by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
Keep it Clean
Super Bowl XLII is in the books. I wonder what they will call it in 5412 when they run out of Roman numerals. Give credit to Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue for turning what used to be an NFL Championship game into the biggest extravaganza on TV each year. An event where big companies are willing to pay millions of dollars to try to sell their products. Actually, I don’t mind commercials too much. Those folks pay so that we are able to watch shows and events that we could otherwise not afford to see. I’m not to fond of ads for prescription drugs, lawyers, and subprime lenders though.
The Super Bowl this year had a number of good commercials, but it also had some unbelievable worthless tripe. I’ve known people in the ad business. They’re the folks who wear shirts made out of American flags, jeans with holes or Zubaz, and top it off with a baseball cap, color coordinated with this week’s threat level color from Homeland Security. They generally produce the ads while they’re on their 7th cup of Starbucks triple espresso. My favorite this year was the caveman who invented the wheel and bottle opener for Budweiser Second was the dalmation training Hank the Clydesdale to the theme from “Rocky”.
The game was preceded by the Coin Flip show, which followed the National Anthem. This was preceded by the pre-kick show, which was preceded by the pregame show. Before that came the Super Bowl warmup. I thought for sure a channel would carry an Obama-Clinton debate about who was the better team, along with analysis and game films
Preceding all of this, was another professional sporting event a couple of hundred miles north. A PBA doubles event from Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas. You may remember this center as the same place, one week ago, where Chris Barnes lost a 50+ pin lead to the eventual winner, Michael Haugen, mainly by missing a ten pin in the ninth frame. This week had a similar result as Joe Ciccone, needing only a nine spare in the eleventh frame to win the tournament, left a 2-5 spare and whiffed it.
There have been classic blunders in all of sports. Ralph Branca was the most famous when I was young, and all he did was throw the wrong pitch to Bobby Thompson. Along came Bill Buckner with the ‘86 Red Sox. And most of you in the bowling community remember Del Ballard needing 3 pins on a count ball to win the US Open, and tossing it in the channel. That was the only time I know of that the PBA made it on “Sports Center”. Who can forget Jean Van Der Welde’s triple bogie on the 72nd hole of the British Open some years back.
I don’t get a strike on every ball I roll and neither do you. What’s more, I don’t convert every spare I leave, and some of them would be considered pretty easy spares. But a true professional must be able to perform in the final frames when the big bucks and hardware is on the line. That’s why we watch and sponsors pay.