October 19, 2004

Howard Stern and the Red Sox

Greatness is often achieved under the duress of great obstacles. With those obstacles in place, claims can be made and potential dreamed about.

Two current examples are Howard Stern and the Boston Red Sox. Stern’s comic genius is fueled by the limitations placed on him. The FCC and Clear Channel have him in a stranglehold about what he can say. While married to Allison, Stern milked hours of airtime pushing the limits of his matrimony through repartee, flirtation and more with a parade of strippers, movie stars and assorted floozies. He entranced listeners.

People would tune in because they knew how sacredly he held his marriage, and that he would not cross the line…but how close would he get? And what if he did cross that line? Wouldn’t want to miss it. It is approach to danger that so enthralls his audience..

Now his marriage is over and he is going to a no-holds barred format at Sirius. I think he has a great challenge ahead of him in an obstacle free environment. It is going to be a lot harder to be funny with less limitations. In the same way, it is a lot less interesting when he is talking to a stripper knowing that he isn’t putting a marriage in jeopardy (even though he is in an exclusive relationship)..

The Red Sox have their own hurdle. The Curse of the Bambino. What would happen if the Red Sox actually beat the curse? I think people would be a whole lot less interested in watching a Red Sox play for the pennant or World Series. The curse has provided Boston fans an excuse, a higher power, a complaint sounding board. With the curse lifted (hypothetically), they will have to face themselves, their ability, their actual play..

I’m planning on losing more sleep listening to the game tonight… Posted by Neil at October 19, 2004 12:51 PM | TrackBack

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