A Moment of Confession

Fine, I admit.

It took me awhile, but yes, it’s true.

After years of denying it to myself,  resisting the urge to bob my head, tap my toe or even hum one note, I’m calling uncle.

It just took until October 31, 2014 for me to see the truth.

I like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

The conversion occurred sometime between midnight and 1 A.M, in the basement of the Roxbury Nightclub at 116 W. 5th Street in Uptown Charlotte.

I stood – OK – I was doing my definition of dancing in the middle of a packed room of costumed 20-somethings. With me were my roommates and fellow interns, Brandon and Colleen.

It was Halloween and the glorious sounds of the 80s and 90s reverberated through the building.

After the obligatory “Thriller,” came the much more thrilling “Jessie’s Girl.”

Eventually it was played. The song with a message I subscribed to but wanted nothing to do. That is until I heard it on a day and in a club where it wasn’t unusual to see a guy dressed as Indiana Jones drinking from a flask disguised as binoculars.

Why the hate?

Blame years of overplay on the radio if you want.

I partially blame “Glee.”

No one my age cared about that song before “Glee.”

This change in musical politics has happened before.

For a few years I couldn’t tolerate the tune of M.I.A’s “Paper Planes.” I couldn’t tell you why, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Then came the summer of 2012. One minute you’re browsing Spotify, listening to songs from the mid-2000s. The next, the M.I.A song that peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was used in the marketing for “Pineapple Express” in 2008 is exploding into my ears.

Where once I would change the radio station as quickly as possible, I sat listening, not to the lyrics, but the sound.

The sound triggered memories of that 2008 summer. A summer where me and my friends, Michael and Coy, would be hanging out doing what guys in their junior and senior years of high school do.

The strongest of these is walking down a dirt road late in the evening, with the sun gone and our way lighted by the yellow of street lights.

At one point, I looked up and saw something in the distance.


After the slightest of pauses, the three of us sprinted back to my car, piled in, and drove down into the depths of Fayetteville, looking for the source of the beam of light that revolved in  the night.

Our search led down to College Avenue, where we found that the spotlight originated from the parking lot of either a surplus furniture store or a strip club.

This kind of trek occurred at least twice that summer.

I’m not sure I even heard “Paper Planes” that night.

Until two weeks ago, there weren’t any fond memories related to “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Now there’s me, Brandon and Colleen walking up rain-soaked North Tryon on the way to our cars, with Brandon and I alternating verses from “Believin’,” basking in a last act of a pretty good Halloween.

You can change your mind sometimes. You hate. Then you tolerate. Then comes the day you can’t remember going through the first step.

But I’m not budging on “Hey There Delilah,” by the Plain White T’s.

I’m not a monster.

About Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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