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Allen Adams Year In Review

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NFL punter and author Chris Kluwe NFL punter and author Chris Kluwe

Chuck Klosterman

I'm a pop culture nut. As such, I've been a huge fan of author Chuck Klosterman for quite some time. His clever, cutting insights regarding the world of popular culture music, movies, sports, television have had a significant impact on who I am both as a consumer of that culture and as a writer in my own right.

So when the opportunity arose to interview Mr. Klosterman in advance of his new book 'I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined),' I jumped at the chance. It only wound up being one of the most engaging and entertaining interviews I've ever had.

Talking to someone like Klosterman about the book, yes, but also about his ideas and his creative process is one of the biggest benefits that come with this job. When I first picked up 'Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs' years ago, I never would have imagined that I'd wind up having an actual conversation with the man, writer to writer.

In a year of great interviews, this was the best one.

Chris Kluwe

Coming in a close second to Mr. Klosterman was this interview. Speaking to Chris Kluwe brought together two of my favorite things literature and sports. To my mind, Chris Kluwe is the closest thing that professional sports has to a Renaissance man he's an NFL punter, a video game fanatic, a passionate believer in equality and, oh yeah, a heck of a writer to boot.

When Kluwe's book 'Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities' crossed my desk, I was enthusiastic; I'd been following Kluwe's written rampage in defense of marriage equality across the internet for some time. The book was a great read, but talking to Kluwe directly was a whole different animal.

He was funny and freewheeling, willing and able to talk about just about any subject under the sun. We talked about the book, yes, but we also talked about his favorite reads, his love of video games and some of the particulars of being an NFL punter. 

After this interview, I wanted nothing more than to be buddies with Chris Kluwe.

Memories of The Mecca'

This year was the last in which the high school basketball tournament would be played in the Bangor Auditorium. It was a final hurrah for the Mecca the new Cross Insurance Center becomes the new host for one of the preeminent local sporting events of the year.

This story was a chance to not only look back at the history of the hallowed venue, but also to speak to some of the local sports figures about their fondest memories of the old barn. Some of them were wistful, others hilarious, still more self-deprecating, but there was no disputing the special place that the venue holds in the heart of all who bore witness to the many, many games played on that floor.

There's no disputing that the new venue has a lot to offer, but the memories of what once was will linger strongly, especially in this first year post-Bangor Auditorium. The Mecca had its share of issues and then some, but it still played host to history.

History that will not be soon forgotten.

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That's just the tip of the iceberg as far as 2013 goes. I got to peek behind the scenes and spend some time in the booth with Rich Kimball and Bob Lucy, UMaine football's radio broadcast team. I got to interview fascinating folks like legendary Olympian Dick Fosbury and 'Axe Cop' creator Ethan Nicolle. I got to pay tribute to the anniversaries of two great local arts organizations Penobscot Theatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary, while Winterport Open Stage marks 20 great years.

Plus, I got to see some great (and some not-so-great) movies, read some great (and some not-so-great) books and make some (mostly not-so-great) sporting predictions.

All in all, 2013 was a heck of a good year. Here's hoping 2014 brings even more surprises.

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