While reading this week’s Sports Illustrated, an article’s (“It’s Like You Never Left, Kid”) sub-headline caught my attention:
Grown Men reduced to tears, a rock star downloading 14-year-old playoff footage on his iPhone, an entire city falling in love all over again: Ken Griffey Jr. is back in Seattle, and, damn, it feels good
The article was about baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr., returning to the Seattle Mariners–the team he broke into the big leagues with, and one that he hasn’t played on in 10 years. The story explains how Griffey’s return to Seattle has the city reminiscing of better days. In 1992–Griffey’s rookie season–Seattle not only had a young baseball phenom on their hands, but their basketball team was doing well, Microsoft was ready to unleash Internet Explorer, and a few hometown bands were making their mark on the music world.
Before I dived into the article, I thought, Who is this rock star they’re talking about? Most Seattle bands from the early ’90s didn’t seem too into sports, so I wrote them off immediately. The word “rock star” also means something entirely different today than it did 10 years ago (and 10 years before that it meant something different as well). Was Sports Illustrated talking rock star like Bon Jovi? Or rock star like Chad Kroeger of Nickleback?
Two pages into the article, I found out:
The rock star in question was Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. While on tour in Minneapolis–coincidentally where the Mariners were playing the Twins on Opening Day–Gibbard made it a point to watch Griffey’s first at bat of the season on his laptop, telling Sports Illustrated, “I should be at the game.” Griffey belted a home run during the contest, leaving Gibbard craving for more, so the next morning he cued up a vintage ’95 highlight on his iPhone, and watched Griffey sprint home in extra innings, eliminating the New York Yankees from the playoffs.
Ben Gibbard? Rock star? I’ll buy it (I’ll take that over a Chad Kroeger rock star reference any day), but if you told me 10 years ago (let alone 10 days ago) that Sports Illustrated would name drop Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, prefacing him with the word rock star, I wouldn’t have believed it.