22 December 2003

Let's Go....Broncos?

In an odd twist, I found myself rooting for my favorite NFL team's fiercest rival, the Denver Broncos, to win their game last night.

There is a logical reason for this.

With the Broncos' defeat of the Colts @ Indianapolis, The Kansas City Chiefs, despite their wretched showing on Saturday against the Vikings, clinched a first-round bye for the playoffs, clearing up a small part of the playoff picture.

Also buried in the muck that was the Vikings' trouncing of KC was a milestone for the Mainframe's favorite MVP frontrunner and theologian, Priest Holmes. With his second 3 TD day in as many weeks, Holmes tied the single season-rushing TD record held by Emmitt Smith with his 25th paydirt carry. To give an example of how many TDs that is for one player, keep in mind that the closest anyone else is to him in rushing touchdowns is a team, the Broncos, with 20.

With one game remaining next week, Priest needs one rushing touchdown to break said record and two TDs to tie the single season TD record of 26 total touchdowns held by St Louis Rams great Marshall Faulk.

Needless to say, I don't think his holiness will take the day off this Sunday.

18 December 2003

A Little Levity in a World of Cell Phone Celebrations

I love Dan Patrick. Not in a gay way, mind you, but a "damn, he's a funny dude" way.
Along those same lines, I'm a big fan of the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio . I listen to it everyday while I'm working.

On most days, the show tends to lean toward the lighter side of sports, interspliced with guest interviews from athletes to actors and civilians to CEOs. Basically like most sports talk radio shows on the dial.

Today, however, perhaps to take a break from the bickering and arguing over the Joe Horn cell phone call, Dan introduced a great story that took place in Omaha, Nebraska over the weekend.

A young man named Brandon Peel displayed a level of sportsmanship that, to be honest, used to be more prevalent in our society.

I won't bore you with a synopsis of the event when you can read about it here. What I can do is urge you to click on the link. I found myself welling up over the unselfishness, class, and maturity shown by this 18 year old.

If only 32 year old professional football players could take a cue from this kid. I don't mean to single out the Joe Horns oand the Terrell Owens of the world. In the NFL, The "Me Above the Team" is an epidemic.

But, Joe Horn has been quoted numerous times that his act was purely for "entertaining the fans".

You know what, Joe, you're right. I'd much rather watch you absorb a national audience with an unoriginal selfish act than see an 18 year old kid give the most priceless gift to a 15 year old kid with Downs: a smile and a chance to touch his dream of wrestling.

What was I thinking?

17 December 2003

Kick in the "Shins"

Hi. Remember me? Well, if all two of you are reading this, I've come out of my hibernation....and we can all thank Mr. Wolf.

Last night, I was downloading a song file that he listed @ number 1 on his top 5 list for 2003. I didn't get a chance to listen to it until today.

The song is Gone for Good by The Shins. It is perhaps the most gorgeous use of sound manipulation that I've heard in recent memory. It also inspired me to get off my ass and write about it.

To listen, check it out at Mike's cool ass blog. (December 9 post)

Believe me, it's worth it.

Thanks Mike for making me buy another CD.

24 November 2003

Iron Bowl Reflections

I wish that I could sit here at my keyboard and pontificate to you through the power of prose about the intricacies and emotion that make the Auburn vs. Alabama rivalry as I experienced them just two nights previous. It is, as my guide Matthew told me yesterday, "An experience....one that should be be seen and felt by everyone."

I realize that not all two readers of this modest blog are sports fans, but the experience Matt speaks of is not meant to be felt by lovers of the pigskin alone.

The following is an excerpt from a comment I made on a favorite blog of mine.

Forgive my laziness, as it is ingrained and cannot be harnessed. I didn't feel the need to re-write, so enjoy:

Let me just add that there tend to be a number of times when you are shooting an event, whatever it may be, where you feel that you're watching it on TV.

You don't feel it enough to do it in your underwear, but it's a strange feeling nonetheless.

I had this feeling on numerous occasions, but the one that stands out most is Auburn's latest stud running back Carnell Williams' 80 yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

As I'm working to keep Carnell in frame and in focus, I recall vaguely the deafening collective roar and moan of the entire state of Alabama that engulfed me, and through it all, I felt like I wasn't really experiencing this moment in person.
It's a weird and odd feeling to think that later on that night, I thought:

"I just witnessed what was probably the greatest moment in that kid's (Carnell) life, and a defining moment in arguably the greatest rivalry in sports, and I thought I was watching it on TV."

One other note: My buddy Matt that was shooting in the opposite end zone, said when he realized that he didn't have the shot, he just "sat back and took it all in."

He is, as you might have guessed, an Auburn fan. A man with bragging rights. At least, that is, until next year.

18 November 2003

Slaying the Great Beast

How does one stop the almighty Chiefs?

The Bengals figured it out, and this guy basically wrote it verbatim.

Raiders, are you taking any notes?
Fall of the Unbeaten

Somewhere, the '72 Dolphins are smiling. After the upstart Bengals defeated the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 24-19, you can bet that all the members of the NFL's only unbeaten team in its history were pretty happy to see their record live on for another year.

As a Chiefs fan, I would normally be very hurt by this, as some might say, "devastating" loss.

I'm not.

In fact, I'm glad that the monkey is off their back. Anyone who thinks an NFL team can go undefeated in this day and age is not tapped into reality.

That said, it is my hope that KC moves on and learns from this loss and uses it as a wake up call for the entire team.

They're going to need it.

After all, it is Raider Week.

10 November 2003

I Love the 80s - Cyberspace Edition

Care to try out your 80s lyric knowledge? I got a 106.5....so sit on that, Potsie.

Click away, dear reader, click away.

09 November 2003

Heap of Crap

Let me preface that saying that I am not a Baltimore Ravens fan, but I do run a fantasy football team.

I wish I could say that my all world TE Todd Heap, who as a tight end leads his TEAM in receptions and receiving yards, gets a fair shake.

He doesn't.

I don't know what official he pissed off, but in the last 3 weeks, he's had countless defenders blatantly tackle him before he touches the ball. About 10 % of these are called.

One week, they waived off a tremendous TD catch that people are still talking about.

What the officials are allowing teams to do to him is unbelievable....and yes, their incompetence has already cost me one win this year, maybe another tonight.

There. I feel much better.
THE BOSS Knows All

How's this for a rumor?

Some of the hot talk around the Majors is Carlos Beltran for Alphonso Soriano.

I don't know the Boss is that stupid, but he has surprised me before.
Desperately Seeking John (Fecenda)

From the "Am I alone here?" File:

Is it just me...or is there anyone else out there that prays for the day that they bring back the "Ultimate NFL Matchups" where NFL Films splices together footage from the great teams in NFL History and they "play" a simulated game to prove who's truly the best?

Sure, you can get your fix on the WhatIfSports.com engine (which I highly recommend), but it's not the same as hearing Lombardi bitch and moan about a questionable catch by Jerry Rice from Joe Montana?

Anybody with me on this one?

27 October 2003

Sending A Message of Perfection

And then....there was one.

After the New York Giants dominated the indefeated Vikings on their home turf 29-17 earlier in the day, The question on everyone's lips: Are the Chiefs destined to fall next?
The answer lies in their most demonstrative game to date, where for the first time this season, All 3 phases of the team came together in one game.

The results were frightening.

Chiefs 38, Bills 5. That's right...5. A safety and a lone figgie after being stopped inside Kansas City's 10.

It's games like these I find myself wishing I could be back in Arrowhead, going hoarse with the rest of the 12th man.

Priest continues to churn out solid performances, even with 7-8 men in the box.

The line: 15 carries for 83 yards and 3 receptions for 26 yards, plus 3 touchdowns.

Next Week: Bye week

21 October 2003

Chief Concern

While the Priest made an excellent maiden voyage on Monday night, the rest of the Chiefs offense nearly sunk the unbeaten ship, squeaking past the hated Raiders, 17-10.

Gonzo turned in another nice performance, but no one can hide the fact that the passing game leaves plenty to be desired. Sure, it looked great against the Pack, but teams won't be handing us wins much longer.

I submit that the Raiders were dominated in the first half, but the Raiders made a great run and capitalized on the Chiefs' inability to finish an opponent.

This Chiefs team is in no way truly indicative of the way they can play. They haven't come close to their potential.

In a way, I was somewhat pleased with the events that transpired the night previous. It may serve a reminder to a team riding high that they still must come to work every day and take care of business the old-fashioned way.

All this and with another national test against the suddenly surging Bills coming up Sunday night, a nice wake-up call may be what the doctor ordered.

NFL.com GameCenter Stats

20 October 2003


Finally, I've followed through on something. This feature will be updated every week with The Priest's latest heroics for all to see.

Thanks for checking it out and be sure to watch the Kansas City Chiefs battle the Oakland Raiders tonight on Monday Night Football.

13 October 2003

Coming Soon...

...We'll continue in the Grand Tradition of Pujols Watch with our newest feature Priest Watch.

The Mainframe hopes that you enjoy.
Good triumphs once again over The Dark Side

The Blues won their first game of the year with a 2-1 victory over the Avalanche at Denver.

Life is definitely good.
Lambeau Magic Strikes Again...

...Fortunately for me, it involved a well-timed 9 route to Kennison for 51 yards and a magical comeback for the 6-0 Chiefs.

Next week, the Chiefs travel to rival Oakland for an epic Monday Night Matchup. That is, of course, should the Raiders decide to show up.

09 October 2003

Columbus Chiefs Update

It's a game of peaks and valleys, even in cyberspace.

After struggling out of the gates to the tune of an 0-2 start, my horse has grown some legs and is slowly creeping up the Bad Boyz league standings.

The cyber-Chiefs record stands @ 3-2, going into a tough matchup with the MoBrowns, who is surprisingly, a fan of the Cleveland franchise.

He's also the guy that was hired to replace me at my old place of business.
If you think there's any bad blood, you'd be wrong, since I've never met the guy personally (though he seems really nice; I guess you'd have to be a godsend, rooting for the Browns)

Smack Talk of the Week

I took my buddy Brock to the cleaners last Sunday with a 212.70 to 181.70 win over his undefeated St Louis Broncos (4-1). Truth be told, I've been riding the Inferno that is Dante Hall, and reaping the benefits.

If you don't know who Dante Hall is, shame on you: You're a stronger person than me.
Hey, I'm not dead...

...though I really have nothing blog-worthy to share with you, the reader. I'm sure KO can think of a plethora of things for me to prattle on about, but I cannot.

So, just droppin a post that I'm not dead. Yea.

25 September 2003

Life Briefing Update

Since we last posted on September 10th, The Mainframe has:

-Driven 17 hours to Michigan (Ouch).

-Picked out a Big Boy ensemble (Translation: Jacket, Gabardines, Chestnut Cap Toed Dress Shoes, and Fine Gauge Mock Turtleneck)

-Witnessed a polka dance at the wedding to the "Pennsylvania Polka" (which I first heard on "Groundhog Day")

-Attended the wedding of a friend named "Crackhouse Nikki" (Funny story)

-Met 4 of Kirsten's oldest friends on the trip...and was only slapped 3 times!!

-Visited the boyhood hometown of Kid Rock (Romeo, Michigan)

-Set up Temporary HQ at the Jan/Steve residence

-Turned 27 years old.

-Rode the Robo-Coaster.

-Seen "Lost in Translation" (Amazing) and "Italian Job" (Surprisingly Good)

-Lost my first game in the Elimination Pool (Damn you, cursed Cardinals)

-Won my first game in Fantasy Football (Go Priest)

-Played Mini Golf Twice against KO (Record 1-1)

-Drove 17 hours back to Georgia.


Good. Now we're up to speed.

Deep Thoughts of the Month

Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not for our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex.
-Jack Handey

10 September 2003

New Feature...or, Thank Goodness for Small Victories

The Mainframe, along with the help of our good friends at FrontPage Tips finally figured out a new convenient feature for you, dear reader.

Now, The Mainframe has the power to open new windows in a single bound when a you click on a link.

No more leaving your favorite website. It is indeed a good day.

Let the world rejoice.
2 out of 3 ain't bad

Albert Pujols continues to astound everyone. He's even left guys like Cards broadcaster Mike Shannon speechless, and tonight was no exception.
I tuned in the game on the way home from work just in time to hear Wayne Hagin call Albert's second homer of the night, giving him 41 on the year.
In case you're scoring at home, that dinger puts Pujols just ahead of Barry Bonds' amazing 40 homers in only 356 AB, despite being constantly forced to take his base.

Pujols for the moment now leads in 2 of the 3 Triple Crown catergories for the first time since before the All-Star Break.

Meanwhile tonight's 10-2 win against the Rockies and the Cubs' subsequent loss to the Expos in Puerto Rico leaving the Cards gaining a game on the Cubbies and a half game on the idle Astros.

It Also Gets the "Brown" Out

So I was watching a re-run of a re-run of Conan late last night with Amy Sedaris, and she said a certain substance (which was bleeped out) when mixed with a drink can give you explosive diarrhea.

The substance: Visine.

How does it work? This incredibly detailed and well-read blog comment I found might help explain it.

The best way to find out: Try it on your enemies (or friends, but that's just wrong).
Sitcom Poison returns to the Airwaves...or, Ted McGinley, Killing Shows Since 1974

One of the perks of being in television promotion is you get to see the new shows before the public. It serves a higher purpose, but its a great benefit for the TV lover in me.
I've seen some good and some bad over the years. More lean to one side than the other.

Which brings me to my point:
One person that I truly thought I'd never, never, ever see again on the small screen is Ted McGinley.

The boys over at JumpTheShark.com know what I'm talking about, referring the McGinley as their Patron Saint. They go on to write this:

Ted is the patron saint of shark jumping. Chances are that if Ted is anywhere near your cast, consider the show on the downward spiral. That's not to take away from Ted's fine acting skills. Consensus here enjoys Ted more on the big screen (Revenge of the Nerds) than on our sets. Then again, we wouldn't have a patron saint...thanks Ted!

In the spirit of being fair, Here's Joseph's take:

In Defense of Ted...
"Ted McGinley rules! i would portray him in a more distinguished light, he is no clown. any actor who can carve a niche like that man is talented and lucky. shows disappear and he keeps on coming back. he survives as others sink. while revenge of the nerds was terrific, his body of work that distinguishes him from meeker actors is on married with children. jefferson, d'arcy's boy, is one of the classic all-time characters. time will prove me correct." - Joseph

Enough said.

The reason I bring up Ted is that one of the new shows on ABC's resurgent "TGIF" lineup, Kelly Ripa's vehcle "Hope and Faith" has recently hired Ted as Hope's husband on the show, played ironically by Faith Ford, or Corky Sherwood-Forrest of Murphy Brown.
When I saw the pilot three months ago, a nameless actor portrayed the role of said husband. Apparently, he wasn't as destructive of a force as the President of Alpha Beta from Revenge of the Nerds or as lovable and pathetic as Jefferson D'Arcy from Married with Children.

Sometimes, I wonder if TV execs truly want shows to fail, like some sort of elitist-defeatist complex.
It's the only way I can truly explain such personnel moves.

But I digress...

For lack of a better analogy than a sports one, (I'm such a GUY), I liken Ted McGinley to the Turk on your favorite sports team.
For those of you infamiliar with the Turk, he's the sadistic employee of the team (Coach/Trainer/Guard/Equipment Manager) who gets the pleasure of informing a player indirectly that he's been cut from the team.
For example, in the NFL, the guys grabs and mutters the immortal phrase:

"The Coach wants to see you...and bring your playbook."

Yeah, that guy. When Mr. McGinley arrives on set, let the Requiem begin.

Sorry Kelly, but the Exec wants to see you...and bring your script with you.

Care(less) Package

This is one way to avoid the authorities. Not a smart one, but one nonetheless.

A Texas man has done what many of us have only 'dreamed of'. He shipped himself... instead of buying an airline ticket. The guy actually packed himself into a wooden cargo crate (no word on who sealed it) and mailed himself from New York to his home in Dallas, Texas. When the crate arrived at his parents' doorstep, the 25-year-old penny pincher pried open the crate with a crowbar and shook the hand of the deliveryman. But the deliveryman (obviously not amused) called the police. The cops arrested the young man on two outstanding Texas warrants, obviously providing us with another clue as to why the man decided to avoid more traditional transportation.

Hey, kids, don't try this on your own. The man survived only because he was lucky enough to get a pressurized cabin, and the entire trip took more than 12 hours. The FBI and Transportation Security Administration, meanwhile, are trying to determine what other laws he may have broken.
-MSNBC Countdown staff

Return of the Newsman

In case you're just joining us, let me disclaim this post by reintroducing the players.

First, a communication professor at the University of Notre Dame by the name of Ted Mandell wrote a letter to a local TV station that was subsequently published in the Indianapolis Star.
Mandell teaches in the Department of Film, Television and Theater at the University of Notre Dame.

Next, a response to Mandell's letter came via my source for the letter, Grahme Newell's Ideanet, a television newsletter for industry folk. It was also posted in this space on the 29 of August.
That letter was written by Tom Long, VP/GM of WRGB, Albany/Schenecdady/Troy, a TV station in New York.

But as we all know, everything on television comes in threes.

Heretofore, the trifecta installment in the TV News Secrets Saga....from a Cronkite disciple nonetheless.

As always, Comments are not only welcomed, they're encouraged.

Response to 8/25/03 article "The Ten Little Secrets Of Local TV News":

"I must take exception with Tom Long's letter regarding Ted Mandell's article.

While it is certainly not surprising that Mr. Long would stoop to a personal attack, as seems to be the case whenever the news media is criticized, his denials about the state of local news and his suggested solutions actually underscore Mandell's point.

Mandell is absolutely correct that local news has been co-opted as a cross-promotional tool for the networks broader agenda. The content is often stupefying, insulting, and indeed designed to keep viewers "on the hook" to bridge through the next pod.

Yet, like many of his brethren, Long chooses to blame the viewers - and suggest that audience preference would make local news even worse than it already is. It is this contempt for the needs and tastes of the viewer that allows local television news to deliver less and less. What Long conveniently leaves out is the desire to target demos and cross-promote existing programming.

It is the ceaseless choice of promotion over content that makes local newscasts empty, and ham-handed, and makes newscasters (and their bosses) wildly self-important.

I believe most readers enjoyed the wit of Mandell's article and see the truth behind it.

That Long didn't - or won't - says a great deal.

Sterling Rome
Senior Producer
Luna Vox Productions
(freelance columnist and former assistant to Walter Cronkite, former anchorman CBS Evening News)
-courtesy Grahme Newell
Nice Pants You Have, Hmm?

Star Wars Lines That Can Be Impressive If You Substitute The Word "Pants"

1. A tremor in the pants. The last time I felt this was in the presence of my old master.

2. You are unwise to lower your pants.

3. We've got to be able to get some reading on those pants, up or down.

4. She must have hidden the plans in her pants. Send a detachment down to retrieve them. See to it personally Commander.

5. These pants may not look like much, kid, but they've got it where it counts.

6. I find your lack of pants disturbing.

7. These pants contain the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it.

8. Han will have those pants down. We've got to give him more time!

9. General Veers, prepare your pants for a surface assault.

10. I used to bulls-eye womp-rats in my pants back home.

11. TK-421. . . Why aren't you in your pants?

12. Lock the door. And hope they don't have pants.

13. Governor Tarkin. I should've recognized your foul pants when I was brought on board.

14. You look strong enough to pull the pants off of a Gundark.

15. Luke . . . Help me take . . . these pants off.

16. Great, Chewie, great. Always thinking with your pants.

17. That blast came from those pants. That thing's operational!

18. Don't worry. Chewie and I have gotten into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.

19. Maybe you'd like it back in your pants, your highness.

20. Your pants betray you. Yours feelings for them are strong. Especially one. Your sister!

21. Jabba doesn't have time for smugglers who drop their pants at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser.

22. Yeah, well short pants is better than no pants at all, Chewie.

23. Attention. This is Lando Calrissean. The Empire has taken control of my pants, I advise everyone to leave before more troops arrive.

24. I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.

25. You came in those pants? You're braver than I thought.

-courtesy Grahme Newell

06 September 2003

Deep Thought(s) of the Week

Sorry I've been neglecting my blog again. The staff will try to do better.

In the meantime, enjoy these little nuggets:

Children need encouragement, so if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.

Instead of mousetraps, what about baby traps? Not to harm the babies, but just to hold them down until they can be removed.

I guess of all my uncles, I liked Uncle Caveman the best. We called him Uncle Caveman because he lived in a cave, and because sometimes he'd eat one of us. Later on, we found out he was a bear.

-Jack Handey

02 September 2003

The Official Home for Your 2003 Columbus Chiefs

I know it's amazing, but this is the first year I've forayed into the uncharted waters of Fantasy Football.
If you know me, you'll undertstand and wonder how I held out this long.

There, the seal hath been broken.

Here's a look at what my league's live draft yielded on Saturday for the Chiefs on the Hooch:

Gannon, Rich (QB-Oak)
Brooks, Aaron (QB-NO)
Vick, Michael (QB-Atl)
Moulds, Eric (WR-Buf)
Robinson, Koren (WR-Sea)
Reed, Josh (WR-Buf)
Taylor, Travis (WR-Bal)
Boerigter, Marc (WR-KC)
Smith, JimmyNA (WR-Jac)
Holmes, Priest (RB-KC)
Green, William (RB-Cle)
Staley, Duce (RB-Phi)
McMichael, Randy (TE-Mia)
Jolley, Doug (TE-Oak)
Johnson, Teyo (WR, TE-Oak)

Carney, John (K-NO)

Baltimore (DEF-Bal)

The 2003 Columbus Chiefs Draft Order
1. Holmes, Priest (RB-KC)
2. Gannon, Rich (QB-Oak)
3. Moulds, Eric (WR-Buf)
4. Robinson, Koren (WR-Sea)
5. Brooks, Aaron (QB-NO)
6. Green, William (RB-Cle)
7. McMichael, Randy (TE-Mia)
8. Baltimore (DEF-Bal)
9. Reed, Josh (WR-Buf)
10. Staley, Duce (RB-Phi)
11. Carney, John (K-NO)
12. Jolley, Doug (TE-Oak)
13. Vick, Michael (QB-Atl)
14. Jones, Freddie (TE-Ari)
15. Smith, Jimmy (WR-Jac)
16. Boerigter, Marc (WR-KC)
17. Bryson, Shawn (RB-Det)

Side Note: I picked up Michael Vick in the !3th round. The steal of the draft.

Stay Tuned throughout the season for more from your hometown team.

What Smiths Song are you?

Very cool quiz. Thanks to Mike for turning me onto it.

Sheila, take a bow
You are "Sheila take a bow."
You know that life hurts, and you've had your share
of pain, but that doesn't mean you can't still
have a good time. You know the importance of
not dwelling on your problems. You have a
generally positive outlook, and you are a
really good friend.

Which Smiths song are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

29 August 2003

Monumental Droppings

Until now, The Mainframe had successfully refrained from exploring the Ten Commandments Monument controversy.

That will continue.

But, before doing so, I wish to extend to you, my savvy reader, a sliver of the debate as seen through the eyes and ears of the fine people down South.

Lessons in email etiquette and grammar notwithstanding, you will find a little something for everyone in the comments sent to this fine station's website.

The Industry Strikes Back

Earlier this week, I posted a letter to the editor of a TV Station from a Broadcasting professor lambasting the Local TV News industry.

Herein is a rebuttal from a General Manager to Mandell's comments:

Response to 8/25/03 article "The Ten Little Secrets Of Local TV News":

I feel sad that Ted Mandell actually is teaching our future journalists.

His occasional honest discovery is simply overpowered by the other self-importance drivel and misdirected sarcasm. This whole thing sounds more like the e-mails I get from shut-in viewers with emotional problems, complaining about the President preempting Guiding Light. It certainly isn't instructive, and really just deserves a big "duuh!".

Local news isn't really very innovative any more; I'll give you that, but it certainly hasn't "rotted" for the past 20 years. Surely Mr Mandell is aware of the myriad ways that people get their information today - and the effect that's had on broadcast viewing, not to mention Local News viewing?

Those reporters and anchors (and producers) that he makes fun of are really just doing their job as best they can, inside the parameters laid out for them. If anyone should be faulted for the state of broadcast newscasts, it should be the GM's and News Directors who haven't taken the time, or had the guts, to create new and innovative approaches to news delivery. On the other hand, that's a tough call for an advertising-supported medium competing in an increasingly monthly fee-based business.

Bottom-line pressures are intense, because the audiences are being splintered, and broadcasters earn their living via accumulating large audiences. The economic models are different between broadcast and cable/satellite news nets, and that is causing lots of scrambling as we try to find our way in the 21st century...but we will find it, just as sure as we'll find better ways to do local news.

Mandell sounds like a person who actually believes that a perfect newscast model exists, and that we're all somewhere on the bad/good continuum toward it - and probably going backwards. What I believe is that our local newscasts are a pretty good reflection of what our society is, or what it tolerates (or both) and they'll be as different five years from now as society is different then. Who should set the bar for what a really good newscast looks like? Who determines the acceptance? When is it too raw?

How much teasing is too much? For broadcast, I believe it's the audience
that makes that choice. However, just as a pure majority choice can create some ugly societal outcomes, total dependence on audience preference would probably leave us with Jerry Springer news.

We need professional standards in news gathering and presentation, and that's where Academia best serves journalism. Rather than sarcasm aimed at the working folks, how about our academics taking the time to work with broadcast managers? That should make something happen in newsrooms, and maybe rather quickly.

Tom Long
WRGB, Albany/Schenecdady/Troy

27 August 2003

=W= Update

One day after releasing me from my funk, I find more good news regarding the boys of the Flying W.

Rick Rubin and Weezer? A match made in Heaven.

Read more about this production supergroup here and here.

26 August 2003

The World has Turned and Left Me Here

Have you ever been in a music rut?
You know, where no music really inspires you, or moves you, or just plain rocks you?

Well, I've been in a music rut for a few weeks now, and for the longest time, I couldn't shake it.

Until tonight.

Then I popped in the Blue Album and recharged my batteries.
Sure, it's arguably my favorite album of all time (and definitely holds the most influence in my life as the first to truly open my eyes to a whole new world). But, it's also one of the few records that I know can kick me out of a serious funk and help me to find the love in music.

So the question is: What album inspires you? Defines you? Helps you to break out of your personal music funk?
(Leave your comments in the aforementioned link below)

Letter to the Editor

A nice little diddy that I came across and wish to share with all of you.
To set it up, this is an actual letter to a TV station in Indianapolis from a "concerned" viewer.

Sharp writing that rivals a Simpsons episode.


The Ten Little Secrets Of Local TV News
By Ted Mandell, The Indianapolis Star 8/12/03
Submitted by Pennie Westers
Dear Paula Anchorwoman, attractive, upbeat reader of our nightly local TV news:
The charade is over. It's time for your viewers to let you and your happy-face sidekicks in on a little secret.

We're not the naive, non-thinking couch potatoes you think we are.

While you smile and tell us about the dangers of eating peanuts for men with oversized prostates, let me give you a history lesson in local news.

After growing for 40 years and then rotting for the next 20, local TV news coverage has fueled this fear-stricken, head-buried-in-the-sod society of ours for long enough. It's time for an overhaul.

Local news coverage was established to inform the public as part of a Federal Communications Commission license to broadcast. It was not intended to be a sea of teasers, shameless self-promotion and smarmy personalities.

Let me whisper a few other secrets into your earpiece:

* Delivering a sentence with dramatic pauses and roller-coaster nuances does not make the story important. Just read the script and quit auditioning for the next local production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night."

* The word "live" is a TV term from the 1970s and has no meaning in today's televised world. Neither does "exclusive." We also don't care if you "brought it to us first." No one is interested in hearing, "As we reported to you first last week." Quit bragging like an 8-year old boy.

* No matter how many double dopplers, future tracks and weather guarantees, the meteorologist is only correct about half the time. And zero-percent accountable. Those aren't weather labs. They are pre-fabricated weather models sent from a consulting company. The weather reporter can stare at the Vegas-sized bank of video monitors all day long, but that won't make him capable of predicting Mother Nature with the pinpoint accuracy you claim.

This just in, sky-view cameras don't show us anything at night except street lights.

* Speaking of accountability, teasing a story with a question -- Could your garage door kill you? Do you know what's in your sink drain? Is your child safe playing in your front lawn? -- is blatantly irresponsible and unnecessarily provokes fear in the viewer, at least until after the commercial when we find out there's really nothing to fear. Stop asking me questions. I'm tired of screaming the answers back at you.

* My city is not as dangerous as you make it out to be. The insistence in putting a beat reporter on the steps of the courthouse gives the daily impression that my neighborhood is full of rapists, thieves and arsonists.

We're tired of seeing the same slow-motion footage of a low-life leaving the courthouse elevator every night. Ninety-nine percent of the people in my hometown are law-abiding citizens. Quit magnifying the few criminals.

* There is no such thing as an anniversary of a murder. Move on and throw the old footage away. We don't want to see it.

* Every story in the world is not logically linked to another. These waves of child abductions, plagues of Internet predators and flocks of armed schoolchildren are nothing more than an ocean of local muck-diggers desperately seeking some connection of every horrific event to their own hometowns.

* Being "live on location" does not mean you have information to provide to the public. It means you have a satellite truck. Schools are closed at night. So are city halls and churches. What are you doing standing out in the dark? Hey, Belinda Standup, get out of the cold and back in the studio.

* The newsroom isn't live, either. The cat's out of the bag. You're not answering impromptu, probing questions from your anchor. You're just reading a teleprompter of prepared text -- usually written at a third-grade level.

* It's time to fire the pricey news consultant who has turned your 30-minute show into a clone of the other 150 newscasts he services around the country.

Inventor of the insipid three-day special investigative report every sweeps period, his idea of creative marketing is slapping a cheesy slogan on your news team. "Taking Action For You," "We're There for You," "Together Making a Difference" -- Thanks, but no thanks. I think I'll go it alone.

Mandell teaches in the Department of Film, Television and Theater at the University of Notre Dame.
- courtesy Grahme Newell

23 August 2003

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Read about my 2 Favorite Parks on these links:

Kauffman Stadium Grade: 84 (T-3rd)
Ah, look at the pretty fountains.

Busch Stadium Grade 78.5 (T-8th)
Gotta love the Red Sea.
2 New Arms for the Redbirds

It pays to get spam mail from mlb.com.

This is the email I just received, hot off the wire:

The Cardinals added a pair of experienced arms to their
pitching staff on Friday night, acquiring right-hander
Mike DeJean from the Brewers and lefty Sterling Hitchcock
from the Yankees. St. Louis will send two players to be named
later to Milwaukee and minor league pitchers Justin Pope
and Ben Julianel to New York.

Read more about the trade here.

In other news....

....An 0 for 5 night after missing 3 games with flu-like symtoms, Pujols' streak was snapped at 30 games last night.
As if to add insult to injury, the Cards also lost the game 9-4.
Which just goes to show you how little Albert cares about the streak.
He's all about the team.

Re: Hiatus

So, it's been a week since my last post. I apologize for the neglect. I will tidy up here and there next week.
But for now, I'm happy to report that I won't be blogging until Sunday at the earliest.

Kirsten and I are finally getting away for the weekend and visiting Hot-lanta. It should be a fun-filled and packed 2 days of vacation.

In the meantime, I'll leave with this Week's Deep Thought:

Children need encouragement, so if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way, he develops a good, lucky feeling.
-Jack Handey


15 August 2003

The Hits Keep On Coming

Prince Albert is as it again.

Albert Pujols singled, doubled and tripled, extending his hitting streak to 29 games.

This time, instead of waiting the whole game to pad his streak, at least he did my heart the service of getting it on the second pitch he saw, roping a fastball to right field.

Entering tonight's game, Pujols is hitting .379 over the life of the streak. With that first hit, Albert passes Ken Boyer for second place on the Cards' all-time list, with Rogers Hornsby's 33 games the record.

Unfortunately he wasn't the only one crushing the ball tonight. The Phillies batted around in the first inning, ttagging 14 game winner Woody Williams for 5 runs on 6 hits.

That inning turned out to be the difference, as the Phillies takes the opener 7-4.

Notes: The Cards continue their series tomorrow against the Phils at 7:05 ET.
On the Mound: STL Haren [3-3, 3.74] vs. PHI Myers [11-7, 3.78]
photo courtesy stlcardinals.com

13 August 2003

Return of the Jedi

Gotta finish out the theme.

Does life get any better?
I spent the evening tonight watching my three favorite teams play their respective games, The Braves, The Cards, and the Royals.
Below, a brief look at all three games:

The Good
The Braves, adopted due to geography, exact revenge over the Padres with another gem by Hampton, winning 7-1.
Hot in the dog days
Tonight's win is Hampton's seventh straight and moves his record into double digit W's on the season. The Bravos remain the best team in baseball, with a record of 77-42.

The Bad
The Cards' bullpen blows another lead (albeit slim), with Pedro Borbon Jr. giving up the GW single to Randall Simon in the bottom of the ninth after 2 quick outs, losing 5-4 to snap their 4 game winning streak.
The Hits keep on Coming
Albert Pujols passes Lou Brock with another 3-run jack tonight, his only hit of the night.
Pujols: 1-for-4 | 3-run HR (34, 6th inning off B Meadows 2 on, 0 Out) | 3 RBI (108) | 1 RS | 0 BB, 0 K, 0 LOB

and, The Euphoric
The Royals jump all over the Yanks, shutting out the Empire 11-0.
Jeff Weaver has a rough outing, giving up 13 hits on the way to his 9th loss of the season. Torre isn't helping him out much, leaving him in to eat up innings and save his somewhat suspect bullpen.

The Ape's return
Great game for Kevin on the return to "Planet Appier", going 6.0 scoreless innings, giving up 3 hits, walking 1 and punching out 2.
Affeldt comes in to relieve Ape in the 7th, continuing his dominance since moving to the pen.
He doesn't dissappoint, going 2.0 innings, allowing 1 hit, walking 1 and ringing up 3.

Jeremy hands the ball off to Leskanic, who finishes off the shutout with a scoreless ninth.

Sweeney's back
The Captain's 2-for-4, 4 RBI performance tonight help spark the Royals' dominance over the Bombers tonight, which surely exact revenge on his feud between he and Weaver.
All is not lost for Jeff Weaver.

The 40,000 fans attending the game tonight should give him a pat on the back. His 13-hits-allowed performance alone awarded every ticket holder with a dozen free donuts.

Me thinks the Krispy Kreme stores in the Metro area will be packed all week long.

12 August 2003

All is Right with the World

It's that time of year again.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback makes its triumphriant return.
The Empire Strikes Back

The Bad News...The Yanks blank the Royals 6-0 on 8 shutout innings by Mussina.
The Good News....Beltran's back.

Stay tuned for the final episode tomorrow on The Worldwide Leader in Sports.

Appier makes his home debut at his old stomping grounds.
A fun time for all indeed.

Tomorrow's Matchup: 8:05 p.m. ET @ Kaufmann Stadium (Live on ESPN)
On the Mound: NYY Weaver [6-8, 5.44] vs. KC Appier [7-8, 5.53]
26...and counting

Our man Pujols continues his torrid pace, hitting safely in his 26th straight game with a big night at the plate, 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and 3 runs scored, including a 3-run homer in the 1st inning.

Tino Martinez also hit a 3-run jack as the Cards waxed the Pirates 10-6 for their 4th win in a row.

Notes: Pujols' streak is the Cardinals' longest since Lou Brock's 26-game run in 1971. Rogers Hornsby holds the team record with a 33-game streak in 1922.
courtesy ESPN.com
A New Hope

The Star Wars metaphor is just too easy. A scrappy alliance of rebels (Royals) wage battle against the "Evil Empire", or the Bronx Bombers, whichever you prefer.

Game #1 result: Royals blast a franchise-record 11 double-sackers for a 12-9 win over the Yanks.

Tomorrow's Matchup: 7:05 p.m. CT @ Kaufmann Stadium

On the Mound: NYY Mussina [12-6, 3.35] vs. KC May [5-5, 3.65 ]
Your vote counts in 2004

The Berroa Rookie of the Year media blitz continues, courtesy of everyone's favorite Kansas City Star columnist, Joe Posnanski.

Hurry up and jump on board.
Deep Thought of the Day

The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we'd all pile into the car - I forget what kind it was - and drive and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air, as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad". We'd eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.
-Jack Handey

Dubya - Now with Kung Fu Grip!

In case there were any who felt the real thing was a ridiculous Photo op, this goes a long way to supporting that theory.

11 August 2003

Hittin' the Links

Playing a Par 3 Course in my brother's hometown of Springfield, Mo. last week has sparked a new interest: Golfing with Kirsten.

Yeah, I know it sounds like a bad instruction video, but I believe this far-fetched little plan of ours may soon come to fruition.

KO and I have discovered a diamond in the rough, or golf ball in the rough, to help simplify the metaphor:
A little out-of-the-way par 3 course nestled in the Columbus metro-swallowed town of Bibb City, and couldn't be more perfect for what Kirsten and I have in mind.

We should play our first round later on this week. Stay Tuned.
An Angel in the Infield

If you haven't heard yet, my Kansas City Royals are wowing the entire league with their resurgence and rise to the top of the AL Central standings.
At press time, the boys in blue maintain a slim half game lead over the Chicago White Sox, and one of the main reasons for that is an "Angel" in dusguise.

Angel Berroa (pronounced An Hail) has electrified the growing crowds at Kaufmann Stadium all year, and finally a goundswell hath begun for his consideration for the AL Rookie of the Year.

Interested to see how this kid has helped the Royals? Read on and Believe!
Pujols Update

Just when I think that this kid can't do anything else to impress me, Prince Albert surprises me again. It's phenomenal the season Pujols is having, and his game-winning solo shot off the best closer in the game just adds another chapter in the already stellar saga of this young man.
With that homer, Mr. Pujols extends his hitting streak to a career high 24 games, with the final at-bat providing a little drama the last three games

I don't care what anyone says: Pujols for MVP!

06 August 2003

An Old Face

The Royals acquired Kevin Appier today after he cleared waivers from the Anaheim Angels.

We can only hope he regains his own form.

03 August 2003

Foreign Coorespondence

Good Morning.
I'm coming to you from our branch division in Springfield Missouri where I'm taking a 5-day "vacation" to visit our SW Missouri team, Casey and Nicole (My brother and his girlfriend).

I also met with other team members from the Missouri branch, namely (in order by height, shortest to tallest).
Aunt Suzanne, my mom Chris, my cousin's new bride, Amari, the aforementioned cousin Gavin, my dad Mike, and my uncle Jerry. Suzanne, Jerry, Amari, and Gavin come to us from the Moberly office, while Chris handles the original home office in Kirksville, with Mike manning the Kansas City branch.
Now that we have the exposition out of the way, a brief synopsis of our trip to Springfield.

Day 1 | Thursday, 31 July 2003 | 8:01 am
I say goodbye to the homestead before trekking off to Atlanta to catch my 11:23 flight to Kansas City. Since I'm secure in my masculinity, I can safely that I miss my girlfriend and our Zoe terribly already. What can I say? They're too damn cute. Seriously, I'm lucky.
9:20 am
Made good time to Hartsfield, plus with the conveinence of being a Delta customer, I made it to my plane gate in about 25 minutes upon arrival.
Things were looking up.
9:50 am
Settle in to put a dent in the book I'm reading, Moneyball. With a hour before boarding, the day seems promising.
11:10 am
Begin boarding Flight 1236. Looks like we'll take off on time.
11:42 am
Plane leaves gate 15 minutes late. We're not shocked.
1:10pm / 12:10 pm
Change watch to Central time. All time is Central forthwith.
12:20 pm
Plane touches down in Kansas City. Another death averted.
12:45 pm
Meet my mom in the pick-up zone. Not a "perfect pick-up, but damn close.
1:30 pm
Eat lunch at Cracker Barrel in Lee's Summit, Mo. (Mom's choice). Leaves little to be desired.
3:00 pm
Arrive at Independence Center in Independence Mo. Buy a Royals and Cardinals T-shirt (cause they're so easy to find in Columbus). Buy Kirsten a present.
5:30 pm
Leave for Kauffman Stadium to catch the Royals-White Sox clash at 7:00 pm.
6:00 pm
Arrive at game. Immediately head for our seats (Section 306, Row K, 1 & 2). Proceed down to field level to catch remnants of White Sox batting practice (1 HR). Head back to our seats. Stop to grab concessions and a scorecard plus pencil.
7:10 pm
First pitch: Called Strike for Kyle Snyder to Roberto Alomar.
10:57 pm
Final out: Royals lose 8-6 in 11 innings. A valiant effort, but the White Sox sweep the series in KC, pulling to within a game of first place in the AL Central.
11:10 pm
Dejected, we begin long trip south to Springfield.
2:00 am
Arrive at Casey and Nicole's. Shortly thereafter, fall asleep reading Moneyball.

Stay tuned for the rest of my trip...
Pujols By Proxy

Kirsten Says:
Being the kind, generous, and sweet girlfriend that I am, I've updated the "Pujols Watch" in Cory's absence. Enjoy.

31 July 2003

Off to Mizzou

No blogging for the next couple of days as I will be trekking about the Show-Me State.

Pujols Watch will be suspended until Monday August 4th.

See ya on Monday.

30 July 2003

This is Television

Last night marked the airing of a long awaited breath of fresh air to the general public.

This is SportsCenter.

Did anyone catch their behind the scenes look at ESPN's crown jewel last night? If not, you might well have missed out on television history.

I'd be hard pressed to find any other show for as long as I can remember that really captured, to quote that beat writer for the Chiefs in Slap Shot, "the spirit of the thing". I really hope that this program receives strong Emmy consideration, because it will be well-deserved.
Now I realize that may be a biased opinion, since I work in the same field as these brave souls.

Let's just chalk it up to the fact that this is for all the ignorant. clueless saps out there that have underminded the jobs shared by the lads from ESPN and my other Live TV colleagues. Hopefully, those individuals had a chance to view this program and perhaps gained a little perspective on our "cake" jobs.

When I hear anyone "comment" why we can't cover this story, or where were we for this accident, and how hard can your job be, reading off a prompter, it's hard. There's so much that goes into making it look easy. More programs like these could really help quell those responses, and offer that great insight into a fascinating lifestyle.

It's important to understand that working in this business can be, and often is, very tough and demanding.

We don't do this work because it's easy. We don't do it because it's simple, and we certainly don't do it for the money.

We do it because it's in our blood. We do it for the moments where you can really help make a difference. We do it for the moments where everything comes together just right and a great story reaches the airwaves. I think that most of us do it to really see something we do connect with the public.

The best rewards are the ones expressed by you the public. You are the barometers for success. It's something we take very seriously and affects every decision we make in this field.

Television is a powerful medium. Hopefully we do that power justice for those precious few moments that we wield it.

27 July 2003

The Boone County Affair

A post tonight by the amazing Sportslady harkened me back to a much simpler time, that I proceeded to share on her comments link.

To save you the trip...and because I can't think of anything else to blog about, I'm posting the unabridged version below.


I remember going to the Boone Co. Fair in Fulton Mo with my Legion baseball buddies, since we were there competing in state.
What better way to pass the time than crash the county fair and hit on the local chicas, much to the dismay of the Fulton brethen.
Ahh, the allure of the unknown pack of girls...

Anyway, the best part of the night was figuring out how to beat the other basket game and cleaning out the stunned carnie for 15 minutes.

The game I speak of is a board with an obtuse angle away from me with a basket directly below it.

The object: Throw the wiffleball into the basket by bouncing it off the backboard.
Sounds easy enough? Not at first.
Anything you threw bounced well past the basket.
After watching some of my friends' attempts, it didn't take long to figure it out.
So, I slapped down a buck and tried my luck.
Nailed it on the first try. Then again, and again, and again.

After 5 tries, the carnie made me leave before he ran out of stuff.

The booty: A number of dumb ass flags, except for the one I kept: The Jamacian inspired "Mary Jane leaf" flag.
Needless to say, a classic.

The secret: Throw the wiffleball at an upward angle so the ball strikes the board surface on its way UP, causing it to "stick" close to the board, eventually rolling down it into the basket.

See how easy it is!

26 July 2003

Play your Cards right, Walt

You know, on the one hand, I can understand Cards GM Walt Jocketty's rationalization that by waiting to make a deal for one or multiple players is beneficial for the organization.
I understand that the prudent thing to do is make the other team sweat and in the end, you will be rewarded.

While I understand all of the above, The Cardinals' pitiful second-half pitching performances, adding to that the horrible news about our "ace", have me at my wit's end.

Memo to Walt: We have to stop the bleeding now. If we wait too long, there won't be any blood left to stop.
Wilco Site Advisory

Special thanks goes out to largehearted boy for the link to this Wilco Live Unreleased site.


25 July 2003

"Sticky" Note

Let me be the first to wish you all a Happy Pine Tar Incident Day.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the infamous Pine Tar Incident, where after tagging a monstrous jack off Goose Gossage late in a game at Yankee Stadium, George Brett was rung up by home plate umpire Tim McClelland. It seems that dear old George's bat was determined to have accrued more than 18 inches of pine tar on its handle, thus breaking an archaic and, IMO, a pointless old rule. It didn't help that the late king of all intigators and a Royal pain in the ass Billy Martin was leading the charge.

It's a good thing that Number 5 looks back so fondly at his most famous career highlight.

Let's just hope that our pine tar laden friend George keeps quiet the anniversary of his first hemorroid. *shivers*

Oh well, maybe he can fall back on a possible new part-time gig that could shake up the highly competitive Kansas City sports radio wars.

I, for one, wouldn't kick him off the mike for too much pine tar.
It's Gold, Jerry....Gold!

Somewhere, Bania is writing this comedy gold into his act.

A comedian in Britain stumbled and broke his leg on stage. The audience continues laughing as the performer slips in and out of consciousness over the next 20 minutes. And we can't resist saying this either.... Gives new meaning to that old show business good-luck saying, 'break a leg'.
--Countdown Staff

Tonight's Top 3
COUNTDOWN’s ‘Top 3’ ways the record industry can actually stop Internet music piracy
No. 3 - Take the Orrin Hatch suggestion, destroy the computers of music downloaders.
No. 2 - Lower the prices of CDs perhaps?
No. 1 - Release only albums put out by David Hasselhoff.”
--Countdown Staff
Weather Pixie Advisory

Ever wanted to know what the weather is like in the great city of Columbus, Georgia...and view it in the form of a cool, lightweight version of me?
Now you can.

My new Weather Pixie posesses all of the above, plus it's damn cool. Plus, the instrumentation used to gauge the elements is literally right next door.
Check it out along the left hand side of your screen.

Doesn't get much better than that.
So, What kind of mileage can YOU get from Cuba to Key West?

These guys definitely deserve a mulligan, just for the effort and ingenuity.
That's the kind of Can-Do attitude we need in this country.

Low-tech, ingenious, and nearly successful.
Cuban migrants "drove" a Chevy pickup truck to within 40 miles of Key West before they were spotted by the Coast Guard and sent back to Cuba. A propeller attached to the drive shaft of the green pickup was pushing it along at about 8 mph. The truck/boat was kept afloat by 55-gallon drums attached to the bottom as pontoons. (LA Times). We have to say, the Coast Guard should have let them in simply on bonus points.
--Countdown staff

24 July 2003

Get Inside The Head of a Priest

It seems that the Kansas City Chiefs' best player has taken to blogging, in his own way.
Check out his Priest Training Camp Diary at his philanthrophic website.
A very cool inside look into the world of professional football.
As for his performances at River Falls to this point:
So Far, So Good.

23 July 2003

Rest assured that he'll be getting a call-back

Seriously, where do these people come from?

ADC (America's Dumbest Criminals): the bank robber who wrote the stick-up note on the back of his resume. Is it any wonder he was having a hard time finding a job?
--Countdown staff

21 July 2003

"One Day at a Time" for Snyder

The Royals drop the opening game of the series to the Oakland A's, 6-1, despite what reads like a nightmarish 9th to lose an otherwise close one at the K.

Other important games around the league: Minnesota takes Seattle 5-4, which moves the Twinkies to within 6 games of the AL Central - leading Royals.

Man, I really love this Snyder kid. What a competitor. He's a much better pitcher than his 1-4 record indicates. I wish we could get the kid a little more positive reinforcement in the vein of run support.
The limited times I've seen him, he's shown some serious flash.
75 pitch count in 7 plus 3 hits...not a bad way to come off the DL.

A disappointing 9th, to say the least. Let''s just leave it at the fact that I'm glad I wasn't watching this train wreck.

You know it''s bad when Pena gets the hook for discussing the strike zone.

Well, at least we have the first 8 innings, plus Snyder's performance (and Hernandez's start yesterday) both respectively coming off the DL recently, are very promising.

An impressive debut by Oakland rookie pitching prospect Rich Harden.

Damn Canadian.

Kyle Snyder
7 3 1 1 1 1 75-49 4.29

Rich Harden
7 4 1 1 2 4 93-57 1.29
A Royal needle in the haystack

Royal fans: For the latest info on the beloved boys in blue, check out this little gem I recently discovered today.

Tell 'em Cory sent ya.
Do You Believe Yet?

After centerfielder Carlos Beltran smashed a 2-run walkoff Home Run in the bottom of the 10th, the first-place Kansas City Royals found themselves taking 3 of 4 from the best team in the AL at Kauffman Stadium.
To put it in perspective, were it not for a bottom of the ninth Grand Slam by All-Star Outfielder and former MVP Ichiro two nights previous (off fellow All-Star and Rookie flamethrowing KC closer Mike MacDougal), The surprising Royals would have been sweeping the Seattle Mariners back to the West Coast.

Folks, we may very well be witnessing history in the making. No team, I repeat, NO TEAM has ever lost 100 games in a season and won their division the next year.
Wait...Did I mention that no one's done that?

People of Kansas City: take heed. Do not underestimate this team.
Instead of questioning why or how this can happen, go see it for yourselves. Take the family to the park. Go see this generation's next great players today.
Take in the sights and the smells of this wonderful summer in Kansas City.

You see, I envy every one of you. Here I am, a thousand miles away from the K, and I want so badly to attend not one game, but all of the games.

Names like Brett, White, McRae, Howser, Herzog, Wilson, Cowens, Patek...these are great players in the Royals past.

Now it's time to drink in the new names: Sweeney, Beltran, Berroa, Relaford, Hernandez, Affeldt, Snyder, Lima, May, MacDougal, Randa, Mayne, Ibanez...and many more.

Come on, Kansas City! It's time to stand up and...


19 July 2003

Another black eye for the "Patriots"

No, I don't mean the football team.
Could these tactics be any more childish and ridiculous?

The White House has attacked an ABC news reporter who filed a report on low morale among the troops in Iraq. People in the administration want it known that not only is the reporter openly gay, he is Canadian. This is their brilliant way of discrediting the journalist. What it's causing instead is a flap about their tactics. Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post says the White House was furious about the report, in which one soldier said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resign. Lloyd Grove is booked.
-Countdown daily email

18 July 2003

A Royal Task at Hand

Things couldn't be better for the Kansas City Royals, right?
Sure, they have arguably the best team in baseball in town for 3 games, but that should bring the fans out in droves. The Royals - A Marquee Matchup?

Believe it.

Alas, though, there could be problems on the horizon. After leading the Royals through six solid innings tonight to take the first game against Seattle, Jose Lima, the improbable ace of the Royals staff, pulled his groin (behave!) and could miss significant time. Keep your fingers crossed for Lima time to return soon.

On the bright side, Juan Gonzalez and his 23 homers, 66 RBIs and a .288 average could be heading to KC. That's still a big if, but could be just the punch this team needs on offense.

Plus, with the possibility of Kyle Snyder returning soon, the Royals need to send a message to the rest of the AL Central: Those 7 games will be tough to make up.

This 8 game stretch will be crucial to knocking on the door for a playoff berth.
LJ lookin' good in red

This has got to be a new record...and in fact it is.
Kansas City Chiefs President Carl Peterson signed his number 1 draft pick, Larry Johnson of Penn State, to a seven year deal today, shattering his record for actually getting a top selection to training camp on time.
Granted, the deal-making prospect is a two-way street...but let's face it, Carl hasn't exactly had a great track record with these things.

Keep Mr. Peterson in your thoughts as he continues his momentum and reward our holy Priest after the hip checks out 100%.

Hope does spring eternal.

Tonight's showing of Triple X is brought to you by...

Too many commercials. Thank God someone is fighting back.

How many times have you gone to a movie and looked at your watch as the film began, curious as to just how long the ads and trailers lasted. Used to be 15 minutes or less, now it's 15 minutes or more. You know, some of the trailers are OK, but the ads, forget about it. Well, where there's frustration there's ultimately a lawsuit. A woman has sued Loews Cineplex for false advertising because movies never start on time. Her lawyer is booked for the big show tonight.
-Countdown staff

The Future is rolling a Snake Eyes

Well, they can't get jobs, but at least they can gamble!
America's teenagers are having a hard time finding summer jobs, but not having a hard time at all finding ways to gamble. A story in the New York Times says that teens are facing stiff competition for jobs for obvious reasons -- the bad economy. A separate story in the Boston Globe says that studies show that more than 30% of high school students gamble, and that the ways they can throw their money away have increased exponentially. With small-time rackets, the internet and legal gambling like casinos, racetracks and lotteries, teens are surrounded by gambling options. The same studies claim that teen gamblers are more likely than other students to smoke, drink and drug. Yet many parents react the way you might expect them to: "Thank God, it's just gambling."
-Countdown staff
Out of the Mouths of Babes

A first grade teacher collected well-known proverbs. She gave each child in her class the first half of a proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb.

It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading these keep in mind that these are first graders, 6-year olds, because the last one is classic!

Better to be safe than..........................punch a fifth grader.
Strike while the ...............................bug is close.
It's always darkest before......................Daylight Saving Time.
Never underestimate the power of................termites.
You can lead a horse to water but...............how?
Don't bite the hand that........................looks dirty.
No news is......................................impossible.
A miss is as good as a..........................Mr.
You can't teach an old dog new..................math.
If you lie down with dogs, you'll...............stink in the morning.
Love all, trust.................................me.
The pen is mightier than the....................pigs.
An idle mind is.................................the best way to relax.
Where there's smoke there's.....................pollution.
Happy the bride who.............................gets all the presents.
A penny saved is................................not much.
Two's company, three's..........................the Musketeers.
Don't put off till tomorrow what................you put on to go to bed.
Laugh and the whole world
laughs with you, cry and........................you have to blow your nose.
There are none so blind as......................Stevie Wonder.
Children should be seen and not................ spanked or grounded.
If at first you don't succeed...................get new batteries.
You get out of something only what you..........see in the picture on the box.
When the blind leadeth the blind................get out of the way.

And the favorite:
Better late than................................pregnant!
courtesy Ideanet

Signs of the Apocalypse...or, Hey, I thought Jimmy the Greek was dead?

Well, here's his reincarnate.

16 July 2003

It's the Gay A-Team...(Not that there's anything wrong with that)

I can see the pitch to the network execs now: The Gay A-Team swoops in to save the world from another fashion faux pas.

OK. I'm secure enough in my masculinity to admit that I love Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the new show on Bravo.

What's not to love? A fashionably challenged straight guy gets a makeover courtesy of the only species in this world that can truly take on the task: Gay men.

Think about it: All the sense, expertise, and know-how of women, with access to the inner workings, quirks, hangups, (and equipment) of the troubled soul.

The result: A cornucopia of humor, advice, and "flair" that puts all those other "makeover" shows to shame.

Which begs the obvious question: Why didn't I think of this?

I give this show two big snaps.

13 July 2003

Pujols springs to life

Well, looks like Albert's "slump" may finally be over. After going a paltry 3-for-19 (good for a .158 average) in his last 5 games, Pujols unleashed a 3-for-5 performance against the Padres at Busch tonight, finishing San Diego off a bottom of the 11th walk off 2 run Home Run, the first of his career.

One more notch in the 23 year old's belt.

Pujols Watch Update
(through July 12)
90 347 81 128 31 0 27 240 86 38 31 1 1 .369 .431 .692 1.123

11 July 2003

I think Mr. McFarlane really wants me to buy his product.

Here are some of the toys set to hit a store near you.
Click the name for pictures

In Stores Now

Jim Edmonds

Mike Sweeney

Coming in September

Scott Rolen

Coming in August

Priest Holmes

Warning: More Countdown propaganda

From the pen of Olbermann and staff
The Vatican has moved forthrightly into the 21st century, publishing a teen sex guide which includes gems such as "Don't, by your attitude and movements, exhibit your body, especially if you have a physique which turns heads." Soon to follow, no doubt, is the Vatican's teen TV viewing guide (Don't watch), the Vatican's teen movie guide (try to avoid the "talkies"), and the Vatican's teen guide to music (Lawrence Welk, yes, Andy Williams, No).
--Countdown daily email

To sign up for more hilarity, click here.

And no, I'm not being paid to say this....yet.
This Public Service Announcement is brought to you by the Mainframe

Are you always struggling to find out when your favorite sports team plays? Wish you could have your team's schedule at your fingertips, on your desktop or PDA?
The Mainframe is here to help.
SportCenter for News Junkies

OK...I know he's had the show for awhile now, but I'm trying to get the word out to the streets. If you're sick of 24-7 news, give Olbie's show, Countdown, a try.

BTW...Happy 25,000th store are in order for the conveinence chain 7-11, on this, the 11th of July...oh yeah, and before you get carried away, that's a coincidence, not irony.
Maybe he was the imposter during the Stanley Cup Playoffs

First I thought my friend Rich was the serial killer, now he's posing as Walt.

What gives?

ABC's #1 flip-top head converts

Damn Canadian. *snickers*

Jennings Becomes an American
Canadian-born ABC News anchor Peter Jennings says he had long pondered becoming a U.S. citizen but was finally moved to do so, in part, by a newfound "sense of community" he felt after the Sept. 11 attacks on America. "There's only one absolutely practical reason to become a citizen, and that's to vote," Jennings, who turns 65 later this month, said Tuesday.

"It's an emotional decision you make," he said. "I've been here a long time, I have a lot to be thankful for, I have a deep love for the country.

It certainly has a lot to do with gratitude." Jennings took his formal oath as a U.S. citizen during a routine swearing-in ceremony on May 30 but did not go public with the news until this week. Jennings said he had contemplated U.S. citizenship for "many, many years," but acknowledged "it would not have made my mother happy." That problem vanished after her death a number of years ago, he said. Jennings' national origin emerged as an issue last summer when country music star Toby Keith was dropped from the performance lineup of a Jennings-hosted July Fourth music special on ABC.

Keith accused the network of dumping him because of Jennings' objections to the strident lyrics in the hit song he wanted to perform. As a result, Jennings and his Canadian citizenship became targets of scorn leveled on talk radio shows and the Internet.
--(Reuters) (Hollywood Reporter, 7/9/03)

courtesy Ideanet

Somewhere, Rupert Murdoch is preparing for world domination...

One of TV's last strongholds against monopolization is beginning to crumble. I have no more words.

NAB About-Face on FCC Ownership Rules
In a jarring about-face, the National Association of Broadcasters has decided to oppose all pending legislation that would roll back the Federal Communications Commission's recently enacted rules changes that relaxed media ownership limits.

The NAB has also reached out to the major networks to join with it in its new position, apparently seeking to head off the formation of a competing trade group that would represent network interests.

Until Tuesday, under orders from its affiliate-dominated board of directors, the NAB had been lobbying vigorously to win legislation that would roll back the FCC's decision to relax the cap on national TV ownership. The cap was lifted to let broadcasters acquire stations reaching 45 percent of the nation's TV homes after the three Republican FCC commissioners voted for the change. The two Democratic FCC commissioners voted against the change.

The NAB's marching orders have long been to keep the cap at 35 percent -- a level the association has maintained for years is vital to checking the power of networks over their affiliates. But industry and congressional sources said NAB officials have decided to give up the cap fight because they fear they won't be able to win legislation that would focus on the cap alone -- and that any measure approved by an increasingly heated Congress would be likely to be loaded down with provisions reversing FCC deregulation that key NAB members support. Those include the relaxation of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership restrictions.

The sudden change brought an angry rebuke from Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the ranking member on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: "The NAB's decision to reverse itself on the issue of the national television ownership cap is an unfortunate retreat from its proud history of support for localism, diversity and competition in the broadcast marketplace. My efforts, and those of my colleagues, to repeal the FCC's ill-advised decision to raise the ownership cap to 45 percent will not be deterred. And I remain confident that many of NAB's own members will continue to support us."

Sources said NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts has also asked representatives of the Big 4 TV networks to join NAB in its fight against any legislation. All of the networks bailed out of the association over the past several years in a dispute over the cap issue. One source said NAB's change of direction on the cap issue could also take wind out of the sails of the Local Broadcasting Alliance, a new organization that the networks have been planning to launch to represent the interests of their owned-and-operated TV stations in Washington.

A major test of the newfound industry unity could take place next Wednesday when the House Appropriations Committee is slated to consider an FCC appropriations bill. Sources expect the committee to consider a rider that could roll back much of the deregulation the FCC voted to adopt on June 2. An NAB spokesman declined comment on the association's new legislative strategy. But the NAB's Mr. Fritts has scheduled a briefing with reporters Thursday at which he is expected to announce the association's new plan.
-- (Television Week 7/9/03)

courtesy Grahme Newell's Ideanet

10 July 2003

A Reminder How Sad One's Life can Become

It's a banner day at the COD/KO homestead. One of the most anticipated grand openings in Columbus is currently underway a quarter mile from work:
Jumbo China Buffet.

This on a day when Fort Benning's Third Bridgade is coming home.
Nice to know I have my priorities in check.
Evangelistic comments from my favorite Priest

The best player in the NFL has a new website.

I caught Mr. Holmes on his hour long interview today on Kansas City's all sports station WHB-AM. He sounds great.
He's basically 100%...pounding that hip into submission with some serious strength drills. Great news since the rumor mill has been peppered with contradiction.
I'm really pumped about the season...and I'm not alone. The boards at KC Star's site are lighting up in anticipation for the Lombardi run.

Only 26 days and counting to Chiefs Training Camp.