Friday, June 19, 2009

From the Home Office in Wahoo, Nebraska

TigerBlog (the Colgate Class of 2001 one) remembers the day well. It was the Thanksgiving week of 1997 and TB was home from college for a few days during his freshman year. It was also a week that the Late Show with David Letterman was in reruns. So, 11:35 rolled around and TB tuned in.

The guests and the comedy shtick are not what TB remembers, but the part that stands out was watching Dave pick Henry, one of TB’s college friends, out of the audience and sign him up to take tractor-trailer driving lessons in downtown Manhattan during the taping of the show. A native New Yorker, Henry did not yet even have his driver’s license, but there he was trying to back the truck into the loading dock at the neighboring building.

Back then TB used to watch Letterman every night. Now, the times have changed. With Mrs. TB and little Miss TB around, TB’s schedule has changed and 11:35 now seems like 3:30 in the morning.

Last week, the story of Letterman and Sarah Palin’s feud took center stage on the news. TB hasn’t watched Letterman in a long time so in trying to catch up on what was going on, TB revisited a bunch of old Top 10 lists and came across April 14, 2009. The Top 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Becoming A Somali Pirate.

The whole Somali pirate situation has intrigued TB for some time now. Not enough to take a cruise along the coast of Eastern Africa, but enough to read the stories when they come out and follow what is going on there. So, upon seeing the heading,, TB figured to he’d check out the list.

Then came number three. (You can see the whole list here)

‘Will I get along with Ross Ohlendorf? (Sorry, that's a question to ask yourself before becoming a Pittsburgh Pirate)’

Now that is random. How did they choose Ohlendorf among all the Pirates? Did Ohlendorf know? How’d that happen?

TB went to the source and sent Ohlendorf an email. April 14 was a Tuesday, Pittsburgh’s off-day after playing their home opener a day earlier. Ohlendorf pitched the following day so it was an early night for him. It wasn’t until the next day in he clubhouse that teammate Nate McClouth filled him in on what had happened the night before.

“I was pretty surprised to hear about it,” recounts Ohlendorf. His Dad and some other friends saw it as well and eventually told him over the coming days. He has since seen it on Youtube as well.

As for how it came about, Ohlendorf wasn’t sure. He had just heard that the show’s writers are big Yankees fans and they needed a Pittsburgh Pirate for the sketch and naturally chose the former Yankee.

“Being on the Top 10 was really cool,” added Ohlendorf. It is really cool.

TB’s friend Henry still gets occasional royalty checks from re-airs of clips of his episode. Apparently the last check he got was for 17 cents. Not sure if Ohlendorf will get any royalties from his episode, but he certainly has an interesting story to tell.

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