Sunday, April 19, 2009


Above: Spencer Tracy would later go on to sequel this movie with "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Day at Black Rock". He even wears the same hat!

Every once in a while the teams who have done this city so proud over the years just have a collective meltdown.

Okay, so in the case of the Pirates, it's been 16 collective meltdown seasons. However, yer Buccos were 6-5 going into today's third game of their series against the "notHotlanta" Braves. El Pirates had uncharacteristically steamrollered and shutout the Bravos in the first two games.

Then there were the Penguins. They won the first two of their playoff games against the hated Flyers and were scheduled to play game three in, "The city of dysfunctional love." Could we possibly see a sweep by the Pirates and a three game lead for the Pens today? Ah that would be a "no" and another "no" for two resounding, collective "NO"s.

Over at the ballyard that game was over, in retrospect, in the first inning as Zach Duke reverted to 2007 and 2008 form allowing three runs in the first en route to an overall 11-1 shellacking. The Bucs scored their lone run on a hit batsman with bases loaded in the ninth. It was officially the "off" day for the Pirates offense as on Saturday they scored ten runs in the "on" day.

Meanwhile, in a nationally-telecast game on the cheapskate NBC network, the Penguins fell in a very disappointing effort by Marc Andre and the boys by a 6-3 score. This game was played very poorly from the goaltender on out as there were numerous gaffes throughout the afternoon that allowed Philadelphia to never trail in this one. The good news for NBC was that their ratings were up by .00000000000028% nationally because they decided to disallow the large screen broadcast at Mellon Arena. I'm sure the good folks at WPXI are grateful for this bonehead decision from New York. Heck, the good p.r. alone was worth it let alone that major spike in viewership!

Above: In the lower right hand corner, Robert Ryan has that smug look that's making Spencer Tracy crazy. He reminds me of someone who plays for the Flyers. I'd like to rub that smug look right off his face!

So if you're following this, the combined team of the "Penrates", "Pirguins", "Pittsguins", "Pittsrates"--whatever you want to call them-- lost by a 17-4 score, making this one of the worst sports days in quite a while around these parts.

I must pay a compliment to Fox Sports Pittsburgh. Their production and most notably their announcers are so superior to NBC's national team that I was ready to do the "turn the radio up" thing with Mike Lange. Either that or smash the TV set in, but that never does any good. In fact, I guarantee that I will do that (not smash the TV set in but turn up the radio) next time because the color commentary of Pierre MacGuire and Mike Milbury was so inane and meandering as to be practically completely worthless. Mike Emerick is tolerable in a high-pitched kind of way, but those other two...give me Mike Lange and the "Old two-niner" the next time that Fox doesn't have the game. While Paul Steigerwald isn't my favorite local announcer ever, he does a much more than adequate job. Bob Errey is hands down better than the goofs on NBC.

The only thing that I did enjoy was the "end-zone" camera that NBC used during power plays. It was enjoyable watching the plays develop that way instead of the traditional side view.

Dan Bylsma never saw that Flyers freight train coming.

So what's next for the "Pirguins"? Their next combined game will be Tuesday night when the Buccos take on the Florida Marlins at home while the 'Guins take on the Flyers at the "Wacko Center" in game four.

And just how jealous are the Philadelphia fans anyway? Don't they know that kicking Sidney Crosby is never a good thing? He'll pay them back for all those "Crosby Sucks" chants, just watch!

Above: The famous "Black Rock". Somehow, the title, "Good Day At Black Rock," doesn't have the same ring to it as the one the producers wisely selected.

In the meantime, if you want to know what a real "Bad day at Black Rock" entails, try to rent the original classic or watch for it on Turner Classic Movies. It stars Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan Walter Brennan and several other famous "character actors" you'll immediately recognize.

Above: Pirates' Manager John Russell is looking the wrong way as a train comes up from behind to run over his team today.

A famous legend that surrounds this movie has it that Brennan and Tracy did not like each other because of serious liberal (Tracy) conservative (Brennan) differences and refused to speak to each other except for their lines! Brennan would flash four fingers at Tracy before a scene...he had won four academy awards to Tracy's three!

Above: Let's hope this movie's over...and we don't need any sequels either. Sunday's version was certainly no "classic," that's for sure.