I tend to completely agree with things that WIP Morning personality Al Morganti says. Just two weeks ago, he wrote a particularly scathing story about Donovan McNabb STILL believing that his three turnovers and complete mismanagement in the closing minutes of Super Bowl XXXIX had nothing to do with the Philadelphia Eagles losing. McNabb, in an interview with reporters during Super Bowl week believes T.O.'s unwillingness to step out of the game is what did them in. Morganti went on to say that McNabb needs to man up and stop blaming all his troubles on the suicidal driveway workout guru, Mr. Owens. Agreed!
Fast forward to last night in the waning minutes of Flyers Post Game Live. Michael Barkann and Al Morganti had just finished the highlights of the Flyers 6-5 OT loss to the NY Islanders and were heading to commercial. Morganti turns to his counterpart and says "Nice shirt!" When you say nice shirt to someone, you don't really mean that their shirt is nice (unless you're my grandmother). It is assumed that with playful on-air banter like this, when a sarcastic remark such as "nice shirt" is made, the other person will chuckle and throw back his own barb or insult. It shows a sense of commaraderie and respect between the two.
Now, two things go wrong here: 1) If Al Morganti were to look in the mirror, he'd see that in most cases he's dressed like a high school English teacher in the late 1980's. Michael Barkann, is a very nice man ( I once bumped into him at a Flyers game, literally, and left the experience with both my wallet and an apology) that wears really expensive looking suits. There's a commercial starring five or six Michael Barkans hanging out at the Wachovia Center, and I'm told that no CGI or movie magic were necessary to pull it off. As far as Comcast is concerned, he's omni-present and his wardrobe shows that fact. 2) Barkann did not laugh. He didn't chuckle or shoot an embarrassed, red faced smile at the camera. He sort of stared at Al Morganti for a minute, not understanding exactly what twilight zone episode he had just stepped into.
Things started to heat up at this moment. In the background I can imagine the cameraman stopped eating his ham sandwich and looked over at the producer, who helplessly put his hands up to signify his confusion. I can see multiple pairs of people in the studio turning to each other at the same time, silently conveying the question that was on everyone's mind in the viewing audience. "What is he doing?" At this point, Morganti begins to move uncomfortably, shifting his glance from Barkann to the camera (we the audience) the way the late, great Rodney Dangerfield might have. I kept waitng for him to straighten his tie. And just when you think they'll go to some poorly produced Cherry Hill Nissan commercial, Morganti opens his mouth again. "Did you steal that from my closet?" he says. Okay... I'm with you on this. He's backpeddaling after seeing his original comment didn't sit well. He's saying that it was a bad shirt, but it came from his own closet. Humility will get you everywhere in this world. "I put it in your closet." he says. SHUT THE F*CK UP!
What followed were more comments about this closet and that closet and I think there was a summarization of some plot from a Smurf's episode I watched as a kid. Imagine that the "Land of Confusion" song by Genesis was some sort of mass that could be rolled up into a ball or projectile and shot into Al Morganti's face. That's what the last 30-40 seconds of this interaction were like. Thankfully, Michael Barkann turned to the camera and said, "That means something TO HIM," before my head exploded. It reminded me of watching early American Idols, where the "castaways" perform dressed in trash bags and sing like Tiny Tim. I was embarrassed FOR him, to the point where I had to change the channel to "Bruce Almighty" on USA. Morgan Freeman as God... Ah, now I know everything is gonna be okay.