Hall of Famer shortstop/Ex-Yankee announcer Phil Rizzuto is dead at the age of 89. I thought he was 103.
OK, now please humor me and my selfishness. I hate when a famous person dies. Not because I will miss that person or because I am saddened by idea of death. I hate it because I will be unable to escape this story for the next 24 hours due to inevitable media over saturation. For example, I was driving in my car today and wanted to listen to sports talk radio. I turned on WFAN and over an hour into his broadcast Mike Francessa was still discussing Rizzuto. I figured the entire broadcast would feature former and current Yankees telling stories about old Phil, so I then switched to ESPN radio and as to be expected Michael Kay was waxing poetic about the Scooter. I'm sure when I open all of the daily papers tomorrow there will be pages and pages devoted to the former Yankee. While he was a Hall of Famer and by all accounts a great guy, I know I will be bored to death by the media coverage because every after I have read one article on Scooter I will have essentially read them all. What is person A going to say differently from person B? There are no fresh takes or different ways to look at his death. Every media outlet will more or less offer the same homage making each take fairly irrelevant. In a media market such as NY where there are two sports talk radio stations, numerous NY sports-centric TV stations, and many daily papers, when a famous person passes away only one of those outlets (on a rotation basis) in the respective medium should report on the story, so I can fully avoid the story if I want to. I know, I can just not read any of the stories or change the channel when Rizzuto coverage comes on, but my point is that tomorrow I will not read any articles by features writers on a topic I remotely care about. Every writer from Mike Lupica, to Joel Sherman, to Wallace Matthews will write an unimaginative eulogy to Phil. The TV and radio coverage will take time away from Mets and Jets stories, even though everything Rizzuto related can be wrapped up rather quickly- Phil Rizzuto died, he was 89, brief summary of his career, and obligatory Whitey Ford interview.
Click here for a classic Phil Rizzuto Money Store commercial.