Sunday, September 30, 2007

Who'd of Thunk it?

The Mets lost to the Marlins about five minutes ago, and the Phillies just beat the Nationals. It is over in the National League East. Now before you think that I'm breaking out the happy snacks, just stop. The Mets have become irrelevant to me. Maybe it's because a former Yankee is managing them (more about that later). Maybe it's because my priorities have changed (more likely). Maybe it's because I'm a Yankees fan - and that's where my focus is (also likely). Whatever - it's over.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This Mets team is hard to dislike because they have good guys like David Wright. Oh, but please don't call Paul LoDuca a warrior. I know a warrior - name of O'Neill, Paul. Don't compare the two.

Before I add anything else, let me just say that the talk of David Wright as the NL MVP is over. Jimmy Rollins talked the talk and walked the walk. He wins.

I picked the Mets to win the East in my preseason predictions . I still think they have the most talent in the National League, but that doesn't mean anything. Oh, how did I do on the rest of those predictions? Well...

NL East - Mets (WRONG!)
NL Central - Cubs (Shockingly correct)
NL West - Padres (No, but they might win the Wild Card)
NL Wild Card - Phillies (Well at least they made the playoffs)

Other NL notes - I said the Phillies and Brewers would both do well, but also said that the Rockies and Diamondbacks would be bad. I also said Dontrelle Willis would be a Met. Ooops.

AL East - Red Sox (Yep)
AL Central - White Sox (Ooooo...bad pick)
AL West - Angels (Uh-huh)
AL Wild Card - Yankees (Correct)

Oh well, that's why predictions don't mean shite.

Anyway, the Mets fans are clearly calling for the head of Willie Randolph, and you know part of that has to do with his Yankee lineage. Let's just consider though that the Mets had a seven game lead with 17 games to go. The Mets stunk down the stretch, but give it up to the Phillies because they played amazing baseball. I find it amazing that, especially considering on July 2nd I said the following...
I have said...on record...that the Yankees are Done...D-O-E-N...Done
Yeah, I was kind of wrong about that one.

I can't figure Mets fans out. On Thursday night, in the midst of a pennant race, they failed to fill Shea Stadium against the Cardinals. I asked a couple of Mets fans about that last night, and one of them said to me that he was offered tickets to games all week and declined. In fact, he wanted the Mets to lose so that Willie Randolph would be fired.

Are you following the logic here?

Anyway, I'm not going to rub salt in the wound. It really doesn't matter to me - I just love crazy pennant race baseball.

The playoffs begin Wednesday. The Yankees open against the Indians on Thursday. Remember - all of the games are on TBS (and TNT). TBS holds the right to the NLCS also, while Fox has the ALCS and the World Series. For Yankees fans, this means we get the insufferably bad Chip Caray and milquetoast Tony Gwynn for the opening round.

Let the playoffs begin!

Rye-Harrison Thoughts

I had the honor of calling the Rye-Harrison game for the third time yesterday, and the atmosphere was as electric as usual. The game really wasn't that great, as Rye took control in the second half, thanks to two Huskies turnovers, and won 27-7.

For us in "the booth", the experience was not as pleasant as would have preferred. Yesterday was the first time I had worked at Harrison's Feely Field, and finding a place to call the game from was difficult. The press box at Feely is big enough for the coaches, a time keeper, scoreboard operator, and PA announcer. Cablevision did the game from their own scaffold on the visitors side, and nobody had any available power for us to use.

Oh yeah, and Harrison seemed to think that nobody from WGCH called them to say that we were doing the game. It's more like somebody at Harrison didn't check their messages, as I called last Monday.


Anyway, thanks to some of the staff at the Harrison Ave Elementary School (where Feely Field is located), we were able to gain access to a classroom to call the game from. However, our science room provided us with a partial view of the field...and a wonderful view of trees. So large chunks of the field were obscured to us.

Oh well. We tried.

What made the game sound halfway decent was not the performance of yours truly or Sean Kilkelly, but the knowledge and insight of the aforementioned Nick Angotto. Because Nick was able to get a sideline pass, he became our eyes and ears to everything. Initially, Nick was supposed to give me updates on the scoreboard, which was nowhere near my line of sight. Eventually I realized that the only way we could even try to call the play-by-play was to send the game to Nick at times, and let him have at it. Though he had no idea that this was going to happen (neither did I), he didn't panic and really came through. Nick had never called any action before and did a great job under unique circumstances.

Nick also provided us with what one might call "inside the huddle" types of information, like formations and so on. Remember - he only stopped playing a few years ago (on the 2005 Cardinals). Yet he didn't violate the sanctity of the sideline.

My role in the broadcast became that of traffic cop. I anchored things and called the action when it came into my view. I had to rely on the crowd and officials for other things. Sean did a great job with his steady analysis and calming influence on me. While my stomach churned when we got there, I otherwise stayed cool with a "there's nothing I can do about this" attitude. In short, we sucked it up, explained the circumstances to the listener and moved on.

Thank God "The Game" is in Rye next year, and moves to Harrison High's new field in 2009.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Greenwich wins; Rye-Harrison Today

The Cardinals beat up on Trumbull last night, 45-10 and are now 3-0. They looked not so good early, and dominant after the first quarter. Next up is Danbury at home.

Now it's onto Feely Field in Harrison for "The Game" - Rye versus Harrison. We'll hopefully play catch up after that, but my dance card is a bit full right now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bill Gonillo Dead at 44

Bill Gonillo, sports director at News-12 Connecticut, was found dead in his home yesterday afternoon. As of this morning, there is no known cause of death, but several people have confirmed to me that Bill was a diabetic.

It would be patently phony of me to write a lengthy tribute to Bill as I really didn't know him at all. We paid the pleasantries to each other from time to time yet, despite both being sportscasters, we really didn't run in the same circles. What do I mean? Well we often were at the same events - I just saw him at the first two Greenwich games this year, but we never spoke because, he was always down on the field, and I was in the booth. Once in a while he would stop by and film my roster for editing purposes (something many reporters have done over the years), but I didn't enjoy the good times that many of my peers like Matt Levine, Tim Parry, Jason Intrieiri, Sean Patrick Bowley and others had with Bill.

I guess I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Bill and I were colleagues...for a day. I worked at News-12 for exactly one day - December 19, 2001. Through a friend, I got into News-12 as a production assistant, but only as a fill-in. I wrote a few stories, edited some film, and basically surfed the internet. That was it. Then I watched as some of my stories (including the edited film) made it on their news that evening. It was funny to hear my words being read by somebody else.

Anyway I saw Bill a few times in the newsroom that night, and then later on when he was on the air. So there you go - my one day as Bill Gonillo's colleague.

Oh, why did I only work there for a day? Not long after, News-12 felt the "Adams curse." Major layoffs took place.

I'm going to let others pay tribute to the hardest working guy in Fairfield County sports. Sean Patrick Bowley wrote a nice piece this morning.

I will say this, in closing. We're one big messed-up family in the media, and more specifically in sports. There are often some strange rivalries and jealousies (like many writers that resent us electronic guys) but overall, we're all friendly. Yet I've never felt any rivalry with anyone. Matt Levine is on a "competitor" yet I have problem mentioning his name. The same went with Bill. I would always mention himn when I saw him filming, so that fans could go home and watch footage of the game that Bill shot. That's why, to me, this is a loss for my community of broadcasters.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Big Three

This isn't going to be very exciting...

1) Greenwich (Last Week: 1) - Not a great game against Darien, but I can't believe anybody is better right now. Still the penalties (too many to count) were troubling.
2) Central (2) - Back to business against Bassick. I'll be paying attention to their game against Westhill next Saturday.
3) Staples (3) - A definitive win against Harding.
4) New Canaan (4) - Smacked Ridgefield around pretty good. Ridgefield is either a mess or New Canaan is that good.
5) Westhill (5) - Won a crazy gut-check game against Trinity Catholic. Now onto Kennedy Stadium. They can make believers of all of us.

Still on the fringe: Wilton.

We get to make the drive to Trumbull on Friday night. Yay. I think I'm going to go up early and have dinner with my sister and her family, or something like that. Maybe I'll bring a book and sit in the parking lot outside of McDougall Stadium. Anything but sitting in traffic on Interstate 95 or the Merritt Parkway. I suggest that you either do that also, or listen to us on 1490 AM, or at Hopefully Sean will rejoin us for the call. We missed him last Thursday.

We visit Harrison for the Huskies and the Rye Garnets on Saturday.

What Might Have Been

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 16: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the Buffalo Bills on September 16, 2007 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

I love history, especially sports history. The Pittsburgh Steelers are celebrating their 75th season, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reminiscing. In a recent article on the Steelers of the 1940's, Robert Dvorchak writes:

What's in a name?

They could have been the Pittsburgh Wahoos, Condors, Pioneers, Triangles, Bridgers, Buckaroos or Yankees, or something steely such as the Millers, Vulcans, Tubers, Smokers, Rollers, Ingots or Puddlers -- all of which were fan entries in the contest to rename the football Pirates.

So maybe THAT'S why they're my favorite football team! Anyway, Mr. Dvorchak continues:

The winner became the brand name of an industrial city, and it is no small irony the team now practices on the site of a bygone mill. The name Steelers first appeared in a headline on March 3, 1940, in The Pittsburgh Press. And the back story is that the name almost disappeared into oblivion within the year.

After seven years of losing and being confused with a baseball team, owner Arthur J. Rooney asked fans for their input. Several thousand entries were received by mail at the team headquarters in the old Fort Pitt Hotel off Grant Street, some coming from as far away as Two Rivers, Wis., where the team had trained the previous summer.

Former coach Joe Bach, one of the Notre Dame lineman known as the "seven mules," headed a panel that chose the winner. A total of 21 people -- including one woman, Margaret O'Donnell of Pittsburgh -- submitted the winning name, with each receiving two season tickets for the 1940 season when a season ticket cost about $5. (There were no seat licenses.)

As documented by the postmarks, the first entry suggesting Steelers came from Arnold Goldberg, sports editor and later managing editor of The Evening Standard in Uniontown.

The reaction wasn't as vocal as it was for, say, Steely McBeam. But Havey Boyle, sports editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote that he preferred Puddlers, a nod to specialists in the early days of the iron-making industry. "Our own suspicion is that the whole thing was just another Rooney scheme to give away free tickets for his enterprise," he opined.
The rest of the article is here.

By the way, not for nothing (never understood that phrase) but the Stillers are 3-0. Yes, the opposition hasn't been great, but the bottom line is that 3-0 is still three wins and zero losses. They play at Arizona next Sunday, against their old offensive coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt - the man who many thought should be the current head coach. That should be an interesting battle, to say the least.

Kind of Nice

After all these years, I still get a kick out of hearing my own voice come out of a radio (say when a commercial is running, or a sports report, or whatever). So you can imagine my pride in reading this.

In case the link doesn't work, this is what I wrote for the Greenwich Citizen...

Brunswick Football
Same Ol', Same Ol'
'Wick Back to Winning Ways in Season Opener
By Rob Adams
Greenwich Citizen
Article Last Updated:09/21/2007 11:57:03 AM EDT

WEST HARTFORD - No excuses.

That's a statement on a T-shirt worn by Brunswick football Coach Sean Brennan, and it's the motto for the Bruins' 2007 team.

Excuses weren't necessary last Saturday at Kingswood-Oxford as the Bruins punished the Wyverns, 35-12, in the season opener for both teams. The turf at Hoffman Field had just been finished the day before, and fans at the game received hats saying "Wyvern Turf," a reference to protecting their home-field advantage and the pride in their new artificial surface field. The Bruins seemed to be the only ones enjoying the new digs.

The teams exchanged punts early, with the Wyverns' kicking game looking sloppy at best. Following a second short punt, this time of only eight yards, the Bruins used just three plays to get into the end zone from 25 yards out, with all of the ground being chewed up by senior Phil Cutler. His 13-yard dash up the middle, along with Chris Ghaffari's extra point (one of five for the senior) set the Bruins up, 7-0.

Cutler led the ground game with 52 yards on 14 carries and that was the focus of the Bruin offensive charge.

"I thought we got some guys running a little better than we did (in last week's scrimmage) against Greenwich," said Brennan. "Getting our running game going is important."

The Bruins would get right back in the scoring column as Tri-Captain Tommy Hoyos picked off Wyvern quarterback Devin Dillard with 3:22 to play in the opening quarter. Senior Andrew Reed then caught a 13-yard touchdown pass on fourth down from senior quarterback Jack Barrett to help lead the Bruins to a 14-0 lead. Barrett would finish the afternoon with 6-of-13 passing for 109 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one interception.

The Wyverns had so much trouble offensively that they didn't get a first down until a roughing-the-passer penalty late in the first quarter.

"We cannot have penalties that give the other team first downs," said Brennan.

Cutler added, "We made way too many mental mistakes today."

The second quarter continued to be all in the favor of the Bruins. Following another poor special teams effort by Kingswood-Oxford, the Bruins went on a six-play drive capped by Cutler's second touchdown of the day, this time from six yards.

Yet the quarter was dominated by the Bruins defense led by Hoyos, Nick Philip and Kareem Campbell. The defense constantly harassed Dillard and held the Wyverns to just 127 total yards - most coming in the final quarter.

The Bruins went to the locker room up, 21-0, and struck again early in the second half as Barrett threw his second touchdown to Reed on a catch-and-run on the right sideline by the talented senior receiver. Twin brother Will Reed would get into the act as well, catching a four-yard score midway through the third.

"Without question, we're a tight group," said Barrett, talking about the relationship he has with his receivers. The group stays loose by playing football video games, of which Barrett stressed he is the champion.

The Bruins would make mistakes during the game, including three turnovers, but two of those came in the fourth quarter, as the starters had mostly been replaced and were now cheering on their teammates.

The Wyverns found the end zone twice in the quarter to round out the scoring. Zach Wholley scored from a yard out and Tylon Smith took off down the left sideline for a 45-yard touchdown.

The Bruins also played yesterday in their home opener against St. Luke's. A recap of that game will be included in next week's Greenwich Citizen.

On one hand, this seems so self-serving to post. On the other hand, I don't think there's anything wrong a little pride. I guess I'll leave it up to you.

Thanks to Citizen sports editor Zack Greenspon for putting his faith in me, and being patient as well (it took a while to work out some scheduling!)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Greenwich 28, Darien 7

Yawn. Nothing much to add. The game was long and kind of boring. The broadcast was OK - except Sean Kilkelly had to bow out at the last minute due to work. Being fairly resourceful, I brought sideline expert Nick Angotto to the booth for analysis duties, and grabbed halftime guest Tim Parry, who stayed on for the second half.

It was one of the longer game that I can remember. The officials just weren't cohesive and there were a lot of stoppages. Oh well.

The GHS Cheerleaders used the music edit that I created for them. I'm always proud of it - and them.

It's always great to be at Cardinal Stadium - it's home...even if we're only there four times this regular season.

On the field, Greenwich has to cut down on penalties and find some consistency. They seem out of sorts.

I spoke with Darien head coach Rob Trifone for about 10 minutes tonight before the game. What a great guy - forthright, funny, and interesting. I appreciated his time, and wish more coaches were that approachable.

That's enough for tonight - I just got home and I have to be at the bullseye in the morning.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Now it Can Be Said

In 1995, Michael Jordan made his return to basketball after his first retirement in which he played minor league baseball. Upon his return, his PR lackeys sent out a press release with just two words...

"I'm back."

Well that's what I'm here to say today. No - I'm not going back to the NBA, but I'm returning to radio. Effective October 1st (most likely), I will become the traffic manager for the Business and Lifestyle Talk Radio Networks, and continue as Sports Director at WGCH. This means that I will also be filing daily sports reports from six to nine every morning on the NewsCenter with Tony Savino. In addition, I will fill in for Tony when he needs some time off. There are some other bits and pieces to it that will help drive things up, but that's enough for a start.

So what about the red bullseye, you say? Well I don't know that I'm done there just yet. Upon resigning last night, my manager said that he would be talking with HR about ways to keep me around. At its base, I enjoyed my time in Target and am more than willing to stay on a few hours every week. If that doesn't fly, then there are a few other options that I have - both in retail and maybe in media as well. As mentioned before, I wrote a preview of Greenwich water polo for the Greenwich Citizen and will next have a recap of the Brunswick/Kingswood-Oxford game from last Saturday.

I would write more for the Citizen, but I'm finding that to do it justice, I really need a stat person. I thought I had one but he stopped answering my emails, so I'm here to say that if anybody wants to join us - let me know.

Also, I'd really like to get a show back on the air and I could do so with a sponsor or sponsors. I have a nice contact list of names and that can only build up higher. The focal point would be local, but there's no need to ignore national stuff either. So if you know anybody that would like to help get it going, let me know.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The FCIAC "Big 3"

Last year, I was a voter in Tim Parry's FCIAC Top Five. This year, I still have a vote, but Tim has renamed the poll "The Big Three." Since he still wants our top five teams (confused yet?), I will give you my top five here.

1) Greenwich (1-0) - They're the number two team in the state and the consensus number one in the FCIAC. That's where they'll stay following the 21-12 win over Central last Friday night. There was nothing pretty about it, as I have alluded to. The spread offense didn't click so the ground game chugged the way to victory. The defense was good but not over the top. They have some work to do but they're still the best.
2) Central (0-1) - What? They lost and they're second? That doesn't make any sense, and you might be correct. Yet what we saw on Friday was enough to convince me that we might see the rare rematch. Central's schedule is such that come November it could be Greenwich and the Hilltoppers for the FCIAC title. The special teams need some work and I couldn't figure out what they were doing in the second half versus the Cards. Oh, and where was Trevardo Williams on defense?
3) Staples (1-0) - A total toss-up. New Canaan has just as much right to be here, but I'll lean to the Wreckers. This is a pure gut feeling.
4) New Canaan (1-0) - See above. I can't vote for 3A and 3B, so I just picked and this is what I came up with. How the Rams play against Ridgefield will say a lot about next week.
5) Westhill (1-0) - Don't adjust your monitors. Though they only won by a point, the Vikings are this year's Trinity Catholic - a team with some high hopes. They knocked off Danbury (another team that I like).

Yes, this is a true week one poll. Hard to tell what's what, so there's a lot of conjecture here. Ridgefield and Wilton just missed the cut.

See you Thursday for Greenwich and Darien from Cardinal Stadium. Pregame show at 6:50 PM.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Three Quickies

1) Greenwich knocked off Central last night, 21-12. Neither team impressed me, but the Cardinals showed just a little more talent to win. Their running game and defense were the reasons for the win, not the new spread offense. That will come with time, but it didn't click last night. Tucker Stafford has got the goods but looked nervous at times last night, as he seemed to be rushing and overthrowing receivers.

We had a fairly good broadcast, despite the play-by-play man's total exhaustion. Nick, Sean and Zach Fisher (in a cameo role) kept me going. Jason Intrieri treated me to chili dogs and water from the famed catering truck at Kennedy Stadium. Thanks, Jason! It was also great to see Tim Parry, in his ultra-neon t-shirt.

2) Brunswick plays at Kingswood-Oxford today in West Hartford at 2:00. It's a rainy day here so that won't make for a lot of fun. Pregame show on WGCH at 1:50.

3) I have news, but I can't reveal it until I take care of some business in the next day or so. A new horizon will hopefully continue to brighten the outlook. A few of you have heard about this from me away from the blog so hopefully you know what I'm talking about.

Stay classy!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This Kia Broke Down

Well that didn't take long. From The Associated Press:
A Rutgers University basketball player on Tuesday withdrew a slander and defamation lawsuit she had filed against Don Imus and CBS Radio, among others, after the shock jock called the team "nappy headed hos."

Kia Vaughn had contended in the lawsuit filed in August in New York state Supreme Court that the comments made by Imus had damaged her reputation. The lawsuit also named various media outlets that broadcast Imus' show.

Marti McKenzie, a spokeswoman for Vaughn's attorney, Richard Ancowitz, said in a statement that Vaughn had chosen to focus on her education at New Jersey's Rutgers University as a journalism major and as an athlete with the basketball team.

"Her strong commitments to both have influenced her decision to withdraw the lawsuit at this time," the statement said.

A lawyer for Imus, Martin Garbus, said his client had paid no money to Vaughn. CBS Radio did not immediately return a message requesting comment.
I'll be darned, it seems like cooler heads prevailed or, more likely, realized that the case was not even slightly winnable, even in our over-litigious society. So now Kia wants to focus on her education, eh? More like she's going back into anonymity...until the next time she needs some money. Then it's back to Oprah.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Ten Best American Movies Ever?

The American Film Institute has generated list after list of the best movies ever with their "100 Years" series. Over the past decade, the AFI has tantalized movie buffs like me with lists like 100 Years...100 Stars, 100 Movie Quotes, Laughs, and so on. Tonight on Bravo, AFI updated their original list: "100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)." I'll spare you the details of all 100 films, but will throw a few highlights at you before revealing the new top 10.

- Several movies that weren't in the original 100 have joined this list, and that doesn't necessarily mean movies that have come out since 1997 or 1998. "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Saving Private Ryan" are two of the films that weren't on the initial list, and I'm more than happy to see them included.
- "The General" was the highest "new" movie, and number 18.
- Some films ascended or descended quite precipitously from 1997 to now. For instance, "The African Queen" was the 17th best movie on the 1997 list. It has dropped to 65th. Could somebody explain to me how a movie that great drops like that in ten years?
- "The Searchers" jumped 84 places up - from 96 to 12. What?
- Animation is part of the list, with "Toy Story" in at number 99.
- The dropouts from the top 10 of 1997 are "The Graduate" (number seven) and "On the Waterfront" (number eight).

Now to the top ten.

10) The Wizard of Oz (1997 rank - 6) - Call me crazy, but I just don't understand why this film gets ranked so high. It's a fine film, even a great film, with a fun, yet creepy story, but is it that great a movie, or am I jaded after all these years?

9) Vertigo (61) - I'm biased here. This is by far one of my favorite movies, so I consider this to be an inspired choice by the AFI. Yes, it's a creepy story (man loves woman, woman dies, man tries to reinvent woman with look-alike) but it is the combination of the brilliant direction of Alfred Hitchcock and the intense acting of Jimmy Stewart that makes it work. Kim Novak heads the rest of the tremendous cast, but this is Stewart's movie - a tour de force that should have netted him an Oscar.

8) Schindler's List (9) - Sometimes I think we overrate things because of their "PC" factor ("Do The Right Thing" at number 96, anyone?). It's tempting to say that here, but it would be wrong. Steven Spielberg painted a picture of sadness and joy, rolled into a big ugly political mess with great acting turns by Liam Neeson, Sir Ben Kingsley, and a scary Ralph Fiennes.

7) Lawrence of Arabia (5) - It would be patently unfair of me to judge this film, so I trust the scholars and experts here. I've never seen it, and I'm not sure I ever will. Perhaps one day I should try. This is my "Lord of the Rings" problem. I'm just not interested.

6) Gone With the Wind (4) - This movie is a landmark, of course, because of its scope , but what sticks out to me is that, as an eight year-old in 1976, I sat in my living room and watched it when it debuted on NBC. I watched every last minute of it, and have seen it a few times since. Olivia de Havilland defies words as Melanie, and most of the rest of the cast is great (with the probable exception of Leslie Howard as Ashley), but this movie belongs to two people who absolutely smolder - Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable. Many initially thought that they were miscast, but nothing could be further from the truth.

5) Singin' in the Rain (10) - I'm not a big musical guy. I liked "Chicago" and appreciate "My Fair Lady" (mostly because of Audrey Hepburn) but it's hard to not smile at the title song, or as Donald O'Connor does "Make 'em Laugh." Since I'm not a true devotee of the film, I'll trust the AFI.

4) Raging Bull (24) - Wow. That's all I can say. Is this the fourth best movie ever? Most men would say "hell yeah!" Robert DeNiro at his best (perhaps).

3) Casablanca (2) - As love stories and dramas go, this is the peak. The quotes alone are legendary ("Here's looking at you, kid"). Now throw in Dooley Wilson singing "As Time Goes By." Plus an exotic African wartime story. Now, let's add a little mix of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Yup, I'm moving on.

2) The Godfather (3) - This is my number one. You want quotes? Got 'em (cannolis?). A legendary cast (Brando, Pacino, Caan, Duvall, Keaton)? Check. Director (Coppola - father, not daughter)? Got it. Great book...great movie. Those who have never seen it amaze me. With only a few minor exceptions (like that horrible fight sequence when Sonny is whooping on Carlo - the timing of the screen punches are laughably bad) this is the masterpiece of American cinema. To me.

1) Citizen Kane (1) - Still at the top. I get it - it was so far ahead of its time that it's mind-boggling. From a technical perspective, it is still amazing - over 60 years later. But the story just doesn't hold. Yes, Orson Wells and company are remarkable, but the whole quest for "Rosebud" just doesn't grab me the way that the Corleone's do. And I never choose sides with anyone against the Family. Ever.

OK, you're up. Let's talk flicks, people! Hope to have some news for you tomorrow...(just a little tease for you)

Six Years Ago Tonight...

Two young kids on top of the World Trade Center - January 4, 1989 (Photo by Jon from Richmond)

I'm going to post something light tonight, as tomorrow will be heavy, as every September 11th for the foreseeable future will be. For all of us in the US, but mostly for those of us who lived in and around New York, Boston, Washington, and even Pittsburgh - in other words, the entire north east (and even east coast) - September 11th remains a raw nerve.

I took several pictures on that day in early 1989. One of them, and I'll find it when I have time, shows the towers of the World Trade Center in shadows. It's a pretty good shot.

I spoke with somebody today - a guest at the red bullseye - whose birthday is tomorrow. We all know of the sadness that 9/11 brings. Certainly it will cause each of us to at least pause. How can we not? The media (and bloggers and others) will ram the memory down your throat. All this guy wants to do is celebrate his birthday though. He was mindful of the awful memory, he told me, but to him, life must go on. That's what made me instantly like him. To him, 9/11 is a date - but it's his birthday. One must be able to celebrate as we remember; thus is the circle of life.

Six years ago tonight, I talked to an old friend. Then I intended to watch the Yankees play, but they were rained out. I know the Giants played on Monday Night Football. Everything else is a blur. Of course, my memories of September 11, 2001 are "wicked" vivid. When I think of 9/11, I think of many images. I think of two friends - Harold and Sean, both touched deeply by the event. Each lost friends. Each were moved so distinctly. I always send Harold a note every September 11 to remind him how happy I am that we're friends, and that I always think of him on this date. I've spent countless hours with Sean, and remember talking to him on September 12th, to be exact, doing one of the saddest hours of radio I can ever recall.

I remember that drive, and how I looked at the sky after the second plane struck. And I remember not being able to comprehend it all. It didn't seem real, and I didn't feel like I had a right to be connected. Yes, my country was under attack, and so was my "home city" (or the closest city to my home), but I lost nobody directly, as I've said before. I knew of Harold's friend (a Port Authority cop who was featured in Oliver Stone's recent movie), a member of the Greenwich Cardinals football family, and other friends of friends.

I also think of my best friend - Sandi, "The Wife." Not for anything specific that she did, but just for who she was, and is. She was four months pregnant with The Son, and all I wanted was to have her meet me at home, because if the world was ending, then that's who I wanted it to end with. I learn more about her every day, and recall that her stoicism was more a result of the fear of the whole thing than any inner calm. She didn't want to deal with the conflict of it all...until that jet flew overhead just after four the next morning. Then all bets were off.

Oh, and how patriotic we all were! We were just one big, sad nation - together in our sorrow. Please. I knew those flags would all be tattered not long after, and we'd soon be back to politics and bullshite as usual. Are we a better country six years later? No, we're back to sniping over the stupidest things - what to build at "Ground Zero" (hated the term the first time I heard it), where certain memorials can be built, how many toxins were in the air at the site, are there still remains to be found, is Rudy evil...and on and on and on. Did we do this same crap after December 7, 1941?

Note - Anybody not knowing what happened on that date

I will play Bruce Springsteen's The Rising tomorrow, as I have every year on September 11 since it came out. I will also play what I am posting here - a montage of the events of that day, covered by many sources. Friends, I warn you that some of this is too painful to recall, and that's fine. For me, I want that memory. I want to see those buildings again. I want to see them standing and healthy. Then I need to see what happened again. That rage is so important to me...and you. Seeing it brings it all back for me.

Six years ago tonight. Where were you?

So I said I would do something light tonight. Something frivolous. I the next post.

Here's the audio montage of the events of September 11, 2001. It is dedicated to the lives lost on that day, and continue to be lost as a result of the air quality. It is also dedicated to everyone who experienced September 11 - and that means everyone.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Notes from the Greenwich-Brunswick Scrimmage

Thanks to Tim Parry, I have a new place to occasionally post some goodies. When I do that, I will likely post it here as well, along with a link. So below is what I wrote for the FCIAC Football Blog.

Before you read that, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you in Greenwich to watch for the fall sport preview in the Greenwich Citizen. Look closely at the Greenwich water polo preview. My thanks to coach Terry Lowe and captains James Case, Dan Alessandri, and Schuyler Kruizenga for being willing participants and good interviews. I didn't know the first thing about water polo, but they educated me. It was fun to do it, and I look forward to seeing my work in print!

OK, onto today's game...

Hello, FCIAC football fans! Rob Adams here, so-called "voice" of the Cardinals (and Brunswick Bruins, for that matter), at least on WGCH radio (1490 AM and ). This morning, along with Sean Kilkelly, Nick Angotto, and Dom Romeo, we presented the annual Greenwich-Brunswick scrimmage. Greenwich won 28-14, and once they got some sloppy play out of their system early in the game, seemed to click. Tucker Stafford started at quarterback for Greenwich and threw for one score, while running for two more. He also threw two picks - both to Kevin Royal. Overall he looked good but not quite great. He's got the tools to be very good, and surprised us with his mobility. Incidentally Cody Gifford did not play QB because he has a concussion.

Jonathan Myers was the focal point of much of the Cardinals attack and looked OK, but at times the Bruins defense wrapped him up. Don't misunderstand that - the Bruins are a very good team, even after losing two of the best players in the history of their program (quarterback Kevin Decker and two-way star Tyler McFarlane). Tommy Hoyos and Mark Figgie anchor a solid defense, while Jack Barrett has the task (at least for today) of running the show on offense. The Bruins run a spread offense, and Barrett, despite some poor throws, was more than efficient, throwing for two scores. He was picked off once.

The Bruins got their first score late in the first quarter, as Barrett found Will Reed to top off a 97-yard drive. The Cardinals needed to adjust defensively, as they were missing tackles and looked out of sorts during the drive. John Kavanagh quickly helped the Cardinals respond by running the ensuing kickoff deep into Bruins territory. A few plays later, Myers ran in from four yards out, and the game was quickly tied at seven.

Greenwich would head to the intermission up 14-7 as a result of a 13-yard scamper by Stafford.

In the third, Barrett threw his second touchdown, this time to Andrew Reed, from a yard out, to tie the game. With the Reeds and Kevin Royal, the Bruins have some weapons in the passing attack. Now they need more from the running game to balance things out. Milo Ceci has the size to be a solid fullback but was unable to generate anything against the Cardinals. Philip Cutler has capabilities but was also limited against Greenwich.

OK, you say, enough about the Bruins - they're just a prep school team. I would counter that this little ol' prep school team would fit nicely in the FCIAC, at worst in the middle of the pack. That's how much I think of coach Sean Brennan's team. I went to today's game prepared to see the Cardinals destroy them and instead saw a feisty and talented team that went into the fourth quarter tied with the defending Class LL champs at 14.

The Cardinals pulled away in the fourth quarter - a result of a second touchdown run by Stafford, this time from five yards out. To me, the play of the day was the one that sealed it, as Stafford, under pressure from the Bruins defense, threaded the needle to Myers, who made an over the shoulder catch and run for a 25-yard touchdown.

There's no question that the Cardinals have enough talent to win the FCIAC and Class LL again, but now they have to be careful of their own press - and that is something that coach Rich Albonizio and his staff are pros at. Greenwich opens the season at Kennedy Stadium on Friday night against the Hilltoppers of Bridgeport Central - a team that is hungry and talented. What a way to start the season for both teams - very reminiscent of 2004, when Staples went to Cardinal Stadium to open the season and lost. The Wreckers would never recover, and the Cardinals would win another FCAIC title - aginst Bridgeport Central.

Just in case you didn't know, Friday's game will be on WGCH, and on the internet at - as will all of the Cardinals games (and a few Bruins games as well). Yes, that includes the game in Naples, Florida on November 9th.

That's all for tonight. I'll talk to you Friday night from Bridgeport.

Thanks to Tim for letting me post here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Off The Bench Rides Again

You are looking live (well no, not really) at The Son heading to step on the school bus on his first day of Kindergarten. I guess I am officially old, or he is officially growing up.

No, I did not cry. It happened too fast. That's my buddy right there, and this was a major step in his life. It has now changed.

He had a blast, by the way.

His teacher called last night to tell us that he had a great first day. I don't know if that's mandated but I liked it. It was a classy move.

The NFL kicks off tonight, and for some reason, they continue to pound us with pointless concerts. Kelly Clarkson is fine and all, but John Mellancamp and Faith Hill? Whatever.

Can we just play the frickin' game?

I know the answer.

And I suppose I owe you a prediction. Fine. There will be a winner. OK, seriously. The Pats will be back on top (as much as that pains me). They will beat the Saints in Arizona in February. As for the Steelers, this will be the honeymoon year under Mike Tomlin, but ten wins and a wild-card berth is the best that I will offer...or hope for.

Locally, the Giants have a brutal schedule. I'm thinking 8-8 at best. Mangenius and the J-E-T-S will be the better team in the New York area (face it, neither team is a New York team).

Oh, can Michael Strahan just stop? Now? That's a guy who is very difficult to like.

As opposed to, say, anyone with the last name "Manning."

I like Tiki Barber, but he needs to pipe down also.

Speaking of football, tune your radios or web browsers to WGCH Saturday morning at 9:50 as the Greenwich Cardinals take on the Brunswick Bruins in a scrimmage. Yours truly is planning to be on the call, along with Sean Kilkelly and Nick Angotto.

I say "planning" because the red bullseye and I differ on the subject of my weekends in the fall. This fact has kept me from getting amped up for the season.

More about that when it's more appropriate.

Two great acts - two of my all-time favorites - have released new music. The Eagles put out their new single, "How Long", which has the twang of their early country work but the rock sound of their later (and arguably better) stuff. I like it, even if it is a song that they used to play in concerts but never recorded. It's a roughly 35 year-old tune.

Then there's Bruce. Springsteen of course. "Radio Nowhere" is the first track released from the new CD, Magic. Chris Russo (yes, the "Mad Dog") said that this is the best Bruce song in thirty years. Now I know he didn't mean that because that would then overlook "Darkness on the Edge of Town", "Badlands", "The River", "Out in the Street", and anything from Born in the USA (whose best song is "Bobby Jean"). So with all that said, "Radio Nowhere" is a great song. It quickly jumped into heavy rotation and is the song that will play if you head over to my MySpace page. The song is the best rock from Bruce in a long time.

Now I just have to figure out how the heck to get tickets to see Bruce and the E Street Band when they play one of their local shows.

Heck I can't even afford the invoice for the Yankees' playoff tickets. I'm starting to think that will be a reality, though I'm still not convinced. I still think the World Series will be Mets-Red Sox.

Can we now say that A-Rod is very good?

People are telling me I look a lot thinner. That's true - I've seen the results on the scale. It's amazing what stress and no money can do. That's your best diet right there.

It doesn't work for the joke, but the above is true, coupled with being on my feet all day at the bullseye. I'm also eating a lot of salads (because they're cheap). The overall result is nice as I'm getting closer to fitting in things that I haven't worn in a while.

Maybe it is all good.