Aircheck: ABC/Reagan Library, 5/23/1984

In posting this, I’m unsure of two things.

First, I’m assuming ABC aired this interview at some point, though I can’t remember off-hand whether or not ABC News or ABC Sports aired this. Conceivably, either department could have aired the interview – or both could have.

Secondly, could this have been the last time Howard Cosell had the chance to interview Reagan? I don’t know. Cosell was yanked off of ABC television (but stayed on to do his radio work) the following year when his book, I Never Played The Game, was released. Off hand, I’d have to think Howard probably got the chance to interview him in the intervening year – perhaps during that year’s Olympics in Los Angeles.

Their respective styles seem to play well off of each other here. In today’s political climate where anything “Blue” seems to hate everything “Red” that Cosell, who was a staunch Democrat (and bandied the idea of running for Senate in the 70’s) and Reagan were respectful and complimentary of each other.

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Flashback: “SCORE” by Bob’s Band

Last night marked the start of the 2019-2020 NFL season with the annual Hall of Fame preseason game in Canton, Ohio. For those keeping score, the Denver Broncos won a 14-10 verdict over the Atlanta Falcons.

This is also the 100th NFL season, and the 50th season of Monday Night Football. Bob’s Band scored a minor hit in 1970 with MNF’s first theme, which lasted six seasons.

One For The Irish

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This weekend marked only the second time in the history of the British Open (simply called The Open over there) that the event didn’t take place on the island where England, Scotland, and Wales reside. It was played one island to the west over, in the British controlled Northern Ireland for the first time since 1961.

Irish golfers had won The Open before – that in itself was not a big deal. But an Irish golfer winning in Northern Ireland? That had never happened before.

Being three-quarter Irish myself (the other fourth is Danish, thanks to my paternal grandfather whom I never met), I watched the progress of Shane Lowry with a great deal of interest. He had come close to winning a major golf tournament before, but by Sunday’s play – there was little doubt he would wind up on top.

The 2019 major golf season began with the joyous return of Tiger Woods – it ends with the celebration of an Irish golfer winning The Open not all that far from home. In a way, a good way to begin and a good way to end.

The War Of 13-12

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The decade of professional tennis that has been the 2010’s has now come full circle – with still a bit less than half a year left to go in it.

It began with that strange never-ending fifth set at Wimbledon that John Isner and Nick Mahut had, which shattered the record for the longest set of competitive tennis ever held with a 70-68 scoring wonder, among other records.

The last men’s match at Wimbledon this decade has now set more milestones – necessitated in a way by what happened back on those three days in 2010. Starting with this 2019 tournament, Wimbledon introduced the final-set tiebreak to their Grand Slam tournament – so if a match went 24 games without a winner (in other words, 12-12), the 25th game would be a tiebreak to decide matters.

As fate would have it, the men’s final became the first singles match that went that distance. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic went to 12-12 in the fifth – and off they went to a tiebreak the younger Novak quickly won.

No other men’s Grand Slam final ever needed a tiebreak to decide it in the sport’s history – though the tie break was only used in major tournaments about half a century ago. I said back in 2015 that final-set tiebreakers seemed like something inevitable, more or less like how MLB baseball will eventually use the DH in both leagues one day.

Let’s not overshadow the brilliant match both Roger and Novak put on either. It was one of the best tennis matches I’ve ever seen, start to finish. Excellent job, fellas – you did your profession proud this day.

Oops, They Did It Again

As most know by now, the US women’s soccer team complete its quest and won the World Cup a second successive time, defeating the Netherlands 2-0. They are the second women’s team and the fourth team at either the men’s or women’s level to win back-to-back World Cups. No one has ever won three World Cups in a row in either gender’s tournament.

The climax of the tournament continued to augment the political divide of the country – but I don’t root against “our” team, period. I wasn’t pleased to see the one player throw the American flag to the ground in one of the celebrations – but people do stupid stuff all the time, and who knows if the player knew the disrespect she was engaging in. I’ll let the soccer governing bodies of our country decide what to do on that score.

I’m more interested in whether or not the women’s team can repeat in 2023 then I am in all of the political fallout – but I can’t lie to you all and wonder what the future of our country winds up being after the 2020 elections, especially if it’s close and there’s allegations of chicanery.

Megan’s Song

One of the great things about the sports world is that there are moments that transcend the events on the playing field and into social conscience. I was nine years old when the US Olympic hockey team took the gold medal and seemed (at least to my youthful eyes) to unite the country.

Nearly four decades later, we may be a week shy of another such watershed moment – depending on how things go with the United States women’s soccer team at the Women’s World Cup. Behind arguably the best player on the distaff side of the game in 34 year-old winger Megan Rapinoe – the US are heavily favored to take the trophy with only England and the winner between Sweden and the Netherlands in their semifinal left to stop them.

There’s very little middle ground of opinion when it comes to Rapinoe, who’s been criticized as of late for not singing the National Anthem and for being a staunch liberal. Perhaps this is more of a commentary of our times as opposed to ourselves that there’s this sense of overreach when someone playing on a national team doesn’t sing along to the anthem – and I would say as long as she’s not taking that moment to demonstrate, what she does is fine.

As for teams going to the White House or not – if that’s what you care about the most, you’re not living in the real world. Half the country is going to have one opinion, and half is going to have another. I’m a supporter of the President, but there are people who like him and people who don’t – and that’s just the reality of life as long as he’s there.

To use this as a fulcrum to continue to spew political virtue signaling and sentiment – I wish both sides would put a stop to that sort of thing. Some things in life just are what they are.

The Beginning Of The End Of Raysville

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In its infinite wisdom, Major League Baseball announced this past week that the Tampa Bay Rays have been given permission to move some of its home games to Montreal in future seasons. This is oddly enough similar to the arrangement the Montreal Expos had in the early part of this century, playing several home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Was I surprised? No. I see the Rays moving as something that’s inevitable – just as was the case with the Montreal Expos moving the D.C. and becoming the Washington Nationals in the 2000’s. Just as that happened – the Rays will find a new home somewhere sometime after 2027 when their lease expires.

Do some people have their “thumbs on the scale” here? Probably. Outside what I’ve been mentioning on this blog about the Rays going “paperless” and scaring the seniors away who don’t like surrendering debit and credit cards – and all of the minor league teams in the other major cities making up the Tampa Bay area, who knows. Even MLB’s commissioner of the time of the late 1980’s, Peter Ueberroth, tried to warn our area NOT to build what became Tropicana Field – thinking the area wasn’t ready for the big leagues, which now turns out looking more and more prophetic with the passing of time.

I guess they want our area to just be the home of Spring Training and nothing else. Am I warm here?