Monday, May 10, 2004

The Weekend in Review

Well, I was able to find a softball league to play in this summer. It's Tuesday/Thursday nights, so I'm moving the Weekend in Review up a day. For those curious, I'll be wearing #5 as the utilityman extrodinaire for Dave & Buster's of Westlake, OH.

Last Thursday night was the annual Lorain Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony. My dad, the current treasurer and a past president (his one year term was '91), always has two tickets. His high school baseball coach and my high school history teacher (they are one in the same) was getting inducted, so I was able to get the second ticket.
Cocktail hour was fairly eventless. My dad did introduce me to Skip, an ND alum. He looked to be early 60s, but if he were any older, I would have sworn he was one of Leahy's Lads. Skip went for the Mike Brey look, with a mock turleneck, sport jacket, and a small Golden Dome lapel pin.
The guest speaker was Sharon Hargrove, wife of former Indians manager Mike. As I looked over the very distinguished past guest speakers, I thought it could have been better. But, with some of the names on the list (George Steinbrenner with PeeWee Reese and "Arthur B. Modell" twice), I realized it could have been worse (you may recall a previous column where I pointed out that Steinbrenner, a Rocky River native, owned Lorain's American Shipbuilding, before moving it to Tampa). Here are some of Mrs. Hargrove's better anecdotes:

  • Mike and Sharon first met at a high school football game when he was in eigth grade and she was in seventh. Someone came up to Sharon and said, "Mike Hargrove wants you to sit next to him." Seeing that the boy next to him was cute, she obliged. So, she talked to him, and he watched football. She cheered with the cheerleaders, and he watched football. She chatted with her friends, and he watched football. Now forty odd years later, she says, things are still exactly the same.

  • You all know this debate - soda or pop? Being from Texas, everything for the Hargroves was "coke." So, one day, Mike landed a Pepsi endorsement. There was a huge Pepsi display set up where he would sign autographs. Right when things were about to start, the Pepsi rep asked, "Mike, can I get you anything?" "Sure, I'll have a coke." Needless to say, he didn't keep that endorsement very long.

On to the highlights from the induction speaches:

  • Lorain Catholic had three inductees - a female golf pioneer, a girl's baskeball standout, and my dad's coach, Mr. James Macholl. LC's fight song is a reworded version of tOSU's "Across the Field." However, someone in the control room thought it was "On Wisconsin." When "On Wisconsin" was played for the first LC grad, we thought nothing of it - not recognizing it at first, we figured it was Bowling Green (not a state)'s fight song, since BGSU was the woman's alma mater. But, after the second playing of "On Wisconsin", my dad had to do something. Next to our table was the LC Athletic Dept table. So, the girl right next to me was someone my dad and I knew from our chuch, who now taught math and coached girl's basketball. She poked me and pointed over my shoulder. "Your dad's upset!" I saw my dad squatting down next to the guy in charge of music, basically tying to tell the guy to get his head out of a certain crevice. They got the fight song right on the third try, but we'll have more on fight song snafus later. Now, the great thing about this math teacher being a family friend is that, since my sister is in her class, she always takes time to tell crazy stories about my family. Needless to say, this one lead off Friday morning's class. (Not so great about her being a family friend is the first day she student taught at LC, when she looked at me and my infamous cousin and told everyone how she remembered us when we were "this little."

  • One of the inductees was a former mayor of Lorain who was a sandlot/minor league star. His whole family was there, including a grandson in a custom retro jersey of his semi-pro team. Now, where do you get that? But wait, that wasn't even the best part. This guy's speech gave him major recognition with the Crazy Old Man Hall of Fame committee. In his rambling speech he: 1. neglected to mention his wedding day when talking about the greatest days of his life (until his wife yelled at him), 2. thanked Sharon Hargrove about five times, and 3. took advantage of the fact that the night's chaplain was a female Protestant priest by telling the story that "being Catholic, I get dispensation, which means I don't have to kneel. You Methodists don't have that! It's called dispensation." Oh man, highlight of the night.

  • Back to the fight song snafus. A high school football star who later went on to play at South Carolina and in the CFL was next. Instead of playing Admiral King High's "Anchors Aweigh," the DJ played rival Southview High's "When the Saints Go Marching In." Fortunately, he didn't think much of it, and he still gave a great speech. In it, he named his wife as his favorite quarterback (I'm guessing he doesn't drop the ball much), and called his dad up to the stage to pass his induction jacket, a blue blazer with the Lorain Sports HOF logo designed by my Great Uncle Frank on the left breast, to him.

  • In case you were wondering, as a committee member, my dad gets a red blazer with the LSHOF logo. He also has to wear a tie with alternating red, white, and blue stripes. While he would look very fired up about America in this tie, my mom won't let him out of the house with it on.

On to the highlights of last week's SNL, for those of you who aren't total losers and go out on Saturday nights. The first skit featured Snoop Dogg pulling out the "CDs nuts!" joke. Classic! It can't get any better than this. Unfortunately, except for a few moments, it didn't get better than that (sure, his rap performance and Friends-inspired dancing was good). Now, since Snoop was the host, the musical guest just had to be someone you'd never associate with him ever. Sure enough, it was Avril Lavigne. You can't make this up. It's like the time Steinbrenner was on with that crappy hip hop group. The final highlight of the show came during the closing credits, as Snoop's posse shared high-fives and man-hugs with Avril's band, which was made of nerdy 19 year old punk wannabes. Hi-larious!

Well, assuming that slowpitch softball isn't that harmful to fat messes like me, I'll be back Wednesday with the Transaction Wire, etc. (Maybe if I don't promise to do the team stat pages, I'll actually get them done this time.)

Say what?