Saturday, March 26, 2016

It Matters

I was looking at something a moment ago when I let out a big sigh.

It is well known that I sigh. A lot. Some of the sighs are exasperation of one form or another. Others are just a result of my breathing pattern.

This, indeed, was exasperation.

In the midst of video games, The Big Bang Theory, Vin Scully talk, dinner and other home activities, Sean paused to check on his old man.

Yes. He thinks I'm old. He reminds me of it frequently.

Sean: "Daddy? What was that sigh for? Are you OK?"

Me: "Yep" (as I sighed again).

Sean: "You don't sound it."

Me: "It doesn't matter."

Sean: "Yes it does. It always matters, and you sounded upset."

Me: "I'm fine. Just foolishness."

He's becoming a bit of a "teenager." Yep, it happens. But he still cares a great deal about his dad, and I'm thankful for that.

Holy cow. I love that kid.

And a Very Good Evening To You

Our friend Mr. Scully is beginning the swan song of 67 years of magic in the broadcast booth. The Dodgers can say they're not replacing him, and believe me, they can't. If they think what they've hired or have in mind or currently have on staff will suffice, they're nuts.

There are people (present company included) who will care about the Dodgers only because of Vin. Next year, they go right back to the being the hated Dodgers. Once a bum, always a bum indeed.

But for now, let's enjoy the approximately 87 games that the master will give us in 2016. He met the media yesterday for the first time in spring training before calling his first spring game. The gremlins at (or here at the Exit 55 Rest Area) won't allow me to embed the video.

Vin and Joe, circa 1984. Yes, I want those jackets. Photo courtesy Getty Images

Also worth watching is this wonderful tribute to Vin's Game of the Week partner, Joe Garagiola.  Here are Vin and Joe, calling a 1987 weeknight game on NBC as the Royals (and George Brett, again) beat the Yankees.

There was a reason why I hated George Brett. He devoured the Yankees.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

27 Years

My dad's picture book, ca. 1940

I had a post written this morning, and it somehow got deleted. I'm not going to try to repeat it. Somehow I feel like someone is saying to me, "Dude. Get over it."

My dad's been gone for 27 years.

I've written words and words and words. I still feel the loss everyday.

I looked at picture I posted of him and I this morning and said, "Was he real? Did he ever really exist?"

I don't know if that makes sense. I know he was real. I can still hear his voice and his laugh.

Anyway, so ends another St. Patrick's Day. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

An Update

A few minutes ago, I posted the update to a post called Award Winner, now renamed Award Winner (Not Really).

It was also referenced in this post.

Anyway, as I wrote in the award post, Susan and I were not the winners of the NENPA award for Multimedia, as we originally thought. Our colleagues Maureen, Jenny, and Mario were the winners and through a series of mistakes, I wound up going to Boston and accepting the award that I thought Susan and I had earned. They should have been the ones heading to Massachusetts instead of me.

I think I can still talk for Susan when I say we're both incredibly proud of our work. The crew that accompanied me on the broadcasts related to the 2015 Connecticut Girls Ice Hockey Championship game and subsequent interviews helped create memorable audio that was heard around the world. Susan was inspired by us to write a stunning editorial.

It would have been remarkable to share the award with a person whose work I greatly admire (I mean, read this - a gorgeous poem about loss - and get back to me).

The stars were the teams and coaches (Simsbury, East Catholic, Glastonbury, South Windsor). They showed the greatest grace of all.

Hopefully we called attention to what was a confusing situation in 2015.

That confusion rolled into 2016.

Incidentally, a worthy watch (since we're talking about girls ice hockey) is Anya Battaglino's appearance earlier this week on Nutmeg Sports. Pretty cool. A great reminder that athletes are athletes, regardless of gender.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Bud Collins

Dick Enberg and Bud Collins, 1982. Photo by Art Seitz/NBC/NBCU
The news broke yesterday that Bud Collins -- as strong a voice in the media as tennis has ever had -- died at the age of 86.

Ah, the memories of watching Breakfast at Wimbledon on NBC with Dick Enberg and Bud. Dick's "Oh my!" combined with Bud's encyclopedic knowledge, good guy rapport, and sense of humor (not to mention the trademark pans), made for some appointment TV through the 80s and 90s.

Tennis is weaker today. Certainly sadder. Oh the sport will be just fine, but something was lost for me. Heck, something was lost for me when Enberg and Collins split up.

I met Mr. Collins in the late 90s, when I was at Flushing Meadows. Yes, do not be fooled by the fact I was in the shadow of Shea Stadium. Heck, the Beatles played there, as did the Yankees in 1974 and 1975.

Anyway, I was there having won tickets to watch the Imus in the Morning show at the US Open. Bud, a frequent guest of the I-Man, was there with his wife, Anita. I was able to say hello to both of them at one point, as they left the court on which the show was being broadcast from. They were both very gracious and kind to spend the briefest of moments saying hello.

Truly, it was a passing thing.

Thanks, Bud. I hope more people read up on what an important man you were for sports, tennis, and media.

Last Game of the Season

Darien wins the Girls FCIAC Title last Saturday.
There comes a point where, no doubt, the crew is ready to say goodbye.

I'm usually not that person.

Later today, at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford, Greenwich will play St. Joseph for the FCAC Championship. As it currently stands, it will be my last hockey call for many months.

It struck me last night that, following Westhill's win over Danbury in the basketball final, I was done with hoops as well.

Oh sure, I know baseball is approaching (and isn't it fantastic?), and lacrosse, and much more, and before we know it, the cycle will go around again, but there is something sad about putting the notes away.

It's been a manic couple of months. Just like the manic couple before that. Yet it's a good manic. It feels a little more like there's a rhythm to it all now. Indeed, it's down to a science.

Admittedly, times have changed. That last football game of a season could spell the last game I'd call -- in ANY sport -- for months. So it's not like I'm walking away from everything in a few hours.

So what I'll do is what I always do. I'll call the game. I'll have fun doing it. I'll work with friends. We'll rock it all as a team.

Then a champion will be crowned. Hopefully people will tweet us and have a good time with it all.

Then I'll reflect. The odds that I'll be happy with the call? Slim, at best. It's just how I am.

I've come to know that there are some who want the broadcast for posterity. They'll want to hear that final call or big moment. I'm honored by that, but it's also a little intimidating. I've reached a point in my life where certain calls are quoted to me ("Eat a sandwich. Catch a touchdown.").

I appreciate it. I laugh at it. Yet I don't want to think about it. I don't want it to be rehearsed. The whole process needs to come off as natural and spontaneous.

One last frenetic hockey game for me later today. Two outstanding goalies: Nick Bozzuto (Greenwich) and Ryan Wilson (St. Joseph). A new champion will take its place (St. Joseph has never won, and Greenwich last won in 2009).

A few hours after that, Darien will play ETB for the girls state championship. Best of luck to both teams.

I'm rambling here. Just thinking about the end of the season.

Seasons change.

Friday, March 04, 2016

A Disappearing Post

A few weeks back, I posted some good news that I received in Boston. Within hours, I found out the news might not have been as good as initially reported. I thought about how to handle it here on the ol' bippity bobbity blog.

I took the post down, and put it back into "draft" status. Once I get further clarification, I will repost it - regardless of the outcome. At that time, I will also tell you "the rest of the story."

So if you saw it, and now see it's gone, well, yeah. Now you know.