Monday, December 31, 2007

Adios, 2007

I've long thought of New Year's Eve as Amateur Night. An unnecessary night, made for sheer stupidity. Yet tonight, I found myself wanting to turn a new leaf. Embrace it, I figured. Maybe go out, or have people over. Watch the ball, and all that jazz.

We used to put on the best "anti-New Year's party." We'd watch movies, listen to music, talk, laugh, drink, and not even know when it was midnight. It was a blast.

Instead, it's 9:08 PM as I type. It is two hours and fifty-two minutes to 2008. And I now sit in a quiet house, watching the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on TV.


I had a couple of party invites but didn't quite feel up to them. I'm still under the weather, plus each would have kept me in the southern part of Connecticut, and I wasn't keen on the drive home. So I hoped to watch a few movies, have a few frosties, and welcome 2008. Well all of that can happen, but I'll be doing it alone. No midnight kisses for me. Sandi and Sean both went straight to bed at 9:00.

I've reflected quite a bit recently on what 2007 was. Oh I could wallow in the misery of how bad it was, but what good would that do? Really, was it that bad? It started with the promise of a new job, but that collapse a mere five weeks in. On came the depression of another layoff, but with that came the good times and new contacts made in New Rochelle. That ultimately ended abruptly, as temp jobs can. The memories are solid.

Then came the abyss. For a stretch in the late spring and early summer, I couldn't find work. The problem was that I wasn't looking in the right places. When I made my way to Target, I was scared and had bottomed out. I tried to pull myself out of it in the Spring, but allowed myself to get hung up on BS. The red bullseye allowed me to rebuild my spirit, and begin to find my confidence again. I may never work there again, but I owe them a lot. Finally I returned to WGCH and our networks (Business and Lifestyle). Once again, I'm working steadily and fairly contently. I may pick up some more work there to help supplement my income (or lack thereof). I couldn't predict my next career move if you begged me, but I do have some ideas...

2007 showed me who my friends are, and who cares about me. The names are too many, and I will no doubt forget some, but without my family, I would be lost. My sister, brother and mother have been extremely supportive. I have wonderful in-laws who have shown me that they consider me to be an important part of their family. Under sad circumstances, I got see my new niece, but also reconnect with my brother-in-law and his wife. It's so tough to have a strong relationship when they're 3000 miles away, but we're trying. Facebook has actually been helpful in this regard, but also the efforts of Gretchen (The Brother-in-Law's wife) to email pictures of Eleanor, and the touching note she attached to my Christmas present about my weight loss. And few people make me laugh like my sister-in-law.

Friends? Got 'em. Harold, Sean, Jon, Nick, Brian, Fish, Mick, Matt, Ricky, the Ron's, Picc, Scottie, Tim, Jason - these are just the friends that I'm thinking of off the top of me noggin' and I'm happy to say that there are too many friends to mention. While I'm talking about friends, I have to mention the ladies that share an office with me. Lindsey and I have grown into a mean brother/sister combo that blasts insults and sound effects at each other, all while lending an ear whenever needed. Her heart is heavy with the loss of a friend this week due to a heart attack at a young age. A young father, no less. Life is tough to figure out.

Cindy - I can't thank you enough for not only your party invite, but for your thoughtfulness of buying me lunch when you knew that I had a dollar in my pocket, and my bank account was locked. I was humbled by your kindness. The same must be said for Joy, who laughs at my silliness, but also lends a level of calmness to our office. I am awed by each of these ladies in how they handle the many levels of adversity that visits our office, and am always trying to learn from them.

Michelle - I haven't forgotten about you. Thanks for being thoughtful and entertaining.

So is it really worth getting hung up on what went wrong in 2007? Nope. The past is prologue, and I would rather put it in the memory bank and move on to 2008. Let what happened serve as lessons.

I'm excited for 2008, but I'm also nervous. That's what the future is - scary. It can be change, and new adventures. So for me, I'm going to just focus on now. I must not ignore whatever is coming (bad or good, for that matter), but I can't dwell on it.

For each of you, I wish you good health, peace, and success in 2008. But most of all, I wish you happiness. I think we all deserve it.

And may our troops be safe.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Perhaps You Need a Reminder

I'm battling one of the nastiest colds that I've had in some time, so it has kind of forced me to hang around the house and entertain myself. Thanks to our financial disaster, I had to get rid of all of our movie and extemporaneous sports channels (of course I still have YES). Thus I often feel like the old Bruce Springsteen song - 57 channels and nothing's on.

Through the tossing and turning of last night, I watched a couple of blah college bowl games before giving up. At one point earlier today, I watched a little of the Pine Tar Game from 1983 between the Yankees and Royals, but I kind of know how that turned out, and I'm still scarred (Lee McPhail made one of the all-time pussy moves in reversing the decision - when does an officials decision ever get overturned after the game is over?).

So that led me to channel 215 on Direct TV. I've been noticing it for a few weeks now, and have liked what I have seen, but today it sucked me in.

It's called the NHL Channel. And it's a reminder of why hockey is so great, and why I would offer that the history of hockey pales only in comparison to baseball - and right on par with the NFL.

The channel is in its infancy. It's showing classic games, but not quite classic enough yet. I'm cool with games up to, say, 1994 (Rangers-Cancuks, naturally), but am not quite ready to consider things since then as classic. I'd love to see older stuff - like the Bobby Orr game from 1970. I shouldn't have to explain it, but since many of you don't know hockey that well, just know that at 40 seconds into overtime in the fourth game, number four scored the fourth goal - and arguably the most famous goal in NHL history - at least based on the iconic image. More about the picture (above) is here, including the play-by-play of the goal.

Anyway, today I've been sucked in by a show about the 1990 Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and eventual champs Oilers (sorry, Harold - I wish it had ended differently). From there, it was a show on Mario Lemieux's greatest goals (what a play against the old Minnesota North Stars, and the '87 Canada Cup winner!). Yet what really sucked me in was the show about the greatest Canadian rivalries - the battles of the 80's and 90's between the Oilers and Flames (two words - Lanny McDonald ), or the Nordiques and the Candaiens (with a young Patrick Roy...pronounced WAH!). That, and a phone call from my hockey partner John Spang, got me all fired up for Greenwich and Westhill on WGCH this Thursday night.

Folks, I don't know how else to explain it to you, but hockey is amazing. It lost so much thanks to the work stoppage of a few years ago, and I'm still not sure the shootout thing is best for the sport, but give me Sidney Crosby moving in on Henrik Lundquist any day over what's going on in the NBA.

Regarding the shootout, the penalty shot is the most exciting play in hockey. The shootout has kind of made it lose its luster. I'm still of the school that you play the game until you collapse. That, my friend, is why there's nothing like playoff hockey. Again, back to the '90 Cup Final, when the Oilers won in TRIPLE OT (don't hate me, Harold. I'm not looking to bring back bad memories).

Oh but there's so much to love about hockey. The culture is wonderful. There are things that only hockey brings me. I would have never known what a Tim Horton's was without the NHL (it's a really good donut/sandwich shop that I ate at in Maine a few times). But there's more. Go ahead and "Google" these, if you need to:

Foster Hewitt
'72 Summit Series
The Great One
The Original Six (OK, I'll help here - Rangers, Bruins, Red Wings, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Blackhawks)
Adams, Patrick, Norris, Smythe (those were the divisions)
Clarence Campbell and Prince of Wales (those were the conferences)
The Messiah (#11, my personal hockey God)
Jiggs MacDonald (Former Isles broadcaster, whose voice came to me on channel 9)
1980 Olympics (PLEASE don't tell me that I need to explain)
Raymond Borque and the Quest for the Cup
Hockey Night in Canada (I'd watch it just for Don Cherry, whom we need much more of)
Mike "Doc" Emrick (currently the best "voice" in hockey)

You get the idea. Maybe you need to see a game in person (we are NOT...repeating...NOT bringing back the glowing puck from FOX). Maybe you need to understand the sport better. Maybe you don't like Canada. Maybe it's the preponderance of European players with names that can't be pronounced. Whatever. Once you learn it, you will know that hockey is the sport with the most accessible players, and despite the fighting (what's not to love?) it is the most gentlemanly sport. It is the fastest sport - better than soccer in that there's so much back and forth play. Players will sacrifice everything for their teammates. They will grow playoff beards. They will do anything - ANYTHING - for the best trophy in sports.

The Stanley Cup.

Take some time to watch a game. Maybe start by watching the NHL Channel, if you get it. If not, then watch NBC on New Year's Day for the Winter Classic - the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Buffalo Sabres - live from Ralph Wilson Stadium just outside of Buffalo. That's right, they're going to play hockey, outside, in a football stadium. It will be so wicked cool.

Now that's where the old-timers will chafe. They want old-school. They (we) want the LA Kings pajama uniforms. They want the Octopus. They want to hate the Habs (right, Harold - wow - three references in one post!). They want "Brass Bonanza."

OK, maybe not.

Incidentally, Harold has informed his son that he can like any team...with the exception of the Canadiens. I understand completely (see "The Son" and "the Mets").

The old-timers don't want the glitz and the bright lights. Hell, they don't even want the helmets. They want the old hockey masks - not these high-tech pieces of art that they wear today. Yet they agree that, for the hopeful good of the game, time and technology marches on.

You should check it out, and see for yourself.

As noted hockey historian Sean Kilkelly would say, stay onsides!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Sports Returns to WGCH

'Twas once a time when WGCH was your home for all local high school sports. Not that long ago, we covered every Greenwich High basketball and hockey game, as well as baseball and football, along with some Brunswick hockey, Rye and Harrison football, and more.

Since then, I've learned to take NOTHING for granted. Advertisers and management tightened their wallets. The broadcaster and the listener suffered.

With all that as history, I'm pleased to say that we're back in business, with a limited slate of basketball and hockey games. It's tough for us to find too many games, with our commitment to Fairfield University basketball (I've had my say about that already). So let's have a look at the schedule:

Thu, 1/3/08 - GHS Ice Hockey vs. Westhill at Hamill Rink - 7:45 PM
Mon, 1/7/08 - GHS Ice Hockey vs. Immaculate at Hamill Rink - 8:00 PM
Sat, 1/12/08 - GHS Ice Hockey vs. Stamford at Terry Conners Rink - 6:40 PM
Thu, 1/17/08 - GHS Ice Hockey vs. Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe at Hamill Rink - 7:45 PM
Sat, 1/19/08 - Brunswick Hockey vs. Hill at Hartong Rink - 4:00 PM
Tue, 1/22/08 - GHS Boys Hoops vs. Wilton at Greenwich High School - 7:00 PM
Sat, 2/2/08 - Brunswick Hockey vs. Pingree at Hartong Rink - 2:00 PM
Tue, 2/5/08 - GHS Boys Hoops vs. St. Joseph at GHS - 7:00 PM
Thu, 2/7/08 - GHS Ice Hockey vs. Ridgefield at Hamill Rink - 7:45 PM
Mon, 2/11/08 - GHS Ice Hockey vs. New Canaan at Hamill Rink - 8:00 PM
Wed, 2/13/08 - GHS Boys Hoops at Fairfield Warde - 7:00 PM
Wed, 2/20/08 - GHS Boys Hoops at Trumbull - 7:00 PM

I'd love to do more, and add girls basketball and some Brunswick hoops as well, but this is certainly better than nothing. Now these teams have to go out and made their repsective playoffs so we can add more. And don't even get me started on baseball...which I desparately want to cover. Ah, but one battle at a time, I suppose.

So! Who will be calling these games with me? Well just as Ron Burgundy has the Channel Four News Team, Rob Adams has the WGCH Sports Team (although we do miss both Ricky Fritsch and Zach Fisher in their roles). Sean Kilkelly will anchor things from the studio (at the corner of Lewis and Mason Streets) and will jump in as an analyst whenever he can. Nick Angotto plays the utility man role (stats, sidelines, etc). John Spang returns for his 58th season of hockey analysis (OK, maybe it's 10th or so...I'm not quite sure), and Dave Chaippetta joins us for his first season of basketball. He'll fill the big shoes of former partners Mark Smallwood, Mark Rosen, Sean Kilkelly, Tommy Dee, Bill Brehm, Ricky Fritsch, and Chuck Costello (did I miss anyone?).

I'm looking forward to getting back to the routine of some winter play-by-play!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Crock Hall of Fame

Once again, another hall of fame has gotten under my skin. Usually it's the National Baseball one (the one in Cooperstown, folks) but for the past few days, it's been the farce in Cleveland, known as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I visited it in 1999 (figured we should make the pilgrimage at least once) and at the time found it to be a rather enlightening trip down rock music's great memory lane. The true gods of the genre were enshrined - The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Elvis, The Stones and so on.

(Quick aside to Caroline Corley on The Peak - for the LAST FREAKIN' TIME, we get it - you think the Stones are the greatest rock band ever. You don't need to say it EVERY TIME YOU PLAY A STONES SONG...which is at least several times during your shift. You sound like an IDIOT every time you say it. I'm only here to help.)

Whew. Thanks. That feels better.

Anyway the 2007 class was announced and we can now say that this is no longer a hall of fame that involves rock at all. Here are the inductees:

John Mellencamp
Leonard Cohen
The Dave Clark Five
The Ventures

Little Walter

Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff ME??

OK, The Ventures were cool simply for the theme to "Hawaii Five-O" and can be considered influential. Leonard Cohen falls also into the category of "influence." I'm willing to let these two slide...sort of. The Dave Clark Five rode the coattails of the Beatles and Stones to some stateside success, but they are certainly a debatable choice.

That brings us to Madge and FORGET IT!

You know, it's funny. Just the other day, I popped on Q-104 (New Yorks City's lone rock and roll outlet) and I was jamming to "Like a Virgin." Well not exactly. Tell me the last time you considered her to be rock? Is she a MUSICAL icon? You bet! Is her music legendary? Got no argument there. Is she a rock icon?

Come on, people!

Then there's JC Springsteen from Indiana. As always, I use my "legend" barometer when assessing hall of famers. Is John Mellencamp a true rock legend? Jesus, God, No. He had some chart success, esepecially in the 1980's. He's done well as a musician with a conscience (great, Farm Aid). He even seems like a nice guy (how far has that gotten me exactly?). Does that make him any better than, oh I don't know, HUEY LEWIS?

Now before you go all Cobain on me, I am NOT...repeat...NOT starting a campaign to put HLN into the Rock Hall. I'm just saying what makes Mellancamp better, is all.

For a wonderful perspective on this whole situation, please read this from Roger Friedman. He covers the whole fiasco, and who should be considered before anybody else.

Rock on!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

If anything can possibly make me smile during this unique holiday season, it's the little boy on the right. Sean remains the best gift that a daddy can ask for. He's precocious, inquisitive, hysterically funny, and smart. He has many wonderful (and not so many wonderful) qualities of both of his parents. And unfortunately, I suppose, he has a lot of his fathers looks. Can't win 'em all.

Anyway, I've laid low (just not feeling blog-worthy), but I had to stop in today to wish you all a Merry Christmas. I'm glad to have the network of great people that stop by to read. I'm glad to have friends and family that take the time to visit "Exit 55" and those who have reached out - either via email or in the comments.

I'm looking forward to 2008 as I've never looked forward to a new year before. I have great things in mind (some that might take until 2009 to bring to fruition, but we'll see).

It's great to be working again, and to be a part of WGCH's morning routine. I'm happy to say that we'll back on the air with hockey and basketball - as soon as next week. We just have to work out a few kinks. I'll be able to announce the schedule and staff in a few stay tuned. Frankly, it's not enough games, but it's about time that games come back. Again, I'll have more to say when the time is right.

For today, whatever your preference is, just take a minute to count your blessings and embrace those close to you. And pray, meditate, speak in tongues - whatever - but just remember those lost and still fighting overseas. May they know the warmth and love of their homes by this time next year.

And may gas prices come down (the commute to Stamford is killing me), and may 107.1 The Peak take the odiously offensive version of "Do They Know It's Christmas" by the insipid Barenaked Ladies and burn it...immediately.

Feliz Christmas, y'all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

HLN For President Update

Well part of my idea from this morning has fallen apart. After writing about the HLN for President bumper sticker that I saw, I posted the link to Exit 55 on - the website dedicated to Huey Lewis and the News. Then I headed out for the day.

A few minutes ago, I returned home and upon checking, I saw the following response from drunner Bill Gibson:
Rob, thanks so much for the sort of nomination, but I think I will politely decline.
And that's that.

Bill's been posting on for years and is a great guy with a very dry wit and strong opinions on many things - including hatred of the Yankees and a passion for the Oakland A's. I had a chance to meet him in person after a show in Poughkeepsie, New York in 2005 and let him walk right on by. What could I have possibly had to say to him?

Oh well.

Congratulations to Naples!

The Golden Eagles of Naples High School are the Florida Class 3A state champions after beating St. Augustine 17-10 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Friday. Quarterback Criag Wingate, hobbled by an ankle injury, showed guts inn rushing for 38 yards while going 5 of 12 for 51 yards through the air. The Eagles needed to come back to win the game, as they got a safety on a bad punt snap and a 34-yard touchdown run by Greg Pratt (remember him, Cardinals fans?) to take the lead.

Among the scoring by St. Augustine was a 51-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis, who will go on to play at Florida. I once saw Dennis Bien kick a 48-yarder for Greenwich, but kickers like that are rare.

And how about fan support? Check out this quote from Adam Fisher in the Naples Dilay News:
Naples High School had 484 absences Friday. That’s about 25.6 of the school’s total population, most of whom went to Orlando. Students were excused from school to go to the game, but classes were not canceled.
Seven busloads of Naples fans went to the game, which was played on a school day, in front of an announced crowd of 5484.

So congrats to the Golden Eagles - they and the Cardinals of Greenwich both won state titles. Now I want a rematch at Cardinal Stadium!

An Idea Whose Time Has Come

I have no idea who I am voting for in 2008. While I'll admit to being a registered Republican, I'm "Giuliani-ish" in the regard that I can lean quite liberally as well. Or as my friend Sean Kilkelly writes in the "About Me" portion of his blog:
Registered Republican, Independent Thinker.
Well said.

So this morning I was trolling around on Facebook (yep, I caved and joined it) I did a search on "Huey Lewis" and came across some groups related to the band. One was called "Huey Lewis is a Golden God" and that name was enough to get me to look and laugh. There, among the pictures, was the bumper sticker to end all bumper stickers - "Lewis/News '08." Perfect World! Let the campaign begin.

(By the way, if you didn't know, the title of this post comes from "Hip to Be Square", the band's misunderstood, much-maligned 1986 mega-hit that has often come to represent the group - and rather unfairly).

Credit to Patrick Chizeck for creating the bumper sticker, and for allowing me to know who will get my vote in the '08 election. Do I really want Mrs. Clinton (or "Satan", as Imus still calls her) running this country? Hardly. Anyone on the GOP side? Maybe, but I'm not convinced yet. Barack? I need to learn more. So until somebody gives me a reason to vote otherwise, I'm going to sock it on future-President Hugh Anthony Cregg III and his cabinet. I think drummer Bill Gibson would make a fine Vice President, or secretary of something; I'd have to give it some more thought.

Now I have to get to work on campaign songs and themes. With a title like "Some of My lies Are True (Sooner or Later)" in their catalog, I could see opponents seizing on that as an issue of credibility. We'll need to push for strong family and moral values, like "The Power of Love." And we've already got some buttons made up...

The cover of the 2001 CD, Plan B, which come to think of it, might be the campaign slogan. OK - there's work to be done!

Oh, while searching on Facebook, I came across the perfect mix of music, broadcasting, and movies - "Anchorman is the best thing to happen to broadcasting since Huey Lewis." Now really, does it get any better than that?

So the moral here today folks is A) Join Facebook, because it's pretty cool (even for us "old" guys), and B) Vote for Huey in '08! Because after all, he's still Workin' For a Living.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thanks for Nothing

So that was The Mitchell Report, eh? Well I frankly don't have the time to sit here and scream about it - I have a real job, unfortunately - but I can throw a few things out.

First, thanks to Roger Clemens. I put my faith in you, and believed that you were the real deal. I felt like you were an old-time gunslinger; a guy who belonged in the conversation with Gibson and Drysdale and Lefty Grove - nasty SOB's who pitched like they wanted to hurt someone. Instead you turn out to be a cheater, adding another black eye to a great era of Yankees baseball.

Legendary workout routine, my arse. Which by the way, is not being injected...unlike yours.

Andy Pettitte - I'm glad that your black eye begins after the last of the four championships. At least I don't feel like you cheated during one of the great post-season pitching performances - your duel with John Smoltz in Game 5 of the 1996 World Series. Still you're not off the hook. You got busted, even if it was a one-time thing to come back from an injury.

I don't have time to go into each player. Many are just useless schmucks. A few are truly great (Miguel Tejada). Some were borderline at best. Yet, what did this whole thing prove? Nothing...nada...not a damn thing. A lot of it is witness testimony, coming from people trying to plea bargain. In the end, I still think Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens make the Hall of Fame, with a rather large asterisk over their plaques. There will still be eight million people walking through turnstiles at ballparks here in Steroid Central (that's New York, folks). In fact, yesterday really wasn't the black eye that a lot of folks thought.

One writer said that the Yankees championship era (1996-2000) is now tainted. That is categorically BS. If the writer bothered to read at all (not likely), he would have seen that the "damage" was largely done after the championships (remember, they haven't won one since 2000). I'll say that this decade is tainted - I have no problem with that assessment.

Again, what did this accomplish? As several people have said, whatever the cost was for The Mitchell Report from Major League Baseball, they should get a refund.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Road Rage!

Croton Falls, NY has become quite a little hub of commuter activity. There's a Metro North station, and routes 202 and 22 converge, along with Croton Falls Road and Stoneleigh Ave. It will never be confused with midtown Manhattan, but with one traffic light and these roads, it gets a bit crazy at rush hour.

This morning, I was at the end of Croton Falls Road, preparing to turn right onto New York route 22 south, where I could go to Interstate 684 (about a mile or two away), or continue on 22 towards Purdy's, Goldens Bridge and so on (The exact location is in the picture at the top of this entry). Sitting at the intersection, obscuring oncoming traffic from me in the southbound lanes, was a box truck. That made turning a bit hazardous, but I figured as long as I watched for an opening, I could "gun" it and be fine.


I saw my opening, hit the gas pedal, and realized that there was some kind of black ice or wet road or something. At that moment, a white Dodge pickup truck came upon me. I had two choices - sit there or continue on. Neither option was great, but I went for the latter. Believe me, he wasn't going to hit me.

Yet this is where things got fun (or scary, depending on your interpretation).

The truck came up behind me and gave me a single-finger salute. I chose to not get mad at this, as I knew what I had done could be defined as wrong. I wasn't trying to be some "yuppie punk." I just knew I was in no-man's land. So I put my hand up as a way of saying "my bad." I think that made things worse, because he (who we might now call "Satan") gave me a two-handed, single-finger salute. WOW! Let's see if I've got this straight: I hadn't caused an accident. I wasn't responsible for stopping Earth's rotation. Best as I could tell, it wasn't even my fault that the Jets lost, yet here I was, now deserving of a "double bird." So I chose to do what any irrational human being would do.

Gave it right back to him. bad.

This is where the story could have gone way off. In fact, had "the old me" gone the way I might have gone, I wouldn't be typing right now. I would be probably convalescing at Putnam Hospital Center, back on Stoneleigh Ave. But Rational Rob stood up and talked some sense into me. "Dude", he said, "it's not worth it. There's no point in our pulling over to explain to him that it was a mistake. You might not even get the words 'my bad' out of your mouth before a paw the size of his tire lands in it. Just keep driving."

I'm not a violent person. I think my last fight might have been in 1985 or so, with Steve Feldman, who I think was missing a cog or two. That taught me a lot about sports fans - that there are many idiots out there who double as "fans" (and Mets ones, at that). In the past, I might have pulled over to try and explain that it was "my bad." But what good could have come from it? Probably none, so I kept driving.

And what a fun drive it was!

As I continued down southbound route 22, I could see our satanic friend, constantly using his signals to try and get me to turn into some parking lot. Or he'd keep motioning to me to get me to turn. Neither worked on me. The only thing I did was shake my head at him at one point. Then I watched him punch his fist into his palm. Who was this douche bag, Iron Mike Tyson?

Excuse me, ladies, but that term has become a perfect adjective for the all-encmpassing A-hole. And this way, I don't have to type "a-hole." I guarantee Mick will now give me shite for not being potty-mouthed (yet perhaps he should worry about his own blog...or not).

Eventually we came to that proverbial fork in the road - Hardscrabble Road and Interstate 684 are straight ahead, and route 22 goes to the right. Not wanting to show my hand, I waited and then signalled to head onto 22 - wrong call. He followed, speeding up behind me at times, and then weaving and spinning his tires at other times. When we stopped at the traffic light for New York route 116 in Purdy's, I had to make sure that he didn't jump me, or ram me.

The weaving and flat-out dangerous driving continued to the next town - Goldens Bridge. I suppose I could have called the cops, but why am I going to break the law to use a handheld cell phone? To hook up my headset at that point seemed unnecessary. I had to keep my eyes on the road, and the nitwit in the white Dodge.

Finally, in Goldens Bridge, I made the decision to jump on New York route 138, which would take me over to Interstate 684. I felt my options were better on 684 if he followed. Thankfully he raced past me and I just ignored him.

Again, I could have called the cops when I got to work, but what would have been the point? Instead, I can write about it here, give you all a laugh, and publish his LICENSE PLATE NUMBER!!

So white Dodger pickup truck, with New York license plate AFL-8876 - HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sad News...

I was listening live to Tim Parry's "Live from the FC" yesterday, when I heard coach Rich Albonizio (of the two-time defending state and FCIAC Champion Greenwich Cardinals) announce that former Cardinal Steven Bawol had been killed in a car crash. I almost posted the story right then and there, but decided to give things a chance to breathe. This was also Tim's story, and I wanted to get some confirmation.

We once misreported an injury and it horrified me. I trusted the nitwit that said a player was out for the year...and was horribly wrong.

Tim has the full story here. While the Cardinals have such a large roster, I do indeed remember Bawol with the Cardinals.

My condolences go to the Bawol family.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Naples Update

Our friends from Naples, Florida - the Golden Eagles - have advanced to Florida's Class 3A championship game, where they'll play St. Augustine. The game is next Friday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.

Anybody need a broadcaster?

Anyway, let's think about this for a minute...Naples will play St. Augustine in the Citrus Bowl...Rye played Chenango Forks in Syracuse's Carrier Dome...New Canaan played Hand at Trumbull High School.

Something doesn't fit, does it?

UPDATE!! Chris Ellsberry of the Connecticut Post and I had this very conversation a few weeks ago at Cardinal Stadium - that championship games should be played at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Well Ellsberry decided to write about it. Good for him, for taking the CIAC to task for looking foolish, as usual.

Good luck to the Golden Eagles.

66 Years Later

Long before September 11th, we had December 7th. It is a date for those who remember it that is never forgotten. I wasn't alive for the December 7th in question - in 1941 - but it was ingrained in my head by my father, who would never allow any of us to forget it.

December 7th 1941 was, by all accounts, a pleasant, calm Sunday. A beautiful day in Hawaii, and a chilly one in New York. The country was living with the threat of war but all appeared normal. Our national media was nothing like it is today. Television was in its infancy, with very few sets in use and no news broadcasts. To be sure, there was no CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and so on. There was NBC (the Red and Blue networks), CBS (more commonly known as the "Columbia Broadcasting System" at the time), Mutual and not much more. There were also local stations, and not the corporate radio that exists today (hmmm...never mind). There was no WGCH, for instance - we didn't debut for nearly 23 years (September 1964, to be exact). There were no satellites; reports were done on phone. Taped broadcast and news reports? Not happening - items were recorded on records and acetates.

Radio and newspapers were your only outlets for news. The NFL was in action that day, but nowhere near as popular as it is now. In fact, college football was far more popular in 1941. Yet baseball ruled the sports world. As it was a Sunday, listeners were hearing soothing sounds (other than football), like church services, and classical music.

There are some recorded broadcasts from that fateful day, though one can question the validity of them, as re-interpretations were quite common. I've located a few items on As always, I find them fascinating.

On WOR (Mutual's New York affiliate), it was football that got interrupted:

This was on CBS (probably the most well-known audio of Pearl Harbor's bulletins):

On NBC, via KGU (Honolulu), the sound is fuzzy (I especially enjoy the interruption by the telephone company):

On CBS, attempts to reach Honolulu fail:

Great stuff, and there's still more to be found. As we push for the continued memory of those lost on September 11th, let us never forget December 7th, 1941 - the date that still lives in infamy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

An Honest Imus Critique

John Mainelli has been around New York radio for a long time now, and can be a fairly smart, outspoken ciritc. He has provided perhaps the best review of the early stages of the new "Imus in the Morning." The story is here.

I'll rebuke a couple of things - I don't think either Karith Foster or Tony Powell is bringing anything to the table. I also don't object to the country music and the live acts (big deal - they had Levon Helm and his band for ONE morning). And the constant drill of Deirdre, greening, the Ranch and so on was part of the "IITM" charm. The one key thing missing to me is Fred, Don's nitwit of a brother who hosts a radio show on Sirius Satellite.

The rest of what Mainelli says is spot-on. Bernie is needed back in the fold - and (sorry, Catholics) especially as "Cardinal Egan", the most consistently side-splitting laughs had on the show.

The show still needs to find itself, but it's getting there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Frick Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award, acknowledging broadcasters who "make major contributions to the game of baseball" have been named. They are (with their primary affiliation):

- Joe Nuxhall (Reds)
- Bill King (A's)
- Joe Morgan (ESPN)
- Dizzy Dean (CBS Game of the Week)
- Tom Cheek (Blue Jays)
- Tony Kubek (NBC Game of the Week, Blue Jays and Yankees)
- Dave Niehaus (Mariners)
- Dave Van Horne (Expos)
- Graham McNamee (NBC Radio- first truly modern radio play-by-play voice)
- Ken Coleman (Red Sox)

I guess any of these nominees would be acceptable, although I have some strong opinions on the likes of Morgan. My money is on either Nuxhall, King, or Cheek as each achieved a level of popularity and died within the past two years. My choices would be Kubek, who I thought was the first truly great analyst - long before he joined the Yankees - or McNamee, who has become largely forgotten.

We'll find out the winner on February 19th.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ansonia is Number One and Meyers and Westfal are the Top Players

Ansonia was named the top team in both the Coaches and Media Polls. Greenwich came in second in both polls. Congrats to the Chargers.

Congratulations must also go to Jonathan Meyers and Charlie Westfal for being selected as the Players of the Year from the FCIAC Football Blog and BlueStreak Sports Training.

StephenASmithInTheHouse Doesn't Like Me!

OK, well maybe not me personally, but my "type." You know - bloggers.

In a chat with Los Angeles Daily News' Tom Hofarth, StephenA (remember, it's all one word) said:
"Therefore, there's a total disregard, a level of wrecklessness that ends up being a domino effect. And the people who suffer are the common viewers out there and, more importantly, those in the industry who haven't been fortunate to get a radio or television deal and only rely on the written word. And now they've been sabotaged. Not because of me. Or like me. But because of the industry or the world has allowed the average joe to resemble a professional without any credentials whatsoever."
Whoa! Hold on a minute! I'm technically a professional, right? I mean, almost 20 years in the media, play-by-play voice for about 15 years or so (going back to my days as the "voice" of the PM/KF Intramural Softball League), and I've written for print outlet or two (or maybe just one, I don't remember) - that counts as a professional with credentials, eh? Yet my credential consists of two laminated pictures that we made at WGCH several years ago, but I guess that's legit, right?

Anyway, yes in theory, Mr. StephenASmithIntheHouse is right - there are a lot of bad bloggers out there. But then again, there are a lot of irresponsible journalists out there as well. It's not you need a license to be a blogger, so I think it will just continue this way. In fact, you technically don't need a license to broadcast anymore (we needed one when I first started).

Another Politician With Too Much Time On His Hands

This sounds like something our beloved (NOT!) Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would pull. An Indiana congressman has been swayed to put his weight behind legislation that would change - get this - an Interstate highway number!

Gotta love the heartland!

From August Wayne's story in the Hoosier Gazette:
There are plans to extend the interstate from Indianapolis through southwestern Indiana all the way through Texas into Mexico in the coming years. While most believe this highway will be good for the state’s economy, religious conservatives believe “I-69” sounds too risqué and want to change the interstate’s number.

Hostettler, a proponent of the interstate extension, agrees. “Every time I have been out in the public with an ‘I-69’ button on my lapel, teenagers point and snicker at it. I have had many ask me if they can have my button. I believe it is time to change the name of the highway. It is the moral thing to do.”

As a matter of fact, naming the highway’s extension I-69 is a violation of the Interstate Highway System’s rules for numbering roads. Interstates numbers are to increase from west to east. If the extension through southern Indiana is named I-69, then 69 will be west of I-65, a direct violation.

“Naming the road I-63 not only follows numbering guidelines, it doesn’t have the sexual undertones that I-69 has,” says Hostettler, “It is a win-win situation.”
Something similar to this happened a few years ago when United States route 666 was done away with, for the reason that many considered it "Devils Highway." The route is now US 491.

Now, does this I-69 legislation have a prayer? I don't think so - especially since it would require that the entire route be renumbered, and I-69 is already posted in Michigan and Indiana, for that matter.

So please, once again, let's find some more useful pursuits for our politicians and the religious folks (the ones who are really behind this idiocy).

Incidentally, the good folks at the Hoosier Gazette have a shop for you to buy I-69 related goods. I highliy recommend the boxer shorts, and the thong for the lady in your life. I mean, if the highway is going to be in the first place...

Monday, December 03, 2007

The State Champs and More

Greenwich made folks nervous for almost a half on Saturday night, falling behind Shelton 14-0 before running off the field at halftime down 14-7. Matt Levine (not The One and Only, unfortunately) told me quite confidently that he felt the Cardinals had righted the ship and would pull away from there.

What happens? Out comes Jim Dunster on the opening kickoff of the second half, and 79 or 80 yards later (depending on who you're tlaking to), Greenwich had tied the game, and would roll from there. Another state championship was in the bag, 28-14.

Of course, even before the game, I knew Greenwich had literally no shot at winning the poll for the state's best team. That's OK folks, drink the Ansonia-flavored Kool-Aid. Since nobody will ever have the marbles to put together a winner-take-all game between Greenwich and Ansonia, I'll agree to disagree. I'll take Greenwich's size, speed, and depth. Yet I know I can't win because I broadcast their games, so many of you will think I have a bias. Whatever - that's your right.

I think Tim Parry put it best here, and I echo his sentiments.

Generally, things were run first class at Southern Connecticut State University. We had no problems gaining access to what we needed (press box, field passes, and so on). Jason Intreiri wowed us by bringing pizza from Frank Pepe's, which was quite good (but it's no Sal's in Mamaroneck, NY). The clam pizza was interesting.

Jason, Sean Kilkelly, and Nick Angotto helped anchor a great broadcast, and I'm very happy with the results of the 2007 football broadcasting season. Personally this was a tough year for me, and I didn't think I was always at my best. I've even admitted to being distracted during at least one broadcast (the Central-Greenwich game in September) - the first time I can ever remember that happening. I was OK in the bigger games - Greenwich/Naples, Greenwich/Staples, Greenwich/Shelton and maybe a few others.

What I'm trying to say is that at this time, and for the past couple of years, I think about walking away. I get worn out by the effort I put into the games - from arranging for press box space to research to printing up rosters and notes, and stats, and more. I know it has put a huge amount of stress on my life - especially my home life, which has taken a big hit. Then comes what I have to do behind the scenes to even get a chance to do the games. There's a lot that goes on that most people don't know about. The equipment malfunctions, the on-site battles, the hangers-on who want to be a part of the show, and the politics. Then comes the scheduling conflicts and the shuffling of everyone's lives. Fortunately we don't have any personality clashes but I've seen that happen also. That's why it is so important for me to arrange the broadcast team. We don't have to be the best of friends, but for the most part, that's what has happened. That's why I was sitting at a friend's apartment in Stamford drinking coffee to wake myself up after GHS-Shelton as Saturday moved into Sunday, before I got hom around 2:30 and went to be just after 4:00.

Incidentally I was invited to the post-championship part in Greenwich after the game and really wanted to go, but by the time we left Southern Connecticut State, and got on the road, it was too late, so I went to Stamford to recharge.

Unfortunately broadcasting games (especially those other than football) is no longer a given on WGCH. We need support - and that means sponsors. Here we are in December and I have no commitment to us covering hockey and basketball. The reality is that this means I will likely go back to working at the red bullseye to make more cash.

So in the long run, I finished up the broadcast with the same thing I've been thinking for the past few years - that it could be my last broadcast. I'm not saying that I AM done, but am just trying to be realistic. Reality is a bitch to face, and I'm doing quite a bit of that.

That being said, put some games back on the air, and maybe even a talk show, and I'll be reenergized.

As usual, I have more to say - but won't.

I had a nice correspondence with veteran play-by-play voice Bob Sagendorf, who handled the live calls of Ansonia-New Britain and Bunnell-Masuk on CPTV. I got to check out a little of the CPTV audio for the Ansonia win, and Bob certainly calls a great game (even in a blowout like that one).

Away from high school football, it sounds like Andy Pettitte will be part of the equation for the 2008 Yankees. Good. Now if they'll stop with the Hughes for Santana jazz.

Three words - Imus is back.

I listened to as much of the first show as I could this morning. The critics have been howling regarding his rehashing of the Rutgers thing (which had to be done, by the way), and the new editions to the show (Tony Powell and Karith Foster), and the use of country music, and blah...blah...blah.

OK, here's my take. The new editions weren't all that funny, and Warner Wolf would have been a better choice for the sports guy. But Imus decided that the show needed an "African American" edge to it, so that's cool. It's the first day so it will take time to get going. Plus Bernard needs to be heard from, and he will. He got the largest ovation from the audience.

The guests were an interesting mix. I was bothered by Senator Chris Dodd (D - Connecticut) because he was among the biggest wusses when the Rutgers affair took place (along with everyone from Newsweek, Tim Russert, and Harold Ford Jr.). Yet he was welcomed back to the show and the subject never came up. They obviously made their peace somewhere else, but I would have appreciated some kind of explanation.

I just think this new mix needs a chance, yet everyone expected the show would come out swinging. It's a new Imus - same as the old Imus. Yet for the first hour or so, it was just strange. And for me, it took a little getting used to again.

Still, thank God he's back.

I just saw that the baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee added five new inductees today. From Peter Abraham in The Journal News:
The two new veteran committees of the Hall of Fame have put five people in Cooperstown.

Dick Williams (manager), Billy Southworth (manager), Barney Dreyfuss (executive), Bowie Kuhn (executive) and Walter O’Malley (executive) will be inducted in Juiy. Williams is the only new Hall of Famer still living.

It’s a travesty that a lukwarm commissioner like Kuhn gets it and a groundbreaking figure like MLBPA founder Marvin Miller does not. Miller received only 25 percent of the vote, well short of the 75 percent needed. It’s supposed to be a Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Well-Liked.
Indeed. I don't know if I'd do jumping-jacks about Marvin Miller, but I'm less than thrilled at the addition of Bowie Kuhn - a man who didn't exactly perform in the best interest of baseball during his term. Dick Williams was a very good manager, initially with the '67 Red Sox, then through the glory years with the '72 and '73 A's before some final glory with the '84 Padres. Billy Southworth won two titles as a manager with the Cardinals in the 1940's. Barney Dreyfuss owned the Pirates for 32 years and helped create the World Series. Walter O'Malley was the well-regarded owner of the Dodgers who's biggest claim to fame (or biggest mistake, depending on who you ask) was to lead baseball to the west coast with the Bums moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Congrats to the new inductees.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mr. Scully

Among the many great broadcasters in all walks of life, there is Vincent Edward Scully, and there is everybody else. Go ahead, build your Mount Rushmore of broadcasting for news and sports. Put Ed Murrow up there, of course. Walter Cronkite? I'd probably be OK with that. That leaves you two places. There's nobody else you can sell me on. Scully's the guy.

Beginning in 1950, at the age of just 22, Scully joined the Dodgers in Brooklyn, and stayed with them through their move to Los Angeles in 1958. When asked for the most popular Dodger in LA history, a resounding number of fans said it was Scully, as opposed to any player or manager. Scully's voice could be all throughout Dodger Stadium (and the LA Coliseum before) on transistor radios. Even today, his popularity is so strong that he is simulcast for the first three innings of any Dodger game he does on both radio and TV, before switching completely to TV.

I could rhapsodize all night about the great Scully, but you need to hear the work to appreciate it. He tends to get lost in the shuffle due to his desire to let the moment breathe. To him, there's nothing like the roar of the crowd. To me, there's no better play-by-play voice ever. His is the voice of Summer, but it was also a lot more at one time, as Scully called both college and pro football for many years (that was Vin on the classic Niners-Cowboys NFC Championship Game), tennis, and golf (including the Masters before leaving CBS).

Perhaps Scully's most masterful moment came in 1965, as Sandy Koufax finished his perfect game. It is everything that a broadcaster should be - dramatic, yet not over the top. Give a listen and you'll hear it for yourself.

I couldn't stop there. Here are some highlights, merely scratching the surface of a brilliant career.

Happy birthday, Mr. Scully.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The State Championship

Greenwich advanced to their 14th state championship game with a 35-13 win over Bridgeport Central at Cardinal Stadium. Just minutes ago, the CIAC released the list of championship games. The Cardinals will look for their second straight title at 7:00 PM on Saturday at Southern Connecticut State University's Jess Dow Field in New Haven. The full list is:

#1 Greenwich (10-1) vs. #2 Shelton (10-1) 7:00 p.m. at Jess Dow Field, SCSU, New Haven
#1 Bunnell (12-0) vs. #3 Masuk (10-2) 7:00 p.m. at Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven
#1 Daniel Hand (11-0) vs. #2 New Canaan (9-2) 2:00 p.m. at McDougall Stadium, Trumbull
#4 Berlin (10-1) vs. #2 Ledyard (10-1) 2:00 p.m. at Arute Field, CCSU, New Britain
#1 Seymour (10-1) vs. #2 Tolland (9-2) 7:00 p.m. at McDougall Stadium, Trumbull
#1 Ansonia (12-0) vs. #3 New London (11-0) 2:00 p.m. at Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven

All of the details are here. I know there will be several media options for you, including SportingNewsCT, possibly WELI, and CPTV will be televising two of the games live, and the others on tape delay, but really, when you get right down to it, don't you want to listen to the Greenwich-Shelton affair on WGCH with me, Sean, Nick, and Jason? I might not be The One and Only (Tim Parry will get that reference) but I lead a great team of dedicated broadcasters who love to do what we do, while having fun.

Incidentally, I saw CPTV's schedule. Greenwich-Shelton is tape delayed to Sunday, with the Class S (Ansonia/New London) and Class L (Bunnell/Masuk) games are being carried live. Everybody else is tape delayed. If I'm understanding CPTV's thinking, it's because they probably have one satellite truck to use, and it's going to Ken Strong Stadium. Thus those are the live games, and it's not a bad slate - especially Ansonia/New London. I'd be happy to come by and call that one for somebody (just like I was supposed to call two games last year, but broken promises are a part of life...and broadcasting).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Leave it to Dayn Parry

Dayn Parry is a writer for He seems like a fairly bright guy, but another in a long line of schmarmy punk sports geniuses (you can put me here but, at 39, I don't think I'm a punk).

Dayn has written a long line of rather clueless, blood-pressute raising articles, and this is one of them. As I said earlier today, I would vote for only Jim Rice, Goose Gossage, and Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame, if I had a vote. Peter Abraham of The Journal News, coincidentally, agrees with me. Dayn Parry thinks that voters should be going for Tim Raines, Bert Blyleven, Rich Gossage, Andre Dawson and Alan Trammell. We agree on Gossage, but Dayn's reasoning on all of these players is just wrong. He backs it up with statistics, and that's not what voting for the Hall is all about. It's about who dominated in their era, among many other things. When I think of dominant players in this group, only Gossage, Rice, and Morris catch my eye.

Off The Bench

It sounds like it was random, but just another sad story from sports as Redskins safety Sean Taylor died this morning from a gunshot wound he suffered yesterday as the result of a robbery. Taylor was just 24 - leaving behind a fiancee and an 18 month-old child. Other than the violence of the crime itself, there seems to be nothing more malicious than that.


Oh, not that it matters, but thanks to ESPN for reporting the story...FORTY-FIVE minutes after FOX and the AP broke it! The Worldwide Leader clearly fumbled on this one as even little ol' WGCH, and their tag-team of Tony Savino and yours truly reported Taylor's passing before the Bristol folks did.

This is the baseball Hall of Fame ballot for 2008. You can vote for nobody, or as many as ten:

Brady Anderson
Harold Baines
Rod Beck
Bert Blyleven
Dave Concepcion
Andre Dawson
Shawon Dunston
Chuck Finley
Travis Fryman
Rich “Goose” Gossage
Tommy John
David Justice
Chuck Knoblauch
Don Mattingly
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Robb Nen
Dave Parker
Tim Raines
Jim Rice
Jose Rijo
Lee Smith
Todd Stottlemyre
Alan Trammell

I don't have a vote, though I frankly think I deserve one as much as many of the clowns who have one (think I've said that before). Anyway, if I DID have a vote, my checkmarks would go to Goose Gossage, Jack Morris, and Jim Rice. I wish I could be swayed on either Rock Raines or Dave Parker, but neither reached their potential, in my opinion.

Thanks to the Steelers and Dolphins for one of the shortest football games I have ever watched. Also one of the worst. Yikes, that was awful - 3-0 'Burghers. The weather was just brutal.

Did the Steelers really not have somebody (reportedly, Vince Neil of Motley Crue) sing the National Anthem because it would have taken too long to get the microphone to midfield? The game had been delayed for a half hour due to lightning - what would two or three more minutes have bothered anyone? Come on - the Steelers are smarter than that. Does anyone need to remind them that a piece of the 9/11 story happened not too far from the 'Burgh - in Shanksville?


Tim Parry and BlueStreak Sports Training have done a nice job with their player of the week award - just another sign of how far we in the FCIAC/CT football community have come since I started doing games. For his efforts on Thanksgiving, Danbury quarterback Mike Escobar was named the player of the week. I'm cool with that, especially considering the game Escobar had (11 of 14 for 231 and a TD, along with a 40-yard TD run, two field goals, and an interception). Now look at the other candidates:

- Kevin Joy, Darien: 200 yards rushing, 49 yards receiving, and two touchdowns vs. New Canaan
- Charlie Westfal, New Canaan: 298 yards passing and three touchdowns vs. Darien
- Chris Kozlowski, Wilton: 259 yards rushing and four touchdowns vs. Trinity Catholic
- Joe Richardson, Central: 225 yards rushing, plus a stellar defensive performance vs. Harding
- Chike Madu, Fairfield Warde: 18 carries, 238 yards, three touchdowns vs. Ludlowe

Again, this is all cool. Some great stats and players there. But hmmm...something's missing. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the marquee game a little get together in Westport? Didn't same game count as the FCIAC Championship? Didn't Jonathan Myers win the MVP of said game?

Just sayin'. Does that make Myers any better than Escobar? Not necessarily. What it means is that Myers wasn't nominated for the honor - which he's won at least once this season already. Following Greenwich's win over Staples, it's probably safe to say that the GHS coaching staff went to work on Bridgeport Central. Tim tells me that GHS coach Rich Albonizio has been perfect in nominating a player every week. The nomination had to come from the coach. It isn't open to media, parents, players and so on, and for good reason.

Oh well. Just another one of those things worth talking about, and not really a big deal to the players, who care about wins and losses.

Oh, while I'm ranting about such things, exactly WHO voted for the FCIAC MVP? I can tell you three people who didn't vote - Adams, Kilkelly, and Angotto. For my money, ALL media types (among them Jesse Quinlan, Paul Silverfarb, Zack Greenspon, the WWPT guys, MSG, and yes, WGCH) should have had a say.

Again, just sayin'. The turkey still tasted pretty damn good otherwise (thanks to my in-law's, who always put on a classy affair - even if it's a backyard barbecue. I've always tried to learn how to host a party from them, along with my wife and sister-in-law).

Incidentally, Sean and Nick both would have voted for Myers. I, thinking that Myers would win, was tempted to go with Tucker Stafford, who's health and mobility seemed to ignite the Cardinal's offense.

And I almost forgot about this - what's going on in Stamford? Why is coach Kevin Jones on the griddle at Boyle Stadium? Tim (who else?) covers all of the bases here. From afar, it doesn't seem right. Coach Jones seems to have done everything right with his players (remember them? The STUDENTS?!). The won-loss record isn't glowing but the program is building. Isn't that what matters?

I'm watching that story with a lot of interest.

The Evil Empire might be at it again. Johan Santana could become a Yankee, but at what price? It frightens me, people.

Besides, how have the other recent big ticket trades worked out? Randy Johnson? A-Rod? Exactly how many World Series did the Bombers get to in the years since those trades?

Correct - Zero.

Giants' GM Jerry Reese said the following to Newsday's Bob Glauber:
"The quarterback has gotten skittish, for whatever reason."
This might not be the best thing to say about your franchise quarterback. I mean, call me crazy.

Personally I like Eli Manning. Maybe we're discovering though that he's the classic "not fit for New York" athlete. That would be a shame, but several talk shows have pointed out that he is having as much success as his contemporaries, and might become the first Giant QB to lead the team to his playoffs three straight seasons in 20 years. There's just one problem:

He's not his brother. The one with the ring.

Greenwich-Central tonight at Cardinal Stadium (on WGCH, of course). The winner plays Saturday against either Southington or Shelton in the Class LL Championship. Of course the time and site are treated like a state secret.

Six days until Imus...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Beginning Year Number 40

For the first time in a few years, I was actually semi-interested in having a birthday. I didn't want to ignore it; I wanted to kind of celebrate it. Not in a cheesy way, but in a go out and celebrate type of way by maybe going to Molly Darcy's, hearing a band, and letting loose a bit. It doesn't look like it's going to happen, but my outlook on things is just a bit different than it had been.

Yes, I'm 39 today. I feel (and at times look) a bit younger. A year from today, I'll be 40. It doesn't bother me.

By the way, John F. Kennedy died 44 years ago today. I always feel tied to that event, and have collected a lot of audio from that unbelievable stretch of time.

The broadcast today went quite well at Staples, despite the politics that we were caught up in (I still don't understand what's going on), and the usual technical problems - the result of broadcasting via cell phones. If I get it my way, I'll switch to a laptop and a wireless card. It seems to be the best way to go, and the quality of the audio is just fine.

Not my call though.

People actually whispered to me that there were those who said that we were not to be allowed to do the game in the booth at Staples, and that's a bit disconcerting. No, that's BIG TIME disconcerting. I hope there's nothing to what I was hearing, but more than one person came to me and apologized for the way we were treated. Apparently it was nothing personal against any of the guys there today - including me, Sean and Nick.

I have no bad feelings towards Staples, and the weather was nice so it didn't bother me to be outside on a gorgeous day.

Bad weather? Different story.

Thanks to the Greenwich fans that allowed us to tailgate with them. They had a great spread of food, including egg and cheese sandwiches with hot sausage. Wow!

Also thanks to the many people who passed birthday wishes along, especially the Greenwich cheerleaders, who serenaded me with "Happy Birthday" live on the air. I'm touched by your thoughtfulness.

Despite the shite that life hands me, I often feel thankful and blessed. Spending today with many portions of my family and friends added to the blessings.

Time for the final edition of the FCIAC Big Three/Fab Five, or whatever.

1) Greenwich (9-1, Last Week - 1) - Dominant today. Blasted Staples in a way that I've never seen them get blasted. I'm still shocked. Next up is Central in the Class LL Semis.
2) Central (8-1, 3) - They're back at number two and the matchup that many wanted to see in the FCIAC Championship will now happen in the state tournament. The Cardinals beat the Hilltoppers 21-12 in September at Kennedy Stadium.
3) Staples (8-1, 2) - I still don't know what happened today. They had some injury issues coming into the game but I just didn't expect a shutout. They dropped to number four in Class L and will play Bunnell on the road.
4) New Canaan (8-1, 4) - Survived against Darien today...barely. They play at home against Middletown in the MM Semis.
5) Hmmm...Wilton was here last week. St. Joe's beat a decent Trumbull game. I really like the way Norwalk played, even though they're 6-4. Does it really matter who's number five? Well I guess I have to put somebody here, and my vote will go to the Warriors (7-3), even though I want to wimp out and do co-number five's with the Hogs (7-3).

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Off The Bench

I had dinner with my good friend Harold last night and caught up on a lot of shite. It was much-needed and long-overdue for both of us. I open up here since he's the one who named my ramblings "off the bench."

That said, I'm really tired this morning. A rough night's sleep.

Perhaps my favorite site in the world, Call of the Game, was hacked into about a week ago. For a brief moment it looked like the "home office" for sports broadcasters would close up shop, but alas it now seems like Jim Tocco and Joe Block's baby will indeed return. It might even have a familiar face/voice/writer on it. I've exchanged emails with Jim and will see what happens.

Speaking of contributions, I will guest host Tim Parry's "Live From the FC" tomorrow, as Tim had a death in his extended family (condolences to Tim and wife Ursula). So if all goes according to plan, I will talk with Mike Quick, Marce Petroccio, and Nick Angotto - or some combination like that.

Click here to listen - tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:00 AM.

My stellar performance on Matt Levine's "The 50 Yard Line" is now archived here. Click on 11/13 show to watch me and the captains from the Norwalk Bears.

A-Rod, thank you. Ya done good. You basically urinated on the man who has tried to ruin baseball, Mr. Scott Boras (Don Fehr and Gene Orza have done their share of ruining the game also). But it's more than that. Personally I was prepared to move on without you and was beginning to picture players like Miguel Cabrera or Miguel Tejada at third. Yet watching The Son cry - hard - when I told him that you wouldn't be a Yankee in 2008 had me fuming. So for his sake, welcome back. Now go break that home run record but more importantly, go get that first World Series ring.

Oh then we have Barry Bonds. What more can I say then "got ya." Enjoy.

The New York Knicks continue to amaze me. They've become the Mets - circa 1990 (bleach, firecrackers and so on). What a mess. Willis, Dollar Bill, Clyde, DeBusschere, Barnett - save us please!

The countdown is on to the return of His Imus-ness. I will grant you that Boomer and Carton aren't awful on WFAN, but I could never see myself becoming a devotee to their show. They get good guests (Jay-Z, playa!) and Carton pisses me off enough to make me listen...and want to reach through the phone and choke him. But facts are facts - the I-Man is coming, and there's nothing anybody can do. He's even back on TV (RFD-TV, which I get via Direct TV).

Neil Best added an item at his Watchdog that caught my eye:
Tom Verducci is out as an analyst on YES's "Yankees Hot Stove.''

Why? His recent, scathing column on regarding Joe Torre's departure might have had something to do with it. Actually . . . it had pretty much everything to do with it.

YES spokesman Eric Handler said Verducci's "recent remarks pertaining to the Yankees' ownership were extremely personal and cutting, and we decided it would not be in our interests to have him on the show going forward.

"Also, Tom is collaborating with Joe Torre on a second book. It’s unfortunate, but we figured it was an action that had to be taken. We appreciate the work he’s done for us in the past.''
Asinine, and gutless on the part of the people at YES. I'm tired of this notion that people appearing on any media outlet must drink the Kool-Aid (see Network, MSG). Verducci is one of the top baseball writers and his opinions are often spot-on. Taking him off of YES shows their inability to take criticism. That's what makes TV (or radio) lively.

By the way, did you realize that Jim Jones and company did not drink Kool-Aid at their mass suicide in 1978? It was actually cyanide-laced grape flavored Flavor Aid.

It's true!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Big Three

There is no logical explanation for my picks...

1) Greenwich (8-1, Last Week 1) - Yes, they lost. At times it wasn't pretty. Still, when you lose to the fourth best team in Florida, and every naysayer seems to do a turnaround, that's called respect. Naples was the real deal, and the Cardinals are still the real deal.
2) Staples (8-0, 2) - Beat Greenwich on Thanksgiving, and they'll be number one. That's that.
3) Central (7-1, 4) - I dropped them because of strength of schedule and I though maybe New Canaan was a touch better. They're back because I thought they were no worse than third.
4) New Canaan (7-2, 3) - No crime in losing to Staples in one of the better games in some time. Only wish I could have called it.
5) Wilton (6-3, 5) - Yes, they're coming off a loss, but how can I rightly put Ridgefield, St. Joe's, or Trumbull here? I like Ridgefield but they're woefully inconsistent (a loss to Norwalk, a win against Wilton, and so on). This was probably my toughest vote.

Don't forget that I'm on "The 50" tonight with Matt Levine and Tim Parry, live from Route 22 in Stamford at 7:00. I actually have a fan club that's coming along (and it's happy hour).

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Naples Trip - Part Two

Friday morning came a bit too quickly for me. Normally I'm one to be able to jump up when the bell rings (especially when I'm on the road) but not this morning. This trip would wear me out like few ever have - a likely result of the energy that I put into making our broadcast one to remember.

After my interview with Tony Savino, I got ready and jumped in the PT Cruiser for a quick ride. I came all this way and needed some road sign pics! I got a handful, but it's tough to shoot them in nearly direct sunlight.

I didn't have very big plans for Friday. In short, I wanted to try to have some fun - whether it be by going to the beach, playing golf (or the mini variety), batting cages, or something. In the process, Nick, Jason and I could talk and get comfortable with how we would call this game. I also wanted us to review notes. It didn't happen that way.

Instead, Jason and I started by having breakfast at the Waffle House (ah, grits!) before heading to the players hotel - less than five minutes away. We were greeted like old friends there, and even a sense of celebrity, as a few people who had never met me heard my voice and recognized me. That never gets old, but it is weird.

We chatted and laughed with Coach Al about the interview with Coach Kramer, and the Greenwich coach told us about their practice the night before, when some Naples people (players? thugs? students?) stood and pounded a fist into an empty palm. All an act of intimidation, but Coach Al would have none of it. He said they could resolve the issue right there, or on the field the following night. Cody Gifford (yes, THAT Cody Gifford) was a target of taunts, and I guess that is going to happen when you're the product of famous parents, one of whom talked incessantly about you on her famous morning talk show. For his part, Cody just shrugged it off.

The hotel visit was very productive, and comfortable. I'm never sure of where I stand with the Greenwich community, but this trip assured me that they seem to like me - they really like me. The Dunster's, Bisanzo's, Hahn's, Parelli's, Catalano's, and too many other families were all too happy to see us. We appreciated it.

For Jason and I, the relaxing day that I had hoped for had been whittled down to just a few hours, in which we would go to the beach, walk the Naples pier, watch some fish get caught, possibly see a dolphin frolicking in the distance, talk with some more Greenwich families, stand in the Gulf of Mexico (I would have gone in further if there was more time), grab lunch at Checkers, jump in the pool and hot tub at the hotel, get dressed, and pick Nick up. In other words - showtime was upon us!

The Gulf of Mexico and Naples Pier

We arrived at Staver Field at 4:30. In my mind, I was content to sit in the car until they let me in, or stand in the parking lot and talk. I just wanted to make sure we had a parking spot. In reality, Jason got into the facility and a few minutes later, returned to bring us in. Our booth was open and ready for us well before 5:00, giving us plenty of time to prepare and watch the crowd build.

The only trip-up during this stretch was when a girl walked into our booth and tried to tell us that our banner would have to come down because they had some other banner to put over ours. I said we had permission from the athletic director, and that seemed to resolve it.

Our booth, and the all-important banner.

Three news satellite truck would be on hand for the game. At least three writers from Connecticut were there (Jesse Quinlan, Paul Silverfarb, and Dave Liebratore). Two radio stations would call the game. And oh yeah, anywhere from six to twelve thousand people would attend it. In short - this was a big deal.

Florida football - flags and the mall. The overflow crowd would have to park there as well. Note the TV satellite truck.

In Connecticut, Sean Kilkelly got our coverage started with a tremendous pregame show that featured Mike Quick from MSG, Sean Patrick Bowley form the Connecticut Post, and Tim Parry from...everything! And finally, shortly after 7:00 Eastern Standard Time, on Friday night, November 9th, 2007, it was time for us to take to the air.

Sean opened up with the traditional theme music, and threw it to us, where all we could hear was Fairfield University basketball in our headsets.


WGCH has become the flagship for Stags hoops. It seems that they also had a game that night and after much discussion, we (WGCH, that is) agreed to carry the game on tape delay. So we (I'm trying to sound like a team player here, yet I had nothing to do with this) prepared to tape the Fairfield game and somewhere along the line, a button or setting went wrong, delivering the sound of Stags hoops to our headsets.

At that moment, after months of buildup and preparation, I was faced with an option: meltdown or survive. I chose the latter, but felt the former building. Why in the name of Guglielmo Marconi would we do this? Could we possibly bleep this whole thing up?

Um...yes. But we didn't. On the first try, when Sean "sent" it to us, I refused to talk, because I wasn't sure we would sound good. On the second try, we talked, but I could tell that it was tough to concentrate. Never one to panic, Sean worked feverishly to make things right, and let's be very clear here - this was not his fault. In Florida, we could see that the crowd had stood up for a moment of silence, but we had to figure out why (turns out a member of the Naples band had died the previous evening - that's a story that we needed to tell). We just had to remain calm. Eventually things worked out, the Stags were out of our headsets, and we got down to calling the game.

The next three hours or so went as I kind of hoped. Sort of. Being way too hard on myself, I'm not convinced we gave it our best call, but I'm probably being unfair. The reviews have been quite favorable, so I'll just shut up. Yet behind the scenes, there was more BS about Fairfield basketball (which nobody in our audience was interested in), a few more technical problems (the average listener wouldn't know or care), and mistakes (which I know and care about).

At one point, following another Fairfield conversation (gotta keep promoting it), I nearly lost it on the air. I made it clear that we had "more important things" at that particular moment. Give me a break - both Sean and I had been promoting the game all night.

What I'm trying to say is - butt out.

On then field, Greenwich had their chances. I'm not sure they would have won, but they could have made it a really fun night. Yet in the end, was it really that much of a disappointment?

To me - no. I've had a few days to think about it. I don't know how the players feel.

The final score.

Following the game, we trudged to the one place near the team's hotel that we knew would be serving dinner (it was 11:00) - Hooters.

Oh please. Don't give me that crap about the women. It's like going to a strip club (which I've never been to). I'm not allowed to touch, so what's the point? Just get me my dinner and let's call it a night, OK?

That's what we did. I was out by 1:00 Saturday morning. I would need to be, because we were up and out of the hotel just after seven, and onto our final Waffle House breakfast before hitting the airport, where we had a very uneventful trip home. It was time to return to reality.


I really could have used another day there to sort out life a bit and cherish what we had done. It just wasn't meant to be. We never have enough time, do we?

And that's that. It was over too quickly, but was perhaps the best experience of my years as a play-by-play announcer (the Syracuse games are in the same class). I'm proud of it. That's probably the way we should all feel.

The Naples Trip - Part One

Long before blogs and other such stuff, I wrote a travel journal. This is the kind of thing you would have read if I had published them.

After several months of buildup, the time had finally arrived for the trip to Naples, Florida. My plane tickets had been booked since the latter part of the summer, while the hotel and rental car came much later. This being a business trip, I was at the mercy of whatever my job would allow. Thankfully the efforts of colleagues Lindsey Romeo and Cindy Torre set me up with a trip to remember. Now it was time to put it all together and make it happen.

With a 7:55 flight out of JFK and a bag of radio equipment, I knew I needed to get to the airport early. That and I wanted to ensure that I had a parking spot in the long term lot. So I was off at 4:10 on Thursday morning, November 8th. Barely over an hour (and 63 miles) later, I was at my appointed destination, where I parked right next to one of my two travel companions for this trip, Jason Intrieri. Nick Angotto would get to Florida on the flight after us.

In total, the JFK experience was fairly easy. It's well known that I'm paranoid and a bit of a worrier, so it comes as no surprise to me that Jet Blue wouldn't initially let me print out my boarding pass at the kiosk. To them, I was an "oops"; a person who had something wrong with their reservation. Since I'm always a guilty-looking character, it seemed logical that the reason Jet Blue wanted to check me in personally was because my name was similar to one on the No Fly list. Yet the ticket agent (or whatever title is appropriate) was satisfied that I was indeed an innocent man (Billy Joel, 1983).

Security wasn't too bad as well, other than the need to hand check the bag with the radio equipment. Jason and I had plenty of time to sit near our gate and chat while sipping coffee in the temporary terminal that one must be shuttled to while the new permanent terminal is being built.

Oh, and the AirTrain that took us from long term parking to Terminal 6 was pretty cool as well. So yeah, the JFK experience gets a thumbs up.

There's no doubt that JetBlue earned some grief for their travel delays a while back, but they were excellent in my opinion on both flights during this trip. The flight down was painless, if bumpy. Jason helped grab the bags, and we found his (which traveled down on the flight before ours - one that we had an option to fly on), then moved onto the rental car. Thanks to Thrifty being out of cars in the class that we rented from, we got bumped up to a white PT Cruiser. Shortly after 11:00, for the first time since March of 2006, I stepped on the sun-drenched soil of Florida, where the temperature sat right around 75 degrees.

I should tell you that while we waited for the bags, I found a news machine with the Naples Daily News. On the cover was a story about "The Game", a day before it was to be played. I purchased a copy and was shocked to discover that not only was the game mentioned, but there - on the front page - was a mention of WGCH, and each of our names. Us - front page news!

In less than an hour, we were in Naples, where it was now lunchtime. The last time I was in Florida, I had planned to enjoy a breakfast at Waffle House, one of the bastions of the American Highway, which of course has NO locations in the northeast. Yet the last time I was in the Sunshine State, I had one of the nastier viruses of my life (another story for another time, and believe me - you DON'T want details). This time I would have my Waffle House. In fact, Jason and I decided to have breakfast for lunch, and it was worth...every...bite.

We were scheduled to get to Naples High School around 3:00 to meet with head coach Bill Kramer, but we also needed some time to setup and test the travel-weary equipment, so we headed towards our first view of Staver Field. Our initial reaction was one of surprise. Staver is not a palace. It is a fine high school football field, but it does not stack up to some of these places that are being built in the football hotbeds. The grass (yes, grass!) was cushy but not a solid dark green. The metal stands are plentiful and there are two press boxes and concessions stands - the result of refurbishing. I think in some ways we expected maybe more, but I can't complain.

By this time, I had heard from Nick, who had hoped I would move our meeting time with Coach Kramer so that he could join us. Sorry to say, I'm glad I didn't, for Nick would be catching up with family and we wouldn't see him until after 3:00 on Friday afternoon - some 26 hours later.

At Naples, athletic director Ernie Modugno and the staff couldn't have been more welcoming or accommodating. We were given our choice of press boxes (we opted for the home side) and left to set up and even leave the equipment, as it would be locked up. In fact we wouldn't even have access to it until Friday afternoon. So I set everything up as if we could just walk back in to the booth the next night and flip the power switch on. My only disappointment was that the phone line didn't work, so we would be stuck using a cell phone - hardly the best quality for (arguably) the biggest sports broadcast in the history of WGCH.

The WGCH Booth.
Our view of the field.

With the equipment now set, all we needed to do was meet with Coach Kramer. Our 3:00 meeting time had come and gone, and now we waited to see him take the field with his team. Never one to intrude, I laid low, not wanting to interfere with the players and the Naples practice. There was already enough rhetoric with the video controversy between Greenwich and Naples that I wanted no part of an angry coach. Many people assume that WGCH and their broadcasters are a part of Greenwich High School. As you probably know, that is not the case.

We were able to chat with Coach Kramer for about five minutes, in which he didn't hesitate to say that he got "taken" by the cagey coach, Rich Albonizio. It would have been a fun interview to run except that in the grand tradition of WGCH, the microphone cable failed and caused the quality of the audio to be unusable.

Gamesmanship would begin by now, as some Greenwich fans had gathered (four, to be honest) at Staver Field, but after some fast hellos, Jason and I were gone. I could tell Coach Kramer didn't appreciate any visitors and expected practice to be closed. Again, I wanted no part of that. Besides, I wanted to get my room and change into some shorts. We visited with the people of the high school one more time before leaving, and departed with T-shirts dedicated to the big game.

The action shifted to the Courtyard by Marriott, where I finally got comfortable. In fact, I hit the pool - all alone! To those in Florida, the temperatures were chilly. Indeed most people were wearing pants and at night, I even saw some folks in sweaters. Not us - shorts, polos and T-shirts were the order of the trip.

Following a fifteen-minute special with Tim Parry on a special edition of Live from the FC, Jason and I met up for dinner. We hunted for the right place, giving us a tour of Naples before driving back past our hotel and settling on Carraba's - another chain that doesn't have a location near us (unless you count Long Island - typical). We found ourselves on the wrong end of a 30-minute wait until we discovered that if we were willing to sit outside, we could eat there. Roughly 12 hours earlier, Jason and I were in New York, where it was in the 30's. At dinner that night, it was in the high 60's or low 70's. To us, it was great.

Dinner would continue to prove to us what a big deal this game was. Upon finding out why we were in town, our waitress informed us that she would be at the game, and was a season ticket holder (who knew?).

Finally, with a full belly (30-plus pounds lighter than it had been, mind you), and fully exhausted, I settled down into room 416 and fell sound asleep. 6:50 on Friday morning would come quickly, and my next order of business - an interview with Tony Savino.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Naples Wins

Naples blasted Greenwich, 31-12 at Staver Field tonight. I have virtually nothing else to add because I'm exhausted.

I'll be home tomorrow. Can't wait to be back in 40 degree temperatures. At least The Son will be happy to see me.

The broadcast went well, but I have a few thoughts about that too. Maybe at another time.

I'm going to bed now.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Safe and Sound in Naples

OK, so my laptop doesn't seem to be cooperating with the various networks, so I'm at the mercy of the Courtyard by Marriott house PC. We've made it to Naples - thanks to Jet Blue, and are driving a PT Cruiser (pretty cool). The people of Naples have just been fantastic to us, and athletic director Ernie Modugno did an excellent job of opening Staver Field up to us. We're hooked up and ready to call the game tomorrow night.

The highlight was interviewing Naples coach Bill Kramer, who is still steamed about "Spygate." If I can fix the interview before air time tomorrow (thanks to such great world class equipment), you will hear it for yourself. He thinks he got the short end of a cagey coach in one Mr. Richard Albonizio.

I will try to fix the interview when I'm not so tired. Instead, I will now go hit the pool!

And We're Off!

It's 3:58 AM on Thursday, November 8th as I type. When I hit the publish button here, I will stand up, walk away from my desk, kiss my son good-bye, and get in the car to go to JFK. WGCH's wild Naples Adventure will have officially begun.

I am bringing my computer (an old...and I mean old Dell laptop) with me, so I hope to check in from Florida. If not, see you after we get back.

Remember - all of the coverage starts at 6:00 tomorrow night with Sean Kilkelly and a cast of thousands (I recorded a quick interview with the Greenwich captains last night).

If you're going to Florida - safe travels! If you're not, remember to listen live!

See ya!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

More Media Coverage for GHS-Naples

I would be remiss if I didn't post the link to the Naples Daily News coverage of GHS-Naples. So here. They are a one-stop location for everything dedicated to the game, including the scintilating fact that Frank and Kathie Lee are attending. Well what about the other Greenwich celebs? I bet a few of them will be there as well (though I will not name names...but I know of at least one prominent baseball-type person that might be there...).

One thing of note regarding the Daily News (despite the fact they didn't return my email): they will be taping video of the game and popping it on their website all night. So that's a great job by them.

I know the Greenwich Time (with Jesse Quinlan) and the Connecticut Post (with Sean Patrick Bowley) will both add their printed voices to the mix here, and Zack Greenspon at the Greenwich Citizen and Paul Silverfarb at the Greenwich Post won't be far behind. Plus Tim Parry will do his thing as well, and Matt Levine (though at a "rival" radio station) will talk plenty about it also. And don't forget about the folks at News 12 either.

Folks, you of the FCIAC and Connecticut in general have some really good people covering you in the media. It's tough for us in today's budget-conscious age to get everything, but with your cooperation, a lot can be accomplished. SPB in the Post has been complaining about the lack of cooperation, and he's right. It's not hard to call, fax or email a few notes about a game to all of us (including me, for that matter). Make our jobs tough by giving us so much that we have to figure out how to put it all together.

OK, rant over. But before I finish, let me say that I'm rooting for a great game. I don't, however, want to root for a team. Yet with reading not one, not two, not three, but four...count 'em...FOUR Naples writers picking a Naples annihilation, it will be hard to not root. I know the odds are against Greenwich, but hey, that's why they play the games, right?