Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sad Goodbye: 2012 Football

Austin Longi running for Greenwich.  Photo courtesy MSG Varsity (I'd add more info but the MSG Varsity website wouldn't allow me to access it).  Notice the WGCH banner in the background.

I drove to meet Ryan DeMaria yesterday afternoon in Danbury with a thought in my mind:

Is this the last football game I will ever broadcast on WGCH?  Is it the last game at all?

It's tenuous every year, of course, since we go year to year.  But this year feels more tenuous than ever.

I let the feeling go, met Ryan, and drove to Palmer Field in Middletown (thanks to Ryan for letting us use his car).  Chris Erway and Max Barefoot joined us there, and we prepared to call the Greenwich/Xavier state quarterfinal game.  I'll spare you the story of how we worked how to set up a phone line, only to be told TEN MINUTES INTO THE BROADCAST that we were using someone else's phone line, from the guy who was watching us set up for an hour!

The setup there was unlike anything I have ever experienced.  We were situated in the back row of the press box, behind the public address announcer and virtually everyone else.  Our choices were: 1) Go to the roof and freeze or 2) Sit in the back of the booth and stay warm.  Plus, we thought, we would have a hard phone line.  Sigh...not so much.  But our cell phone turned out to be good, so no worries.  We stayed warm - partially obscured by the fans and the building, which took parts of the field out of our view.*

* On a somewhat warmer night 12 years earlier, Sean Kilkelly and I did do a game from the roof of Palmer Field.  The view was better.

Look, I'm not going to get into a breakdown of the game.  Xavier took advantage of turnovers, and what we thought might have been a tired Greenwich team, coming off the Thanksgiving game.  It wasn't for lack of effort.  Xavier was the better team on this night.  Injuries didn't help, but that's not an excuse, because Xavier lost a key player in the second quarter.  Xavier won - plain and simple.  Greenwich had a chance to keep things close at the end of the first half, but Boston College-bound Tim Boyle found a wide open Kris Luster for a big score.  Even then, Greenwich had a shot to open the second half with a touchdown, but a very questionable fumble call gave the ball back to Xavier, and the Falcons took advantage.

As the third quarter came to an end, the Cardinals were trying to keep the Falcons out of the end zone again, when Boyle ran the ball into the end zone.  A late hit by Greenwich led to retaliation by a Xavier player, which led to a scuffle out of our view.  That, of course, was bad enough.  Police and coaches jumped in immediately to stop that, and of course, the striped shirts threw flags.

Nobody was tossed from the game.  Despite the hyperbole, for the most part, the on the field theatrics were over.

In the stands, well, it wasn't the proudest moment.

OK, let's start with Palmer Field itself.  It's a fascinating place, with a baseball field to the far corner of our view in the press box (in other words, the football press box is in right center field).  It's fun and charming in that regard.  But for reasons I'm not sure of, the VISITING (Greenwich) bench is right near the bleachers.  Xaviers' bench is on the opposite side, with no bleachers behind them.  Only the baseball field is at their backs.

As you can imagine, this means that BOTH sets of fans - home and away - are sitting on the same side, separated by a set of stairs.  So...

Xavier fans began to bark at Greenwich fans.  Greenwich fans barked back.  These are the adults, who are supposed to be, you know, the role models.  At one point, I spied a vehement argument between a female Xavier fan and a male Greenwich spectator.  They were fairly close together before the woman was pulled away.

Let's be clear.  I'm not accusing or defending anyone.  I'm telling you what I saw.  Now let's discuss what I heard:

- That Greenwich players were flipping off the Xavier fans (inexcusable, if true, but that speaks to the location of the GHS bench also).
- That Xavier fans - THE ADULTS - were throwing water at the Greenwich bench.  This one isn't hearsay.  I spoke with someone who got hit by it.
- Of course, the usual "class" discussion..."Greenwich is rich.  All about money."  "Xavier is tough.  Blue collar."  Please, people, find something original.

Mostly, in the end, it's much ado about nothing.  But...this shouldn't be happening in the stands.  Under any circumstances.  Things did die down, but a black eye was given to the night, and I'm only telling you the little bit that I heard and saw.  I guarantee there was more.

We finished the game and packed up and left.  Their was an air of sadness (maybe even bitterness) at the end of the broadcast.  It is always rough to say goodbye, and CJ, Deemer, Kato, Max, Killer, and the Captain gave it our best.

Hopefully there's more to come - hockey and basketball.  Spring sports after.  Then back to football.

I hope.

But this 2012 team gave us thrills.  Great captains.  Very good players.  People who became friends to us.  They deserved a different finish to the season, but that's not how the script goes.

I thank them all.  Players.  Coaches.  Families.  Fans.  Listeners.

I just wish it had ended differently.

A Couple of Jeff Pearlman Quickies

Jeff Pearlman, Mahopac High grad and well-known writer of multiple sports topics, has often been featured here.  I've interviewed him and exchanged quick notes here and there.  If you've read this blog long enough than you've seen me post many links to his blog.

I'm adding two more.

He often writes about Mahopac and, honestly, not always the most flattering stuff.  There's a certain whimsy in his posts, peppered with ruminations on our hometown being super-white, ultra-conservative, and even borderline anti-Semitic.  His experiences are different than mine but it should be noted that we grew up on two very different sides of town.  Beyond that, I'm 1) white, 2) grew up in a conservative house, and 3) not Jewish.  Therefore, it's easy to see that I probably didn't see or hear the things that he came across.  I probably wasn't as sensitive to it.  He has written of friends who had crosses burned on their properties and families who were asked to not move into the neighborhood due to color.  I never - NEVER - saw or heard any of that.  It sickens me to think of that.

OK, way off topic there, but still a fair opening to what Jeff wrote about in this piece, in which a Mahopac High grad asked if Jeff could write anything positive about the 'Pac.  He brings up Tom Gilchrist, a phys-ed teacher whose son was in my graduating class.  Which brings me to this picture...

Yes, that's little ol' me, dead center, at the 1987 Senior Prom in White Plains.  I still talk to Scott Wilson (the BIG hair), and occasionally to the former Rachel Rubin, who was my date.  Beyond that, the rest have disappeared, and that bothers me.
OK, I'm getting off-base again.  Back to Jeff Pearlman...

Jeff continues to hammer out "The Quaz", his interview with people that have varying degrees of fame.  Whether I've heard of the person, or even like the person, is irrelevant.  I find the "Quaz" to be fascinating, terrific stuff, and I have read every one of them.  Jeff recently interviewed Marty Appel, PR pro and Yankees historian.  Just as importantly, Marty has been on "The Press Box" a few times and was the guy who helped broker our interview with the wonderful Kay Murcer.  Marty's "Quaz" is great, and worth reading.

The Perfect Fit!

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a good friend (who is also looking for work).  He said he had found a job that he felt would be a great match for me.  He was right - I had each of the skills and requirements (and those that I didn't have were easily learned).  He worked with me to craft a great cover letter (arguably the best I've ever written) and touched up my resume to make it agreeable to the job in question.

It should have - at the very least - netted me an interview.

You probably know how this story played out. I got the brush off email.

My reaction?  Frustration?  No.  Disappointment?  Nah.  A philosophical shrug of the shoulders  You bet.

I'm used to this.  There have been too many jobs that I've looked into that have SCREAMED for me to pursue them.  "This job not only should be mine, but it WILL be mine!", I have thought.  In this case, I have inspiration from a great friend who stood behind me.  Through no real fault of our own, I got the heave-ho.


"Why" is not easy to answer.  The position (Assistant Sports Information Director for a well-known institution) would have been right in my wheelhouse.  Do stats.  Write.  Manage game sites.  Assist.  Do public relations.  Conduct interviews.  Help out with webcasting.  Anybody see anything there that I couldn't excel at?

Without looking too hard at my resume, one can see that I'm no kid, and Assistant SID's aren't usually 44-years-old.  I got my first full-time job before current college seniors were born.  Still, why not?  So it was worth a shot.  But really, the "why" can also be for reasons like there was already a strong internal candidate that the institution was going to hire, and only placed the ad due to Equal Opportunity requirements (aka the real-life "Rooney Rule").

There are a lot of reasons as to why one does not get a nibble on their resume.  There are so many job-seekers out there (despite what the government and media want to tell you).  Supply can not equal demand.  Yet the impression is left that there are jobs to be found.  Just Google it!  Lots of jobs await!

It's just not that easy.  I can only say "trust me" on this.

I've networked - aggressively.  I've blind emailed.  I've applied to things both in and out of my comfort zone.  I have friends who have asked friends.  I already told you about the SID position.  Ryan DeMaria is looking into private school teaching for me (don't need a teaching certificate).  Paul Silverfarb and Ken Borsuk are rooting around for writing (and so many of you have told me that this is the avenue I should pursue).  I have a well-placed friend shooting high for me in radio.  Another radio friend got me a great public address gig for a day (and they want me back).

The point of all of this is that this job market is still frustrating.  And bad.

But there's no point in lamenting the "perfect" job.  It happened.  Brush off the dirt and move on.

P.S.  I wrote this on Monday, and I put it on the shelf, which I rarely do.  I came back and edited it a few times, which I don't often do.  There was a funny, but harsh part to this that I took out.  Anyway, since then I've actually seen an uptick of things.  It doesn't mean the narrative has changed - the job market is still brutal and one still has to think "outside the box."  And that so-called perfect job thing is still annoying (especially to not net an interview). it goes.

Oh, and if you're looking for jobs, make sure to visit  I've done it for a while, and the fact that Chris Erway works there doesn't hurt.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


It doesn't look that bad outside of the Mahopac Man Cave (RA Photo)

Tonight's Greenwich/Xavier state quarterfinal football game has been postponed to tomorrow night.  Allow me to show you the forecast for the Middletown, CT area (where Xaiver is located), starting with today (courtesy of Weather Underground):

Overcast with snow, then snow and rain in the afternoon. High of 39F. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 80% with accumulations up to 1 in. possible.

OK, one inch.  And tonight (game time was 6:30)?

Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow and rain, then a chance of snow after midnight. Low of 27F. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of snow 80% with accumulations up to 1 in. possible.
I see.  So, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's ONE TO TWO INCHES, correct?  I mean, my math is good, but you know, the big numbers get me.

When I saw the forecast, silly ol' me, I figured Greenwich and Xavier would soldier on.  It's football!  In our online chat that the Playmakers and I have, Chris Erway questioned if the game would be postponed.  I'll be honest. I thought the question was ludicrous.  I even think CJ did as well, given he is a former Brien McMahon Senator captain.  He was a scholar athlete.  The dude is smart.

Then Paul Silverfarb began texting me.  Weston/Ellington-Somer had postponed...Newtown/Norwich Free Academy...the cancellations kept coming.  But damn it all, Staples/West Haven was staying true!  What's a little snow, and besides, the shoreline was just supposed to get rain.  It's football, and we play on in bad weather!

The Playmakers and I kept our collective fingers crossed.  Then Paul tweeted the sorry news that the game had been postponed. 

I tweeted "What a joke."

Hey, I get it.  Let's be cautious.  Let's play tomorrow.  Back the semis to Sunday. of this writing, not everyone is going along with postponing tonight (again, Staples/West Haven).  I just wonder about all this change when we are talking about one to two inches.  But I get the safety issue - 100%.  And I also get the fact that Ryan DeMaria, Max Barefoot and I would be driving on the hills of Interstate 84, traversing through Waterbury and Meriden on our way to Middletown.  There's an inherent risk.

Will the CIAC step in and force the postponement of the remaining games (there are six at this point)?

I've got another day to prepare.  I'll just move my parent-teacher conference again.  Reschedule dinner with my son.  Another day to wait for my new briefcase to show up from LL Bean.

So it goes.

All good.  Be safe.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hello From Florida (Again)

"The sea was angry that day, my friends.  Like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli." - George Costanza, Seinfeld.
I know, I know.  The last time I dared - had the NERVE - to blog away from Florida, I caught grief for it.  Well, I 'm doing it again!

I'm on the east coast this time - in Melbourne.  Lisa saw where she could take some time off, so she invited me to travel with her to Florida to meet her mother and father.  I know - THE PRESSURE!  Meet the Parents!  Aaaaarrrggghhhh!!!

No, I haven't been hooked up to a lie detector.  No.  Not really.

Lisa and I connected on Sunday morning and took an early flight out of Newburgh, NY.   Before we knew it, we were in Orlando.  My previous frustration with Jet Blue for their pricing policy* had faded because they really are a top-flight (duh) airline.

* In short, Lisa and I booked our tickets at the same time.  She paid $30 less than I did.  We expressed our frustration to Jet Blue, and they didn't even give us so much as a drink voucher.  Or a free movie.  Or a set of their freaking headphones.  Lesson learned.  Life goes on.

Lisa mother (Jo) and father (Roger) met us in Orlando and drove us to the east coast where, just feet from the Atlantic, I treated them to the culinary delight of a lifetime!
Tim Parry expressed his approval from Connecticut via Facebook.  Lisa, however, wasn't all that delighted.  Sigh...I guess the atmosphere of the Waffle House experience didn't cut it.  Me?  OK, it wasn't their best, but it's still the WH.

Besides, Tim, Jason Intrieri, and I are heading to "The Waff" in December on our way to the Reading Tent Sale.  Lisa, Paul Silverfarb, the Press Box Playmakers, and a cast of anyone is invited.

By the way, as a quick aside, my trip to Florida meant that I wouldn't be in Greenwich to call the 2012 GYFL Championships.  Chris Kaelin and Max Barefoot filled in ably.  I listened for a short while, and I was pleased.  They should be proud of their work.

This isn't going to be a trip of stories.  I don't expect to move much farther than Jo and Roger's house, other than walking across the street to the pool, or strolling the neighborhood.  There won't be adventures.  That's fine.  This is a trip to get acquainted and maybe even relax.

And write my 2012 Brunswick fall recaps for the Times of Brunswick.  And do program logs for WGCH.  Before I know it, we'll be right back in Orlando, and flying home to pick up Sean.  Soon it will be time for the 2012 FCIAC Football Championship game at Cardinal Stadium.

But I love me some Florida.  It's cloudy and only in the low 70's.  I don't care.  I'll take it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another View From the Press Box

I passed my most recent post, regarding the 50-point rule lunacy, onto my friend Paul Silverfarb at the Greenwich Post.  As I will be away beginning Sunday morning, Paul chose to use the article as my latest contribution to "A View From the Greenwich WGCH Press Box."

If time allows (or if I have wifi, or if I even bring my PC to Florida) I will check in next week with another edition.  If not, then this will serve nicely.

The 50-Point Rule Debate Explodes in Greenwich

What would he think?
I called a football game last night.  No, really, I did.  That's what my calendar said I was supposed to do.   Danbury at Greenwich, 7:00, Cardinal Stadium.  There was even a final score, as Greenwich won, 54-8.

So tell me why I feel like I was at a tea party?

Oh things were going just fine and dandy.  Greenwich sprinted away to a big lead, and was up 41-0 at halftime.  Taylor Olmstead returned an interception 97 yards to make it 48-0 with 9:03 to go in the third quarter.  That was the score at the end of three.

We all knew what was next.  The Cardinals wanted to pitch a shutout, but that they could not score again.  To win by over 50 points would mean that the Cardinals would have violated the idiotic 50-point rule (which is, in reality, and 51-point rule) and that head coach Rich Albonizio would be suspended for one game.  And, oh yeah, that one game would be the FCIAC Championship Game next Thursday at home against Staples.

Yes, I know that there is a review process, but still.  It's ludicrous.

Moving ahead, the Cardinals had brought in all of the backups.  They were mostly running the ball, save for an occasional pass play on a screen.  Then, suddenly, Nick Schepis, a junior running back, had 35 yards of daylight ahead of him.  He ran, scored, and celebrated with his teammates.  His first touchdown.  Then he looked at the scoreboard.


The Greenwich offense came back out for the conversion...and they took...a...knee.

In the booth, I began a meltdown.  And I knew - KNEW - what was coming next.  For the deficit to drop under 50, Greenwich would have to let the Hatters score.

They did.  On the kickoff the seat parted and Tysheen McCrea ran into the endzone.

Danbury head coach Dan Donovan had seen enough.  He yelled across to Albonizio, telling him to play the game.  He has incredible respect for the Cardinals' leader, and said that he would defend him against the rule.  Still who is to say that the CIAC would take his word for it?  The two coaches met at midfield in one of the more bizarre things I have ever seen.  While the conversation was apparently passionate, it was not heated.

At one point I thought the game would be stopped.

In the end, play resumed, but the spirit of the game (which is why the rule was created) was shot.  The CIAC had been embarrassed.  I don't fault anyone at Cardinal Stadium.  Not a soul.  I don't blame Schepis (how do you tell a kid to stop running?), Donovan, Albonizio, or anyone else.

Later on, I noticed a Cardinal player had a chance to make an interception and perhaps run it back for a touchdown.  For the love of Lombardi, that would be the highlight of any kids' football career.

The CIAC has taken that away.  The player let the ball hit the turf.

How is this good?  Google "50 point rule" and you'll find chapter-and-verse from writers who have long lamented this travesty.  So, tell me, who benefits?  Suddenly, a night in which Greenwich could trumpet their return to the FCIAC Championship and the state playoffs (first time since 2007) was marred by this.  Two coaches stuck in a bad spot.  Players being told to let the other team score.

Who wins?  How can it be defended?

It can't.  I know a caller reached Sean Kilkelly in the WGCH studio, wanting to debate it with me and I want to hear what the gentleman has to say, but I just don't get how this foolish rule can be supported.  It has made Connecticut a subject of ridicule since it was put into place.

Look at the scenario last night.  What if the coach across the way wasn't someone who respected and liked his opponent?  What if it was some hot head?  Who is to say what breaks out?  Coaches, administrators, parents - you know, the ADULTS - are supposed to be the role models.  Yet in this "Everybody Gets a Trophy" era, we continue to fret over large scoring deficits.

Is that an extreme example?  Sure.  But still, look at what happened.  The rule - the score - took away from the confirmation that the Cardinals will play Staples on Thanksgiving for the FCIAC Championship. It further took away that the Cards cemented their place in the Class LL playoffs for the first time since 2007.  The 50-point rule was all that people were talking about.

You want score control?  Put things back into the hands of the coaches.  Save for a couple of bad examples, the system worked fine.  Common sense was mostly exercised, and there are always going to be charges of running up the score.  I know the defenders will say that the number of blowouts have been whittled down since the rule went into effect, but at what cost?  At the charge of kids pulling up before scoring?  At playing at a different speed (which is a way for potential harm to the athletes)?  At allowing the other team to score and thus dumping on the sport itself?

Running clock needs to be emphasized.  Keep working in the JV players.  Run plays into the line.  Keep it simple.  No jet sweeps, trick plays, and so on.  Again, use common sense.

Get rid of this rule.  It only causes more harm than good.

WGCH will air the championship games in the GYFL on Sunday.  Chris Kaelin and Max Barefoot will have the call.  Chris, Max, Ryan DeMaria, and Chris Erway (in the power chair) will have Staples coach Marce Petroccio and Sean Patrick Bowley from the Connecticut Post on The Press Box, Monday night at 7:00.  I'll call in from Florida, where I'm going for a few days.

Of course, I'll be back on Thursday morning for Greenwich/Staples.  The pre-game show will begin at 9:40 AM.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The View From the WGCH Press Box

Here's my latest installment of "The View From the Greenwich WGCH Press Box" at the Greenwich Post.

The WGCH "Press Box" airs tonight at 7:00, and runs for two hours.  Good times for all!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Crazy Football Day

We all know what the past few weeks have been like.  Hurricane Sandy (Superstorm), a Nor'easter, and the recovery from all of it.
Many are still without power, and that is shameful.  Many have lost so much.

Sports, our great distraction, has come back.  Finally, the FCIAC played football, with Greenwich taking on Brien McMahon of Norwalk after numerous delays.

The Cardinals jumped out to an early lead and they just kept scoring, easily rolling to a 49-14 win.  Liam O'Neil threw three touchdowns to Joe Kelly in the victory.  O'Neil has been among the best quarterbacks in the FCIAC, throwing 13 touchdowns in three games.

Yet, this was just a small piece of the story.  Yes, the Cardinals needed to win to keep their hopes alive for an appearance in the state playoffs and the FCIAC Championship Game - which would be included as part of their season-ending, Thanksgiving Day showdown with Staples.  It is the only way that an outright championship would be awarded.  Otherwise, the title would be split between Staples and Trinity Catholic.

The Crusaders had last won the county championship in 1984, when their current coach, Pete Stokes, was their quarterback.  The team needed to beat Darien at home to keep their shot at a co-championship alive.

That's where we sort-of came in.  Ryan DeMaria and I met up and drove to McMahon, with me nursing a cold that had me off my game.  Max Barefoot, our intern, statistician, and extra booth voice, met us at McMahon.  Chris Erway and Chris Kaelin both showed up about 10 minutes into our pregame show, due to the multiple date changes.  Each had a commitment. Erway was especially interested in this game, being a McMahon grad.

As the Greenwich/McMahon game got underway, the Greenwich fans, gathered underneath our window in the booth, began asking for scores from the Trinity/Darien game.  Jason Intrieri was there, and he texted me information furiously.  Twitter was a strong source as well, with Darien Football, Dave Ruden and others tweeting away.

At first, I relayed scores by yelling out to Warren Bernstein, father of the Cardinal "Sherman Tank", Mark.  Then, I remembered that I had a wipe-off board, that I bought for a dollar at Target, intending to let others in the booth use it when they wanted to tell me something, as opposed to me reading lips.  I began watching Twitter (along with Chris Erway), calling the game, checking texts from Jason, and updating the fans on the wipe board.  Their cheers and groans were audible.

Fast-forward to the end of the Greenwich game.  I had hoped to stay on the air until the Trinity game was over, but due to a miscommunication, McMahon asked us to clear out of the press box (realizing later on that we could have stayed).  As we walked out of the booth, I chatted with McMahon AD Joe Madaffari about the game when I glanced again at my phone.  It seemed everyone wanted to know what was going on with the Trinity game.  They had played a crazy, sloppy, ugly, memorable game.  It see-sawed to the point that it was 20-20, with overtime seeming likely.  We thought about making a run to get to Trinity's Alumni field to see the end (no broadcast was covering it...ugh...), but then....Twitter gave the answer, followed by Jason.

I yelled out for Madaffari, CJ, and Max to hear.  Kato, Ryan, and others also heard the news.  Jason confirmed it further - the game was over.  Ryan suggested I jump on the air (as in, call the station).  My first call to Sean Kilkelly went unanswered, so I called Warren Bernstein, knowing he could pass the word.  The response from the Bernstein car was ecstatic, to say the least.  Sean, in the meantime, sent me a text, and I called him right back.  Within seconds, I was on the air to report the details (or at least what I knew).

This is Dave Ruden's story on the game.

The Cardinals and Wreckers had both won.  The Crusaders had lost.  Greenwich needs to beat Danbury on Thursday night.  Staples needs to do the same to Westhill.  So long as both of those things happen, it will be the Cardinals and Wreckers for all of the marbles on November 22nd at Cardinal Stadium.

This morning, I noticed a tweet from The Cardinal Crazies (I love seeing students getting so fired up at Greenwich!), letting me know how the football team reacted when they found out about Trinity Catholic losing.  This made my day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Snowed In...

I wasn't planning on this.  Yeah, I know - Nor'easter.  What was supposed to be 1-3 inches of snow on ground that wouldn't be cold enough to cover has turned to 4-8 inches (give or take, the numbers vary).

I'm in a Dunkin Donuts in Hopewell Jct, NY (or East Fishkill, or whatever).

The story has to start somewhere.  Let's got back a few hours.

With the storm a-coming, I checked the website for Sean's school to see if he had an early dismissal.  Tonight was our usual Wednesday dinner night, but I check anytime.  Just want to know what's going on with him.

So it turns out that his school was going to have a full day, but would have no after school activities.  So that meant no "aftercare", which is what kids go to after school.  They do their homework, have a snack, and play.  It's not my favorite way for him to go, but it does give him somebody to play with.  It's a reality of having parents who both work, or other circumstances.

I left home around 2:45 to get to him around 3:30.  That should have been enough time, even with some snow on the roads.  Streets near me were OK, and the Taconic Parkway wasn't bad as I started going north.

I entered the higher elevations on the Taconic, through Clarence Fahnestock State Park, and approached the exit for NY Route 301, when I saw the tail lights.  Sure, I thought, we have to slow down for the first of two hills - one that goes past the old ski slopes, and the other down past Hortontown Hill Road.  Initially, all went well...and then, as we prepared for the descent past Hortontown Hill Road,


I saw cars sliding off onto the side road (it meets the TSP at an at-grade crossing) before returning.  A snow plow passed me in the left lane, which at least gave those of us in the right lane some hope (that included me).  I jumped into the left lane and, though I was doing only about five MPH and my right foot was shaking, I moved along and was at Sean's school at 3:45.

Poor Sean.  He was waiting for me to show up, and the school office made him call me to find out just where the heck I was.  Fortunately, I had just pulled into the parking lot.  It, of course, begs the question: what if I couldn't get to him (or his mother, or anybody else, for that matter)?  I mean - it's a nor'easter.  Stuff happens.

As for his mother, Sandi was leaving her job near Pleasantville around 4:00.  Sean and I drove to a local pizza place, not too far from their house.  We stayed there until about 5:45, when we walked through the same plaza to a Dunkin Donuts.

It is now 8:00.  Sandi is still stuck on the TSP.  Sean and I are still in the Dunkin Donuts.

I still have more driving to do tonight.  At least writing this post has given me something to do, after I wrigged up some wireless connectivity thanks to my cell phone.

But we're listening to radio station K-104 (top 40) blasting away, which is fine.  It's upbeat, and I very nearly had my first radio job there over 20 years ago.  But...I've heard the same couple of songs about three times now (including some dreadful auto-tune thing).


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Rob the Vote

I just voted.  I drove a few minutes up Secor Road, stood on a short line with my mother in front of me, stepped to my little desk, marked my ballot, put it in the machine, and drove home.

Easy peezy lemon squeazy.

WHOM I voted for doesn't matter (it does, but not in regard to this post).  To be honest, I picked from both sides of the aisle.  With the exception of one year (and that still bothers me), I've voted in every annual election since just before my 19th birthday.  It's a right that I enjoy and utilize.

I don't care if you go to your polling place and write in "Snooki" for President.  Honestly, although there are inherent problems with that, it's your vote.  Simply go and vote.  It's not that hard.

Now, that being said, it's not that easy this year either, certainly in the metro NY area, with many thanks to Sandy.  Many polling places are dealing with the impact of the super storm.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that residents can vote anywhere this year, with restrictions, but the idea is to get people out to have their voice heard, at least at the state and national levels.

Once today is done, we can, thankfully, move on.  There is such a chasm that exists in our society, and it is sickening.  I will probably be on social media later today so that I can get a sense of the mood for my reports on WGCH tonight (8:00), but I think I would rather just disappear for the day.  As I've said before, what happened in 2008 made me bitter, against friends, the media, etc.  It was a bad day, in my mind.  The rhetoric was foolish, and I've seen some of that same stuff again.

I mean, to be honest, can't we just get along?  Really?

I hope whomever wins the big race puts us on the path to being a better society.  Emotionally.  Spiritually.  Financially.

The people will be heard from.  The commercials and phone calls will stop.

And we'll move forward.

Friday, November 02, 2012

It's All Fair

Criticism is a part of life.  In broadcasting, it's fair game.  As it is, I offer criticism here often - about stations, format, personalities, and more.

I expect it, and take it with a grain of salt.  I always consider it, and then decide if it 's worth addressing.

But if it's not correct, well, that's just not right.  And I'll call you out on it.

I just read a post from a Greenwich blogger (not posting or linking it here) that had a cutie little snarky nickname for what "WGCH" stands for.  In his criticism, he derided us for being off the air since Sunday, among other things.

Hmmm.  Unless I'm wrong, I recall being on the radio Monday night.  My neck hurt from sleeping on the floor.  I witnessed the rain and watched the trees bend in the wind.  Yep, I was there and we were on the air.  It was mighty real.

But, according to this critic, we were off. 

We were there, and the reviews have been quite positive.  I've received emails and heard from others about the job we did.  Not patting myself on the back; just stating the story, and defending ourselves.

Now, did we lose power?  Yes - at 10:30 Monday night, right around the time where we weren't sure what more there was to say.  We all wanted to be right back on the air each subsequent day.  But we were hardly the only station to lose power in the impacted storm area.  In fact, this post from Stop the Cap includes information from NorthEast Radio Watch that indicates just how widespread the damage was for the broadcasting business.

Again, criticism is fair game, and often warranted.

But make sure you know what you're talking about.

UPDATE: After an exchange with the blogger, an amendment has been made.  I appreciate his willingness to discuss this and recognize the error.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

John Iannuzzi For State Rep

This really isn't about politics.  Nope.  John Iannuzzi has been my friend for over a decade.  Last year, he ran for public office in Bridgeport, CT.  This year, he is running for State Representative in the 130th District.

This really isn't about politics for a couple of reasons, most notably, I don't live in Connecticut.  So...I can't vote for him.  Walking the fine line of being a reporter, it's not like I'm endorsing him ( know).

He's a Jets fan (meh).  He's a Yankees fan (my brotha!).  He was my colleague at WGCH, where he was a wonderful news reporter, and an even better political reporter.  That's where he should be, but we know the harsh realities of the biz and of life.  He also blogged about his frustrations over Hurricane Sandy, as he lives in the south end of Bridgeport, which got hit really hard.

I just got an email from him with a link to his TV ad.  It.  Is.  GREAT.  No bashing of his opponent.  Hell, no mention of his opponent.  Just - why is he running and and what he is standing on.  His presence, voice (he's a radio guy, like me), and personality all come across.  Add in his dog and his wonderful wife, Sonni Ann, and you have a fine commercial.

I guess, in closing, let me say that I'm Rob Adams, and I approve this message!

Greenwich Football News and Notes

Greenwich/Westhill, October 27, 2012
The first piece of news is that Greenwich will not play at Brien McMahon in Norwalk this Friday as originally planned.  That game, along with the rest of the games scheduled for this weekend, will be play next Thursday.  According to the CIAC website, the Cardinals will play the Senators on Thursday, November 8, at 6:00.

The Cardinals' following game with Danbury, originally scheduled for Friday, November 9th, will most likely be played on Tuesday, the 13th.  Just going with the what I've seen, I would guess the game time would be 6:00.  That is purely speculation.

Up the road, the Brunswick/Hopkins game has also been canceled.  No word of when they will make that up yet (or if they will).  We were scheduled to carry that game on WGCH.

The FCIAC has made their schedule changes with the intention of protecting the FCIAC Championship game (Sean Patrick Bowley).  If Trinity Catholic and Staples remains unbeaten, then the Crusaders and Wreckers will meet in Trumbull on Saturday, November 17 for the title.  If the Crusaders lose to either Darien or St. Joseph (their next two opponents), and both Greenwich and Staples remain unbeaten, then the Cardinals and Wreckers will tangle at Greenwich High School on Thanksgiving morning for the championship.

Of course, the debate is whether or not the conference should have canceled the championship game totally.  I know, from talking to players, winning the FCIAC means a lot.  Some have told me it means more than winning the state.  Yet it's a lot of football to be played in such a short window.  The alternate plan would have been for Trinity and Staples to be declared "co-champions" if that was the way it played out, or for Greenwich and Staples to play on Thanksgiving.  Then the games from this weekend could have been moved to the weekend of November 16-17.

My take?  I never like the idea of co-champions but, really, football isn't the first priority.  People have lost homes.  They have no power.  We love our sports - we need them as a release - but we have to keep our eye on reality.  But my opinion is irrelevant and the FCIAC has made their decision.  But a lot of coaches, players and fans are outraged.

I once played in a baseball league that scheduled our championship game for a Sunday.  It poured that day, and the game was canceled and never made up.  The trophy said "1985 Co-Champions" on it, part of a threepeat for us.  Still, I hate that co-champs thing.  But, again, priorities.

The bottom line is that I will show up and broadcast the games if I can.  Once can only hope that all power is back by then.

By the way, and this matters little, but three days later, I'm sincerely proud of the efforts that WGCH - and the community - put forward on Monday night.  We had calls from as far away as Cape Cod and the Virgin Islands.  Losing the power at 10:30 was so disappointing, since we had no way to get back on.  The Greenwich Time (Frank MacEachern) wrote about us.

My game story about Greenwich and Westhill is online (and soon, in print) at the Greenwich Post website.  I have to go get a copy of it.  I showed the last issue to Sean (you know, The Son) and he smiled with pride.  I like that.