Daily Archives: June 11, 2012

A night in the audience of the Jimmy Fallon show. A beautiful essay about why we care about sports. And some impossible pool trick shots.

Wanted to write all about the French Open men’s final for today, and what happened in the epic showdown, the 4th in a row at a Grand Slam, between Nadal and Djokovic on Sunday. But the damn rain in Paris delayed the finish until Monday morning. And so, you get no tennis commentary today. Tomorrow, a whole bunch…

I got to experience a pretty cool “life first” Friday afternoon. Have always wanted to see a live TV show taping. Had a few chances while on vacation in California over the years, but for one reason or another, it never worked out (one show got cancelled before we got to see it taped. So I didn’t miss much that day).

But Friday I finally got into a studio audience. My fiance and I got tickets to see “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” I was never a big fan of his on “SNL” partly because he cracked up on camera all the time, but I’ve very much enjoyed clips and the few episodes I’ve seen of his late-night show (this classic clip with Bruce Springsteen is my all-time favorite Fallon moment).

After waiting for a few hours to get into the studio once we arrived with our tickets, it was a pretty cool experience to finally see.
Some scattered thoughts/observations:
— Jimmy Fallon? Really, really tall.
— Was really struck by how tiny the actual studio was. There were maybe 150 of us in the audience, and we were pretty much on top of where all the action was. Always seemed like studio audiences were bigger on TV.

— I find it hilarious that in 2012, we have telephones that do our shopping for us and answer every one of life’s questions, we have other technology that’s beyond our wildest dreams, but on a TV set, there’s still one guy holding up words on blue cue cards for the host to read.
The same way they did it in 1963.

— Maybe the strangest thing I saw was, during one of the commercial breaks, Fallon announced to the crowd “OK folks, I’m going to do some local promos now, try to be loud,” and then he proceeded to do four quick spots like “Hello Denver, tonight I’ve got Ben Stiller and Anthony Bourdain and the great band Japandroids…”
Who knew network TV stars still did stuff like that?

— Finally, the funniest bit was the one above that started the show. You just never see a triangle getting played much anymore, do you? And how great are The Roots guys in the background, playing 3rd graders instruments?

**And now, for no particular reason other than it made my jaw drop a few times, here’s a cool collection of pool trick shots. I think the one at :45 was my favorite…

**Finally, it was a hell of a sports weekend, even if we lost the chance for a horse racing Triple Crown before the race even started (apparently I’ll Have Another changed his mind and said no thanks). The Miami Heat advanced to the NBA Finals, Manny Pacquiao apparently got completely ripped off by some boxing judges (gee that’s surprising, boxing has always seemed so fair), the Yankees swept the Mets, and the New Jersey Devils kept hockey alive for a few more days.

ESPN’s Bill Simmons, probably the most-read sportswriter in America today, doesn’t write as entertaining columns as he used to, and he’s not as prolific as he used to be.
But when he writes about his kids, and sports, and why we care so much, he always nails it. He wrote a great piece Friday that’s well worth your time; check it out here and feel the joy and heartbreak that makes us keep coming back for more.