Saturday, July 30, 2011

The HBO Schuler Show

I watched the documentary on Diane Schuler and the fatal car crash on the Taconic Parkway last night.  As documentaries goes it was outstanding.  Well-researched, well-presented, very fair (with one error - the timeline placed Schuler on the NYS Thruway too soon, as it doesn't take 13 minutes to go from being on I-87 at Harriman to the Harriman toll booth.  She was still on NY 17 at that point.  It was graphical error, and we're splitting hairs). 

For many of the us in the New York-metro area, almost every piece of land shown was familiar territory.  I've driven all of the route that Schuler followed that fateful day, and have gone past the accident site more times than I can count.  I'll always remember the charred ground that remained in the days following the accident.

My conclusion was that, while Schuler may not have been an alcoholic (from the comments of all in the show), she made a terrible error in judgement.  She had an abscessed tooth that was bothering her, tried to buy a pain reliever at a Sunoco in Liberty, NY and when she couldn't, opened the bottle of vodka that was in the car, and began to make the pain go away.  That's certainly a plausible theory.

This is video of Schuler in that Sunoco:

There was a lot to analyze about the show.  Much to regret (she pulled over beyond the Tappan Zee Bridge toll booth...if only she had stayed there).

Daniel Schuler comes away looking like a regular guy who seems baffled by the whole thing.  It doesn't take away from the fact that his lawsuits and other buffoonery are outrageous.  Yet I found myself saying that if he wants to exhume her body and perform another autopsy, then go for it.  Be done with it.

His sister seemed harmless, though she later confessed that he never wanted kids and really wasn't much of a great father.  Nor was he living in reality.  I'm not sure I'd be happy if my sister told a filmmaker that.

The investigator, Tom Ruskin, and lawyer Domenic Barbara came off looking greedy.  No shock there.

Diane Schuler seemed like someone that was easily liked.  Perfectionist.  Good mom.  Loving.  Large personality.  Class clown.  Tells-it-like-it-is.  And yet, maybe too perfect.  Flawed.  The pictures of Schuler, dead on the ground, were as gruesome as I imagined.  I'm curious whose decision it was to show those, but I can't say they bothered me.

The show was an emotional run.  Four children died.  Four families were destroyed.  A little boy trying to cope with being the sole survivor, but also recovering from his own injuries.  Countless others - onlookers, first responders, good Samaritans, passers-by, were all impacted.

The whole thing gave me pause.  A reminder that life is just way too short and that things can always be worse.  Hurt over children being hurt.  A reminder to love those that I love with all that I have, and hope that they (you) all know how much I appreciate everyone and care.

Quite a reality check.

It can all be taken away too easily.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cheap Seats

I was going through my collection tonight, and came across this song by Alabama, "Cheap Seats."  Now, I'm not a huge Country fan, but I appreciate it more than you might think.  Anyway, it reminded me of some good times.

We used this song in one of our now-classic (or infamous) softball videos.  Oh to put that magic on YouTube.

Or at least some of that magic.  There was a lot of funny stuff, and it's a great way to look back at what we were all like during those years.

Anyway, the song is baseball.  It evokes so much that is great about the game.

Sit back and watch...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Diane Schuler: The Continued Outrage

Last night, HBO showed a documentary on the fatal crash that eight people on the Taconic Parkway.  That accident occurred two years ago today.

Today, Daniel Schuler, the widower of Diane Schuler, and father of the lone survivor of the crash, decided to ignore the conclusions that investigators, coroners, and the WORLD all reached: that his wife was at fault - egregious fault - and killed eight people.

He has sued the State of New York for faulty signage (at Pleasantville Road), and Warren Hance, Diane Schuler's brother, and father of three of the dead.  The New York Post has more.

This couldn't possibly be more foolish, or outrageous.

I've been around the Taconic Parkway for my entire life.  I've driven it and been a passenger on it.  I knew by - what?- four years old that the big red sign that said "DO NOT ENTER" meant, well, DON'T GO THERE, FOOL!

So then what, exactly, is the problem?  Why does this continue to happen?

Oh, I know, because people are whacked out of their minds when they do it!

And to sue his brother-in-law because he let Diane Schuler drive the vehicle?  Does anyone realize the long-term ramifications of that if negligence is found?  Then I can sue my mother because she often asks me to drive her car?

I mean, REALLY?

Far be it for me to tell anyone what to do.  Yet, I feel I speak for many when I say that Daniel Schuler would be well-served to focus on raising his son and accepting that his wife was at fault that horrible day in 2009.  The autopsy seemed rather conclusive.

In the court of public opinion he has made things worse with these lawsuits.

Monday, July 25, 2011

OK, Game On!

The NFL was dead to me. Done. I knew I would return - I always do (to varying degrees...note to the NBA), but that doesn't mean the whole lockout didn't leave a nasty, bitter taste in my mouth. Yet, I didn't pay attention to the sport. My biggest offense (and I questioned this) was buying inexpensive T-shirts in Reading and a faux Terry Bradshaw jersey in Stormville.

Tonight, finally, the NFL is back. I still hate labor affairs in sports. I always will. I still have little regard for Emperor Goodell.

But I also am still furious over the affairs of February, 2011 in Dallas. Everything I thought of football, I thought of the chances lost. Of 31-25. Of a loss to a team that deserved and yet...

The pick 6. The Mendenhall (would have been MVP, but wasn't) fumble. The game I thought they would lose, and yet hoped they would win. The chance for Ben Roethlisberger to flip off the world and have as many rings as Tom Brady.

Missed opportunities. To the victor goes the spoils. Mission 46 begins Thursday at Latrobe, PA.

Finally, I can care about the 2011 schedule. Here it is:

Sep 11 PIT @ BAL - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Sep 18 SEA @ PIT - 1:00 PM (FOX)
Sep 25 PIT @ IND - 8:20 PM (NBC)
Oct 02 PIT @ HOU - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Oct 09 TEN @ PIT - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Oct 16 JAC @ PIT - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Oct 23 PIT @ ARI - 4:05 PM (CBS)
Oct 30 NE @ PIT - 4:15 PM (CBS)
Nov 06 BAL @ PIT - 8:20 PM (NBC)
Nov 13 PIT @ CIN - 1:00 PM (CBS)
WEEK 11 Bye
Nov 27 PIT @ KC - 8:20 PM (NBC)
Dec 04 CIN @ PIT - 1:00 PM (CBS)
Dec 08 CLE @ PIT - 8:20 PM (NFL)
Dec 19 PIT @ SF - 8:30 PM (ESPN)
Dec 24 STL @ PIT - 1:00 PM (FOX)
Jan 01 PIT @ CLE - 1:00 PM (CBS)

Hmmm...finishing up with the Browns on January 1st could mean that I'm sitting in a watering hole watching BOTH the Steelers and Browns AND the Rangers and Flyers (Winter Classic, after all).

And since I have large respect for the New York Football Giants (they might as well be Steelers East and, besides, they once played in Yankee Stadium), their schedule is linked here.

Still plenty of baseball to be played, but football is back.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Why Is Nobody Surprised?

(Getty Images)

I've been doing a couple of jobs lately, and this Saturday morning had me focusing on a project. Nice to be able to work from home, where Sean is close-by (watching the painfulness that is often Nickelodeon), and I can listen to music.

My choice for this morning was Nick Drake, a talented Brit who achieved a small amount of fame during his life, and died at 26 in 1974 of an overdose of antidepressants. It was ruled a suicide, though some have said it was accidental. No matter - Drake had lived a short, often sad and confused life. In fact, it is said that there are very few photographs that exist of him from the last few years of his life.

Drake would achieve much larger fame in the 80's and 90's, beginning in part with The Dream Academy's "Life in a Northern Town", written in honor of (though not specifically about) Drake. Zach Braff would use Drake's "One of These Things First" in the movie Garden State. That made me a fan.

As I listened to the music, my cellphone buzzed with the breaking news that Amy Winehouse has died. Winehouse, just 27 (remember that), was seen as being a wonderful, yet doomed talent. We often see the destruction coming - Kurt Cobain. Hendrix. Janis. I can remember Freddie Prinze as well. So if we see it, why can't they?

Yet Keith Richards carries on.  Figure that one out.

The joke today is an obvious one: they tried to make her go to rehab and she said "no, no, no." If only.

We don't know the facts, so I'm not going to pass judgement. But it just seems to be obvious that Amy Winehouse joined the club of Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Cobain, and Janis.

All were dead at the age of 27.

Here's Winehouse ("Rehab" would have been too obvious, plus I like this song):

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A New Exit 55 Sign

Over there on the right, as of tonight, sits a new title shot - edited from the picture above that I took on Interstate 84 in Hartford on Monday. I figured it was time to put the previous one, taken in 2008 in New Jersey, in moth balls for a while.

I'll leave it up until I find a better one.

So there's that. Thanks for reading.

By the way, I'm hesitant to discuss the so-called "beautiful game" and as such it sits at the very top of my list of "toxic topics." I watched some of the great comeback against Brazil (love seeing fakers and cheaters get theirs) and saw the completion of Sunday's championship (just happenstance as it was on where I was eating dinner). My simple thought? The women thought it was their destiny to win and that the tournament belonged to them. They didn't get it done. They blew the lead - not once, but TWICE, then epic failed in penalty kicks (which, again, is a terrible way to resolve a match).

Would anyone like to see the Stanley Cup won this way? In a shootout? How about the NBA or college hoops break ties via free throws? The Super Bowl won on field goals? How about the World Series in a home run derby?

Let. Them. Play. Until somebody scores.

I'm not buying into the old "great effort there, ladies" attitude. Apparently a lot of others aren't either, including Bryant Gumble (via Fang's Bites).

They choked. If the men did it, it would be said. The Yankees in '04. The Sox in '86. The Mets...daily (OK, that was an easy one). Jean Van de Velde at The Open Championship in '99. It happens. Sorry.

That's all I have to say about it. I'm not a fanatic in this case, so to comment further is to go out of my league.

Boston: Sad to Leave It

Proud of their B's (Photo by RA)
I could have simply called this post "Love the City, Hate the Fans" but that would be too easy.  Plus it's not entirely true.  Still, a true Noo Yawka could never...EVER...EVER love Boston.

But I do.  Sue me.

I love its food.  Its Music (although not its eponymous band, whose "More Than a Feeling" is beyond overplayed).  Its atmosphere, attractions, shopping, roads (well, that might be a stretch).

And yes, I can even tolerate their fans.

Carrie had to go to The Hub for business beginning on Sunday, so we drove up on Saturday.  I appreciated her kindness of inviting me to go along and it was my pleasure to be her chauffeur.

There's something about Boston that feels like a city, and yet it doesn't.  It feels very accessible.  But don't kid yourself.  People in Boston can be just as obnoxious as Philly and New York, but it's all good.  We seem to understand each other.

We arrived in Beantown before Noon on Saturday to visit the Samuel Adams brewery tour.  Of course, if you don't like beer, well then this isn't for you.  But if you like to see how a small brewery works, listen to funny tour guides (college kids who want to be comedians), and taste a few brews, then you're in the right place!

Oh, and don't be scared off by the legend of scary South Boston.  It's no worse than Coney Island Ave in Brooklyn (at least in the daylight)!

Heading back into the city, I decided it was time for me to finally check out the legendary Big Dig.  My impression of it was that it was perfectly fine, and the Ted Williams Tunnel is just that...a tunnel.  A solid line drive to Logan Airport (and certainly spacious as opposed to the Sumner and Callahan tunnels).  By the time this little drive was over I had completed a tour of the Big Dig, and was impressed, yet wondered what rush hour is like.

I didn't feel like finding out on this trip.

After checking into our digs near the Prudential Center, I had to deal with my least favorite part of visiting a big city: parking the car.  Oh, that's right...I was in Boston...pahking the cahr!

Little secret for y'all: Boston Common.  Twenty-two bucks for the weekend.  Safe and secure.  You may thank me now.

From there, we hit the ground, walking to Quincy for some chowda (thanks, Paul Silverfarb!), and some Boston Brick Red Ale at the Bell in Hand (which says it's the oldest bar in the US...but others aren't so sure).  While we were settling up, a chap in a Dustin Pedroia T-shirt ambled to a stool next to me.

Now understand this.  I don't really hate Sawx fans.  I'll take them over M...well, other fans.  But I loathe Dustin Pedroia.  He's in rare territory - the kind that I would just throw at him if I was a pitcher.  That's actually high respect, and I think you need yo understand that.  But still...

So my new "friend" asked me if I was leaving because he wanted to see the TV.  After all...THE SAWX WERE ON!  I said yes, and told him I understand.  Before you knew it, we were chatting about his respect for Derek Jeter, and how I rooted for the Sox in '86.

Told ya.  I like talking to Red Sox fans.  Most of them.

Staying on sports for a moment, I'm thrilled to see the Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions.  The pride is evident everywhere.  I've never seen more B's hats, T-shirts, etc.  That's cool, but I'll play the skeptic: how long before it fades?  Boston is supposed to be a great hockey town.  I hope it stays that way.

Oh I'm not going to bore you with the rest of the travelogue.  We had fun - great dinner at Maggiano's, more chowder and shrimp at the Barking Crab, rode the T all over the city, and generally caused havoc everywhere we went.

Or not.

What the trip reminded me was how much I love to travel, and how I probably could get used to living in Boston (well, except for the Red Sox).

We failed to get into the Sports Museum of New England (which is inside the TD Bank Garden/North Station complex), due to they're confusing admission policy (too strange to explain) but that led us to downtown where I can say that I bought sneakers, and Carrie bought shoes!  Come on, how random is that?

Yet it's quite possible that my favorite moment was just strolling around the fountain near the First Church of Christ Scientist (again, random), eating ice cream and talking.  A gorgeous breeze was helping to cool down a hot night as kids played in the fountain, and families sat and enjoyed.  Those are always very special stolen moments, and it made me sad to think of leaving Carrie and heading back to New York on Monday.

Alas on Monday morning, all good things had to end.  Normally, the thought of hitting the road makes me smile.  However, driving home isn't always my favorite thing.  Leaving Boston, knowing I had three hours of road ahead of me to go to work wasn't pleasing at all.  It was downright depressing (though not that bad, lest we get maudlin).

Back to reality, knowing that we'd both like to be shipping up to Boston again.

The Band I Was Given

There's a game that's been going around on Facebook for some time, in which a friend gives you a band/artist and you have to answer the following questions:

The song I love?
The song I like?
The song I hate?

Then people can "like" the status and I can give them a band.

I'd resisted playing it for some time, until I saw that my friend Lisa the Cookie Momma had done one for Kings of Leon (her "love" was "Molly's Chambers"; "Like" was "Sex on Fire", "Hate" was "Back Down South").  Lisa knows her music, and we've done our fair share of talk about the topic, so she seemed a good choice to be the one to pick a band for me.

Her choice?  The mighty, mighty, one and only Led Zeppelin.  Well played, Picc.  Well played, indeed.  No Springsteen.  No Beatles.  No Huey Lewis.  Nope - Led Zep.  Straight back to my youth.

Now of course I can't simply do a snap reaction (well, OK, I can, but I don't want to).  So I sat down in front of my iTunes to listen to a snippet of each song to see if my instinct matched up.

First up, it's been a while since I've given Zep this much play because, to be blunt, EVERY FREAKING CLASS ROCK STATION IN THE WORLD DOES THAT FOR ME!  But with a fresh set of ears, I went through each album.

Presence is largely ignored and probably deservedly so, although "Achilles Last Stand" and "Nobody's Fault but Mine" are both well done.

I'd forgotten just how amazing Physical Graffiti is.  I still remember looking at the album cover, with the fold-out windows, when my brother bought it in 1975.  Too many songs to highlight on that classic, besides the obvious "Kashmir."

Led Zeppelin IV (or ZOSO, your choice), sits in that rare air of most overplayed records e-v-e-r, with its heavyweights "Black Dog", "Rock & Roll" (I loved playing this with the volume at "11" when I was younger), and, of course, the little ditty known unofficially as "Stairway."  I still need to go about a solid year without hearing it before I can stomach it again.  That being said, it's not the song that I hate.

Led Zeppelin III isn't the monster that other albums are.  Still it has "Immigrant Song", "Friends", and "Since I've Been Loving You."  Led Zeppelin certainly knew how to play the blues.

Led Zeppelin II is probably my favorite or second-favorite album of theirs.  You know the hits.  Or you should.  "Whole Lotta Love", "What Is and What Should Never Be", "Thank You" and so on.  Fairly brilliant.

Led Zeppelin hit the world just like, well, you know.  Again, songs that you might be a touch familiar with: "Good Times Bad Times", "Dazed and Confused", etc.

In Through the Out Door saw Zep on the verge of the 80's.  It would also be their last album.  To me, it's not the way I'd prefer to remember them.  Only Coda to me is worse, but that wasn't meant to be a a Zep album - just a desperate way to put out more material.  Back to In Through the Out Door, I do like the kick of "In the Evening."

Lastly, we come to Houses of the Holy, which if Led Zeppelin II isn't my favorite, then Houses is.  From the opening riffs of "The Song Remains the Same" to the final notes of "The Ocean", this is a wonderful record.

So I've broken things down that back to the questions.  OK, here we go (my opinion will change as soon as I publish this post).

Song that I Love: "Dancing Days" (From Houses of the Holy)  Yes, contrarian that I am, I just can't take the easy route.  "Dancing Days" is as close to a pop record that Zep made, at least in my opinion.  That's not what makes it a great song.  It's the beat, the guitar work by Jimmy Page (duh - all work by JP was pretty exceptional), and the feel that makes it so good.  Not every Zep song needs to be seven minutes long to be great.  Trust me there were plenty of other songs I could have chosen, but I only get one.  This is it.

Plus Stone Temple Pilots' version was so disappointing by comparison.

Song that I Like: "What Is and What Should Never Be"  If there's a single song that has Zep at their most, er, romantic-yet-powerful, this might be it.  Think about that song: the bass of John Paul Jones, the slightly muffled effect in Robert Plants' voice as he croons, and the line: "And if I say to you tomorrow: take my hand child, come with me.  It's to a castle I will take you.  Where what's to be they say will be."  Not as obvious in the background is Page's strumming and a nice jazz/blues beat from John Bonham.  That's only the first 23 seconds.  Then all hell breaks loose.  My my my.

Song that I Hate: This was the toughest.  I have plenty of Zep songs I simply ignore.  Some that I just don't play.  Some that are fine.  And, of course, "Stairway."  Yet the winner, for its pure choice as being classic rock radio's "Let's play some Zeppelin just...because" award is "Fool in the Rain.  It was either that or "D'yer Mak'er."  They can both have the title, but there's something about "Fool in the Rain" that is the closest to ear bleed for me, maybe simply because it's just not Zeppelin to me.  It's from an album that just didn't seem like they wanted to make.  It also has "All My Love" with is nothing like "All My Loving" (from that Beatles band).

So there you go.  Discuss.  You want a band?  Ask, or "like" on Facebook.

By the way, I just saw one of my high school friends take the Rolling Stones.  That would have been a lot easier for me...

Love: "Heartbreaker (Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo)"
Like: "Monkey Man"
Hate: "Beast of Burden" (Damn you, rock radio!)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Macca At Yankee Stadium

Sir Paul played two nights at Yankee Stadium over the weekend, and according to the various reviews, it appears that the Cute Beatle has kept a lot of the same elements as when I saw him at Citi Field in 2009, but also added some others.  It was nice to hear that he played "Maybe I'm Amazed", "All My Loving", "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five", and "I've Just Seen a Face" among the many other amazing hits that he has compiled over nearly 50 years.

I spotted this video earlier and it's worth popping here.  Macca said he had never preformed "The Night Before" from Help but brought it out of moth balls for Yankee Stadium.  It sounds great.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sweetie Pie and Chipmunk

Most people seem to loathe this commercial.  I like it.  It makes me laugh, mostly because of how super silly it is.

Terrible upload but beggars can't be choosy (and choosy moms choose Jif!).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Live Aid Was 26 Years Ago Today

Freddie Mercury Rocks Wembley Stadium - July 13, 1985

It has become the gold standard by which all other charity rock festivals live up to, and stands with Woodstock, Monterrey, Isle of Wight, and a few others in the pantheon of legendary concerts.

Live Aid - July 13, 1985.  One big concert.  Two big venues (Wembley in London...and JFK in Philadelphia - odd choice, but whatever).  So many memories of one epic day.

Yet I'll always think of Freddie Mercury.

Most admit that Queen not only blew the doors off of everyone at Live Aid, but that the performance might have been the single greatest performance in rock and roll history.  It's a large claim, but certainly one to be respected.

It was also the performance that cemented Freddie as the greatest lead performer.

Wow did they kick ass that day.  Here's a little documentary.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Things That We Miss (Related to Sports)

Via Fang's Bites Monday Linkage, I came across this article by Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times (ah, Tampa...Saint Pete...Clearwater...Tarpon Springs...things this I miss, but I digress).  Tom lists so many things that he misses and I nodded along as I read virtually each item.

Let's add some more!  How about...

- More organ music and less garbage sound during games.
- This Week in Baseball, with Mel Allen (along with Warner Fusselle, who now calls Brooklyn Cyclones games)
- Speaking of TWIB, I miss this music (and it's companion opening theme song)

- The excitement of the penalty shot (now dulled by the presence of the shootout).
- Bullpen cars, like the pinstriped Toyota that used to bring Goose Gossage in.
- Home runs sponsored by beers ("Hey, Bobby Murcer, this Bud's for you!").
- Trading baseball cards.
- Bob Sheppard.
- Vin Scully on the national stage.
- ESPN before it had pro sports...meaning lots of Australian Rules Football!
- OLD TIME HOCKEY! (that one was too easy).
- When the All-Star Game was actually fun, and the only time one might see, say, Pops Stargell.
- Then again, I miss Pops Stargell...Stargell Stars...and those uniforms.
- For that matter, I miss the old Astros uniforms!
- Denver Broncos uniforms - the old Orange Crush.
- Wow...staying in uniforms, the Steel Curtain-era Steelers uniforms with the block-style numbers. (Quick aside, I just bought a Terry Bradshaw replica that is the almost the closest I've ever owned to the real thing.  It's not entirely accurate, but close enough for $40 at the Stormville flea market, and I had to bargain the guy down to that borrow from Carrie so I could pay him in cash.  This might lead me to a rant about wearing jerseys, since some think there's an age limit or...oh, forget it.  Some other time).
- The Hartford Whalers (and the Quebec Nordiques and the Minnesota Stars and...)
- The Baltimore Colts and the Cleveland Browns.
- Jordan.  Bird.  Magic.  Bernard King.
- Metropolitan Stadium and the Vikings in the snow.
- Yankee Stadium (duh!).  I really miss the 1976 remodel, but I also miss the true original building.
- Complete games (CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee notwithstanding).
- The three-inning save.
- Wiffle Ball Games.
- Neighborhood games.  Any of them.  Kickball.  Football.  Whatever.
- The Packers playing in Milwaukee.
- Brent Musberger saying "You are looking live" in the days before he insisted on calling games, Brent was good as anyone as handling the pregame/halftime role.
- Merlin Olsen.
- Umpires wearing blazers.  Yes, actual suit-type jackets.
- Team theme songs that aren't lame (even the original version of "Meet the Mets" is still charming).
- Locker room trophy presentations, complete with champagne showers.
- Network blazers (oh those wonderful mustard-yellow ABC ones that they wore were just great).
- "The following is presented in living color on NBC."
- Athletes doing ads, like Joe DiMaggio for Bowery Savings Bank and Phil Rizzuto for The Money Store.
- Jiggs McDonald.
- Islanders, Rangers, and Knicks games on channel 9.
- "Kiner's Korner" (I know this is shocking but I love baseball so much that I used to even watch that).
- All-Star Baseball.  Not, not the "This Time it Counts" farce tomorrow night, but the board game, of which I owned a few copies, including the year that I got at least two for my birthday.
- Video games that weren't very good representations.  Seriously, I had two versions of baseball for my Atari that were a joke.
- One home, one away uniform.  That's it.
- The Sears catalog, with all of the cool pages of NFL clothes.
- Pulling up to Blue Jays' spring training and talking with Dave Stieb and Alfredo Griffin...with nobody else around.
- Baseball cards that could be found attached to snack cake packages or in cereal boxes.
- The USFL.
- Caring enough about Daytona and Indianapolis to actually watch racing.
- Al McGuire.
- Chris Mullin (and his hair), Lou Carnesecca (and his sweaters), and the St. John's Redmen.
- Innocence in college sports.
- Keith Jackson and Frank Broyles.
- Keeping the marketing suits and souvenir whores out of the game.
- 1918!
- Affordable tickets!

Well, that's a start.  There has got to be more.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Charles Costello, Joe Buck, and Vin Scully

Now here's a combo for ya.  My friend Charles Costello called me out his blog recently for not posting links to his stuff.  I always read Chuck - he writes excellent commentaries about the state of education, with a large focus on Greenwich (among other items).  I know I've posted some links before, including one when he discussed his pal Connell McShane (sadly, a Mets fan), who now sits to the right of the I-Man (J. Donald Imus, of course).  Nevertheless, the gauntlet has been thrown by Mr. Costello.  I can say quite clearly that I do review every post of his and his writing is excellent (that's twice I've used that word now).  It has strong opinions that he stands behind.

It's my bad that I haven't posted more from it.  He's got me on that one.

Since we're doing a small "linky dinks", let's hear from Laura Overton at the National Sports Journalism Center.  She has quotes made by Joe Buck, who told the Los Angeles Daily News that Vin Scully should be a part of the World Series broadcast.


Jeff Pearlman Needs Help

Jeff Pearlman has finished laboring away on his new book, a biography of Walter Payton.  He is excited about it, and I hope to read it when it hits the shelves in October.  I also would like to have a talk show to promote it and interview Jeff.

Of course, I don't have a show right now, so I will simply post a little something here to help support the project.

The title of my post is somewhat misleading.  Jeff is asking for help to make a trailer for the book.  He made his own version, but he wants something a little more professional.  This is Jeff's attempt:

He asked that we spread the word about his request for assistance.  I'm doing my part.

John Sterling...NBA Voice

We've known John Sterling for 23 years now as the radio "voice" of the Yankees.  But he didn't always do just baseball.  Before joining the Bombers, he called Braves games, New Jersey Nets basketball, Islanders hockey (I'd still love to find audio of that), and Atlanta Hawks games.

So how about a little John on hoops, as Sterling calls this 1989 Hawks/Bulls matchup with none other than Walt "Clyde" Frazier.  This is magic stuff.

Here's John from yesterday, included in this report from the Associated Press.

Hating Jeter

I wrote a piece for the Next Music Blog about Derek Jeter, and the amazing hatred that surrounds him.


Saturday, July 09, 2011


(Number 3000 is on its way.  Photo by Suzy Allman for The New York Times)

The haters are hating. The fans are cheering. None of it matters.

Derek Jeter collected his 3000th Major League hit this afternoon with a solo home run in the third inning at Yankee Stadium. has the video. It came off of a 3-2 pitch from David Price - his 55th pitch of the day - and tied the game at one.

It also came at 2:00 Eastern Time.  A nice coincidence.

I was watching the game in my "man cave" location, but popped upstairs as the inning began to see it with Sean, who was watching some Nickelodeon show. We sat together, nervously, as Price threw pitch after pitch. Before the big moment, I said to Sean, "I believe the pitcher will give Jeter something to hit", meaning that Price wouldn't walk him. I believed in the Rays' willingness to challenge him and tip their caps if Jeter got 3000 against them.

Then it happened. Jeter got a slider and pulled it over the left center field fence. Michael Kay called it on YES (he overdid it a touch for my taste - give me the Great Scully) and I can only imagine how John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman exploded over on WCBS AM.

But no matter, Jeter became only the second player to reach 3000 via a home run, joining Wade Boggs, a former teammate of Jeter's, who hit a Ray (then Devil Rays).

Here in the 8-4-5, we celebrated. I shot up off the couch, knowing he got all of it. Sean jumped in my arms, exclaiming "he did it", just as he did when we were at Yankee Stadium when Jeter set the team record for hits in 2009. Priceless.

A quick search of my memory bank tells me that, only in its third year, the new Yankee Stadium now has its second greatest moment. Certainly winning the 2009 World Series there should be number one, but this has to be number two (and fittingly, given a certain uniform number).

Yet while the visions of this moment are fresh, how about the class of the Tampa Bay Rays? As an fan, I hate seeing things happen against my team. But there were the Rays, led by former Yankee Johnny Damon, stepping on the field to applaud Jeter. Some of the Rays tipped their caps as Jeter trotted by.

Friends, that's top shelf, especially from a division rival.

Other than the pontificating in the broadcast booths, the Yankees deserve credit for letting the moment play genuinely. In this era of over-bloated antics, this was a nice change.

You may dislike Jeter as a player. Fair enough. You may think he's overrated. I hear that all of the time. In some ways, at times, he is overrated because nobody can be as good as he is made out to be. But you would also be tremendously uninformed. You probably haven't watched him every day.  That's what it takes to recognize what he brings to the game.

The guy has 3000 hits. He's a certain Hall of Famer. This was a moment when baseball is at its best (unlike last night at Fenway Park...stay classy, Papi).

After we all had a moment (my mom also watched it, with her love of the Yankees dating back to my baseball-crazy grandfather), I turned to Sean and said "You want to be a ballplayer? You want a role model? There he is."

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I drove on "the 405" back in January. It's a major route, a north-south freeway on the west side of Los Angeles, most noted for being the "OJ route" of the Bronco chase in 1994.

Part of it is being closed for and entire weekend later this month. Potentially this is not good.

The New York Times has more.