So this is why Michael Wilbon was hesitant to join Twitter. This screengrab was taken tonight from his Twitter page @RealMikeWilbon...
Whoever JJN is, he (she?) must be a big fan of Adam Schefter. Then again, maybe the latest TebowMania magic slash Bears choke job has sent Wilbon over the edge of sanity? As for the identity of "JJN" the only obvious candidate is Stan Van Gundy, right?
Dick Stockton himself has opened up a bit of a lead on Phil Simms, Brian Billicks, and the rest of NFL announcingdom. Can anyone close the gap in the final four weeks of the season? You can check the comments below in the SOS open thread 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 up to the second standings along with this week's NFL announcing schedule with broadcast maps.
Indiana shocked the number one ranked Kentucky Wildcats at the buzzer on a three-pointer by Christian Watford to win 73-72 at Assembly Hall. UK overcame a large deficit late in the 2nd half to take the lead but missed free throws in the final seconds proved to be very costly. A decade ago, IU won in a similar fashion against #1 ranked Michigan State on a Kirk Haston three at the buzzer that I so desperately wish I could forget.
Dick Vitale and Dan Shulman were on the call (below is also the IU radio call of the game winner). Luckily this epic shot and call will help us forget about how annoying Dickie V was for much of the game. Vitale spent most of IU's possesions yelling "WHY ISN'T THE BALL GOING TO ZELLAH!" Yep, it got old even if he was probably correct. Also, take note of Crean's face after the shot... it's pretty fantastic.
Update: Here's the Crean face I was talking about... ESPN Munson'd that final score so don't pay attention to it.
Ed. Update: And if all that goodness wasn't enough, here's the fantastic IU radio call from Don Fischer (h/t Big Ten Network)...
Gus Johnson debuted a new web video on FoxSports.com which looks to be the first part in a series called "Rise and Fire" which is also the name of his trademarked clothing brand. Clocking in at three minutes it's definitely....something different. Below is the video itself as well as some quick thoughts on the unique direction Fox and Johnson are going...
&amp;amp;lt;a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=79e7b58c-05f2-4029-b7d1-7638b1ce73c7&amp;amp;amp;videoId=79e7b58c-05f2-4029-b7d1-7638b1ce73c7&amp;amp;amp;from=&amp;amp;amp;src=v5:embed::" target='_new' title='Rise and Fire: Blistering Badgers' &amp;amp;gt;Video: Rise and Fire: Blistering Badgers&amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;gt; While just a web video tucked away on Foxsports.com, the style of the video is a HUGE break from the norm on several fronts including:
- Play by play announcers are rarely seen outside of professional or business casual attire. Not only is Johnson dressed casually, but he's aggressively promoting his brand even doing the set to a backdrop of the logo.
- The discourse itself is casual and free flowing. The opening pitch of the series says the show will give "mad shout-outs" to pro and college players and ends with the tag-line "Cold Blooded" which is Johnson's current apparel collection within the Rise and Fire brand. Johnson also dougies as seen in the picture above and brings on a musician friend who he provides backup vocals for in an impromptu freestyle rap.
- Johnson interacts with what he calls the "peanut gallery," a group of friends and possible colleagues who are on set for the taping and potentially part of the production.
Time will tell if Fox and Johnson will find success crafting this different type of content clearly aimed at a younger audience. It's clear though that Johnson has found a partner in Fox that will allow him to step out of his play by play role and produce content with more personality and commentary as well as letting Johnson run wild with brand integration of the content. From the looks of the first video, I wonder if Fox is potentially even an equity partner in Rise and Fire.
At CBS, most felt we never got enough Johnson. Looking at how things are going at Fox, I am guessing that's not going to be a problem. Perhaps Fox is seeing a lot of the success Bill Simmons is having branching out at ESPN and is thinking Johnson might be able to have a similar touch and sense of taste for them as well.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how Fox utilizes Johnson on the web and more importantly, if he gets any more NFL assignments, perhaps even a playoff game (a very big longshot), before transitioning to his work for the Big Ten Network.
The Pammies are over for the regular season, and the bowls are still some time away, but that doesn't mean there aren't important college football games being played this weekend! Yes, there are college football playoff games happening this weekend as well as the Army-Navy game. Here are the games to watch for Friday and Saturday...
Friday, December 9:
8 PM- Northern Iowa at Montana [ESPN/ ESPN3]- Justin Kutcher, Tom Lugenbill Saturday, December 10:
Noon- Montana State at Sam Houston State [ESPN/ ESPN3] Dave Neal, Andre Ware, Cara Capuano 1 PM- SWAC Championship: Alabama A&M vs. Grambling State [ESPNU] Adam Amin, Jay Walker 2 PM- Maine at Georgia Southern [ESPN3] John Sedak, John Bunting 2:30 PM- Army vs. Navy from Landover, MD [CBS] Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson 4 PM- Lehigh at North Dakota State [ESPN3] Trey Bender, Jay Taylor
Living in Columbus, I can tell you one thing... it's not easy being a Blue Jackets fan. The team has made a grand total of one appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since their inception in 2000. One! And everyone makes the playoffs in hockey! In that playoff appearance in 2009, the Blue Jackets were even swept by the Detroit Red Wings. The Jackets have never even finished above third in the Central Division (and that only happened once). And to top it all off, Columbus still has to deal with a stupid bug for a mascot. The team has been hemorrhaging money, ranks 27th in attendance, and whispers of relocation have been rampant. In fact, it may come down to a new downtown casino to save the team... or maybe that's Urban Meyer.
Although Jackets history has been less than stellar, this may be the worst season yet. Columbus has the least points in the NHL and are already 11 points out of 8th spot in the Western Conference. The team is in the bottom four in the league in both goals scored and goals allowed. And last night might have been the low point of the season so far. Columbus allowed 2 goals in the final 2 minutes to allow Nashville to tie the game and send it into overtime. The Preds then won in overtime on a Colin Wilson goal that confused Blue Jackets television announcer Jeff Rimer, who thought netminder Curtis Sanford made the save. The hopeful exuberance followed abruptly by the depressed reality that is the Columbus Blue Jackets makes this one of the more fitting calls you may hear this year...
If the losing keeps up like this, maybe Rimer will turn into the real life version of another Ohio broadcaster, Harry Doyle. Now that would make the Jackets worth watching!
Time for This Week In Screengrab Snafus. Yesterday was one of the craziest days in sports I can remember with the Chris Paul drama in New Orleans and the Albert Pujoles deal with the Angels. Wait, who? I love it when news channels try to talk sports. Just this morning GMA evidently referred to Kris Humphries as an NBA "superstar." (snafu via SportsGrid)
Elsewhere on the Hot Stove, the Miami Marlins signed a big name free agent pitcher. I don't know what's uglier, the leader trying to spell Mark Buehrle, or the new Marlins logo. (H/T Metstradamus)
TroughDrinker sent us this screengrab of the leader attempting to get us hyped for the BCS National Championship Game rematch. If Alabama actually wins the second game 9-6, then what do we do? Do we just award the crystal ball to the SEC as a whole?
Fox is back in the college football game, but via cjzero comes this screengrab of Russell Wilson's statline against Michigan State in the Big Ten title game. It was impressive... good luck trying to read it though...
And finally, from last night's prestigious college football awards show on ESPN, well, you can just see for yourself (h/t bubbaprog)...
That was your week in Screengrab Snafus, next time be careful out there!
A couple months back at the Blogs With Balls Conference, former SportsCenter host, Josh Elliott (now with Good Morning America), confirmed what many sports media enthusiasts had concluded for quite some time.
ESPN would often confirm already broken stories without attributing the story to another media organization. Andrew Bucholtz was one of many in attendance who took note of the revelation as this seemingly standard practice hadn't really been confronted or confirmed in any way.
"Elliott also criticized ESPN for its decision to start putting Chris Mortensen "reports" that were reworkings of other organizations' football stories on their ticker.
"They just started stealing scoops," he said. "It was a practice I never agreed with. ... I felt horrible."
Elliott said he made his concerns known to his bosses, but they never went too far.
"It’s such a big place," he said.
Elliott deserves thorough props for being willing to criticize his employer in front of an audience. It was one of the most interesting moments of the day, and one that gave me a great deal of respect for him. The rest of the panel was notable as well, though."
Of late the practice has begun to rankle those within the business as ESPN continues to utilize the tactic in the moments and hours after news initially breaks.
Dan Patrick has quite the monologue on the topic, which I implore you to listen to below as ESPN tried to piggyback off Yahoo's Tim Brown's scoop of the Angels' signing of Albert Pujols.
Those are strong words and you can tell it's a topic the former ESPN host is passionate about. I'd quote the good parts, but really the entire two minutes packs a good punch.
Patrick isn't alone though as there has been a noticeable outcry within the industry as ESPN continues to get beat to the punch, but still goes through the act of "breaking" the story on Twitter and on live television without attributing to real people.
Below are some of the many instances where media folks are speaking out. We're so cool, you can just click read more rather than make you endure a slide show...
Below is the full TNT NBA schedule for the coming season. Because TNT contractually has the opening game of the season, they draw the first of five Christmas Day games - Celtics at Knicks. In fact, it's the Celtics and Lakers (not LeBron and the Heat) that have the most scheduled TNT appearances at 10. As with the ABC schedule, all the league's top powers are heavily featured throughout the course of the abbreviated season. Durantula and the Thunder appear six times. TNT will also have all the All Star festivities from Feb 24th-26th and feature the largest media acquisition of the offseason with The Big Prognosticator now in the fold.
With the NBA season getting closer, the reworked TV schedules are out. The 66 game slate starts with a Christmas Day Quintupleheader on ESPN, ABC, and TNT. The early highlight is the rematch of the NBA Finals, Heat/Mavs, being one of those five games to open the season. First up is the nationally televised schedule on ABC, followed by the full ESPN lineup and the TNT games in a separate post. So much for "competitive balance" as ABC will only feature 8 out of the 30 NBA teams on network television. I doubt too many fans of the league will complain though as these are all great matchups...