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What I Watched Last Night

Typically, my love of televised sports doesn't go much further than rooting for the underdog on ESPN's The Ocho if it had an Ocho ("Yo! Last call for the "World's Strongest Man" competition! Ten-to-one and a free bag of chips on the Eastern European with the least amount of consonants in his last name!"). However, like any other city native with an employer fairly tolerant of employees working on 45 minutes of sleep as long as they're not in charge of heavy machinery beyond pressing an elevator button, I watched the Cubs get outclassed by the Arizona Diamondbacks last night because all in all, it was just the right thing to do.

Far be it from me to comment on the performance of the players on either side. That's a job for "real" sportswriters who get paid real money. Instead, I'll share a few casual TV observations made during the game.

*

Overall, I was encouraged by the general physical appearance of Cubs manager Lou Piniella. By and large, he looked clean-shaven and unwrinkled last night, in stark contrast to his after-game news conferences over the past month or so where he looked like he just staggered out of a big cardboard appliance box on Lower Wacker.

If the Cubs actually do win the National League championship and take The Series, my money's on Lou showing up on at least two Nutrisystem commercials before Christmas.

*

That was not Cubs pitcher Carlos Marmol throwing the game away in the seventh inning. Astute observers would have recognized a young, time traveling Barack Obama on the mound looking for one more way to bulk up his life story to support his 2008 presidential campaign.

It's pretty amazing what you can accomplish with a few bazillion dollars raised by celebrities who really don't know any better, isn't it?

*

Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano really isn't who the Cubs say he says he is, either.

*

Carlos Marmol's appearance in the seventh proves that whoever might - or might not - be in charge of the music to annoy the opposing team at Chase Field is asleep at the switch. If Marmol was a Diamondback player, he'd get assaulted with "Baby Got Back" any time he showed up at Wrigley.

*

Christmas will be here before we know it. Anyone thinking of gifting Carlos Zambrano might consider a custom-fitted cup and some kerosene to kill that pesky case of the crabs that's been ailing him all season.

The man hasn't been able to throw a single pitch without having to openly adjust his package in some fashion afterward, so feel free to give 'til it hurts before the poor guy starts bringing a belt sander to the mound for some serious relief.

*

From the "Good Work If You Can Get It" Department: Astute observers recognized Richard Edson as the personification of Risk in the commercial for Traveler's Insurance that aired up a time or two between innings.

Anyone familiar with the 1986 film Ferris Bueller's Day Off would instantly recognize Edson as the parking garage attendant who takes the (replica) Ferrari 250 California Spyder belonging to Cameron's dad for a joyride bordering on a wet dream.

I'm not sure whether to blame poor eyesight or alcohol consumption, but if you caught the commercial out of the corner of your eye, you might have sworn the "Risk" tattoo on Edson's fingers actually said "Piss" in the segment where Edson floods the restroom. Just sayin'.

Edson Trivia: According to Wikipedia, from 1981 to 1982 Edson was the earliest drummer for Sonic Youth.

*

I give any non-sportswriter anywhere in the country looking to cash in on the Cubs-Arizona series less than 24 hours to come up with some sort of analogy for the team colors of the Cubs (blue) and Arizona (red) related to anything that has to do with the Civil War, the War In Iraq, the War On Terrorism, President Bush, Congress, the last presidential election, the presidential election before that, or the upcoming presidential election.

In the meantime, rabid sport-fan horticulturists in Chicago and Phoenix are engrossed in their own rabid cockfight between the Arizona cactus and the Chicago milkweed plant, but I'm not going there.

*

If I feel any sense of sympathy for anyone, it would be the Chicago transplants living in Mesa, where the Cubs spring training stimulates the economy every spring like the original Outlet Mall stimulated Kenosha, Wisconsin during the 1980s. Imagine the transplants' consternation over who to root for in addition to whether to call their team (which calls itself D-backs on their uniforms) "The Diamondbacks" or "Da Backs."

Baseball fever. Scratch your head and catch it.

*

In other TV business, I have the biggest brain worm ever. After two days, I still haven't been able to get a segment of Monday night's Tonight Show with Jay Leno out of my head.

That's when longtime piano-bench molester and recent dye-job mishap victim Tori Amos performed "Bouncing Off Clouds" to illustrate what would happen if Phoebe Buffay dropped acid and came up with a tune sung almost completely in Swedish Canadian.

A Tori performance very similar to Monday night's can be found here, with the translation here for the Swedish Canadian impaired.

It's crazy, man. Crazy.

-

See what else Scott Buckner and the TV Affairs Desk have been watching.



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Posted on October 4, 2007


MUSIC - They Flirted With Disaster.
TV - A Quincy Top 10.
POLITICS - The Traitor Who Is A Great Patriot.
SPORTS - Gambling At The Grate.

BOOKS - Scientists Gone Rogue.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A People's History Of Uptown.


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