The Clippers Inspirational Promo


We get the Clippers local broadcasts on Prime Ticket. They’re currently running an inspirational promo. Black and white. Silent. Text only.



WE ARE ONE and the Clippers logo.

Great, except Donald Sterling still owns the team. It wouldn’t surprise me if he still owned the team next year! And it is Donald Sterling who will most benefit should success find the Clippers.

Meanwhile, Leon Jenkins, head of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP has resigned. It was his chapter (truly his… no one else seems associated with it) which was about to honor Sterling. The LA chapter is a ‘conscience washing’ operation. Pay enough money and your sins get washed away.

This too is disappointing and despicable, especially under the name of the NAACP. I expected more.

What Charles Barkley And I Have In Common

Truth is my public stand was taken after a very public forecast went bust… actually KABOOM! And unlike a politicians misdeeds he mentions which might harm us in small doses over time if at all, my error had an immediate impact on many lives.

snowy-wood-pile.jpgBack in 1993 Charles Barkley declared, “I’m not paid to be a role model.” He’s spent the last 17 years trying to prove himself right! I’m thinking the same thing right now because Ben Davol writing in the New London Day has tried to make me a role model.

Of my on-air apology of a few weeks ago he writes, “Can you imagine if our politicians decided to be as forthright and honest as Fox? ” He then produces a laundry list of pols basically saying, “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Truth is my public stand was taken after a very public forecast went bust… actually KABOOM! And unlike the politicians’ misdeeds he mentions which might harm us in small doses over time if at all, my error had an immediate impact on many lives. To me there was no choice but apologize.

The real shame is that apology in general is a big deal. One columnist, Charlie Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post, thought it lessened my continuing credibility. He said my right move would have been to “soldier on.” In other words make like it didn’t happen.
Charlie follows his own advice. I sent him an email about that column a week ago. He seems to be soldiering on.

We teach this act of contrition to our children and then forget it as adults. We all need to be more responsible for our actions. We all screw-up. We all need to apologize a little more.

In inviting your comments on this post I’d rather have them relate to the subject in general and not what I did. Apologies and responsibility are valid topics for discussion. Another pity party for me is more self serving than even I can take. – Geoff

American Idol–The Helaine and Stef Director’s Cut

I cannot remember seeing a live stage show as astoundingly well produced as tonight’s American Idol. This is real live TV–no second chances.

american-idol.jpgI work nights–possibly you’ve already noticed this. I don’t get to watch prime time television much. There are no episodic shows I follow. I knew Dancing with the Stars ended Tuesday and American Idol on Wednesday, but not much more.

Oh–I heard American Idol was going to run until 10:07 PM, a perfectly legal weasel ploy to enhance the ratings on all Fox stations whose news would follow. In similar circumstances I’d do the same thing. Bastards.

With all this I was surprised to find Helaine and Stef awake when I got home and beckoning me to the TV. They spoke in code but I quickly caught on they had DVR’ed Idol and had parts for me to watch.

“The gay maybe not gay guy lost,” I said. Like Miss USA this contest will be defined by the second place finisher, not the winner.

That wasn’t where they were going. The DVR zipped along passing some pretty major musical acts and a lot of stage pyro. They stopped as the ‘eyeliner guy’ was singing “Beth” from Kiss. As he finished (only to return later with platform shoes tall enough to dunk in the NBA) Kiss came out in full makeup!

They’ve still got it! Even Gene Simmons’ tongue made an appearance. Stef complained she’d been born in the wrong decade.

Later Queen came on stage. I suspect Freddy Mercury would have loved to play this gig too.

The piece de resistance was Rod Stewart singing “Maggie May.” He is 64 and though his voice is a little thinner than it was in 1971 he rocks too! I wonder if he could identify his real hair color in a lineup?

I cannot remember seeing a live stage show as astoundingly well produced as tonight’s American Idol. This is real live TV–no second chances. I’m sure there were screw-ups they saw in the booth, but little of it was visible at home.

Job well done. Live TV lives.

I’ll Be Bushed For Christmas

We are still really short of people at work. It’s no one’s fault. I can deal with working a little extra from time-to-time. I am exhausted.

Last night I worked through 11:35 PM. Today, I was in for the noon news.

It is Christmas. The TV station carried NBA basketball all afternoon and much of the evening. I had lots of time between the noon show and 10:00 PM.

As is the tradition, we went to the movies (with Stef) and then had Chinese food! The restaurant was full of other ‘treeless’ people.

Today’s movie was Juno, from director Jason Reitman. This is a quirky movie with interesting production techniques. It’s the story of a 16 year old girl from Mankato, Minnesota who gets pregnant.

This is a dark comedy, artfully written with clever dialog. The words and thoughts may be too sophisticated for a 16 year old, but I bought into it anyway.

Ellen Page as Juno was perfectly cast.

This is not a movie for kids or a picture to be taken lightly. And, though the ending isn’t exactly storybook… and with the subject matter, how could it be… it was a very satisfying film.

A Wonderful Day

This is about yesterday, Saturday. We didn’t do anything special, but it was a great day.

Helaine and Steffie want me to update the look of my eyeglasses. I haven’t had my eyes checked in a while, so I made an appointment for this coming Friday. Uh oh – that didn’t fit in with Steffie’s schedule.

We went to the optical center yesterday to pick out frames. I’ll go back Friday to get my eyes checked. I suspect that’s not the usual order of things.

Currently, my glasses are oval shaped. The new glasses are rectangular. I worry about making a Kerri Russell fashion faux pas.

“I used to like Geoff…. but something’s changed. I just can’t put my finger on it.”

Helaine says it’s good for me that the girl who waited on us had no idea who I was. She thinks I need more humility. Humility is so overrated.

It was great spending time with Steffie. I’m sure she’ll cringe when she reads this, but there’s a whole lot of maturity and understanding that wasn’t there a year or two ago. She’s funny and intelligent. She’s fun to be with.

Don’t ask why, but along the way I developed this desire to go go-cart riding. We headed to “The Game” in North Haven.

Before we had a chance to cart, we headed to the batting cage.

I’ve never been an athlete and yesterday was no exception. However, I didn’t make a fool of myself. Steffie and Helaine did the batting cage too and were great.

Truth is, hitting the ball with the bat wasn’t important. We just had a good time kibitzing and laughing and being a family.

Go-carts was a bad idea. I drive a car that can do 150 mph. Maybe a go-cart isn’t the same thrill it used to be.

This is the same problem the Harlen Globetrotters have. They were great… until NBA players started showboating. Now, what’s the big deal?

We scoured Route 5 looking for a diner… and found one. Every diner I know of is owned and run by Greeks. They really have it down to a science.

What is it about us and diners? Are we the anti-gourmand family? The food was great, especially my chicken pot pie with homemade crust.

When you add it all up it, nothing we did was so special. On the other hand, it was totally amazing.

You understand, right?

Playboy Through Time

There was an interesting link on tonight – a history of Playboy’s centerfolds. Being a bit of a history buff myself (can I legitimately use the word buff in this context?) I decided to take a look.

There’s good and bad here. Some of the women from the early years are now in their 70s… maybe older. Photos are ageless. We are not. Pardon me for finding that discomforting.

The hair… the hair of the 60s! What were they thinking and why did I buy in? No matter what they were wearing or doing, old photos always look dated.

I saw some woman I remember from my youth. I suppose you’re less likely to forget the naked women in your life.

More than anything, I was surprised I don’t find the photos erotic. They didn’t seem like art either. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

Actually, I call it the Harlem Globetrotters syndrome. Years ago, the Globetrotters were amazing. But that was before the NBA turned tall and athletic. Now, everything the Globetrotters did is on display every night on TV. Same thing here.

I’m not sure I ever met a centerfold. Years ago, some friends and I speculated about another friend’s wife. Things he had said led in that direction. It was a question we weren’t going to follow up on. Anyway, speculation was probably more fun.

I scanned five or six years worth before getting bored. That’s somewhere near 70 naked women – all with perfect blemish free skin, except the one girl from 2000 with a butterfly tattooed on her ankle.

In those pre-Photoshop years, they really did use an airbrush. It seems so quaint.

I haven’t possesed a copy of Playboy in a really long time. Back in the day, when I did get it, I read the articles… not exclusively, of course. But I did read them.

Why does no one ever buy that?

Mother And Child Reunion

I left work late last night – around 1:00 AM EDT. We went on after the NBA Championship game.

You know those annoying folks who are always chatting on their cellphones as they drive? That’s me! At 1:00 AM I called my California cousins. How could I have known what a good time it was to call? There was a story to tell.

My Cousin Michael is married to a great woman, Melissa. The family did well when Melissa became part of it.

When she was 11, Melissa first discovered she was adopted. As an adult, she’s been looking for her birth mother.

As I listened to the story that would unfold, I realized how little I knew or could understand about this part of Melissa’s life.

Finding someone who, at least at the time, didn’t want to be found is tough. You have to connect the very few dots there are and make assumptions which may or may not be true. The search might lead to your parents… or not. They might be glad to hear from you… or not.

There can be no expectation, because you really know nothing. It’s is the unknown in the truest sense.

Yesterday, after finally being told who her birth mother was, Melissa made the call. The first time her mom wasn’t there. The second time she was.

Melissa began the call in her best lawyerly fashion. She was an attorney, calling from Southern California. Was this… and she gave the woman’s name. Was your father… then his name.

I can’t remember exactly what Melissa said next, but after both questions had been answered in the affirmative, I think it was, “Oh my.” Then, she told the woman on the other end why she was calling.

As I said, this call could have gone in any number of directions. It went well. It went very well.

Within minutes of making the phone call, Melissa found out who she was in the context of her birth – something she’d never known before. She had two half brothers – very tall brothers. Her mother found out she had another grandson.

Melissa was ecstatic to find her mother and based on what she’s told me, her mother was relieved and happy to find Melissa.

While they chatted on the phone, emails started flying. Photos went back and forth between California and the Rockies. I’ve seen them. You can see the strong family resemblance.

She spoke with her mom. She spoke with her brothers.

I would assume the next step is for them to meet. Though blood kin, they really are strangers. It’s tough to know how this will all come out. It’s just as tough to understand how this has changed Melissa.

The discovery took an instant. The implications will span her lifetime.


We’ve already established, it snowed this weekend. It snowed a lot. When you have a snowfall and use the word “feet,” you know there’s trouble.

Let the games begin!

I went to sleep around 4:30 AM this morning. As I snuggled close to Helaine, the sound began – “beep, beep, beeep, beep.” It was rhythmic, probably a beep every three quarters of a second. It was a plow.

At 4:30 AM plow drivers make the NBA minimum, give or take a few cents. His truck was pushing and then backing up the full length of my street. Helaine counted. He did it four times.

“Beep, beep, beeep, beep.”

You know, I shouldn’t care. In fact, I should be happy. My street was nicely plowed. But that doesn’t end the saga.

I walked out this morning and saw the carnage. My mailbox had become a casualty in the annual “Snowplow Olympics.”

And really, I’ll have to take the blame. After all, it was I who put it on my lawn, close enough for the postman to reach from his truck. How could I have been so careless?

Steven Wright used to tell a joke about owning the ax George Washington had used to cut down the cherry tree… except he had replaced the blade… and the handle… but it occupied the same space. In that same way, this is my one and only original mailbox.

It looked so sad, sitting there in the freshly compacted and plowed snow pile.

This morning our mailman obediently put the mail in the decapitated box. It’s nearly the same height as the poll. Will he do this as the snow melts and the box heads toward the curb below?

I’ll stop at Home Depot later today. There are kits made for losers like me. The mailbox will be back in on its stand in the next day or two.

I’ll still worry. Once a plow blade gets a taste of mailbox, it’s tough to get it out of its system. They’ve been known to attack again.

I Want Him To Be My Pilot

Here’s the entire story from AP:

A JetBlue airliner with its front landing gear stuck sideways safely landed Wednesday, balancing on its back wheels as it slowed on the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Stop. Reread that last paragraph.

I was at my desk when I first caught sight of something out of the ordinary. It was MSNBC, I think. I was looking at a JetBlue A320&#185 filling the entire frame. A small courtesy font was in the upper corner of the screen. That meant live, breaking news… and there’s an airplane involved.

As I watched, the story began to unfold. This pretty, fairly new, JetBlue Airbus had taken off from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. An indicator told the pilot the gear had not properly locked and/or retracted.

After a quick trip to Long Beach and a low, slow buzz by the tower, it was decided the gear was down but turned perpendicular to the motion of the plane.

By the time I got to see what was going on there were cameras all over the place peering at this jet. Some of the best shots were coming from hovering helicopters. The shots were close enough to clearly see the recalcitrant landing gear.

The all news channels moved to this like a moth to flame.

MSNBC’s coverage featured Alison Stewart. On CNN it was Paula Zahn. I never stayed long enough on Fox to get a feel for who was anchoring their coverage.

Both channels found experts to talk with. They were mostly pilots, though MSNBC also found Robert Hager (Bob, you’re out of retirement for a few minutes) and Tom Costello.

Some of the info was confusing. Text crawls at the bottom of the screen talked about ‘dumping fuel,’ though this Airbus isn’t equipped to do that. Anchors asked pointed questions implying there was a tragic loss of life on the way.

The coolest head was pilot John Wiley, on the phone, on CNN.

It’s probably going to be exciting for the passengers. It will make for a great story. But I would probably — I would not say that this is a dangerous situation. Obviously, it is an abnormal. It’s a situation we will call a non- normal, to use the latest jargon and stuff.

But I think, basically, what’s going to happen is, these guys are going to touch down. It’s going to make for good video. It’s going to make for good stories for the families, needless to say. Two, they’re going to be a little excited about this. But I think that it’s going to eventually wind up in a very safe outcome.

If this guy isn’t right stuff material, who is? And, in fact, what John Wiley said did come true.

There was talk in the newsroom of what was going on in the plane. I thought the flight attendants were preparing the cabin and passengers for a crash landing. Maybe they were, but the TV’s on each seatback were still operating.

People were on this seemingly doomed plane watching coverage of their own demise!

After hours of circling, the pilot greased a perfect landing right on the centerline of the runway. First the main gear touched. Somehow, even as speed began to burn off, he held the nose up. It was like hang time in the NBA – but with an Airbus full of people.

For the first few seconds everything looked fine. Then came sparks. The sparks grew longer, Finally, there seemed to be flame shooting under the entire length of the plane.

I expected, any second, to see the plane burst into flames.

I kept hoping the front gear would break away, allowing the nose of the plane to slide on the concrete runway. It never did. Instead, the sparks diminished and the plane slowed and then stopped.

It was over.

It was a surreal moment. Yes, it ended wonderfully (as John Wiley predicted). It could have ended tragically. And yet, there was no way to avert my eyes. I had to watch.

The next time I fly, if I can’t have John Wiley, give Captain Scott Burke, that guy from JetBlue. They can’t use his valiant performance for a commercial, but you almost wish they could.

&#185 – God bless the Internet. The plane in tonight’s incident, N536JB, had 3 pages of photos on the web before it became famous!

Watergate – One More Thing

Tonight, on an ABC story about Mark Felt’s admission that he was Woodward and Bernstein’s “Deep Throat,” the reporter mentioned Watergate occurred before half the people alive today in the U.S. were born. Wow.

With that in mind, let me lay out a little history, because I think what Watergate was is often lost to time. Watergate was not about what White House Press Secretary Ron Ziegler called, “a third-rate burglary.”

When Democratic National Chairman Larry O’Brien’s (yes – the guy who later became NBA commissioner) office at the Watergate was broken into, the election was already in the bag for Richard Nixon. So, in reality, it was a meaningless burglary.

What made Watergate poisonous to Richard Nixon was his attempt to cover it up. The more he lied… the more he stonewalled… the deeper the hole he was digging became. That the country was deeply divided over Vietnam certainly didn’t help either.

Mark Felt enters the picture because he was worried the FBI’s investigation was being hatcheted by the White House. He ‘ratted’ to protect his own turf.

Nixon was not a warm and fuzzy guy, but he had won by a landslide. He needed to be perceived as pretty evil to be run out of town on a rail – and make no mistake, he was run out of office.

The biggest blow to Nixon was the release of the audio tapes, recorded in the Oval Office. Nixon and his aides could be heard plotting and scheming the cover up. Moreover, they were speaking in a manner never expected from occupants of the Oval Office. They were crude, vulgar and vindictive.

How, even after the courts had ruled against him, he could let these be released is beyond me.

I was in my early twenties at the time and not politically adept, but I was certainly hurt by what I heard and how the President of the United States had told bold faced lies to America. In the pre-24 hour news cycle era, the story started slowly and picked up steam until it was all encompassing.

The Watergate burglary itself was bad… but not this bad. There was no need for it to bring down the president. This became a textbook case in how not to handle a crisis.

You have to hope there were lessons learned in Watergate. You just have to.

Rumble in Auburn Hills

I missed it – but no one else in the newsroom did. We were between our 10 and 11 PM newscasts. People were getting ready and TV’s were on. A few sports fans were watching Indiana and Detroit play at The Palace at Auburn Hills… and then the screaming began.

The screaming was taking place in the newsroom. I’ll get to Detroit in a minute.

A TV newsroom is an interesting place. First, everyone is sensitized to the news (obviously). You don’t want to get beaten on a story. You don’t want to miss anything. So, if something is going on… on TV… and the word gets out, everyone snaps to it.

That’s what the screaming was all about.

Within a few minutes we had enough video cut to put it on the air with an explanation of what went on. We were pretty fast and thorough. But, the story is much more complex.

I have watched the video dozens of times. My first reaction was to blame the players. Certainly the NBA did, with four players suspended. There will undoubtedly be lawsuits and probably arrests.

However, one day later, I’m not so sure it’s all the fault of the players. This is not to say the players are without culpability. There are no circumstances under which the players should be in the stands. And, I have trouble feeling sympathy for well tuned, physically immense, athletes punching smaller, weaker fans – even in self defense.

There are at the minimum two questions that need to be asked. Where was the venue’s security? Is there a relationship between the alcohol served to fans and this aggression?

I have read a few columns, including Mike Lupica’s in the Daily News, that seem to remove the players from blame. I won’t agree with that. But, it’s not as simple as looking at players like Ron Artest (who I had no respect for prior to this event) and calling them thugs.

This isn’t about the poverty which is endemic in Detroit. The game was played in Auburn Hills in front of an affluent audience who payed a great deal to see the game.

Getting to the bottom of this… coming up with solutions… will not happen quickly or come easily. Regardless of what the courts say, this is about more than just the actions of individuals.

Blogger’s note – This entry was begun Saturday night and completed early Sunday morning. As it turned out, even when I began to write, it was much too difficult to get my arms around. In fact, it is more than possible I will later rethink what I have just written. Don’t be fooled by the video you’ve seen. This is very complex. Deep thought is required.


Last night, in a pretty awful game, I watched the UCONN men’s basketball team disassemble Georgia Tech. Now they’re national champions.

Tonight the UCONN women held on to beat Tennessee. This was much more of a game – really a dream game pitting two teams which are perennial rivals. National champion number 2.

Geno Auriemma, UCONN’s coach and Pat Summit, coach at Tennessee, couldn’t be more different. She scares me. He seems warm and fuzzy – though I am sure I don’t want to be on Geno’s bad side.

Last season I went and watched a UCONN women’s game at Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus. As soon as I saw Geno, only one thing went through my mind – wow, what a suit. He was wearing the best looking, best fitting suit I had ever seen. Call me crazy, but it was that obvious that this was quality goods.

Nationwide, women’s basketball is far behind men’s in terms of popularity. Not here in Connecticut. As good as the men are, I wonder if the women aren’t more popular?

To me, the women’s game is something I can more relate to (though my relating to any athlete or athletic accomplishment is laughable at best). They are more finesse and less power. The game is lower scoring but just as intense as the men’s.

Both teams will be decimated as players graduate, or drafted as underclassmen into the NBA. It will be interesting to see how the two coaches and two programs rebuild. Or, will we ever dominate these two sports again?