London, England, Jan. 17, 2013


Remember the helicopter that crashed into the crane along the Thames that I wrote about yesterday? Yeah, well, it turns out that the two guys who operate the crane are lucky survivors because, miraculously, they both overslept and weren’t in the crane’s cabin at 8 a.m. – an hour after their scheduled start time – when the copter rammed it during a “freezing fog.”

It was the first time since Richard Moule started the job three years ago, he said, that he was late. And Nicki Biagoni’s wife, Leanna, said her husband has never overslept. But both guys, for the first time, managed to oversleep on the same day that a helicopter sheared through the crane “as if it was a piece of paper,” as police said.

Oh, did I mention that I have acquired a piece of beachfront property in Dublin that I can offer, just for you, at a bargain price?

The game is tonight, by the way. Pistons and Knicks? Not that you’d know about it by reading the British tabs. Or by watching the telly. So far, on my hotel TV, I have seen a steady diet of billiards, cricket, volleyball, skiing, tennis, bowling and football. No, not that football.

But nary a word of tonight’s game in today’s Daily Mail, where the horse meat scandal, the lucky crane operators and Pep Guardiola’s snubbing of Chelsea to instead coach Bayern Munich – the nerve! – dominate coverage.

The Beebs did give the game a mention last night – well, this morning. It was after midnight when Joe Watson, in the studio for BBC’s “Sport Today,” talked about it – mostly because Knicks uberfan Spike Lee had shown up at Wednesday’s practice. He also gave NBA scores – for the three games that had just tipped off back stateside.

After tonight’s game – it starts at 8 p.m. in London – the Pistons must attend a reception at the O2. Then it’s back to the hotel where luggage has to be turned in by 2 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. trek to the airport and a 9 a.m. flight that lands back in Detroit by mid-afternoon. It’s almost a nine-hour flight back, we’re told. That should give me plenty of time to write to you tomorrow. It probably won’t be coherent. Then again, maybe I’ll oversleep, not that I’ve ever done that before.