Monday, May 4, 2009

Bring back Joe Robbie

The stadium I grew up going to games in was Tampa Stadium. While that admittedly was not the most creative name in the world, it certainly wasn't embarassing. Unfortunately when the Glazer family bought the Buccaneers, they decided to put their own name on the stadium. And since Malcolm Glazer owned a totally uninspiring restaurant chain, for the last couple of years fans were subjected to the name Houlihan's Stadium. Now Miami fans are apparently about to experience that humiliating feeling for themselves. Say hello to Landshark Stadium! On the other hand, the stadium was named for a bankrupt underwear manufacturer for a number of years, so maybe this won't faze anybody.

As it frequently does, the Kentucky Derby had an amazing outcome. Mine That Bird's final quarter mile looked the way it does in the airport when you're walking on the moving sidewalk and others are walking on the carpet. Fallica's pick to win was second, but that was little solace to him. His thoughts....

"I'm nauseous. Unless you liked the name or play the number 8, the horse was impossible to have. I dont even feel guilty about not backwheeling my top pick, Pioneerof the Nile who was second. Bad day for the sport, another year with a meaningless Belmont and no Triple Crown hopes."

I just thought it was funny the announcer had no idea who the horse was until it basically crossed the finish line. Nice job.

This week the American Football Coaches Association will discuss their "review" of the coaches poll for football. The only discussion should be getting rid of the poll as it exists now altogether. Whether they have a panel of retired coaches vote or just abolish the thing altogether, there is no justifiable reason for having people with financial stakes in the outcome voting in a poll which affects the BCS. If coaches insist on still being involved, they should have to release their ballots publically every week, just like the AP guys do. If coaches don't like that, it only further emphasizes that they have no business voting in the first place.

The day I was at Wrigley Field, the seventh inning stretch singer of "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" was Ron Zook. He was doing it for his third time, and still had to use notecards to remember the words. Not quite the atmosphere Harry Caray singing once created. The train wreck that was the Osbournes singing it had already convinced me it was time to stop the new "tradition" that had replaced the late Caray. The latest person to wreck the song is "actress" Denise Richards, who's every bit as convincing a singer as she was a nuclear weapons expert in one of the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films. Seriously, Cub execs, play a clip of Harry singing from now on and only use a celebrity once in a rare while if they're 1. a true Cub fan and 2. capable of competently singing the song.

One of the things that's always fascinated me about Vegas is that people are considered mega-stars there who the rest of America has never heard of. Perhaps no one more personified what I'm talking about than Danny Gans, who died Friday. He was an impressionist whose name was everywhere in the city. Billboards, the backs of cabs, the airport, the huge marquee at the Mirage, you name it. He was inescapable in Vegas, but if you've never been there this is likely the first you've heard of him. I never saw Gans do his show - George Burns imitiations for 100 bucks just didn't seem all that exciting to me - but the guy was scheduled to earn fifty million over the next three years. Now he's gone, and part of the city's history goes with him. Does anyone grow up wanting to do that kind of act anymore?

1 comment:

Wayne Gretzky said...

"I just thought it was funny the announcer had no idea who the horse was until it basically crossed the finish line. Nice job."

I watched the race here in Alberta Canada and thought that was the worst announcing I have ever heard for the Derby. Nice Job - the guy had no clue. How did an Englishman get the job anyways - no American announcers ??