September 7 - September 13, 1995

B y  T o m  D a n e h y


I'M GENERALLY NOT a betting man, but if I were, I'd be willing to bet: • Ten bucks that it rains tonight. According to John Goueck at the National Weather Service, it has rained on September 7 only seven times in the past 54 years. Two of those times, it rained more than an inch, including 1.08 inches in 1980, which is also the last time it rained on September 7 in these parts. But that's just statistics. All that goes out the window when you're dealing with Murphy's Law.

See, tonight is the Big Experiment. The UA is having a football game on a Thursday night because the Gods of TV and Money deemed it appropriate. I can't wait to see what happens.

As far as anyone can tell, it'll be the first UA home football game ever played on a school day and a regular work day, for that matter. (The Cats played ASU on a Friday last year, but it was the day after Thanksgiving, so classes weren't in session.) The disruptions and disorder should be historic. Let me count the ways.

For one the traffic should be an absolute nightmare. The UA lucked out a little bit in that game time isn't until 7 p.m. If it were at five or six, things would have been much worse. Still, the number of people leaving downtown and the UA area and those trying to get to the game should make for a mess. (Remember, on game days the flow of traffic is changed for a several-square-mile area, with lane restrictions and road closures.)

The school day should be disrupted somewhat with all the game-day preparations, the camera trucks being brought in, band practice going on, parking lot closures, and so on.

I truly have faith the UA athletic department and all the hundreds of people who work the games, from police officers to souvenir vendors, will do their best to make it a success--but this thing has the potential for some industrial-strength headaches.

I'd be willing to bet that the UA doesn't play another Thursday night game in the near future.

• And while we're on the subject, I'll bet $200 that there are some seriously miffed boosters who will not like this Thursday thing one little bit. Some come in from out of town and make a whole day of it. Many build their year around those six days when they can park their Winnebagos on the McKale lawn, char some meat, then sit around in lawn chairs and try not to look uncomfortable in their red sweaters in the Tucson September sweatbox.

I guaran-darn-tee you this will be the subject of some heated discussion over the next few weeks and come season-ticket renewal time.

And of course there is that chance of rain.

• Six bucks the Toros make it to the Pacific Coast League championship series. The Toros are playing great baseball right now and have a full head of steam heading into the best-of-five series with Colorado Springs. The first two games were in Colorado, with the two teams coming to Tucson for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if necessary).

• A million bucks that the Toros don't set any attendance records during the playoffs. They'll never get a game where the people have to go sit on the warning track in the outfield, like they do on Library Night and other hot promotions during the regular season.

According to Toros General Manager Mike Feder, "We get great crowds in the playoffs, but they're always in five or six thousand area, maybe a little more. But see, during the playoffs, I'm selling the game. I don't have big giveaways and free tickets. That's just the nature of the beast."

• Ten cents that the NBA players don't commit mass suicide by voting to decertify their union, thus trashing the house of gold in which they live and ruining the 1995-96 season.

Ten cents is also what a Michael Jordan basketball card will be worth someday, but only to his most loyal fans, of which there are now about three. Apparently, some idiot whispered in Jordan's ear that he was a leader of men just because he can dunk or something and he took that nonsense seriously. Well, he chose the wrong fight and the wrong stance in that fight. Or, more likely, his agent chose it for him.

Jordan has his nose so far up his agent's butt that when Michael sneezes, his agent's uvula gets all snotted over. His fight to decertify the union and plunge the NBA into labor strife will forever taint his image. If sanity prevails and the union wins the vote, Jordan will be looked upon as a greedy malcontent, manipulated by his agent, which he is. And if he wins the vote, the entire sport will suffer immeasurable harm, for which he will be responsible.

Hey Mike, nobody wants to be like you anymore. Nobody.

• Ten thousand dollars that Linda Ronstadt doesn't go on the Howard Stern show in the near future. I caught Our Miss Linda on a repeat of the Jay Leno show the other night, her voice as fine as ever.

One of the earlier guests had been Robin Quivers, the House Chick on Stern's show. The vulgar-mouthed, no-talent Stern probably keeps her around so he can stare at her ample bosom, although he'd never be able to find a way to state that in relatively decent terms.

Anyway, Linda went over after singing her song and lit into Quivers for her and her boss's incredibly tasteless on-air acts after the murder of Tejano singing star Selena. Linda went OFF!! It was cool.

Quivers tried to come back with some nonsense about how you have to listen to the entire show every damn day in order not to take things out of context and blah blah blah. Linda won handily.

Leno finally broke in and came with some weak thing about how it's nice that people can come on his show and express their opinions. He looked as nervous as Madonna in church.

We've always loved Linda Ronstadt. Now we love her just a little bit more.

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September 7 - September 13, 1995

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