Friday, April 03, 2015

Field of Dreams

I think I have something in my eye...

Funny Tweet

Is the Iran Deal a Good One?

I honestly don't understand the issues well enough to offer an educated opinion, but this article by an expert in weapons inspections is a great read.

It's a long and thorough analysis of a pretty difficult-to-understand situation. The headline says it all: "This is an astonishingly good Iran deal"

I hope he's right.

Et tu, Netflix?

One of the biggest complaints about Hollywood these days is that they recycle ideas rather than take risks with bold new concepts. Places like HBO, Amazon, and Netflix have been the exception. Their original series have tended to push the envelope, and they've been rewarded with viewers and Emmy awards.

Scratch Netflix from that list.

Their latest proposed series is a "Full House" revival.

Sounds Painful

Thanks to "JD" for this one...

Elliott Harris

Elliott Harris was a sportwriter for the Chicago Sun Times for many years. When I started up Just One Bad Century, he was working on a book about the 1908 Cubs, and we exchanged notes to help each other out. He also posted a number of stories about my website, and I was always grateful about that. I only met him once in person (at the release party of our book "Cubbie Blues"), but I've always considered him a friend and a heck of a guy.

When I saw another "Cubbie Blues" contributor (Brian Bernardoni) post this tweet yesterday, I feared the worst...

Elliott's daughter (only 36 years old) passed away. Elliott wrote a gut-wrenching and heartbreaking tribute to her. You can read it here.

My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Elliott and his entire family.

Only in Germany

Volker Kraft hung 10,000 colored eggs in his apple tree this week in Saalfeld, Germany...(Source: USA Today)

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Wrigley Construction

Here's an update, with then and now photos...

Another update. First things first...

Doing the Impossible

Escaping a Tow Truck. Watch the video below. Anyone who has ever lived in Chicago will be cheering on the crazy man in the white car, because tow truck drivers in Chicago are notorious for their aggressive towing practices. Once you've been towed, even if you were towed incorrectly, you still have to pay the towing fee. It's happened to me.

Roberto Garza Leaving the Bears

This is a bummer, but it's the reality of professional sports.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the Bears are releasing their long-time offensive lineman Roberto Garza.

It's a Good Thing I Didn't Go To Law School

I just read this article about the ways Indiana lawmakers are changing their "religious freedom" act to make sure they are clear it does not allow discrimination. I read it four times.

I'm still not 100% sure I understand what is says. I think it sounds like a reasonable fix, but I can't be positive there wasn't some sort of loophole inserted.

Legal-ese really makes my head hurt.

Julian's Tribute to his Mom

Cynthia passed away yesterday. Julian wrote a song about her and posted it...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

RIP Cynthia Lennon

Sad news, delivered by her (and John's) son Julian.

Cynthia Lennon has passed away at the age of 74.

Her story and John's treatment of her is actually pretty tragic. It's hard for me to reconcile John the man (who treated his wife so terribly) and John the artist.

Eddie V

This month's Illinois Entertainer column has been posted.

I spoke with Eddie Volkman about his new podcast, the current status of his relationship with Jobo, and his plans for the future.

You can read it here.

Joni Mitchell

This news broke late last night. Joni Mitchell was found unconscious in her home and was taken to the hospital.

She has since regained consciousness, but as of this morning, she was in intensive care. Sending positive vibes to Joni--I hope she fully recovers.

I met Joni back in 1985 when she came to Champaign-Urbana for Farm Aid. Our radio station had a party the night before the concert, and she was one of the artist who came to say hello. She was super nice and gracious to us. (I met most of the others backstage the next day at the show--and trust me--they weren't all that way)

She's probably best known for "Woodstock", but to me, this one is her masterpiece...

We're #10!

The top billing radio stations in America were revealed yesterday, and Chicago only has one of them. From Tom Taylor's NOW newsletter...

Three CBS all-newsers are in the top ten (at #4, #7 and #10). And you’ve already read about Hubbard’s #2-ranked WTOP Washington DC. So here’s the BIA/Kelsey top ten list - #1, iHeart CHR KIIS Los Angeles ($65.9 million). #2, all-news WTOP at $63.5 million. #3, iHeart CHR “Z100” WHTZ New York at $51 million. #4, CBS Radio’s all-news WCBS New York at $49.2 million. #5, iHeart hot AC KBIG Los Angeles at $42.9 million. #6, iHeart adult contemporary “Lite” WLTW New York at $41.5 million. The #7 rank is a tie between two CBS-owned stations in New York - all-news “1010 WINS” and all-sports WFAN-AM/FM, both at $41 million. #9 is CBS Radio’s alternative rock KROQ Los Angeles at $40.2 million. And #10 hails from Chicago – CBS-owned all-news WBBM (780/105.9 FM) at $39.2 million. Once upon a time, if a Chicago station made the national top-ten list, it was Tribune’s talk WGN. Now we see the muscle of all-news.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Harvey Weinstein Accused of Groping

I suspect if Hollywood was ever fully investigated for this sort of thing, there would thousands of similar stories (the casting-couch phenomenon). The one line that jumps out at me in this article about Harvey Weinstein is that the woman in question didn't know who he was. It shouldn't matter, of course, but if she did know he was a powerful and feared Hollywood producer, would she have gone to the police?

Again, it shouldn't matter. I just wonder.

It's also important to note that Weinstein hasn't been charged with anything. He was only questioned by police.

The Next Live Musical?

I'm still not over the live Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood as Fraulein Y'all and Nazi's with American accents, so I may not be the right target audience for this.

I would like to point out, however, that The Wiz was never good.

Why on earth would you remake that one? An attempted explanation is here.

Van Halen on Jimmy Kimmel

David Lee Roth hit himself in the nose with a microphone, and that's why he has it taped up.

Here's the video of the first take, with David Lee Roth getting taped up off-stage...

Today on JOBC (March 31)

A year ago the Cubs playing on Opening Day. We're still a few days away from that this year, and the construction crew at Wrigley is pretty happy about that. Have you seen it lately? Cross your fingers.

The Cubs plan to honor the late Ernie Banks on Opening Day. Ever wonder how Ernie's stats line up based on modern baseball statistics? The Sun Times did an analysis yesterday. Turns out, Ernie really was one of all-time greats.

Yesterday the Cubs sent Bryant, Russell and Baez down to the minors. All three figure to be in the starting lineup for Triple-A Iowa in April. Javy's situation is analyzed by CSN Chicago.

On JOBC...

How long ago was 1908? Chicago had a Republican Mayor and the wrong "inventor" of baseball was declared. He didn't invent baseball, but he did start the Civil War. Abner Doubleday was the man who led the Union troops at Fort Sumter. All that and the Cubs barnstorming their way back to Chicago at This Week in 1908.

Today's Cubs birthdays include a tongue twister.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Who will replace Jon Stewart?

According to Variety, one of the people being considered as the new host of the Daily Show is named Trevor Noah.

Read about him here.

UPDATE: He was just named new host of the show. So there.

A sampling of his stand up comedy...

Hot Rod Hundley

Sad news from Arizona in Tom Taylor's NOW column...

“Hot Rod” Hundley played eight seasons of pro basketball with the Lakers – both in their original market of Minneapolis (where the name made sense) and then L.A. (where the team became legendary, despite the relative lack of lakes). When Hundley’s playing days were over, he made the difficult transition to sportscaster, working for the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns - then calling the games of the NBA Jazz for 35 years. He followed the expansion team from New Orleans to Salt Lake City in 1979. The Jazz announced over the weekend that Hundley passed away at 80, at his home in Phoenix. He’d been dealing with Alzheimer’s. The Sporting News says in 2010, “the Jazz hung a banner in his honor, and redecorated the press room, featuring a mural with his signature phrase, ‘You Gotta Love It, Baby.”

Johnny B

To say that Johnny B has landed on his feet is putting it mildly. Today his show debuts on 100 stations nationwide. From this morning's Radio Ink...

Westwood One says The Jonathon Brandmeier Show is rolling out on 100 stations today. The 10 to 1 weekdy talk program will incude as affiliates, KABC-AM in Los Angeles, KLIF-AM in Dallas, WWBA-AM in Tampa and KKAT-AM in Salt Lake City. Brandmeier's home bas affiliates is WLS-AM in Chicago. Westwood One’s SVP for Affiliate Sales Dennis Green said, “We are elated to be launching Jonathan Brandmeier on 100 stations. Our affiliates have come to trust the Westwood One team to provide the best talent for stations and Brandmeier will be no exception. The new wave of Talk Radio Unhinged is coming to your market as we feature news as entertainment as only Johnny B can deliver!”

Johnny B could be the first step in syndicated radio's movement away from political talk. Several of those stations he's appearing on used to be 24-hour conservative-talk stations.

Every Cub Ever (Z)

Today Just One Bad Century features EVERY CUB EVER beginning with the letter Z. 12 entries in all–from Zip Zabel to Dutch Zwilling.

What will you find there? Four classic baseball cards, three videos, one manager, three Cubs who played in the first season at Wrigley, a player who was banned from baseball and worked in a speakeasy, Big Z, Bunions, Popeye, and the very last entry in the baseball encyclopedia.

Check it out here.

Spring Break

I enjoyed everyone's spring break pictures on Facebook. It inspired me to take my family to Greece. Uh..I mean Greektown. Sort of like going to a foreign country.

The Bernstein-Spiegel Apology Tour

If you've missed the controversy, two talk-show hosts from the Score (Matt Spiegel & Dan Bernstein) have been in hot water over tweets they made discussing the physical anatomy of a female CSN sports host, Aiyana Cristal.

Both men apologized profusely on the air already.

Cristal's statement leads you to believe she isn't completely satisfied with the apologies.

The Association for Women Journalists is definitely not satisfied either.

I get what people are saying about the apologies--claiming both men are only apologizing because they were caught. But while I'm not a big fan of the way Bernstein conducts himself on the air (there is no-one who belittles his own listeners more than he does), I also listened to his apology, and it was obvious to me that he was sincere. He knows he absolutely shouldn't have said what he said, and is truly sorry for saying it. Spiegel's apology was even more heartfelt and authentic, in my book. These were not the typical "I'm sorry you were offended by my comments" apologies that blame the offended and not the offender.

I understand why both Cristal and the AWJ are still upset, but I honestly don't think Bernstein and/or Spiegel should have to say or do more than they already have...other than to never do it again.

I'd be shocked if either of them ever did.

On the other hand, it's not too late for sports radio to add more female voices, and more women behind-the-scenes (producers, management, etc.) From that perspective, this can turn into a positive moment. It's about time to end that whole locker room mentality. It's not even appropriate in a locker room anymore. There's no doubt that it exists in sports radio. No doubt at all.

In offices where there are more women around, men simply don't feel comfortable saying these sorts of things. They'll still think them, but at least they'll have the common decency not to say them out loud.

Midnight Rider

Pretty darn awesome version of the tune...

More Cosby Accusers

Same story. Same ickiness.

Two more women.

If this is a conspiracy against Cosby, it's a massive one.