Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Clang's All Here

Get Off It

During the anthem at last night's game

It's bad enough that dumbass ballplayers like Colin Kaepernick and Brandon Marshall have decided that their political opinions are for public display at games, without the progressive mainstream media (but I repeat myself) fawning all over them and telling the rest of us what benighted souls we are for taking offense at their behavior.

Like almost all fans, I watch sports to escape from politics, not to see even more of it.
If the geniuses running ESPN, the networks, the NCAA, and the major sports leagues don't figure that out pretty quickly, they're going to find out the hard way just how unpopular their political agendas are...

"You can always watch the games with the sound off."

Or not watch at all...I lived most of my life in the days when televised sporting events were strictly for weekends only, and I survived just fine...sports programming doesn't have a divine right to my attention...

Feast Day

St. John Chrysostom, by Sebastiano del Piombo

September 13 is the feast day of
St. John Chrysostom, an important figure in early Christian history, noted for his skills as a public speaker.

John's theology had a tremendous impact on church teachings, and his thoughts can be found throughout the Catechism. He was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope St. Pius V in 1568.

John is the patron of educators, lecturers, and public speakers.

TV Landmark

Season 1 primary cast
On September 13, 1990 the television series Law and Order debuted on NBC. My ex-wife and
I quickly became fans, in part because we liked shows involving lawyers, and in part because this show's quasi-documentary approach was unusual. The episodes were about the cases, and the law. The lives of the main characters outside of that sphere were almost completely left out of the stories.

The show would go on to become the longest-running live-action drama in television history, airing 456 episodes over 20 seasons.

It is a testament to the vision of producer Dick Wolf and his creative team that the show was able to endure despite relatively constant changes to its principal cast. The show received dozens of Emmy Award nominations during its run, and among its wins was the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in 1997.

Law and Order always places highly on lists of "Best Ever" television programs, including my own. During its heyday (in my opinion Seasons 3-10) it was at the very top of my list. I still enjoy watching the show in syndicated reruns.

"Did the fact that so many of the characters were sarcastic have anything to do with it?"

It is possible that it did, yes...or maybe I just got addicted to The Clang...

The Heater From Van Meter

Feller in 1936
It is customary for people in a particular part of the country to take pride in men and women from that area who live lives of great distinction. In a relatively sparsely-populated state like Iowa, the sheer number of such eminences may be smaller, but we are not wanting for greatness. We can claim:
One of our biggest stars was fire-balling major league pitcher Bob Feller, nicknamed
"The Heater From Van Meter," whose stellar career for the Cleveland Indians got him elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

On September 13, 1936 Feller, just 17 years old at the time, set a new American League record by striking out 17 batters in a nine-inning game. The feat also tied Dizzy Dean's major league record. Feller would set a new major league record with 18 strikeouts two years later, a mark that would stand for 31 years.

"Isn't he supposed to be the hardest-throwing pitcher in baseball history?"

Well, that title is hotly-disputed, of course, but in his own time he almost certainly was...Major League Baseball currently lists him as the fourth-hardest of all time...

Vital Signs

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

Composer Mike Post made quite a name for himself writing theme music for television programs. Among his best-known works are the themes for The Rockford Files, Magnum, P.I., Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, and NYPD Blue. Four of Post's theme songs cracked the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, with two of them (The Rockford Files and Hill Street Blues) peaking at No. 10.

Due to the show's longevity, it is likely that Post's Law and Order theme music is his most famous composition.

In 1994 Post released Inventions from the Blue Line, an album which offers full-length versions of several of his police show themes, including the Law and Order theme, which features some nifty jazz-inflected guitar work.

Today's send-off is the full-length version of Post's most iconic theme. Enjoy...

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