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OfflineSoDak_Stranger
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ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References
    #2885264 - 07/13/04 10:56 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

2/17/04

ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References
Bristol, CT -- In a confidential memo leaked to the press Tuesday morning, executives at ESPN expressed growing concern about incessant references to legendary counterculture rock band, the Grateful Dead, made by NBA analyst and lifelong "Deadhead," Bill Walton.

"If we could all make an effort to help Bill reduce the number of references to Grateful Dead lyrics, concerts he's attended, and past and present band members throughout an average broadcast," the memo said, "it would go a long way toward bringing more viewers to Fridays [ESPN's Friday Night NBA coverage]."

"Seriously, I'm not kidding here," the memo continued, "it's got to stop. Before we all gouge our own eyes out with sporks."

While the memo is believed to have been sent by ESPN executive vice president of programming/production, Mark Shapiro, anti-Walton-Dead-reference sentiment has been growing company-wide since ESPN began covering NBA games this season.

"If he tells me one more time how he did mescaline with Mama Cass and David Crosby backstage at the Greek Theater, Berkeley, '71, I'm gong to smack him," said Walton's broadcast partner, Mike Tirico. "And that's exactly how he always says it, too: 'Greek TheaterBerkeley.seventy-one,' and then he starts grinning and grooving to some Dead music in his head, going, 'Yeaaaah, man.yeaaaah' like a total stoner."

"The guy's, what, fifty-one?" Tirico added. "Hey Bill, the 'Summer of Love' ended thirty-three years ago. Time to move on, pal."

Shapiro's memo also indicated that Walton's references to songs, concerts, people and events from more than three decades ago is not helping ESPN's NBA Friday night ratings.

"We're targeting a younger demographic," Shapiro's memo said, "so if you could all please remind Bill that today's 18- to 24-year-old viewer simply does not care that it's the 13th anniversary of [Grateful Dead keyboardist] Brent Mydland's death. They don't care who Ron 'Pigen' McKernan was, and don't understand why Bill is comparing Pigpen's leadership abilities in the Dead's formative Haight-Ashbury years to Jason Kidd's ability to run the Nets offense."

"No wonder we're losing Friday viewers to 'John Doe.' Why? Because 'John Doe' doesn't have some sad, aging, hippie freakster spewing Robert Hunter lyrics every three seconds."

While ESPN management had been initially lenient with the random Grateful Dead trivia, facts, and anecdotes that Walton began injecting into broadcasts for no apparent reason, insiders believe that it was the recent Bulls-Wizards matchup-which featured Michael Jordan's last appearance in Chicago-that was the last straw for Shapiro.

Toward the end of the game, Walton managed to shoehorn approximately 168 Grateful Dead mentions into a seemingly endless monologue.

"While these great Chicago fans hope to see Michael 'One More Saturday Night' perhaps in the playoffs, he's beginning to show a 'Touch of Grey' in his hair, and while I've always believed that Michael must be a 'Friend of the Devil' to have had such a wonderful career, and he still plays with the aggression of a 'Wharf Rat,' his 'Unbroken Chain' of success must come to an end. But his legacy will 'Not Fade Away' even as he disappears down the 'Golden Road.' For us fans, there's 'nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile.'"

Tape of the broadcast then shows a visibly confused Tirico about to open his mouth to speak, but being immediately cut off by the former UCLA, Portland Trailblazers and Boston Celtics star.

"This is horrrrrible, Mike, just horrrrible," Walton nearly screamed. "I fear the NBA will go to 'Hell in a Bucket' without Michael, and the 'Eyes of the World' will be upon the next generation of NBA superstars, and David Stern is clearly saying 'I Need a Miracle' to the Kobes, the Garnetts, the McGradys, even the Lebron Jameses of the world, hoping that MJ's retirement doesn't lead to a serious case of the 'U.S. Blues' for NBA fans."

Walton then made a tangental reference to Michael's wife "Althea," and three children-"Bertha," "Casey Jones," and "Tennessee Jed"-all of whom, he claimed, were in the United Center that evening. When Tirico informed Walton that Jordan's wife is, in fact, named Juanita and his children are Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine, Walton paused.

"Hey now, Mike," Walton said, "hey now, Aiko Aiko all day, jockomo feeno na na nay, jockomo feena nay. Hey now--"

It was then that ESPN producers abruptly cut to an emergency broadcast system test pattern, then back to ESPN studio analysts, David Aldridge and Dr. Jack Ramsey.

"Well, I." Aldridge said, awkwardly shuffling papers and clearing his throat.

"Did Bill just say that Michael Jordan's son is named 'TennesseeJed,'" Ramsey asked.

While Shapiro is clearly concerned about the effect Walton's Grateful Dead over-referencing will have on the success of ESPN's Friday night NBA coverage, he admitted in a later interview that it could be worse.

"At least he's not mixing in John Wooden stuff, too. I mean, can you imagine if he combined all that Jerry Garcia bullshit with his incessant Wooden motivational quotes? Christ Almighty."

Shapiro then shuddered.

http://www.dead.net/special_events/index.html



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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: SoDak_Stranger]
    #2885325 - 07/13/04 11:19 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

hahahahahaha! :lol: :gd_icon: :lol:


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InvisibleAdom
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Krishna]
    #2885408 - 07/13/04 11:55 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Coming back to the states this July?


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Adom]
    #2885413 - 07/13/04 11:57 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Yep booking my tickets now... I actually think I'm going to live in michigan for a few months while I work things out with school here in K?benhavn. I'm a bit afraid, though, that I might miss the midwest dead shows, and then I'll have to road trip more to go see them out east!


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OfflineVulture
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Krishna]
    #2885415 - 07/13/04 11:58 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

lol im gonna start watching basketball


--------------------
Work like you dont need the money.

Love like you never been hurt.

Dance like nobody is watching.


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InvisibleAdom
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Krishna]
    #2885418 - 07/13/04 11:59 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

NO ! NO !

You must attend Alpine.


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InvisibleKrishna
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Adom]
    #2885422 - 07/13/04 12:01 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

yeah that was my original plan, but my lease is running until the 30th of July or something like that... I thought it would be ending the week before, so I could get back to the States and catch the Dead at Alpine... but now I'm not sure. Gotta check on the net for ticket prices and figure out what will work best


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InvisibleAdom
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Krishna]
    #2885426 - 07/13/04 12:01 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I have one extra that was 40$ right beside me.


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Offlinesplifftoter
High Class

Registered: 05/07/04
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Last seen: 10 years, 6 months
Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: SoDak_Stranger]
    #2885521 - 07/13/04 12:31 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Thats funny man


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OfflineInfrared
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Registered: 07/15/02
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: SoDak_Stranger]
    #2885554 - 07/13/04 12:39 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

bill walton rocks.... hes hilarious............ espn is gay


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Invisiblefunkymonk
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: SoDak_Stranger]
    #2885730 - 07/13/04 01:24 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

hahaha that's pretty funny


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Offlinesplifftoter
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: funkymonk]
    #2886193 - 07/13/04 03:03 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

its kinda messed up...i mean would they rather him quote rap lyrics? ...yeah, they probably would.


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InvisibleOldSpice
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: Infrared]
    #2886339 - 07/13/04 03:46 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I saw that about a year back and it was cool...they called it Waltons long strange trip....they seemed to like it a lot then because they had flowers and stuff like that bordering waltons head...it was really cool


--------------------
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Offlinekindkesey
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: OldSpice]
    #2886367 - 07/13/04 03:56 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

hahaha......

is he still doing it?

:smile:


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Stay Kool, and enjoy the bus ride.....



"Intrepid Search For Innerspace"

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InvisibleOldSpice
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: kindkesey]
    #2886374 - 07/13/04 04:00 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

i dont know if they are still doing it or not...Bill Walton is a hard core dead fan so they probably will because he is their #1 announcer
I hope so because i got a kick out of it


--------------------
So hard to be ....WDWGFH?
Texas is humongus compared to France
Our Gair, who art in Texas,
Paw Paw be thy Name....
My friends are thirsty


You never see a motorcycle parked outside a Psychiatrist office:biker:


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Offlinekindkesey
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: OldSpice]
    #2886391 - 07/13/04 04:05 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

now thats kool, but i hate basketball!!

:smile:


--------------------
Stay Kool, and enjoy the bus ride.....



"Intrepid Search For Innerspace"

DAVID JONES where are you?


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InvisibleOldSpice
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: kindkesey]
    #2886450 - 07/13/04 04:22 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Thats probably why they are doing it so they can try an get more people interested in basketball...I pretty much like all baseball,basketball and football because my dad took me to see all of the University of Texas games when i was a kid...I still remember seeing the pre-Hippies ...{they werent called hippies yet way back in the early `60s} on the drag on the UT campus...I remember seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in `64...my parents were so cool and let us see a lot of stuff...they werent hippies but they were cool about stuff like that....My dad never got on our asses about pot but thet were strict about the harder drugs...he is a Pharmacist and they supplyed grade a pot to do experiments on volunteer students...He said the only conclusion they came to about pot was it made people lzy...haha so true :tongue2:


--------------------
So hard to be ....WDWGFH?
Texas is humongus compared to France
Our Gair, who art in Texas,
Paw Paw be thy Name....
My friends are thirsty


You never see a motorcycle parked outside a Psychiatrist office:biker:


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Invisiblefunkymonk
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: SoDak_Stranger]
    #2886803 - 07/13/04 06:19 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

i dont watch espn, or basketball games...I was wondering if anyone has a link to a good example of his deadheadness?


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OfflineSoDak_Stranger
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Registered: 01/13/04
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: funkymonk]
    #2886832 - 07/13/04 06:30 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

i don't...and i never listen to them analysts cause they are all so full of it...so i guess i never noticed...i just read it off of dead.net and i thought it was pretty funny and fucked...


Edited by SoDak_Stranger (07/13/04 07:23 PM)


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InvisibleOldSpice
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Re: ESPN Getting Tired of Walton Grateful Dead References [Re: funkymonk]
    #2886973 - 07/13/04 07:07 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Im shure Chinacat or some old time Deadheads saw Walton at a concert...the guy is allmost 7 ft tall and kinda hard to miss


--------------------
So hard to be ....WDWGFH?
Texas is humongus compared to France
Our Gair, who art in Texas,
Paw Paw be thy Name....
My friends are thirsty


You never see a motorcycle parked outside a Psychiatrist office:biker:


Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
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