Longtime Georgia Bulldogs radio play by play man Larry Munson, one of the most beloved announcers by a particular fanbase in all of sports, passed away at 89 on Sunday. Munson broadcasted Georgia football games from 1966-2008 and was noted as one of the most passionate announcers in the industry. His calls are among the most memorable in the history of college football. His zeal for the Bulldogs and connection to Georgia fans (and college football fans in general) has drawn numerous, glowing tributes. In a sport that is about passion and tradition, Larry Munson was a testament to what is great about college football. There aren't too many announcers that can elicit this kind of sentiment anymore. Below are two of his most famous calls, both from 1980.
First, Herschel Walker destroying Tennessee...
And second, this dramatic Lindsey Scott touchdown vs Florida featuring Larry Munson breaking his chair in excitement...
Sidney Crosby finally returns to the Pittsburgh Penguins after sitting out almost an entire calendar year due to a concussion suffered January 5th. Versus has changed their television plans for the occasion and will televise Penguins-Islanders tonight at 7 PM ET. Here's what the network had to say...
With Sidney Crosby making his return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup for the first time since January 5, VERSUS is switching from the Boston Bruins/Montreal Canadiens game scheduled for Monday night to air the New York Islanders/Penguins game at 7 p.m. from the CONSOL Energy Center. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live after a 30-minute edition of NBC SportsTalk at 6 p.m. ET
The team of Dave Strader (play-by-play announcer) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside the Glass’ analyst) will call all the action from Pittsburgh.
CBC in Canada is also picking up the Pens-Isles game as well, so all hockey eyes will be on Pittsburgh tonight. I'm a bit surprised Versus wouldn't call on Doc Emrick for such a big occasion, but you can have some fun during the telecast by Twitter searching "Pierre McGuire" to see how much hockey fans love the inside the glass analyst. As a Pens fan, I'm beyond excited to see Crosby finally healthy and fit to play. More importantly though, Crosby's comeback game is great news for the sport. Such a lengthy layoff due to a concussion was quite scary for the game's most notable superstar. However, the Penguins didn't rush Crosby back and throughout his absence important conversatons have taken place on treating concussions and preventing players coming back too soon. If anything, Crosby's 10 month plus absence has forced hockey and other sports to take concussions even more seriously than before.
Even without Crosby, the NHL has continued its slow rise on the national scene in the last year. Last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs was a ratings success, especially the exciting Bruins-Canucks Finals series and its Game 7 that was tied for the best television rating since 1995. Continuing that momentum, the Flyers-Bruins season opener on Versus this year was the highest rated regular season game in the network's history with over 800,000 viewers. It'll be interesting to see how Crosby's return does in the ratings, but it can be only good news for the NHL.
Conventional wisdom would tell you the NHL should be the main benefactor of a protracted NBA Lockout along with college hoops. It may not show in the ratings right now with football dominating the sports landscape. Numbers are up and down on Versus for nationally televised games through the first month of the NHL season. However, if February and March roll around without an NBA season (and there's nothing but tumbleweeds on that front currently), then hockey ratings may start to soar. Also worth factoring into the mix is NBC effectively rebranding Versus as NBC Sports Network and making a huge marketing push during the new year. As the cornerstone live sports property on the network, the NHL will be a major part of that push. As the season develops, Crosby's return tonight in Pittsburgh may be just one piece of an even larger NHL resurgence this year.
Major League Soccer's dream finally became a reality last night as the Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS Cup, defeating Random MLS Team That Wasn't LA Galaxy 1-0. But really, the night was all about one man - David Beckham. Yes, the man that was supposed to take MLS mainstream. How'd that work out? Becks can't be faulted for a lack of effort, I suppose. (Wait, maybe he can.) After all, he committed so much time and energy to growing the sport in America while playing for AC Milan in Italy all those months. With injuries and his desires to keep going back to Europe, Beckham has been a major disappointment as the face of MLS in relation to his kingly arrival. With Beckham's massive five year deal with the Galaxy expiring and rumors of a deal with PSG in France on the horizon, last night's MLS Cup Final may have been the last game for Becks in an LA uniform. As a frequent attendee of MLS games, there's a lot more I could say about Beckham and the league, but I'll only say "meh."
So in last night's MLS Cup Final, ESPN tried to cram five years of hope and hype of the Beckham Era into a two hour lovefest. The admiration John Harkes had for every step Beckham took on the pitch made Skip Bayless seem lukewarm on Tim Tebow and even the great Ian Darke fell into the storybook Beckham "drama." It was the Hollywood ending to Becks' time in Los Angeles that MLS so desperately craved and the television coverage was more than happy to slurp it up.
That's where we come in. As always, these are Real Tweets from Real People...
GSElitist John Harkes has been kicked out of every silent retreat he's attended. Fact. cmeidt Because of John Harkes I am gonna learn Spanish so I don't have to listen to him. StuTNB David Beckham chases after a ball, is fouled, is "brilliant" according to Harkes. Easily pleased tossbasket. YanksAreComing John Harkes: "It's David Beckham. If he feels it, ya gotta let him do it." Why soccer in America?? I say why not. devindrumheller Watching the MLS Cup final, John Harkes describes David Beckham as "brilliant" for … running? Really?! dkurtenbach Harkes should go to the doctor, he's been thinking of Beckham for the past four hours.
Randy_Narine Yo Ian Darke, stop setting up John Harkes to go off on his hard-on for Beckham #MLSCup ClayWar Wow Ian Darke - you win the top prize for Beckham butt-kissing this year. A new MLS award - good job!!! MarkHenty "Beckham has been the best player on the pitch by some way" by Ian Darke. FFS! So sick of this total wankfest 60% passing is not great! BenMcKee Ian Darke as Beckham prepared a free kick: "Is this a moment of destiny for him?" Beckham biffs it into a wall. #ClassicCall #MLSCup robbiebaum MLS to ESPN: "make sure to talk a whole lot about Beckham so people think this thing was a good idea. Thanks." DaxMcCarty11#MLSCup 1st half thoughts: John Harkes likes David Beckham and thinks he is good at soccer.
jamessharmanEspn setting up a sick Beckham winner to compare to Jordan's 38pts with the flu. Marketing genius. #hero RedMancunia The ESPN pundit just called David Beckham 'the Prom King.' What have I signed myself up for tonight?! Kingrich3 I wish the ESPN commentators stop talking like the MLS is Gonna fail is Beckham leaves. Gustavo_Destro First two question to Donovan (match MVP) are about Beckham. Like, ESPN doesn't even try to disguise it, do they? tweetcolintweet MLS final was so whack. Dear espn, not everyone wants to hear about David Beckham every minute NinjaPancakes #mlscup ESPN announcers should just get the foreplay over with and have sex with Beckham already. PitchPass David Beckham is playing harder than any player ever in the history of sport. #harkes alexwarneke ESPN: Welcome back to the Becham Half. The Beckhams will kick off attacking the Beckham goal. The score is tied, Beckham to Beckham.
LeGarrette Blount's 54-yard PutDaTeamOnMyBack (nsfw) run might be one of the highlights of the NFL football season. On the NFL networks highlight show, Deion Sanders delivered a call almost as hilarious as Blount's run was spectacular. After Sanders squealed in delight after delivering his "SIX PEOPLE TRYING TO HIT THAT BLOUNT" line, Eisen went all Nancy Reagan in response. Neon Deion decided not to heed the hosts caution and repeat the same line, this time even more exaggerated during the replay. The Packers were able to hit that Blount enough as Green Bay kept their undefeated season alive by defeating Tampa Bay, 35-26.
At Awful Announcing, we'd like to remind our readers that there is "no hope with dope." Zack Morris got with Kelly Kapowski and can stop time and that phrase rhymes so it would be crazy to argue against him.
Leave your Dickies comments throughout the day here with our open thread. You can check the comments below and our Twitter timeline for all submissions. You can also tweet us by using the hashtag #SOSAA to send in quotes. Then, we'll be back on Tuesdays with 15-20 nominees and you'll vote on our Top 10 for the week. SOS winners will be announced Thursdays with updated standings. Below you can find the links to last week's Top 10 and this week's NFL announcing schedule with broadcast maps.
Update: We've tracked down video of how Andrews got splashed. At the bottom of this post.
And no she wasn't wearing a white shirt as everyone's immediate response on Twitter and FB has almost uniformly been "What color shirt was she wearing?"
At the end of what was an instant classic game, Baylor threw a wrench in Oklahoma's BCS Championship Game plans via a game winning touchdown with 8 seconds left. The end result was euphoric bedlam in Waco.
While at this time there is no video of that actual dousing (we're dying to know who, how, and when), Andrews took this video after the game and posted it to her Youtube account and later tweeted the link out. What a social media savvy foxy lady. As you can see below, she was in pretty good spirits about the unexpected celebration.
Kudos to Andrews for not going all Tim McCarver about the incident. This seemed to have gone mostly unnoticed until Andrews mentioned it on Twitter as she seemed to embrace the moment. I'm sure some folks will cry foul there.
If anyone has a link to the video, we'd love to see it. I tuned away from the game shortly after her interview with RG3. Looking at Twitter it seems she ended up in a "crazy mosh pit of fans" that had some worried about her safety. Shortly after... boom city.
Some fans tear down the goal posts, others riot, but apparently in Waco, you find the insanely famous sideline reporter and give her a Gatorade bath. For now, this innovation in celebration seems to have the lowest percentage chance of being sprayed with pepper spray so maybe there is something to this.
Remember that innocent comment from Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo that said, "ESPN told us what to do" regarding realignment? Well, an e-mail released from Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne (right) dated July 21st of this year takes those conspiracy theories to the next level. The subect is entitled "Big-12 3rd tier issues or: Death by a thousand cuts." Alllll righty then!!! Of course, A&M would would officially leave the Big 12 for the SEC two months later.
With the Big 12 on the verge of annihilation again this summer, there were many issues at stake - namely, consternation over the elephant in the room, Texas' marriage with ESPN via the Longhorn Network. Byrne's e-mail also sheds light on the complicated nature of television rights and the relationship of the Big 12, ESPN, Fox, and member institutions. However, it's clear after reading the e-mail that ESPN's conflict of interest with the Longhorn Network may have been an even bigger albatross than we imagined. Among the highlights of Byrne's e-mail, which you can read in full here...
"The first year of cable system is the critical startup time. So far no cable systems have signed up. According to DeLoss (Texas AD DeLoss Dodds), tu (Texas) contract calls for one game with best efforts for a 2nd game. ESPN pushing hard to get clearances and inventory. Threatened Tech. DeLoss acknowledges ESPN rep did that but he stopped them from doing that any more. Privately Says he can control ESPN, publicly says he can't."
So an ESPN representative threatened Texas Tech with putting a game on the Longhorn Network? What exactly did they threaten Tech with? Negative press? Sticking Tech games on ESPNU at bad times? Sending Craig James to Lubbock? Did the Texas athletic director really have to stop ESPN from threatening other schools? It gets better...