Dick Maynard Column September 24, 2008

'Underrated’ is not at all overrated

Overrated. What isn’t? Overrated is life’s latest buzzword. From cable TV talk show hosts to Uncle Joe at a family reunion, the world is more than willing to expound on just who or what is overrated. Indeed, the overrated do populate the landscape. Coming immediately to mind are Rascal Flatts recordings, Donald Trump, American Idol, Wall Street stock analysts and any team coached by “Slick” Rick Neuheisal.

But enough of overrated. What about its opposite, the underappreciated. There’s a wide world of happenings today making life infinitely more livable yet receiving little credit. Coming to mind:

Two Buck Chuck. Wine snobs claim “Friends don’t let friends drink Two Buck Chuck.” Granted, my palette is anything but discriminating. It was trained in the Midwest, where surf ‘n’ turf on the menu meant two fish sticks and a Maid-Rite. But c’mon, sold only at not-in-Colorado Trader Joe’s, the $2 a bottle wine is a terrific value for evenings when dinner is just the two of you. Heading for California? Don’t hesitate to bring back a case for yours truly, even if you insist it be encased in a plain brown wrapper.

Way underrated are TV commercials for something other than a political candidate. Who ever expected the
day when, after hearing “We’ll be right back,” one is pleasantly surprised the commercial is an amateur night spot for a personal injury attorney or “You asked for it, you got it.” That’s a quantum leap in quality over the usual fare, an every-10-minute diatribe detailing why Mark Udall or Bob Schaeffer, take your pick, are total incompetents. And, after the never-ending barrage of the same message, I’m agreeing with both points of view.

Speaking of underrated, what tops Broncos 41, Raiders 14? True, the silver and blech are the NFL equivalent to political piñata Dennis Kucinich, a sure W for anyone they play including St. Catherine’s School for Girls. But longtime Bronco fans never tire of watching the orange and blue decimate the “Evil Empire.”

Even sweeter is watching the thrashing on Monday Night Football, which allows the entire nation to witness the massacre. Bronco blowouts over the sons of Al Davis fill football fans in the Rockies with an inner glow of satisfaction that lasts for weeks.

In today’s world, when it comes to underrated, look no further than cash. Each and every morning of late brings front and center another Wall Street entry in the “Please Uncle Sam, bail me out” derby, followed by a stock market swoon. How quickly yesterday’s investment orphan, the CD, became today’s safe harbor. Cash is also way underrated as a sleep aid allowing one to avoid the 3 a.m. tossing, turning and wondering where it will all end syndrome currently being experienced by 401k holders.

Maybe it’s a guy thing, but what’s more underrated than a pickup truck? Joe Diffie sang, “I’ve got an eight foot bed that never has to be made, if it weren’t for trucks we wouldn’t have tailgates.” Be it a beater from the ’50s or a hemi-headed monster of today, there’s just something incredibly special about sitting behind the wheel of a pickup.

Aah, the wonderfulness of underrated. And we haven’t even mentioned rhubarb pie, Palisade peaches and Olathe Sweet.


Dick Maynard can be reached via e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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