Admit it, you've once dreamed about being Around the Horn's Tony Reali. No, not so that you could sit in front of Woody Paige and Bill Plaschke every day. But instead, just so you could have the power to mute anyone you'd like whenever you'd like to. All of that power in one person's hands. It's amazing it hasn't gone to the head of the Artist Formerly Known as Stat Boy. Well, apparently Reali has gained physical power instead.
During today's Around the Horn, the dapper host apparently didn't gauge the power of his own strength when he pressed the mute button too hard and possibly broke his finger. Ouch! Here's the behind the scenes video from the show's YouTube channel.
Wow, I hope Reali has Workman's Comp or whatever the ESPN alternative is. Give credit to Reali for working through the pain, after all, he's the host of a fake sportswritery game show type of dealy.
We're into the second weekend of the tournament and the second full week of the Billy Packer Chronicles! Clark Kellogg leads Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller in the Billies standings although it's still wide open with a few rounds yet to play. Unfortunately, with truTV out of the picture and games solely on CBS and TBS for the Sweet 16, Charles Barkley will have to look elsewhere besides Hardcore Pawn for comedic inspiration. There's always Frank TV I suppose... (What?!? It was cancelled three years ago?!?! How did this happen!!!) In case you've forgotten with all the NFL Madness taking place this week, the schedule and announcing assignments are here. Leave us all the announcer and analyst quotes in the comments below or tweet them to us at @awfulannouncing and/or by using the hashtag #BPAA.
"An assassin with an angel's countenance" - Bill Raftery (via jbunney) on Aaron Craft
"Thomas I think got the slap from the rear." - Bill Raftery (via AA)
"People say he can run and jump. So can a deer. And you wouldn't put a deer in the game." - Charles Barkley (via AA)
"How'd you like to take a charge on him. Say good night to Nancy!" - Bill Raftery (via AA) on Jared Sullinger
"You're hot." - Lesley Visser (via AA)
"Nail. In. The. Coffin." - Reggie Miller as Louisville goes up by FIFTEEN with 58 sec. left (via SeahawkSanders)
"The teacher vs. the mentor" - Len Elmore (via swampdavid1)
"if you look at the score you will know who is winning the game" - Charles Barkley (via tec6062)
"If you missed the earlier game, you saw amazing shooting by Wisconsin..." - Verne Lundquist. I missed it, but I saw it? (via russmaloney)
"Good call there by Ted Valentine" - Reggie Miller (via RYbbc34)
"It shouldnt matter if the elbow was inadvertent or advertent" - Len Elmore (via xavmcd)
“You’ve got to go to the free throw line and make free throws if you’re Florida” - LenElmore (via thedevilwolf)
"You just got Dieng'ad" - Reggie Miller (via Josh_Batelli)
"Big time Snatch!" - Bill Raftery (via JasonShubnell)
Spring training is very long. It's over a month of meaningless games where the prime objective is to figure out who will be the 4th outfielder and make sure everyone doesn't burn themselves out by the time the real games start. After the first week and the excitement of discussing who got fat or not wears off, it really just becomes about avoiding catastrophic injuries. There's a lot of downtime which sometimes results in tomfoolery. Apparently one of the ways many killed time was by perfecting their Tim Kurkjian impressions. It's simple really, perhaps no one on TV is easier to parody than Kurkjian and with the WWL parading him around the spring training sites it felt natural that the players would share them.
Well, now we have our 4th Kurkjian impression that has been aired. It comes the way of Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster who you probably know more for his outstanding Harry Caray impressions rather than his pitching. In this clip, Dempster runs the gamut by giving us both Caray and Kurkjian.
The quick transition from Caray to Kurkjian and the more subtle impression are impressive. So impressed is Curt Schilling that he proclaims that Dempster will become a "folk hero" for that. Ohhhkayyy.
At the end it gets tacky. ESPN is now promoting #Kurkjianing on twitter and made up a contest about it. So, we'll definitely see more because ESPN now wants more of it. This upsets me because apparently I learned that I'm somewhat of a Kurkjian impression hipster and liked the organic feel of the first ones when they were just doing it for the love of it and not just for some corporate contest.
Oh well. I'll still gladly take these over players speaking in cliches about spring training games everytime.
Tonight, in a decision that blows a hole in the space-time continuum, ESPN takes its morning debate show First Take to primetime. ESPN will air a half hour special entitled #TebowTakesManhattan at 7:00 PM. Here's the announcement from Bristol:
This Friday evening, Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith will bring their unique style of sports debate to primetime with a special presentation of First Take - #TebowTakesManhattan. With the controversial quarterback making his move to the Big Apple following the Manning deal to the Broncos, Bayless and Smith will discuss Tebow’s likely role with Gang Green, options both sensible and senseless, and the overall impact this move will have on the future of both Tim Tebow and the New York Jets. First Take - #TebowTakesManhattan will air at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN this Friday, March 23. Fans can join in the conversation with #TebowTakesManhattan on Twitter.
Excuse me while I wipe my lunch off my laptop screen for a moment.
Instead of spending more brainpower trying to understand this move or the appeal of Skip Bayless saying the same things about Tim Tebow for the 187th day in a row to any mammals capable of rational thought, I thought it would be helpful to you, our faithful readers, to share other viable viewing options in case you have nothing else to do on a Friday night at 7 PM...
What you're about to read may be the most head-scratching news to come across the interwebs all year. First, a warning that the following news comes from the New York Post's Peter Vescey, not exactly a bastion of light and truth in NBA circles. However, a nugget in his most recent column made us at AA spit out our morning skinny latte (don't judge). Larry Bird, currently the GM of the Indiana Pacers, is rumored to be on his way out after the current season. That may be a little surprising with how the young Pacers have continued to improve, but Bird has flirted with walking away several times in the recent past.
However, the stunning news is one of the names Vescey floats to replace Larry Bird... Reggie Miller.
"The firm belief by those with a pulse on the situation: (Pacers owner Herb) Simon is more apt to choose a marquee name like Reggie Miller or Chris Mullin as opposed to promoting the people on site, general manager David Moray or personnel director Kevin Pritchard."
Now, Chris Mullin is a somewhat logical choice. He ran the Warriors for several seasons to moderate success and is currently treating NBA fans to his thick New York accent on ESPN while also contolling angry mobs during retirement ceremonies. But Reggie Miller?!?! The Reggie Miller that has been a gaffe machine during his performance broadcasting the NCAA Tournament for Turner? The Reggie Miller who has always struggled as an analyst during NBA broadcasts?
There is a record for great players becoming competent GMs (Larry Bird, Joe Dumars, at least for a while), but there's an even bigger record of great players bombing out as executives. And it's not like Reggie Miller is universally well-regarded as a great analytical mind, like Steve Kerr was before he began his tenure in charge of the Phoenix Suns.
Let's hope Vescey was just trying to slip in a sly joke for those who have been regularly submitting Miller's quotes to our Billy Packer Chronicles. If not, at least fans of basketball won't have to wonder what a "block charge" is anymore. Clearly, the Pacers leadership needs to watch more basketball on television.
Chicago Bulls analyst Stacey King has developed quite the reputation and following for his jubilant, colorful calls. He's made his mark as an analyst that is given room to scream excitably and be more of the voice of the fan when highlight plays happen. That style isn't for everybody, but it sure is entertaining. Anyone that has their own soundboard has reached a certain milestone as a broadcaster. But Stacey King's best call may be his new favorite for a huge dunk, inspired by this AT&T commercial. Take this call from this week when the Bulls were playing in Orlando as Joakim Noah throws one down over Big Baby Davis. Stacey's used this call eariler in the month, but this one just seemed to have more behind it. There's also the added effect of seeing Big Baby Davis attempting to block a dunk and crash to the hardwood with a look on his face that asks in stunned amazement, "did Joakim Noah just put me on a poster?" Like the dunk contest itself, announcers have to be more and more creative with their excited descriptions of them. Thank you Stacey King, hopefully someone has posted your video to Facebook...
It's not quite a drunk Joe Namath telling Suzy Kolber he wanted to kiss her, but the below interaction between Lesley Visser of CBS and Ohio State head coach Thad Matta is quite unique. Thad comes over for his halftime interview sweating buckets. The sideline interview goes very much like all mundane sideline interviews until Lesley asks him about his extreme perspiration. Thad jokingly responds "it's hot in here" which leads Lesley to blurt out "you're hot."
Few announcers in sports can have a distinguished enough career with one team where they can resonate with several generations of fans. Fewer announcers have the honor of being immortalized with a statue at their team's ballpark. Haray Caray, Ernie Harwell, and Jack Buck are a few of the all-time great announcers to be placed in this category. You can add one more to the list with an announcement made Wednesday by the Milwaukee Brewers - Bob Uecker.
On August 31st of this year, the Brewers will unveil a statue of Bob Uecker that will join Brewers legends Hank Aaron and Robin Yount... and... current commissioner Bud Selig. I wish Bud Selig's statue at Miller Park would depict his finest moment as commissioner that took place at that same venue. Uecker's honoring by the Brewers is richly deserved and he flashed his trademark comedic stylings at the announcement from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
"I have posed for the statue," he said. "It's kind of a Schwarzenegger-type thing. Beef cake, speedo, pretty buffed. It's really enhanced. It's really not my size. It's buffed.
"I've seen pictures of the finished product and I'm very pleased. It's got a lot of attention. More so than that swimsuit issue (in Sports Illustrated last year)."
Asked about the possibility of attracting pigeons for the rest of eternity, Uecker said, "We're going to invite pigeons. That's another enhancement. I'm holding a stand, it's a feeder-type thing."
"I hope the fans have enjoyed listening as much as I've enjoyed doing the games. I don't ever go to the park where I don't have a good day. I don't like losing. But I don't think I ever go to the park where I have a bad day. I don't think once.
"That's discounting playing. I had a lot of bad days there."
Uecker famously never did make his mark as a player, but he has been a baseball and a broadcasting icon for decades with a sense of humor that is unmatched. There is probably a wide section of the population that know him from his movie, TV, and celebrity appearances and not as the play by play voice of the Milwaukee Brewers. Uecker's broadcasting career has been quite decorated though. Aside from his work in Milwaukee, he called the World Series on television for NBC in the 1990s. In addition, he made two memorable playoff appearances behind the mic for the Cleveland Indians.
With Uecker's honor in Milwaukee taking place in August, still no word as yet on when the Indians plan on honoring Harry Doyle with a statue.
Amidst the breaking news of the Saints bounty punishments being handed down Wednesday, one of the weirder subplots was NFL Network's Warren Sapp attempting to out the "snitch" that reported the Saints bounty program to the NFL. Sapp fingered former Saints TE Jeremy Shockey, cut by New Orleans after the 2010 season, on his Twitter account. Shockey found success with the Saints, catching the winning TD in Super Bowl XLIV, but left New Orleans on less than friendly terms.
Sapp and Shockey engaged in a brief Twitter convo with Shockey denying he was the one that outed the bounty program after Sapp answered in the affirmitave to someone tweeting him a guess that it was the oustspoken tight end...
Shockey then went on to actually challenge Sapp to a lie detector test to prove his "innocence" as the situation went from strange to surreal. I'm not sure about the practicality of it being on ESPN though...
Several voices spoke up in defense of Shockey or whoever the whistleblower was - and rightly so (although most didn't use the same colorful language Vikings punter Chris Kluwe did). To place any sort of blame or anger on that person is extremely misguided. The whistleblower/snitch did the right thing. The Saints are the ones that took part in this unethical, hurtful program and have nobody but themselves to blame.
So for an analyst on the NFL NETWORK to cause a controversy about the identity of this person is crazy. And for any person to do so as recklessly as Warren Sapp did on Twitter is just asinine. Warren Sapp is not Adam Schefter. He's not a reporter. He's not in the business of breaking news, and may not have even done so correctly in this case...
It was quite a day for those actively tracking the Tim Tebow trade chatter as the Broncos and interested teams were quick on the draw to engage in trade talks for quarterback. As the day unfolded though, the simple headline of "Tebow to The Jets", which was reported early in the morning, became murkier as there was an odd contract irregularity that the Jets were balking at.
Suddenly there was a flurry of half baked rumors of Tebow being close to being moved to various NFL teams with rocky talent under quarterback or perhaps looking for a different look on offense. Depending on how wide you cast your media net, Tebow was in play for quite a bit of teams as the Jets stumbled through contract dilligence.
The leader of the pack outside of the Jets was clearly the Jaguars, whose local media was worked up into a frenzy at the possibility of Tebow returning to the area where he grew up. Adam Schefter, who was all over this story throughout the day, even tweeted that the Broncos were actually letting Tebow choose between the Jets and the Jaguars. Shortly after, the Broncos who contradicted his earlier tweet by saying they'd do what was better for the Broncos.
Enter Adarn Schefter. Not Adam Schefter, but the cruelly similar looking fake Twitter account started up last week.
Can you even tell the difference that the first name on this account is Adarn and not Adam? The font that Twitter uses make it hard to differentiate and the photo for this account is identical to Adam Schefter's real account.
Nobody would have noticed but ESPN's popular SportsCenter Twitter account, which has more followers than almost a third of the states in the country (2.6 million +) rewteeted the false news...