It sure makes it easier around the station when we don't originate our own games. We do our own productions of the South Suburban College treks through the tournament and all four classes of the Indiana high school basketball tournament. And we're the Chicago-area affiliate for both Purdue and Indiana... and we do our own Purdue Cal games, men and women.
Tomorrow, we'll carry the local Lutheran university in Valparaiso as they play Brigham Young in the semi-finals of the NIT from Madison Square Garden. We don't have the men's final four next weekend... but we do have the women's final four. With UConn going for a record four straight, that might even be better than the men's this year. That's all I have to say about basketball.... other than I never thought I'd say this but...
I'm getting' kinda tired of watching or announcing or listening to basketball every night, live or on TV. Note that I didn't say "I'm getting tired of basketball" because that is not a possibility. I just need one night to not watch basketball. Instead, Alexis and I slipped out to Three Floyd's in Munster where they never watch basketball for a beer and some surprisingly good food.
Alexis had these brisket tacos and a Gumballhead and if there's anything a good Mexican girl knows, it's tacos. At least that's what Alexis said to the waiter, who was surprisingly nice and cordial. It is Three Floyd's, remember, that I called out on the air for being rude. My on-air comments were brought to my attention when Alexis and I were leaving and Paulie Aguilera and wife Jen were waiting in the vestibule for a table -
"Didn't you say Three Floyd's is rude and arrogant or something like that on the air?" Paulie asked.
"That's why we checked our food to make sure nobody spit on it."
I didn't really expect that someone might spit on my food. Just as I didn't expect that any of the tattoo-clad servers to even know who the hell I am. Maybe. You never know. You don't get to be a world-renowned brewery by not paying attention. This I can say with complete clarity - Alexis and I had an A-1 experience at one of the top breweries in America, and I am thankful for that.
"If someone ever asked me - 'what is the best beer you ever had?' I'd answer straightaway - 'Alpha King.'" That's what I said to Alexis tonight, somewhat pompously as only an arrogant beer geek could do. Here's what Jean Shepherd had to say about beer. And Jean Shepherd, as you know, despite his shortcomings as someone who could just never live up to his own expectations - and someone who completely leaves out of his half-made-up stories that his dad left the family for the secretary at the candy factory - despite all of this he was one of the biggest geniuses I ever read about while sitting on the toilet in the morning.
"There has to be a god. Why else would there be beer?" Or something like that from Jean Shepherd's dad, the one who opened the box with leg lamp in it and then unceremoniously left the idyllic chateau for the secretary at the candy factory.
.... It's 10:03 at night and I really should be watching the Chicago news. That way if anything really important happens in northwest Indiana I'll be able to talk about it in the morning. That bugs me, by the way, that we here across the border in an area that no one in Illinois could give two (rhymes with "bits") about.. that we have to get our nightly news from the top of the Sears tower. You'd think by now that we could get our own news about us from us.
This morning my daughter Jeanie skyped me while I was interviewing reporter Dan Carden on the phone from Indianapolis. It struck me and maybe even it struck the three or four of you as a bit cosmic that I was interviewing a guy from a hundred miles away and looking at my daughter five thousand miles away at the same time. She's in Thailand. I was in the middle of live radio so all that I could do was wave to her and her friend Sydney and continue on with talk about the upcoming primaries coming to Indiana.
... Also, a woman named Bonnie called up to talk about one thing, and by the end of the phone call I had her singing a Beatles tune. That's the kind of thing that you live for on AM radio. I don't remember which Beatles song it was. That's not the point. That oughta do it for tonight for the three or four of you. God willing, there'll be plenty of My American, Radio Life to chew on tomorrow.