Skip to main content

So much for loyalty

Two things have come up in the last few days about which I feel compelled to comment.....

Here's the first: NBC decided that keeping Jay Leno in the fold to host a 10:00 PM version of his "Tonight Show" would revolutionize prime-time television, and NBC was to be congratulated for determining that hiring Jay at an ungodly salary would still be cheaper than paying the freight on five one-hour dramas to fill the Monday-Friday 10:00 PM time slot. This was all decided AFTER they had committed the traditional "Tonight Show" slot several years ago to Conan O'Brien, who replaced David Letterman in the 12:35 AM time slot several years ago. All Conan did was exactly what he was told: present a mostly funny show, close it out, move himself, his family, his on-air team and his writing and producing staff to southern California (because that's where the "Tonight Show" is done, you know).

In the interest of full disclosure, note that I was always a Letterman fan, so when NBC turned on him in favor of Jay Leno so many years ago, I went with Dave to CBS and on those rare occasions when I'm up that late, I watch Letterman. Jay was never that funny to me, still isn't, and Conan isn't bad but he's very much an acquired taste, in my opinion.

So, if you've read the recent articles, NBC last week announced it had cancelled Leno's revolutionary prime-time show and publicly proposed creating a 30 minute slot for Jay at 11:35. That's if O'Brien goes along and agrees to move the "Tonight Show" to 12:05. Conan announced yesterday that he doesn't really think that it's still the same show if it airs at 12:05 AM, so the ball's back in NBC's court. What a mess, and it serves NBC right. This is, after all, the same network that screwed David Letterman many years ago, cancelled "Hill Street Blues" so many years ago and had to be prodded to leave "Seinfeld" alone to find an audience, which eventually became universally hailed as one of the best sitcoms ever.

Now to my second exhibit: Lane Kiffin, the one-and-done head football coach at the University of Tennessee. This young man of 34 has already found ways to alienate an NFL owner and now the entire fan base of one of the southeast's best-known (for sports) universities. In agreeing to leave Tennessee after one year to go back to the University of Southern California as head football coach Kiffin demonstrates in one majestic swoop what's wrong with major sports. Let's remember that he was unemployed (and deemed by some unemployable) last year around this time when Tennessee boldly offered him their head coaching position. No ties to the southeast, where college football is a way of life and recruiting is the the life blood of that way of life. Yet in he came, with lots of noise and bluster and braggadocio and NCAA and SEC reprimands and now he claims he's leaving Tennessee better than he found it. My read is that Knoxville, TN wasn't a big enough pond for this fish.

What I find particularly amusing is that at USC Kiffin will replace Pete Carroll, a longtime NFL head coach and assistant, who decided that it would be better to take the money and go back to the NFL rather than stick around to see what the NCAA has in store for the Trojan Nation at USC. Rumors have abounded for years that Carroll and his staff (many of whom will now return to USC under Kiffin) had played fast and loose with the rules and regulations surrounding student-athlete recruitment, so Carroll's getting out before the hammer falls.

Contrast that with the classy tenure and graceful departure of Rich Brooks, Kentucky's recently retired head football coach. Need I say more?

One more aside that really isn't tied to loyalty: I find Mark McGwire to lack credibility in his recent "apologies" about his steroid use, as he's almost acting as though he didn't have a choice, he only used it in small doses, etc. Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a fine column recently on this and similar situations, and I agree with Paul: I'm done with all of these "contrite" athletes and their "apologies" and how they're "ready to move on." I am, too.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Oscar Magico!

Good Monday morning to everyone!  If you're like me, and stayed up to watch the Oscars last night, you're a little sleep deprived.  I mean, after all, how often does an awards show end with a major twist in the ending?

If you didn't watch and have not watched or read the news, then you don't know about the colossal screw-up that ended what was a pretty entertaining Academy Awards show last night.  The final and biggest award, for the Best Picture, was being presented by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, selected apparently because 2017 represents the fiftieth anniversary year of their vehicle "Bonnie and Clyde."

In any case, after a brief political statement, the pair got down to business and introduced the nine nominees, then Beatty appeared a bit flummoxed by the contents of the envelope.  Dunaway laughed and said "you're impossible" and announced "La La Land," the odds-on favorite, as the winner.

In the midst of acceptance speeches b…

Learning opportunities

Good Monday morning to you.

Perhaps I should state up front that it's a bit of a blue Monday here in the Big Blue Nation, as our beloved Kentucky Wildcats went down in defeat to the arch-rival North Carolina Tar Heels last night in a wild and highly competitive game.  Kentucky's team never really got going in the first half, owing to foul trouble for three starters, and that foul trouble and lack of rhythm carried over for the rest of the game.  Somewhat miraculous that Kentucky had the lead at a couple of points late, but Carolina's depth and experience won out.

Though my wife doesn't agree, that's pretty much the end of basketball for me this year.  I don't watch much other college basketball except to see who Kentucky might end up playing, so if they're done, I probably am, too.

My company is getting into a new aspect of business that you've probably seen and heard about, but because I don't talk in detail about work in this space, I won't el…

Stunningly apathetic

Good afternoon to everyone.  Unusual day and time to post, but my schedule got a little fouled up this week.

Are you planning to watch the Super Bowl?  For a number of years, starting when our kids were, well, kids, we really made a big deal of the day of the big game, buying special snacks, planning a menu appropriate to the site of the game or the participating teams' cities, and so forth.

Last year was great, since the Denver Broncos won and our daughter and her family are season ticket holders!

But this year?  Hard to get excited about the New England Patriots (again) and the Atlanta Falcons.  Admittedly, the Falcons have a Kentucky native and UK grad on the roster, tight end Jacob Tamme, but he was injured mid-season and won't play.  But otherwise, the Falcons don't have any players who command a high level of attention from me.

And then there's the Patriots.  Sorry to my friends in the northeast, but I don't care for the team owner, the head coach, the offens…