Friday, June 29, 2012

Hey, for 20 bucks you can buy the name of this blog

Time was, a town built a ballpark or a civic arena for playing baseball, football, hockey, what have you, or for hosting concerts and political rallies.

The towns gave these gathering places names such as Memorial Stadium, War Memorial Stadium, Veterans' Arena and the Civic Center.

Along came the Money Men with their crisply-ironed shirts and their crisp ideas.  "We can make money by selling the naming rights to this place!" they said, as a roomful of other Money Men swooned.  "Who wants to put their corporate sponsorship on the ballpark?" they asked, as other Money Men broke their necks pulling out their checkbooks.

And so it has come to this.  Baltimore's Ravens in the National Football League play at the enchantingly-named M&T Bank Stadium.  It used to be called PSI Net Stadium, but that went away in the bust.  If you'll recall, was some sort of competition to CBS in some way, so when the football announcers were here, they were forced to say "Live, from beautiful Ravens Stadium, down by Baltimore's shimmering Inner Harbor - three weeks without a tourist being beaten senseless - it's the NFL on CBS!"

Even radio stations, which would sell commercials during their Emergency Alert System tests if they could, have gotten in on this.  Notice how your local station says "That's your 14-second news roundup from the  Socks, Socks and more Socks newsroom. Now, live from the O'Hoolahan Honda studios, here's more of what passes for country music today with Hugh Jerection!"

Her Majesty graciously appears in public
The ultimate ignominy is that I see that my Britney Spears, having graced the judging panel of The X Factor, was forced to evaluate the talents of aspiring singers, dancers and chainsaw jugglers at a venue known as the Dunkin' Donuts Center in scenic Providence, Rhode Island.  Reports are that every contestant passed with flying crullers.

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