Dick Clark needs to retire.
I came to this conclusion while watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest on ABC last Thursday. My wife and I were at some friend's house and we tuned into the program just before 11 pm and witnessed Dick counting down the New Year from Time's Square.
Dick is looking...well...uh... OK, there's no politically correct to say this, so I'll just put it out there.
Dick is starting to resemble the Crypt Keeper.
He's looking gaunt. Really, really gaunt and he appears to be in denial to the fact.
Dick, we know you're a television icon and have broadcast this show practically every year since the Civil War, but I think most viewers really don't want you to be practically the first thing they see rockin' in the New Year. It was OK in your heyday in the 1970s, but now you're a little scary.
And Dick, there's another thing. I don't know if you were slamming Jello shooters right before you went on air to do the countdown or perhaps it's just a sign of old age, but when you do a countdown don't skip numbers and make sure they're in order.
The countdown should go "14, 13, 12, 11, 10" not "14, 12, 10, 11" as I heard you announce Thursday night. I almost expected you to yell "Hike!" and hurl a football at the camera.
I realize my opinions will change nothing. Dick Clark Productions owns this New Year's Eve show and Dick will do whatever Dick damn well pleases.
Even if he is scary to many younger viewers and would apparently fail a sobriety count backwards test, he will probably continue to show up on his Rockin' New Year's Eve show until he has passed on to that great bandstand in the sky.
And even then, I would not be surprised if his heirs somehow manage to resurrect him using James Cameron gee-whiz technology. Imagine the countdown with a blue ten-foot tall and entirely digital Dick Clark. That would be kind of cool.
So while watching Dick Clark mess up the countdown to 2010, it occurred to me that the Central Time Zone has gotten shafted over the years. Every December 31st, Times Square attracts tens of thousands of tourists to watch the ball drop in celebration of New Year's Eve for the Eastern Time Zone, but there is no grand celebration for our time zone.
But I'm aiming to change that.
I propose that Cape host the 2011 New Year's Eve ball drop for the Midwest. It's a golden tourism opportunity with the potential to bring tens of thousands of tourists to our town. I bet we could even sell the broadcast rights to Dick Clark Productions. Since there's no reason to mess with success I'd recommend we name the show Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' The Central Time Zone Eve In Cape Girardeau with Ryan Seacrest.
Now I realize that we are a little short on skyscrapers. Most successful ball drops require a skyscraper and I don't think our lone entry -- the KFVS tower -- will work.
The area around the tower is just too tight and the sightlines are awful. Even if we closed off Broadway, you'd probably only have enough space for a few thousand spectators. That's not enough for all the throngs of sightseers I imagine will want to come to Cape to participate in our show.
But then while driving home on New Year's Eve, I spotted the solution to this dilemma in the form of the Bill Emerson Bridge. The beautifully lit span practically screams, "Drop a ball off of me!" Tens of thousands of people could watch the event from the shores of the Mississippi. It's the perfect venue for our New Year's Eve show.
However, while marveling at my find, it occurred to me that dropping a ball to signify the countdown to New Year is rather passť. It is so 20th Century. What Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' The Central Time Zone Eve In Cape Girardeau with Ryan Seacrest needs is something special and unique to drop from the bridge at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve.
Perhaps, we could get Dick Clark to bungie jump off the bridge at the stroke of midnight? For a little added excitement, he could dive off with a lit roman candle in each hand. That would make that lame ball drop in New York pale in comparison.
That's a Rockin' New Years Eve show that I bet everyone would watch especially if Ryan Seacrest did the actual countdown.