Monday, December 26, 2005

"Another Broadcasting Contract..."
...'Monday Night Football' pulls the old Network Switcheroo!

When you watch football on TV, you see 'em in the bringing their homemade signs to the stadium; inevitably, on Monday Night Football, some fan's sign will have the initials "A.B.C." forming a football-related message of some sort. Well, tonite, it is the last ABC Network broadcast of Monday Night Football. Don't worry, it'll back on ESPN next in a broadcasting/football sort of way, you could say it's a "lateral" move, heh heh...

It was on ABC's Monday Night Football where John Lennon's murder was first announced in 1980; the news came over the wire, and Howard Cosell (of all people) broke the news to the nation. In another story I read, Ronald Reagan and John Lennon visited the broadcast booth on the same night, and Reagan, with his arm around Lennon, was explaining the mechanics of American Football. Two people on totally opposite ends of the spectrum coming together over football.

I myself, have been entertained by football games for years, and I've especially enjoyed the Monday Night broadcasts. Usually not wanting to watch football all day long on a nice Sunday, Monday Night halftimes re-capped all of the previous weekend's action. From Frank Gifford, Dandy Don, Howard Cosell, up through Dennis Miller (?!?), Al Michaels and John Madden, it's been fun. So tonite, Monday Night Football on ABC will be a thing of the past. As Don Meredith used to sing at the end of every game..."Turn out the lights; the party's over..." I guess, now, ABC will have more time to show the same old prime time junk that all the other networks show on Monday nights, as well as the rest of the week. Oh well.

Blogger's Update: The year was 1970. In the first ABC Monday Night Football game, the New York Jets lost 31-21 (to who, I don't know). In tonite's finale, again, the New York Jets lost 31-21, to the New England Patriots. A quite fitting conclusion.

I'm the Backwards Traveler dept.: (Would you believe, "Backwards Traveler" is actually the title of a song on Paul McCartney & Wings' 1978 album, "London Town" now you know!)

Anyway, here's a picture of Coeur d'Alene's City Beach, and although it's undated, I could venture a semi-educated guess. At upper left of the photo is a picture of an old Cruise Boat. Playland Pier is nowhere to be seen; I'm estimating this photo was taken in the late-1930's to mid-1940's, somewhere in there. In the center of the photo where the water looks weird, well, I had to use the "paintbrush" feature in my computer to block out some words which were typed across the picture. I got this photo from Ebay, and the seller didn't want "unauthorized copies" made of it. I've got four words for that Ebay seller: "Paranoia will destroy ya!"


Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies dept.: (or, should that be 'malady'?) Anyway, in a previous post, I featured a '70s recording by an unknown American band, "Starcastle". Their first two albums featured long, progressive, synthesizer-sweetened songs. If you're familiar at all with the group "Yes", well, "Starcastle" made pretty-much the same kind of music.

By the time Starcastle was getting ready to record its third album, their record company was pressuring them to record shorter songs that radio stations would play. And, to their credit, on their 3rd album, "Citadel", Starcastle managed to put together an album which "compressed" their longer song tendencies into shorter tunes, yet, in my opinion, the group sacrificed NONE of its integrity.

Here's Starcastle's third album, "Citadel". Isn't that one of the most fantastic album covers you've ever seen? The music inside is absolutely great. If you remember the group "Asia", who recorded in the '80s, this Starcastle Album is remarkably similar to "Asia". Only, this record came out in 1977. On this album, their songs are still packed with interesting musical twists and turns and tempo changes, and dynamics ranging from extremely soft to very loud. In addition, I believe they really did try to please the record company; on this album is a short song called "Could This Be Love", which is a really catchy and melodic three-minute tune.

In short, I see this album as a really great "compromise" album. The last song on the record is almost 7 minutes long, so the group had "room to move" on this album, yet they simplified things too, so that both "serious album listeners" and "top-40" radio listeners would both like it. Trouble is, the group still never got radio play. Sad. Their next album, "Reel to Real", wasn't nearly as good, and Starcastle lost their record contract. If you can ever find this "Citadel" album, it's worth whatever you pay for it. If you liked the first album by "Boston", this album is a "sweetened" version of that. Nice stuff.


This week's when all of the "amateurs" come out dept.: Ah, yeah, it's the last week of the year. You can bet the "blue meanies" (my colloquialism for the police) will be out there in force, especially as this week draws to a close. New Years' Eve will be on a Saturday Night this year. PRIME TIME!!! I have met plenty of people who had a tough time recovering from their FIRST "D.U.I.", what with license suspension, probation, lawyers, court, and all of the other bells and whistles that go with the penalty. I would advise you to TAKE A CAB or find a designated driver, if you plan on consuming even an "eye-dropper-full" of alcohol this week.


I had a nice Christmas, and I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday. The new year approaches; oftentimes, I'll look at the approaching year's calendar, and wonder, "What's gonna happen THIS time around?" We're all in this together, so take care of yourselves, okay?


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