Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Have a little class out there

During the day I listen to sports radio WFAN out of New York on the internet, and one of the topics was about how horrible Joe Buck's new talk show was on HBO. I had the thing on my DVR, so I sat down to watch.

They weren't kidding. The show started out being painful to watch, and gradually got worse. By the end it had descended into a parade of F-bombs and one line that was in incredibly bad taste. Brett Favre even let a four letter word fly.

I could only wonder what Joe's father Jack would say if he were alive.

I'd met Jack Buck, the legendary Cardinals announcer, when I was in Cooperstown covering the Hall of Fame inductions one year. (I'd gotten lucky in that our sports guy had left, we were short handed, and I was a baseball nut.) Anyway, I spotted Buck standing alone for a moment and approached him, just to shake his hand. The guy couldn't have been more charming, asking me about myself, my career, giving advice. What a class guy.

I'd like to think his son has the same attitude, and if he does, he needs to totally revamp his show and tape the thing. All sorts of bad stuff can happen on live television, and this was a perfect example.

But it brings up the notion of class, and how little of it we see in our world today, particularly from people in the public eye.

While I'm not surprised that football players swear, Brett Favre should know that millions of kids look up to him. I can only imagine some eight year old in Green Bay watching this show with his dad and enduring the parade of profanity.

But class is more than just words... it's how you conduct yourself. My father used to shake his head when he'd see some guy in a nice restaurant with a baseball hat on. "Cafone," he'd say, which is loosely translated in Italian to mean, "No class. No manners."

If you work in television, you're always in the public eye. Do what you want in private, but when you're out and about, remember that people are watching. And when you meet people, send them away thinking that you were brought up right, and a real classy person.

1 comment:

Joey H said...

Jack Buck was truly one of the classiest guys in our business. He always had a moment to chat. There were very few charities, clubs, awards dinners etc. in the St. Louis area that he hadn't MC'd a dinner for (for free) or otherwise helped promote.