Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Sadly, the joke I've been using about this merger isn't true...yet.

My joke: "USAirways, the nation's seventh-largest airline, and America West, the eighth-largest airline, will combine to become America's twelfth-largest airline."

Actually, they'll be fifth, for now.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Blatant self-promotion**

Just in case you didn't get the memo (and I didn't send one out yet).

Joe and I have begun a new venture, Best Available Blog, so that we can better serve the community of Steelers fans. I think it's a good reflection of where we're at now. It'll enable us to cover the Steelers in an amusing yet informative way. At this point we'll need to see if we can put more bats in the middle of the lineup, while maintaining financial flexibility. Have I mentioned how excited we are to have the All-Star Game?

**Today's message is in accordance with "Talk Like Pirate Management Day"

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Three things from watching a sufficiency of TV.

1. There's an ad for some idiot driving simulation called "Bad Mutha Truckers 2". Now I understand I'm probably not the target demographic for this, but every time I see this ad, I am struck by the fact that the phrasing at the end of the ad is "Bad Mutha Truckers 2. Rated M for Mature." I don't know. Somehow a title like that would be the exact opposite I'd expect for that rating. This is probably because there's no rated I for Immature, which is really something the folks who grade these things could use to great effect.

2. Flipping past OLN, the future home of the NHL, I caught Professional Bull Riding, which I do admit is an enjoyable couple of minutes of television. My enjoyment was broken however, when I realized that they were taking time out of coverage to do an athlete profile story... on the bull.

I really don't have to say anything else there, do I?

3. Flipping through TVNewser, I caught a glimpse of this, regarding Bill Wolff, the new head of MSNBC primetime:
"Wolff joined MSNBC in April from Fox Sports Networks, where he developed the daily talker I, Max. Prior to that, Wolff served at ESPN, where he was creator and coordinating producer of Around the Horn and also worked on signature shows such as SportsCenter NFL Countdown and College Football Gameday."

Wolff was the Disembodied Voice of Around the Horn...

Okay. That explains how Max Kellerman has had a job on three networks without covering any part of his expertise, his remora-like grip on Bill Wolff.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to enjoy the image of Max Kellerman, Goateed Remora, going one on one in an interview with the bull. Rated M for Mature.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sometimes I wonder if my brain just enjoys throwing practical jokes on other parts of itself.

During a meeting this morning, my mind drifted for about 20 seconds, and started on some tack about Captain Pitt, which was the kiddie show host on channel 22 when I was like 7. Now for some reason I was trying to remember the name of the sidekick creature, which I was moderately convinced was Mosey the Sea Monster. I didn't have the Mosey dead on, but I was convinced of the Sea Monster. Here's where the practical joke kicked in. My reaction, which I just barely managed to cover during the meeting with a cough, was "HOW DO YOU GET A SEA MONSTER IN PITTSBURGH?" Sure enough, this started bothering me, and in the internal monologue of my head, this was the equivalent of someone repeatedly screaming that query in my head. What hope I had for a positive meeting went right in the tank. So I started thinking, "Well, 22 wasn't the most prosperous station back then. And really, did they ever actually call him Captain Pitt? They always just called him Captain. And you know, barge captain on the Mon is not exactly the glamour profession that we think kids want to aspire to. Maybe it was taped from somewhere else, somewhere on the ocean, and then did the title boards in Pittsburgh. It's entirely possible that your whole childhood memory here was an elaborate hoax. How d'ya like them apples, brain?" (Yes, this is how my brain works.) So after the meeting, I do some googling, and find this FAQ, and find my brain was right. Now I'm trying to figure out if I knew this a long time ago and repressed it, or if I actually was able to use logic and deduce this.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

As part of the MLB effort to support the Red Cross for hurricane relief, they've started putting the Red Cross logo on the sides of batting helmets, so they show up on broadcast when the batter's in the box. The problem I'm having with this is that where they've put the Red Cross is square on the spot where Sammy Sosa got nailed by Salomon Torres. If I'm a hitter, the last thing I want is crosshairs detailing where exactly one should put a fastball for maximum carnage.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

So in a last gasp to remain relevant in the days before the Steelers consume all the remaining sports news oxygen in town, the Pirates put Lloyd McClendon out of his misery today. The prevailing question people have asked me over email is "Why now?" Since Lloyd was a lame duck at the end of the season, it doesn't make sense to bump him off now. There's two reasons it could matter:
The first is that following the fight between our coaches and the Cardinals coaches, and it was picking up racial overtones, somebody had to be let go to quench it. The irony of this being that once again, Larussa wins. (There's a meme of Larussa hating the Pirates and enjoying screwing them over. Personally, I think it's more like Larussa enjoys screwing everyone over, and the Pirates have just never managed to have an effective way to get the bully off their backs.)
The second reason would be if the assumption is that they want to get a coach in now, bypassing the expected hoops one would get for an off-season coaching search. This would indicate a candidate in hand, possibly that they want to bring back Jim Leyland or bring in Art Howe, as they're the only favorite son candidate not working now. (Macha, should the A's not extend him being the other candidate from the area.) Leyland, though he wants back into coaching, I can't see taking this team around the corner. Howe is either a good thing, given his term with the A's, or a bad thing, given his term with the Mets. The problem is I don't see really anyone who could move this team forward in its current configuration, or anyone who could create a configuration that would lead it out of the basement.

The other curiosity of this is that any candidate carries the possibility of being a short-termer. The other prevailing meme of Piratedom is that the management has telegraphed that a sale of the team will occur as soon as the checks clear for the All-Star Game revenues. If you assume that a systemwide shakedown will occur following that, there's no reason to assume the manager will survive it any more than the GM. So, it's not like anything's improved by this, it just makes it more uncertain.