Monday, March 29, 2010

Dying is easy...

... and comedy is hard.

That lesson came back this past week as I took on a little extra work at The Buffalo News.

As part of an effort to introduce several new features to the print edition of the paper in March, we dropped "Sports Today" Monday through Friday and put in a column consisting of "Five Spot," "This Day in Buffalo Sports History" and "The Watch List." I write the history lesson, which has gotten some good feedback since appearing in print.

"Five Spot" is the baby of Greg Connors. It's essentially five smart-aleck, topical comments about the world of sports. It's usually set up as a news item, followed by a punchline.

Greg wrote the column for a few days, and then took off on vacation. He heroically has been continuing to write it while on the road, but I offered to help him out a bit by sending him items.

Whew. Now I know what Jay Leno's staff goes through. It's not easy to come up with five one-liners about sports. But here was what appeared in the paper today above my name, if only to show you how difficult it is:

Tiger Woods will have a news conference the Monday before the Masters, and will take questions from reporters. However, in order to minimize the potential audience, it will only be shown on NBC in prime-time.

The New Jersey Nets guaranteed Friday night that they wouldn't be alone in having the worst record in NBA history, winning their ninth game. When the Nets' game ended, the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers (9-73) raised a glass and toasted the Nets ... using expired milk.

Former Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm performed the national anthem before Saturday's lacrosse game between the Bandits and Knighthawks in Rochester. When asked if he had ever heard Gramm in person before, one Bandit replied, "It feels like the first time."

It was a tough week for Cornell athletics in NCAA Tournament play. On Thursday, the basketball team lost to Kentucky. On Friday, the hockey team dropped a one-sided decision to New Hampshire. Expect the Big Red to suggest that a pregame written test be added to the protocol for all future events.

A Chicago teenager supposedly was the only person in the bracket pool to get the first NCAA 48 games right. If true, it's clearly time for him to stop worrying about basketball and start worrying about tomorrow's lottery numbers.

I know. "Don't quit your day job."

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