Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bruce and the Dog, and YouTube Goodness

Bruce Springsteen showed up on Sirius with Chris Russo today. Fun stuff.

From the WNEW blog (they've become among the best for real music news and notes), there's a collection of YouTube videos. Of particular note are three performances:

Bruce and (believe it or not) Bon Jovi

Bruce with REM (another favorite of mine)

And this was about the last time the Grammy's were great. This stunned me - Bruce, Little Steven, Elvis Costello, and Dave Grohl, on vocals and guitars, with Tony Kanal (from No Doubt) playing a fierce bass line. Just amazingly good.

Wow...Years Later

I have no doubt that sometime Sunday night, I will see the best Super Bowl halftime show ever - simply because I'm a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. I loved last year's effort by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and thought Prince was dreadful a few years back. Before that, I thought Paul McCartney was awesome and the Stones were blah.

Or as Myron Cope would say, "feh."

But until Bruce rocks me on Sunday night, this is still the king of all halftime shows.

Try not to choke least a little.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Classic Movie Palace

This is a must-see, if you have the slightest interest in a "real" movie theater.

Richmond's Byrd Theater opened in 1928, and has been in operation ever since. I've had the good fortune of watching three movies there - "Shadowlands", "City of Angels", and my favorite, "Pulp Fiction", in which a packed house enjoyed the sounds of the huge organ before the movie (it's a Saturday night tradition). Plus the price is right - $1.99!

Virginia Commonwealth University's VCU-TV did a history of the Byrd, and it is worth watching. Watch it here.


It's just too easy...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Promised Land

Oh, please please please let the concert gods bless me with a couple of ducats to see the one and only (and arguably, rock and roll's lone savior) Mr. Bruce Springsteen and legendary E Street Band this year.

The first batch of tour dates are on this page. I don't care if I have to go to Boston, Hartford, Albany, the Nassau Mausoleum, the Brendan Byrne-Continental Airline-Izod-Meadowlands Arena, Philly, DC, the 'Burgh...whatever. Just let me get tickets that won't cost me my life's savings (which, trust me, isn't much).

There's so much garbage out there. So many godawful bands that have no substance to go with their pathetic style. Too much dreadful music.

So Bruce, take me to The Promised Land (from Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978, track six). I am sooo overdue.

Oh, and I think Bruce is playing somewhere in Florida this weekend. Can't remember where or when, but I heard a rumor. Something about a football game...

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Have An Itch, and It Must Be Scratched

Consider this the latest example of Rule 55.

Trust me, while you would enjoy it if I spouted (after you were initially horrified, of course), it's just not worth playing down to that level.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Free Credit Report Dot Com YouTube Goodness!

All six commercials in one handy-dandy carry-on bag for your viewing pleasure.

You'll thank me later. I'm sure of it.

This, by the way, is NOT an example of Rule 55. Just so we're clear.

The Anti-Joe Buck Fetish

Awful Announcing is a good site. I read its postings every day via my Google Reader, but some days, they just obsess over certain things.

Like their hatred of Joe Buck and their man-crush of Gus Johnson.

You can probably guess where I sit on this one.

And one thing to know about me - it's quite likely that when you push one thing on me, I'll go the other way.

So it appears Mr. Buck's St. Louis-based restaurants are struggling. Leave it to AA to be almost giddy.

Whilst we're talking about broadcasting, here's an interesting Q&A with Al Michaels. Al and I both hate our veggies. I didn't think we had such things in common.

I recently heard where Al got to call the 1980 Winter Olympics hockey games because he was the only one on the ABC staff who had ever broadcast a hockey game before (a grand total of ONE!). Two things come to mind:

1) That would likely not happen today, and
2) Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Movin Out

PeteAbe (who really has become the definitive voice/writer for Yankees' fans) has the details of the move from the Old House to the New Stadium.


River Ave. Blues adds some video to the discussion.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm In The Office

I'm sitting at my desk in the offices of the Business Talk Radio Network (yeah, and Lifestyle Talk Radio Network also) in Stamford. As such, my posting has been non-existent today.

Enjoy Greenwich and Trinity Catholic tonight at 7:45 on WGCH. Sly, Killer (or Killer Cam), Mr. Spang, and yours truly (no fancy nicknames come to mind) will bring you the action.

I'm not saying this to hype it up, but this one should be really good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gerry Rafferty - Missing?

I just stumbled upon this one. Gerry Rafferty, the 70's musician whose most famous song, "Baker Street", is iconic, is missing. At least he appears to be.

From his Wikipedia entry:
Rafferty checked himself into St Thomas' Hospital for liver problems. On 1 August 2008, Rafferty disappeared, leaving his belongings behind. The hospital filed a missing persons report.[4]

Despite claims that he has been in contact with family, posted on various websites,[8] as well as claims of sightings (including that he is in London, Bournemouth,[9] Brussels, Bodelwyddan, or North Korea[10]), after four months there has still been no authenticated report regarding his whereabouts.
So that's nice and misleading.

I looked around the 'net and to be honest, there's really nothing else about this mystery at all. Sad and bizarre.

I've enjoyed his music for a long time ("Baker Street" and "Stuck in the Middle with You" from his Stealers Wheel days are two speaker blasters for me) and hope he's OK.

Gerry, check in, will ya?

In the meantime, enjoy what is clearly one of the best intros to any song ever. One of the more definitive songs of the 70's.

Major Cuts in the Broadcasting Industry

Clear Channel Communications, one of the giants in radio, laid off 1850 people yesterday.

Best wishes to all of my fellow broadcasters as they pick up the pieces.

This is the part where I reserve comment, judgment, and opinion.

A Little Steelers Tribute

If you need a little something to get you going on this frosty Wednesday, or you're looking to get fired up for the Super Bowl since it's not for another two months (oh, it's not? Just feels like it), then this video is for you.

I found it via Behind The Steel Curtain from a YouTube user named Toxicsun. Either this person has too much time on their hands, or they're really freaking talented.

Or both. You decide.

Two things are clear in this video: 1) Many of the highlights aren't from 2008 (and the playoffs in '09). In fact, watch for the option razzle dazzle play to Heinz Ward from Super Bowl XL (and the Seahawks fans are STILL whining about that game). Oh, and 2) This person likes Willie Parker a lot.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enough Politics...Enough Work

What seemed like an endless day has reached its conclusion. Know how you finally reach a point where even if you were to continue working, you'd be awful? Making mistakes and so on?

That's where I am.

I gave up on the Inauguration hours ago, so I currently have no idea what the First Lady is wearing, and so on. I'm kind of curious to check back in to see if there's any status on the condition of Senator Kennedy, who had some sort of "medical emergency" at the luncheon.

This was one of those days that stretched from about 5:30 AM to now (it's just about 10:00 PM). There were a few breaks, but not many. I needed music to get through (or the background noise from the TV). My mood went several different ways musically - from The Smiths to Matt Biondi (harmless 80's Jazz-Pop) to The Ting Tings.

That took me to dinner. For the late rush, I wanted to rock out a bit. I went with INXS, and I'd love to post a video, but I'll be damned if I can find one to post.

Party poopers.

Anywho, Google them or go to YouTube if you need some educating. Their early stuff was especially good ("Listen Like Thieves" is a personal fave).

OK, I'm outtie. You've been a great audience.

The Inauguration

I was tempted to jot my thoughts down as I watched pieces of the ceremonies in Washington today.

I'll just pop a few thoughts here as I see fit.

First and foremost, I like seeing our country happy. The joy in peoples eyes today was wonderful, and not often seen. As I've said all along, I wish Godspeed on President Obama and his administration. I love this country, and I want to see things turn around. I want our troops to come home safe. I want prosperity for all. I'd like to see opportunities open up.

Call me selfish, if you wish, but I think we all agree on this.

Now, here's the rub. I've had spirited debates with people in all parties about the behavior of many, primarily those within my industry - the media. If you don't think that their coverage (and Election Night as well) wasn't about race then you're just not watching. I'll go further. I think the media is showing some real liberal leanings today - and I'm not one to go down that road. To that end, I'd love to see what the coverage would have been like had a Republican won.

Just sayin'.

Why, for instance, is Major League showing the inauguration on their site? Because they continue to play politically-correct, hanging their heads in shame for the behavior of those who ran the game, from when Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black man to play in the Major Leagues, to when Jackie Robinson integrated the game for good.

Why is ESPN - a sports network - showing the inauguration?

Are you telling me there aren't plenty of other channels that could show it? In fact, ESPN News is running it with an ABC News logo. So couldn't you just go to channel seven (here in New York) and watch it there?

Yes, but whatever.

Friends, my fellow Americans (Richard E Nixon, 1974) today is a great day. We HAVE watched history - and I'm proud to be a witness (or else I would not have turned on the TV). I'm exceedingly proud that our country elected a person regardless of color. I still worry that the election of President Obama had more to do with people feeling that ANYBODY would be better than another Republican, but I hope that is not the case.

But this is not about a black man taking over as President. This is about righting our country. This is about all of the things that I outlined above - our own financial well-being, the restoring of jobs, the health and safety of our troops, of ridding our country of scandal (both within and outside of our political machines).

Is Barack Obama the Second Coming? Not yet. He's only just finished his speech. He seems like a decent man, and I hope he brings that to the Office. I hope he brings the youthfulness that he has demonstrated as well. I hope in four or eight years, we talk about the glory of the Obama years.

I hope.

I hope.

Some Wicked Good Hockey Video

Bobby Orr's retirement ceremony from January 9, 1979 is on YouTube in pieces. I like this piece (part two), which includes a nearly seven-minute standing ovation.

By the way, I love the ad in the Boston Garden for the "Panasonic Stereo Home Video Recorder."

For Orr, it was his proper return to Boston, after leaving there under sad, strange circumstances, in which he thought he had a deal with the B's, including part-ownership, but his agent told him there was a better deal to be had with the Blackhawks. It was shady, to say the least.

If I had been a die-haahd B's fan, I would have cried like a baby watching Ray Borque, who I have tremendous admiration for to begin with, taking off his sweater and giving the number seven that he was wearing to the great Phil Esposito. "Espo" had left Boston for the Rangers during the '75-76 season and had some good years, but he will always be a Bruin and this ceremony didn't take place until December 3, 1987 (obvious by the glasses Phil is wearing).

We hate on Boston frequently (especially their baseball team...and I guess their football team as well), but they're largely great sports fans, and I think their hockey often gets sadly overlooked. Plenty of other YouTube goodness like this to be found, if you care.

Marc Andre Fleury with a Case of Steelers Fever


With the throwback helmet, no less.

To Fight Or Not To Fight

Let's face it - one of the things people love about hockey is the fighting. It's like NASCAR and wrecks. That's the train-wreck mentality of the sports fan.

So NBC's Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury debated the issue during Sunday's Rangers-Penguins game. If you know hockey, you know who came down on which side.

I'll help you out - Milbury isn't known as "Mad Mike" for nothing. Got it?

Anywho, Awful Announcing has the video of the debate here. Deadspin has their take here, including footage of a classic 1979 Bruins-Rangers brawl at the Garden (Madison Square, y'all) that features - who else? - "Mad" Mike Milbury going into the crowd.

Take note of the former WGCH announcer who spars at center ice towards the end.

Oh, extra note about Awful Announcing. They nearly sent my brain into explosion mode with their thoughts on the Steelers Sound Person that played music during Willis McGahee's injury timeout on Sunday night. As usual, people have too much time on their hands.

Here's the thing: I took note that music played as McGahee laid on the turf at Heinz Field. Yet what I took note of was whether or not the music could be deemed inappropriate, not whether music should be playing at all.

“Down On The Corner” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and then “Smooth” by Santana featuring Rob Thomas were the offerings. Seemed innocuous to me.

God, why do we have to be so friggin' PC all the time?

OK, Let's Get a Grip

Bad job by some Arizona Cardinals fans.

Root against the other team, but come on. Use some common sense. Burning "Go Cards" onto the lawn isn't exactly the prudent thing to do.

Pictures From the New Stadium

A lot of websites have been doing a great job of keeping readers updated on the progress at the new Yankee Stadium. I've not gone crazy on this topic but this latest batch of pictures that came to me via Sliding Into Home are very good. They give a look at things of importance to me - like the radio booth. Also, take note of the carpet in Joe Girardi's office. I'd like that to be in my home.

While I really don't want the beloved old Stadium to go away, I can't deny that this Stadium is going to be a palace. It looks remarkable.

The Yankees swear the new building will be done on February 17, and have a logo of that fact in beyond the center field fence.

I'll leave the debates about the new Stadium to others. To me, it's being built and that's where the Bombers will play. Nothing I can do about it. So just go enjoy the pictures.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hatred for Baseball Teams That Don't Play in New York

This is funny, and it's not about the Yankees.

The language is a little naughty, so beware.

Steelers Video

In case you haven't seen it, here are the late second half highlights, including Polamalu's game-clincher.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Steelers Fans Want the Goods

I just tried to go the Steelers' online store.

Not happening. I think it's so busy that they're crashing.

I can't justify spending $30 on an AFC Championship hat. Oh yeah, I have my old one from when they went to Super Bowl XXX, but I bought that for the same reason that I bought a 1996 American League Champion hat - because it had been so freaking long since either the Yankees or the Steelers had gone their respective big dances.

Now? I treat it like the conference-winning trophies in the NHL. Nice to win, even nice to look at, but I don't want it. I want the World Championship one.

I really should go to sleep. I have to be up early to, you know, work.

Oh, and Dick's Sporting Goods has plenty of Steelers stuff, and their site is working just fine.

Stay Classy, Jim Rice

So Jim Rice is a Hall of Famer. I applauded it; still do.

Doesn't mean he's not an ass hat.

Jim, here's the thing. George spent like crazy. It's legal. Yet between 1979 and 1995, the Yankees won zero rings. Nada. In fact, they appeared in the playoffs in 1980, and made the World Series in 1981. Then nothing from 1982-1994 (thanks to greedy, selfish sons of bitches who have zero interest in their sport and 100% interest in the almighty dollar). Finally, the ship was righted in 1995.

So again, let me ask, does spending money BUY you a title? It's not that easy.

Remind me not to defend Mr. Rice again.

Now, back to my AFC Championship euphoria in an otherwise quiet house.

Pittsburgh's Going to the Super Bowl.

Sing along!

Steelers-Ravens AFC Championship Game "Live Blog"

As we join you, the Stillers are leading Balmer (that's how they say "Baltimore" in Charm City) 13-0. Santonio Holems electrified the Heinz Field faithful with a 65-yard catch-and-run.

There's now under 9:00 to go in the first half and the Ravens are driving. Joe Flacco has been picked off once, but is showing that he has a lot of calm in him.

Earlier today, the Cardinals shocked a lot of people by beating Nick Fox's Eagles 32-25 in the desert. The Steelers are trying to do their part to set up a Super Bowl that will match the current Pittsburgh coach against the two coaches that were up for the job and are now in Arizona.

That will be your storyline.

Plus, not that he cares, the Super Bowl would potentially be me against Will Leitch and his "Buzzsaw."

Haysooz Cristo, if they could just get the score to 20 or 21-0, I'd be liking things a lot more.

Instead, they come up with another stupid penalty...oh, then the Ravens damn near score on a punt return.

Then a penalty puts the ball down inside the Pittsburgh 5.

13-7. My mood has changed.

Well that was quick - three and out. Baltimore's ball.

Phil Simms thinks the crowd is out of the game right now. I agree - the home town team is 1-3 in their last four AFC Championship Games in Pittsburgh. Their nervous.

Limas Catch the freaking ball.

Now the Steelers are playing like they're nervous. Sweed drops one...Ben Roethlisberger throws two nail-biting passes (one shovel pass, one behind Holmes).

Oh, but a personal foul penalty helps. I'll admit it looked a dicey, but punters, kickers and especially quarterbacks are sacred.

Are you kidding me? Throw the freaking ball across the middle of the field as the clock is winding down with NO TIMEOUTS?


As a sports reporter, upon second look, the roughing the penalty call was so bad, it's probably acceptable that the Steelers didn't score. As a fan, you HAVE to take advantage of bad calls.

Fortunately I left the room to put Sean to sleep and didn't have to endure more political nonsense.

The second half is underway, and the Ravens are moving...


What is going on here? Is it really just as simple as Heinz Ward getting hurt?

By the way, I HATE these late games.

As we return to live action, I just get this sick, bad feeling that the Ravens are about to take over.

And yet, Flacco throws these tipped passes that the Steelers just can't quite come up with. So the Steelers will get the ball back. 9:07 remaining in the third.

Wait! It's Jim Mora...PLAYOFFS?

Said it before, I'll say it again. The crowd is nervous. Just going back to 1995, the Championship Game home losses have been brutal...San Diego...Denver...New England...

Heath Miller for 30 yards after the long sack loss. OK, a little the pendulum swinging again?

Willie Parker finds some daylight for a first down. The offense is beginning to click.

Or not. But Jeff Reed, has been seen around the 'net, splits the uprights to make it a two-possession game. 16-7, 'Burgh.

Remember, good radio fans, Greenwich Cardinals ice hockey comes your way tomorrow as the Cards host the Black Knights of Stamford at 2:00 PM. Pregame coverage begins at 1:50. All the action can be heard on The remaining question is what kind of mood the broadcast crew will be in. Nick Fox's Eagles are gone. Our issue has yet to be decided.

3rd and 14 after a Woodley sack of Flacco...get crazy, people!

Todd a lot there. Steeler ball.

Jim Nantz just noted something that I didn't want to say...Ed Reed has been a non-factor in this game. Also, Steve Tasker noted that the Ravens "D" is showing some bad body language.

End around. Dumb.

One quarter to the Super Bowl. Maybe. The Steelers have played Super Bowls in Miami (twice), New Orleans (but NOT in the Superdome), Arizona (at Sun Devil Stadium), and Detroit (where the Bus parked). Is Tampa next?

It's Eli Manning. In a commercial. No, I'm not mocking either Mr. Manning, or the Giants. I'm just stating a fact.

I promise.

Give credit to the Ravens defense. They've held Willie Parker to 46 yards. Then Ray Lewis almost intercepts Big Ben.

Ravens ball...and a shanked punt. Just great.

Clayton gets the ball into Steelers territory on a reverse. Nantz called it a "double reverse." Yet isn't it just a reverse?

Oh for the love of Mean Joe Green, who the (bleep) cares about the Pro Bowl? Who?

Crap. Pass interference. First and goal at the one.

Touchdown. Uh oh.

Time to catch my breath. Off to FOX to watch "Family Guy" for a minute. My friend Lindsey told me it was the "Surfing Bird" episode. Good stuff.

Alright. The Steelers are back on offense. Somebody has to make a play. Now.

And Willie Parker to fighting to get back to the line of scrimmage isn't going to cut it. Nor will Parker for two. Now third and eight...make it thirteen. False start. And a sack.

Ooh...Darren Stone...thanks for that dumb-ass personal foul. The defense must now make them pay.

And Woodley with the sack!

Hey - you know what I just noticed? The Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl. I digress. Third and thirteen.


That's another reason I hate these late games. Everyone's in bed. I can't go nuts.

But in Pittsburgh, the house is rocking. 23-14, Steelers.

That was some incredible effort by Polamalu. was some hit. Recovered by the Steelers, but wow. Ryan Clark just laid a HAMMER on McGahee.

You know what? I'm thrilled about the recovery (Simms says it's Steelers ball) but Clark has just gotten up off the turf. Willis McGahee is still down, and virtually everybody is on the field. It's a game, and it's life to many of us (me included) but there are still people to remember. This tempers things for a few minutes.

Simms says it was a legal hit, despite it being helmet-to-helmet. Clark is OK. McGahee is still being tended to. Simms and Nantz are doing a great job of not over-talking and speculating. They're letting the pictures speak.

I once got yelled at off the air for doing the same thing. Seriously.

Well done by one and all - players, broadcasters (and crew) and the fans and staff at Heinz Field. Classy. Some yells of "Good luck, Willis" from the fans.

Back to the game.

From the Ravens, via Nantz, "significant neck pain" for McGahee, but he is moving and speaking. Best of luck to him.

2:01 to Tampa.

I'm still not believing it's over yet. Ravens ball - they need two scores.

OK. Now I believe it. Flacco just got picked off for the third time tonight, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are on their way to Super Bowl XLIII.


There's the kneel down. See you in Tampa.

23-14, Steelers. The Towel against the Buzzsaw.

Did I say wow?

New Laptop

After months of research, I have a new laptop. Long-overdue, as far as I'm concerned.

It should make my remote working life a little easier, though I'm hesitant to take it to games and such.

It came with a webcam; Sean and I goofed around with it yesterday morning. The above picture was my first attempt.

So I've got going for me, which is nice.

Enjoy the conference championship games today - the last day for true football fans.

Go Steelers. Should the Ravens win, my interest in "The Big Game" will subside just a wee bit.

OK, So It's Cold

This was yesterday morning. Now we're getting hit again with snow - a couple more inches.

I don't mind it so much when somebody else has to deal with it. Like those times we were stranded in Freeport, ME.

Otherwise, I have to go shovel, scrape, and clean. And I only have a six year-old who, despite his best intentions, isn't much help. You'd think somebody else would be here to help, but you'd be wrong.

Hey, let's have a video, shall we? How about Flo, the funny Progressive Insurance woman?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Google Maps and London Tubes

Annie Mole's great Going Underground's Blog brings word of how you can add public transportation information to Google Maps.

Of course, since Annie's site is London-based, she shows "the Tube."

The sample map included the Holborn stop. We used the Holborn stop when we stayed nearby in 2000.


For the record, I didn't find any info on adding US public transport. Just in case you were interested.

It's Cold

It's three degrees here in Carmel.

Three (minus 16 for our metric friends...HEEELLLLLLOOOOOOOOOO Canada!)

Don't think I don't know who's visiting, hmm?

Wind chill factor below zero.

I suppose if you're reading "Exit 55" from, say, International Falls, Minnesota, you're saying, "Well DAMN! That's a heatwave!" But if you're here, then it's pretty freaking cold.

So wear your long johns, or whatever it is you do to stay warm. And as we in the trade like to say, keep an eye on the elderly and pets.

Fred (the infamous cat) is smart enough to keep his visits to the great outdoors to a minimum during these stretches. Instead, I think he's snug in a box on top of a shelf downstairs.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sore Loser!

From Deadspin

Let's consider this a Rule 55 usage, rather than laughing in the face of Patriots' fans. I promise, the dislike will eventually subside. It's much deeper than a true rivalry. It's personal.

See? This is indeed an opportunity to invoke Rule 55!

Plane Down in New York

Thanks, REUTERS/Gary Hershorn


WCBS-880 has no reports of fatalities, but the water temperature is only 41 degrees (from Craig Allen, one of my two favorite meteorologists, with Bill Evans).

Seems it was a flock of birds. Apparently, they weren't seagulls.

Godspeed, all.

Off The Bench 3 (The OK, Let's Wrap This Up Edition)

I'll try to be brief, yet still entertaining.

John Smoltz would have been an interesting pickup. He'll help the Sox if he's healthy.

From Mr. Best, it seems the Garden has reupped with 1050 ESPN. That's great - I'm guessing they don't want anybody to listen to the games?

Certainly not in Carmel. Not at night.

Amazing how powerless their signal is. It's a strong signal, but runs into interference from...Boston.


I guess Jay Mohr isn't a huge fan of those maniacs in Boston?

I've heard that The Raconteurs' show at last year's Bonnaroo festival was epic. The great WNEW blog says you can hear the whole thing.

Considering Jack White is a pretty amazing musician, I'd say it's worth a listen.

I've long known that Richmond Virginia (the great R-VA) was a melting pot for music, and many brilliant acts and artists make their home there. Even those who are perhaps semi-retired and living there with his wife and two beautiful daughters. Anywho, WFMU's blog has more on the R-VA music scene.

Said musician once let me sit in a recording studio while the lead singer of Cracker was mixing some stuff. Eventually I got bored, because I wanted to hear my friends' music. Sigh...

Normally I would mock such a thing, but I wouldn't to be wrongly associated if my name was, say, Robert Redsox or Robert Met...something. So yeah, I'd consider changing my name. Bravo, Mayor Steelerstahl.

I've still got more, but I want it to be in its own post. So there.

Off The Bench 2 (The Rob Crowley-inspired Kibbles and Bits Edition!)

Before we commence, let me say what a blast I had teaching at the former Connecticut School of Broadcasting (now sadly called CSB School of Broadcasting) the other night. I served as the proctor for their sports final exam in Stratford on Tuesday night, and one question still has not been answered:

Where was Nick Fox, who got marked as absent?

Was he afraid of the instructor, who would have graded him on his sports report?


I'll leak out a secret here. I'm a tough grader. There were no "A's." Close, but no.

By the way, the Sly one is doing great as a blogger. So is Rob Crowley. And of course, Sean Kilkelly. John Spang needs to start one, and our winter team is covered!

Just wish they'd all post more.

Speaking of Sean, congrats on his great poetry that continues to get recognition. Very powerful stuff. You would be silly to not read it.

I said in the last piece of brilliant posting (sarcasm being mine) that I'd post some links, so let's have at it!

Sean Patrick Bowley (the great writer from the Connecticut Post) has begun putting the pieces together for high school football in 2009. Some interesting matchups to be found this fall.

Oh, and SPB, I noticed the plug you gave to WGCH for our hockey coverage. Thanks a lot.

But first, football, and I know Greenwich coach Mike Mora is looking forward to having me around again. Or at least I hope so.

The Yankees don't intend to let Jorge Posada play in the World Baseball Classic. Good. Now if they could just keep A-Rod and the Captain out as well. It's the most useless marketing idea baseball has come up with yet.

They sent the carriers out from Norfolk, and picked the Yankees up for free...

I can't stop with the Billy Joel song quotes. And by the way, the Garden absolutely throbbed when Billy sang this song at the concert for NYC in November of 2001.

My throat choked up. It was that powerful. We all needed it.

Why the hatred for Joe Buck? I don't get it.


Who is NOT, and SHOULD NEVER BE, on the list of the greatest broadcasters ever, no matter how many orgasmic the likes of Awful Announcing and Deadspin get.

(UPDATE - Keith at Sports Media Journal defends Buck)

Here we go again. The Winter Classic at (the new) Yankee Stadium?

I want Rangers-Bruins. Original Six all the way.

A (pretty) full Genesis reunion, with Peter Gabriel? OK, I'm there. The earlier stuff is better than the later pop-influenced items.

This is where it is just too easy to make fun of the Mets. I heard Sean Kilkelly talk about this during our coverage of Greenwich and Notre Dame of West Haven on Monday night (to which we received RAVE reviews). Bot the Yankees and Mets will wear patches in honor of their first year in their new digs. The Yankees? Standard fare. The Mets? A friggin' Domino's Pizza logo! PeteAbe has the details.

I know how I feel when the Yankees commit a miscue. I can only imagine that Mets fans want to hurt themselves.

Mr. Imus has an "official" website. Looks good, and it includes blogs. By the way, if you have even a slight appreciation of country music, go get "The Imus Ranch Record." The money goes to charity and the songs are great. Not a dud in the bunch, and I'm not a country fan.

OK, so this is getting long. We're heading to a part three!

Off the Bench (Or The Ballad of Robbie the Kid)

A bottle of red, a bottle of white. It all depends on your appetite.

If you haven't noticed, Billy Joel has made some incredible music.

Sometimes, it's easy to forget, yet it's perfect for a day like this.

I wanted to write "some freaking great music" but Greenwich Roundup always publishes the first couple of words of my posts in their raw RSS feed, so I try to keep it nice.

I figure, so long as Greenwich Roundup, Bill Clark, and the other Greenwich bloggers play nice with me, I'll play nice with them. Although sometimes Mr. Clark's criticism of the Greenwich Time gets to me. I have friends over there (specifically in the sports department) and I worry about their futures. But opinions are like...

WGCH's own Robert Crowley said he is a big fan of the "Off the Bench" rants (occasionally known as "Kibbles and Bits"), the format of which I snagged from Mike Lupica's "Shooting From the Lip."

That's back when "Lupi" was a necessary read. Now I have little regard for the News or its brethren, the Post.

Well we all have a face that we hide away forever...

I saw Billy Joel three times, back in the day. I see he's touring with Elton John again. It's tempting...although if Mr. Springsteen is hitting the road again (as I think he will), I will consider selling vital organs to go.

There's a lot of living this 40 year-old has yet to do, and I'm getting there. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

Speaking of great bands, the Stuck in the 80's guys have a plan to make U2 be...well...U2 again. I mean, let's face it. We love when a new album comes out, but when were they last REALLY U2? I haven't listened to either of their last two CD's in some time now, and their show that I went to in 2005 was probably the most disappointing show I've ever been to. I'll go again if the situation presents itself, largely because I need a make-good from that '05 show.

Whatever. That night wasn't what it should have been (not that it was that bad). I take responsibility. But I'd still like Bono, The Edge, Adam, and LM Jr to admit they're culpable as well.

Could they have just played "Bad?" Or "I Will Follow"? I would have called it a draw.

I'll need a different date for future shows because, well, that's life. I have some options...

Don't you love how obtuse I can be? (Definition 2b - specifically from The Shawshank Redemption)

I almost took a swipe at something but I've cleaned up my act.

I despise when asshat politicians poke their noses into things like sports. Granted, stadium building is a borderline subject, but Richard Brodsky has long been known for his "Schumeresque" love of the microphones. Butt out of Yankee Stadium, Mr. Brodsky.

Or Citi Field, for that matter.

When these two edifices are making New York City a boat load of money (don't forget, they draw tourists to town, GENIUS) let me know if the outrage was worth looking foolish.

Why is this so hard?

There must be a special place in hell for credit collectors and telemarketers. Are they ones who call the cell phones of those upstairs wanting to know if they've paid off their American Express Card? Don't leave heaven without it!

Hey Killer! (No, not THE Killers...I'm not pedestrian) THE Killer (sort of like "The One and Only"). He wants me to post more. Two quote Ed Kich: "How'my doin?"

OH! I am a good boy. I had a "killer" line here (no, not related to Sean) but I stopped. See? I'm not the self-absorbed ass that I've been told I am.

I think we'll break our "Off the Bench" into two editions, as there are a bunch of necessary links to see, and other witty remarks from your humble webmaster.

So as we say in the trade, keep your browser where it is!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rickey and Rice in HOF

The Hall of Fame has opened its doors to two new members - Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice.

It's amazing to think what kind of player Rickey could have been if Rickey had really tried. I mean, Rickey was great and had legendary seasons, but Rickey sometimes got hung up being such a dope (read: "colorful") that he seemed to lose interest. Rickey got himself traded a few times by essentially loafing (Hi, Manny!) and Rickey also had a legendary "hammy" (what you and I call a "hamstring injury").

Rob's not here to hammer Rickey. Rob is here to praise Rickey, and what a player Rickey was. Today, Rickey is a Hall of Famer.

Oh, and before you ask - don't. Rickey's plaque will have an Oakland A's hat on it. Rickey had great years with the Yankees and Blue Jays also, but Rickey should be remembered as an Athletic.

Jim Rice is also in, and Jim (oops, I can stop talking like Rickey Henderson now) belongs. I'm glad the writers got over their collective egos to put him in on his final try. In the late 70's and early 80's, Jim Rice was as scary a hitter as anybody in the game. You'll notice I'm not posting stats because they can often be unnecessary and I just don't have the time, so deal with it. The point is, Jim Rice was dominant for a long stretch and that's what a Hall of Famer should be.

Rice came up in the 9th inning of the great playoff between the Yankees and Red Sox in 1978. As a not-quite 10 year-old, I was terrified to see him at the plate against the Goose (also an HOFer). Gossage got him to fly out to right (a sac fly) but - DAMN! - it looked like it was going out.

Congratulations to Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson. Both very worthy of induction into baseball's Hall of Fame.

Now, as to who dind't make it. I'm not sad that either Bert Blyleven or Jack Morris didn't make it, though I am amazed that Blyleven's 3701 strikeouts haven't gotten him in (there, one stat for ya). There were a few people making noise about Tim Raines getting in, but apparently not enough, as "Rock" only received 122 votes (22.6 percent - 75 percent needed for election).

So your 2009 Cooperstown Class is Henderson, Rice, Joe Gordon (elected via the Veterans' Committee), Tony Kubek (winner of the Ford Frick Award) and Nick Peters (winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Steelers Move Onto the AFC Championship Game

(Photo by Chris Graythen, Getty Images)

It was close in the first half, as the Stillers (that's 'Burgh talk, yinz) got down early, with the Chargers taking a 7-0 lead on their opening drive. But Santonio Holmes ran a punt back for a touchdown to tie the game at seven, and the Black and Gold got a touchdown from Willie Parker (who has run for 146 yards) to take a 14-10 lead into the locker room.

The second half has belonged to Steelers, as Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown to Heath Miller, and Gary Russell and Fast Willie (Parker) both ran for scores. San Diego (favorite team of Ron Burgundy, though he is friendly with Merlin Olsen, who played for the LA Rams) tacked on a garbage-time touchdown, and the Steelers won 35-24.

I still have nightmares about the Steelers 14-10 loss to the Chargers in the 1995 AFC Championship Game, so this one is sweet.

Next up - the AFC Championship Game, as the Ravens come to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. That will be the late game (6:30 PM Eastern Time), and Arizona will host Philadelphia in the early game (3:00). The winners meet in Super Bowl XLIII.

This is Not a Drill

OK, so Big Ben didn't know it was a fire drill. That's OK.

Today, it's a real game. The playoffs. If the 'Burghers can win, then they host the AFC Championship game at Heinz Field next weekend against the Ravens, and if you haven't noticed, the Stillers haven't exactly excelled when the title game is played at home.

In fact, they have yet to win the AFC Championship at Heinz Field.

Yesterday's lousy weather (overrated as it was) assured me that I could watch all of the action. The early game was OK, and could have gone either way (penalties and turnovers will kill you every time), while the latter game was a redonkulous mess. Your Arizona Cardinals MVP is Jake Delhomme!

Good luck to the G-men and Eagles in the early game. May the best team win.

OK, I've had enough of the snow. We (Sean and I) shoveled and plowed our way out, and were beginning to walk to the local bagel joint for breakfast (my car's brakes are done) when we heard a car struggling to get out of a nearby driveway. I just couldn't walk away from it, so I went down and worked to push him out (essentially shoveling that driveway also).

No before you fit me for a heroes laurels...please don't. That's not my point. My point is I'm done with the snow!

Just another obstacle on the highway of life, eh?

Friday, January 09, 2009

An Oopsie in the BCS Title Game

My play-by-play brethren sometimes makes mistakes. It's almost expected at the WGCH level, where we don't have production crews of 50 or whatever. My crew is four or five, for instance. At the upper levels, it's kind of bad.

Anyway, I saw this on Awful Announcing this morning. It seems Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis missed a down. The funny thing is, it's there on the screen and on countless scoreboards in Dolphin Stadium. Don't you think somebody on their crew could have whispered in their headsets?

Oh well. It happens I guess. It just makes them an easier target for the likes of Awful Announcing and others. There's just no room for error - especially if "they" don't like you. If Gus Johnson, the darling of the frat boys and bloggers (except me) were to make the same mistake, it would be laughed at.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Two Good Nights, Two Great Times

Last night was the opener on WGCH for Greenwich Cardinals ice hockey, and the Cardinals and the Blue Wave of Darien gave us a great start, as they played to a 2-2 tie.

(I hate ties...just in case you were curious)

Yet after the game (another stressful affair for the engineer/play-by-play announcer), we relaxed by indulging in the delight of the Hubba in Port Chester.

Steak and cheese with chili and chili cheese fries, plus Hubba water. Perfect.

Just as good was the company, with Sean Kilkelly, Nick Fox and Rob Crowley joining me (John Spang did the honorable thing and stayed away due to a new diet). It felt like old times, devouring the grub and talking sports.

It felt like what WGCH Sports should feel like.

Tonight, I went and met up with Section Five buds Kelly, Mick, Steve, and Eddie (and assorted family members and loved ones) for some dinner (Iron Horse Grill in Westwood, NJ...pretty darn good) and games and laughs back at Steve and Brenda's house, where the kids were adorable (Jack - two years old - reminded me of what a great age that is) and the laughs were plentiful.

Thanks to all of these great people for some much-needed sanity in a world that seems to want to come apart at the seams. They're all part of a large group helping to make me keep moving forward, and give me both a reality check and a safe haven.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello 2009

So that's that. Thrilling, wasn't it?


I used to think Guy Lombardo was lame, but pick your poison - Carson Daly or Ryan Seacrest?

I'll wait.

No I won't.

Hmmm...I feel so different. Just like I did back on 11/22, when I turned 40.

That, dear readers, is sass. I'm sassing you.

By the way, my new year begins April 6 at 3:05 PM. That's when CC Sasbathia is scheduled to throw the first pitch of the Yankees' 2009 season. I'm always happy when baseball season kicks off (albeit manufactured now by ESPN), but to me, all is right when the Yankees open.

Ten days later, the new Stadium opens. I'm scheduled to attend the second regular season game. We'll see.

OK, back to the "Honeymooners" marathon. Despite the old themes and the black and white picture, it still holds up as being one of the funniest shows ever. I can still hear my dad in the voice of Jackie Gleason's Ralph.

Gotta go...Ed Norton is sleepwalking.