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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Sports, Politics and Distractions

I generally keep a fairly neat desk – but right now it is stacked with piles of folders, videos and all the other detritus of very busy days.

The week has been punctuated by many things – nothing so large as Arnold. We generally end the day by watching the BBC News on WLIW 21, one of the PBS stations here in New York, to catch a more global view than we might get from the local New York stations.

When Arnold was the lead story on the BBC, complete with reporters on the scene, I knew that the big story of the American Week was the BIG story of the global week. The extraordinary – in every sense – California Recall and election had become the center of global attention.

When we drifted off to sleep on Tuesday night, Arnold was not the declared winner but was by the time my radio went off to wake me the next morning.

Arnold is Governor.

This is going to be interesting.

The other news of the week that really grabbed me was that Red Sox fans seem to be going to mystical extremes to break “The Curse of the Bambino” – the shadow that has hung over the Boston Red Sox ever since their team owner sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees so that he could afford to produce “No, No, Nanette” on Broadway.

So at the grave of the Babe, Red Sox fans have been gathering, leaving offerings to the Babe to get him to withdraw his curse so that the Red Sox could finally – after nearly a century – manage to make it into the Pennant Race. Left on his tombstone have been Red Sox caps, candles, flowers, Baby Ruth bars -- you name it, they’re leaving it. This is the best its been in anyone’s memories and die hard fans are leaving no stone unturned in working on the powers that might be to see if there is something that can be done for the Red Sox in this round.

It is almost drowning out the noise of the Yankees on their march to the Pennant.

I don’t pay much attention to any of this –though I will confess that when I was with friends on Monday evening I found myself, unexpectedly, totally engrossed in the 4th quarter marathon of the Colts vs. The Buccaneers. I probably wouldn’t have been engaged if I had not seen a dance elegant move on the part of a Colt team member who rescued the football on a bounce and then went on to help his team score. It was one of the most elegant performance moments I’ve ever seen.

But that’s not what I see often and so I don’t follow sports much.

Though I can’t ignore it as it is now on the front pages of every paper – except the Times, which generally relegates such ordinary things as sports to a back page, which is one of the reasons I am so quietly fond of the Times.

We are still quietly drifting through the fall, concentrating on all the ordinary things of the season as opposed to all the things that are banging at the back doors of our brains.

It is a strange season, this season of Arnold, which is our center of attention, followed by the spells that Red Sox fans are weaving at the tomb of the Babe, followed by another errant priest who stole money from his weekend flock while collecting gay porn and Nazi memorabilia.

All of this, I suspect, is our psychic protection from the events beyond the borders of our country that seems so out of our control and therefore, if we ignore them, may be they will go away.

Of course they won’t. But, of course, we seek distraction.