Some sad news to report throughout our mix of snark, cynicism, and laughs here at Awful Announcing. Fox's Chris Myers has been pulled from coverage of the Daytona 500, scheduled to take place on February 26th, after Myers' son Christopher was killed in a car accident in California. Myers was just 19 years old.
Myers will be replaced in the FOX studio by John Roberts of the Speed Network. Roberts will be the studio host for next Saturday's Budweiser Shootout, next Sunday's qualifying races, as well as the pre-race coverage at Daytona for the Daytona 500. Speedweeks at Daytona is Fox's marquee NASCAR event at the beginning of the season with coverage spanning two weeks. Fox is understandably giving Myers as much time as he needs following this unspeakable tragedy.
Here at Awful Announcing and the rest of the Bloguin network, all of our thoughts and prayers are with Myers and his family.
With the end of football season and the Pammies more than six months away, we're moving our Friday staple, This Week in Screengrab Snafus, to Saturdays to make sure you start your weekend the right way... and to help cope with the fact that it'll be six more months until the return of PamHawk. With Craig James out of the picture, you know Pam Ward will be back for the Pammies crown with a vengeance.
We start this week's snafus with this image from an ESPN interview with Mike Mayock about the NFL Draft. Needless to say, they would do about as well on the Wunderlic as Vince Young with spelling like this. (H/T clinthulsey)
Via bubbaprog come these two screengrabs. First, from a recent Hawks-Lakers game, if you were going to clone one NBA player... why in the world would it be Vladimir Radmanovic?
Secondly, "Generic Text Goes Here" could describe a multitude of manufactured debates from the mothership. I'm just surprised the dummy text doesn't involve Jeremy Lin or Tim Tebow. That would make things so much easier...
And finally, via dbaybucks comes our first ever sweatshirt snafu thanks to the University of Cincinnati, taking pride in botching the spelling of their school. At least they got Bearcats right...
That was your week in Screengrab Snafus, next time be careful out there!
Mobile visitors to ESPN.com tonight found themselves with a bit of an odd headline and picture as seen below from this photo nabbed by Myles Brown. Myles, you need to charge your phone buddy!
The reactions for this have been all over the place. Lots of outrage, some people thinking it's funny, others thinking it's racist, and some just not knowing what to think.
The odd thing is that if you do a twitter search for "Chink In The Armor" apparently various television and radio personalities have used this saying regarding Lin besides the headline above and even before his nine turnover game today (still a good scoring game for him personally).
But that's small potatoes compared to the largest individual sports website in the world and their main story, sure to be seen a large five figure audience.
I am a bit torn here. The radio guys and random television guys who are saying this are likely doing so knowing the wink wink racism double meaning of utilizing it in regards to Lin. If confronted, they have the recourse of saying, "That's not how I meant to use it. It was kind of dumb and I just wasn't thinking being live on the air. I apologize for anyone I offended." For instance below, it's hard to condemn this usage of the saying below.
But my thought here, and I understand it's just my opinion, is that this is pretty inexcusable given that ESPN.com is a huge platform with a lot of built in processes, people involved, and higher standards.
The usage of this very common saying is not racist itself if you just go with its surface meaning.
However, the worst racial slur you could call someone of Chinese or Asian descent would be "chink" and while it has dual definitions unlike most other slurs, it's just all too convenient that it shows up here. At face value, the headline certainly makes sense. But the dual definition of that word essentially ensures that if published, their would be a shit storm. Now there is.
So either way you look at it, it's wrong and it reminds me of a famous scene in Casino when Robert De Niro defends the firing of one his casino managers after he failed to realize that slot machines were rigged for big payouts that occurred multiple times before he thought anything of it.
De Niro says, "Look, he was either in on it, or he was too dumb to recognize it. Either way, I can't have him working for me."
We don't know how this headline made it to the live mobile site and just who had their hands on it. Obviously they'll have to explain to the higher ups what happened, but I doubt they can really get out of this with no punishment at all and perhaps their jobs.
I totally see the flip side, where "you're reading into this too much" or "you're being too sensitive" and "god you can't say anything these days." Trust me, all of this rings true to me and I'm half Asian.
Regardless, ESPN doesn't need this kind of press and heat on them. There is only really one word and saying in a headlne that needed to be put "off-limits" and given the very first opportunity to crack on Lin's game, ESPN went to it right away and that's just unacceptable and I think they know it. I am guessing we'll have a statement early tomorrow.
I hate having blogged so much about Lin this week. It's a great story and yet we're here blogging about a lot of media stuff that is unfortunate about his unexpected rise from obscurity. That said, I think it's justified. Jason Whitlock shouldn't make fun of Asian penis sizes and the word "chink" shouldn't be utilized in regards to Lin and other Asians by the mainstream media.
That's really it. I am not looking for any media affirmative action or that everyone just kiss Lin's ass because he is Asian. Just don't be racist or open the door for people to question if you're being racist by being cute. Just cover the story without these manufactured distractions.
What are your thoughts here on the appropriate punishment and reaction by ESPN if any? Do you believe it was intentional or people just being careless/too dumb? Does it matter?
Ed Note: ESPN did indeed release a statement early Saturday morning profusely apologizing for the headline. The statement reads in full:
"Last night, ESPN.com's mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake."
ESPN.com Editor in Chief Rob King also took to Twitter to apologize, saying this with a link to the statement:
"There's no defense for the indefensible. All we can offer are our apologies, sincere though incalculably inadequate."
ESPN certainly recognizes the gravity of the mistake and took the necessary steps to show contrition, but the question still needs to be answered how in the world THAT headline was published.
This afternoon, Time Warner and MSG finally settled their weeks long standoff in New York to put the network back on the cable provider. Regardless of whether or not Jeremy Lin and the Knicks' seven game winning streak was the deciding factor in the truce, it's good news for Knicks fans that had Time Warner.
(Now maybe TWC can focus on getting NFL Network here in Columbus and elsewhere, it's not like the NFL is by far the nation's most popular sport or anything. It's only been eight and a half years, take your time Time Warner.)
One of the most respected reporters in the industry, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times broke the news via Twitter.
Over in another corner of the Twitterverse, King of the Twitter Wars Darren Rovell tweeted out the same news, confirming Sandomir's report (and tying it directly to Jeremy Lin in the same tweet, although that's another story for another day)...
And that's where this unforseen Twitter fight exploded into a ferocious battle the likes of which the social media squared circle hasn't seen before. In one corner is CNBC's sports business reporter Darren Rovell, who as you may know by now has a history of these things, going toe to toe with sportswriters, comedy writers, political reporters, and Playboy models. In the other corner is the young upstart of the Twitter Wars, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. Would Rovell's experience win the day or could Sandomir come through with a statement victory?
Rovell vs Sandomir! CNBC vs The New York Times! TV vs Print! Sparta vs Athens! Here's the blow by blow battle...
It's no secret that certain hockey announcers can be a little, shall we say, suggestive at times. The most prominent may be NBC's Pierre McGuire, who you may remember from such posts as "Pierre McGuire Is Seriously Creepy" (and if you think his NHL commentary's bad, watch him talking about teenage players during the World Juniors) and such videos/drinking games as this one. However, McGuire now has a new challenger, as this bit of analysis from Dallas Stars commentator Daryl "Razor" Reaugh (yes, that's the picture he uses on his own Twitter feed above) on Mike Ribeiro's overtime game-winning goal against Calgary Thursday night might be the most innuendo-laden analysis ever recorded:
So, yeah. Reaugh starts off with the only moderately-disturbing "This goal is six shades of sexy," but things escalate quickly from there. "Puck back in behind, round the house, curl it in, pull its pants down and spank it home"? I don't think there's really a legitimate usage of "spank" in hockey, and even if there was, you can probably find a better term. Reaugh's just getting started, though, as he goes on to get even weirder. "Watch the reaction from [Flames' goalie] Mikka Kiprusoff. There's the manipulation up top; here comes the stimulation. Kabang!"
You might expect something crazy like this from a more inexperienced announcer, but Reaugh hardly fits that bill. Following several years as an NHL backup goalie with Edmonton and Hartford, he started his broadcasting career in 1991 with the minor-league American Hockey League, then served as the colour commentator for Hartford in 1996 and provided the colour on EA Sports' NHL '98 and '99 titles. (Unfortunately, the play-by-play and commentary on the memorable N64 version of the latter title is allBill Clement, so we can't blame Reaugh for lines like "He leaves him in a crumpled heap!" and "Northbound on a southbound freeway, look out!") Reaugh has been with the Stars since 1996, and he even works on some Hockey Night In Canada broadcasts these days.
I can't say I've ever noticed this kind of inneundo from him before, but it might not be as bad of a career move as you'd think; after all, McGuire's done pretty well despite a long history of being creepy. If Reaugh keeps this up, though, watching hockey highlights with the sound on in workplaces might become a little more dangerous...
In our newest AA Podcast, we're joined once again by the voice of the NBA Finals, Mike Breen. Mike also serves as the play by play man for the New York Knicks on MSG and has seen the rise of Jeremy Lin and Linsanity from the best seat in the house. We chat about the biggest story in sports at the moment and how Linsanity is sweeping New York and the world. In relation to Linsanity, Mike chats with AA about...
*The factors that has caused Jeremy Lin to become an overnight superstar *How the team responded to his insertion into the starting lineup *The atmosphere in the Garden in beating the Lakers *The call of Lin's game winning three in Toronto *The dangers of the 24/7 sports cycle and too much Linsanity *How the Knicks will respond once Carmelo Anthony comes back and the ceiling for this team *Where the last two weeks ranks in his career as a broadcaster
It's Jeremy Lin's world and we're all just lucky enough to be in it.
In case you've missed any of our podcasts, check out all of our interviews on iTunes.
The original Friday Night Lights movie is hands down one of my favorite sports movies of all time, mostly because it showed the other side of sports; the incredible heartbreak when everything seems so storybook and ends in utter heartbreak.
So why are there now rumors of a second Friday Night Lights movie that isn’t at all related to the first movie? Simple. Because of the highly successful Friday Night Lights TV series.
Last year, it was announced that FNL executive producers Peter Berg and Jason Katims were working on a script. But as with any TV to film adaptation, scheduling conflicts seem to get in the way, but there is momentum to get another movie done.
“Jason Katims, who was our super talented show-runner, is about done with the script. You never know. So much of these things become scheduling. Kyle [Chandler] is busy, Adrianne [Palicki] is busy, Taylor [Kitsch] is busy, Connie Britton is busy, but if we can get everyone in the same room at the same time, we all want to do it. We’re not done with Friday Night Lights.”
But where does that leave a possible storyline? Will they spin off the finale of the TV show or make another movie that resembles the first classic? Or will they show the actual winning that 99% of sports movies do instead of a heartbreaking loss? Believe it or not, the new Friday Night Lights movie may bring to life the story of... Mike Leach. More from Berg:
"[Katims] has come up with a really great storyline that parallels what happened to Mike Leach, one of my heroes, a coach at Texas Tech who was unjustly fired and unjustly accused of mistreating a player with a concussion, which was proven to not have been the case. He's now at Washington State getting ready for what I think will be a great redemption story," Berg explained.
Berg is working with Mike Leach on an HBO documentary at Washington State, but could his firing at Texas Tech at the hands of Craig James actually be brought to a theater near you through Friday Night Lights? Could Craig James be immortalized as a villainous, delusional, drunk with power ex-football star slash failed Senate candidate? There are too many questions and not enough of them are being answered at the moment. All we know is that another Friday Night Lights movie in the works, and the talented men behind the original movie and show will turn whichever actors and stories into another sports movie for the ages.
If you're a sports fan, you're probably quite tired of hearing about Jeremy Lin right now. Sure, the undrafted Asian-American guard who's currently tearing up the NBA with the New York Knicks is a tremendous story, but despite warnings to the contrary, ESPN and other media outlets have essentially run the story into the ground. However, that's much less true up here in Canada. Sure, there's been a good deal of coverage of Lin, but most of that centred around his game against the Toronto Raptors Tuesday (which he did win in spectacular fashion), and most of it has since died away in favour of stories like CFL free agency and the NHL trade deadline. The resulting predominant image of Lin north of the border is of a player who's a great story, but one that people aren't completely exhausted of hearing about yet. Is that because Canadian media outlets are inherently more restrained, or just that they have other priorities? I'd argue it's the latter.
Of course, there are some structural elements in favour of the first explanation. The Canadian media scene isn't as dominated by a singular player as the U.S. is by ESPN, and even the largest sports media entity (TSN, which ESPN owns 20 percent of) is primarily limited to two television channels, three radio stations and a website. (They do have connections to a variety of other print, radio and television outlets through parent company Bell Media, but in terms of day-to-day content, that influence ranges from moderate to minimal.) There are plenty of other competitors out there, including Rogers Sportsnet (television, radio), The Score (television), and a variety of print and internet outlets. Thus, there's less of a demand for cross-platform synergy (and less of a demand for opinionated content in general), key factors in ESPN's overkill on the Lin story...
Last weekend, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods played together in the final round of the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. Phil Mickelson shot an 8 under round of 64 to come back from a 6 shot deficit to win the tournament. After talk circled around the weekend that Tiger may finally break his winless drought, he shot a dismal 75 in the final round. While Phil beat Tiger head to head to win the tournament, the PGA were big winners as well thanks to both players being in contention.
The final national ratings at Pebble Beach were released on Thursday. The tournament ended as the highest rated Pebble Beach Pro-Am in over 10 years, averaging 5.7 million viewers for weekend coverage on CBS. Golf Channel also received record ratings for the lead-in to the CBS coverage on Sunday. In no other sport do the top superstars affect ratings more than golf, especially with Tiger Woods. When Tiger first missed time due to injury in 2008, golf ratings dipped almost 50% compared to tournaments he played the year before. That whole episode with the fire hydrant and the Perkins waitresses didn't help things either.
And yet, the PGA will take great solace in Tiger Woods back on the leaderboard and in contention last Sunday... even if Phil Mickelson is destroying him by 11 shots. The numbers for the 2012 tournament almost doubled the ratings for the 2011 tournament, won by D.A. Points. The 5.7 million viewers in 2012 were also triple the ratings from the 2010 tournament, won by Dustin Johnson.
It's only one tournament examined in a vacuum, but the ratings data from Pebble Beach tell an interesting story. Here are the numbers since 2000 of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (thanks to the acclaimed person behind TVSportsRatings, whoever he or she is) with the total average number of viewers for CBS's weekend coverage and what it means for the PGA Tour...
Texas Rangers star outfielder Josh Hamilton had his first interview after his relapse from sobriety, and it came on Wednesday's edition of The Glenn Beck Program. Before you all start freaking out, take a deep breath... Beck didn't conduct the interview. It was done by Dr. James Robison.
Hamilton sounds apologetic in the interview, and maybe even a little embarrassed about his relapse. Hamilton called the relapse a serious issue, and that him and his family are doing everything in their power to make sure it doesn't happen again instead of just brushing it off.
In the interview, Hamilton also mentioned that he and his family are looking at possible triggers for the relapse, including his life on the home front and childhood memories.
“It’s going to be a process. I’m not fixed. I’m doing things right a day at a time. I want people to know that I love them and to keep praying for me.”
You could make the argument that the interview could have been a lot harder, considering that Robison is Hamilton's pastor. Hamilton's faith has been a big part of his life since getting clean, and Robison has helped Hamilton greatly since his relapse.
Hamilton also talked about him getting an accountability partner, a role that had been vacant this offseason after Johnny Narron had taken the job as Milwaukee's hitting coach this offseason.
“I do have an accountability partner. I was watching a special on Billy Graham and he always had at least one person with him, most times it was four or five. They’re not babysitters. They’re somebody that love you, want the best for you and want to see you succeed and put you in the best position to do that.”
“I’m not afraid of my mistakes. I do feel shame about my mistakes but I can get past that. But at the same time I learn from my mistakes. I’m learning from my mistakes.”
Personally, I felt the interview was a little religion-heavy, but what do you really expect from a pastor interviewing a born-again Christian on Glenn Beck? But at any rate, this is something that is beyond baseball, and beyond religion for that matter. This is really just about a guy whose demons keep returning, and needs to worry about getting himself right, be it through baseball, faith, or whatever else it may take.