Angry Ward Wednesday: Letterman Lives On… In Sports

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NEW YORK, NY – One week ago today, late-night television icon David Letterman wrapped up a three-plus decade run with a final show at New York’s historic Ed Sullivan Theater. For many of us it was a final bittersweet goodbye to one of the last vestiges of our collective misspent youth. To other, more reasonable humans, it was just the end of another TV show that had probably overstayed its welcome. Whatever category you fall into, Letterman may be physically gone from the airwaves but his somewhat sophomoric legacy lives on, especially in sports. Here, I’ll show ya.

The Panicky Guy. One of the most memorable of Chris Elliott’s recurring “Guy” characters is still alive and well in the form of MTM CEO Short Matt. Why, just last night he called me in a panic asking me to please write my column, which I had politely informed him earlier in the day that I would not. He made this request as I was getting my kid out of the shower and off to bed. I’m sure he had something equally important to get to, like Rangers/Lightning Game 6. Our own Panicky Guy also has the distinction of uttering the word “guy” in just about every other sentence.

Stupid Human Tricks. You can see stupid human tricks in sports each and every day. Some of the stupidest, in fact, take place right in New York. For instance, on just about any given night you can watch the Mets try to win baseball games with Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores as their middle infielders. The Yankees, meanwhile, continue to pay millions to guys who shouldn’t even be playing anymore. Finally, if you haven’t watched Houston’s Dwight Howard attempt to shoot free throws lately, THAT is one stupid human trick.

Small Town News. Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to the NBA Finals. This could be the biggest thing to happen to Cleveland since Alan Freed’s “Moondog” show turned kids living in an around “the mistake by the lake” into rabid rock n’ roll fans. I’m happy for the Cavaliers. Really. I think it’s great that they are generating such excitement in a town starved for a sports championship. I also look forward to the Golden State Warriors ripping their hopeful hearts out and drop-kicking ’em in the the Frisco Bay when the Finals roll around.

Top Ten List. You will never, ever kill the Top Ten List. Letterman may not have invented the concept, but he and his writers sure as hell popularized it. Top Ten Lists will still be generated long after Letterman, you, me, and everyone we know has long since left this mortal coil. The main reason is that they are fun and easy. Here’s one off the top of my head…


Phil Rizzuto10. “Mama Mia thatsa spicy baseball!”
9. “Holy Sh!tslushy!”
8. “Order up the hookers, because this game is over!”
7. “Holy Sweet Jesus, we’re all gonna die!”
6. “That’s the way the canoli crumbles.”
5. “Holy Fartin’ Billy Martin!”
4. “We’re goin’ to extras, so no sex with Cora tonight.”
3. “Holy England Dan and John Ford Coley!”
2. “Hey diddle, diddle, that cowhide just jumped over the moon.”
1. “Holy Dick Tidrow’s tits!”

Viewer Mail. Sitting down and penning a strongly-worded letter to your local team may be a thing of the past, but now we’ve got this thing called Twitter and trolls aplenty. Just ask Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard about their fan letters.

OK, that’s all for now. Come back tomorrow for the Larry “Bud” Melman of MTM.

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About Angry Ward 749 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for 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 Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.