I was all set to write about this week's NFL venture in London. I was ready to write about how on Friday, the NFL was buried on the BBC sport website, taking a backseat to minor news about a minor team in the English Premiership that few American football fans have ever heard of. About how strangely the American game translates into English sport lingo, but you can read it for yourself.
But then, the fans in London surprised me. They filled the place, screamed and shouted their way through the rain-soaked mostly terrible display. And aside from booing the Giants for running out the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter, acted as knowledgeable fans of the game. And who wants to see 2 minutes of kneeldowns anyway? Ok, aside from Giants fans who wanted to get the hell out of London before they blew one to the lowly Dolphins...
So my story of the week was spoiled until late Sunday night and early Monday morning, when I caught a double dose of intense outrage. And I'm sure I am not alone. Here are those 2 stories:
1. Another heckuva job
A number of agencies, governments and people earned high praise for their handling of this week's wildfires in California. The general consensus was this: Southern California was well-prepared to handle the disaster. This was not another Katrina.
The scene at San Diego, I mean...Jack Murphy, er... Qualcomm Stadium was one of organization, where volunteers outnumbered evacuees, kids were distracted with art projects and games, pets were pampered, and any and all comparisons to the scene at the Superdome post-Katrina were speedily (forgive me) extinguished.
Even FEMA was praised for its response.
Until they got in their own way.
Tuesday, FEMA held a press conference. Only, they sort of forgot to tell the press. But that didn't stop them from holding the conference. Without the press in attendence, FEMA planted staffers in the crowd to ask questions it "thought the press would ask."
QUESTION: Sir, there are a number of reports that people weren't heeding evacuation orders and that was hindering emergency responders. Can you speak a little to that, please?
QUESTION: Can you address a little bit what it means to have the president issue an emergency declaration, as opposed to a major disaster declaration? What does that (inaudible) for FEMA?
QUESTION: Sir, we understand the secretary and the administrator of FEMA are on their way out there. What is their objective? And is there anyone else traveling with them?
Question: I know you guys were appointed by President Bush, but are you really as stupid as you seem? I can't say it better than CBS' Bob Schieffer already has:
"Fire these people and the people who hired them and then explain to the new people that the best way for a disaster relief agency to get good publicity is to do a good job helping disaster victims."
It gets worse...
2. FOX BASHING!!
Thank you Fox, once again, for dashing my hopes of avoiding a 3rd straight week mentioning the freakin' Yankees. But I can't let this one slide. Why
Must you break the news about A-Rod opting out of his contract for next year when the 2007 season is 9 outs from over? Can we celebrate the end of one of the more exciting, engaging seasons in recent history (that happened to culminate with the most BORING World Series ever, but that's not the point) without having to talk about next season? Does "Wait til next year" mean anything to you?
6 outs away from sweeping their 2nd World Series in 4 years, and all Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and that total tool Ken Rosenthal (you're so cool, Ken...you have Scott Boras in your Blackberry!) can talk about is what the Red Sox are going to do about Mike Lowell next year and do they need A-Rod. NO! They don't need A-Rod, they're about to win their second World Series since he started playing for their arch-rival! Can we focus, please?
The World Series should be a celebration of the season that was, not the season to come. A-Rod can wait. Sometimes being first isn't as important as being good.
And while I'm at it, shame on the NY Post and the Daily News for thinking the A-Rod story was bigger than the World Series. It's not. Winning the World Series is the biggest on-the-field story of the season.
And shame on A-Rod and Scott Boras. Couldn't you two have waited for the offseason to officially arrive before you set off the biggest story of the offseason?
Oh crap. It's the offseason.
Well, at least the Giants are good. That was rather unexpected.
Jolly good show on the muddy pitch, chaps.