Everyone had Tim Tebow throwing an 80 yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime for a Broncos victory over the Steelers, right? In spite of all the Broncos' heroics this season, that kind of finish was miraculous even by Tim Tebow's standards. And this touchdown from Tebow to Thomas came in the first ever game of the new overtime rules in the NFL. Thank goodness Phil Simms didn't have to explain that at length to us. Here's the video of TEBOW TIME...
After his season and all the media scrutiny and everything revolving around TebowMania, I'm legitimately happy for Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. That was a cool moment and an amazing play made by Demaryius Thomas that shouldn't go unrecognized. I'm not going to let Skip Bayless' trolling ruin what is a great sports story and neither should you. Enjoy it (unless you're a Steelers fan that is).
Next Saturday night, Tebow and the Broncos travel to New England to face the Patriots in what may be the highest rated non Super Bowl in league history.
Football can be a hard game to follow because of all the tricky rules, but thank goodness we have announcers like Phil Simms who know so much and can enlighten us, the ignorant viewers, on many of the difficult concepts.
Like forward passes.
Phil Simms was kind enough to clear that up for us today during the Steelers-Broncos Wild Card game:
"Remember, for it to be a forward pass, it's gotta go FORWARD!"
Quick, someone let Ron Winter in on this little football secret, because that Ben Roethlisberger pass was not one of these so-called forward passes and should have been ruled a fumble.
Simms might not be the best color analyst (like, when he said there's no denying that Ben Roethlisberger has the mobility of John Elway, or when he said last week that Eric Decker is the best), but he sure does know the rules of the game. For that, we thank you, Phil Simms.
Last night, Charles Barkley hosted Saturday Night Live, which you probably knew if you watched either of the two NFL playoff games on NBC and saw him in studio with the crew. The show was a mixed bag, but the highlight was this parody commercial for the "Charles Barkley Post-Game Translator App."
The gist of the app was to cut through all of the BS in post-game interviews, and for Barkley to tell you what the athlete or coach was actually thinking. In reality, an app like this would be awesome, but is it really necessary? When a coach says, "we just didn't execute properly" we all know that's code for "we were sloppy and got whipped."
Regardless, it was a pretty funny premise for a skit for a show that's a shadow of its former self. I personally don't watch the show all that much anymore, but this made me chuckle a couple of times.
The Broncos play the Steelers today in the NFL Playoffs and I just wonder who's going to get all the attention in the buildup. Hmm...
In this USA Today article from earlier this week, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says what we've all been thinking: that ESPN is overhyping Tim Tebow. Roethlisberger notes that it's "got to be tough" for Tebow, and that the rest of the Broncos team (which actually has a pretty solid defense led by rookie Von Miller) seemingly gets ignored when talking about the team:
"I don't think Tim calls up ESPN and says, 'Hey, put me on every day, and make it the Steelers vs. Tebow.' It's probably tough for him to deal with that stuff."
"Every time you turn it on, you see something about Tebow. I can only imagine what it's like for his teammates. Just watching today, it's the Steelers versus Tim Tebow. No, it's the Steelers versus the Broncos, so I can only imagine what it's like for him with all the eyes and the attention on him and the pressure. It can't be fun. I feel for him a little bit."
I'm not going to send Big Ben to the gallows for speaking the truth about ESPN's overhyping of Tebow, but I am wondering in the back of my head if there isn't something else at play with these comments from the Steelers QB. I mean, it *was* ESPN that seemingly ignored Roethlisberger's sexual assault allegations from three summers ago, and when they finally did mention the story on ESPN.com, it happened close to midnight. I've noticed a seemingly hero-worship attitude towards Roethlisberger in the past from the mothership about his on-field exploits and toughness, but then again, maybe that's because I'm a Ravens fan and get angry when he's talked about as an all-time great.
In any regard, Roethlisberger did tell it like it is regarding ESPN's massive crush on Tim Tebow. And hell, even Roethlisberger and divisional rival Terrell Suggs (who spends his time on the field with Roethlisberger trying to kill him) agree on the situation. When a Raven and a Steeler are agreeing on a point, you know there's something strange in the air.
The Big Lead is reporting that Jim Rome will be leaving ESPN for CBS this month, and that his show "Jim Rome is Burning" will be heading with him. ESPN later confirmed the report of Rome's departure. Rome has been on ESPN for the past eight years and his new home will be the CBS Sports Network, formerly known as CBS College Sports and CSTV. CBS Sports is available on most cable systems across the country, including DIRECTV, Dish Network, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, and so on.
CBS is likely to make Rome one of the cornerstones of the network, considering that the current "highlights" on it include deals with PBR (rodeo), MLL (lacrosse), Army & Navy football, and a lot of college hockey. Also in March, the network features a lot of March Madness coverage as a good companion to the main coverage on CBS's main channel. But then again, with Turner Sports getting in on the act this past year, there's less of a need for CBS Sports Network to be prominently involved. In his new role at CBS, Rome will be making some appearances on Showtime, also owned by CBS.
At any rate, Rome's departure was likely caused by his show getting jerked around over the last couple of months. He went from being on at 4:30 on ESPN as a lead-in to Around the Horn and PTI, to being on at 4:30 on ESPN2, with the then untested (and now, generally reviled) Dan Le Batard show as a lead-in. Deadspin also surmises that comments from ESPN executives in the ESPN book released in the spring have something to do with Rome's departure.
Here's a classic Rome clip to pay tribute to his most recent run at ESPN...
Is it a big loss for ESPN or a big catch for CBS? What do you think?
Arkansas defeated Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl last night 29-16 in a matchup of Top 10 teams. The game wasn't quite as exciting as some of the BCS games that have been played this season and the Friday night timeslot hurt the buzz for the game. That, and let's just say ESPN didn't go out of their way to let you know there was a big bowl game being played on a rival network. More than anything, with more than 30+ bowl games on the calendar and the national title game a couple days away, the nation is suffering from bowl fatigue at the moment. I'll be curious to see how the Cotton Bowl ratings stack up to the BCS games seeing as how it was on network TV while the BCS has moved to cable.
The other interesting aspect was the presence of one Gus Johnson and the Fox telecast. Let's see... Fox... college football... I wonder what it was about their broadcast that would cause CBSSports.com college football writer Bryan Fischer's head to explode...
To the guy (gal?) at Fox that takes sick pleasure in trolling college football fans with band shots, congratulations, you've hit your marks once again. As far as Gus goes, there weren't too many opportunities for his trademark excitement, but we did get this Joe Adams punt return for a TD...
And just like that, Gus Johnson's first year doing college football at Fox is over. What did you think about Gus' first year at Fox? Let us know by voting in the poll below:
I voted for #4. I thought it was just an ok first season for Gus Johnson at Fox. Fox just isn't yet a college football powerhouse, so it's going to seem like Gus is being woefully underused. For most of the season, Gus was stuck doing mediocre games on FX. Yea, we love Gus, but is he really going to make us watch Tulsa v Oklahoma on a Saturday night when LSU is playing West Virginia, or Ohio State is taking on Wisconsin, or we have other plans? The Pac 12 & Big Ten title game double duty was a nice touch and provided a couple classic Gus moments... but if that and a Friday night bowl game is the big payoff, Fox needs to rethink how to get more out of their investment in Gus Johnson.
According to our announcing schedules, do you know how many NFL games Gus Johnson broadcasted this year?
ONE NFL game!
And that was all the way back in Week 4 between 0-3 Kansas City and 0-3 Minnesota. Yuck!
When Gus signed with Fox, we thought he would at least get a few games throughout the year, even though his primary assignment was to build the Fox college football brand. Instead, we got plenty of Chris Myers and Tim Ryan or Sam Rosen and Chad Pennington. (*sad trombone*) Gus obviously worked the back to back for the conference title games, so why didn't he make more appearances on Sundays? Why not use Gus on more high profile NFL games to help build your college football brand? Why not have Gus announce a big game here and there and say to NFL fans, this is the guy that's leading our college football coverage! For fans of Gus Johnson and the NFL to see his games go from seventeen down to one has to be a massive disappointment.
Alas, it's now onto Big Ten Network for Gus Johnson where have no fear, he will be announcing some college basketball games. But unless there's a David Beckham type loan deal in the cards, his basketball year will end way too early in March.
Comcast Corp. reached a 10-year deal with Walt Disney on Wednesday, giving Comcast’s customers access to ABC and Disney's cable networks' live and on-demand content from their computers, iPhones and iPads. Watching on your computer has already been around in some respects, but this means for the first time ever you will have the privilege of watching ESPN and ESPN2 on your portable devices, too -- in line at the grocery store, at your wife's friend's wedding, on the john, etc., if you just can't get enough of the WWL.
“This is where the industry is going,” Kraft said in an interview. “You’re going to see more agreements that allow distribution of content both inside and outside the home. It’s the logical progression.”
I think we've all been in that dark place, stuck at DSW with the in-laws in the middle of that big, important game while our idle iPhone is simply wasting battery life in our pocket. The future should be alleviating.
The quality of documentaries has never been higher across the sports world and one of the best original series makes its season debut Sunday night on Big Ten Network. The Journey chronicles the Big Ten basketball season from the beginning of conference play through the Big Ten conference tournament. If you haven't seen The Journey, check out this clip from Wisconsin's upset last year of Ohio State that goes behind the scenes with both programs. The Emmy nominated series matches the storytelling of other great documenatry series like 24/7, 30 for 30, and Hard Knocks while gaining incredible access inside Big Ten programs in a relatively real time way.
With more and more conferences (and even teams) planning to launch their own networks, The Journey may be a trendsetter in college sports. It makes a lot of sense for networks and conferences to follow the lead of BTN and work together to give fans access inside the schools while providing high quality original programming. This look inside each conference program can be a great recruiting and publicity tool for the universities while providing insights for fans and ratings for the respective network. That's definitely a win-win-win scenario. Even for college basketball fans outside the Big Ten, this series is definitely worth looking into. The Journey is the highest rated series on BTN and it's easy to see why after just watching the intro video for the new season below...
With the premiere of The Journey this weekend, we had a chance to catch up with Bill Friedman from Big Ten Network, who has overseen The Journey since its inception in 2007 and serves as Senior Producer of Original Programming at BTN. Our AA Q&A appears after the jump including how the network gains access to the programs, the challenges in making a real time documentary series, and what to look for in the season premeire...
It's Friday and Screengrab Snafus are back! There are a ton of graphical gaffes to get to, so let's get started, shall we?
Let's begin with something called the American Copy Editors Society (or ACES as the clever acronym may be). I love it! These people live for snafus of every kind!!! Just check their database at the bottom of the page! Nice to see that the fine folks there have turned some of their attention to ESPN for not one, but two screengrabs from the mothership that don't show the classiest examples of copy editing ever seen...
Reader TlkSuperStation caught this snafu from NFL Network on the 15-1 Packers and a possible name change that happened for the 2003 Playoffs...
Some of the early bowls may not have had the biggest ratings or the best attendance, but at least there were giant gobs of cotton candy available!
One of the writers at Buckeye blog Eleven Warriors caught this snafu from The Scott Van Pelt Show after the Orange Bowl. Michigan is going to really be a challenge moving forward if they're winning multiple bowls in the same season. And setting offensive records for games they didn't even play in! Now that's an impressive feat...
Can you spot what's wrong with this screengrab from The Herd when they were talking to College Gameday host Chris Fowler about the BCS National Championship Game? (h/t @Lemonade_Vodka & @jeffmatthews)