Today calls for a hearty “Welcome back!” to Dwight Perry. After a three-month hiatus from the pages of the Seattle Times, his column – – Sideline Chatter – – returned to the paper on Sunday. When athletes return to the field or the court after being out for a while, they often need a game or three to “shake off the rust”. Not so with Professor Perry, here are some samples from his first “back-to-work offering”:
“A pipe burst during the Washington Football Team’s home opener, spewing raw sewage into the stands.
“Where’s one of Nixon’s D.C. plumbers when you really need one?”
“Prince Philip’s will will be sealed for at least 90 years to protect the ‘dignity’ of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, a London judge has ruled.
‘Can we do that with our 2021 season?’ asked the Baltimore Orioles.”
Meanwhile, Greg Cote had this note in his blog on the Miami Herald website. This tells me about almost everything I need to know about this subject:
“FAU football received a $2.5 million grant from Michelle and Michael Hagerty to name the head coaching position as Hagerty Family Head Football Coach. So now it’s the Owls led by Hagerty Family Willie Taggert? Can’t make this s— up, folks …”
Naturally, a donation of this magnitude that focuses on something as visible as the head football coach for a university requires public acknowledgement and thanks from the university and a selfless statement from the donors about their motivation that led to such generosity. Here is the statement from the President of FAU:
“FAU is building a national reputation for academic and athletic excellence, thanks to generous donors like Michelle and Michael Hagerty. Their gift will help our hard-working football players continue to thrive, both in the classroom and in competition. Thank you, Michelle and Michael Hagerty!”
And here is what the Hagertys have to say about all this:
“We are honored and excited to be a part of the FAU community. Coach Willie Taggart, as a committed leader of young adults, inspired us to support the FAU football program. We are grateful for the opportunity to team up with and elevate this amazing group of student-athletes. Best wishes to the FAU football team. Go Owls!”
My reaction is awfully close to Greg Cote’s reaction to all this. I feel as if someone has drenched me in a concentrated solution of saccharine and I need a hot shower to get it off me…
In the wake of the kerfuffle at ESPN involving Maria Taylor and Rachel Nichols which culminated in Taylor leaving to go to NBC and Nichols losing her position as a studio host at ESPN, there has been an inordinate amount of scrutiny regarding assignments at ESPN given to female broadcasters. People are actually keeping track of who gets to be the sideline reporter for various college football games on any of the ESPN networks and assigning some imaginary hierarchy to the games at which various reporters make appearances. Presumably, this will allow the folks who follow this sort of thinking – if I may call it that – to deduce the “pecking order” among sideline reporters at ESPN.
[Aside: Even if I were to stipulate for a nanosecond that such a methodology might reveal said “pecking order”, it is certainly not clear to me why I would care what the outcome of all the analysis might be. As I have asked before, has anyone that you know ever made a decision to watch a game or not to watch a game based on who the sideline reporter might be?]
Let me put this into perspective. For me, the single best sideline reporter – – the one who tried to inject some football analysis into the telecast – – was Tony Siragusa. Having said that, it did not bother me even a little bit when FOX did not renew his contract about 5 years ago.
Changing the subject slightly, yesterday I got to watch the Eagles/Niners game as the “early game” on FOX. The color analyst for that game was Mark Schlereth. I have seen Schlereth on ESPN and on FOX in studio programing settings where he seemed to be insightful/knowledgeable, and he participated with others in conversation. Yesterday, was the first time I remember seeing him as the color analyst on an NFL game. Oh my …!
The music producer, Phil Spector, was famous for developing what became known as the ‘Wall of Sound” in his records. All I can say is the Spector’s “Wall of Sound” had nothing on Mark Schlereth’s “Wall of Sound” yesterday. The most appropriate adjective I can think of to describe his commentary after every play would be – – incessant.
I firmly believe that Mark Schlereth was vaccinated with a stereo needle…
Finally, let me close today with one more item from Dwight Perry’s column in the Seattle Times yesterday:
“More than 6,000 Raiders fans received their first COVID vaccinations Monday night at a pop-up tent at Allegiant Stadium so they could attend the team’s season opener.
“Some expressed disappointment, though, that the jab didn’t leave a black hole.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………