Saturday, August 14, 2010

Televised Sports

"Hi ladies. Would you like to watch "National Tractor Pull" or "World Wide Wrestling" tonight?"

I worked in a hotel bar when big screen TVs first came on the market. At first, my boss rented movies and showed them over and over, but we got so many complaints from regular customers about the same films always showing or from people who didn't like coming in on the middle of a movie that he decided the TV was exclusively for sports. Didn't matter if the Academy Awards was on. Probably wouldn't matter if martians had attacked Kentucky. It had to be sports - or we'd be fired. Really, he was that much of a jerk.

Come late night hours on a Wednesday or Thursday, there's not usually much to choose from and the patrons of that bar - closer to the theater and business district - were decidedly un-sports-like, older and usually international. This was before all of the cable and satellite stuff so mostly, the volume was off on the TV and people just pretended like it wasn't there.

Years later, I worked one of the oddest cocktail receptions of my career in the suite of another hotel while folks gathered around the television watching the O.J. Simpson low-speed chase through L.A. Talk about a subdued crowd.

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