Alright, alright, enough April Foolery, let's get back to the business of the day, well, of my day anyway.
Unless the editors found them unsuitable for upload, my reflections on the most boring Final Four I have ever seen should be up at SportsFanMagazine.com.
What is the "Deal?"
I am not concerned about the state of college basketball or the NCAA Tournament, but I am very worried about the rise of "Deal or No Deal," especially in my house. I rushed home from a meeting last night to catch the beginning of the Florida-UCLA game (and if you missed the first 10 minutes, you pretty much missed the whole game), but instead of Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, and Seth Davis, I was greeted by Howie Mandel on my TV. The Doc and the boys sat entranced, a scene eerily reminiscent of when they were first hypnotized by "American Idol." Maybe sometime in the future, I will write about what a great show "Deal or No Deal" is and how much fun it is for the whole family, but right now, I have some trepidation.
First of all, I saw Howie Mandel perform live about 10 years ago and he was great. He had some funny material, of course, but was more impressive with some improvised bits and brilliant in shutting up hecklers. This kind of talent hasn't been wasted on a game show since Richard Dawson hosted "Family Feud." It hurts to watch, and let's not even discuss his creepy makeover. If we can find room on the dial for shows starring Hulk Hogan and Flavor Flav, can't we find something better for a legitimate talent like Howie Mandel?
Secondly, my six-year already negotiates items like bathtime as if he were a miniature Drew Rosenhaus, and I don't need this show to make dealing with him any more difficult. I can hear it now .... "Okay, Dad, one of these three boxes holds your car keys. The other two have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I found at the bottom of my locker last week and the contents of the plastic bag you brought back from walking the dog this morning. I just got a phone call that informed me that I can offer you the box with the keys in exchange for a six-month advance on my allowance. Deal or no deal?"
I don't need this.
Well, the weekend numbers are in, and it appears I was off by just a tad when I predicted that "Basic Instinct 2" would edge out "Ice Age 2" for box office supremacy. According to boxofficemojo.com, "Ice" went for $68 million while "Instinct" took in $3.2 million, also trailing other new releases "ATL" ($11.5) and "Slither" ($3.9). So, good job by me on that. I guess I should have warned you that the last time I tried to do this, I forecast a bigger opening weekend for the Coen brothers' "Intolerable Cruelty" than for "Finding Nemo." So I am consistent. We'll try again this Friday.
O's on Top
Speaking of big openings, the Orioles pounded four home runs in their 9-6 win over Tampa Bay yesterday. All the previews I read mentioned that the O's spent 62 games in first place before falling apart last season. So nobody should get too excited, but seeing as how there was a tornado watch in Baltimore yesterday, we should be happy they got the game in at all, and a victory in such conditions might just be an omen.
A Push West
The Wizards were just one last-second Antawn Jamison three-pointer at Houston away from a 4-2 record on their recent road trip, but 3-3 is a very satisfactory result. At the end of February, I missed badly when I forecast them finishing ahead of Cleveland, but with wins at Detroit, San Antonio and Phoenix this season, Washington has shown it can compete with the best teams in the league. Unfortunately, even though they are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards are only three games ahead of eighth place Philadelphia.
I try to steer clear of politics, but last week on NPR I heard conservative pundit Freddy "The Beetle" Barnes say that Geroge Bush should ask Condoleezza Rice to replace Vice President Cheney, thereby firmly establishing her as the next Republican presidential candidate. So this means we could have Condi versus Hilary in 2008? Meeeyow! Throw in Sharon Stone as a viable third-party entry and we're talking ratings bonanza!
It's country night tonight on Idol. Great news for Kellie and Bucky, not so good for Katharine, who found herself in the bottom three last week. Kenny Rogers performs tomorrow on Judgment Night, but the real contest will be to determine whether his plastic surgeon is as good as Barry Manilow's.