Monday, December 26, 2005

Going for the Gold

Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is? ~Frank Scully

Each weekday morning, for about 20 minutes, I listen to a local sports radio station because it comes into range just as I hit Birmingham's inbound traffic, and I can get the latest wreck report. The traffic reports are encased in a program called “Matt and Jay In The Morning”. The “Jay” of this duo is Jay Barker, former University of Alabama quarterback and career backup NFL quarterback. Jay, who seems to be a very nice person with an excellent radio voice, evidently was trained in the “Robert Siegel Meandering Mouth” school of radio announcing. This school has two fundamental principles. First, even one second's worth of dead air is evil. If you think anyone is going to stop talking, you must fill the gap even if you have to interrupt them. Second, to make your guests and/or co-hosts comfortable, don't tax them by asking simple questions. Ask long, meandering questions then answer the question for them so that all they have to say is “yes” or “no”.
Unfortunately, Jay has the meandering down so well, he can go on for five minutes asking questions, beginning to answer them, starting another question, finishing the answer to the first, starting a third question...well, it's something like this:
“Matt, do think Bronco Studley will decide to become a free agent? It's his option and I think that he certainly-- but if he gets hurt he'll diminish his value, so you might think he would want to take it easy this season-- I don't think he'll do that-- or he could renegotiate but that brings up his agent's role in the recent statements he's made and I don't think a guy should disrupt the clubhouse-- of course the team might not want him back if does that sort of thing so he might be doing it on purpose--. do you think so?”
Thus it was that I was amazed when he managed to tell a funny story about a former teammate the other morning, in order, without embroidery. I was also so entertained by the story, I thought I'd pass it along. You don't have to be a football fan to appreciate this story, just a person who, at one time or another, had a brilliant idea that turned out to have a slight flaw.
The sports show guys were talking about how college players get to bowl games. I always figured they all got into the same charter or commercial flight and arrived together. But, it doesn't work that way because bowl games occur around the holidays, and the players get time to go home, if the schedule allows it. So the players may be given a plane ticket to fly to the game site, or they may be given the cash to buy a ticket, or they may be given a mileage fee, if they choose to drive to the game.
Back in Jay's collegiate days, Alabama was a regular at bowl games, so players got this choice frequently. One year, teammate George Teague thought he had it made. Seems that his parents had moved overseas. George, therefore, figured he would claim mileage money from overseas to the bowl site! One can imagine his eyes alight at the prospect of pulling down 8,000 miles of mileage expense. Unfortunately, the NCAA explained in no uncertain terms that, since he was not driving across the Atlantic Ocean, he could only claim mileage from the airport to the game. George evidently decided that flying into New York and then driving from there just wasn't nearly as worthwhile, so he took the air fare.
You can't blame the guy for trying.

No comments:

Post a Comment