Classic Dishes...

Beaten Like A Rented Mule

In yet another example of a sports franchise being woefully out of touch with their fans, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ longtime play-by-play announcer, Mike Lange, was let go today.

Most of The Four Of You have no idea who Lange is, so take it from me that one of the top five hockey broadcasters in the world is now looking for work. He was known for his colorful catchphrases when a Penguin would score, such as “HEEEEE SMOKED HIM LIKE A CHEAP CIGAR!” and “GET IN THE FAST LANE, GRANDMA, THE BINGO GAME’S ABOUT TO ROLL!”

Maybe you have to be there.

Anyhow, one of the nice things about having NHL Centre Ice was that I could be…it allowed me to get the out-of-town games on TV (of course, when you live in Seattle, EVERY NHL game is out-of-town), and more than a few times I’ve found myself on the Penguins game just to listen to Lange work. (He was also the play-by-play announcer for Midway’s 2-On-2 Open Ice Challenge.)

So I was bummed when I heard this, because I wasn’t gonna get to enjoy Lange’s work anymore, until a friend pointed out something I missed: OLN, the network that currently airs the NHL on nationwide cable, is going to be turning into a full-blown sports channel called Versus in the fall. Ostensibly, along with this will come an expansion in their hockey coverage.

Memo to OLN, if they are listening: Sit Mike Lange down, put a blank check in front of him, and start drawing in zeroes until he smiles.


There is one comforting thing when you are lying in bed and three stories below, someone’s car alarm is blaring.

When you don’t have a car alarm, you know it isn’t yours.

This Is Not The Cancellation You’re Looking For

Courtesy of One Of The Four David Zinkin, the following tidbit regarding Our Very Favorite Online Service Evar:

Dude gets ‘Tude while trying to cancel AOL

Frankly, Vincent was far too generous. I would have been demanding a supervisor the very second the guy said anything other than “Yes, sir” once I had satisfied the security authorization questions. Having worked in this industry, I know how to make things happen and have no tolerance for crap like this.

Actually, something similar happened when I bought my first laptop: Best Buy was trying to sell me the standard litany of extended warranties and the like, but because I financed it through a newly-acquired Best Buy credit card, I got a couple extra ones. And when I said, no, I didn’t want the service they were hawking, the guy actually said “May I ask why not?” And (much to my credit, because this NEVER happens, I’m usually too flabbergasted at the breach in courtesy to think clearly enough to do it), I simply looked at him calmly and said “No.”

Then he did it AGAIN. Some other thing where the minimum payment is guaranteed if I lose my job and can’t make the payment or some crap. Nope, don’t want that. “May I ask why not?” This time, he got the Icy Stare Of Ask Me That One More Time And You’re Going Home Tonight Sans Testicles, and a way-more-definite “NO.”

Either he got the picture or ran out of services to shill, because he did not try a third time.

Sad thing is, I know for a fact that there are enough technophobes, elderly people, and just plain morons out there that this tactic works more often than not, so I don’t see it stopping. However (and this is the point that I hope to get across to The Four Of You), I do feel that my obligation to any kind of social courtesy during a business transaction like this comes to an abrupt end the second a breach likes this takes place, and I have no problem with and no regrets after playing the Asshole Card just as soon as they do.

The One Where The Sharks Learn A P.R. Lesson

According to a post on the Yahoogroup dedicated to the San Jose Sharks, the season ticket renewal packages for the 2006-07 season are starting to trickle in. Emblazoned on the front:

We Can’t Wait Until Next Fall!

This is a significant improvement over the slogan on the packages that went out for the 2003-04 campaign, hot on the heels of a 73 point last-place performance in the 2002-03 season:

Somebody’s Gonna Pay For Last Year!