Thoughts on: Messin’ with stuff for the sake of messin’ with stuff

Okay, I’ll admit it. I got up on the wrong side of the keyboard today and I am not feeling my usual self. I think what is galling me today are people who want to change things just for the sake of changing them. Sometimes we like to have a little stability in this world – what’s wrong with that.

One guy who knows what I mean is right-wing webmaster, extraordinaire, Matt Drudge. Now I don’t buy into Matt’s particular brand of politics, in fact he and I are polar opposites in that arena. But one thing you have to say about the guy, he knows how to run a website. One look at the Drudge Report and you’ll think that it’s 1993 again and you’ve just logged onto the internets with your brand new Gateway 386 using a 300 baud dial up modem. He’s kept that same format for years and has been very successful with it. Oh I know, recently he’s been sneaking in some color glossies, but he’s still got the same gazillion links to every online newspaper and syndicated columnist in existence. Republican, Democrat, Tea Partier, or Earth Firster, we all end up at Drudge, and he’s taken it all the way to the bank.

Another guy who knew something about leaving things alone was Henry Ford. The famous Ford logo with the scripted company name ‘Ford’ was first devised back in 1912 and although it underwent numerous changes throughout the years, it remained very much the same. So much so that the logo on the 1927 Model A is almost identical to the logo on my 2006 F-150 truck. The logo was on a brief hiatus from the late 50’s until 1976. Since ’76, however, nobody has messed with that famous logo (although it was put up as part of the collateral needed to secure government funding back during the precarious auto bailout days, but that’s another story).

So there you go – two good reasons to leave stuff alone.  I could actually go on and on, and I probably would if I thought it would do any good, but it won’t. Now let’s talk about people who just cannot leave stuff alone — like the owners of the Miami Dolphins football team. They want to mess with stuff. Now EEOTPB is not a sports blog, not by any means. God knows there are enough of those out there. But as a Dolphins fan, I have always felt that one of the more endearing fan-facing elements of the team was its logo – the happy dolphin in a football helmet. It was well,…fun. And football is supposed to be fun isn’t it? It’s certainly not work, or why would we spend time and money attending the games.

The old helmeted dolphin that adorned everything team related, from players helmets to fans bar-b-q grills is being replaced by a sleek new dolphin. This new dolphin is not even wearing a helmet. A dolphin that looks sort of …logo-like. It looks like it was conjured up by some Madison Avenue ad guys who have no intention of venturing past New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium to attend a football game.

Most notably missing, to me anyway, is the fact that the new dolphin doesn’t have any eyes. The eyes, with an ever so determined expression on the old dolphins face gave the logo its character. This new dolphin is sleek and fast looking and not to be trusted. It looks as slick and insincere as a New York used car salesman. So maybe putting eyes and a mouth on the dolphin was a bit too sappy for the ad guys. Maybe it was too cartoon-like. All I can say is that I personally liked the cartoon-like old dolphin, because he (or she, gender is not readily apparent when one is dealing with dolphins), painted a likeable face on the team – a team that needs all the likeability it can get in light of the past few disappointing seasons.

If you want, check out these links to the old logo, versus the new logo, and by all means feel free to weigh in on this virtually inconsequential issue.

I told you upfront I got up on the wrong side of the keyboard…now I gotta run…there are some kids walking on my lawn and I have to go yell at them…

An icon falls…Tulip calls

My phone rang early this morning. It was Tulip calling from Vegas. I hadn’t heard from her since before the holidays, so I knew that something big was up.

“Hey Trop,” she said, “have you heard the news?” She started out like that, like we talked every day. Her voice was raspy and her speech a little slurred. I figured she’d been up all night.

“Well hello to you too, Tulip,” I said, “I thought you’d dropped off the map. Where are you anyway?”

“I’m staying at Bally’s,” she said, “but that could be temporary, depending…I drove over for the Super Bowl.”

“You drove,” I said, somewhat shocked, knowing Tulip’s aversion to distance driving, as well as the condition of her classically restored 1978 Ford LTD. “All the way from L.A.?”

“Times are a little tough right now,” she said, “I’m trying to save on airfare.” A few seconds of silence followed, and then I heard the flick of a lighter, and I knew she’d lit a fresh American Spirit. “But if you want some fodder for that blog of yours,” she continued, “just turn on the TV.”

I did as Tulip suggested and turned on Channel 6 News out of Miami. The news of the day was just shocking. Dan Marino, or ‘Dan-the-Man’ as he is so often affectionately referred to here in South Florida had fallen, and fallen hard — within the space of only a few hours. He’d plummeted from iconic sports hero to dirt bag extraordinaire. I am sure that all of my loyal readers know by now, that Dan by his own admission had an extramarital affair — one that resulted in the birth of a child. Dan doesn’t deny the allegations and has in fact admitted that he has supported both mother and child, and apparently very well.

If you don’t live in South Florida, then you might not realize how Dan Marino is idolized here. Oh, the guy has his detractors for sure. A contractor friend of mine who worked on Dan’s house told me that he was cold and distant (translated to arrogant asshole who wouldn’t sign an autograph), but for the most part Dan-the-Man has achieved hero status here. He is after all, the immortal number ‘13’ – the star quarterback for the Miami Dolphins who, back during their heyday led the team to greatness, including the yet to be challenged ‘undefeated season’, of 1972.

As many of we Dolphins fans watch grainy footage of Dan’s gridiron exploits on the stadium jumbo-tron during pre-game hoopla, we find ourselves hoping that someday our team might find another Marino, and in fact every quarterback fielded by the Dolphins is compared against the Marino yardstick…sigh…

So Dan Marino has fallen, or maybe not. So far, lovers by the score are not stepping forward (see Woods, Tiger), and for the moment it seems to be a private matter between Dan-the-Man and his family…so far…

So I think Tulip was wrong. There’s nothing to see here beyond another fallen athlete. I don’t think this story will grow legs. I told Tulip that when I called her later in the day.

“You’re wrong Trop,” she said. “It’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Wanna bet,” I said. There was silence on the phone and  I thought better of it. “Forget I said that, what’s your pick for the Super Bowl?”

“Ravens by 3.”

“By 3?”

“Yeah, in overtime,” she said.

That’s Tulip.