Friday, February 10, 2006

Around the Big Horn

How’s this for impending irony?

Some American players, coaches and fans are already preparing the inevitable excuses and complaints should their team fails to capture the WBC. This despite not giving a damn about the event in the first place. Even some general managers and other executives have bemoaned the whole business...but fearing official censure from the Commissioner's office have said so only off the record.

The entire affair was conceived in a marketing firm’s conference room and was immediately greeted with something less than enthusiasm by the key element, the players themselves. Many opted out before even being asked to participate. Others who hinted they might play for God and country have been opting out ever since citing fears about injury, i.e., their contracts.

What another great idea, Bud.

* * * * * * * *

Speaking of world affairs, the Winter Olympics get underway in earnest today in Torino, Italy. The nationalism pervading the Olympics may be unseemly, but the athleticism isn’t. True, cross-country skiing combined with shooting a rifle may not be yours or my notion of athleticism, but most of the events are wonders of human form, energy and spirit and no amount of flag-waving can deny that.

* * * * * * * *

Who says everything isn’t negotiable?

Long time ABC and Monday Night Football announcer Al Michaels was traded to NBC yesterday for the rights to broadcast some golf events, show more Olympic highlights on ESPN, and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

That’s right, folks, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

It seems that Oswald, originally created by Walt Disney himself and a successful franchise before Mickey Mouse was a gleam in his mother’s eye, was once owned by the Walt Disney Co., parent company of ABC and ESPN. But Disney lost the rights in 1920. Now they have them back. And it only cost them one announcer.

So, who got the better end of this deal?

1 comment:

Oisín/Wizlah said...

As badly timed and ill-concieved as the world baseball classic stands at the moment, the grumping by execs is just another example of the classic club vs country argument which runs rife through football.

Bud has given them reason to grip, sure, but I think the competition may yet surprise us because the some of the participants, no matter how out of shape they feel, will want to win this - I'm thinking dominican republic and japan - and that antipathy will ultimately act as a spur for other teams. The world cup wasn't hailed by england as a great competition when it kicked off. (Now they won the damn thing once, we never hear the end of it . .. )

I hope it doesn't continue as an annual competition after this though. Rugby World cup isn't annual, and neither are any of the major international football championships. Neither games have as punishing schedules as baseball, so it would make sense that it was played every three or four years.