Thursday, July 03, 2008

Scattershots for 4th of July weekend

Who do you have in the Big Ten Network vs. Mediacom cage match? I'm going with the customer because I think we'll see a settlement by football season. We better... The Hawkeyes first three games are on the BTN, and that includes the Big Game: Iowa State at Iowa.
Speaking of Iowa-Iowa State (or is it Iowa State-Iowa?), we're cranking up RVTV again. Don't say anything to Andy if you see him. We still haven't told him, and one of his conditions of returning, actually his only condition, was no RVTV. I don't know what his problem is. He's the one who eats all the Steak-N-Shake.
Good to hear Marc Hansen filling in for Ken Miller on KXNO. I still read Marc frequently in the Des Moines Register, but miss his thoughts on sports (though he seems to write about his old world every chance he gets). Marc's level-headed observations are always welcome. It's an increasingly rare gift to see or hear people making their points without feeling that person has an agenda or a pre-conceived viewpoint. I think this is why the loss of Tim Russert crushed so many people.
Speaking of Russert, John Bachman tells me the guy who hired Russert for Meet the Press, Michael Gartner, has an idea for Russert's successor: Bob Costas. After it sinks in, you realize it's an inspired choice. However, I think NBC should keep Tom Brokaw in the chair until he returns to fly-fishing.
Cubs fanatic J.T. the Nutt loaned me a "docu-comedy" called Chasing October. Heather Burnside and I watched it the other night, and if you're a Cubs fan, you have to see it. A few scenes are obviously staged---kind of reminded me of our SoundOff bad actors club---but the joy and heartbreak of following the Cubbies really comes through. Warning: you will have to suffer through that fateful NLCS night in 2003 against the Florida Freaking Marlins. This will be Andy's favorite part of the movie (like he'd watch it).
WALL-E is getting the best movie reviews of the year, and some of the most glowing endorsements for an animated film ever. That's why I feel a little guilty that I didn't like it more. I thought it was good, but not great. I certainly don't want to see it again, and there are many animated films I enjoyed more (Toy Story, The Incredibles, Cars, Monsters Inc., to name a few). B- for me, which is probably the lowest rating for this movie in North America.
A-Rod & Madonna? I just don't care. I'm tired of both.
Speaking of things I'm tired of, how 'bout Brett Favre's annual dance with retirement. Back in March when Favre retired, I finished our coverage by saying, "No word when Farve will first announce he's having second thoughts." That doesn't make me Nostradamus, or even Miss Clio. This was predictable, but Favre is right to return if he's not sure he's done. A few athletes left too soon, while many more stayed too long. It's hard to get it just right, but it's a short window. If Favre wants to play, he should play. He's still got game, he's fun to watch, and father time waits for no man. Except Bachman.
I'm happy to report Shawn Terrell did return. Many of you were concerned he would stay on the road with Pearl Jam, but two things brought Shawn back: 1) the need for money. 2) college football season.
Hey Jason Giambi, my high school Senior picture called and it wants the mustache back.
The team formerly known as the Iowa Stars will announce their new nickname Wednesday. I heard a few months ago it would be Iowa Thunder, but I was later assured nothing had been decided. I hope that's true. Fans really wanted a say in this, and Thunder didn't excite many people.
Did you catch Coldplay on the Daily Show? Hard to put on a great show in a tiny studio, but they rocked it. I like a band that wears its U2 ambitions on its sleeve. (And yes, I've seen The 40 Year Old Virgin.)
Happy 4th! I'm always especially thankful on this holiday because we have a huge Beaverdale neighborhood party, and it reminds me of one of the reasons I love living in Iowa. The all-day block party is something that just doesn't happen in most states.


travis said...

I'm actually a bit surprised that customers have not been given a little more information on how Mediacom-BTN talks are going. Makes me feel a little unsure. I soo want this to happen, but am trying not to get my hopes up (it didn't help when on air you said the deal would be done!).

Anonymous said...

Hopefully it doesn't get done.

As an ISU/Big 12 fan, I don't want any part of my cable bill going to subsidize the Big 11, not unless I choose to buy the sports tier. If you want to watch Iowa football games (not sure why you would), gather up some friends and head to the nearest bar, they'll likely have the game on.

Once the Big 12 gets a network, great, sign both of them on at the same time so fans of each conference can be sending money toward their own conference.

I'll drop Mediacom like a bad habit if they sign the BTN on.

shane - marshalltown said...

Anonymous, you must work for Mediacom...your attitude is exactly what Mediacom wants! Cable wants PPV sports, to line their pockets and WOW, look what it's done for boxing!

And your "sign both at the same time" argument doesn't hold much water...someone always has to go first and don't think for a second that the SEC and Big 12 aren't watching every move of this supposed "battle"...

And an update for you, unless you watch EVERY single channel on your cable and love every second of it...your money is most assuredly going somewhere, to someone or something you don't like...

Not to mention, cable raises your rates no matter what they do or add, so a "free" BTN channel shouldn't even phase you or your "Cyclone/Big 12 only" brain...but for most sports fans, we would like to have it, like the BTN and the future B12N and SECNs want it.

Enjoy your 4 channels after you drop Mediacom...I may have some rabbit ears out in the garage in a box marked "The 70's" if you need them...

Anonymous said...

Shane, Shane, Shane. How misguided you are.

The BTN would not be "free" for us Mediacom subscribers, and trust me, I'm keenly aware that they will raise my rates for no reason anyway. Adding the BTN would give them a reason to, but I don't care much about the bottom line on my cable bill. I care that my money would be going to the BTN, and I don't want that.

And yes, I'm also aware that some of my money goes to fund stupid channels like Lifetime and WE, and what-not, but they are not competitors to the channels that I care about like the BTN is to the conference/program that I care about.

And no, I don't work for Mediacom, I just don't care to watch the Hawkeyes.

Another reason I hope it doesn't get done is because with every passing sports season for Iowa that they are not on here locally with the largest cable provider in the state, the more fans they lose and the fewer fans they create while they are young.

I enjoyed watching Iowa sports when I was young, because they were always on KDSM and I grew up as an Iowa fan (until I saw the error of my ways). Many people who are current Iowa fans were the same way, because we all know that the majority of Iowa "fans" have never stepped foot on the campus for a class.

The longer this feud goes on, the better it is for me as an ISU fan.

shane - marshalltown said...

I'm misguided but you went from being an Iowa fan to an Iowa State fan? Hi Pot, I'm Kettle...When did that happen? When ISU started winning FB games? So you'll want the Big10 network if Iowa reels off 7 out of 10? Or did you just hate Alford that much? (which I wouldn't blame you for at all actually)But you never were "a fan" if you could just flip like that.

But just because you don't want to watch Iowa, doesn't mean sports should suddenly be PPV...despite your being a Clone, you know Iowa fans outnumber Clone fans in this state, would it be fair all Iowa fans took your approach, to make Cyclone sports PPV and ensure that under no circumstances, would anyone but current Clone fans, be able to watch them? It would kill your university because growth of the fanbase would slam into a brick wall...

You may not like Iowa, but saying that they should be PPV on a tier, better mean you only want Cyclone sports on a PPV basis as well when the B12N hits the air sometime in the future.

I think I set the record for the longest journey to "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it"....sheesh

Anonymous said...

"When did that happen?"

It happened when I decided to go to Iowa State and graduated there in 2002.

How did you become an Iowa fan? ;)

And to answer your question, yes, I'd absolutely want and EXPECT a Big 12 Network to be put on a premium tier as well. Lets make sure we're using the proper terms here, its not a PPV, its an optional tier just like HBO or Shotime is. It doesn't make sense for cable companies to force ALL subscribers to pay for something that only a few care about, and many downright don't want to subsidize.

Lets be honest here....ISU doesn't get on TV much anyway, so something like a B12N heading to a premium tier wouldn't affect our fanbase all that much. It was the Iowa AD's decision to go ahead and take the instant money from BTN to join up without taking into consideration the possibility that many of the "fans" of the program would not be able to watch their product in the future.

Anonymous said...

great assessment of wall-e. Decent animation, but in the end..they are just robots.

shane - marshalltown said...

"How did you become an Iowa fan? ;)"

I was but a wee lad when a great man brought great joy to all people across this great and dare I say, noble, land we call "Iowa" and that man made college football matter, once again...Ok, so it wasn't all that dramatic, but like Harry Caray hooked me as a Cubs fan, Hayden Fry...and Lute Olson hooked me as a Hawkeye...

Had I known about Johnny Orr a little sooner, I may have landed on the dark side...just kidding, but I love that guy.

I don't think either one of us is going to budge on this topic. I understand why you think you're helping a conference you don't like, but to that I would say, you're doing the same thing when you watch ESPN or CBS, or Notredame Broadcast Company already.

"Mr. Rodney Carew Killebrew" said...

Shane, I appreciate the way you represent us Bobcats in M'town with your wit week in and week out on sound off and now on this blog, but...

If all of you Hawk fans think you are suffering by missing games that are televised on the BTN you can at least take some comfort that there is at least some discussion on the topic and a possible light at the end of the tunnel.

Feel my pain. I'm a Cyclone (almost never televised) fan and even more frustrating, I'm a Twins fan. They are as close as any other MLB team, but never televised anywhere in central Iowa! They run their team the right way, developing their own young talent and spending only a miniscule percentage of what other teams spend - yet no love whatsoever in this neck of the woods.

Kieth, WHO is guilty of this blatant discrimination against the Twins as well. A typical night on 13 would yield some real nice Cubs and perhaps Cardinal highlights and maybe, just maybe, we'll catch the Twins score on the crawl at the bottom of the screen if we are lucky. Oh how I yearn for the days of my youth in Iowa when WHO radio broadcasted all of the Twins games on their clear channel signal! We've won 17 out of our last 20 during a rebuilding year. Could you at least toss us a mention out of pity every now and then???

shane - marshalltown said...

Thanks "Mr. RCK"...I appreciate the kind words...and trust me, I'd rather see ANY Twins highlights in place of that choke job the Cubs pulled yesterday...That one hurt...

At least your Twins have World Series Trophies that aren't made of sticks and rocks, like they were back when the Cubs were winning them...

Anonymous said...

Lolo and Shawn are awesome representatives of the US, and Iowa!! They have cheered up a lot of people downed by the recent floods.....
and even those not affected.
What class!

Anonymous said...

I really hope the Des Moines Hockey team has done there due diligence before they announce their name. If it is the Iowa Thunder that would be funny, considering it is a legally protected Trademark of the Iowa Thunder LLC, the Women's Professional Football team that plays in the National Women's Football Association (NWFA). And for those who have experienced the minor league teams from the past, this is not the same old thing!