Discover more from Sportscaster Dan's Newsletter
Football and television
A marriage still made in heaven
Good morning, all. It’s Friiiiiidddddaaaayyyyy!!!!!
NFL playoff ratings are down, in some cases 10%. But fear not, football and television remain a marriage made in heaven. The 38 of the top 40 most watched shows on television, since Labor Day, have been football games. Only the Thanksgiving Day parade and New Year’s Eve cracked the top-40.
So while ratings may be down, the NFL and college football will continue to negotiate higher rights fees, meaning your cable-TV bills will continue to rise. Don’t believe me? Just check your itemized cable television bills. Not only do the sports packages to which you subscribe continue to hike prices, the rights’ fees costs are also passed along on your basic cable tier. By the way, this does not include the cable company’s trick of packaging sports channels you may not like with premium channels you do like.
Don’t expect relief anytime soon. Football and television is a marriage made in heaven and you are among those who contribute a monthly wedding gift. That said, I will be watching the NFL conference title games this weekend. I am hooked.
Little old Jamestown, NY
According to the 2019 census, Jamestown, NY had a population of 29,058. How many municipalities of that size can boast two notable people? As I write this, the Philadelphia Eagles are naming Nick Sirianni as their next head coach. Most recently, he was the OC of the Indianapolis Colts. Sirianni continues the trend of the NFL hiring head coaches under 40 years of age. He is 39. It also means that New England Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, 44, is on the outsidelooking in again, after interviewing with the Eagles. Is he paying the price for backing out of the Colts’ head coaching position a couple seasons ago or is he too old?
As for Sirianni, he hails from Jamestown, NY. I have passed through Jamestown on occasion, when the Hartford Yard Goats team bus makes the long journey from Erie, PA back to Hartford. And when I do, I feel a particular kinship to another famous resident from Jamestown, Lucille Ball. The late, great comedian was not only one of the people who helped make television, she was one of the top business people in Hollywood. Her business acumen is to be admired. When you have time, do a search on You Tube. You will discover several seminars she conducted on business. Amazing!
Meanwhile, for a small town in upstate New York, boasting about one of the greatest entertainers and now the head coach of an NFL team is not too bad.
Old time baseball broadcasts
If you are a fan of old time baseball games on the radio, an internet search will turn up numerous sites, where you can listen to those games. My friend Jeremy Pollutro will premier a 1970 broadcast of the New York Yankees against the Kansas City Royals on his You Tube channel. The game is from June 3, four days before Kansas City fired manager Charlie Metro and replaced him with pitching coach Bob Lemon. Yes, that is the same Lemon who served as manager of the 1978 World Champion Yankees.
By the way, if you enjoy word search books, Jeremy has published a good one on baseball. Here is the link!
One of my favorite ballparks was Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, home to the Orioles and Colts. I had the chance to witness several games there, including a 1980 contest between the Yankees and Orioles. Gaylord Perry pitched for the Yankees that day, but don’t ask me if he was throwing his spitter. My brothers and I were seated in the upper deck, although they were great seats, right behind home plate. I was also there for the last game of the 1982 season, the last day Earl Weaver managed the Orioles in his first stint. The AL Eastern Division was at stake, but Milwaukee smoked the Birds, 10-2, to beat out Baltimore by one game.
The winning pitcher that day was Don Sutton, who passed away this week at the age of 75. Yet, a packed ballpark hung around, until after the game, to give Weaver a dramatic send off. He complied, by helping to spell out O-R-I-O-L-E-S, a popular routine by Baltimore’s grounds crew at the time.
Anyway, You Tube has a video of the 1962 Yankees, taking batting practice at Memorial before a day game against the Orioles. There are the Yankees in all their splendor, taking BP: Mantle, Maris, Howard, Boyer, Tresh, Richardson, Blanchard. Venerable third base coach Frank Crosetti is hitting fungoes. And you get a quick glimpse of former player and Yankees broadcaster Phil Rizzuto. That in itself is notable, because Rizzuto supposedly did not go on the field before games to do his “homework.” But there he was, the only broadcaster I could pick out around the batting cage. “Holy Cow!.”
Well, that is it for this week. As always, thank you for your support and have a tremendous weekend!