Late Nights Ruin the Clever Headlines … Sorry Folks

1. Please Move Back North of the Border

Forbes Magazine recently reported that the last season of the National Hockey League was the most successful season in 10 years, when the magazine began tracking the values of individual teams.

Why is this? The article explains that the fans that are coming to games have the highest household incomes in sports (which really isn’t saying much — everyone knows that it’s not cheap to be a sports fan) and because of a rise in big time NHL superstars.

So does this mean the NHL is finally saved from its pitiful slump toward being broadcast on ESPN less than poker (wait, that already happened)?

Absolutely not. What these factors don’t take into account is the fact that year after year, there have been superstars in the NHL.

And take a look at the Phoenix Coyotes, for example. Their coach is Wayne Gretzky. Yes, Wayne Gretzky! The Great One! The best hockey player of all time! And even though he’s behind the bench and not on the ice, this should draw up some interest, right?

Wrong. The Phoenix Coyotes lost $9.7 million last season. And, with just about every economist on the planet predicting doom and gloom for the U.S. economy, we here at OnFire don’t think this will be improving anytime soon.

Where the hockey markets are actually doing well is Canada. Duh. And who woulda’ thunk it? People in Canada actually like hockey. Which brings us back to the still-plauging, ever-present question: Why don’t they put hockey where it belongs?

2. We’d Almost Rather Watch the NHL

There are certain things that just shouldn’t be on primetime television:

• 25 naked women swooning over a guy for fame, fortune and ‘love’

• Larry King

• Analysis of Barack Obama’s trips to the bathroom

• Bad NFL teams from one region of the country battling it out on Monday Night Football.

Unfortunately, we have all three on any given night of television, as last night the mighty Arizona Cardinals battled the threatening San Francisco 49ers (or is it Giants? Who cares, they have been so irrelevant for so long now.)

Thanks to Fantasy Football implications, we here at OnFire had to sit through the game. Go Larry Fitzgerald.

Who cares anyway if we can’t give you the score because of deadline? Are you going to check the box score anyway?

ESPN should know better than to schedule this game. After Jim Rome and Woody Paige for an hour each day, it needs this period of time to redeem itself.

ESPN always advertises with those dumb commercials about looking forward to Mondays. With games like this, I might be forced to turn on CNN.

3. The Not-So-Little Giant

Quarterbacks are supposed to be tall, mobile athletes with precision passing abilities.

Well, not Tony Casamento.

While he may have the body of an offensive lineman, a kid whose teammates call him “the next John Madden” recently led his high school from New York to playoff victories.

Casamento weighs 309 pounds and moves like molasses in the backfield. He looks more like Kansas football Mark Mangino than any quarterback we’ve even seen.

But after the team’s starting quarterback was injured, he took over the job and has led his team to a 56-13 win in the sectional semifinals.

Doctors told him he had been born with a slow metabolism, and would always be a big kid.

He made use of this by playing football — a game that offers plenty of opportunities heavy set folks. But these opportunities don’t usually come at quarterback.

“People laughed at me when I said he’s a quarterback in a lineman’s body,” his coach said. “But he really is. It’s unfortunate that God gives us certain things, but you gotta deal with it.”

Casamento says he has tried going on diets before, but it just doesn’t work. His problem?

“I love food. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

We’ve seen an evolution in recent years at the quarterback position. Maybe the 300-plus pound quarterback could be the next big thing in football.

Or then again — maybe not.

Tony Casamento

Tony Casamento


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