Mashup videos are a dime a dozen across the internet, but when they're done well they can be one of the funniest internet memes. When they involve Brian Williams rapping, we're talking about one of the clips of the year. When they involve Brian Williams AND Lester Holt rapping "Rapper's Delight" together, we're talking about one of the great mashup videos of all-time.
The new-look Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon put together the mashup, which was truly worth all the effort put in to make it possible.
Brian Williams rap mashups is now officially my second favorite Brian Williams internet meme behind The Soup's "Rrrwww with Brian Williams."no comments
It's an optimistic season at NBC Sports Network, one of the new 24/7 cable sports networks to launch in recent years. The Olympics have brought record ratings to the nascent network as viewers have arrived in droves to watch world class athletic competitions. In fact, NBCSN has set viewership highs during these games with their live coverage of figure skating, ice hockey, and other gold medal events.
Conventional wisdom would deem that NBCSN should be in for a nice boost with record-level viewership and many of those fans being exposed to the network for the first time.
In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend. The Olympic bounce for TV networks is a myth, and the proof lies in what happened to NBC Sports Network two years ago.no comments
"The darkest day in hockey history."
The voice of Liev Schriber is not describing some petty NHL owner-induced lockout, no painful body check to the head or even a career-ending injury. He is talking about the 2011 plane crash of Yak-Service Flight 9633, a plane carrying the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. Everyone on board the plane died, and an entire hockey team (37 men, including the crew) was gone.
Lokomotiv, airing this Saturday afternoon on NBC, is partially about that. You'll see footage of the entire team in preperation for the 2011-12 Kontinental Hockey League season. You'll see the wreckage, both the aircraft and the family members left behind by the men who passed away on that plane.
You'll also see a team and as the documentary explicitly states, a city have its identity reborn. The team chose only to compete as a minor-league franchise for the 2011-12 season, but they returned to full power (and even a playoff berth) in 2012-13. It ends up as a two-year chronicle of one of the darkest, strangest turns in hockey history, one that hopefully will see a brighter future.
American hockey fans will recognize a few faces. They'll see NHL veterans Dmitri Yushkevich, Vitaly Vishnevski and Curtis Sanford, now an assistant coach and two of the players with Yaroslavl. Some make even recognize Tom Rowe, a former assistant with the Carolina Hurricanes, who led the team out as head coach in their first rebirth season.
Mostly, however, you'll see families. Ruslan Salei's wife has been profiled before on Real Sports -- really the only other American outlet to cover the tragedy longform -- and she also appears here. The family of former Red Wings assistant and Yaroslavl head coach Brad McCrimmon tell their stories as well.
The Russian tales are equally heartbreaking. Team captain Ivan Tkachenko is remembered through his parents and the young girl he helped save the life of. And you hear from the coach who is currently running the Yaroslavl team, in hopes that they'll return to a KHL Championship caliber club.
At 33 minutes, there is still obviously more that can be told. But, with stunning footage, affecting interviews and Schriber's always stunningly great narration, it is up there with some of NBC's best Olympic work, and up there with the best documentary pieces I've seen done on any aspect of hockey in recent years. Recommended, with the reservation that some of the footage may be difficult to see as many are still coping with this very recent tragedy.no comments
All Times Eastern
Australian Rules Football
GWS Saints vs. Sydney Swans -- Fox Soccer Plus, 3 a.m.4
Memphis at Rutgers -- CBS Sports Network, 7 p.m.
Michigan State at Purdue -- ESPN, 7 p.m.
Alabama at Texas A&M -- ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Penn State at Nebraska -- ESPNU, 7 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's at Central Connecticut State -- Fox College Sports Atlantic, 7 p.m.
Northern Colorado at Northern Arizona -- Fox College Sports Central, 8:30 p.m.
Duke at North Carolina -- ACC Network/ESPN, 9 p.m.
Georgetown at Seton Hall -- CBS Sports Network, 9 p.m.
UConn at Temple -- ESPN2, 9 p.m.
Toledo at Bowling Green -- ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Washington State at Oregon State -- Pac-12 Networks, 9 p.m.
Gonzaga at BYU -- ESPN2, 11 p.m.
Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount -- ESPNU, 11 p.m.
North Carolina at Virginia -- Fox Sports Net-Regional, 6:30 p.m.
Northwestern at Penn State -- Big Ten Network, 7 p.m.
Missouri at Florida -- Fox College Sports Central, 7 p.m.
Texas-Pan American at New Mexico State -- Fox College Sports Pacific, 7 p.m.
Florida State at Maryland -- Fox Sports Net-Regional, 8:30 p.m.
Michigan States at Wisconsin -- Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
Inside College Basketball -- CBS Sports Network, 6:30 p.m.
Big Ten Basketball Report -- Big Ten Network, 11 p.m.
Inside College Basketball -- CBS Sports Network, 11 p.m.
College Basketball Live -- ESPN2, 1 a.m. (Friday)
While much of the reaction in the wake of the Michael Sam coming out story was focused on his draft position, there was also a ton of positive response. None was more well recieved than that of Dallas sportscaster Dale Hansen. He took a sensible approach to understanding who Sam was as a person, and criticized those who were willing to accept players who had committed criminal actions, but not a man being honest with himself, his sexuality, and the entire world.no comments
After Marty Reid was let go by ESPN towards the end of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season last year, the network was left with a void throughout its motor racing coverage. They would need not only a lap-by-lap announcer for that series, but for their coverage of IndyCar and the legendary Indianapolis 500.
The man who replaced Reid in the former will also be getting his job for the latter. ESPN has agreed on a new multi-year deal with Allan Bestwick, who replaced Reid for the remainder of the Nationwide Series in 2013. He will become the new lap-by-lap announcer for the Indianapolis 500 on ABC in 2014. Reid had been calling lap-by-lap since 2006.no comments
LeBron James sat down for one of those GQish GQ profiles and spoke openly about a number of topics. One of them was the ill-fated television special, The Decision. At the time, it was widely panned and turning his free agency choice into a made-for-TV event made James one of the top villains in the sports world for a couple years. Only now that time has passed and James has become a champion has he regained his universal popularity (at least outside of Cleveland that is).
Reflecting on the decision to take his talents to South Beach, James says it was something he needed to grow as a basketball player and as a man...no comments
One of my great regrets in life is not yet mkaing it all the way through the Planet Earth series. I can't quite seem to find the time to sit down and watch that darn Freshwater episode that's been on my DVR for ages. Somehow, BBC Radio convinced the narrator of Planet Earth and one of the most recognizable voices on the planet, Sir David Attenborough, to describe curling as if it were a nature documentary.
Your move, Morgan Freeman.
While Jimmy Fallon is getting all the buzz in late night, don't forget about Jimmy Kimmel and his rise at ABC to the coveted 11:35 PM timeslot. Kimmel took a break from his late night show to stop by KABC on Presidents Day and fill in for anchor Rob Fukuzaki. The comedian takes various shots at the NBA All-Star Game, the Lakers, and the Olympics. He's come a long way since he was matching wits with Terry Bradshaw at Fox.