Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Watching the Ball Drop, and I Don't Mean Ladell Betts

Dan, LA's great. Be there for us.

This guy. Trying so hard to be Ruth's Chris and coming up Sizzler.

First it was Six Flags, to be pumped up Danny-style with a premium fare, totally tone deaf to the economic realities of his home base in Prince George's County. Then it was Tom Cruise, a totally hilarious partnership because Dan sees himself as the Tom Cruise of the business world while Tom sees himself as the taking Dan's money guy, in this way very much like a typical Redskins free agent acquisition.

Next it was Johnny Rockets, a modest burger chain which Dan thinks can expand over the next five years at a rate greater than 15 times the previous five years' growth. Just don't eat at the Georgetown shop. Then he brought in the war profiteer to focus on takeover targets and then lost his coveted radio guy stolen from ClearChannel.

That takeover war profiteer guy is earning his keep. Now Dan has acquired Dick Clark's American Bandstand holdings. This gives Dan 877 recorded hours of the thank god it finally died TV show, a long-dead show on TV bloopers, a bunch of crappy awards shows, a crappy reality TV show about dancing and (the coolest thing), the New Year's Rockin Eve broadcast. Re-animated Dick Clark not included.

Also included are the American Bandstand restaurants. There are seven of them and with addresses like Concourse D Indianapolis Airport, Terminal A Newark International Airport and Molly Pitcher Travel Plaza New Jersey Turnpike you know not only are you in for a quality meal but that the staff will be A+.

Curly R aside: Even Dan Steinberg thinks this is funny. But to be fair, he thinks everything is funny, even stuff that is not, like Tony Kornheiser and the Orioles.

Business acquisitions are often about 'synergies' and 'dynamism' and 'cross-pollination' and the Dan crew is already installing flat-panel TVs at every food station and ride line at Six Flags, where we will be able to see a random episode of AB while we wait. Yes, they actually said that. That craning our necks up to watch episodes of a TV show that survived 20 years longer than it should have and featured people dancing while artists lip synched would actually be something the masses would be thankful for.

There's your justification for paying the premium entry fee right there, that you can skip food and ride lines just so you don't have to watch that shit.

And it occurs to me that if Dan spent 175 million dollars on this and then will be spending millions more on flatscreen TVs and a closed-circuit television system for the parks that he may have to cut back on staff, which creates longer lines, thus justifying need for entertainment in line. It's a co-branding marketing experiment that sounds better in the pitch session than it will at the park.

At least it's something else for him to do. Maybe the Redskins will benefit.

Editorial cartoon by Nate Beeler / Washington Examiner from here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

RIP Steve Gilliard

Steve Gilliard, 1966 - 2007

Steve Gilliard, the influential liberal editor of The News Blog and an early contributor to Daily Kos and its wide influence, died Saturday of heart and kidney complications.

Steve studied history and journalism at NYU and and worked as a liberal operative in New Jersey before becoming a freelance writer. In April 2003, mere months after Daily Kos debuted, Steve became one of the blog's original 'front pagers,' writers selected by editor Markos Moulitsas and permitted to post directly to the front page. He wasted no time in making his mark. In this post from April 10 2003, Steve eerily predicts exactly how Iraq would slip into civil war.

Steve was a serious student of military history, often using historical examples to illustrate how Iraq had been botched, how things could get worse and to debunk inaccurate analogies and statements intended to frame the invasion and occupation in a light favorable to the Bush administration.

Steve was a voice unafraid to speak his mind, tackling New York politics, race relations and Republican corruption and incompetence, and often drew the ire of everyone from Rosie O'Donnell to The New York Times to establishment liberals comfortable with the top-down party hierarchy that survived until Howard Dean. Steve never met with politicians nor worked for them once he became a full-time writer, preferring to maintain his independence and retain the ability to criticize from within without conflict-of-interest distractions faced by other top bloggers moonlighting as political consultants. The wave of people-powered politics, netroots influence and small-bore donors in large numbers that we see now in Democratic politics is as much a result of Steve's efforts as any other liberal voice.

And it is his style that has been more influential on my efforts than any other writer, right down to his format which I copied wholesale: title > image > editorial comment on image > post body. Steve's work influences mine every time I make a new post. Thank you Steve, you will be missed.

Steve Gilliard was 41.

Steve Gilliard Wikipedia entry, Daily Kos obit. The News Blog final site, original site.

Steve Gilliard photo by Lindsay Beyerstein.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Hey Stu! When You're in a Hole, Stop Digging.

On the unlimited text-massaging plan

Curly R was going to let this go, but lifetime Eagles fan, season ticket holder and Curly R reader/lurker Wilbert Montgomery pointed out a piece on Boiled Sports assailing ESPN's Stuart Scott completely disingenuous interview with Dan Steinberg.

Years ago (like 1992 or 1993) I read an interview with Bob Ley or Charlie Steiner about how when he go home he don't watch sports, he don't watch sports on the weekend when not working and he don't talk sports at coketail parties at he country club in Bristol Connecticut. Basically he don't give a shit about sports except when he in the anchor chair.

I'm not sure who he was pandering to, maybe the wife, in love with his money but haranguing him at home to take out the trash and change a diaper, maybe the old money country clubmates he was trying so hard to impress that laugh quietly at the silly man that reads words into a TV camera, who knows maybe he just had done sports so long that he hated it, like how John Holmes got sick of screwing on camera.

Whatever, us sports fans in TV land live for the illusion. When I think of Ron Jaworski, I like the thought of Ron, eating a cheesesteak, dripping meat juice onto a yellowing wifebeater in a dingey cinder block basement by the flickering light of a film projector, endlessly looping perfectly executed Peyton Manning play-action fakes, muttering that no one understands, no one know what it all means, alientated from his coworkers like a mad genius, befriending the mildly retarded runner shuttling film back and forth, Steve Sabol outside screaming I'M NOT GOING TO TELL THAT MOTHERFUCKER AGAIN TO STOP HORDEING TOM BRADY FILM!!

In reality, I am sure he takes a limo into work, has a huge staff that writes his copy, guides him toward the best and worst QB play of the week and has a crew of unpaid interns to review tape while he sips mocha and stares longingly into a mirror in his corner office.

But I've never heard an interview with Ron saying he despises today's quarterbacks or that film is his day job or that he is impervious to outside influence. Why? Because he's a FOOTBALL PLAYER and he knows that all I care about, all that matters to me is the football, not him, not his world, not his daughter or his fucking dog, just the football. The minute he steps outside football he might as well be an evangelical grocery-bagger with mommy issues.

So it was with this displeasure that I read that Stuart Scott not only doesn't read sports blogs, he can't name one. Seriously? Not even Deadspin? That site gets 140 thousand hits a day and writes in a satirical style that Stuart himself employs. This also happens to be the site that caught him allegedly setting up a booty call with a Broncos cheerleader, a story he called 'a bunch of crap. A bunch of lies.' Sounds like a response this blog piece, something he has explicitly said earlier in the interview that he knows nothing about, since he doesn't read blogs and can't name one.

Even if we assume he heard of it second hand, if he can't name the blog he is attacking for attacking him, then that makes him a weak journalist for not checking his sources.

The Boiled Sports piece is right, he is lying, and in a bunch of places, but the story is not that Stuart is a liar, it's that he is entirely consumed with himself, a condition that leads to lying 100% of the time. He's a namedropper and desperate for validation and that is just pathetic. Despite his coolness akin to the reverse side of the bed linens, he doesn't get that sports fans just want it to be about the sports, not the people that bring us the sports.

And hiding behind your daughter, dude that's not cool.

Stuart Scott and his out of town friends from here.