With the end of the NBA Finals, it's safe to say that the sports media is going overboard on LeBron James. Of course, there was the outrage and reaction to the outrage from his Game 6 postgame press conference, the subsequent apology and reaction to the apology, and a lot of talk about LeBron needing a sports psychologist. All the LeBron talk finally reached its saturation point with the video below - for some reason, ESPN thought that Herman Edwards giving an imaginary pep talk to James with a knockoff of The Patriot soundtrack playing in the background was a great idea. Have a listen and be inspired...
Here's my problems with this video...
1) ESPN feeling the need to give a "pep talk" to James only gives more ammo to folks saying that their coverage has been biased towards Miami all season (cough, Heat Index, cough) although Herm has given other "pep talks" in the past. 2) What is the point of this video? 3) Herm Edwards is a football coach, not a basketball coach. 4) LeBron James is not going off to war tomorrow, as the music would imply. 5) Herm Edwards was an inspiring 54-74 in his career as a football coach. 6) Herm Edwards did not say, "YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! in this video." 7) What is the point of this video again?
I like Herm Edwards as an analyst and as a TV personality, but an NFL analyst giving a pep talk to LeBron James is puzzling. Was Lou Holtz not available? Maybe Barry Melrose or Ditka can give it a try this week as well! Let's just have every former coach on ESPN give LeBron an imaginary pep talk, now that could be entertaining. Just imagine Digger Phelps tossing highlighters around the studio or Lee Corso using mascot heads to elicit motivation.
Don't worry though, if you still need more LeBron, Skip Bayless is planning to say that LeBron's legacy is permanently tainted on First Take this morning. The first three debate topics on 1st & 10 are about LeBron James. It's not like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight or anything... I can see all of you reaching for your remotes right now!
If you aren't a golf fan, you may not know the names Ben Crane, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, or Bubba Watson. However, you probably will know them now with the release of this Youtube video that made its world premiere on the Golf Channel tonight. The four PGA pros have teamed up as the "Golf Boys" and have released their first single and music video, "Oh Oh Oh." The video is...well... different. The PGA Tour boy band idea is totally off the wall and the end result is hilarious - there's plenty of ridiculous farmer tans, a man wearing full overalls, and incredibly awful golf-related lyrics. Watch and be amazed...
It's always great to see athletes show a humorous side (yes, golfers are athletes, at least in this golfer's mind) and this video is for a good cause - Farmers Insurance has teamed with Crane and will donate $1,000 for every 100,000 views. So, go tell your friends to watch it and let them know that there are indeed some PGA Tour pros that have some personality (for better or worse). I really hope Watson makes the final pairing on Sunday of the US Open and breaks out the full overalls. Crazy Youtube videos like this are a great way for the sport to get through the absence of Tiger Woods and hey, these guys have at least as much musical talent as Taylor Swift.
Yep, I went for the cheap joke right in the headline.
This fall we officially will not see the return of the entertaining Rich Rodriguez to the sidelines, but rather on the renamed CBS Sports Network as a studio analyst and color commentator. On gamedays, Rodriguez and his delightful country twang voice will be teamed up with play-by-play man Dave Ryan. Love him or hate him, (as an MSU alum, I'm definitely a fan) there really is no denying that Rich Rodriguez is charismatic and him in the booth providing his insights might very well be a good fit.
This football season will not be Rich Rod's debut on the broadcasting side of things. In February, he served as an analyst for CBS Sports' National Signing day coverage. Easily the highlight of that day was the very awkwardinterview with his newly hired replacement, Brady Hoke. Despite the extreme tension, I give Rodriguez credit for not stepping out during that interview and handling it pretty well. Like most, I'm sure after watching it you were somewhat disappointed Rich Rod did not use live television to cut a Macho Man-like promo on Hoke, but rather showed some professionalism. How he dealt with that situation is probably a large part in why he'll be employed by them this football season.
I think almost everyone expects Rodriguez's broadcasting career to be short, with a return to coaching coming as soon as the 2012 season. For Pammy Award enthusiasts, let's hope that Rodriguez's likely brief stint will provide some gems like Mike Leach gave us last fall.
Seen here shitting the bed like me with a belly full of liquor and lamb over rice, the Miami Herald ran an ad for Macy's (Macy's'?) line of Heat Championship gear.
Tim Elfrink of The Miami New Times, already in enough pain it appears, explains that the ad ran on the same page as a story about the series with the headline "Heat just never got the point during Finals loss to more-organized Mavs" and a banner that reads "DALLAS WINS BEST-OF-7 SERIES 4-2."
What is this El Nuevo Herald?
Or is someone just trying to burn my loins? Perhaps it's that man upstairs that told LeBron it wasn't his time yet. I expect this from the rest of the galaxy, Mijammy, but not from you. Not only because this ran the morning after Game 6, but because even if the Heat had won, they would have tied the series and forced Game 7. Of course an ad should have been prepared, but under no circumstances should it have been within 2 days of circulation. Way harsh.
Professor Elfrink went on to say it's alright if they ran the wrong ad because you still have to wake up and go back to the real world tomorrow. So there.
This is about as good as it gets as far as clueless announcers go. From our research department, I believe this comes from the 2nd Inning of Friday's Yankees/Indians game in the Bronx. Cleveland's Carlos Santana is at the plate and hits a ball down the right field line. Luckily, Yankees play by play man John Sterling is there to clearly decipher the action in a way that only Chip Caray could possibly understand...
This "sterling" call (oh God, I'm starting to sound like Sterling now) is worthy of a breakdown...
1) Sterling first says it was lined deep down the right field line 2) Then, he calls a base hit (as the Yankee crowd audibly cheers in the background) 3) Nope, on second thought, Sterling sees a foul ball 4) Sterling comments that Santana is mysteriously told by somebody that it is a foul ball 5) Suzyn Waldman informs John that Yankee OF Nick Swisher actually caught the ball 6) Sterling goes on oblivious to the fact that he is announcing a baseball game
That's a lot to digest. I love everything about this botch though - Sterling's several layers of not having a clue what is going on in front of his eyes, making things up on the fly, Waldman's matter of fact correction as if she needs to remind John where he is and what he's doing, and then Sterling's totally oblivious reaction to everything that just happened. Perhaps his mind was preoccupied with his next great home run call... or maybe there's not much that occupies his mind at all.
The Dallas Mavericks won their first championship last night in Miami with a 105-95 victory in Game 6. There were plenty of heroes for Dallas that answered the prayers of millions of fans around the country. Dirk Nowitzki won the Finals MVP and scored 10 in the 4th quarter after a 1-12 1st half and Jason Terry came up clutch with 27 points off the bench. JJ Barea was huge once again and Deshawn Stevenson of all people made big threes in the 1st half. Vets like Kidd, Marion, Stojakovic, and Chandler won their first ring as well. Heck, even Mark Cuban finally made an appearance and came up with a classy gesture of having David Stern hand the trophy to original Mavs owner Don Carter.
Of course, since the Mavs beat the Heat though, the failure of one LeBron James is the story to come out of the 2011 NBA Finals. Unfortunately, the story of the Mavs and their great run through the Playoffs from the #4 seed and Dirk's 13 year quest for a title will largely be overshadowed because of one fact. The NBA Finals came and went and the King is still without a ring. LeBron James went missing for large portions of the game once again last night and will likely face even more criticism, laughter, and venom from fans not just in Cleveland, but around the country. I've never seen schadenfreude referenced more in a 14 hour period.
So, when LeBron went to his postgame presser with bff Dwyane Wade, someone was bound to ask about the sheer glee that his haters experienced with his failing in the Finals. Perhaps all the hate finally got to LeBron as he had this not so measured response...
The more I listen to that quote, the more cringe worthy it is. I understand James' point of view... yes, it's fun to root against LeBron and the Heat for most of us (save a thought for a true Heat fan though, our own Mike Vitiello, don't turn it on ESPN today), but we do all have real lives to live. However, referencing your great life and the personal problems of real people are not going to endear King James to the masses once again. The more you listen to this soundbyte, the more disconnected and arrogant James sounds. LeBron even lost his personal beat reporter, Brian Windhorst of ESPN's Heat Index, who didn't hold back the harsh words:
“They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy that not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal,” James said. “But they’ll have to get back to the real world at some point.”
And there’s the rub. So, too, will James. Eight years in, James is walking away from another season with no ring. In the past he could -- and did -- with his head high while quietly blame others. Last year, he got away with a series in which he failed to deliver.
Now, in the real world, there’s nowhere to hide.
If anything, LeBron is more cemented in the villain role than ever. So with that, some of those real people had to welcome James back to the real world today. Here's a mini Real Tweets from Real People with some of their tweets @KingJames...
MazzESPN ouch: BREAKING NEWS City of Dallas just announced tomorrow is @Kingjames ( Lebron James ) Day. Everyone gets to leave work 12 minutes early
Now that the NBA season is over, here's your national MLB TV schedule for the week. The New York Yankees taking a trip to Wrigley Field is the featured series of the weekend as we'll see Buck & McCarver and Sunday Night Baseball travel to Wrigleyville.
Monday June 13
Cleveland Indians @ New York Yankees (ESPN 7PM) Sean McDonough, Aaron Boone,Rick Sutcliffe
Tuesday June 14
Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays (MLBN 7PM) Local Broadcast [Alt: Texas @ NY Yankees] Cincinnati Reds @ Los Angeles Dodgers (MLBN 10PM) Local Broadcast [Alt: Kansas City @ Oakland]
Wednesday June 15
Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees (ESPN 7PM) Dave O'Brien, Nomar Garciaparra
Thursday June 16
Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays (MLBN 12:30) Local Broadcast [Alt: Texas @ NY Yankees 1PM] Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs (WGNA 2PM) Len Kasper, Bob Brenly Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays (MLBN 7:00) Local Broadcast [Alt: NY Mets @ Atlanta]
Friday June 17
New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs (MLBN 2:15) TBA Texas Rangers @ Atlanta Braves (MLBN 7PM) Local Broadcast [Alt: Milwaukee @ Boston]
Saturday, June 18
New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs (FOX 4PM) Joe Buck, Tim McCarver Texas Rangers @ Atlanta Braves (FOX 4PM) Kenny Albert, Mark Grace Detroit Tigers @ Colorado Rockies (MLBN 8PM) Local Broadcast [Alt: Chi White Sox @ Arizona] Chicago White Sox @ Arizona Diamondbacks (WGNA 8PM) Ken Harrelson, Steve Stone
Sunday June 19
Milwaukee Brewers @ Boston Red Sox (TBS 1:30PM) Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, John Smoltz New York Yankees @ Chicago Cubs (ESPN 8PM) Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine
This is your night Mark Cuban (and Maverick fans, people in Ohio, and 90% of NBA fans). The owner and entrepreneur who has always had a chip on his shoulder seemed to fall back on that mentality as he boasted not once, but twice on television that Maverick fans "punked the sh*t out of Miami fans."
Below is the Sportscenter video:
The funny thing is, after that quote, I immediately went to write this article and noticed that there already seemed to be a post up about this. Sportsgrid.com had already posted and tweeted this story. Really? It took you under 30 seconds to write up this event and tweet it? That's crazy.
Sportsgrid was actually posting a different video in which Cuban essentially said the exact same sound bite earlier while in the locker room:
I think the best part of the whole "incident" was Hannah Storm's reaction immediately after. She was frozen in this type of face for about 12 seconds.
Cuban has never had issues with crossing the line or pushing boundaries. Given his euphoric state, I don't think he'll have any regrets, even if the NBA punks the shi*t out of his bank account.
There's something about soccer announcing that can bring so much to the table. Whether it's the rhythm and accent of someone like Martin Tyler or the breathless excitement and linguistics of some of the game's best moments, soccer can provide outstanding moments in the broadcast booth. There's also the other end of the spectrum, like those CONCACAF bozos from last week, Dave O'Brien, or whatever this is. I'm not sure how to categorize this one though, except for EXTREMELY laid back. It's not too often you see a goalie score a goal from a free kick over the halfway line in injury time to amazingly tie the game... but when you live in Antigua, it's just not that big of a deal. The video comes from Deadspin...
The 2011 NBA Finals has had some classic matchups. We've been treated to Dirk vs. Wade, Lebron vs. twitter, and Juwan Howard vs. Brian Cardinal. These are just some of the matchups that have made this an ESPN Classic filled series through 5 games. Surprisingly, one of the most exciting matchups has taken place off the court in Charles Barkley vs. Dan Le Batard. Charles Barkley has been not so shy in repeatedly calling out Miami and their fans this postseason. Even though approximately 49 states agree with Barkley, the things he says no other analyst would even come close to touching on TV or radio. On the other side, the bombastic Miami Herald writer/radio host Dan Le Batard has been hilarious with his over the top rants. It really has been Barkley at his best and given Le Batard some great exposure before his own show on ESPN 2 starts up in a couple of months.
Unfortunately, it looks like their hotstreak will be coming to a cataclysmic end. According to Yahoo, Dan Le Batard and Charles Barkley have made a bet on the NBA Finals with seriously awful stakes. How bad are they? If Miami wins, Barkley will take his talents to South Beach and parade around in a speedo. If Dallas closes out the series, Le Batard will be the one in a speedo. Pictures will be taken. No matter what, everyone with eyeballs is the big loser in this one. It really is a shame that Barkley and his problematic gambling habits will negatively effect us all in the coming days.