(Pictured: Fergie onstage in 2007.)
September 1, 2007, was a Saturday. It is Labor Day weekend. Skies are sunny in the eastern and central United States, although rain is possible in the South from Texas to Mississippi, and in the Dakotas. Rain and snow are possible in the Mountain West. U.S. Senator Larry Craig, an Idaho Republican, resigns from office today in the wake of his arrest last June for soliciting gay sex in a Minnesota airport bathroom. Craig, who has already been removed from leadership posts by the Senate GOP, insists he is not homosexual and never has been. Also in the news today, the search for six missing coal miners trapped three miles underground in eastern Utah has ended with no hope that the men will be found alive. Two weeks ago, three men died and six were injured attempting to rescue the missing miners.
On TV tonight, CBS presents NCIS, Cold Case, and 48 Hours Mystery. ABC presents live college football; the main national game features #12 California defeating #15 Tennessee 45-31. On FOX, it’s Cops and America’s Most Wanted. The CW shows the 1999 theatrical movie Wing Commander starring Freddie Prinze Jr. NBC airs three episodes of Friday Night Lights. Later on NBC, Scarlett Johansson hosts Saturday Night Live. It’s a repeat from January with musical guest Death Cab for Cutie.
It’s the first big Saturday of college football for 2007. The game of the day is Appalachian State’s unlikely 34-32 upset of fifth-ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor. Elsewhere, #1 USC beats Idaho 35-10 and #7 Wisconsin defeats Washington State, 42-21. Major League Baseball enters the month of September with competitive races in all six divisions; the largest lead belongs to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who lead Seattle by six-and-a-half games in the American League West; in the National League West, San Diego leads Arizona by a single percentage point. The NFL preseason concluded with 14 games on Thursday and two yesterday; this coming week, the regular season begins with the third annual Thursday night opener, featuring the defending Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts hosting New Orleans. This year’s NFL schedule will include an additional five Thursday night games, in November and December.
On this week’s Billboard Hot 100, “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston is #1 for a fourth consecutive week. Holding their positions this week are “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie at #2, “The Way I Are” by Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson at #3, and “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s at #4. Kanye West moves from #6 to #5 with “Stronger.” Only one song is new in the Top 10: “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em is at #6. It replaces “Shawty” by Plies featuring T-Pain, which falls from #10 to #11. The highest debut in the Top 40 is the highest on the Hot 100, “Misery Business” by Paramore at #34. The record had a four-week run earlier this year and has re-entered the chart. The new #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart is High School Musical 2, from the Disney Channel movie franchise.
Perspective From the Present: The Mrs. and I attended the Washington State-Wisconsin game with a couple of friends, although we had a hard time connecting with them in the pregame rush. We saw the end of the App State-Michigan game on the Jumbotron. The next day, we attended the annual Taste of Madison, where my radio station was hosting a stage. At one point, I think there were six jocks on stage with one microphone between us. (I wrote about the day here.)
Until I was researching this post (which is by reader request), I had never heard “Beautiful Girls,” which is fetchingly arranged and produced, although Sean Kingston’s voice is awful. The Hot 100 was populated with grotesque titles (“Ayo Technology,” the remarkably stupid “Thnks fr th Mmrs,” “Wipe Me Down,” “Get Me Bodied”) and lame artist names (Plies, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em—which was quickly truncated to the vastly superior Soulja Boy—Baby Bash, Gorilla Zoe). If this was art that spoke to people, then good for it, and good for them. I’ll be over here listening to something that is capable of speaking to me.