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Thursday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: January 1, 2009

Now that the fog has cleared from dealing with the ongoing changes in the Time Warner/MTV Networks dispute, part of me is thinking that I should have spent yesterday more enjoyably. For more years than I can remember I have seen these deals go to the brink, with lots of alarms going off -- and then the two parties make a deal at the last minute (or, in yesterday's case, a little bit after the last minute). So why go crazy? ...

Well, two reasons. First of all, there's always a chance that there won't be a deal at the last minute. Have seen some of those situations, too. And you have to be prepared to explain to folks what is going on. Second, the advertising and crawls that MTV Networks did -- especially the wicked, child-terrifying warnings on Nickelodeon and Noggin -- raised a lot of questions and concerns, and those had to be addressed, too. That's why I wrote an online story somewhat early yesterday and updated it several times before we got to the final take.

So even if things worked out at the end, attention had to be paid.

Of course, I didn't have to spend every waking moment on that story. The bride and I did some revisiting of the previous season of "Lost" so we can watch new episodes. We spent some time with "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve." Please, no more Kellie Pickler! Was distressed that Dick Clark's speaking skills haven't improved more, but as long as he's on TV, I'll be watching. He deserves that much.

Today, there will be football. Probably just the Rose Bowl. Too many bowls now. If admittedly sloppy memory serves, New Year's Day was not only THE bowl-game day, there was a clear pattern: Cotton, Sugar, Rose, Orange, and every one of the games had some kind of interest or significance. Now the bowls go on forever, and .500 teams are in them, and I am hard pressed to care much. Yet another reason for a playoff system.

Speaking of the playoffs, the NFL's are coming and I want to bring up yet again my Unified Field Theory of Playoffs. First, if you are under .500, you don't get in. Don't care if you won your minor-college-league basketball tournament or your weak NFL division, if you can't win at least half your games, you don't get a shot at the big stage. (On especially strict days, I even demand that you have to be OVER .500, but at the moment I am feeling charitable.) Second, home-field advantage is based on winning percentage. If you're a wild card but have a better record than a division winner, the division winner plays in your house.

These things are simple and logical, and I do not understand why they can't be adopted. Then again, everyone has some kind of theory that others do not understand. One of my kinsmen has suggested that in baseball home runs be considered outs -- that you have to keep the ball in the field of play. I like home runs. But I can see the logic, especially when some behemoth who can't bend over to field a ground ball keeps a career going just because he can go yard once in a while.

Anyway, I am now officially rambling, so I should stop. Have a great day.

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