So, what exactly does one of the most popular NBA analysts do while his sport is in indefinite hiatus? Why of course he populates karaoke bars singing Sinatra classics. The video via Guyism really shows that Sir Charles is a man of the people. While his singing voice is expectedly not velvety, it's good to see that he still went for it. Singing talent be damned, for those nearly 4 minutes the round mound of rebound gave it his all and had the idea that him butchering a Sinatra classic was what everyone wanted to hear in this bar. Seeing this video, and of course his golf swing really sometimes makes you forget that he was one of the greatest power forwards in the history of the NBA.
For those wondering, here's Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
The NHL is slowly picking up steam as a national sport once again thanks to a number of factors. The devotion of NBC to the sport is more established than the brief seconds of airtime it receives on NFL Network ESPN, a number of new stars are playing the game (if they can stay healthy), several marquee teams have won titles in recent years (Wings, Pens, Blackhawks, Bruins), and there have been compelling playoff series. According to the NHL, their ratings are up 84% in the last four years. Earlier this year, Gary Bettman and the NHL chose to stick with NBC and Versus in signing a new massive 10 year extension. Their announcer pairings for the upcoming season were recently released and it looks strikingly similar to years past. Here's the details from NBC's press release at Fang's Bites...
All GAMES ON NBC (Thanksgiving Friday, Winter Classic, Sunday ‘NHL Game of the Week’) Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (Inside the Glass analyst)
SUNDAYS ON VERSUS (Starting in January) Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (Inside the Glass analyst)
MONDAYS ON VERSUS Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play) and Pierre McGuire (Inside the Glass analyst)
TUESDAYS ON VERSUS Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (Inside the Glass analyst)
WEDNESDAYS ON VERSUS Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (Inside the Glass analyst)
NHL Live on VERSUS Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones
NHL Overtime on VERSUS Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick (plus rotating personalities)
‘NHL Game of the Week’ Intermissions on NBC Liam McHugh and Mike Milbury
The two top play by play men, Doc Emrick and Dave Strader, are now calling games full-time for NBC/VS instead of splitting time between national and local responsibilities. I like most of NBC's on-air talent, although Mike Milbury was rather insufferable during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pierre McGuire certainly has his haters too, but he doesn't grate me in the same way that he does more passionate hockey fans. NBC could really benefit from a fresh personality just out of the game that can add more perspective (Van Gundy, Gruden, and more recently Urban Meyer quickly come to mind as analysts that have made that transition successfully). Doc Emrick is obviously one of the best announcers in the biz, as evidenced by his recent Sports Emmy win for play by play, so having him call three games a week is a definite plus.
Versus is also adding a ton of games, up to 100 total in the regular season. Also, the networks will have coverage of every Stanley Cup Playoffs game for the first time. With all the original programming Versus seems to be adding, one would think they would dip into the NHL well once again to start supporting their flagship sport. It doesn't seem possible, but the NHL preseason is already underway.
The hoopla surrounding the Charlie Sheen roast on Comedy Central last night got me thinking... which sports personality would make the best roastee? Of course, Charlie Sheen has blazed his own insane trail filled with warlocks, tiger blood, drugs, porn stars, more drugs, television shows, crazed rants, winning, and even more drugs. The roast last night was funny, but with all of Charlie Sheen's craziness, it left me a little underwhelmed from the pure insanity perspective... even with Mike Tyson and Jeff Ross dressed as Moammar Gadhafi sharing the stage with him. (By the way, Ross, Anthony Jeselnik, and Shatner topped my Charlie Sheen Roast Power Rankings for those wondering.) Could anyone in sports produce such a scene or be deserving of their own roast? We took to Twitter so you could tell us who you want to see on the hot seat... figuratively or literally. As always, these are Real Tweets from Real People...
See the embarrassment for yourself (via The Score):
It's kind of sad that Morgan had to YouTube how to do the dance the night before (clearly not following his six P's again), despite the fact it's played at baseball stadiums every night, but it's even more depressing that Morgan was allowed to half-ass this chicken shit on a large stage with pretty, short-skirted girls, who happened to be showing half of their asses.
It appears ESPN's/Bruschi's attempt at creating a contrived controversy was indeed as baseless as we all assumed. This morning Tom Brady spoke to WEEI in Boston and had this to say about the Ocho/Bruschi brouhaha...
“None of those guys have any clue what they’re talking about,” Tom Brady said Monday morning on WEEI when asked about criticism of Ochocinco from ex-Patriots like Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison. “They aren’t in this locker room.”
Matt wrote about this "story" when it first broke, and you can read it here. I pretty much completely agree with everything that was said there as it's been nearly a week and I still can't fathom how anything Ocho said was worth getting worked up about. I mean, Brady threw for 500+ yards, that's absurd. If Ochocinco wants to use his 140 characters and half a minute to complement his teammate on such an otherworldly performance, then that seems like a completely normal human response.
This entire... whatever it is, just reeks of ESPN creating the story rather than reporting it. One of my 5,000 complaints with ESPN deals with the fact that almost all of their on air talent is recently retired athletes that have no schooling or professional experience. Their "experience" almost exclusively was them spouting off nonabrasive cliches in interviews, and for the most part we get players who openly cheerlead for whomever recently employed them, speaking in cliches as athletes instead of as reporters. They really are not completely separated from the game and they still insert themselves in it when they feel the need to.
I was kind of looking forward to finding Bruschi's Twitter account and taking some innocuous tweet and getting completely riled up about it until I found his account. Yes, Tedy has an account, but is yet to tweet, and best of all his name is @Brufasa with a picture of Mufasa as his avatar. I can't hate on that, no way.
The only thing of substance I'm taking from this is hopefully the emergence of the phrase "video game numbers" when describing an absolutely insane performance. For those that aren't nerds, and might be confused by such a phrase, it basically means achieving something that is drastically above what real life athletes are perceived to be able to accomplish. An example of this is I remember playing NCAA Football back in the day and my running back had a 40/4,000 year (40 TD's, 4,000 yards rushing). Right now, real life Tom Brady is on pace to have a 7,500 yard passing season, breaking the previous record by nearly 2,500 yards. Sure, he'll probably not throw for 7K+ yards in a season, but I'm sure someone somewhere in some damp dark basement has achieved such a goal before.
Ochocinco showed he had a pulse yesterday and caught a couple of passes for 45 yards. This was likely enough to halt any prolonged annoyance that we might have endured if he continued to put up goose eggs for his stats.
We've covered the growth of soccer in the sports and media landscape here at AA over the last several months, from interviewing the sublime Ian Darke, to telling you about the new MLS/NBC contract, to covering FOX's foray into televising the English Premier League on a national broadcast network. By the way, according to SBJ's Austin Karp, the tape-delayed Manchester United/Chelsea match on FOX yesterday brought better ratings than the PGA Tour Playoffs! Even the most hateful of soccer haters has to admit the beautiful game is growing in popularity around the country.
But then again, you watch a clip like the following and just wonder if soccer will ever break through the glass ceiling in this country. You're about to see the most famous soccer player in the world, David Beckham, go undercover on the daytime talk show Ellen selling his own cologne at a random Target store. Somehow, throughout the entire skit, nobody notices the world's most famous footballer selling his own cologne. And it's not like Becks borrowed a disguise from Baron von Costume's Deluxe Disguise Kit (obscure Simpsons reference, check!).
Give Becks credit for being a good sport as he's ordered to act like a fool by Ellen in this humorous clip. Let's face it, if you put Beckham in front of a store in London the man would literally be ripped to shreds. I especially love Becks' poor attempt at acting like a Texan and his constant misunderstanding of Ellen's directions. And yes, if I can get my AA press credential in time for the Galaxy's trip to Columbus this Saturday, I'll ask Beckham if he thinks soccer has finally "made it" in the US. Until then though, let's allow the soccer haters another chance to point and laugh at the lack of recognition for the one "grass fairy" who was supposed to be the most recent soccer messiah in the good old U.S. of A.
*Since this was posted on Friday evening, we are moving our podcast with Bruce Feldman back to the top of AA so more of our audience will be able easily access the interview. If you haven't had a chance to listen yet, you'll definitely want to check it out to get the full story from Bruce on his move from ESPN to CBS and #FreeBruce.
After being at the center of the biggest sports media story this year, Bruce Feldman broke his six week Twitter silence announcing his move from ESPN to CBS at the beginning of September. You can now read his work at the new "Free Bruce" CBS blog. The controversy regarding his "suspension" by ESPN was the talk of the sports media this summer and created a mini-Twitter revolution with the #FreeBruce hashtag trending worldwide. In this interview, Bruce candidly speaks with AA about..
-What exactly happened between he and ESPN executives and their decision to discipline him. -His reaction to #FreeBruce and ESPN's statements. -Thoughts on the Poynter Institute as "ESPN ombudsman." -His Twitter silence and the decision to speak out about what happened at ESPN. -The opportunities and challenges ahead at CBS. -Working on television with the CBS Sports Network.
We hear straight from Bruce Feldman himself on these topics and many others. After writing and investing so much in #FreeBruce and the impact of the story throughout the last two months, this is the one podcast that I've personally been anticipating. A big thanks to Bruce and the folks at CBSSports.com for the effort to put together this podcast. If you have followed Bruce's story throughout the last two months, this is the one interview you will want to hear.
One of the most fun plays in football is a defensive tackle who is able to intercept a pass and rumble down the field. The rarity of the moment and the novelty of seeing a 300+ pound man carry a football contributes to the overall awesomeness of the play. Vince Wilfork of the Patriots was able to do just that after he picked off Philip Rivers late in the first half of Sunday's Pats/Chargers game.
The play was important in the context of the game too. San Diego was driving, down 10, looking to get within a score before halftime. Wilfork's INT and subsequent 28 yard return set up New England for a field goal in an eventual New England victory
Perhaps that's why Chargers radio play by play man Josh Lewin (also of MLB on Fox) added in this little jab at Wilfork's ample frame. Doesn't it seem a little mean to go straight to Wilfork's body fat percentage instead of giving him some credit for his first career INT? Poor Vince. I know we like to get on announcing homerism, but while we're at it, let's stop bullying from road play by play guys!
And here's video of Wilfork's return. I don't know about you, but I don't see any "belly fat just jigglin'." It's not like Vince needs to go on The Biggest Loser or anything like that. In my opinion, he's a finely conditioned athlete. For being 325 pounds that is. In fact, I'm convinced New England should hand him the ball to run with more often! Could you imagine him and Dan Connolly in the same backfield?
The Pam Ward Chronicles provided tons of great quotes this week and it was very tough for the nominating committee (aka me) to come up with the best of the best selections. However, after many hours of careful deliberation (aka eeny meeny miny moe), we have brought to you our field of nominees for Week 3. Pam Ward has taken the top spot in both Week 1 and Week 2, but I have a feeling she'll face stiff competition this week... particularly from some fantastic innuendo quotes, mostly from Gary Danielson in his 2011 debut. Also, Mount Rushmore resident Craig James looks to kick start his Pammy campaign with a particularly strong showing. As a reminder as to how this 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 3 nominees...
1) "Les Miles told me his defensive line loves to make plays and they are violent... violent in a good way." - Craig James (via bjoe109)
2) "You gotta hold your water." - Jesse Palmer (via bmaze) on LSU's defense jumping offside... or needing to pee.
3) "Coach, you're up by…almost two scores at halftime." - Jeanine Edwards (via 99_JDK) Boise led 20-9 at the half.
4) "Get ready for the most exciting 25 seconds in sport." - Dave Pasch (via CaptTouchback) as the Clemson team ran down their hill.
5) "A good defensive lineman may not make the tackle but he'll make a big pile of rear ends." - Chris Spielman (via CaptTouchback)
6) "He (Paul Johnson) is unconventional, no, inconventional, no, deconventional in his thought process." - Keith Jones (via sctvman)
7) "Chris Berman, the best analyst in the business." - Beth Mowins (via sctvman)
8) "That has to just drive your nuts." - Gary Danielson (via Powellabama)
9) "I wonder who decided to use 'Mississippi' to count as one second? Why not North Dakota or Minnesota?" - Verne Lundquist (via CaptTouchback) with a question that has plagued humanity till the dawn of time... or when Mississippi first became a state.
10) "Houston, scoring his 20th touchdown on the year, on the ground." - Pam Ward (via MDWDFW)
11) "Not only was the Navy runner untouched by human hands I don't think he could have been touched by a dodge ball" - Mike Patrick (via sctvman)
12) "The ball hits off three body parts. A hand, a helmet..well, a helmet's not a body part." - Gary Danielson (via CaptTouchback)
13) "if he wasn't a quiet guy, he would be a vocal leader on this club" - Craig James (via dhh78) on Marcus Lattimore.
14) "Got his hands on a lot of balls and then a sack." - Gary Danielson (via Ryan Scheb)
15) "Kirk Cousins also an internet sensation now after a speech that he gave at the annual Big Ten media luncheon went viral... has over 110 hits on Youtube." - Alex Flanagan (via Ben Koo) [VIDEO]
16) "Tie goes to the runner." - Matt Millen (via CK29) on an equal possession reception...it's not baseball, everyone's running
17) "It's so hard to win in football." - Tom Cole (via sctvman)
Vote For Your Week 3 Pammy Winners! (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 4 announcing sked later this week!
On the surface, there isn't a lot that Frank Gore and Al Gore have in common besides their last name. Frank is a Pro Bowl runing back for the San Fransisco 49ers, is 28 years old, African-American, and stands 5 ft. 9 in. tall. Al is 35 years his senior, claimed to have created the internet, has a thing for the environment, is white, and has a problem invading the personal space of others. In fact, besides these two sharing the same last name, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to confuse the two... unless of course you're name is Marty Thom Brennaman.
Now, comes another underrated clip for biggest announcing blooper of the year. Watch and see if you could also confuse the former Pro Bowl running back with the former Vice President in the following clip.