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Newz Forum: OTHER: Looking Ahead By Looking back

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posted on Jan, 4 2005 @ 05:10 PM
Unless you live in a cave or you have been in a coma for the last couple of weeks, you must have seen lots of sappy articles/commentary about the important events/trends of the past year and what they might portend for the coming year.

All is warm and cozy and self-contained in those kinds of retrospectives. As you have come to realize, that is not the way the world is viewed from here in Curmudgeon Central. There is always reason to hope that future times will be better than the recent past; that is part of what makes humans keep trudging on in their lives. But there is also a realism dimension to Planet Earth and the best way to make tomorrow better than yesterday was would be to put a complete halt to some of the things that happened on yesterday.

I know we can't just stop all the silly and annoying things that go on around us. To be candid, I would not wish for that to happen even if it were possible because then things would get very quiet around here in Curmudgeon Central. So, instead of basking in some kind of rosy and starry-eyed glow of optimism about how things will be much better next year (cue the music - The sun will come out, tomorrow ...) let's think about some things we can quit. And by the act of quitting them, we can make the world an infinitesimally better place for everyone.

Let's begin by demanding that the makers of Samuel Adams beer stop telling us that "Samuel Adams is always a good decision". No, it is not. You should not pop open a bottle and drink from it just as you are approaching a state police sobriety checkpoint. And if the ad agency folks that came up with that stupidity think my scenario is concocted, then I hope that the surgeon who operates on their next family member that needs neurosurgery is making that "always good decision" all throughout the procedure. And while we are thinking about beer commercials, can we please stop all advertising about beer as a "diet beverage". I don't care if it is "lite" or "ultra" or "low-carb" or "all natural" or whatever; it's beer and it's not something that is going to be part of an intelligent and medically sound program for someone to lose weight.

As you watch your sporting events on TV, do you really need to be let in on any more of the exploits of the Geico gecko? I didn't think so. Even worse is the AFLAC duck. Have you ever seen how they force feed ducks and geese to create foie gras? They jam long funnels down their esophagi and pour huge amounts of grain into their stomachs several times a day. That's what needs to happen to that damned duck before they go and harvest that fattened liver of his.

Do you remember the "Take me fishing..." ads that urged you to take someone fishing for a whole bunch of sappy reasons? Just once, I wanted that little girl to tell her daddy to take her fishing because she was planning to make him a grandfather when she was 12; and therefore, this would be the only time she and her dad could do this without the interference of her own rug-rat.

By the way, all of the commercials on TV and radio that deal with tampons, hemorrhoids, erectile dysfunction, PMS and diarrhea are annoyingly tasteless. If the ad agencies can't come up with something creative that is not also tasteless, please take these damned things off the air.

Have you figured out yet why the "man in black" who tells us about Sprint cell phone service has to travel around all by himself in a bus? What has he got going on in there? How about driving around in something a little more "mileage efficient"? If you have to drive around in something that guzzles gas, you can probably get a good rental deal on the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

posted on Jan, 4 2005 @ 05:13 PM
It is also time to drop the curtain on any more newspaper columns and magazine articles and TV exposes on the following stories:

The BCS: We already know that it is fallible. We know that every time they improve it, the improvement is not significantly better. We know that the old system of bowl games was even more fallible. We know that polls of coaches and/or writers are skewed, biased, and unreliable. We know that an on-field playoff is the best way to determine a champion. Now, unless someone has something else to add to the discussion...

BALCO: There will be an indictment and ultimately a trial. Then we can learn things from testimony under oath and with cross-examination. Until then, stop the shocking announcements based on leaks of information that is supposed to be privileged.

Eldrick Woods' slump: He has not won nearly as many golf tournaments in the last two years as he did before that. In fact, someone pointed out that his PGA Tour wins last year was equal to his number of marriages and that is not good. Yet, everyone continues to call this a "slump". Unless they can prove conclusively that he is not declining in skill or that others have not surpassed him in skill level, we don't need for them to define this ever so conveniently as a "slump" which will miraculously go away some time soon. Wait until he does it and then report it.

The Super Bowl "Wardrobe Malfunction": It wasn't an accident. It was in poor taste. It is not a threat to civilization as we know it. It is not something that will destroy the minds of the children of the world. It is not worth nearly the over-reaction that it has already spawned. It needs benign and purposeful neglect.

By the way, think about how much worse that Super Bowl Wardrobe Malfunction could have been. Imagine if that had been Roseanne Barr...

We need to demand an end to those annoying and intrusive Internet ads that tell you that you are the 1,000,000th visitor to this website and if you click here, you will get a prize. Since I have gotten the same intrusive ad about a bazillion times, it is clearly not true that I have been the 1,000,000th visitor there each and every time. Why isn't this something that falls under the purview of people who are supposed to enforce the false advertising laws?

And speaking of those annoying and intrusive Internet ads, I want people to stop telling me that I will get a free gift if I place an order now or if I fill out some kind of survey form. Hello. Can you tell me what other kind of gift I might get besides a "free gift"?

We need to begin a public education campaign and stop the currently acceptable uses of cellular phones in the country. First of all, everyone who has a cell phone needs to read the next sentence carefully.

You need to speak lots more softly into your phone because - take a deep breath here - I don't give a rat's ass about your conversation; and your forcing me to listen to your half of that conversation is really annoying.

I'm telling you that "phone rage" is going to replace "road rage" as the "violent outburst of choice" in the US in the near future. Someone is going to need a proctologist to remove a phone one of these days.

Each and every cell phone user who calls someone from a sporting event so that the other person on the line can tell the caller when the caller is on camera so the caller can wave needs to receive a massive beat down. That ought to put an end to that silliness. When someone does that, all that it proves is that the person is sufficiently insignificant and insecure that (s)he needs to know for sure that (s)he has been on TV lest all the waving would go for naught. "Pathetic loser" does not begin to describe these people.

They must be stopped.

And can we please stop the cutesy ring tones on cell phones. They are annoying beyond words. I'd rather hear a synthetic rendition of four orangutans farting God Save the Queen than most of the stupid ones that people have programmed in these days.

The FCC is considering a change in rules that will allow people on airplanes to talk on their cell phones in flight. That ought to take airplane travel down yet another 10 notches in terms of an enjoyable experience. At the moment, traveling on a plane is just slightly more enjoyable than a wisdom tooth extraction - without Novocain. Write letters to these folks and tell them to stop whatever processes are in motion and to stop thinking about expanding the venues for cell phone use.

Qwest paid real money to put their name on the Seattle Seahawks Stadium. Isn't it time for shareholders in these companies to rise up and tell the morons who make these "branding suggestions" that this is a waste of the shareholders' money and that the shareholders want this to stop. Here's a partial list of failed "branding suggestions" related to stadiums and companies:

Pro Player Stadium - Miami: Go find any "Pro Player" products on the shelf for Christmas. They aren't there because the brand - as they would say in France - n'existe pas.

PsiNet Stadium - Baltimore: Can you spell bankruptcy? Same goes for Adelphia and 3Com wherever it was they stuck their names on sporting edifices.

Enron Field - Houston: Here we have the trifecta of bankruptcy and a massive defrauding of the public and of the shareholders.

Boy, this branding idea with sports arenas and stadia really works well...

posted on Jan, 4 2005 @ 05:15 PM
Now that basketball season is almost upon us in full bloom, I am reminded that there is a phrase that must be exorcised from the telecasts and any commentary about any basketball game by any studio talking head. Please stop immediately talking about some player being able to "score the ball". With what? An Exacto knife?

What the hell does that mean?

Finally, here is my idea for a new reality game show - after we take all the current ones and remove them from the public airwaves. I'd actually watch this one and would want to participate in deciding the winners and losers because when someone loses they will stop being annoying presences in the lives of many. You create two teams of "celebrities" and you put them in a competition where they have to participate in totally degrading and humiliating acts as part of the competition. Then one team is deemed to be the loser by any objective or capricious manner you might like and the team members are banned from any kind of media attentinon for the next ten years - except for their obituaries of course. Here are my candidates:

Team A: Rosie O'Donnell, Dr. Phil, Pedro Martinez, Ray Lewis, George Steinbrenner, Joe Theisman.

Team B: Mark Cuban, Donald Trump, Gary Bettman, Ricky Williams, Donald Fehr, Larry King.

And after this program is a smash hit - how can it fail when at the end we get rid of at least six annoying presences and we have degraded and humiliated the "winners" in the process of the competition? - I have the sequel already in mind. You pit the entire cast of one annoying TV/radio show against each other in a similar contest with the same decade-long banishment for the losers.

Entries in my "Elimination Tournament" include:

Cold Pizza - ESPN

All Things Considered - NPR

The McLaughlin Group - NBC (at least here in the DC area)

Any/All Professional Rasslin' Shows

See how much better the world can become without doing anything new or positive if only we can get rid of the negatives? It is truly addition by subtraction. It should be the underlying theme for all of 2005.

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon


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