27, 2015 THE
Cleveland Browns are being ridiculed again. This week, people
have been joking about their announcement of a brand new logo (left)
thats only slightly different from their old one (right).
the changes? The font is stronger, which is a definite
improvement. Also, the helmet is a stronger color. It
used to be orange. Now its red-orange, according to the
Crayola terminology of my childhood box of 64 crayons. Or
according to the red-green-blue terminology of my computer monitor,
it used to be 244-101-35 and now its 255-61-0. That 255
is as high as the red component can get.
detail: Because the teams name is not the Red-Oranges
but the Browns, theyve painted the face mask brown. As
though anyone will notice.
ancient enough to remember the days of black and white, when
Clevelands games were televised across Ohio. The Browns
had a brownie mascot, and in the late 1950s their
telecasts began with a few seconds of a cartoon featuring this
good-natured little elf with the pointed floppy sacks on his
feet. Presumably the film played on a projector back at the
originating station while an announcer proclaimed something like
The Cleveland Browns are on the air! There
may have been a mention of a sponsor such as a Cleveland-brewed
Carling beer. Hey, Mabel! Black Label! And
now lets kick off the action!
cute little animated brownie teed up his football, backed up a few
steps, clenched his fists, stuck out his elbows, and came running
towards us. Like Lou Groza, he kicked
the football directly toward us, not soccer-style but a
straight-ahead kick. The ball filled the screen, and at that
moment the telecast cut to live video from the stadium. Ah, the
good old days.
return to 2015, the Browns have made another logo update. The
old Dawg (right) appeared annoyed and determined, but the new version
(left) is mean and vicious and snarling and red-orange and possibly rabid.
illustrates a disturbing tendency to make sports logos as evil as possible.
the long-established St. Louis baseball team's logo is a robust but
peaceful vegetarian cardinal (lower right) with a bill adapted for
eating seeds, the University of Louisvilles redder redbird
(left) somehow has been given a raptors sharp beak and an angry
Dawgs snarling teeth. (What birds have teeth?) Even
its toes are twisted in rage. We seem to need our sporting
symbols to display a killer instinct of unbridled aggressiveness.
brings me to a recent quote from Stephen Hawking.
human failing I would most like to correct is aggression.
It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more
food, territory or partner with whom to reproduce. But now it
threatens to destroy us all. A major nuclear war would be the
end of civilization, and maybe the end of the human race.
quality I would most like to magnify is empathy. It
brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.
on, people, now.
with the brownie.
to love one another
the end of the opera Pagliacci, the clown turns to the
audience and proclaims: La commedia è finita!
And the curtain falls on a tragic scene.
2002, I mused about the two masks of drama. Are we supposed to
laugh at other comic characters who likewise eventually come to
this month's 100 Moons article.
22, 2010 SHRINK
couple of months ago, I was in Marion, Ohio, and bought a copy of
the local daily newspaper. The Marion Star still exists,
but barely: just ten small 11 by 22 pages, weighing
only one ounce. There were only five stories with local
bylines, four of them by the same reporter. There was just one
local news photograph. There was also an interesting correction.
The caption should
have read: Geavonni Troiano, 12, killed
his first deer, a
seven-point buck, while hunting with
Steve Ross . . .
I see a correction notice, I try to imagine the incorrect original
version. Was the middle line missing? I hope not.
century ago, the Star was much greater. Its publisher,
Warren Harding, was on his way to becoming President of the United States.
when I worked in Marion in the 1970s, the Star was a key
resource for my work in the
competing medium of cable TV. In those days, futurists looked
forward to the paperless office. It appears that
paperless is slowly becoming reality.
marks the end of my subscription to the paper version of Broadcasting
& Cable. From now on, its content will come to me
courtesy of the Internet, not the postman.
first read this weekly in 1966. I found it in the offices of
my college radio station, where we also subscribed to Billboard (covering
the music business). Both were oversized news magazines
almost 11 by 14 in size.
as it was called then, reported the business of radio and television,
an industry that it grandly termed the Fifth Estate. (In
France, the three Estates-General were the clergy, the
nobility, and the commoners. In Englands Parliament,
pointing to the press gallery, Edmund Burke said the newspapers
should be considered the fourth Estate. In America, Broadcasting
said if thats true, then 20th-century electronic media also
should be granted Estatehood.)
addition to the magazine, WOBC received the Broadcasting Yearbook
an annual the size of a phone book, two inches thick, five
sections. Here were listed all the AM, FM, and TV stations in
the United States, with addresses, call signs, frequencies, sign-on
dates, network affiliations, names of principal officers, and more.
entry for our humble ten-watt station read, in part, 10
W. Next came our address, Wilder Hall, Oberlin
College, Oberlin, Ohio. Naturally, therefore, we got mail
addressed to the non-existent 10 West Wilder Hall.
digest of FCC rules was part of the Yearbook. In that
era of student protest, some of my colleagues wanted WOBC to air
editorials. I found the reason why we couldnt: a
prohibition against editorializing by noncommercial educational
stations, in Section 399 of the Communications Act.
leaving Oberlin for the real world in 1969, I felt disconnected from
broadcasting, so I subscribed to Broadcasting.
(Occasionally Id also order a Yearbook and browse
through the data.) Many of the articles werent really
aimed at people like me. They were more for the executive
suite, with their talks of mergers and acquisitions and syndication
rules and advertising buys. But it was still interesting.
recent years, however, the content of the printed magazine has
dwindled. Most weeks its now only 8½ by
11 and contains only 24 flimsy pages. And virtually all
of the content is available online, for free in fact, more
content than in the print version, where a box regularly lists other
headlines and urges Read these stories and more at www.broadcastingcable.com.
much would another year of the printed magazine cost me? The
annual subscription fee has now reached $214.99.
Broadcasting & Cable. After more than 40 years,
its time to pull the plug and not renew my subscription.
I'm going paperless.
a Romney booster, Heather Partridge. (Nowadays she's Heather
Partridge Oppenheimer, Oberlin College '71.) We were once in
the same foreign-language class. In this picture, however, she
was playing a role at Oberlin's 1968
Mock Republican National Convention, supporting Romney for
President. George Romney, that is Mitt's father.
TV folks used to call this a minicam because it was
portable, though bulky. It had to be carried on the operator's shoulder.
I saw the photo below of Senator Mitt. Apparently news video
is now shot on smartphones!
LET'S START THE GAME AT HALFTIME
University of Pittsburgh men's basketball team has played six road
games so far in 2020, and Craig Meyer of the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette has followed their fortunes. He couldn't help
noticing that the young Panthers start out cold every time.
most glaring example came on January 25 at Syracuse. To be
fair, most visiting teams do have trouble finding the range in the
huge Carrier Dome. Pitt was no exception, shooting only 23% in
the first half and falling behind by 11 points. In the second
half, their talent began to show as they made 54% of their shots and
outscored the Orange by 3 points, but that wasn't enough to make up
PCT BY HALF
graphed the field goal percentages for the last five road games, all
losses. Each blue column represents the first half (average
31%); each gold column, the second half (average 46%). The
numbers at the bottom are the point differentials.
senses a trend.
comedian Bill Crawford had a gig in South Carolina this past
weekend. However, as he told us later on WDVE radio, severe
weather disrupted flight operations. He was stuck for many many
many hours at the airport in Charlotte, North Carolina, talking to
American Airlines agents.
could have rented a car and driven to his final destination,
but because other travelers were in the same situation, no more cars
had a similar problem about 35 years ago at the Detroit
airport. Scheduled to connect via a late-afternoon commuter
flight to South Bend, Indiana, 160 miles away, I discovered that the
day's last flight to South Bend had been canceled due to fog.
And, of course, there were no rental cars available. I was
expected at dawn at Notre Dame's basketball arena. I wouldn't
be able to get there!
went to a phone booth (remember them?) to call the office and give
them the bad news, but then I had a bright idea. Not all car
rental offices are at the airport, especially in a big city.
the Yellow Pages (remember them?) and looking up AUTOMOBILE RENTING,
I phoned a nearby location. Yes, they had cars.
took a taxi there. A few vehicles were parked outside a gas
station. I signed for one and soon was on my way west on I-94.
weekend, Bill should have called me for a suggestion.
that I filed away years ago include my correspondence with this
sweet young lady. In the final weeks before I graduated from
college, a mutual acquaintance urged us to have a
fling. We didn't, but we kept in touch for years afterward.
edited highlights of those letters into a four-chapter
retrospective, beginning this month with Jennifer:
WILL THIS LEAGUE BE LONG-LIVED?
Super Bowl is over. Are you ready for some more football?
McMahon's 2001 XFL has been reborn to play in February,
March, and April. The first four games among the eight teams
will take place this weekend.
reminded of a similar venture that also played in the spring, the
United States Football League. It managed to operate for three
then it folded due to financial difficulties and the greed of one of
the team owners, Donald Trump (I have the best
Generals). The story of his ill-fated lawsuit against the
NFL is here.
worked on the TV crew for two USFL games in 1984, televising them
back to the teams' home cities: the Oklahoma Outlaws at the
Washington Federals, and the Pittsburgh Maulers at the Jacksonville Bulls.
one of the teams (the Federals) had existed in 1983, and only one of
the cities (Jacksonville) would still have a team in 1985.
There would be no league in 1986.
the USFL lived for only three seasons. It was short-lived.
Gator Bowl Stadium
lived but was short-lived. I always thought
those two words ought to rhyme, but they didn't until recently.
the i in the first word is short, the i in the second
word was traditionally pronounced long, so that
short-lived rhymed with derived. I
speculate it was originally short-life'd.
us consider the works of William S. Gilbert. According to his
stage directions at the climax of Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879
operetta The Pirates of Penzance, a struggle ensues
between Pirates and Police. Eventually the Police are overcome
and fall prostrate, the Pirates standing over them with drawn
swords. Refusing to yield, the Police Sergeant sings:
gain a brief advantage, you've contrived,
your proud triumph will not be long-lived!
recall this couplet to remind myself of the correct long-i
pronunciation, at least according to the standards of 141 years ago.
nowadays the short i is more common, so that
short-lived rhymes with well, with nothing,
really, except lived and outlived and the
adjective for a criminal's stabbing victim, shivved.
2, 2010 CANDYGRAM
had finally learned to tolerate the land shark, and now it has
disappeared. The stadium where the Super Bowl will be played
Sunday has been renamed yet again.
reminded of last Sunday. On The Simpsons, Homer
and Bart were treated to a private concert by Coldplay, held in
Springfields Naming Rights Available Arena.
the venue for Super Bowl XLIV opened in 1987, it has been known as
Joe Robbie Stadium, Pro Player Park, Pro Player Stadium, Dolphins
Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and Land Shark Stadium. Now, for the
next five years, it will be Sun Life Stadium.
names in the 28 years between 1987 and 2015? A new name every
four years, on average? We dont always change Presidents
nothing more than an example of the greed of the American private
owner, according to Richard Davies, a sports historian at the
University of Nevada, Reno, speaking to the Associated Press.
It reflects the greatly intensified commercialization of
least Sun Life Stadium sounds appropriate for sunny,
lively South Florida that is, until you learn that Sun Life
Financial is a Canadian company. Theres not much sun (or
life?) in Toronto this time of year.
in Miami, there hasnt been as much sun as usual this week.
big square lid to protect the fans from the rain was part of a
stadium renovation proposal announced four weeks ago. The
Dolphins hope the improvements will help attract future Super Bowls
Joe Robbie Pro Player Dolphin
Land Shark Sun Life Stadium.
where will the money come from? No one knows. Maybe
Wham-O Frisbees can sponsor the roof.
UPDATE: When the canopy was completed, Sun Life's deal had
expired into the sunset, and for 6½ months the building bore yet
another new name: New Miami Stadium.
in August of 2016 the Dolphins did, in fact, resell the naming
rights not to Wham-O but to Hard Rock Cafe Inc., which paid
$250 million to display its logo on the stadium for the next 18
years, including Super Bowl LIV.
Shark Stadium" is just a distant memory, having survived only
eight months in 2009.