BEDROCK – Several of my esteemed MTM colleagues have recently shown extraordinary creativity, making my attempts at doing Sports with a Wink a bit challenging. Angry Ward pursued the natural crossover between sports and adult entertainment. West Coast Craig penned a terrific limerick/haiku to music and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. This has nothing to do with sports, but I’ve recently given in to my wife’s incessant nagging (redundant I know) and started watching the show Modern Family. I don’t know how many of you folks have watched this show, but I must say – I love it! I mean I really love it! This is easily the best free TV show since Charlie Sheen began freebasing his tiger blood. And it’s not only because of Sofia Vergara.
With today being November 13th, I thought this was the perfect time to commemorate the date when Felix Unger‘s wife asked him to leave and sent him to the home of his friend Oscar Madison. Several years earlier, Madison’s wife had thrown him out, requesting that HE never return. Here then are my favorite sports related episodes or references of the greatest TV shows in history. Or my feeble attempt to include a shred of a sports reference in each.
The Odd Couple: The appearance of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes was appealing but it’s tennis. Instead, I have to go with the Greyhound racing episode, where Felix catches the gambling bug, and wagers virtually everything he’s got. (5 Dollars for Socks) Plus Oscar is a Mets beat writer for crying out loud.
Eight is Enough: Merle Stockwell pitched for the Mets and was married to Susan Bradford. (though sister Nancy was sublime) Dick Van Patten was way ahead of his time with his 70s insipid comb-over.
Brady Bunch: Don Drysdale tells Greg he might be a “bonus baby.” Better than 47 year old Davy Jones asking 16 year old Marcia for the “flip side.”
Hangin’ with Mr. Coop: The aforementioned Coop gets a 10 day contract with the Golden State Warriors. Plus the female lead in this show, Holly Robinson, has been married for years to former USC Trojan QB and one time Lion Rodney Peete.
Mr. Belevedere: Bob Uecker! Uek had his own TV show!
There were others. Sure obvious examples including The White Shadow are great but I’m talking about the less obvious, more obscure. The legendary “Gambler” a 1976 After School special about a 17-yearold who bets on everything. The great thing about this program was the awkward, dated gambling lingo from the 1930s like “dummy-ing up,” and Joe being a “square guy and stuff.”
The Munsters: complete with Leo Durocher giving Herman a tryout. Probably the greatest episode in TV history.
Mr. Ed: …at Dodger Stadium. Clearly an early user of Deer Antler spray.
The Flintstones: Fred with a Gambling Jones…”bet, bet…bet bet bet bet bet!”
Seinfeld: Kramer betting on arrival times with Earl Hafler in the Admiral’s Club at LaGuardia.
Finally, Congratulations to Jacob deGrom on winning the NL Rookie of the Year. First ROY for the Mets since Doc in ’84. Also awesome that the Baseball writers got the AL Cy Young Award winner right. Corey Kluber is a beast, and the American League’s best pitcher in 2014. Clayton Kershaw will likely add the NL MVP to his bag of hardware that got heavier yesterday with his 3rd CY Young, and I suppose this is fair. He is a dominant regular season pitcher. I just wish there was some way of further recognizing the greatest post-season pitching run in 112 years by the Giants’ MadBum (Madison Kyle Bumgarner).
Tune in tomorrow for some Texas Two-Step with Doc Diz.