Sunday, March 16, 2008

JOE LUNARDI: Bedwetterologist

Every time America stumbles across an image of Joe Lunardi -- be it promotional photo or (god forbid) his talking head on a TV screen -- the same ol' questions come to mind.

Such as:
-- "What's your streak at for 'consecutive nights of wetting the bed'?"
-- "How's that bracket shaping up in your 'Dungeons & Dragons' tournament?"
-- "Aren't you 'sposed to be at home right now, eatin' a Swanson TV dinner and watching the 'Nash Bridges' marathon that you TiVo'ed?"
-- "What time are you taking your mom to her OB/GYN appointment?"
-- "What was your favorite feature in the 'McCall's' which you most-recently read in the waiting room of your mom's OB/GYN?"
-- "When was the last time you shot a basketball which WASN'T Nerf at a basket which wasn't plastic and secured to the back of a bedroom door?"

Alas ... Disneyland Sports, as per usual, wants America to get all buddy-buddy with one of those squids who it calls "an expert" (although, nowadays, the proper term for expert-with-no-apparent-expertise is commonly referred to as "an insider").

Joe Lunardi is that irritating son of a bitch who's neither an expert nor an insider, yet, he's somebody whose bad complexion and weird-lookin' hairdo frequently violates our cyberspace or TV airspace, no matter how hard we might try to elude his bad complexion and weird-lookin' hairdo ("Joe, it's time for some ProActiv Solution and Paul Mitchell products -- unless Disney wants to target you for an 'Extreme Makeover' ").

Sure, Disneyland Sports pretends that Joe Lunardi (and, for that matter, Dickie V.) have been packaged in a non-threatening manner, but, science has determined that exposure to Joe and Dickie V. is equal to huffing three quarts of Liquid Plumr.

Hey ... you can't argue with science.

Joe Lunardi is packaged as Regular Guy, USA ... however, he's (obviously) a rip-off of Spence Olchin.

You remember Spence Olchin ... Doug Heffernan's quasi-friend ... the little guy who lives alone, owns a pug and works the token booth in the subway station ... the guy that Doug's father-in-law, Arthur, always needles with a caustic remark ...

The thing is, Spence Olchin was a character played by comedian Patton Oswald on CBS' "King of Queens."

But, ever since "King of Queens" died at the age of 9 in '07, America is left with "The Sad Saga of Joe Lunardi, Starring The Sad Joe Lunardi."

In this scenario, America loses (as Atta Jr.'s hijacked jumbo jet circles overhead ... waiting ... searching ... choosing ... denouncing brackets which don't have Allah in the championship game ... ).

Some of us, though, salute America by allowing our 1997 NCAA Pool championship ring to go klinkety-klink against the 2006 NCAA Pool championship medallion as we adjust the blingety-bling in front of co-workers or gawkers at the mall, etc ...

Joe Lunardi is projecting and tic-tac-toe-ing where Virginia Commonwealth and Arizona State fit in the 64-team orgy, but, seriously, Joe ... ASU was 5-10 in its final 15 games.

The Sun Devils would finish 5th in a Sun Devil Classic against pick-up teams from Phoenix to Flagstaff, so, where's yer bubble now. Sparky?

And, who in his right mind, begins formulating a bracket in February?

If Disneyland had allowed Joe Lunardi to forecast the NFL playoffs, we'd've learned that "the New York Giants are a bubble team for the Super Bowl, depending on the outcome of the Green Bay-Seattle game ..."

Again ... it's a crippled America that seeks Joe Lunardi for insight and wisdom ... a wounded nation which Atta, Jr. has condemned as "on the bubble" for extinction ...

On the lighter side of the bracket, Bobby The K. sez that Pittsburgh's gonna win it all.

Sounds interesting ... that is, if he's talkin' 'bout a celebrity slo-pitch softball game with players from the rosters of the Steelers, the Penguins and (maybe) the Pirates.

The Panthers?

Good gravy, Bobby, there hasn't been relevant roundball in Pittsburgh since the ol' Condors squad of the ABA (the real ABA, kids ... not Will Ferrell's unfunny rendition of the faux-ABA).

Sorry, Ben Howland and Jamie Dixon.

But, it's true (even though we all thought it was awesome two years ago when the CBS, on-screen scoreboard had condensed the names of "Bradley" and "Pittsburgh" to give us that "BRAD/PITT" matchup).

Now, in some parts of America, Bob's prediction would be called "gutsy."

Yet, for the section of America which noticed that Bob made that call while the collar of his orange polo shirt was protruding from the neck hole of his green sweater (and for those Americans who are less angry that Bob walked out on the O'Reilly Auto Parts b-ball team in Lubbock, TX than they are that the team's fate was then placed in the hands of that cardboard cut-out named "Pat Knight"), gee whiz (the nice way of saying "god-fucking-dammit") ... not much of a pick, Ex-Coach.

Know this: Bob didn't pick Pitt because he believes in PantherBall.

It's the only way Bob knows how to say, "F you, Calipari."

Notwithstanding Knight's intense contempt for the Memphis coach, the wacky, off-the-wall selection capped Knight's 5 days of mostly-vanilla, in-studio work (although it was riveting TV when DisneyTown selected those non-threatening questions for Ex-Coach from viewer e-mails).

Our Question For Knight would have been:

"If you gave an order that Santiago wasn't to be touched -- and your orders are always followed -- then, why would Santiago be in danger? Why would it be necessary to transfer him off the base?" "Santiago was a sub-standard Marine. He was being trans ..."
"That's not what you said. You said he was being transferred because he was in grave danger."
"That's correct."
"You said he was in danger, I said, 'Grave danger?' and you said, 'Is there any other kind?' "
(Angrily) "I recall what I said!"
"I can have the court reporter read it back to you ..."
(Barking) "I know what I said! I don't have to have it read back to me like I'm ..."
"Why the two orders, Colonel?"
(Pausing for a moment to regroup and soften his tone) "Sometimes men take matters into their own hands ..."
"No, sir. You made it clear just a moment ago that your men never take matters into their own hands. Your men follow orders or people die. So, Santiago shouldn't have been in any danger at all, should he have, Colonel?"
(Growling and glaring) "You snotty little bastard ..."

WHOOPS! Every now and then, saboteurs sneak into our filing cabinets and switch the contents of the "Questions For Knight" folder with the "Lt. Kaffee's Cross-Examination Of Col. Nathan R. Jessep" folder (somehow, though ... we get the feeling that the above dialogue would be the same if Knight was allowed to sit next to Doug Gottlieb in the studio ... just because Gottlieb is a little bit of the iconoclastic, rabble-rouser we enjoy ... although, it doesn't take a knucklehead of Joe Lunardi's stature to realize that DisneyTown doesn't want to ruffle the feathers of His Majesty, therefore, ass-kissing stiffs such as Digger and Dickie V. -- who had their balls lopped off YEARS ago by a contingent of opposing coaches -- feed Bob the good-time set-up lines which makes America feel good about itself once again.

So, that's when we access our file which the saboteurs DON'T know about and we use our prods and probes on the Ex-Coach the way that "Playboy" did seven years ago.

"Ex-Coach ... we were wondering, why ..." (bangs the center of the steering wheel with his fist) "Jesus Christ! This is bullshit! I'm not here for a fucking inquisition! And if that's what this is, then get the fuck out and hitchhike back home! The fucking stepfather was a fucking goddamn fucking asshole from the word goddamn go. He fucking lied and he lied and he lied! Jesus Christ! I mean, this is my fucking life we're talking about! My fucking heart was ripped out by this goddamn bullshit!"

Let's face it: That shit never gets old ...

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