Good to be back from another "staycation". I always find it to be one of the best weeks of the year. Not that I don't like to travel, but after you schlep back in to town, carry in all the bags, sort through all the mail and catch up on the laundry, you need another vacation. A week spent mostly at home, suits me fine.
Of course, this is not the best day to return to work. Another Pepco fiasco has left power outages all over the place, including our offices. I type this from one of our studio computers, which run by an emergency generator. But all seems right with the world now that Tiger is back to winning in red on Sundays. Which brings me to my beef with Channel 9 and their news department.
With CBS wrapping up coverage of the AT&T National on Sunday evening about 6:45, Channel 9 was left with only half their usual time for the local news. Yes, there was the necessary storm coverage and word from Pepco that power might not be restored until Friday night (Friday night!!!!). But that easily could have been reported in the 15 minutes they had left before the start of 60 Minutes - which other than sports is about the only reason I ever turn to CBS these days. A few minutes before 7 o'clock, anchorman Derrick McGinty (I've liked him since he was a ringer on my dorm flag football team at American University 35 years ago) informs us that they will be cutting in to 60 Minutes for extended storm coverage.
Commercials are followed by a live look-in on Tiger Woods' victory ceremony. I understand CBS had the event, but unless Tiger was going to reveal that Rachel Uchitel is carrying his child, there was little news value in that. At least Channel 9 was smart enough to cut away just after Tiger had thanked the volunteers for getting the course playable after the storm and said he couldn't wait until next year. Had they gone 60 Minutes at that point, they would picked it up after the long tick tock teases and commercials and in time for the first story.
But NOOOO! Instead they found it necessary to run yet another long piece about pissed off people without power. Two things, (1) How is that news? and (2) How could the people affected (Alexandria in this case) see it if they didn't have power? Plus it couldn't wait for the 11 o'clock news?
By the time they went to 60 Minutes, they were so deep in to the first story that I couldn't follow it. I did get to see Lesley Stall's piece on the truffle crisis in France (Leslie in earmuffs watching dogs find the tasty truffles. Riveting!), but I'd seen that one when it originally aired.
Of course if you're reading this on your phone or laptop and are still without power, I would understand if you ask: Is this all this dope has to bitch about?, I can see your point. All in all, we were very lucky with no storm damage and power lost for only three hours. I hope yours comes back soon.
Bike, You'll Like
If you follow me on Twitter @andypollin1, you may have seen some tweets from the best day of my staycation. That was last Tuesday, when the weather was fabulous. I headed out on one of my regular bike routes down the Bethesda Trolley Trail and the Crescent Trail to Georgetown.
Arriving at my favorite spot just past the Key Bridge, I sat and enjoyed the view of the Kennedy Center across the Potomac. But after about half an hour with the rest of the day ahead of me, I decided to keep going in to downtown. I had heard about D.C. being "bike friendly", but had never really tested it.
So I hopped back on the bike and rode past the Georgetown waterfront towards the Washington Monument. To say they make it easy for bikers, would be an understatement. The access around the monuments is great for bikes and getting from place to place is insanely easy.
Don't know what your plans are for the 4th of July, but if you haven't tried D.C. by bike, you're missing out. If you don't want to ride downtown, check online for bike rentals. You can probably get there by Metro. Pass it around, its the way to go!
George and Ernie
Since becoming owner of the Caps in 1998 and the Wizards in 2010, Ted Leonsis has yet to make a change in the general manager position for either team. Most have no problem with George McPhee staying on as GM of the Caps, but there is outrage (particularly from the airstaff of this radio station) about the retention of Ernie Grundfeld as President of the Wizards. In fact some of the things that have been said about him are Cerrato-esque.
While the Wizards have been God-awful the last couple of seasons, and Ernie has to accept the blame, I'm not sure its fair to lay it all at his feet. The re-signing of Gilbert Arenas was perhaps the most damaging move in the history of the franchise. But nobody seemed to mind when Ernie brought him here in 2003 and built a team around him that went to the playoffs four-straight years. Even when it came time to give Gilbert a $116 million contract extension, most felt it was something that had to be done. Nobody could have seen what would come in the years that followed. True, allowing Gilbert to call his own shots on when to return was a mistake and Ernie should take the blame for that. You cannot defend Arenas telling the media before his coach (Eddie Jordan at the time) that he was planning to start a playoff game. Mistakes were made.
On the other hand, McPhee seems to get a free pass. While the Caps have put together wonderful regular seasons, other than McPhee's first year when he took over a team most put together by David Poile, he hasn't taken the Caps any further than Grundfeld has taken the Wizards. Both teams haven't advanced past the second round of the playoffs this century.
Both McPhee and Grundfeld still have plenty to prove. The goal is to win championships. But I'm not sure when McPhee suddenly turned in to Bobby Betheard and Grundfeld became Vinny Cerrato. Vinny, by the way, can be found in a dunking booth at a minor league baseball game next month.
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