Saturday, April 30, 2022

Sports this 'n' that

 On June 1, 2012, Johan Santana etched his name in the Mets' history books by authoring the team's 1st no-hitter at Citi Field vs. St. Louis.

33 days short of the 10th anniversary of that event, the Mets needed five pitchers to complete their 2nd no-no, this one against East division rival Philadelphia.

2nd year hurler Tylor Megill (4-0) started, and went 5 innings, fanning 5, while walking 3 through 88 pitches. The Phillies worked deep counts against Megill and the bullpen, but it was all for naught. Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the 9th to lock it down. SNY's YouTube channel provides the highlights.


Considering the Phillies' Jim Bunning authored a perfect game in June 1964 against the Mets, payback was certainly overdue.
============================================
Night 2 of the NFL Draft, and the stars were out. Just not the ones you'd think. The Minnesota Vikings benefited from their past and the WWE's future representing for them.

The past? Ed Marinaro, a star for the Vikings in the 70's before turning to acting (Laverne & Shirley, Hill Street Blues). The future is University of Minnesota star Gable Steveson, who will join WWE as soon as he graduates next month. Marinaro, though, made headlines for a rambling speech that resulted in his being rushed off stage to keep the broadcast, airing on ESPN, ABC, & NFL Network, moving.

WWE was also represented by three active wrestlers. As previously reported, Titus O'Neil, now a company ambassador and part-time wrestler, as well as a commercial endorser for the Fuccillo auto group, represented his hometown Tampa Bay Buccaneers in round 2. Happy Corbin did likewise for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mike "The Miz" Mizanin appeared during round 3 to represent for the Cleveland Browns, even though Miz currently lives in Los Angeles. No truth to the rumor that ESPN bloviator Stephen A. Smith begged off covering the draft, since Miz pwned him on First Take a while back.

The draft wraps up today.
=============================================
Newly retired umpire Brian Gorman has a future in broadcasting if MLB wants their media partners to use a rules analyst, just as the NFL does, on a more full-time basis.

Working Apple TV+'s broadcast of Yankees-Royals, Gorman had the line of the night in trying to explain the complexities of a controversial call that saw Royals rookie Bobby Witt, Jr. called out at 3rd for oversliding the base, even though a case could be made that New York's Gleyber Torres had his momentum from chasing Witt push Witt off the bag. Kansas City manager Mike Metheny was ejected by umpire Manny Gonzalez, and a suspension is likely for Metheny for bumping Gonzalez. As Gorman observed, had the call gone the other way, Yankee skipper Aaron Boone would've been out to protest. Gorman summed it up best by comparing it to an ice cream cone and two 5 year olds fighting over it. Pretty funny stuff.
==============================================
Nowadays, when the WWE cuts talent from their rosters, they will claim budget cuts to cover the fact that the money is being redistributed to a different part of the corporate infrastructure for the benefit of shareholders. However, fans are getting wise to this scheme, especially when it's prefaced by a group e-mail issued by VP/Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, who has his job back because he's the father-in-law of the Bella Twins (he married their mother).

Friday, 8 wrestlers, 3 of whom hadn't appeared on television yet, a referee, and a manager were cut from NXT:

Manager Malcolm Bivens, better known on the independent circuit as Stokely Hathaway, chose not to re-up after signing an extension last year. Bivens was the spokesman for the Diamond Mine stable, but that role now will fall to veteran wrestler Roderick Strong.

Referee Blair Baldwin may not be a name anyone recognizes, but she has worked some episodes of NXT 2.0. She'd been with the company roughly a year.

As for the wrestlers?

Vish Kanya, from India, Raelyn Divine, and Mila Milani had not yet appeared on television, and their dismissals are dubious, considering it had been announced three days earlier that NXT would have a "Breakout tournament" for the women similar to the men's tournament, won by Carmelo Hayes last year. Divine is the sister of oft-unused wrestler Mace (formerly Dio Maddin), who now may have his head on a swivel.

Dexter Lumis (Samuel Shaw) was the quiet sort who let his actions, and his artwork, do the talking for him. His storyline marriage to Australia's Indi Hartwell will be quietly dropped. Hartwell has also had to say good-bye to countrywoman and tag team partner Persia Perotta (Stephanie De Andre), who'd only made her television debut last summer.

New Zealander Dakota Kai (Cheree Crowley) had the most NXT experience, and fans feel she was done dirty, having been taken off television instead of winning the NXT women's title. 


Photo courtesy of WWE.

Kai had dyed her hair pink a year ago in tribute to the late Japanese star, Hana Kimura, and did everything that was asked of her, including a stint where she had a gimmick similar to 90's wrestler Damian Demento in that she talked to herself, hearing voices in her head. Demento lasted a year with the gimmick before being cut. Shawn Stasiak was given the same thing in 2002, and was cut a few months later.

Harland (Parker Boudreaux), the silent sidekick of Joe Gacy, was taken off television earlier this month, and sharp eyed fans noticed a "druid" with a tattoo like his on the last episode. He didn't have a lot of match experience, and reports are he was not picking up a lot of things in class. There was a lot of buzz when Boudreaux signed out of Central Florida more than a year ago, and fans made comparisons to Brock Lesnar.

Draco Anthony (Reginald Crews) had come in with some hype as well, but after a feud with Gacy & Harland, lost his last TV match to Xyon Quinn earlier this month. I suspect management lost patience with him as well.

Online commentators are reacting the most to the departures of Lumis and Perotta, because they were in a storyline with Hartwell and another Australian, Duke Hudson, and Kai. WWE has this annoying habit of cutting talent in the middle of story arcs for no other reason than their phony "budget cuts". CEO-Chairman Vince McMahon, 76, is getting bad advice from Laurinaitis, creative director Bruce Prichard, and executive producer-director Kevin Dunn, and it needs to stop. Yesterday.

Friday, April 29, 2022

On The Shelf: Marvel finally decides Predator is ready

 After months of delays, during which time Alien was downgraded to bi-monthly, Marvel Comics is finally launching a Predator series in July. This will be the first series in the franchise produced by a company other than Dark Horse. Like Alien, a licensed property from what is now 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox), Predator appears to be a contemporary science-fiction-horror series. Dark Horse had produced several miniseries, including a pair of crossovers with Archie, but never an "ongoing" series. Marvel is hoping this will be a hit, but we know how fickle readers can be.
=============================================
In advance of the feature film with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, DC is rolling out a Black Adam ongoing series, debuting in June, plus some ancillary 1-shot specials, starting with Hawkman in July. The Black Adam who's been a part of Shazam! continuity for years is being rebooted due to the movie, and veteran writer Christopher Priest is being entrusted with the project. 

"Black Adam" is due later this year in theatres and/or HBO Max.
===============================================
Some sad news to report.

Neal Adams, one of the architects behind the revising of Batman and Green Lantern, among others, in the 60's, and who created the definitive version of Deadman with Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino for the original Strange Adventures, has died at 80.


Photo courtesy Hollywood Reporter.

Adams was entrusted with Green Lantern/Green Arrow, together with the late writer, Denny O'Neil, and introduced readers to African-American GL John Stewart. Adams also drew X-Men, among others, for Marvel, and revived Batman for the Bronze Age, including legendary stories pitting the Dark Knight vs. The Joker and Two-Face.

In the 80's, Adams launched his own comics company, Continuity Comics, but the company's output was spotty and inconsistent. Only one of the company's titles, Bucky O'Hare, was later adapted for television.
=========================================
Six months ago, there was blowback over DC's editorial-driven decision to flip Jon Kent, the star of Superman: Son of Kal-El, to being bi-sexual, after teasing a future relationship with future-era Wonder Woman Yara Flor at the start of 2021.

Now, sources are reporting that a man arrested for issuing threats to Merriam-Webster, the dictionary company, has also confessed to issuing threats to DC, IGN, and "an unnamed writer" over the storyline in question.

Jeremy Hanson, from California, says he also suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, among other issues, and claims he can't control those issues. Mr. Hanson, in this writer's opinion, is wrong when he asserts DC "ruined" Superman. No, they didn't. Seems the fellow is also a fan of right wing conservative media, so, with his condition, he leaves himself vulnerable to anti-LGBTQIA+ propaganda from Tabloid Carlson and friends. The man needs help before he does something just as rash or worse.

You know a GOPer is in trouble when a better candidate comes along..........

 In recent months, we've seen how Misrepresentatives Madison "Foghorn" Cawthorn (North Carolina) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (Georgia) are facing legal challenges to remain in line for re-election due to their support of the insurrection on the Capitol last year. At this rate, Empty-G would lose a popularity contest with "Legally Blonde" star Reese Witherspoon, and lose her marbles in the process. Cawthorn does a disservice to disabled persons everywhere by misrepresenting Tar Heel Country in a wheelchair.

And then, there is the Mile High Mouse, Lauren Boebert.

Like the others, Boebert doesn't do anything in Washington except say stupid things just for the sake of being famous. Yeah, sure, it worked for Paris Hilton and the Kardashians, but they all grew up. This thin air slacker is facing a primary challenge, and she doesn't like it, so her sycophants are trying to prevent it from happening. However, as Farron Cousins explains, the best laid plans of mice and men do go astray.


I'd say Dan Coram will knock Lauren Bow-Wow out of office, and then the rest of the loose screws will follow. If I'm Foghorn or Empty-G, I'd worry. Maybe the GOP will reclaim the House of Representatives this fall, maybe not, but we'd all be better with more sensible Republicans like Coram in office than attention seekers like Lauren Bow-Wow.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Joe Biden hasn't died. If he did, it'd be on the front page, you morons!

 Perhaps Jim Carrey played the role of then-candidate Joe Biden too well two years ago.

As fellow comic Jason Selvig of the duo, "The Good Liars", found out the other day, a new conspiracy theory has surfaced, claiming Carrey, James Woods, and others have secretly impersonated Biden.


Photo courtesy Getty Images/Yahoo!.

Carrey was called on to play Biden on Saturday Night Live during the 2020 Presidential campaign. A frequent critic of now-former president Donald Trump, Carrey's performance as Biden struck a chord, it seems, with the Legion of The Brainwashed. Where this pathetic conspiracy started, I don't know, but it's another means for the MAGAorons to avoid accepting the fact that Trump got his butt whupped nearly 18 months ago at the polls, but is still pulling an elaborate grift on his gullible, low information base.

In other GOPer news, and speaking of Trump, he has, predictably, filed an appeal with his dimwitted lawyer, Alina Habba(-Dabba-Doo), of a judge's ruling earlier this week that Trump is being held in contempt of court, and fined $10,000 a day until he turns over documents requested by NY Attorney General Letitia James. The Archduke of Affluenza will lose this appeal, and be forced, probably by a judge, to publicly open his checkbook. We'd love to see that.

North Carolina Misrepresentative Madison "Foghorn" Cawthorn was caught at the airport trying to bring a gun onto a flight, presumably heading back to Tar Heel Country. Video footage has also surfaced of a presumably younger Foghorn wearing women's lingerie. I don't want to picture that at all.

News of Tesla founder-CEO Elon Musk buying Twitter has GOPers and right wing media types delirious in anticipation that Musk, an advocate for free speech, will reinstate Citizen Pampers to the forum, and also reopen Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene)'s personal account. However, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a close friend of Musk, and that may have an impact on what Musk does once the deal is finalized. I would say that if he does reinstate those accounts, there has to be a stipulation in that they cannot push falsehoods, including conspiracy theories.

Trump, for his part, is publicly claiming he won't return, opting to try to save his failing platform, Truth Social, despite his lack of activity on said site. His ego will demand he return to Twitter. Keep in mind, though, it's not a done deal yet.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Memo to Ron DeStupid: Don't mess with the House of Mouse

 Florida dictator Ron DeStupid thinks he's got the Walt Disney Company over a barrel. However, as ESPN's Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friends.


Photo composition courtesy Yahoo!.

In an April 21 memo to investors in company stock, Disney assured those investors that the Reedy Creek district, targeted for dissolution by DeStupid because of Disney's opposition to the controversial "Don't Say Gay" law, will continue to function as normal, because the state cannot dissolve Reedy Creek without first resolving a pre-existing debt. In other words, DeStupid's irresponsible legislation will die in court.

Disney maintains the area in the Reedy Creek district with greater efficiency than the rest of the state. Everything is nice and clean, while there are the usual roadside messes elsewhere. DeStupid is simply drunk with power, and having a Trumpian hissy fit because Disney as a collective dared to stand up to him and his toadies.

The whole world knows now that DeStupid is a Trump wanna-be bigot. If he presses the fight with Disney further, he's bound to lose, and his presidential aspirations take a big hit.

Prediction: The "Don't Say Gay" law will be repealed, creating a domino effect in other southern states that have adopted similar measures, all in the name of kow-towing to America's Oldest Baby. This is what the Republicans deserve for casting their lot with a spoiled child who never grew up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sports this 'n' that

 Basketball season is officially over in New York City after the Brooklyn Nets were swept out of the NBA playoffs by Boston in four straight, the clincher coming on Monday. However, that ain't the story du jour.

ESPN's resident bloviator, Screamin' A. Cosell (Stephen A. Smith) lambasted Brooklyn's Ben Simmons prior to game 4. Simmons, who'd been injured all season, and despite this was traded to Brooklyn for James Harden, was reportedly going to make his Nets debut, but then was pulled, not cleared to play.

Would Simmons have made a difference had he played? For now, we'll never know. Even Smith's pal, Oscar & Grammy winner Jamie Foxx, roasted Smith on Twitter for his blatant stupidity.
=======================================
No one expected the Atlanta Braves to be tied for 3rd in the NL East as we are in the final week of April, but there they are, tied with Washington, 5 1/2 game in arrears of the Mets. The defending champions will visit Citi Field for the first time this season next week.

As for the Mets, who are the only team in the division above .500 at 13-5 after rallying for five runs in the 9th to beat St. Louis Monday, they'll play Joe Girardi's last place Phillies this weekend. For the Phils' sake, they have to hope El Cubano Rudo (Angel Hernandez) isn't working the series.

Check out that incredible 9th inning rally in the Mets-Cardinals game, though. This was cray-cray.


SNY was caught coming out of commercial during a pitching change when Brandon Nimmo hit the game-clinching homer off TJ McFarland. Too many ads, man...........
===================================
What's in a name? When it comes to WWE these days, you leave your ring name that you've used for years on the indie circuit and/or your real name at the door, per Vince McMahon.

It's all about trademarks with the 76 year old McMahon, who issued a lame edict last week after some of his changes were instituted. Take for example newly crowned US champion (Austin) Theory, who dropped the first name prior to winning the title. I had joked on message boards that this decision was the product of McMahon's PTSD in relation to Stone Cold Steve Austin kicking in again after Wrestlemania three weeks ago, but it isn't.

For another example, consider Tommaso Ciampa (Tommaso Whitney), who had his name shortened to Ciampa as he turned heel Monday, attacking the returning Mustafa Ali after Ali beat The Miz. 

McMahon's edict is the product of the old man being more hellbent than usual about controlling his property, if you will. What he again fails to realize is that wrestlers like Ciampa & Theory do have fan followings from the indie circuits (i.e. Evolve, Ring of Honor), and the fan base isn't digging the changes. Others, such as Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns, have been grandfathered, if you will, so there won't be any abrupt changes.

In all honesty, it's a waste of trademark expenses. And the old man will change his mind again before the year is out. Trust me.

Monday, April 25, 2022

What Might've Been: The Secret Service (1969)

 It would not be fair to include Gerry Anderson's 1969 series, The Secret Service, as a puppet-centric series for children. On the surface, it does not appear to be the case. Instead, it appears to be a transitional series, as Anderson and then-wife Sylvia, the series' creator, were moving from puppets to live-action, starting with the following year's UFO.

ITC frontman Lord Lew Grade was not happy with the finished product, however, hence only 13 episodes were produced with a mix of puppets and live-action backgrounds. It would be the last puppet series Anderson would produce until Terrahawks in the mid-80's.

Comedian and former war correspondent Stanley Unwine was the inspiration and voice for his puppet alter-ego, a priest who was secretly a spy. Sylvia Anderson was part of the voice cast as well, as normal.

Following is a sample episode, "The Cure":


The Secret Service never aired in the US in its original run in 1969, and some episodes, such as "The Cure", are available on YouTube, so for many of us, it's an introduction to something as different from, say for example, Fireball XL-5 or Thunderbirds as the seasons themselves.

Rating: B-.

An Angel without wings

 Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins shredded the officials after Memphis lost to Minnesota on Saturday, calling the NBA zebras "inconsistent" and "arrogant".

Jenkins has never met baseball umpire Angel Hernandez.

With the retirement of occasional crew-mate Joe West after last season, Hernandez is easily the most polarizing and unpopular arbiter in baseball. This is the man, remember, who threatened to file suit against MLB a few years ago for perceived discrimination against Latino umpires such as himself. After Sunday's Brewers-Phillies game on ESPN, Hernandez, an equal opportunity offender, made the NBA refs look like amateurs.

A fair number of umpires often have floating strike zones in that they'll call strikes as they see fit, not as it's mandated in the rule book. Hernandez is definitely in that category. Several strikeout calls against both teams were relatively inaccurate, a few inches outside the zone. It came to a head in the home 9th, with Philadelphia down, 1-0. Kyle Schwarber thought he'd drawn a walk against Brewer closer Josh Hader. Nope. Hernandez called strike three.


Photo courtesy Reuters.

Schwarber spiked his bat and helmet to the ground, clearly frustrated. Hernandez, of course, ejected Schwarber on the spot, leading to the above exchange. Hernandez's attitude was one of, my word is final. Deal with it. He exudes arrogance behind the plate. It wouldn't be so bad if you consider that he's interpreting his call as if to say the ball still crossed the imaginary box between the letters on the uniform shirt and the batter's knees, regardless of how outside the zone the batter perceives it to be.

Hernandez has heard the criticism from players, managers, team management, and media plenty of times in his career, but he's not going to change the way he does things. He quietly craves the spotlight when it's his night to call balls & strikes. We'll be hearing about his misplaced strike zone again and again before the season is over.

And he's giving his fellow Latino umps a bad rep.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Musical Interlude: In The Summertime (1977)

 From season 1 of The Muppet Show:

Kermit (Jim Henson) introduces The Country Trio, Muppets modeled after Henson, Frank Oz, & Jerry Nelson. The Trio performs a cover of Roger Miller's "In The Summertime":


Miller would appear on the show two years later, and play the song himself.

Don't ya wish they still made commercials like this? (1978)

It was not uncommon back in the day to find musical ads for fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's or, in this ad, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), which went by its full moniker back then.

KFC and Burger King both used singing cashiers. In this case, KFC had the advantage with actress-singer Debra Clinger (The American Girls, The Krofft Supershow) singing lead here.


I listed both series because we don't know when this ad was shot.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

The darker side of baseball fans emerges again

 There's always going to be some peabrain or twenty that's had too much to drink at the ballpark, and then, chaos ensues.

Take, for example, Friday's game between San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Southern California rivals meeting at Petco Park would've just slipped under the radar if not for some halfwit tossing a beer can at LA outfielder Cody Bellinger.


The projectile, of course, missed its target. Bellinger, Chris Taylor, and some concerned fans looked back to try to find the cowardly lush who wasted his can, who apparently decided on a hit & run approach. The Dodgers won to retain 1st place in the NL West.

Earlier this afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Cleveland Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan crashed into the left field wall in the home 9th, and the Otis Campbell Fan Club decided to make sport of it, which upset Kwan's teammate, Myles "Short" Straw, who decided to climb the fence to confront the dorks.

After pinch-hitter Gleyber Torres drove in the game winner, the Yankees, 1/2 game behind Toronto in the AL East presently, cut short their celebration, as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton decided to confront the lushes and put an end to the stupidity. Players know they're targets when on the road, and to a man, they have each other's back. Straw, a 2nd year outfielder acquired from Houston in a mid-season deal last year, doesn't have the same amount of experience playing in New York as his teammates do, doesn't know the Bronx. Guardians manager Terry Francona may want to sit Straw AND Kwan (who likely is in the concussion protocols) tomorrow.

In each instance, the offending parties are likely going to lose their seats, banished from the ballpark(s) for life. Maybe MLB needs to consider putting a limit on alcohol purchases. Contrary to a YouTube commentator's remarks, they don't allow you to sneak in a case of cheap dollar store beer into the stadium. You wouldn't get past the turnstiles.

Unfortunately, this will happen again. And again. And again, because people won't learn........

Dunce Cap Award: Care to take a guess?

 Georgia Misrepresentative Marjorie Taylor Greene, aka Empty-G, aka the Dumb Dora of Washington, went before a judge in the Peach State on Friday to try to keep herself on the ballot for re-election, as it's being challenged because of a violation of the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

Essentially, Empty-G resorted to the Roger Clemens defense, misremembering a lot of details, despite video evidence to the contrary. Her defense lawyer was no help. Ben Matlock, he wasn't. However, as Farron Cousins explains, Empty-G could still win thanks to a sympathetic judge....


At the least, Empty-G can get nailed for perjury for lying under oath so many times, if she does get disqualified from holding public office again, she can audition for a remake of "Pinocchio". For the perjury, and also for hiring a moronic lawyer, taking a page out of the Donald Trump playbook of hiring graduates from the Three Stooges Law School, Marjorie Taylor Greene picks up another Dunce Cap.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Musical Interlude: Gonna Have a Good Time (1969)

 From The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour:

The Clingers serve up a cover of the Easybeats' "Gonna Have a Good Time". Fellow blogger Chuck Miller will play this on his weekly radio show on Herkimer College's radio station later tonight (show starts at 7 pm ET).


Bassist-vocalist Debra Clinger spun off to do some acting in the 70's, first as part of the pre-fab Kaptain Kool & The Kongs (Krofft Supershow, 1976-8), then in the short-lived CBS drama, The American Girls (1978) before moving back into a full-time music career. One wonders, because of their Mormon background, if they ever toured with the Osmond Brothers.......

Sports this 'n' that

 The NFL is mourning the passing of former Raiders QB Daryle Lamonica, who passed away at 80. 

Nicknamed "The Mad Bomber" for his propensity for long passes, Lamonica took the Raiders to Super Bowl II, where they lost to Green Bay. He remained the starter for the Raiders until being succeeded by Ken Stabler in 1973. After the AFL-NFL merger, Lamonica was named to the Pro Bowl following the 1970 & 1972 seasons.
=======================================
Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn't make any friends in Detroit on Thursday.

With Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera closing in on 3,000 hits, and having taken an o-fer for the day, Boone opted to intentionally walk Cabrera in the 8th inning, with Detroit already up, 3-0. The partisans at Comerica Park booed, of course, but Boone was trying to rally his team to come from behind in the visiting 9th, which didn't happen. Cabrera will hit the milestone, perhaps as early as tonight, but you can understand Boone not wanting to have one of his pitchers be the one to give up #3000.


Worse for the Yanks, former Yankee Michael Pineda picked up the win, outdueling Jordan Montgomery.
==============================================
During its first run (1983-5), the USFL never had a primetime game.

They've already had a couple this season, and week 2 starts with a primetime game tonight on USA Network. Doubleheaders will air Saturday on Fox and Sunday on NBC. The challenge for the revived league, of course, is to finish the season, something the Alliance of American Football (2019) and XFL 2.0 (2020) couldn't do.
============================================
Even though he lives in Los Angeles these days, Mike "The Miz" Mizanin is and always has been a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan, and will stand for all of the city's sports teams, as demonstrated when he debated Screamin' A. Cosell (Stephen A. Smith) on First Take a few years ago.

Next week, Mizanin will live every NFL fan's dream, and be at the NFL Draft, as a guest of the league. He won't be the only WWE personality there, though. Titus O'Neil (Thad Bullard), who spends more time these days shilling for the Fuccillo Auto Group and doing charity work in his native Florida, will represent for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maybe that'll start a trend. Despite playing the same arrogant, self-serving villain for most of his 16 years on the active roster, Mizanin is also a goodwill ambassador for WWE, as is O'Neil. We can think of a few other WWE-NFL ties:

Tennessee Titans: Jerry Lawler.
Cincinnati Bengals: Alexa Bliss (who's from Columbus).
New England Patriots: Sasha Banks.
Carolina Panthers: R-Truth (Ron Killings) or Charlotte Flair.
Atlanta Falcons: Ex-Falcon Bill Goldberg or Roman Reigns (Joe Anoia was a Georgia Tech grad).
Houston Texans: Hometown legend Booker T (Booker Huffman).
San Francisco 49ers: Jey & Jimmy Uso.
Miami Dolphins: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (of course).

Thursday, April 21, 2022

What Might've Been: That's Life (1968)

 Not to be confused with the Frank Sinatra song of the same name, ABC's ambitious That's Life was touted as one of the network's key freshman entries of the 1968-9 season. Eight months after its premiere, it was cancelled.

What series creator-executive producer Marvin Marx had intended was to do a different kind of variety show. Having come over from CBS' Jackie Gleason Show, and having been a writer for Gleason dating back to The Honeymooners, Marx structured his show around a storyline involving young newlyweds Bobby & Gloria (Robert Morse & EJ Peaker), with Broadway style musical numbers mixed in. Morse had won a Tony Award for "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", and reprised the role in the movie version.

Unfortunately, ABC didn't count on viewers leaving after the 2nd year series, NYPD. NBC had movies, and CBS eventually launched what is now a Sunday franchise, 60 Minutes.

After the series ended, Morse continued with movies (i.e. Disney's "The Boatniks" with Phil Silvers), and expanded to cartoons (Jack Frost) before a career revival landed him on AMC's Mad Men.

Never saw the show, so there's no rating. We thank Times Past Television for this sample episode, posted in memory of Morse, who passed away earlier this week at 90.

Names making news

 NBC confirmed on Tuesday that Mike Tirico will be the new play-by-play voice on Sunday Night Football, paired with Cris Collinsworth. Another ESPN alumnus, Melissa Stark, will be working the sidelines, as she did for a few years on Monday Night Football. Tirico has filled in for Al Michaels on a few occasions the last couple of seasons, so there's already chemistry between him and Collinsworth. The new team will debut at the Hall of Fame game this summer.
===========================================
The Boston Red Sox honored the late Jerry Remy, former player and color analyst, prior to a game against Toronto. What has Sox fans up in arms is the fact that former play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo, now with the San Diego Padres and occasionally on Fox, had recorded a message to be played, but Sox ownership and/or NESN decided not to play it. Orsillo spent 15 seasons calling Red Sox games before leaving for San Diego, succeeded by ESPN's Dave O'Brien, a former Mets announcer.

The truth will come out eventually, but for now, I'm guessing the dreaded time constraints got in the way.
============================================
The worst kept secret of the current season of The Masked Singer was finally revealed Wednesday.

Yes, this was the night where America's Disgrace, Rudy Goofiani, was revealed as Jack-in-The-Box, and judge Ken Jeong walked off in protest.


Apparently, Rudy needed the money, since Citizen Pampers isn't paying his bills to him.
===========================================
Tabloid Carlson is getting raked over the coals for his latest "documentary", discussing men losing testosterone and "testicle tanning". Late night hosts Seth Meyers & Jimmy Kimmel, in particular, have had fun with Carlson's latest attempt at long form "journalism". He's better off being a spokesman for Viagra or Cialis.
==========================================
You can tell that Vince McMahon has his fingerprints all over NXT these days, even if he doesn't fly to Orlando. Shawn Michaels has been running the show for nearly 8 months since his best pal, Paul "Triple H" Levesque, was sidelined with cardiac issues in September.

Proof of McMahon's contributions come in the form of two top heels for the brand.

Tony D'Angelo is being presented as a modern day mobster, and his debut just happened to take place not long after The Sopranos prequel, "The Many Saints of Newark", hit theatres. He's currently feuding with former cruiser champion Santos Escobar and his Legado del Fantasma faction. 

Joe Gacy started as a cult leader of sorts, not unlike Bray Wyatt (Windham Rotunda), but as he pursues current NXT champ Bron Breakker (Bronson Rechsteiner), Gacy has gone completely cuckoo, hiring druids to attack Breakker at the end of Tuesday's show. In this writer's opinion, D'Angelo has done more over the last 7 months to earn a title shot than Gacy has. Gacy will not be a champion. D'Angelo potentially could be. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Classic TV: Hawaiian Eye (1959)

 Warner Bros. added to its family of crime dramas in 1959 with Hawaiian Eye, which, despite the setting, was shot almost entirely in Hollywood on the WB lot. The opening sequence may have been the extent of their location shooting.

Anthony Eisley was the headliner, at least in the first season, joined by future icon Robert Conrad and Connie Stevens, who'd scored a novelty hit that year with "Kookie, Kookie, Lend me Your Comb", with Edd Byrnes (77 Sunset Strip). The series also introduced America to Poncie Ponce, a poor man's Don Ho or Arthur Godfrey, what with the ukelele.

Hawaiian Eye lasted four seasons, but Eisley was gone after the third season. Troy Donohue moved over from Surfside Six in the final season, and Grant Williams ("The Incredible Shrinking Man") joined the show in a recurring role in season 2. Eisley would later join Jack Webb's repertory company, appearing frequently on Dragnet.

Full episodes are not available on YouTube, but we do have the intro:


The perception of the exotic setting became a reality a few years later, thanks to the original Hawaii Five-0. Otherwise, this was standard WB fare of the period, and the opener even included a brief cameo from 77 Sunset Strip star Efrem Zimbalist, Jr..

Rating: B.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Memo to Timex Cruz: Stop trying to be something you're not

 Looking to jump on the bandwagon against Disney because the Mouse House has spoken out against Florida dictator Ron DeStupid's anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, Texas Senator Ted Cruz made a feeble attempt at comedy on a recent talk show appearance.


Cruz's idea of a joke was also meant to be a fear-mongering dog whistle to the GOPer base. He tried to suggest that Disney would soon have Pluto be more than man's best friend, if you get my drift, as it relates to Mickey Mouse.

Twitter, of course, had a field day roasting Cruz as if he was bombing out on The Gong Show 45 years ago. I can picture the late Chuck Barris mockingly consoling Cruz after getting gonged.

"I liked your act, but then again, I'm also into toe jamb."

You'd think Cruz would've learned a hard lesson after attempting Twitter wars with the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Patton Oswalt, and the GOP's biggest nemesis, Alex From The Block (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). Bank on Kimmel having something to say about this latest gaffe tonight.

In other words, Ted, don't quit your day job.

Monday, April 18, 2022

InfoWimps files for bankruptcy to avoid paying off a defamation lawsuit

 Alex Jones is digging a deeper hole for himself.

The head InfoWimp had his companies file for Chapter 11 under the bankruptcy protection laws to avoid paying off what he owes to the parents of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. He's been held liable for defamation, even after admitting he lied about the massacre being a hoax.


File photo courtesy Associated Press.

Chapter 11 will allow Jones to get everything in order to pay off his liabilities, including the money owed in the defamation lawsuit against him. December will mark 10 years since the incident occurred. It is in the best interest of the families to close this case by then, but Jones doesn't want to do that. He doesn't want to give up InfoWimps, but I'd say a judge could decide that for him by sending his cowardly butt off to jail.

If only he'd have settled this by apologizing on the air way sooner. This is what happens when you trade in lies and conspiracy theories with no basis in reality. Let that be a lesson to the rest of the morons who believe in the lies.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Sounds of Praise: The Old Landmark (2008)

 First recorded by The Clara Ward Singers in 1949, the Herbert Brewster penned "The Old Landmark" was most famously covered by James Brown and the Rev. James Cleveland Choir in 1980's "The Blues Brothers", in a pivotal scene where Joliet Jake (John Belushi) gets a divine revelation to reform the band.

But, let's skip the theatrics on Easter Sunday, and move forward in time to 2008, and the Rev. Charles Hayes with the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer Choir.


Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Sports this 'n' that

The late actress Betty White would not have approved of the stunts performed by animal rights activists in Minneapolis this week.

Seems that Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor also owns a chicken farm, and supposedly has had more than 5 million chickens slaughtered because of avian flu. On Tuesday, one protester tried gluing her hand to the floor at Target Center. Pathetic.

Earlier today, in Memphis, another protester chained herself to one of the baskets at FedEx Forum.


Henery Hawk would not have approved, either.

Direct Action Everywhere, a grassroots group, claimed responsibility for the stunts. They don't want to wait for Taylor to close the deal on selling the Timberwolves to a group led by ESPN/Fox analyst Alex Rodriguez (they misspelled A-Rod's name on their press release). This was strictly done to call attention to their cause, but there are better ways to go about it.
==============================================
WWE superstar Liv Morgan is the latest to have someone impersonate her online to run a scam.

Morgan posted on Twitter than a man sold his home and lost everything because he fell for a scam from a fake Morgan who was begging for money. Now, we all know that wrestlers currently employed with WWE or AEW are making enough money where they don't need to be asking fans for financial help.


You can substitute the paint in the above picture with tears to get an idea of Morgan's feelings on the matter. 

The people who run these scams simply don't want to work or even go about finding jobs and filling out applications. Sooner or later, however, the police will find them.
==============================================
As I'm writing, the new USFL has begun its season with a simulcast on Fox & NBC, the first such simulcast since the first Super Bowl in 1967. Fox's Curt Menefee & Joel Klatt are calling the game. Former Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett is being paired with NBC's Jac Collinsworth, the soundalike son of Cris Collinsworth. Fox college analyst Brock Huard is doing interviews. We don't know who will be calling tomorrow's games.

Klatt's regular partner on college football, Gus Johnson, is being loaned out to TNT to help with NBA playoff coverage.

Back to the USFL. All of the regular season games will be played in one "bubble", if you will, with two venues in Birmingham, Alabama. When the post-season starts in July after 10 weeks of regular season play, the games will shift to Canton, and the Hall of Fame. I get the "bubble" concept due to the pandemic, and the fact that some teams, like New Jersey & Tampa Bay, would have a hard time drawing fans for home games because they have other teams playing in other sports (i.e. the Mets, Yankees, Rays). The revived league is also experimenting with extra point options, something the XFL tried two years ago, with extra points being worth anywhere from 1-3 points, and a shootout after overtime, not quite dissimilar to hockey.

This will bear watching, but how many will watch? 

Memo to Republicans: Stop letting a man-baby dictate your future!!

 America's Oldest Baby is making his presence felt, for better or worse, in Georgia.

Donald Trump wants Georgia Governor Brian Kemp out of office, and has anointed former Senator David Perdue to be Kemp's replacement. The problem, as Farron Cousins points out, is that, like most GOP candidates endorsed by Citizen Pampers, Perdue is trailing in the polls.

Worse, Trump, who has more money in his PAC than the GOP & Democrats combined, is only spending money on an attack ad against Kemp.


You can imagine the rationale of a 75 year old man-child:


"WWWWAAAAAHHH!! Kemp wouldn't do what I wanted, so he's gotta go! WAAAAH!!"

The reason many candidates are failing after being endorsed by Trump is because the former president remains a toxic, polarizing figure, who won't share his money. He thinks his endorsement should be good enough, but, in truth, it is, in many cases, the kiss of death.

We spoke with a prominent philanthropist:


"Och! Donnie has never grown up. He still thinks the world owes him a living!"

Certainly seems that way. The division in the GOP will open the door for Democrat Stacey Abrams, who was screwed out of the governor's mansion four years ago by Kemp. Even if Kemp sends Perdue back to the chicken farm, he might not survive a rematch with Abrams. And it will all be the fault of a petty, vindictive man-child who, as Mr. McDuck opines, never grew up.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Weasel of The Week: Patrick Howley

 Patrick Howley is a right wing whiner who had a cow over the selection of actor Anthony Mackie (The Falcon & The Winter Soldier) to host the Country Music Awards earlier this week. Apparently, as Howley whined and mocked country music fans, it's clear his ignorance is showing.

While Howley name checked the likes of the late Merle Haggard, and Mackie owned up to being a fan of Dolly Parton, growing up in New Orleans, no one bothered to explain to Howley that Nashville has seen its share of African-American artists over the years, including current star Darius Rucker, Cowboy Troy, and the late Charley Pride.


He had nothing better to do than whine about nothing.

See, the GOPers are looking for excuses to vent, whine, and complain because they have nothing to offer their voters but manufactured rage. All this geek did was make himself a target for late night hosts like Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, whose network, CBS, carried the awards earlier this week. While Empty-G and the usual dimwits continue to extend their 15 minutes of infamy to stay in the headlines, Howley is trying to fill the void created by Rush Limbaugh's passing a couple of years back. And failing. The only thing this geek is worthy of is a set of Weasel ears, and that's our Easter present to Howley.

Sounds of Praise: He's Alive (1989)

 We know a lot of country artists have some gospel in their background. From Johnny Cash and Ferlin Husky to the Oak Ridge Boys and Josh Turner.

In 1989, Dolly Parton appeared at what looks like an awards show to perform the Easter hymnal, "He's Alive".


Expect to hear this tune at your local church come Easter Sunday.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

On The Shelf: DC puts their primetime shows on Earth-Prime

 Season 3 of Batwoman ended a few weeks back, but the current Batwoman on TV, Ryan Wilder, suits up in the pages of DC Comics for the first time.

Earth-Prime is a 6-issue, twice monthly miniseries that fits into the TV continuities of Batwoman, Superman & Lois, Legends of Tomorrow, Stargirl, & The Flash, with the final issue, due in June, to be a team-up issue.


Courtesy DC Comics.

Each issue is 48 pages for roughly $5, a dollar more for gimmick covers. One of the backup features in the Batwoman volume is written by series co-star Camrus Johnson (Luke/Batwing), who made his comics debut a year ago. The lead story covers a bit of ground, but if you're not following the show, you may have to catch up. Batwoman has not yet been formally renewed for season 4, but it would have to go some to get viewers back who abandoned the series the last two seasons.

Rating: B--.
=====================================
The hometown shop was hyping up Aftershock's 1-shot, Midnight Rose, not because of the writer, 70's icon Jim Starlin, but rather artist Nikkol Jelenic, who reportedly has settled in the area. The artwork on this horror story is a blend of Starlin with some Jim Lee influence as well. The key plot centers on a young woman with strange powers that turn men into plants. Didn't Poison Ivy try that once? Anyway, it is moody, dark, and disturbing all at once. The story is easy to follow, and is a true done-in-one. I wonder if Starlin's shopping this around for a movie adaptation....!

Rating: A-.
=====================================
After making her writing debut last year, actress Nicole Maines (ex-Supergirl) will write the introduction to this year's DC Pride special, out in June. Not only that, but in July, Dreamer, played by Maines on Supergirl, becomes the latest TV character to transition into the mainstream DC Universe. She'll debut in the pages of Superman: Son of Kal-El, in a story co-authored by Maines and series writer Tom Taylor. A miniseries is almost sure to follow.

Speaking of Pride, veteran actor Kevin Conroy, long regarded as the definitive cartoon voice of Batman over the last 30 years, is penning a Bat-short for the volume. If that doesn't get ya to lay a $10 on the counter, I don't know what does.


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Names making news

 Governor Hochul may be looking for a new running mate.

Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin resigned Tuesday after he'd been arrested in connection with some shady political dealings while he was in New York a while back. Rather than cause a distraction to Hochul's election campaign, Benjamin chose to resign. He is still on the ballot for the Democratic primary, though that could change.
=========================================
In the wake of the passing of actor-comic Gilbert Gottfried yesterday, we're learning of his ties to the 518.

Gottfried, 67, retained the services of local businessman Tommy Nicchi of Niskayuna, the owner of the Comedy Works nightclub and The Broken Inn, a new eatery in Niskayuna. Gottfried recorded a video that Nicchi used at The Broken Inn last month for a St. Patrick's Day promotion.


File photo courtesy NBC Universal/Getty Images.

Reports are that Gottfried passed away as the result of recurrent ventricular tachycardia, caused by myotonic dystrophy, type 2, a form of muscular dystrophy. He was scheduled to appear at the Cohoes Music Hall in June, and tickets are being refunded for that night.
===========================================
Colorado airhead Lauren Bow-Wow might've rubbed Christians the wrong way the other day by claiming that Jesus was "cancelled". No, He wasn't.

The timing of her remarks, of course, reeks of bad judgment, with Easter this weekend. Apparently, clouds for brains has never really done a deep dive into the Gospels.


When was the last time she saw the inside of a church?

For attempting to link the Crucifixion to so-called cancel culture, well, I think you know what's headed her way:

Fitting, of course.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Advertising For Dummies: a simple explanation of MTV (1986)

 As MTV turned 5 in 1986, there were still some folks that didn't understand the channel's concept.

Enter Gilbert Gottfried (ex-Saturday Night Live) to try to explain.


Gottfried would remain a fixture on MTV doing spots like this for the rest of the decade, and it led to movies (i.e. "Aladdin", "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane", "Problem Child") commercial endorsements (Banquet, Kellogg's Pop Tarts, AFLAC), and cartoons (Cyberchase, Superman: The Animated Series, Aladdin) over the next 30 years.

Gottfried passed away earlier today at 67. Rest in peace.

Once a hero, now a fool

 40 years ago, Herschel Walker was a star running back at the University of Georgia. It's safe to say that Walker, along with coach Vince Dooley, put the Bulldogs on the map. Walker went on to a productive career in the pros, first in the original USFL with the New Jersey Generals, then moving to the NFL, where he played for three NFC East teams, Dallas, Philadelphia, and the Giants.

Today, Walker is a GOPer returning to the Peach State in an effort to oust Reverend Raphael Warnock. If Walker had traded only on his past glories in college and in the pros, there wouldn't be any issues. He relocated from Texas, where he's made his home since retiring from the NFL, back to Georgia, so no one accuses him of being a carpetbagging candidate. Unfortunately, Walker also has the blessing (read: endorsement) of his former boss with the Generals, Donald John Narcissus Trump, which is also tantamount to the kiss of death, as Dr. Mehmet Oz will soon discover.

Walker appeared on Fox Shmooze on Sunday, and, like most other GOPers who go on the channel, spewed a bunch of fibs and outright lies, following the GOPer party line to discredit President Biden at all costs.

Brian Tyler Cohen breaks down and debunks the lies, and serves up the facts:


When USFL 2.0 opens its season Saturday, I doubt either Walker or Trump will be on hand to see the new Generals take on Birmingham. Better for the league to leave its past behind them in this case.

Monday, April 11, 2022

It was 60 years ago today (1962)

 The Mets turn 60 today, and while they're in Philadelphia to play the Phillies, we'd like to take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to this day in 1962, when the Mets opened at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis to play the Cardinals. The legendary Bob Murphy, Ralph Kiner, & Lindsey Nelson would alternate between radio & television for broadcasts, save for games that didn't air on television back in those days.


All that was missing was the commercials.

And, for posterity, here's the final box score:

April 11, 1962, Sportsman's Park, St. Louis, MO

St. Louis Cardinals 11, New York Mets 4

MetsabrhbibbsoAvg.
Richie Ashburn cf511000.200
Felix Mantilla ss411010.250
Charlie Neal 2b413200.750
Frank Thomas lf300100.000
Gus Bell rf301010.333
Gil Hodges 1b411101.250
Don Zimmer 3b401000.250
Hobie Landrith c400000.000
Roger Craig p100001.000
-Ed Bouchee ph000010.000
-Bob Moorhead p100000.000
-Herb Moford p000000.000
-Clem Labine p000000.000
-Jim Marshall ph000010.000
Cardinalsabrhbibbso
Curt Flood cf432100
Julian Javier 2b534100
Bill White 1b412300
Stan Musial rf313210
-Don Landrum rf100000
Ken Boyer 3b401200
Minnie Minoso lf401101
Gene Oliver c412001
Julio Gotay ss410000
Larry Jackson p411100
Team123456789RHE
New York Mets002110000483
St. Louis Cardinals20301401x11161
New York Metsiphrerbbso
Roger Craig (L,0-1)3.08550115.00
Bob Moorhead3.0652116.00
Herb Moford1.0100000.00
Clem Labine1.0110000.00
St. Louis Cardinalsiphrerbbso
Larry Jackson (W)9.084442

Errors: Felix Mantilla (1), Ken Boyer.
2B: Felix Mantilla (1), Gene Oliver 2, Ken Boyer, Stan Musial.
HR: Gil Hodges (1), Charlie Neal (1).
SF: Frank Thomas, Curt Flood, Bill White.
SB: Curt Flood 2, Julian Javier.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

What a shock. A GOPer accused of child abuse

 Sometimes, you can't make this stuff up.

Reverend John Raymond, who, until now, was best known for having been on Survivor some 20 years ago, turned himself in to police in Slidell, Louisiana after parents turned him in for disciplining their children by taping their mouths shut. With packing tape.


According to reports, the students were brought to Raymond's office at Lakeside Christian School, and had the packing tape wrapped around their heads before being returned to class. Another administrator removed the gags after 45 minutes when the students complained they couldn't breathe. Removing the gags also hurt. 

To this, I have to ask. Whatever happened to putting them in detention? That always works.

And Republicans have the gall to accuse parents & teachers of child abuse when they don't have any evidence to support their claims? Hypocrisy in a house of God. In the south. What a shock.

Musical Interlude: Man in The Mirror (1987-8)

 Aside from a blink-and-you'll-miss-him cameo at the end, Michael Jackson doesn't appear in the video for "Man in The Mirror", the 4th single from 1987's "Bad", and the 4th straight single to hit #1.

With backing vocals by the Winans, the Andrae Crouch Choir, and co-author Siedah Garrett, who also teamed with Jackson for the album's 1st single, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Man" paints the picture, with the use of vintage clips, of some of history's worst moments, and the real-world champions, such as Ghandi, Mother Theresa, and the summit involving President Jimmy Carter, Menachem Begin, & Anwar Sadat, in the late 70's.



Saturday, April 9, 2022

Origin of a Classic: Seven Against The Sea (Alcoa Premiere, 1962)

 Fans of McHale's Navy have been waiting for this one to appear on YouTube, and last year, a few copies turned up.

As we've documented, McHale started as a hour-long drama that aired on Alcoa Premiere, "Seven Against The Sea". Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine is Quinton McHale. Some, but not all of the familiar elements of the subsequent sitcom are there. The moonshine. McHale's friendly relations with the natives. The frosty relationship with a superior officer. Two crewmen, Christy (Gary Vinson, ex-The Roaring Twenties) and Willy (country singer John "Bobby" Wright, billed as Bobby here), carried over into the series.

Intro & outro by host Fred Astaire:


When the series was being put together, producer Edward Montagne and cast member Billy Sands came over from The Phil Silvers Show, as did recurring regular Jane Dulo. Montagne went for a more comedic approach, and sources have cited a Richard Widmark movie, "Destination Gobi", as partial inspiration.

Rating: A.

Sports this 'n' that

 Earlier today, Dwayne Haskins, 24, was killed in an auto accident. Haskins was drafted out of Ohio State by Washington in 2018, and spent 2 1/2 seasons in DC before being cut, and landed in Pittsburgh as a backup QB, and was expected to compete for the starting job this season in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger's retirement after the 2021 season.
============================================
Scary moment last night in Washington during Mets-Nationals, the 1st Apple TV+ broadcast of live baseball.

Mets star Francisco Lindor was hit by a pitch by Washington reliever Steve Cishek. Manager Buck Showalter, who'd seen a few dustups between the Nats and Orioles when he was in Baltimore, led the charge out of the dugout. 3 Mets had been hit on Thursday, and Lindor avoided getting a concussion, taking a sidearm fastball in the jaw.

Cishek was ejected, and everything calmed down, as the Mets made it 2 in a row over Washington.

You'll find the incident in this MLB highlight reel:

====================================
As Apple announcer Hannah Keyser suggested, the new balls are a little hard for pitchers to pick up a firm grip on, leading to all the hit batters in the first two games in the series.

Speaking of Apple, they've taken some heat due to some bugs in the system in their initial foray into sports broadcasting. Users complained about losing video and/or audio at different points in the game. They complained about batter odds appearing on the screen, which, of course, is intended for the gamblers watching the game to accommodate sponsors such as Draft Kings.

Here at home, we have it worse. The Mets terminated their radio network a few years ago, so there's no alternative when the SNY broadcast isn't airing.
=====================================
Mets slugger Pete Alonso is one of four players appearing in a commercial for BMW, joined by Walker Buehler (Dodgers), Tim Anderson (White Sox), and Ozzie Albies (Atlanta). It'll be in heavy rotation for the first half of the season at least.
=====================================
The revived USFL launches next week, just in time for Easter. No word if the Generals' original owner, some deranged ex-president, will be in attendance for the new Generals' opener, airing on Fox.
======================================
It took the Yankees 11 innings to win their opener over Boston on Friday, but someone decided that there was value in a small dispute from starting pitcher Gerrit Cole before the game.

The issue? The pre-game festivities took too long, culminating in one of the Yanks' biggest fans, actor-comedian Billy Crystal, throwing out the first pitch. Cole was seen stewing in the dugout. As it was, Cole was roughed up in four innings of work, but didn't figure into the decision. I guess he won't be seeing Billy's Broadway adaptation of his "Mr. Saturday Night", any time soon.