And Now, A Note From Brian Powell

Saturday, September 04, 2010

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First of all, I want to thank everyone for their emails, phone calls, faxes and telegrams, asking if I was still alive over the past few months. The answer is yes, and I'm also very well rested. The truth of the matter is two-fold, and while I won't bore you with the details, I will tell you it was a combination of "being burnt out" and "trying something new in life". If you want all the details, you can email me, but I think there are more important things to talk about. Like....Are the Pammies coming back? Was Chris Berman really honored by the NFL Hall of Fame? And, what the hell is a Bloguin?

In order, yes.....yes.....and the people that are going to help me keep this site going in the direction that it was intended to.

I started the site back in 2006 as an open forum of sorts. A place where people could bitch and moan about whatever network/announcer they disagreed with/couldn't stand, as well as a hub of information on hirings/firings, schedules, etc. For months, I tried to spot post, without much avail, and even hired other writers for the site. Nothing worked out until Bloguin stepped in and "righted the ship". They have lined up some great writers, overhauled the layout of the site (beautifully I may add) and are even keeping little ole' me around to post every so often.

All in all, it was the perfect match to keep the (slightly delayed) ball rolling in the way in which it was intended. I hope that you will at least give them/us a shot, and continue to comment on posts and The Pammies. Awful Announcing will be a fun (and updated) place again.....mark my words!

Thank you all for your patronage, and I will see you tomorrow for Day One of The Pammies!!!

Brian S Powell, Esquire (aka AA)

Clark Kellogg Interviews With Us About Anything and Everything

Thursday, September 02, 2010

This year's Butler vs. Duke National Title Game was one of the NCAA's highest watched championship games ever and will be one of the most watched sporting events this year reaching nearly 50 million viewers in the US.


For play by play announcer, Jim Nantz, it was just another bullet point in an illustrious 20 year career leading NCAA Tournament coverage for CBS. But for Clark Kellogg, in just his second year as CBS's lead color commentator, the classic title game was a jumping off point for a very exciting offseason.


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In addition to losing (maybe intentionally) to President Obama in a game of HORSE/POTUS, Kellogg received some clarity about his future as CBS partnered with Turner Sports to successfully outbid ESPN and others to retain the rights to the to the NCAA Tournament.


In June, Kellogg who also serves as a commentator for the Pacers, would add a executive role with team as VP of Player Relations. To round out an interesting offseason, Kellogg added another role to his expanding presence in sports as Capital One announced yesterday that he'll be an initial member of their advisory board for the newly formed Capital One Cup, a high profile competition among collegiate athletic departments.


How a site named Awful Announcing gets 20 minutes with someone as high profile as Clark Kellogg is somewhat of an enigma although a lot of the thanks goes to Don Povia from HHR and Blogs with Balls.


After the jump are some of the highlights from the interview before we got off track and started asking him about movies like Tin Cup and Happy Gilmore.




On the Move from Studio Analyst to Lead Color Commentator:


It was something I aspired to do. Billy Packer had done a bang-up job in that role for north of three decades and he's an icon as an analyst in not just basketball but any sport. Doing a national championship game for 30 years is unprecedented and something I don't think will be duplicated again.


Even though my role in the studio was terrific and I gained a comfort level there, I was hoping that at some point I'd be considered for the role as you don't get a lot of chances to call one of the premier sporting events and I was just hoping to be in a position to be considered. I am extremely grateful and thankful that it happened a couple of years ago. I don't know if I can go for as long as Billy did, but I hope to stay in the seat for a few more years and it was a nice promotion and it was something that I hoped would find its way into my life.


On Former Athletes Seemingly Getting more Media Jobs and Ascending to more High Profile Media Jobs Compared to Previous Generations of Athletes:


I think its a positive thing. I mean the analyst role is uniquely suited for former coaches and former players because of the perspective and experience that they have. They understand what goes on behind the scenes so those guys are your best potential candidates.


Also with all the media platforms out there, athletes are aspiring to join the media earlier and more often so a lot of players are seeing their contemporaries or players they know make the transition and they say "That's something I would like to do". They begin to pursue it, plan for it, and prepare themselves as there are a lot more opportunities compared to 20 years ago.


The play by play role however I think is probably better suited for someone who has done a lot more things in broadcasting and are for people who are aspiring to move in that direction.


Significance of The New Capital One Cup to College Athletics:


It's a new prestige program rewarding athletic programs for their cumulative on field performance across multiple men's and women's sports. There will be 13 women's and 13 men's sports that division 1 programs can compete in for an opportunity to win the Capital One Cup. It will be a cumulative scoring system from the fall sports, winter sports and through the spring sports with the winner of the Capital One Cup not only receiving a trophy but also $200,000 in funding for graduate scholarships for student athletes for both the men's and women's program winner.


It's the most comprehensive rewards program in existence and I am thrilled to be a part of the advisory team. I think it's a great way to not only put a spotlight on tremendous athletic achievement but also tying in the funding of graduate level scholarships for student athletes.


Special K's thoughts on Blogosphere Rock Star Gus Johnson and his role at CBS:

I am a big time fan. Matter of a fact one of the few negatives about moving away from the studio is that I don't get to work with him as much. I get to work with Verne Lundquist and later on in the season with Jim Nantz and we have tremendous play by play guys at CBS. Both Verne and Jim are not only good at what they do but are good people to be around and fun to be around.


But I do miss not working with Gus as much as I did when I was in the studio. I think Gus is fantastic and that he has a terrific basketball voice because of knowledge of the game, his natural enthusiasm, and his uniqueness on how he combines his excitement and passion with terrific calls. I've heard this from countless people around the country as they love him doing NCAA games.


I think he's a tremendous fan, play by play guy, and that his rhythm is hand in glove the style for basketball. He has a nice understanding for pace, flow, his excitement rises as the game goes from possession to possession. He just has as really intuitive sense for calling basketball that appeals to fans and makes him a lot of fun to work with.


On New CBS Contract Allowing All Games to be Broadcast Nationally and Games Including Finals Being Split Between CBS and Turner Sports Properties:


We're all really happy and proud that the NCAA wants to continue its relationship with CBS. It's been a 20 year relationship of televising the National Title game and we're thrilled that's going to continue. To have a partner like Turner Sports is a win win for us, the NCAA, and the fans. Having all of the games nationally televised on CBS and our cable partners is definitely great for the fans.


I don't know how long I'll be on the train, but it feels good that CBS owns the tracks to a key sports property.


Moving from 65 Sports Team Tournament To 68 Teams and Avoiding the 96 Team Tournament:


Change can always be uncomfortable especially with all the speculation that was out there about what was possible. Initially I was totally opposed when the winds started to blow over a year ago. As I heard more and more reasons why expansion might be good, I became more open to it. I wasn't really for any type of structure of expansion but I was open to it.


As we go from 65 to 68, I am comfortable with that change. Where we go from here I don't know but the addition of some more teams and a few games is good and I am on board.


I am not going to speculate on what the final resting place is going to be if it grows again, but I'll deal with that change down the road. I think it was a positive move and one that was well thought out.


Thoughts on New Role with Pacers:


My new role as Vice President of Player Relations which is basically overseeing the player development area which includes programming to help them be champions on and off the court in terms of community involvement and education programs for them. I'm really trying to mentor them through the demands and challenges that NBA players face. Particularly with the Pacers ,with so many players being young players being under 25 years old that didn't graduate from college and now are rushed into the limelight and lifestyle of being a NBA player.


It's something they have dreamed about but then navigating that successfully is really a challenge even for the most seasoned player that shows up. It's just a demanding environment. My job is to try to help those guys grow up as professionals on and off the court and adapt to that environment.


Verne Lundquist's Appearance in Happy Gilmore vs. Jim Nantz's Appearance in Tin cup:


Ha, that's a tough one, but I'd lean towards Verne in Happy Gilmore. That appearance is unique and iconic and I've seen a lot of signs around the country when I travel with Verne that reference so I am going to give the nod to him.



Maybe Woody Paige Should Have Insured His Hair

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

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The man was butchered. At least get your money back, bro. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode "The Barber." And since Reali asked, I'd say my "level of concern" is high to quite high.


10 Things We've Learned About The Jets From Hard Knocks So Far

Tuesday, August 31, 2010



Admit it, you may not love the Jets, but you’re loving this season of Hard Knocks.

The locker room access. Rex Ryan’s awful eating habits and worse language. Antonio Cromartie’s gaggle of kids. Darrelle Revis. HBO could put out an hour episode a day and still not cover everything surrounding this team. They’ve got more storylines than a mid-day soap opera.

Now three episodes in, we’re closer than ever to the start of the season. But what have we really learned about the Jets?

Here are 10 Things…




1. If Mark Sanchez Really Is The Difference Between The Jets Going To The Super Bowl Or Not, They Probably Shouldn’t Pack Their Bags Just Yet: Look, I’m not ragging on Sanchez here, if only because most quarterbacks take a step back in their second year in the league. There’s a reason Marty Schottenheimer said in Episode 2 “If you get a second year quarterback to perform at his rookie level, that’s when you know you’ve made progress.”

At the same time, is it just me, or does Sanchez seem kind of immature? You know, like when his quarterbacks coach came in and said, “You know what you’re almost ready to do,” and Sanchez replied, “Stop sucking.” Sorry Mark, but that was a little too “11-year-old girl who got a C on her reading test” for my taste. As his coach said, you’re an NFL quarterback Mark, time to start acting like it.

Regardless, this has been my biggest contention with the Jets all preseason, what do they do if Sanchez isn’t ready? It’s not like he lit the world on fire last year, and unless someone gives him a blow torch and some gasoline, I don’t think he’s going to do it in 2010 either.

Also, is this really a guy you can see keeping everyone calm when the going gets tough? Is he going to be able to keep Santonio Holmes, LT, Braylon Edwards and everybody else in line when they’re not getting touches? I’m not really sure he’s that guy yet. And until he is, the Jets aren’t going to the Super Bowl.

2. Speaking of Sanchez, His Backup Apparently Isn’t A Big Fan Either: Umm, it’s not that Mark Brunell is jealous, bitter or hostile toward his younger counterpart. If anything, he’s been a good mentor from what we’ve seen (“His don’t blame the arrow, blame the Indian,” speech was straight out of my grandma’s playbook from the 1940’s. All he needed was a bowl of tapioca pudding while saying it).

No Brunell’s beef is different, but actually just like yours or mine: Brunell isn’t a big fan of Sanchez for the simple fact that his 18-year-old daughter (Just five years younger than Sanchez), has the hots for the Jets starting QB. Brunell even went on the record a few episodes ago and told Sanchez, “You’re not meeting her.”

And quite honestly, who could blame Brunell? The NFL already has one gray-bearded, 40-year-old quarterback that recently became a first time grandfather, one Brett Favre. Brunell certainly doesn’t want to be No. 2.

3. The Most Surprisingly Compelling Character So Far Has Been Special Teams Coach Mike Westhoff: First off, the dude is a cancer survivor, which already makes him cooler than you or I. But beyond that, it’s Westhoff's, “I don’t care who the hell you are, if you can’t play get the hell off my football field,” Herman Boone approach to the game that makes him so fun to follow.

It’s also led to some killer one liner’s too. Here are a few of my favorites:

Westhoff on tight end Matt Mulligan’s excuse for his subpar play: “I don’t give a shit if you’ve got the triple f***ing Asian flu,” you’ve got to play better.

Westhoff on underachieving wide receiver David Clowney, “We’ve been talking about David Clowney’s potential since… I don’t know… When Bush was President.”

And finally his take on rookie cornerback Donovan Warren, “Donny, that was a good tackle you made in that drill. If you’d have played like that last year, maybe Michigan would’ve won some damn games!”

4. The Most Surprisingly Compelling Scene Of The Season Came At The Rookie Talent Show, Where Brian Jackson Won, “King Ugly”: What’s King Ugly, you ask? Well it’s a team vote on the three ugliest rookies in camp. Everyone donates a few bucks, and as Rex Ryan explained, “The third place winner gets 75 percent of the pot. The second place winner gets 25 percent. The first place winner gets nothing… because he’s so damn ugly he doesn’t deserve it.” Well then. (Also, don’t you wish we handed out “King Ugly,” Awards on every team, and in every league? Jorge Cantu would be working on his seventh straight MLB King Ugly Award right now.)

This year’s King Ugly competition took a surprising turn, when rookie offensive lineman Vladimir Duccasse was so ugly that he won both the second and third place prizes. (And believe me when I say, that dude is UGLY. If Shrek had a 6’5, 325 lb. brother who played in the NFL, it’d have definitely been Duccasse).

Meanwhile, the first prize went to cornerback Brian Jackson, not so much for his looks, but just simply because everybody on the team loathes him.

If you don’t believe me, check out the scene where the defensive veterans get pissed off at Jackson, tie him to the goal post, paste Icy Hot all over his body, then dump two buckets of Gatorade on his face. Funny scene. Unless you’re Jackson of course.

5. The Guy With The Coolest Name On The Team Has To Be…: 6’8 Defensive End Ropati Pitoitua. You thought I was going to say D’Brickishaw Ferguson, didn’t you?

6. LaDainian Tomlinson May Have Had The Most Unnecessarily Exuberant Touchdown Celebration I’ve Ever Seen: In Episode 2, when he jumped over the pile for a meaningless score, then slammed the ball down like he’d just clinched a Super Bowl win or something. Wow.

LT, my man, we get it. You’ve got a chip on your shoulder because of the way things ended in San Diego. We’re on your side. But it’s August 18, not December 18. You’re going against the second string in practice, not the first string of the Patriots. Deep breaths buddy, deep breaths.

Honestly, the whole scene reminded me of when one of my buddies ends an especially long dry spell, with an especially ugly girl, and acts like he just banged Scarlett Johansson. We know you’ve been there before. Act like it.

7. The Tony Dungy-Rex Ryan Controversy Is The Stupidest Storyline Of The Show: Look, I like Dungy. He’s a good man and a good family man from all accounts. He won a Super Bowl, which is obviously better than anything I’ll ever do in my life. But, the fact that he criticized Ryan for swearing too much on Hard Knocks, might be the single stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

As my high school football coach used to say, football isn’t a contact sport. It’s a collision sport. A game where guys recklessly throw their bodies into and through one another, for sixty minutes a week, four months a year.

So if Ryan needs to drop a few F-Bombs to get his point across, is it really that big of a deal? This is a profession where guys are paid to inflict pain on their opponents. Where broken bones and torn and ACL’s are hazards of the job. Where up until a few years ago, people treated concussions like paper cuts. In context, are a few F-Bombs that bad?

Besides, the show isn’t on ABC Family. It’s on HBO. If the language doesn’t please you Mr. Dungy, don’t watch. It’s really that simple. I'm on Rex's side on this one.

8. Joe McKnight Might Be The Least Likeable Guy On This Team: Or at least that’s how the producers of the show want us to think of him.

This guy puked in minicamp, failed a conditioning test, and really seems about as indifferent as a stoned 10th grader stuck in algebra class. Bart Scott even summed him up by saying that McKnight was frustrated because he was “Taking a pay cut,” by leaving USC for the Jets. Zing.

I suppose we probably should have known things were bad with McKnight when Santonio Holmes had to calm him down and become his voice of reason. When Santonio Holmes has to talk sense into you, that’s a pretty good sign that things aren’t going well.

9. Forget The Players, The Scariest Guy On The Jets Is Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine: I mentioned it in my Episode 1 Recap, and I’ll say it again: This guy looks like he broke out of San Quentin two days before camp. Was he coaching in the California Penal League last year?

All I’m saying is this: If Pettine tries to trade one of his backup linebackers for a carton of cigarettes next episode, I’m alerting the authorities.

10. Antonio Cromartie Needs A Vasectomy: I’m not really going to touch too much on this. If only because everyone and their mother’s have already cracked wise on Cromartie, and I don’t feel the need to pile on the poor guy (Ok, that’s a lie. I’m just not going to get too much into it, because I’m a week late, and everyone’s already used up all the good jokes. Damn.).

On a serious note though, how dumb is this guy? What’s he got now, seven kids in five states? Eight kids in six? I can’t keep track, but then again neither can he.

Also, please Antonio, don’t try and tell us that the producers made you look bad. They didn’t. You’ve got eight kids with six women or whatever. You made you look bad! Instead of blaming others, shouldn’t you have started wearing a condom after your second or third kid…of 2007? How are the producers at fault, when you have worse safe sex habits than the entire cast of Teenage Mom?

On a separate note, after all Cromartie’s baby momma’s suck dry his NFL riches (my guess is that if the Jets do win the Super Bowl this year, we’ll be seeing Cromartie’s championship ring on eBay sometime in 2017), he could probably make a nice second career out of donating sperm.

Think about it, if you were a single woman in her 40’s desperately trying to have a kid, wouldn’t Cromartie be your go to guy? Wouldn’t you be tracking him down, wining and dining him, then handing him a six-year-old copy of Playboy and a plastic cup? Wouldn’t you simply go into your doctor’s office and pay whatever it took to get the “Cromartie Special?”

Maybe he should hold off on that vasectomy after all.

Be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres

And to read all of his work, visit www.aarontorres-sports.com

And Now, Let's Get Awkward With 'Around The Horn' Talking About Jay Mariotti's Arrest

Monday, August 30, 2010

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Actually, they didn't talk about Jay Mariotti's arrest or its consequences, but rather the media hoopla surrounding it. The transcript can be found here. My opinion is probably mostly in line with Richard Deitsch, who commends ATH for tackling the issue, but, next to ignoring it altogether, definitely did so in the safest way possible.


Shoddy video of the segment below:








The Revival of Awful Announcing

Sunday, August 29, 2010

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A little over four years ago, Brian Powell started Awful Announcing because NBA broadcaster Hubie Brown somehow let "wideopenshotability" escape from his mouth on-air. It wasn't just another spontaneous sports blog destined to fail, though. Powell had a vision for the site and built it up into one of the most well-known sports blogs on the 'net, focusing on everything broadcasting from potential sharts to random hair product placements. Unfortunately, new responsibilities prevented Powell from posting as much and, ultimately, pretty much at all (the last post prior to today was April 20, but a source close to the situation has said that he still wants to post here occasionally).


Bloguin stepped up to the plate, offering to resurrect AA and put the revered sports blog back on top where it belongs. In an increasingly competitive blogsphere, it will be a tall task, but I think we've assembled a strong enough group of writers to make it happen. We all plan to work hard to maintain the roots of the original AA site, including announcing assignments, quotables, videos, live blogs and analysis, amongst other goodies, but we'll also be splashing in our own flavor to spruce things up a bit.


We understand that the sports blog you once knew and loved is now a little different, a little weird and run by virtual strangers, but don't let your inner neophobe rule you. We ask that you let this marinate a little bit. And once you dig in, I promise that you'll want to come back for more. If not, well, then I hope you get stuck in an elevator that plays Miley Cyrus on repeat for hours.