Thursday, April 22, 2010

Is Tom Hicks the worst owner in the history of professional sports?

Harsh. But right now, it's hard to think of anyone worse. Am I right Liverpool?

"MLB is in charge [of the Texas Rangers sale] after finally tiring of Hicks' tactics and his failure to satisfy the 40 lenders who hold $525 million in Hicks Sports Group debt." Those tactics include, but are not limited to, announcing that "as it stands right now, the deal would not be approved" -- a peculiar thing for Tom Hicks to say until you realize that, while negotiating a sale to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan, he has actually been at work on another deal with another ownership group.

Sounds like Tom Hicks never wanted to sell to the Nolan Ryan group in the first place. Is there animosity between Hicks and Ryan? Yes? Can it be resolved in the usual manner?

"Supermodel Paulina Porizkova calls Heidi Montag a 'cheap plastic pool float'"

Genius. And her assessment of Madonna -- "what started as a sexy, well-shaped, and somewhat hairy Italian girl has ended as a cool Nordic blonde" -- is equally impressive.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Viewers ages 18 to 49...have been watching 5.1 percent less TV in primetime since the start of March"


I'm watching Al Roker talk about toilets

The day is starting out wonderfully, isn't it? But as Roker's guest explains the water-saving benefits of Simple Flush, I'm thankful I live in an old house with, uh, outdated fixtures. Some things are worth wasting water on.

"'We're very careful about signing on role models for kids. It's harder to do'"

Tween fashions: "Still influenced by mom, 8- to 14-year-olds can't drive to the mall but wield $43 billion in annual spending power." JCPenney has signed gold-medalist Nastia Liukin for their Supergirl line. Macy's? They went with Madonna.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wait. Not all QVC shoppers love Isaac Mizrahi? Do tell!

In the middle of a rather juicy and sad QVC story, there's this shopper comment: "I would think that QVC would want to attract as broad of an audience as possible and offer a broad variety of products to attract a spectrum of viewers/buyers. And, I don't understand this total fascination with Isaac Mizrahi. I'm sure that he has appeal to some customers, but it seems that QVC is staking their entire future on him. It does not seem wise to put all the QVC eggs in one basket."

Color me amused.

Jackie Robinson day

I wish it didn't coincide with tax day but it is the actual anniversary of his debut.

On a sorta related note, here's uplifting news that Mobile's Double-A team helped turn Hank Aaron's childhood home into a museum.

It's 36 years this month that Hank Aaron broke the home run record. The Braves opened in Cincinnati that year and this is how Pete Rose, in his book Charlie Hustle, describes the day that Aaron tied Ruth: "Aaron had spoken by telephone to the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who was in Memphis to eulogize the late Dr. Martin Luther King. Aaron figured it would be fitting, on the sixth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King, to have a moment of silence before the game. His request came too late, though, and the Reds had to turn it down....Aaron didn't like that....It was too bad that had to come up and ruin Aaron's moment."

And look, here's Hank Aaron on Home Run Derby. Now that you know he grew up in a house his father built out of scrap wood, it's easy to understand his expression when the announcer explains that consecutive home runs can earn one thousand dollars. A final note: it's remarkable how handsome everyone was in 1959.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"'Elin was violently angry over this commercial and thought it was a cheesy thing to do'"

It'd be pretty funny if -- after all the Ambien sex with waitresses, hostesses, porn stars and neighbors -- it's the Nike spot that finally destroys Tiger's marriage.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"'people hide behind anonymity to make vile or controversial comments....As the Internet is growing up, the trend is away from anonymity'"

Dang it.

What are the insomniacs watching?

Nothing's really on at 3am so my preferences have always been Bloomberg News and GemsTV. I don't understand either one and it's hard to say who has the quirkier lineup of on-air talent but now GemsTV is shutting down and the way they're going dark is remarkable. It's a long, drawn-out clearance, with loads of air-time being devoted to viewer email and to the personal lives of hosts. It's fascinating. I don't think I can turn away.

ADDED: In court filings, GemsTV has cited the soaring price of gold as a factor in their bankruptcy. Which makes this interesting: "To hear some investors tell it, 'manipulation in the gold market' is a scandal on the scale of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, perhaps even greater....The hedge fund [manager] famous for making billions by betting against sub-prime mortgages, John Paulson, has reportedly put $250 million of his own money into a fund dedicated to investing in gold. Another prominent hedge fund manager, George Soros, reportedly recently increased his fund’s holdings of an exchange-traded fund that owns gold, to $663 million worth, while, somewhat confusingly, Mr. Soros was also saying publicly that 'the ultimate asset bubble is gold.'"

What are the old people watching?

Are you surprised at how old late-night TV viewers are? "While Mr. Leno now has a median age of 56, with Mr. Letterman at 54, 'Nightline' at 55, Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Kimmel both at 52, and even NBC’s younger act, Jimmy Fallon, at 50." Cable audiences are younger but really not by much.

Of course, Conan O'Brien was supposed to bring younger viewers to The Tonight Show but that never happened. The surprise: "Mr. Leno has drawn the biggest audiences in most age groups almost every night since returning March 1." If I were a Fox affiliate, I'd stick to re-runs too.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

NASCAR's most awkward sponsor "honors" a heroic woman

Let's read through this one together: "Phoenix Woman named 'ExtenZe Local Hero' and Honorary Crew Chief: The first woman to be named an 'ExtenZe Local Hero,' Abby Barker called upon her CPR training to save a person who had suffered a massive heart attack. For her decisive and life-saving effort, 27-year-old Barker will be the ExtenZe Racing Honorary Crew Chief at Phoenix International Raceway for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup event that takes place the same weekend as her wedding -- thus creating perhaps the most unique bachelorette send-off of all time."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"a drawn-out malaise that will soon become something like a lost decade"

The False Recovery: "households are using their savings to pay off the massive amounts of debt they accumulated even before their net worth declined a staggering $11 trillion over 2008 and 2009. The money is not going under mattresses or into bank accounts, from where it will emerge one day to jump-start the economy."

Also, "the real unemployment at 17.5%" and gas will probably hit $4 this summer.

Monday, April 05, 2010

It's Opening Day

Let's go to White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen for his thoughts: "Goo luck to my guys for a great summer and all the venezuelan player even the ones I hate to death"