Posting might be light the next couple of days as many of us at AA have requested mental health days when this news came across our desks. While not terribly shocking given the numbers Cowherd pulls across ESPN, there is still a knee jerk reaction of "Are you serious?"
ESPN employs a massive amount of on air talent, the bulk of which is pretty stellar. But there also seems to be a portion of that talent that falls into a "They're soo bad they're good" strategy. Woody Paige and Skip Bayless are other long term ESPN personalities that seem to fit into this bucket.
While they certainly have their audience and moments, a lot of their shtick is "What will they say next?" as sports talk radio has proven that asinine and outrageous musings can inexplicably retain an audience.
A four year deal with ESPN isn't very common, but given the amount of programs and platforms Cowherd is involved with, ESPN decided to stretch out this extension.
I personally reacted to the news by loosening my tie and pouring myself a drink (not really), but given Matt's documenteddisdain of Cowherd, I picture his reaction to the news similar to this.
Today the Baseball Hall of Fame selected the winner of the presitigious Ford C. Frick Award. The award is the top honor amongst baseball announcers and has been won in the past by legends like Mel Allen, Vin Scully, Jack Buck, and Curt Gowdy. This year, the Ford C. Frick Award, which "is presented annually to a broadcaster for 'major contributions to baseball,'" was awarded to one James Timothy McCarver today.
After exhaustive research, it was discovered that this was not a prank...
Tim McCarver is being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting.
Tim McCarver is being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting.
Words cannot describe this absurdity.
In case you are still doubting this story, and I can't blame you, here's what the President of the Baseball HoF had to say about Timmy...
"Tim McCarver has been the face and voice of baseball's biggest moments on national television," said Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. "His wit and intuition, combined with his passion for the game and his down-home style, delivers a trusted insight for viewers. Tim's journey in reaching baseball broadcasting's highest honor has connected generations of New York Mets fans as well as audiences across the country for more than 30 years."
Wit? Intuition? Passion? Has this guy from the Hall of Fame watched an MLB on Fox broadcast in this millenium?!?! I'm sure McCarver was a fine analyst back in his prime, but that's been in upwards of twenty years ago. I know baseball ratings have been down recently, but I would have at least thought people at the Hall of Fame would still be watching games. Then again, perhaps viewers muting televisions and mass tweeting their best attempts to mock McCarver's announcing gems counts as "major contributions" to baseball these days.
Deadspin publicized the conference call number for anyone to ask questions of the newest honoree earlier today and then recorded hilarious audio for posterity. The first three questions on the conference call included - Tim McCarver's vendetta against the Yankees, whether or not he wanted to rub his fingers through Joe Buck's hair, and my favorite... "Do you think your nomination into the Hall of Fame illegitimizes the Hall of Fame?"
Sadly, we didn't get McCarver's response to that last question.
Nevertheless, Tim McCarver, the same guy who said "strike" was a five letter word and proceeded to spell it out, is being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting. The same guy that produced this montage of awfulness is being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting.
Tim McCarver is being honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for excellence in broadcasting.
ESPN has been coming under fire from all sides in recent weeks for how they've handled their coverage of the scandals at Syracuse and Penn St. In the case of Penn St., ESPN has been criticized for how far behind the curve they've been with breaking the details of the case and their ensuing coverage. In fact, ESPN's ombudsman, the Poynter Institute, finally showed some worth in their position as independent critic with a biting review of ESPN's slow response to the biggest scandal to rock college athletics, perhaps in history. Here are a few worthwhile quotes from the much maligned Poynter:
"With the biggest staff of sports journalists in the world, ESPN should have been leading the charge to ask tough questions and shed light on this scandal. Instead, it was the tiny Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. out in front of the journalism pack."
"Moving on to fallout and other issues is standard journalistic fare, but the Penn State scandal isn't any other second-day story... We would expect the instincts of a 24-hour broadcast newsroom to be quicker."
To add to the criticism of ESPN's Penn St. coverage, the WWL has also been under fire for how they've handled ongoing allegations at Syracuse. On the one hand, ESPN has been borderline obsessive over pushing the story, largely because they were the ones who finally broke this particular scandal. Some have seen their Syracuse coverage as a rushed response to being caught out on Sandusky. However, when news broke that ESPN had sat on a potentially incriminating videotape for almost a decade, the network was shown to be hypocritical at best and criminally negligent at worst.
Personally, I've argued for a long time that ESPN's drive for entertainment and profit had long ago swallowed up its journalistic integrity. And, having figures like reporter Mark Schwarz and executive Vince Doria being grilled by heavyweight media watchdogs like Howard Kurtz and Richard Deitsch seems to add fuel to that perspective. (And no, Jason Whitlock doesn't belong in that category.) Still, the full story of ESPN's role in these two scandals has yet to fully play out and is incredibly complex in its own right, so we'll reserve detailed judgement for a later date.
However, without question, one scandal ESPN thoroughly covered from top-to-bottom from the beginning was Jim Tressel and TatGate at Ohio St. The tenacity ESPN showed in covering the dismissal of Jim Tressel and the sanctions at Ohio St. was relentless in its single-minded focus. At times, it even seemed like some at the network were rooting for Jim Tressel to be fired. At the same time, ESPN basically ignored scandals that were developing on other campuses at North Carolina and Miami. The difference between the three? Yahoo had broken the mile-long rap sheet of potential violations at Miami while Sports Illustrated had done a lot of the work in gaining more info on the North Carolina violations.
Well, as it turns out, ESPN isn't done with Ohio St. just yet...
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (NFLN 8:20PM) Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan
Sunday, December 11
New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins (CBS 1PM) Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets (CBS 1PM) Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts Houston Texans @ Cincinnati Bengals (CBS 1PM) Marv Albert, Rich Gannon Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens (CBS 1PM) Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
New Orleans Saints @ Tennessee Titans (FOX 1PM) Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions (FOX 1PM) Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers (FOX 1PM) Ron Pitts, Jim Mora Philadelphia Eagles @ Miami Dolphins (FOX 1PM) Chris Myers, Tim Ryan Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Jacksonville Jaguars (FOX 1PM) Sam Rosen, Chad Pennington
Chicago Bears @ Denver Broncos (FOX 4PM) Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals (FOX 4PM) Dick Stockton, John Lynch Oakland Raiders @ Green Bay Packers (CBS 4:15PM) Jim Nantz, Phil Simms Buffalo Bills @ San Diego Chargers (CBS 4:15) Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (NBC 8:20PM) Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Monday, December 12
St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (ESPN 8:30PM) Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski
You may already know CBS and NBC are fighting over Tim Tebow for a possible Week 15 Flex Game, but that only begins to tell the story of the infinitely expanding media obsession with Tim Tebow. I foolishly anticipated as Tebow played more minutes in Denver, we would get used to the idea of him playing in the NFL and he would fade away from being the most talked about man in the world. After all, there's no possible way ESPN and other outlets could possibly talk MORE TIM TEBOW. Right?
I couldn't be more wrong.
One five game winning streak filled with last minute victories later and TebowMania is out of control. ESPN, in their infinite wisdom to torture people with any grip of what is real in the world, is DEDICATING AN ENTIRE HOUR OF SPORTSCENTER TO TIM TEBOW Wednesday afternoon at 2 PM ET. Set your DVRs. Amongst the instruments of terror are...
Highlights of Tebow’ comebacks.
Josina Anderson reports live from the Broncos facility.
Jerry Rice will break down Tebow’s development as a passer.
Steve Young will discuss Tebow’s future and how the Broncos should handle him.
An Ed Werder feature: “Winning the Tebow Way."
The debate over Tebow with Skip Bayless.
The top-10 Tebow moments, which will include his Florida days.
An examination of Tebow’s impact on fantasy football.
It must be the goal of ESPN to convince any person that finds the Broncos QB likeable (like me) or sits on the fence to hate him with a passion only saved for telemarketers, migraine headaches, and violent diarrhea. The shame is the average NFL fan can't even enjoy what Tebow is doing in Denver because of this obsession.
There are literally 1,695 other NFL players to talk about - 53 players on 32 teams. Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees are setting records, and yet it's Tebow that gets a full hour of SportsCenter. What about outside the NFL? The best player in baseball may sign with a new team any second, and yet it's Tebow that gets a full hour of SportsCenter. The NBA season is only weeks away from starting, and yet it's Tebow that gets a full hour of SportsCenter. The NHL is proposing radical realignment, and yet it's Tebow that gets a full hour of SportsCenter.
It's not even funny anymore how big of a joke ESPN's Tebow sickness is at this point. Sure, it's fun for us and others to mock TebowMania, but this is seriously getting out of hand. Unbelievably, this is worse than the height of any coverage ever associated with Brett Favre. ESPN's Tebow infatuation shows nothing more than a disconnect from actual sports fans and a warped sense of reality like they are under some sort of hypnotic spell. What the $%*# are they going to do in the offseason, stalk him going to the Mini Mart? Wait in the bushes outside his home to see when he takes out his recycling? Put Jon Gruden on television 14 hours out of the day to examine his mechanics? At least Ed Werder will get a less prickly, less creepy human being to follow around.
TebowMania has now taken on a life of its own and is too big for ESPN to control anymore. In fact, if anything, TebowMania has become some sort of mutant creature hellbent on destroying its creator (ESPN) and the known universe. Think the classic Godzilla movies before he got soft and the immense destruction that took place. That's what TebowMania is doing to our lives, except without the '50s special effects.
It begins with one hour devoted to Tim Tebow. Then, it'll be a 30 for 30 documentary. Next, a miniseries followed by Tebow: The Magazine. Tebow Week, where the quarterback's best performances are dubbed with commentary by Tebow, Skip Bayless, and Merril Hoge won't be far behind. The Tebow On Tebow reality series should be a foregone conclusion.
Finally, I'm fully expecting Tebow to be deified as a god in Bristol, CT and great pyramids will be built in his honor until a Hebrew slave named Moses Malone delivers his people out of bondage. Then again, maybe that was The Ten Commandments.
The regular season is over and so is another year of the Pammies. But before we take a look at the final Pammies standings and crown a champion (as if you don't know who it's going to be), we have to reward Week 14's winners. The envelope please...
10) "Every time after Rosario makes a good play, they tell him to make another one." -Charles Davis (via sctvman)
9) "Larry Fedora better get a rain coat, because a thunderstorm is heading his way." -Craig James There's lightning in gatorade coolers? (via glokkenspx)
8) "We're really getting close to kickoff at the SEC championship game." - Tim Brando It's 2:17. Kickoff is at 4 p.m. (via NHSportsHP)
7) "Johnson had him faked out but there was no way Southern Miss was going to be faked out" - Craig James (via bjo109)
6) "The whole complexity of this game could've been different." - Craig James (via tomatpsu). Complexion, the word is complexion.
5) "We are being booed and we arent even in the game" - Mike Patrick, maybe your being booed because Craig James is in the booth and you're awful. (via jleimer)
4) "You are the inaugural Pac 10, err, Big 10 Championship game champions!" -Kevin Frazier (via DPMilGaya). Ohh Fox...
3) ''Game of centimeters? How about decimeters?'' - Charles Davis (via FreddiePhysical). Centimeters are actually smaller than decimeters. This is why we need to convert to the metric system.
2) "Wilson...making chicken salad out of a broken play..." - Gus Johnson (via ChrisMcSharpe)
1) "The first, inaugural Big 12 Champions." - Tim Brewster (via Aaron_Torres) at the Big Ten Championship Game.
(Click "read more" for your final 2011 Pammies winner and full standings after the jump...)
The NFL put out a press release today announcing that they are going to hold off on revealing the Week 15 "flex" until tomorrow (Wednesday, December 7) because NFL Committees were in New York today. By waiting until tomorrow, the announcement will only come 11 days before the Sunday of Week 15, thus, breaking NFL Flexible Scheduling 101.
Hmm, no big deal I guess, until you realize Week 15 features a Tim Tebow-Tom Brady match up that is currently lined up for a 4:15 p.m. EST start on CBS. It would seem, as the Denver Post says, that flexing Tebow-Brady would be a "no brainer" ... so why wasn't it flexed already?
Well, apparently CBS is playing a little Tebow tug-o-war (Tebow-war?) and thinks it's their turn to have him, which may be the real reason for the hold up in the "flex" announcement despite what it says in the NFL press release:
CBS, apparently, is not letting the game go easily. The network is considered the "AFC network," yet it was not been able to capitalize on telecasting a Tebow-led Bronco comeback last Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings when the Fox network was handed the game because of an NBC flex game that broadcast the New Orleans-Detroit game.
Now NBC would like to flex their Dec. 18 primetime game to the Tom Brady-Tebow matchup, which figures to be a ratings bonanza.
C'mon, guys. There's enough Tim Tebow to go around. I mean, ESPN is having a TebowCenter tomorrow. Be generous and ready to share.
In one corner stands one of the most notorious local trolls in the sports media, John Steigerwald of the Observer-Reporter in Washington, PA. In the opposite corner is Ryan Lambert of Yahoo's Puck Daddy. The subject is Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and a possible link to steroids that is as flimsy as Shaun Bradley or the latest Brett Favre madness from ESPN.
Steigerwald hypothesized in a recent column that Alex Ovechkin's recent drop in production is due to his getting off performance enhancing drugs. Steigerwald doesn't even go the ESPN/Favre route citing sources, rather he goes all the way to "whispers." If that doesn't scream Pulitzer I don't know what does. The article is a joke and just another pathetic way to get his name in the headlines. Skip Bayless thinks this article is an insult to journalistic standards. But that's what this guy Steigerwald does. If you'll remember, he was the one that said Dodgers fan Bryan Stow brought a savage beating upon himself by wearing a Dodgers jersey to a Giants game.
Lambert, a writer at Puck Daddy, eviscerated Steigerwald and his admitted speculation in a column yesterday in a victory for common decency. In response, Steigerwald then invited Lambert on his daily radio show today to discuss their difference of opinion and thankfully Puck Daddy has the clip. It's quite long at just under a half hour, but this is radio hand to hand combat at its best and includes Lambert suggesting Sydney Crosby may indeed be a vampire due to similar "whispers." At the very least, I'm guessing it was more interesting radio than "Wrestling Reality" which immediately followed Steigerwald's program on TribLive Radio. It's the hockey fight of the year thus far, and Lambert is the winner in a unanimous decision...
Ironic, isn't it? I thought it was the bloggers that were supposed to be the ones to make wild, unfounded, speculative accusations with absolutely no basis... and the real sportswriters were supposed to be the ones to professionally debunk them in a regal, noble sort of way. Well, well, well how the turntables...
Listen to the Ryan Lambert vs. John Steigerwald radio battle - Puck Daddy
Through her counsel, Mary Parker, ESPN reporter Erin Andrews has re-filed a lawsuit in Davidson (Tenn.) County Circuit Court against the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt and her convicted stalker, alleging invasion of privacy, negligence, and infliction of emotional distress. Andrews' stalker, Michael Barrett, was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison for following her around the country and filming her through the peepholes of her hotel rooms. The lawsuit accuses Barrett of calling the hotels beforehand and obtaining her room number from the hotels, so he could rent the room next to her. The lawsuit was originally filed in July 2010, but Parker explains that they couldn't get all of the defendants under one jurisdictional roof, so they had to withdraw and re-file accordingly [via Deadspin]:
The original case was non-suited to try to get all of the cases in the various states joined together under the jurisdiction of one court which has not been able to be resolved. Our year for re-filing was about to run, so we re-filed, but only against the entities that are clearly jurisdictional in TN. All original allegations against those entities are exactly the same.
Andrews is seeking $1 million per count plus costs and interest -- $4 million from her stalker and $3 million from the hotel. She also apparently still intends to file suit against the other hotels that were in the original complaint from July in the proper jurisdictions. The above-referenced re-filed complaint can be read after the jump.
There were dozens of deserving nominees this week, and most all of them came from Chris Berman. The Sunday NFL Countdown host was in rare form this week, even for him. Elsewhere, Dick Stockton looks to build his lead and Brian Billick has no idea where he is or what he is doing. You could make the same argument for Donovan McNabb. Too soon? Here are your Week 13 nominees...
1) "Tom Brady is half quarterback, half coach, half coordinator." - Rich Gannon, no wonder Brady's so good, he's 1.5 people! (via markgoodman10)
2) "You can throw your QBR and completed passes out the window. I'll roll the ball downfield to win games" - Jon Gruden (via FlowyDNA)
3) "Arian Foster Houstonian for beer" - Chris Berman (via AA) in the most bizarre Australian accent known to humankind.
4) "These musical award shows are like college bowl games. There are just too many of them." - Troy Aikman (via BloggerJustinF) with your cultural commentary of the week.
5) "They should let Michael Vick take a shot at the end zone here." - Brian Billick from Broncos/Vikings (via sctvman)
6) "You can't have drives like that, they left 10 points on the board." - Dave Lapham (via BY318) on one Benglas drive that had a TD and FG called back.
7) "You see a lot of head coaches handle the playcalling but you don't see a lot of head coaches handle the playcalling" - Jim Mora (via ShutdownLine)
8) "Seattle might be the best 5-7 team in the National Football League." - Steve Mariucci (via markgoodman10) when at the time Seattle was the only 5-7 team in the league.
9) "if that was a pass down the field it would have been pass interference" - Phil Simms (via dmitsch15) describing a block on a punt return.
10) In summary, today Brian Billick has called Jared Allen "Gerald", Brian Dawkins "Darryl Dawkins", and Big Ben as "Roethlisbooger." Amazing. (via AA)
11) "This is an aroused Cardinals defense we are seeing here today." - Dick Stockton (via PTNetherton) Eww...
12) "Brandon 'Our Prices Are In' Saine" - Chris Berman (via CMehring) jumping the shark for 17 years running.
13) "Hand off to Wells! Kolb can't find any one. Incomplete." - Dick Stockton (via TheBrain2177)
14) "Watch how easily this guy pulls out" - Mike Mayock (via bjo109)
15) John Lynch: "Dez Bryant slipped there." DickStockton: "Yeah, and so did Dez Bryant. You wonder if there's a problem." (via SportsByDallas)
Vote For Your Week 13 Dickies Nominees! (vote for up to five)
The winners will come Wednesday so make sure you vote early and often and check back for the full NFL Week 14 announcing sked later this week!