Hungry bands, budding entertainers and promising comics all have to go on the road to prove their greatness.
It’s one thing for a Baltimore band to sell out the Recher Theatre in Towson. But can they pack ‘em in at some college bar in Charlottesville or Athens or Jacksonville? That’s the moment you know you’ve arrived.
So with that, I’ve taken “Friday Mud” on the road to Dallas this week.
And the pressure is on. Can FM deliver the goods today despite the fact that we’re about 1500 miles from home and putting this all together in foreign territory otherwise known as the Dallas Sheraton? That’s the question.
It’s one thing to be an award winner in the comfort-zone of your hometown.
It’s another thing entirely to pack up and travel around the country trying to impress people you don’t know.
Wish me luck.
I’m nervous as hell.
I sure hope we don’t choke like the Cowboys did this past regular season.
> Maryland obviously suffered a tough home loss to Duke on Wednesday night. What the cameras didn’t catch afterwards was a special moment between Gary Williams and Coach K where Gary slipped something in K’s pocket as the two greeted one another at the scorer’s table. The on-court microphone overheard Williams say to Coach K, “I know it’s early…but I wanted you to have this in case I forget to get it to you later.” Gary then SLIPPED THIS into K’s pocket and headed to the locker room.
> A lot of you probably never went to a Dunbar basketball game back in the 70’s or 80’s when folks all over town would jam the Dunbar gym to see the likes of Reggie Williams, David Wingate and Mugsy Bogues. There were Tuesday night home games when Dunbar would pack 1,500 people in that little gym. Think about that…1,500 people on a Tuesday night to watch high school basketball. To prove how good my memory is, I googled the term “1,500 fans on a Tuesday night in Baltimore” to see if any old Dunbar basketball pictures came up and the only thing I got was THIS RIGHT HERE. (Maybe I should have typed “Dunbar basketball pictures” into the google search bar instead.)
> The Steelers sure are a cocky bunch. Last week before leaving for Dallas, they reportedly held a “practice-parade” in suburban Pittsburgh to prepare for the real thing that is scheduled to be held this Tuesday in the Steel City. I know, they have some nerve, huh? I couldn’t believe it when this story was circulating in the Super Bowl media center yesterday, then I found out our WNST staff photographer actually was in Pittsburgh last week and got THIS PHOTO of the practice parade. Yep, sure looks like the Steelers to me.
> Our pal Jen Royle is prepping for a season of outstanding baseball coverage at MASN and now that she’s embarking on her second year in Baltimore, I figured it’s time to give her a nickname. I considered all of the natural ones — like “Jenny-poo”, “Jen-Jen”, or “Roysie”. However, none of those were as appropriate as THIS NICKNAME for her. Hey…if the shoe fits, right?
> We’ve laughed all week on radio row about the great “This is SportsCenter” commercials that have helped promote ESPN for the last 20 years. It’s tough to pick out a “Top Three”, but here are mine: #3 is RIGHT HERE. Funny, huh? Well, SO IS #2. Gotta love when he says “I didn’t do anything…”. But to me, there’s no debate about what the best all-time commercial is…for starters, every one of us who ever worked in an office had to deal with this issue. And Stuart Scott proves that “less is more” with his 3-word quip. Without further delay, HERE IS THE BEST “THIS IS SPORTSCENTER” COMMERCIAL EVER.
> There’s still lots of conjecture around Baltimore about whether or not Andy MacPhail has taken the right approach with the rebuilding of the Orioles. What is MacPhail’s approach, you ask? Well, he’s slow. Methodical. Philosophical. Contemplative. In a nutshell, Andy’s never in a hurry to get to wherever it is that he’s going. And if you think there’s something wrong with that style, just remember that MacPhail shares his personal pace with THIS GREAT AMERICAN right here. Sometimes, slow and easy wins the race.
> You know me, I love to do “I googled the phrase” and make it part of Friday Mud. So…I googled the phrase “Danny Briere of the Flyers plays pond hockey” and THIS PHOTO showed up. Nice helmet, pansy.
> OK, so let me get this straight. I do a radio show every day from 6am-10am and I write a blog and contribute to Baltimore’s #1 sports media web-site. And I’m NOT considered a member of the media by the Orioles. But somehow Vic “The Brick” Jacobs has a press pass to cover the Lakers and Dodgers despite coming to “work” dressed LIKE THIS and LIKE THIS. Man, I’m definitely doing it wrong. (Personal note: I met VTB on radio row this week…what a character. Feelin’ YOU!)
The Shoot Section (This is where I tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth…)
Earlier this week, I reached out to Ted Leonsis (through his PUBLIC e-mail address) and asked him several questions about his ownership of the Capitals/Wizards/Mystics/Verizon Center and the way social media has shaped the last few years of his life. I sent the questions on Wednesday morning at 9:30 am (central time) and had all of the answers in my e-mail inbox shortly after 2pm…on the same day. I’ll provide his insights in a blog I’m writing for next Monday morning. But the real issue worth noting is that Leonsis spends a great deal of his time communicating with ANYONE and EVERYONE who wishes to engage with him. Whether it’s the media, a sponsor, or a fan of the team, Leonsis is available to all and will do his best to provide a timely, honest reply. Steve Bisciotti is *somewhat* available to the people of Baltimore, making his most public appearance once a year at the Ravens state-of-the-team press conference. I’m sure, if a pressing, emergency-type situation arose with the team, that Bisciotti would make himself available to the press in those circumstances. Peter Angelos hasn’t made a public appearance – to my recollection – since 2006 when he was interviewed on Channel 13 by Denise Koch in a series better served for the softball diamond. That’s unfortunate. That Bisciotti makes himself available once a year is admirable, I suppose, but it would be nice to have a more “open door” with him. That Angelos hasn’t fielded a question from the media in nearly 5 years now is almost unthinkable. Well, actually, it IS unthinkable. And when you couple that with the fact that Ted Leonsis will return your e-mail RIGHT NOW if he has a moment to do so — and if not, give him an hour or two and you’ll get your response — it once again points to the fact that we’re severely disadvantaged in Baltimore when it comes to the folks who serve as caretakers for our respective sports franchises. They might be generically considered as great owners, Bisciotti and Angelos, because they’ve both kept their teams in Baltimore and for that we should be eternally grateful, but there’s much, much more to it than that. I think of it like this: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” And that’s obviously the way Ted Leonsis thinks too. He has times for the angels, the devils…everyone.
> Urban legend has it that throughout the month of January, scores and scores of Philadelphia Flyers fans left their 9-to-5 jobs for a much less glamorous life in the fast-food business. No one could believe it. Folks with Masters degrees, state jobs with great benefits and even entrepreneurs running million-dollar companies were giving it all up for the opportunity to go flip burgers. The marketing director for the fast-food chain was quizzed by a national committee on hiring new employees and was asked, point-blank, “How did you attract those Flyers fans to your company?” “It was easy,” she said, “we just put a help wanted ad on the big sign in front of the Philadelphia-area locations and people flocked to them.” She wasn’t kidding either. Once you see THIS SIGN right here, you know why all those Flyers fans went to work at the burger joint.
> Song #9 on my all-time favorite personally-made CD comes from Matchbox 20. I was never a HUGE fan of this band, but Rob Thomas can sing – for sure – and THIS is one of those songs that stays with you ALL day long if you hear it at 8:00 am when you’re on your way to work. Wait, you wouldn’t be listening to it at 8:00 am…you’d be listening to The Morning Reaction. Never mind. It’s just one of those songs that sticks with you all day. Really, it does. Try it and see. Just not at 8:00 am.
> I’ve occasionally joked around with Glenn Clark about “Friday Mud” being an award winning blog. Because he never likes to give me ANY credit, he immediately scoffs at the notion that my work might, in fact, be recognized for its excellence. Well, Clark, as the saying goes: ASSUME THE POSITION. Here, now, is dead-solid proof that Friday Mud has been given an award. It’s RIGHT HERE. In full living color. Up yours, pal.
> If you can’t WATCH THIS and laugh, you’re in a coma. Tina Fey is freakin’ hilarious.
> And finally, let’s do multiple-choice caption time: You’ll eventually click on the photo and the caption that fits most appropriately will be: A) “I’m playing a Titleist 2, what are you playing?” B) “I much prefer to walk on beautiful mornings like this, what about you?” C) “Boy, Tiger must REALLY be struggling to find a woman now that he can’t win anymore. He hit on me last night at the bar after last night’s Bridge Club meeting.” OK, are you ready to play “guess the caption”? Here’s THE PHOTO. Guess away.