COLUMN: Things we would like to seeAre people crazy? We feel games are not long enough!
By: By Don Leighton and Mike Granlund, The Daily Telegram
The following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund, aka Lance Boyle and Billy Perkola. This week, the duo offers ideas on how best to enjoy a sporting event — Lance and Billy style.
The average major league baseball game takes a little under three hours to complete. Apparently, there is a major uproar, among some, that this is too long. Are people crazy? We feel games are not long enough! You spend a zillion dollars on tickets, hope that it doesn’t rain (unless you are in a dome), spend another zillion dollars on gas and hotels and food and you are worried that a game may last longer than three hours? Are you nuts? The longer the game lasts, the better!
We work eight-hour shifts, why not have eight-hour baseball games? The players would be working comparable hours to us.
So, think about this logically. A zillion divided by three is greater than a zillion divided by eight. The longer you are at the ballpark, the less you pay per hour. Therefore, you get more bang for your dollar and get to spend more time at the ballpark. Come on people, a bad day at a ball game is better than a good day at work.
LANCE AND BILLY’S EVALUATION: This is a 5-Star No Brainer.
How many times have you heard college and professional sports commentators say the following: “Well, we are in the last couple minutes of the game and the refs are going to let them play. The outcome of the game will be determined by the players and not the officials.” Or, our all time favorite: “What was a foul or penalty early in the game is not one now.”
What are they talking about? We agree the players, not the officials, should decide the games on the playing surface. However, let me pose this question. If the officials “swallow” their whistles at the end of the game, aren’t they determining the outcome by not calling the game according to the rulebook?
We say, call the game according to the rules, for the entire game, from beginning to end. That is why there are rules.
LANCE AND BILLY’S EVALUATION: 5-Star No Brainer.
At football games at Ole Haugsrud and Northwestern (when the new field is completed), how about having students roam the stands as vendors of hot dogs, pop corn and soda?
Students in business and shop classes at both high schools could apply skills they have learned. Shop students could build carriers for vendors like those at Lambeau Field and sell goods. The sale of concessions would sharply increase, and student vendors could polish their social skills, which are useful when dealing with the public.
No one wants to miss part of a game, and halftime does not allow enough time to navigate and wait in the long lines for a Ball Park frank. (Just the name, Ball Park frank, turns us into one of Pavlov’s dogs.) The students would be providing a service, spectators would not miss any of the game, the profit earned through sales in the stands would increase dramatically and the vendors could deliver to the ifan, WNXR and KUWS broadcast booths.
It is a winner for everyone, especially the kids, whose self-esteem will be strengthened by the good deed of bringing food to the poor starving internet and radio announcers.
LANCE AND BILLY’S EVALUATION: 10 Stars. You know how we feel about hot dogs.
On that note, let’s talk about hot dogs. Whenever possible, hot dogs should be grilled. They should not be microwaved or boiled in water (ish!), or cooked in a frying pan. If you are going to go through any effort to prepare a hot dog, why not do it in the proper manner?
There is nothing better than a grilled Ball Park frank with blackened skin on a high quality hot dog bun drenched in your favorite condiments. Lace prefers mustard and onions while Billy prefers ketchup and relish. (Face it — Billy is not quite right.)
How good are grilled hot dogs at a football game? Lance would probably have five or more and would prefer them to a filet mignon. Well, maybe. Billy, even with ketchup and relish, would eat five or more too.
The fresh air, the excitement of a football game, the smell of the hot-dogs on the grill ... man, we are hungry! It doesn’t get much better. Enjoy your sporting events and make them even better with a grilled Ball Park frank. Accept no substitutes. No cheap weenies that refuse to plump up when grilled. Watch the game and have a weenie; don’t be one.
LANCE AND BILLY’S EVALUATION: 12.76 Stars — arrived at scientifically, trust us.
Last but not least, when deciding what attire to wear to a football game, dress with good taste but assume the worst. Always assume the wind will be off the lake. Always assume, no matter what the weather forecast, it will be cold, windy and rainy. Ladies, bring one of those little fold-up umbrellas that can fit in a purse.
Everyone, bring a blanket. If it is cold, you can wrap it around you. If it is not cold, as the Fonz said in “Happy Days,” “Sit on it.” Swallow your pride and wear long underwear. Nothing is more uncomfortable than being cold sitting at a football game. Well, a root canal, maybe. You get the idea.
Plan for the worst, have fun and eat plenty of Ball Park franks purchased from the student vendors.
LANCE AND BILLY’S EVALUATION: Lots of stars.
Lance and Billy believe that if these five basic rules can be observed, you will have a great time at any sporting event:
1. The longer the game, the better. Complain if the game gets over too quickly. We’re talking about your money! The longer the game, the less you paid per hour.
2. Let the referees know you want the rules enforced. There is enough chaos in the world already. We have rulebooks; expect and demand the games be played according to the rules. If the rules are not going to be followed, quit printing the rulebooks and save a tree.
3. Support your local schools by making major purchases of concessions at the games. The money goes for a great cause, and who in their right mind doesn’t like food and beverage at a sporting event?
4. Make sure the hot dogs are grilled! Enough said.
5. Dress warm and assume the worst.
6. We lied. We said five basic rules, but maybe No. 6 is the most important. No matter what the sport, everyone should support our kids. Go to the games, fill the house and have a great time, win or lose. Life is about the competition and good sportsmanship. As Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young sang in 1970, “Teach Your Children Well.”
Boyleing in the Perkolator
• Mark you calendar for the June 10 game between the Connecticut Sun and the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA. It will be Jolene Anderson’s only “local” appearance of the regular season. The game starts at 7 p.m. at the Target Center in Minneapolis. The teams also play Friday in Connecticut. Anderson has moved into the starting lineup and the Sun are in first place in the Eastern Division of the WNBA with a 5-1 record. Also on the Connecticut team is former Minnesota Gopher star Lindsey Whalen, who grew up in Hutchinson, Minn.
• Get well wishes go out to Northwestern athletic director Steve Gustafson, who underwent bypass surgery Friday.
• Condolences are offered to the family of Paul Williams, who passed away last week. Paul was an intelligent and talented man with a great sense of humor. His best line came when he took too long in a store with his wife Gloria waiting in the car. His excuse? “They wouldn’t stop listening.”
• It’s June, so the NBA finals can commence. The Celtics and Lakers match-up should prove interesting. I guess we are pulling for Kevin Garnett and the Celtics over Kobe and the Lakers.
• Health tips for dieters from Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola:
For a nominal fee, Lance and Billy will come to your house and place photos of themselves in their speedos on your refrigerator. If that doesn’t curb your appetite, nothing will.
“Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund runs semiweekly in The Daily Telegram. Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.