Jump to content

- - - - -

Idle Hands Now Devlin's Workshop

I regret to inform you that televised Bobcats games (at least, those 30% or so they bother to broadcast) will no longer feature Matt Devlin on play-by-play.  This comes as a tremendous blow to those of us who’ve suffered through the last three seasons, in which Matt’s relentless cheerfulness and game show host haircut were the only things we could count on.  That mischievous grin, that playful banter…Ingratitude is more strong than traitor’s arms, and this was the unkindest cut of all.  
USA Today writes that Devlin’s firing was “another shake-up for the struggling franchise,” although I’m not sure why any of the Bobcats’ problems would be considered Matt’s fault.  Unless management thinks Matt’s been so mesmerizing on play-by-play that fans were intentionally staying home just to listen to him.  Or maybe Coach Bickerstaff suspects Matt’s been secretly sending Sean May orders of Krispy Kremes, knowing full-well that Sean would be no match for their powers of tastiness.  I don’t know, but to me this reeks of scapegoating.  Matt’s a private in this Abu Ghraib.
So I was feeling so bummed out about Matt’s pink slip that I decided to write a song to cheer myself up.  I have fun with music from time to time.  For instance, once in college—just for kicks—I sent an email to my father about how I was feeling all depressed, and that I’d written a poem I wanted him to read that described my feelings.  Except then I just cut-and-pasted the lyrics to “The Unforgiven” by Metallica.  This was not a good idea as it turned out, because of course my father wouldn’t know who Metallica was if James Hetfield walked up to him and set his hair on fire. 
So my father got all terrified that I was suicidal (not to mention confused, especially by lines like, “The old man then prepares to die regretfully/That old man here is me,” considering I was only about 20 at the time).  What ended up happening is my poor father, now scared out of his mind that his only son was on the verge of blowing his brains out hundreds of miles away from home, yelled for the rest of the family to gather around the computer, and then recited my poem in what I imagined to be a quivering, panic-stricken voice.  Fortunately, my younger sister was there, and about two lines into the “poem” she said, “Wait a second, he didn’t write that.”  Needless to say, my father was kind of pissed once it was revealed to him that my poem was nothing more than a ridiculous power ballad by a bunch of burnt-out metalheads.  It was a pretty mean thing to do, I suppose, and I felt so bad about it that it took me nearly two years before I could tell that story to others without falling out of my chair.
ANYWAY, this song is I believe what the kids today refer to as a “mash-up.”  One of the best songs ever written—right below “American Pie,” in my opinion—was “Hot in Herre” by Nelly.  I can’t listen to that song to this day without getting practically misty eyed over that glorious spring/summer of 2002.  I’d been thinking of a way to make a parody of that tune, when what do I see is coming up on AMC?  Ben-Hur.  Bingo.  This little exercise gave me a whole new appreciation for the work of "Weird Al" Yankovic, because I could only make the chorus sound like the actual "Hot in Herre" lyrics, while he can do it for all the verses and the chorus--the man's a genius. 
Also, this one might have a limited audience, as I’m guessing most people who are familiar with Nelly are probably not fans of Charlton Heston movies, and vice versa.  But anyway, Matt Devlin, this one’s for you, and if you can’t catch a gig with any other teams out there, at least there are always game shows (in particular, I’d like to see someone revive Press Your Luck, as I imagine modern day digital technology would vastly improve those animated “Wammy” sequences):
“Hot in Ben-Hur”
Messala, my boyhood friend
Said we’d be brothers until the end
And it’s no problem that I’m a Jew
“For we Romans like you for you”
They’ll never treat me like a knave
And the last thing they’d want is me enslaved
Now he must leave and see other lands
But we’ll be close no matter how much Rome expands
Messala’s back, says “you’re still a Jew, I see
Sorry, old pal, it’s off to the galley”
The galley’s hot, Ben-Hur
Best take off all your clothes
I am so rowed-out, I want to take these chains off
Starved and abused, but I refuse to submit
 This strange man with long hair just won’t let me quit
He tends to my needs, overlooks my vice
Guess that’s why my story’s subtitled “A Tale of the Christ”
Now I’m back, strong and proud, revenge all I see
Messala, you’re a dead man, to hell with “love thine enemy”
This movie’s so odd, it’s only fitting, I guess
To settle our differences on chariots
This arena’s hot, Ben-Hur
So take off down the course
My temper got so hot, I wanna run Messala over
Done with Messala, but still feel irate
Now I’ve gotta deal with that clown, Pontius Pilate
And if that’s not enough, what’s this I see:
Mom and sis have contracted leprosy
I want more revenge, but they say let them be
They’ve been listening to that Nazareth hippie
Too big for his britches, Pilate demands
A crown of thorns for him, and nails in his hands
But wait, I know him!  It’s He who saves
And too late I see his message: “forgiveness pays”
Jesus is hot, Ben-Hur
So take him off the cross
It is raining so hard, but the leprosy wore off