I'm going to try to stay positive with this next clip. I can imagine it being very difiicult to be a sports anchor. There's all sorts of obligations and pressure associated with being on television and probably a million things happening during a telecast. Having a little experience with this kind of thing, I also know it's very easy to get tongue tied or make a Freudian slip during a telecast. (I once referred to a defensive tackle as "Taylor Swift" instead of "Taylor Smith," d'oh!)
So, I can't be too hard on Cindy Brunson for the following clip. Besides, I used all of my sexual innuendo jokes for the month on this post. The SportsCenter anchor had one of those hilarious moments when her brain and mouth weren't on the same page when she recapped Caroline Wozniacki's win in New Haven this weekend. Wozniacki has been in the news for forming sports' newest power couple with golf's rising star, Rory McIlroy. (We just need a terrible and forced one word nickname for them now - "WozMac?" "RoWo?" "Macnack?") As the highlight ends, I think Cindy is trying to say Rory is "digging it" while watching in the stands. What actually came out was something entirely different. It's here I would insert more crude humor, but it's a Sunday after all.
A huge H/T to Jeff Lowe for sending us the clip.
The month of August is one of the worst, if not the single most brutal month on the sports television calendar. The baseball season is finally winding down the dog days of summer, college and pro football haven't kicked off yet (no, I'm not counting preseason), and other sports like golf and soccer aren't in their peak months. And yet, every year like a rite of late summer, what does ESPN force down our throats... the Little League World Series.
Yes, every August, ESPN has committed to broadcasting the Little League World Series like it was the most important sporting event in the world, at least in the category of pre-teens grabbing at their junk on national television. In years past, the omnipresence of the LLWS has been extremely annoying for the silent majority of sports fans. However, ESPN decided to take their devotion to the LLWS to new heights this year, televising not only all 32 games of the LLWS in Williamsport across the family of networks, but also branching out into regional coverage this August to the tune of an additional 22 games, that's over 50 IN TOTAL!
You practically haven't been able to turn on ESPN without seeing children playing baseball this month. Of course, ESPN's commitment to stay with a Regional LLWS game over a USA/Mexico friendly caught the ire of many sports fans earlier this month when soccer fans were forced to miss the beginning of Jurgen Klinnsmen's debut and the first goal of the match. But now, amid mounting criticism of ESPN's saturation of coverage, and possible exploitation of the kids playing the game, the WWL's attack dog has sprung to their defense... ESPN's supposedly independent Ombudsman, The Poynter Institute...
So much for that survey the Dodgers were sending around to their season ticket holders. Legendary Dodgers' announcer Vin Scully decided to take it upon himself to quash that silly thing and announce he's returning for a 63rd season. He made the announcement with a cookie in-hand before the top half of an inning during the Dodgers/Rockies game Friday night.
Here's video of his announcement via MLB.tv:
No, we don't want Scully to ever be quiet and eat his cookie ...
Scully was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and Radio Hall of Fame in 1995, has called three perfect games, 19 no-hitters, 25 World Series (hopefully one more?) and 12 All-Star games in his career. He has a Life Achievement Emmy Award for sportscasting, ranks 2nd on my personal all-time favorite announcers list behind Ernie Harwell, and I'm confident recordings of his voice will one day help cure cancer.
Yeah, he's a rock star announcer, so we should be quiet (and eat those leftover cookies) and just be grateful we're able to listen to him for one more year.
Denver Broncos' third string quarterback Tim Tebow and the hero of the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees, will be on NBC's 'The Biggest Loser' this fall [via EW]:
The Oct. 4 episode of NBC’s weight-loss competition series will feature appearances by a handful of NFL players, including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, and Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, EW has learned.
Some of the athletes will be seen competing against the contestants in a throwing contest, while others help the pound shedders with their “Last Chance Workout” before that week’s weigh-in.
Ah, nothing like bringing in NFL quarterbacks -- who are in all world tip-top shape -- to help the insecure, overweight contestants feel good about themselves in a throwing contest. Well, actually, I guess Tebow should help a little there. But, seriously, why is NBC putting these athletes on the show? Larry Brown Sports thinks the answer is simple:
They’re hoping the macho NFLers will help bring in a male audience. You know when Tebow’s involved, an entire fan base will be interested. Smart idea.
Simple enough! I know my wife watches this show sometimes because "it's inspiring" (although she's not overweight by any means), but I can't bare to watch much more than five minutes. I guess if I saw NFL QBs throwing pigskins into the stomachs of corpulent 'Loser' contestants (as Tebow yells, 'hey, your body is a temple; you can't eat that!') and consoling the cryers (there's always uncontrollable crying in these shows), I'd probably stick it out longer.
If you didn't watch the show before, will you watch now that Tebow, Brees, and Dickerson will be on it?
I tried to warn ya folks... this time, soccer is truly making it in the American sporting culture. In fact, 2011 might be a true watershed year for soccer's growth in the USA because multiple television networks are making a profound commitment to broadcasting the beautiful game. First, there was ESPN's rousing success in broadcasting the Women's World Cup this summer and the ever-growing popularity of lead play-by-play man Ian Darke. We then told you earlier this month about NBC's new deal with the MLS that will broadcast several games a year (both MLS and U.S. Men's National Team) on both NBC Sports Network (formerly Versus) and The Peacock itself. The only real loser of that deal looked like it was FOX Soccer, who was losing their rights package to the domestic league.
But, did FOX have a different plan all along to hitch their wagon to soccer's ever-expanding growth? Apparently so, because FOX has announced their intention to air four English Premier League games on their broadcast network during football season. And no, I don't mean futbol, I mean football as in the N... F... L. According to EPL Talk, FOX will air three games on tape delay during the NFL season when the network doesn't have an NFL doubleheader (either 2-4PM or 4:30-6:30PM depending on your local game that week).
The more surprising news is that the FOX Network will also air a LIVE EPL game on Super Bowl Sunday, and it will feature rivals Manchester United and Chelsea, two teams who have combined to win the last seven Premier League Championships. It will be the first time a broadcast network televises a live EPL game, truly a historic occasion. If nothing else, this news in addition to NBC's commitment to air live soccer on their broadcast network is a huge step forward towards the growth of the game. After all, the most recent Champions League Final between Barcelona and Manchester United was the most watched in American history, and it was broadcasted live on FOX.
However, there is a certain amount of skepticism inherent with FOX's commitment to airing these EPL games because, quite frankly, their past Champions League coverage on broadcast network tv has been an embarrassment. Unlike ESPN, and hopefully NBC Sports, FOX has attempted to dumb down their soccer broadcasts to the masses. One can imagine painful segments like Scooter of FOX Baseball fame to try to "broaden" soccer's appeal to NFL fans who may be tuning in to soccer for the first time. In truth, ESPN's success in televising soccer since the 2010 World Cup has been because they've embraced soccer for what it is. Actually, ESPN's coverage even far surpasses what would be seen on FOX Soccer on a weekly basis.
The good news is there's still time for FOX to learn from their mistakes. Please FOX, don't Americanize and homogenize the beautiful game until it's turned into some watered-down oddity that's unrecognizable to both soccer fans and casual football fans. But with the first EPL game set to air on September 18th, FOX doesn't have much time on their side to weigh outside options and change their ways. Sadly, my bet is on FOX resorting to their dumbed down Champions League-style broadcasts that insult the intelligence of non-soccer fans and annoy the patience of true fans at the same time. After all, this is the network that still employs Terry Bradshaw...
Time for another great installment of Screengrab Snafus... and there is plenty of pic-fail goodness to choose from this week. Let's get started, shall we?
Yesterday we chronicled John Clayton's moment of zen. Clayton is a great follow on Twitter even though he's rather new to the social media scene. In the rush to get news out, it's understandable that a veteran reporter may slip back a couple decades. 1993 called and it wants its Tweet back, John. Zzzzzing!
From NBC4's Matt Barnes in Columbus comes this snafu from last night's Panthers/Bengals preseason game in Cincinnati. I can't blame the guys in the truck though, who is honestly paying attention to a Panthers/Bengals preseason game?!?! I would say that Ron Rivera and Marvin Lewis trading places would be an interesting subplot to the season, but both these teams are winning like 3 games anyways.
According to the Detroit News, Calvin Johnson has aged quite a bit, shrunk, and evidently needs to get tickets to Lions games from the Detroit Lions ticket office. I can't believe Johnson's shocking transformation isn't a bigger story nationwide...
The "Fox Box" changed sports on television for the better as we see time, score, and team information about the game we're watching. 99.9% of the time, this isn't cause for one of the funniest pics you'll see in sports. However, I was floored when I saw what happened when Viktoria Plzen met FC Kobenhaven in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round. From the brilliant Tim Burke comes the most hilarious combination of abbreviated names I've ever seen on a sports telecast...
And finally, we cross into the world of real news where the uprising in Libya is one of the biggest stories of the year around the world. With such a fragile situation on the ground, on-site reporting is obviously a big deal for the news networks. That's why it was so surprising to see a CNN reporter in Tripoli... Lebanon.
That was your week in Screengrab Snafus, next time, wherever you are around the world, be careful out there!
T.J. Simers of the LA Times writes that the Dodgers are asking their season ticket holders to fill out a seemingly pointless survey, in which they grade one of the greatest announcers of all-time Vin Scully:
On a scale of 1 to 5, "They wanted my opinion of Vin Scully in the following eight areas: 1. Knowledge of baseball; 2. Knowledge of Dodgers organization; 3. Objectivity; 4. Accuracy of calls; 5. Storytelling ability; 6. Focus on the game; 7. Style; 8. Overall performance."This is like polling Catholics about Mother Teresa's work," he said. "This is Vin's 62nd year behind the microphone in a broadcasting career that no one will ever emulate. Is this portion of the survey really necessary?
When Simers emailed the Dodgers about Scully's job security, a team spokeman predictably responded Scully's job "is his as long as he wants it." Frankly, I'm surprised Scully hasn't been given the keys to that entire organization, yet.
You know the whole "What if Mike Vick was ___ ?" bit that went on Thursday? Well, I feel like we could definitely have some fun with this one, too: "Asking the fans to rate Vin Scully is like polling ____ about _____." (Feel free to leave your best in the comments).
Interestingly enough, AA's inbox received an email at the end of July from non-season ticket holder John asking us to add VIN SCULLY to the list of AWFUL ANNOUNCERS. My first thought was to simply respond "no," but the email was well-written, thoughtful, and (sigh) his opinion, so instead I decided to respond respectfully.
While we received permission to post it as a dissenting opinion on a subject I always thought had unanimous benediction, we wound up not posting it because the JMMT was drawing to a close and it just felt too... random.
But I guess now - while Dodgers season ticket holders mull over how they'll evaluate Scully - is as good as any to finally present the other side that actually exists:
Good day. Love your website; check it every day for the latest. Keep up the great work.
Regarding Vin Scully, the longtime voice of the Dodgers: first I must say that he is truly a hall of fame announcer and should be commended for his 60 years of baseball announcing. However, at this point in time I think it’s time for Vin to call it a day.
As a diehard SF Giants fan, I eagerly tuned in to Monday night’s MLB Network Extra Innings telecast of the Giants/Dodgers game. If only one feed is available, you don’t know until the game comes on the air which team’s feed you will receive. Instead of the excellent team of Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, I was forced to listen to nine innings of Vin Scully. The entire game, one announcer, no analyst.
Vin no longer announces the game, he tells stories. He thinks his melodic, dulcet tones and old school vocabulary add to the viewing of the game. Nothing could be further from the truth. I tune in to watch a baseball game. I want to hear current information and statistics that will help me learn more about the teams and perhaps anticipate specific developments within the game.
I do not want to hear a five-minute dissertation on what happened in a minor league game when an ambidextrous pitcher faced a switch-hitter. I don’t want Vin to read player’s biographies from the media guide. I don’t care who first wore batting gloves. Tell me about this team, these players and what they are doing this season, this month, this week.
Vin is 86 years old and when announcing night games he begins to “sundown”, mispronouncing player’s names, repeating information he has delivered earlier in the game, and detracting from the presentation.
I found myself muting the sound and watching the game in silence. Not so bad, but a good analyst will give you information and observations that add to your enjoyment of the game and enhance your understanding of it. Krukow provides that on nearly every Giants telecast I receive and it is a real treat.
I am a mid-fifties boomer and a lifelong baseball fan, so this is not a youth-driven rant against an old guy. You guys provide a service and an outlet for big-time sports fans who despise poor announcing. That’s me in a nutshell.
Thanks for listening.
Ray Lewis decided to take a stab at doing play-by-play announcing during the last seconds of the Ravens comeback win against the Redskins. As you can hear, mostly Lewis showcased his very excellent grunting skills in increasing decibel levels as the Ravens moved the ball down the field. Here's Lewis' attempt at describing an 11 yard WR screen.
"Oh, WR screen. HAW! HAW! HO-HAW!"
Easily my favorite part of the bit was when Lewis described 6th round rookie from Va. Tech, Tyrod Taylor, as the human highlight reel. Sorry Dominique, that nickname now belongs to preseason hero Tyrod Taylor.
Just so you know, the last play was initially ruled down at the 1, robbing us of volume 2,000 grunts. The play was reviewed, and called a touchdown. Sadly, I missed getting video of much of Lewis' "tryout" because he spent much of the time sprinting away from Suzy Kolber anytime a Raven touched the ball. Things that were awesome that were missed...
A) Joe Flacco with a deathwish surprised Lewis by pouring a glass of water on his head at the beginning of the interview. Tirico excitedly exclaimed, "Was that Flacco?! NICE." Lewis did not look amused.
B) A near punt return. Lewis' description was something like, "OHHH OHHHHH OHHAHAHA AHHH OHH" followed by him sprinting away from Kolber.
C) After the win, Lewis went up to anyone wearing purple and excitedly yelled, "THAT'S FOOTBAWL! THAT'S FOOTBALLL! THAT'S FOOTBALL! THAT'S HOW YOU PLAY FREAKING FOOTBAWL"
It really just doesn't get much more exciting than the 4th quarter of the third NFL preseason game.
The crew on MLB Network's 411 Fantasy show -- Jeremy Brisiel, Cory Schwartz, and Mike Siano Nando Difino -- experienced the Tuesday earthquake while they were on the set. While they didn't sprint off camera like Ravens' rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith, they were definitely shaken* by their trembling studio.
Despite Cory Schwartz saying "holy shit" twice, Jeremy Brisiel definitely appears the most anxious, especially near the end when Schwartz basically goads Brisiel by providing the doom and gloom scenario.
*pun definitely intended!
[H/T Steve via BroBible]
From the way of the Crossover Chronicles, here's comedian playing reporter, Jason Sereno, stepping into the octagon for a sparring session with the NBA's Al Harrington. There's a slight athletic mismatch here as Harrington out-everything's him by a significant margin. Unfortunately for Sereno, Harrington beats on him like he was asking for his beach cruiser back. Yes, the video and sadly the punch were I'm sure faked, but I definitely laughed watching it.
I love that Sereno is wearing socks and a green button up while throwing short jabs at Harrington. Those jabs remind me of those almost completely pointless low kicks from Mortal Kombat that did no damage.