Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Never Give Up

I heard this speech on Steven A Smith's radio show tonight. It's Jimmy V week around ESPN to raise money and awareness for The V Foundation.

I think if you can listen to or watch this speech with a heart that isn't jaded, and remove some of the negativity that is associated with Jim Valvano (or even if you can't - he was hardly a saint), you will find that this is one hell of an emotional speech.

He died less than two months after this speech.

Please. Make. It. Stop.

I love The Big Bang Theory. Absolutely funny stuff.

But holy ear candy, Batman! The theme song gets lodged in my brain every time I watch it. I'm guessing that's the charm of Barenaked Ladies, the performers of the little ditty.

I'm guessing that's their charm. You know, the "If I Had a Million Dollars" guys. Perhaps that charm would have worked for me if I had been, say, in college when they were popular.

And stoned.

I was neither.

Damn song.

I need a "Bazinga." Or 10.

A History of Highway Signs

File this one under "not for everyone", but I certainly enjoyed it.

On The Road Less Taken's website, we have part one of a history of road signs (here in the good ol' US of A). Just a nice little primer for why we see what we see on the road.

I loved the reference to the "Kodachrome" signs of Florida, which always stuck out to me when I was a kid. You can see a red US 19 sign, taken by me in Tarpon Springs, Florida in 1986 at the top of this post.


In a recent post, I made reference to an email I received that basically said "you suck" in so many words.

So when I read the comments of Kansas City Royals pre- and post-game host Robert Ford (whom I know in a very vague way via social media), I was pleased.

Robert's blog post is here. For me, the winning lines were these:
Some people in media respond regularly to negative things that are written about them online, but I don’t. Most of the time, I think it would be a waste of time to respond and I think jumping on every negative comment or blog post makes one look paranoid and hypersensitive, two adjectives I never want to be used to describe me.
That's exactly what others have said to me as well. There's still a part of me that wants to respond. What chafed at me about the email, besides it being just plain uninformed, was that it was not only an indictment of me, but it was also a shot at my team. I didn't appreciate that.

Then again, it's, you know, an opinion...

I appreciate Robert's take - the words of a pro.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The NBA? What's That?

Apparently, there's this thing called the National Basketball Association.

I think I've heard of it.

Still, this can't be the NBA of George Mikan, or Bob Cousy, right? Of Russell, Clyde, the Captain, Jerry West, Jordan, Magic, Bird, Ewing...

Oh you get the idea.

The NBA, if you haven't heard, recently resolved their labor dispute and will tip off on Christmas Day. The problem was, the silence was deafening. The NBA has been going through an image problem for years, and despite that, had a great season last year, including a "the bad guys lose" Finals in which the vaunted big three in Miami lost to the Mavericks.

Yet once the labor wars began, it was like nobody cared. Certainly the people that I've tried to get interested in the NBA made it quite known that they were overjoyed that NBA wasn't around, and didn't care if it ever came back.

Personally, give me basketball and the NBA over a lot of other things, but different strokes and all. Still, give me college hoops, but that's a whole different bucket of fish.

So the apathy is still apparent. I suspect there will be a little kick in interest right around Christmas, then it will fade until early February (that's when the NFL throws this big orgy of an event that apparently includes an actualy football game). After that, the NBA will have its chance to shine.

At the same time, hockey just shakes its collective head.

That's enough basketball for now. Back to "The Big Bang Theory."

Off-Site: Winter Classic Sweaters

I've begun writing for another outlet, Penton Media's Big Fat Marketing Blog.

Actually, it's about four months overdue for me to contribute, but hey, given that I'm in the midst of my lowest output here in double five land, nothing should be expected, right?

My first topic is the Winter Classic Sweaters, as the Rangers debuted their new look yesterday in Central Park.

I didn't reveal my opinion on them in the Big Fat Marketing Blog post, but I will here: Meh.

Simply put, they' I'm just not all that impressed by them. And since the Rangers want to sell more merchandise (come on, I know you're hearing Mel Brooks right now). Truthfully, that's the bottom line, and if the response from a fanbase is tepid (which I'm not saying it is), then they're not going to sell a lot.

As I alluded to in the post, the sweaters are outdated on January 3rd. It better be worth it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

GHS Football, 2011

Most of your WGCH Radio Team for 2011: Chris "Kato" Kaelin, Sean "Killer" Kilkelly, Nick "Fantana" Angotto, Rob "Captain Greenwich" Adams, Chris "Janitor Wingman" Erway, and Ryan "Deemer" DeMaria.  Photographed by Carrie, November 24, 2011.
Two-thousand and eleven is the year that I'd like to forget in broadcasting Greenwich High School football on WGCH.

At least it started out that way.

And came to a crashing end yesterday.

The Cardinals were a team of lesser expectations. They were coming off a 5-5 year in 2010, and while many expected them to be in the mix this year, not many saw them as an FCIAC finalist.

Yet it was there for the taking yesterday at Staples in Westport. Oh Lord, it was there. The Cardinals led 27-17 with eleven minutes to play. Then things went astray. The dream of the 13th conference title, and a trip to the state playoffs, died as the Wreckers rallied to win, 31-27.

That's sort of why we're writing this tonight.

I can't go into everything that happened this year. It just wouldn't be appropriate or professional. People and things had to be phased out in favor of others. Feelings got hurt. And I obsessed over it all.

Along the way, we encountered a snow storm like we've rarely seen during the season. Games got rescheduled and messed with our schedules. Guys who couldn't make games due to work, or other commitments. Without the help of Paul Silverfarb, I likely would have called Greenwich and Westhill following the snow storm on my own.

Oh, and then there was the email from a listener that asked for me to quit. The one that swore that it couldn't be the first one I've received (it was). The thing is, if you don't like me - fine. But give me specifics. Are we too glib? Read too many ads? Blame me for the technical issues? Don't like my voice or my cadence?

Hey, you're entitled to your opinion. Problem was: that email only made my resolve stronger to keep doing this for many more years.

And so it was that, come yesterday, the team assembled at Staples. Nick Angotto (our new studio operations guru) surprised us by showing up...something I never expected. I won't live down my reaction to that. Ever. We gathered for breakfast, Nick went to the studio, and we rocked out one great broadcast. Knowing that the future is never certain, I couldn't be prouder of the note this group went out on.

I think that's why, after all was done and Greenwich had lost, I was pretty sad as I finished on the air. Because in the end, I had a ball, and didn't want it to end. I was pleased, and wished we had more games to do. I wished I had more spots for the many people who want to work with us.

Scott Gentile did a great job in the studio (and on-site for a game). He got married, affording Nick Angotto the chance he wanted. Bob Small was our backup board-op and constant engineer. He always made sure we sounded as good as we could. Sean Kilkelly was the same guy I've worked with since 1999. Chris Erway kept me laughing and kept me solid, yelling over me when Shane Nastahowski climbed the ladder for the Cards' first TD. Something about it made me laugh.

Chris Kaelin was a rock, as always, speaking in his native "Kato" language, yet all the while calling for the booth space, and hunting for info. Ryan DeMaria, the new guy, brought tremendous knowledge and patience, while showing a great skill for keeping stats on his trusty computer.

Am I missing anyone? Well I think we all owe a certain something to the players, coaches, and families. To the people who always support us, wherever we might be. That includes our girlfriends, wives and kids. I know Carrie counseled me through many a brainstorming moment.

I've said it so many times. It's a labor of love. We aren't getting rich. We struggle in many ways to get on the air.

But these are the guys who I chose. They're the ones I want helping me for hockey (well, paging Mr. John Spang also). God forbid we ever get basketball back on. Or baseball.

Come next September, they're the ones I want to help me call Greenwich football in 2012.

I've Got It Bad...and I Like It!

I was just exchanging texts with a certain someone in New York City (well, Brooklyn to be exact) when she told me that I had forgotten to take something with me when I left her place.

Specifically, the yummy matzo ball soup that her aunt made for Thanksgiving yesterday. Hard to believe. Me. Picky. Likes it.

Now the chopped liver was good...but I only had a quick taste. I get points for trying that, no?

Anyway, I started to write back to the person in question that I had too much to carrie when I left.

Yes, that is a misspelling. I'm normally a good writer - I spell well, and my grammar is good.

I realized my mistake before I hit "send", but I laughed to myself.

Just a reminder that I might deeply like this person...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Richmond's Main Street Station

(Photo Courtesy Shorpy)

There is, over at the fascinating Shorpy photography site,this amazing photo (seen above) of the wonderful Main Street Station in Richmond, Virginia (that's R-Va, of course).

The station was the last true landmark before the billboards for South of the Border kicked in on I-95.  But...wait a tick.  The road isn't in this view, taken in 1905 (no duh).

I took a shot of it in 2009 from the opposite side of the tracks/highway:

They tried to put stores in there. Didn't work. Amtrak rolls through here. It's a train station - in all its grandeur.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

JoePa is Out

Every time I hear more about the story at Penn detail...I get further sick.


Ultimately, despite the fact that Joe Paterno is legally innocent, Penn State couldn't afford to let him continue to coach. I'm still in shock that those at the just-completed press conference sounded like they were members of the Paterno family. It was a rough night for those of us in the media.

Kids were hurt. Badly. Lives were destroyed. And those in State College are outraged that their old Joe Paterno won't be allowed to coach again? The level of failure rolls so far down on this thing. Of course Penn State needed to clean house.

But let's not forget that this is more about Jerry Sandusky before its about Joe Paterno. It's also about the victims.

This whole situation is bad, folks.

Honestly, I have nothing further to add.