OPINION – There definitely is life after Labor Day.
I’ve always been happy when the calendar turns from August to September. My favorite time of year is from Labor Day to Thanksgiving.
The turning of the leaves, the crispness in the air, and the sudden relief from the dog days of summer make autumn not only a spectacle of Nature at its most beautiful, but a genuine comfort.
September was, oddly, a time of rebirth in a way. Way back, September was the month when the television networks would debut their new shows when TV actually presented shows instead of the unreal reality shows that waste a lot of our time these days.
The new TV season was also a huge PR-advertising-marketing time.
I can remember each year when the first show of the season aired for “Bonanza,” Chevrolet would unveil its new model line. It seriously was a big deal. Of course, that was in the days when you could actually distinguish which car was which. There’s not so much of that any more. I mean, when is the last time you saw something take to the road like the 1965 GTO, the 1963 Corvette, the 1966 Volkswagen microbus, or the 1964 Mustang? You can keep your Infinitys, your Toyotas, your Hondas, even your new Mustangs, Camaros, and BMWs, I’ll take one of those old beauties any day of the week and wave at you in my rearview mirror.
Same with today’s television.
The other night, we had the tube on and I just shook my head.
“It really says something about the quality of TV these days when your favorite shows are ‘Pawn Stars,’ the NASCAR races, or reruns of ‘Seinfeld’ or ‘House,'” I told my wife.
Now, she has some favorites of her own, particularly the “CSI” franchise, which I have acquired a bit of a taste for, and, admittedly, we tune in for “America’s Got Talent,” in my case, not particularly because I believe it does, but because I love Howie Mandel.
I started breaking away from the entertainment shows years ago, becoming hooked on the news channels like CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. Being a news junkie and immersed in the news industry, I would watch those channels almost exclusively.
After burning out on the news networks for a variety of reasons, I hid out in the Food Network broadcasts, where I wouldn’t dream of missing Bobby Flay, Alton Brown, Rachael Ray, Mario Batali, “The Iron Chef,” or the master of “Bam,” Emeril Lagasse. Hey, it brought together two of my passions—cooking and eating.
Like the original MTV VeeJays (remember when the “M” in MTV stood for music, by the way?) who have scattered, most of my favorite Food Network chefs have moved on to greener — as in more dollars — pastures.
Now, I hate to wax nostalgic for the olden days of TV because, quite frankly, there were some pretty lousy shows on way back then as well.
But not, proportionately, as many. It sort of worked out like pro sports. Back when there were much fewer teams, only the best of the best made it to the pro leagues. The same applied in TV. With only three networks – yes, kids, at one time all we had was NBC, CBS, and ABC — only the best of the best went on the air and if you tanked with viewers, you were yanked.
And, we didn’t have such a smorgasbord of sports offerings, either. If we were lucky, we got the Major League Baseball “Game of the Week,” which usually involved the Yankees because of the huge New York audience. The World Series? It was played during the day, in open-air stadiums, as baseball is supposed to be played. Pro football? Seems there were a lot more games played on “the frozen tundra,” as they say, in weather that was almost always horrid. I remember one year when the first game of the season, which used to be a matchup between the previous season’s NFL champ and a team of college stars who were seniors the previous year was mercifully halted because of inclement weather. It was usually a dim game anyway, but this particular year demonic weather halted the game early as the Pittsburgh Steelers put a major hurtin’ on the college stars.
Now, of course, we have those stupid preseason games cluttering the airways, and a new player in the NFL Network, which you may or may not get with your TV subscription package, which broadcasts Thursday night games.
Actually, I don’t watch much sports any more, either.
I’ll usually tune in at some point on Sunday to catch some football while sipping one of my wife’s famous Bloody Marys. Usually by the third quarter, or end of my second Bloody Mary, I’m asleep on the couch.
Come to think of it, considering how poorly my Oakland Raiders have done the last few seasons, the Bloody Marys are a blessing.
And, oh yeah, no bad days!
It’s finally September!
Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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