Super Bowl 50: Denver vs. Carolina – Everything But Football

By now, nearly storyline and angle for the Broncos and Panthers have been hashed out going into the Super Bowl. The Prop Bets are available to keep the non-football fan interested, which include wagers on things like how long Lady Gaga will sing the anthem, which song Coldplay will play first, and what color the Gatorade is that will be dumped on the winning coach. Even the commercials are getting leaked early (although I think that takes some of the fun out of it).

The Denver Post and The Charlotte Observer are also in on the game with their own friendly bets. If the Broncos win, the Post will receive “No. 1 IPA beer in the country” Hop, Drop and Roll (brewed in Charlotte) as well as some World Famous barbecue. If the Panthers win, the Observer will receive a broad selection of Colorado craft beer and bison steaks.

A tradition that we began here a year ago was to go beyond the teams playing the game, and compare the regions they’re from in EVERYTHING BUT FOOTBALL. Last year, New England had the edge over Seattle in our game here and eventually won the Big Game itself.

So for the fans (and newspapers) of each team, lets see how they stack up.

Music

From Denver

John Denver, Ginger Baker (drummer), Earth Wind & Fire, Flobots, The Fray, India.Arie, The Lumineers, Glenn Miller (Jazz), Neutral Milk Hotel, OneRepublic, Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, Judy Collins, The String Cheese Incident, and Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

From Carolina

James Taylor, Tori Amos, George Clinton, K-Ci & JoJo, Anthony Hamilton, John Coltrane, Ben Folds, Petey Pablo, Fred Durst, The Avett Brothers and Ryan Adams.

The Edge – Carolina

This may be the toughest call, considering how subjective music is for everyone. However I’m taking quality over quantity here. Fred Durst and the EDM of Denver cancel each other out for things I’m good without. There are more pop acts in Denver, if The Fray and OneRepublic are your thing. Both regions bring the Funk with George Clinton and Earth Wind and Fire. But I’ll take the Carolina singer songwriters (Taylor, Adams and Folds) over John Denver *skypoint*.

Bonus Points too for my favorite school slow dance song ever, “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo.

TV

 

Set in Colorado

South Park, Community, Diagnosis: Murder, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Nikita, Stargate SG-1, The Real World: Denver, The Man in the High Castle, Dynasty and Mork & Mindy. 

Set in Carolina

East Bound and Down, Dawson’s Creek, The Famous Jett Jackson, One Tree Hill, The Andy Griffith Show.  

The Edge: Denver

There isn’t too much programming set in either region. Community and East Bound and Down duke it out pretty well for comedies. I do love Andy Griffith and that whistling will be stuck in my head for the rest of the month, but 19 seasons of South Park is too many to pass on. Sorry, One Tree Hill fans. 

Movies

 

Set in Colorado

The A-Team, About Schmidt, Aliens vs. Predators: Requieum, Beerfest, The Big Short, Blades of Glory, City Slickers, Cliffhanger, Interstellar, Misery, Phantoms, The Prestige, The Shining, Stargate, WarGames, and Dumb and Dumber

 

Set in Carolina

Cape Fear, Carrie, Cold Mountain, The Descent, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Kiss The Girls, Maximum Overdrive, Pitch Perfect, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Tin Cup, A Walk To Remember, and Bull Durham.

The Edge: Denver

Carolina makes a case with solid Kevin Costner sports movies. But Denver has two amazing Christopher Nolan films (Interstellar and The Prestige) the better Stephen King horror flick between The Shining and Carrie…and Dumb and Dumber. 

Food

From Denver

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From Carolina

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The Edge: Carolina

It was a tough call, but I drooled the most researching all that southern comfort awesomeness. 

Landmarks/Sights

In Denver

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In Carolina

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The Edge: Carolina

Both seem perfect if you love the outdoors. I think if you love skiing/snowboarding and weed, you’ll probably lean toward Denver. The idea of mountains, beaches, and some college sports staples have me wanting to visit Carolina first. Red Rocks is a hard venue to pass up though.

Craft Beer

In Denver (327 Craft Brewers)

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In Carolina (151 Craft Brewers)

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The Edge: Denver

This one is depends on your tastebuds, but I’ve always been partial to Colorado beer. Carolina seems to be on its way though.

Sports (other than football)

In Denver

  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Denver Nuggets
  • Colorado Buffaloes 
  • Colorado State Rams

In Carolina

  • Carolina Hurricanes
  • Charlotte Hornets
  • Duke Blue Devils
  • North Carolina Tar Heels
  • North Carolina State Wolfpack

The Edge: Carolina

The two Stanley Cups won by the Colorado Avalanche are admirable, but 12 Men’s Basketball National Championships won by Duke (5), North Carolina (5), and North Carolina State (2) are a bit more impressive…

…plus the fact that state produced the greatest player in NBA history. 

Michael Carolina

 

Final Score

 

Denver –   3

Carolina – 4

 

Who has the edge, in your opinion?

Let me know what you think on Facebook or Twitter

Big thank you to Dago Cordova, Mike Kvackay, Jennifer Witkowski and Donald Moenning for help with firsthand research. 

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Bruce Springsteen Live in Chicago (1-19-2016) Available For Free Today

I have to admit, it was my first Bruce Springsteen show…and it certainly won’t be my last.

Springsteen and the E Street Band brought “The River Tour” to Chicago last week, and blew the roof off the United Center. Sunday night, Springsteen made the recording from the concert available in MP3 form for FREE from his website for the next 2 days. There are 33 live tracks, including the entire ‘River’ album and Springsteen’s first live performance of “Take It Easy” by the late Glenn Frey and The Eagles.

For a direct link to Springsteen’s site where you can download the entire album free, click here.

The album will be free until Tuesday evening. MP3s and CDs will go on sale Wednesday, January 27th.

Also, check out some of the amazing photos from Don Marshall of Marshall Productions!

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 For more, follow along on Facebook and Twitter!

A Day Remembering Bowie

I woke up from a bad dream this morning, around 3:30 AM. I checked my phone, opened Facebook to get my mind off whatever scared me and caught this from WXRT Chicago DJ Jason Thomas.

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What does that mean?!

Was the new stuff bad? Did something happen? Then I open Twitter and it’s there in front of my face. The man whose music hit me in a way when I was younger, that forced me to explore and find more like it.

gone.

I thought my nightmare was still going, that I was stuck in the weird place between being conscious and unconscious. Nope. Wide awake. I shared it with the person who I connected with the most on things like this, without any regard for the time…then eventually fell asleep with the Ziggy Stardust riff in my head. It’s still there.

Instead of writing a long and exhausting tribute, which I totally could, I want to just update this page with thoughts, memories, moments, trivia and links that I come across throughout the day…to share with fans who feel the same way.

This page will be updated throughout the day, so feel free to keep checking back.

 

The transformative GIF that you’ll see across the internet all day. Coincidentally saw it make the rounds all last week as well.

 

David Bowie on Dick Cavett in 1974, with a young Luther Vandross singing backup.

 

93XRT and morning host Lin Brehmer hit the right spots with Bowie music and interviews all morning. I imagine it will be great to hear all day, so tune in here.

 

A tribute concert that was already planned at Carnegie Hall will now be a memorial. March 31st, featuring The Roots, Cyndi Lauper, Ann Wilson, Perry Farrell and Jakob Dylan.

 

 

 

Paul on Bowie.

 

The Rolling Stones

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Win Butler from Arcade Fire

 

 

Iggy Pop

Iggy and Bowie Iggy and Bowie 2

 

Nile Rodgers

 

Jimmy Page

An excerpt from a 2012 Rolling Stone cover story on Bowie regarding Page.

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U2

View this post on Instagram

Planet Earth is blue – Bono

A post shared by U2 Official (@u2) on

 

Queens of the Stone Age

View this post on Instagram

See you in Valhalla Black Star

A post shared by QOTSA (@queensofthestoneage) on

 

Queen

 

Bowie and Queen

 

Pete Yorn

Laura Jane Grace, Against Me!

 

Broadway’s Reaction

Michael C. Hall from Dexter is starring in “Lazarus”, based on the music from Bowie’s latest album. He performed the new single on Colbert.

 

I’m glad CoS included “Starman” from recent Oscar contender The Martian.

 

The Michael Beschloss Treatment

 

Ricky Gervais (being vulnerable)

Where their relationship began…

…and what it led to.

 

“Bowie was a step ahead of Cool.” – Kristen Schaal

 

 

Rick Nielsen, Cheap Trick

 

 

Bruce Springsteen

Bowie on the first time he saw Springsteen perform…

Bowie and Bruce

 

Kendrick Lamar

Bowie was inspired by Kendrick when recording his latest album.

 

Weird Al

 

HAIM

 

Pixies

 

Germany

 

 

NASA

 

 

 

Check back for more throughout the day! Pass any thoughts and memories of your own to either Facebook or Twitter

Michael’s Mixtape: The Star Wars One

I don’t know about you, but I am just basking in the glory that is Star Wars Week worldwide. I’ll be seeing Episode VII: The Force Awakens on Thursday and drinking galactic themed drinks at a bar that’s turning itself into the Mos Eisley Cantina from A New Hope. Yep, I have no shame in my Star Wars geekdom.

Even Spotify is getting in on the game, matching users with Star Wars characters by their taste in music. I’m not totally thrilled being Anakin, but I do love me plenty of punk rock.

Anakin playlist

I dig the lightsaber on the bottom, not so much the new Fall Out Boy they included.

Since it all finally set in that this movie is happening and I’m actually going to see it (so since Saturday night), I’ve been surfing Spotify for Star Wars appropriate music. Not just the epic John Williams masterpieces, but songs about space and intergalactic awesomeness. So why not put it all into one easily accessible playlist that my friends and likeminded individuals to enjoy?

1. “Star Wars Theme” – John Williams

 

2. “Starman” – David Bowie

Album: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972

3. “Space” – Something Corporate

Album: North, 2003

 

4. “Return to the Moon” – EL VY

Album: Return to the Moon, 2015

 

5. “Spaceship” – Kanye w/ GLC

 

Album: The College Dropout, 2004

 

6. “Stormtrooper” – Pepper

Album: Kona Town, 2003

 

7. “Cantina Band” – John Williams

 

8. “A New Hope” – blink-182

Album: Dude Ranch, 1997

 

9. “Future People” – Alabama Shakes

Album: Sound and Color, 2015

 

10. “Chewbacca” – Supernova Chile

Album: Clerks Original Soundtrack, 1994

 

11. “Empire Strikes First” – Bad Religion

Album: Empire Strikes First, 2004

 

12. “You Satellite” – Wilco

Album: Star Wars, 2015

 

13. “Space Truckin'” – Deep Purple

Album: Machine Head, 1972

 

14. “Both Sides of the Gun” – Ben Harper

Album: Both Sides of the Gun, 2006

 

15. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z & Alicia Keys

Album: The Blueprint 3, 2009

 

16. “People of the Sun” – Rage Against of the Machine

Album: Evil Empire, 1996

 

17. “Imperial Death March” – John Williams

 

18. “Intergalactic” – Beastie Boys

Album: Hello Nasty, 1998

 

19. “Man on the Moon” – R.E.M.

Album: Automatic For The People, 1992

 

20. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long Time) – Elton John

Album: Honky Chateau, 1972

 

21. “Major Tom (Coming Home)” – Shiny Toy Guns

Album: Girls Le Disko, 2009

 

22. “Rebellion (Lies)” – Arcade Fire

Album: Funeral, 2004

 

23. “Spaceman” – The Killers

Album: Day & Age, 2008

 

24. “The Throne Room” – John Williams

 

The Full Spotify Playlist

Anymore songs that come to mind, send them to me on Facebook or Twitter to be added to the playlist!

My Way Too Early 2016 Grammy Award Picks

This morning, we were all graced with the 2016 Grammy nominations. In proper MichaelPiff.com fashion, just like with other award shows, I’m making my WAY TOO EARLY picks with the awards not being presented until 2 months from now (Feb. 15th, 2016).

Kendrick Lamar leads all with 11 nominations while Taylor Swift and The Weeknd each have 7. Despite a heavy push in PR in November, Justin Bieber was held out (except for being featured on Jack Ü’s best dance recording nominee, Where Are Ü Now) as were many of his Top 40 pop peers like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Carly Rae Jepson.

I am surprised Modest Mouse, Sufjan Stevens and Mumford & Sons didn’t get much love, but a little relieved that Fall Out Boy was shutout for becoming what may be the saddest evolution of a band I used to greatly enjoy.

Keep in mind, these picks (like music in general) are totally subjective and my Favorites of 2015 (Music, Movies, TV, Sports, etc) lists will be hitting next week in case you need better context. As always, your thoughts and personal picks are welcome on Twitter and Facebook

Record of the Year

  • “Really Love” – D’Angelo (from Black Messiah)

  • “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars (from Uptown Special)

  • “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran (from X)

  • “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift (from 1989)

  • “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd (from Beauty Behind the Madness)

My Pick: “Really Love”

 

Album of the Year

  • Sound & Color – The Alabama Shakes

  • To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

  • Traveler – Chris Stapleton

  • 1989 – Taylor Swift

  • Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd

My Pick: To Pimp A Butterfly

 

Song of the Year

  • “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar (from To Pimp a Butterfly)

  • “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift (from 1989)

  • “Girl Crush” – Little Big Town (from Pain Killer)

  • “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth (from Furious 7 Soundtrack)

  • “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran (X)

My Pick: “Thinking Out Loud”

 

Best New Artist

  • Courtney Barnett

  • James Bay

  • Sam Hunt

  • Tori Kelly

  • Meghan Trainor

My Pick: James Bay

 

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • “Heartbeat Song” – Kelly Clarkson (from Piece by Piece)

  • “Love Me Like You Do” – Ellie Goulding (from 50 Shades of Grey Soundtrack)

  • “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran (from X)

  • “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd (Beauty Behind The Madness)

My Pick: “Can’t Feel My Face”

 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • “Ship To Wreck” – Florence + The Machine (from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

  • “Sugar” – Maroon 5 (from V)

  • “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars (Uptown Special)

  • “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar (from 1989)

  • “See You Again” – Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth (from Furious 7 Soundtrack)

My Pick: “Uptown Funk”

 

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Piece by Piece – Kelly Clarkson

  • How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence + The Machine

  • Uptown Special – Mark Ronson

  • 1989 – Taylor Swift

  • Before The World – James Taylor

My Pick: 1989

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.40.48 PM

 

Best Rock Performance

  • “Don’t Wanna Fight” – Alabama Shakes (from Sound & Color)

  • “What Kind of Man” – Florence + The Machine (from How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

  • “Something From Nothing” – Foo Fighters (from Sonic Highways)

  • “Ex’s & Oh’s” – Elle King (from Love Stuff)

  • “Moaning Lisa Smile” – Wolf Alice (from My Love Is Cool)

My Pick: “Something From Nothing”

 

Best Metal Performance

  • “Identity” – August Burns Red (from Found in Far Away Places)

  • “Cirice” – Ghost (from Meliora) 

  • “512” – Lamb of God (from VII: Sturm Und Drang)

  • “Thank You” – Sevendust (from Kill The Flaw)

  • “Custer” – Slipknot (from .5: The Gray Chapter)

 

My Pick: “Cirice”

 

Best Rock Song

  • “Don’t Wanna Fight” – Alabama Shakes (from Color & Sound)

  • “Ex’s & Oh’s” – Elle King (Love and Stuff)

  • “Hold Back The River” – James Bay (Chaos and the Calm)

  • “Lydia” – Highly Suspect (Mister Asylum)

  • “What Kind of Man” – Florence + The Machine (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful)

My Pick: “Hold Back The River”

 

Best Rock Album

  • Chaos and the Calm – James Bay

  • Kintsugi – Death Cab for Cutie

  • Mister Asylum – Highly Suspect

  • Drones – Muse

  • .5: The Gray Chapter – Slipknot

My Pick: Drones

 

Best Alternative Music Album

  • Sound and Color – Alabama Shakes

  • Vulnicura – Björk

  • The Waterfall – My Morning Jacket

  • Currents – Tame Impala

  • Star Wars – Wilco

My Pick: The Waterfall

(Toughest of all categories)

 

Best R&B Song

  • “Coffee” – Miguel (from Wildheart)

  • “Earned It” – The Weeknd (from Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack)

  • “Let It Burn” – Jazmine Sullivan (from Reality Show)

  • “Really Love” – D’Angelo (from Black Messiah)

  • “Shame” – Tyrese (from Black Rose)

My Pick: “Really Love”

 

Best R&B Album

  • Coming Home – Leon Bridges

  • Black Messiah – D’Angelo and the Vanguard

  • Cheers To The Fall – Andra Day

  • Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan

  • Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

My Pick: Black Messiah

(Leon Bridges is also fantastic)

 

Best Rap Performance

  • “Apparently” – J. Cole (from 2014 Forest Hill Drive)

  • “Back To Back” – Drake 

  • “Trap Queen” – Fetty Wap (from Fetty Wap)

  • “Alright” – Kendrick Lamar (from To Pimp A Butterfly)

  • “Truffle Butter” – Nicki Minaj feat Drake & Lil Wayne (from The Pinkprint)

  • “All Day” – Kanye West (from Swish)

My Pick: “Alright”

 

Best Rap Song

  • “All Day” – Kanye (from Swish)

  • “Energy” – Drake (from If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late)

  • “Glory” – Common & John Legend (from Selma Soundtrack)

  • “Trap Queen” – Fetty Wap (from Fetty Wap)

My Pick: “Glory”

 

 

To see all the categories and nominees, click here. I can’t in good conscience judge Country or EDM since I don’t listen to either often. Send your picks and thoughts to me on Facebook and Twitter

Michael’s Mixtape: The Halloween One

Bringing back the Mixtape specifically for your Halloween weekend. Also, how awesome is it that Halloween is on a Saturday this year?

This list is a culmination of scary, sexy, and all the things you want playing in your ears while rocking terrorizing the neighborhood.

1. “Thriller” – Michael Jackson

Album: Thriller, 1982 

2. “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell

Album: Somebody’s Watching Me, 1984

3. “Bad Things” – Jace Everett

Album: TRUE BLOOD, 2009

4. “Howlin’ For You” – The Black Keys

Album: Brothers, 2010

5. “Vampire Heart” – HIM

Album: Dark Light, 2005

6. “Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

Album: Agents of Fortune, 1976

7. “Psycho Killer” – Talking Heads

Album: Talking Heads 77, 1977

8. “Calling All Skeletons” – Alkaline Trio

Album: Agony & Irony, 2008

9. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” – Nerf Herder

TV Theme Song, 1997

10. “Pet Sematary” – The Ramones

Album: Brain Drain, 1989

11. “Poison” – Alice Cooper

Album: Trash, 1989

12. “Sympathy For the Devil” – Rolling Stones

Album: Beggars Banquet, 1968

13. “Werewolves in London” – Warren Zevon

Album: Excitable Boy, 1978

14. “Nightmare on My Street” – DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Album: He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper, 1988

15. “Superstition” – Stevie Wonder

Album: Talking Book, 1972

16. “I Put A Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

Album: At Home with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, 1956

17. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.

Album: Ghostbusters Orignal Soundtrack, 1984

18. “Original Halloween Theme” – John Carpenter

Album: Original Soundtrack, 1978

19. “Enter Sandman” – Metallica

Album: The Black Album, 1991

20. “The Wicker Man” – Iron Maiden

Album: Brave New World, 2000

21. “Dragula” – Rob Zombie

Album: Hellbilly Deluxe, 1998

22. “Halloween” – Misfits

Single: Halloween, 1981

23. “This Is Halloween” – Danny Elfman

Album: Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993

24. “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing” – Chris Isaak

Album: Forever Blue, 1995

25. “Halloweenhead” – Ryan Adams

Album: Easy Tiger, 2007

26. “Halloween on the Barbary Coast” – The Flaming Lips

Album: Hit to Death in the Future Head, 1992

27. “Henry Lee” – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Album: Murder Ballads, 1996

28. “Time Warp” – Rocky Horror Picture Show

Album: Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975

Here’s the whole Playlist on Spotify!

For more, follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

What To Love About Fall Around Chicago

Happy First Day of Fall, Chicago.

If you were up early this morning, I hope you got a good look at “Chicagohenge” as the sunrise lined up with the city’s East-West grid. You can check it out again at sunset, in cased you missed it, but it only happens twice a year.

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Fall is my favorite season in Chicago, and I know I’m not alone saying so. Sure it means “Winter is Coming“, but it’s more like opening a fresh jar of peanut butter than it is scraping the bottom of one.

So what makes Fall worth loving? I’m glad you asked…

1. Sweater Weather and Flannel

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather is so good that The Neighborhood recorded a song about it…Some of us are much more in our element with long sleeves and a cool breeze.

Has fashion ever blessed us with anything better than the hoodie?

Poehler Party

I think not…

And when else is Al Borland’s getup ever sexier?

Al Borland

mmm…checker patterns and stripes.

While sweaters and flannel are fantastic on their own, they both pair perfectly with the always lovable “puffy” vest. At least you’re getting ahead of the curve for Star Wars: Episode VII.

“I love you.” / “…I know.”

2. Them Leaves

Chicago Leaves

Fall foliage is a thing in Chicago. It may be the most stunning part about living in a region with four seasons. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Loop area, you can get lost in the changing of the leaves around Grant Park. Perhaps take a walk around Lincoln Park as the zoo tigers are camouflaged with the trees. I’m also looking forward to the views along the new 606 Trail and West Ridge Nature Preserve.

If you’re looking for a nice getaway from the city, take an hour and half trip west on Rt. 80 toward the Illinois Valley and see what Starved Rock is all about. The hiking is fantastic and nearby are the greatest wings ON THE PLANET at Skoog’s in Utica.

Starved Rock Fall

While you’re already heading west, go see what the Quad Cities are all about. The first half of my college years were certainly highlighted by the unbelievable view at Augustana College walking the Slough Path to class.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.03.40 AM

Hey now…You can take a train from Chicago to Rock Island, so it counts.

3. Sports, baby…Sports.

Soldier Field

I know, Bears fans. Not the start to a season that anybody wanted…but when did that ever stop you from throwing on your blue and orange and fill up Soldier Field? Seriously. Those games are always sold out…At least you have Fantasy Football and tailgating, right?

It won’t be too long before the United Center tenants are back at it making 1901 W. Madison into a Madhouse again. The Blackhawks drop their new Stanley Cup banner and set to defend it starting with the New York Rangers Oct. 7th, and the Bulls tipoff with their season against LeBron James and the Cavs on their NEW home floor Oct. 27th.

It also looks like there WILL be October baseball in Chicago. Even though not all of us are Cubs fans *cough* me *cough*, it’s hard not to appreciate the fun they’re having on the north side. I don’t know how long the run will last, but you can’t help imagining how insane the city will be if a certain team hoists a certain trophy in a certain ballpark…

…and don’t forget Northwestern Football. Coach Pat Fitzgerald won’t let you.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.38.33 AM

Go Cats…?

4. Gone Pickin’…

Apple Picking

According to my Facebook feed around this time each year, couples and families LUV to go apple picking. For those of you interested in this sort of thing, here’s a helpful directory for you.

For those less inclined to do free manual labor on the weekends, might I recommend APPLE FEST in Long Grove? Starting this Friday, Sept 25th through the weekend, all the fun shops and vendors in tiny and quaint Long Grove gather to share apple treats and all the joy Fall can bring. There’s music, cider doughnuts, apple sangria, and I hear the Confectionary is making white chocolate and cinnamon sugar candy apples.

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Can someone please try to recreate this photo and post it to the Facebook page? Thanks!

5. Halloween’ness

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.00.24 PM

Why yes, yes that is Daley Plaza…

While you’re not glued to your television being “Shawshanked” into an AMC Marathon of bad slasher franchise sequels, you’ll probably notice all the Halloween popup stores in what used to be your favorite nearby businesses. (*Skypoint* Blockbuster)…

Quick remedy? How about a trip to your nearest terrifying Haunted House? For years I’ve been trying to gather friends (and the nerves) to try the Statesville Haunted Prison. If you’re interested, just Tweet at me.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.13.40 PM

If you’re less than willing to have the begeezes scared out of you, I would recommend doing what I have for the past few years…hit up a Bulls game and count how many “Where’s Waldo” costumes you find. It’s absurdly entertaining.

6. Fall Beverages

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 12.29.57 PM

I know, Pumpkin Spiced Anything is the fad this time of year…but so are several seasonal adult beverages. The patios are still open across the city, and what’s better than a “warm apple pie” or some other warm cocktail while siting along the the Chicago river walk?

I’ll sit and wait for your response…

That’s what I thought.

If you happen to have some recipes for excellent Fall-coholic beverages, please feel free to share them on the Facebook page and I’ll post them to the site as well!

7. Fun Runs

Chicago Fun Runs

You may be like most of us who didn’t train for the Chicago Marathon, but still want to feel like you accomplished something fitness-wise this Fall. FEAR NOT! Here’s a schedule for the remaining “run for fun” races, including various Thanksgiving Turkey Trots and the famous Hot Chocolate Run…

Hot Chocolate Run

That totally looks worth running a 15k or 5k.

8. ALL THE PEANUTS SPECIALS

Not necessarily something Chicago-centric, but it’s the F’ing Peanuts. Who didn’t grow up on Snoopy and all the holiday specials? With the new movie coming out in November, it’s hard to imagine there won’t be a ton of fun promotions around the city for it.

9. Indoor Concerts – Big and Small

Festival season is over, but the music lives strong in Chicago year-round.

From the big stadium venues like the United Center and Allsate Arena

To concert halls like House of Blues, The Riviera, The Metro, The Vic, and The Aragon Ballroom

Wilco Riv

and small venues like The Beat Kitchen, Reggies, Double Door, and Bottom Lounge. You never know who’s going to show up…

10…

You let me know on Facebook and Twitter!