SoCS — Let’s Go to the Video Tape

For this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has given us the word “tape.” My mind immediately went to Scotch tape, duct tape, cassette tape, tape deck, painter’s tape, video tape, and…wait. Video tape. That reminds me of Warner Wolf, a TV sportscaster back in Washington, D.C. when I was growing up. One of Warner Wolf’s catchphrases was, “Let’s go to the video tape” and then he’d play a brief video tape segment of a certain play in one of that day’s sporting events.

I suddenly remembered that back in November of 2018 I wrote a post about Warner Wolf. So I decided that I would abandon the stream of consciousness format today and would repost my Warner Wolf post. I hope you forgive me, Linda. Here it is.

Let’s Go to the Video Tape

Most TV sportscasters back in the day gave the scores in a boring, listless manner. Being a sportscaster for a local TV station seemed to be a filler job for on-air personalities awaiting their opportunity to report the “real” news. They were all pretty much singing the same, old, boring tune.


But then, in 1965, something happened that forever changed local sports reporting. The local CBS affiliate hired this young guy named Warner Wolf. He was animated, exciting, and so much fun to watch. He became known for catchphrases like “Boo of the Week,” “Change the Rules,” “Play of the Day” (and week, month, or year), “Give Me a Break,” and my personal favorite, “Let’s Go to the Video Tape.”

Wolf quickly became the top sportscaster in the DC area and I never missed his nightly sports reports. He dominated the sports reporting scene in DC until 1976, when he left for a job with ABC Sports and with the local ABC affiliate in New York City.

Wolf, now 85, is retired, but he left his imprint on sports reporting.

Super Bowl LVII

I watched the Super Bowl tonight. There are three reasons to watch the Super Bowl: the game, the commercials, and the Halftime Show.

My experience watching NFL Super Bowl games over the past 57 years is that the best part of the telecast are the commercials. Followed by the Halftime Show. And then there’s the game itself, which often is not a very good football game.

But in tonight’s Super Bowl, the best part of the telecast was actually the game, in which the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. I didn’t really care which team won, as none of my favorite teams were on the field. But it was an exciting, well played game. And I enjoyed it a lot.

The Halftime Show? Well, if you are into Rihanna, then I’m sure you enjoyed it. I’m not into Rihanna. So….

The commercials? There were a few really well done, funny, and effective ones, but for the most part, meh. That said, one commercial amid the beer and tax software and car commercials stood out. To me, anyway. There was one 30 second commercial and one 60 second commercial that were selling Jesus Christ. The shorter one had the tag line, “He Gets Us.” At the end of the longer ad, the message “Jesus loved the people we hate” appeared onscreen.

The purpose for these commercials was to increase the relevance of Jesus in American culture. Hey, as an American, I think there is already plenty of awareness of Jesus in American culture. And given that the cost to air those commercials came to about $20 million, Jesus has quite a generous PR budget for someone who’s been dead for more than 2,100 years. I wonder if the money used to produce and air those commercial could have been spent in a more Jesus-like way.

Maybe Next Year

This post is about baseball. If you couldn’t care less about baseball, please feel free to skip this short post. I promise I won’t hold it against you.

The Major League Baseball season is over. Well, it’s over for the teams that didn’t make the playoffs. Like my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, and my two local favorites, the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s.

The Red Sox ended the season dead last in the American League East, 21 games behind their arch rivals, the New York Yankees. And yet, with a 78-84 record, there were 13 teams across both the American and National leagues with worse records, including the Oakland A’s, which lost 102 of its 162 games this season.

The Giants, who won 107 games last year, managed to finish at 500 this year, with an 81-81 record. But even though they ended in a third place finish in the National League West, they were a whopping 30 games behind their arch rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had the best record in the Majors this year, with 111 wins against only 51 losses.

So, with the post-season playoffs about to get underway, which teams will I be rooting for? Yawn, who cares? All I can say at this juncture, when it comes to the Red Sox, the Giants, and the A’s, is “Maybe next year.”

East Versus West

Ever since we relocated from the Boston area to San Francisco more than a dozen years ago, I have been dreaming of a Word Series showdown between my old and new hometown baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox and the San Francisco Giants. But that has not come to pass.

It almost happened last year, when both the Red Sox and the Giants made the playoffs. But neither team made it to the World Series.

I also wished that the AFC’s New England Patriots might face-off against the NFC’s San Francisco 49ers is the NFL Super Bowl. But that hasn’t happened either.

And then there is basketball. Wouldn’t it be great if the Boston Celtics could play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals Championship Series?

Well guess what? For the first time since 2010, the Celtics are in the NBA Finals after winning their series against the Miami Heat. And the Warriors are returning to the Finals for the time since 2019 after beating the Dallas Mavericks. Yay!

So who am I going to be rooting for to win the 2022 NBA Championship? Well, if it were baseball, I’d be pulling for the Red Sox. If it were football, probably the Pats. Or maybe the 49ers. Kind of a toss-up. But between the Celtics and the Warriors, I’ve got to tip my hat to the Warriors.

Public Service Announcement

Fandango’s Who Won The Week post, which is regularly scheduled each week for this time slot, will be postponed until this evening, Pacific time, after the completion of the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams.

In the event that the San Francisco 49ers win the game tonight, Who Won the Week will be posted this evening declaring the 49ers to be not only the NFC champions, but the winner of the coveted Fandango’s Who Won the Week designation.

Should the Rams win tonight’s game, there will be no Who Won the Week winner this week.

I’m just sayin’.