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The Weekend That Was

June 24, 2008 - John Whittaker

What a quiet, relaxing weekend.

Caught the Yankees-Reds game Sunday. Solid end to a nice week for the Yankees. The News Gal was happy to see The Moustache go 3-3 with a double and two RBI and Andy Pettitte throw six shutout innings before the rains came. With day games and games on MY9, a New York City channel that has a 25 game contract for Yankees games, the News Gal and I haven't watched a game together in about a week and a half. When I'm at work and they're playing at night, we'll talk about the game when I call to tell her goodnight. For a day game, I'll catch her up on what she missed when I pick her up.

The other highlight of Sunday was flipping through catalogues looking for wedding invitations. We thought we had found exactly what we wanted at the Paper Factory in Fredonia, but the invitations and programs we wanted are out of print now -- why they were still in the store when there wasn't enough for an O.J. Simpson wedding, I'll never know. So, now we're back to the catalogues and books, until the News Gal found something in one of the catalogue's Web sites that looks promising.

With no Yankees games Friday, Sunday or Monday nights, we were left to our own devices for entertainment. Friday and Sunday nights, we went back to 2005 with Wedding Crashers and Mr. And Mrs. Smith - solid movies that you can rewatch fairly often without getting tired of them. Monday brought the new American Gladiators, which I'm starting to have a serious problem with.

We all remember American Gladiators - it had that cheesy, early 1990s production, gladiators who probably took a lot of, um, vitamin B-12, if you know what I mean. Mike Adamle and a host of rotating co-hosts that included Larry Csonka and Joe Thiesmann tried to keep the show on a sort of sports keel - almost like professional wrestling without the scripted endings.

Three things I hate about the new Gladiators:

1. In only the second half-season, isn't it a little early to go into gimmicks? Last week, it was twins competing against twins. This week, it was two newly-married couples competing against each other. Next week, it's competitors from The Biggest Loser. What made the original Gladiators so much fun to watch was that it was random people. Whose decision was it to make American Gladiators into Sally Jessie Raphael with people in spandex? What's next - the children of bisexuals who've been taken aboard space ships competing against each other?

2. Bring back announcers who can speak and get rid of the contestant interviews. Hulk Hogan and Leila Ali both need to go away. Mike Adamle lent American Gladiators credibility because he wasn't a celebrity. He was just calling the action, and he let the gladiators be the stars of the show. Having Hogan and Ali be the commentary takes the focus away from the stars of the show, the gladiators. And, why not interview the gladiators once in a while? We call the show American Gladiators, and then spend an hour kissing up to four people who aren't gladiators. GENIUS!

3. Bring the gladiators back into the Eliminator. In the original, the competitors had to handle at least one Eliminator segment that included a gladiator - usually running through a maze with a gladiator at the end. And, bring back the event where they put the contestants and gladiators in giant balls where they have to land on scoring cylinders. That event was great. Much like Christopher Walken, I need more …. GLADIATORS - except for Wolf, who's really, really, really, really lame. Did the original Nitro ever talk crap or howl like a beagle? NO! And neither should Wolf. Frankly, I think I want to feed his genitals to a real wolf!


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The cast of the original American Gladiators. I loved the original snow. The remake leaves me a little bit lukewarm.