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The sweet smell of spring
And a new
So, over the weekend the president held a conference call with the commissioners of the major American sports (and hockey) and said he’s convinced that the NFL season will start on time. What is he basing that on? Well, he pulled it right out of his ass, just like everything else.
He was also asked if he could say when sports in general would return with fans in attendance. "No, I can't tell you a date, but I think it's going to be sooner rather than later."
Well, that’s not vague, is it? Anything can be sooner if you don’t say when later is.
We are still at a very uncertain time in this pandemic, and while it’s tempting to keep asking questions about when sports will return, and if football seasons are really in jeopardy, it’s just too early. Nobody can make an informed prediction right now. Not that the inability to make an informed prediction ever stopped anybody.
It’s frustrating to be sitting here waiting for something, anything, to happen, and not knowing if it ever will. But enough about Jason Heyward’s at bats.
It was a very nice weekend weather wise, and so I spent Saturday cleaning up the yard after a long, cruel winter. For some reason last summer, my wife used a perfectly good five gallon bucket as a planter. Nothing’s really more attractive than a blue Lowe’s bucket with a flower or whatever growing out of it. And, because unlike real planters there weren’t any holes in the bottom of it this spring the bucket/planter kept filling up with water whenever it rained. Our dogs would be out playing in the yard and then they’d head over to drink the fetid, murky water out of the bucket. And, because there was still dirt in that bucket, I figured they probably shouldn’t be drinking it. So, on Saturday I dumped the water out of it and took it over to garden to dump out the dirt so I could clean it out and (gasp!) use it as an actual bucket.
Now, if you take dirt and potting soil and keep it nice and wet for, oh, a few months, it gives off a lovely aroma. Think Bus(c)h Stadium port-o-potties in July. I took that composted slurry and dumped it in the garden, and methane detectors all over town went off. So, I shoveled dirt over it to cover it up. A task well managed. I think I’ll have a beer to celebrate.
And then on Sunday I was out in the yard and watched our dogs, one by one, head over and roll in that very spot. I was so proud. And, they thought it was just the most fun they ever had until they all got baths.
Last week I gave a streaming suggestion of the Netflix sports documentary series Sunderland ‘Til I Die. The second season released last Wednesday and you don’t need to watch the first season, but let’s face it, you’ve got time. Both seasons are worth it. But when you get to season two, you’ll meet a guy named Charlie Methven. He’s a former sportswriter who started a public relations consulting firm, made some money and bought a small percentage of Sunderland AFC and joined the front office with the important sounding title of Executive Director, whatever the hell that is.
Let me describe what he does and see if it makes you think of anybody in particular.
He appears to feel that he’s in charge of gameday operations (he picks a new team entrance song that is…just wrong), he holds a lot of brainstorming sessions with the PR, marketing and ticket staffs which all seem a little heavy on storms and a little light on brains, he does media interviews for no apparent reason and gives a really cringeworthy answer to a question about the manager’s in-game strategies, he talks a lot about how he really gets the blue collar fans in that part of the country (he doesn’t), and he weighs in on the team’s finances a lot. Oh, and he’s an ass.
He has since had to resign his front office job (he’s still a shareholder) and said it was due to “family and business commitments” but just a few months ago he had to apologize for saying that fans in that part of the country couldn’t possibly conceive of how an actual business is run.
Other than the resignation, he reminds me of…oh, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Four years ago Saturday the Cubs beat the Angels 9-0 in the season opener.
The next night they won 6-1.
And four years ago tomorrow, well, they won 14-6 in Arizona, but that’s not what we remember that game for.
Well, it sucked at the time, but it all turned out OK a few months later.
Marquee Sports Net, through the Cubs, presumably owns the rights to all of these games. Would anybody object if they just started showing every game from that season every day until baseball comes back? The Cubs started the season 25-6. I could live with re-living that.
Get on this Charlie! Whoops, I mean Crane.
I’m ashamed I haven’t been doing this all along, but from now on, I think we’d all enjoy it if I finished off these newsletters with the greatest sports show ever.
Pat Benkowski’s Perfect Pitch Auto Repair Sports Spotlight! (Man, that rolls off the tongue.)
Are you telling me you don’t want to see a shirtless Greg Maddux interview from 30 years ago? Sure you do. And, of course it’s brought to you, as always, by Lansing Floral and Huck Finn Restaurant. I have no idea if Huck Finn is open during the pandemic, but all three Chicago locations are accessible through Doordash, so…maybe? Order the Becky Thatcher Breakfast and tell them Pat sent you.
Beer Money is just a cheap ripoff of the schtick Pat’s been doing for nearly 40 years. Some enterprising bar should put up a plexiglass barrier with Pat sitting behind it and let patrons drive up and play bar trivia from at least six feet away.