Chronicles of a White Linebacker: Episode I – Taste in Music

Ben Leber is an underrated outside staple of a strong linebacking crew for the Minnesota Vikings. Chad Greenway holds anchor opposite him with speed and tenacity. Heath Farwell is a special teams demon that flies down the field on kick off returns looking to spear his shiny white head through someone’s abdomen. Together, these three versatile and exceptional linebackers form the White Squalor Defense on the Minnesota Vikings. We begin the Chronicles of a White Linebacker series by sitting down with them and discussing a critical piece on any game day; pregame warm-up music …

I feel so ready after listening to that Digable Planets. Let's go, team!

I feel so ready after listening to that Digable Planets. Let's go, team!

Chad Greenway: You know, I sure do enjoy listening to music in the locker room before we head out to the field on game day, but some of the music choices that the other players prefer … I just can’t quite get into. Heath Farwell: I agree. Sometimes, when Bryant McKinnie comes by and puts some of that … Flo Rider is it? … on, it just really isn’t good music. It simply grates on my ears. Ben Leber: Yes! And it’s not because I don’t like hip hop music, or rap or whatever, it’s just that I prefer the real authentic, classic hip hop, like the old school hip hop. This new commercial stuff has lost all the heart that use to make hip hop music so great, back when it was Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, or early EPMD, or even A Tribe Called Quest … CG: OOOOO! I love that band! When I was in college in Iowa, after practices a bunch of my buddies and I would just drive around for like hours listening to The Low End Theory just nodding our heads real slow … it was pretty chill. Oh! Let's put "Check The Rhyme" on! HF: Yes, that was a pretty good album. Back at San Diego State, we were closer to that really good underground movement on the west coast that involved Del and Dilated People’s. They were pretty laid back as well. But our favorite thing to do was to go down to the beach on Saturdays and play the entire Arrested Development album. BL: Which one? HF: Oh you know, the one with “Everyday People” on it? It has that kind of twangy guitar riff on it?
Quick, name one other song on this album!

Quick, name one other song on this album!

CG: Oh my God!! I use to love that song! BL: Oh right! See? That’s what hip hop music should be all about, you know? Feel good music that inspires positivity and good times for everyone, not music that threatens individuals with harm and negativity. Although … I’ll make a confession here … HF: What is it?? BL: When I was in San Diego I played with some real ruff necks out there my first few years, and since we were losing frequently players got real down and angry. So a lot of the guys would put on some of that heavier, commercial type rap that we don’t like … CG: Ew! BL: I know! But! They would play this rap from a guy called “The Game” and it was kind of good … HF: Oh, BOOO! Come on, Ben! That stuff doesn’t have any lasting appeal! If you’re feeling down and out, even after a tough football loss, the best thing to do if you need to wallow in self pity for a while or zone out and relax is just to put on some blues or slow jazz and just listen, you know? CG: Totally agree. We are in complete agreement here. I usually pour myself some bourbon, put some Coltrane on, or Charlie Parker, and just let the music surround me. Turn off all other electronics too, so you can just be alone with the music … HF: Yep. CG: … no computers, no TV, nothing, just you, the music, and a nice drink. BL: Yeah, that is pretty good. I think it’s so amazing that you can call someone up the next day, like you Chad, and I’ll be like, “So, I had some Miles Davis on last night and was just listening to it in front of the fire place, and it was sooooooo soothing” and you’ll end up telling me that you did the exact same thing! And then we can bond over that. I just don’t think that type of deep, interpersonal understanding is something that is found when people try to relate over real commercial music that you see played in the background of For the Love of Ray J. HF: What? BL: Nevermind. But you know what I mean? CG: Yes. I’ve been saying that for years. There’s no substance! I don’t understand how Tarvaris, or Sidney, or even Artis Hicks can get so jacked up for a game listening to that! I am just always confused and scatter brained after hearing any of it. HF: I know. Here’s a secret though. Just say you have to go ask Coach Childress something. Usually, before the games, Childress, Frazier, and n are listening to some classic jazz in Coach’s office before the game. So I always sneak in there and join them. BL: Really? Frazier and ?
I just got done listening to Thelonious Monk! Imma get you!!

I just got done listening to Thelonious Monk! Imma get you!!

HF: Yeah. Frazier is kind of an old soul, so he gets the classics like we do, and and was raised in Italy, so he has a much more expansive world view and appreciates more music than those other guys. CG: Cool. I am so there. Do you think they’ll let us share a glass of Shiraz as well?

PJD

About PJD

I once saw Paul Edinger kick a 56-yard field goal for the Minnesota Vikings against the Green Bay Packers to win a game in the Metrodome. It was exhilarating.

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