Tag Archives: Mike Wallace

R.I.P., Mike Wallace, one of the greats of journalism. I realize a dream tonight at MSG. And I spend time at the NYPD Tow Depot. (not voluntarily)

So, Friday was fun. My girlfriend and I came out of her apartment around 11 a.m. and started walking toward my car. Only when I arrived at the block I had parked the night before, there was a whole row of empty space, where 12 hours earlier a whole bunch of cars had been.

I had made a classic New York City parking blunder, one I should’ve known better than to make. I knew Friday was a holiday, and heard that alternate side of the street parking rules were suspended. I interpreted that to mean that, as long as I wasn’t blocking a driveway or a hydrant, other rules were suspended as well.
So I had parked near a sign that said “No Standing, 8 a.m. -7 p.m., Mon-Fri.” Surely that didn’t apply on Good Friday, I assumed the night before. My assumption led to a not-so-fun adventure of A, tracking down where the hell my car had been towed to, B, schlepping across Manhattan to get to the NYPD Tow Depot, C, waiting on line for 40 minutes to speak to someone about my car, afterwhich the nice lady told me to go sit and wait to be called, followed by D, an hour and a half wait on THAT line to get my car back.

Only to find a lovely $95 ticket on my windshield, coupled with the $185 it took to get the car back after the two.
A few observations on my Good Friday misdeed:
— Nothing galvanizes a group of strangers sitting in a room together like the shared anger at the police and the “idiot who towed my car,” as one of my new friends cheerfully put it. We were a totally diverse group of people, but we were united in our complaining to each other.
_ Not in a million years would I want to work as one of the cashiers who had to deal with us  on a daily basis. These nice folks had nothing to do with your car problems, yet they get yelled at anyway.
— My favorite moment of the day was when a college student in a U. of South Carolina hat was talking on his cell phone near me to what appeared to be his brother.
“Dude, you cannot tell Mom this, ever,” USC kid began.  “But I got her car towed in New York City. And I’m using the money Grandma gave me for my birthday to get it back.”

Lemme tell ya something, kid. Moms always find this stuff out. God helps them that way.

**So tonight I get to fulfill a lifelong dream. As you know if you’ve been reading the blog for the past week, I’ve got tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at MSG. Can. Not. Wait. In 36 years of life I’ve never been so excited for a concert. I am expecting nothing less than the musical experience of a lifetime. I cannot envision a way in which I’m disappointed.

This man, Springsteen, is 62 years old and still thrilling audiences across the world. I’ll talk more about this, I’m sure, after seeing him tonight, but how he can continue to do what he does, with such energy and passion, is amazing.

God bless the Boss. Finally, I’ll get to see what people have been telling me for decades: That there is no better live performer in music.

**Finally today, a remembrance of Mike Wallace, the legendary TV journalist who died over the weekend at age 93. Known for his fiery, tough interviews, Wallace had the uncanny knack for getting famous and infamous people to allow themselves to be grilled by him, and then having them reveal something they hadn’t planned to. He also was a master at investigating fraud and abuse by businesses and corporate leaders, doing so much public good in the process.

Wallace inspired me as a future journalist, as I watched “60 Minutes” as a kid and learned how great interviewing is done. Up until the last few years, Wallace still worked full-time, and he leaves behind a wonderful legacy of a career well-spent.

R.I.P., Jets season. A crazy, crazy Steelers win. And the best anti-Xmas song ever

If Sunday’s New York Jets game were Jeopardy,” here’s a clue: The entire second half.

The question: When were you certain the Jets were going to lose to the Atlanta Falcons?”

Yes my friends, 30 years of Jets-watching has allowed me to be Kreskin, at certain moments. And as me and the rest of my bar amigos at Houligan’s Pub here in Ormond Beach watched mistake after mistake by the Jets, missed field goals, interceptions by Mark Sanchez (geez, where have I written that before?) and blown chances, I knew this was going to end badly.

“How many times have we seen this?” I muttered into my Coke. “Jets dominate the game, can’t put a team away, the opponent puts together one good drive, and BAM, game over.”

So it was, in a way, a tiny bit satisfying as I watched the Jets fall to 7-7, in a crushing 10-7 defeat at Giants Stadium.

A few questions sprung to mind during this contest, besides “what the hell am I doing watching this for 3 hours?”

— OK, so Kellen Clemens stinks as a QB. He also stinks as a holder on field goals. What, if anything, is he good at?

— Was the Jets defense unaware Tony Gonzalez, one of the best tight ends in history, plays for the Falcons? Because he was awfully lonesome on that 4th and goal play when he scored the winning touchdown.

— How many bleepin’ interceptions did the Jets defensive backs drop Sunday? 4, 5, 6? Besides the three missed FG’s that was another sign it wasn’t going to be New York’s day.

— Mark Sanchez, Jets fans really, really want to see progress from you. But on two of those three interceptions (the middle one didn’t bother me that much), it looked like you’ve learned nothing from Week 1. Eat. The. Ball. If no one’s open.

— The defense was great Sunday, really great. I don’t blame them for the loss, even though they gave up the final TD. You just can’t kill a defense that allowed 10 points; they’re not the reason the Jets lost.

— Sadly, thanks to the bumbling of some other AFC teams, I can’t officially write off this season completely. Denver lost and is 8-6, Baltimore is 8-6, while the Titans, Steelers, Jags and ‘Fins are 7-7, like the Jets. But here’s the thing: No way the Jets deserve to be in the playoffs, and there’s NO WAY they’re beating 14-0 Indy next week.

So yeah, the season’s over. And I’m OK with it. 7-7, with a rookie quarterback and the loss of two hugely important players to injury (Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington) is about where this team should be.

It just sucks to watch the same movie over and over again, and that’s what this team is.

**So there were some crazy endings to games Sunday, another reason to love the NFL. Oakland wins AT Denver? With JaMarcus Russell? Crazy. San Diego nips Cincy at the end on a 52-yard field goal? Crazy.

But without a doubt the most thrilling ending was Pittsburgh, scoring a TD on the game’s last play to beat Green Bay, 37-36. They overcame one of the stupidest coaching calls ever (Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, up 30-28, tries an onside kick late in the fourth quarter. Of course Green Bay recovered and scored) and won on the play of the game, Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace, fresh off the “60 Minutes” set, apparently.

Still, the onside kick was beyond nuts. I know Tomlin explained that he didn’t trust his defense, but still, that’s a crazy, crazy call.

— I have no idea who’s making the playoffs in the AFC. My best guess right now is Denver and Jacksonville, but who the heck knows?

**Boy, the Duke basketball team kicked the holy hell out of Gonzaga Saturday. That was nice to see. Still wanting to see more out of the Plumlee boys, Mason and Miles, but I’m not complaining. And it was nice to see Carolina lose, too. A good Saturday!

**Finally, if you’ve hung in there and want a good laugh this Monday, this is my favorite all-time “Christmas song.”  The 12 Pains of Christmas cheers me every December. Just listen to the “rigging up the lights” guy and try not to laugh.”