BRONX, NY – I was sitting around minding my own business last week, when a nasty piece of news arrived in my e-mail inbox, courtesy of Tall Matt. It seems there’s a fairly substantial rumor floating around that one of the most-celebrated pubs in the Bronx, The Piper’s Kilt in Kingsbridge, may be going out of business. The prospect of this closure hit me in the gut like a dozen White Castles washed down with a bucket of nails. After all, this is the place that was my gang’s underage drinking haven during the 80s, the last reliable burger in the neighborhood, and a joint whose all-you-can-drink from noon to three weekend brunches spawned dozens of drunken MTM column concepts and various laughable Fantasy Football trades. Now it’s gonna be a Spanish-American restaurant (or so they say) in an area that’s already filthy with Mofongo Houses, Empanada trucks, and Arroz con Pollo Greasy Spoons. If this is progress, then progress stinks. Look, I’ll fully admit I was an early bloomer in the crotchety old man department but I’m really fed up with the following so-called improvements…
Stadiums. It all began when they moved my beloved Minnesota Vikings out of the frozen confines of Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington and into a soulless indoor blown-up sandwich bag known as the Metrodome. Ever since then, I have not been very fond of new stadiums. They always seem to promise more and deliver less. Citifield? Great Burgers but an architectural abomination. New Yankee Stadium? Great, for those who wanted a Wall Street Steak House in the Bronx, not so great for regular old baseball fans. MetLife Stadium? I may hate the new home of the Giants and Jets more than any of the others, and was reminded again this past Sunday: Long bathroom lines, very few escalators, and the overall look and feel of a poorly-designed maximum security prison.
Uniforms. With a few minor exceptions, every time a team alters the look of their uniform it’s for the worse. And in some cases, much worse. The uniform atrocities committed by the Mets have been well-documented on this site over the years, yet they only seem to add more to the mix. There’s an organization that listens. Almost across the board, whenever an NFL team tweaks its appearance it’s a big mistake. The Patriots, Rams, Chargers, Falcons, and even my Vikings are among the teams have made changes for the worse over the years. When you can’t figure it out, your default should always be “go retro.” Not so fast Jets, that doesn’t apply to you and your Titans unis. As for the NY Islanders, is this the last we’ve seen of the Gorton’s Fisherman? Stay tuned.
Television. There used to be a time when baseball playoff and World Series games were played in the afternoon. And it was damn good. Same goes for the NFL which no longer starts postseason games before 4:30 or so. I understand the lure of primetime dollars but does no one care about us palookas who counted on those afternoon contests as an excuse to start drinking early? And what about the children? What about those scrappy tykes who so badly want to watch these games as they proudly fetch their besotted Dads another cold one? Speaking of the kiddies, and apropos of nothing (except my own sanity), I would also like to implore the powers that be at Nick Jr. and PBS to stop f-ing around with their television lineups. The last thing parents need to be doing is playing whack a mole with the remote trying to find “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” or “Franny’s Feet” at what used to be their scheduled times while their kids go nuclear.
Underwear. We here at MTM fully support the changing of underwear. We also like that old joke about the bedraggled Italian Army during WWII finally being told by their General, “Today is the day we change the underwear!” (raucous cheers) followed immediately with “Francesco you change with Giovanni. Giuseppe you change with Paolo….”
Team Names. The one that really stands out like a sore thumb is the Washington Wizards. If ever there were a perfect name for an NBA team playing around D.C. it’s the Bullets. Hell, Gilbert Arenas proved it. Also, it’s one thing to replace a name that might be found offensive, but try to come up with something that sounds a little bettter than a menstrual typhoon, okay St. John’s?
That’s it for this week. I gotta go grab a burger and a bourbon before everything goes to hell. Lori Levine, one of the rare good changes this site has ever made, is back tomorrow.