In 1969, Dick Sargent replaced Dick York as Darin Stephens on the hit show Bewitched after five seasons with minimal notification to the viewers. York had astringent back pain that he dealt with for as long as he could. Sargent proceeded to handle the role for the final three seasons. It went fairly problem-free likely because Sargent did initially audition for the part prior to the start of the series, but York won the competition. This was not the only change in the cast. Nosey neighbor Gladys Kravitz was first played by the late Alice Pearce but replaced by Sandra Gould. Why would some fans act like business as usual?
Well, Elizabeth Montgomery obviously was the star of the sitcom playing Samantha. Occasionally, she also played Samantha’s cousin Serena, a character flaunting short skirts and short black hair. The joke was that a made-up actress Pandora Spocks was actually Serena. Believe it or not, some fans were gullible enough to believe this, not coming to grips that Montgomery was playing duel roles. Who needs to officially announce the change in Darins when some fans could not decipher that Samantha and Serena were the same people? Hello People.
Most major changes are news headlines in modern times. I do recall when Ian McCulloch vacated his spot as the lead singer for Echo and the Bunnymen. He quietly released a fantastic solo album. Meanwhile, Noel Burke took over lead vocals for the band. It caught many by surprise as it was not the blockbuster headline story on MTV. (As when David Lee Roth was replaced by Sammy Haggar for the legendary band Van Halen.) I am teased to this very day because I was one of the very few people to buy the cassette with Burke as the lead man. As good as McCulloch’s solo project was, he did reunite with his band until this very day.
Where am I going with this you just pondered? Replacing athletes or coaches in sports can be huge breaking news. It can also happen quietly. The quiet changes can remain out of the mainstream, except when something goes wrong.
Nothing aggravated me more as a Sabres fan than going to a game where the projected starting Goalie, Dominik Hasek, is nowhere to be seen during the national anthem. Meanwhile, Steve Shields is loitering in the goal crease. How about coming back from an intermission and LaFontaine is not on the bench or the ice and no one is saying anything leaving everyone in the building concerned.
Even in a pre-scripted entertainment sport like professional wrestling, I recall being very disappointed as a youth. The advertised main event was Randy Savage defending his title against Ricky Steamboat. As Savage stood in the ring with Miss Elizabeth and the announcer started introductions claiming Steamboat was sick.” Suitable replacement heading to the ring. From parts unknown, weight unknown. Introducing “BARRY O“.
OMG. Barry O??? He loses every Saturday morning. My late father told me to cheer up. He reminded me that ya never know, maybe Barry O will upset Macho Man for the title. I had an attitude proclaiming Barry O would never win if wrestling was real. There was no way a pre-scripted match would let Mr. O defeat Randy Savage.
It was not a reassuring feeling being at Wembley Stadium in London for a Bills game expecting Tyrod Taylor to be lined up behind center. The feeling in my stomach when EJ Manuel trots out as the starting QB resembles that of a first-time beer funnel, but on the sixth one. Manuel did not disappoint as he had one of the worst starts to a game I could remember. Certainly traveling across the pond increased said anxiety.
Sometimes a fan may miss an off-season position coach change since the coordinator remained in place. If those players continue to execute flawlessly, no harm done by being unaware.
On the other hand, if your Quarterback Coach leaves and is replaced by a lesser qualified or inexperienced guy, no one is pulling a Darin Stevens on educated fans. When the Quarterback’s mechanics and game management regress, this is when you realize the importance of Ian McCulloch holding that microphone. Noel Burke just can not seem to get J.P. Losman to check down, as he basically stares down one Receiver and throws it that way without his feet set. PICK SIX.
The Buffalo Bills certainly did not attempt to pull off a Rosanne “Becky” switch, replacing Lecy Goranson with Sarah Chalke. They were transparent like 90210 was with the famous dramatic departure of Shannon Doherty. (She was replaced by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. Yes, Kelly Kapowski.) This was not a Darin Stephens situation by any means. Shannon’s part was written out of the script and replaced by Thiessen’s new character (a cousin who moved into town).
The Bills did not just quietly watch John Brown pack up and leave, expecting Davis or another youngster to fill the void. They went out and signed Emanuel Sanders, who many would say is a decent upgrade. Maybe the Peach Pit will become a Bills Backer business on Sundays. Bet you have not thought about the Peach Pit in a multitude of years. Just saying…
One could say that reading a Buffalo Bills commentary about finding yourself in a Bewitched episode as Endora turned Darrin into a lion could be quite shocking. I do not know what to say except in a Yoda style: DIGRESS I DO…
Things we know about the Buffalo Bills this week:
Buffalo inked two new Defensive Tackles to Brandon Beane‘s famous one-year contracts: Eli Ankou and Nazair Jones.
The Bills have signed Wide Receiver Lance Lenoir.
A Fourth of July Fireworks Show on Independence Day will take place at Highmark Stadium. Can I call it Rich Stadium?
Total Sports Enterprises has signed on as an Official Sponsor of the Buffalo Bills.