TV’s Lost Weekend

Cheerleaders on beach
January30/ 2012

It has become a tradition in American sports spectatoring in late January – The Lost Weekend.  Millions of big HD flat-screens from Atlantic to Pacific hungry for something to show.  Our options:  bowling, Euro-tennis, whozit golf, and sports’s version of “cruel & unusual punishment” – The Pro Bowl.  Aarrgghh!

I appreciate that it takes two weeks to build-up to The Super Bowl.  I’m not sure why but I accept that it does.  This year makes a little more sense….. 1,000s of corporate hospitality event managers all scrambling to rent time/space at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so their customers can get their pictures taken “kissing the bricks”.  What else do you do for a party in Indianapolis?  I mean, really?

I’m fine with “Eli vs Tom – 2012” being in Indy because it will be indoors.  I don’t like weather-factor football games.  Many of you might because “that’s real football…..”.  But I win this time.  Have the game in Saskatoon so long as the game itself is unencumbered by the elements.

By the same token…. rotate the thing between New Orleans, Arizona, and Miami to appeal to the corporate party planners.  I don’t care.  Dallas was great for me but Jack Frost showed up last year and put a chill on the festivities.

I have attended one Super Bowl – # II – Green Bay v Oakland – Miami 1968.  That was a “pre roman numeral” game and the ticket was $15.  There was no South Beach.  It was pre Miami Vice and Scarface.  My father passed away while I was at the game but a major ice storm had knocked out phone lines so I didn’t know until I returned to my dorm.  I don’t think of that every year; but I did this year.

Getting all the “aren’t you somebody sort of famous” celebrities to the Super Bowl site takes an extra week so we get “The Lost Weekend” for TV sports.   That means bowling…. Euro-tennis….. Where’s Tiger-golf….. and The Pro Bowl.  WHY do they have The Pro Bowl?

I understand voting players as All-Pro for their outstanding seasons but why pollute the airwaves with The Pro Bowl.  Invite all the All-Stars to Hawaii or Monte Carlo or Dubai, wherever and let them all chase Kardashians around a roller rink in their sock feet.  But no more Pro Bowls, please Mr Goddell.

And Euro-tennis….. American sports fans tired of tennis a while ago.  Maybe its because there are too many consonants and not enough vowels in the players’ names.  The players look like our neighbors but we can’t pronounce any of their names.  So we don’t care.  If we don’t care, we don’t watch.

All the players names now sound like a cat’s coughing up a hairball.  I miss Stan Smith, Rod Laver and Roscoe Tanner.

When the next boatload of 8-year old tennis prodigies from Croatia arrive at Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy, Nick should rename them after UNC’s Tri Delt pledge class.  VOILA – Ivana Skekarovic becomes Marsha Brady!   Maria Sharapova is “OK” but rename her Brooklyn Decker and you have Must See TV.

Could we apply this same remedy for Post-Tiger PGA Golf?  Today’s PGA Tour players are probably the most talented people to ever tee it up.  The combination of equipment and training means anyone with the “game” to make it thru Q School can shoot a 59 at every country club course in America that hasn’t been foreclosed on.  But they have the “must watch sizzle” of Dow Finsterwald playing canasta with Bob Goalby.

Golf on HD TV is a wonderful combination…. but who cares?  Nice, clean-cut every-Mother’s-sons behaving themselves in a beautiful setting and who cares.  Has “watching golf” actually been on life support for a decade and “watching Tiger” confused us.  I say yes.  Without Tiger…. the PGA Tour is 100 “guys named Scott” and watching a golf ball fly thru the air.   I love Webb Simpson and wish this terrific young man mucho success but I’m not going to miss my daily walk to watch him play in the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  Sponsors with names like “Waste Management” should not be title sponsors.

Bowling’s heyday as a TV sports was seventeen years ago when some hottie who looked like NC State’s Women’s BB coach Kelli Harper showed up in culottes.  1,247 people tuned in for one day.  It was a short heyday.

But take heart American sports fan.  THIS WEEK we get a special treat.  National Signing Day – Wednesday, February 1.   If a Mother Ship from the Planet Xerex is hovering over America on Wednesday are they in for a treat!

100s of semi-literate youngsters will reach into gym bags, pull out goofy ballcaps and put them on cockeyed, and announce “I is gwinna be a Razaback, a Tigerr, a Gator, a Longhorn, a Duck, etc….. “ and in sports bars all across America assembled board monkeys will curse all the ones that don’t say “their team”.

NOTE:  The remaining remnants of The “We Luv Butch” Club will squeal when TeamFedora doesn’t grab a bunch of Marvins & McAdoos; but who cares what Butch’s BitterBunch thinks any more?

With due respect for Patrick Henry:  “I know not what course others may take; but as for me – I prefer Kelli Harper (or Brooklyn Decker) in culottes.”


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