Bloggers get to do cool things sometimes. One of Chicago Now's mommy bloggers just interviewed President Obama in the last few weeks.
Others write in newspapers like Extra, RedEye, the Trib and the Sun-Times. Some write columns for sports websites and magazines about everything from NHL hockey to bowling to roller derby. And many get interviewed by national media about the stories they discover.
A little effort goes a long way. I didn't go to journalism school and I don't have any special connections. But I love sports and writing, and more than that I love to talk with sports fans. And I like to think I'm good at the detective work it takes to get the gig.
So, as an early birthday present I got to interview a long-time rock 'n' roll favorite of mine, Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Gallagher split with the band in 2009, but along the way Oasis sold only about 70 million records worldwide.
He is currently in the US on a solo tour with his band Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, and played The Riv on April 1.
Noel doesn't smile much, maybe having flashbacks of sharing that stage with Liam.
Speaking to Gallagher the day before, I had to keep it short and sweet, getting 10 minutes with him after his press people rescheduled the call for the evening. Customary for me, I took the call in a loud sports arena, UIC Pavilion, where The Second Wind had just commenced an ass-kicking of their rivals from Indianapolis.
We didn't talk about Oasis or its breakup, nor the on-and-off rivalry with his brother, Liam, the band's lead singer. Just sports.
Sports was quite enough of a topic. After all, the UK's biggest rock 'n' roll star has spent the last decade appearing on sports talks shows and even interviews top athletes in his trademark conversational style for the BBC.
About six hours earlier that Saturday, Gallagher's beloved Manchester City had dug itself out of a hole, with a 3-3 draw in a match against Sunderland. This wasn't great news since Man City is slugging it out with Manchester United in attempt to win the title. And Gallagher wasn't particularly happy about City's performance, calling it a "shitty way to end the season" even with half a dozen games left.
But Gallagher loves City and spoke at length about how the coach, Roberto Mancini has revitalized the club and helped City's stars to an undefeated home record thus far. And he likes striker Mario Balotelli's scoring swagger but admitted, "you wouldn't want eleven of him on the field. Maybe not even two of him," referring to Super Mario's behavioral problems on the pitch.
On the bright side, Gallagher's second favorite club, Celtic FC, just won the Scottish Premier League title two weeks ago. Like Notre Dame in America, Celtic is heavily followed by Irish descendants all over the globe, even in America. And like Celtic fan Rod Stewart, it may be the Irish in him that makes Gallagher a lifelong Celtic fan.
Later, Gallagher spoke about how he loves the NFL, which I was surprised to find out.
"I don't get hockey, I don't get baseball, I don't get the NBA, but American Football is great. I love the NFL," Gallagher said. He's yet to favor a specific team, but mentioned that he was drawn in by the NFL's hard-hitting action.
Even if he doesn't get baseball, I had a great time talking with this superstar and nuts-and-bolts sports fan about it all. What a great birthday present.
For the original article, go to ESPN Sounds.