4-20-09: Monday Notes

Hello again everybody...

Welcome to yet another Monday. Sometimes you blink and it goes from Friday to Monday in a nanosecond. This was one of those weekends for me.

First off, I did get my new HDTV, and holy s@#! is it cool. I'll have more on that in a minute. Then, Saturday night, I did end up going to the boxing event at the Target Center. Not the best boxing I've ever seen, but it was a fun night. At least up until the main event when the Bismarck Bomber, some dude named Pudwill, got hosed by the judges in favor of the local fighter, Matt Vanda.

I'm not saying it was rigged, but the only people in the building who thought that Vanda won the fight were either in Vanda's corner, or judging the event. That's it. And that, in a nutshell, is why boxing isn't a more popular sport. When fans can't trust the integrity of the outcome (and even worse, nobody was surprised that the guy from South Dakota got screwed), then it's hard to get too excited about the sport.

On the upside, the boss hooked us up, and the only thing I paid for was parking. Thanks boss!

Oh, and thanks should also go out to Scheik's Gentleman's Club for providing the ring girls. Ahem. Right. Let's just say that I know where about 1/3 of the boxing fans were headed after the show. Not that I'd ever do such a thing myself!*

(* - Actually, I wouldn't at this point. After Minneapolis enacted it's smoking ban, it just killed the atmosphere. At least that's what I've heard from people who've actually gone. I'd have no idea myself. Hi Mom!)

Finally, on Sunday, I did get to that Twins game I mentioned. However, since I was going with some friends I hadn't talked to in ages, I decided against taking notes for a Running Game Commentary. I know you're devastated... okay, some of you are devastated... okay, I know at least a couple of you are mildly disconcerted. And that's enough for me to promise that I'll get you a RGC next time I hit a ballgame!

A fun weekend all in all, but way too short!

On to this week. Lots of stuff happening over the weekend, so today's column will be a random series of notes.

Off we go!

"All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse."
- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.

There are a handful of go-to guys when it comes to famous quotes, and Ben's near the top of list. I like the basic sentiment here: the harder you try to control what's coming down the pike, the more likely you are to screw it up. Solid.

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Monday Notes:

- Holy s@#! sports in HD are cool... The only bummer this weekend was that the Sunday night baseball game on ESPN got rained out. I was really looking forward to catching an entire baseball game in HD. So far, I've only caught bits and pieces. But those bits an pieces have been pretty spectacular.

Despite that disappointment, I did have something of an epiphany. If you're having trouble getting excited about the NHL playoffs because your team fell flat and didn't make it, playoff hockey in HD helps... a lot!

The enhanced sharpness of the picture is great. But equally as helpful for hockey is the wider picture. One of the reasons people enjoy hockey so much more in person as opposed to on TV, is because you can see all the ice when you're there. You can see plays developing. You can see a forward sneaking behind the defense. If you want, you can even see what the goaltender's doing while the play's on the other end of the ice. But until HD, you didn't see any of that on TV.

Okay, you still can't see what the goaltender's doing when the play's on the other end of the ice. But you do get a much wider view of the ice, and can see far more plays developing than you can in standard definition.

I like hockey anyway, but all my kvetching about not being into the playoffs has been mitigated. Now if I can just get to watch that baseball game!


New Yankee Stadium's a band box?... It's far, far too early in the year to make any kind of final judgement on the new home of the Yankees. But so far, balls have been flying out of there almost as quickly as me fleeing a room in which someone's watching the NBA.

In the first 6 games played at the new Yankee Stadium, there were 28 home runs hit. Friday and Saturday alone, the Yanks and Indians combined for 14 home runs. And a substantial majority of them were hit out to right field where there appears to be some sort of jet-stream that's developed.

Granted, we don't have nearly enough data to tell whether this is due to the new ballpark, bad pitching, April weather patterns, or (as is most likely) some combination of all three.

I'm of the opinion that Saturday's 22-3 drubbing of the Yanks at the hands of the Tribe is one of those fluky aberrations that happens from time to time in baseball. Certainly Chien-Ming Wang has been awful in his first three starts for New York. But he was terrible on the road too, so it's hard to blame the ballpark for his getting worked on Saturday.

I'm also thinking that as May turns into June, and summer weather settles in the Bronx, this "jet-stream" in right field is going to work itself out.

In the mean time, I'm sure there are plenty of Yankee haters out there that are reveling in New York's 7-6 start. Although the haters in Massachusetts can't be too vocal about it, since their club has started with an identical 7-6 record!


John Madden retires... Okay, technically this happened Friday, but since I didn't comment on it then, I'll add it today.

Yes, I was one of the people that joined in the "mumble, mumble, mumble... Brett Favre" impressions after hearing the news of Madden's retirement. And why not? It's a funny bit!

But I've got to give the guy his due. Over the course of 3 decades, Madden carved out an amazing resume as a broadcaster. He worked for every network that has carried NFL football, and finished his run calling a Pittsburgh Super Bowl victory. Not too shabby.

And though I've never been sucked into the game, there's also no question that the EA Sports "Madden" NFL games have been and continue to be the pinnacle of the sports gaming market. Put it this way, it's the only video game that's turned itself into an ESPN show. Granted, it's a spectacularly bad show, but that's not Madden's fault!

NBC deserves kudos, not only for the way they handled Madden's announcement, but for quickly naming Cris Collinsworth as his replacement. If Madden's the Dean Smith of color-commentators, Collinsworth's the Mike Krzyzewski. I know some people find him a bit smarmy, but he's able to communicate clearly and saliently, which is more than I can say for a certain Fox A-team color commentator who's name (Troy Aikman) I won't mention.

Life in the NFL won't be the same without the Madden cruiser and the Turducken, but it will go on. Thanks John!

That's all for today ladies and gents. I'm back on Wednesday with more Sports Take wonder for you.

Until then, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Smarmy...what an awesome word for how I feel about Cris. The guy looks greasy, sounds greasy, and talks like he knows more than you do about any given situation. All the hallmarks of a shady salesman.