Archive for March, 2007

Number 1 on Your Hitler Parade

March 30, 2007 Leave a comment

ESPN caught my ear again. The coach of the NY Giants football team, Tom Coughlin, made the mistake of comparing fan opinion of him to Adolf Hitler. This of course, in the current climate, is talk show gold, even on intellectually challenged sports networks.

So, there were Dan Patrick & Keith Olberman, pontificating and pondering the lack of wisdom Coughlin had displayed in using that particular comparison. A comparison which provokes ire amongst even those who have no idea who this Hitler guy is ( was ). They smoothly segued into the actual topic of the segment, the 2007 Major Leage Baseball season, which is why I was tuned in.

Less than a long breath after Hitler chat, Hall of Fame baseball writer, Peter Gammons, was intro-ed by Patrick as the man who once referred to the owner of the New York Yankees as Mao Tse Steinbrenner. Hmmmmmmm. So, let’s see, it’s bad to reference Hitler when one feels hated, after all he was a sociopath. But it’s OK to gloss a German American with a comparison to Mao Tse Tung. I’m guessing this is because Mao for the most part, mostly killed Chinese and/or imprisoned them for having their own thoughts about life.*

The lack of cognition by the majority of humans no longer surprises me. Hey! I’m highly cognitive and I mispeak. I’ve also done it on the radio. We won’t go into that, not because I’m afraid of exposing my own on mic stupidnesses ( please see Recent Posts > ), but because it’s 1) old news 2) I was accurate & 3) Vince & Amy are married now anyhow. BTW Vince’s recent CD is brilliant.

Olberman, who helms a real news program & has a one man vendetta against another newsie, the well known gasbag Bill O’Reilly ( I think it’s an alphabetizing issue ), and is what passes for an intellectual on ESPN. Dan Patrick is , well, Dan Patrick. It’s like pairing Albert Einstein with, well yes, Dan Patrick. Keith phones in for an hour a day, says smart stuff, while Dan, in typical jock sniffer fashion, goofs on him. Then praises him. Then goofs on him some more. This perpetuates the old sports tradition of equating having read a book as earning you the nickname ‘ perfesser.’ If they find out that book has no pictures? they call you a word I can’t use here, because then even I will attract comments!

Back to dictators of the past. Look, everybody is sensitive. We all have hot buttons. Blah blah blah. Words do have power. Not mine, but you know, guys who are NFL coaches. AND guys who ( still ) have radio shows. Still, as a public service, I will provide a few more acceptable comparisons for coaches under fire ( it’s too late for Coughlin & Michael Ray Richardson, I ain’t touching him with a 20 foot Christian Pole!)

If you are a football coach:

‘ fans treat me like OJ Simpson ‘

For a baseball guy:*

‘ fans act as if I’m Barry Bonds ‘* ( Barry should use Jose Canseco unless speaking of himself in the 3rd person )

For basketball:

‘ hey! it’s not like I’m Bobby Knight, ‘


‘ Eh — don’t make me out to be [ insert name of goon du jour here ]’

For those still adamant about using a megalomaniacal mass murdering ruler to match their own unpopularity with: Idi Amin Dada is very in right now. Sorry, Forrest.

*editor’s note: no truth to the rumor Mia Farrow & I are dating. We are just good friends, of people who don’t know each other.

Mouth-odd Acting

March 27, 2007 Leave a comment

I’ve previously mentioned I’ve been criticized. I’ve always been the kind of person who attracts it. When I was a kid, it would happen a lot. Today, I’d like to talk about it some more. . ..

I was 11 and pitching in a Little League game. After one inning, some other kid comes up to me and says: ‘ you stick your tongue out when you pitch.’ Being 11, I immediately became self conscious. I attribute my lack of a Major League baseball career, directly to that moment. This other young feller joined a large group of people whose life was spared because I was a devout pacifist. Also a bit spindly, I admit it.

A few years later, my mouth full of orthodontic appliance, a pal hanging out with me in the school lunchroom, feels free to point out: ‘ you cover your mouth when you laugh.’ I couldn’t win.

Many decades from those treasured memories, I noticed an increasingly creepy trend of young actors using their lips & tongues to emote. I don’t know who started this technique—Stanislipski? Wouldn’t matter, it’s just bad and that’s that. What directors think that works on screen? Is the tongue a phallic symbol when thus employed, especially when done in the company of a hot chick? What do those compressed lips mean? those lolling tongues? AND why? Men–please knock it the fuck off. Women, your comments invited. Thank you.

While I’m at it: those tight frame close ups on TV are so beyond stupid. Do you enjoy that kind of shot? I don’t. Of course, the dialogue in most TV shows is so incredibly insipid, they are probably hoping to distract viewers. ‘ Look Gertie! a giant head! get me a beer.’ AND if one more hack uses the phrase — ‘ Excuse me! ‘ as a reaction line when one character is affronted by another’s question as in ” hey, Morty, WTF are you doing with your tongue?”— I will hunt them down and excuse them with extreme prejudice.

In a related story: does Oprah Winfrey ever take a pic without her mouth wide Open ? You’ll start noticing as of now. The answer will be, hardly ever.

Yes, I am bitter. Obviously, I was ahead of my time, I could’ve been a star. A huge headed, tongue waggling star! #%*@!

Movin’ on Down or How I Learned to Embrace My ESPNnesses

March 25, 2007 1 comment

As a listener to late night radio, I’m familiar with UFO sightings, ghosts and the always popular Bigfoot. So when I see ESPN, first thing I think is: Hey! a whole network devoted to the paranormal. I found the local ESPN station and tuned in, settling back with some coffee for some good old X Files style talk.

After a few segments in which some guys who seemed to be older than college age, drooled all over some other old guy they gushingly called coach, I realized, much to my chagrin, this was NOT the Extra Sensory Perception Network! It was apparently a whole programming day, 7 days a week, dedicated to worshipping athletes and anybody ( part ) attached to them.

I might have skipped the part where the station I was listening to, used to be a place I was previously employed. But my bitterness has almost nothing to do with ESPN per se. It does have quite a bit to do with the kind of personality currently working in sports radio. Let it please the court to note here: I no longer have the energy to take on the rest of talk radio. Sports radio might be an easy target, but it’s a deserving one.

Several years ago during the Presidents Day holiday, I tuned into FOX Sports Radio. There was a host who was reviling Abraham Lincoln as a former slave holder. Now, I admit, I haven’t read every thing on Abe, but I was reasonably sure, whatever else he purportedly did regarding slavery, he never owned any. This was around the time some writer published some historical letters suggesting Lincoln was gay. All in all, Mr. Lincoln was having his worst year since 1865.

That’s when I started to be aware that most sports talk hosts were morons. One of my favorite things they do is add the suffix -ness to any word. Just recently one clown upped the ante. Count ’em: harshnessesses. And if one more doofus says pronounceiation when attempting to pronounce the word pronunciation, I will go Jack Nicholson on his domus dumbass. Good golly Miss Molly, that’s just sheer stupidness!

I know a Bachelor’s degree ain’t what it used to be. You don’t need any more proof that a college education is no indication of smarts, than to know I’ve dated women with doctorates. It’s a pay grade now, just like other career paths, like the military and government. It’s the $ difference between favorite son and redheaded stepchild in the will.

So, an ex-jock with a BA from Notre Dame is the equivalent, well, of another ex-jock with a BA from say, Hooters U. Any day now, the next generation of sports-talk host will be former pro stars who left high school early to sign with the NBA and get huge shoe endorsement deals from Nike. The harshnessesses of their speech and opinions will be scarifying.

I fully expect one day to tune in to a sports talk show and hear the story of how President Lincoln Hayes lll ( post Mod Squad ) made the players free agents while dry cleaning magnate Tom ” Bill O’ Rights ” Jefferson ( he had red hair! ) sexed Weezy and never married her. Their son, Michael Jordan Jefferson however, rose above his traumatic childhood to a lucrative career in hoops and has a Lincoln Continental SUV in every color. AND, like he really needs the extra cake, a talk show in my old time slot.

MY ESPN would’ve seen it comin’! Did I mention stupidness?

ARod v. HRod

March 24, 2007 Leave a comment

Baseball fans of the New York Yankees are waiting. They are foaming at the mouth. They have a player they are daring to prove himself. He was once considered the best player of his generation until he also became the highest paid player.

No prize for guessing, Alex Rodriguez has been written about enough this Spring to kill off half the trees in el Norte & a few slow terabytes of the Gorenet. But it appears to me these fans have confused ARod with Herod. Herod was a Roman governer back before the Holy Land was a tourist trap. It’s easy an easy mistake to make.

That’s because before Christmas was a retail make it or break it sales point, Herod’s court appointed seer warned him that the Messiah was due any day. Herod was a megalomaniac and wasn’t in the mood to be usurped by a Jew on a mission from God. So, jumping the gun on Tony Soprano by 2000 years, HRod orders a hit on all new born kids on his turf. Like all great stories, and all flawed sociopaths, his minions missed one. The one they just happened to miss, and wouldn’t you know it, turns out to be Yeshua ben Yussef aka Jesus Christ ( oh those Romans! )

If only HRod had been cool, maybe waited until he knew who was who, well, who knows what might’ve happened. Would it be a stretch to imagine, maybe suicide bombers would be doctors and lawyers and such? I did say stretch AND maybe.

What does this have to do with baseball and ARod in NYC? Everything. Nothing. Unless you count crucifying. Arod’s first team in the majors was the Seattle Mariners which used to be called the Pilots. Pontius Pilate* anyone? Ba da bing! Play ball.

* NOT the innovator of Pilates

Rock the Juke Box

March 23, 2007 Leave a comment

Not too long ago, based on experience & insight fueled by deep thought, I realized I was a jerk. Not an asshole, a jerk & I demand the distinction. Having said that, I want to know why so many assholes get droit de seigneur, while jerks are relegated to, well, jerking. Admittedly, it is tough to get an obvious asshole to admit they are one, let alone allowing equal rights to a jerk.

I am however, an enlightened jerk, having been exposed to ( as opposed to exposing myself to. . . ) many spiritual paths. Many of these paths were traveled in the dark, which is the way to go. See, if one is looking for enlightenment, too much light at the start can only leave you blinded, causing the seeker to miss as many good parts as if they’d remained in darkness. As the great, late 20th Century philospher Bruce Springsteen wrote: ‘ blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night. . ..’

Many a dissertation has risen & fallen on that line. Mainly because the Manfred Mann hit version of the song made ‘ deuce ‘ sound as if the word was ‘ douche. ‘ Frankly, I knew it was deuce, and I wasn’t sure if he was talking carburetors or wild cards. I do know I attended a memorial gathering for a friend who was on the flight which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in the late 80’s.

It was a sad occasion, though the guy who died was a globe trotter, who once lived in a cave on one of the Hawaiian Islands & was also on the Price is Right as a contestant. He could also burp at will, really loud. We would miss him. Some asshole took this opportunity to marvel in front of a group of people, how much he was amazed I hadn’t killed myself yet. He then proceeded to critique my sweater, telling me it was a knockoff & he had an original. Up to that point I’d been having a fine talk with a really attractive woman, hoping for some shared sadness sex. I eventually figured that was being too much of a jerk at such an event, so I decided to mingle. Wow, talk about instant karma!

Had I been a tougher, albeit creepier guy, I might’ve invited the asshole to a private, more personal mourning session outside. I apologize for not recalling my witty comeback to his style statement, I only know he threatened me & a real friend, stepped in & got me away before I got clocked at a memorial for wearing a copy of an LL Bean item. Oh yeah, and still being alive.

You might guess correctly, I didn’t get the girl. Then, the first chance I got, I donated the sweater to Goodwill, with a note attached— DON’T WEAR TO MEMORIALS! I waited until it was dark & I went for a walk, wrapped up like a douche. It was during that journey I discovered what deuce meant & why I am a jerk NOT an asshole. All those dropping a deuce to honor that asshole will enter the gates of Paradise. Be sure to check off on the membership card before you go in, your preference for female or male virgins. A lot of people forget to do it.

Hey! I’m a helpful jerk.