Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Night Screw-Up

It would be interesting what you all think about this.

Joe Theisman was replaced on ESPN’s Monday Night Football with Ron Jaworski. I noted the noise on and the vote was fairly split on whether Joe was good or not but almost everybody said get rid of Kornhieser. Which I wholeheartedly agree with.

In fact as I read most of these comments I thought most of these commenters could not be over 30 at all. They act like they didn’t even know Joe T. The almost universal term used was “arrogant”. Well yeah, If I starred at Notre Dame and took the Redskins to the Super Bowl, dated Kathie whoever and got my leg broken on the most televised football injury of all time – and still lived to talk about it – yeah I might be also. They acted like he never announced a game before but if memory serves I think he’s been doing it now for about 15 years.

People also called for Al Michaels and Madden to come back. Better be careful what you wish for. Madden’s shtick has worn thin. He talks for minutes and minutes saying nothing. Michaels has the unfortunate penchant for putting the emphasis on odd words in a sentence. You know what I mean.

I saw a vintage ESPN Classic baseball game with Curt Gowdy and Al Garagiola. I thought it would be great because I have so great memories of Curt Gowdy. But it was horrible – not Curt as much but Joe. It was just a mess.

I have always thought Joe Thiesman was a very good analyst. He had good energy, HE COULD TALK, he could adlb, he could connect with folks, he played the game – he understood what coaches thought. Was he right all the time? Hell no – but its good to have an educated opinion. Tony Kornheiser was dreadful last year – just completely pathetic (and believe me I love PTI). Dennis Miller looked more comfortable in that booth. And Mike Tirico, who I think does a great job in other venues, just tried to fit too much information into the broadcast. While someone was running for an 80 yard touchdown he was talking about his out-of-work dad and cancer stricken mother.

It was obvious from the first broadcast that Joe thought it was unbelievably stupid to have Tony in the booth. Some said they didn’t get along – but Tony didn’t belong there at all to begin with. Everybody is trying to find another Howard Cosell – and there will be none. That worked because no one at that time knew what should work. The idea of football on Monday Night was so foreign they could have had Bozo the Clown on and it would have worked.

I’m sure there are some Joe T. haters our there – and I’m not waving the flag for him – but he was not the on-air problem – it was Tony and Mike. Boo ESPN.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I went to Texas A&M. I guess everyone must know that by now. I even stayed around to get two degrees and actually teach there (the greatest job I ever had). While not going into all of the things that make A&M one of the most unique college experiences ever – let’s just say – I made the right choice. Every day I think ‘man I really did go to the best school”.

Of course anybody could say that about the infinite fine institutions around this land. And that’s just fine to. But mine is colored maroon. My favorite color.

Having said that I have never been one to advertise my college. Many Aggies have stickers and flags and dress up. I never had. I feel it best to be an underground Aggie. In Texas its pretty much painted on your face. Out here in LA I like to keep it close to the vest.

Yes, I do fly the flag from the house during football season but in reality on one knows what it is. And I don’t regularly parade around in in A&M hats or t-shirts because basically people will want to track you down and talk shit – either good or bad – and I don’t need that.

Years ago Deborah and I went to the Farmers Market on Fairfax and Third right in the heart of LA which is usually filled with old Jewish folks and yuppies and there was this guys with A&M hat, t-shirt and shorts. We had to approach him and he told us he was a lawyer who just moved to the city. That’s great I thought – but man you look like a NASCAR vehicle. Keep it down a notch. You might let on to people that we’re uppity about ourselves.

I don’t really represent well in the area because frankly if you do you attract attention. I wore an A&M hat after a softball game once and this guy in a bar just wanted to know too much about me. Another time I was in a biker bar in Sunset Beach with an A&M hat on and in strode this guy all in back leather with Texas Longhorn insignias on it. After a few cautious moments we both agreed that our rivalry was in reality one of the most friendliest of all time (thank god for that).

Well as of this writing Texas A&M has reviatalized its basketpball program (back to where it was when I was a student) and we are smack dab in the tournament with a Saturday tilt agains Louisville which unfortunately is in their backyard in Lexington, Kentucky (very near to my in-state birthplace).

So on Friday I decided to wear an IZOD type shirt that is maroon and has “Texas A&M” embroidered” on the left breast – don’t get excited now – I’m just painting a picture. After work I go to my neighborhood grocery store to buy provisions for the weekend.

At the deli counter this woman goes :

“I like that shirt!”
“Why – because it says Texas?”
“Yeah – I had a guy come up to me one time who had a t-shirt that said ‘Don’t Mess with Texas’ and I said I like that – and you know what? He took it off and gave it to me and I said No No No – but he said ‘No you like Texas and I’m from Texas and so here”.

I was quite surprised to hear this soliloquy just because I had a fairly benign golf shirt that had Texas A&M in small letters on my breast – but that’s what you get at the deli counter.

Later in the produce section as I am evaluating the difference between Roma and Red Vine tomatoes, some guy asks me in passing:

“Are you an alumnus of Texas A&M?”
“Yes I am” I said with my chest thrust forward.
“You guys just won a big game the other day”
“Well we beat Penn – the big game is Louisville in Lexington and if we can get past that we have the regionals in San Antonio where we will rule”

Later he asked me if we hated Oklahoma or not – he actually came back to me in the meat department to ask me since his sister was from there. I said no – it was those evil Longhorn people who hated Oklahoma. Ags don’t give a shit about Indian Territory.

I’d like to tell you that the checkout girl said something but she was just clueless – but a guy outside the supermarket asked me for change so he must have thought if you were an AG you had a ton of money on you.

I gave him a buck – and told him to watch on Saturday.