In what sounds like it was the lamest WFAN promo-stunt since Don Imus began dragging sick kids to his ranch in an atempt to become Michael Jackson with jowls, the NY Daily News’ Bob Raissman attended the FAN’s NHL “funeral”.
The Rosenberg and Benigno show might have been delivered to WFAN dead on arrival, but yesterday the casket was not reserved for sports talk radio’s version of the Bowery Boys.
The box was meant for an organization as twisted as any of Sidiot’s “comedy” stylings. An organization as irrational as some of Benigno’s old midnight monologues.
The National Hockey League.
That’s who this mock funeral was for. That’s why so many people in the small crowd were smiling. A joke is supposed to be funny. And there is no bigger punch line in sports than the NHL.
Gary Bettman’s league is nothing more than a resource for Letterman and Leno.
This did not dawn on Benigno. He was a few minutes away from being able to dump on Bettman and Bob Goodenow, two humorless bureaucrats, but seemed reluctant to seize the opportunity. Deep in conversation with FAN GM Lee Davis, Benigno said something about facing “an embarrassing” moment. Davis put his arm around Benigno. The talkie just dragged on a cigarette and threw it to the ground.
Perhaps Benigno was embarrassed over the size of the turnout. Forty. Tops. Maybe less. Math ain’t my thing.
There was a mixture of FAN employees, a few true fans, and some curious bystanders who wandered out of the restaurant.
Sidiot stood at the podium looking down at the casket, which contained a pillow and a couple of hockey sweaters. Someone asked if he was cold.
“If I stand here 20 more minutes I may be in there,” said Rosenberg, pointing to the casket.
Sidiot’s detractors could only hope.
Someone read a hockey poem (fortunately it was short) before Benigno took over the microphone.
“I’d like to thank everybody that showed up here today,” Benigno said. “I question your intelligence.
“… It’s tough for a Rangers fan. It’s another year where we won’t make the playoffs, but nobody else will, either.”
Adding more ice to the atomosphere, Benigno segued into a somber spiel. Another dissertation on the salary cap would not bring any heat to this soiree.
Rosenberg broke the ice. He said the lost season has left fans with many important questions.
“The most pressing of all is: What’s Carol Alt going to do now?” Rosenberg asked.
Another question offered by Sidiot? “Is a former haberdasher turned prostitute now a hat trick?”
Rosenberg obviously consulted with spiritual scholars to find the most appropriate line to close out his eulogy.
“So, to the NHL, puck you. And oh yeah, Potvin sucks.”
How darn moving.