The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘1970s’

Clyde

Posted by keithosaunders on January 13, 2011

Those of you not lucky enough to live in the New York area have probably not heard the greatest color commentator in the NBA.  I am speaking, of course, of one-time Knicks guard Walt Frazier.  One the things I miss most about living in New York is not getting to hear him on a regular basis.

As a star point guard he quarterbacked the Knicks to their only two championships in 1970 and 1973.  At one point he held Knick records for assists, points, free throws, field goals made, and free throws made.  Most of these records would later be eclipsed by Patrick Ewing but his assist record stands to this day.

As an announcer there is no one like him.  Not only does he have a mellifluous voice but his cadence is extremely rhythmical.  There is something musical, not only about the words he chooses, but how he delivers them. 

He has a way of working rhymes into his analysis.  Some people find this corny — I think it’s great.  

The Knicks are dishin’ and swishin; Ewing is dupin’ and hoopin. 

He has a great vocabulary and he uses words in interesting ways and his metaphors are vibrant.  You can tell that Frazier would have been a great jazz musician; he is improvising with words.   

It’s not just the rhymes, it’s the delivery and the timing.  When you listen to Clyde you feel as if you are stepping into a time machine and emerging in the early 1970s.  He’s got an aura of flash and cool about him.  It’s as if you can hear the mohair suit and the mutton chops!

“He [Raymond Felton] diligently works on denying his man the ball.  He’s become the catalyst for the team’s improved defense.  Then the other teams’ big guys have to try to orchestrate, but then they’re in disarray and turn the ball over.”

Recently I’ve stumbled upon a Clyde impersonater on twitter.  You can tell that this guy has immersed himself in Frazier-isms and his feed is a loving tribute.  Here are a few samples.  His name is ‘notwaltfrazier’ and if you are on twitter he is worth following.

Just saw the #Lakers-#Cavs score! This embarassin’ has little comparison’!
 
Came back from the bathroom to see Mike Breen messin’ with my chair. Not trustin’ his adjustin’!
 
Amar’e and Nor’easter. Partners in creatin’ random punctuatin’!
 
What’s with Portland turnin’ your knee into debris? Playin’ for the Blazers is riskin’ your meniscin’!
 
Carmelo’s lookin yellow with all this talkin’ and balkin’!
 
Got me thinkin’ about Willis in Game 7. His limpin’ was pimpin’!
 
Skippin’ breakfast got me stumblin’ and grumblin’! Appeasin’ with ham ‘n cheesin’!
 
Mike Breen is still mad I re-scheduled his wake-up call for 4am LOL. My prankin’ got him crankin’!
 
 Finally I direct-tweeted him this:
 
Keith:  Clyde, your tweets are delightable and recitable!
 
 And he responded
 
notwaltfrazier:  C for grammar, A for glamour!  

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Take me out to the ballgame

Posted by keithosaunders on May 5, 2010

When I was a young boy I wasn’t that interested in watching or following baseball.  I liked the Dodgers, as did every other kid growing up in Los Angeles, and I always enjoyed when my father would take us kids to a game, but I didn’t become a rabid baseball fan — counting down the days until opening day, knowing all the stats,and closely following the playoff races —  until I was 17.  

What I did enjoy, however, was the idea of baseball.  I liked that it was every day and that it had order.  The pitchers pitched in a certain order — even the teams, in those days, came into town in a certain order.  You could count on home stands featuring Cubs/Pirates/Cardinals, or Met/Expos/Phillies.  In the Western division you would have groupings of Astros/Braves/Reds.  Year after year they would group the teams this way. I loved that.

After dinner, I would go out into the languid Cali summer night to our backyard and listen to Vin Scully announce that evening’s Dodger game on my transistor radio while I shot baskets.  Don’t you know that to this day he is still announcing for the Dodgers and he still sounds great.  He has been their announcer for the entire 50 years of my life. (and then some!)  

In those days radio and television broadcasts still had a good deal of whimy.  They coul dbe corny, but there was an earnetness to it that I miss.   There wasn’t the heaviness and humorless air that exists today on a FOX or even a local broadcast.  The Dodgers used to open all of their radio broadcasts by playing a song called “It’s A Beautiful Day For A Ballgame.”  Picture a chorus singing to a two-beat accompaniment infused with banjo and ukulele. 

It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame..

for a ball game today,

the fans are out to get a ticket or two,

from Walla Walla Washington to Kalamazoo

It’s a beautiful day for a home run,

but even a triple’s OK,

we’re going to cheer…

and boo…

and raise a hullaballu

at the ball game today

at the ballgame

the wonderful ballgame

todayyyyyy!

Of course I loved that song.  How could you not?  The Mets have one too which they still play called Meet the Mets.  Their version, however has been updated to include synthesizers so it doesn’t have the retro feel of the Dodger song.  But the synths are so out of date (circa early 80s) that their theme has become corny as well.  I like it in the same way I feel nostalgic for the cookie cutter ballparks of the early 70s — Three Rivers, Riverfront, and Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

Next: My OCD infatuation with the early 70s Dodger radio commercials.  IN the meantime I would love to hear from you, the reader, about any such songs, or traditions  from your local teams from back in the day.

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