Earlier this week, Ryan wrote about the ridiculousness of ESPN hyping their own QB rating system, furthering their desire to take over the world. But we really don't need a new QB rating system, do we? Especially one contrived by Trent Dilfer, no less. 158.3 isn't perfect, but we've learned to live with it. Perhaps what ESPN should have done instead was to come up with a rating system to rank their endless array of NFL analysts, which now includes that media friendly, likable former coach, Eric Mangini. We need a way to rank the most effective of the hundreds of ESPN NFL analysts right? So with ESPN unveiling the new QB system tonight, here's what we would have done for the Total Analyst Rating...
First off, let's forget the complicated multiplications, divisions, exponentials, normalizations, and whatever other number crunching you want to do to make yourself look smart. If you want to have fun, take the natural log of these points or whatever. It doesn't really matter. All you need to know is that the highest points total is the best NFL analyst, the ones that cross into negative territory... not so much...
+100 points for appearing on Mike & Mike, NFL Live, and the 6pm SportsCenter in one day. (+100 Bonus points if you also appear on the 11pm SportsCenter for the NFL Analyst Grand Slam.)
+50 points for being given a motivational speaking platform (Herm Edwards step on up).
+50 points for winning a season-long picks contest.
+25 points for having your own segment on Sunday/Monday Countdown or Primetime.
+20 points for getting to play on the virtual field.
+15 points for being interviewed from the NFL Films vault.
+10 points for having video shown of your playing/coaching career.
+10 points for appearing on PTI.
+5 points for being called by your recognizable nickname.
+1 point for having your "resume" being shown on screen.
0 points if you co-host a radio show with Mike Greenberg.
-1 point for bragging, "when I was a coach/player."
-2 points for saying "THIS GUY."
-5 points for being an ex-Cowboy or Patriot.
-5 points for interrupting someone.
-10 points for debating Skip Bayless.
-10 points for saying "THIS GUY" if you aren't Jon Gruden.
-15 points for appearing on The Herd.
-20 points for fake laughter.
-25 points for saying the name "Brett Favre."
-50 points for starting a needless national controversy with your "analysis."
-50 points for speaking louder and slower to sound more important (ahem... TRENT... DILFER...).
-50 points if you use the number of surgieres you had as a badge of honor.
-75 points if you hock your own line of green chili or other personal product.
-100 points for making a bogus prediction to motivate a team (we're looking at you Tom Jackson).
-150 points for being the worst GM in the league during your career.
-1000 points for using an ethnic slur to describe one of your colleagues.
And there you have it. Judging by this criteria, who do you think will emerge this season atop the ESPN NFL Total Analyst Rating?
NBC/Outdoor Life Network/Versus/NBC Sports Network looks to be beefing up their hockey coverage by adding NCAA hockey. In April, the NHL signed a 10-year extension to remain with the NBC family thus making this a logical move, in my opinion, to promote hockey since they've invested a Scrooge McDuck money pit of coin into the sport. Here are some of the rumored details.
"Versus is intending to reach agreement with all five current Division I leagues to air games on Friday or Saturday nights. Some of those deals have already been finalized. Versus is expected to make an announcement of its broadcast package once all of the deals have been completed."
If you are already a fan of the NHL, college hockey will be something you likely will enjoy as well. There really is not an overabundance of teams, so the talent level is not watered down. It's common to see multiple future NHL draft picks playing on a good team. Also, since it's college, you get that unique intensity and atmosphere that really results in some memorable games.
I was curious what kind of programming Versus runs on a typical Friday night so I looked ahead at tonight's schedule. I kid you not; a show called Elk Fever runs nonstop from 7 pm until 3 am. Elk Fever. 8 straight hours of... Elk... Fever. So, the bottom line here is Versus is replacing shows like that one with a likely higher drawing live sporting event that directly will promote the NHL while giving the viewers something new and exciting. This certainly seems like a win-win-win situation that Michael Scott would be proud of.
For those of you not buying in yet, just watch this University of Alaska Fairbanks video that the team takes the ice to.
If a polar bear flying a fighter jet that drops bombs into volcanoes causing the destruction of Earth doesn't get you excited for hockey, than it's likely nothing will.
First on the docket is one that comes from Joe Lucia, Managing Editor of Bloguin's The Outside Corner and Chop 'N Change, and all around swell guy. The Braves made perhaps the best trade of the deadline in acquiring Astros CF Michael Bourn for a few pieces from the scrap pile. According to the following ESPN.com headline though, they also acquired a CIA agent in search of his own identity...
Paul Menard won Sunday's Brickyard 400, but a little love needs to be given to the pit crew of Clint Bowyer. Gaining 8 positions on a 255 tire change has to be the greatest pit stop of all-time, right? It may even be the greatest car related feat, like, ever...
Throughout the summer months, the rumblings of a feud between attractive, blonde ESPN superstar Erin Andrews and attractive, blonde ESPN superstar Michelle Beadle has sent the internet, and 18-35 year old males particularly, into a frenzy. It all started when Beadle admitted in the ESPN Book that she watched the infamous Erin Andrews peephole tape and more or less stated that a congenial relationship between the two was non-existent.
Then came the rumors and reports pitting Beadle and Andrews against one another in some sort of cosmic tug of war over who was the fair-haired favorite inside Bristol headquarters. Andrews is the wholesome celebrity figure who is as recognizable on Dancing With The Stars or Good Morning America as she is on College Gameday. Conversely, Beadle is the upstart guys' girl who has burst onto the scene the last couple years on SportsNation and other outlets. (Hey, I would look a lot better too sitting next to Cowherd five days a week.)
Well, wouldn't you know that rumors of the "feud" intensified when Beadle took on a starring role in the lead-up to this year's ESPY awards. Deadspin, who has emerged as one of the go-to places for BeadleMania, went to her directly to refute rumors that Beadle was trying her best to relive the sex and drug filled early days of ESPN in Los Angeles after the ESPYs. Beadle firmly denied the whispers going around the block that she had been involved with Packers stars Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews.
Then, a Youtube video came out of Beadle and Matthews... WALKING TOGETHER!!!! Because you know, when people walk together, there's bound to be something bigger and much more salacious going on. But the intriguing aspect to the whole Beadle/Packer/ESPY story was that some naughty, nosey person was sneaking around ESPN mongering up all these rumors to begin with. Beadle expressed her displeasure on Twitter yesterday...
So as you can imagine, the "story" has taken on its predictable next step. The sports gossip site TerezOwens.com has a source that says it was of course Erin Andrews that snitched to ESPN brass about Beadle's supposed escapades. Sigh.
So what do we have here. Someone at ESPN tried to tattle on Beadle's alleged raunchy behavior at the ESPYs. Beadle defended herself to Deadspin. (Which is a great move on Deadspin's part, and a bit subtler of a way to get a leg up on their rivalry with ESPN. You think Bristol is happy to see Beadle opening up and giving info to Deadspin?) And an unconfirmed, random rumor from a self-proclaimed sports gossip blog that says it was EA who snitched on Beadle (one that is barely believable and has deservedly been given no credibility thus far).
So in the grand struggle of Beadle vs Andrews... who cares? That was the sentiment of the vast majority of the folks that responded on Twitter to us this afternoon (outside the predictable male chauvinist crowd that wants to see this "feud" settled in mud). Beadle and Andrews are adult enough to live their own lives (I think) and it doesn't matter to 99.9% of sports fans what either one does in their personal lives, who's telling on who, and which flavor of the month ESPN's hierarchy favors. The entire Beadle/Andrews narrative has smelled of tabloid sports journalism from the beginning and I just want it to stop at this point. Hopefully this "feud" doesn't get anymore legitimate play in the blogosphere, or else we might as well all send in our resumes to the National Enquirer.
So now that the Joe Morgan Tourney is over and the Pammies still a month away, we are introducing a new feature at AA - the AA Fan Forum. This is another way to give you a voice on Awful Announcing. Most of our work is done on the national scene, but we want to give a spotlight to some of the local professional announcing teams that we may not be able to cover in-depth. And since we're still rolling through the summer months, we want to focus on the local baseball broadcast booths.
We want you to tell us why you're local MLB announcing teams are either great... or of course, awful. Tell us why your favorite team's play by play man or analyst, radio booth or TV booth, is the best or worst in the sport. We want to give you a platform to help us cover these broadcasters in a way that we wouldn't be able to on our own. Vin Scully not your type? Tell us why. Do Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley cause you to pour gasoline in your ears and light a match? Feel free to send in a rant! Tell us how Len Kasper and Bob Brenly help you cope with another season of Cubs losing. We'll run your responses periodically throughout the month of August in fan forum posts. Here's the specifics of what we need from you...
*Send e-mails to awfulannouncing @ gmail.com
*Include MLB AA Fan Forum in the message subject heading (we get a ton of spam, it's annoying)
*Keep your responses between 150-300 words.
*Remember to keep it clean and your submissions may be edited for spelling, grammar, etc.
*If your submission fits these criteria, it will be considered to be published in the AA Fan Forum.
We're calling fans, bloggers, and even legitimate reporters or sports media people to write in and take part in the AA Fan Forum. Hope to hear from you soon.
Time for your daily episode of The Young & The Bruceless. In this week's episode, we find out that Lou Holtz is the real father of Adam James, Victor and Jack battle for the future of Newman Enterprises, and Mike Leach continues his scorched earth policy against the "leader." Leach has been relentless in his continuous mission to blast Bristol, Craig James, James' PR firm, and Texas Tech brass in every way imaginable during the publicity tour for his new book. In a recent stop, Leach went on Tony Bruno's show and brought out the heavy artilery once again... this time going after ESPN for the neverending controversy surrounding his co-author, Bruce Feldman. Larry Brown has the full audio from the interview, but it's Leach's choice of words for the [insert pseudo-disciplinary word here] of Bruce Feldman that is most interesting. Here's Leach's quotes...
“Every step of the way he had permission from ESPN to write it,” Leach said of Feldman. “He has written permission. The chapters they’re sensitive about are all in the words of the perpetrators, so that’s what makes it powerful. Evidently ESPN didn’t like the way it came out — they’re not comfortable with the facts — so [Bruce] did what any journalist would do he wrote the facts down in the appendix of the book.
“ESPN claims they didn’t suspend him. We’re just arguing definitions there. Bruce virtually disappeared, hasn’t written anything, didn’t go to SEC media day. They don’t like the word ‘suspended’ [they] tell you he was never suspended. Perhaps they like the word ‘kidnapped’ better.”Leach is sticking up for the man that helped him write his book... but ouch... kidnapping might be a little too harsh for the reasonably minded individual. Although now that I think about it, Dan Akroyd and Daniel Stern very well could have been off camera during Feldman's Pac 12 media day cameo.
While stories like this continue to trickle out, Bruce Feldman's induced Twitter silence is approaching a month. With college football season rapidly approaching, this story is going to have to break one way or the other and reach some kind of resolution. (We hope.) Either Bruce comes back and truly "resumes his assignments" or he fades away into the Bristol night for good.
While we're at it, let's hope Mike Leach "resumes his assignments" in the broadcast booth this fall as well.
[Larry Brown Sports]
Beau Bock - TELLING THE TRUTH SINCE 1973 ON ATLANTA RADIO!!!
[H/T Jimmy Traina]
Our armed services don't get enough love from the sporting world. There is always that nice shout-out and sometimes live feed of soldiers abroad watching major US sporting events. Teams often have military appreciation days and of late a lot of coaches have made the trek overseas to visit our troops. However, outside of these moments, the heartfelt acknowledgement and appreciation of our armed services is something we really tend to reserve for special occasions like Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, and to a lesser degree the Army vs Navy football game.
Formally one of college football's most compelling games of the year, the significance of the game has diminished as you rarely find one of the teams in the top 25 and Army has had a pretty rough decade on the gridiron. The games themselves have been a bit lacking as Navy has rattled off 9 straight wins, none of which were even one score games. On the bright side, it seems both programs seem to be on solid footing as Army won their first bowl game since 1985 last year.
But this game's significance is no longer in the wins and losses but rather the unique storyline of men whose letter of intent is a commitment and sacrifice that dwarfs their peers at programs all across the country. One day a year we celebrate these individuals, what they stand for, and the rich history of the game. Thanks to CBS and Showtime, we'll get to extend this celebration and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation as today they announced a documentary series on the lead up to the game.
"With crews embedding with the teams, CBS Sports.com on Monday, Oct. 17 will kick off 10 weekly webisodes surrounding the two service academies.
A preview of the docu-drama is scheduled for No. 23 on Showtime with encores to follow, while CBS will air the network television premiere on Saturday, Dec. 3, a week before the academies renew their rivalry, this year in Washington D.C.
A Game Of Honor, which will incorporate footage and interviews leading up to the contest, as well as action during the game and immediately thereafter, is slated to bow on Showtime on Dec. 21."
The actual release of the series is a bit confusing as you'll have webisodes, a making of special, a CBS series, and then a 2 hour documentary if I am reading this correctly.
I haven't yet checked out Showtime's work on "The Franchise", but word from Giants fans is that Showtime has done a good job there.
Regardless if it's on CBS, Showtime, or relegated to webisdoes, there is definitely a lot of great stories to tell here. Why these men choose to serve, where they come from, and what their day to day lives are like all makes for great television. Both teams also have the angle of being underdogs as their football talent is definitely not on par with other D1 schools. Even though Navy has been a solid program over the years, it's hard to imagine that their physical talents and pedigree are actually the driving force behind their success.
We'll get to see just how they're able to compete and if Army can continue their march back to respectability. Definitely a great initiative and one myself and the AA team look forward to viewing. Kudos to CBS and Showtime for picking up HBO's slack with Hard Knocks on hiatus.
Dick Vitale, whose talking head graces our Mt. Awful Announcing Rushmore, is in Rome these days and had a chance to meet with the POPE, Pope Benedict XVI. We know this because he gave us the play-by-play via his Twitter account:
Heading right now to the Pope's summer home hoping & praying 4 an audience with the HOLY FATHER! [...]
So EXCITED just kissed Pope's ring - in SHOCK!
(Ed. note: The last tweet was supplemented with the following photo, which looks more like SAD DickieV after a Duke loss):
I am still shaking as I have met many many famous ppl but NOTHING COMPARES when I was called 4 my moment today with POPE BENEDICT XVI! [...]
Can't wait 4 the photos taken by the Pope's staff- in awe as we made small talk .Asked his Holiness to pray 4 peace in our world & 4 my fam, [...]
@richarddeitsch Goosebumps as it was a moment that I will treasure - usually a non stop talker- I was in such awe- he started the chatter [...]
Ran into Broncos fan in hotel lobby in Rome & he claims Brady Quinn should starr- I said it is @timtebow time. [...]
(Ed. note: A Tim Tebow tweet in the middle of talking about meeting the POPE could not have been a coincidence.)
That was a real diaper dandy. I'm curious - how would DickieV rank his meeting with the Pope to one with ScarJo?
Did not have the nerve but I wanted to joke around & ask the Pope who was more popular in Germany the Pope or @swish41 -Dirk Nowitzki?
Attention football fans! Our collective prayers have been answered by the WorldWide Leader, ESPN! No longer will you lie awake at night wishing there was a more contrived, more complicated way to rate your favorite quarterback! No longer will you have to wrap your pea-sized mind around a perfect 158.3 QB rating. No, no, no, ESPN is saving the day this Friday when they unveil their brand new Total Quarterback Rating. Of course, the new Total QB Rating is only a small part of ESPN's Year of the Quarterback, which I think falls somewhere between the Year of the Tiger and the Year of the Armadillo.
Hopefully you could sense the sarcasm dripping from that paragraph, but it is true, ESPN has devised their own QB rating in their never-ending quest for world domination. But why? Sure, we've all complained at one point or another that a perfect QB rating of 158.3 makes no sense. But was there really demand for a different QB rating to muddy the waters? As SI's Kerry Byrne points out, the conventional QB rating, although contrived, actually has an excellent correlation to both individual success at the position and team success. Ask yourself, is it a fluke that Tom Brady was 1st last year in passer rating, or that Jimmy Claussen was 31st?
According to the experts at ESPN though, the arcane QB rating we're all accustomed to just doesn't reflect the demands of the "modern quarterback". So, the "far superior" ESPN Total QB Rating will be even more impossible to understand than the current system. From SportsNewser:
“Total QBR is based on all of a quarterback’s plays (rushing, passing, sacks, fumbles, interceptions, penalties, etc.), and it calculates the per-play net impact of the quarterback on the ability to score. Each play is weighted by the situation (i.e., down and distance, field position, time during the game) and its importance to the game’s outcome. For example, a completed five-yard pass on 3rd-and-3 would increase a quarterback’s QBR more than a five-yard completion on 3rd-and-15 because the former continues the drive and thus improves the team’s chance of scoring. Also, plays in closely contested games carry a greater value than plays in less competitive situations.
Division of credit is another important Total QBR principle because it assigns a percentage to how much credit a quarterback should get for a positive play – or blame for a negative play. With (Trent) Dilfer’s input, the group identified other key data to incorporate into the formula, including how far a pass travels in the air, where the ball was thrown on the field, the yards after catch, and whether the quarterback was facing defensive pressure, among other factors."
Oh great, so Trent Dilfer helped create this system! That means Bears QB Jay Cutler will automatically start out with a -9334 Total QB Rating on ESPN's new 100 point scale. Seriously though, has there ever been an analyst that carries himself with more self-importance and accomplished less than Trent Dilfer? And before you tell me that Dilfer has a Super Bowl ring let me remind you that I could have won a Super Bowl with that Ravens defense. When did he become the ultimate authority on quarterbacking? If there's anyone I WOULDN'T trust with developing a new QB rating, it's Trent Dilfer because you know he has a bias against certain QBs (Jay Cutler) and also has his favorites (Mark Sanchez, Aaron Rogers, Philip Rivers... basically everyone but Jay Cutler. Yes, I'm a Bears fan).
And as if having Trent Dilfer create this new QB rating weren't bad enough, other ESPNers like Ron Jaworski (who probably spent 800 consecutive hours in the "vault" studying QBs who "could make all the throws") and Jon Gruden are involved in the project. I'm sorry, but does Gruden have any credibility himself in this new QB rating? I think a QB would literally have to throw an INT with every attempt to get a poor rating if "THAT GUY" is involved with this new metric. Apparently the only person missing from the braintrust behind this new Total QB Rating is noted NFL "expert" Colin Cowherd. So long passer rating, it was nice knowing you and your quirky 158.3 perfect rating. Brace yourselves NFL fans, Total QB Rating is here to stay, because ESPN says so. And the jamming down our throats begins this Friday!