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.

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