Monday, June 19, 2006


Catching hell and returning fire

All right. First of all, Our Man in LA is a big enough guy to admit when he's wrong. Mistakes happen, folks, even to those of us lucky enough to live on the left coast, with nearly perfect weather all year round (78 and sunny today, hotter in the Valley).

Since returning to the blog postings, not a few of Our Man in LA's fans and friends have taken issue with some of my opinions and musings. And I'm the first to say, sometimes I'm wrong. Sometimes. And sometimes I'm wrong, but not as horribly, horribly wrong as someone else.

I thought I'd take a couple of examples - show you, the reader, where I've been right, wrong, and not as far gone as some other poor bastard.

So here goes.


"I'm surprised you'd even talk to me," Our Man in LA's father-in-law said on the phone this weekend. "Surprised you'd even talk to someone in middle America or some place that's not one of those big cities."

You see, Our Father in Law in Carolina had read my blog about how Doc Noel and I imagined a better, more contracted group of sports leagues one drunken night. Our Father in Law, who resides in Raleigh, NC, was, ahem, disappointed to see the disappearance of all the teams from North Carolina from the NFL, NBA, and most of all, from the NHL.

The Hurricanes, in case you don't know, are playing for the Stanley Cup. That's the Stanley Cup. That's what they win in hockey. Oh, just watch your I LOVE LUCY reruns already.

"Send a guy to LA for a couple of years, and he starts acting like a big shot," Our Father in Law in Raleigh grumbled. "Thinks he's better than anyone else."

Which I don't, really. But I do think I had a point about not every town in North America automatically getting a major league team just because the VFW hall will hold some fans. Sorry, Jacksonville fans. I'm not wrong there.

But I was wrong about one thing.

"I can't believe you put a team in Cincinnati," Our Father in Law said. "Cincinnati? How'd they make it? The Bengals have the worst helmets, the worst uniforms, and the town's smaller than half the places you dumped. What do you have to say about that? Huh? What do you have to say? What do you have to say? Do you know what I'm saying?"

Yeah, I do. And OK, guilty as charged. Our Man in LA was wrong. He was a total homer.

You see, after Doc Noel and I had removed the Panthers, Jaguars, Ravens, Cardinals, Texans, Buccaneers, and Bills out, moved the Rams and Titans back to LA and Houston, we had one open spot, and two teams left. Bengals and Colts. The Colts have way more history, so they stayed.

But Our Man in LA felt weird about dumping a team from his football-crazed home state of Ohio, so he caved to his own homerism. Yup. Moved the Colts to Cincinnati. Problem solved, right?

Nope. Wrong thing to do. Mistake for Our Man in LA, who remains quite happy, thank you very much, with the rest of the list.

The issue, though? The Colts should stay, but really, the options we saw didn't seem so great. Back to Baltimore? Nope. You can't reward the crab-eating losers who stole the Browns. Indy? It's fine, I guess, but that's about all. Cincinnati? Well, you see my problem.

And the bigger cities without a team? Does the world seem a better place with a team in St. Louis or Phoenix or Tampa? I don't think so either.

So I was wrong. Consider the Colts moved back to Indy for the time being. Happy to take your suggestions and ideas. I'll be right here.

Onto part two, THE NOT WRONG.

Took a little heat from some folks this week for my anti-LOST stance. Not surprising, really. It's not like you can proclaim that you hate smack when you're hanging around a Velvet Underground concert. Same thing really.

It does bear mentioning that in this arena, Our Man in LA had support from the Father-in-Law. He had this to say: "I saw that LOST once, and it did nothing for me. It's just stupid, you know. Stupid. It's stupid. It's got a bunch of people doing stupid soap opera stuff, and who cares?"

Amen, Our Father in Law in Raleigh. Amen.

So, yeah, here's the part where Our Man in LA again points out that he's NOT WRONG in his dis of LOST. A few points:

1) When I pointed out that we didn't learn a damn thing in the season finale, my pals suggested that we learned, "SO much, SO MUCH!" Asked for examples, one pal suggested that viewers of LOST now know that the rest of the world still exists.

Ahem. Show of hands, please. Who out there thought the world had ceased to exist? Keep those hands up. I want an accurate count.

See what I mean? Our Man in LA is NOT WRONG. Of course, the rest of the world still existed. Still existed? What?

2) When I suggested that I could wait till the show was over and then read a tight little summary of the whole plot and then move on, my pals suggested, "You could do that with all the sports you watch, too. You don't need to watch those games, either."

True. Which is why I read the sports section most days, and read up on the games I missed. On the other hand, I've never watched a game from beginning to end and said, "Well, that didn't tell me anything." Short of a 0-0 tie, you always sort of learn something. Even in a 0-0 tie. Which, honestly, you don't see very often.

Also, I almost never find myself watching a game where nothing happens and then I'm flashed back to something in the back story of one of the players that may or may not relate to this game.

This is what I'm talking about. NOT WRONG.

3) You know what? I've got numbers 3 through 10 of this rant, and you've heard a lot of it before. So suffice it to say that seeing a statue of something with four toes DOES NOT count as "learning something" or "something happening." I'm just saying.

Now from the NOT WRONG, we move into our final segment, the WRONG BUT NOT AS WRONG.

So Our Woman in LA comes home after seeing the Doc Noel and Wieland plan for sports awesomeness. This is her response.

"You know how I said it was a waste of time for you guys to think this out the other night?"

Sure. Yeah. I remember.

"Well, it was a bigger waste of time to put it all on your blog. How long did it take you to type all that."

All right. That's true. Our Man in LA is wrong on that front.

But he's not alone. He's not even the greatest abuser of time. Nope.

For example, take a look at this tidbit. I'm a big fan.

That website will take you to another blog, where the writer associates every one of the 117 Division I-A college football programs with a character in the SIMPSONS. I love it. It's fantastic.

But really, there are 117 of them, with comments on all of them.

So yeah, honey, I wasted some time. But get a load of this . . .

Think that'll help my case?

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