Out With the Old, In With the New Year
The end of the year is here but that only means one thing, a new one is about to begin. Looking back on last year’s events and shows and trying to pick just one of my favorites would be like trying to make a rose live forever, and we all know roses won’t last a whole season.
A few of last year’s highlights for me would be the Bulls ending the Heat’s 27-game winning streak, Rose’s return to the United Center after the ACL tear, the Bear’s victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the ice bowl otherwise know as Soldier Field on December 9th to keep their playoff hopes alive, Riot Fest, Lollapalooza, The Justin Timberlake and Jay Z show, “Legends of the Summer”, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, and most recently, Kanye West.
To start the new year both the Bulls and Blackhawks get a quick start hosting the Boston Celtics on the 2nd, Atlanta Hawks on the 4th, San Jose Sharks on the 5th, Phoenix Suns on the 7th, and the New York Rangers on the 8th.
|1.2.14||Bulls vs. Celtics||United Center||7:00PM|
|1.4.14||Bulls vs. Hawks||United Center||7:00PM|
|1.5.14||Blackhawks vs. Sharks||United Center||6:00PM|
|1.7.14||Bulls vs. Suns||United Center||7:00PM|
|1.8.14||Hawks vs. Rangers||United Center||7:00PM|
|1.9.14||Jay Z: Magna Carter Holy Grail||United Center||8:00PM|
|1.10.14||Keith Urban: Light the Fuse||United Center||7:00PM|
On the court
The Bulls are entering an inevitable rebuilding phase with Rose back in rehab after injuring his right knee. Trade possibilities and salary cap have taken center stage with the offensive center piece out of action. Players to be moved are likely to be Luol Deng, Mike Dunleavey, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, and maybe even Joakim Noah, but lets hope he’s staying put.
Moving either Deng, Boozer, or Gibson will free up some desperately needed cap space. The Bulls need to make room for some new blood and hopefully increase their chances to not only compete with Eastern Conference rivals, Pacers and Heat, but to beat them and make a run for the NBA Finals, a goal which has been so close, but so far for the squad.
Possible acquisitions include but are not limited to LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh who are all playing in the last year of their current contracts. The Bulls are in need of a scorer. Possible restricted free agents include Greg Monroe, Chandler Parsons, Lance Stephenson; and unrestricted free agents Kris Humphries, Zach Randolph, Shawn Marion, and Danny Granger.
Its clear the Bulls have some moves to make. Not only will those moves determine the outcome of this season, but will probably have a pretty influential affect on the next few seasons to come. I’m excited to see which moves they decide to make as well as the direction of the D.Rose saga.
On the ice
The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are in a pretty good place as of the final weeks of 2013. Besides Corey Crawford being hurt the only remaining issue is Bryan Bickell and having him get back in the groove after his lower body injury. Patrick Kane continues to have an amazing season and is on pace to break his career best point total. He currently has a 12 game streak totaling 22 points. Though the new year doesn’t mark a new season, it will hopefully bring out a new attitude and help spark the guys to finish the season in a fashion similar to last year.
On the stage
On January 9th, Jay Z will man the stage for his “Magna Carter Holy Grail” tour stop here at the house that MJ built. Like I said before, the “Legends of the Summer” tour by Justin Timberlake and Jay Z was a huge hit, putting both JT’s and Jay Z’s musical talents on display. This time around Jay will be performing solo and most of the reviews of this show say “It is too Good.”
The people who were lucky enough to see Michael Jordan play live know what it is like to see one of the best in their craft perform. Experiencing Jay Z’s MCHG tour, I think, will be comparable to watching Mike hit a game winning shot because at this point in Jay’s career, he is fully aware of not only himself, but his surroundings, and even more importantly, his role as a rap/hip-hop artist.
There are many many tracks and verses most fans can recite off the top of their head but hearing Jay’s rhymes and melodies only tell half the story. With more than 20 years of performance experience and and even more years of real life street history, Jay is able to express emotions, attitude, and more character than most other artists through simple gestures and motions.
His timing is perfect, his rhymes are well thought out and many times have multiple meanings in which the real messages soar above most people’s heads, like the private jets in which “Hova” travels the world with his famous family consisting of Beyonce and their daughter, Blue Ivy.
If you have the opportunity to see Jay Z’s show this January don’t hesitate to see a legend at his best.
Also on the stage
Country music for the new year kicks off on January 10th at the United Center with Chicago hosting the second stop for Keith Urban’s “Light the Fuse” tour. Urban’s album, “FUSE”, is his seventh studio album and is his attempt to enter “uncharted waters” as an artist.
A banjo and drum loop can be heard on most of Urban’s songs dating back to the 90’s but for his follow up album to “Get Closer” he decided to go after a new sound. Urban took a demo of his song, “Even the Stars Fall for U” to Butch Walker, Fall Out Boy’s producer, because of the songs’ similar sounds. At first, Keith thought the song sounded a bit too far from what he was used to and known for, but it was then that Urban was able to realize the direction of his album. He made it a point to use instruments like synthesizers and keyboards in order to capture this new sound but he also stuck with the methods that got him where he is now.