Monday, September 9, 2013

The Diamond and the Gridiron

WHAT IS UP WITH ISRAEL?!?! Just as   I welcome them aboard, THEY WALK RIGHT OUT THE DOOR WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(And those fickle Rooskis decided they didn't want any part of this blog either.Well,they know where they can put their borscht, Nutcracker Suite, and furry hats!) Welcome back, Serbia and Germany, and  I just hope you Serbians  like American football and baseball, because that's what I'm going to talk about today,and a shout-out to our soldiers, sailors,pilots and Marines protecting the peace on our bases in Germany.

This weekend marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the one-day playoff between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox historians will remember as the Boston Massacre,  because Bucky Dent, not known as a power hitter,knocked out a three-run homer that gave the Pinstripers a 3-2 lead over their Bostonian hosts, and redefined Dent in the eyes of Sox fans everywhere as "Bucky Frickin' Dent." (If I gave you the actual nickname, this place would be a parking lot!) Bucky was the honored guest at Yankees Radio Network FanFest at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on 46th Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan Saturday, and he signed autographs along with other Yankee greats. Corporate sponsors from the Yankees and their network were present, along with a Health and Wellness  Village. (A Health and Wellness Village at a Yankee event? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD?!? My thoughts on America's unhealthy obsession with health in a coming blog.) Unfortunately, despite the outpouring of support for our beloved Yanks at FanFest, they went on to lose to the "Sawx" on  their home turf in the Bronx.

This weekend also marked the start of the National Football League's regular season, and the second season of the new MetLife Stadium, the only professional sports stadium designed to the specifications of two rival sports teams, in this instance, the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. From 2000 to 2005,my game day ritual involved walking to the former General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street to watch CBS Sports' THE NFL TODAY, performed outside the CBS News studios. I had fun watching Jim Nantz and his team, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, and Mike Ditka (with too many names to mention coming in and going out in later years) preview the day's NFL action. (One year when THE NFL TODAY staged a tie-in with Warner Bros.' live-action/animated movie LOONEY TUNES:BACK IN ACTION, I thought it would be fun to send Jim a souvenir of Warner Bros. Park in Madrid, or,as it was then known, Warner Bros. Movie World, particularly an autograph from his "old friend" Bugs Bunny. One feature of the competing Disney Parks I've always found comforting is that when you shake hands with Mickey Mouse, it's like you've known him all your life, no matter where you meet him, California, Florida, Paris,ANYWHERE! Since Bugs has  been a fan fave for almost as long as Mick, I thought it would be a piece of carrot cake to ask the Madrid version  of Bugs if he could sign an autograph for my amigo Jim, (His handler screamed, "JEEM! JEEM!") but he signed it to  "Chim." Oh well!) There was just one drawback: The weather in late November, all of December, and January, when much of the football action happens, tends to get VERY,VERY COLD, especially here in New York City! Yesterday, I relieved the thrill of Sunday mornings past, minus the late season chill. (FOX plans to return to Times Square for the first New York-New Jersey Super Bowl. Thank you very little, guys.)  It was great seeing the entire FOX announce crew, Curt Menefee, Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, and NFL Insider Jay Glazer, live and in person, but after the leaked report that Bruno Mars ("Locked Out Of Heaven," "The Lazy Song," "When I Was Your Man," )would be the featured entertainment at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the build-up to the announcement seemed full of sound and fury, signifying nothing I didn't already know. When  FOX kicks off a season, be it football, FAMILY GUY or AMERICAN IDOL, they don't spare the horses! Interview guests included Robert diNiro, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, and Jets Head Coach  Rex Ryan, who went on to lead his boys to a brilliant last-second (LITERALLY!) upset victory against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ARGH! (That's what they were saying, not because they love to talk like pirates, but because we kicked their you-know-whats!) Unfortunately, our Giants were not so lucky
since they fell to the hometown Dallas Cowboys on the season  opener of NBC'S SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.  Oh well!

By the way, Lord, please forgive me for the sin that I am sinning against my beloved New York Yankees by listening to RG3's triumphant return to FedEx Field in DC as I  write this while listening to the Skins' Monday Night opener! (BTW, the current score is 10-7 Philadelphia as time ticks away in the first quarter. Speaking of Philly, Ye Blogmeister is going there next month. Stay tuned!)

Hope those of you who celebrate are continuing to enjoy your NewYear, and I'll talk to you this weekend!
Bye, Buckaroos!

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