2015 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 28, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
Saturday afternoon, the WCWP Hall of Fame inducted four more alumni in a ceremony inside the Goldsmith Atrium at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In order of induction, this year’s inductees were Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio.
It was the third year in a row where the ceremony coincided with bright sunshine outside, allowing for plenty of natural light to illuminate the atrium.
I arrived about 90 minutes early following a drive of the same length from the Hampton Inn in Milford, Connecticut, after attending the first night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Slowly but surely, the inductees, their families, and fellow alumni filled the atirum and the ceremony began.
Now that you’ve seen the pictures, enjoy the video:
Congratulations to Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio, the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame class!
My 2015 MLB Predictions April 5, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Personal, Sports.
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Back in September, I went public with my annual NFL season predictions after years of posting them on Facebook. Another personal tradition is predicting the Major League Baseball season.
Here are my predictions for 2015:
NL (National League) East
- Nationals (2)
- Braves (Wild Card 2)
- Cardinals (1)
- Pirates (Wild Card 1)
- Dodgers (3)
AL (American League) East
- Orioles (2)
- Red Sox
- Blue Jays
- Indians (1)
- Tigers (Wild Card 1)
- Royals (Wild Card 2)
- White Sox
- Athletics (3)
NL Wild Card Playoff
Braves defeat Pirates
AL Wild Card Playoff
Tigers defeat Royals
NL Division Series
Cardinals vs. Braves: Cardinals win 3-1
Nationals vs. Dodgers: Dodgers win 3-0
AL Division Series
Indians vs. Tigers: Tigers win 3-2
Orioles vs. Athletics: Athletics win 3-0
NL Championship Series
Cardinals vs. Dodgers: Cardinals win 4-1
AL Championship Series
Athletics vs. Tigers: Tigers win 4-2
World Series (AL home field advantage via All-Star Game win)
Cardinals vs. Tigers: Cardinals win 4-1
As with my Patriots prediction, pessimism drove me to pick the Cardinals to win the World Series. The 2006 NLCS, in which the Cards defeated the Mets in seven games, turned me against them.
I will update this post after the World Series with results italicized in parentheses. Play ball!
February 1-2 winter storm pictures February 3, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Football, Personal, Sports, Weather.
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In my last storm-related post, I hoped for a near miss on Super Bowl Sunday night into Groundhog Day. Hope lost to increasing consensus in ensemble computer models.
The storm I didn’t want, the first of what may be many this February, arrived late Sunday night, following the Super Bowl I want to forget. A few inches of snow fell before changing over to sleet and freezing rain, and then rain, after sunrise.
This aspect of the storm eased my stress. I figured I would only have to shovel one time and that would be it. That one time began at 8:15 AM. About 70 minutes later, I had finished shoveling what was Slurpee-grade slush. Rain fell the entire time outside and I got soaked. A job well done, I thought. I moved the slush out of the way just in time for the change back to sleet and freezing rain.
The changeover occurred after the above picture. As you’ll see in the next one, any slush and puddles flash froze.
The driveway looked like a skating rink. All it needed was a couple of nets.
I had enough energy left to run 6.3 miles on the treadmill in my basement. But as I was running, the sleet and freezing rain changed back to snow.
And it didn’t just leave a coating. We ended up with a burst of snow that dumped four inches in two hours.
I waited another half hour before trying again. This time was the charm. I was enraged early on in the shoveling process because I didn’t expect significant snow on the change back. Had I known it was coming, I would have stayed off the treadmill.
This round of shoveling also took about an hour. At least the snow was lightweight.
As hard as I felt it was to shovel twice in one day, nothing compares to those that have to plow streets during storms like this. They work nonstop from the first snowflake to the last. It puts a mere driveway shoveling in perspective.
Until the next storm.
Five days of scanning January 30, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Education, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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As snow fell outside Monday afternoon, I was going through a drawer in my room where I keep some personal mementos. Then, I was struck with inspiration. I had been using my Epson WF-3520 All-in-One Printer in the guest room to copy a few documents this month, via the printer’s sheet feeder. Why not use that sheet feeder to scan any personal mementos that were on letter-size paper? That’s what I did all this week.
I started with bowling scorecards between 1998 and 2006, plus a handful more between September 2007 and September 2014. Then, I moved on to my final college transcript, a paper I wrote for Introduction to Journalism, an e-mail reply from Tom Snyder, two e-mail replies from voice over talent Dan Chandler, a flyer promoting my Mike Chimeri Show interview with Colin Mochrie, and radio show and Live365 radio station playlists. I scanned anything that wasn’t letter-size on the traditional scanner platen. This included dot matrix score sheets from AMF Wantagh Lanes and two desk calendar pages that were dated September 11, 2001. Playlists that were handwritten on letter-size legal paper had to be scanned on my Canon CanoScan LiDE210 in my room. Since what I wrote on the other side could be seen, I had to scan in black and white – not grayscale – giving the scans an old photocopy or fax look.
The radio show playlists spanned my career to date: The Mike Chimeri Show, The Instrumental Invasion, MCJN (Live365 station), a few demos, the night I filled in for Martin Phillips on the defunct Thursday Night Jazz show, Evening Jazz, CJazzPlus (Live365 station), and all my homecoming weekend shows.
In addition to the copy of my Intro to Journalism paper, I also saved papers by two of my classmates. The paper had us write a profile of a few of our classmates, based on press conference-style interviews our professor, Bernard Bard, previously a reporter for the New York Post, had arranged one week in mid-semester. I remember little about my presser, but there was one quote each of the classmates that wrote about me used:
Broadcasting is my thing, my calling. I belong in that field.
This was in March 2001. Seven months later, I began at WCWP. While I may have had volunteer success, I’m still waiting and hoping for professional success. If “my thing, my calling” doesn’t pan out, at least I have photo and document scanning to make a career of.
Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall again January 13, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Football, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, Weather.
I was back at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on Sunday to see jazz pianist Lisa Hilton in concert. As you can tell by the previous recaps above, this was the third time I saw her live.
Four weeks ago yesterday, a postcard from Lisa arrived in the mail. Four upcoming shows were on that postcard and the Carnegie show was at the top. I immediately went to the Carnegie Hall website to purchase a ticket. I ended up buying one in front row center. As it turns out, there was only one other person in the front row at the show.
I got a ride to the Wantagh LIRR station at around noon. After getting a round trip off peak ticket to Penn Station, I waited on the platform for the 12:19 westbound train. I sat in the westernmost railcar and had a quiet ride. Once at Penn Station, I took the E train to 7th Avenue and West 53rd Street, walking to Carnegie from there.
Last year’s show was on a Thursday at 8PM. This year’s show was at 2PM on Sunday. The trip to Penn and the show itself allowed me to sequester myself from knowing what was going on in the Packers-Cowboys NFC Divisional Playoff Game. I’m not a fan of the Cowboys and was aggravated that they came back to win their Wild Card game against the Lions. Luckily, I learned back at Penn around 4:00 that the Packers won.
Weill Recital Hall is small and intimate, so much so that a sound system wasn’t even in place. The hall’s acoustics were the sound system.
I would have taken more, but my camera’s shutter was really loud in the hall.
1/17 UPDATE: Kudos to professional photographer Enid Farber on her wonderful shots during the show.
Thank you very much.
At 2:00 on the dot, the show began. Lisa Hilton played piano, Ben Street was on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums. They were joined two songs in by J.D. Allen on tenor saxophone and Ingrid Jensen on trumpet. I had seen Lisa, Ben, and J.D. before, but not Rudy and Ingrid. They were a superb quintet.
Lisa has a new album coming out on March 7 called Horizons. This was the first time tunes from the album were played live. Here’s what the set looked like (quintet except where noted):
1. Vapors and Shadows (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
2. Sunset and the Mocking Bird (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
4. The Sky and the Ocean
5. Lazy Moon
6. Moon River
7. When It Rains (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
8. Currents (Lisa, Ben, Rudy)
9. Seduction^ (Lisa only)
11. Surfer Blues
12. So This is Love^
13. Slow Down^
14. Waterfall^ (encore) (Lisa only)
^”Seduction” is originally from Seduction (1997), and redone on Cocktails at Eight (2000), My Favorite Things (2005) and The New York Sessions (2007). “So This is Love” is originally from My Favorite Things and played again on Sunny Day Theory (2008) and Nuance (2010). “When It Rains” originated on American Impressions (2012). “Slow Down” is from Getaway (2013). “Waterfall” is also from Seduction and Cocktails at Eight.
Lisa previously covered “Moon River” on Cocktails at Eight, Midnight in Manhattan (2006), and Twilight & Blues (2009).
The set lasted about an hour and a half. Each song was an instrumental landscape and each musician had a brush. Of the material from Horizons, my favorites were:
“Vapors and Shadows” – I was enamored by the fast tempo and staccato notes. They were like Morse code.
“Nocturnal” – This had a danceable melody and rhythm.
“Dolphins” – This was a relaxing composition, evoking images of dolphins frolicking offshore.
Of the material not on the album, I’ve always liked “Seduction” and “So This is Love,” so it was great to hear them. I had a “so, this is love” epiphany myself a few years ago.
I also bought a CD copy of Horizons in the lobby. I told Lisa I was hoping to hear her cover of “Gold on the Ceiling” during the show. Of course, I didn’t know it was a cover because I know very little about modern pop music. When I heard the 30-second preview of the song on Amazon prior to Sunday, I liked its energy, as I did with “Vapors and Shadows.” It reminded me of Horace Silver. And the title had me thinking of old prospectors chopping gold off a ceiling with their pickaxes. While sharing that visualization with Lisa, she told me the song was originally by the Black Keys. A check of the liner notes when I got home later confirmed that. So, this goes on record as another instrumental cover of a pop song that I prefer over the original. In this case, I don’t plan on listening to the original “Gold on the Ceiling” anytime soon. As for my visualization, Lisa interpreted the song title as gold representing a sunset and the ceiling representing the sky. I told her I liked that – a sunset in the sky.
Going back to Penn Station, I had planned on taking the Q train back to Herald Square and walking to Penn from there. Instead, I walked down 7th Avenue, through Times Square, and took the 1 train from 42nd Street Station to Penn. While in Times Square, I took this picture:
Like last year, the ball is frozen in time after dropping on New Year’s Eve.
Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall is becoming an annual tradition for me. I’m already looking forward to next time. Thank you, Lisa, Ben, Rudy, J.D., and Ingrid.
Audiobooking December 2, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Baseball, Basketball, Broadway, Comedy, Commentary, Film, Health, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Sports, Theatre, TV.
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While I may have indefinitely suspended photo album picture scanning, one constant since June has been audiobooks. What I’ve usually done is listen to a whole chapter while working out in the morning or on my portable elliptical machine in the afternoon. I only buy nonfiction and prefer that they are read by the author. I want to hear their words in their voice, not someone else’s, even if the author’s delivery is subpar.
This isn’t the first time I’ve listened to audiobooks. That goes back to a road trip with my parents and sister in January 1997, as we drove back from Florida. To show you how long ago that was, the audiobook was on cassettes. That book, The Hobbit, was the only time I’ve listened to fiction. It’s been all nonfiction since.
Between December 1997 – when I listened to The Big Show: A Tribute to ESPN’s SportsCenter – and June 2014, I would get an audiobook here and there, but I wasn’t a regular buyer. I didn’t exercise in the morning, either. That began in late March. It’s always best to get tough tasks out of the way early because your willpower drops as the day progresses. It helps to have something interesting to listen to while you’re working out, not something aggravating like politics and sports debate and discussion.
With all that in mind, I’ve listened to the following audiobooks, on CD or through Audible, since June:
- President Me: The America That’s In My Head by Adam Carolla (via CD) – an outline of all the things Adam would do to improve the United States if he were president
- Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie (via Audible) – improvised stories based on the first and last lines of select novels and poems
- I’ll Be Back Right After This: My Memoir by Pat O’Brien (via Audible) – Pat’s memoir chronicled his early life, television career, and struggle with addiction. Knock on wood, Pat has been sober for six years and counting.
- Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (via CD) – This is the latest in Bill and Martin’s “Killing” series that factually recounts the events of historical figures leading up to their tragic deaths. Their previous books focused on Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus of Nazareth, respectively.
- Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? by Billy Crystal (via Audible) – Billy’s memoir ran the gamut of emotions, from funny to heartbreaking, recalling major events in each decade of his life as of publication last year. I learned things I never knew and recalled fond memories of what I already knew. The only downside to the book is that Billy peppered his liberal ideology throughout it, outlining his liberal points of view and maligning right-leaning personalities and media. I’m not a lockstep conservative, but I do tend to take criticism of or jokes about people, places, and things that I like personally. But I didn’t let that completely ruin the listening experience.
- Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large by William Shatner with Chris Regan (via CD) – When I was searching for the next audiobook to listen to, as Still Foolin’ ‘Em was winding down, I recalled William Shatner had a memoir out called Up Till Now: The Autobiography. But then I noticed that Shatner Rules had come out later than Up Till Now. So, I opted for Shatner Rules instead. The big message I took from the book was to say “yes” to as many things as possible. “‘No’ closes doors,” William said. “‘Yes’ kicks them wide open.” Shatner briefly drifted into politics, too, but the environmental kind. His doomsday scenarios were frightening. I didn’t let that completely ruin the listening experience. (ding) Rule: I highly recommend Shatner Rules as either the written book or spoken audiobook.
- Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks by Dick Cavett (via Audible) – It was here that I did let politics completely ruin the listening experience. This is not a memoir. It is a compilation of Dick’s columns at The New York Times’ Opiniator blog. That structure is similar to that for Things That Matter, a compilation of Charles Krauthammer’s columns over his 30-year career to date. Charles is Dick’s polar opposite. But I didn’t know any of that until my second day of listening. And it was this rant of a column that Dick read for Brief Encounters – combined with frustration that the book was not what I expected – that led me to request a refund from Audible. Thankfully, they granted it. I did learn a few things, though, about Dick’s days writing for The Tonight Show. I also learned that Arthur Godfrey preferred to address only one member of the listening or viewing audience (“you”), not the entire audience (“everybody”).
- Scribe: My Life in Sports by Bob Ryan (via Audible) – I bought this in place of Brief Encounters. I’ve been listening for nearly a week and I’m enjoying it.
There will be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead as I continue to try to keep myself in shape.
2014 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2015 Hall of Fame Announcement October 21, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Video, Weather.
Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my Homecoming Weekend show and behind-the-scenes pictures from the prerecord.
I was at LIU Post on Saturday for their annual Homecoming Day. Most of my time was spent at WCWP’s barbecue and the announcement of 2015 inductees to their Hall of Fame.
I arrived at WCWP at about 2:30 PM. After setting my equipment down in Studio 3, I walked to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to watch part of the 3rd quarter of the LIU Post Pioneers’ Homecoming game against the Saint Anselm Hawks.
WCWP alumni Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks called the game from the lower booth. Included to their right (screen left) were, from left to right, Joel Feltman, Zach Parker (facing away), and Phil Lebowitz.
Last year was going to be the press box’s last year, but it turned out not to be.
The Pioneers went on to beat the Hawks by the score of 49-21.
It is home to ARP, or the Academic Resource Program, located on the lower level. It was the Academic Resource Center (ARC) while I was a student, from Fall 1999 to Fall 2003, and was one level higher.
My 35mm photo rescanning project recently included pictures from ARC events. And as I work my way through pics between the rest of 2000 and 2003, there will be many more. Without ARC/ARP, I would have had a tougher road to graduation.
Humanities was home to many of my Media Arts classes. I also took English Composition, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish, and Math for Elementary Education there.
I took Study Strategies on the Life Science side, and Human Geography and Earth Science on the Pell side.
Eventually, I made my way back to WCWP.
The same thing happened to me in 2008.
Moments before the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame announcement, I video recorded the following aircheck from Bernie’s show, synced to my recording of the Internet stream:
As Ted David noted above, at 5PM, he announced the 2015 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. Ted is himself an inductee, part of the 2014 HOF class.
The 2015 inductees are Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio. Yesterday was not only the 53rd anniversary of WCWP, but Bobby’s “53rd” birthday, as well. What better birthday present than induction into the WCWP Hall of Fame?
Here is the announcement:
After that, it was time to pose for pictures.
Here is how that looked and sounded:
After the above picture, I was Bernie’s next guest:
1) I probably shouldn’t have bitten the smooth jazz hand that could potentially feed me in the future.
2) I was nervously playing with one of the WCWP bracelets that Bernie’s sister Melissa made.
Here’s how that sounded:
Hearing Bernie play “Fire” by Arthur Brown in previous years made that song one of my favorites. When she played it this year, as heard above, after “I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you…!,” I jumped up and down excitedly for the first few bars before composing myself.
It began Friday at noon and ended Sunday night (yesterday morning) at midnight.
The WCWP 53rd anniversary/birthday cake was acknowledged on the air:
…looked and sounded like this:
It was his first Homecoming show in a decade.
Here are select airchecks from John’s show:
I had to take it from Studio 2 because it was too crowded in Studio 1 and at the door to Studio 1.
I had such a blast at Homecoming. It was great to catch up with alumni I’ve met before and with those I met in person for the first time.
Hours later, at 2AM, it was time for my Homecoming show, CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri. As I noted two weeks ago, I prerecorded the show. Here are pictures from that session in Studio 2:
Direct from the Studio 2 console are my airchecks from that show:
Some of the notes I wrote on the playlist didn’t make it to the final cut.
I loved Ted David’s liners so much that I made a compilation of how those liners sounded between songs:
The first transition was from the console while the rest were from the Internet stream.
My 2014 NFL Predictions September 4, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Football, Personal, Sports.
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(2/1/15, 11:01 PM EST UPDATE: Results italicized in parentheses.)
For many years, right before the start of the NFL or MLB seasons, I have predicted seasonal results. It started out as a personal hobby in 2006, then grew to Facebook in 2012. This year, I’m going public and posting my predictions at MikeChimeri.com.
Before we start, you should know that pessimism plays a role in my predictions, meaning I expect the Patriots to win Super Bowl XLIX (right). With that in mind…
Here are my predictions for the 2014 NFL season that starts tonight (playoff seeding in parentheses):
In the NFC: The Seahawks win the West (right) (1) (right), Eagles win the East (2) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Cowboys won with 3 seed), Packers win the North (right) (3) (wrong; 2), and Saints win the South (4) (wrong about winner, but right about seeding; Panthers won South; Saints didn’t make the playoffs). The 49ers (5) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Cardinals were 5) and Bears (6) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Lions were 6) will be the wild cards.
In the AFC: The Patriots win the East (right) (1) (right), Ravens win the North (wrong; Steelers won North; Ravens were 6 as wild card; ) (2) (wrong; Steelers were 3; Broncos were 2), Colts win the South (right) (3) (wrong; 4), and Broncos win the West (right) (4) (wrong; 2). The Bengals (5) (right) and Chargers (6) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Ravens were 6) will be the wild cards. The Chiefs will finish last in the West, making their 9-0 start last season a distant memory (wrong; finished 2nd at 9-7).
In the postseason:
Wild Card: Packers, Broncos, 49ers, and Chargers win (Panthers, Ravens, Colts, and Cowboys won [controversially])
Divisional: 49ers, Broncos, Packers, and Patriots win (Patriots[!], Seahawks, Packers [controversially], and Colts won)
Conference Champions: Packers (NFC) and Patriots (AFC) (Seahawks [NFC] [Packers blew it late] and Patriots [AFC] [controversially]), setting up a Super Bowl XXXI rematch (set up a 2012 regular season rematch). Only this time…
Super Bowl XLIX Champions: Patriots (finally right, unfortunately)
Each year I predict the Patriots to win it all, I am relieved to be wrong. Will that happen again this year? (Unfortunately, no. They won.)
Locally, I expect the Giants to finish last in the NFC East (wrong; 3rd; Redskins were last) and the Jets to finish third in the AFC East (wrong; last by four games). Due to the Jets’ underwhelming season, Rex Ryan will be fired as head coach (right). (Rex ended up head coach of the Bills. Jets hired Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles as their next head coach.)
June 17, 1994 June 17, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Basketball, Education, Golf, Hockey, Media, News, Personal, Sports, TV, Video.
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I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the white Bronco in the room (as opposed to an elephant). Many things occurred 20 years ago today, as the June 17, 1994 ESPN 30 for 30 film – which is not affiliated with this post – documented:
- The New York Rangers’ ticker tape parade along the Canyon of Heroes and ceremony at New York City Hall, three nights after winning the Stanley Cup
- Arnold Palmer’s last round at a U.S. Open, held that year at Oakmont Country Club (the last U.S. Open carried by ABC; covered that day by ESPN)
- Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals, in which the New York Knicks defeated the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden to take a 3-2 series lead (they went on to lose the last two games in Houston)
O.J. Simpson and Al Cowlings in a slow-speed police chase in O.J.’s white Ford Bronco
Also that day was:
5. One final exam for me at Wantagh Middle School (I’m not sure what subject; probably Social Studies)
For more on #4, I refer to video of ABC News’ coverage of the chase and a retrospective report from Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith Reporting.
This concludes my obligatory acknowledgement.
I suggest a Triple Crown retool June 8, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Horse Racing, Media, Music, Personal, Sports, Thoroughbred, TV.
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After what transpired at yesterday’s Belmont Stakes, next year will mark 37 years since the last Triple Crown winner – Affirmed. Since then, thoroughbred racing has had close call after close call after close call, as three-year-old horses will win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, but fall short at Belmont. It doesn’t happen every year, but it’s still heartbreaking and frustrating. I suggest the Triple Crown format be retooled. Before I explain how, there is a backstory.
I first became aware of the Triple Crown races in 1997. That year, Silver Charm was the unlucky horse to lose at Belmont Park in Elmont. Then there was Real Quiet a year later. He barely lost to Victory Gallop. The year after that, Charismatic fell short. Three years later, there was another three-year stretch of horses to win the first two legs and fall short: War Emblem, Funny Cide, and Smarty Jones. In 2008, there was Big Brown. He came up far short at Belmont. In 2012, I’ll Have Another was scratched the day before the race!
That brings us to this year and California Chrome. I was at a second birthday party and watched the Kentucky Derby on TV, like I always do. His win gave me an opportunity to allude to the Mamas and the Papas hit, “California Dreamin’.” The announcers on TV did the same. Two weeks later, I was in an Italian restaurant as the Preakness Stakes was run. The sound was off on the TV ahead of my booth, but the closed-captioning was on. When California Chrome won that, I knew we were in for another three weeks of hype that would only be followed by heartbreak. When you see the same thing play out over many years, you know what to expect.
On Facebook, I floated a ridiculous idea:
If California Chrome wins the Belmont Stakes, thereby winning the Triple Crown, NBC should send a check for $36 to each Nielsen household tuned to them during the race. That would be one dollar for each year since the last Triple Crown winner: Affirmed in 1978.
In the comment thread, I amended that to $3.60, but perhaps 36 cents would have made even more sense.
I floated that idea because I knew California Chrome would lose. I would have loved for him to win, which turned into thinking he actually would win. So, as I watched the Belmont Stakes on my iPhone yesterday at another restaurant, I closed the NBC Sports Live Extra app in frustration after Larry Collmus said in the home stretch that there wouldn’t be a Triple Crown winner this year. I don’t even know who won and don’t care.
Now for my suggestion: Horses that win the Kentucky Derby should not be allowed to run the Preakness Stakes. That will avoid future heartbreaking Belmont Stakes. If they can’t run in the Preakness, they can’t possibly win it to set up Triple Crown talk.
It’s another ridiculous suggestion, I’m sure, and one that is born out of sour grapes, but I would love to see it happen. The days of Triple Crown winners ended in 1978. I don’t see it ever happening again.
6/9 UPDATE: A rebuttal by Jeff Kroll:
These ideas for change are generally coming from the generation that has not seen a “Triple Crown” win. Those of us who were around in the ’70s and saw 3 of them know it’s special, and that it can happen. It will take a very special horse and a lot of luck. The winning time yesterday on a fast track was still 4 1/2 seconds slower than Secratariat’s world-record 2.24 Flat in 1973. This group of horses is just not that “special.”
They’re certainly special enough to win two legs, but unfortunately not all three. I wish I was alive to see Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed win. Archived video is all I’ve had to go on, particularly of Secretariat’s dominant Belmont win that Jeff mentioned.