Sunday, January 09, 2005
Back in 1980, with the perennially hapless New Orleans Saints headed to 1-15, broadcaster Buddy Diliberto stopped in at his bar and said he was having trouble finding new ways to talk about a loss. His bartender, watching a television with a comic wearing a bag over his head, remarked that the Saints made him think of trying that, too. Upon Diliberto's urging, the Saints became the Aints, with fans cutting holes in paper bags. Thanks to the gag, Buddy D made the cover of Newsweek magazine.
FEEL OUR PAIN
Oct. 3, 2004. Diliberto, in an interview with the Palm Beach Post, putting fans' misery over the Miami Dolphins 0-3 into perspective: "Y'all are not even in the same league -- not even the same league. Considering what we've experienced in the past, you're not even in purgatory. The people here are in hell, doomed, for 38 years, with no way of getting out. One playoff win in 38 years - 38 years - and you're talking about Miami?"
Oct. 20, 2003. Jim Henderson, master of ceremonies at the "WWL 870-AM Roast of Buddy D" at the UNO Kiefer Arena, opens the evening thusly: "We are gathered tonight to salute true greatness. For it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, 'To be great is to be misunderstood.' We haven't understood Buddy Diliberto for 50 years."
Jim Mora, who came under frequent and vicious attacks by Diliberto as Saints coach, at the same roast: "Bobby (Hebert) said he'd have a tough time finding something bad to say about Buddy. I find it very easy. The only thing that ticks me off is this: I get a few minutes up here to rip this guy and he ripped me for 11 years."
Alec Gifford of WDSU-TV at the same roast: "Buddy Diliberto is the only person I know in the television business who is out of lip sync when he's live."
Diliberto, after Saints owner Tom Benson cited communication problems as a reason for firing general Manager Randy Mueller in 2002, said that was like "me firing somebody because they mispronounced a couple words."
After the Saints got off to an 8-4 start during the 2000 season, eventually capped by the Saints first playoff victory, Diliberto said, "You no longer shrug and laugh when you wonder if the Saints could get to the Super Bowl. If you ever mentioned that before, they would have thought you were on leave from an asylum."
Marty Blake, the super scout of the NBA, passed along his expertise to practically every one of New Orleans' broadcasting outlets before Wednesday's draft. But he had a moment of trepidation when asked to go on WWL-radio with Buddy D. Kenny Wilkerson, Diliberto's right-hand man, called Blake to ask if he was willing. Sure, he was, the amiable Blake said before asking with whom he would be on.
"Buddy," answered Wilkerson.
"Buddy? Buddy Diliberto?" Blake responded. "Will this interview be in English?"
Joe Wendryhoski, who played center as a member of the original Saints team in 1967-69, noted his friend Ron Krajewski was a wide receiver at Tulane who always wanted to play for the Saints. "You know, Ron was a wide receiver for Tulane; he wanted to play for the Saints but never did. I always thought how wonderful it would have been if he had, and Buddy Diliberto had to get the names Ron Krajewski, Joe Wendryhoski and Danny Abramowicz into one sentence. Ol' mush mouth's head would've exploded!"
Time was, Diliberto's station presented watches to the outstanding players after each Saints game. One week, Diliberto gave the watch to Gumbo, the team mascot.
SEE YOU IN COURT
Russell Erxleben, a hapless kicker for the Saints, sued Buddy D for $255,000 on charges of defamation stemming from Diliberto's comments after a 1983 Saints game. The suit said sportscaster Buddy Diliberto falsely reported that it was supposed to be a fake punt, but Erxleben kicked the ball downfield.
The judge ruled in favor of Buddy D. The suit was tossed -- and before long so was Erxleben, onto waivers.
After Jim Mora resigned midway through the 1996 season.
"I, from time to time, have compared Jim Mora to General Custer at Little Big Horn," Diliberto told listeners. "But that was obviously not accurate, because he certainly did not go down with the troops."
Jan. 23, 1986. Flamboyant Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon was the target of a bomb threat Thursday after a TV reporter erroneously claimed McMahon had called women in New Orleans "sluts" and men in the city "stupid."
The reporter: You guessed it -- Buddy D.
The New Orleans station, WDSU-TV, suspended Diliberto and issued an apology for the inaccurate report that spurred a bomb threat, picketing and angry phone calls at the Bears' hotel. "I'll be lucky to get out of New Orleans alive," McMahon said before the Bears played the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. "I'd like to get my hands on the guy who started this."
No chance. Diliberto, at the behest of his bosses, left town before the game.
Information was compiled from stories that appeared in the Times-Picayune and other newspapers.
Many chuckles, good post.
:D :D :D Good post :D :D :D
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