Here in Curmudgeon Central, the passing of one year to the next causes me to write Bad Ads for the previous year. In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the passing of one year to the next means that Gene Collier publishes his awarding of the Trite Trophy on the last Sunday of the year. This year marked the 35th time the Trite Trophy has been awarded – and has been the case in previous years, the result is well worth the time it would take you to read it.
If this event is not marked as a reminder on your calendars, let me provide you with a link here to this year’s “award ceremony”.
In addition to Gene Collier’s annual contribution to enjoyable reading, I can always count on Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle to offer up some insightful – and often wishful – ideas for New Year’s resolutions. Here are four ideas from his compendium for 2019:
“To knuckle down and finally finish writing that book I haven’t started.”
“To discover a new baseball stat. Working title for my website: ‘FoulBalls.com’.”
“To invent a ballpark food. Perhaps something inspired by the turducken concept. Like, a churro inserted into a hot dog, inner-tube style, and the hot dog wrapped in a pizza. Churdogza. With a jalapeño hot-fudge ranch dip.”
“To pitch Hollywood on my idea for an NBA reality soap opera. The NBA has the best drama. Baseball? Forget it, the sexiest topic in MLB is whether to ban the shift. Football? They tamp down the interesting stuff (see: Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, Washington’s D.J. Swearinger). My soap will feature Draymond and KD, Russell Westbrook, the Ball family, LeBron James, James Harden, and the entire Knicks front office.”
For those of you who think I may have been overly critical or improperly focused on the foibles and missteps of Danny Boy Snyder over the past two decades, please take a moment to read this column in the Washington Post by Sally Jenkins. This is not a “take-down”; this is a “hood stomp”.
There are reports out there saying that ESPN will keep the “Booger Mobile” in its garage for any and all the NFL playoff games covered by the World-Wide Leader. Hosonna and Hallelujah to that decision. Booger McFarlane will be in the booth with his broadcast colleagues for the ESPN games – where he has belonged for all the 2018 football season. Hopefully, this is a sign from the suits on mahogany row at ESPN that the Booger Mobile will be dismantled and sold off as spare parts.
I don’t do a lot of “rooting for” people or things to happen in these rants; that would not be much of a curmudgeonly thing to do. Nevertheless, I must admit that I am sorta – slightly – rooting for the KC Chiefs to win the Super Bowl this year. Here is why:
- By all accounts – and from the NFL Films program on his life inside and outside football – Andy Reid is a good person.
- He also has some prodigious football stats as a head coach with winning percentages in excess of more than a couple of coaches who are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Andy Reid is not there – and is not likely to be considered for a spot in Canton, OH – unless he wins a Super Bowl. That is the box he has left unchecked on his curriculum vitae.
- Until and unless he wins a Super Bowl, Andy Reid will be one of the group of “very good coaches” who is not in the Hall of Fame because he never “won the big one” such as Marty Schottenheimer.
- If Andy Reid wins a Super Bowl and that gets him into the HoF, he will assuredly be the coach with the greatest girth amongst he peers there. I once said of Andy Reid that if you threw a football at him from behind, so he could not catch it, the ball would go into orbit around his waist…
The Sporting News named Kenny Omega as the pro ‘rassler of the year for 2018. Since I associate from my youthful days of following pro ‘rassling top shelf ‘rasslers as “alpha males”, I am not sure what sort of character Kenny Omega might play to win such an award.
The New Year greeted UCLA basketball coach, Steve Alford with news that he was the former UCLA basketball coach. Dick Vitale says that UCLA should hire Rick Pitino for the job; that would require the AD and the administration there to have a set of onions the size of watermelons. I have no idea if the powers that be in Westwood want to hire a permanent replacement in the middle of this season or if they are going to do their searching in January – March 2019 and try to land their guy once the regular season is over. If they would be content to wait here is a dark-horse name, they should consider:
- Buzz Williams (Va Tech): Williams won two thirds of his games at Marquette over a period of six seasons in the Big East and since then he has won 59% of his game at Va Tech in four-and-a-half seasons despite taking over a moribund program. UCLA basketball may not be the glamor job that it was during the Wooden years, but it is still a prestigious job – – despite the potential of having to deal with LaVar Ball occasionally.
Finally, since most of today’s rant deals with the end of 2018 and the start of 2019, consider this observation by Brad Dickson on that topic:
“If Albert Einstein posted his brand new Theory of Relativity on Facebook it’d probably receive about 3 or 4 ‘likes’. If he then posted a photo of the Einsteins with the family dog it’d get 400 ‘likes’.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………