Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Weekend

Hope everyone has a nice Easter weekend.

I've got family coming to town and we'll be driving all over the place this weekend, so I'm not going to be posting on the blog. I'll be back on Monday with a new Father Knows Nothing column (and lots of other stuff).

Chicago Radio Spotlight will return next weekend. I've got a few good ones coming up.

Just One Bad Century will continue updating with new blog features every day (this weekend it will be a feature on Milo Hamilton and another feature I call "endings"), and This Week in 1908, not to mention our bonus Tale of a Bad Century.

Chuck Connors

A visit to the Just One Bad Century blog will get you the story of this crappy first baseman who once played for the Cubs.

Not sure what happened to him after his playing days were over. You may need to click on the link to find out.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wow, Billy Bob is a jag!

People say to me: "Rick, that must have been great to meet all those celebrities when you worked in radio!" Well, yes and no. Most of them were very nice. Others were not...and that's being kind. For me, a few examples of people that weren't nice to me were Joan Collins, Harrison Ford, and Larry King (off the top of my head). There are many others, but those three in particular had a "I'm too good for you" vibe that made my skin crawl.

For this poor guy in the video below, it was Billy Bob Thornton. Consider this: Billy Bob is getting free publicity for his group, and he's still being a complete jerk. Imagine what he's like to people when he's not trying to put on a good face.

Watch the video and you'll see what I mean. I don't know the interviewer, but I have to give him credit. He handled this incredibly professionally. I found myself screaming at the video when I watched it, having flashbacks to my own career, when I wanted to grab an interview subject by the shirt, shake 'em, and say: "HEY PAL,I'M JUST DOING MY JOB HERE! GET OVER YOURSELF YOU NARCISSISTIC JAG!"

Who could forget...

...that magical spaghetti crop from 52 summers ago?

We can wait 100 years!

I can only post this on days that Kosuke has a good game. Otherwise, it ruins the whole song...

Birthday wishes

Three Chicago legends were born on this day...

One of the best pitchers in Cubs history, Hippo Vaughn, was born on this day in 1888. You may remember him from the 1918 World Series, and from the no-hitter he pitched (and lost).

The man who pitched the second best game in World Series history, Claude Passeau, was born on this day, exactly 100 years ago. He was the star of the 1945 World Series.

And finally, Chicago's very own Hugh Heffner was born on this day in 1926. That's right, do the math. Hef is 83 years old.

Zac Efron's Pool Party

Another funny video from Funny or Die....

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

If this doesn't make you smile...'re made out of stone.

Every baby has something wacky that makes them crack up. For my oldest boy Tommy it was the sound of paper ripping. For Johnny it was the word "Blah". For Sean it was the sound of a plate banging against the table.

Rich Koz' blog

Thanks to Rich Koz for mentioning our interview in his WCIU blog today. After reading this, it makes me think I need to take him out for a drink sometime to hear some of these stories. I'm sure we'd be playing "I can top that" when we start swapping "radio backstabber" stories. Ah, radio. Great biz.

"I try not to live in the past much, but, I had to revisit some of my old radio days as a favor to Rick Kaempfer, a twenty year radio veteran, producer/author/ radio historian, who asked me to answer some questions about my career for his “Chicago Radio Spotlight” website. You can take a look at the radio blog at the following address: - maybe you’ll learn some stuff about me that you don’t know- or, don’t care about…

It seems like, coincidentally, I’ve heard from a lot of radio people lately, for various reasons. Radio, like television, has been going through a lot of changes- cutbacks, consolidations, shifting of personalities-and some of it is pretty confusing, even to the people who work in that medium. I always enjoyed working in radio, and, as I state in that question and answer session that you’ll find on the other end of the above link, I’d certainly like to do it again someday- but, I’ve also had some of the strangest business situations of my career that happened in the field of radio. I’ve also known some of the most devious back-stabbers I’ve ever seen in broadcasting lurking in radio.(Don’t worry, I’ve run across a few in TV as well- I think there’s a broadcasting law that we have to have equal-opportunity back-stabbers…) I know I wrote a previous blog about my radio days…I could write a lot more, but some of it might not be very complimentary to certain people, and I’m not the type to air out TOO much dirty laundry in a public forum…"

A Cubs Question

Bonnie writes...

"I have a question: What was the "home run sign" that Cubs fans used to execute in the bleachers when they wanted a home run? I read about this in the play Bleacher Bums but have not seen it or been able to find an explanation after pages and pages of google hits. Can you describe this?"

Anyone? Drop me an e-mail if you remember so I can write Bonnie back.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

MJ at Wrigley

It happened on this day, 15 years ago. Michael Jordan played for the White Sox in an exhibition game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

He hit a double.

I was there, freezing my tush off in the upper deck with John Landecker.


1-0. Yeah, baby. First place. (I know this early season gloating drives Sox fans crazy...but it's all we've got.)

See if you can spot the one Cub in this video that shouldn't be there...

Melissa Forman

WLIT Morning Gal Melissa Forman is celebrating a birthday today. I interviewed Melissa, one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, about a year and a half ago for Chicago Radio Spotlight. If you'd like to read the interview it's here.

Note: There have been a few changes in her show since this interview. She no longer also hosts afternoons, and her newsman was let go in Clear Channel cutbacks earlier this year.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Train Station's Alive with the Sound of Music

People make fun of me for my love of "The Sound of Music," but let's just say that I have hundreds of brothers and sisters in Antwerp. Watch this video and tell me it doesn't bring a smile to your face...

I've previously written about my Sound of Music brushes with greatness, including Julie Andrews and Charmain Carr (Liesl).


Snow is on the ground, and that can mean only one thing. OPENING DAY!

Thank God the Cubs are in Houston and not Chicago...

Take a look at some of the highlights from opening day throughout this one bad century...



And here's my all-time favorite Opening Day moment. It happened in 1994...

Cremation Recap

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a funeral home in Schaumburg, along with several hundred other Cubs fans, and we cremated the various different curses that have plagued the Cubs for the last 100 or so years.

Tom Dreesen did a bang up job as the MC. Several ex-Cubs were there to give some credibility to the pursuit, and a half dozen or so knuckleheads (like me) were on hand to deliver eulogies to the various different curses.

My speech is here is you'd like to read it.

My speech focused on the curse of the Lutheran Seminary, which Tom Dreesen accidentally introduced as the Lutheran Cemetery (I called him "Norm Crosby," a joke that only he seemed to get).

Anyway, I've been thinking about this Lutheran curse, and if there really is a Lutheran curse, how long would that last? Didn't Martin Luther tack a list of 95 grievances to the door of that Catholic church? If so, wouldn't he also have tacked a 95-year curse on the team that built a ballpark on his former seminary?

If you're doing the math at home, that means the curse was inflicted in 1914 (when Wrigley was built). Add 95 years to that, and you've got...2009.


The Onion's take on The Cubs

Always funny. Always sarcastic. The Onion nails the Cubs.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Father Knows Nothing

I just posted my latest "Father Knows Nothing" column at NWI Parent. This week's column is called "Forget Me Not" and it's about a knucklehead dad, that obviously forgot.