Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Wild Thing Goes National

News Item: Mitch Williams hired as analyst by MLB Network
A Comcast Sports Net and WIP host for the past two years, the “Wild Thing” had previously been known primarily as that huge-mulletted relief pitcher who gave up the World Series-losing home run in 1993. But then a surprising thing happened- he turned out to be a great, great broadcaster. He’ll be missed in Philly- I’ll never forget his outraged commentary the night Game 5 of the World Series was suspended (“There was standing water on the field!”), and a knowledgable and authoritative sports media figure in a town with way too few.
Something sort of eerie, though- Williams was originally hired on both WIP and Comcast to replace John Marzano, who was leaving to work for and eventually the MLB Network. Marzano died of a heart attack this year, and now Williams is succeeding him in another job.

Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, RIP

I was sorry to hear earlier this week that the legendary Chicago rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf had passed away at the age of 84. I studied with Rabbi Wolf for two weeks at camp in 1995 or so, and I was shocked to hear him emerge more than a decade later as a friend, neighbor and defender of Barack Obama. I had had no idea of his earlier fame as an anti-war and civil rights activist.

What’s Wrong With You, Minny?

News Item: 14,000 tickets still available for Vikings-Eagles game at Metrodome
This is kind of embarrassing- I thought we had good fans! Especially for the first home playoff game in eight years.
Why is this happening? I’ve heard a few theories: The majority of regular season games are attended by season ticket holders; not a lot of people buy single-game and are having trouble getting into the habit now. The Metrodome’s not an especially fun venue, and you can’t see a thing from the upper deck. Despite the 10-6 record and division title, there’s dissatisfaction with the team, and no one really trusts Childress or T-Jack.
There’s also the economy- Minnesota’s richest citizens got hit big-time by the Madoff ponzi scheme, coming right on the heels of the much smaller and local but similar Petters ponzi scheme– I’m sure some of the many season ticket holders not buying playoff tickets were part of one of those groups.
Maybe it’s just the dirty little secret that in most situations, NFL games are a lot more fun to watch on TV than they are to attend in person.
At any rate, I doubt there will actually be a blackout- sponsors tend to step up to buy tickets in this type of situation. But what I do expect is that many, many Philadelphia fans will show up in Minny for the game, and it’ll be a big story in the days afterward.