Sweden won the World Junior Hockey Championship gold medal on Thursday night by defeating the junior Russians 1-0 in overtime. The game-winner was netted by Mika Zibanejad at the 10:09 mark of overtime and it resulted in pure announcer exultation.
You have to watch/listen for yourself:
I don't understand a word, but it sounds like they're having a good time. Yahoo! took a stab, but it doesn't include anything about Jonas Jerebko or tro pa mirakel. When you consider that this was the first gold medal for Sweden at the WJHC in over 30 years, you have to understand and appreciate the junior Swedish Al Michaels reaction (on crazy ecstasy, or extas). It's a love-mix of sweet Swede emotion featuring Abba, Eagle Eye Cherry, The Cardigans, and Europe; the Swedish junior hockey players are all the rock and the announcers are screaming Swedish teenage groupies.
This is a hilarious sequence from tonight's Miami Heat vs Atlanta Hawks game where the announcing crew of Kevin Harlan, Charles Barkley, and Reggie Miller believe they are off mic in the first quarter. However, some wires were crossed and this footage ended up making it on the air. These hot mic moments have led to more embarrassing episodes in announcing history, but this footage is more amusing than anything else. Charles Barkley begins by talking about his work with Weight Watchers and the weight he's lost as a spokesman for the company. Sir Charles also had this to say about getting paid for losing two pounds a week:
"I thought this was the greatest scam going, getting paid to watch sports... this Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam."
Possibly even better was this no holds barred interaction between Barkley and Harlan about the game as it was unfolding in the first quarter. Ironically enough, the game went into triple overtime where Miami finally emerged victorious:
Barkley: "Man I can't stand to watch this Atlanta Hawks team play."
Harlan: "This game is terrible."
Barkley: "It is."
Harlan: "Look at this game, 31 percent, God Almighty."
Barkley: "The Atlanta Hawks, they got nothin but a bunch of nice guys."
Here's the full clip...
For Barkley, it's really nothing he woudn't say in knowing he was actually on the air. For Harlan, that's probably a different story. It's fun for us though to see this kind of accident happen and find out what the announcers are really thinking. Why couldn't announcers tell us a game sucks when we're all watching the same game and know it does anyways? Maybe Charles Barkley's appearance in the booth will inspire other announcers to take this sort of uncensored approach. Why shouldn't Brent Musburger be able to open a six pack and openly root for his gambling picks during the BCS title game? I for one think that would be a refreshing change!
Here's a look at a clip from the laugher of an Orange Bowl last night between West Virginia and Clemson, with ESPN NFL commentator Jon Gruden confusing First Lady Michelle Obama with ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters. I know they look a little bit alike, but does Gruden really think that Clemson would use Lisa Salters on one of their play cards? Just a little obscure there, even if Salters has been with ESPN since 2000 and Michelle Obama has only been First Lady since January 2009. Gruden's broadcast partners Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski immediately erupt in laughter. This exchange from the ESPN booth is almost as funny as Clemson's defense last night...
West Virginia went on to win the Orange Bowl by the ridiculous score of 70-33 in what may turn out to be the lowest rated BCS Bowl game in history according to John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal. Which BCS Bowl gaffe is better, thinking Lisa Salters is Michelle Obama... or thinking West Virginia is still part of Virginia?
The self-proclaimed king of New York sports talk radio, Mike Francesa, may be leaving WFAN at the end of his contract. For all you fans of the Diet Coke sipping, Al Alburquerque forgetting, Bill Parcells loving kingpin of New York sports radio, have no fear. Francesa's contract with WFAN goes beyond Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City till March 2014. For all you haters of Mike Francesa, sorry, his contract with WFAN goes until March 2014.
As Neil Best reports in Newsday, Francesa is contemplating a departure from his longtime afternoon slot at WFAN where he's ruled New York afternoon airwaves for more than 20 years, but may not be thinking of retiring from the industry:
Mike Francesa is leaning toward leaving WFAN when his contract expires in March 2014, the station's longtime afternoon drive time host said Tuesday.
Speaking after a show on which he hinted on the air he was mulling his future, Francesa initially said it was "50-50, at best" that he would return, then added, "I'm even saying I'm leaning toward leaving."
Francesa has been at the station since shortly after its launch in 1987 and in the afternoon slot since 1989, the first 19 years with his longtime partner, Chris Russo.
He has been a ratings pillar for the station and has a contract believed to pay around $5 million per year. But he said it might soon be time for a change, although he has no plans to retire.
Francesa is in his fourth decade at WFAN. No matter what you think of him personally, Francesa is one of the titans of sports talk radio. Mike & The Mad Dog beginning in 1989 and lasting till 2008 is certainly one of the most notable and influential sports radio shows ever. Even as a non New Yorker, I tried to tune into Francesa and Russo when possible because they were one of the more entertaining pairs in sports. While Francesa can certainly come off as arrogant or flippant towards callers, I always found him to be entertaining. That said, like other great combos in history, Francesa isn't nearly as effective without a partner to buffer some of his more offputting qualities.
If Francesa does leave WFAN in 2014, it's difficult to see him pursuing another high profile gig considering he'll be almost 60 years old. He certainly has the clout to do something nationally based and could make television appearances with a network that needs a buzzworthy personality or possibly something based with the NFL. Maybe ESPN will make him a huge offer to debate Skip Bayless every morning. My God, that would make the internet explode.
Whatever Francesa's future holds, we'll have to cherish (or curse) the remainder of his time at WFAN... which I think this clip sums up nicely...
With the books closed on the 2011 NFL regular season, we can also close the books on the first ever edition of the Dickies. Thanks to all our readers in helping with the launch of this initiative to give us a Sunday counterpart to the AA staple of the Pammies. I think we'll all be satisfied with who takes home the first ever Straight Outta Stockton title. But first, here are the winning quotes from Week 17. The envelope, please...
T9) "Eric Decker is the best." - Phil Simms (via bjo109). Umm... ok?
T9) "He was inside the circle of love." - Dan Dierdorf on a punt fair catch (via ConnorKiesel)
8) "When you give [Michael Turner] gaping holes, he's going to hurt some people." -Dick Stockton... Ok then. (via sctvman)
7) "No one wants to come to New England to play Greg Williams and his defense" -Joe Buck not knowing where New Orleans is. (via jleimer)
6) "Oakland lost to the Heat, *pause* and maybe the Dolphins too"- Marv Albert(via JayAyyyy) moving on to NBA season.
5) "That last play they had five offensive linemen in for extra protection" - Randy Cross (via wyattgywon)
4) "Cincy's the wild card, the Jets are out of the playoffs, and Cincy has their playoff hopes dashed as well." - Curt Menefee (via A_Goch)
3) "That was a penalty and that doesn't count, but that was also one of the most brilliant plays I've seen in a long time." - Cris Collinsworth (via CMehring)
2) "No one works harder, but no one knows less about this game than I do." - Brian Billick (via ClarkbarTweets). C'mon, Billick actually said this?
1)"Let's take a look at Jared Allen's sack." - Tony Siragusa (via chaz_mcbro)
Black Sports Online discovered this clip of former Ohio State & Titans running back Eddie George entering an avenue a little different from playing on the gridiron: playing Julius Caesar in the Nashville Shakepeare Festival's production of Julius Caesar from January 12-29. You can buy tickets online at NashvilleShakes.org if you want to see one of the great running backs of our generation try his hand at being a thespian.
It's a different line of work for the College Football Hall of Famer and former Fox analyst, who retired from the NFL in 2005. He also is the former host of the shortlived "The Quad" on BTN. At least it's more of a sophisticated trend than Dancing With the Stars.
When you were nine years old, you were most likely playing outside with your friends with no worries at all about a daily job or having responsibilities. It’s a time most of us look back on and treasure with a collective “those were the days” yearning.
But that is not the daily life of nine-year-old PJ Whitaker, who spends his days hosting an hour-long sports talk show on WTAN Radio 1340 AM in Clearwater, Fla.
The self professed pizza and sports lover spends his days preparing for his shows, doing most of the research, booking guests, and even securing sponsors for the show. Yes, securing sponsors in a market where adult radio hosts have trouble even holding down a job.
PJ’s mom Angye Fox said she noticed his talents as early as two years old and told the local ABC station:
"I noticed that he started imitating John Madden," said Fox. "Then he seemed entranced every time he saw Bob Costas on TV."
Station owner Dave Wagenvoord stated he had no clue if the show would work but after three months, he remains convinced he made the right decision.
Even PJ's classmates didn’t believe him when he said he had his own sports show. That is until his weekly show was uploaded to YouTube and since then, none of the kids doubt him any longer.
While PJ’s early choices for broadcasting idols could use some work, there is no doubt this 9 year old’s work ethic puts us all to shame. Especially considering his show already has intro music, sound cut-aways and his regular guests have nicknames!
Watch one of his shows below:
For more about this sports talk radio wunderkind, check out PJSportsTalk.com. I know there's a 10-1 ET timeslot on ESPN Radio where PJ would be a big improvement over the current host.
We've chronicled Tony Kornheiser's goofy exploits on PTI in the past. From quoting The Wire, singing Rebecca Black, being baffled by HAM, and attempting to tickle Wilbon, Kornheiser has the unique ability to entertain by bravely commenting on pop culture despite being a bit removed from the youthful demographics from which many of these references are proliferated. In a nutshell, he's your old, embarrassing, dorky dad or uncle who thinks he is hilarious and he is, but because he's YOUR family member, you disapprove. However your friends encourage him and when someone else's family member falls into this bucket, you eat it up.
Today we had two new Kornheiser gems. He opened the show rapping Sir Mix-A- Lot and later during the live commercial cut in, explained to Barkley his issues with Lean Cuisine as a staple of an attempted diet. Below are both clips.
While PTI can sometimes be a bit of overkill in terms rehashing topics that are already a bit stale, the show thrives due mainly to the personalities and chemistry of the Wilbon and Kornheiser. With a decade in the books, my question to you is, what is the over/under of how much longer PTI will run with Kornheiser and Wilbon as hosts ? 5 years? 15 years? 20 years? Rarely in television do you see that type of longevity.
Courtesy of Fang's Bites and the NFL, we've learned today that on the day before the Super Bowl, the NFL is going to be putting on an awards show in Indianapolis on primetime network television. The categories for the event on NBC are about what you'd expect: MVP, Coach of the Year, Offensive and Defensive Players and Rookies of the Year, etc. But there are a couple of categories that seem a little... interesting. Like the "Madden Most Valuable Protectors" award. I assume that's going to an offensive lineman, recognized alongside higher profile skill position players? "Salute to Service" award? This may be recognizing a player for what I assume would be outstanding efforts in the community... but how is that different from the "Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year" award? Is the Man of the Year award going to now be given to the actual manliest man, like the one who wears the best flannel shirts and chops wood the best?
The NFL isn't the first league to run an awards show. The MLB had a disastrous Gold Glove awards show on ESPN back in November, and the NHL has their yearly awards ceremony, but here's the major difference between those two awards shows and the NFL's: they came after the season ended. The NFL's show comes before their championship game on national television in primetime. Are you really going to drag participants in the game away from preparing for the biggest game in sports for an AWARDS SHOW? "Hey Aaron, I know you have to figure out how you're going to pick apart the Ravens secondary, but you need to get your tux on and awkwardly sit around for three hours before getting your MVP award!" The whole idea just seems a little ludicrous to me.
The local choice is pretty amusing to me as well. Do you ever think any major awards show would hold their show in Indianapolis? I know they're holding it there because the Super Bowl is going to be there the next night, but it just seems like a desperate plea for people to come to Indy. Also, imagine how much more of a crunch this is going to be putting on the city. This just seems like a strange idea from the start.
One thing I forgot to mention: Alec Baldwin of NBC's 30 Rock will be hosting. You know, the 30 Rock that hasn't had its season premiere yet this year. Slick!
This video isn't going to help ESPN's perception of bullying others in the media with their access, money, and influence. After the Sugar Bowl, ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe would let nothing, not even another human being, stand in her way of getting Michigan coach Brady Hoke for ESPN's postgame interview. If this were two years ago, Michigan actually could have used her on defense. Holly goes full out Beast Mode (ala Marshawn Lynch) in elbowing this poor female reporter out of the way. DeMarcus Cousins should take note of Holly's intensity and boxing out skills. From now on, we better be careful what we say about ESPN, or else they'll send their enforcers our way...