Do something about this guy, ESPN. Here's the maddening clip from SportsGrid...
Tuesday: Berman vs Irvin
Round Two of the Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament is in the books. We had a massive number of people vote throughout the last week as we cut a field of 16 First Round winners down to the Elite Eight of Awful Announcing. If you still aren't aboard the Joe Morgan Memorial bandwagon, we are holding a month long tournament to place a current sports media personality on Awful Announcing's Mount Rushmore to replace not so current awful announcer Joe Morgan. You can get caught up on everything that's happened so far with the full First Round results here and the full Second Round results below...
1) Skip Bayless defeated John Sterling 64.14% - 35.86%
2) Joe Buck defeated Deion Sanders 55.21% - 44.79%
3) Colin Cowherd defeated Joe Theismann 61.71% - 38.29%
4) Chris Berman defeated Mark May 70.09% - 29.91%
5) Jim Gray defeated Thom Brennaman 77.89% - 22.11%
6) Craig James defeated Rick Reilly 66.32% - 33.68%
7) Stephen A. Smith defeated Tony Siragusa 63.91% - 36.09%
8) Michael Irvin defeated Pierre McGuire 69.1% - 30.9%
Our readers and voters have stayed with the spirit of the Joe Morgan Memorial and not limited themselves to the broadcast booth throughout the tournament. Eight men remain covering eight different areas of the sports media. The diverse field includes a play by play man (Buck), booth analyst (James), radio host (Cowherd), debater (Bayless), reporter (Gray), studio analyst (Irvin), studio host (Berman), and, well, whatever Stephen A. Smith does these days. The Elite Eight has again been drawn at random, but the rest of the tournament is now bracketed out as well now that we've reached the quarters. We start Tuesday with our first matchup below (Berman/Irvin) and will go right down the list through Friday with one quarterfinal taking place every day from Tuesday-Friday. The semifinals and final will then take place starting Monday the 25th. See you tomorrow for the beginning of the Elite Eight!
In a testament to just how strange this game actually was, Canseco pitched more like former teammate Dave Stewart than he did when he made his Major League pitching debut for the Texas Rangers, a start that ended in an arm injury requiring Tommy John surgery. Canseco used a knuckleball to hold the Fielders' makeshift lineup to one run en route to an 8-3 victory before a reported crowd of several thousand surely bewildered fans.
Last week, the Fielders made minor adjustments to the roster, trading nine players and releasing fourteen more. The Fielders play in a makeshift temporary stadium outside Chicago and there's no word on if the new roster of players are actually getting paid or not (they have lost 5 straight but remain 25-20 on the season). To add to all of the insanity, Fielders play by play man Qumar Zaman (seen here trying out for the Wrigley Field PA job) then took it upon himself to quit his job on air after a recent game. Listen and be thankful that you don't work for the Lake County Fielders...
I love this speech. It's not a psychotic or angry rant, but more in the defiant martyr category. I immediately thought of CM Punk when I heard his "voice of the voiceless" quote, and that connection was confirmed when Qumar brought up him and his buddies getting together to watch the Money In The Bank PPV. Awesome. (CM Punk FTW!) Qumar exposes the embarrassment of the Fielders front office and talks about nearly everyone associated with the Fielders not receiving a paycheck. He even throws in the Murrow slash Olbermannesque "good night and good luck" to close on a high note. The awkward applause in the booth ends his on air resignation perfectly. Where's Crash Davis when you need him.
The final Second round matchup of the Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament pits two of the biggest loudmouths on the sports airwaves against each other. In one corner we have the small, skinny loudmouth Stephen A. Smith, who unfortunately is slowly starting to pollute ESPN's airwaves once again. In the other corner, is the more prototypical big fat loudmouth, Tony Siragusa. The choice is yours! Which bag of hot air will you send to the next round to complete the not-so-Elite 8 in our quest to find the next face to be immortalized on AA's Mt. Rushmore! We'll be back Monday with all the Second Round results and the draw for the quarterfinals.
Stephen A. Smith vs. Tony Siragusa
Stephen A. Smith
Fact File: ESPN NBA reporter/analyst/debater... well, actually he's not around that much anymore
Why He's Here: Stephen A. is a hard man to find these days. After the mistake that was Quite Frankly and his period of overexposure, Smith faded away. Somehow, he has a job hosting shows on ESPN Radio in New York and Los Angeles and still makes the sporadic TV appearance appearing on First Take, subbing for Jim Rome, and in other various nether regions of the leader. It's enough for us to give Screamin' A. a place on the list.
Round 1 Result: Defeated Stuart Scott 51.45% - 48.55%
Fact File: NFL on Fox sideline reporter and analyst
Why He's Here: Siragusa has been one of the pioneers of the field level analyst. Hockey has gone to an analyst/reporter inside the glass, but Siragusa's role in Fox's coverage is basically the same thing. The idea in theory isn't bad, but in practice it usually disappoints. Siragusa is much more useful telling bad jokes, talking about food, or wasting time rather than providing anything of substance.... like analysis.
Links:Tony Siragusa Is Serious About Honey
Round 1 Result: Defeated 'Crazy' Jack Edwards 71.55% - 28.45%
Stephen A. Smith defeated Tony Siragusa 63.91% - 36.09%
I'll freely admit that this matchup might be the hardest of the Second round to predict. On one hand we have Michael Irvin, who many fans are seeing in a new light after his comments in support of gay athletes. Despite his sometimes non-awfulness, there's still plenty of self-promotion and forced guffawing to go around for the former playmaker. On the other hand, there's Pierre McGuire, who probably doesn't grate on casual hockey fans the way he does on the hardcore hockey followers. Heck, the way some despised McGuire, you'd think he was the commissioner of the league or something! The winner joins these six names in the Quarterfinals: Joe Buck, Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Chris Berman, Jim Gray, and Craig James. Do your best AA Nation! Tell us which analyst is more worthy of following in Joe Morgan's awful footsteps.
Pierre McGuire vs. Michael Irvin
Fact File: NHL on NBC inside the glass analyst
Why He's Here: There are many hockey fans that just don't like Pierre McGuire. It could be the way he gushes about certain players, the way his cliches and style grates, or even how he pronounces certain words. Mainly, it's the way McGuire carries himself as an expert in spite of his 23-37-7 record as an NHL head coach.
Round 1 Result: Defeated Reggie Miller 57.62% - 42.38%
Fact File: NFL Network studio analyst
Why He's Here: The former Cowboys receiver is the poster child for the staged guffawing that has infested NFL studio shows. Irvin has never lasted in one place too long, jumping from Fox Sports Net to ESPN and now to NFL Network. Irvin can be sincere, honest, and moving when he wants to be (see his Hall of Fame speech and statements in Out Magazine), but it's rarely ever seen in his television work.
Round 1 Result: Defeated Dick Stockton 71.61% - 28.39%
Michael Irvin defeated Pierre McGuire 69.1% - 30.9%
Let's see...our next matchup to crown the newest face on AA's Mt. Rushmore doesn't feature anyone who's been in the news recently. It's not like revelations and accusations about Craig James's quest to ruin journalistic integrity at ESPN have been running rampant the last few days. Thank God Bruce is free by the way. Yes, Senator James has been making many enemies in the blogosphere recently. But will his newfound villainy be able to match the lame longevity of Rick Reilly? While I'm trying to think of a stupid Reilly-esque essay, why not go ahead and vote on who's the more repulsive sports media personality?
Rick Reilly vs. Craig James
Fact File: ESPN reporter, essayist, and columnist
Why He's Here: Reilly isn't primarily a TV guy, but appears enough on the family of networks to make the cut. Whether it's Homecoming, analysis on golf or other sports, or just pointless segments... Rick Reilly usually leads one to reach quickly for their remote. In addition, Reilly has been caught mailing in columns and dismissing bloggers and new media. Does anyone in sports do less for their millions of dollars? Bobby Bonilla not withstanding...
Round 1 Result: Defeated Hawk Harrelson 58.7% - 41.3%
Fact File: ESPN college football game and studio analyst
Why He's Here: James became an integral part of one of college football's biggest stories when his son Adam's allegations of being locked in a closet led to Mike Leach's firing at Texas Tech. This led to an awkward series of revelations made by Leach about Craig's meddling in his program, lawsuits, and other developments. ESPN was put in the position of having one of their analysts be an integral part of the controversy. How did Craig James respond? Well, rumor has it he wants to be a Senator of course. And now that his coverup and controversy briefly resulted in the "suspension" of respected CFB writer Bruce Feldman, James is more despised than ever.
Round 1 Result: Defeated Mike Patrick 75.17% - 24.83%
Craig James defeated Rick Reilly 66.32% - 33.68%
In the first of today's matchups we have what can best be described as a contrast in styles. Though neither of these two were considered favorites at the start, both were impressive in their 1st round victories. Gray walloped the King of Puns Jim Nantz in taking over 75% of the vote while Thom Brennaman comfortably took out "THAT GUY" Jon Gruden. But, who has enough awfulness to make it to the not-so-Elite 8? So who will advance to join Skip Bayless, Joe Buck, Chris Berman, and Colin Cowherd? The snake in the grass reporter, or the monotone man with the unending Tebow love?
Jim Gray vs. Thom Brennaman
Fact File: reporter and interviewer for ESPN...or the highest bidder
Why He's Here: Two words - The Decision. Jim Gray's involvement in The Decision led to plenty of jealousy from fellow sports media personalities and plenty of fury from sports fans. At least his pointless stalling in that interview wasn't as contentious as his infamous interview with Pete Rose. But, there's also many other examples of Jim Gray's sterling career.
Play by play man for NFL and MLB on Fox, Big Ten Network football, and the Cincinnati Reds
Why He's Here:
Brennaman's national rep has never quite recovered from his creepy obsessive man crush on Tim Tebow during the 2009 National Championship Game. His run at the top of college football lasted a short time (although Fox didn't exactly put him in a position to succeed with those 9,000 band shots).
Links:Thom Loves Tim Tebow
Jim Gray defeated Thom Brennaman 77.89% - 22.11%