Daily Archives: September 22, 2011

The scourge on my ears perpetrated by John Sterling. Mr. Rogers, remembered. And IKEA comes up with a way to make men happy

The Yankees are cruising toward the baseball playoffs, and I find myself getting sucked into following them, like I usually do in late September. Baseball is never more thrilling to me than at playoff time, which is fast approaching.
But that pull is being thwarted lately, because while in the car, and curious how the Bombers are doing, I turn the radio to WCBS 880 for the score and am hit with it, like a punch in the face.
John Sterling, the most obnoxious and God-awful sportscaster I’ve ever heard, is doing the play-by-play.
And I am reminded that the scourge continues. And if I want to hear the Yankees in the car, I must suffer that man.
Here’s the thing about Sterling, who’s been butchering Yankees broadcasts, and making them all about his own ego and grandiosity, for more than two decades now: Even Yankees fans hate him. So I can only imagine how the rest of you would feel if he ever infected your ears.
A quick rundown of Sterling’s awfulness: He constantly gets the details wrong on his call. He has all these signature shtick phrases for home runs (“An A-bomb, from A-Rod!”, “The Grandy-man can” for Curtis Granderson, and my other favorite, “Mark Teixeira has just sent a Tex message!”) that he repeats, ad nauseum.
He believes he is more important than the game. He prattles on and on, pontificating and ignoring the reality on the field, believing what he has to say is more important.
As the great critic Phil Mushnick has pointed out time and again, it’s embarrassing that such a prestigious organization as the Yankees has such a horrible representative calling their games.

Please, Hank Steinbrenner, owner of all things Yankee, remove this man from our ears. It would be an act of mercy rarely seen before.
Until then, I’ll be waiting until I get home to check the score.

**Stumbled upon this, sort of randomly, on Andrew Sullivan’s blog today. And it made me smile broadly.
It’s the late Fred “Mr.” Rogers, accepting the lifetime achievement Emmy Award in 1997, five years before he died. Take a few minutes and listen to it; I guarantee you’ll be smiling by the end.

Hope, and optimism, is a very good thing.

**If you’re a man and you’ve ever been trapped in an IKEA store for hours while your girlfriend/wife tries to decide exactly which kind of wood the new desk for the home office would go best with the decor, you will appreciate this next story.
The good Swedes at IKEA have come up with a new area of the store called “ManLand,” where women can park their fellas and the guys can play video games, pinball, foosball, or watch TV on a super-cool flatscreen.
But that’s not the best part (although that is pretty awesome). The best part is that the store will also give the women “buzzers” that remind them to collect their men after 30 minutes of play.

I could totally see women leaving men there. And I could totally see men saying “let’s see: stay here in Manland and keep playing pinball, or go home and put together the damn furniture she just bought over the next three hours.”
“I’m fine here, honey, I’ll take a cab home.”