turner field — where baseball is a distraction

Count me among the Braves loyalists who’d prefer seeing the tomahawk chop retired. It was fun for a spell, but it’s tired — very, very tired.

Unfortunately, it’s not going away anytime soon, not if a corporate-sponsored giant cow has its way:

The Braves liked the idea because the cow enhances the fan experience, said Derek Schiller, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the club.

The Coca-Cola bottle at Turner Field shoots off fireworks after home runs. An AT&T sign keeps track of strikeouts. The cow adds another interactive element.

“I think it’s going to be a great complement to the stadium,” Schiller said.

“It supports what is a very well-known and famous fan activity, doing the tomahawk chop. It fits well with the Braves culture and with Turner Field.”

O-kaay.

I’d like to think Braves fans will refuse to follow the bovine’s prompting, but considering the enthusiasm for the Home Depot tool race, I’m skeptical.

This isn’t the first time the franchise has saddled us with a PR embarrassment (from 1990):

This year, the most spirited topic of discussion about the Braves is whether the team stooped to humbling self-parody by choosing the goofball television pitchman and aspiring movie star Ernest P. Worrell (”Know what I mean, Verne?”) as its advertising spokesman for the year.

appreciating russert

Besides “Meet the Press,” Russert hosted a weekend talk show on CNBC — more conversational, less combative.  As you watch the clip below, featuring Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan, notice how Russert stays out of the way while his guests spar over Barack Obama. You rarely, if ever, see a host willing to be a spectator on his own show, but Russert always seemed more interested in facilitating interesting debate than logging the most face time.

(His death certainly touched a nerve with political junkies, but MS/NBC’s coverage has been excessively maudlin. As correspondent Aaron Altman said in “Broadcast News,” “Let’s never forget, we’re the real story.”)

the manbearpig endorsement

I’m failing to grasp the importance, nay, the newsworthiness of Al Gore’s endorsement of Obama. If this had happened a month ago, then yes, it would’ve been a big deal. But now that the Democratic nomination has been sorted out, where’s the impact?

Who else was Gore going to support? A Republican? Bob Barr? Ralph Nader, the man who helped derail his 2000 bid?