ESPN Adds Dave Winfield As An Analyst

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another hour goes by, another network adds an analyst. ESPN has just announced that the long rumored hiring of Dave Winfield has actually been finalized. Via ESPN PR....

Baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined ESPN as a Baseball Tonight analyst and will mainly work Sundays and select Mondays with host Karl Ravech and analysts Peter Gammons and John Kruk throughout the Major League Baseball season. He will appear on Baseball Tonight Sunday, April 5, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2, leading into Opening Night – Atlanta vs. Philadelphia – at 8 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to add Dave Winfield to our Baseball Tonight team,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, production. “He will be able to draw from his experiences as a Hall of Fame talent and world champion who has been a pioneer for the game in various capacities, both on and off the field. We welcome his unique voice and believe he will be a great addition to ESPN.”

“I've worked in and around baseball my entire life. This is an opportunity to stay connected with the entire sport, not just one team or league,” said Winfield. “To join ESPN is a chance to join another winning sports team. The platform, Baseball Tonight, is No. 1 and one I've enjoyed for years. I look forward to working with Karl Ravech, John Kruk, Peter Gammons and the rest of the crew and bringing my own views on the game. Just like when I was playing, I can't wait for Opening Day!”
I've seen Dave Winfield on various programs since his retirement, and I have to say that I rather enjoy him. Occasionally the Baseball Tonight crew can get a bit stuffy, and the addition of someone with Winfield's energy could only help the crew. However, this does put the number of ESPN Baseball analysts at a ridiculous total. Can anyone tell me if Fernando Vina is still employed by the network? I haven't seen him in months!

Flores And McKendry Share An Awkward Moment Involving The Playboy Mansion

Robert Flores is quickly becoming one of my favorite Sports Center anchors (well during the day at least), and today's awkward exchange with Chris McKendry gave him even a few more brownie points. Flores was transitioning from an NL West story, to an item about Andrew Bynum missing a game and attending a party at the Playboy Mansion, when Flores went for a high five in regards to the Bunny Haven. Of course McKendry looked at him like he was crazy....


Awkwaaaard, yet too funny. Oh and it looks like the rehab is going well for young Bynum as well. Just look at the weight his damaged knee can support these days....


Bynum's knee survives Playboy Mansion workout (Sports Illustrated)

Yankee Greats Join The Cast Of "Lost"

The makers of this Youtube video just sent this one my way, and I can't stress enough how hilarious it is. Former Yankees, and one current one, make it to the Lost island, but there's a problem....their numbers!!! Oooooh oooooh ooooooooh....



Obviously this has nothing to do with anything really, but it was damn funny. Good times.

TNT Hires PJ Carlesimo As An Analyst


TNT sent out a press release this afternoon saying that Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, will be on the program tonight, but there is also a small item that was buried deep within said release. Former NBA Head Coach (and Sprewell choking victim), PJ Carlesimo will join the network as an in-game analyst. Carlesimo will be working with Kevin Harlan tonight, and will be on the network's playoff coverage as well....

Following the pre-game show, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will take on Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards at 8 p.m. ET. Marv Albert (play-by-play) will call the game with analysts Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller and David Aldridge reporting. The second game of the night will feature Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets hosting Deron Williams and the Utah Jazz at 10:30 p.m. ET. Calling the action will be former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan with Marty Snider reporting. Carlesimo will also serve as a game analyst for TNT during the network’s ’40 Games in 40 Nights’ NBA Playoffs coverage. The Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai with Johnson (host), Barkley (analyst) and Smith (analyst) will recap the games.
I can't remember the last time I saw Carlesimo on-air, but I don't remember him being that bad. He always seemed to have a surly disposition to me, but maybe a fun environment like TNT Basketball is what the former coach needs. We shall see.

Bill Simmons Has An Airing Of Grievances With ESPN Brass And The Ex-Ombudsman


The first part of the latest Simmons vs. ESPN went down on Friday, but Bill Simmons not only hosted ESPN Senior VP & Exec Editor John Walsh on his podcast, he also got ex-Ombudsman LeAnne Schreiber to discuss the current "State of ESPN". Simmons has obviously been vocal in his distaste for his employer lately and the two guests talked about everything from commenting on employees (i.e.- Kornheiser on MNF) to the role of sex in Sports (i.e.- Erin Andrews). Here's are a few quotes (some quotes via Sports Business Daily) from both and then an audio snippet from both interviews....

Walsh and Simmons on discussing current ESPN employees: Walsh: "We don’t want to have people doing things critically within a company, going after one another."

Simmons: "For me the Kornheiser thing, the root of the issue, is ... fundamentally people watching a football game want to hear from people who played football or coached it. Anybody outside of that realm they just don’t trust their opinion on it."

Simmons on Sports Center: "I watch ‘SportsCenter’ and it’s like, all right we made money there, we made money there. To be honest, I miss the old ‘SportsCenter.’ I just feel like we make enough money as a company that we don’t need to bleed ‘SportsCenter’ with all these different zingers."

Schreiber on Announcers: "ESPN is the only way you can experience the game, and the announcers have a tremendous impact on it. So I think they care a lot about who the announcers are and how they're operating. I received almost no complaints for instance about, very few complaints about play-by-play announcers."

"The analysts and color commentators, you know, there were a lots of complaints about them and the all essentially come down to essentially one thing. You're too much of a presence between us and the game."

Simmons and Schreiber on random ESPN Segments and Sponsors: Simmons: "My personal biggest, I don't know if it's a fear or I just don't quite understand about ESPN is that they care so much about being a media entity, and reporting news, and being on top of things, and having the best editors and reporters, breaking stories. And then on the other hand, you know....the Budweiser Hotseat, and the Coors Light Top Five, and all that other stuff.

Schreiber: "Yeah that's the trick. You have the argument that could be made, that you have a sponsored segment and what you do on that segment better be something that is justifiable in and of itself that is news."

"Simmons: "Did you feel that was consistently the case?"

Schreiber: "No. It felt it was variable, but I felt it was actually getting better.



And that's just a small taste of the over two hours and thirty minutes (!) worth of audio. I had recently thought that Simmons was just trying to get fired, but if his gripes cause this much discussion, you have to consider his complaints/bitching one of the most productive things to happen to ESPN in years.

As far as the quotes above, nothing sums up everyone's feelings on the network better than the last exchange between Simmons and Schreiber above. I am in the group of people that think ESPN has certainly has improved, but for every step they take forward....they take a giant leap back.

Hopefully these discussions help the network, and I have an idea. If ESPN won't have me on as the Ombudsman, they should get Simmons to try out the role.

John Walsh (ESPN: BS Report)
LeAnne Schreiber Part One (ESPN: BS Report)
LeAnne Schreiber Part Two (ESPN: BS Report)
Simmons Discusses Gripes With ESPN Senior VP & Exec Editor Walsh (Sports Business Daily)

ESPN Could Soon Be Offering A Classic For "U" Swap


This news came down yesterday, and I chose to pass on it because the day was already pretty ESPN heavy, but today is a different day (and a slow one at that). ESPN is reportedly in discussion with cable carriers about offering an ESPNU for ESPN Classic trade. Via John Ourand at SBJ....

Executives in Bristol are set to allow cable and satellite distributors to swap ESPN’s classic sports channel for its college network, ESPNU, which they hope presents a newer, hipper alternative to Classic’s staid, dated programming.

As part of the offer, ESPN also is looking for added distribution for its Spanish-language channel, ESPN Deportes, and its broadband network, ESPN360.

An interesting wrinkle to ESPN’s proposal would allow operators to move ESPN Classic to a sports tier, where it would be ESPN’s first channel to reside on the traditionally low-penetrated mantle.

Right now, ESPN Classic is in more than 63 million homes, typically on analog and digital basic tiers.

By contrast, ESPNU is in about 25 million homes, mainly on digital basic tiers, and ESPN Deportes is in fewer than 5 million homes. ESPN360 has not yet been able to reach carriage deals with the top cable operators, though it has reached broadband agreements with Verizon and AT&T.

Though ESPN executives have spent the last several weeks pitching this plan to cable operators, talks are expected to heat up this week as the cable industry gathers for its annual trade show in Washington, D.C.
What a great idea. I'm one of the few people that probably buy the entire Sports package from Comcast (keep your boos to a minimum), and to this day, I've yet to receive ESPNU. At the present time, I get four different FOX Sports channels, Gol TV, The Tennis Channel and Horse Racing TV, but no ESPNU. I pray that my cable carrier takes them up on this deal, and post haste.

ESPN to offer Classic-for-ESPNU swap (Sports Business Journal)

Dick Vitale Dancing His Way To Motown

NESW Sports came across a hilarious video of Dick Vitale yesterday, that I just had to share. Not only does Dick Vitale actually try to play The Temptations' "My Girl" while on the air, but he dances to it, and actually brings out Digger Phelps' ego....



No way! 66,000 hits, Digger!? That's unheard of on Youtube....that has to be some kind of record or something. Oh and Dick, you might want to try and test the levels next time. Pretty sure no one could hear the song on that one.

Dick Vitale Dancing, and Digger Phelps is a Narcissist, Video (NESW Sports)

Your Final NCAA Announcing Schedule

Monday, March 30, 2009


It always comes with great sorrow that I post the last announcing schedule of a specific Sport. You obviously know that there are only three games left in the Men's NCAA season, but it may come as a surprise that this is one of the most busy weeks in the Sport. Well, that is when you add in the N.I.T., CBI, C.I.T. and Women's schedule. Get all the action you can this week, because after Monday, College Basketball will be off until November.

Oh and a random FYI....Calipari is heading to Kentucky. Here is your schedule....

Monday, March 30th

Women's Elite Eight: #3 Louisville vs. #1 Maryland (ESPN, 7pm)- Mike Patrick, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe
Women's Elite Eight: #4 Iowa State vs. #2 Stanford (ESPN, 9pm)- Dave Pasch, Mary Murphy and Todd Harris
CBI Championship Game One: UTEP at Oregon State (HDNet, 10pm)- Michael Reghi, Tim McCormick

Tuesday, March 31st

Women's Elite Eight: #6 Arizona State vs. #1 Connecticut (ESPN, 7pm)- Pam Ward, Debbie Antonelli and Rebecca Lobo
Men's NIT Semifinal: Baylor vs. San Diego State (ESPN2, 7pm)- Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla, Bill Raftery
CIT Championship Game: Bradley vs Old Dominion (8pm)- Not Televised
Women's Elite Eight: #6 Purdue vs. #1 Oklahoma (ESPN, 9pm)- Dave O’Brien, Nancy Lieberman and Beth Mowins
Men's NIT Semifinal: Penn State vs. Notre Dame (ESPN2, 9pm)- Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla, Bill Raftery

Wednesday, April 1st

CBI Championship Game Two: Oregon State at UTEP (HDNet, 10pm)- Michael Reghi, Tim McCormick

Thursday, April 2nd

Men's NIT Championship (ESPN, 7pm)- Ron Franklin, Fran Fraschilla, Bill Raftery

Friday, April 3rd

CBI Championship Game Three: UTEP at Oregon State (HDNet, 10pm)- Michael Reghi, Tim McCormick

Saturday, April 4th

Men's National Semifinal #1: Michigan State vs. Connecticut (CBS, 6:07pm)- Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
Men's National Semifinal #2: Villanova vs. North Carolina (CBS, 8:47pm)- Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg

Sunday, April 5th

Women's National Semifinal #1 (ESPN, 7pm)- Mike Patrick, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe
Women's National Semifinal #2 (ESPN, 9pm)- Mike Patrick, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe

Monday, April 6th

Men's National Championship Game (CBS)- Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg

Tuesday, April 7th

Women's National Championship (ESPN, 8:30pm)- Mike Patrick, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe

Your NBA Announcing Schedule For The Week Of 3/30


Here is your announcing schedule for the NBA the week....

Monday, March 30th

Milwaukee Bucks at Philadelphia 76ers (NBA TV, 7:30pm)- Mark Zumoff, Steve Mix

Tuesday, March 31st

Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA TV, 7pm)- Fred McLeod, Austin Carr

Wednesday, April 1st

Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns (ESPN, 10pm)- Dan Shulman, Mark Jackson, Jon Barry

Thursday, April 2nd

Cleveland Cavaliers at Washington Wizards (TNT, 8pm)- Marv Albert, Reggie Miller, Mike Fratello, David Aldridge
Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets (TNT, 10:30pm)- Kevin Harlan, Doug Collins, Craig Sager

Friday, April 3rd

Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic (ESPN, 8pm)- Dave Pasch, Hubie Brown
Houston Rockets at LA Lakers (ESPN, 10:30pm)- Kevin Calabro, Mark Jackson

Saturday, April 4th

Detroit Pistons at Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN, 3pm)- Dan Shulman, Jon Barry
Miami Heat at Washington Wizards (NBA TV, 7pm)- Steve Buckhantz, Phil Chenier

Sunday, April 5th

San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers (ABC, 1pm)- Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown
Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks (ABC, 3:30pm)- Mike Breen, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy
Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets (NBA TV, 7pm)- Bill Worrell, Clyde Drexler

Your 2009 NFL National Preseason TV Schedule


The National Football League released it's preseason schedule today, and while you can view the whole thing at NFL.com, I figured I'd share the National TV portion of the schedule with you. There are some great games on the slate, but it appears ESPN lucked out with the most intriguing.....a rematch of Super Bowl XLIII. Here's the rest of the schedule....

Hall of Fame Game


Sunday, Aug. 9- Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans, at Canton, Ohio (NBC, 8 p.m. ET)

Week 1


Thursday, Aug. 13- Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)
Monday, Aug. 17- Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

Week 2


Thursday, Aug. 20- Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Friday, Aug. 21- Tennessee Titans at Dallas Cowboys (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Monday, Aug. 24- New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

Week 3


Thursday, Aug. 27- Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Friday, Aug. 28- New England Patriots at Washington Redskins (CBS, 8 p.m. ET)
Saturday, Aug. 29- San Diego Chargers at Atlanta Falcons (CBS, 8 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Aug. 30- Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos (NBC, 8 p.m. ET)
Monday, Aug. 31- Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET)

Annoucers Assume Game Is Cancelled, Leave Early


Leave it to the Orioles, right? Announcers, Fred Manfra and Joe Angel were calling yesterday's Spring Training game against the Mets, when rain interrupted the contest. The O's and Mets left the field for a bit, but came back once the drizzle had subsided. Unfortunately for those listening on 105.7FM in the Metro Baltimore area, Joe and Fred did not return.

In fact, the duo even called home and said the game had been cancelled. Via the NY Post's Mets Blog....

FORT LAUDERDALE -- This is a bit off topic, but too funny nonetheless:

The Orioles' flagship radio team of Joe Angel and Fred Manfra quietly left the stadium here today during a 90-minute rain delay and didn't come back for the final eight innings, telling their bosses at 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore that the game had been canceled.

"Yes, the rest of the game was not on the air back home and we don't know why," baffled Orioles PR rep Jeff Lentz said later. "We looked over during the game and they weren't there."
The thing I find most random about this, is how no one in Baltimore could A) figure out the game was still going on, and B) if they did, how no one could get in touch with them. It's not like this was in the ninth inning. The rain delay happened in the first for chrissakes! Too funny.

O's announcers up and leave (NY Post)

CBS' Tournament Ratings Up Across The Board From '08

I was waiting until we got all the way through the Elite Eight before putting a ratings post up, and now that we're into the Final Four, here it is. Despite a lack of upsets, and even close games, CBS' ratings are almost entirely up across the board from 2008. Here are the regional semifinals and finals numbers via Sports Business Daily....

Thursday (Regional Semifinals)

Game 1: 2009- 6.2, 2008- 6.0, 2007- 6.4, 2006- 7.7, 2005- 6.9, 2004- 6.2
Game 2: 2009- 7.4, 2008- 5.9, 2007- 7.6, 2006- 7.3, 2005- 7.4, 2004- 7.2

Friday (Regional Semifinals)

Game 1: 2009- 5.7, 2008- 5.6, 2007- 6.2, 2006- 6.5, 2005- 7.7, 2004- 6.2
Game 2: 2009- 7.4, 2008- 5.2, 2007- 7.0, 2006- 6.9, 2005- 7.9, 2004- 7.0

Saturday (Regional Finals)

Game 1: 2009- 6.2, 2008- 5.4, 2007- 6.4, 2006- 6.0, 2005- 7.2, 2004- 5.3
Game 2: 2009- 7.5, 2008- 7.1, 2007- 7.3, 2006- 7.0, 2005- 9.1, 2004- 7.2

Sunday (Regional Finals)

Game 1: 2009- 5.9, 2008- 5.7, 2007- 6.3, 2006- 6.5, 2005- 7.2, 2004- 5.7
Game 2: 2009- 7.7, 2008- 9.3, 2007- 8.4, 2006- 8.5, 2005- 10.8, 2004- 9.1

8-DAY OVERNIGHT AVG. RATING

2009- 5.9, 2008- 5.5, 2007- 6.2, 2006- 6.1, 2005- 6.7, 2004- 5.9
Well, that's certainly good news, however the Final Four will probably not be seeing such an increase with some of the lesser seeded teams making it through. Although, that may not actually be true because the lower seeded teams do come from larger markets. We shall see.

CBS Averaging 5.9 Overnight Through Second Weekend Of Tourney (Sports Business Daily - $)

Create The Caption #371

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo, you provide the caption, and then hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Friday's Winners....


"I told you man - I want Jonas Brothers tickets - now!"- Nuk

"Is Shaquille O'neal going to have to choke a bitch?"- Ted

"Man, I ain't never tellin' you my secret for gettin' Q's in Scrabble."- Chubs

"I am Kazaam, I cast you away SIde Show Bob!"- Barry

"Oh man, 1500 text messages... I hope to God they don't start checking Twitter..."- Foos
_______________________________________

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo the latest Guitar Hero commercial?


Your Daily Links:

Local Philly Radio Needs A New Voice (Philly Burbs)
Larry Johnson Has A Club Curfew (BSO)
Seth Curry Is Now A Blue Devil (Rumors and Rants)
College Coaches Enjoy Yelling (Simon on Sports)
A Look At The New Japanese Female Pitching Sensation (More Hardball)
A Look Into The New Crosby Sucks Anthem (DC Sports Bog)
Do Not Neuter Kuselias! (NESW)
Calipari Might Not Be Going Anywhere (Moondog Sports)

ESPN Finding New Ways To Get Content Out There

While newspapers like the Detroit Free Press are just now figuring out the worthiness of the Internet, ESPN has been championing the Sports media charge to the tubes. Over the past few years, the "Leader" has actually been the "Leader" in finding new ways to get games and news to the masses. They've redone their online content, including revamping the already genius ESPN360, and have made videos on the website easily accessible.

Well today comes even more news (and rumors) that Disney is expanding it's visibility on the Internet. They have apparently been looking into NBC's Hulu as a host for its content, but it looks like plain old Youtube could be the place to find full ABC/ESPN episodes in the future. Here's info on both moves....

Via the WaPo: "Disney (NYSE: DIS) and YouTube are in the final stages of negotiations to put clips from ESPN, ABC and other Disney assets on YouTube, according to sources familiar with the situation. The two companies would share revenue, with Disney controlling the ad inventory; YouTube and Google could get some inventory to sell. As important, YouTube would refer back to ESPN.com, ABC.com and the other Disney sites. Disney declined comment; a YouTube spokesman said the company does not comment on rumor or speculation.

In addition, the two are discussing a full-episode deal?a multi-year pay-for-play deal that would put ABC and some other Disney programming on YouTube instead of NBC Universal-News Corp joint venture Hulu. I am told these discussions have gone as high as Disney CEO Bob Iger and Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt but that they are not as far along as the short-form deal?or as advanced as Disney's negotiations with Hulu."

Via DVice: "Do you Hulu? Apparently, ABC and ESPN want to Hulu. According to inside sources, Disney is in serious negotiations with Hulu to carry ABC, and less likely, ESPN and some Disney Channel content. It should be noted that Hulu is partially owned by NBC/Universal, DVICE's parent company, and Mickey owns ABC and ESPN.

The speculation implies that Disney wants a longer commitment from NBC to Hulu. Disney/ABC probably doesn't want to get onboard without knowing that NBC isn't about to jump ship. ABC will also want to maintain the player on its own website."
It actually amazes me that ESPN doesn't have a channel on Youtube already. The thinking for the longest time was that if people are looking for content on Youtube, they aren't looking for it on our site. We now know that is false, in fact, it's completely the opposite. Videos on other sites actually drive content back to your website.

AA is a fine example, certainly on a smaller scale, of that line of thinking. It's always better to show someone, rather than tell them about it.

ABC, ESPN coming to Hulu? (DVice)
Disney Finalizing Deal For Clips On YouTube; Full-Episode Talks Ongoing; Could Hulu Lose Out? (Washington Post)

Jack Edwards Is Back At It Again

NESN's Jack Edwards, has been redefining homerism as of late, and today we have yet another fine addition to his resume. During yesterday's Flyers-Bruins game, Milan Lucic sent Philly's Randy Jones into the boards with a huge hit, and Edwards handled the situation the only way he knows how. By laughing maniacally!



Muhahahaha! Obviously there is some history between the two teams, Jones knocked out Bruins center Patrice Bergeron with a dirty hit in 2006, but that's just about as over-the-top as it gets.

Video: Bruins announcer laughs manically at hit against Flyers (Puck Daddy)

Guitar Hero Gets A Little Weird With Their Latest Commercial

I had already seen the Guitar Hero: Metallica spot where they tie up Kobe and Co. outside and blow up the house, but this one caught me by surprise. Near the end of the Oklahoma-UNC game, this ad featuring Coach K, Rick Pitno, Roy Williams and Bob Knight, came up on the screen....and yes....they are wearing just their underwear too.



We're playing the Guitar HEEEERO! Disturbing, but very very funny.

Update: Annnnd....here are the outtakes!



Ladies And Gentlemen, Welcome To The Best Guitar Hero Commercial EVER. (Fan IQ)

Elite Eight Open Thread: Oklahoma-UNC

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Game: South Regional Final
Teams: Oklahoma Sooners vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Start Time: 5:05PM EST (CBS)
Network and Announcers: Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg
Favorite: UNC (-7)

Elite Eight Open Thread: Louisville-Michigan State


Game: Midwest Regional Final
Teams: Louisville Cardinals vs. Michigan State Spartans
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Start Time: 2:20PM EST (CBS)
Network and Announcers: Gus Johnson, Len Elmore
Favorite: Louisville (-7)

Elite Eight Open Thread: Villanova -Pitt

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Game: East Regional Final
Teams: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Villanova Wildcats
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Start Time: 7:05PM EST (CBS)
Network and Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
Favorite: Pitt (-2)

Elite Eight Open Thread: Missouri-UConn


Game: West Regional Final
Teams: Missouri Tigers vs. Connecticut Huskies
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Start Time: 4:40PM EST (CBS)
Network and Announcers: Dick Enberg, Jay Bilas
Favorite: UConn (-6)

The Division Two Basketball Championship Has All The Excitement You Need

Who cares that three of the four games last night were blowout? Especially when you have high scoring DII action the following day! Well high scoring is a bit of an overstatement, considering the final score was 56-53....in overtime, but it gave us the first official buzzer beater of March Madness....



With that win, Findlay also finished 36-0 on the season. Pretty impressive if you ask me. March officially got exciting....too bad no one was watching.

Your Sunday Elite Eight Announcing Schedule


Wanted to make sure you knew the tip times and announcers for tomorrow. Here's your schedule....

Saturday, March 28th

Michigan State vs. Louisville (2:20pm)- Gus Johnson, Len Elmore
Oklahoma vs. North Carolina (7:05pm)- Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg

Blake Griffin Does Not Care About Your Defenders And/Or Backboards

I have to admit that I haven't watched Blake Griffin as much this year as I wanted to, or should have. That said, the guy is a complete machine, and I think this clip summarizes that mindset more than any other this season.

With Oklahoma up 20+, Blake decided to go baseline on a dunk that was as equally amazing as it was ridiculous. No defender challenged him, but he decided that wasn't enough for him. Yes, Griffin decided to battle the backboard itself, apparently out of sheer boredom....



Man. That guy is a straight up man child. He's Dwight Howard without the College experience. If Oklahoma was up against any other team but UNC, I might give them a chance, but with their outside shooting and free throws, you have to go with UNC. Still though, very very impressive.

Adding Two Games To The NFL Season Could Hurt Other Sports, Especially NASCAR

Friday, March 27, 2009


One of the only redeeming things about February, once Football ends, is Daytona week/weekend. Well the NFL owners have been discussing a lot of things as of late, but the most intriguing ones is the potential to add two NFL games. That move would subsequently cause the Super Bowl to be pushed back....straight to the same spot as the Daytona 500.

The Daytona 500 starts earlier in the day than the Super Bowl, but the big hit would come in the form of advertising dollars. The number of companies using both venues would certainly decrease, especially if you consider the start of the Super Bowl would come right at the end of the race, and this has NASCAR officials reeling. Via Scene Daily....

NASCAR and Fox Sports officials are in a wait-and-see mode before commenting on what NASCAR would do, but it seems likely that the date for the Daytona 500 would have to change.

“I don’t think I can make a definitive answer to [changing the date], but I would have a hard time today seeing how that would work for everybody – working for the media partners, working for the sponsors that we share and quite frankly, working for the fan and the consumer base,” said Roger VanDerSnick, senior vice president for marketing and business operations for DIS parent company International Speedway Corp.

“I understand the NASCAR base pretty well, and there’s a fair amount of overlap. So why make that an issue when I think we’ve got several options so that it wouldn’t be?”
As mentioned above, it would only makes sense to move the Daytona 500 back, but that would certainly throw a wrench in the plans of few hundred thousand who attend the race and the millions who enjoy both events. It'll be interesting to see what NASCAR decides....and how quickly.

Daytona 500 date change likely if NFL moves Super Bowl to traditional 500 weekend (Scene Daily)

MLB To Launch "This Is Beyond Baseball" Documentary

MLB has come up with some pretty good documentaries over the years, and it seems like they have yet another on their hands. MLB will be using the MLB Network to launch "This Is Beyond Baseball", which will be a 30-minute set of vignettes in which current and former players will discuss the role of Baseball beyond the field....

Major League Baseball today announced the launch of a new integrated multi-media marketing campaign titled “This is Beyond Baseball,” which will celebrate baseball’s unique place in the cultural fabric of society and in the lives of fans. The campaign will officially launch with a special on MLB Network this Sunday, March 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET titled This Is Beyond Baseball, a documentary-style program created by MLB Productions. Narrated by legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, the 30-minute program comprises a series of vignettes that communicate the magnitude of what baseball represents and that the scope of its impact goes well beyond the game on the field.

“Baseball reaches us all in places far beyond the playing field,” said Scully. “I am honored to lend my support to this endeavor and help celebrate the game I have loved for my entire life.”

The program features insight and commentary from many prominent current and former players, including Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr., Curtis Granderson, Derek Lee and Terry Francona, as well as a special profile of the Upton family – father Manny and sons B.J. and Justin – a unique family story of dedication and determination.
Again, I'm a sucker for a good documentary, but this one seems really good. Plus the narration from Vin Scully will only add to the stories. I'll try to check it out when it airs this Sunday at 8pm.

Create The Caption #370

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo, you provide the caption, and then hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Yesterday's Winners....


"Damn, why couldn't ESPN break that story yesterday? No one belives their reporters...."- 49er16

"If he makes this free throw, he's allowed to steal 5 laptops...if he misses...only 4..."- James

"Being the highest paid forcibly-retired employee in Connecticut is gonna be sweet."- RJBO

"Oh man, 1500 text messages... I hope to God they don't start checking Twitter..."- Foos
_______________________________________

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of Shaq arguing with teammate Robin Lopez?


Your Daily Links:

Irvin And Sanders Argue Over Roy Williams (SRI)
The LPGA Credentials Bloggers (Devil Ball)
Serena Willams Is Still Wild (BSO)
Billy Donovan To Kentucky? (Rush The Court)
Mavs Coach Likes The Dead (Dallas Basketball)
Isiah To The Clippers (Ugh) (That NBA Lottery Pick)
Win A Free Colonoscopy! (Sox and Dawgs)

The Full Ryan Moats Police Incident Video

With nothing else really going on today, I decided to post the full video of the Ryan Moats hospital exchange with Dallas Police Officer, Robert Powell (no relation). Sure it's going to upset you, but I know some people were looking for it, so here it is in two parts (discussion after the clip)....




This whole thing is obviously terrible, and beyond maddening, but hopefully it sheds some light on some of the attitude that some people in authority roles carry. Obviously one bad apple spoils the bunch, and I can understand the officer's trepidation at first, but have some common sense and compassion, for christsakes.

The Full Ryan Moats Dashcam Video (Pro Football Talk)

Could Tony's "Today Show" Appearance Be Causing A PTI Rift?

Of course the answer is no, but there was yet another funny moment on PTI yesterday, when Wilbon called Kornheiser out for his appearance on the "Today Show" with Matt Lauer. Wilbon not only questioned it, but even accused Tony of "auditioning" for the show. Here's the clip (thanks to HK for the vid)....



It would never happen, but wouldn't it be funny if the end of PTI was brought on by Matt Lauer? If there's a way to go out....that would be it!

Your Saturday Elite Eight Announcing Schedule


I apologize for the lack of an open thread last night (for some reason Blogger was down), and for the whole Tourney, but feel free to choose whichever post looks good to put comments in (like you've been doing). CBS released the tip times, and announcers for this Saturday, and I wanted to make sure you knew when to block of some time to check out the games. Here's your schedule....

Saturday, March 28th

Connecticut vs. Missouri (4:40pm)- Dick Enberg, Jay Bilas
Pittsburgh vs. Villanova (7:05pm)- Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery

While I'm not necessarily stoked to see a Big East rematch in Pitt-Nova, I think UConn-Missouri could turn out to be a heck of a game. I'll be sure to have open threads up this weekend, and I might be around to post some comments and quotes.

Lebron James Is A Little Bit Ridiculous

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The latest crazy Lebron James shot comes to us via BDL, but actually took place during a 60 Minutes interview with Lebron that will air this Sunday. James was talking with Steve Croft about whether or not he's reached his potential yet, when he decided to drop an underhanded half court shot on the interviewer....



Well that sure is impressive, right? The guy has to be a robot.

LeBron's latest incredible shot, courtesy of '60 Minutes' (Ball Don't Lie)

Jim Calhoun Refutes "Blog" Story


I honestly have no idea, and I'm being general here, but why can't people over the age of forty distinguish between a blog and an online sports outfit. Not that it really matters if the facts are all there, but it really isn't that hard. That's the exact angle, UConn's Jim Calhoun, took today when questioned about Yahoo Sports' report of possible NCAA violations. Via The Sporting Blog....

It was a newspaper story that ... it wasn’t a newspaper, I’m sorry. It was a blog story that appeared, I guess, in something I probably can’t get a hold of, which is Yahoo! And very simply my comments are what I said.
To be honest, I'd have probably tried the same angle if I was Calhoun, but Yahoo would like to clarify the situation via their actual College Basketball blog, The Dagger....
Only problem is that dismissing this -- which was written and edited by award-winning professional journalists who no doubt worked light years harder on it than I am currently working on this blog post -- in such a manner does a huge disservice to thos reporters. They sonned you on this one. You don't have to read the story in newsprint to know that. What was it you said to that kid who asked you about your salary? "Get some facts, and then come back and see me?" Wojnarowski and Wetzel got the facts on this one, Jim.

Naturally, this sort of dismissal and poor-mouthing is to be expected, as Calhoun has an obvious interest in discrediting the story as much as possible. Unfortunately for him, "THE INTERNET" isn't so easy to dismiss anymore.
Is the Internet really that tough to figure out? I guess there's just a generation gap that we all have to deal with. However, I hope the rest of the non-internet crowd can see when someone is trying to pull the wool over a medium's eyes.

Jim Calhoun's probe response is entirely incorrect (The Dagger)
Calhoun Reacts to Y!'s Silly (Damning) Blog Post (The Sporting Blog)

Your Thursday Regional Maps

Thanks to the colorful SS Reporters, and the506, I'm proud to present what you've all been looking for. The regional maps for tonight's games! The majority of the Country will be getting the UConn and Duke games, but those lucky of you to be in the Mid-Atlantic region for the early games and Middle of the country for the late ones, will get the alternatives.

I'll have open threads and highlights later on tonight, but in the meantime check out which game(s) you'll be getting....


Thursday’s Sweet 16 Coverage Maps (SS Reporters)

Jim Nantz, Come On Down!

Not only was there news recently that one James William Nantz, III could run for office in the near future, but today we've learned that more importantly (kidding) Nantz will be appearing on the Price Is Right! Not only that, but one of the showcase prizes will be a trip to the Final Four!!! From Fang's Bites via CBS PR....

CBS Sportscaster Jim Nantz, the 2008 National Sportscaster of the Year, will make a special appearance on CBS's Emmy Award-winning THE PRICE IS RIGHT, with host Drew Carey, Thursday, April 2 (11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET; 10:00-11:00 AM, PT), on the CBS Television Network. Nantz, who pre-taped his appearance earlier this month, will introduce a special Showcase trip to the NCAA Final Four in Detroit.
Well that was the shortest press release/blockquote in the history of the Internet. It still should be fun. I would also encourage Nantz to wear some kind of "I Love You Drew!" homemade t-shirt of some sort. Preferably bedazzled.

Jim Nantz! Come On Down! You're the Next Presenter on The Price is Right! (Fang's Bites)

Create The Caption #369

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo, you provide the caption, and then hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Yesterday's Winners....


"Ladies, those are not spirit fingers, THESE are spirit fingers!"- WB, SB

"On the next episode of Big Love..."- Nick

"This really never happens you can take my word
I won’t apologize, that’s just absurd
Mainly your fault from the way that you dance
and now I jizz in my pants!"- TwoBigBoobs

"Its peanut butter jelly time, peanut butter jelly time..."- Marklar
_______________________________________

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of Jim Calhoun looking on as his team practiced yesterday?


Your Daily Links:

Updating The Media Bracket Challenge (ESPN)
UConn Is In Some Hot Water (Yahoo Sports)
Your First Look At Madden 2010 (Shutdown Corner)
Curt Schilling's First Interview Since Retiring (Sports Radio Interviews)
Dallas Sports Radio Takes On Girls Team, Loses (Uwe Blog)
Your Worst Human In The World (Sports Rubbish)
Ove Likes To Stir The Pot (TPS)
Postseason Awards In Hair (Storming The Floor)

DWTS Gets A Little Scary

Last year, the only scary thing about Dancing With The Stars, was Warren Sapp "matrixing" it up in a giant leather coat. Today, comes the news that a stalker of found his way through security and was trying to get to U.S. Gymnast Shawn Johnson. That's not the scary part though. The man was armed with a loaded .45 handgun and a loaded shotgun, and was also carrying duct tape, arm ties and a map on how to get to Johnson. Via Mavrix Online....

Shawn Johnson, the former olympian and current Dancing With the Stars contestant, jetted out of her trailer right before she was set to appear on the show.

It’s being reported that earlier today, a man who claimed he was “meant to be” with Johnson was arrested for trying to sneak onto the set. According to police, the man had two loaded guns ( a .45 handgun and a shotgun), duct tape, zip ties and a map to the victim in his car - items typically associated with a kidnapping - along with love letters, clippings and other information on the victim. Johnson’s mother, Teri, has filed a petition for a restraining order against the 34-year-old Robert O’Ryan seeking protection for Shawn, 17, her mother and father and dancing partner Mark Ballas.
Wow....just wow. I don't even have a follow up for that one. Thank goodness that security handled everything before it got worse.

Horror On The Set of DWTS!!! (Mavrix Online)

Tony Hams It Up With Matt Lauer On The Today Show



I mentioned late yesterday that Tony Kornheiser would be on the Today Show this morning, after he and Wilbon called out Matt Lauer, and here is your video. Not only does Tony don fake antlers but he even questions the fact that there are actual deer in the Hamptons. Enjoy!



That was actually pretty darn funny, and I'm with Kornheiser on this one. I would never call "one of the most trusted man on television" a liar, but I've been to the Hamptons before. There ain't no deer around dem parts!

Trey Wingo Does Not Care About The Plight Of Jay Cutler


I've long been a fan of Trey Wingo on ESPN. Sure we've had our run-ins, but the guy is honest and cares about the Sport he covers. You can't really ask for much more. Well, Trey was "On The DL" today and talked about NFL rule changes, and ESPN's role within Sports, but it was the Cutler talk that seemed to stick out the most....

“You know what? Players lose in the NFL. That’s the way it goes. Everybody is a commodity...Everybody is tradable. If Joe Montana was tradable I’m pretty sure Jay Cutler is. And I think Jay Cutler is a very good quarterback -- I think he’s a top-10 quarterback in the NFL. I think he has an unbelievable arm and he’s got a great future.

“But you know what? Get over it. Things happen in the NFL. And players are treated as commodities and that ain’t changing anytime soon whether it’s you, or anyone else.”
Up until recently, I've been on the side of Cutler, but I'm starting to see why Denver may not trust in him. The guy does great things for the diabetic community, but couldn't be more of a baby at times. Anyway, great interview and you should certainly check out the rest.

Trey Wingo Talking Both Sides of the ESPN Sports Spectrum (On The DL)

Jimmy Fallon To Play Beer Pong With Another Tennis Player Tonight

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's extremely awkward that I find out the majority of news through Twitter now, but you can't stop technology, right? Via Jimmy Fallon's Twitter feed, I've learned that not only is his guest tonight, Anna Kournikova, but that Fallon will be challenging her to a game of beer pong....

You may remember Fallon got embarrassed by Serena Williams during his first week on the air, so hopefully he can get some beer pong street cred back. Also, hopefully he'll make it a habit of playing beer pong with attractive females. Seems like as good a recurring sketch as there is.

PTI Makes It Onto "Today Show"

There was a rather funny segment on last night's PTI program that had Wilbon and Kornheiser debating just which bike accident was more intriguing, NBC's Matt Lauer during his recent bike accident, or Lance Armstrong's crash. Well the Today Show picked up on it, and even joked that Matt Lauer would sue Tony and Mikey for their comments. Here's the clip via DC Sports Bog....



Pretty entertaining, and while Matt Lauer's story is somewhat unbelievable, I have seen an actual person get hit by a deer before. Since then....nothing's really shocked me.

Update: Tony will actually be on tomorrow with Matt Lauer. I'll try to get the video for you all.

Today Show vs. Kornheiser/Wibon (DC Sports Bog)

MLB Network Releases Thursday Night Baseball Schedule


MLB Network is diving right into the live games this year, and will be doing so with a variety that hasn't been seen on a network in years. The first eight games will feature sixteen different teams, and will air on the network Thursdays throughout April and May. Here's the schedule and announcers....

April 9th: Brewers @ Giants - Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane (7pm)

April 16th: Indians @ Yankees - Bob Costas, Harold Reynolds & Jim Kaat (1pm)

April 16th: Blue Jays @ Twins - Victor Rojas & Dan Plesac (8pm)

April 23rd: Dodgers @ Astros - Matt Vasgersian & Joe Magrane (8pm)

April 30th: Red Sox @ Rays - Victor Rojas & Joe Magrane (7pm)

May 7th: Phillies @ Mets - Bob Costas & Al Leiter (7pm)

May 14th: Orioles @ Royals - TBD (8pm)

May 21st: Cubs @ Cardinals - TBD (8pm)

Pretty good collection of games there, and it's good that MLB Network doesn't feel the need to rely on the Yankees and Red Sox every single week. People are going to be watching their hometown teams on their local channel nine times out of ten, but having a variety like this will appeal to general fans as well as fantasy players.

Tales From The News Desk: Volleyball Lady Passes Out

This clip is as equally funny as it is scary. Nikki Allen is on the beach with a reporter from News 13 in Florida, and she's supposed to discuss an upcoming Volleyball Tournament. Unfortunately Nikki isn't exactly used to being on live television....



I love how the reporter goes to help her, then immediately remembers to get back in the frame and throw it back to the studio first. Sorry Nik, but I've got a career to worry about!

Bert Blyleven Has Had Enough Of Your Curt Schilling Talk

I personally think that both Bert Blyleven and Curt Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame, but unfortunately that's probably not going to happen for one of them. Well that person is Blyleven, and the current Twins announcer has something to say about it....



Again, I don't think Jack Morris pitched enough to qualify, but both Bly and Schil definitely deserve to be in. It must be gut wrenching to be on the cusp like that and never get in.

Create The Caption #368

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo, you provide the caption, and then hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Monday's Winners....


"Larry will always hold that 2008 NL West championshop close to his heart."- G Money

"Mattingly, cut those sideburns!"- Paul

"Dammit, I can't see. Is that Jackie Robinson out there in left field? This doesn't feel like Brooklyn."- Nick

"Des Moines...hello - no, I haven't seen Jose Lima's wife - I think he's out of baseball now..."- Nuk
_______________________________________

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of a Jazz fan enjoying the team's cheerleaders?


Your Daily Links:

Get Your Blogs With Balls Tix! (Blogs With Balls)
Donde Esta, Adam? (Watchdog)
The Younger Curry Is Transferring (Rush The Court)
Entire Team Gets A Red Card (Sports Rubbish)
High School Coach Takes A Charge (Online Sports Guys)
Prospect Jose Tabata's Wife Is A Baby Snatcher (3:10 to Joba)
The Most Distinguishable Tourney Coaches (The Big Picture)
Lance Twitters His Surgery (TSB)

Chuck Is Now Twittering

Charles Barkley probably has no idea what Twitter is, but he apparently has an account. Well not exactly. TNT created a fake Barkley page and among his followers they listed Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, Nelson Mandela and Mike Vick....



Wow. That Vick one was pretty bad. "Watching Marley and Me"??? Man. A Charles Barkley Twitter page would actually be pretty entertaining. Let's keep that one going, TNT.

Charles Barkley Uses Twitter (Half Court Heave)

ESPN's Bracket Challenge By The Numbers


I love these stat based press releases that ESPN puts out. I just picture an intern having to sit at his desk for three days, counting all of the data, and then sending the spreadsheet to the PR Department, so they can put it into words. Either way, the data always amazes, and today's is everything about the selections YOU made on your Bracket Challenge sheet. There are over 5 million entries, and so far only eight are picked exactly correct (mine is not one of them....stupid Wake Forest). Here are some of the more interesting facts....

* 6 entries (0%) predict that Arizona, Purdue, Gonzaga and Xavier will advance to the Final Four;
* 459,038 entries (9.9%) predicted all four top-seeded teams - Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Louisville and Connecticut – will advance to the Final Four
* 80,931 entries (1.7%) predicted Arizona, Purdue, Missouri and Gonzaga would reach the Sweet 16;
* 3,925,017 entries (84.8%) predicted that all four top-seeded teams – Connecticut, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Louisville - would advance to the Sweet Sixteen;
* 28,791 entries (.6%) predicted that Cal State Northridge would defeat Memphis in the first round;
* 1,339,080 entries (28.9%) incorrectly predicted Wake Forest and Washington would reach the Sweet Sixteen;
* 11,115 entries (.2%) predicted Oklahoma, Memphis, Michigan State and Duke advancing to the Final Four
* 382,802 entries (8.3%) predicted USC would defeat Michigan State in the Second Round;
* 1,511,193 entries (32.6%) predict Syracuse will defeat Oklahoma in the Sweet Sixteen;
* 207,520 entries (4.5%) predict Xavier will defeat Pittsburgh in the Sweet Sixteen;
* 86,663 entries (1.9%) predicted Purdue and Missouri advancing to the Elite Eight;
* 6,817 entries (.1%) predict Gonzaga and Purdue meeting in the Final Four;
* 536 entries (.1%) predict Xavier and Arizona meeting in the Final Four.
If Arizona plays Xavier, or Purdue plays Gonzaga, for the Championship....I will quit writing this site entirely. Actually, I won't, but you get what I'm saying. People, and their brackets, continue to amaze me every year.

MLB Hires Keith Olbermann As A Blogger

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Major League Baseball has hired a lot of famous people as bloggers in the past (i.e.- Alyssa Milano), but this might actually be one of their better additions. MLB.com is now employing Keith Olbermann as a blogger, and has even come up with an extremely clever name for his writing space. The "Baseball Nerd"....here's a snippet....

Like the relaxed pace and increased interaction of Spring Training wasn't thrill enough. This is the start of my 43rd year as a fan, my 43rd year attending games, and my 43rd year of keeping score. On Saturday in Phoenix, I witnessed, for the first time, a triple play. First and second, Oakland's Bobby Crosby with a solid one-hopper to Ryan Rohlinger of the Giants. Rohlinger unsuccessfully tried to tag elusive Oakland runner Matt Carson, fired to Matt Downs at second for one out, who relayed to Scott McClain at first for another. That's when it became evident Carson had been called out for leaving the baseline. A double play is, of course, scored by writing the position numbers (5-4-3) and circling them. A triple play requires two circles. Making my first "second circle" was the thrill of the spring.
I never knew Spring Training was sooooo beautiful! Good luck, Keith....welcome to the Dark Side!

Introducing the Baseball Nerd (Baseball Nerd)

Astros Announcer's Dad Gets His Moves From Joe Namath

There are acceptable ways of ending an interview. A handshake is the customary move, but even a simple nod and thank you can suffice. Asking for a kiss on the lips, however, probably isn't the best move (as Joe Namath demonstrated in 2003). Well that's the exact move that Herb Deshaies, father of Astros' announcer Jim Deshaies, pulled during an exhibition game on the MLB Network this afternoon. Here's the clip....



Awkward! I love that the announcers immediately went to the Namath comparison and Deshaies referred to his pops as a "masher". I have no idea what that means, but I think I can guess.

The C.I.T. Is More Exciting Than The Big Dance

Well okay, that title was a bit of hyperbole, but at least in the C.I.T. we get a buzzer beater or two. Like take this one for example. The powerhouse matchup of Bradley vs. Oakland was decided by one heck of a shot. A 70-footer to be exact....



You know, I actually thought that the C.I.T. was a make believe tourney, but I guess the video proves me wrong. Good stuff.

CBS Apologizes For Early Game Switching Issues


It can't be easy to jump between three games, while all are under a minute left to play, but that's exactly what CBS has had to do multiple times in the Tournament so far. For the most part, they've been doing a splendid job, but there have two specific incidents that caused an uproar. The first one came on Friday, as a potential buzzer beater by Wisconsin was switched away from in mid-air, and the second was a change away from the supposed "constant feed" in Louisville during their game against Siena.

Well today, CBS Sports Exec VP/Programming Mike Aresco apologized for the problems, and explained that one was a control room error, and one was just a bad idea. Via SBD....

"We always plan on staying with a constant. In some situations, and we've done it over the years, we'll try to get to just a buzzer-beater and get right back to the constant. In this particular case we had an unusual situation that developed. You had two exciting potential buzzer-beaters at the same time. We're trying to what we call ping-pong back and forth and then there were some bizarre circumstances in those games and we did use commercials as best we could. When games were stopped we would go back but in this particular case, yeah, we didn't get back fast enough and things were happening quickly and it happens." Aresco said CBS "in this particular case" made a mistake. Aresco: "I think in this particular case we probably needed to get back a little quicker." Meanwhile, Aresco described the network cutting away from Friday night's Wisconsin-Florida State game while the final shot was in mid-air as a "control room error"
While I was one of forty people yelling at a bar during the Wisconsin-FSU one, I could understand the slip up, as both games were extremely close in the last minute of play. The whole constant thing in Louisville is only really an issue because they were trailing Siena by two at the time. Had they been up, no one would have complained about missing just a minute of action.

I think CBS does an amazing job of switching between the games, but it might be time to go with a split-screen if they can. That way they cover all of their bases.

Bait and Switch (Sports Business Daily - $)

Simmons And Reilly To Hash Out Differences On The B.S. Report

Huzzah! The ESPN war that is Simmons vs. Reilly will be heading to the airwaves. Bill Simmons was on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan, and when the hosts asked him about his feud with Rick Reilly, he said things are fine and that the two will be together on the B.S. Report soon. Here's the audio....



Man, I cannot wait for that one. This podcast has anticipation similar to that of Tyson-Holyfield. Oh and Bill, I know the Rushmore thing was technically your idea, but after seeing how it turned out....you might want to distance yourself from it a bit.

Bill Simmons (WEEI)

DirecTV Locks Up NFL Exclusively Through 2014


There's not a television deal that bugs me more than the NFL Ticket. However, when it's been exclusively with one provider for 15 years, AND said provider pays $1 Billion to keep it, there's not much you can say. The NFL and DirecTV have once again thumbed their noses at the likes of Comcast and Time Warner, and the "Ticket" will be staying on the satellite platform through 2014. Via MCN....

The National Football League has reached a four-year contract extension with DirecTV to remain the TV home of the Sunday Ticket package through 2014.

Sunday TicketAnnounced Monday during the NFL owners meeting in Dana Point, Calif., the pay-per-view pact, according to sources familiar with the negotiations, is valued at about $1 billion annually from 2011-2014. DirecTV currently pays some $700 million annually on its Sunday Ticket contract that expires after the 2010 season.

However, the agreement opens the door to a wider reach for the out-of-home package, which will become available to broadband subscribers that can't receive DirecTV. The satellite leader will aim this broadband game service at those who reside in multi-unit dwellings or DirecTV customers with poor exposure to a satellite signal.

This broader broadband service, according to league officials, would kick off no later than 2012. Currently, broadband coverage of the games is limited to those who purchase Sunday Ticket, and then pay an additional $99 for the broadband Super Fan package.
While the Internet option sounds cool, don't get excited. You would have to be officially ruled out of receiving satellite television first, before getting that service. However, in the 2012 season, the NFL will be allowing some cable carriers to sell the "Red Zone" Channel. The live cut-in section of the "Ticket" would be available to almost all cable providers, as well as on the Internet.

With the money that's out there for the NFL, it still seems odd that they are giving an exclusive to DirecTV. But again....when there's a guaranteed billion dollars on the table, I'm sure that's hard to pass up.

NFL Scores With $4 Billion DirecTV Sunday Ticket Extension (Multichannel News)

Find The Typo: The Curt Schilling Retirement Edition

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another one that needs zero setup, and is just about the height of irony. ESPN continues to amaze me everyday....


I'm Sure This Won't Annoy Curt Schilling One Bit (Deadspin)