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August 13, 2012

Ketch's 10 Thoughts From The Weekend

No. 1 - I know it's important, I honestly do but we're talking about depth charts. We're talking about depth charts, man. We're talking about practice. We're talking about depth charts. We're not talking about the game. We're talking about depth charts.

Did someone say depth charts?

We're still two weeks away from the release of the two-deep depth chart in anticipation of the season-opener against Wyoming, but that doesn't mean that we don't have a good idea of how things might shake out.

Let's take a look at both sides of the ball…

Offense

Quarterbacks

1. David Ash (Sophomore)
2. Case McCoy (Junior)

Overview: As long as Ash stays healthy and doesn't completely lose his grip, he's going to be the starting quarterback in the opener. Not only did he arrive into camp with a sizeable lead, but he's been the leader through the first week of workouts. The best news is that everyone seems to feel like both players are going forward from their level of play a year ago.

Running Backs

1. Joe Bergeron (Sophomore) or Malcolm Brown (Sophomore)
3. Johnathan Gray (Freshman) or Daje Johnson (Freshman)

Overview: I'd be willing to bet a nickel that when the depth chart is released in two weeks, there will be an "or" next to the starting running back position. Bergeron and Brown have both been strong in the early going and the truth of the matter is that productivity in the games will decide this moving forward. All of these players are going to get chances.

Fullbacks

1. Ryan Roberson (Senior)
2. Alex De La Torre (Freshman)

Overview: It's been a long time coming for Roberson, but he's going to get a chance to be the guy at the position. The Longhorns really need him to raise his level of play because he's been mostly a non-factor throughout his career.

Outside Wide Receivers

1. Jaxon Shipley (Sophomore)
2. Marcus Johnson (Freshman) or Cayleb Jones (Freshman)

1. Mike Davis (Junior) or Marquise Goodwin (Senior)

Overview: Shipley is a lock to start on one side, while Goodwin figures to challenge Davis for reps over time, but for now the former Skyline star is without question the top guy while Goodwin finds his football legs.

Slot Receiver

1. John Harris (Sophomore)
2. DeSean Hales (Senior)

Overview: Harris has emerged as the No.1 guy in the slot during camp and if he stays healthy the battle might be over, as he appears to be emerging as an important piece of the passing game puzzle.

Tight ends

1. D.J. Grant (Senior)
2. M.J. McFarland (Redshirt freshman)

Overview: McFarland has had a somewhat quiet camp in the early going, which means that the chances that Grant begins the season in a starting role is closer and closer to a sure thing. Grant has had a solid camp thus far, but this position is still a major question mark.

Left tackle

1. Donald Hawkins (Junior)
2. Kennedy Estelle (Freshman)

Overview: Hawkins is as important to the line-up as anyone on the team because if he were to go out for any reason, the Longhorns would likely have to shuffle their entire line around to compensate. The true back-up left tackle is probably Josh Cochran, who would flip from right to left, while Trey Hopkins would move to right tackle.

Left guard

1. Trey Hopkins (Junior)
2. Sedrick Flowers (Freshman)

Overview: Hopkins could end up being the utility starter for this team, depending on what happens this season, but he'll initially start out at guard and don't be surprised if Flowers pushes him for playing time because he's the back-up lineman the Longhorns probably want on the field more than any other.

Center

1. Dominic Espinosa (Sophomore)
2. Garrett Porter (Junior)

Overview: Espinosa is the clear starter and is having himself a nice camp after a full off-season, and while Porter hasn't emerged as a player that is competing for major playing time, he is a player they feel comfortable with on the second-team line.

Right guard

1. Mason Walters (Junior)
2. Thomas Ashcraft (Junior)

Overview: The Longhorns are expecting a breakout campaign from Walters and they hope Ashcraft is a guy that can give them some fight in that second group. Walters is a given inside, but Ashcraft is a question mark.

Right tackle

1. Josh Cochran (Sophomore)
2. Luke Poehlmann (Senior)

Overview: See left tackle. The true back-up at the position is probably Hopkins.

Defense

Defensive ends

1. Alex Okafor (Senior)
2. Reggie Wilson (Junior)

Overview: The 1-2 punch the Longhorns have at strong-side defensive end this year is the same duo from a year ago. Everyone is watching to see if Wilson is ready to seize a larger role and he hasn't done it quite yet.

Defensive tackle

1. Brandon Moore (Junior)
2. Chris Whaley (Junior)
3. Ashton Dorsey (Junior)

Overview: The deepest position on the team is up-front at the defensive tackle spots and they'll rotate five guys throughout the line-up on a consistent basis. Moore has been running with the first group in the first third of camp.

Nose-tackle

1. Desmond Jackson (Sophomore)
2. Malcom Brown (Freshman)

Overview: See above. The Longhorns have five players that they'll move around inside, but Jackson seems to have emerged as a locked-in starter at this point.

Buck

1. Jackson Jeffcoat (Junior)
2. Cedric Reed (Sophomore)

Overview: See the other defensive end position. This team is locked and loaded with the same group of defensive ends from a season ago.

Strong-side linebacker

1. Jordan Hicks (Junior)
2. Aaron Benson (Sophomore)

Overview: The Longhorns could probably flip Tevin Jackson over to SAM if they needed to, but Benson might end up being the primary back-up at the position.

Middle linebacker

1. Steve Edmond (Sophomore)
2. Dalton Santos (Freshman)

Overview: Edmond has his job on lockdown, but Santos is exciting a lot of people in his first week on the job. I don't think the coaches will blink to list him on the second-team.

Weakside-linebacker

1. DeMarco Cobbs (Junior)
2. Tevin Jackson (Sophomore)

Overview: Cobbs has emerged as a possible impact weapon at linebacker, while Jackson hasn't completely flipped the switch, but remains a very strong back-up option.

Cornerback

1. Quandre Diggs (Sophomore)
2. Duke Thomas (Freshman)

Overview: The Texas secondary is loaded with talent and the coaches have a pair of corners on the left side of the field that they feel incredibly confident about. You get the sense from those inside the program that there can't be many freshmen corners in the country better than Thomas.

Strong safety

1. Adrian Phillips (Junior)
2. Sheroid Evans (Sophomore)

Overview: Phillips is having as good of a camp as anyone in the secondary through the first week, while Evans takes a step forward up on the depth chart from a season ago.

Free safety

1. Kenny Vaccaro (Senior)
2. Mykkele Thompson (Sophomore)

Overview: If Vaccaro were to go down, Thompson will give them a very viable replacement option.

Cornerback

1. Carrington Byndom (Junior)
2. Josh Turner (Sophomore)

Overview: The Longhorns really do have a wealth of options at cornerback. Turner might not be ready for prime time yet, but he's got a lot of talent with which to work.

Special teams

Place-kickers

1. Anthony Fera (Junior)
2. Ben Pruitt (Redshirt freshman) or Nick Jordan (Freshman)

Overview: I'm still writing Fera into the line-up, but if he's out beyond a few weeks, all bets are off. This is something everyone needs to keep an eye on.

Punters

1. Alex King (Senior)
2. Anthony Fera (Junior)

Overview: King gives the Longhorns a proven starter at the position and Fera will give them the emergency depth they need, assuming he's healthy.

Kickoff returns

1. D.J. Monroe (Senior)/Quandre Diggs (Sophomore)
2. Daje Johnson (Freshman)/Jaxon Shipley (Sophomore)

Overview: I think everyone should expect Monroe and Johnson to both get opportunities as the primary return guys. Both are players the coaching staff wants to get increased touches.

Punt returns

1. Jaxon Shipley (Sophomore)
2. Quandre Diggs (Sophomore)

Overview: Perhaps some others will get chances as the season goes along, but these two handled the duties last year and I expect them to handle them this year as well.

A few quick notes…

Starter breakdown: Seniors (6), Juniors (11), Sophomores (9) and Freshmen (0)
Starter breakdown on offense: Seniors (3), Juniors (4), Sophomores (6) and Freshmen (0)
Starter breakdown on defense: Seniors (2), Juniors (6), Sophomores (3) and Freshmen (0)
Two-deep breakdown: Seniors (8), Juniors (17), Sophomores (16) and Freshmen (11)
Two-deep breakdown offense: Seniors (5), Juniors (7), Sophomores (8) and Freshmen (8)
Two-deep breakdown on defense: Seniors (2), Juniors (9), Sophomores (8) and Freshmen (3)

No. 2 - Scattershooting on the Longhorns…

… It looks like a total touch and go situation with Anthony Fera, but if he's not kicking by some point next week, his availability for the opener would really start to come into question. A few people that we've spoken with about the injury believe he'll be back soon, but seeing is believing. The good news is that they probably don't really need Fera until the end of September. They should be able to handle the early portion of the schedule with a grab bag of options if they have to.

… Sounds like Alex King is steady money. One person told me this week that he is easily the most consistent performer at the position, which is a good thing because the job would appear to be all his.

… How much can we really expect of Marquise Goodwin after missing so much of the football off-season?

… Most underrated development from the first week of camp? That's easy in my mind… no apparent lingering issues with the David Ash hamstring.

… I hear Curtis Riser is probably a year away from being a really good player. The young fella is flashing a high ceiling, but he's physically still a work in progress.

… Manny Diaz could literally start about 20 different combinations at defensive tackle this season and I don't think anyone would blink. That's the kind of depth that was hard to imagine at the position just two seasons ago.

… I haven't heard a peep about the young freshmen defensive end showing the goods in a way that would see them on the field right now.

… One week into camp and it's hard to believe it took the Longhorns so long to offer Daje Johnson last year. They messed with a little fire with that one.

… Would you trade the Texas offensive line for any other in the conference? Seriously, take a gander at the other schools.

No. 3 - The Summer Olympics… Thankfully, It's Over …

For the record, this was a hell of an exciting Olympic and London should be incredibly proud of its hosting performance, but things really slow down in the final few days. I mean they really slow down. Where there was so many ongoing events earlier in the first 10 days or so, there's just not a lot of meat on the bone by the time you get to the final weekend. It's a little like March Madness in that way.

That being said, I needed the Olympics to end so my life would resume some sort of normalcy. I don't even want to think about how many hours were spent watching a bazillion different sports, men and women alike. I can also verify that I know every single NBC-partnered channel on my cable box.

Some final thoughts from the last few days of competition:

… They might not be the equal of the original Dream Team, but I sure enjoyed the hell out of the 2012 version of American players. Against competition that was incredibly tougher than anything that MJ, Magic and the gang had to face back in the day, this current group of gold medalists not only played as if winning the gold was the only thing that mattered, but it was entertaining along the way. No, this year's team isn't the equal of the 1992 team, but it might be the American team I've liked the most since then.

… Kevin Durant was so potent on the offensive end on Sunday that Spain went to a box-and-one defense to contain him in the final quarter. Talk about r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Let me explain this to you if you don't understand. They chose to make it easier for a team full of NBA all-stars to get its own buckets at the expense of containing Durant. At one point, Spain actually left LeBron with an open path to the bucket because it was so focused on Durant. Yes, LeBron is No. 1 in the world, but Durant is No. 2 right now and there is not a close No. 3.

… When LeBron James is on YOUR team, it's so much fun to watch him play basketball. I'm so over The Decision as a fan. Just entertain me, LeBron.

… If Michael Phelps owned the first week of the Olympics, then Usain Bolt owned the final week. Every time he raced in the 100, 200 or 4X100, it was stop everything you're doing stuff. Not only is he the greatest sprinter that ever lived, but if he can come back in 2016, he'll have a chance to emerge as a true challenger to Michael Phelps' all-time crown. He surpassed Carl Lewis on my list, so he's already in the conversation.

… The American sprinters have to be so frustrated. Posting a 9.80 wasn't good enough to medal in the 100 meters this year and the second-fastest time ever recorded in the 4X100 wasn't good enough to get gold. Bolt and Jamaica = Mola Ram. US Sprinters = Dude that has his heart ripped out of his chest.

… If the 2012 Olympics represent the last set of Games for former Longhorn Sanya Richards-Ross, then what a victory lap the 4X400-meter relay proved to be on Saturday. The US women beat the rest of the field like they stole something and it allowed the team's anchor (Richards-Ross) to pick up her second gold from these Games.

… Mexico winning the gold in men's soccer was huge for that country. I went into the game thinking it was a nice little story that they would make it to the gold medal game, but I never thought they'd beat Brazil. The USA and Mexico have a nice little soccer rivalry and this weekend should only amp that up. Right on for Mexico, though. I can only imagine how excited and proud the people of that country are.

… I'm having women's beach volleyball withdrawal.

Top 10 2012 Olympics moments

1. Any time Usain Bolt ran in a final.
2. USA/Canada women's soccer
3. Any time Michael Phelps raced in a final.
4. The Dream Team. (I watched every second)
5. Andy Murray beating Roger Federer in the men's tennis final
6. Gabby Douglas' win in the all-around/USA women's team gymnastic win.
7. Sanya Richards-Ross finally netting gold in the 400 meters.
8. The three-peat in beach volleyball by Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty Man-Treanor
9. Mexico's win over Brazil in men's soccer (especially the first goal)
10. Any time Missy Franklin swam or was interviewed by Bob Costas.

Final Longhorn Medal Breakdown

(13 total) Gold: 6, Silver: 5, Bronze: 2

GOLD

Ricky Berens, USA Swimming, 4x200m freestyle relay
Brendan Hansen, USA Swimming, 4x100m medley relay
Sanya Richards-Ross, USA Track & Field, 400m
Sanya Richards-Ross, USA Track & Field, 4X400m relay
Bianca Knight, USA Track & Field, 4X100m relay
Kevin Durant, USA men's basketball

SILVER

Ricky Berens, USA Swimming, 4x100m freestyle relay
Jimmy Feigen, USA Swimming, 4x100m freestyle relay
Trey Hardee, USA Men's Decathlon
Leo Manzano, USA Track & Field, 1500m
Destinee Hooker, USA Women's Volleyball

BRONZE

Troy Dumais, USA Diving, 3m synchronized springboard
Brendan Hansen, USA Swimming, 100m breaststroke

No. 4 - So, the PGA turned into a boat race…

What else is there to say other than Rory spanked that booty. Eight strokes? Wow. That was rather emphatic.

No. 5 - It's the sport of kings, better than diamond rings, That's why we're here to sing, football Sunday in the snow, referee's whistle blows, We've been warriors toe-to-toe…

College

… The Tyrann Mathieu story is such a strange one because I can't ever remember a guy of Honey Badger's stature who couldn't stay on the field because he loved pot that much. To get thrown off a Les Miles-coached LSU football team because of repeat offenses makes me think he must have failed 100 tests along the way. It's also strange that the use of marijuana in 2012 is grounds for separation in the minds of college programs, but admissions to alcohol are basically ignored and viewed in a light that leads to little monitoring. If he had multiple DUIs instead of positive pot tests, he'd probably be running stadium stairs and getting ready for the team's second game … you know because he'd have to sit out a game.

… Need proof of my statement from above? Just see Oklahoma State defensive tackle Christian Littlehead . Seriously.

… Honey Badger is a great college player, but I have a feeling the Tigers will be fine. They pretty much grow big-time athletes on trees in Baton Rouge.

… Johnny Manziel outplayed Jameill Showers in a public scrimmage on Saturday and suddenly the Aggies look like a football team that doesn't know what to do at quarterback. Good luck in year one of the SEC with that problem. I'm sure Kevin Sumlin has it all figured out.

… Oh, and the A&M defense pretty much let the offense do whatever it wanted to do … despite not having a starting quarterback. Again, good luck with that.

… There's a lot of excitement in Norman over their young and talented group of receivers , but I can't be the only one that has only a medium amount of faith in Landry Jones to carry that offense behind a potential shaky offensive line with a bunch of receivers that haven't done it before in a game. There's a ton of benefit of the doubt being given to the Sooners right now.

Pro

… The Cowboys open up the pre-season on Monday night against Oakland and I'm not sure what to expect. I need to see this group with my own eyes, but I can tell you that the interior line issues scare me to death. Did I blink or is Derrick Dockery suddenly a candidate to start for this team? *gulp*

.. I can't say that my eyes were glued to the Texans/Panthers game, but from what I watched I thought the Texans looked pretty good. They moved the ball on offense, limited the Panthers on defense and I didn't see any of the front-line players carried off the field, so that seems like a nice little first step forward into the 2012 season.

… Cedric Benson just had a potential Super Bowl ring fall into his lap with his signing with the Packers. From sitting on the streets to the starting line-up is a realistic possibility. The opportunity couldn't be any bigger.

… Chad, Chad, Chad … can't wait to see Hard Knocks this week. Wow. The good news out of all of this is that we have confirmation that Chad is smart enough to use condoms.

… Andrew Luck looked like the real deal in pre-season game No. 1. Of course, it was the Rams he was playing against.

… Jamaal Charles took a hit on his knee and lived to tell about it . Word is that he's looked very good in camp.

No. 6 - Six more sports things…

… UFC 150 wasn't a dud, but it wasn't a direct hit, either. Part of the problem I'm learning with the UFC as my education in the sport evolves is that this is an organization that will take some chances when putting together pay-per-views and I'm not sure the little fellas totally delivered the goods considering the near $55 price tag. Don't get me wrong, there was some really good action at times and Cowboy Cerrone's knockout of Melvin Guillard was highlight tape stuff, but there just wasn't enough filet and a little too much … dare I say … yeah I'm gonna say it … there was a little too much TV dinner on my TV. I needed a little more star power, no offense to Benson Henderson. I guess it just didn't feel like a $55 pay-per-view. I guess at the end of the day I need to stop purchasing pay-per-views just because there's a pay-per-view.

… I thought Edgar won that fight against Henderson. Looks like I'm not alone.

… As an NBA fan, I'm pretty pumped about the Dwight Howard trade to the Lakers because the league is more interesting when the Lakers are a contending team and they are certainly an interesting team moving forward. Once Howard is healthy and on the floor, the Lakers will be must-see-TV. In my head, they are now a co-No. 2 with the Spurs in the West, but Kobe's decline and the uncertainty of fitting Howard into the mix in the middle of the season makes me believe they won't win the title in 2013. We won't be able to take our eyes off of them.

… Am I the only one that wonders how Pau Gasol is going to react when he's pushed to No. 4 status when Howard arrives? I expect him to post monster numbers with Steve Nash creating for him, so what happens when there aren't enough touches to go around?

… To give you an idea of how excited I am to get such tremendous value for Andre Iguodala that my 76ers picked up in the Andrew Bynum trade, you need to see the trash that had been floating around involving him for the last few years. Here's a sample of the trade return that had been scuttlebutt for a while:

6/7/12 via TrueHoops: The No. 8 pick and Ed Davis for Andre Iguodala

6/6/12 via SB Nation: One scenario involves a three-way trade with Philadelphia. Andre Iguodala would go to Portland, Derrick Williams would go as part of a package to the Sixers and Batum would come to Minnesota. So far, Portland is balking.

6/20/11 via HoopsWorld: The frontrunner to obtain Iguodala's services is believed to be the Los Angeles Clippers. Iguodala would be moved for Chris Kaman if this deal were to be completed, but other players and pieces may also be involved when all is said and done. The two sides have talked on and off since February, but both sides seem more willing than ever to make a trade work.

6/20/11 via Ken Berger: The Timberwolves have offered point guard Jonny Flynn in a package deal for swingman Andre Iguodala. Philadelphia officials, however, have let it be known that they are not interested in a salary-dump deal for Iguodala and want an impact veteran in return.

5/28/11 via the LA Times: A trade involving Utah and Philadelphia would most likely look like this: Utah Receives Andre Iguodala, and Philadelphia receives Andrei Kirilenko, Jeremy Evans and 12th Pick in the 2011 NBA Draft


Now do you understand why I'm doing cartwheels this weekend, even if Bynum is somewhat of a punk … but he might be a 24 and 10 punk this year for the Sixers as their No. 1 offensive weapon.

… Mike Trout is the AL MVP, right? Nobody is disputing that, right?

No. 7 - Tweet tweet: The best on my timeline this week …

10. " I wonder what the specifics were in Juan Carlos Navarros pact with the devil. "
@AaronGraySwitz

(said during the first half of Sunday's gold medal game when Navarro scored what seemed like all of Spain's points)

9. "Hey @MagicJohnson I hear your @lakers made a trade. Now you're just 1 or 2 moves away from giving my @spurs a good run this season. "
@DavidtheAdmiral

8. " Kevin Durant, on if he has thoughts on the Dwight Howard trade: "Nah, I really don't care." "‬‬
‏@bruce_arthur

7. " Iguodala-Gallo-Chandler-Hamilton-Fournier. BRING YOUR ARMY OF FORWARDS, HOUSTON, THE LEGION OF DENVER STANDS READY! "
@HPbasketball

6. " Is it safe to assume that Baylor fans are already flight-tracking to see if Art Briles is en route to Baton Rouge? "
@billyliucci

(Moments after the Honey Badger was thrown off the LSU football team)

5. " NBC will announce Tyrann Mathieu suspended from #LSU live tonight at 8pm. TUNE IN! "
@PeterBurnsRadio

4. " FYI: James Harden and Kevin Durant are in London, holding Kobe down on his bunk bed while Russ beats him with soap in a sock. "
‏@CRM_Stephen

(After the announcement that Dwight Howard had been traded to the Lakers)

3. " I got weed. Is that Jamaican enough? RT @SwadeDaVillain: I think @BunBTrillOG shud wear sumn Jamaican today ...even a snapback "
@BunBTrillOG

2. " honey badger got tossed for team rules? sounds like lsu has too many team rules "
@bomani_jones

1. " Direct Message to Randy Travis: NICE. "
@DanBeebe

No. 8 - Pop goes the culture because the culture goes pop.…

… Movie Trailer of the week: KNOCKED UP: THE SEQUEL .

… Song of the Week: B*tch I'm From Texas. My fingers are crossed that this is played at DKR this season.

… Sign that the apocalypse is upon us: Justin Bieber mocks Prince William over his hair

… HE NEEDS A HUG: Marilyn Manson reminds the world he could use one.

… Hottie of the Week: Joanna Krupa. She's so fine that I have no issues with her being crazy.

… Hottie of the Week II: Prince William did very well for himself

… 100-WORDS OR LESS MOVIE REVIEW: Bernie (B)

When the show-stopper of any movie is the real-life folks in East Texas, you've got a chance to have something and that's certainly the case in the latest Richard Linklater production. On one hand you've got Jack Black playing an over-the-top character that never quite feels that over the top. On the other hand, you've got a subdued Matthew McConaughey in another winning role for him. What really brings it all together are those East Texans talking in East Texas fashion about a real-life event that could probably only happen in East Texas … or Florida. Carthage, Texas FTMFW!

… 100-WORDS OR LESS MOVIE REVIEW: The Bourne Legacy (B-)

This sucker seemingly had all of the pieces, but I felt like I watched two movies… the one I really liked for the first hour-plus and then the one I was kind of meh over in the final hour. Jeremy Renner certainly did his part because I was all-in on his new character, but there were times when the plot was confusing and there were times when it was just flat out bad. Also, I have to admit that the final action scene of the movie was just more than I could accept. Solid flick? Yes. Does it meet the Bourne standard? I say no.

No. 9 - The List: Beethoven

I'm not even going to lie, this one was a challenge.

When I accepted the challenge two weeks ago, I just didn't know what I was getting myself into ? good and bad. First of all, while I am a fan of classical music, I can't say that I'm a student of the genre. I know a lot of the names, I recognize some of the music and I have an appreciation for the beauty/brilliance of the work. Second, after a couple of days it became pretty clear to me that I was going to need more than a week to soak in everything I was trying to absorb, so I turned this into a two-week project. Along the way, I picked up a copy of The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 by Harvey Sachs for some added background on the man and perhaps his biggest masterpiece (I'm about halfway through it).

Perhaps the biggest challenge was finding the time in the last two weeks to allow myself to be completely immersed in the music, as some frustration kicked in every time I was six minutes into a symphony and a phone call came in that I had to take… and there were a lot of those moments. Still, over the course of the last two weeks I've listened to nothing else and on occasions I've been able to hit the off button on life and disappear into the music.

In putting together this week's homework, I simply picked the masterpieces that moved me emotionally and stirred something inside me. Let's call this week's version of The List a work in progress because I'm still working my way through a true infancy age of appreciation.

Thanks to those of you that made the suggestion ( (Click here to listen via Spotify).

10. Piano Sanota No.23 "Appassionata"

Of the different types of classical music, I'm probably draw most naturally to the piano, which means that just about any time Beethoven has it cooking on solo on the keys, you're going to have a piece I'm really going to like.

9. Symphony No.8 in F major

You could really pick any of the symphonies and not go wrong, but I chose this one because the final movement is striking in its race towards a furious finish.

8. Sonata No.14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op 27

It's just a mysterious, somewhat sober beautiful piece of play on the piano.

7. Piano Concerto No.1

A terrific piano arrangement supplemented with an amazing orchestra? Yes, this one just kind of grabbed me when I was listening to various selections in the last two weeks.

6. Bagatelle in A-Minor (Fur Elise)

One of the most recognizable pieces of music that Beethoven created, it's total running time is just a fraction of some of his other masterpieces, but it's as if every single piece of beauty in the world comes out with every note. This is the song we've all dreamed of playing as well as it was meant to be played.

5. Symphony No. 7 II Alegretto

Violins, violas and cellos, oh my! The trio take a slow-starting piece and evolve it into a delightful, powerhouse of an arrangement, as notes and melodies just seem to dance in and out of one another. The ebb and flow of both power and delicateness makes this one of the more stand-alone pieces of music I heard in the last two weeks.

4. Symphony No.3 in E-Flat Major

One of my favorite symphonies that I listened to over the last two weeks. The first movement is so dramatic and involved so many beautiful mood swings that it's just entrancing. From beginning to end, the entire piece feels like it takes you around the world through every harrowing territory, and by the time you've reached the fourth movement, you've been taken through an exhaustive emotional journey.

3. Symphony No.6 "Pastoral"

I feel like this symphony is the one that truly turned me into a classical music lover because when the fifth movement was finished I found myself clapping spontaneously in approval. It's just an incredibly uplifting piece of music.

2. Symphony No.5 in C Minor

Isn't this the song we all wish we could conduct? For most of the week, I thought this would end up in the No.1 spot because it gets such an emotional response from me when I listen. It's almost all of the forms that Beethoven mastered all rolled up into one piece.

1. Symphony No. 9 in D minor "Choral"

The book I'm reading probably adds a level of bias, but I have to make a confession. I refused to listen to this symphony for most of the last two weeks because I wanted to read the book and then be able to completely appreciate what is mostly referred to as his masterpiece. However, I wasn't able to finish the book, but when I finally listened to this piece, it felt like I was comparing college math to basic adding and subtraction. The addition of a chorus and soloists to the music just took everything I had been hearing to another level, as if I was on a rocket ship and headed to the moon. It's just a spectacular oasis of sound for the ears, mind and soul.

Previous Lists: 2-Pac, Beastie Boys, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Chuck Brown, Jeff Buckley, Cartoon themes, Eva Cassidy,Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, HBO Shows, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Kool and the Gang, Metallica, George Michael, Mo-Town, Bill Murray, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks,Prince, Outkast, Queen, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Scarface, Sexiest Women of All-Time, Snoop Dogg . Gary Stewart , George Strait, TV Themes, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Williams Sr.

Previous Lists on Spotify: 2-Pac, Beastie Boys, Beethoven, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Jeff Buckley, Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Kool and the Gang, Metallica, George Michael, Mo-Town, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks,Prince, Outkast, Queen, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Scarface, Snoop Dogg . Gary Stewart , George Strait, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Williams Sr.

No. 10 - And finally…

19 days and some change until the season-opener. Almost there.


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