Tuesday night, the New York Rangers trailed the New Jersey Devils 1-0 in the final seconds. As the Rangers rushed Martin Brodeur's goal, Marian Gaborik crashed into the Devils goaltender while Rangers captain Ryan Callahan appeared to score the tying goal. Even though it appeared Gaborik was helped into Brodeur by Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov, the goal was disallowed. Here's video of the play below...
Veteran broadcaster Al Trautwig was hosting the MSG postgame show after the Rangers telecast. You might know Trautwig from his nationwide work with NBC's Olympics coverage and other sports. In this case, the broadcast journalist within Al Trautwig was overcome with Rangers fan rage. His postgame intro begins quite normally before exploding with fury over the "BRUTAL CALL!!!!!" Then, Al goes back to the normal postgame intro before offering a befuddled groan and shake of the head. The instantaneous metamorphosis of Al Trautwig is really quite interesting. Don't get Al Trautwig angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
The NFL has a neat little trick in which they announce big news close to the Super Bowl that at times can ruffle some feathers, but is often lost in the hoopla of the Super Bowl. Cris Carter snubbed by the Hall Of Fame? A football game in Mexico? More Thursday Night Football? In a regular week, this could be fodder on Around The Horn, PTI, Twitter, and the blogosphere. But in a Super Bowl week coupled with a 24/7 Peyton Manning PR battle in addition to the game hype, these news items seemed to just come and go without much analysis.
With that in mind, we've taken the liberty to build out a comprehensive winners and losers of the additional games that may or may not becoming to your television set this fall on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football.
You don't have to be Richard Sandomir to realize the NFL Network is the biggest winner. Going from 8 games to 13 games extends the window of NFL Network's relevancy from just November-December to nearly the entire season with games now in September and October as well.
The added games are nothing to sneeze at. It means more advertising dollars, higher carriage fees, and more television markets being on the channel. The additional games and eyeballs gives the network not only more revenue, but also additional leverage to bend over negotiate with cable operators like Time Warner and Cablevision who are still engaged in trench warfare with the network.
Generally speaking, football has been nationally televised on Thursday Nights for a half season. Now it's on for almost a full season. For those without the NFL Sunday Ticket on DirectTV, you're now getting access to more football and obviously that's a good thing for fans...
ESPN has to get something out of the millions of dollars they're paying Rick Reilly, so they gave him a pulpit after the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. As usual, nonsense started spewing out of his mouth as soon as he opened it. You can check the video for yourself at the link, for some reason ESPN chose to not make it embeddable. Hmm... Sunday night's genius statement: the NFL should make Giants-Patriots the permanent Super Bowl game, in the vein of people talking yearly about a permanent Super Bowl site.
How ridiculous is this? Reilly, as facetious as he may be, is talking about making the regular season and playoffs meaningless and letting the Giants and Patriots play in the Super Bowl every year. Ok, then. He follows that up by making this claim:
"The Patriots are sort of the Washington Generals to the Giants Globetrotters."
You know, the Patriots who have won three Super Bowls with Tom Brady at the helm... are the Washington Generals, the ones that have lost tens of thousands of games to their competition. That makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
Anyway, Reilly then says Patriots and Giants games always end the same: with the Giants walking away with the Lombardi Trophy. Just like they did when the two teams met in a regular season game in November, right? And when the Giants lost to the Patriots in Week 17 of the 2007 season? Sure, the games have all been good... but to make these broad, sweeping statements based on two Super Bowls the Giants won on last minute touchdowns is ridiculous. But then again, do you really expect much more from Rick Reilly?
Yes, a star was born Monday across the pond when a kitty cat invaded the soccer pitch at Liverpool's Anfield during their EPL game with Tottenham. Don't believe me that a cat can become a star overnight? Just check out the Anfield Cat Twitter account, which now has almost 30,000 followers and growing! That's more than Awful Announcing's Twitter page (insert cheap plug for @awfulannouncing here).
But, as crazy events like this tend to do, the Anfield Cat got us to thinking about other moments when animals invaded our sporting events. Here's 10 of our favorite moments in our most ridiculous, yet most adorable countdown yet. Well... except for the animals who didn't quite survive their moment in the spotlight, they might not see this as an adorable list.
(10) A bear walks the course at the U.S. Senior Open -One of the best qualities of golf is the enjoyment of nature while playing the game. As an outdoor sport, it's not uncommon for golfers to come across all sorts of critters from squirrels and birds, to deer and aligators. But, at the U.S. Senior Open, a black bear might have caused a bit of panic when it decided to play through. How this clip lead to a Tim Kurkjian breakdown of man vs. bear is beyond me though.
(9) Bird meets its demise at tennis match -I don't know how old this clip is, or who the tennis players are involved, but it was clearly a bad day to be a bird. The only thing missing is the tennis player saying "Cerrano kill a living thing?!" as he kneels and prays over the bird. Let's hope it got a decent burial! Ah, who cares it's a rat with wings! (If you don't get these references please go watch Major League II... right now, I'll wait.)
(8) Rabbit races for Touchdown at Michigan -Here's another old clip where it would be great to know more information. A rabbit runs the length of the field at Michigan to score a TD while an unknown announcer calls the action like a modern-day Gus Johnson. Who was that announcer? What ever happened to that rabbit? At least there's a modest tie-in here to announcing.
We're still recovering from the Super Bowl and the end of the NFL season, but the world game is in full midseason swing. Thankfully, that means another weekly dose of Gol TV's magisterial magician of the microphone, Ray Hudson. On the weekend, Ray seemed a little more mellow than normal in calling the Barcelona v Real Sociedad tilt, but still went places no other broadcaster would be willing to go...
1-0 Tello (:47)
"Once again we see the genius of Messi. The pure ego of genius, he doesn't have any. There ain't anything egotistical about him. He supplies this ball for Tello that is off the charts. And what a magnificent mother's touch Tello gives it. Look at this ball for Leo. Just level and the sweetest of touches from Tello. That is absolutely magnificent from the youngster. The ball is perfect from Lionel Messi."
"Wonderful play again from the man I was telling you about. Thiago Alcantara. Tattoo it on your arms Barcelona fans, he'll do you proud over the years."
Alves chance created by Messi
"He'd follow you in a revolving door and he'd still come out first, Messi."
2-0 Messi (7:35)
"Well, it's like blasphemy criticizing Lionel Messi because it takes 1,000 Steinways to reproduce one note of his. Again a magnificent finish, but a beautiful pass to set him up. This time he doesn't hesitate. This time he dispatches with prejudice. And he saves his eternal thanks as always to his deceased grandma. Wonderful ball played in, the rub of it. But there's no controlling it this time. Dani Alves sees it, leads it, spins it. The ball rubs beautifully. Leo sees his target, the onrushing Bravo and that back post, and he dispatches beautifully. Finally."
2-1 Vela (8:45)
"He's in... wonderful from Vela, nicely supplied by the Frenchman who I was warning you about in the preview, this kid Antoine Griezmann. And, Victor comes and closes the angle but Vela has got too much space and he's got Victor at his mercy. Is it a bad giveaway that leads to it? Well, it's a surprising one. Right here, caught in possession is Thiago Alcantara I believe and then Griezmann quick as Jumpin Jack Flash sets away the Gooner Carlos Vela."
I have something embarrasing to admit. I am that guy that looks forward to televised Celebrity sporting events. There's just something so egomaniacal and over-the-top-shameless that I guess I can't make myself look away. I mean, I think I honestly would be upset with myself if I wasn't watching live when the third leading actor from Bones just intercepted Joe Montana.
I think it all started with those Rock 'N' Jock games that MTV used to air in the 90's. In my head back then the Dan Cortese vs. Bill Bellamy rivalry was probably equal to Knicks/Bulls in the 90's and this stretch of back-to-back 25 pointers (at the 10:20 mark) in the '94 RNJ by JR Rider and Gary Payton was probably greater than Joe Carter's World Series clinching homerun in my opinion.
Anyways, the third most important Bowl game of the weekend, the Celebrity Beach Bowl, was on Saturday. Snoop took MVP honors as he was just too much to handle for the likes of Artie Lange and Doogie Howser. Here's his first touchdown of the game with Dan Patrick and Kevin Frazier providing the call.
La Di Da Di Snoop likes to party. I gotta say I'm impressed these days when someone can do something that produces audible groans from seemingly everyone in attendance. Well done.
Perhaps New England's best tight end was not pleased with the Patriots receivers after last night's heartbreaking loss in Super Bowl XLVI to the Giants. The "positive energy" Gisele Bundchen pleaded for did not spread to the Patriot receivers as some of their gaffes will likely be looked at as being the difference maker. Most notably was a dropped pass by Wes Welker in the final minutes that is made "100 out of 100 times" that likely would have clinched the game and also an unlikely interception when Chase Blackburn out battled a limited Rob Gronkowski.
All of this added up to a Giants win and a chance for New Yorkers to test out their newly minted bragging rights over Boston starting with Gisele following the game. Some scoundrel heckles her saying "ELI RULZ!!! ELI OWNS YER HUSBAND" and she offered this NSFW comment waiting for an elevator, which of course was caught on film by a gossip website.
"You've got to catch the ball when you're supposed to catch the ball. My husband cannot f'n throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time."
I don't know, just last weekend I saw NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers do exactly that play for outstanding results.
The loss will be a bitter one for Brady as he will probably sulk by frolicking around on island beaches for much of the offseason with his supermodel wife. What a shame.
Super Bowl XLVI between the Giants and the Patriots did indeed break the all time viewership record as predicted by many before the game. Even though the game was only the third highest Super Bowl in terms of overnight ratings (averaging a selection of the biggest markets around the country), the game drew an average of 111.3 million viewers. That number barely squeaks by the 111 million viewers from last year's game as reported by Richard Sandomir of the New York Times.
It's now the third consecutive year that the Super Bowl has set the all time viewership record. Saints-Colts, Packers-Steelers, and now Giants-Patriots are the three most watched events in the history of American television:
1) Super Bowl XLVI - 111.3 million viewers 2) Super Bowl XLV - 111 million viewers 3) Super Bowl XLIV - 106.5 million viewers
Frankly, I'm quite surprised the number wasn't much higher considering the large ratings in New York and Boston, the marquee players, teams, and storylines, and the fact that the game went down to a final play Hail Mary and was close throughout. The 111.3 million viewers is well below the Over/Under number set at 117 million viewers before the game. Even Madonna's halftime show drew a higher than average audience for the game at 114 million viewers! I was expecting a number around 118-120 million viewers given how the game played out and the year-to-year growth over the last few Super Bowls. The game peaked at 117.7 million for the final minutes.
It's amazing to think that the total number of average viewers was just 86.1 million viewers for Patriots-Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX. Odds should be in favor of another record being set next year if we're fortunate enough to see another close game.
Right near the end of this clip, as you see many New York Giants players and personnel kissing the Lombardi Trophy as it makes its way through the crowd, Biff Henderson of CBS's Late Show with David Letterman gets his hand on the stem area of the trophy, then ducks his head in and plants one on it. Henderson's CBS eye microphone is clearly visable to the viewers at home.
This really isn't a huge deal, but it's pretty funny for Henderson, a former NBC employee and long-time CBS employee with Letterman's show, to get a brief moment in the spotlight for his former network. Imagine the execs at NBC and their mild horror that the CBS eye got put on TV during the Super Bowl on their network for a hundred million people to see. It's completely meaningless, but you know people at NBC are probably irritated at this while Biff and Letterman will greatly rejoice at his Super Bowl moment. Biff's totally random appearance was just barely the second best celebrity cameo of Super Bowl XLVI.