“What channel’s the Deacons game on, Martha?”
“How should I know?”
“Well, couldya check the paper for me please?”
“Thank you, dear……..Well, Martha, what channel?
“YES. According to the paper, it’s on something called YES. Right before the ‘Joe Girardi Report’ and the ‘A-Rod PED Minute.’”
The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network. YEP, up to 10 ACC football games and 23 ACC men’s basketball games will be on that channel this season, after the network reached an agreement with Fox Sports.
Just so we’re clear, “barbecue” is a noun and not a verb. And dumping packets of sugar into a glass does not make sweet tea. As long as they concede to those stipulations, I guess they can have 10 low-rung football games.
While we’re on the topic of the Yankees, let me ask you a question: Would the Salem Red Sox be better off as, say, the Salem Hippopotami?
Salem Rock Bandits?
The reason I ask is because I have a theory. And my theory is that the Red Sox brand, while helpful to a point, might actually be harming the Salem club in some respects.
I have a friend named Sammy Atkins. He is one of my all-time heroes, because he played recreational baseball on our New River Valley Cardinals team until he was 65 years old. Even at the end, he could turn around a fastball from a 23-year-old (he ripped a single up the middle in his last career at-bat about five years ago).
Sammy, who also ran a hardware store and a cattle ranch in Giles County, is truly a man’s man. He’s also head-over-heels in love with the Yankees. He loves quoting Casey Stengel. He considers Jeter, Mattingly and DiMaggio royalty.
He’s not the only one. The two senior members of our sports staff, Randy King and Doug Doughty, are longtime Yankees guys. Features writer Ralph Berrier is a Yankees guy. And throughout the Roanoke Valley, I know there are plenty of other Yankees fans, not to mention Braves fans, Orioles fans, Nationals fans, Cardinals fans, Dodgers fans, etc.
How do those people feel about rooting for a team named the Red Sox? How do they feel about putting a jersey that says “Red Sox” — even if there’s a Salem on it — on their children?
The point is, if you grew up around here (like in a lot of Minor League towns), you didn’t have an automatic team to root for. You had to pick one. And a lot of people picked the Yankees because they were on TV a lot and had a legendary history. Some picked the Red Sox, sure, but I don’t know if it’s enough to override the number of people who don’t like the Red Sox because of the team they’ve chosen.
The merchandising opportunities are enormous. And while some might consider the names silly, at least nobody finds them offensive.
NAME THAT TUNE
Desert Hokie was the first to get yesterday’s: Round Here by Florida Georgia Line. Here’s today’s, cleaned up a bit for family audiences:
How many [ladies of the night] in your [gosh-darn] group
Wanna take a ride in my 7-8 Coupe, DeVille?
Chill, as I take you on a trip
Where them [gentlemen] ride, and slide, you know about the East Side
[Gentlemen] like myself, here to show you where it’s at
With my [ladies of the night] on my side, and my strap on my back
Papers I stack daily
And Death Row is still the label that pays me…