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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Ricky Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

His columns are archived here

Posted 05.14.03

RICKY BLUE

A Reader's Digest approach to saving baseball in Montreal

Last night I was thinking about baseball: why baseball doesn't do well in Montreal, and why do all our citizens not support our home team?

I came to the conclusion that we are spoiled by the speed of hockey. I have noticed when attending many Expos games that the attention of many of the fans is only captured by the sound of a bat hitting a ball. Because we are used to hockey, if we don't see men moving across the field in a frenzy of action we don't seem to realize that a very interesting game is already going on.

Could we educate out citizenry about the subtleties of the game? Perhaps, but I think it is too late for that.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. We need to reconnect a dying team with the life-support system of a fan base and we need to do it quickly.

The only way we can do this is with the instantaneous medium of television. And the only way we can get Montrealers to watch the Expos on television is by introducing something I will call: Condensed Baseball (c). This is baseball tailor-made for a population whose attention span has been reduced to that of a fruit fly by a century of watching hockey.

Condensed Baseball (c) goes like this.

The entire game would be videotaped as it happened the same way any regular baseball broadcast would be. But the whole thing would then be edited down to only the pitches that are hit or the pitches that walk the batter or strike the batter out.

The end result would be that as in hockey we would only see the plays where men are moving about in a frenzy of activity.

It is already claimed by TiVo owners in the United States those personalized VCRs that can eliminate commercials and slow plot lines by instant fast forwarding that you can watch a complete baseball game without missing a pitch in forty minutes. So I estimate that the edited version of Condensed Baseball (c) would probably last no longer than a television hour, that is to say 48 minutes. And it could be shown right after the actual game finishes.

I think most of the sports fans in Montreal would give the Expos an hour of TV watching time. For the producers of Condensed Baseball (c) it would be cheaper to buy the television time than trying to fund the current three-hour marathons. And for the broadcasters it would be less disruptive of their prime-time scheduling.

In other words, it might be economically viable. It would certainly help nurture a local audience that would get to know and love the individuals on the team. And this might revive the chances of our city's chances of remaining in the big leagues.

It also makes sense that this kind of a format would be developed here in Canada. It would be the flipside of the invention of the instant slow-motion replay. That device was pioneered by Hockey Night in Canada to allow people with normal metabolisms to see just how the puck got into the net.

With Condensed Baseball (c) we would be increasing the speed of the game so that ordinary people who tend to nod off to sleep after three innings of a pitcher's duel would be able to enjoy the game too.
 

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