For a cheap laugh it's always enjoyable to watch a real man scream like a girl. I'm sad to say that I've fallen victim to this before and sometimes even followed it up with a loud high pitched scream and blabbering, odd jibberish intermixed with swear words. Kenny Smith doesn't have that problem, and luckily avoided any damage to his image by taking this prank last night on TNT in stride.
A great idea and well executed. Unfortunately though Smith didn't flinch leaving, which definitely lessened the potency of this prank. Kudos to TNT for again having some fun with their studio broadcasts which has been a staple for them that NBA fans have grown accustomed to.
We've had our fair share of Gus Johnson news over the past few days, so we'd be remiss to not point out that Gus Johnson officially joined on at FOX Sports Media Group today. Here's an excerpt from the press release:
The voice renowned for March Madness buzzer-beaters is now the voice of fall’s gridiron glory and more as FOX Sports Media Group has named Gus Johnson lead play-by-play announcer for its college football coverage and men’s basketball on the Big Ten Network. He will team with FOX Sports football analyst Charles Davis to form the Group’s lead college football announce team. The announcement was made today by FOX Sports Executive Producer and Co-President & COO, FOX Sports Media Group, Eric Shanks.
This season, Johnson and Davis call Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 regular-season games on FX, as well as a pair of games for Big Ten Network, one of FOX’s two conference football championship games and the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. In 2012, they’ll call FOX’s regular-season over-the-air broadcast schedule, culled primarily from the network’s recently completed rights agreement with the Pac-12, as well as the aforementioned postseason assignments. In addition, Johnson also continues as the lead play-by-play voice for college basketball on Big Ten Network, will call FOX’s Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament games come 2013 and select NFL on FOX broadcasts following the college football season this year.
Johnson, who dropped a patented Ahhhhh at his press conference, is undoubtedly happy with his decision to join FOX. While I can't help but think his name has peaked, he's now in a spot to be No. 1 at his station, which was simply not going to happen at CBS. Still, I feel like the Gus Johnson brand blew up with March Madness and probably could've only gotten bigger if he was given an opportunity to fulfill his dream and call the Final Four. That's unlikely to happen now, but only time will tell if his cult-like following will die down a little bit in the years to come.
For some more reading, check out Ben Koo's quality piece on Johnson's run with CBS and its inevitable end. Congrats to Johnson, and congrats to FOX for finally improving its announcing crew.
By now you've heard that Gus Johnson has indeed parted ways with CBS and will likely be touching down at Fox in the coming days. The bad news is that Johnson will no longer be the signature voice that captures and at times drives the riveting action of March Madness. There is no doubt that in 10 months we'll all fully feel the void of his absence as one of the best sporting events will revert back to a more reserved style of announcing without Johnson's unique voice. Heartbreak city.
I thought Clark Kellogg did a great job summarizing Johnson's unique appeal when we spoke several months ago.
"His natural enthusiasm, and his uniqueness on how he combines his excitement and passion with terrific calls. I've heard this from countless people around the country as they love him doing NCAA games.
I think he's a tremendous fan, play by play guy, and that his rhythm is hand in glove the style for basketball. He has a nice understanding for pace, flow, his excitement rises as the game goes from possession to possession. He just has a really intuitive sense for calling basketball that appeals to fans and makes him a lot of fun to work with."
CBS has said goodbye to Johnson leaving a lot of people scratching their head, but really you could have seen this coming for ages. I actually thought about writing about Johnson's imperfect relationship with CBS and how it would effect his career going forward many times over but could never nail down exactly when his contract expired with CBS. I asked around and nobody knew, hence it was hard to gauge when we could see some type of decision/drama regarding Johnson. Seemingly out of nowhere this news came and went as his contract with CBS lapsed and there stood too many issues for him to come back to the network...
Frankly, it's not a surprise to see Gus Johnson leave CBS in these circumstances. (I'll let you connect the dots on just who might be upset with Gus' popularity.) Perhaps the network execs at Fox were smart enough to realize Johnson's true value, with young fans especially, and offer him a number that CBS couldn't match... or an offer that CBS didn't want to match. Viewers will now tune into Fox's college football and basketball and NFL broadcasts because of Gus Johnson. It's a very wise move for Fox. If Johnson gets some high profile NFL games, it may in fact be a better career move for him than staying at CBS, where the glass ceiling was going to keep him down for the foreseeable future.
On the brink of elimination, the Detroit Red Wings completed a stunning 3rd period comeback last night in San Jose to extend the series. The Sharks badly outplayed the Wings for the majority of the night which made Detroit's three unanswered goals in the the third period that much more surprising. Game 6 will be Tuesday night at 8pm on Versus.
While the comeback was unexpected, former Sharks player Jeremy Roenick's scathing evisceration of Marleau was even more shocking. Marleau currently serves as an alternate captain for the Sharks and was a teammate of Roenick's in San Jose from 2007-2009. In the video above, you can see Roenick not exactly sugarcoating his criticism of Marleau's play through 5 games of the series.
Monday May 9
Minnesota Twins @ Boston Red Sox (ESPN 7PM) Sean McDonough, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone
Tuesday May 10
St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs (MLBN 8PM) Local Broadcasters [Alternate Game: Cincinnati @ Houston]
Wednesday May 11
St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs (ESPN 7PM) Dave O'Brien, Nomar Garciaparra
Thursday May 12
Tampa Bay Rays @ Cleveland Indians (MLBN Noon) Local Broadcasters
Kansas City Royals @ New York Yankees (MLBN 7PM) Local Broadcasters [Alternate Game: Seattle @ Baltimore]
Friday May 13
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees (MLBN 7PM) Bob Costas,Jim Kaat [Alternate Game: St. Louis @ Cincinnati]
Saturday May 14
St. Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds (MLBN 4PM) Local Broadcast [Alternate Game: Kansas City @ Detroit]
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees (FOX 7PM) Joe Buck, Tim McCarver
San Francisco Giants @ Chicago Cubs (FOX 7PM) Matt Vasgersian, Eric Karros
Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers (FOX 7PM) Kenny Albert, Mark Grace
Sunday May 15
Philadelphia Phillies @ Atlanta Braves (TBS 1:30PM) TBA, Ron Darling
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees (ESPN 8PM) Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine