Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Boyle Stadium is Not Good

Hat tip to Sean Kilkelly for passing this along.  Angela Carella writes in the Stamford Advocate about the poor conditions at Boyle Stadium in Stamford.  The home of the Black Knights is a personal favorite of mine - a place that I love to broadcast from (we've done state playoff games, FCIAC championships, Greenwich "home" games when the Cardinals needed a home, and Greenwich games against Stamford).  Yet it's been known for years that the turf is terrible (if not dangerous) and the structure is not very sound.

Shouldn't something be done?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bill Gonillo Five, Week 3

A slight change in the BG Five.  Out goes St. Joe's, in comes Darien.  I remain unchanged on my first-place vote for Ridgefield.  If they let me down, the crash will be hard!

1) Ridgefield (Last week: 1)
2) New Canaan (2)
3) Staples (3)
4) Masuk (4)
5) Bridgeport Central (5)
6) Darien (NR)

Dropped out: St. Joseph

OK, I was going to vote for Pomperaug, and had them sixth originally...then I noticed that Masuk whacked them.  So never mind.

Greenwich/Harding comes your way live on WGCH at 1:20 Saturday.  Their film night that I try to attend (and canceled my plans this week for) has been canceled.  Sigh...

UPDATE: Tim Parry has posted the results.  New Canaan, Staples, Masuk, RIDGEFIELD, and Bridgeport Central are this week's BG Five.  Ridgefield will make believers of us all if the Tigers beat Staples at Tiger Hollow Friday night.  Now if they only did that as a game of the week, I would line myself up for the call!

Tuesday Hockey Links


Don “Grapes” Cherry has nothing to do with links.  But he’s “Grapes” and he is hockey, so that’s good enough!

I can see the work of Mike Hume at ESPN New York is going to be vital for me during hockey season.  So far he seems to be a go-to place for the latest about the New York hockey teams.  Of course, I’m always open to suggestions if you have a blog or site that gives great info to keep you in the loop.  I’m probably more excited about this season than I have ever been before!

Anyway, anytime your headline is “Rangers trim roster, cut Hobbit Wizard” there’s a good chance I will read it.  Also included in there is a link to an article by Larry Brooks, one of the few good things about the New York Post.  We all know Wade Redden earned his walking papers to Hartford, but Larry gives it the extra oomph!

From the Triangle Business Journal (via John Ourand from Sports Business Journal) comes this article on how the NHL might actually break new ground (imagine that – being a leader!).  The league might look to allow streaming of local games to mobile devices.  Cool idea, for sure.

Staying on the hockey theme, Versus has a new promo running for their 2010-2011 broadcast season.  Three words: More Doc Emrick!  Don’t get me wrong, Rangers fans.  I love Sam Rosen but Doc is in another stratosphere.  He is an all-timer.

Getting mighty pumped up for this season!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Onion Says Drew Brees is Teflon...or Something Like That

(Something really stupid is going on with Blogger's picture feature...clowns).
With a hat-tip to Carrie, here is a link to more classic work by The Onion.  It seems Drew Brees could pretty much get away with anything!

Well, before yesterday, or course.  This article came out about 10 days ago, and fans are fickle.

Reminder: this is the last week for your fancy national version of "The Press Box."  Line those calls up!

Oh, and it looks like there will be no more Mount Saint Mary College broadcasts.  Budgets.  Money.  Sigh.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Linky Dinks

(I tried to put a picture here...but Blogger is being stupid.  Fail on them.  Very Facebook-like in that they mess with success.  Onward...)

Where to start? So random and such. OK...

Let's start with the Rangers/Devils game I attended at The Garden on Thursday. I think Mike Hume of ESPN New York does a nice job here of breaking down the good and bad.

My own $.02?  Carrie's seats are nice - good view of the Rangers' goal (for the first and third periods).  The Garden is still the best (despite the ownership).  As for the hockey?  Bad...typical preseason stuff.  The Devils committed terrible turnovers in the defensive zone and the Rangers cashed in.  The Frolov goal was so good that it made Sports Center's top plays the following morning.  I said he was a keeper.

Especially since it was preseason, I enjoyed a chance to see Martin Brodeur in net for New Jersey (I haven't seen him play live in years).  I've seen many hall of famers in person and one can't help but respect a player like that, even when they're on the opposition.  I hated - HATED  - George Brett but still had to marvel at him when he played against the Yankees.  Same for Clemens (Boston days), Barry Bonds, and many others.

The point is that I'm a fan of the sport first, and the team second.  I respect seeing legends in person.  Doesn't mean I'm rooting for them (Oh Dear God!  How I remember '94!  How could I possibly ever ROOT for Brodeur against the Rangers?)

That being said, his defense let him down, but Brodeur just didn't look sharp.  Again, it is preseason.  Oh and the Rangers looked no better.  A late meltdown led to a disgusting third-period goal that tied the game. The Rangers have some players but I don't know if there's enough.

I interviewed Sean Kilkelly on Friday's Press Box and hit him with some questions:
1) Isn't "Potvin sucks!" a little lame?  It's been over 31 years, and this was a preseason game against the Devils...not the Islanders.  Sean thought that Rangers fans have nothing else to get excited about and since it was the first night in the Garden, it might be OK (in other words, Rob, stop nitpicking).  My thought - to be consistent - I rip Yankees fans for chants of "Boston sucks" and Mets fans for "Yankees suck" when the opposite team isn't in the building.  Just seems painful to me.  I think Rangers fans are awesome - just incredible.  Passionate.  Loyal.  The Garden doesn't need to market any further, or mess with a good thing.  They're among the best in New York.  Don't let the bad apples ruin the bunch, as usual.  I guess that's the message I need to take.
2) Is Henrik Lundqvist an elite goaltender?  Sean felt that he is close to being elite, but not quite.  He cited some terrific supporting stats but still, the King (non-LeBron division) hasn't elevated his team to another level.  Sean put him around the fourth best in the NHL (in back of Ryan Miller, Brodeur and Roberto Luongo).

Good stuff.  Fun to be talking hockey again.  On with the links!

Ken Burns returns to PBS this Monday night with the newest installment to his Baseball series - "The 10th Inning."  So that means lots of Red Sox (Burns is a fan), dodging steroids, and more fawning over Jackie Robinson.

Tom Hoffarth in the LA Daily News writes about the great Dick Enberg with a column here and a follow-up web post here.  It bothers me a bit that Enberg was chided for being "too network" on his Padres broadcasts, especially for his home run call.  Dr. Enberg changed his call as a result.  Unnecessary, and shame on Padres fans and execs for being so pedestrian.  You have a treasure; don't screw with it.

I mentioned Sean the K (Kilkelly) a few paragraphs back, and he wrote on his Rangers Lead the Way blog that he created a new blog.  So now if you want all of The Who and Led Zeppelin info, Sean will meet you there.  Knowing Sean, there will more than just that.  He's a talented guy so I hope he keeps writing insightful stuff on both blogs.

Chuck Costello has more on Greenwich helping the Stamford football team.

Enough for a Sunday morning - enjoy your NFL action (if that is your flavor).  Speaking of flavors, I have to go make some more of that great coffee that Carrie and I bought for "our" new Keurig coffeemaker (I have someone really special, folks...I'm just trying to not screw it up!).

That coffeemaker was perhaps the nicest surprise I've had in a long time (and I get a little skittish about surprises...they seem to all be bad recently).

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tim Parry Guilts Rob While Giving Him Credit!

Get fired up for some Friday night lights! The Cardinals and Black Knights come your way in just a few hours - live on WGCH!

Tim Parry has some Friday links, in which he links right back to "Exit 55."

He slapped me on the back so hard that I had to reach back and pull out the knives!

Stamford Football Update

Earlier this week, I posted a link to a column written by my friend Charles Costello. I had no doubts about the folks in and around Greenwich High School. Jesse Quinlan writes in today's Greenwich Time:
(T)he GHS athletic department reached out to offer its support of the team. The Black Knights program was extremely appreciative of the gesture, but no official plans have been made, according to Greenwich athletic director Gus Lindine.
And there you go.

Greenwich and Stamford play tonight at Cardinal Stadium. Killer, Kato, Wingman, ~S.L.Y.~, Jazzman, and Captain Greenwich will have the call, live on WGCH at 6:50 PM.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just a Few Links

The story of Broncos' wide receiver Kenny McKinley's suicide earlier this week was a sad, jarring bit of news. Woody Paige, the often much-criticized Denver Post writer and ESPN mouthpiece gives the story a personal slant. Very jarring, indeed.

What one gets out of Paige's story is how scary depression is, and how seriously one must take all of the signs. Kenny McKinley's life didn't need to end so soon, and so foolishly. I think we all know of some sadness in our lives. The question is always, how do we handle it?

Serious stuff, folks.

Then we have the topic of general asshattery, and who better than Fireman Ed Anzalone to sit front and center? The leader of fans of the J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS! apparently got a little frisky with a fan of Big Blue. Funny thing is, the Giants fan was "banned" from the Meadowlands, while that clown Anzalone was allowed to stay. They BOTH should have been tossed.

Sean Kilkelly has lately been on a music tear, with much of it dedicated to his love of The Who and Pete Townshend, but also with a nod towards Led Zeppelin. Sean posts video of Keith Richards (how is he still alive?) and defends the mighty Zep at the same time.

That's all for now. Off to see the Rangers play the Devils at the World's Most Famous Arena as owned by the world's worst owner (well, maybe not, considering Donald Sterling still runs the Clippers, and Peter Angelos in Baltimore, and others...OK...ONE of the worst).

Yes, that's right. I'm going to a hockey game. In September. It's called preseason, folks, and I'm happy to go.

At Yankee Stadium: Cave People, Dodging Rain, and More

I've been to one Yankees game this year - last month, against the A's and, to be honest, it was an OK night. They won, but it was uber sticky. Hot. Unpleasant.

With the last home stand of the year upon us, I thought take a look to see what might still be available. The Yankees' website had seats behind home plate for $300 (apparently they don't tuck you in or kiss you goodnight). No dice.

So, I thought, what about StubHub? Now, I'm not a huge fan of them either but it goes with the territory. Buyer beware, of course. Yet I had nothing to lose.

How about $15 for upper deck seats? SOLD!

Carrie and I arrived at the House that George Built before the gates opened and dined on Burger King (only for the onion rings, people). We stepped inside Gate 6 just after 5:00 and made our way to Monument Park. I've heard the many negative things said about this important area of the Stadium and was prepared for the disappointment.

This is outside of the entrance, while waiting on line to get into Monument Park (Carrie took this picture).  The line (for us), began at the bottom of the stairs and went straight to the entrance - past a Monument Park Store and crossing through fans.

Heading into Monument Park is about as sterile as the reviews have made it.  It's like going into a winding concrete land of nothing.  Could they perhaps spring for some pictures on the wall or something?  Finally, we reached the stairs to enter the Park and while it wasn't as cold and disappointing as I have heard, it's not what we had in the old Stadium.

That's the original "Core Four" right there.

The Iron Horse.  Perhaps my favorite of the old, most famous Yankees (non-Bobby Murcer division, and when exactly is HIS plaque going up?)

There's definitely a nicer feel, in that the old park was kind of thrown together, while this one was fully intended and built to be Monument Park.  Still, those who have called it "Monument Cave" are completely correct.  It's hot, it's tight, and you don't really get the feel of being in hallowed ground in Yankee Stadium.

There are some pluses: the staff was nice, accommodating and, as opposed to the old Stadium, didn't make anyone feel rushed.  It was nice to take our time.  I already mentioned the feel of it, and that the plaques and monuments really shine here.  On the down side, there is no flow of traffic, thus people get tangled up, especially near the Sterinbrenner crypt.

Which brings us to The Boss.

You can see simply how HUGE this thing is from the first picture at the top of this post.  I noticed it as I watched the ceremony on Monday night, and it became obvious when we entered Monument Park.  I'm not alone in this opinion either.  Richard Sandomir writes about it in the New York Times (and look for a comment from chief asshat Randy Levine -  the Chuck Schumer of the Yankees).  Jeff Pearlman also takes it to task.

He's right.  It's obnoxiously large.

We finished up with Monument Park and headed off to the Yankees Museum.  As with the Park, the wait wasn't bad, and the Yankees have done an outstanding job of updating the museum.  They've switched some displays to represent the Subway Series (I nearly vomited when I saw Mike Piazza's jersey and couldn't decide if I should throw a ball at his head, throw a bat at him, or...never mind...just inappropriate).  To their credit, the Yankees have included relics from each of New York's teams.  They moved the location of the World Series trophies, and did a nice display on Lou Gehrig, plus a separate one on the 2009 team.

It is a must-see for any fan.

Oh, the game, you ask?  Two hours of rain and lightning delays.  During the delay, Carrie and I decided to go find a snack.  A woman sitting near us had what looked like really good nachos.  We spent the next HOUR trying to find them...only to discover they were right below where we were sitting.  So we snacked on them, and watched as the game resumed when a guard grabbed two padded folding chairs and asked if we wanted to see down.  Such kindness is rare and good to see - bravo (I think his name was Garcon, by the way).

Yeah, the Yankees lost (7-2), but I really don't think I've ever enjoyed a loss like that (weird for me, I know).  Because I spent the night laughing and enjoying time with Carrie.  And (hopefully without boring her) I was able to spout a few useless Yankees facts (and I do love to educate - Allie Reynolds threw TWO no-hitters in 1951, including getting Ted Williams to pop out twice to end the second one).  It was really a priceless night - one that I won't forget.  I guess some things really are more important than baseball and winning.  I know, George Steinbrenner would be furious, and have I lost my mind?

The answer might be yes, though I really doubt it.

Worth every dime.

Bill Gonillo Five, Week 2

Tim Parry (you know, the new dad) has posted the results of the voting for the Bill Gonillo Five.

Now my five (six, since that's how many we vote for) were Ridgefield, New Canaan, Staples, Masuk, Central, and St. Joe's. The voters, er, don't agree:

Bill Gonillo 5: Week 2
Team (1st) Points LW
1 New Canaan (7) 133 1
2 Staples (3) 92 2
3 St. Joseph (3) 74 3
4 Masuk (2) 71 4
5 Central 64 NR

Also receiving votes: Pomperaug 34, Ridgefield (1) 31, Darien 13, Norwalk 13, Bunnell 1.

That's right: Ridgefield received one first-place vote. From me. I don't know...maybe I'm drinking some Flavor Aid in which I give a team a fist-place vote and they don't even come CLOSE to making the top five?

So of course I will rethink it all by next Monday, and hope game results help me sort it all out. Yet what am I missing here? I'm a dutiful voter, and have been since Tim first asked me to join a few years ago. Still this bothered me when I read the results. I think Ridgefield is a legitimately terrific football team, and thought my choice was at least in the conversation with New Canaan and Staples.



Helping the Black Knights

My old WGCH colleague, Charles Costello, writes in his Techer Talk blog about he situation going on in Stamford with the Black Knights' football program. In short, coach Brian Hocter saw that he had a team that was, well, hungry. Not "football hungry" or hungry to make a play, but hungry. For food.

Charles believes that Greenwich High needs to step up, especially after people in Darien and New Canaan did their part.

I will say that the Black Knights have raised approximately $10,000 and others have chipped in with sandwiches and such. That is good to see.

As for the criticism of Greenwich High, I have known the coaches for over a decade now and they are good, charitable men. I know something will be done.

Greenwich and Stamford play Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Brood Gets Bigger!

The Adams clan (I never say "Adams Family") has added a new member this morning, as Eleanor Armida Hernandez was born in Alabama. She is seven pounds and seven ounces, and she and her mom Kristy are doing well. Sister Evelyn and dad Hector are happy and proud!

Kristy is my niece - my brother's youngest child. Eleanor is another in a line of great nieces for me, joining Evelyn, Kendall, Emma and Elizabeth (jeez, I can't keep 'em all straight and believe me, I might be missing someone!). Factor in Kristy's two older sisters and my sisters' six kids (none of whom have children yet), plus the one and only (you know love him) Sean Robert Adams, and we have one big ol' family!

We really need to have a new family chart made up just to keep track.

Welcome, Eleanor, and listen to your mom. Yankees. Always Yankees (Hector is a Dodgers fan).

Take A View From The Press Box

Paul Silverfarb of the Greenwich Post suggested that I (and the other members of the WGCH Sports Team) write a weekly column during the high school football season (and maybe beyond - you never know). My column came online today.

My Bill Gonillo Five (Six) is:
1) Ridgefield (Last Week: 1)
2) New Canaana (2)
3) Staples (3)
4) Masuk (NR)
5) Central (4)
6) St. Joseph (NR)

Dropped out: Greenwich. Sorry. They had to.

See you Friday at 6:50 live from Cardinal Stadium, on WGCH.

Please welcome William James Parry to the world, and congratulations to Tim and Ursula!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cold As Ice

I have a soft spot for certain songs that might be viewed as "guilty pleasures." Foreigner was always one of those bands in the "Journey" category. You know: nice ear candy, can still be heard on rock radio, made fairly innocuous records, and music snobs (that can sometimes be me) hate them.

In other words, this is probably where Huey Lewis and the News belong, but they don't. And that's a joke, since they continue to rot in adult contemporary hell. But I digress.

Anyway, I heard the song "Cold as Ice" yesterday on the radio, and gave the volume dial an extra turn. By the way, there might be an annoying ad running during the video. Sorry - best I could do.

Hmmm. I'm thinking "Rule 55." Yep. That'll do.

Foreigner - Cold As Ice
Uploaded by manon42. - See the latest featured music videos.

What's In a Minor League Baseball Broadcaster's Car?

No, not mine.  Not long ago, I posted a link to a blog post by Ken Singleton's wife about what is in Kenny's briefcase.  Nick Gagalis, the play-by-play radio voice of the Hudson Valley Renegades, inquired further as to what I carry around for high school (and minor league) games.  I'm still planning to take some pictures and do a post on that topic.

Nick took it a step further and shot a humorous video of what his car looked like at the close of the 2010 season.

Now add in an eight-year-old child, go camping, and you will have MY car!  I used to have a very clean machine (Beatles reference - "Penny Lane").


News From Hollywood: Sacha Baron Cohen to Play Freddie Mercury

This should be interesting, to say the least.  Freddie Mercury was, in my opinion, the greatest frontman a band has ever had.  Theatrical, strong-voiced, entertaining, and he would rock us (had to work that reference in somehow).  In any event, Sacha Baron Cohen ("Borat", "Ali G", "Bruno" and so on) has signed on to play Mercury in a upcoming movie. 

There are many reports out there confirming this, but I'm posting the one from the New York Daily News.

(Incidentally, there were many reports that former hockey coach Pat Bruns had died yesterday, but they turned out to be false.  Fail.)

Let's recall Queen in arguably the single greatest rock appearance ever - at Live Aid (in 1985).  Magical (and I never saw it until years later due to my going to Yankee Stadium that fateful day).

Many have tried to say that U2 was better that day.  Uh...well...trying to be  Queen.  They were going to break up after Live Aid.  That performance revitalized them, and it injected Live Aid from a corner that people didn't quite expect.  U2 was wonderful.  Queen was better - legendary.

Vin Scully Q&A

It's a beautiful Saturday, and a very pleasant good morning wherever you may be. Please pull up a chair and read this nice "Answer Man" Q&A on YahooSports with the one and only Vin Scully.

Friday, September 17, 2010

John T. Becker, Former Owner of WGCH, Has Died at 90

John T. Becker was the owner of WGCH when I first joined the station in 1997. He continued to own the station until 2003, when he sold to the current owners.

Mr. Becker passed away this morning. The Greenwich Time has more.

A nice man who supported all of our sports broadcasts, and encouraged us to cover as many sports as we could, Mr. Becker was a frequent visitor to the station, though he didn't have an office.  He would occasionally talk business but, more importantly, he would stopp in to have lunch or just talk. He always talked sports with me, especially our shared love of the Yankees. It was Mr. Becker who gave me two tickets to Game Five of the 2001 American League Division Series against the A's, as the Bombers recovered from an 0-2 deficit. It was one of the most uptight and emotional nights I can ever remember in the grand old ballpark.

In 2003, Mr. Becker left a message on my voicemail to congratulate him on the birth of Sean.  However, he pronounced my son's name as "Scene."  I've called Sean that ever since.

Thanks for that, Mr. Becker.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Today is the start of the Greenwich football season and I should be in a great mood...

Maybe I'm just stressed over the broadcast. Or Sean. Or life.

Yet leave it to Facebook (and my meteorologist of life, Craig Allen) to bring me out of it!

Do you need a job (as I do)?

Now I'm laughing. This helps take the sting away of the Yankees' loss last night.

OK, back to football. The pregame (weather permitting...damn thunderstorms) begins at 6:50. Chris Kaelin has a pregame interview with GHS starting quarterback Liam O'Neill. Sean Kilkelly and I will have the play-by-play. Chris Erway will have the stats. Chris Kaelin will be on the Greenwich sideline, and Nick Fox will walk the Norwalk side.

High school football 2010 begins. Finally.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Even MORE High School Football

(Greenwich High School head football coach Rich Albonizio speaks with his players after a practice session earlier this season. Photo: Greenwich Time, David Ames / CT Post)

For the love Lombardi, let's kick off the darn season! Still over 48 hours to go (and it would be even longer if not for Yom Kippur).

I digress.

Mike Cardillo was once the Sports Editor at the Greenwich Citizen (which is now rolled into the Greenwich Time). Cardillo did it all and covered it all. He was even kind enough to have nice things to say about some broadcasters in town, and went so far as to let one of those broadcasters write a guest column.

Tim Parry noted that Cardillo, now with the Connecticut Post, wrote a fantastic piece on high school football coaching. This is a must-read. I love my little Carmel Sports Association coaching job, though it is nothing in comparison to what the high school coaches go through. I've had countless conversations with people at all levels in high school sports about what a thankless position coaching can be. Yet they do it because they love sports, they love to teach, and they love the players.

Mike Cardillo doesn't really walk the football beat anymore, and I agree with Tim Parry when he says that Mike should do more with the gridiron, as he was always sharp back in the Greenwich days.

Remember...Thursday night, 6:50 PM, Greenwich at Norwalk, on WGCH (of course that's 1490 on the AM dial!).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sean Sums It Up

My friend and broadcast partner, Sean Kilkelly hadn't been doing much with his Rangers Lead the Way blog recently, but he is beginning to rev it back up, with music, politics, sports, and so much more. His blog is easily a relative of Exit 55 (at least, that's my humble opinion) in that we write about many similar topics.

Sean has strong thoughts about the hypocrisy that is running around regarding the proposed mosque
near the site of the World Trade Center and as usual, Sean and I are in lock-step. The mosque is in terrible taste (despite what Jeff Pearlman says) but it is their right to build there. Is the outrage and protest worth it? I guess that is for them to decide.

Incidentally Jeff and I differ on a lot of stuff but he is a good writer. He also doesn't deserve some of the vitriol that is often addressed to him (I mean, really? Homophobic stuff when he is not gay (not that homophobic stuff is right at all)? Anti-Semitic things? Are we really that perverse?) Anywho, as a Jew who isn't religious (his words, though I'm paraphrasing), he had some interesting thoughts on Rosh Hashanah. Read that, and look around at his other stuff. Always provocative, for sure.

On the same page, the reaction to the proposed Koran burning was purely re-donk-ulous. If this clown in Florida wanted to do it - let him! In this day and age, who cares about books burning when we have everything online?! Further, if we (yes, the media) doesn't give it so much publicity, then it goes away. Even further, when the government (including the Secretary of State...enough said) gets involved, well, we've just jumped the shark.

More To Help You Get Ready For Football

 (Left to right: DJ Sixsmith and Eric Galanty, along with Michael Nussbaum, courtesy of Inklings from Staples High School)

As usual, Tim Parry is working his tail off with links galore.

Since I won't be doing any shows anytime soon, why not support others? Eric Gallanty and D.J. Sixsmith of WWPT-AM have put together a webcast show that will run online and via Cablevision Channel 78.

They were nice enough to ask for my advice when they were first proposing the idea, and very thoughtful to ask if they were stepping on any toes. Absolutely not!

Good luck, guys (and if you ever need a guest...)

UPDATE: DJ emailed to say thanks for the promo, and to correct that the channel is 78 in Westport, and not 87, as I originally wrote here. He also wanted readers to know that the show will be available live via on 90.3 FM (near Westport) and also at or

Bill Gonillo Five Preseason Poll

(Sorry for the small, kind of not great quality picture of Bill.  I doubt he would have it any other way.)

So it is finally here - the week of the start of the high school football season in Connecticut. EVERYONE else is playing, and the Nutmeg State can jump on the bandwagon today.

We're so desperate to get started that we've resorted to a preseason Bill Gonillo Five poll, simply to take us away from the panic over the condition of Tyler Matakevich's foot (thanks, Tim Parry).

So what is my preseason five (or six, since we actually choose six)? I went purely off hearsay and my own thoughts.

1) Ridgefield. Lots of attention being played to the Tigers. I'll go with it.
2) New Canaan. Stil a big dog, with the big boy on the big line.
3) Staples. Pure respect. I've heard they have losses, but I've heard they made changes.
4) Central. Also pure respect though they have huge shoes to fill with Christon Gill gone.
5) Greenwich. It would be home cooking (according to some) for me to vote them any higher. They have to prove some things to some folks, me thinks.
6) Trumbull. A gut feeling. Plain and simple.

Last years' final poll is here.

I have tons of respect for everyone else (Danbury, St. Joe's, and the non-FCIAC teams). All I know is, we're almost ready to go...Greenwich and Norwalk start our year at 6:50 (pregame show) on Thursday night!

Listen to it all live on WGCH!

Friday, September 10, 2010

We Remember - Now NINE Years Later

Tomorrow is September 11th.  I don't think I need to say much more.  Ahead of the ninth anniversary of that really bad day, we pause here at "Exit 55", as we will tomorrow also, to pay our respects to the lives lost.

This what I wrote in 2008, along with the September 11th Sound Montage that I assembled several years ago.  Not for the weak of heart but I still believe in listening to it every year because it reminds me of it all, and I don't ever want to forget.

I also wrote things in 2007 and 2006.  They don't quite hold the water that they used to because MY life has changed so much since then (especially 2007, when I was still working on my crumbling marriage).  I suppose the 2006 one is relevant because it is a reprint of what I wrote in early 2002, as a journal for Sean to read one day.

Of course, your mileage may vary.  What doesn't vary is that, once again, we send our thoughts along to those who lost someone, and of course, we remember that we ALL lost something that day.

Peace to all on September 11th.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

GREAT NEWS! Matt Brown Moves Toes!

 (Matt Brown, center, with members of the Greenwich High School hockey family, taken earlier in 2010.  Photo courtesy of the Spezzano family and the Greenwich Time)

You might think that is a pithy headline, but you would be wrong.

Matt Brown is a 16-year-old hockey player who I introduced you to several months ago, when he was injured in an on-ice play. A charity hockey game was held in his honor in Bridgeport in April, and I wrote about it here.

Matt's progress has been wonderful, and we have followed it both here on the blog, and on "The Press Box." So it is with great pleasure that I point you to these articles and videos, bringing you the news that Matt has begun wiggling toes.

Boston Globe

Wicked Local Norwood

WHDH-TV (with video)

In fact, follow all of the coverage of Matt's progress here.

Ah, but there's one more piece of news. We haven't made it official, and we just have to find a time that works for all of us, but Michael Brown, Matt's father, told me yesterday that Matt would be thrilled to appear on "The Press Box" - a goal that we set several months ago. I can't tell you how excited and emotional I am at that thought.

Even if we can't make it happen, we'll keep you posted on Matt.

Congratulations to the Brown family!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Linky Dinks

Off we go!

Awful Announcing (they're back) has a contribution from Aaron Torres about broadcasters appearing in movies. Of course, he gives Bob Uecker's performance in the Major League movies and A+, and why wouldn't he? Of course, you know my opinion...Vin Scully in For Love of the Game. Near perfection, except for being saddled with Steve Lyons. Plus Bobby Murcer, in The Scout. That's right. Deal with it.

Let us not forget the large booth in the Naked Gun movie. They had room for Dr. Joyce Brothers, for crying out loud!

Besides, Aaron has a serious problem with Verne Lundquist (Happy Gilmore). And that's HIS problem.

Incidentally, Awful Announcing used to be just one guy (Brian Powell). Now it's a conglomerate. Or something. Whatever. Let us embrace it's return.

Behold the return of the Bill Gonillo Five! The weekly poll that Tim Parry moderates (and I vote in, and will moderate for a short stretch) is ready for relaunch (this is on the FCIAC Football Blog or The Road to Boyle or Whatever).

Tim has more, as there is a quarterback prodigy in the making in Fairfield County.

Still more from Tim. The folks from WWPT in Westport (Staples High School)have been nominated for a bunch of national high school radio awards. I've interviewed both Eric Gallanty and DJ Sixsmith, and one of the awards they're up for is from the Greenwich/Staples football game on Thanksgiving (which is when I interviewed them).

We're still waiting on our awards for that same game, and others!

A touching note from Tim to his brother Jimmy, who recently passed away.

Tim has plenty of more football notes on the FCIAC Football Blog!

Tim will be part of Dave Ruden's committee to select the FCIAC team of the week for the football season. Of course, no broadcasters were selected to be part of the poll. Shocking! Because, you know, Matt Levine and I are idiots.

Speaking of which - memo to MSG: can we all get along this year? We'll play nice if all of you, most importantly, Mr. Jimmy Cavallo will. WGCH is a friendly and accommodating bunch, and we're all there to do a job. No "bush league" antics this year, OK?

Here are some news and notes from Sean Patrick Bowley.

We finish our high school football section with a little preview of the Greenwich Cardinals (you might have heard of them around these parts), via something called "The Daily Greenwich."

Ever hear of Mike Edwards? No? Ever hear of the Electric Light Orchestra ("Evil Woman"? I have, and Mike Edwards was one of its founding members. The WNEW blog sadly reports that Edwards has died in a strange accident.

I've criticized the WNBA, though it's not that I dislike it. Kenn Tomasch does a nice job of speaking kindly of the league, having recently attended a game in Phoenix.

Joe Theisman? Really? Pete Dougherty says that having Matt Millen in the NFL Network booth wasn't bad enough. Any way to simply mute the TV so I can only hear the call of Bob Papa?

Ken McMillan says there will be plenty of NCAA football to be heard on one of my old radio outlets (WPUT, Brewster). WPUT was the sister station of WMJV - my first job in radio. I used to keep an eye on their equipment during my overnight shift. Ken also has details of the NFL games to be heard on the radio around the Hudson Valley.

Benjamin Hill put together notes and photo essay on his trip to Staten Island's Richmond County Bank Ballpark for a SI Yankees game.

What's In A Broadcaster's Briefcase?

(This isn't my's a Maine Guide one by LL Bean. Mine is also from LL Bean but it's probably 10 years old)

Interesting column here by Suzanne Molino Singleton, wife of Yankees broadcaster Ken Singleton. "Mrs. Singy" reviews what her husband carries with him to each broadcast. I found it quite interesting, though probably not surprising.

Mine can include a laptop, along with various notes (no media guides exist for high school sports), a clipboard with more notes (have to have those advertising reads!) and score sheets, a binder of items for the current season (and some archives). Then I carry around various tools - Swiss Army Knife, a small radio, ear buds, throat drops and other emergency-types of things for my voice and well-being, some small cables, my glasses (for if my contacts are bothering me), pens, pencils and more!

I also bring a small suitcase of extra broadcast equipment, including headsets, as WGCH is down to one working pair.

In short, especially at our level, we do everything we can to be prepared but a lot of our preparation has to do with the technical side as well as the on-air side.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Ben Will Be Back After Four Games

Just hanging out on a Friday, waiting out the storm that isn't going to have a huge impact on the east coast after all.


Oh well, little or no Jim Cantore foolishness. Too bad. It's almost comical beyond belief.

Speaking of comical, Ben Roethlisberger had his suspension reduced from six to four games by Emperor Goodell. Now the Steelers just have to survive those four games. The season opens in Pittsburgh against the Falcons (not a gimme; some think the Falcons are for real...playing at Heinz Field will help the Stillers though). In Week 2, the 'Burghers head to Tennessee (a revitalized Titans team? Tough...very tough). Week 3 takes the Benless Black and Gold to Tampa to play the Bucs (they HAVE to win this one). Lastly, the Steelers are home for the top-notch, Super Bowl contending Ravens (ugh).

At best, I see 2-2. At best.

To me, in the AFC North, that won't be good enough.

I still can't believe Peter King has the Steelers winning the Super Bowl. The mere thought of doing so, in Cowboys Stadium makes me seriously delirious, especially if it comes at the hands of the Romo boys. Watching Cowboys fans cry...over losing the Super their OWN the STEELERS? Short of the Yankees beating the Mets in 2000, could there possibly be anything better?

Too bad it's not going to happen. I can't see where this team is much better than 8-8 or 9-7.

But hope springs eternal in the football fans' soul.

Come back soon, Ben. Keep doing what you've been doing in this preseason.

Tennis, Of Course, Always Makes Me Think of Bad Fan Behavior

I heard about this earlier today. Thanks to the NY1's morning anchor, the dry-witted Pat Kiernan for posting a link to YouTube that shows the fude at the US Open!

Consider this a Rule 55. Haven't done one in a while. So there you go.

An Announcement - The End of "The Press Box"

It's been a pretty emotionally draining and sometimes depressing week around the Exit 55 headquarters. The why's are not important. Just a lot of stuff going on.

Yesterday, I received more bad news. "The Press Box" has been canceled, effective at the end of September. While I am disappointed, I understand the business decision, and I don't think it had a lot to do with what we did, per se. I am grateful for the opportunity.

There is hope that we can revitalize it as a weekend show, or maybe back on WGCH. If not, I will review other potential opportunities. Or not. We will see.

So if you haven't listened, please do. I always thought that we presented a different take on things. We tried to stir passions and debates. We tried to make you laugh. We even had an emotional day or two - like the edition with Matt Brown's father, Michael Brown, who discussed his son, a hockey player who is still recovering from an on-ice injury earlier in 2010.

I liked being a bit of the ranting lunatic at times - if only to arouse a fire within you.

I wish to thank the many people who did come on as guests - Sean Kilkelly, Tim Parry, Kenn Tomasch, Paul Silverfarb, Phil Giubileo, YA Tittle, Joe Posnanski, Walter Recher, Jeff Pearlman (even if his phone died and he never returned to the show), Mike Vaccarro, the people at Kent Primary School, Michael Brown, Rit and Richie Spezzano, Marty Appel (and the amazing show we did about Thurman Munson), and Curt Smith (and the amazing show about Vin Scully). This is merely a small sample, and only off the top of my head.

We also had people agree to come on and we were just never able to slot them. Neil Best, Robert Ford, and Freddy Coleman were just a few.

Even friends and family like my cousin Kris Adams, who had never done such a thing but came on from the Yankees parade. My nephew Jake LaHiff was a fun guest one day. Niece Kendall Coen came in once. Her little sister Emma Coen spoke into the mic as well.

Of course, there was always the presence of Mr. Sean Adams. He was a guest co-host one day.

Mr. Mick McGowan (he of Section 5 fame) co-hosted once and they lost the archive. He never got his show. Mick, please come to Greenwich before the end of the month if you can!

Christine Baker (my partner from the Mount Saint Mary College broadcasts) did a great job co-hosting the show with me from The Mount back in February.

I never could convince Carrie to come on the air, but she was willing and ready to voice a new opener for me. Sadly that won't be necessary now.

The co-hosts and "visitors" also deserve a lot of praise for their contributions - first and foremost with Ryan DeMaria, who ultimately was the co-host and carried on ably when I couldn't come in. Also thanks to Chuck Costello, Chris Kaelin, Matt Hamilton, Nick Fox, Chris Erway (who, along with Ryan, helped create some of our best debates and funniest times), Tommy Dee, and Nick Angotto (who was always too kind to try to score guests for us as a HAWAII!).

Behind the scenes were Zach Budin, Kevin Cunningham, Dominic Romeo, Justin Woliner, Ops Manager John Iannuzzi, Tony "Big T" Legg, and John Aita. They were just some of the people who ran the controls of the show. From the WGCH side, Bob Small provided occasional assistance.

I'm missing people, I know, and anyone I am forgetting isn't intentional.

Finally, thanks to the listeners and callers. Those who listened gave us high praise for being fair, intelligent, and entertaining. I can't ask for much more.

It was a fun ride, and I hope we can do something again - sooner rather than later.

It was a labor of love, as I lost money doing the show.

We'll be there through the end of the month.