VB The Wise: NOT Ready For Primetime

When Opportunity Knocks, Some Pee Themselves...

Doug 'VB' Goudie
November 21, 2017 - 5:45 am

USA Today


   So Nathan Peterman got his chance on Sunday.  For some strange reason, the Buffalo Bills decided to see what their backup quarterback could do in a real NFL game, and they got their answer.  He threw FIVE interceptions in the first half of the game, and he was back on the bench after 15 passes. One word comes to mind - YEESH!!!

   His performance got me to thinking however, and what he reminded me of is the fact that throughout history people have been put in positions they NEVER should have been in, and in those sink or swim opportunities, many sink.  Here's the best three examples I can give you of "Oh God please don't give me the ball coach, I don't want it!"

Politics:​ Jane Swift

   She was never supposed to be anything more than a State Senator from Western Massachusetts.  But when Joe Malone decided to challenge Paul Cellucci in the Republican primary for Governor, Malone picked Janet Jeghelian as his running mate.  Feeling pressure to follow suit with a female choice, Cellucci pulled the only other female Republican anyone had ever heard of (barely), Jane Swift, to be his running mate.  Sure enough, Cellucci won the Governor's race, and eventually he was named Ambassador to Canada, leaving Swift to become the Chief Executive of the Commonwealth.  After taking over in April of 2001, Swift gave birth to twins, but she did not take maternity leave.  Then on September 11th, a plane leaving Logan Airport crash into the World Trade Center.  While the entire country was in a panic, Swift took to Boston tv LIVE to try and calm people's fears.  It was her Nathan Peterman moment.  She looked stiff, she seemed nervous, and she exuded anything but calm.  And when it was over, Swift's mic was still on when she could be heard joking "I'm in a firing mood."  In March of 2002, she announced she would not run for Governor, and she was done in Massachusetts politics.

Entertainment:  Emeril Lagasse

   The guy was, and is, a star.  However, at the height of his fame, when he was the #1 chef on television, NBC decided to give him his own sitcom.  Seemed like a no-brainer; the camera loved Emeril, and so did much of the country.  There was only one problem, Emeril couldn't act.  The pilot episode was so bad that NBC completely revamped the show, and they brought in veteran actor Robert Urich to try and save him.  7 episodes aired, even though three more had already been taped, and the show was finally mercifully yanked. 

(It was hard not to use Megyn Kelly as the entertainment example, but if her show continues to fail at the rate it has been, NBC may well have its second "Nathan Peterman tv blunder" on its hands.)

Radio: David Lee Roth

   Diamond Dave, lead singer of Van Halen, as charismatic as they come.  And as good a radio guest as anyone could find.  The key word, GUEST.  When Howard Stern decided to make the jump to satellite radio, his New York station was in a bind as to who should replace him.  So they turned to one of Stern's best guests- Diamond Dave.  Problem was, a good guest does not necessarily make a good host, as everyone found out within a week of Roth Radio.  Diamond Dave was great in ten minute intervals, but four hours a day of bombastic pontificating- it got old real fast.  The show launched in January of 2006, in March of that year he was given a week off to "re-vamp" the show, and in April the plug was pulled.  

   I'm not sure this column is much consolation for Nathan Peterman, but at least he now knows that he is not alone.  And who knows, maybe he gets another chance, and he is wildly successful.  Maybe, although Jane, Emeril, and Diamond Dave never did.

More wisdom next week.

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