Angry Ward Wednesday: Cheers to Keeping it All in The Family with Sports and Sitcoms

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sam-malone-cheersBRONX, NY – I was gonna devote today’s column to giving a huge “F You!” to 2016, which has been just about the worst year in recent memory. But I’m not really down for giving the Grim Reaper or the upcoming election any more ink. Instead, I’m gonna talk about some of my all-time favorite sitcoms and see if I can tie them into sports somehow. Let’s start with an easy one.

CheersRunning during my TV watching heyday (1982-1993) Cheers incorporated so many elements (bar, drinking, sports, drinking, academics, drinking, babes, drinking) that appealed to me. Ex-Red Sox reliever Sam “Mayday” Malone ran one hell of a hilarious bar. Even when the franchise lost key players like Coach and Diane Chambers, they were admirably replaced by Woody Boyd and Rebecca Howe without losing any of the laughs. By the way, “Cheers” to David Ortiz as he plays his last series against the Yankees this week.

Taxi. One of my absolute favorite, New York City-set sitcoms. Taxi featured memorable characters like Louie DePalma, Jim Ignatowski, and Latka Gravas, not to mention straight man Alex Reager and redhead spitfire Elaine Nardo. Great, great show. Mets’ pitcher Duaner Sanchez’s career was never the same after that taxi accident in Miami. It’s best to avoid accidents of all kinds in Miami. You know what? Just stay out of Miami altogether.

All In The Family. This amazing show starring the great Carroll O’Connor as Archie Bunker could never be made today. They tackled subjects and said things on this show in the ’70s that would make network execs blanch today. So many hilarious episodes that still resonate today. A personal favorite is one where the Bunkers’ fridge breaks down and there is a Rashomon-like retelling of the story of what went on when the repairmen arrived (see brief segment below). Great stuff…. Rex Ryan has kept it all in the family in Buffalo this year by bringing in his meathead brother Rob to coach the Bills defense. By season’s end, Orchard Park fans will be thinking of Marv Levy, Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas and singingThose Were the Days.

The Odd Couple. We’ve covered this classic numerous times here. Oscar and Felix (as played by Jack Klugman and Tony Randall) were as dynamic a comic duo that ever appeared on the small screen. This fall/winter in New York we will find out if two (over)grown men can share a basketball court without driving each other crazy. Tune in for Melo and Derrick and featuring Phil Jackson as Murray the Cop.

Never forget, Madison was a Mets fan.

Never forget, Madison was a Mets fan.

There are plenty of other favorites I could try to fit in here, but I’m gonna quit while I’m ahead. Come back tomorrow for another comic masterpiece courtesy of Buddy Diaz, the Norman Fell of Meet The Matts and someone that I refuse to acknowledge writing every Thursday for some reason. Likely because I don’t read the MTM Edit Staff”s work.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.

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