. Just when songs on previous albums would settle in for a long solo followed by twelve repetitions of the chorus, the songs on this album tend to come to an end. Leave ‘em wanting more, I suppose.

Q3: Can Brian still sing?

A3: Indeed, he can. He sounds better on this album than he did on Black Ice. Brian’s worst vocals were on Razor’s Edge. Since then, medical miracles and good key choices have had him sounding better. (The band tuned down a half step on the last tour to give his voice a break. Look for them to do that again this time around.)

A4: Should I buy it?

Q4: Of course. It’s AC/DC. Why the hell haven’t you bought it already?

Now, let’s do this. Colin wanted me to rank the new album against the others in the AC/DC catalog. I can do that, but I can do better than that. I’ll rank every album and give the best, worst, and most underrated/undervalued songs on it. (I will rank the albums from the currently-available international catalog, by the way, not the original Australian albums.) 

AC/DC albums in order from best to worst:

1: Back in Black (1980). What else did you think would be at the top? This may well be the best album by any band, ever. It’s certainly in a group of four or five albums to consider for that title. Great songs. Brilliant production. What can I say that hasn’t been said already. A masterpiece. Best song: also “Back in Black,” but really, six or seven songs on that album are right up there with it. Most underrated: “Shake a Leg.” Listen to Angus’s solo on that one. It’s his best solo work ever, hands down. Worst song: There isn’t one, but I suppose if I had to pick, I’d say “Given the Dog a Bone,” but remember, it’s a great song, just not as great as the rest of this album, and Angus actually redeems it with what might be his second best solo ever. Listen to it. It gives me chills every time I hear it.

2. Let There Be Rock (1977). Classic from the Bon Scott era. Perfect. Wouldn’t change a thing. Best song: “Whole Lotta Rosie,” but again, there are several others just as good. Most underrated: “Go Down.” Bands who want to rock should study the middle breakdown in that one. Obsessively. Worst song: Again, there isn’t one, but if I have to pick one, I’ll go with “Dog Eat Dog,” but I love that song.

3. Powerage (1978). This one gets the award for most underrated album. Great songs. This is probably the most atypical AC/DC album because they aren’t trying to do big stadium rockers on this one. Most of these songs sound like they should be played in a pub for a crowd of about 100. Maybe that’s why so few songs from this great album ever wind up on AC/DC setlists these days. Best song: That’s a toughie, but I’ll go with “Riff Raff,” an up-tempo thrasher that sounds like the rock and roll equivalent of an Indy car going full throttle into a corner and barely hanging on. Most underrated: I simply can’t pick one. “Gone Shooting” has a great mid-tempo groove that is almost funky, which is a rarity for AC/DC. And “Kicked in the Teeth Again” has what is perhaps Bon Scott’s most memorable vocal performance. Worst song: “Down Payment Blues,” which is just kind of boring.

4. High Voltage (1976). This album is a bit uneven, but its high moments are high enough to put it in the top five. Best song: “Live Wire,” a former set opener that I wish the band would resurrect. Most underrated: “Rock and Roll Singer.” Why has this excellent song never been in the band’s live act? Why is it never on the radio? Worst song: That’s easy, “Little Lover.” Not good. Also boring and plodding.

5. ’74 Jailbreak (1984, but collected from material recorded in ’74 and ’75). I know this is technically just a five-song EP, but those five songs are good enough to put this one into the top five. Best song: “Jailbreak.” Why it was left off of the original American release of High Voltage, I don’t know. (Well, actually, I do know, but that’s a subject for another day.) When it did finally get released internationally, it became a staple of their live show and deservedly so. Most underrated: The amazing, and I mean amazing cover of “Baby, Please Don’t Go.” That’s rock and roll in a nutshell right there. Worst: “You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me.” I know exactly why this one was left off of the American High Voltage. It sounds like AC/DC was trying to get into the disco craze, and I actually will admit liking disco, but not when it’s done by AC/DC.

6. Highway to Hell (1979). As good as it is, it’s an overrated album. This record broke the band into the American market, but that’s just because it took a few years for radio to take notice of them. If this album had been as good as Let There Be Rock or Powerage, the band would have broken through in the States even bigger than they did in 1979. Best song: “Shot Down in Flames” in a photo finish ahead of the title track. This one is Malcolm being Malcolm at his best. It doesn’t even have an Angus solo, not really, unless you count some pick scrapes and a few squawks he makes over the main riff before the final choruses. But that’s what makes this song so great. It doesn’t need Angus pumping notes at you to keep it chugging along. That Malcolm riff is enough. Most underrated: Easy, that’s got to be “Beating Around the Bush.” This song sounds like a junkyard dog fighting to get free from its chain. But Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams keep it under control. Worst song: “Get it Hot.” This one is the precursor to a lot of the boring album filler that is found on later albums.

7. Flick of the Switch (1983). The best Brian-era album after the miraculous Back in Black. Raw rock and roll. It’s the Powerage of the post-Bon albums. Very underrated album. Best song: “This House is On Fire.” Most underrated: “Bedlam in Belgium.” Worst: “Brain Shake.”

8. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1981, but collected from material recorded in ’75 and ’76). This one is what was left over after the best songs from the band’s first two Australian albums were culled into the current version of High Voltage, and it sounds like a bunch of second-rate leftovers, too. Best song: Not the title song, but the mournful “Ride On,” the closest AC/DC has ever come to a ballad. Most underrated: “There’s Gonna Be Some Rocking.” Nothing fancy about this bar-band rocker, but it’s impossible not to sing along with. Worst: A couple to choose from here, but I’ll go with “Ain’t No Fun Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire.” This snoozer sits on one chord for several minutes while spinning its wheels lyrically and having no discernible melody. It would be a candidate for the title of worst-ever AC/DC song if it weren’t for some of the truly horrible stuff the band did in the 1980s and 90s.

9. For Those About to Rock (1982). This one starts the bad pattern of the band recording a couple of good songs plus a bunch of filler. It still rocks hard in spots, though, as all of their albums do. Best song: “For Those About to Rock.” Best production value they’ve ever had on stage. Fire! Most underrated: I’ll call it a tie between “Snowballed” and “Inject the Venom.” Good tunes. Not great, but good. Worst: “Night of the Long Knives.” Oh my. Horrible.

10. Razor’s Edge (1990). Known as a comeback album, but it’s only a little better than the ones preceding it. And Brian’s voice is just terrible on it. Best song: Hard to vote against “Thunderstruck” here. Most underrated: Definitely “Shot of Love.” If it weren’t for “Thunderstruck,” this would be the best song on the album. Worst: “Mistress for Christmas.” How did this ever get out of the studio and onto a record? So embarrassing. I nominate this one for worst song in the entire catalog.

11. Rock or Bust (2014). So this one doesn’t make my top ten, but it’s far from the worst thing they have done. Best song: “Play Ball,” the first single off the album. Most underrated: “Emission Control,” which has some nice Angus riffage, but maybe I’m just drawn to it because it’s the last song on the album, which means the filler boredom is over. Worst: Hard to say because there are a number of equally boring ones, but let’s pick “Rock the Blues Away” as a good representative here. With lyrics like “Headed to a local bar, listening the radio” and a stock mid-tempo riff that sounds like most everything else on the album, it just has that we-don’t-give-a-damn-anymore vibe. 

12. Black Ice (2008). Reviewers said they were getting back to their roots on this one. I dunno. It just sounds like late-era AC/DC to me. Best song: “Rock and Roll Train.” But this song is the “best” in that it’s just them doing what they do and doing it well, though you can tell they’re on auto-pilot, really. It just sounds like some stock AC/DC riffology, and they probably wrote it in ten minutes. But it’s good. No doubt about it. Most underrated: “Spoiling for a Fight.” Excellent song. It’s really better than “Rock and Roll Train,” but I had to call it most underrated instead of best because “Rock and Roll Train” was highly rated while no one remembers this one. Worst: Lots to choose from here, but the laziness of the writing and the plodding tempo of “Rocking All the Way” give it the nod.

13. Ballbreaker (1995). At this point on the list, we’re getting down to the stuff that seem to have been recorded just there to keep the “rock and roll train” going and give the band another reason to tour the world. Best song: “Hard as a Rock,” the first single. Most underrated: Probably the title song. Worst: “Love Bomb.”

14. Stiff Upper Lip (2000). Snore. Best song: “Stiff Upper Lip,” the first single. Great main riff. Right up there with the best stuff they have ever done. Dumb words, though, even by AC/DC standards. Most underrated: “Satellite Blues” isn’t too bad. Neither is “Give It Up.” I’ll call it a tie. Worst: So many to choose from, but “Can’t Stop Rock and Roll” is even worse than the rest. There’s a pattern here. When the band needs something to fill an album these days, they just go “blah blah blah rock and roll blah blah blah” and sing that over one of their stock riffs.

15. Blow Up Your Video (1988). Wow, do I really have to write about this one? OK, best song is “Heatseeker,” the first single. Most underrated: “Nick of Time.” Not horrible. Worst: “Go Zone.” Just embarrassing.

16. Fly on the Wall (1985). This is the first album they produced themselves, and what they proved here is that they need the services of a producer. Best song: “Playing with Girls.” A good up-tempo rocker that tries to do the same thing they did in “Riff Raff” and “Beating Around the Bush,” but doesn’t measure up. Most underrated: Also “Playing with Girls.” It’s really just about the only thing to recommend on this album, though “Shake Your Foundations” and “Sink the Pink” aren’t absolutely awful. Worst: “Danger.” Yep. Not good.

OK, that’s it. Reviewed and ranked. Let the debating begin.

Disagree? Post to comments or send your list by clicking here. Make it good and we may post it.

-Scott Plez, Professor Emeritus AC/DC U.


(editor's note: While we're discussing all things AC/DC, Pencilstorm's own Ricki C. once had lunch with Bon & the Boys back in the day when he was a rock writer in the 70's. Read all about it here: My Lunch With AC/DC.) 

You nerds may also enjoy the complete Cheap Trick song rankings or the 12 best KISS stories you will ever read



Review: Springsteen on Broadway 11/09/2017 - by Colin Gawel

Bzzzzz Bzzzzz Bzzzzzz - It was an otherwise ordinary September morning at Colin's Coffee when my phone suddenly started buzzing. I was busy juggling customers and making drinks so I blew it off to let it go to voice mail. Except it just kept buzzing. Bzzzzz Bzzzzz BZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Ok. Ok already. WHAT! I looked at my phone:

"You have been selected to purchase two tickets for Springsteen on Broadway on Thursday November 9th. Tickets are $450 each and you have until 10 am to accept or the tickets will be released to somebody else. Enter this code..... and credit information and press accept to finalize purchase. The time was 9:42am.

Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. I stepped away from the espresso machine to gather my thoughts. Customers would have to wait. I may be a small business owner but rock n roll always takes precedence over profit.

I would need to make two calls. The first to my friend Renz who reminded me to enter this ticket lottery, which I had forgotten I had, to let him know I scored two tickets. Renz is a huge Boss fan, single guy with plenty of disposable income and time. His plan was we would both enter and if one hit, we would both go. Paydirt.

The second call was to my wife. This was slightly more problematic as the night before we had both mutually agreed to go super frugal and attempt to pay off some credit debt run up by a summer of travel to baseball & basketball camps and a bucket list trip to Yosemite. 

"Hi honey. How is your morning going? Hey, you know last night where we both agreed to tighten our belts and live frugally for the upcoming couple of months. Well, anyway,  I sorta just charged $900 for two Springsteen tickets. In New York City. On a weeknight in November. Is that cool?"

Now, normal people would have every right to question my decision making. But my wife is not every person, without missing a beat she said, "Oh, you have to do that! You and Renz must be so excited! That's a once in a lifetime experience."

And Biggie, who also won the lottery but was actually taking his wife said, "If it makes you feel any better those tickets are already going for $5,000 a piece on stubhub." I'm not sure if that did make me feel better. Anyway, the deal was done. Renz and I were going to Springsteen on Broadway. 

If there was ever a time to fly, this was it, but airline tickets cost as much as the Bruce tiks and besides, Renz needed to stop and see a guy about some stuff near Asbury Park (No Bullshit) so he offered to drive. (editor's note: "Renz needed to stop and see a guy about some stuff in Asbury Park......"  I'm intrigued, but I'm not Jeff Sessions, so I'm gonna ask no questions and let this sentence stand as written.)

Cruising the Penna turnpike we listened to Bruce's amazing memoir Born to Run. We had both already read it but it seemed the perfect show primer. And the fact that Renz's Sirius radio had expired sort of cinched the deal. I had purposely avoided all reviews of Springsteen on Broadway so I could come in with no expectations. I figured the show would be a take on Ray Davies "Storyteller" concept with stories and excerpts from the book mixing in with solo performances of appropriate songs. What really had me intruiged was what songs he would choose to perform in this unique setting. Unlike previous solo tours, this was not a Tom Joad type acoustic set. This was a "Broadway Show" so that could mean anything. As Renz and I sat across the street at Hurley's bar getting a pre-show drink we brainstormed what songs he would play.  Both of us thought he would stay away from the well-known war horses. We were both wrong and glad we were. Songs like The Rising, Born in the USA and Dancing in the Dark took on a whole new life in the Walter Kerr theater. Our seats were in the balcony but you can see from the picture I took below, that we were right on top of the action.


At 8:02 Bruce walked on stage looking fit in a black t-shirt and began speaking. The stage had a stool with a glass of water on it, and a piano. Some well-placed road cases decorated the back of the stage. The sound was strong and the room was so live, Bruce could step away from the microphone and still be heard easily by the 900 folks in attendance. When he chose to move closer to the mic, it got loud. Though Bruce talked about the magic of rock n roll and the need to pull a rabbit out of your hat in front of 20,000 rock n roll fans, there was no place to hide on this stage. Houdini couldn't escape from this one. Obviously, this is what he was shooting for. 

The first part of the show leaned heavily on passages of the book and growing up in Freehold. He opened with Growing Up and then did a talking section before My Hometown (on piano), talked about his Dad before My Father's House and then his Mom before The Wish. 

The Wish was a highlight. Previously an outtake, that in my opinion was a cheesy song Bruce wrote for his Mom (ie: boring). As he played it on piano and in this context, I literally thought these words: "This might be the best song Bruce has ever written."  (Listen here)

I should also clarify that although Bruce quoted directly from his book, he at no time read from a book. He walked the stage telling stories between each song, either standing with a guitar or working his way to the piano bench. I would guess 75% of the dialogue was straight from Born to Run, leaving plenty of space for some funny jokes and extra tidbits mixed in. It is also noteworthy how Mr. Springsteen kept control of the crowd preventing the applause following each song from becoming a lenghty State of the Union type outburst. Once finished with a number, he would allow the response for perhaps 5  seconds before walking to the front of the stage and immediately restarting the narrative. The crowd hushed instantly so he could be heard as he slowly moved back towards the microphone. It was a brilliant technique to keep the show moving at a favorable pace. 

Moving from childhood stories Bruce talked about failing his Vietnam draft test, the friends he had known who were drafted and killed and wondering who had fought in his place before launching into a howling slide-driven version of Born in the USA. Politics were a very minor theme with Bruce briefly referencing MLK "the arc towards justice is long" before playing a personal favorite of mine, Long Walk Home. Once again, hearing this song in a different context was an eye opener. 

Wife Patti Scalfa came out to perform two numbers from Tunnel of Love and while musically it was very strong, I wish Bruce would have spent a little more time from the book about his troubles maintaining a healthy relationship with Patti and his previous wife. 

The plot seemed to lose focus in the final section of the two hour show. He came out of the gates on fire but by the end struggled to find a way to wrap it all up in a meaningful way. A bout with late life depression was a big part of the book but was never mentioned as part of this show. 

The saving grace, of course, were all those great songs. Land of Hope and Dreams is a tune Bruce always seemed fond of but never seemed to connect with his arena audiences. As the second to last number on this night, I finally could hear what made it so special. Naturally, he ended with Born to Run.  Bruce quipped, "New Jersey is a death trap, a suicide wrap, I've got to get out. and now.... I live 10 minutes from the house I grew up in." 

 Set list: Growing Up / My Hometown (piano) / My Father's House / The Wish (piano) / Thunder Road / The Promised Land / Born in the USA / Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out (piano) / Tougher Than the Rest (with Patti Scialfa - piano) / Brilliant Disguise (with Patti Scialfa) / Long Walk Home / The Rising / Dancing in the Dark / Land of Hope and Dreams / Born to Run.

Colin Gawel is the founder of Pencilstorm and Colin's Coffee. He plays solo and in the band Watershed. You can read about his life in the book Hitless Wonder. He once sat down and chatted with Bruce Springsteen. Click here to read that story.


Do the Bucks Deserve to Make the Final Four? Baver Answers Colin's Questions

Colin: Whoa. Buckeyes roll Sparty while Iowa cannot move the ball or stop Bucky Badger. What a difference a week makes. Can you explain what just happened?

Baver: Iowa…66 yards of offense in Madison? It about makes you want to puke, doesn’t it? This Buckeye team seems to be carried by emotions more than previous OSU teams. I thought it would be a tight game, but I noted last week that MSU appeared to have been doing it with mirrors all year long. The Spartans can’t run the football and with the Buckeyes executing almost flawlessly on offense, the Spartans were no match for Ohio St.

The Buckeye O-line played their best game of the year. And OSU’s use of unbalanced sets, with trip WRs and the fullback to one side, caused Sparty all kinds of problems. On D, the Buckeye hit Brian Lewerke a couple times early, and I think that rattled him.

Colin: A Mike Weber 2017 coming out party this past Saturday, huh? 

Baver: It was reported in early summer that Mike Weber ran the 4th fasted 40 on the team, and I’m not sure many fans believed it. With Weber finally looking healthy, we got to see that speed. The kid has reportedly worked his ass off to get to where he is now…a good story there.

Colin: On the downside, JT seems to be struggling with confidence again. The two picks were bad, but the under thrown ball to the wide open Baugh was JT at his least effective. How concerned should we be?

Baver: Reasonably concerned. With Michigan and (probably) Wisconsin on the horizon, JT’s accuracy is going to be key.

Colin: On the upside, JT is putting together perhaps the most successful QB career in Buckeye history. How good has this kid been? What are some big wins early in his career people seem to forget or take for granted anytime the offense struggles in 2017? What records will he leave behind?

Baver: JT, with a sprained knee, refused to come out of the 2014 Penn St game in Happy Valley, and ran for 2 TDs in the OT periods to propel OSU to a win. A few weeks later, he threw for 300 yards, running for another 86, and accounted for 5 total TDs, as the Buckeyes upset Sparty in East Lansing. Prior to this year’s Penn St game, that was JT’s best day as a Buckeye, and it launched Ohio St into the Nat’l Title hunt.

JT holds 29 OSU records and isn’t done yet. That includes the record for career-passing yards, and he should break Braxton’s career QB rushing record tomorrow. He also holds the Big Ten record for TD passes (99) and total TDs accounted for (137). Think about that….137 touchdowns….that is about absurd.

A tip of the hat to a class act that has had a remarkable career in Columbus.

Colin: Let's look past Illinois and talk about THE game. You know damn sure Harbaugh and company have seen the film of our linebackers exposed in pass coverage. Can that be fixed in 10 days? 

Baver: We’ll see. UM TEs Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry have 37 catches between them and will likely be a focus of Harbaugh’s attack against OSU after seeing what the Iowa tights did to the Bucks. New starting QB Brandon Peters hit both of them for TDs last week. Hopefully with Worley likely back at his more comfortable position of manning the strong side, this Buckeye LB group will hold up against UM’s short passing game.

Colin: Lots of upsets last weekend has the Buckeyes sort of back in the playoff conversation. Do you truly, in your heart, think this team deserves to make the final four? 

Baver: Right now? Probably not. But ask me again after The Game. I do now think that if the Buckeyes win out, they are close to a 50/50 shot of making the playoff….deserving or not.

Colin: Give us an update on your picks to date and games / lines you will be keeping an eye on this weekend?

Baver: Been a bloodbath the last two weeks. Still,17-13 against the spread on the year. As bad as Illinois is (0-7 in the B10), I think the Illini +41 is the play. Highest Big Ten spread I can ever remember, and I think Urban will want to get his guys out early with TTUN on deck. I’ve got the Bucks winning 41-7. I like Temple at home catching 2 TDs against undefeated UCF. I think the Knights undefeated season could come to an end if the chips fall right for the Owls tomorrow. I liked UM getting 10 in Madison, but that line has dropped to 7 ½. Still, I think you take the points in that one.




Pencilstorm Post UA Election Interview: Next Steps For Rebuilding The Schools

Now that Upper Arlington's School Levy (Issue 43) passed with 54% of the votes, Pencilstorm reached out to Upper Arlington Superintendent Paul Imhoff  and Treasurer/Chief Finance Officer Andy Geistfeld with five questions about what will happen next. Their unedited answers are posted below.  

Paul Imhoff, Superintendent

Paul Imhoff, Superintendent

Now that the levy has passed, what are the next steps?
It’s important to remember that none of the projects has been designed yet.  The next step is launching a community-based design phase for the six schools that are to be renovated or rebuilt.
Community involvement was the key to the success of our master planning process, and we believe that will be true with the design phase, too.  We’re sticking with the theme “your voice matters,” and we’ll be holding community meetings and asking for volunteers to be on building design teams and a district-wide green team.
The design phase will last about 12 to 15 months, and only then, once we have community-developed design plans for each of the six buildings, will we break ground — tentatively in early 2019.
In terms of timeline, which buildings will be worked on first? Do you have an estimate on when each will be finished? In addition, when will all day kindergarten start?
Tentatively, in early 2019, we’ll break ground first on a renovated Barrington and Tremont elementary school; a new Greensview and Wickliffe Progressive elementary school; and a new high school. The exception there is Windermere. We won’t be able to break ground on Windermere until the fall of 2020. And that’s because we’ll build a new Windermere on the footprint of the old building.
A renovated Barrington and Tremont and a new Greensview and Wickliffe will open to students tentatively in the fall of 2020. While the new Windermere is being built, students from that school will be educated in the old Wickliffe building. Then, a new Windermere and high school will tentatively open the next fall, in 2021. All construction on the high school site will be finished by the fall of 2022, with the athletic fields and support spaces completed and the old building demolished.
The plan is to add enough space at the elementary schools through these projects to accommodate both our enrollment growth and a future all-day kindergarten program.
How can the community get involved in the next stages of planning?
We’ll be having community-wide meetings to launch the design phase in December, and we’ll be setting the date for that in the coming days. We’ll offer both a morning and an evening option as we did during the master planning process. Community members can watch their mailboxes and our website,, for more information.
We will also be reaching out to community members about more opportunities to get involved, including building design teams and a “green team” that will explore environmental best practices for the new or renovated buildings. Neighbors living in close proximity to the buildings can also join a neighbor committee to share feedback and offer guidance throughout the design phase and construction process.
Which high school sports will be impacted by the construction and at what point will they need to be moved to a temporary facility?
Our goal is to minimize the impact the construction will have on our extracurricular activities.  The new turf field, baseball field and softball field to be built on the land behind Tremont Elementary School will definitely help with that.  However, we do anticipate that baseball, softball, tennis, and track and field will have to be temporarily relocated during construction.

Andrew Geisfeld, Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Geisfeld, Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer

Let’s talk money. How will you look for savings and if there’s any extra money, what will you do with it? (Answer from Andy and Paul)
We will look for savings during each step of the community design process.

If funds remain after the projects are completed, those funds would be used to reduce the amount collected from residents to pay annual debt amount.


Pencilstorm would like to thank Paul and Andy for taking the time to answer our questions. For more information about the construction visit:

Local UA Politics coverage provided by Wal Ozello. You can email him at or try to catch him at Colin's Coffee.

JD McPherson @ Skully's, Boss on Broadway and Random Stuff - Colin G.

Hey all. This is really more of a glorified Facebook post in between customers at the coffee shop but I wanted to touch base on a number of subjects to clear out my brain. Here goes.

- If you don't want to read any further I am still playing Four String Taproom in Grandview EVERY Thursday so we can chat over some Four String Brew. One set. 9pm. No Cover. 

-CD1025 has started streaming online. If you want to give it a test spin, I'll be on air with Brian Phillips Wednesday November 24th 8-10am. has the goods. 

- I recently returned from seeing Springsteen on Broadway and hope to have a review of sorts posted soon. I need some serious Ricki C. editing help on this project. 

- The League Bowlers record "Some Balls Deluxe" is being mastered and should be shipped off for production soon. I'm really excited for everybody to hear it and dig the groovy artwork. As soon as I know when it's arriving we are going to try and schedule some sort of release party ASAP. Mike Parks is giving cancer a helluva fight but time is still limited. 

- Tonight, Wednesday November 15th, I'm going to see JD McPherson at Skully's. I fell in love with his last record Let the Good Times Roll and his latest, Undivided Heart and Soul is in heavy rotation at Colin's Coffee. If you can't make the show give these records a listen. Good Stuff. 

Thanks to Wal Ozello for spearheading the Upper Arlington City Council interviews. That was some wild ride. 

Note to self: future story ideas-

CD1025 is Streaming Again and Has a New Program Director

Did Ray Davies Win the British Invasion with Americana?

Bon Jovi is the Steroid Kings of Hair Metal

My Nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Uh-oh. Customer. Got to run. Not a story idea, but for real. Thanks for visiting Pencilstorm! - Colin Gawel. 

PS - You can contribute too! Send us an idea at