In early September, looking to put more meat on the bone, the controversial Longhorn Network negotiated with the Big 12109 10 9 10(?) to add a second football game to their programming in hopes of getting more leverage with cable operators to add the channel. In past cable channel distribution battles, a more noteworthy game often pushed operators to make last second deals in hopes of not pissing off avid sports fans. The tactic dates back to ESPN2's broadcast of UNC vs. Duke as the channel at the time was still having issues making inroads on the distribution front.
While adding this weekend's game against Kansas to the network was probably a shrewd move, the bottom line is that the much talked about Longhorn Network hasn't moved the distribution needle with the game closing in. Unranked in the two major coaching polls and coming off of two straight losses, apparently a showdown with conference doormat Kansas (0-4 in conference play and having lost their last three games by an average of 36+ points) is not compelling the type of outrage and demand ESPN and The Longhorn Network hoped for.
Continued promotion on television, some sketchy espn.com love, and even the below video where Matthew McConaughey shows great range by keeping his shirt on has done nothing to expand the minuscule reach of the upstart network...
If you didn't know before, you have to know now -- Rangers' 25-year-old lefty Derek Holland doesn't take himself too seriously. I mean, just look at that mess on his upper lip:
Well, after pitching a gem in Game 4, Holland didn't waste away Game 5 biting his finger nails, nervously rocking back and forth in the corner of the dugout or getting wasted in the clubhouse. No, he used that time to work on his Harry Caray and Governator impressions. First, here's his Arnold:
I've reached my breaking point. I can't take it any longer without saying something, finding some release from the hostile takeover of my life by Timothy Richard Tebow. I simply cannot escape Tim Tebow. Everywhere I turn, there he is - Tim Tebow. On my television. On my radio. On my computer screen. In my mind. Haunting me like something out of Paranormal Activity.
A debate topic on ESPN in the morning. A debate topic on ESPN in the afternoon. A segment on Around the Horn. On PTI. On Numbers Never Lie. On SportsNation. Primetime. The Blitz. NFL Live. A SportsCenter segment in the early evening. A mention in the Monday Night Football game. Another segment on SportsCenter in the evening. A poll question. A debate the next morning. And the next evening. And the next morning.
And then, interspersed in between there's the #@$%ING DEBATES ABOUT THE DEBATES ABOUT TEBOW!!!
It. Never. Ends.
ESPN is by far the chief offender for TebowMania. Yesterday morning, I could turn on any ESPN channel and there would be a greater than 80% chance it would be Tebow Time. At times, Tebow was the topic of discussion on ESPN and ESPN2 at the same time. You just had your choice of Merril Hoge dissing Tebow, or Skip Bayless endlessly praising him. However, ESPN is far from the only offender. Seemingly every media company and blog is talking Tebow.
I know what you're thinking. "Matt, aren't you feeding TebowMania by writing about it? Aren't you just as guilty as the rest" To that I say... duh, of course. But, I'm willing to sacrifice a small piece of my soul to at least present to you the big picture of what we have seen this week and to hope that we never have to experience this as sports fans again. In order to defeat the beast, I must enter its lair.
No athlete has ever been talked about more in a short time span for doing less than Tim Tebow, Broncos quarterback. The 24/7 sports media is to blame. The impossible outcome of the Denver/Miami game is also a factor, perfectly arming his detractors and supporters to become further entrenched into their positions. If I hear the words "elongated motion" or "intangibles" one more time I will eat fire.
It's like living in a zombie universe, except all of the zombies are wearing Tim Tebow jerseys. (By the way, this is the most nightmarish of all zombie universes in case you were wondering.) Please Shaun of the Dead, give me some hope for survival...
Ahhh, killing zombies set to Queen gives me some level of comfort. But then, I'm pulled back into the hideous, frightening reality of TebowMania and I realize that I only wish to be delivered from this deepest level of hell, and my imagined zombie universe is only a mental escape to paradise.
I want to briefly take you on a quick trip through the interwebs to discover all the mind-boggling ways one can talk about Tim Tebow. Keep in mind, I'm not encouraging you to actually click on any of these links. I'm only attempting to display to you that this Tebow phenomenon isn't some sort of "white whale," it's real. The following stories are merely grains of sand from the neverending beaches of Planet Tebow...
The second week of Straight Outta Stockton nominees are upon us, with announcing quotes that make Browns/Seahawks look like football artistry. Thankfully none of these broadcasters idioticallyheadbutted their partner in the booth (thanks for the memories, Red Bryant). The Dickies (our NFL version of the Pammies) will award the most humorous and offbeat announcer quotes every week for the rest of the NFL season. Can Scott Hanson hold his Dickies lead, or will some of our favorite announcers take the top spot this week?
As to how the Straight Outta Stockton vote works, each week we'll nominate 15-20 quotes for you to pick the best 10. The winning quote of the week will earn that person 10 points all the way down to 1 point for 10th. Remember, you can vote for your favorite five quotes. Here are your Week 7 nominees...
1) "We welcome those of you who watched the Packers." - Thom Brennaman (via JimWilliamsOnAir) introing an out of market audience to the GB/MIN game.
2) "He has a football coach's mentality and a baseball manager's head." - Dick Stockton (via cfaris09) on Tony La Russa.
3) "Can you win a dancing competition with a man that has a beard?" - Greg Gumbel (via merfster1)
4) "Minnesota doesn't need a touchdown here. all they have to do is move the ball and score a touchdown." - Troy Aikman (via bjo109)
5) "This is the first time a team has suited up three 1st round picks at quarterback" - Dan Fouts (via Bill_Earley1) on the Raiders quarterbacks including Terrelle Pryor, not a first round pick.
6) "What you want to do here is run as much time off the clock, so you can run out the clock" - Warren Moon (via Real_DWM)
7) "Maybe they get back into things in the AFC South" - Chris Myers (via AdamLawsonEU) on the Panthers, who definitely play in the NFC South.
8) "He's coming out blind, seeing a bunch of stuff." - Brian Billick (via TheisJeff)
9) "Grab him by the waist and get into position" - Jim Mora (via steve5643)
10) "We got to get excited about something, let's get excited about these punts!" - Kevin Harlan (via The506) on Denver/Miami.
11) Marv Albert: "Rich have you played overseas?" Rich Gannon: "Yes, I have played in Mexico." (via deisner17)
12) Ron Pitts: You're old school. Jim Mora: I don't know what I am. (Sighing) I'm a broadcaster right now. (via JohnLewisSports)
13A) "He may be Private Munnerlyn after that play from Ron Rivera and Sean McDermott." - Tim Ryan (via sctvman)
13B) "The Captain just became the Major." - Tim Ryan (via AdamLawsonEU) with not one, but two Captain Munnerlyn puns.
14) "Watch him squirt through this hole and unload on contact." - Jon Gruden (via ThisisERV)
15) "This is their version of the no-huddle. I know they're huddling up." - Brian Billick (via jfishSOTW)
16) "It looks like they may throw the ball here." PhilSimms (via MikeMarciano33) when the Jets go 5 wide...
17) "If you don't have a nick-name in pro football you're getting cut." - Tim Ryan (via ShutdownLine)
Vote For Your Week 7 Dickies Nominees! (vote for up to five)
The winners will come Thursday morning so make sure you vote early and often and check back for the full NFL Week 8 announcing sked later this week!
I like to take a little bit of pride in finding announcing clips that are located in the farthest reaches of cyberspace. Sometimes, the most entertaining announcing clips come from the largely uncharted realm of high school sports. You may remember the high school lacrosse announcer that channeled his inner BIG earlier this year. The following video doesn't have one of those classic lines, but is entertaining on the whole. This clip comes from late September and features highlights of a Georgia high school football game - Norcross vs Mill Creek (even though the video wrongly spells it "Nocross"). Of course, it's not the football that we want to focus on, but the announcing.
Unfortunately, I couldn't identify the broadcaster or any other info about the origins of this video, but the two minute highlight package is definitely worth it. I've rarely ever heard such emphasis on an extra point or such impassioned "touchDOOWWWnn" calls. Other gems include: "The Mill Creek Hawks have just thrown another hook! BOOM! BOOM! BAM! GET OUTTA THE WAY!" Watch the video and decide where it fits on the scale from Joe Buck to Gus Johnson...
Personally, I'd much rather listen to this guy announce a game than Joe Buck, Chris Myers, Chris Rose, Thom Brennaman or Dick Stockton. What are you waiting for, Fox!
Although many of you will tune into tomorrow's World Series game 5, we here at AA thought we'd come up with a solution to help keep things exciting just in case things get out of hand during the MNF broadcast. With that in mind, we've come up with Monday Night Football Announcing Bingo.
Here are the rules:
For any MNF game in which the spread is more than 7 points (games that are deemed by Vegas to potentially get out hand and hence cause a lot of random conversations to fill the time), we'll unveil announcing Bingo cards like the ones you'll see below.
There are 4 Bingo Boards. Anytime before kickoff you'll look at our boards that have the same 25 terms in them and pick what row or column you think will be the first to be completed entirely. If any of the three booth announcers talk about that given subject, you cross it off just as if your number was called in Bingo.
In the comments, leave your guess as to what board and row/column will be the first to victory. Columns are B,I,N,G,O. If you want to pick a row, just number them top to bottom as 1-5. Also, we also ask that you predict the final score of the game as the tiebreaker in case anyone picks the same row/column.
Some examples guesses would be:
The Tirico Board, Column B which includes- Dolphins Head Coaching Job, Number Of First Rounders From Da U, Christian Ponder, College Football Playoff System, and Cam Newton.
The Kolber Board, Row 3 which includes- QBR, Pryor and Tressel NFL Suspensions, Number Of First Rounders From Da U, The LongHorn Network, and Carson Palmer.
Ok AA Nation, this may be the weirdest, most head-scratching clip of the year. Greg Gumbel, during the middle of an actual NFL game, took 20 seconds to rip Hulk Hogan for a fake wrestling promo he cut on Tim Tebow on ESPN's SportsNation. Apparently, Gumbel took Hogan's takedown of Tim Tebow just a little too seriously. First, the original clip that I'm sure you've seen by now and that we hesitated to post initially for fear of drawing attention to TebowMania on ESPN, which I think is actually going to be the new name of ESPN2's First Take.
My only regret in that clip was that Hogan didn't drop the big leg on that moron Cowherd. Even though Hogan did a vintage job taking down Tebow as if he were Andre the Giant, nobody actually would take this seriously, right? Besides, who actually cares if Tim Tebow is a better motivator than Hulk Hogan... except apparently Michelle Beadle and maybe Skip Bayless. Well, apparently the Hulkster crossed the line in the eyes of Greg Gumbel, observe.
What is up with the Gumbel brothers these days? First Bryant lays the verbal smackdown on NBA Commish David Stern, now Greg stomps a rhetorical mudhole in the Hulkster? Are the Gumbels trying to bring to life their idea of beach justice? And yes, we're required by law to link to that in every silly article about the Gumbels. Do the Gumbels want to take on Hogan and David Stern in the main event of the AARP's version of Wrestlemania inside of a steel cage? If they do, maybe the Gumbels should think about having this guy in their corner... because they're beginning to sound just as crazy.
TALK TO ME... HULK HOGAN... AS IF YOU ARE TALKING TO THE GOD YOU SPEAK OF... HULK HOGAN, AHHHHHHHH!!!!
When ESPN hired reporter Josina Anderson this Summer, the news was met with cheers from fellow folks in the media. PFT labeled it a "great addition to ESPN’s NFL reporting team." Anderson has a history of breaking stories, but perhaps live stand-ups on SportsCenter isn't going to be the best spot for her at ESPN. The following video is such a trainwreck, it has already been compared in several places to "Boom Goes The Dynamite." Fortunately for Anderson, Boom Goes The Dynamite was four times as long. Unfortunately for Anderson, this happened live on national television...
Hannah Storm finally saves her, and Anderson eventually finished the rest of the segment after the video ends. Here's an attempt at a transcript of Anderson's less than smooth report...
"Good morning Hannah, you know, Lions trying to play their best without RB Javhid Best after not having the best year of his career."
"Now, meanwhile, Maurice Morris is likely to get the start... umm... Maurice Morris is likely to get the start after running, excuse me, after having a hundred yard rushing game in replacing Best last year."
"As for the Atlanta Falcons, WR Julio Jones is expected to still be out there possibly, umm... excuse me... WR Julio Jones is still listed as doubtful... after.... ok.... but Roddy White says..."
In the latest AA Podcast, we talk to the voice of the NBA Finals, Mike Breen, about the NBA Lockout. As ESPN's lead play by play man for the NBA, Mike would usually be spending this time of year preparing for the imminent start of the NBA season. With the sport embroiled in a protracted lockout and no future talks scheduled, questions abound as to when the 2011-12 NBA season will begin, or if we'll have a season at all. Mike talks to AA about the impact of the lockout and...
-How he and other announcers are dealing with the lockout. -His plans for possibly announcing college basketball for ESPN. -Former broadcast partner Mark Jackson's head coaching gig with the Warriors. -Last year's Finals and Dirk Nowitzki's MVP performance. -How the Heat will bounce back from their Finals loss and criticism. -Thoughts on Bryant Gumbel's explosive commentary on David Stern. -His reflections on the key issues of the lockout and whether fans have already been lost. -A prediction on whether or not basketball will be played this year.
A very candid, enjoyable interview with the voice of the NBA Finals and a must-listen for any basketball fan.
It was a crazy week in college football with a hail mary in East Lansing, a massive upset in Norman, and Stanford's rushing game being as strong as a Jim Harbaugh handshake. It was also a fantastic week for the Pammies with a few stalwarts showing up in the nominees and a couple returnees as well. Perhaps Dr. Lou or one of the amazing PamHawk can topple Craig James this week.
As a reminder as to how the Pammy vote works, each week we'll nominate 15-20 quotes for you to pick the best 10. The winning quote of the week will earn that person 10 points all the way down to 1 point for 10th. Remember, you can vote for your favorite five quotes. Here are your Week 8 nominees...
1) Wendi Nix: "I hear Doctor Lou will be in the house at halftime." Lou Holtz: "Yeah, well no. Not in the house. He'll be here." (via bjo109)
2) Charles Davis: Hey Tim, isn't it hard for a coach to do that? (long silence) Davis: I'll get back with you on that, Tim. (via CaptTouchback)
3) "it's tough to see Marcus hurt. he's one of the best college football players we have in college football" - Gary Danielson (via bjo109)
4) "Are they saying boo or hoos?" - Dan Hawkins (via danhodes) They're saying Boo-erns. Boo-erns.
5A) "I'm all for it. I'm not completely against it." - Craig James (via DWW_1992)
5B) "It's not even close and it's really close right now." - Craig James (via IsaacTM)
6) "You dont win the Kentucky Derby with a jackass." - Lou Holtz (via joshlabell)
7) "If Washington is going to win this game, they're going to have to outscore Stanford." - Sean McDonough (via Tom Gower)
8) "We kind of rotate good points up here." - Craig James (via glokkenspx)
9) "These two teams need a win like a man needs water in the desert" - Mike Palawaski (via jleimer)
10) 'I think with Ware & Mathieu suspended, LSU will look to other guys.' - Gary Danielson (via sctvman)
11) "Play to the echo of the whistle" - Kirk Herbstreit (via sctvman)
12) "The more I watch Florida St., the more I see the run game just not working." - Todd McShay (via glokkenspx) after Florida St ran for over 200 yds.
13) "Boyd only has 2 catches on the year but he makes them count because he has 3 touchdowns." - Chris Spielman (via bjo109)
14) "LSU's defense will dish out physicalness on Auburn." - Mark May (via bjo109)
15) "He's the Peyton Manning of the NCAA." -- MattMillen on Andrew Luck. Peyton went to college, too. (via SC_DougFarrar)
16) "That is a statistical...uhh, something that was proven statistically, right? There was research done on that." - Pam Ward (via twogunsholla)
17) "Grandmasdon't look like that, That's a Good-Looking Grandma!" - Matt Millen (via davidreyJR)
Vote For Your Week 8 Pammy Nominees! (vote for up to five)
The winners will come Wednesday morning so make sure you vote early and often and check back for the full Week 9 announcing sked later this week!