There are a handful of high end amenities and utilities that once you use, you can never go back. Nobody makes the decision to go back to dial-up internet, those with air conditioning typically become lifers, and in that same vein once you get a taste of the Sunday Ticket and/or the RedZone channel, chances are that you're going to have a hard time watching the NFL any other way.
With millions now consuming copious amounts of football via NFL RedZone and The RedZone Channel (for all intents and purposes the same thing), the New York Times ran a nice feature on the popularity of the channels. It was your basic "Hey America, you didn't know about this? Well let me tell you all about it..." type of feature.
A lot of the feature was old information repackaged with some fresh quotes, but the part that really interested me was the story about the initial inspiration for the channel. Fox's Eric Shanks gets the credit for importing the idea from Italy where he was visiting working on a business deal...
One would think a person who portrays themselves as the most notable and passionate Boston sports fan on the planet would theoretically be careful to be correct in what he says regarding said Boston sports teams. One would also think ESPN's most popular writer, Bill Simmons (a man with almost 1.5 million Twitter followers), would want to double check the info he's pumping out on a regular basis. Finally, one would think a tweet observing the "high comedy" of a misspelled tattoo (is it really that hilarious?) would not mistake a Bruins player for an ESPN New York writer. And yet, Bill Simmons passed none of those tests Monday.
You see, Andrew Marchand is a senior writer at ESPN New York. Brad Marchand is the Bruins player that had "Stanley Cup Champians" temporarily tattooed on his arm body. How Simmons got the two confused is a bit perplexing, unless it was a conspiracy from the Bristol overlords to feed more page views to their regional sites. Seriously, why else would we ever link to ESPN New York? Simmons fessed up to the gaffe minutes later...
Usually a tweeting snafu of this order wouldn't be worthy of a second glance, but this isn't the first time The Sports Guy has come under fire for his lack of attention to detail regarding the Bruins. During the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he called Rich Peverley "Patrick Beverly." He was also called out as an obvious bandwagon fan when he suddenly showed up with ice level seats wearing a snappy Bruins sweatshirt during the playoffs.
Simmons does seem to have more than his fair share of typos and factual errors in his columns (see Deadspin's Grantland correction desk). And yet, his history of errors regarding the Bruins cut deeper than others. it seems that Bruins fans hold a special sort of grudge against Bill Simmons for jumping on the B's bandwagon like he was Blake Griffin leaping over a midsized sedan. Simmons has fallen all over himself gushing about his Boston persona - penning column after column about the Red Sox, Celtics, and Patriots over the years. Hockey was rarely even on his radar. All it took was a Stanley Cup championship to get the Sports Guy fully on board with the Bruins. The transparent, fake, Speidi-like nature of it all likely gave serious Bruins fans this reaction. (There's your obligatory Simmonsesque pop culture reference.)
With his latest snafu, Bill Simmons would appear to have even more work to do to patch up his standing with Bruins fans. The whole Bruins fans vs Bill Simmons dynamic is ironic coming from someone who has made millions of dollars off his reputation as a hardcore Boston sports fan and once wrote this:
There's nothing worse than a Bandwagon Jumper. If sports were a prison and sports fans made up all the prisoners, the Bandwagon Jumpers would be like the child molesters -- everyone else would pick on them, take turns beating them up and force them to toss more salads than Emeril Lagasse.
Who needs perspective? 22-of-37, 250 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and one fumble vs. 22-of-36, 255 yards, one interception, and three fumbles.
The second stat line, believe Phil Costa or not, belongs to Tony Romo and the first belongs to Redskins' QB Rex Grossman. However, the amount of Tony Romo tongue bathing that went on would've left you thinking Romo was playing the most inspired game of his life with a heavy heart while Rex Grossman was, well, Rex Grossman.
This Tony Romo guy did it all, though, despite having broken ribs. Oh, yeah, did you know Romo was playing with broken ribs (which were protected by inpenetrable Dendra armour) ... and that he's just so gosh-darn likable? On one play down the stretch, Tony Romo apparently completed a miracle pass in spite of his stupid offensive linemen and simultaneously volunteered at a soup kitchen. What a guy, this guy. In the end, somehow a Week 3 win in which "Tony" -- as Gruden so affectionately called him all game -- failed to throw a single touchdown pass, was his greatest win of his career. Look, I don't mind Tony Romo as a quarterback -- there's been 23 Lions teams in my 26-year life I would have loved to have him 'backing -- but I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable Monday night.
Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Blog, who may have been a tad bitter seeing as his team just lost a heartbreaker, thought it was a bit much, too:
I wish I had the Gruden and Jaworski quotes handy, but if you were watching, you probably have some sense of what they were saying. Actually, they may have been singing Hosannas rather than strictly speaking. Or just kneeling and weeping.
“Mike, Tony Romo has DONE! HIS! JOB! What a MEMORABLE evening by Tony Romo. He’s been getting hit all night, he’s had bad snaps all night, he’s got rookie wide receivers making mistakes, all kinds of errors on the offensive line, with a broken rib, fourth quarter, he takes his team DOWN the field, converts a third-and-21 on an electrifying play, moving around, allowing Dez Bryant to open up. Romo, WOW, so far.”
Yup. Eighteen memorable points. Six memorable field goals. One memorable floating interception. Several memorable mean faces at his teammates for screwing up.
On that Dez Bryant play, I think it was Jaws who said, "it was all Tony Romo ... absolutely." Forget it that Bryant -- who wasn't playing at full strength, either -- didn't give up on the play and got away from his defender, caught the ball, and ran for an extra 10 or so yards after the catch. Nope, all Romo. Romo to Romo.
Marty is covered by a DB at least eight inches shorter than him. Rather than throw a jump ball, Romo tries to drill it in Bennett’s chest.
SPIN IT JAWS: “Martellus Bennett simply has to anticipate that his quarterback is suffering from a rib injury and is therefore unlikely to get the ball where it needs to be. Disappointing effort there by the tight end.”
Of course, the Pammies are our lifeblood during the Fall and our focus largely resides with your feedback for college football. The Pammies have a steep history here at AA, but we receive just as many tweets from you on NFL Sundays that we do on college football Saturdays. So, what better way to provide a weekly dose of the best NFL quotes than by one of our favorite series at AA - Real Tweets from Real People. Al Michaels is already creepily excited. Each week, we'll spotlight a few NFL announcers (mostly Dick Stockton) and some of the best zingers from around Twitter. As always, these are Real Tweets from Real People...
#Dick Stockton (Lions vs Vikings)
Dascenzo Dick Stockton jukes from one sentence to another like Barry Sanders in his prime. jpcadorin Good news: The Vikings aren't panicking up 3-0, 7 minutes in to the game. Really Dick Stockton? joshfrank@awfulannouncing another Dick Stockton gem was when he announced Ndamakung Suh as ndamakung Kuhn in pregame Kyle_R_Dufrane@awfulannouncing I assume you don't bother tweeting about how consistently horrible Dick Stockton is because you only have 140 characters? vlamb24@awfulannouncing Dick Stockton called Stafford Jason Hanson...too bad the Lions weren't punting. myguythetorg Dick Stockton has no clue what he is saying. A 1st and 5 is 3rd and long and minnesota is 2 and 0? Take ur meds Dick BKibbs Dick Stockton said that the Eagles were "America's Team when the season started." I'm sorry, Dick, what America do you live in? Detroit4lyfe According to Dick Stockton, the Lions defense has held the Lions offense to 2 field goals today.
#Jim Mora (Bengals vs 49ers)
BASportsGuy Great how Fox shows the worst possible angle on that illegal touching replay, and Jim Mora praises the amazing camerawork. yougomango Jim Mora Jr is like, um, the worst color guy I've ever heard maybe?? mikekiessel If the 49ers Bengal game was played in my backyard I wouldn't open drapes. If Jim Mora was here to announce I'd call cops for tresspassing greebs "There might be some frustrated #49ers fans watching right now..." Jim Mora. Get this guy a Peabody! @awfulannouncing greebs Alex Smith throws the ball five feet over Joshua Morgan's head. "That's an accuracy issue there, Ron" says Jim Mora. Thanks, Jim.
#Dan Dierdorf (Texans vs Saints)
msthierry110 "Defeat, thy name is field goal"...Dan Dierdorf awfulannouncing Dan Dierdorf just made reference to "Texans Nation." In other news, I just vomited. Chris_Hill_ If Dan Dierdorf got attacked by a badger I would probably have a good laugh. djbmilk "Brees is such a competitor. He would chew his own leg off to get a win. He's probably eating himself from the inside right now" Dan Dierdorf awfulannouncing By the way, I wanted to tweet all Dan Dierdorf's food references during the Saints game today, but it would have put Twitter over capacity.
#Joe Buck & Troy Aikman (Bears vs Packers)
Pat_Armitage Will Joe Buck raise his voice at all this afternoon? That is the question. The NFL announcing equivalent of Ben Stein. CC:@awfulannouncing ThaSportsChick if Joe Buck HAS to be a commentator for a sport, why cant it be snooker or really bad hunting shows, you know, something i can turn off. nsatts52 Troy Aikman has to be one of the worst color men in all of sports right now. He is brutal to listen to, which makes Joe Buck even worse too twhurt The worst thing about being a fan of the best team in the NFL is that Joe Buck will call most of your games. poopd1ck Joe Buck has the charisma of a dead fly.
#Brian Billick (Bucs vs Falcons)
JohnLiotta What does "runs angry after the catch" even mean, Brian Billick? @awfulannouncing Also just said: "We'd be dog cussing Matt Ryan." Kayne_Gibson@awfulannouncing Billick after Josh Freeman QB sneak for td: "Let the big guy just shove it in." aphoward13 Someone needs to explain the helmet-to-helmet rule to Brian Billick. Brennaman knows it better @awfulannouncing AllSnark "Once again, I fail terribly as an official" - Brian Billick. Truer words never spoken @awfulannouncing lawlornfl Brian Billick is painfully bad as an announcer. He's full of wrong info.
I really wasn't even sure I wanted to see Moneyball. The book is still one of my all-time favorites and the thought of confining a complex book largely about guys crowding around computers and the awesome nerdery that takes place into two hours made me worried that they'd butcher the hell out of it. As soon as I heard Brad Pitt would be playing be playing Billy Beane, I imagined we'd be subjected to scenes of a shirtless Beane celebrating with the World Series trophy and maybe a sappy love story. I also was wary when I heard that Paul DePodesta did not want his likeness used in the movie and that his part would be a made-up character played by Seth from Superbad. Hearing Aaron Sorkin was one of the writers immediately helped restore some confidence that they might just not screw this one up.
Thankfully, the movie largely stays true to the book. While some things certainly are exaggerated and some of the things in the movie will certainly make the uber nerdy sabermatric community cringe, I feel like they still did get the heart of the book's message through in the movie. But, there's no mistaking that this definitely is a Hollywood movie.
The movie at its core is a traditional underdog story. It really only focuses on one year (2002) and the A's are presented in the movie as a ragtag group of misfits that must overcome the enormous odds of losing Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi due to their severe economic disadvantage. Of course, the A's still did have Zito, Hudson, Mulder and Miguel Tejada, but you'll rarely hear their names in this movie. Still, it's true the A's payroll was usually 100 million less than their playoff foes and Beane shrewdly assembled them due to the economic realities he faced.
It's really difficult to criticize this movie after having read and loved the book. For instance, my favorite part of the book dealt with the A's drafting strategy and the Jeremy Brown story. But, like I said earlier, the movie spends the majority of its time in 2002 and there's really no way to include the drama of that part of the book in this movie about a prospect who ultimately never panned out. That would have provided any cohesion to this story. Also, I wished more shine would have been given to Bill James who was the real mind behind the sabermetric movement in baseball... but again, it's only two hours.
Thanks for all your continued comments and tweets that are the lifeblood of the Pam Ward Chronicles. With Week 4, conference games are beginning to get in gear and the Pammies are heating up as well. This week continues the powerful performances of Craig James and Gary Danielson, who are both in the list of nominees with multiple selections. Incredibly, Craig James has four nominees this week all by himself! Then again, with two games every week, he has twice as many opportunities to say ridiculous things as most other announcers. In truth, it's an incredibly unfair advantage versus the rest of the Pammies field given his built in ignominy. Oh well... As a reminder as to how this works, each week we'll nominate 15-20 quotes for you to pick the best 10. The winning quote of the week will earn that person 10 points all the way down to 1 point for 10th. Remember, you can vote for your favorite five quotes. Here are your Week 4 nominees...
1) "Cincinnati has to have a coming out party tonight for Butch Jones." - Craig James (via Sctvman)
2) "I caught up with Bitch... Butch Jones coming out of the half." - Jenn Brown (VIDEO)
3) "LSU plays grown man football. If you have any Hello Kitty in you, they're gonna bring it out of you." - Desmond Howard (via CaptTouchback)
4) "Braxton Miller is like Barry Sanders" - Craig James (via sctvman)
5) "He comes in the backdoor." - Gary Danielson (via AndyO)
6) "It's a 3rd and goal, 3rd and 1." - Steve Martin as Temple had a 3rd and 1 still in their own territory. (via BloggerJustinF)
7) "Party at the quarterback and the defensive line is invited." - Dan Hawkins (via sctvman)
8) "San Diego State finally breaks the seal here at the Big House." - Eric Collins after SDSU scored their first TD. (via SBisho12)
9) "If you're not conditioned, guys will start to suck... suck air." - Matt Millen (via tedemrich)
10) "The good thing for Arizona State is they have a managable 3rd down here." - Rod Gilmore (via bjo109) on 2nd and 6.
11) "You know what I like about Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel, they got blood on this field." - Craig James (via sctvman)
12) "That defense was out there like a chicken on a dune bug." - Ray Bentley (via sctvman)
13) "Clemson missed a FG by 60 yards to the left." - Brad Nessler (via sctvman)
14) "One more try at trying to find Arkansas trying to find their tight end." - Gary Danielson (via bjo109)
15) "The Big 12 has everything going their way" - Craig James (via sctvman)
16) "2 of the last 3 Central Michigan passes have been intercepted. The last one for an interception." - Pam Ward (via SBisho12)
17) "And... Incomplete... And INTERCEPTED... No... EDDIE POOLE? EDDIE POOLE?! EDDIE POOLE CAUGHT IT?! UNBELIEVABLE! HOW IN THE WORLD DID HE GRAB THIS ONE?!" - Mike Morgan (VIDEO)
Vote For Your Week 4 Pammy Winners! (vote for up to five)
The winners will come Wednesday morning so make sure you vote early and often and check back for the full Week 5 announcing sked later this week!
Yes, the Bears might have lost to the Packers, sorry, the "World Champs" (as they were called 749 times today), by a score of 27-17 today. But, the score should have been much closer if not for a phantom holding call on the greatest punt return fakeout in history. With only a minute left and the score 27-17, Devin Hester and Special Teams Coordinator Dave Toub pulled off an unbelieveable fake return to the near sideline, while Johnny Knox caught the ball and raced up the far sideline for a TD, if not for that "holding" call.
Now, I can understand if the play initially might have fooled FOX play-by-play man Joe Buck, but c'mon man! At least show a little excitement! Who cares if there's a flag on the field? Even Aaron Rogers said it was "the most incredible play I've ever seen" after the game. Yet for Joe Buck, it was like any other play in any other game. We've chronicled Buck's voice ailment before, and it does still sound his voice is just a hair off from normal. So why the muted call? Couldn't Buck take some lessons from the UVA-Wise announcers and let loose just a little bit? (Nice AA shoutout in the local papers by the way!)
Trust me, I could go into the FOX conspiracy against Jay Cutler, or their on-air apology today for creating false headlines about Jay Cutler... but that would just reveal my own silly Bears bias. Nope, it looks like the muted reaction is just down to Joe Buck being an announcer who can't find any excitement when calling a football game. I wonder what will happen first... Joe Buck losing his monotone or the Bears finding a running game... ouch!
Can Pam Ward be stopped? Is Gary Danielson making a run for the AA PW Award? Jenn Brown and Mike Morgan have a running start this week, with Craig James earning plenty of submissions, as well. Leave us with all the awfulness you hear throughout this football Saturday and we'll put it to a vote on Monday. Stay thirsty, my friends.
Many, many, many, many virtual trees have been sacrificed the last two years over LeBron James. His mysterious final days in Cleveland, The Decision, the betrayl of Cleveland, LeBron's legacy, LeBron's choking in the playoffs and so much more. However, among all of the silly things LeBron James said last year, one of the biggest foot-in-mouth moments came at the initial Miami Heat Championship Celebration Welcome Party. Before the "Three Kings" (shocking how that nickname didn't take off like a rocketship) had even played a game together, LeBron James predicted his Heat would win at least 7 NBA Championships. Let's go to the videotape!
Of course, LeBron's boasting was a point of comic fodder for much of the season, and especially during his disappearing act in the NBA Finals. But, amidst the chilly climate of the NBA Lockout, LeBron is now appearing in a new set of McDonald's ads to promote their Monopoly game. And you know what? LeBron comes off as a very sympathetic and humorous figure as the narrator pokes fun at his famous faux pas.
And maybe that's the most frustrating aspect of the entire Decision debacle. Deep down, when you strip away the corporate coccoon of King James and the ensuing farce his image has become, LeBron is someone you want to root for to succeed. This isn't meant to be another psychological profile of LBJ, but there is that certain connection that one makes with LeBron James when he's not trying to portray himself as something other than the kid from Akron. Maybe that's what Cavs fans miss the most about LeBron leaving his hometown team.
You've missed Brett Favre so much. And finally, he's returning. Sort of...
Next Saturday, October 1st, Favre will serve as the color commentator for the CSS (Comcast Sports Southeast) broadcast of the Rice-Southern Miss (his alma mater) game:
CSS, the regional sports channel focused on sports throughout the South, has announced that former Southern Miss and future NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre will serve as color analyst for its live coverage of the Rice at Southern Miss game on Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
"I'm excited to be back at Southern Miss with the Golden Eagles," said Favre, who played quarterback for the team from 1987-1990. He added, "I'm not committing to a new career in broadcasting, but just wanted to support Southern Miss and check out the view from the press box. It should be fun and I hope the fans enjoy it."
"CSS is thrilled to have Brett share his knowledge and insight as color analyst", says General Manager Mark Fuhrman. "We've had a great relationship with Conference USA for many years and I know our viewers will enjoy hearing Brett's perspective on the game."