Monday Night Football was off to a normal beginning for the Bears-Cowboys broadcast... until Jon Gruden went totally bonkers talking about the game's two quarterbacks - Jay Cutler and Tony Romo. Of course, this segment was set up by Mike Tirico talking about the much maligned Cutler and the polarizing Romo as just below the ELITE QB LEVEL.
In Jon Gruden's world though, every quarterback except for Akili Smith and maybe Cade McNown are elite. Gruden gushed uncontrollably over Cutler and Romo, and then things got weird. Really weird.
Each Monday throughout the NFL season, we compile the best announcing quotes and observations from you, Straight Outta Stockton. This week - Joe Buck's Kardashian jokes, Brian Billick's dice-playing habits, Nnamdi Asomugha's phantom trip to the hospital reported by NBC, and whatever goes through the mind of Dan Dierdorf.
The Ryder Cup delivered for NBC on Sunday with its best overnight rating since the miracle comeback by the United States at Brookline in 1999. Ratings were up a whopping 71% versus 2010, when the competition was held in Wales and 21% versus the last American Ryder Cup in 2008.
The most surreal aspect of this year's Ryder Cup may have been the drunken European press conference well after the compettion had concluded and much partying had begun. Unfortunately, I tuned in late, only after a couple texts from my brother about Sergio Garcia slurring his words and Lee Westwood nearly falling out of his chair. Thankfully, I was able to catch this clip of Garcia passing drink after drink after drink to his teammates along the table. Whoever sits to Garcia's right tried to get him to down his glass while answering a question at the same time (and gave Sergio bunny ears later on). Safe to say you're not going to see this kind of press conference anywhere else in sports. And really, is having a drink or two (or twelve) at one of these mundane pressers a bad idea? Anything to loosen up all the tight-lipped, dictatorial coaches around sports is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.
Late last night I stumbled upon these two videos by Youtube user viteminj, and they were just too good not to share with you. If you're like me, maybe you're a bit depressed over the US Ryder Cup failure or a crushing loss by your football team this weekend. Maybe you just hate Mondays. Whatever the case, it's true that laughter is the best medicine. And, if you can't laugh at 10 minutes of bloopers by Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, you have no soul. God love him, the Sterling blooper reel may surpass all other announcers in sports. You'll actually be surprised at how good of a coping mechanism it is for any trouble you may have listening to Sterling repeatedly shout, "It is high... it is far... it is goooooone! No wait, it's off the wall!"
I don't know if you can believe it, but NBA former Sixth Man of the year Lamar Odom is reportedly fighting with his reality "star" wife Khloe Kardashian about the prospects of their reality TV future together. 'm no expert, but apparently Khloe's insane mother wants the couple to do another new reality show about their struggles to conceive a child. HOWEVER, her husband Lamar is not interested as he believes it is a private matter. And as equally important, he doesn't want to film the show due to his belief that reality TV nearly undermined his NBA career; as he had the worst season of his career last year with the Dallas Mavericks. Mark Cuban basically paid him to go away, and now he's getting a second, and perhaps final, chance next season with the LA Clippers. So he wants to focus on his career with as few petty distractions as possible... something that is completely and totally understandable.
Europe shocked the United States on Sunday, turning a 10-6 deficit into a 14.5-13.5 victory at the 2012 Ryder Cup. Depending on which side of the Atlantic you occupy, it was either the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history... or the most colossal collapse in Ryder Cup history. In actuality, it was a little bit of both. Ian Poulter was the best golfer on planet earth this weekend. Justin Rose birdied 17 and 18 to win his match while Jim Furyk bogeyed 17 and 18 to lose his. Neither Steve Stricker or Tiger Woods won Sunday, let alone a single match in the entire competition. And, most of all, Martin Kaymer was able to make a six footer with everything on the line.
It was a surprising turn of events, but given Ryder Cup history and the talent on the European team, it wasn't entirely inconceivable. In fact, with two huge victories in the last two matches on Saturday, Europe had plenty of momentum heading into Sunday. I mean, it's not like a columnist at a major outlet would write a column Saturday night saying the Ryder Cup was over, right? Right?
NBC commemorating a Victor Cruz touchdown with salsa music is nothing new. The network has done it before when Cruz scores and breaks out his trademark dance moves. Nevertheless, the decision for NBC to give a player's touchdown dance its own personal soundtrack is a polarizing one. Immediately, there were complaints about NBC showing favoritism to Cruz and the Giants. Why not give every player and every dance a soundtrack if you're just going to do it for one guy? It is a huge ethical broadcasting question, one that deserves serious scrutiny... but I'm kinda in the mood for margaritas instead.
While Baylor and West Virgina were lighting the scoreboard and couches on fire in Morgantown this afternoon, Minnesota and Iowa were playing for the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy, a bronze statue in the shape of a pig (commemorating a bet made between the governors of the states over the game). With Iowa well on their way to a victory in the 4th quarter and winning back the trophy, ESPN sideline reporter Lewis Johnson took it upon himself to conduct an interview with Floyd about being taken back to Iowa.
That's right, Lewis Johnson interviewed a statue of a pig. And he even included an awful "hammin" pun just for good measure. If there were ever 51 seconds that proved the banality of sideline reporting, this is it. No wonder the NFL on CBS did away with the concept altogether.
Part of me feels for Lewis Johnson having to soldier through this interview. At least he tried to get a quote about the looming bacon crisis. That's solid reporting.