Angry Ward Wednesday: Sports B Sides Strock, Cerone, Lundquist, Harper, Venus


FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – I’m writing this Monday and hoping, with the promise of some snow coming in, that my flight gets out of LGA tomorrow. Anyway, if it’s Wednesday, and I’m not in Florida enjoying a Gosling’s rum, you can bet your a$$ that I am angrier than usual. Don’t feel like writing much of anything this week, but have been thinking a bit about music.

Did someone say Gosling’s bum?

For those of you too young to have experienced it, I grew up in the age of vinyl. That’s tangible, grooved records with cool art work and liner notes. It was also still the time of the 45. Those were those tiny little records that featured a hit on one side and what was a lesser-known song, called a B-side, on the other. I still remember the first 45 I purchased. It was “The Theme to S.W.A.T.“, an ABC Cop Show theme song. Pretty lame, I know. But the B side was even worse. It was an awful synthesizer instrumental mess called “I Wouldn’t Treat a Dog the Way You Treated Me.” Not all B’s were bad though. The B side of Queen’sWe Are the Champions” was “We Will Rock You.” And even Ringo Starr pulled off a nice one on the B for “The No No Song” with a pop-spiked little ditty called “Snookeroo.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, in Florida… hopefully. Here are some Sports B-sides. Some good, and some god awful.

“Helmet? What for?”

Alvin Harper. The Cowboys wide receiver who played opposite Michael Irvin. He was no great shakes. Had one pretty good year and playoffs and the Tampa Bay Bucs bought high on him. He barely even registered as a B side. I’d rate him somewhere around “In Mazatlan” which was the forgettable flip side to War’s hit “Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Don Strock. I hated him, but this Miami Dolphins relief QB was the consummate B-sider. Didn’t start, but was always great coming into a game when guys like Bob Griese or David Woodley weren’t getting it done.

Rick Cerone. There was just no chance for Cerrone to follow Thurman Munson as the NY Yankees’ starting catcher. It was like asking REO Speedwagon to step in for the Bee Gees. Speaking of New York…

Henrik Lundqvist. Unlike Swedish supergroup ABBA, King Henrik really hasn’t been able to break through on the charts. For better or worse, he’s still playing second fiddle to the memory of Mike Richter.

Venus Williams. An underrated B-sider if ever there was one. She just lost the Aussie Open to her Top-of-the-Charts sister, Serena, but Venus is still an ace. Without Venus there would most likely be no Serena. The oldest kid always takes one for the team.

Oh man, I got plenty more of these, but I need to pack up my gear and hope for no delays at the airport. Come back tomorrow for TOP-40 mainstay Buddy Diaz, who sang the hit single, “Matts the Way Uh-huh, Uh-huh, I like It.” And you can follow us on Twitter at @Angry_Ward@MeetTheMattsInstagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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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.

  • The Donald Trump

    I pushed Venus up against that wall. Grabbed her by the *blank.

    *Edited by Aghast MTM Censors!

    • And B-sides are for losers! But the language Herr President!

  • Pierre La Douche

    How can you say Lundquist hasn’t broken through? He has been to the Stanley Cup finals and has the Rangers in the mix every year. Teams would kill for that success.

  • Fluffy

    My very first record purchase was War’s album Why Can’t We Be Friends of which I’m very proud. Less so about my second purchase, Walter Murphy’s A Fifth of Beethoven. I would have killed for the Theme from SWAT though!

    • AngryWard

      We all had missteps in our music-loving past. For instance, The Starland Vocal Band never broke through like I thought they would after “Afternoon Delight.”

      • Fluffy

        There’s a great bit in Aaron Sorkin’s underappreciated Sportsnight where it is stated that Starland Vocal Band beat out Elvis Costello for the best new artist grammy in 1970-something. Further investigation suggests that that statement is apocryphal. Oh well?

  • GrindingAx

    Alvin was a very good chipmunk catching nuts from Troy Aikman. He benefited from Aikman’s accuracy. After he grabbed some stupid free agency cash from a team without an accurate QB…We all know the ending.
    Now, thanks to you, I have that friggin song from SWAT playing in my head!

  • benwhit

    Zep’s Hey Hey What Can I Do? is a classic B-side tune.

  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go… For all Jets and Nets fans, as played by the custodians telling all 345 of them they need to Wake up and Go after EVERY SINGLE GAME.

  • Junoir Blaber

    I feel you Venus part had more to do with you and your brother’s relationship.

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