Feeling emotionally drained after the homeland beat WWII ally Germany to gain a World Cup Finals birth, I decided to stay on the couch and watch the 4th of July festivities on TV. I can assure you this decision had nothing to do with not getting invited to any A list BBQs or roof deck parties. I did manage to make myself a few cheeseburgers though (George Foreman needs no invitation), but couldnít find a recipe for fried dough that didnít require a fry-o-later. Seriously, if anyone at CRFC was thinking of getting me a gift, thatíd be it. Anyway, in the tradition of Bill Simmons (who blatantly copied my World Cup blog by the way, see http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/060705 posted today) hereís my running blog of the 4th of July televised celebrations of NYC, DC and Boston:
9:00 PM ñ Wow, the Hatch Shell looks unreal from its recent makeover. For a while there it looked like the old CRFC floors. But why did they paint that huge blue Dallas Cowboys star in the middle of the stage? I think I just saw T.O. run across and spike a football on it.
9:05 PM ñ A heavily bearded Jason Alexander is hosting the DC festivities. This guy is the Scottie Pippen of sitcoms ñ terrible and just plain annoying in any role other than the sidekick. If he wants more gigs, he should show up eating a block of cheese while ensconced in velvet.
9:06 PM ñ Just realized that itís seemingly still daylight in DC. How is this possible? I am not a huge traveler or anything, but arenít they in the same time-zone as us? I guess that little ìLiveî caption in the top right hand corner of the screen was recorded earlier.
9:07 PM ñ Looks like Macyís is branching out from Thanksgiving and New Yearís to sponsor New York Cityís 4th of July celebration. No word as of yet as to whether they will sponsor the broadcast of the pending implosion of the Downtown Boston Fileneís Basement store.
9:10 PM ñ Looks like the NYC musical guests are Nick Lachey, Lionel Richie, AND Bo Bice. What a line-up, capped off by the Bicester. And DC nabs Stevie Wonder and Vanessa Williams as their musical guests. All Boston has so far is a group of five thin, well dressed men named ìRock-apellaî who refuse to break a sweat despite 90 degree heat. When was the last time a-capella music was actually popular with anyone? Who put Bobby McFerrin in charge of the music selection committee?
9:15 PM ñ Speaking of Vanessa Williams (who still looks unbelievably great, by the way) when is she going to get her due as the smartest woman in America? Sure she just sang a duet with Elmo, but I mean, címon, doing a Playboy shoot after winning the Miss America crown may have been the smartest career move anyone has ever made. Seriously, can you name any other Miss America, ever? Who cares if she still gets a few pimples now and then.
9:18 PM ñ WBZ news anchor Jack Edwards, quite possibly the whitest man in America, just got finished reading a Martin Luther King essay to the Boston audience, quite possibly the whitest 4th of July crowd in America. Very moving.
9:20 PM ñ I think I just saw Kramer in the DC audience sitting in a lawn chair holding one of those rainbow streamers, mumbling to himself ìSerenity Now, Serenity Now.î The Good King Adam Kneeland must be very proud.
9:23 PM ñ Just caught the tail end of an interview with a woman who dresses up as the Statue of Liberty every year and stands on the Esplanade all night taking photos with people. Of course, sheís from Cambridge.
9:25 PM ñ The Boston after party promo just announced its guest host as Dr. Phil, maybe the biggest loser America has to offer. Wait, thereís a shot of his wife who is co-hosting the after party, so now I have to drop him to the 2nd biggest loser America has to offer. I am so embarrassed to be a Bostonian right now. No wonder why people are moving in and out of this city faster than a rooster in a hen house.
9:30 PM ñ WBZís Joyce Kulhawick interviewing Aerosmithís Steven Tyler about his upcoming performance and his recent laser throat surgery (performed by Dr. Gottschalk). After Tylerrefers to ìWalk This Wayî as a four word phrase and realizes his mistake after counting on his really long, Pedro-esque fingers, he immediately looks into the camera like ìCímon, whaddyaíll really expect from me?î A classic TV moment that should immediately be made available on Youtube.com.
9:33 PM ñ I just flipped channels from Steven Tyler in Boston, to Liza Minelli in NYC, and back to Mrs. Dr. Phil in Boston. I may have just set the record for the most plastic surgeries viewed in 3 channel flips or less. And if I flip really fast, I canít even tell the difference between them.
9:35 PM ñ NYC definitely has the best looking 4th of July crowd and DC definitely has the most patriotic. Boston has the most idiotic and hammered looking crowd, hands down.
9:37 PM ñ Caught the tail end of an interview with a man talking about how special it was going to be to get married the next day to his new wife. The little girl standing with him who appeared to be at least 6 years old went unidentified.
9:40 PM – The Boston Pops are really kicking in now. I love the guy who doesnít really play an instrument and just periodically bangs the triangle, tambourine or that giant gong thing. What are the tryouts like for this position? His timing is impeccable though, I must admit. Letís get him to sit in the end zone at the next Patriots/Colts game.
9:41 PM ñ The US flag was just unfurled at the Hatch Shell during the 1812 overture to a roaring crowd response. It is my theory that every time you unveil a US flag on stage you will get a huge crowd reaction, regardless of what is actually happening on the stage. I think Iíll try this in my bedroom next time I have a girl over.
9:46 PM ñ Jason Alexander just compared the beauty of Michael Boltonís voice to musical legends Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand. Frank Sinatra, Jr. must be really pissed right now because nobody has ever compared his voice to Frank Sinatraís.
9:50 PM ñ The fireworks over the Charles River have just begun. If my cat is any indication, any fish living in the Charles River must be going absolutely bonkers right about now. Actually, any fish living in the Charles River must already be bonkers from all that raw sewage pumped into it on a daily basis. And they think they are having a swimming race in it next summer?
9:52 PM ñ Appropriately enough, Love That Dirty Water is now playing along with the Charles River fireworks. Why are Bostonians so proud of this song? Nothing like celebrating your cityís most polluted and disgusting body of water. Actually, that honor may now belong to the ìpoolî located in front of the Trinity Church in Copley Square. Every day at lunch I watch kids play in that water, the very same water that just hours before I watched homeless people urinate in on my way into work. I am sure itís chlorinated.
9:55 PM ñ Fireworks finale with Neil Diamondís Coming to America blasting proudly. Guess nobody on the musical planning committee read Bushís policy on immigration. ìUnder boats and tied to planes, theyíre sneaking in America!î
10:00 PM ñ Italian Ice Break.
10:05 PM ñ Steven Tyler finally heads onto the stage and performs an abridged and almost unintelligible version of Dream On. This song will always remind me of that Boston sports montage that Bob Lobel did a while ago that featured all the classic moments in Boston sports – the greatest reel of Boston sports highlights ever assembled.
10:06 PM – Speaking of Lobel, great to see that he is finally off the sauce (sarcastic eyeroll inserted here). Seriously, he is heading into Bob Gamere territory very quickly.
10:15 PM ñ On an unrelated note, my buddy in Vegas just called me and confirmed that he hit 11 out of 15 baseball overs today, proving my theory that MLB juices up the balls every year on July 4th so that networks can lead their baseball highlights with ìFireworks on the 4th of July!î Itís the only lock in Vegas (other than you will get stabbed in the Bellagio buffetís king crab leg line) and I just gave it to you, so now you have a reason for getting me that fry-o-later.
10:25 PM – Awkward Moment of the Night award goes to Steven Tyler grabbing Keith Lockhart like a rag doll to sing ìWalk This Wayî into the microphone. Tyler manhandled him like he must have done to so many other band geeks on the South Shore in his high school days. Some things never change.
10:30 PM ñ Decided Iíve had enough for the night and headed to my bedroom to figure out how to install a mechanism to unfurl a US flag. When the moment is right, will you be ready?