Monday, February 21, 2005The Morning Toast: Fear & Loathing Edition
You can read obits from the wire, The New York Times and from the Denver Post.
Moving On But Looking Sad..
NBA All-Star Game Entertainment: It's Fannnnnn....Hilarious.
I could actually talk about the All-Star game (which the East won 125-115 with AI winning the MVP award) but why talk about that when you can talk about the unique halftime "entertainment".
Other than the occasional Ray Charles song, I can safely say I'm not down with country "music" and it seemed like a rather odd choice for an NBA All-Star game. However, I'm willing to give anything a chance, especially when I can put LeeAnn Rhimes on mute and just watch (BTW, what was up with the outfit...Jessica Simpson already got the part of Daisy Duke). After Rhimes came Big & Rich, a group that obviously doesn't take themselves too seriously as evidence by the hot pink jacket, the rapping cowboy who looks like Ken Norton Jr. and the midget in the oversized Mavericks jersey.
The only thing missing out of this package was the flying trapeze and the bearded lady. Well since it's an NBA crowd, country music got over about as well as David Duke would have but as a fan of all things silly, I can get with a country group like Big & Rich because...well because they don't suck like 99% of country music and if they do I'm too busy laughing at the gimmicks to care.
Combine this with the fact that Bethune Cookman's marching band provided the pre-race entertainment at the Daytona 500 and me thinks someone made a scheduling snafu :).
I picked the winner but did I watch? No, not really.
Maybe next year NASCAR.
NHL = No Hockey League
Actually I've felt that way since the neutral zone trap spread to the lower-market teams, but after false reports (mostly from ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek, the biggest reason NOT to buy ESPN The Magazine) about a deal being reached on Saturday and the season's cancellation being un-canceled, both sides of hockey met again just to hammer the point home -- there's no NHL this season.
Apparently the appearance of Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky made a bad situation worse. The players, upset that the union seems broken, didn't want Trevor Linden to go. The owners, now in full control of the situation, didn't want to negotiate period much less raise their cap number.
Despite his loss of momentum, Gretzky should be the next commissioner and give up his desire of to coach for the good of the game. I think he will do this, he's always been a hockey first guy.
And Gretzky as the ambassador of the NHL (or whatever it'll be called) could be the only way for ESPN to entertain its two remaining option years to broadcast the sport. With an April 15 deadline, it would be in the NHL's best interest to make a decision quickly and if that decision is a strike, they have to sell ESPN on their theory.
So where is the sport going now? Probably to a strike which could mean the end for a lot of the European presence in the league. Many of the great European players like Peter Forsberg and Jaromir Jagr were already looking to play a few more seasons, move back to their respective countries and grow the sport there.
The bad side to that is my fear that the league is no closer to implementing the international rules that will help the sport rebound. The European players (considered soft by their North American counterparts) represented the speed and skill the league tried to sell despite the real product looking very different.
But so what? All that matters in the sports...business is the score at the end of the day, and if you don't win Two out of Three, it is time to quit the business. They will call you a hopeless Loser and your wife will file for Divorce. Strange men in black suits will show up and kick down your door at night. That is the fate of Losers in this country. (HST)