Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

— Pirates-Arizona last night in the desert, a guy on Pittsburgh slides head-first into third base, and his cellphone pops out of his back pocket. Seriously, it did. In a major league game, a guy slid into third base and his cellphone popped out of his pocket.

Rodolfo Castro is the player; he is hitting .189 in a utility role. Would be some quality reality TV to listen to him explaining that to his manager.

— If you have HBOMax, there is a show on there, The Super Bob Einstein Movie, it is about the late actor Bob Einstein, who is best known for playing Super Dave Osborne on an old TV show, Super Dave. He also played Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The show is 75 minutes long; it is basically a short history class on TV comedy.

David Letterman. Rob Reiner. Steve Martin. Jimmy Kimmel. Jerry Seinfeld, they’re all on this show, talking about talented/funny Bob Einstein was as an actor/writer.

I’ve always been a big Steve Martin fan; he and Einstein were writers on the Sonny & Cher Show, back in the 60’s. Got to go to see the David Letterman Show twice in person in Manhattan.

If you like comedy, this show is well worth your time.

— So I’m in the studio audience for the Letterman show; while you’re waiting in line, they have you fill out a questionnaire, nothing too amazing. One of the questions was: Which celebrity do you look like? 

This was 35-40 years ago, before my hair fell out; friend of mine’s mother always told me that I looked like David Letterman, so I write that down on the questionnaire.

Before the show actually started, the announcer, Bill Wendell, did a warm-up so the show wouldn’t start with the audience half-asleep. I hear him say this:

“Two people in our audience claim they look like David Letterman; would Person A please stand up?”

I was horrified; wasn’t anxious to get booed by 300 people if they disagreed with my friend’s mother. Luckily, the first guy looked NOTHING like Letterman- he got booed.

“Would Biff Fischer please stand up?” I reluctantly stand up, to almost total silence, which was great. No one booed. I waved and quickly sat down.

Those two shows were great fun, to see how these did the tapings in person.

— Last year, six NFL teams played at 100% of their home capacity; Washington Commanders had only 64.3% of their seats bought for their eight home tilts.

Next lowest team was Detroit; they played at 79.9% of their home capacity.

— Speaking of the Lions the first episode of Hard Knocks was on HBO last night; this year they’re focusing on the Lions, which should be interesting. 

— HBO may have struck TV gold with Lions coach Dan Campbell; no idea how good a coach he is, but he is certainly an interesting guy, which makes for good TV.

At one point last season, after watching several Lions’ games, I was convinced that Campbell is insane; they tried an onside kick and a fake punt in the first 5:00 of a game in Los Angeles. No way anyone else ever did that before- they both worked, but it was still bizarre.

Brad Holmes is the Lions’ GM; he didn’t appear in the first episode last night. Before coming to Detroit, Holmes was Director of College Scouting for the Rams. Holmes is African-American; because of that, the Rams got a 3rd round draft pick when Detroit hired him as GM.

That 3rd round pick was one of the picks the Rams sent to Detroit when they acquired Matthew Stafford from the Lions.

— This is Jared Goff’s 7th year in the NFL; it is the third time his team is on Hard Knocks. He wasn’t on the show much last night; am curious to see how much he will be on in the remaining shows. Goff also came from the Rams; will that subject be brought up? 

— I was a big fan of the Showtime series Ray Donovan; until a year or two ago, I had no idea the narrator on Hard Knocks is Liev Schreiber, who starred in that excellent show. Got used to his voice having a Boston accent (Ray Donovan was from Boston).

— Was sad to hear that Olivia Newton-John passed away this week; she was a great singer, had several big hits. She was a big part of the soundtrack of my high school/college years.

Turns out her father was a British spy during World War II; her grandfather won a Nobel Prize for physics.

— This week in 1974, Richard Nixon quit as President, replaced by Gerald Ford. I remember this because my parents were getting the inside of our house done over; all the furniture from the kitchen was in our living room that day, a total mess.

While Nixon was on TV, resigning, 14-year old me was sitting on top of some cabinets that were usually in the kitchen. I had no idea of the significance of all that back then, but I was watching history unfold in front of me.

— This week in 1988, Edmonton Oilers traded superstar Wayne Gretzky to the LA Kings, which stunned the hockey world. Oilers had won the Stanley Cup four of the previous five seasons; they won it again in 1990, but haven’t won it since, making the Finals only once more (2006).

Gretzky was/is the greatest hockey player ever; no Canadian franchise has won the Stanley Cup since 1993. When he got traded, it was a very big news day.

— Also this week in 1988, the first night game at Wrigley Field happened. August 8, 1988, otherwise known as 8-8-88.

— Since 1900, most strikeouts in first 100 career starts:
812- Yu Darvish
766- Chris Sale
756- Shane Bieber

— Baltimore Ravens signed K Justin Tucker to a 4-year, $24M contract extension; you can make a strong argument that Tucker is the best NFL kicker ever.

— Few years ago, I’m sitting in the sportsbook in the Aria Casino in Las Vegas; two guys come in, one sits next to me, the other sits in front of him. 

We’re watching a college bowl game, making small talk. Early in the second quarter, the guy leans over and shows me his betting ticket; he had $3,200 on Team A to win the first half. 

Pretty sure the eyes popped out of my head when I saw the ticket “Wow, good luck man” was all I said to him. He won his bet; I think the team wound up losing in the second half, which did not matter to him, obviously, unless he also bet on the team for the whole game. 

When you’re in Las Vegas, every once in a while you’re reminded that this is the big-time.

— Bengals’ QB Joe Burrow hasn’t started practicing yet after his appendicitis, and his father says he might be out a bit longer. Burrow had the surgery July 27; the season starts in a month. Will Burrow he ready for the Steelers on September 11?

There are murmurs that this appendix surgery was a bit more serious than usual; no one is saying if his appendix burst or not. When he gets the OK to work out again, he will have to ramp up his conditioning. There is a thing where you’re not allowed to be hit for a certain anoint of time after an appendix operation. 

Cincinnati’s backup QB’s: Brandon Allen, Jake Browning, Drew Plitt.

— Good news for me and other Rams’ fans; Sean McVay has signed a contract extension, but the team isn’t going to officially announce it until GM Les Snead’s contract is also extended. Unsure what they’ll be making, but 100% sure that whatever it is, they’ve earned it.

— Seattle 1, New York 0 (13)
Cole-Castillo staged a classic pitching duel for seven innings.
Teams combined to go 2-22 with runners in scoring position
Luis Torrens got the walk-off hit in the 13th inning.

— Why would any politician vote against a $35 price cap for insulin for non-Medicare people? Why is this a good idea? Some people need insulin to stay healthy; this shouldn’t be a political issue, but as it stands now, it is one.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a website, which apparently has the lowest prices on meds anywhere. Check it out. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.

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