Chicago Bulls color commentator Stacey King is excitable. A visit to his soundboard webpage and clicking on "splash!" a dozen or so times will confirm this fact. So it comes as no surprise that a majestic swooping lay up by Brian Scalabrine over E! superstar Kris Humphries in the second quarter of a lopsided Bulls/Nets tilt would produce a memorable call.
For you that just watched that clip and still do not trust your ears...here is a transcript.
King- "OOOHH, SCAL! THE WHITE MAMBA! DON'T DO 'EM LIKE THAT! DON'T SHOW THEM THE VERSATILITY! Show one side and go to the other. Boy that boy is smooth, Funk."
Scalabrine averages 1.4 points and 6.5 enthusiastic high fives off the bench per game. He's pretty much that guy you would make in create a player mode in a videogame after you've been huffing paint.
The White Mamba is pretty harmless these days, but that wasn't always the case. As a Pistons fan, I looked on in horror as Scalabrine's dominance put the Nets one game away from eliminating the eventual 2004 champions in a classic game that went into triple OT. Check out this line from that article,
"Scalabrine made all four of his 3-pointers, including one that gave New Jersey a 122-118 lead with about 40 seconds left in the third overtime."
See, Scalabrine can be cold blooded, like a mamba.
With the Super Bowl approaching in less than two weeks, excitement is building not just for the game, but for the commercials. If you aren't a Giants or Patriots fan, the commercials are one way to get your mind off your team not being in the big game. Super Bowl commercials have taken on a life of their own over the years and draw in a sizeable portion of the Super Bowl's annual record setting audience. Each commercial this year can cost a company between 3.5 and 4 MILLION dollars for just thirty seconds of air time.
Thankfully, the folks at Next Media Animation, who you may know for their Taiwanese animation videos, have taken the time to instruct all of us on what goes into a successful, viral Super Bowl ad. Key elements include...
Yup, that pretty much sums up every single successful Super Bowl commercial ever made. Except this one. I'm still trying to figure out though why everything in American culture is automatically funnier when seen through the eyes of Taiwanese animation...
The news of Tiki Barber appearing on SNY over the weekend got us thinking. No, don't worry, Barber didn't say anything in his coverage of the Giants/49ers game that actually stimulated any brain cells. Instead, Barber's precipitous fall from the Today Show to a regional network got us to wonder where Barber ranked in all-time busts in the sports media. There have been many flops in the world of announcing and analyzing sports. Some were world-class athletes who became cringe-worthy analysts. Some were athletes who flopped when given a stage even bigger than sports. Some were comedians or celebrities who brought more eyerolls than eyeballs. Check out our list of the Top 10 Sports Media Busts and let us know what you think!
(10) John Sutcliffe - ESPN's Monday Night Football -Our first entrant doubles as the most recent. It's great that ESPN seeks to give crossover exposure to ESPN Deportes. By all accounts, John Sutcliffe is a great journalist there. However, when his time on the mothership came earlier this year as a sideline reporter on ESPN's Monday Night Football, Sutcliffe dropped the ball so bad that he was taken off the air midway through the broadcast.
(9) Bobby Valentine - ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball -Bobby V was always a great soundbyte as a manager because of his wit and personality. Naturally, one thought these traits would make a great transition into the studio or the broadcast booth. And yes, when Valentine was hired to be a part of ESPN's Baseball Tonight stable, the move was met with excitement. While Valentine never wowed the masses in the studio, he never really embarrassed himself. As it turns out, Bobby V saved that for the booth as part of the revamped Sunday Night Baseball team in 2011. Valentine was routinely panned by the masses on Twitter, with this out-of-nowhere rant on Cubs SS Starlin Castro Exhibit A. Thankfully, the Red Sox saved viewers by hiring Bobby V as manager this winter while ESPN hired Terry Francona.
(8) Joe Montana & Isiah Thomas - NBC Sports -Though Montana and Thomas were all-time greats in their sports, NBC swung and missed when hiring the two as analysts in the 90s. All the poise Montana showed as one of the greatest QBs ever never got the chance to show through his bland takes. In fact, Montana gave analysis worthy of a man whose family was being held off-stage at gunpoint. Meanwhile, Thomas's soft voice and stammered analysis made him a difficult listen, even when NBC pushed him as their lead NBA analyst.
Apparently, the broadcasting of these two was so lackluster, YouTube is devoid of worthy clips. But, thanks to the outstanding SI Vault, we have some perspective. First, Montana in his own words, "In TV, nobody cares if you get it right; they just want you to yell, to seem definitive. It was the old, 'If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, then baffle 'em with b.———-.' I had to go." Next, John Walters on Isiah, "His energy level wavers during a telecast, and he says "You know" too much, as in, "Yeah, you know, we, you know, Jordan when he guards you, you know, he shuts you down, you know?"
As promised, we at AA have been closely following Craig James' doomed political run in Texas. What with the former ESPN analyst polling in at 4% and his unfavoribility numbers much higher, James' campaign has to be getting desperate. Well, with the latest ad from the James campaign, it seems the disgraced analyst is making a direct, desperate plea to explain why he's running for Senate. You know, that's an excellent question. Why is this ex-football player running for Senate, besides the fact he's a corrupt, lying buffoon?
As always, James talks about Washington being "off its rails" and that he will fix the problems with "simple solutions" and "common sense." Of course, I'm sure simple is a word many would use to describe what must go on in the mind of Craig James.
James also talks about going outside of his comfort zone, you know, the zone that involves getting head coaches fired, fighting your petulant son's battles, and rumors of dead hookers. That's exactly the type of life Franklin and Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers imagined, right? We might soon be able to add perjurer to that list as well.
There's no official word from James if he's filimed his latest ad straight from "Real Street". However, in a letter to President Obama before his State of the Union, James encourages him to "deal with the issues that face the American people living on Real Street." We're working to confirm if James' next letter was to Santa Claus asking for a new BB gun for Christmas. Don't stop now Craig! I'm sure the Real Street Express will take off very soon... maybe even to 5% in the polls!
A recent tidbit in a lengthy Sports Business Journal article on sports media shed light on the highest paid announcers in sports. Often, contract situations with announcers and other on-air personalities are kept tight-lipped. Remember the pure shock last year at the announcement that Gus Johnson was leaving CBS? None of the networks, nor the announcers comment on contract details, especially how much money is being dished out. That's why it's such a big deal when details like this are mentioned publicly. Naturally, the top earners at each network are of little surprise. Al Michaels at NBC. Jim Nantz at CBS. Joe Buck at Fox. But who is the top paid sports TV personality? That answer may surprise you...
While no one could provide exact figures, multiple broadcast talent experts said that of the hundreds of people working in on-air sports jobs, there are a handful of on-air personalities who make the most money, and none is a former professional athlete. Four men stand above the crowd and are considered the highest-paid broadcasters in the U.S., these experts say: Bob Costas and Al Michaels at NBC, Joe Buck at Fox, and Jim Nantz at CBS. According to multiple sources, Costas, Michaels, Buck and Nantz each earns in the range of $5 million a year. Several sources said that of the four, Costas earns the most, as he works not only multiple major sporting events for NBC, but he also works for MLB Network.
I'm actually quite astonished Costas makes more than the triumvirate of Buck, Michaels, and Nantz. What Costas does, he does amazingly well (except for those SNF halftime lectures), but he doesn't really do much. He hosts SNF and Triple Crown coverage along with special events (like the acclaimed Jerry Sandusky interview), but his TV time is relatively small. Honestly, when was the last time Bob Costas did play by play coverage of a major nationally televised sporting event? The 2000 NBA Finals? I assume Costas makes the majority of his money as the face of the Olympics, which is where most of NBC's money goes anyways.
As far as Buck, Michaels, and Nantz go, these are the immovable fixtures enthroned at the top of each network and they ain't goin anywhere anytime soon. These three announce most of the biggest events in sports - the Super Bowl, World Series, NCAA Tournament, Sunday Night Football, and The Masters to name a few. But what about the next level of broadcasters? SBJ also reveals who is in the second tier of the highest paid announcers...
I have to give Kris Humphries credit for accomplishing the impossible. He replaced LeBron James as the most disliked player in the NBA. Humphries has had to deal with getting booed every time he touches the ball when the New Jersey Nets play on the road. Not because he predicted to win seven championships. Not because he committed any crimes. Not because he abandoned his hometown team or asked for a trade or had his jersey burning in any streets. No, because he was married to Kim Kardashian for the approximate length of time Chip Kelly was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
But now, Kris Humphries has to move on with his life as a serviceable NBA big man. However, he remains loathed by sports fans for a sham wedding to one of the lowest lifeforms on the planet, reality television stars. I assume there's also a section of the population, however tiny, screaming "how could he do that to Kimmy!!!" Nevertheless, Kris Humphries is evidently going to go down the long road of recovering his image by ditching his public relations team and focusing on his basketball career. Here's details from The Hollywood Gossip...
The New Jersey Nets power forward/E! star has called it quits with Anderson Public Relations, TMZ confirms, following disagreements between the company and the Humphries over how to best promote the latter off the court.
Kris' relationship with Anderson lasted 73 days, so, hey, that's an improvement of 24 hours for the guy!
Sources say he now wants to focus solely on basketball, which ought to be welcome news for the woeful Nets.
The source of Humphries' divorce (too soon?) with his PR team is evidently this disaster of an interview with GMA co-host and ESPN alum Josh Elliott. You can't blame him for trying to stay away from any sort of spotlight in that regard, although I'd love to be a fly on the wall on those discussions of improving Kris Humphries' public image. I suppose he could fall in love with a Perkins waitress, although that's kind of been done before.
I hate to admit this, but after watching Kris Humphries "perform" on Kourtney & Kim Take New York (don't judge me!), he actually makes me feel sympathy for the Kardashians. I shudder at typing those words. Who knows, maybe it's clever E! editing trying to save face for Kim and Kris Humphries is a fine gentleman who can go on to a popular NBA career after this little speed bump in Hollywood. Then again, maybe Kris Humphries is just an idiot...
Much like the Geico Caveman commercials, the E-Trade baby is about 2 hours past his 15 minutes of fame.
During a sponsored segment on the NFL Today on CBS for pregame coverage of the AFC Championship game, the E-Trade baby was a guest. The baby has a conversation that reeks of a rushed script and forcible laughter in one of the most embarrassing segments ever seen on a pregame show. This is exactly what most of us want to see before the one of the highest rated Championship games in 30+ years.
The only thing that would have made this promo entertaining is if they would have shown Boomer’s face while the baby is making his “Hall of Fame-Sike!” joke. I'm sure the look on everyone else's faces during the segment was shock and awe.
If E-Trade plans on continuing to throw this baby in our face while we pretend its funny, they should at least come out and admit they saved their best material for the big game.
I know Lee Evans wasn't much of a factor for the Ravens this year, but it's pretty baffling that Jim Nantz confused the veteran with rookie Torrey Smith during yesterday's AFC Championship game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. Evans had what would have been a go-ahead touchdown catch knocked out of his hands in the game's final mintue, and Nantz immediately identified him as Smith. Smith was the go-to target for Joe Flacco for a good part of this season, but there are a few differences between him and Evans. First off, Evans is much lighter skinned than Smith. Secondly, Evans's hair is much shorter than Smith's, who has dreadlocks flowing from underneath his helmet. Thirdly, Smith is #82, while Evans is #83. But then again, considering the circumstances of the situation, I can understand the flub. It just seemd a little off from Nantz, who's usually right on the money.
As a Ravens fan, watching this clip multiple times to get the story typed up has made me ill. Excuse me while I weep into my Anquan Boldin jersey. It's also worth noting that this is the second straight year where a veteran receiver has cost the Ravens a playoff game with a drop. Last year, it was former Bengals standout TJ Houshmandzadeh who dropped a pass in the divisional round on fourth down against the Pittsburgh Steelers as Flacco was attempting to lead a game-tying drive. Note to Ozzie Newsome: don't go after a middling veteran wideout this offseason.
It's All-Star week for the NHL with the second year of the backyard captains pick format. Daniel Alfredsson of the hometown Senators is one captain while Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will pick the other team. All the All-Star weekend action happens on NBC Sports Network with the fantasy draft Thursday night at 8 pm ET and the skills competition and actual game to follow. Whether people will actually tune in to an All-Star event that is gimmicky even compared to other All-Star Games remains to be seen. At least you still have time to take sides in the battle between Team Alfredsson and Team Chara!
Monday January 23
St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings (NBCSN 7:30PM) Dave Strader, Pierre McGuire
Tuesday January 24
Minnesota Wild @ Colorado Avalanche (NBCSN 9PM) John Forslund, Brian Engblom
Wednesday January 25
Detroit Red Wings @ Montreal Canadians (NBCSN 7:30PM) Dave Strader, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
Saturday January 28
NHL All-Star Skills Competition (NBCSN 7PM)
Sunday January 29
NHL All-Star Game @ Scotiabank Place in Kanata, Ontario
Team Alfreddson vs. Team Chara (NBCSN 4PM) Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
ESPN First Take has taken internet trolling mainstream. It's a couple hours each day devoted to manufactured arguements and everything Tim Tebow. With Tebow out of the playoffs, Skip decided for whatever reason to set his sights on Ball So Hard University alum, Terrell Suggs. Following the Ravens ousting the Texans from the playoffs the two had this enlightening conversation. If you don't want to sit through seven plus minutes of Skip (I don't blame you one bit), it's basically just him antagonizing one of the best defensive players in the league following a playoff win.
Cut to this morning. Skip had Suggs on following the tough defeat to the Patriots. As you can see from this video from Black Sports Online, this time it didn't go as swimmingly.
It's always nice when Skip Bayless and his stable of awful analysts (Rob Parker might the worst) gets knocked around on live television. It's unfortunate that the video cuts off right there because I always enjoy a flabbergasted Skip. Also, if he really is the master of trolling his response would have definitely been something like this one from Wet Hot American Summer.