With the NBA missing games, inflamed rhetoric is bound to increase on both sides as negotations get heated and frustrations increase. That should come as no surprise. The fact that it's Bryant Gumbel throwing out the most explosive statement regarding the lockout to date may be one though. Gumbel destroyed NBA commish David Stern on Real Sports with a brief editorial that ended the program. He described Stern by saying the NBA's "infamously egocentric commissioner seems more hellbent lately on demeaning the players than resolving his game's labor impasse."
But it's Gumbel describing Stern as a "modern plantation overseer" that is garnering buzz, controversy, and headlines. Believe it or not, this isn't Gumbel's first racially toned pipebomb regarding a league commissioner. While there will certainly be criticisms of Gumbel invoking slavery imagery as ludicrous when discussing multi-millionaire athletes, it signifies the deep mistrust and venom Stern himself has fostered with the way he has terribly handled the lockout. Unfortunately, the inflammatory nature of these comments will likely create a firestorm of controversy instead of a real discussion of the role race is playing in the NBA lockout.
Here's the video below as well as a partial transcript from our pal John Karalis at Crossover Chronicles...
"Stern’s version of what’s been going on behind closed doors has, of course, been disputed. But his efforts were typical of a commissioner, who has always seemed eager to be viewed as some kind of modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys. It’s part of Stern’s M.O. Like his past self-serving edicts on dress code or the questioning of officials, his moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place."
Who knew Beach Justice could take the form of a cable sports show editorial?
You gotta go with Doc Emrick. He's done the NFL before and if he brings half the enthusiasm and knowledge that he has for the NHL to these Thursday night games, it will be a real treat. Just make his partner competent.
First, I have a feeling that Hard Knocks and Inside the NFL wouldn't work outside premium cable, especially the former. (Besides commercials, Hard Knocks, like most premium shows, isn't Hard Knocks if you have to bleep everyone out.) And if the NFL thought the latter worked outside premium cable I have a feeling they'd move it to NFL Network when HBO dropped it. As for NFL Films Presents, I think the NFL sees NFL Network as the new home of that show, and NBC SN would probably treat it the same way NFLN does - that is, as the same gap-filler ESPN2 does.
You're probably looking at Turning Point as the model of an NFL-NBC SN partnership; I think it's more likely NBC SN would get shows like Total Access and Gameday (with Inside an outside possibility), and that Turning Point will go by the wayside the instant NBC SN bulks up on other programming. In any case, I think it's a mistake if NBC SN gives up equity to the NFL if it interferes with getting non-NFL programming, reporting on the NFL (remember the Playmakers fiasco?), or relations with other NFL TV partners. My guess is Mike Florio's NBC partnership is probably done if that happens. They're extremely tight at the moment with NBC introducing a whole franchise, complete with their first true non-NHL studio shows, growing out of the ProFootballTalk brand, but if anything can kill that golden goose it's the NFL getting antsy about the little dirt-digger.
As for announcers, NBC SN isn't worth speculating much on, as we'd either get the SNF team or Tom Hammond/Mike Mayock. If neither of those are options they'd probably still put Hammond on games and slot Dan Hicks on Notre Dame telecasts until November, with Mayock (replaced by that guy who was doing ND games before), Tony Dungy, or Rodney Harrison as color possibilities (with Florio getting an outside shot). Turner is more interesting because we could get the Marvelous One or Mr. No Regard for Human Life, but both call games on CBS.
In any case, apparently you missed the memo: http://fangsbites.com/2011/09/dont-expect-a-new-thursday-night-football-package-just-yet/
don't expect anything by the end of the year.
(By the way, switch to Disqus. I hate not being able to post links because HTML doesn't work, I hate having to delete the whole comment to edit it, and I hate getting a bunch of e-mails I never asked for whenever someone comments on a post I commented on.)
I think you missing some possibilities in options for NBC Sports/Comcast. In terms of programming aside from PTI, ESPN's shows SUCK! At the very least NBC can develop programming directly opposite, find its niche and plug holes into ESPN non-original programming. Cause really, don't they all look the same? Comcast's RSN's have a contracts with some NFL teams (ie SNY have exclusive Jets content) and have access to develop national shows using those regional programming.
MLB contract is up for grabs. If NBC can at the least get TBS's contract or at the most take FOX's combined with Comcast being a minority stake holder in MLB Network, you have the possibility of NBC developing MLB programming. UFC would've been a coup, but woulda coulda shoulda.
Its not going to be a fast process, but NBC definitely has options and can develop the right talent to build a network of sports programming that can be the alternative to sports entertainment branding that has really alienated a lot of home viewers.
On the other hand, you could use an example of pro wresting. There is a lot of fan apathy of their product, but there are absolutely no worth while competitors to the product and everyone identifies WWE has the main product. Where FOX and CBS still have top tier sports productions and events, ESPN is #1. And it would take a lot to put a dent in their brand. But its not impossible for NBC to find a foot hole with a 2nd football game, baseball and programming for both using their regional resources to develop national ones. All they have to do is NOT try to be ESPN lite (i.e. FOX Sports Net).
@Sa9273, you seem certain that NBC/Comcast will get the MLB contract in '13. Purely out of curiousity, my question to you is this: who would you choose as studio host, studio analyst, play by play, and color commentator out of those from MLBN, Fox or TBS? Don't ask which team; there is not going to be any regional coverage in the next contract as it has done nothing to help MLB ratings. Whoever gets the next baseball contract will do addition by subtraction and minimize their loss on their investment.
@Sa9273 FSN failed because national and regional games don't mix and FSN's national programming kept getting pre-empted by regional programming. That's why Pac-12 and Big 12 fans groan when they see games being televised by FSN even though they might actually be shown in more homes than ESPN.
Now, if you're saying Versus shouldn't air shows like Best Damn Sports Show Period, Sports Soup, SportsNation, and The T.Ocho Show, I can agree with that.