Thursday, April 10, 2008

March Madness: Championship and Short Takes

I must admit, Bridget took it pretty hard when Memphis lost the championship to Kansas. Within minutes, I received a "Rock Chalk" email from one of my Jayhawk friends. I guess the toughest part is that Tiger High went 1-5 at the free throw line down the stretch. If they had only gone 2-5, they'd be national champs. Oh well, as I've stated before, I cheer them on through thick and thin, although I'll never let my happiness hinge on whether a 20 year old boy does what he's supposed to do, when he's supposed to do it! In the end, her bracket went further than mine! I had North Carolina winning! In the women's bracket, what more can be said about Pat Summitt. I remember her as a gritty player at UT-Martin. She'll finish as the winingest college basketball coach of all time. I've been around Pat enough to know that if she told me to hit myself in the head with a claw hammer, I'd do it without question. Perhaps that's why she's so great and perhaps that's why it's good that she never told me to hit myself in the head with a claw hammer.

My faith in America is at least temporarily restored after Aussie Michael Johns (Lee) was voted off American Idol. Another of the "retreads" is gone. ("retreads" are those who had a record contract earlier in their "career," but lost it....mostly because they just were not that good) That leaves tattooed pop tart Carly Smithson (Hennessy) and hick-chick Kristy Lee Cook. Meanwhile, "Star Search" retread David Archuleta's stage dad will get one more chance to badger his spawn as the teeny-bopper heart-throb hangs in for another week. One wonders when the Idol producers will step in and push Dad out of the way, so they can polish the boy wonder's act without interference. Meanwhile, one of my friends who has an enormous CD collection emailed me to inform me that he did indeed have a CD by the former Carly Hennessy (pre-tattoo and nuptials). I think now I'm pulling for critter-club vet David Cook from Missouri so I can hear the collective drunken roar from Eagles Clubs, Moose Lodges and Elk's Clubs across the Show-Me state when the confetti rains down.

I love the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards still embodies Rock n Roll. Martin Scorsese's new film capturing a Stones concert is out. It includes a great song in which the Stones back Christina Aguilera. Now she's one of the few current pop stars who I feel has genuine "pipes" and I've heard the song and it's really good, however, prior to the pairing, Richards had no idea who she was. I love Keith Richards! Richards and I have perhaps only one thing in common: we both met and shared the stage with the great Chuck Berry in St. Louis. That ain't much, but believe's the coolest!

One my "rites-of-spring" is watching The Masters Golf Championship. Tiger Woods has dug himself a big hole halfway through, 7 strokes off the pace, yet we learned a long time ago to never count him completely out. Europeans seem to do really well in The Masters. Is it because they have, on the whole, better short games than PGA Tour players? If it ever stops raining, I plan to spend A LOT of time on the course. In BREAKING SPORTS NEWS, I've decided to officially announce that I have given up "training" for an attempt to join the PGA Senior Tour in 2 years, and have instead devoted more time to "cracking the code" of the recipe for Prince's Hot Fried Chicken. Guess what? I did it! Guess What Else? I'll share it.....for a PRICE.

I heard from my 1st news director the other day, Bob Ramsey. He was named GM at the Tribune station in Sacramento. What a journey from tiny WBBJ-TV in Jackson, TN to there. Along the way he wound his way through Evansville, Omaha, Louisville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, San Diego. He hired me at WBBJ in 1983 to be a reporter and fill-in weather anchor. Before I ever did my 1st weathercast, he gave me a 10 minute "primer" on how to do TV weather. I've always said that was the best instruction I ever got on how to actually communicate the weather. Back then we used magnetic symbols on a painted piece of roofing tin cut out like a map of the USA. Meteorology progressed from there to sophisticated computers, the internet, more forecasting computer models than you could imagine and more. I went back to college to finish my meteorology degree and progressed in all the scientific aspects and nuances of forecasting, but I never got a better education on how to present it than Bob gave me. It was great to hear from him. I'm not surprised that he's done so well in managing stations. He's all Chicago, all SIU-Carbondale, and most of all, he's all right!

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