*ESPN adds Bill Parcells... again (ESPN)
-For the third time, Bill Parcells will rejoin the self-proclaimed leader as an analyst. Parcells will tape some sort of 90 minute draft special for the network, although few other details are clear at the time. Big Tuna also worked for Bristol in 2001-2002 and 2007, so this could start his third go-round with ESPN, after a mysteriously quiet departure from the Dolphins organization. I've never been a big fan of Parcells as an analyst, especially how Berman would bow down to his feet on Countdown. ESPN is already oversaturated so much with NFL analysts, that I doubt we'll notice his presence one way or the other.
*Rick Pitino dominates the airwaves (Fang's Bites)
-First, Rick Pitino joined the CBS studio to talk about the NCAA Tournament. In his second act, Pitino has joined ESPN to talk about the Madness as their star guest analyst for the tourney. Well, I should take that back. Pitino's first act was to get knocked out in the first round thanks to Morehead State. I give credit to Pitino for being a good sport about the loss when ribbed by Charles Barkley, but shouldn't Louisville fans wonder about Pitino being so eager to get on television right after an embarrassing first round loss? Furthermore, isn't it a little awkward to see Pitino chum it up with the folks at ESPN while totally turning a blind eye to the scandal that has rocked the coach. Why are Dick Vitale and many others so keen to criticize players who get in trouble, but completely ignore it when it's their buddies who get on set in Bristol?
*Jay Bilas vs VCU and America (SportsGrid)
-One of the stories of the tournament has been VCU's three victories to get to the Sweet 16. Unfortunately, the story of Jay Bilas has clung to VCU like a piece of used toilet paper. Ever since Bilas destroyed VCU on Selection Sunday, the analyst has become part of the story. Bilas has defended his criticism of VCU & UAB getting into the tournament over mediocre major conference schools. What Bilas doesn't get is that it was the way he criticized and demeaned the schools that got in, which made his analysis a story. It's been a needless distraction to the real story of VCU's tournament run, and it comes off as the lawyer in Bilas needing to have his day in court to defend his attacks on the Rams. Former Houston coach Tom Penders had to say about Bilas and his analysis. I'm generally a fan of Bilas, but this is pretty accurate...
"Takes himself and his opinion far too seriously. I know he works hard and knows the game as a former player, but he goes over the top when he tries to demonstrate a play or gets too technical... He rarely gives credit to the mid-major teams, and when one of them makes the NCAA Tournament as an at-large entrant he throws a fit... He works the Maui Classic every year with Raftery and Sean McDonough and tries to dominate the telecast with his academic ‘know it all’ approach to basketball... He needs to lighten up and let the game flow once in awhile... I wonder if he’s given any thought to becoming a professor."
*More Cowherd sitcom news, ugh (The Big Lead)
-So, Eliza Dushku is going to play the Michelle Beadle-esque character on the CBS sitcom based on Colin Cowherd's life. Earlier, it was reported that Damon Wayans will play Nick Herd. Nick Herd. Wow, that's painful to write. After seeing the original script from Deadspin though, maybe this will be worth watching... if only for it to be the Friday of TV sitcoms. Fun, fun, fun, fun, lookin' forward to the weekend! For those of you that aren't in the loop, tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards.
*The curious case of Kellogg vs Herbstreit (USA Today)
-Michael Heistand wrote a piece about Clark Kellogg's spot as the top CBS analyst possibly announcing his alma mater Ohio State winning a national championship in a conflict of interest. It's a small lead-in to a discussion about Special K's rather special use of phraseology (90% of it is awful by the way). It got me thinking of another top college analyst who is a Buckeye - Kirk Herbstreit. We documented Herbie's troubles as an OSU alum here. He had to move from Columbus to Nashville because of crazy OSU fans upset at Herbie for his analysis. While Herbie's OSU identity has been a major narrative for the last two years amidst his feud with Terrelle Pryor, university affiliation has seemingly never been a story with Kellogg.
Maybe it's a credit to Clark for not making it a story. Kellogg is usually very good and fair in his analysis, when he stays away from "arms like an orangutan" that is. He doesn't hide his OSU identity, but when it does come up, it's done in a light-hearted manner. Of course, Kellogg is helped by OSU basketball's star player not being a nutcase like OSU football. Also, OSU basketball doesn't have near the cult following and insane fans like OSU football, so the pressure isn't there on Clark as it may be on Herbie. Still, an interesting comparison. Don't worry though, the insane OSU fans are looking to get to the front of the basketball bus very quickly. I actually met Big Nut once at Eddie George's Grill near the OSU campus. Nice guy...