Shooting From the Drip
As we have noted before, Mike Lupica came on as a columnist at the Daily News about the time that Dick Young was leaving. Young authored a column called "Young Ideas." In the 1950's, his column was a must-read if you wanted to understand the New York City sports scene. However, Young did not age well, at least in his writing, and by the 1970's his columns came across as bitter and unhappy.
Along came Lupica with some truly young ideas. His column was fresh and exciting, a new vision for a new world.
Writers age like wine. However, not all wine gets better with age. Indeed, some wines turn bitter and nasty. And so do some writers.
Lupica is not at that point, yet. He is still, occasionally, pithy. But frequently, these days, he seems to bluster and blow, much like the late Dick Young in his bitter end at the paper.
This bitterness is highlighted on Sundays, when Lupica covers all things, grand and small, under the title Shooting From the Lip.
His signature style tells all. He will write a sentence, or a thought, and then start a new paragraph, usually a one-sentence paragraph, commenting on the original paragraph.
And if we readers are truly lucky, he will conclude the thought with another one-sentence paragraph, tying the original thought up for us with one neat, tidy bow.
Pearls from Mount Lupica.
He has been frothing incessantly about the proposed West Side Stadium, sometimes veering off into irrationality.
Consider this week's entry, from March 20, 2005:
Our politicians are pulling the same kind of fast one with Caring Bruce Ratner's arena in Brooklyn that Bloomberg and Doctoroff are pulling on the West Side.
Starting with the laws about eminent domain.
Incidentally, now the mayor gets help on his stadium from the National Football League, which is sort of like bringing in the mob.
And New Yorkers who will never get near a ticket to the 2010 Super Bowl are supposed to be dancing in the streets - West Side streets - because the league will award that Super Bowl to us if Bloomberg gets his stadium.
Tony Soprano would be proud.
First, eminent domain is not an issue with the stadium. It's a train yard, Mike, a train yard.
But his point about the Super Bowl is even weirder.
Let us get this straight. The Super Bowl, an event which draws over 40,000 visitors to the host city who don't even attend the game, over 100,000 visitors in all, during a month which, in New York City, is the single worst month for tourism annually, the month in which more Broadway shows close for lack of business, in which more restaurant workers are laid off for lack of business, in which more New York hotel rooms sit vacant, this is a bad thing, like the Mafia coming in.
We all could use a Godfather like that.
-Tom McMorrow, Jr.
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