Monday, February 06, 2006

When The Whip Comes Down

Well, this is a fine kettle of fish.
Since John Facenda is no longer available -- and since I don't know Harry Kalas' contract status with NFL Films -- someone's going to have to make a hard decision as to who gets to narrate the Pittsburgh Steelers '05 highlights package and/or the Super Bowl XL recap and then utter the line which always crops up in those pieces:
"Great teams aren't always great ... they're just great when they have to be."
You can practice it in front of the mirror, but be mindful of cadence and inflection so as to properly honour the memory of Facenda.
If you're trying to pull off a Harry Kalas version, have a cigarette or two beforehand.

Speaking of that familiar voice you've known for more than 30 years (since the days when you watched a slo-mo shot of Jim Hart throwing to Mel Gray ... only Ken Houston breaks it up!!!), it was Harry Kalas who welcomed us in for Puppy Bowl II ("live from downtown Silver Spring, Maryland ...").
Yeah, I know ... the aftermath of SBXL is that everybody and his step-brother will whine about the lack of alleged crisp play or the lack of coherent officiating ... what-evvvv-vuhhhh.
The real crime on Sunday may've been the way that the white poodle was never flagged for a lot of mischief.
I'd've thrown her out.
The spaniels, Cha-Cha and Disco ... well, can you ever go wrong with a spaniel, let alone two from the same litter?
I think not.

Seahawk fans ... they're gonna be bitchy for a few weeks -- and not because the Stones didn't play "Bitch" at halftime.
Great chuckle material is always provided by Berman when he tries to act hip by being "Mr. Rock N' Roll Wanna-Be" or "Mr. Jock Wanna-Be."
Y'know, alluding to the more-popular Stones song titles such as "Satisfaction" and "Under My Thumb" to effectively marry the rock n' roll and the football.
It's a standard trick ... when your only strength is schtick.
Sometimes, it's not easy to see that the better choices are something from the "Steel Wheels" album ... or something semi-mainstream such as "Paint It Black" ... or tunes which may not apply at all, such "Get Off My Cloud" or anything from the Stones' only good album, "Some Girls."
Right ... "When The Whip Comes Down."
Or "Shattered."
"Far Away Eyes" may not be applicable here.

Better than Berman's schtick is how the Stones agreed to have some of their lyrics censored.
The NFL or ABC (i.e. the Tagliabue-Disney Empire), apparently, wasn't too bothered that The Big Game promos featured the Stones' "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)" as background music for the video montage/TV commercials.
The Tags-Diz Empire maybe isn't familiar with that song's lyrics ... y'know, good wholesome stuff about how the cops in New York City, in a case of mistaken identity, shot a boy right through the heart.
Don't forget about that 10-year-old girl on a street corner ... sticking needles in her arm ...

There ya have it: Unless you have bubble-gum rockers like Journey warbling about "don't stop beeee-leeee-vinnn," it's a total crapshoot with material/artists which Rev. Lovejoy may classify as, "Rock and/or roll."
Did someone say "roll"? Shooting craps?
Like "Tumbling Dice," Berman?

Hey, back off on the Berm-Man! He suffered a lot of brain damage from those occasions 15 or so years ago when he'd show the ESPN viewing audience himself on-stage with Huey Lewis & The News.
We suffered a lot of brain damage for watching it.
Can I get some sports highlights there, Big Vanilla?

EspyTime Theater was in full bloom Sunday night. EspyTime showed multiple sets, a multitude of formations. On my scorecard, I had 23 (count 'em ... twenty-three) EspyTime worker bees who descended on Detroit -- everything from "moderators" like Van Pelt, Everett, Patrick, Stooge Scott, Linda Cohn (flown in directly from the Winter X Games) and Wingo in the RenCen lobby to in-stadium groupings such as Berman-Young-Irvin-Jackson ... Jaws and Hodgee in the purgatory between "in the stadium" and "on the field" ... on-field reports from Mort and Sal Pal ... the in-the-lobby, ex-player monologues from Salisbury, Schlereth, Woodson ... sideline reports from Michelle and Suzy ... Andrea Kremer scrounging up interviews ... Mike & Mike on the radio ... and, finally, Mike III (Tirico) for the trophy prez ... and didn't we have guest-star appearances from Ed Werder and John Clayton?
About the only thing missing was Hines Ward's MVP Escalade being driven to the 50-yard line and, presto! The driver's-side door opens and Craig Kilborn steps out!
The passenger's-side door opens and ... it's Fred Edelstein, everybody!
Somehow, in all of this over-analysis bludgeoning, EspyTime couldn't work its old Sunday-night troika (The Other Patrick-Theismann-Maguire) into the mix.
Jeez ... people hate Theismann THAT much, huh?

And, in the immediate aftermath, all the kings horses and all the king's 23 "reporters" ... all they could get was another Bettis interview. Or another Cowher feel-good story. Or Hines Ward sound bytes.
Which are all fine ... if your news-gathering organization sent only two reporters.
"Back to you in Bristol."

Damn straight ... EspyTime offers up more confusion than the new Gillette Con-Fusion Razor.
Five blades!!!
And a sixth blade for those "tricky areas."
If only it had a seventh blade for when I need to slice open the stomach of my puppy for when I need to smuggle H into the Puppy Bowl.

They're sayin' that it wasn't a great Super Bowl, which is what happens when the sex is pretty "iffy" on a one-night stand. In time, it'll prove to be a memorable roll in the hay.
Everybody wants it hard n' fast like Texas n' 'SC gave us one month ago. But, now that we realize that no defense was played in that game, a 41-38 game isn't the best sex ever.
C'mon ... where was the romance in that game?

I loved last night's game. Because it lacked the perceived "artistry" of a Tom Brady masterpiece, I'm 'sposed to hate it?
The Randle El pass to Hines was one we'll be talking about for years -- unlike one of those Brady TD passes where, "ooopsie daisy, who forgot to cover linebacker Mike Vrabel who's lined up as a tight end? You rascals!"

(Forget) Tom Brady.
And the little pony he rode in on.
Sometimes, it's about drinking like a champion today ...

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