I'm happy to see that Craig Sager is back to wearing his outlandish costumes again. At the start of the NBA post game season (I call it a season because it lasts longer than the regular one), the suit Sager was wearing looked GQ - well not exactly but close enough that I thought Sager had undergone a clothes intervention, which cured him of his addiction to bright colors. Say it isn't so, I said to myself. And, thank god, it wasn't. The next game he was back wearing a pink sport suit over a pin-stripped baby blue shirt and a lipstick red necktie with a green flamingo emblazoned on it.
Enough has been said about Ernie Johnson and his band of merry men. For those of you who criticize the Abbot and Costello routine Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley have been chanelling, imagine what it would be like if instead of the dynamic duo, Johnson had to play host to Bill Walton and Chris Webber, Walton with his condescending prattle and Webber with his used-car-salesman-smile. Let me ask you, would you buy a car from Webber?
Speaking of criticism, lots of it on the Internet blogs directed towards NBA Gametime's Rick Kamla. The word obnoxious keeps coming up. I think he actually knows a lot about basketball and cares about the game, but his delivery leaves a lot to be desired. He reminds me of those teachers who try to act like their students. In Kamla's case the students he's trying to imitate are also afflicted with HD - Hyperactivity Disorder. Grow up, Kamla and stop trying to be one of the dudes!
Hubie Brown is my hero, at seventy-three still going strong and knowledgeable as ever. I bet he could still coach a team and be successful. As for the other color men, Reggie Miller is competent. I enjoy listening to Steve Kerr who reminds me of Doug Collins, in my opinion the best hoops analyst in the business, now the coach of the 76ers and doing a damn good job of that. The guy that has impressed me the most recently is Greg Anthony. Here's a guy who has come a long way in the elocution department since his days as a player in the NBA. He'll age well.
As for Kevin McHale, let's hope the Rockets hire him as a coach, so he could hire Dennis Scott and Steve Smith as assistants, and NBA Gametime could bring in Cheryl Miller to team up with Brent Barry in their stead. If Mike Fratello, the Czar, could only stop with the Brooklyn accent, you could listen to his comments, usually pretty astute, without feeling you were being transported to the Big Apple. Stan Van Gundy is funny, knowledgeable, and literate.
The sideline reporters need to learn more about the game of basketball so they can ask coaches and players meaningful questions. I love the look on Phil Jackson's face as he responds.
Matt Winer doesn't have the sense of humor Ernie Johnson does, but he is a smart and smooth studio host. Marv Albert is Marv Albert, hair piece and all, one of the best voices in broadcasting.
I couldn't find a poem about TV sports analysts, but I wrote this one for three of the best radio play by play men in basketball.
Play-by-Play Men by Tom Meschery
for Chick Hearn, Marv Albert, & Bill King.
You can't out-grow those nights:
Chick faking players high
into the popcorn stands.
The dribble drive, shots
that never scored without
Marv's blessing, "Yessss!"
In The City, Bill King screams
"Holy, holy Toledo!"
while one more jumper aimed
from twenty feet drops
a contemptible fifteen.
wherever you are, stalled
in traffic or home in your room
radio close at hand,
the game on tempting you
to try those nights again,
to be your favorite
play by play man.Why not?
You know their words
by heart, their cadences.
Set the dial, the true court's
left to right, drop an octave
and begin, holding one fist,
like a microphone,
close to your mouth.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.