Sunday, December 31, 2017

STOP! It's the 55th Post!

2011
OK, the most recent post was supposed to be it!

But the name of this blog is "Exit 55," and we published 54 posts in 2018.

No, that will NOT due!

I have a couple of things that I've never posted. But they're staying in the drafts folder.

For now.

Yes, I know, I once posted well over 400 posts in a year, but that was then.

I can't walk away on 54. Oh sure, 54 was Goose Gossage and Brian Urlacher.

And Car 54, Where Are You?

But we're might fond of 55 around here.

We HAVE driven 55. NY Route 55, to be exact (as in the above photo).

I'm babbling, of course. It's fair to call this a nonsensical post.

But it meant something to me to end on the fifty-fifth post.

OK, now we're done.

Goodnight.

Onto '18

We could use a time machine. The TARDIS will do nicely (plus Peter Capaldi works his way into this post).
I feel like I have more to write tonight.

I probably should.

I will remember 2017. We can look back at all of the bad, but no. Take those as lessons.

Challenges.

Memories.

Inspiration.

But to "keep moving forward," we need to move on.

So let's look at the positive.

We're still here. That's one thing.

I have the best son. I'm crazy proud of him.

We only traveled twice in '17 -- both times to North Carolina, and both within the span of under a month. But it's still twice more than not traveling at all.

I only called 69 games in 2017, but you know what? I had a blast on each game. Sometimes it's not about quantity. I surrounded myself with the best collection of colleagues who are also friends. Chris, Kato, Jake, Dan, Shawn, AJ, Paul, Josh, Ian, Mick. Thank you, all.

I stuck my toe back into college basketball again, and can say I've called Div. I, III, and now II. Plus I survived the snowstorm that day and night, and made it home alive.

I was invited back to call Renegades games. I never thought that would happen.

I've created new relationships, including Fairfield Prep, and furthered my relationship with Brunswick. Plus Babe Ruth Baseball.

The Clubhouse. Mark and Dave.

And Greenwich High football gave us thrills galore. They were really just two points shy (even if the final tally was nine).

My family is my family. We're all still here also.

I have an amazing collection of friends. I can't list them all. They know who they are.

There are people who have my back. I know that.

I also see the truth, and remain truthful to myself. Integrity means something, and that's meant to to be obnoxious. It's one of many virtues that I treasure.

What I'm saying is that there are myriad positives. Let's focus on that.

We'll muddle through the rest of it.

So let's get going with 2018 already.

Incidentally, the Yankees have known great success in years ending in "8." As in 1928, 1938, 1958, 1978, and 1998.

Tonight, I watched Peter Capaldi depart Doctor Who. I waited almost a week, so I could watch it with Sean. Sadly, I knew a few of the surprises. No matter. The experience was wonderful.

Now, Jodie Whittaker, go make the 13th Doctor great. We'll be watching.


The Winter Classic is tomorrow in Queens. That means the Rangers, and Doc Emrick. Perfect.

I'm hopeful for the future, though it's not like life will immediately get easier as soon as we hit midnight.

I'm nervous -- very much so -- that I'm feeling hopeful. But I'll adjust. I love those who survive.

Then thrive.

I'd like to think maybe I'm one after all.

It's all going to take time, and I have to remind myself of that very thing. I can't let a hiccup throw the whole thing off course.

"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'" --Alfred Lord Tennyson

I wish you all peace and health tonight, tomorrow, and the day after.

And so on.

You don't need a flip of the calendar to do so. Do it now.

Imagine that, indeed.

We know tonight is overrated.

What 2018 will be is unknown.

Let's start finding out.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

After Opening Night


Game number one at Fairfield Prep is in the books.

For us, I thought it was a good night overall. I have to learn the players more. Learn Coach Leo Redgate a little more. Understand the SCC better as well.

All in time. I was once a Greenwich/FCIAC rookie.

The biggest blunder of the night was the attempt to the put the game on YouTube. I must have messed up an audio setting, so that was what was heard was the mic on my computer, and not the headsets through the mixer.

However, YouTube was an experiment, and not mean to be heard. So I'll have to change a few settings and we can try that again. The actual game broadcast was on Mixlr, and that's where it will stay for now.

Shawn Sailer and I were in Alumni Hall a little after 3pm to start setup. With an ethernet line secured and our equipment ready at courtside, all we needed was a game.

And a broadcast partner. Jake Zimmer joined us and we were good to go.
Shawn Sailer, Jake Zimmer, and some other guy.
Around 6:55, I launched our new "Robcasting Radio Sign On." As you might know, I'm a big fan of paying homage to classic radio, and that's what this opener is. It features Network ID's from Mutual, CBS, ABC, and NBC.

Each one, in fact, dates to sometime between the 1930s and 1950s, with the Mutual one coming from VJ Day in August, 1945.



Before the game, I got to formally meet Prep AD Tom Curran, head coach Leo Redgate, and "co-head contact" Eric Scholl (fellow "co-head contact" Eric Wuchiski couldn't be there, so that meant we had at least one listener!).


From there, it was basketball time. Career got the win, and Prep is undeterred. It's a young team, but they'll figure it out.

Oh and I was given swag! Now, don't be offended Greenwich, but...

Yes, I know. The sweatshirt is big, and we'll resolve that after the holidays, but I'm so grateful to Eric Scholl for the gifts, and to everyone for making us feel at home at (probably) my favorite place to call basketball.

I'm also grateful for the time to chat with Coach Redgate and company after the game.

This (with Brunswick, Greenwich, and our "Have Headset. Will Travel" mantra) could be everything I've always wanted. Only time will tell (Asia, 1982).

Last thing: I've discovered a new place to archive games. Check out Mixcloud. I'm able to send the game from Mixlr onto the Mixcloud server as soon as we're off the air, so that's a win for everyone. I'll still keep the Archive.org page, but we're all about ease of us and cost here at Robcasting Headquarters.

Here's last night's game:



We're back at it Wednesday and Thursday nights for the Holiday Classic. The first game is at 6pm with the nightcap at 8pm.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Dick Enberg (1935-2017)

From left: Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen, 1988
I woke up to the news that we lost one of our pillars of sports broadcasting.

One of my heroes in this business.

Dick Enberg has died at 82.

Oh, my indeed.

Over a nearly 60-year career, Enberg (who held a doctorate in health sciences) truly "touched 'em all" (paraphrasing one of his catch phrases).

He called eight Super Bowls, and would have called a ninth, but ceded the job to outgoing Curt Gowdy in Super Bowl XIII. Enberg chose to anchor the pre-game show instead, allowing Gowdy one last call on NBC.

It was with the Peacock Network where Enberg would make his name nationally, but prior to that, he was renowned in Los Angeles for his coverage of UCLA, as well as the Angels and Rams.

It was Enberg who called the UCLA/Houston "Game of the Century" to a national audience in 1968. That was the first time a regular season college basketball game was seen across the country.

He hosted a couple of game shows, as well as Sports Challenge, a trivia show that brought out some of the most famous athletes ever. Imagine the likes of Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio on a game show? You didn't have to. They were on Sports Challenge.

Upon his move to NBC in 1975, Enberg became among the most familiar voices in the business. The Renaissance Man truly did it all. The eight Super Bowls. The 1982 World Series. The Rose Bowl. Wimbledon (which he and Bud Collins made into appointment TV with Breakfast at Wimbledon). The French Open. The Breeders' Cup. Boxing. The US Open (and, later, The Masters on CBS). The Olympics. The NBA. College basketball.

He was absolute brilliance with Billy Packer and Al McGuire on college hoops, including the famed Magic/Bird National Championship of 1979. Here they are in 1981, calling Notre Dame/Virginia.



He even a couple of Canadian Football League Games during the 1982 NFL strike.

Here's Dr. Enberg, chatting with another broadcaster named Scully. The two retired in 2016.



For me, Enberg will always be the NFL. He'll always be a Sunday afternoon with the great Merlin Olsen -- my favorite NFL broadcasting duo. It was a big event when Dick Enberg was on, and he and Olsen were the perfect combination of broadcasting finesse.

Here are the two opening a 1988 AFC Divisional Playoff Game.


There are so many standout moments, and others will hit me as the day goes on, but here's a classic: John Elway and the Broncos on "The Drive" in 1987.



He had just started doing a podcast, and tweeted this yesterday:
Oh yeah, and he was one of the broadcasters in The Naked Gun (with Mel Allen, of course).


The only way to finish this is to present you with his most famous phrase of all. Thank you, Dick Enberg, for everything. Oh, my.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Other Doors Open


So about that picture.

When the Greenwich Cardinals football team finished off their regular season as the top team in Class LL on Thanksgiving, I found myself wondering who Big Red would play in the first round of the state playoffs.

It turned out the Jesuits of Fairfield Prep were the answer.

I remembered that their football team had a good twitter presence, so as Thanksgiving Day moved along, I sent this tweet:

Their response was, well, glorious
Greenwich went on to beat Prep, but I guess that Chris Erway and I -- along with Ian Barto and Shawn Sailer (and Sean Kilkelly) -- put together what sounded like a professional broadcast on WGCH.

You know. The A-Team (which isn't meant to be as obnoxious as it comes off, and is a tongue-in-cheek thing, but let's not let that stand in the way).

And so it went from there. But there was something else building. They liked me.

No, they really liked me!
Honestly, who doesn't like Sally Field?
So my new friends -- with Eric Scholl leading the way -- began casually chatting with me about other things that I cover.

Hmmm...have headset will travel, anyone?

A few days later, as I battled traffic through Greenwich/Rye Brook/Harrison/Port Chester, I saw this tweet in response to a tweet of mine:


So what's next? Well, that's where the picture at the top of the post comes in. In addition to my WGCH duties and calling games at Brunswick, I've been invited to try my hand at calling Fairfield Prep basketball.

Helloooooo, SCC!

You see, here's the thing. I've given Greenwich largely 20 years of my life. I've loved it. I've called basically everything in town. Football, basketball, hockey, baseball, softball, etc. Plus some other stuff during my time at HAN.

But there are realities, and times that you have to watch out for opportunities.

And times when you just sort of like being wanted.

Brunswick has certainly made me feel great there, and I've loved the relationship I've built with them. They'll certainly keep me busy.

WGCH is talking about putting a package together and getting games back on the air with more consistency.

And Fairfield Prep said, "We'd love to have you."

And John Dailey -- the head basketball coach at Fairfield Ludlowe (and my friend) has always opened the door to me. So we'll see what we can do there (knowing that HAN has first dibs on anything there).

Lastly, with a quick chat, Webster Bank Arena wants me to call their Martin Luther King Holiday Tournament.

In short, I'm a free agent. I'm a guy who loves calling games.

It's a nerve-wracking and exciting time. I can't let the past months bog me down. 2017? It's been a rough year. I've made mistakes and been misunderstood and have made more enemies than I ever knew. I'm still not sure why I did.

But let's not. Let's see the good, and keep moving forward.

This is also about people who believe. Maybe even believe in me. So it's about Shawn Sailer and Jake Zimmer and AJ Szymanowski and Dan Gardella and Chris Erway and Chris Kaelin and Paul Silverfarb and Josh Somma and others.

I mean, this tweet from Chris Erway stunned me, after Fairfield Prep head coach Leo Redgate announced that I would be calling as many Jesuit basketball games as I can get to.



No. I didn't have to pay him to say that. I didn't ask him either.

And he does way too much good for me. Currently, I can only repay by being a good friend.

One day, I hope I can do better than that.

So this is what's happening: I'm going to call Fairfield Prep basketball. As of now, I'm calling all of the home games, except for one. I'm going to handle their four-game Holiday Tournament next week, and will try for a few road games.

We're hoping there is a lot more. My calendar (and my life) is wide open to opportunities.

Which reminds me -- John Nash! We still have to talk about GFA!

There was once a time where my concern was about coverage for Sean. But Sean's nearly 16.

As for Greenwich? No, I'm not done there. I'm still planning on Doubleheader and any games we can get on WGCH. Plus Brunswick plays a huge part in things as well.

But this was also a solid reminder. For me, anyway. A reminder to go where you're wanted.

It's time to make this jump. The "Robcasting Radio" widget is on the right side of the page here on the blog-o-matic. This is the link: http://mixlr.com/robcasting-radio/ (Please note: I might also create a YouTube channel...or migrate to YouTube. You know what we say in broadcasting: STAY TUNED!)

To start off, this will be radio. There is hope for video down the line, and we'll see if we keep the radio link alive. My guess is that we will because I'll always believe in that. It's the purest form of calling a game, and the easiest setup (headset, mixer, computer, wifi...GO!)

Game one is Friday night at 7pm, when Career Magnet of New Haven comes to Alumni Hall. Jake and I will be there.

I'll likely be sleeping on my sister's couch a lot. Or an air mattress.

What is Robcasting? (And Some Really Cool Logos)


Oh yeah, that's really freaking cool.

I know. "Robcasting" sounds obnoxious.

Narcissistic.

There's a story behind it, and hopefully I don't need to explain it forever.

Somewhere along the line (2014 is my guess), my friend and former coworker Kaitlin Bradshaw (with an assist from the newly-married Kait Shea Vumback) said the term "Robcasting" came to her in regard to what I had started at Hersam Acorn in late 2013.

To her, I was the lone broadcaster in the company, trying to teach (mostly) everyone else. Not to say there weren't those that knew how to do it, and there were plenty who were immediately savvy, but Kaitlin saw it as me leading the charge.

Thus, Robcasting.

I liked it. I laughed at it. I used it as a hashtag. But as time went on, and I thought about starting a podcast* or my own internet feed, friends began to push for the Robcasting moniker.

I didn't want to use it.

I fought it. They won.

*Incidentally, there is a Robcast, and it's not hosted by me.

Since then, people that I know who get the concept of marketing and branding have told me they love it.

I still resisted. They told me I was nuts, and to use it.

Initially, what had been Greenwich Sentinel Radio evolved into Robcasting. In short, it was my baby, and mine alone.

So OK. Robcasting it is.

While sitting at Trumbull High School in July, calling the 2017 Babe Ruth Regional Tournament (and hopefully more of that is coming in 2018), my great friend AJ Szymanowski emailed me the above logo.

Totally out of the blue.

We (me, Jake Zimmer, Dan Gardella, and Shawn Sailer) saw it in the booth and were blown away.

Then, the other day, I was working on getting ready for upcoming games, when I decided it was time for "Robcasting Radio" on Twitter. I told AJ that I was looking for ideas for an avatar.

"Hold on," he said.

Bang.
Oh yes. Yes that will do quite nicely.

It made its debut Monday night on http://mixlr.com/robcasting-radio/ and is now the logo on our Twitter feed.

It's awesome. Thanks, AJ, Kaitlin, Kait, and everyone else.

Last thing, and I don't want to forget this. WGCH is a supportive partner in this endeavor. They've allowed me to use equipment, wifi, and would even host the widget on their page if they could. We've often talked about a "WGCH 2" webstream. This is sort of that.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Voices Change (He's Grown Up)


On Friday, I was asked by WGCH to record a new version of my holiday greeting. You often hear them on radio stations, as in this:

"Hi this is Seymour Butts, General Manager of Wacky Radio, and I hope you have a Happy Festivus..."

You get the idea.

Anyway, I was asked to do one back in 2008, and I decided to enlist Sean to help me. We were able to do a 10 second liner that ran for years.

Well, as I said, I was asked for a new version on Friday. So Sean and I obliged.

Listen below to the two versions, and hear exactly how much Sean's voice has changed in nine years.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Seasons Change


It's the little things sometimes.

With the Yankees' loss to the Astros last night, I knew it was time for the change of flags.

It used to be a thing for Sean and I. Every March and October (roughly), we'd head to the flag holder, make the change, and then actually recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Normally it would end with a "Go Yankees" and "Go Steelers."

I know. You had to be there to get it.

I just did the change of the flags myself, and made this little video. It all came off my phone, and I know I shot it vertically. Scorsese, I am not.

Anyway, small stuff. Dumb to you, perhaps.

Meaningful to me.

Time marches on.

It's Not What You Want (#INWYW)

Aaron Judge will provide plenty of thrills in 2018. (TROY TAORMINA/USA TODAY SPORTS)
I could have written this post in 1976.

Or 1980.

Or 1981.

I certainly could have written it in 1995.

Yes, 1997 also, as well as 2001 (ugh), 2002, 2003, 2004 (let's not talk about it), 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015...

and now.

That's just the Yankees' history (in my lifetime) of playoff losses, flameouts, and heartbreaks. We could talk about other teams, but this will do.

There were limited expectations for the "rebuilding" Baby Bombers. Maybe they'd win 85 games. They'd contend for the Wild Card, but fade. They wouldn't go to within one game of the World Series.

Sports hurts. This hurts.

The other day, I was asked if I would be content to see the Yankees make it to Game 7 of the ALCS. Would I be able to absorb it if they lost to the Houston Astros?

I knew the answer. The answer was confirmed moments ago.

No.

We put our souls into sports. We live and die with the teams that we choose. Oh I don't mean the team that looked sort of cool so let's see how they do in the World Series and forget they ever existed the next year.

I mean the team you fall for and never leave. The one who leaves you in tears. They one whose gear you wear and cards you collect.

No, I'm not fine with the Yankees losing in Game 7, as if it's all good since there were no expectations for the 2017 Bombers.

I'm not "just happy to get there."

I'm the type of fan who prefers to be blown out. Down big early in Game 7 in 2004, the stress was reduced. Down 4-0 in the middle innings tonight, I chatted with friends online.

Yet with the final out, ugh. Just ugh.

We don't play for the team. We don't earn the money. In fact, we pay it.

Yet it still hurts.

This team thrilled us. Aaron Judge will likely come in second for the MVP, but will run away with the Rookie the Year. Anyone remember when Andrew Benintendi was going to win ROY? That was cute, wasn't it?

The Yankees went to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. They were one of the final four standing in baseball.

But despite that moral victory garbage, the truth is it was still five wins short of the mission.

That's what we've been taught since the first time we glanced at the pinstripes. Making it isn't enough.

Winning it all is the goal. To be honest, I feel that way about each of the teams I root for.

I'm not the type of fan who felt good that the Rangers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2014. No -- I wanted the Cup. The two Steelers Super Bowl losses (both of which I expected)? Bad.

I can't even deal with the Knicks.

So while I was prepared to deal with a Yankees loss tonight (and predicted it), I still found myself fairly glum when it was all over.

Sports will do that to us. It will hurt like a punch to the gut, and we'll question why we do this to ourselves, and sometimes even wish that our teams don't make the playoffs (it's just easier, though not realistic).

Then the eternal optimism takes over on Opening Day.

But tonight? No.

It stinks.

Yankees fans know heartbreak. Of all of the losses listed above, 1995 and 2001 (OK, and '04) stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Sleep will be lost.

And life will go on.

For the record, I will watch the World Series. I've seen them all since 1975 (some more, some less). I always watch. I'm a sports reporter and a sports fan.

I'll watch.

(Note on the title: Joe Girardi says "It's not what you want" a lot. This loss isn't his fault. He's a wonderful manager.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Donut



I find that staying occupied during stressful sports events that I'm not broadcasting is the best way to handle things. The Yankees lead the Astros 4-0 in Game 5 of the ALCS. So have a blog post.

*****
I got a strange text today from Sean. He said he wanted a Krispy Kreme donut (apparently they have them at school).

Ironically, the nearest Krispy Kreme shop is in lower Manhattan (basically, it's a stand in Penn Station), or the full shop at Mohegan Sun -- 120 miles away.

"I have no money," he texted. "This is torture!"

Sigh. Well, OK. I told him I understood his pain but that there was virtually nothing I could do.

Still it was nice to hear from his at 10:52 in the morning. It was unusual, but I carried on with my day.

Later on while sitting at WGCH, my phone rang. It was Sean. He left me a message in which he said that he missed the bus and that I was "his last hope."

I don't care if he's 15 or 50. When your child needs help and you can't help, it hurts. It doesn't really matter why.

The reality was that I couldn't get to him for at least an hour (probably more, since I had two shows to cover), so I suggested his grandmother (my mom).

If mom couldn't help, well then it would be quite some time that he'd be sitting at school, and apparently he can't just get on a late bus if he missed his actual bus (OK, whatever).

Bingo. She picked him up.

"The reason I missed the bus is ironic," he texted me.

"I missed the bus because I stood on line to buy a box of donuts."

Later, he texted me to say that he was home (thanks to Granny). But there was more.

"I sent you a present."

Yep. A donut.

Sean looks out for his dad, just as I try to look out for him, and always be receptive to whatever is going on.

When he texts or calls, I respond.

Sometimes we need to count whatever blessings we have. We often need to see the positive, while being realistic.

I know I need to do that.

A donut -- a small gesture -- allows for some perspective.

Back to the Yankees.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Anatomy of a Blown Call

The banner I went and retrieved in the dark after Saturday's game
I messed up a call on Saturday.

The most pivotal moment in the most pivotal game of this (possibly) special Greenwich football season, and I called the wrong name.

The Cardinals led the New Canaan Rams 29-21 late in the fourth quarter at Cardinal Stadium.

The Rams, if you don't know, are coached by Lou Marinelli. Lou is the winningest coach in Connecticut history.

The Cardinals are coached by John Marinelli. Lou's son.

This was the third time the two had met, although for me, that whole "Marinelli Bowl" thing was in the past. I'd had enough of it after the first meeting (2015). The Rams won the first two Lou/John showdowns.

This time, the Cardinals built up a 22-0 lead on the strength of their outstanding junior quarterback, Gavin Muir, and his collection of excellent receivers. Senior Jael Negron had snagged two touchdowns as Greenwich extended the lead to 29-14 with 10:27 to go.

Tysen Comizio, the Cardinals bruising back, had done his part, though the stat sheet wouldn't show it. He rumbled for 72 yards on 16 carries.

The Rams were led by their super sophomore quarterback, Drew Pyne, who threw for 280 yards, and running back Owen Shinn, who ran for 123 yards.

Pyne got the Rams close again with 2:08 to go on a quick drive that resulted in a JR Moore touchdown. It was now 29-21, and the Cardinals were looking to run out the clock. New Canaan, of course, had other ideas.

Up in the booth, Chris Erway and I were on the play-by-play. Ian Barto and Chris Kaelin were patrolling the sidelines. Sean Kilkelly was in the studio. It was the most complete broadcast we've had on WGCH in some time.

I'm proud of the whole thing.

But oh God. I blew it, and I'm not afraid to say so.

The ball was at the Greenwich 28 yard line.



This is where having a great partner makes all the difference.

Clearly, Comizio, as I said (three times) did NOT run down the left sideline. Muir took the snap and faked a handoff to Comizio. Tysen did his part -- running to his right, towards the line -- while Gavin escaped to the left.

The fake worked. On me.

Chris Erway pointed to Muir. No panic. No tapping my shoulder. Just a point. I quickly picked Muir up on the sideline, but sadly my brain and mouth didn't work in concert. I kept saying "Comizio."

It's otherwise an OK call. Exciting and, as always, I wish there was more. More detail and, in this case, more accuracy.

Chris, without missing a beat, waited for the crowd to subside a bit before jumping in. He didn't got for the embarrassment. He instead said "And Gavin Muir! We talked about the read option the entire time..."

I screwed up. He let it go, didn't embarrass me, and carried on.

The Cardinals went on to win 36-21 (this is my story on the Greenwich Sentinel).

When I cut the highlights up later, I was mortified, but grateful.

As I'm often told, I'm way too hard on myself. So it goes.

All I can do is acknowledge it and move on. So I will.

Westhill comes to Greenwich Saturday at 3pm, and the game will be live on WGCH (and wgch.com).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Harvey

Him. That's all.
We've had just about enough of Harvey in 2017.

First we had the hurricane that took over 70 lives and roughly $70 billion in damage.

Now we have a different kind of storm.

Harvey Weinstein was -- yes, was -- one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood. With his film company, Miramax, Weinstein became perhaps the most aggressive person in the business, actively shilling for his films to receive award consideration.

Especially the Academy Awards.

It worked, most notably with Shakespeare in Love, a film that, years later, some critics have said doesn't stand up in terms of the awards. Let's look at the nominees from 1998 for Best Picture:

Shakespeare in Love
Elizabeth
Life is Beautiful
Saving Private Ryan
The Thin Red Line
Short answer: Shakespeare in Love might rank fifth in that list.

The film also garnered a Best Actress nod for Gwyneth Paltrow, who consciously coupled herself to the statuette, winning over the likes of Cate Blanchett, who was a tour de force in Elizabeth.

In short, Harvey was celebrated as being "The Man," despite all kinds of rumors that he was one of the biggest jerks in Hollywood.

In the past week, Weinstein joined the ranks of Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O'Reilly, and -- yes -- Presidents William J. Clinton and Donald J. Trump. Not for what they've done in their respective industries, but for being a pervert.

The charges -- which are numerous -- include lurid tales of him pressuring women into sexual encounters.

All in the name of their careers.

You know these actresses: Mira Sorvino, Paltrow, Angelina Jolie. They each have (finally) spoken out about various forms of harassment.

Then there are the stories (The New Yorker). Not only of harassment, but of rape.

Rape.

In any form, there's no good way to say that.

Nobody should be harassed to keep a career alive. Nobody should be harassed. Period.
So we know what Harvey is, and he's now paying a price, but there are those so complicit in their silence.

Meryl Streep, for instance. She -- among the most powerful people in Hollywood, let alone women -- said in a statement to HuffPost: "One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew."

Not everyone knew about Santa Claus either, Meryl. Come on.

There were whispers all over Hollywood that he was a scumbag. 

There was (apparently) a story in the works in 2004 about Weinstein's behavior by Sharon Waxman. Matt Damon -- so the rumor goes -- worked behind the scenes to have it whacked. Damon has denied the charges (Deadline.com).

Incidentally, has the glass ceiling sealed back up, or is Hillary Clinton walking her dog in the woods of Chappaqua, NY? Why did it take her until today to comment (CNN) -- five days AFTER the story broke?

Shameful.

To the point: Where was anyone on this? Paltrow -- from a showbiz family -- says "she was a kid," when it happened. Brad Pitt (her then-boyfriend) threatened Harvey in 1995 (People). But Paltrow won her Oscar a few years later. At that point, she was loaded with power.

And she did nothing.

Let's focus on the good: the amazingly brave women who told their stories, at great risk. The journalists (Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of the New York Times) who worked tirelessly to get the story told.

There are others, but that's a start. More brave women are coming forward.

It's 2017, folks. Women should do whatever they want. They should make as much as they can. It should be about talent. It should be equal.

A woman will be the 13th Doctor on Doctor Who. To be sure, my son was not happy, but despite what people think (and I took a load of crap for it), it wasn't due to gender. Sean felt there was an agenda -- one the showrunner didn't deny.

“I always knew I wanted the 13th Doctor to be a woman," Chris Chibnall told the BBC.

Not always the best approach for a new hire, as opposed to the best person. 

Sean and I -- for the record -- will still be watching when Jodi Whittaker debuts, and I hope it's great.

I know there are still issues and flaws. Look around. There are issues for both genders, but who at the end of the day has it worse? 

Women. Come on. Admit it.

I've long believed in people. Not race. Not gender. Not religion, etc. People. I want good people around me.

I don't get why this is a difficult concept.

Fortunately Harvey has finally been exposed and he's out of his namesake company. Only time will dictate his fate.

But the "system" failed these women. The "activists" stayed quiet and seated, too hung up on whatever other agenda they could run up the flag pole.

It's amazing hypocrisy.

Just listen to that audio posted in the story by Ronan Farrow (yep) in The New Yorker.

(Go here to listen to it, and prepare yourself.)


More from the New York Daily News.

If that doesn't make you sick and/or angry, I don't know what to tell you.

We're in a time of action. We're so hung up on other debates that we're losing focus.

The scary thing is, there are others like Weinstein. It needs to stop.

And those in power need to make it stop.

Go get 'em Meryl. Now is the time.

The future -- for girls, teens, and women of all ages -- is depending on the likes of you.

Hurt these pigs -- like Harvey -- where they deserve to be hurt.

I'll let you decide where.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Sad Anniversary

Heading towards the Brooklyn Bridge, Sep 11, 2001 (Associated Press photo)
I'll just go ahead and say it.

I don't know what to do with September 11 anymore.

Around here (metro NYC), it's still obviously a big deal.

We've noted it every year in this corner. You can find the posts if you so choose to.

But does the day register so much as a ripple outside of the northeast?

I know it means something in New York, Washington, and near Pittsburgh.

I guess I'm babbling.

Tomorrow, as usual, I'll remember. I'll play the audio. I'll watch the images.

But the routine has changed, and after looking at the archive, I realize I felt the same way last year.

I'm not one to go to ceremonies. They seem -- I don't know.

I think part of what's going on in my brain can also be explained in the hurricane(s) that are ravaging parts of the country right now.

I see it in, sadly, too many other events.

It's the need to enter politics into it.

A massive hurricane is beating on Florida as I type (Irma). I've worried for friends and extended family. I was helping make arrangements for family elsewhere (that wound up being unnecessary).

Yet somehow this becomes Donald Trumps' fault. Or Republicans. Or whatever.

Stop. No, seriously, stop.

Because, sadly, nobody has the balls to discuss these things rationally, I will stop.

Yet tomorrow, we'll watch (insert politician's name here*) pontificate.

*Except Fred Camillo. Fred is my friend. Plus he's a WGCH guy. Oh and he's a fan of the Steelers and Yankees. I've got to keep this somewhat light.

No. I don't need ceremonies. I don't need to be seen. I don't care if my picture gets in the paper.

I'll listen. I'll share stories. I'll probably discuss some of it on Doubleheader.

But I still don't know what to do with September 11.

Other than remember.

And never forget.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

GHS Football Begins Today



Later today, at 2:20 pm, WGCH will begin its 54th year covering Greenwich High School football.

For me, it will be the start of my 16th year doing the play-by-play, and my 19th year around Big Red.

Having spoken with GHS head coach John Marinelli earlier this week, I can tell you I like this group a lot, but they open with a good test against Trumbull.

(Please read my preview of the 2017 Cardinals for the Greenwich Sentinel)

Our broadcast will only be on the radio today (and next Saturday, at Trinity Catholic as well), but fear not. If you want to hear how we call it, you will have your chance. We will archive it and replay. I'm thinking we'll air it in the two-hour window of 2-4 pm on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

As late as Tuesday, I had no crew. Chris Erway is on baby watch. Chris Kaelin is training for another gig. I need to compile a list of people who would be willing to join me.

Anyway, Paul Silverfarb has come on board, and will be on the sideline. Next up, WGCH (with an assist from me), recruited Josh Somma to do color. Then Ian Barto said he'd love to be back. Finally, Shawn Sailer said "sure. Happy to be there."

So from one to five.

We're live around 2:20, as I said. Kickoff is set for 2:30 at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield.

Hope you join us.

Oh yeah, this is the 52nd anniversary of complete and total perfection -- on the air and on the field.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sort of Like Going Home

I was always happy there: Dutchess Stadium, September, 2009.
I wouldn't go in. I'd drive by it, but I couldn't bring myself to go through the gates.

You can see it from Interstate 84. The entrance is on New York Route 9D.

I haven't been there in roughly eight years, but I'm returning soon.

I'm going back to Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, NY. I've been asked to call two Hudson Valley Renegades baseball games, on September 1-2.

The Gades, are the short-season Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and play in the New York-Penn League. I called games for them stretched out over 10 seasons, from 2001-2010.

A few days ago, out of the blue, my friend Jay Verzi sent me a message. Jay -- like me -- is a radio guy. A broadcasting guy. We've shared stories of the various things that go on the biz.

Jay asked if I was still doing play-by-play, and would I be interested in a possible fill-in gig with the Gades.

It took me literally zero time to answer.

He said he'd let the team know, and that was that. Then silence took over, and I began to assume that it just wasn't going to happen. I told almost nobody, and held it in.

But I kept thinking about it. Then again, I'm always thinking about gigs.

On Saturday, I was making dinner and pondering various and sundry (money, life, money, repeat).

Long story.

My cellphone rang. Jeez, another telemarketer? We've been getting a rash of them lately.

This one left a voicemail. I recognized the area code, but that was it.

I hit play. Then I hit the ceiling.

It was Josh Caray (yes - let's get it out of the way - that Caray, as in Harry and Skip), the current lead voice of the Gades, asking if I wanted to fill-in. He said they couldn't give me housing, but then again, he didn't know that I only live about 25 minutes from the ballpark.

The last Hudson Valley Renegades game I did was in Brooklyn. The day before, I called one (in? on?) Staten Island. It was 2010.

Watching people come through the gates at Dutchess Stadium, 2009. I enjoyed that time.
I reached out a few times to ask if any help was needed (the teams and subsequent broadcasters were always receptive), but eventually, I just stopped. I figured my time had passed, and with the proliferation of younger play-by-play guys, I felt old.

I didn't want to be a nag, so I let it go. But the truth is, the Gades were never out of my system. I thought of a lot of fun days and nights.

Just search this blog for mentions of the Gades and you can see some of the stories for yourself.

My mantra, "Have headset. Will travel," began while I was with the Gades, because I loved the trips.

I went to Aberdeen (Maryland) twice and Oneonta (New York -- there isn't even a team there anymore). There were games against Pittsfield, Jamestown, and New Jersey (also all no longer in the NY-Penn League).
In Brooklyn, 2009. That's Geoff Brault beyond me. (Tim Parry photo)
There were the trips to Troy (NY), Brooklyn and Staten Island. Tim Parry, Jason Intrieri and I still laugh about that night in Brooklyn. Short version: I got a text that said, "Look to your left," and sure enough, there they were. They crashed a party suite.

Then there was the weekend of Boston (Blog posts 1 and 2) and Lowell. The best of times (and let's focus on that, or enact "Rule 55").

Among the great people I worked with were Nick Gagalis and Geoff Brault -- each graciously allowing me to visit their booth.

And there was Sean Ford. The one and only. The guy who -- after having met me in person only minutes earlier -- told me, "If you're going to be on the broadcast, you're going to need to put that headset on." The guy who, three innings later, allowed me to call a minor league baseball game for the first time.

The guy who invited me to call baseball at Fenway Park.

Patient and kind. Always. It was tough to see him go, and I know it hurt him. He's in North Dakota now, but I'll be thinking of him on September 1 and 2. The truth is, we didn't work nearly enough games together in our time (2001-2008).
Sean Ford and I call the action at Dutchess Stadium in 2008.
The team arrived in Fishkill, NY in 1994 as part of the Texas Rangers organization, before switching their affiliation to Tampa Bay in 1996. I always thought it would be great to be a broadcaster there, for the team in my own area.

I made a number of friends and acquaintances there.

Josh Hamilton, James Shields, Wade Davis, and Evan Longoria are among the names that passed through Dutchess Stadium on their way to the big leagues (though I missed each of them). I personally called Carlos Beltran on a rehab assignment against the Gades when he played for Brooklyn.
I joined Sean Ford at Fenway Park for the Gades-Spinners game in 2008. 
Freddie Coleman -- he of ESPN Radio (and a great guy) -- and I used to talk all the time at the ballpark.

It's a turf field now. I've never seen it.

The uniforms have changed. The maroon and green are long gone. The blue and red are also a thing of the past.

I have much to catch up on.

Oh and Bill Murray is a part-owner.

One last thing. In each previous game I called for the Gades, there was always a lead voice. For Sean, Geoff, Nick (and everyone else) it was their booth. I always took that seriously.

It's Josh Caray's booth now. But for two nights, Josh won't be there. So it's up to me.

The games will air on TuneIn Radio (download the app to listen on your smart device). The Saturday game will air on the radio also. Lots more can be found at the Gades website.

I know. It's two games. Big deal.

To me, it's a very big deal.

Maybe this kid will come back with me. Sean, of course, at Dutchess Stadium, 2008.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Still Gaga Over Radio


Today is National Radio Day.

Or is it #NationalRadioDay?

It's confusing.

Anyway, while the "everything gets a day" concept can be a little much, and mind-numbing for sure, I still can't help but note today in honor of my old friend, the wireless.

Don't get me wrong. I love TV and enjoyed working on it very much. But I'm always in a panic about my appearance -- too fat, not stylish enough, hair looks dumb, face looks dumb, and my God how many times have I been told that I "have a face for radio"?

So I suppose I'm a radio man at heart. From Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, and the 77 WABC guys to (duh) John Donald Imus to Scott Shannon on Z-100 to Joe O'Brien and "Music From The Terrace" on WHUD, I had the foundation of my inner DJ, which would grow as I got older with Scott Muni and many others.

Naturally, there were other facets of my radio upbringing, with news and so on. But let's not bury the lede (or lead) here. It was sports, for sure. Frank Messer, Bill White, and Phil Rizzuto began that education, spinning into the work of myriad others (Vin Scully -- again, duh).

But as age made me -- whatever it made me -- I dug deeper into the vast archives that can be found to discover the greats of all genres. The proliferation of "old time radio" allowed me the ability to hear the shows and events that made the medium so fascinating.
Graham McNamee
Radio was king once. From it's humble beginnings to assist ships at sea (and thus the number of wireless stations built on the Atlantic coast), to becoming commercial radio with KDKA, radio would help bring news and more to the world.

It's still a great way to hear whatever you want in the car -- now, more than ever with satellite radio.

Of course, there is still the terrestrial station (WGCH, folks!) and it's the best way to enjoy sports.

So please, on this National Radio Day, take a moment and listen to what it is today, and find an old broadcast to hear what it once was. Just Google "old time radio" and you should be all set.

From Majic 105 through WREF to WGCH to WLNA, WBNR, HAN Radio, Greenwich Sentinel Radio, Robcasting Radio, and the many other places my voice has appeared, it is still a thrill. It is still exciting to find important historical audio. It's still a hope that many more great days can be found.

Radio, someone still loves you.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Eleven Years of Something

Not too many better 11's than this guy. The Messiah.
I'll be honest: this post is purely to recognize 11 years of this blog. I'm not sure I have too much more to add without venturing into dangerous territory.

If there's anything that's changed in 11 years, it's that. I don't write the same anymore. Too much scrutiny, I suppose. Not that I mind it. It's just, well.

It has been both a personal and professional issue. So I'm more careful. I try to be less vague.

Or I just don't write at all.

And that's sad.

Still, this is post number 2299. Where has the time gone over 11 years?

But enough about that. We're one effed up place, no?

Charlottesville sickened me. Hatred and racism sickens me.  Simple to say, isn't it? There's no talking about "sides." Just make the statement: hate sucks. Racism blows. Three people dead. One hit by a -- what's the word? -- person?...no...scum?...too nice...whatever. A car ran a young woman over.

Because she has a different ideology than the driver of the car, who wants...ugh. It's too much.

What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?

Just condemn it all and that's that. Be presidential.

To quote the 1995 movie The American President (spoken by Michael J. Fox):
People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
And nobody is willing to hear what anyone else has to say. We're all correct. If you disagree, you're a (insert hurtful term here).

Anyway, it's way too serious of a topic for the anniversary post. Sadly, that's all I've got.

Year 12 begins. Thanks to everyone who has supported me and those who have inspired me.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

But no, really. What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Arlin


Harold Arlin
On this day -- August 5, 1921 -- a 25-year-old electrical engineer and foreman from Westinghouse named Harold Arlin went to Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

He wasn't just there to take in a ballgame, as the Pirates hosted the Philadelphia Phillies. We can tell you, courtesy of Baseball Reference, that the Buccos won the game, 8-5. Cy Williams, who Baseball Reference says compares most favorably to Bobby Murcer (of all people) homered that day in the loss.

Possum Whitted (yes, you read that correctly) had two hits to pace the Pirates, and Max Carey and Rabbit Maranville were hall of famers on the Pittsburgh roster that day.

We know the game took 1:57, but don't know the weather conditions.

But back to Harold Arlin, who sat down behind home plate that day. Working for KDKA, considered by many to be the first radio station in history (or at least the first commercial radio station), he took a bold step for the nascent outlet.

Arlin had previously read news headlines, and was said to be at the mic when KDKA went on the air in Nov, 1920, as he read the returns of the Harding-Cox Presidential Election.

On this day, Arlin gave birth to baseball play-by-play.

According to ExplorePAHistory:
"We were looking for programming," Arlin recalled years later, "and baseball seemed a natural. I went to Forbes Field and set up shop." The operation, a hand-held telephone connected to a transmitter in a box behind home plate, had a few glitches, though. "Nobody told me I had to talk between pitches," he conceded, and when he did, his distinctive deep voice did not always come through. "Sometimes the transmitter didn't work. Often the crowd noise would drown us out. We didn't know whether we'd talk into a total vacuum or whether somebody would hear us."
Other sports broadcasts were attempted in one form or another prior to 1921 (including a boxing match on KDKA earlier that year), but this was the first time baseball had been attempted. More than any sport, the country became hooked.

Eventually.

Arlin would also call a Davis Cup tennis match (another first) a day later, but thought the baseball game was a one-time thing. Further baseball broadcast efforts were made with the 1921 World Series in New York (over KDKA, WJZ - Newark, and WBZ - Springfield). He'd also add college football to the list of firsts with the broadcast of the Backyard Brawl -- Pitt hosting West Virginia. Pitt won the game, 21-13.

The attempts to broadcast baseball continued through the 1920's, with Graham McNamee eventually assuming the position of "voice" of the World Series in 1923. By 1927, the World Series was coast-to-coast via the nearly one-year-old NBC.

Individual teams began to make deals to either broadcast games live or via recreation, complete with sound effects. The last holdouts were the three New York teams, who had a gentlemen's agreement to not broadcast games due to the fear of losing ticket sales. That ended in 1939.

Oh it's a long-winded story that we can tell at great length, but the main point remains that, on this very day -- August 5, 1921 -- Harold Arlin called the first baseball game.

Certainly, I feel a large amount of debt to him, McNamee, and the many other pioneers who got us to where we are today.


Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Comfort

Taken at Trumbull High School during the Babe Ruth 14U New England Regional
I just posted the above picture over on the evil that is Facebook.

I was messing around (I think with my iPad) and that was the result.

I know that there's comfort in that picture.

Truthfully, I'm an uncomfortable person. I have my hangups, issues, fears, etc. Some rational. Some not.

Damage.

But best to not get too personal. The last time I did so, the sound from the crickets was...well...there was no sound. If a post hits and no one hears it, is it really a post?

Anyway, that's my happy place. There's a reason I volunteered to call 16* baseball games over four days in the Babe Ruth New England Regional Tournament: I love it. I'm happy there. I'm comfortable.

* In the end, thanks to Mother Nature, I did 12 games. So it goes.

But it's also the chance to work with friends, who also volunteered their time. You might know them: Jake Zimmer, Dan Gardella, Shawn Sailer. Josh Somma also volunteered for a game, but the rain canceled that.

It was a joy. Thanks to Dan, Jake, and Shawn, my throat survived. Dan and Jake both took some of the PBP innings off my hands, and that was a good thing. I was fired up to call the four games on Monday, but it didn't happen.

Beyond that, it was a lot of the great interaction. People from all across New England and beyond found our little nascent "Robcasting Radio/Greenwich Sentinel Radio" Mixlr site and listened to us, or watched what we could give them via Facebook live.

This happened with zero promotion, except for what we cranked out via social media.

It wasn't perfect. It never is. But I strive for a quality play-by-play broadcast. One that is long on reporting and solid sports journalism. One that tells stories that I hope will interest the listener.

One that makes the game the story, and us the storytellers.

For my money, we accomplished that. I didn't have to say a whole lot to the crew. We put the headsets on, and away we went.

I'm hoping August won't be as quiet as I fear it will be, but we'll be fired up for another year of Greenwich and Brunswick football. The Bruins want me around to do more, and I'm happy about that.

We'll see what's next. That's all I can do.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Listen to the Babe Ruth New England 14U Regional


Join me throughout the weekend with Dan Gardella, Jake Zimmer, Shawn Sailer, and Josh Somma for the Babe Ruth New England 14U Regional.

Listen live at http://mixlr.com/greenwich-sentinel/ or click play below.


Greenwich Sentinel is on Mixlr

You can also join us on Facebook live at https://www.facebook.com/1490WGCH/.

The games are all archived and can be downloaded at this link: http://mixlr.com/greenwich-sentinel/showreel/

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Quick Note on Rallying

We often get bundles of these
Today was just one of those days.

A mixed blessing if you will.

It didn't start great. At one point, I was basically shaking over something.

I fumbled through a disjointed radio show (ah, summer).

But I rallied thanks to two things:

1) Baseball. Yes. Really. Baseball.

Calling baseball (and other sports certainly) is often my salvation. Putting that headset on allows me to go to a different place for over two hours. It's why I'm so excited to call the Babe Ruth 14U New England Regional starting Friday in Trumbull, CT. Sixteen games in four days? Heck yes!

2) Love of friends and family.

No, that's not all. It's more than love. I don't talk about faith a lot, and for good reason. That being said, the faith they show in me -- and I in them -- can be unyielding. I keep asking to be told it's all going to be OK. But don't just say it if you don't believe it.

Tonight, after a really meh day, it was the combination of baseball and love (and faith) of friends and family that pulled it all together.

Once one the air, I felt like me. And I laughed. That's a good thing.

Two random people also added some kindness about stuff that I've done over the years. A fan at the game told me that he's a big fan of my work.

Like, really?

Another fan -- a parent -- said his son's highlight tape included my play-by-play, and that brought more kind words.

I know, I know. All about me. Well when handed lemons (and I didn't think Paul Silverfarb and I would get this game on the air tonight), it's nice to make some lemonade.

But despite no power, we came up with a generator.

Despite running late, we still got lineups.

Despite Middletown's lineup not having first names on it, we got through it.

Despite all of this being pulled together at the last-minute, we put on a solid broadcast.

We scratched and clawed our way through a game in which Greenwich beat Middletown (CT) 8-1 in American Legion baseball.

And we saw a head coach lose his marbles and get ejected from the game (not sure I've ever seen that).

Instead of being low, sad, and scared, I drove home excited and happy.

Problems weren't erased tonight.

Pain was eased.  I'll take it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Lou Gehrig Day


July 4th means a lot in this country. Of course, it's the date of our independence and, thankfully, Will Smith is nowhere to be found as I type this.

July 4th marks a day for fireworks. Picnics. Ray Charles.

July 4th is also a day for baseball.

George Steinbrenner was born on July 4 (of course he was).

Dave Righetti thrilled us on July 4, with the first no-hitter by a Yankees pitcher since 1956 (and I missed it because we didn't have cable. I caught the post-game on the radio...and yelled).



Frank Messer, joined by Bill White, on the call. You can hear why I loved Messer growing up. Wonderful attention to detail in that call ("Righetti...again circles around the mound, to the third base side, now up to the pitching rubber, plants the left foot on the slab, looks down to Wynegar, hiding the ball behind the left hip...")

Yet for me -- and I wish for all baseball fans -- today would be about Lou Gehrig.

Today, besides of course being Independence Day, should be Lou Gehrig Day.

Gehrig, of course, was "The Pride of the Yankees" (that might work as a movie title, or maybe a book by Richard Sandomir about the making of the movie). He hit 493 home runs. He played every day, and only a heinous disease that bears his name could stop him. His last full year (1938) -- when it's fair to say amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was beginning to show in his movements -- he still hit .295 with 29 HR and 114 RBI. That was considered a down year for The Iron Horse.

By early '39 he was done. In May, he pulled himself from the lineup after 2,130 consecutive games. Soon after, the world began to know what ALS was.


His baseball funeral was held at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, between games of a doubleheader with the Washington Senators.

He couldn't lift the trophies being brought to him. His uniform sagged. There was fear that he would collapse, especially in the heat.

Despite suggestions that Gehrig had written and rehearsed his famous speech, it's clear to me that this is not true. He had to be coaxed by manager Joe McCarthy to speak. When you watch the video, it's clear that he doesn't read from anything. As a man who was largely shy, I doubt he memorized it.

Regardless, it's from the heart.

The movie doesn't depict it all correctly (they never do). Gehrig's famous line isn't at the end of the speech. The "luckiest man" is the second line in the speech. Heck it never gets recited correctly, and I believe Jonathan Eig's Luckiest Man (the finest biography I've ever read) is the closest to being the accurate text.

Watch all that is available of the speech.


These are all reasons to see him as a hero, but it's more. It's the way he conducted himself on and off the field. He was the definition of courage as he fought ALS publicly from 1939 until he died in 1941. There were no scandals and, even if the press tracked his every move, there still wouldn't have been any.

There was a break in his friendship with Babe Ruth, and the well-known issues with Ma Gehrig, who thought she could be the only woman in Lou's life. That's it.

Incidentally, in the midst of the hideous way baseball treated non-whites, Gehrig had this to say:

"There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all."

To me, Lou Gehrig is everything that a sports role model should be.

I'm sure the Gehrig speech will be recognized today at Yankee Stadium when the Bombers play the Blue Jays. Yet I'd like to see, as baseball gets hung up on embarrassingly ugly uniforms and pace of play, Gehrig have a day put in place.

We recognize Jackie Robinson every April 15, and deservedly so.

We do nothing as a sport for Babe Ruth (different topic...different time).

Let's make sure every July 4 is recognized -- officially -- as Lou Gehrig Day.

Use it to honor his memory, but also to continue the fight against ALS.

Let's remind ourselves that we're all lucky.