Some odds and ends as we begin the month of February.
It's the day of the Super Bowl, and for years here in New York it meant listening to Jonathan Schwartz on the radio with his "Salute to Baseball." He would dedicate one hour of his show on Super Bowl Sunday to baseball, to counter all the endless nonsensical hype to football's finale. It was always great stuff, as Jonathan's a big time Red Sox fan. He would play some of the most famous calls in Red Sox history, like Pudge Fisk's Game 6 blast or even Bill Buckner's famous error one time. He would always throw in a baseball-oriented song or two, and would also play just a random radio broadcast of a Red Sox game from the 1950s or '60s.
It was a joy to listen to, and he began doing it over WNEW-AM radio in the early 1970s. My parents always listened to that station, as they played classic vocalists like Frank Sinatra. But a few years ago, Jonathan stopped doing it because his current gig at WNYC-FM did allow the space for it. That's a real shame, but today I found his show and he was discussing the late John Updike and his famous piece on Ted Williams. He told some little known facts about it, and that was fun to listen to. Thanks for all those memories, Mr. Schwartz.
A great film to check out is "Man On Wire," the story of Philippe Petit and his walk between the two World Trade Center towers in August 1974 (pictured). I saw it again on DVD this weekend, and it's a fascinating story about how he and his friends pulled it off. Seeing Petit walk across a thin wire over 1300 feet above New York City still made me wonder how in the world he found the courage to do it, and he even lays down on thr wire at one point. It was scary just watching that. "Man On Wire" was filmed in 2007, and in watching it, you'd never know the buildings are gone, as there isn't one reference to the WTC attacks. The film is nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary this year and I hope it wins.
I also saw "The Wrestler" this weekend as well. It's the story of a washed-up pro wrestler trying to get his career back on track and the women in his life. It reminds me a lot of the story of Jake (The Snake) Roberts from "Beyond the Mat", the very good wrestling documentary from the late 1990s. Mickey Rourke is simply spectacular as Randy "The Ram" Robinson, and should be a synch to win the Best Actor. Rourke's career went off the rails many years ago, and everyone loves a comeback, so I'd bet on him winning. It's a terrific film as well.
And oh yeah, there's a football game today. I'll be at Professor Thom's taking it in with a bunch of Pittsburgh Steelers fans. I like the Steelers and the points today.