Friday, May 18, 2007

Farewell to Bob

It’s nice to be able to take a step back from ranting about a lousy suburban newspaper group and take a look at a few other things going on in my world.

In no particular order:

CBS did two nights of shows in tribute to Bob Barker during prime time. One hour was the typical “Million Dollar Special” CBS has dropped into prime time occasionally. The other, a tribute to Bob’s 50-year history in broadcasting, was a 30-minute version of the game combined with a variety of clips and tributes. Some of that was entertaining and worthwhile, some of it wasn’t particularly spectacular. Overall, not bad.

Bob hasn’t retired yet, however, he tapes his final daytime episode in early June, and it will broadcast shortly afterward. The show airs repeats through most of the summer, so we’ll still see Bob on CBS all summer long, but by fall we’ll start seeing the new host, whomever that turns out to be.

I don’t have a circle of friends I discuss games shows with, nobody is a fraction of the game show geek I am, but I have heard it suggested that the show won’t be the same without Bob, and I had heard it questioned if the show will go on.

Bob has been a great host, his personality shines through his work as an emcee. It won’t be the same without him, but the show is about the games and the prizes, not the host.

CBS has an institution at this point, there’s no way they’d drop the show simply because Barker is retiring. Sure, the show has become synonymous with Barker, and the two most recent attempts at syndicating a 30-minute version of the show, hosted by someone other than Barker, were not successful. But the one-hour mid-morning version of the show will ultimately persevere with a decent host.

The show’s ratings are not going to grow immediately because Bob departs, they’ll likely drop. But enough people in every demographic enjoy the show and made it a part of their regular routine that they’re not all going to abandon it just because Barker is gone. We’ll all say, “Bob was the best,” in 10 years, but he’s not the reason we tuned in. The game will be fine without him.

I still don’t have handles for my two baseball friends, but I think we’ll go with Chip for the Stinktown Brewers fan and Rush for the Minnesota Twins fan. Chip is a nickname we joking used a few times in college, although my buddy already had a nickname. Chip never stuck, but we haven’t forgotten it, either. My co-worker likes to think he’s right 99.6 percent of the time, he’s a regular Rush Limbaugh. He doesn’t think it’s funny when I call him Rush, but I don’t care. I do.

On Sunday night Rush guaranteed that the Twins would win at least two games in Stinktown this weekend. That was after the Twins unloaded on Detroit for 16 runs. After a four-game losing streak, all was right in Twins territory, he wanted to believe. Then the Twins went to Cleveland and were swept. White Sox fans say “thanks for nothing.”

The Brewers now need to go 12-1 during the rest of the month for Chip’s 14-6 prediction to come true. Good luck with that. I mentioned to him last week that we’d have a better idea of how good the Brewers are after they face good competition, such as the Mets. He scoffed at me for suggesting the Brewers might not win at the same clip as they have playing teams like the Cubs, Nationals, Cardinals and Pirates. If one of those teams has a winning record at the moment, I’m stunned.

It looks like Chip was planning that World Series championship parade route a little soon. That’s not to say the Brewers won’t be there in the post-season, but he’s just like a Vikings fan, when things are going good, he thinks the world is his oyster. That’s a Rush analogy, for the record, and it’s a good one.

I have a feeling there is going to be a conference call after each game this weekend. I, of course, am rooting for Stinktown. A Stinktown victory helps my White Sox.

I’m not feeling as inspired as I thought I was, so I’ll leave it at that for now.

1 comment:

Dinesh Ramde said...

I could be as much of a game-show geek as anyone else ("Jokers Wild", "Concentration", "Match Game", "Sale of the Century") but I've never understood the appeal of "The Price is Right."

How does someone get good at that game? First of all, different stores may sell the same product at different prices.

Also, Bob also says he's looking for the retail price, which is different from the sales price. So how do you ever know what the retail price is?

And if you're not operating from a position of knowledge, then all these games essentially become games of luck. And I hate when people turn to the audience to make their decision for them -- if the audience is filled with equally clueless people, why put any more credence in their uninformed suggestions?

The best game show was "Let's Make a Deal" with Monty Hall. I loved how people could end up trading something good for something worthless.

Is that how "Deal or No Deal" works? I've refused to watch that idiocy so I have no idea how it works.

All righty, Fonz, you've blogged three or four times in the length of time it took me to blog once. Guess I better get off my bunz of steel...