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Monday Pre-Prime Time Notebook

By admin Published: October 29, 2007

Didn't watch much TV over the weekend, save for some football, a little baseball and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," for my DVD column. Not a great movie. In fact, while flipping this morning before going into work, I finally settled down with "Akeelah and the Bee," a very satisfying experience even with its considerable parallels to "Searching for Bobby Fischer" (which I also like very much).
But there are some things ponging in my head, including the following:

-- There's a report here that Major League Baseball is ticked at Alex Rodriguez for announcing that he was opting out of his Yankees contract on the day of Game 4 of the World Series -- thereby stealing attention from the sport's biggest event. And where do you think A-Rod picked up that trick? From his old employers. After all, the Yankees, bounced from the playoffs by the Indians, did not wait until after the World Series to resolve the Joe Torre drama. They were happy to grab headlines they wouldn't get for what they did on the field.

Porter & Dolly

-- Porter Wagoner has died. I remember him chiefly as one of the hosts of country shows that seemed to fill the late-Saturday-afternoon TV lineups in my Virginia youth. You had Porter and Del Reeves and the Wilburn Brothers (Teddy and Doyle) and others whose names don't spring immediately to mind. As part of the Beatles generation, I didn't know what to make of the spangly suits, high hair and twangs of the era. It was significantly later, and through the likes of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams and Don Williams, not to mention things like the country experiments of the Byrds, that I came around to appreciating country. Still do, some of it, including Wagoner's great discovery Dolly Parton. But I never got back to Wagoner.

-- Early Monday evening, as we wait for other shows, the bride and I are watching a little of "The Princess Bride" on HBO. (There's also a new DVD edition due out soon.) I'm a big fan of the movie, and the bride has become one as well. The reason I mention this is, when the DVD came in and I began with great delight to quote lines from the movie, a couple of my co-workers insisted that it's a guy's movie and that its charms are lost on most women. Granted, the bride's taste includes some things that would be considered guy movies: "Lethal Weapon," "Die Hard," "Road House." But she also has a strong inclination toward romantic comedies and the like, so I don't accept her fondness for "Princess Bride" as proof that it's a guy film. Anyone else want to argue?

-- Getting back to baseball, I mentioned earlier in the playoffs that I had put aside my old loyalty to the Red Sox to cheer for the Indians in the ALCS. But when the Indians were eliminated, my cheering for the Red Sox was muted. I only watched pieces of games, and did not stay awake for the final out on Sunday night.
Before the Sox finally won the Series in 2004, there was a lot of speculation about whether the team's ending its long Series drought would also end its specialness. I still like the team, but not in the way I did when my memories were filled with '75 and '78 and '86, and I could tell you where I was for all sorts of major events, including Pudge's Game 6 homer and the '86 meltdown.
And I was a little misty when they finally won it all in '04. But now? Well, they're a fine team that not only has a championship in recent memory, it has just added another one. So, while I still like the Sox, I am much more eager to see the Indians banish their demons. After all, they could have beaten the Rockies.
Heck, the Aeros could have beaten those Rockies.

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