By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
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In case you missed it, Kelly Ripa now has a new permanent co-host on the “Live” morning show. Michael Strahan, the perennial all-pro defensive end who played his entire career for the New York Giants was finally selected to replace Regis Philbin who retired from the show nine months ago. During that nine-month period, Michael had been the guest co-host 20 times so his choice was not entirely unexpected.
FOX Sports is still listing Michael as a regular on the “FOX NFL Sunday” show along with Curt, Jimmy, Terry, Howie, and others. In my opinion, this is the best NFL pre-game program on television with ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” a close second. For the record, I rate NBC’s “Football Night in America” third, CBS’s “NFL Today” fourth, and the NFL Network’s shows and personalities dead last. I guess you could call me an NFL junkie because I watch all these programs as well as subscribe to DirecTV’s “NFL Sunday Ticket Max” which allows me to have up to eight games going simultaneously.
One sad change to the “FOX NFL Sunday” cast is the fact that Frank Caliendo will not return this year. I never put much stock in his game predictions but I love his spot on impressions and costumes. Some of his best send-ups are of Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Charles Barkley, Bill Clinton, and William Shatner. Of course, he does John Madden better than John Madden does John Madden.
But, back to Kelly and Michael. Physically, they couldn’t be much different. Kelly is a “petite ball of fire” (to quote Regis) about the size of Mary Lou Retton. Michael is a six-foot, five-inch, 275 pound behemoth who looks like Andre the Giant dressed in a designer suit by Joseph Abboud (oh, you name dropper, you). When he first came out from the wings after she announced him as the selection, he picked her up and swung her around several times like she was a baton.
Kelly has flowing blond tresses, sparkling eyes, and a big toothy smile that looks like a double row of white Chiclets. Michael has a severe buzz cut, squinty eyes, and a big toothy smile with a huge gap between his upper front teeth. That gap is so prominent it reminds me of that wonderful old Enlish comedy actor, Terry-Thomas (yes, the hyphen belongs there).
Kelly is 41 years old, happily married to actor Mark Consuelos since 1996, and she has three kids. Her marital stability is contrasted by Michael’s marital instability — he just can’t get his stuff together in that department. He also married in 1996 but that didn’t last and it cost him a house in Houston and $2,500 a month child support for their two kids. He married his second wife in 1999 and that marriage ended acrimoniously in 2006. That union ended up costing him a settlement award of $15 million, half the proceeds from a $3.6 million dollar house, and $18,000 a month child support for their twin daughters. The girls are only eight years old but it seems they have very expensive tastes. It’s no wonder poor Michael had to take a second job.
Ever the glutton for punishment, Michael has been “engaged” for several years to the ex-wife of Eddie Murphy who has five children. They have been in and out of the tabloids for all the usual celebrity reasons but the weirdest is that, in 2009, it was reported that Michael was caught tracking her with a GPS device he had secreted in her car. I guess she got suspicious because he often showed up at places she had not told him she was going to. At least, if it doesn’t work out, Eddie Murphy will still be covering the child support.
My overall assessment of the show is it is a good one. Kelly and Michael are funny, personable, entertaining, and they seem to genuinely enjoy working together.
In the “be careful what you ask for” department, The Little Woman (she doesn’t care for that name) and I just sold our humble abode here on the banks of Golden Pond. We love this place and we agonized over the decision but it is just time that we move closer to our son, daughter-in-law, and grandson who live in Sarasota, Fla. Life is just too short and we are missing too much of the little guy’s development — visits once or twice a year just aren’t cutting it. My motto has always been to “live long enough to be a problem to your kids,” but I can’t do that over such a long distance.
Now, here’s the “be careful...” part — the house went on the market the Thursday before Labor Day and by that Sunday we had a contract on it! Who woulda thunk it! We suspected John and Julie Teel were good Realtors but not that good. Thank goodness we could arrange a lease-back situation so we’ll have time to go down there to house-hunt and then come back here to pack and ship. Our biggest worry is how to get Little Orphan Annie (our 14-year old cat) down to the new digs. I told TLW that we would use FedEx but she’s not buying that.
It has been exactly 11 years since we last pulled up roots and moved from the suburbs of Denver down here to the suburbs of “Booger Woods.” My dear sister-in-law used to chide me when I used that term when we were down here on visits. CeCe and Joe Hubbard loved Corsicana dearly and we have come to love it here also. It makes the stakes all the harder to pull up.
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: email@example.com