Friday, October 05, 2012

Steve Martin Endorses Bob Kerrey

In a highly unusual way...

Stewart Vs. O'Reilly

This weekend is their big debate, The Rumble in the Air-conditioned Auditorium.

Here's a preview.

My schedule is crazy this weekend (as always), but I hope I have some time to watch it.

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

BREAKING: Unemployment rate drops to 7.8% in September

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein
So we actually gained 181k jobs in July and 142k in Aug. The last few months have been way better than the initial numbers showed. ‏@MarkCzerniec
How come good news for America equals bad news for Republicans, and vice versa? Whose side are they on?

Chris Rock ‏@chrisrockoz
Mitt Romney: I fundamentally differ with Pres Obama. If elected, I will kill General Motors and bring Osama Bin Laden back to life. #GOP2012

daveweigel ‏@daveweigel
Democratic panic level lowered from "running down street on fire" to "Jack Lemmon in Glenngarry Glen Ross"

The @Orioles and @Rangers starting pitchers for the AL #WildCard game, Friday at 8:30pm ET on TBS

WGNMorningNews ‏@WGNMorningNews
People of Chicago, we give you Eddie & Jobocop

Jim Roberts ‏@nytjim
Oct. 5, 1962: Beatles 1st single, "Love Me Do" & 1st Bond film "Dr. No". Pop culture changes forever.

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Do you hang out topless with your friends, because Lady Gaga does

CBS Chicago ‏@cbschicago
Mike Krauser got this on tape at Indiana Dunes. Take a listen to the coyotes howling at a passing train!

Lisa and Ray US99.5 ‏@LisaandRay995
Men's Health says these are THE 12 super sex foods you need for better boom boom tonight! .

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

Paul does a standard...

Welch & Woody

The radio team of Welch and Woody was on the air here in Chicago (Z-95) very briefly about twenty years ago...and Chicago did not exactly welcome them with open arms. They were gone in no time. Ever wonder what happened to them? Would you believe that until yesterday, they were still a team, and they were doing mornings in Sarah Palin's hometown of Wasilla, Alaska?

From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

"The long-running on-again/off-again partnership of Welch & Woody, famous for their days in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Chicago and Detroit is off again, as Steve "Woody" Woods resigns from his half of the morning show on OMG Hot AC KMBQ (Q99.7)/Wasilla, AK. According to Q99.7 PD Chuck Geiger, Woods is joining Townsquare Country KORD/Tri Cities, WA in the same position. "His departure is bittersweet," says Geiger. "We hate to lose a talent of Woody's magnitude, but he's heading home to Washington to his wife and family." Stay tuned as the 50% all-new Wakin' Up With Welch with John Welch starts October 10."

Theo Tries To Rally Troops

Theo Epstein tries to put some lipstick on the pig that is the 2012 Cubs season.

The count up clock at the Just One Bad Century website, by the way, is now up to 37,977 days since a World Series championship.

Cubs 365, October 5

On this day in 2003, the Cubs won their first playoff series since 1908. Kerry Wood was on the mound in Atlanta, facing off against Mike Hampton.

Cubs leadoff man Kenny Lofton got the ball rolling immediately, scoring in the top of the first on a Moises Alou single. The Cubs added a second run in the top of the second on an Alex Gonzalez home run, and then padded the lead in the sixth on a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez.

Kerry Wood did the rest. He struck out seven, allowed only one run, and was named the MVP of the series. (He had also won Game 1 in Atlanta).

The Cubs haven't won a playoff series since.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

Miguel Cabrera ‏@MiguelCabrera
It has been a great season, I want to thank God, my fans, family and @tigers teammates, can’t wait for the postseason #tigers

Greg Schaefer ‏@TheGregSchaefer

Louis Klarevas ‏@Klarevas
Worst drinking game ever: Drink every time Jim Lehrer asks a question

Homer J. Simpson ‏@HomerJSimpson
Here's a question I wish Jim Lehrer had asked tonight: Where did I put the keys to Marge's car? A real leader would know that!

The Onion ‏@TheOnion
Last Night's Presidential Debate Coverage: Biden Implores Obama To 'Rub One Out' Before Debate

Chris Rock ‏@chrisrockoz
Romney says he wants to cut funding for PBS. Oscar the Grouch is like, 'Seriously? I already live in a garbage can.' #debate #PresDebate

Dan Bernstein ‏@dan_bernstein
Romney-kills-Big-Bird meme blowing up, regardless of debate's actual substance. America, folks. Love it or leave it.

Sesame Street ‏@sesamestreet
Big Bird: My bed time is usually 7:45, but I was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7! Did I miss anything last night?

The Balding Handbook ‏@BaldingHandbook
Oct 4, 1988 Bald History....Pillsbury stock soars $18.37 to $57.37 on takeover. Doughboy greatest bald spokesperson ever.

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Nicole Kidman urinated on Zac Efron in 'The Paperboy,' but she refused to do one thing

Four Different Personas of News Consumers

I found this article in MediaPost really interesting. It's about NBC News' decision to stop targeting demographics when they sell their advertising, and focus on personas of consumers instead. This is a big change in the way it's always been done.

According to their research, there are four different personas of news consumers...
“Always On:” Consumers who are constantly connected to news feeds across multiple devices throughout their waking day.

“Reporters:” A slightly smaller segment of “digital natives” who grew up consuming news via online and mobile media, and who have manifested the behaviors of news disseminators, taking pride in their ability to break important news to their friends via their own social media postings.

“Skimmers:” Consumers who are not passionately connected to news.

“Veterans:” Consumers who primarily rely on traditional media as a trusted source for news.
I'm not sure what category I fit in. Definitely not "always on" and definitely not "skimmer". I guess I'm either a reporter or a veteran.

The Debate

The consensus view of pundits and critics after last night's debate seemed to be that Mitt Romney won. The loser? Jim Lehrer.

My view is that nobody's mind was changed by anything that happened last night. I have yet to meet this so-called "undecided" voter I keep reading about.

Cubs 365, October 4

On this day in 2008, despite having the best record in the National League, the Cubs were eliminated from the playoffs in three straight games by the Dodgers. I wrote the following piece in the Northwest Indiana Times...

It’s been a rough week for me; a week of deep, dark contemplation. You see, I’ve spent the last year of my life dedicating myself to a website about the Cubs (

It was just a lark at first; a chance to poke fun at the team that constantly breaks my heart. But somewhere along the line I actually started believing the Cubs were going to win it all this year…for the first time in my life.

Worst of all, I convinced my three sons, particularly my six-year-old Sean. He became so obsessed, by the end of the season he was making me look like a casual fan.

He named his teddy bear "Kosuke." He slept with his Cubs hat on. He learned the batting stances of every player. He carried around their baseball cards in his pocket–arranged in order of most favorite to least favorite. He and I watched nearly every game this season. We recreated games in the backyard, and played catch at the school bus stop every morning. We were such a die-hard Cubs house that even my wife (the baseball agnostic) started caring whether or not they won or lost.

Until this past week, I thought it was a beautiful bonding experience. Now, I feel like turning myself in to DCFS.

I got the first inkling of what I had done to my boys in the Wrigley Field restroom after they lost Game 2. A young man came bounding into the restroom with youthful enthusiasm despite the horrific display we had all just witnessed to exclaim: "It’s alright, guys! We’ll win 2 in LA and bring it back home!"

I was standing next to a 70-something year old man, who leaned over and said to the youngster…"Hey Kid, how old are you?"

He replied "I’m 25."

The old man simply sighed, looked knowingly in my sad eyes, and walked out the door. We were both thinking the same thing. "He’ll learn eventually."

Within moments of feeling sorry for that youngster, however, I realized that my boys were going to react the same way. They were sure this was the year, and their belief was not going to be shaken by this gruesome collapse. That’s when I started feeling reeeeeeeally guilty.

The next morning Sean proved my point. He gave me a comforting hug and said "Don’t worry, Dad. It’s only two losses so far. We’ll get ‘em in LA."

I swear I almost cried when he said that. Bridget and I met eyes, and just like the old man and I had done in the restroom the night before, we spoke to each other without speaking. We were both thinking about an incident that took place at Wrigley Field in 1996 when my oldest boy Tommy was a baby.

An older lady came up to me and cooed at the adorable baby in my arms. She asked me: "So, are you going to make him a Cubs fan too?"

"Yes I am," I said proudly.

"That’s child abuse," she replied, and walked away.

I didn’t think so then, but if I were put under oath today, I would have to say: "Guilty as charged, your honor."

Martha My Dear

From this morning's Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac. The story of one of my favorites from the White Album...

October 4, 1968…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, Paul McCartney recorded his composition "Martha My Dear" for the Beatles' "White Album." He was the only member of the band who performed on the track. Although the song itself is mostly about his longtime girlfriend Jane Asher, the title was inspired by McCartney's Old English Sheepdog named Martha.

Teddy Wins the Race

One of the side stories of the Nationals improbable run to the top of the Eastern Division is another improbable event. Up until last night the run of the Presidents (much like the sausage run in Milwaukee) was run every single night at Nationals Park, and President Teddy Roosevelt had never won.

That incredible (Cubs-like) streak is now over.

The Mercury Awards

When I was the co-owner of AMISH Chicago Advertising, this was always the big time of year for us--when they handed out the advertising awards. In the ten years we were around we won quite a few of them, but we never managed to win the highest award--The Mercury Award.

Congrats to WGN Radio, because their production department won one last night for their Oak Park Natural Pet & Fish commercial. A nifty five grand prize goes to them.

The full list of winners is here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

OJ Acquittal Anniversary

It happened on this day in 1995, and if you weren't around at the time, you have no idea how huge this story was. Every single person in the country tuned in to the trial at some point. It was the biggest topic of discussion for over a year. And we were all watching the day the acquittal was announced.

Bridget was pregnant with Tommy. I remember thinking--"I wonder if my unborn child will hear about this years from now and wonder what all the excitement was about." The answer to that question is...yes.

I remember watching the expression on Johnny Cochran's face when the foreman said "not guilty". It wasn't an "Oh boy we win!" expression. It was more of a "Oh boy, what have I done?" expression.

ABC News has a "Where Are They Now?" story about the memorable cast of characters from that trial.

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

Roger Ebert ‏@ebertchicago
Every single drink in "Mad Men," including last calls, in under five minutes. Do not try this in the real world.

Ricky Gervais ‏@rickygervais
Following someone on Twitter & then complaining about what they tweet about is like stalking someone & complaining that they walk too fast.

Seth Meyers ‏@sethmeyers21
If you're wondering if I enjoyed this @JerrySeinfeld @nytimes letter to the editor, I did.

Len O'Kelly ‏@LenOKelly
I can't walk in the street. You shouldn't ride on the sidewalk.

kippermcgee ‏@kippermcgee
Morning Blend: Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others. ~Unknown Author

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN
Max Scherzer hurt his ankle during the Tigers' celebration, and won't pitch today.

Karl Klockars ‏@karlklockars
If someone could round up all the drinking games for tonight, I'll need those later.

Jayson Stark ‏@jaysonst
The season will be over in 18 hours. We have zero Division Series matchups set, no AL matchups period & 2 divisions down to last day. Great!

Steve Darnall ‏@NostalgiaDigest
Rob Feder makes a compelling case for a compelling voice. Rick Kogan is a great guy and a wonderful storyteller.

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy
Study shows: American Men rank 18th out of 25 countries for "Biggest Packages" #MIXMindBender (#1 is the Republic of the Congo)

Tonight's Debate

CNN has a story about the way people will be watching tonight's debate. As for me, I'm thinking of watching my twitter feed at the same time I'm watching the debate. It could be very interesting to see what everyone is saying about it in real time.

Don Wade

WLS is getting swamped with get well messages for Don Wade, who is recovering from brain surgery. So much so, they've created a special e-mail account.

If you want to reach out to Don & Roma, e-mail

There is no joy in mudville...

The mighty Greenberg did strike out.

Not exactly the happy ending everyone wanted. It seems almost cruel that the only at-bat they gave him was against a knuckleballer.

Cubs 365, October 3

On this day in 1915, the Cubs played their final game in the dilapidated ballpark known as West Side Grounds. It had been their home since 1893, but it was considered a fire (made of wood) and safety (falling apart) hazard. Cubs owner Charles Murphy simply refused to spend any money on the park's upkeep. Attendance had gotten so bad the Cubs were only the third highest drawing professional team in town (behind the White Sox and Federal League Whales)

Despite it's sorry state in 1915, West Side Grounds had seen some of the most glorious moments in Cubs history. It was the home field for four World Series teams (1906, 1907, 1908, and 1910). It was the place where Tinker, Evers and Chance played their entire career together. But during this last game at West Side Grounds, only two players remained from that last championship team--Heinie Zimmerman and Frank "Wildfire" Schulte.

The Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals that day 7-2. Hippo Vaughn got the win; his 20th of the season. The team finished the season in fourth place, seventeen games behind the National League Champion Phillies.

By opening day of the following season they were playing in the ballpark they still call home today.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Seth MacFarlane tells his dad the news

This made me laugh. My mother would respond exactly the same way.

Seth MacFarlane

To give you a possible preview of the Oscars hosted by Seth MacFarlane, check out his performance as MC of the Donald Trump roast. Hilarious! NSFW.

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

Dana Gould ‏@DanaJGould
Is it "murder-suicide" or "murder/suicide"? It's for a note I'm writing.

Richard Lewis ‏@TheRichardLewis
I hear Mitt has been memorizing zingers for the debate for months. I'll still take the President Wed (minus 700 jokes). #DEBATE

Slate ‏@Slate
Your mother has a favorite child. It might not be you:

The Balding Handbook ‏@BaldingHandbook
October 1979.....Pope John Paul II arrives in America for fall tour. Big hat covers up his holy bald head. Classic denial.

Albert Brooks ‏@AlbertBrooks
Rumor: Romney to buy mansion overlooking fiscal cliff.

CBS Chicago ‏@cbschicago
Cubs vs. Astros. 205 losses combined. Good seats available. Super cheap ones, too. Would you believe 19 cents?

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress
George Will says the only reason Obama is winning is because he's black

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast
From daddy issues to his affairs, the 11 juiciest bits from Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Total Recall'

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980
Note to accountants named Cliff. You should open a firm called "Fiscal Cliff's."

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
Man gets head stuck in public trash can

Family Guy Creator To Host Oscars

That headline is NOT a misprint.

Seth MacFarlane is really going to host the Oscars.

That has to be the most shocking choice ever (although it makes more sense than the whole Ann Hathaway-James Franco fiasco). MacFarlane was actually fantastic as the host of Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago.

Don Wade Update

The WLS-AM morning host had brain surgery Thursday. Robert Feder reports on Don's recovery process.

Here's hoping for a return to health for Mr. Wade. He is beloved by his fans.

Cubs 365, October 2

On this day in 1984, the Cubs played their first playoff game in 39 years.

The 1984 Cubs won the division going away with the most wins in the National League (96). They had the most exciting young player in the league (MVP Ryne Sandberg). They had a team of veterans (Cey, Moreland, Bowa, Sutcliffe) that had won championships before. With that entertaining cast of cast of characters, and Harry Caray at the microphone broadcasting every single game on a Superstation (WGN), the 1984 Cubs were America's darlings.

The first game went exactly as planned. Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe shut down the Padres on the mound, and Cubs batters immediately took it to San Diego. In the bottom of the first inning lead off man Bob Denier cracked a homer, and two batters later Gary Mathews did the same. He later hit another one, as did Ron Cey, and even the pitcher Rick Sutcliffe joined in on the fireworks display.

At the end of the game the scoreboard said: Cubs 13--Padres 0.

America's darlings were well on their way to the title.


Sesame Street Parodies Boardwalk Empire

The writers and performers at Sesame Street are so much hipper than they get credit for. The five and under crowd are entertained by the best.

100 Losses

First they go a hundred years without winning it.

Now it's 100 losses, for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Here's our song to commemorate the achievement.

Why am I Cubs fan, you ask? Certainly not because of my brain. That apparently isn't connected to my heart.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Gangnam Style Without the Music

It's even more ridiculous like this...

The Live On-Air Suicide

Fox News was inexplicably covering a car chase live on the Sheppard Smith show on Friday night when the person got out of his car and blew his brains out live on television.

They are now calling the airing of this: "A severe error"

Um, yeah.

Johnny Carson

50 years ago tonight, Johnny Carson debuted as the host of the Tonight Show. I couldn't find the video from that night, but I did find this classic old Carson show from 49 years ago...just a few weeks after Kennedy's assassination.

Today's Best Tweets

I've begun to spend a few minutes every day reading my twitter feed. Here are ten that caught my eye today...

Natalie DiBlasio ‏@ndiblasio
Poor guy... Justin Bieber throws up on stage at his concert.. and we have video.

Steve Dahl ‏@SteveDahlShow
When the #Bears play the #Cowboys my desire for #HoneyBears coming back kicks in. The #Bears need cheerleaders too!

Fred Winston ‏@FredWinston
"When you run with the big dogs you must learn to lift your leg up high." ~disgusting old saying

david carr ‏@carr2n
Dear Internet: I've come to understand I am part of a liberal media conspiracy to ruin democracy. You can stop now. #linkedondrudge

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost
'Happy Days' star is homeless after being kicked out of a trailer park

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
Cabrera has RBI title, tied for HRs, at 43. The race for the batting title is close, three guys within five points.

Sarah Spain ‏@SarahSpain
Oh man, couple with a tiny baby at the airport thought they flew out at, 8pm. That's gonna be a long 12 hours.

ABC News ‏@ABC
Uh-Oh. Diaper Shortage Possible After Plant Explosion

Scott Smith ‏@ourmaninchicago
RT @Rishadt: Pictures are easy. Words are hard. The case for verbal storytelling. What ad biz needs are writers

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic
RT @Radio_Online Danny Bonaduce Bitten By Fan <-- C'mon, get happy!

Cubs 365, October 1

On this day in 1932, the most famous moment in Wrigley Field history occurred.

Or did it?

It was Game 3 of the World Series. The Yankees had won the first two at Yankee Stadium. Soon-to-be President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (sitting next to Chicago mayor Anton Cermak) threw out the first pitch. In the stands; a young boy named John Paul Stevens, who would go on to become a Supreme Court Justice.

The 1932 Yankees were a riled up team who hated the Cubs for dissing one of their former teammates. Mark Koenig had replaced Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges during the season after Jurges was shot by a fan. Despite hitting .353 during the season and saving the hides of the Cubs, the players voted not to give him a full World Series share. This really angered the Yankees, especially their emotional leader Babe Ruth.

He was ticked off and let the Cubs know it in no uncertain terms.

Did Babe Ruth really call the shot? Almost certainly not. The writers said he did, and he played along with it, but he also privately acknowledged that he never would have done that to Charlie Root who was known as a ruthless headhunter. Charlie swore to his dying day that Babe did not call the shot.

According to the Cubs players, Ruth was being taunted by the Cubs dugout (who should have had their heads examined after they already ticked off the Babe). Ruth was more than likely pointing at the dugout, gesturing that he still had one strike left. That may have looked to the writers like he was calling his shot. Plus, the writers said he pointing to left--but he hit nearly all of his homers to right, and the actual homer went to deep unusual location for a homer by the Babe. The called shot is probably nothing more than a legend. (This is what it sounded like on the radio)

Nevertheless, part of the legend is true. He did homer. And Gehrig homered right after that. And they both homered again later in the game.

The 1932 World Series was a 4-game pummeling. But as famous as that supposed "called shot" was, Babe Ruth was not even the player of the series. Lou Gehrig hit .529, and would have been named the MVP if they had such an honor in those days.

Green White History

One of my on-going writing projects is chronicling the history of Green White Soccer Club, a club co-founded by my dad. This month I take a look at the year 1968.

You can read it here.

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column has been posted. I call this one "Smart Phone, Dumb Dad".

You can read it here.

WLS Hall of Fame Lineup

This news came out on Friday, but wow, as a Chicago radio fan, I'm thrilled. What a lineup at WLS-FM. Brant Miller, Greg Brown, Fred Winston, John Landecker & Dick Biondi. Hall of Fame, baby!

Today Robert Feder has a photo of the staff together, along with their program director (another former jock) Jan Jeffries. He also has the news that it's no longer considered an oldies station. It's now Chicago's Classic hits.

I know what savvy Chicago radio fans are thinking. Wait a minute, isn't there already a Classic hits station at 104.3, featuring other classic Chicago personalities like Eddie & Jobo, Tommy Edwards, and Garry Spears? Why, yes there is.

This should be very interesting.