Friday, August 13, 2010

Best Job Ever: Ombudsman

I think I may have found the perfect job. The title? Ombudsman. What exactly is an ombudsman, you ask? Webster's defines one as "a public official appointed to investigate a citizen's complaints against local or national government agencies that may be infringing on the rights of individuals."

In other words, a watchdog. What can be better than that? Providing critique without having to do anything? I've found my calling. At any rate, many media outlets, such as New York Times, have installed such a person.

Interestingly, ESPN has installed Don Ohlmeyer as its ombudsman. Ohlmeyer, a long-time producer of ABC's Monday Night Football, recently wrote a scorching critique of ESPN's role in Lebron's "The Decision." He writes:

"It was billed without irony as "The Decision." But for those who thought ESPN could agree to televise live LeBron James' announcement that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat -- ultimately served up with ample hype in the form of an awkward, uncomfortable, staged one-hour network special -- and still be free from public controversy, it might as well have been called "The Delusion.""

To read the rest of Ohlmeyer's rant, click here

Although the guy is known to be a close friend of OJ's and was a prick to Letterman during his final days at NBC, he's as right as rain here. ESPN is dysfunctional. Maybe this guy can knock some sense into the higher-ups over there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In case you forgot...

I rule the blog, the blog doesn't rule me.

Russ Salzberg is awful on these post-game wrap-ups on My9. And Ed Randall as a Yankee analyst? Terribly uninspired. Who's the suit that hired these two clowns?

Note to BHO: Time to lead.

More later. I'm pacing myself.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Gaborik Hurt

It was inevitable. Like death, taxes and the cancellation of the Jay Leno Show, the Rangers' Marion Gaborik got hurt. That was the knock on Gaborik's otherwise brilliant career: that he couldn't stay healthy during a full season. And as is customary with this star-crossed franchise, the incident occurred not during a game but at practice.(Quick, someone cue up Allen Iverson's "we talkin 'bout practice?)

Gaborik suffered what's being described as a "deep laceration" after colliding with goalie Henrik Lundqvist during shooting drills. On the surface, one might say a cut is no big deal. However, skate blades are razor sharp and can do some serious damage. NHL fans will not soon forget the scene after goalie Clint Malarchuk throat was inadvertently slashed by a skate. Gruesome scene. Luckily, Gabby's cut was on his leg.

It's unclear how long Gaborik will be out. This is a big hit to the team's offense. The Great Gaborik, who managed to stay healthy all year, was putting up big numbers in his first season on Broadway: 69 points (35 goals) in 57 games. Rangers fans knew it in their hearts: It wasn't a question of if but when. Now is when.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Witnessed, overheard or felt at the Super Bowl Party

CBS pregame jailhouse interview with Bill Cowher and Plaxico Burress was outrageous. Why are we giving airtime to this thug? Where's Chris Henry's 15 minutes? How about Mike Vick if you want "redemption stories?" Plax hasn't even served his time yet. Kudos to Boomer Esiason who noted, "I hope this piece serves a public service announcement as to why all athletes should stop carrying hand guns in our cities."

In the parts of the game I heard, Phil Simms was dead-on, never more than during the review for Lance Moore's 2-point conversion. "We were informed during commercial why it (the ruling on the field) could be overturned," Simms said. The call was overturned. Simms did not have to let listeners know of this inside information. He could have kept it to himself. But he didn't. Honesty counts.

I can't hit a number to save my life. Feeling my pain, Papa Gooch says to me: "Son, with my luck, if I bet that tomorrow is Monday, the world would end at 5 to midnight."

With 35 seconds left, CBS put up a ridiculous graphic informing us how many times in Super Bowl history a team has scored with two minutes remaining in the half. Two thoughts here: First, why bother? Second, if you insist on using the graphic, wouldn't viewers be best served to see the graphic with 2:00 minutes remaining? Apparently, the production truck employs the use it or lose it philosophy.

The Letterman/Oprah/Leno ad was my favorite. Kudos to NY Times' Bill Carter who chronicles how they pulled it off...

CBS has got to come off using Katie Couric on these big network spots. Sure, the network wants to showcase its lead anchor in its marquee event. Did Dan Rather do it? How about ol' Bob Schieffer? Leave the sports interviews to the sports guys. If you insist on using CBS people, why not let 60 Minutes Steve Kroft interview the Saints Dree Brees.

It was inevitable--and becoming tradition--that I either spill or drop something or contribute greatly in it. Invariably, the spill involves a red sauce.

Couric, again, this time with a live sitdown with BHO. Tedious and self-serving. Note to Obama: wear a suit. All presidents wear suits. You're the president. Do the math.

I will pass over, in silenc,e my rendering of the Who at halftime.

You knew the spin would begin: WFAN's Mia Harris, right after the 11:40 pm sports update, began questioning Peyton Manning's legacy bringing up his .500 record in career playoff games. What a bunch of garbage. No one should question, ehem, Peyton's place. (couldn't resist)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Super Bowl Halftime...

I'm a fan of The Who. Always have been. I saw them in 1989 at Foxboro in the rain. Great show. John Entwistle was still alive and Daltrey was still in good voice.

But let me be clear: I in no way want to see Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey prance through 15 minutes of My Generation, Baba O'Reilly and Who Are You this Sunday. It will be painful to watch and judging by last year's Springsteen performance: tedious.

All the songs I want to hear, such as My Wife; 5:15 and Join Together, will not be played before the masses.

Given their ages, Townsend (65 this May) and Daltrey (66 in March) would be better served talking about the relative merits of BHO's health-care overhaul. I've said it here many times: the legend is always better. Long live rock...(which by the way, they won't play either.)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Spring Cleaning Comes Early For Blueshirts

Editor's note: In an effort to salvage a disappointing season, the New York Rangers traded Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins to the Calgary Flames for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. Will it work to propel the slumping team or does it amount to rearranging the Titanic's deck chairs, our author examines the trade.

By Joe D'Angelis

According to hockey maven Stan Fischler, the New York Rangers have received something for virtually nothing in return. Let me explain.

GM Glen Sather packaged expensive defensive liability Ales Kotalik (3 years $9 million) and scarce goal scorer Chris Higgins to the Calgary Flames in return acquiring forwards Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust. Jokinen, 31, a powerful forward will collect plenty of assists skating on the top unit with Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal, is playing out the final year of his contract; consider it an up-close audition for 2010-11.

In Prust, the Rangers surely get someone who doesn't mind dropping the gloves. This should help erase the embarassment of the Marion Gaborik fight with Daniel Carcillo. To date, Prust ranks second in the league with 18 fighting majors; one has reason to believe Slats' interest in Prust has little to do with his puck handling abilities, and that's a good thing.

This trade accomplishes several things, it frees the Rangers of Kotalik's ridiculous contact; Jokinen will surely be motivated to boost his value with production as he becomes a free agent at seasons end; and they receive that much needed enforcer Prust; it will be interesting to see how coach John Tortorella uses him perhaps skating alongside the feisty Sean Avery.

If nothing else, the Rangers made an uneventful trade that can only propel their efforts for a playoff berth, that cost them, in Fischler's words, virtually nothing.

Joe D'Angelis, a lifelong NY Rangers fan, lives in New Jersey. This is first piece for The Daily Del Franco.

Priceless Picasso Damaged

For the record, this is something which might happen to me. Here's the story from USA Today.....

An important Picasso painting accidentally damaged by a visitor last week will be repaired in time for a large exhibition of the artist's works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in April, the museum said Monday.

"The Actor," a painting from Picasso's rose period, will be restored at the museum's conservation laboratory, the Met said.

The accident has also led museum director Thomas P. Campbell to request a review of relevant policies and procedures, spokeswoman Elyse Topalian said.

The museum described the damage as an irregular 6-inch tear to the lower right-hand corner of the painting. Conservation and curatorial experts "fully expect" that the restoration "will be unobtrusive," the museum said in a statement Sunday.

The artwork is nearly 6 feet by 4 feet and depicts a standing acrobat in a pink costume and blue knee-high boots striking a pose against an abstracted backdrop.

The restoration will be done in the coming weeks, and the piece will be displayed as planned in an exhibition of 250 Picasso works drawn from the museum's collection, from April 27 to Aug. 1, the museum said.

The accident occurred in a second-floor gallery of early Picasso works when a patron participating in one of the museum's art classes lost her balance and fell on the canvas, the museum said. She was one of 14 people in the guided group.

It happened during regular visiting hours when other visitors were in the gallery. People who attend the art classes typically roam through the museum in a group stopping in front of works of interest.

"The Actor" was donated to the Met in 1952 by art patron Thelma Chrysler Foy, the elder daughter of auto magnate Walter Chrysler. The museum said it had been included in many major exhibitions of Picasso's works both in the United States and in Europe.

Picasso painted the work in the winter of 1904-05. It marked a transition from his blue period of tattered beggars and blind musicians to his more optimistic and brighter-colored rose period of itinerant acrobats in costume.

In 2001, another Picasso was accidentally damaged during a private showing of the artist's "Le Reve." The artwork's owner, casino mogul Steve Wynn, was showing the work — a portrait of Picasso's mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, to a group of friends in Las Vegas when he inadvertently poked a thumb-size hole in the canvas with his elbow.

The accident occurred just after Wynn had negotiated a deal to sell the painting for $139 million.

Note: See? The Daily Del Franco can play cultural, too.