Tuesday, August 15, 2006

People v. Tony Kornheiser

The debate was intense and widespread Tuesday re: the monumental debut of Tony Kornheiser on the newfangled Monday Night Football announcing package.
Pitchfork Enterprises, in conjunction with Haystack Industries, released a statement midday.
Next ...

Kornheiser's MNF coming-out party made America yearn for a simpler time when a nation obsessed with its sweetheart (Barbaro) and its inspiration (J-Mac).
Back in the ol' days of "early '06."
Bottom line: America has lost its marbles if it's entertained by this cult figure which somebody decided we needed to see not only on the pages of the Washington Post sports pages, but also on radio and TV.
Next up: The 24-hour Tony Channel wherein the viewer gets to watch Kornheiser scold the dog and then go out to play 18 holes.
For dessert, we get to watch Tony watching "24."

Watching that comb-over'ed, scraggly bearded, jagged-toothed, pasty-complexed "personality" is akin to watching Bill Conlin sunbathing in the nude.
Maybe if Tone put on a catcher's mask.
Said Kramer when Jerry pointed out everything wrong with his face.
"Look away. I'm hideous ... "

Kornhusker got all bent out of shape Tuesday when asked his reaction to America's reaction of his reaction to a listless preseason NFL game.
Then again, on his radio show a few years ago, Mr. LookAwayI'mHideous caught a glimpse of Star Jones wearing a leather outfit on "The View" and told his audience, "She looks like a couch from Levitz."
Aside from the humor element there (which was extremely high), it showed that Tony can dish out mean-spirited cheap shots, but doesn't always receive constructive criticism very well despite his (sometimes) self-deprecating nature.

Which is why America needs John Feinstein as the third man to Tirico & Thiesmann, if for no other reason than to see if Joe can goad Johnny into replicating last autumn's on-air goof during a Navy-football radio broadcast.
"(Fricking) refs ..."

Bottom line: Three men in the booth rarely works (especially when Theismann counts as 1.75 men). And, most of America has forgotten about the college games Tirico worked last season when he was having an on-air orgasm during long touchdown plays.
When we can SEE the TD happening, Mike should probably climax "off-mike."

The "Let's Get More Kornheiser Into Our Lives" experiment is comical in its scope. Nobody cares who's announcing the games, as the teetering-on-the-brink-of-senility Keith Jackson taught us recently (although we DO love the Gatorade commercials).
For example, it was reported recently that Dan Fouts will be stumbling his way through PLAY-BY-PLAY for ABC this season and, to compound America's pain, Paul Maguire will celebrate his divorce from Thiesmann with color commentary for ... jeez, does it really matter?
Blah, blah, blah, blah ...

This is shaping up as the most-painful college/pro football autumn ever, what, with all the mayhem those media Nazis at Disney/ABC/ESPN have unleashed.
What a sad tribute to Chris Schenkel and Curt Gowdy who left us in the past year.
At least Sean Salisbury was in midseason form a few days ago when he was critiquing the first full weekend of preseason performances.
His insight was very helpful ... such as when he raved about the mechanics of Alex Smith on a pass that gained 2 yards.
Or when he explained to America the proper body language displayed by Chad Pennington on a short scramble ("keeping his eyes downfield") ... or "I think the Ravens saw everything they needed to see from Steve McNair" (on one series) or Chris Simms completing 2 of 3 passes for 8 yards and Salisbury telling America that Gruden has Phil's kid "headed in the right direction."

Y'see, somebody has to inform America that Salisbury has those comments "scripted" because no one could offer such inane analysis "on his own."
"(Fricking) refs ..."

Any time Salisbury volunteers his trite-or-incomprehensible commentary, ESPN needs to air a disclaimer on the screen which reads:
"The only film session Sean engaged in this week was a gay-porn snuff film."
It's called a "PSA: Public Service Announcement."
It's not required by law, but it is good manners.

True to form, however, ESPN got the bold notion to feature a 12-part segment in which Rece Davis, Mark May and Todd Blackledge will sit on the set and break down every college game, most of them months in advance.
On Tues., the gents featured Week 3 of the season and five marquee matchups.
Of course, since these games are ALL played in the vacuum which is the open space inside their heads, every matchup is smashmouth vs. finesse or who has home-field advantage.
Just once, America would like to see Mark May regain some of the testicles he lost due to years of 'roiding at Pitt and for the 'Skins and say something gutsy like, "Notre Dame will struggle in Week 3 because of the shoulder separation Brady Quinn suffered in Week 2. Then again, can Michigan overcome five turnovers top beat the Irish?"

And, if Blackledge can pull himself away from spooning with Salisbury (we presume) as they watch gay porn, maybe he could jazz up his commentary, rather than giving America the same ol' "Team X is bigger and stronger, so they'll win" or "Team Y has too much team speed" or "Team Z is so well-coached."
How ballsy! They picked Texas as the preseason No. 1!
(Note: Let the countdown begin to 2007 when FOX Sports hijacks the Bowl Championship Series and gives us broadcast crews which are more clumsy than Tirico-Theismann-Kornheiser ---- "Tune in as Kenny Albert and 1989 Outland Trophy winner Mohammed Elewonibi bring you all the drama of the Fiesta Bowl!")

In the end, ABC's 9 p.m. Monday night slot for Sept. thru Dec. is wide open for the first time since MNF began in 1970. Doesn't that look ideal for back-to-back-to-back episodes of "According To Jim"?
If ABC aired "Eight Is Enough" re-runs, it would outdraw Kornheiser & Co., who, in case America didn't notice, is relegated to cable.
Anyone with cable TV isn't wasting it on MNF with the awkwardness of Kornheiser and Theismann trying to eastablish "a rapport."
America uses its cable TV for "Law & Order" re-runs and Nickelodeon (with a side order of Cinemax).

FYI for the demographics committee: ESPN2, not ESPN, was hogging the airwaves 'round Haystack Headquarters on the night in question when America obsessed with the mega-photogenic Kornheiser slouched on his seat.
Over on "The Deuce" (which no longer goes by "The Deuce" anymore, it seems), a young slugger named Frank Smith was tagging a walk-off home run, giving the Mid-Island Little League of Staten Island a 2-1 victory over Livingston American LL of New Jersey in the championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Regional.

While Tony's a Long Island boy, maybe he can show some love for the Staten Island crew which became the final team to qualify for the Little League World Series, which begins Friday.
The LLWS is 10 days of boycotting Blackledge blather and Salisbury's raspy-voiced know-it-all-ism.
On a sadder, ESPN-related note, Harold Reynolds won't be in Williamsport this year. Here's why it's a bummer: Because EVERY time an 11-year-old falls down while fielding a dribbler, Harold won't be there to (erroneously) inform the nation that the child slipped on the wet grass.
Because the humidity is 118 percent.
And, 11- and 12-year-olds possess all the coordination and balance of a 25-year-old, so, if they land on their buttocks while making a play, ummmm ... it's because the grass is wet.
Note: Harold, you'll always be the wet infield grass in America's heart.

All kidding aside, Harold was an enthusiastic advocate of Little League baseball, so his passion and positive attitude will be missed.
The only thing Kornheiser knows about Little League is that Little League is for dopes, Little League parents are dopes and Little League isn't as much fun as all the good stuff he learned at summer camp with Larry Bown, oy-vay!

Guaranteed: Frank Smith's family did not TiVo MNF ...

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