That's weird, I've never heard testicles referred to as a "love stomach" before. Anyways, that's Phi Slamma Jamma graduate and NBA legend Clyde "The Glide" Drexler describing Luis Scola's unfortunate hustle play and likely America's Funniest Home Videos finalist. It's also humbling that a well-placed basketball can reduce 6'10", 260 pound NBA star Kevin Love to a what we saw in this video.
Drexler even has some sage advice for NBA players in how to avoid being in such a predicament,
"You were taught when a guy gets ready to throw the ball back in bounds you gotta turn sideways. Why? You gotta protect the jewels."
You were taught that? That sounds like the absolute worst day of practice ever. If we're going to fine players thousands of dollars for not wearing collared shirts then I think it's time to crack down on the groin shots. Intentional or not, I think every male would support an automatic ejection for such an egregious play.
Now that that's out of the way, here's a related video that is probably the finest clip on the internet.
One year ago, absolutely nobody would think a 24 year old crime reporter from Harrisburg, PA would be doing the best sports-related journalism in the country. Sara Ganim, the reporter from Harrisburg, PA's Patriot-News, is apparently receiving consideration for a Pulitzer Prize for her work in breaking and reporting on the Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal. Buried in this story from Philly.com about Ganim is a brief tidbit that Ganim's work was submitted by the Patriot-News to the Pulitzer committee for consideration.
The story itself is quite interesting, detailing Ganim's background (born in Detroit, grew up in Florida, graduated from Penn State), her history with the case (broke the story last March, which didn't get mainstream media attention until the fall, after two years of work on researching the case), and future plans (Ganim has stated that she has a lot left to do, and isn't thining about any future jobs). It's also a testament to the work still done in local papers in a world becoming increasingly dominated by 24/7 cable news. Ganim herself referred to her own work as a "testament to local journalism."
As a resident of Harrisburg, and an occasional reader of the Patriot-News, you got a sense from reading Ganim's work in the paper that she would receive national recognition for her work early on. My father, a Patriot reader for 30 years, immediately began the cries for a Pulitzer from the beginning of her reporting on the case. The case has been largely manhandled by many of the major news outlets, and public perception is decidedly skewed in this situation. Ganim has done a great job in keeping everything level, and focusing attention on Sandusky, the real monster in the case.
Mike & The Mad Dog may be the most influential sports talk radio show in the history of the airwaves. But ever since their split a few years ago, with Chris Russo going to host his own show at Sirius XM and Francesa sticking with WFAN in New York, they've been unable to recreate the same mojo. Russo's raving lunatic rants aren't the same without the calming influence of Francesa and Francesa's arrogance and curmudgeonliness are more grating without the laughter of Russo. This is a situation where the sum is truly greater than the individual parts.
So when the two met up at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis on Tuesday, it was like seeing Dean Martin come back to life and immediately start trading jokes with Jerry Lewis. These two look and sound so excited to be with each other that it may create whispers about a possible full reunion of Mike & The Mad Dog. Seriously, they haven't missed a beat in doing radio together. Don't get your hopes up though - Francesa said earlier this year, "there's a better chance that the Mets win the pennant" when talking about a permanent reunion with Russo. So it looks like fans of Mike & The Mad Dog and great sports radio will have to settle for these few minutes and wistfully reflect on what once was.
A new poll conducted by Sports Business Daily asked the nation’s top marketers and sports business execs “who is the most marketable NFL player today?”
Before you say Tebow, slap yourself. Almost all of the top 10 most marketable players in country have something in common: they’ve won a Super Bowl. Although Tebow does make the list, he's got a lot more winning to do to take the top spot. Besides Super Bowl winners dominating the list, another prevalent note is that 8 out of the 11 players shown were all quarterbacks. While that shouldn’t come as a surprise, it is a little shocking that three defenders made the list and not a single running back or wide receiver makes an appearance.
Let’s take a look at the final list.....
1. Aaron Rodgers The success of the “Discount Double Check” commercials speaks for itself. It shows Rodgers as a normal guy who expects everyone to recognize him after his Super Bowl MVP performance and also plays on the Favre shadow. Plus, I think the main reason Rodgers ranks so high is that he seemingly has it all - he is THE man in one of the most storied franchises in all of sports, a Super Bowl winner and MVP, and he's just getting started.
2. Tom Brady He’s the Golden Boy. 3 Super Bowl wins, a supermodel wife, and a brand new ENORMOUS mansion. Brady never gets in trouble, always says the right things, and is pretty much the perfect pitchman. Yet, his endorsement products are sketchy at best considering there is a billboard somewhere showing Tommy Boy rocking Uggs as if any guy in their right mind would do the same.
In my time at AA, I've seen some strange videos. None may be more strange (and more unfortunate) than the video you're about to see. It comes from the 2012 Hilton Invitational, a high school basketball tournament in Norcross, Georgia. The tournament featured a host of top teams from around the Southeast. You may also remember Norcross from awesome football announcerJoel Hillsman back in the fall.
Here, the hosts Norcross are taking on Charlotte Christian on the hardwood and trailing 57-56 with just a few seconds left. We pick up the game with about twenty seconds left and the announcers talking about a Charlotte Christian player, Ryan Potocnik, going the wrong way and catching a break by the ball going out of bounds. Evidently, the Charlotte Christian coaching staff didn't get him the memo about which basket he was supposed to be defending. The Knights inbound the ball to Potocnik who then casually lays the ball in his own basket uncontested. It actually takes a few seconds for the reality of what just happened to sink in with the announcers. Norcross would sink two free throws at the other end to win the game 60-57. It's one of the most bizarre clips you will ever see...
You've got to feel bad for the kid, hopefully he's able to bounce back from this, but somewhere right now Jim Marshall is shaking his head in empathy.
This video came into the AA Twitter account, and features the call of the end of the game between Tennessee high schools Brentwood and Ravenwood. Brentwood player Jack Montague lays in a basket with 1.6 seconds left to give Brentwood the win, and announcer Alex Dostaler goes completely bonkers. By the time the crowd storms the court as the final buzzer sounds, Dostaler's voice is cracking as he's screaming and cheering in the booth.
WBHS-9 appears to be a local public access channel that's run by Brentwood High, featuring tons of sports programming. That explains the exuberant attitude shown by Dostaler in the booth. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any contact info for him on their website to try to get a comment. At any rate, the insane reaction shown by Dostaler is a nice breath of fresh air in the era of political correctness, even if this was just a high school game.
For the record, when I was watching my high school football team play in the state title game back in December, the announcers didn't show a fraction of this emotion. It's good to see that at least one announcer out there has passion for something. Unfortunately, this didn't give us a "PY-RO-TECH-NICS" moment, but it was still pretty funny.
Ratings for the NFL's Pro Bowl are in, and they're down 8.1% from last year. The 2011 Pro Bowl drew an 8.6 last year on Fox, but this year's was just at 7.9 on NBC. But overall, in spite of its less than competitive nature, the Pro Bowl is still the king of All-Star games. 12.5 million people watched the game this season, in comparison with 11 million for last year's MLB All-Star Game, 8.1 million for the NBA All-Star Game last year (on cable, no less), and 2.4 million this past weekend's NHL All-Star Game in Canada (the total number of viewers in North America still likely placing it 4th out of the 4 major All-Star games).
Each game (aside from the NFL's) has a skills competition of some sort and other festivities, including the MLB with the Home Run Derby, Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game, the NHL's skills competition, and the NBA with its dunk contest, skills competition, and rookies vs sophomores game. The fact that the NFL doesn't have any other events surrounding the game may compel people to tune into the game as opposed to just the skills competition that may actually be more watchable.
None of the games are really played hard with the possible exception of the MLB game. Points are usually prevalent in the games, with the NHL All-Star game cracking 20 goals, the Pro Bowl breaking 100 points, and the NBA All-Star Game almost exceeding 300 points last year.
In the MLB game, it's kind of tough to take it easy, unless you just expect your pitchers to throw 85 mph fastballs instead of 97 mph heaters, and have the fielders jog towards every ball and not really bother laying out for any balls. But by the same token, the MLB All-Star Game is the only one that "matters" (despite your opinions on that, it still does), and each team actually has some motivation to try to win.
If I had to watch any of the games, I'd choose the MLB game, which I usually do watch every year. The other games just seem like a total joke, and despite Bud Selig's incompetence in the office of MLB Commissioner, the MLB game at least has some semblance of "mattering." But the fact that the Pro Bowl continues to win the ratings battle once again emphasizes what we all know: the NFL is king in this country, even amongst exhibition games.
The following videos from Big Ten Network take you behind the scenes with AA favorite Gus Johnson for a recent Northwestern v Michigan State game. BTN has done something few networks have ever done and centered their basketball coverage around an announcer. There are plenty of fans that wish Fox would get behind Gus like BTN has done. However, with Gus largely missing from the NFL, it looks like Gusaholics will have to settle for his college football work with Fox and basketball work with Big Ten Network.
BTN routinely promotes the network as the home of Gus Johnson announcing college basketball games. Given his popularity amongst young fans and the blogs, it's a wise move. Gus is one of the few announcers that fans will actually tune in to watch regardless of the game. Even outside of Gus Johnson's popularity though, the three videos below are an interesting look inside how any announcer prepares for a game.
The second segment shows Gus at the arena talking to players and coaches (in a gray Knicks sweatsuit) and takes a look at his announcing boards and the information he uses during a game.
The third segment is the best though as it shows what Gus Johnson is like during the actual game. Critics of Gus will say his theatrics are just for show, but the man is the genuine article. He actually does get as excited as he sounds on a broadcast! The video shows Gus ringing up baskets, pointing dramatically at timeouts, and getting up out of his chair for a long three at the end of the first half. That's why Gus Johnson resonates with the fan as an announcer. It's not just his excitement, but his authenticity that makes Gus such a popular announcer.
It's hard to believe that 2012 marks the tenth year of ESPN's Bracketbusters. What started as a novelty concept has become one of the highlights of the college basketball season. I have no idea if this was a first or not, but last night ESPU held a "selection show" to reveal the games for this year's edition in mid-February. Last year, two so called mid-majors made the Final Four with Butler and VCU making an appearance. This year, it's unbeaten Murray State and #12 Creighton leading the way. The marquee matchup of Bracketbusters will certainly be Murray State hosting #16 St. Mary's and ESPN can only hope the Racers stay perfect until then. Here's the full schedule...
Blake Griffin has thrown down some pretty monstrous dunks in his short NBA career. There were these two amazing jams against the Knicks last year including permanently putting Timofey Mozgov on a poster. There was this steal and reverse dunk against the Pistons. There was this 360 in the Slam Dunk contest and he even dunked over a car. There were over 200 more from his rookie campaign and many more this year with the advent of Lob City.
Blake Griffin may have thousands of dunks by the time his career is over, but none will be better than his dunk in tonight's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. In fact, I dare say this is not just Blake Griffin's greatest dunk, but the greatest dunk in NBA history. Is that being a prisoner of the moment? Of course! Blake Griffin goes 1 v 1 with one of the best and most intimidating defenders in the game, Kendrick Perkins. Griffin meets Perkins at the rim and then uses his body as a launching pad to lift into the stratosphere before throwing the ball through the net with enough force to momentarily throw the planet off its rotational axis. Normal human beings aren't supposed to do this!
Here's Clippers announcers Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith with the call...