Most jobs are harder than they look. (Even this one.) I was reminded of that as my friend Chris did some carpentry around the house. Chris knocked down a wall and turned two tiny closets into one large walk-in. He made it look easy. I’m sure to Chris, it is, but I’m the guy who tries to assemble an entertainment center, and doesn’t realize until the end that I have a board upside down and backwards. Point being, when people are good at what they do, they make it look effortless, even though it’s not.
With this in mind, I tried to listen with an open mind as Wayne Morgan provided color commentary for the Big Ten Network (an Iowa game, no less). Morgan never said much of anything interesting in his years of news conferences and coaches shows at Iowa State, but you never know. Dan Marino: boring interview as a player, good commentator. Joe Montana: interesting player, dull commentator.
Morgan fell into the trap many analysts do, especially beginners, pointing out the obvious. (Yes, we know, a team down ten with a minute to go needs to score.) I say this with full knowledge that what John Walters and Gary Dolphin do is harder than most people realize. I worked play-by-play a little here at channel 13, and a lot at my former station. I wanted to be good, studied hard, and on a good night I was okay, but I knew I’d never excel. I don’t have the right skills. So I’m always surprised how many people think it’s easy. It’s not, and it’s nothing like doing it in your driveway.
I’ll give Morgan another chance, but you’ll learn much more listening to Todd Lickliter or Greg McDermott’s post-game shows. These guys know basketball. Now if they could just get better players…
-“Frank TV” was a huge letdown. The guy can do spot-on impressions, but the show is not funny.
-I can’t get enough of watching the Patriots. That’s the best NFL team I’ve ever seen.
-Bill Belichick doesn’t care that you think he’s a jerk. In fact, he just tried to score again.
-Craig Brackins is fun to watch. If he learns to rebound and play defense, he’s a potential All-American.
-It’s fun watching the Hawkeye basketball team play like Norman Dale’s Hoosiers. There’s not much Big Ten talent on that team, but they’ll win some games on smarts and effort.
-Nick Saban not only lies, he’s insensitive. There’s no excuse for comparing Alabama’s embarrassing loss to what America went through on 9-11. None.
-Next time a Cyclone football player makes the cover of Sports Illustrated, Gene Chizik hopes it’s not being burned by a Kansas Jayhawk. Nice picture though, and nice for KU— a program “I-State” should emulate.
-Can you believe the snow already hit us hard?! It did get me out of Disney’s High School Musical on Ice though.
-Speaking of Disney, they’re making the boats bigger on the Small World ride because we’re getting so fat, the boats are scraping bottom. Unbelievable. (Pointless note: I worked in the restaurant above Small World in high school. Yes, the song drove us crazy.)
-Is there a more foolish myth than the media driving Lute Olson out of Iowa? Lute left for warmer weather and a better shot at winning a national championship, among other reasons. There is no gentler media anywhere than Iowa.
-Congrats Oak Leafs.
-Don Cheadle is amazing in the movie Talk to Me. It’s rated R for many reasons, but if you’re looking for a mostly true story about the guy who changed, if not started, talk radio, this movie is worth your time.