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...
After last night's improbable victory, Tebow looks like they will continue to rise in the NFL.com Power Rankings. Right now, there's nothing save for a Mayan apocalypse that can stop Tebow now... except for maybe a team that has a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez.
Maybe Tebow Time could be brought down a couple notches if there was actually an NBA season to talk about. (OK, let's not kid ourselves, it wouldn't.) Instead of NBA games, which ESPN is still apparently hopeful of showing, why not MORE TEBOW!! Come on, I think Bristol is really behind on that story...
Who knew MLB realignment would be so radical? The Astros are moving to the AL West as is another new MLB team...
I'm not sure which one here is the snafu in this Washington State-Gonzaga game, but a 12-0 run in 22 seconds is impressive enough. When it happens and you've only scored one point in the game, why that's downright incredible...
That was your week in Screengrab Snafus, next time be careful out there!
UFC fighter Chael Sonnen appeared on Off The Record in Canada on TSN for an interview with host Michael Landsberg. Normally, this wouldn't be cause for news. However, what resulted was the most laughable attempt at a sports interview in the history of human beings answering questions from each other. In fact, the first attempt at Landsberg's interview with Sonnen goes so bad they attempted a reshoot. The whole problem revolves around Landsberg suggesting Sonnen "backed down" from his ridiculous proposition towards UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva as his opening question.
Sonnen is a bit of a loose cannon, but this, THIS video makes a Mike Tyson breakdown look normal. This video makes Jim Rome's sit down with Jim Everett look like Inside The Actor's Studio. The following interview is such a colossal clusterf*ck that it just has to be seen to be believed. After that opening exchange, the interview takes a trip into Bizarro World and never comes back until Sonnen finally walks off his remote location during Take #2. Among the highlights from Sonnen...
"You might want to take the bass out of your tone, I'm not sure you know who you're talking to here."
"What show am I on here, is this for public radio?"
"Should we just redo this, or do you just want to go on the air and look like a fool?"
"Is that how you guys do business in Canada? 'Cause in my country that created business, offers expire... you guys probably don't do that in socialism, but in America, in a capitalistic society, that's how things work."
I suppose Chael Sonnen has never heard of the Silk Road or any other operation of business pre-1776. Good for him. And those quotes are only from the first attempt at the interview. It gets better in Part II...
Your broadcast maps, courtesy of The 506, can be found here.
Bye Weeks: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers
Thursday, November 17
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos (NFLN 8:20PM) Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan
Sunday, November 20
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (CBS 1PM) Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings (CBS 1PM) Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcots
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (CBS 1PM) Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns (CBS 1PM) Bill Macatee, Steve Tasker
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers (FOX 1PM) Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins (FOX 1PM) Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Carolina Panthers @ Detroit Lions (FOX 1PM) Dick Stockton, John Lynch
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (FOX 4PM) Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick, Laura Okmin
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams (FOX 4PM) Chris Myers, Tim Ryan
San Diego Chargers @ Chicago Bears (CBS 4:15PM) Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Tennessee Titans @ Atlanta Falcons (CBS 4:15PM) Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants (NBC 8:20PM) Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya
Monday, November 21
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots (ESPN 8:30PM) Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski
Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo re-signed for four more years, continuing his partnership with analyst Jerry Remy.
Yeah, yeah, that's nice, but what about that bodacious blonde Heidi Watney, you ask?
Well, according to the same release, she will not be returning to the Red Sox next year, leaving the organization with nothing redeeming but beer and fried chicken:
Watney, whose contract had also expired, is leaving to work for Time Warner Cable in southern California. Time Warner Cable lured the Los Angeles Lakers away from Fox Sports West and KCAL-TV last February with a landmark 20-year deal said be worth in excess of $2.5 billion.
Watney will work as a sideline reporter on the Time Warner Cable Laker telecasts, beginning with the 2012-13 season. She had worked on NESN's Red Sox telecasts and other Red Sox programming for the past four seasons. Her new job allows her to return to her native California.
The end of Watney's time as a Red Sox field reporter is said to have been a mutual move so the former Miss California could be closer to home. Of course, there were the rumors that she 'dated' players during her time with the team, Jason Varitek in particular, which may have been a determining factor in the end. Just last month, when the Red Sox were being blown up, Watney apparently went against company policy by commenting on the resurfaced rumors. She RT'd Red Sox related news as recent as Tuesday and hasn't updated her profile's info. When someone asked her for an update on her contract status this week, Watney responded that she was on vacation and told people via hashtag not to jump to conclusions. Hmmm.
If only Boston could find a way to get rid of Dan Shaughnessy:
Time for rejoicing this week because the man that bears the name of our NFL Pammy Awards has finally won a weekly crown! Dick Stockton takes top spot this week The envelope, please...
10) "Jason Snelling 'Salts'" - Chris Berman (via AA) grasping at nicknames.
9) "D'Brickashaw Ferguson is one of the best pass rushers in the game" - Cris Collinsworth (via Bflo360)
8) "The wheels are coming off their snowmobile." - Dan Dierdorf (via Dan_Ciarrocchi) on Buffalo's season.
7) "If you want to be a good point guard, you have to have some turnovers..." - Phil Simms (via MCamerlengo)
6) "Both of Skelton's interceptions have been in the red zone.. of his own territory.." - Dick Stockton (via JoshuaBatelli)
5) "And this throw against Atlanta, I fell off my bed. I almost hit my head and died." -Jon Gruden (via GreatScottsman) to Aaron Rodgers
4) "Great punt by Weatherford." - Joe Buck (via StPOConnor) during a 29 yard punt that reached midfield
3) "The Packers quarterbacks coach spends a lot of time teaching the quarterback position." - Jon Gruden (via CaptTouchback)
2) "That is how you drop a load on somebody." - Dan Dierdorf (via JoeCNC)
1) "Ken Whisenhunt and Andy Reid in a robbery that has been dead even down through the years." - Dick Stockton (via CK29) I'm not even going to try and guess what this was supposed to mean.
Week 10 Top 5 -
1) Phil Simms 32.5 pts
2) Dick Stockton 30 pts
3) Brian Billick 27 pts
4) Jon Gruden 26 pts
5) Mike Tirico 19 pts
Others receiving votes - Chris Berman 15 pts, Dan Dierdorf 13 pts, Joe Buck 11 pts, Cris Collinsworth 11 pts, Scott Hanson 10 pts, Jim Nantz 10, Rich Gannon 9 pts, Dan Fouts 8.5 pts, Bob Griese 8.5 pts, Troy Aikman 8 pts, Dan Patrick 7 pts, Jim Mora 6 pts, Daryl Johnston 5 pts, Tim Ryan 5 pts, Al Michaels 4.5, Warren Moon 3 pts, Terry Bradshaw 3 pts, Thom Brennaman 2 pts, Tony Siragusa 1 pt.
The Full Week 11 NFL Announcing Schedule will be out later today, where you can find the dates and times of games and all the announcing pairings as well. Then, make sure you check back every Sunday when the fun begins for another week Straight Outta Stockton!
If you were to say to someone “hey you know who Cleatus is?” Their response would probably be “that guy from the Simpsons with 37 kids?” Or if you happen to live in the South, you might actually know a few Cleatuses that run ‘round these parts.
Unfortunately for this article, both of those responses are wrong as we are talking about the robot Fox Sports so affectionately loves, who might be involved in a sexual harassment case just as his action figures are hitting the shelves for the holiday season.
Cleatus the Robot was introduced in 2007 and named by a viewer in a contest (any guesses as to what part of the country he is from!?!) and has been the official mascot of Fox NFL Sunday ever since. He’s become somewhat popular. In fact, other characters have been spun off such as Scooter, the short-lived annoying MLB baseball, and Digger, the NASCAR animated gopher.
But Cleatus’ popularity may soon come to a crashing halt at the worst time of the busy shopping year because it seems he can’t keep his robot hands off a very attractive toaster, got caught shooting up a night club, and pending a paternity test could have fathered a cyborg out of wedlock... (video slightly NSFW)Cleatus appears to have gone all Herman Cain on us, it’s a sad day for robot fans everywhere.
It's the middle of the week, so that of course means it's time for the return of the MAC on the ESPN networks. Currently, Ohio/BGSU is on the uno and Western Michigan/Miami (Ohio) is on the deuce. I flipped on the Ohio/BGSU game and this clip I recorded was literally the first thing I heard from Ray Bentley. Yep, you heard that right. He described Ohio wide receiver Mario Dovell's effort as being "laissez-faire," or, in his case "LOZZAY FAIR." Since I missed the play, I have no idea what incredibly strange thing Mario Dovell was apparently doing. What I will tell you though is that hearing that sissy-French talk made me spit out my freedom fries almost spoiling this game of AMERICAN football for me. At least that namby-pamby RUGBY punt was blocked by a patrotic Falcon thus righting everything in the world.
Tuesday, November 15
Ball State at Northern Illinois, ESPNU (8pm) - Rob Stone, Danny Kanell
Wednesday, November 16
Ohio at Bowling Green, ESPN/ESPN3 (8pm) - Dave Lamont, Ray Bentley
Western Michigan at Miami (OH), ESPN2/ESPN3 (8pm) - Mike Morgan, Charles Arbuckle
Thursday, November 17
North Carolina at No. 8 Virginia Tech, ESPN/ESPN3D/ESPN3 (8pm) - Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, Jenn Brown
No. 20 Southern Mississippi at UAB, CBS Sports Network (8pm) - Todd Harris, Doug Chapman
Nicholls State at Southeastern Louisiana, CST (8pm) - Lyn Rollins, Rene Nadeau, Erin Cofiell
Marshall at Memphis, FSN-National/WSAZ (WV) (8pm) - Ron Thulin, JC Pearson, Jeremy Bloom
Friday, November 18
No. 2 Oklahoma State at Iowa State, ESPN/ESPN3 (8pm) - Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore, Samantha Steele
Toledo at Central Michigan, ESPNU (8pm) - Sam Gore, Tom Luginbill
Saturday, November 19
The Citadel at No. 12 South Carolina, PPV (SC)/ESPN3/GamePlan (12pm) - Andy Demetra, Brad Muller
Kansas at Texas A&M, FSN-National (12pm) - Joel Meyers, Joel Klatt, Jim Knox
Kentucky at No. 14 Georgia, SEC Network (National)/ESPN3/GamePlan (12pm) - Dave Neal, Andre Ware, Cara Capuano
Indiana at No. 15 Michigan State, BTN (12pm) - Eric Collins, Chris Martin, Dionne Miller
No. 16 Nebraska at No. 18 Michigan, ESPN/ESPN3 (12pm) - Dave Pasch, Chris Spielman, Urban Meyer, Quint Kessenich
No. 17 Wisconsin at Illinois, ESPN2/ESPN3 (12pm) - Beth Mowins, Mike Bellotti
Louisville at Connecticut, Big East Network/ESPN3/GamePlan (12pm) - Mike Gleason, John Congemi, Eamon McAnaney
#14(T) Harvard at Yale, Versus (12pm) - Randy Moss, Ross Tucker, Carolyn Manno
Minnesota at Northwestern, BTN (12pm) - Wayne Larrivee, Glen Mason, Jon Jansen
#11 Maine at #13 New Hampshire, CSN-New England (12pm) - Gary Tanguay, Andy Gresh, Greg Dickerson
Cincinnati at Rutgers, ESPNU (12pm) - Mike Morgan, Danny Kanell
William & Mary at Richmond, CSN-MidAtlantic (12pm) - Bob Picozzi, Scott Brunner
Akron at Buffalo, Time Warner Cable Systems (Buffalo)/ESPN3 (12pm) - Howard Simon, Marlon Kerner, Brian Koziol
Howard at Delaware State, (12pm) -
Robert Morris at Duquesne, (12pm) -
#4 Northern Iowa at #14(T) Illinois State, ESPN3 (12pm) - Scott Warmann, Danan Hughes, Mick Shaffer
Wagner at Monmouth, (12pm) -
Iowa at Purdue, BTN (12pm) - Tom Hart, Derek Rackley, Lisa Byington
Central Connecticut State at Bryant University, (12pm) -
Georgia Tech at Duke, ACC Network (National)/ESPN3/GamePlan (12:30pm) - Tim Brant, Dave Archer, Mike Hogewood
Brown at Columbia, (12:30pm) -
#10 Towson at Rhode Island, (12:30pm) -
Lafayette at #6 Lehigh, Lafayette Sports Network/WFMZ (PA)/FCS-Atlantic/ESPN3 (12:30pm) - Steve Degler, Mike Yadush, Troy Heir
Samford at No. 24 Auburn, CSS PPV/ESPN3/GamePlan (1pm) - Andy Burcham, Ben Leard
Furman at Florida, Sun PPV/ESPN3/GamePlan (1pm) - David Steele, Nat Moore, Brady Ackerman
#20 James Madison at Massachusetts, WBIN (NH) (1pm) -
Army at Temple, ESPN3 (1pm) - Scott Graham, Rob Harley
#2 Georgia Southern at No. 3 Alabama, PPV (AL)/ESPN3/GamePlan (2pm) - Chris Stewart, Tyler Watts, Tom Roberts
#24 South Dakota at #22 North Dakota, FCS-Central (2pm) - Pat Sweeney, Scott Grodsky
Murray State at Southeast Missouri State, Racer TV Network/ESPN3 (2pm) - Jeff Waters, Dave Winder
Minot State University at UT-San Antonio, Longhorn Network (2pm) - Andrew Monaco, Ahmad Brooks
#5 North Dakota State at Western Illinois, KXJB (ND) (2pm) - Michael Broskowski, Adam Studzinski, Sean Ingrassia
Coastal Carolina at Western Carolina, (2pm) -
New Mexico at Wyoming, The Mtn. (2pm) - Ari Wolfe, Blaine Fowler, Andrea Lloyd
#7 Montana at #1 Montana State, Montana News Network/Altitude2 (2:05pm) - Dennis Patchin, Grady Bennett, Mike Callaghan, Derek Buerkle
Southern Illinois at #23 Indiana State, (2:05pm) -
Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman @Orlando, ESPN Classic/ESPN3 (2:30pm) - Tom Werme, Jay Walker
Austin Peay at #21 Tennessee Tech, (2:30pm) -
Maryland at Wake Forest, ACC Network (Regional)/ESPN3/GamePlan (2:30pm) - Rich Waltz, Keith Jones, Jenn Hildreth
Tulsa at UTEP, CBS Sports Network (2:30pm) - Dave Ryan, Rich Rodriguez
#8 Appalachian State at Elon, SoCon Network/ESPN3 (2:30pm) - Darren Goldwater, Doug Chapman
Jacksonville State at Tennessee State, (2:30pm) -
Mississippi State at No. 6 Arkansas, CBS (3pm) - Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
No. 7 Clemson at North Carolina State, ABC or ESPN or GamePlan/ESPN3 (3pm) - Mike Patrick, Craig James
SMU at No. 11 Houston, FSN-National (3pm) - Bill Land, Gary Reasons, Emily Jones
Colorado State at No. 19 TCU, Versus (3pm) - Paul Burmeister, Shaun King, Anthony Herron
No. 21 Penn State at Ohio State, ABC or ESPN/ESPN3 (3pm) - Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
#16 Liberty at Stony Brook, MASN/ESPN3 (3pm) - Mike Tilley, Ray Jones
Miami (FL) at South Florida, ESPNU (3pm) - Pam Ward, Dan Hawkins
Texas Tech at Missouri, ABC or GamePlan/ESPN3 (3pm) - Dave Lamont, Ray Bentley
Washington at Oregon State, FCS-Pacific/Root-Northwest (3pm) - Tom Glasgow, Steve Preece, Jason Stiles
#17 Delaware vs. Villanova @Chester, PA, Comcast Network (3pm) - Marc Zumoff, Kevin Reilly
Tulane at Rice, (3pm) -
Texas Southern at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, (3pm) -
Florida Atlantic at Troy, CSS (3pm) -
Arkansas State at Middle Tennessee State, ESPN3 (3pm) - Chip Walters, Kelly Holcomb
Navy at San Jose State, ESPN3 (4pm) - Shawn Kenney, Drew Henson
Boston College at Notre Dame, NBC (4pm) - Tom Hammond, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan
Jacksonville at San Diego, (4pm) -
#3 Sam Houston State at Texas State, (4pm) -
Stephen F. Austin at Northwestern State, Southland Network/ESPN3/GamePlan (4pm) - Randy McIlvoy, Shea Walker, Jane Slater
Weber State at Portland State, (4pm) -
Louisiana Tech at Nevada, (4:05pm) -
Cal Poly at South Alabama, WJTC (AL/FL)/ESPN3/GamePlan (5pm) - Jim Cox, Dan Brennan, Pat Greenwood
Utah State at Idaho, Altitude/ESPN3/GamePlan (5pm) - Trey Bender, Jay Taylor
Utah at Washington State, KJZZ (UT)/FCS-Atlantic (5pm) - Steve Brown, Mike Norseth, David Locke
Florida International at Louisiana-Monroe, (5pm) -
UC Davis at Sacramento State, CSN-California (5:05pm - Grant Napear, Mike Pawlawski, Dan Dibley
Southern Utah at Northern Arizona, Universityhouse (5:05pm) - Mitch Strohman, Kevin Stephens, Marc Buckhout
Eastern Washington at Idaho State, (6pm) -
UNLV at Air Force, The Mtn. (6pm) - Todd Harris, Todd Christensen, Natalie Vickers
No. 1 LSU at Mississippi, ESPN/ESPN3 (7pm) - Steve Brown, Mike Norseth, David Locke
Central Florida at East Carolina, FSN-National (7pm) - Ron Thulin, JC Pearson, Jeremy Bloom
Western Kentucky at North Texas, CSS/CST/ESPN3/GamePlan (7pm) - Joe Davis, Cole Cubelic, Erin Cofiell
McNeese State at Lamar, (7pm) -
Vanderbilt at Tennessee, ESPNU (7pm) - Clay Matvick, Brian Griese, Allison Williams
Virginia at No. 25 Florida State, ESPN2/ESPN3 (7:30pm) - Mark Jones, Ed Cunningham
Colorado at UCLA, Versus (7:30pm) - Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila
Southern California at No. 4 Oregon, ABC or GamePlan/ESPN3 (8pm) - Brent Musberger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox
No. 5 Oklahoma at No. 22 Baylor, ABC or GamePlan/ESPN3 (8pm) - Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen, Erin Andrews
No. 10 Boise State at San Diego State, CBS Sports Network (8pm) - James Bates, Aaron Taylor, Brooke Collins
No. 13 Kansas State at No. 23 Texas, FX (8pm) - Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Tim Brewster
Arizona at Arizona State, FSN-Arizona/PrimeTicket/FCS-Central (9:30pm) - Tom Leander, Adam Archuleta, John Fina
California at No. 9 Stanford, ESPN/ESPN3 (10:15pm) - Carter Blackburn, Brock Huard, Shelley Smith
New Mexico State at Brigham Young, ESPNU (10:15pm) - Adam Amin, David Diaz-Infante
Fresno State at Hawai'i, WAC Network/Altitude2/ESPN3/GamePlan/Oceanic PPV (11pm) - Barry Tompkins, Joe Glenn