I love you guys, you're crazy. Now get outta here.
The Redskins. The celebration. The aftermath. The replays. The homecoming, the lights, the cameras, the fans who went wild, the fans who went wild for the lights and cameras, the "people happening." You got wet. You got tape. You got live.
You got excited.
I mean, even David Schoumacher got excited right there on Channel 7--David, you nut, even you gave a yell for the Redskins Monday night. So maybe it did sound more like a cake falling, so what? Renee liked it. You went for it.
Hey, speaking of that.
George Michael, you crazy guy, take a bow. You worked for it. You had the stamina. You had the pipes. You had the sweater. You had the crews that got the touchdown by Charlie Brown that even NBC botched. You had the on-field game footage on the air before Channel 9. You got John Riggins after the game--after everybody with a Miami jersey or a microphone had worked him over, you went up and asked him for just one more. You went for it.
You got it. You showed us that Big John, though he is rumored to be God and can sleep as late as he wants, still is the kind of guy that takes his pants off one leg at a time. We know that because when you talked to him, he was seated facing his locker--taking his pants off one leg at a time.
You even got Joe Theismann--Old Closed-Mouth Joe--to talk to you live on "Sports Final" late Sunday night on WRC. So the satellite scrunched your audio down to long-distance phone-line quality, so what? You got to tell Joe Theismann like it was. "I love you," you said to him.
But, hey--did you get appreciated? Hah. Who does John Riggins call when he wakes up too late for Wednesday's parade and needs a quick, televised lift downtown? Channel 9! He calls for Sonny Jurgensen, who is in Honolulu playing golf (while Glenn Brenner has to fly back from Pasadena to Washington Sunday and watch the big game on TV). So Riggins winds up in a police-escorted WDVM limo spilling his guts to Ron Sarro. Sarro meets Riggo!
But did Ron Sarro wear his Redskins Stetson and ride a float in the parade next to Jim Vance, shouting "We're No. 1!" into the mist? Nossir. Did anybody else on the air in Washington tell it like it was after the long trip back Monday, taking on the NFL itself for bumping Art Monk off the sideline late Saturday night--after he'd given his tickets away to family and friends, forcing him to find a last-minute scalper's seat? No way.
Did anybody have the guts later in the week to call NBC's handicapper Pete Axthelm "dumb" and "useless" for his pregame prediction that the Dolphins would win, 17-3? Much less someone who works for NBC-owned WRC?
And did anybody, much less WRC's parade team of Henry Tenenbaum and Lea Thompson, in her day-glo ancient mariner suit, forgo the euphemism "people happening" and describe Wednesday afternoon as "a major disaster"?
Nope. None but you, George, you crazy guy.
You got everybody pumped up this week, George. Even the competition went for it. Sometimes they got it, too.
Tim Brant got so worked up after coming back from Pasadena to Channel 7's studio--sitting there on the set in your red sweater, George--talking to Bob McLain, that he suddenly waved his hand and said: "Let me adlib a bit, Bob, before we go to this next page . . ."
Hey. It was inside him. He had to go with it.
Among the tapes Brant and McLain rolled was one of Joe Gibbs taking President Reagan's phone call--one of two calls the president got in before the rates changed at 11, it turned out. What a clip, you guys. Get outta here.
Channel 9's Glenn Brenner, an adlibbing kind of guy, traded the gold chains he was seen sporting in Pasadena for a shirt and tie on Monday, and was so Totally Up that he went and talked through the best game wrapup of the week--complete with concise, zippy highlight chatter ("Everyone but Jack Kent Cooke had a shot at Fulton Walker and missed . . ."), plus taped CNN interviews of Don Shula, Don McNeal and one with Miami linebacker Steve Shull that made all this week's cheering worth it:
"Right now," said Shull, stuffing his jersey into his bag, "we're no different than the last-place--well, we're different than the last-place team, but they didn't win it and neither did we."
This week, even the kind of TV people who never get to ride on floats showed what go-for-it kind of guys they can be. I mean it.
WRC on-field cameramen Ron Minor and Don Stumpo, you're beautiful, I love you. You got the pictures, now get outta here.
WDVM executive news producer Jerry Grossman, producer Mark Seeger and editor Charlie Balkin, I mean it--what can I say? You whipped together the only slow-motion tribute with music ("You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker) that didn't look whipped together for the credits of Monday night's 6 o'clock telecast. So it got blindsided by a McDonald's commercial. Hey. The breaks.
And Gary Reals, you nut, you had the best line of the week in your piece on cleanup the morning after in Georgetown. "Hog heaven," you said, and the camera panned to a pool of stale beer, mud and broken glass along M Street. "In more ways than one," you said.
You TV guys are beautiful, I mean it. I can't wait till you go stereo.