Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Four Tiers of Sports Fandom

In early July, during a visit with photographer Adam Tetzoff and novelist Amy Shearn at their swankY elevator building in Brooklyn, I told Adam about my excitement about the Black Hawks' thrilling run or rather skate to the Stanley Cup.

Adam has often, well maybe just occasionally, remarked about my admittedly
front-running sports fan philosophy.  As if that was some kind of character flaw.

As I have grown older, I consume sports almost exclusively on TV. TV is entertainment. What is entertaining about watching losing teams?

While not exclusively a front-runner in sports, I tend to favor winners and ignore losers. I am that guy that "real" fans excoriate as band wagon jumpers.

Here is a cool bandwagon.

Hard to jump on that guy.

 Here is a picture that Adam took.
Pirated from Downtown at Dawn

Adam formulated what he calls the four tiers of sports fandom? Where do you fit in?

Four tiers of sports fandom 

1. Life long love: the equivalent of a sports marriage.
Till death do you part. May run hot and cold but a sincere and emotional bond is always present. The most rewarding wins and most heartbreaking losses.

For me, this is the Chicago Bears. They are appointment TV and if not I can't watch live- I make sure to record the game. Then live in fear of inadvertently hearing a score during a fall afternoon when I am forced to be outside or see a play or some other non-Bears related activity. 

2. Local team: On tv, in the papers, talk of the town. Convenient to follow and useful socially. If you move you need not maintain relations but you can always claim long term affiliation when they succeed.

I never really had that when I lived in California. I did not Belushi all over the place with Chicago sports love.

3. Playoff Pony: Sometimes you root for a story, other times the enemy of your enemy. Can lead to strange bedfellows.

This is definitely me. The Hawks. The Bulls, post Jordan when they made a run. Embarrassingly, Tiger pre-Thanksgiving 2009 when he was winning majors and everything else. Also, the Phil Jackson lead Lakers whom I adopted after the Bulls stopped winning in Chicago.

4. Moveable Feast: your favorite player's current teams. These affiliations can instantly arise and disappear with a draft selection, trade, or free agency.

This is all Adam and his love for Kevin Garnett. Now playing for the Brooklyn Hipsters.

My passion with the Black Hawks this year began with their playoff run and culminated with a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Had the Black Hawks lost in the playoffs. I would never have gone. We would have visited Fort York.

Here they are about to fight the United States in 1812.


Saluting the World Champion Black Hawks.
Bobby Hull. he of the amazing slap shot and incredible liver.

Lots of Russian surnames on the roster.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Niagara Falls, slowly I turned...

For men or boys of a certain age, if you say Niagara Falls, they will say...

"Niagara Falls,  slowly I turned...step by step...inch by inch..." I myself am of that age. So when I went to Niagara Falls recently, I had Peggy shoot this video.

The Three Stooges performed this routine in movies and on TV. The story is of a man who is left by his wife. She leaves a note. "Dear Moe; I am running away with Larry." Moe becomes obsessed with finding the man who has ruined his life. Moe finds him. In Niagara Falls.

Moe tells this story to a stranger and becomes so worked up that beats up Curly (or Curly-Joe)...Stooges Flava.

Then Curly et al, says Niagara Falls again. And the beatings continue.

The Niagara Falls phenomenon is commented on by Rebecca Day of the Niagara Falls Reporter.
She contends that the Stooges were only one of many vaudeville acts that used "Slowly I turned," and that Niagara Falls was not always the trigger.

Ms. Day contends that Joey Faye, a vaudevillian whose journey took him from playing second banana to the great Phil Silvers, " appeared in 36 Broadway shows and numerous programs on early television, and won a best actor award in 1959 from the West Coast Critics Association for a Los Angeles production of ''Waiting for Godot'' opposite Jack Albertson," and ultimately played a grape on a Fruit of the Loom commercial.
His autograph: You are not to be sneezed at. God Bless

Joey is white guy on right.
Joey Faye, nee Joseph Antony Palladino  also is credited or self credited for the Flugle Street bit.
Here the protagonists attempt to deliver straw hats to the Susquehanna Hat Company, but everyone they meet along the way has a reason for hating that company and each of them destroys a hat until there are none left.

Anger and frustration course through the work of the late Mr. Faye.

Peggy and I had a lovely time at Niagara Falls.

See below for Stooges with Curly.