Thank you for all your awesome feedback on possible names for the NFL version of the Pammies that will start up this week. We've taken the best suggestions from your comments and tweets and placed them as nominees below is a poll for you to vote. There are six to choose from and you can vote for one choice every day until Friday at noon. We tried to cover a diverse area of NFL broadcasting with analysts and play by play announcers, studio personalities, and even one retired announcer that was suggested by one of our brave servicemen in Iraq.
We'll reveal the winner on Sunday for our first ever ______ies Open Thread. Leave us the most awful quotes you hear in the comments of our thread or tweet us at @awfulannouncing during NFL games and for studio shows as well. There is way too much ridiculousness on Sunday pregame shows to not have it be a significant part of these awards! Since the original Pammies run Saturday/Monday/Wednesday, the NFL version will see a Sunday Open Thread, Tuesday nominees, and Thursday winners with updated standings. Having followed the NFL closer than any other sport, I have no doubt this is going to be a lot of fun. Without further adieu, here are the nominees...
Poll Closed. Check back Sunday to find out the winner!
While consensus has been Urban Meyer's next career move as rescuing the Ohio State football program after his foray into broadcasting, the university most rumored with his name recently has actually been another Big Ten school - Penn State. There have been numerousreports on Meyer's potential as the next football coach at Penn State. There's even already been rumored contact between Meyer and Penn State's President and Athletic Director. Of course, Joe Paterno may have something to say about giving up a job he's held for 46 years as well. But, if Joe Pa happened to step down at the end of the season and a national championship winning coach was in place to make that transition into the next era of Penn State football a little easier... perhaps Urban Meyer could find his home in Happy Valley. (I wonder what his family thinks of all these coaching rumors...)
As fate would have it, Urban Meyer just happened to be in State College for Penn State's victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes. If Meyer wanted to slow down the rumor mill or the intensification of stories linking him to Penn State... using the phrase "our quarterbacks" when referring to the Nittany Lions isn't going to help. Rookie broadcasting mistake? Freudian slip? Or a sign of that those players in blue and white will be Meyer's quarterbacks next year after all? If the latter is ultimately the case, good luck, Urban.
It's impossible for me to view the monopoly ESPN has over the sports world and the unthinkable amount of money that comes in and out of Bristol without thinking of Gordon Gekko. As more and more is revealed about the way ESPN does business at the very top level of the company, the classic "greed is good" philosophy comes to the forefront. If one is wary of the evils of big business, perhaps ESPN's dominance troubles you immensely and you're thinking about the first steps to Occupy Bristol. If you believe in the virtues of the capitalist ethic, perhaps you applaud ESPN for successfully building a multi-billion dollar empire from scratch.
As time goes on though, and reporting gets better about television rights deals and what happens behind the scenes, we read more and more stories about the power and infulence of ESPN away from Chris Berman's annoying schtick, Pardon the Interruption, SportsCenter, and what we see and hear from ESPN. There's the ESPN that we love as sports fans in terms of their top notch sports broadcasting. There's the ESPN we don't love as much with Skip Bayless shouting and Tim Tebow talked about ad nauseum. Then, there's the corporate ESPN that we just don't know too much about as sports fans, but are beginning to learn more about. Networks are becoming increasingly focused on rights deals for televised sports as prices skyrocket and the value of broadcasting live sports dramatically increases. The Russian Roulette game of college football realignment has highlighted the high stakes involved. That's where perhaps the most alarming example of ESPN's greed and power was unveiled.
One quote from a Boston Globe story on Boston College and realignment of the ACC and Big East from BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo has hit the blogs. In a nutshell, Boston College supposedly blocked UConn from being one of the new additions to the ACC to protect their New England turf. (Evidently New England isn't big enough for the both of them, because, ya know, the Northeastern United States isn't big enough for the BC and UConn football programs.) One of the best college football writers, Pete Thamel of the New York Times, also had the quote and broke down the story:
“We always keep our television partners close to us,” DeFilippo told The Globe. “You don’t get extra money for basketball. It’s 85 percent football money. TV — ESPN — is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball.”
There's several levels at play here, but the sentiment that ESPN TOLD US WHAT TO DO is stunning for an athletic director to admit publicly. Now, what exactly did ESPN tell BC or the ACC to do? Did they tell the ACC which teams to poach from which conference? Did they advise BC to focus on football? Did they simply inform the conference that football dollars were the major player here... or was there something a bit more unseemly happening? More from Thamel in the New York Times:
DeFilippo’s comments give credence to the popular theory that ESPN encouraged Pittsburgh and Syracuse’s exit from the Big East in the wake of the Big East’s turning down ESPN’s billion dollar television deal in May during an exclusive negotiating window. ESPN has a billion dollar deal with the A.C.C., making that move either savvy business or collusion, depending on one’s perspective.
The ACC and ESPN both denied the claims of DeFilippo, who obviously said way too much... but keep in mind this is the same network that also told us "Bruce has resumed his assignments." Is it too hard to believe ESPN is instructing conferences on which team to poach? Is it too hard to believe ESPN is in on all these realignment meetings and discussions? Is it too hard to believe ESPN and the networks are moving the chess pieces of realignment around the board...
American League Championship Series. Extra innings. Walk off home run. Grand slam.
These are the ingredients of one of the most exciting baseball plays of the year. In fact, it's the first "official" walk off grand slam in MLB postseason history (baseball afficionados may remember Robin Ventura's walk off grand slam for the Mets in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS, but that was only credited as a 1 run single). One would think this would be cause for one of the more boisterous, enthusiastic calls of the sports year.
Enter Joe Buck...
I've heard store closings delivered with more passion. And I get the appeal of announcers wanting to step aside and let the noise of the crowd and the moment speak for itself, but that usually comes after a more vibrant call than "in the air to left... down the line... this ball... ends it." Instantly, our followers on Twitter began to take notice...
It does sound like Buck's voice is getting moderately better, which is good... but maybe someone needs to check his pulse too. The funny thing is, I thought Joe sounded more excitable than usual during the NFL Playoffs and the Super Bowl last year. In fact, I thought he was (relatively) amped up for the big game in February and did well. That clearly hasn't made the transition to the MLB postseason. Maybe Joe watches this video before every baseball broadcast for inspiration...
With the rave reviews Terry Francona received, it'll be very interesting to see whether or not Fox can (or wants to) persuade him to stay in the booth and make it a three man team with Tim McCarver and Buck for the rest of the postseason. It'll be nice to see McCarver in good health back in the booth, but Francona gives Fox's baseball coverage the spark of life and freshness it needs.
It's rowdy in downtown Detroit (especially if the Tigers can pull out this Game 2 win) but there will be none of Hank Williams Jr.'s rowdy friends, as he was canned for... Barry Sanders. At least for this week.
As I said in my weekly NFL picks, I don't think the 1985 Bears could come into Detroit and beat the Lions on this night, a chance for 5-0 on their first MNF appearance since 2001.
The Philadelphia Eagles found a new way to comically blow yet another game, losing embarrassingly to the Buffalo Bills 24-31 after falling behind to a huge deficit early in the game. This loss wouldn't be so bad if they were like, you know, playing up to their collective abilities. However, with over a quarter of the season gone, it very well could be that the Eagles just plain stink. Good thing they just spent the GDP of a small nation on Michael Vick and all those free agents, as their One-and-Four record is falling just a little bit short of all the pre-season expectations heaped upon the squad.
Listen as the Philadelphia Eagles radio announcer Merrill Reese freaks out after an offsides violation on 4th and inches, with 1:23 to go in the game. Their sad-sack defense probably wouldn't have stopped the Bills anyways, but this is still enjoyable to everyone that doesn't cheer for the Iggles:
This is an idea we've been floating around at AA headquarters for a while now - an NFL version of the Pammies. We asked you earlier this morning on Twitter, and the response was a unanimous YES to the NFL Pammies. With the legacy of the Pammies at AA, it only makes sense to expand our weekly documentation of awful announcing to the National. Football. League. Listening to Dick Stockton announce a full Saints game and hearing Phil Simms call Mark Sanchez, "Mark Shantez" was like divine inspiration to launch our NFL Pammies...
This is where you come in. Your tweets and comments are the lifeblood of the Pammies on Saturdays, so we'll need AA Nation to pull together and provide us with the best quotes from Sundays and Monday nights, and even the various studio shows that fill an NFL weekend (I'm looking at you Chris Berman and Shannon Sharpe). If you're just an NFL fan and may be unfamiliar with the Pammies (if so, what's wrong with you!), AA gathers the funniest, most ridiculous, most awful, and most innuendo filled quotes of the week. Therefore, we need direct quotes in tweets and comments when sending in a submission:
NO: Dick Stockton is old and terrible. YES: "3rd downs are always important. This is the first important 3rd down of the game." - Dick Stockton
As with the college version of the Pammies, our readers will vote on the nominees and points will be awarded for the winning quotes. At the end of the season, we'll crown both a college and NFL Pammies champion.
Most of all though, we also need your help in NAMING the NFL version of the Pammies. Who or what should we "honor" with this distinction? With the Pammy Awards, we have The Pam Ward Chronicles and The Pammies. For our NFL version, we need you to fill in the blanks...
The _________ Chronicles.
Leave us a comment or a tweet on your name ideas and we'll start our NFL version of the Pammies next week.
Dwayne Bowe made this ridiculous juggling touchdown catch in Kansas City's win in Indianapolis on Sunday. Even though Megatron has had an array of amazing catches and Victor Cruz of the Giants has put forth some highlight plays... this is the catch of the year in the NFL so far. Making the play even better is AA favorite Kevin Harlan on the call... "OH HE GOT THE BALL!!!" With the NBA lockout looking bleaker and bleaker, hopefully Harlan finds a way to work such classics as "right between the eyes" and "with no regard for human life" into his NFL broadcasts...
Pam Ward triumphantly returns for this week's Pammies with a couple gems in this week's nominees. Elsewhere, ESPN managed to pick up 14 of our 16 nominees this week featuring Craig James and Matt Millen in their starring roles and a couple new faces getting in on the fun. Also, it's a historic week for the Pammies as the one and only Gus Johnson makes his first appearance! You'll have to see it to believe how he makes the field this week...
As a reminder as to how the Pammy vote 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 5 nominees...
1) "Texas is the hungrier team. they're playing with fire in their hair." - Craig James (via bjo109)
2) "Unless you know somethin', don't say nothin'" - Lee Corso (via sctvman)
3) "You know I'm a smoke man" - Brent Musburger (via jleimer) obivously referring to him betting sports.
4) "You can watch Texas practice live on Tuesday & Wednesday, on the Longhorn Network." - Kirk Herbstreit (via SEC_wrld)
5) "Harris, steps into it, almost incomplete." - Mike Patrick (via SBisho12) The pass was incomplete. It was nearly intercepted.
6) "Pittsburgh starting to pick up some chunky gains" - Pam Ward (via sctvman)
7) "When they are in the wildcat, you can bet on them either running or throwing" - Brent Musburger (via jshaddo)
8) "I don't wanna say that snap was way inside, but even Ryan Howard would've swung at it" - Gary Danielson (via AlexFromBuffalo)
9) "Ray Graham running away from would-be defenders" - Pam Ward (via patdoc38)
10) "LSU is hammering LSU" - Scott Van Pelt (via Michael Necci)
11) "This is why Lamar miller averages eight and a half carries per touch." - Craig James (via DWW_1992)
12) "The son of the great CRAIG JAMES from SMU with the score" - Gus Johnson (via ConnorKeisel). There's a hole in the world tonight...
13) "If Tyler Bray were any more laid back, he couldn't see over his hips." - Mark Jones (via CaptTouchback)
14) "You cant make that play in the Big Red Shootout." - Lou Holtz (via David Reeves) commenting on OU/Texas highlights.
15) "You have to read the play, then you have to play football" - Matt Millen (via crippenstation)
16) "Plenty of time and four timeouts" - Mike Patrick (via MrIronD) late in the Miami/VT game when Virginia Tech was driving for the go-ahead TD.
Vote For Your Week 6 Pammy Nominees! (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 7 announcing sked later this week!
The early reviews are in and mostly positive on Gus Johnson's new role calling college football games on FX. Pitted against the likes of ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, and the MLB playoffs though, the majority of college football fans have yet to experience one of the loudest announcers coupled with the most naturally loud sport.
I found myself drawn to FX as the Aggies and Red Raiders provided a bevvy of big plays and scoring despite having rooting interests watching other games. While I didn't get to watch a lot of the action, I felt lucky to have been able to this catch during a commercial in another game. Take it away Gus:
I think if you're a college football fan, the bottom line is that you don't have to fear Fox and FX's foray into college football as you did during the dreaded BCS on Fox experiment. With Fox broadcasting two conference championships and the Cotton Bowl, it will be interesting to see if Johnson can finish out his rookie year on a high note with the potential of drawing some very big games.