Thursday, January 27, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

I don't know that the 2010 movie Secretariat made much of a splash at the box office. Certainly it was nothing like Seabiscuit from a few years back.  Which is a pity, because as we can see from CBS' live coverage of the 1973 Belmont Stakes, there really wasn't anything quite like Big Red.  Maybe the movie spent too much time on the humans rather than the horse? 

Secretariat was the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years, and we thought perhaps we'd never seen anything like him.  Then we had two more Triple Crown winners (Seattle Slew and Affirmed) during the decade of the 70s, and some might have thought maybe it wasn't such a big deal after all.

But there have been no Triple Crown winners since, and now we're at the longest such drought since the Crown started.  And we remember the world and race records that Secretariat set, and the way he set them, and the 31 lengths from first to second place in that 1973 Belmont Stakes.  And then we go back to the video for another look, to see if it really could have happened that way .



That time stamp may not mean much today to today's generation. However, to those who were alive twenty-five years ago, this time stamp, on the twenty-eighth day of January, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty-Six, the time stamp does reflect a time where people ask where they were twenty-five years ago that time.

Coming up on the 30-second point in our countdown...T-Minus 30 seconds and we've had a go for auto-sequence start...

The solid rocket booster hydraulic power units have started...T-Minus 21 seconds...and the solid rocket booster engine gimbal now underway...

T-Minute Fifteen Seconds. T-Minus ten, nine, eight, seven, six, we have main engine start, four, three, two, one, and liftoff! Liftoff of the 25th Space Shuttle Mission (51-L) and it has cleared the tower.

Good roll program confirmed . . . Challenger now heading downrange . . .

Engines beginning throttling down now at 94 percent. Normal throttle for most of the flight is 104 percent, we'll throttle down to 65 percent shortly. Engines at 65 percent . . . three engines running normally . . . three good fuel cells . . . three good APU's . . . Velocity 2,257 feet per second, altitude 4.3 nautical miles, downrange distance three nautical miles. Engines throttling up . . three engines now at 104 percent

The word was innocently given to me as an afterthought after lunch at the parochial school I had attended by a kindergarten teacher who is the mother of a friend from school at the time. When I did my homework that afternoon I had the radio tuned to the local radio station, where ABC Radio (now Citadel Radio) broadcast non-stop news coverage on the local station.

Mission Control: Challenger, go at throttle up.

Commander Scobee: Roger, go at throttle up.

Back then, the local radio station offered ABC News on the hour, Paul Harvey at 8:30, 12:06, and 5:30, Ned Jarrett at 12:20, farm updates at 12:25, South Carolina News Sports Talk at 6:05, and Bruce Williams at 8 along with Gamecock sports – which is vastly different than today's local radio stations which only play junk music.

One minute, Fifteen seconds . . . Velocity 2,900 feet per second . . . altitude nine nautical miles . . . Downrange distance seven nautical miles.

Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation . . . Obviously a major malfunction . . . We have no downlink.

We have a report from the Flight Dynamics Officer that the vehicle has exploded. Flight Director confirms that. We are looking at checking with the recovery forces to see what can be done at this point.

After homework and dinner, along with a continuous pipe of WDIX radio (now defunct) to catch updates on the disaster, it dawned on me that it was a disaster like no other I knew. After homework and dinner, the television was on the disaster for the whole evening. It was the first time I had witnessed a national tragedy of this proportion. And it was devastating to a nation in a fight against the Soviets.

Contingency procedures are in effect.

We will report more as we have information available. Again, to repeat, we have a report relayed through the flight dynamics officer that the vehicle has exploded. We are now looking at all the contingency operations and awaiting word from any recovery forces in the downrange field.

This is Mission Control Houston. We have no additional word at this time. Reports from the flight dynamics officer indicate that the vehicle apparently exploded and that impact in the water at a point approximately 28.64 degrees north, 80.28 degrees west. We are awaiting verification from . . . as to the location of the recovery forces in the field to see what may be possible at this point, and we will keep you advised as further information becomes available. This is Mission Control.

This is Mission Control Houston. We are coordinating with recovery forces in the field – range safety equipment, recovery vehicles intended for the recovery of the (solid rocket boosters) in the general area. Those parachutes are believed to be paramedics going into that area. To repeat, we had an apparently normal ascent with the data coming to all positions being normal.

Up through approximately the time of main engine throttle back up to 104%, at approximately a minute or so into the flight there was an apparent explosion, the Flight Dynamics Officer reported. Tracking reported that the vehicle had exploded and impacted the water in an area approximately located at 28.64 degrees north, 82.8 degrees west. Recovery forces are proceeding to the area, including ships and a C-130 aircraft. Flight controllers reviewing their data here in Mission Control. We will provide you with more information as it becomes available. This is Mission Control Houston.

It was horrific and was something to a ten-year old was seriously wrong. And it was tragedy that I had never known. I was not born when Kennedy or King were assassinated, and I was never knowing of the death of Presley. But this was a disaster, one of three major “breaking stories” that have stood as major points to me. There would be two more such “breaking” stories, and they occurred within months of each other. Those will be discussed later in the year. But on this day, we remember those names. Francis Richard Scobee. Michael J. Smith, Ellison S. Onizuka, Judith A. Resnik, Ronald E. McNair, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, Gregory B. Jarvis.

All lost twenty-five years ago on this day we remember.

The Video

There was only one live broadcast of this flight. The networks were airing their daytime programming as regularly planned, believing these were normal and successful.

NASA Film: Backup Barbara Morgan observes 51-L:

The Missing Man Flight

On the ten-year anniversary of the disaster, on January 28, 1996, a Missing Man formation was flown during the flyover for Super Bowl XXX. The flyover was led by the son of Challenge commander Francis R. Scobee as a tribute to his late father.


On August 8, 2007, after an attempt in 2003 was scrubbed because of another tragedy in the sky, redemption had finally come for a goal of 51-L, twenty-one years later, on STS-118. This time, backup Barbara Morgan finally had her chance, and this time she would serve all two weeks and come home safely. It took over twenty-one years, but NASA's Teacher in Space mission was finally complete.

The shuttle landing.

One more archive: Inside 51-L that day

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wish I'd Written That

Within ten years, I wonder how many fine orchestras will survive Generation Gaga? What will happen to talent like this?"

-- Ingrid Schleuter, on the sad state of ticket sales to symphony concerts when she was given complimentary tickets to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's performance featuring Garrick Ohlsson playing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto.

Friday, January 21, 2011

South Carolina March for Life

Highlights fromthe South Carolina Citizens for Life's 38th March for Life at the South Carolina State House on January 15.

Knights of Columbus banner. The rallies have been notoriously Catholic over the years, and this one is again that way.

Knights readying for the march.

Retro TV Friday

From the pages of a 50-year-old TV Guide, here's a look at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy as it was on Friday, January 20, 1961. As always, click on the images for a closer look.

Gee, you'd think this was a big deal or something.  Seriously, there is still something charming, not to say awe-inspiring, about the reverence with which "Inauguration Day" was proclaimed.  It was, regardless of your party affiilation, a day to be proud, yet another example of the peaceful transition of power from one man to another, and one party to another.

I like how the day begins with Captain Kangaroo explaining to the kids what's about to happen.  Note the ad at the bottom of the page, an ominous precursor to today's modern politics.

Here's the full line-up of the day's activities.  You get the feeling that the Inaugural Committee was inviting everyone, not just the people in Washington, to be witnesses to history.

As promised, CBS and NBC offer coverage of the "doings" at the Inaugural Ball.  There were only three balls in 1961; I don't recall how many there are today.  Also, I wonder how odd it must have been for people at the time to see a reference to "President John F. Kennedy," after eight years of President Eisenhower.

Finally, in the articles section, a nice graphic accompanying a story on coverage of the inauguration, and a reminder that television is still something of a modern marvel in 1961.

Fifty years ago yesterday - not really all that long ago, in the relative ways of history, and yet a lifetime and then some.  Back then it was the youngest man ever elected president, the changing of the guard, the Democrats returning to power.  I wonder what the story will be two years from now?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

With the Pittsburgh Steelers preparing for a run at yet another Super Bowl, it's perhaps a good time to look back at what might, arguably, be the greatest single moment in Steelers history.  It didn't come from one of the six Super Bowls the team has been in, nor even from a year in which the Steelers won.  And yet it lives on, not only in the minds of Pittsburgh fans, but football fans everywhere.

It is, of course, the Immaculate Reception, Franco Harris' miracle touchdown in the waining seconds of a playoff game against the Oakland Raiders on December 23, 1972.  I remember this game vividly, having seen it live on TV, and having despaired that the Steelers appeared headed for a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to the Raiders.  Then, of course, a miracle happened.

If you weren't alive back in '72, or if you didn't see the game, this is probably what you remember it having looked like:

Yet, if you saw the game live as I did, or if you've been fortunate enough to have seen the actual TV replay (rather than the NFL Films version above), you might get quite a different perspective on what happened:

See the difference? The NFL Films version is excellent at showing you what happened and how, but it's only in the NBC coverage, broadcast by the great Curt Gowdy, that you experience the sheer shock of what happened as it happened. In the first clip we see how the rookie phenom Harris, a man truly in the right place at the right time, made the most of his opportunity by grabbing the ball just before it hit the ground. The angle captured by NFL Films is perfect - you couldn't have asked for better if it had been choreographed.

In that sense, it's almost too good. Look again at the NBC clip, as we see the ball go completely out of the picture, presumably bouncing harmlessly to the turf, the Raiders defenders all but celebrating their victory - when all of a sudden there's Harris, coming out of nowhere, nexplicably running downfield for a touchdown. The shock and sheer delight of the Pittsburgh fans, having seen tragedy turn to triumph in the blink of an eye, is wonderful. (Unless you were rooting for the Raiders, in which case perhaps the wounds have healed by now.)

It's truly a What the Hell? moment, and seeing it in the original context makes a truly exciting moment even more thrilling. I wonder if anything nearly as exciting will happen this weekend?

Opera Thursday

A brief aside to some readers who may not be familiar: A few years ago, upon the fatal crash of a military plane by a woman in the military, a caller used the term "female aviator" to radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy in reference to the crash. Mr. Liddy responded by telling him the correct term is "aviatrix". We have sadly seen poor grammar become mandatory in the House of Representatives under Louise Slaughter's reign at the Rules Committee, banning the word "man" in language that would irritate Mr. Liddy. Such use of language is why the term "Governess" is used when referring to South Carolina's Her Excellency Nikki Nirmata Randhawa Haley, the Governess of South Carolina.

For today's Opera Thursday we go to an artist I've enjoyed throughout my music career, Georg Frederic Händel. While most of us know around the late 1730's and early 1740's was a time where his great work Messiah was published, it coincided with the release of another opera piece that can be sung as an oratorio based on a Biblical character, Samson, whom most remember had power with his hair, and lost it when Delilah cut his hair.

Händel's Samson was changed after it had been originally published in 1741, but was changed with two additional pieces at the end in 1743. One of those is a soprano aria, "Let the Bright Seraphim," sung after Manoah asks the people to cease their regrets over the death of the titular hero, and this aria follows the funeral ceremony. It is said the song is worthy only of the greatest artist, characterized by joyousness, brilliance and lofty inspiration, both with voice and instrument. Yet in this Official Inaugural Prayer Service held at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, across from the State House (the last state funeral for a Governor, Carroll A. Campbell Jnr, was held here) and a wing of the more liberal Diocese of Upper South Carolina (different from the Diocese that is more conservative that starts once you leave Lexington and Richland Counties that wants to break away from the Episcopalians), just two hours from the Inauguration of Governess and Sargent Haley (yes, First Gentleman Michael Haley is a reservist, and wore his uniform at the inauguration; it seems odd his picture in military garb will be in the same gallery as Iris Campbell, Mary Wood Beasley, and other great women of the state) was the call for this selection near the end of the opera was called to celebrate the Governess' inauguration.

As I've previously mentioned, I sang last year in a production of Beethoven's Mass in C Major with Ashley Briggs as the soprano soloist. Here is Miss Briggs, with Tony Roebuck on trumpet and Jared Johnson on organ, with "Let the Bright Seraphim". We had a fun discussion afterward.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wish I'd Written That

A boy writes a letter to God:

"Dear God, why do you let bad things happen in our schools?"

God replied "Dear Son, I'm not allowed in your schools."

- From my friend Peter DePalma. Having a blog entitles me to steal the best material from my friends, giving proper credit of course.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Opinion Digest

Opinions worth reading:

Brannon Howse: Glenn Beck's New Book Reveals He Embraces New Age Theology, Is a Knowledgeable Mormon, and a Universalist.

WorldNetDaily: Rick Warren hosts “cult” celebrity doctors. (The kingpin of Life Enhancement Centres promotes Eastern mysticism.)

In light of attending Rick Santorum's speech Saturday at the South Carolina March for Life regarding one of his children, and the attempt by the doctors to kill her using “hospice” and excessive morphine, Chuck Norris' two columns on ObamaCare's Baby Death Panels.

Star Parker: Restoring a Culture of Life.

Michelle Malkin: Blame Righty: A Condensed History.

Dennis Prager: Libeling the Right.

Ingrid Schlueter: El Paso (TX) City Officials ignore voters and force Homosexual "Domestic Partner" Benefits.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Who's that guy?

Guest Post by Cathy of Alex

A few days ago one of the most unique of British actors passed away: Pete Postlethwaite, died at the age of 64. Who? You ask.

Be honest. Would you have recognized the name without the photo (at right)? Oh, THAT guy. And, still, some of you may not recognize him or know his name. It helps to be a fan of British TV or arty, smaller budget films or TV series of the last 20 years.

I first noticed him as the nemesis of Richard Sharpe, Obadiah Hakeswill, in the first Sharpe’s miniseries in the early 90s. Unless you are a fan of local public television in the Twin Cities you may not have ever seen the series which is a crying shame in my humble opinion. Postlethwaite is a study in evil. He’s very Shakespearean in his manners; twitching and clever.

He’s an odd looking man. Very angular and raw. Not quite handsome, not quite ugly, but decidedly noticable. He’s what is usually called “a character actor” which is a term I usually equate with “scene stealer” Put him a scene and the lead actor better be on their game or the entire episode or film will be stolen.

Speaking of Shakespeare, maybe you remember Postlethwaite as the Priest in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet ? Most of us remember Leo, the beach, the fish tank and a lot of buffed young men with guns from that film. But, Postlethwaite was there and, unsurprising, able to make an odd role over in his own image.

Or, maybe you remember him in the second Jurassic Park film?

More than likely you remember him from The Usual Suspects -probably his biggest stateside role.

Besides his role in Sharpe I see him, forever, as the seemingly out of touch conductor of a brass band in a dying mining town in Brassed Off His surprising and impassioned speech at the end could only have been pulled off by Postlethwaite as during the rest of the film he seems completely out of touch with any reality other than music, yet, surprisingly he was paying attention and was well aware the whole time. Suddenly, we realize that music was an escape for him as much as it was for the miners in the band.

If you saw Inception recall that Postlethwaite spent his role on his back in a hospital bed and is shown in only two brief scenes with scarcely any dialogue. A lesser actor would have faded into the sheets-not Postlethwaite.

This post is a shout out to, not only Postlethwaite, but all the actors who give us enjoyment but whose names are not always, or ever, above the marquee. Consider the following names: J.T. Walsh, Terry O’Quinn (who prior to his breakout in “Lost” was largely unknown), Jessica Walter, Lance LeGault, Lance Henriksen, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Judith Chapman,Christine Belford, Jeff Mackay, Strother Martin, Denholm Elliot. Some of these actors have passed away, and some continue to find work, but no matter they will continue to entertain via Hulu, DVD, Netflix, TCM, AMC or daily reruns on cable or satellite TV.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

This was one of my most vivid memories of NFL football as a kid, and now I'm able to see it again for the first time since then: Don Criqui's wonderful call of Tom Dempsey's record-setting (and game-winning) 63-yard field goal on November 8, 1970.

A few small points: first, note that the Saints used to embellish the end zones with not only their name, but the name of their opponent as well (you can see it on Errol Mann's go-ahead field goal for the Lions). The Chiefs did something similar to this too, back in the day, by putting the helmet logos of both teams at midfield.

But most outstanding is Criqui's call. The low-key announcer (who you can still hear on the radio calling Notre Dame football, and very well), starts out with a healthy (and justifiable) skepticism about Dempsey's effort. This quickly turns to incredulity as the kick nears the end zone, followed by spontaneous chaos after it goes over the crossbar. In an era when we're used to hearing shouters, sreamers, and homers trying their hardest to get on SportsCenter, it's refreshing to hear something so utterly unaffected and genuine. This made such an impact that I recall WCCO, the local CBS affiliate, replaying the clip several times on their local sportscast at the request of viewers who had either missed it the first time or who wanted to see (and hear) it again. Now, thanks to You Tube, we can all have that pleasure.

An historic photo

Look carefully at this Senior Class Page from The Indian 1989, my eighth-grade yearbook. Keep an eye on the class photo in the "senior section" of school and an easily seen signature.

There is an important signature, and an important member of this senior class. Can you identify it? 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mocking Communion

Depending on denomination, all terms based in the 10th and 11th chapters of First Corinthians, it may be called Eucharist, Holy Communion (1 Cor 10:16, a translation of koinōnía), or The Lord's Supper (1 Cor 11:20-21). The same section of the Bible in question (1 Cor 11:23-25) states:

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

Section VI of The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 states it is "a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming." Denominations that use grape juice have because of Dr. Thomas Welch, a former Methodist minister and later dentist, who discovered pasteurising grape juice to stop fermentation that was used to create wine; "Dr. Welch's Unfermented Wine" was first sold for communion services in New Jersey and the product, which we now know as Welch's juices, became the success it is during Prohibition when many congregations used the product instead of the prohibited wine. Today, many Protestant congregations prohibit the alcoholic drinks from their communions, and being in a state where alcohol is prohibited on Sunday (although rock music stations are wanting it to be eliminated), even some Catholic congregations prohibit wine in communion owing to the state's Sunday prohibition.

This leads to the insult that one contestant (that did not qualify for the finals thankfully) in Pepsi's annual Crash the Super Bowl contest with an advertisement concept that, when it was published on the Web and reported on the Fox Nation, drew the ire of millions. A contestant (that thankfully did not qualify for the finals) posted a concept ad that featured the mocking of Communion by replacing the unleavened bread with Pepsi's Doritos brand corn chips. This one was notoriously insulting that every denomination lit up the switchboards, helping this ad lose, and Pepsi later pulled it from their contest site.

Last year, another insulting commercial, "Casket," was run mocking the Resurrection, and was developed by Mosaic, a famed Los Angeles area Life Enhancement Centre fronted by Erwin McManus, a notorious false teacher, that meets in a nightclub.

It seems the mocking of faith has become clearer each and every day, and Albert Herlong's Communist Goals of 1963 keep marching towards the goals of the CCCP in that bad "art," this time mocking God, is acceptable in the eyes of the modern Left. Pushing such bad art is helping towards the goals of demolishing the church while anything insulting to God is acceptable, as we saw in the last Congress.

More: L. Brent Bozell III: Pepsico Mocks God.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Do you believe in miracles?

If you're feeling that perhaps today just isn't your day, or if you're just suffering the Monday blahs, take heart: Joe Posnanski recalls the day forty years ago when the world's losingist team actually won.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Retro TV Friday

For some reason, when I was growing up we always favored the ABC news over NBC or CBS. I'm not sure why, but in doing so we were definitely in the minority. ABC was constantly on the lookout for news credibility in the hopes it would translate to higher ratings, but until Roone Arledge took over the news division in the late 70s, such was not the case.

Here is one of ABC's best teams, circa 1969-70: Harry Reasoner, who had come over from CBS after it appeared he would never succeed Walter Cronkite, and Howard K. Smith, who had been with CBS many years before.

I always really liked this intro: intense, aggressive music (that matches up perfectly with the graphics), high energy, with an underlying seriousness. As the images flash by faster and faster, the subliminal message seems to be, "When the world moves so fast you can't keep up, turn to the trusted names at ABC News." Knowing that Lou Ciaffi and Irv Chapman and Peter Jennings are on the beat was supposed to impress us (although apparently it didn't impress enough of us).

And note those issues - abortion, the Mideast, unemployment, inflaton, China, Congress, ecology (or as we would think of it today, the environment), Substitute "Iraq/Afghanistan" for "Vietnam," and you have virtually a duplicate of what could be on today's news. It proves, once again, that there's very little new under the sun.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Classic Sports Thursday

While researching tomorrow's "Retro TV Friday," I came across this clip (You Tube is a wonderful thing) from Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals between - surprise - the Celtics and the Lakers. This game was played, if you can believe it, on May 5 - well over a month earlier than it would be today. It was, as I recall, one of the rare championship games to be nationally televised in prime time rather than in the usual Sunday afternoon timespot.

If you're so inclined, you can hunt down the rest of the quarter on You Tube. But note some things from this clip that are readily apparent: low-key announcers (Chris Schenkel and Jack Twyman, an underappreciated humanitarian), limited graphics (just the score, ma'am), a court that is remarkably free of clutter, uniforms that fit (and shorts that don't come down to the ankles), and most of all a serious atmosphere (do you really miss not having that obnoxious music blaring at you during every stoppage in play?). I'll tell you, if it was like this today, I might still be a basketball fan.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Notable Quotables, 2010

The Year in Review time is here, and here we go with some outrageous, and fun quotes from 2010.

“Has feminising of today’s classical music allowed the tackiness of women in concert halls where it’s appropriate to be Henry Ford, and wear anything, provided it’s black, even if it’s a black sweatshirt, black jeans, and sneakers, something that I find inappropriate when the dinner jacket is worn?”

-- On “Beethoven and Blue Jeans”. Later in the year a friend and I attended the Methodist university's concert choir performance of Händel's Messiah and the dress of the choral singers had started becoming sloppy with questionable dresses. What is with the sloppiness of dress in the orchestra?

“Whatever happened to the idea of walking golf? The pros do it, but the country-clubbers who want the revenue ban the simplest of golf fundamentals.”

-- On playing my first full round of golf.

“Eardrum-busting prerecorded music is not church music – ever.”

-- Excessively loud church “music”.

“Hey, it was the 13th marathon on the 13th of February. Something was bound to go wrong.”

-- Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon XIII was canned because of snow on February 12 just eight hours from the gun. The second attempt is in seven weeks, and unfortunately, they will have a course different from the one originally drawn. A user sent me this statement. The 13th renewal of the marathon is February 19.

“It would have been better if McMurray fending off Junior on Lap 208 was at 9:34 PM instead of 7:34 PM where Family Guy would never have aired."

-- On “Family Guy” insulting Sarah Palin, which should have never aired. It also began the Ganassi Triple Crown of the Daytona 500 and both major Indianapolis races (500 and 400). The Harley Earl, Borg-Warner, and PPG Trophies.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Retro TV Friday: New Year's Edition

Back in the day, New Year's meant four things: Guy Lombardo at night, hangovers in the morning, the Rose Parade, and college football.

People change, and times change. Guy Lombardo has long since gone to his eternal reward, but the hangovers are still around. The Rose Parade is now in HD, probably soon to be 3D. The big sporting event now is an outdoor hockey game, and although the bowls are still going, the big game doesn't come along until a couple of weeks later.

So let's take a glimpse at what New Year's Day used to look like.  Welcome to New Year's Day, 1961.

The first thing you'll notice is that they seem to be celebrating New Year's on January 2. That's because the 1st fell on a Sunday, and traditionally the parades and games would be moved to Monday.  They still are, in fact; you'll see that on New Year's, 2012.

Imagine what it must have been like to watch the Rose Parade in black-and-white.  Yet that's the way it was throughout the 50s; NBC, the pioneer in color broadcasting, is the only place you'll see the flowers in living color in 1961.  And don't forget to send in your order for those lifelike plastic roses.

Ah, Bess Myerson. The former Miss America was a sophisticated beauty, and a staple on game shows such as I've Got a Secret.  Bess Myerson alone might have been enough to make up for ABC's black-and-white coverage.

At this point in time, there were only four football games on January 1 (or January 2, in this case), and most of them overlapped: the Orange Bowl at 11:45, the Sugar Bowl an hour later, the Cotton Bowl at 2:30, and the Rose Bowl, the granddaddy of them all, at 3:45.  There were no night games, which is a big difference compared to today.  But the biggest difference, which football fans will notice immediately, is in who plays in these games.

The Orange Bowl, of course, was the first of the bowl games to go prime-time, two or three years after this game was played.  It's been a long time since either Missouri and Navy were New Year's day contenders, but there's a good reason for Navy to be there: Joe Bellino, the Heisman Trophy winner, is their star running back.  A future Heisman winner, Roger Staubach, will be quarterbacking them the next three years.

For many years the Sugar Bowl labored under a self-imposed handicap: New Orleans, one of the most racially segregated cities in the country, was somewhat less than inviting to integrated teams.  Hence, the majority of Sugar Bowl participants came from the South, and for that reason, the Sugar had a tendency to pick more unlikely teams than the other bowls.  And for today's football fan, they wouldn't be much more unlikely than Rice Institue.  A habitual bottom feeder today, Rice was at one time a pretty good team, as their 1960 record of 7-3 would indicate.  They would lose this game 14-6, however.

In fact, perhaps the only team unlikelier than Rice is Duke.  Duke! Yes, the team that year-in, year-out has one of the worst records in college football, was a powerhouse in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Even in 1960, they were 7-2. And they'd come out on top here as well, beating the Razorbacks 7-6.

Well, maybe there's one other team even more unlikely than Rice and Duke, and that would be the Minnesota Gophers.  If you're my age or younger, you likely weren't alive the last time the Gophers played in the Rose Bowl.  As a matter of fact, every team in the Big 10 - including Nebraska, which isn't even an official member yet - has been to the Rose Bowl since the last time the Gophers were there.  And while it may be hard to believe today, the Minnesota Gophers were the National Champions in 1960, even though they will lose this Rose Bowl to Washington.  Reason?  In those days, the bowls were purely exhibition games - the national champion was chosen at the end of the regular season.  Incidentelly, Minnesota would return to the Rose Bowl the next season, becoming the first Big 10 team to make back-to-back appearances in Pasadena.  This time they would win, defeating UCLA.  They haven't been back since.

One of the advantages to having the hometown TV Guide is the chance to see a charming ad like this, as a local brewery wishes the native sons well.  Kind of poignant, in a way.  Ah, but then, isn't that part of what nostalgia is all about?

And your New Year's resolution is?

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