Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Bronx is Burning

It was during the 1977 World Series that the broadcaster, noting a fire raging within eyeshot of the Yankee Stadium press box, uttered the infamous phrase, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning." While no one would give a tinker's damn about anything someone like Joe Buck would say, the author of this comment was Howard Cosell, and in 1977 when Howard Cosell said something it was noted, if not always seriously. For the past thirty years, many people's impressions of the Bronx -- including this author's -- were shaped at least in part by that memory.

News now of a renaissance in the location of the World Series fire. Also, a miniseries entitled The Bronx is Burning, depicting the Yankees and the miserable, wonderful summer of 1977 will be debuting on HBO in a couple of weeks. John Turturro will be playing Billy Martin, and that alone should be worth watching.

Hopefully it won't try to do what another baseball/riots movie tried to do a few years ago and credit a baseball team itself with urban renewal.