New Year's Eve Bowl Games Open Thread

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Teams: Houston Cougars (7-5) vs. Air Force (8-4)
Location: Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Stadium
Start Time: 12 PM EST (ESPN)
Network and Announcers: Terry Gannon, David Norrie
Favorite: Houston (-4)
AA's Pick: Houston 37 - Air Force 27

Game: The Brut Sun Bowl
Teams: Oregon State (8-4) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (9-3)
Location: El Paso, Texas, Sun Bowl
Start Time: 2PM EST (CBS)
Network and Announcers: Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
Favorite: Oregon State (-1.5)
AA's Pick: Pittsburgh 24 - Oregon State 21

Game: The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl
Teams: Boston College (8-4) vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6)
Location: Nashville, Tenn, LP Field
Start Time: 3:30PM EST (ESPN)
Network and Announcers: Mark Jones, Bob Davie, Todd Harris
Favorite: Boston College (-3.5)
AA's Pick: Vandy 24 - Boston College 20

Game: The Insight Bowl
Teams: Kansas Jayhawks (7-5) vs. Minnesota Gophers (7-5)
Location: Tempe, Arizona, Sun Devil Stadium
Start Time: 5:30PM EST (NFL Network)
Network and Announcers: Paul Burmeister, Mike Mayock, Lindsay Soto
Favorite: Kansas (-8.5)
AA's Pick: Kansas 38 - Minnesota 20

Game: The Chick-Fil-A Bowl
Teams: LSU Tigers (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-3)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, Georgia Dome
Start Time: 7:30PM EST (ESPN)
Network and Announcers: Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, Jack Arute
Favorite: Georgia Tech (-4)
AA's Pick: GT 26 - LSU 21

Charles Barkley Gets Nabbed For A DUI

Charles Barkley was in his hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona last night/this morning, and after running a stop sign at 1:30am, was arrested on suspicion of drinking while driving and taken into custody. Via MSNBC....

An officer with a law enforcement task force that targets drunken driving saw the former NBA star run a stop sign around 1:30 a.m., said Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler.

Barkley declined to submit to a breath test but was given a blood test. The results weren’t immediately available. After Barkley was processed, he was cited and released. He left in a cab, Shuhandler said. Shuhandler said there was nothing remarkable about the 45-year-old Barkley’s arrest and that it is customary to release people after they’ve been arrested on suspicion of DUI.

“There was nothing unusual about how he was taken into custody,” Shuhandler said. “He was treated exactly like we treat anybody else.”
Well this isn't the best way to start out a new year, now is it? He obviously hasn't been found guilty of the DUI yet, but if it turns out that he was drinking and driving, it will be a fitting end to a crazy year for Barkley. I hate to preach to people, but to anyone with money to spend out there....please....PLEASE!....just get a damn driver to tote you around. I'm as stubborn as anyone, but there's too much at stake to be risking everything by driving drunk.

Barkley arrested on suspicion of DUI (MSNBC)

Texas And Holiday Bowls Open Thread

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Game: Texas Bowl
Teams: Rice Owls (9-3) vs. Western Michigan Broncos (9-3)
Location: Houston, TX, Reliant Stadium
Start Time: 8PM EST (NFL Network)
Network and Announcers: Fran Charles, Tom Waddle, Kara Henderson
Favorite: Rice (-3)
AA's Pick: Rice 34 - Western Michigan 17

Game: The Holiday Bowl
Teams: Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3) vs. Oregon Ducks (9-3)
Location: San Diego, CA, Qualcomm Stadium
Start Time: 8PM EST (ESPN)
Network and Announcers: Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, Erin Andrews
Favorite: OK State (-2)
AA's Pick: Oregon 28 - Oklahoma State 27

Humanitarian Bowl Open Thread

Game: The Roady's Humanitarian Bowl
Teams: Maryland Terrapins (7-5) vs. Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5)
Location: Boise, Idaho, Bronco Stadium
Start Time: 4:30 PM EST
Network and Announcers: Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard
Favorite: Nevada (-3)
AA's Pick: Nevada 24 - Maryland 20

Alamo Bowl Open Thread

Monday, December 29, 2008

Game: Valero Alamo Bowl
Teams: Missouri Tigers (9-4) vs. Northwestern Wildcats (9-3)
Location: San Antonio, TX, Alamodome
Start Time: 8 PM EST
Network and Announcers: Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Jack Arute
Favorite: Mizzou (-14)
AA's Pick: Fourteen points is a heck of a big number....

Missouri 37 - Northwestern 27

Storm And Elliott To Host Rose Bowl Parade on ESPN

I can't remember the last time I caught the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day, but ESPN thinks it's important enough to send their two morning Sports Center hosts to cover the event. Hannah Storm and Josh Elliott will be your hosts for the pomp and circumstance starting at 11am on New Year's Day. Via ESPN PR....

On Thursday, Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. ET, ABC will ring in the New Year with live coverage of the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rose Parade will once again feature the beautiful pageantry and tradition of magnificent floral floats, high-stepping equestrians and spirited marching bands. SportsCenter anchors Hannah Storm and Josh Elliot will host.

Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters will work the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi on ABC (Jan. 1) at 4:30 p.m. ESPN Monday Night Football commentator Mike Tirico will call the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Citi on ESPN Radio with analyst David Norrie and reporter Erin Andrews.
I'm thinking it will be like the Macy's Day Parade coverage, only with less floating cartoon characters and more chessy jokes. Should be fun!

Cris Carter Sees No Reason To Stop Piling On The Cowboys

Cris Carter hasn't been making any friends in Dallas, and probably won't be doing so anytime soon. The ESPN analyst was caught a week ago saying that a Cowboys' Playoff run would be a "a discredit to team sports" and to "team unity", but he added a final parting shot to T.O. on Mike and Mike this morning.

"If it was me, I'd get rid of T.O. T.O. got to go from the beginning. Right from the giddy up. I take one bullet and put it right in him. Bam!"- Cris Carter

Well then. I mean he's right, but he didn't have to say it quite so harshly if you ask me. Using the phrase "putting a bullet in someone" isn't really going to go over well when you're talking about the NFL. Especially in recent years.

(Thanks to DM for the tip)

Howie Long Calls Terry Bradshaw A "Scumbag", Sports Media Gets Their Panties In A Bunch

I have yet to find/see the video on this, but a few outlets are freaking out because the NFL on FOX's Howie Long decided to call co-worker Terry Bradshaw a "scumbag" during the pregame show on the network. The comment came after Bradshaw said he was rooting for the Lions to lose their last game and finish 0-16. Via Phil Mushnick at the NY Post....

WHAT are we doing to us, why do we continue to do it, and when, if ever, will it stop?

Two minutes into Fox's one-hour pregame yesterday, host Curt Menefee noted that panelist Terry Bradshaw last week said he'd like to see the Lions finish 0-16.

"S--bag," panelist Howie Long said of Bradshaw.

"I am a s--bag," Bradshaw said.

That gave Long, Bradshaw and Fox 58 minutes to apologize, to express their regrets to a national audience for having ambushed it during Sunday daylight.

None came. Perhaps they felt they'd said nothing inappropriate, or, at worst, it was no big deal. Hey, if there were kids watching, that's what the Fox robot is for!
I think Phil Mushnick is a fine journalist, but that's a little much if you ask me. I'm of the vein that thinks kids have heard a thousand times worse in their time on this Earth, but I guess I'm not the person who should decide where the line is drawn. I didn't even know the term "scumbag" was that bad of an insult. Good to know.

Foul-Mouthed Ambush Mars Pregame (NY Post)

Jeanne Zelasko Trying To Become First Female MLB PxPer

I personally thought that the MLB on FOX pregame show was just about the biggest waste of time on television, and was extremely happy when they decided to drop it for this year. It wasn't because of any one person, but rather all parties involved were just not right for a Studio show.

With that said, it comes as a huge surprise now that the Dodgers are actually considering hiring host, Jeanne Zelasko as their play-by-play voice. Zelasko has been "beating down their door" following the move of Charley Steiner to radio, and there seems her hiring could become a reality soon. Via The Arizona Republic....

Zelasko said it is understandable that the Dodgers asked her if she ever had done baseball play-by-play - the answer is no - but she had that role for ice-skating and gymnastics competitions.

"But I've been around baseball for a very long time, and Kevin Kennedy, who should be managing somewhere, taught me more about that the game than I think most people could even consider. I was blessed to be next to him for eight years. So I'm excited. I don't know if they'll bite."

She knows the experience and gender factors are not in her favor, but she has conquered the odds before. She was the first female reporter to walk the NASCAR pits, and she has handled other "firsts" with relative ease.

"Honestly, I have walked on this thin ice before with anything I've ever done in my broadcasting career," she said. "As I was telling the Dodgers, I would never ask for something I thought I would fail at. I think it's gonna take the right woman at the right time, and if I may be so bold, I believe that person's me."
I don't know if she's the best option out there at the moment, but it would be interesting to hear a female voice in Baseball. I say the Dodgers try her out for a bit, and if it works great, if harm done.

Zelasko also says she is winning her battle with thyroid Cancer, which is definitely a great thing.

Zelasko seeks Dodgers' play-by-play gig (Arizona Republic)
Jeanne Zelasko Looking To Become MLB's First Female Play-By-Play Announcer (Vent About Sports)

Your NBA Announcing Schedule For The Week Of 12/29

I have no idea why Michael Phelps keeps showing up at random Basketball games across the country, but I guess if I had a free pass to go to every event, I'd be doing it as well. Lot of games this week, but very few of them are on national television. Both TNT and ESPN have the week off, but here are your NBA TV games for the next seven days....

Monday, December 29thd

Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons (NBATV, 7:30pm)- George Blaha, Greg Kelser
Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors (NBATV, 10:30pm)- Bob Fitzgerald, Jim Barnett

Tuesday, December 30th

Fan Night Matchup: Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat (NBA TV, 7:30pm)- Eric Reid, Tony Fiorentino

Wednesday, December 31st

Denver Nuggets at Toronto Raptors (NBA TV, 7pm)- Matt Devlin, Leo Rautins

Friday, January 2nd

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks (NBA TV, 8:30pm)- Mike Breen, Walt Frazier

Saturday, January 3rd

Philadelphia 76ers at San Antonio Spurs (NBA TV, 8:30pm)- Bill Land, Sean Elliott

Sunday, January 4th

Boston Celtics at New York Knicks (NBA TV, 6pm)- Mike Breen, Walt Frazier

Your College Basketball Schedule For The Week Of 12/29

Lot of TBDs due to the limited press releases during the Holiday, but I'll try to keep filling in spots as they become available. Here is your schedule and as always, thanks to the work that The 506 puts in on these. If you have something or someone to share, please add it or them in the comments....

(Photo via SI's Cheerleader of the Week)

Monday, December 29th

Brown @ Quinnipiac (NESN, 7pm)- Bill Schweizer, Bill Mecca
Georgetown @ Connecticut (ESPN2, 7pm)- Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas
Temple @ Villanova (ESPNU, 7pm)- Scott Graham, Jay Williams
North Carolina Central @ Michigan (BTN, 7pm)- Michael Reghi, Tim McCormick
Central Michigan @ Kentucky (SEC TV, 7pm)- Dave Baker, Kyle Macy, Rob Bromley (Will Air on FS South, ESPN Full Court)
Virginia Tech @ Charleston Southern (FS South, 7pm)- Tom Werme, Nate Ross (Will Air on FS Florida)
Alabama A&M @ Auburn (CSS, 8pm)- Paul Crane, Sonny Smith
Weber State @ Arizona (FS Regional, 8:30pm)- Dave Sitton, Bob Eliott (Will Air on FS Arizona, Prime Ticket, FCS Pacific)
Cincinnati @ Memphis (ESPN2, 9pm)- Terry Gannon, Bill Raftery
Davidson @ Charleston (ESPNU, 9pm)- Sam Gore, Mark Adams
Seattle @ Oregon State (FS Northwest, 10pm)- Todd Mansfield, Lamar Hurd (Will Air on FCS Atlantic)
Long Beach State @ Oregon (OSN, 10pm)- Joe Giansante, Rob Closs (Will Air on CSN Northwest)

Tuesday, December 30th

Stetson @ Florida (FS Florida, 1pm)- TBD (Will Air on SportSouth)
Illinois @ Purdue (ESPN2, 7pm)- Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin
Clemson @ South Carolina (SECTV, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Florida, FS South, ESPN Full Court)
Seton Hall @ Syracuse (Big East Network, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, SNY, ESPN Full Court)
George Mason @ Dayton (MASN, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on WHIO
Brigham Young @ Tulsa (CBS College Sports, 8pm)- TBD
Southern Mississippi v. Mississippi (CSS, 8pm)- TBD
Wagner @ Kansas State (FS Kansas City, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Centenary @ Missouri (Mizzou Sports, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Midwest, ESPN Full Court)
Oklahoma @ Arkansas (Sooner Sports, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on RST, ESPN Full Court)
Wisconsin-Milwaukee @ Illinois-Chicago (WYIN, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Albany @ Kansas (ESPNU, 9pm)- Dave Armstrong, Rich Zvosec
San Diego @ Mississippi State (SEC TV, 9pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Florida, South, ESPN Full Court)
New Mexico @ New Mexico State (Aggie Vision, 9pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, FS Arizona, ESPN Full Court)
Morgan State @ Washington (FS Northwest, 10:30pm)- TBD

Wednesday, December 31st

Northwestern @ Penn State (ESPN2, Noon)- Lou Canellis, Doug Gottlieb
Michigan State @ Minnesota (BTN, Noon)- Wayne Larrivee, Tim McCormick
Wisconsin @ Michigan (ESPN2, 2pm)- Eric Collins, Stephen Bardo
North Florida @ Miami (FS Florida, 2pm)- TBD
Northeastern @ Memphis (CSS, 2pm)- TBD
Pittsburgh @ Rutgers (Big East Network, 2pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, MASN, MSG, FS Pittsburgh, ESPN Full Court)
Loyola (MD) @ Duke (ESPN2, 4pm)- Dave Pasch, Len Elmore
Iowa @ Ohio State (BTN, 4pm)- TBD
Kenesaw State @ Georgia (CSS, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
St. John's @ Providence (Big East Network, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, MASN, SNY, ESPN Full Court)
Stony Brook @ Air Force (MTN, 5pm)- TBD
Louisiana-Lafayette @ Louisiana State (CST, 5pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
St. Joseph's @ Drexel (CN8, 5pm)- TBD
Nevada-Las Vegas @ Louisville (ESPN2, 6pm)- Dave O'Brien, Jay Bilas
Southeastern Louisiana @ Auburn (CSS, 6pm)- TBD
Jackson State @ Baylor (FS Southwest, 6pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Robert Morris @ Xavier (FS Ohio, 6pm)- TBD
Richmond @ Virginia Military (MASN, 7pm)- TBD
Notre Dame @ DePaul (ESPN2, 8pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla
Gonzaga @ Utah (CBS College Sports, 8pm)- TBD
North Carolina @ Nevada (ESPN, 10pm)- Bob Wischusen, Steve Lavin

Thursday, January 1st

Troy @ Western Kentucky (WKYU, 2pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Atlantic)
Villanova @ Marquette (ESPN, 2:30pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla
Stephen F. Austin @ Texas Tech (Texas Tech TV, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Loyola Marymount @ Seattle (FS Regional, 10:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Northwest, Prime Ticket, FCS Pacific)

Friday, January 2nd

USC @ Oregon (OSN, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on CSN Northwest)
South Carolina @ Baylor (FS Southwest, 5:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Centenary @ Oral Roberts (KGEB, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Atlantic, ESPN Full Court)
Syracuse @ South Florida (ESPN, 8:30pm)- Dave Barnett, Hubert Davis
Arizona @ California (FS Arizona, 8:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on CSN California, FCS Pacific)
Appalachian State @ Texas (ESPNU, 9pm)- Dave Armstrong, Reid Gettys
UCLA @ Oregon State (FSN, 10:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Arizona, Detroit (JIP), Florida, Midwest, North (JIP), Northwest, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Prime Ticket, South, Southwest (JIP), CSN Bay Area, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England (JIP), MSG+, FCS Pacific)

Saturday, January 3rd

Pittsburgh @ Georgetown (ESPN, Noon)- Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale
UNC-Greensboro @ Princeton (ESPNU, Noon)- TBD
Ohio State @ Minnesota (BTN, Noon)- TBD
Missouri @ Georgia (Mizzou Sports, 1pm)- TBD (Will Air on SEC TV, FS Florida, Midwest, South, ESPN Full Court)
North Carolina Central @ Miami (SUN, 1pm)- TBD
Coppin State @ Oklahoma (Sooner Sports, 1:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Tennessee @ Kansas (ESPN, 2pm)- Dave O'Brien, Jay Bilas
Notre Dame @ St. John's (ESPNU, 2pm)- Clay Matvick, Dickey Simpkins
Penn State @ Wisconsin (BTN, 2pm)- TBD
Xavier @ Virginia (FS Ohio, 2pm)- TBD (Will Air on CSN Mid-Atlantic)
Drexel @ Hofstra (MSG+, 2pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Atlantic)
Idaho State @ Kansas State (FS Kansas City, 2pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Georgia Tech @ Alabama (SEC TV, 3pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS South, SUN, NESN, ESPN Full Court)
North Texas v. Arkansas (RST, 3pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
North Carolina State @ Florida (CBS, 4pm)- TBD
Charlotte @ Maryland (CSN Mid-Atlantic, 4pm)- TBD
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi @ Florida State (FS Florida, 4pm)- TBD
Cleveland State @ Detroit Mercy (STO, 4pm)- TBD
Houston @ Mississippi State (CSS, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
West Virginia @ Seton Hall (Big East Network, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on CST, MASN, SNY, FS Pittsburgh, ESPN Full Court)
Wisconsin-Milwaukee @ Loyola-Chicago (TWC Sports 32, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Indiana @ Iowa (BTN, 4:30pm)- TBD
Virginia Commonwealth @ Delaware (CN8, 4:30pm)- TBD
Vanderbilt @ Massachusetts (CBS College Sports, 5pm)- TBD
Washington @ Washington State (FS Regional, 6pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Northwest, Rocky Mountain, FCS Pacific)
Tulane @ Auburn (CSS, 6pm)- TBD
Denver @ Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt TV, 6pm)- TBD (Will Air on CST, ESPN Full Court)
Michigan State @ Northwestern (BTN, 7pm)- TBD
Rutgers @ Connecticut (Big East Network, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on SNY, WCTX, ESPN Full Court)
DePaul @ Providence (Big East Network, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on MSG+, ESPN Full Court)
UNC-Wilmington @ George Mason (ESPN+, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on MASN, ESPN Full Court)
Eastern Illinois @ Jacksonville State (ESPNU, 8pm)- TBD
Wake Forest @ Brigham Young (MTN, 8pm)- TBD
Creighton @ Illinois State (Valley, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Midwest, CSN Chicago)
Lamar @ Memphis (CSS, 8pm)- TBD
SIU-Edwardsville @ Iowa State (Mediacom-Iowa, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Arkansas-Little Rock @ Western Kentucky (WKYU, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Atlantic)
Butler @ Valparaiso (WYIN, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
New Mexico State @ Fresno State (Aggie Vision, 10pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, FS Arizona, ESPN Full Court)
New Mexico @ Nevada-Las Vegas (MTN, 10:30pm)- TBD
Boise State @ Hawaii (KVFE, 11:59pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)

Sunday, January 4th

Illinois @ Michigan (BTN, Noon)- TBD
Evansville @ Indiana State (Valley, 1:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Midwest, CSN Chicago)
Cincinnati @ Marquette (Big East Network, 2pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, CST, MASN, SNY, FS Ohio, TWC Sports 32, ESPN Full Court)
UCLA @ Oregon (FSN, 3:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Arizona, Florida, Midwest, North, Northwest, Ohio (JIP), Pittsburgh, Prime Ticket, Rocky Mountain, South, CSN Bay Area, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England, MSG, FCS Pacific)
Portland State @ Northern Arizona (Altitude, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on CSN Northwest, ESPN Full Court)
Kentucky @ Louisville (CBS, 4:30pm)- TBD
Boston College @ North Carolina (FSN, 5:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Arizona, Detroit+, Florida, Midwest, North, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Prime Ticket, Rocky Mountain, South, Southwest, CSN Bay Area, Mid-Atlantic, MSG+, NESN, FCS Atlantic)
USC @ Oregon State (FS Regional, 5:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Northwest, West, FCS Pacific)
Drake @ Southern Illinois (ESPNU, 7pm)- TBD
Virginia Tech @ Duke (FSN, 7:45pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Detroit, Florida, Midwest, Northwest, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Prime Ticket, Rocky Mountain, South, Southwest, Wisconsin, CSN Bay Area, Mid-Atlantic, MSG+, NESN, FCS Atlantic)
Arizona State @ California (FS Arizona, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on CSN California, FCS Pacific)
Arizona @ Stanford (FSN, 10pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Arizona, Detroit, Florida, Midwest, North (JIP), Northwest, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Prime Ticket, Rocky Mountain, South, CSN Bay Area, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England MSG+, FCS Pacific)

Your NFL Wild Card Announcing Schedule

Obviously this is the quickest announcing schedule ever, because of there only being four games, but I thought you'd still like to see who's calling which game and where. The Wild Card Weekend features some great matchups, and will even mark the first time that the Falcons and Cardinals played on NBC since 1997.

I'm not quite sure why NBC is going with Tom Hammond for the game, but we do get a special treat. Tiki as a sideline reporter! Here's your announcing schedule for this weekend, and full Playoff schedule for the rest of the month. Start trading events with your significant others now!

Saturday, January 3rd

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals (NBC, 4:30pm)- Tom Hammond, Cris Collinsworth, Tiki Barber
Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers (NBC, 8pm)- Al Michaels, John Madden, Andrea Kremer

Sunday, January 4th

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins (CBS, 1pm)- Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings (FOX, 4:30pm)- Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver


Saturday, January 10th

Baltimore, San Diego or Indianapolis at Tennessee Titans (CBS, 4:30pm)
Arizona, Atlanta or Minnesota at Carolina (FOX, 8:15pm)

Sunday, January 11th

Arizona, Atlanta or Philadelphia at New York Giants (FOX, 1pm)
Miami, San Diego or Indianapolis at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS, 4:45pm)

Sunday, January 18th

NFC Championship Game (FOX, 3pm)
AFC Championship Game (CBS, 6:30pm)

Sunday, February 1st

Super Bowl XLIII from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida (NBC, 6pm)

Awkward High Fiving Gets Taken To A Whole New Level

We don't know everything about rich, old white people, but what we do know is that they don't know how to successfully complete a high five. Philly fans and owners were obviously happy during last evenings dismantling of the Cowboys, but showing your glee by palming your wife in the face, isn't really the best idea. Via Deadspin....

Awkward! And is there anything better than the "multiple replay" when someone gets hit in the face? I submit that there is not!

I'd High Five Her Face Right Now Too (Deadspin)

Independence Bowl Open Thread

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Here, we have The Bowl That No One Wants To Watch, with teams only in the game because the Big XII and SEC didn't have enough bowl eligible teams to send a 6-6 joke each to Shreveport. Oof.

Game: PetroSun Independence Bowl
Teams: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois Huskies (6-6)
Location: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
Start Time: 8:15 PM EST
Network and Announcers: Pam Ward and Ray Bentley, ESPN. (Well, maybe we'll get some hidden gems of errata.)
Favorite: NIU (-1)
S2N's Pick: La Tech, for the hell of it.

Sunday Night Football Open Thread

It's the Stoned Yokel vs. Marmalard in the Whale's Vagina for all the AFC West marbles, and I figure I'm safer and better off listening to this on the radio on the drive back to my little university town from L.A. rather than watch Al and John. "But you're a Broncos fan, aren't you, S2N?", you might ask, and that would be true. However, after watching this team give up two straight losses and utterly fail on defense, I remember how they lost out on a Wild Card spot two years ago thanks to losing in San Francisco in Week 17, and the last thing I think I want to do is see another similar collapse on TV after Mike Shanahan guaranteed a playoff spot before the season started.

That being said, have at it. I think the only thing I will miss is Rivers acting like a jerk by trash talking with a possible 8-8 record heading into the playoffs.

A Holiday Wish Come True: Brett Favre, The Cowboys And Patriots Are Out Of The Playoffs

FOX and CBS are probably throwing shit against the wall right about now, but the rest of America is thanking their lucky stars for the Ravens, Eagles, Raiders and Texans. Why is that? Well because it knocks the Jets, Cowboys and Patriots out of this season's playoffs....HUZZAH!

NFL Open Thread - Week 17 Late Games

Ronnie Brown wants to get down all over the Jet defenders for an AFC East title and a #3 seed in the playoffs.


Miami @ NY Jets - Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Jacksonville @ Baltimore - Dick Enberg, Randy Cross


Dallas @ Philadelphia -Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Seattle @ Arizona - Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick
Washington @ San Francisco - Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli

A Look At The Wild One O'Clock Finishes

The Vikings clinched with a Longwell field goal (the Bears choked so it didn't really matter), the Bucs gave up their shot in Oakland, and the Panthers bumped the Falcons down to the 5th seed with a kick of their own. Here is how it went down if you missed it....

Let's only hope the 4pm games bring as much excitement (and Dallas is knocked out of the Playoffs).

Kicking In Buffalo Is Just A Bit Of A Challenge Today

I don't think I've ever seen a stoppage of play so that workers can straighten the goal posts on the field, but that's exactly what just happened in Buffalo. This is what 40 mph winds can do to your kicking game....

New England leads 3-0 after a very odd end to the first half, and the wind isn't slowing down anytime soon. Should be a fun thirty minutes in the second half.

NFL Open Thread - Week 17 Early Games

A note: Sorry to play absent host, but I'm indisposed for most of the day due to holiday-related travel, and AA may be in the same boat. However, I've set up threads for all the games today, and I'm planning at least two live-blogs next weekend to make it up to you.

OK, doubleheaders for both stations on this final weekend. (The maps have been hyperlinked to the network names.)


New England @ Buffalo - Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Oakland @ Tampa Bay -Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh - Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker
Tennessee @ Indianapolis - Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots
Kansas City @ Cincinnati - Bill Macatee, Steve Beuerlein


Carolina @ New Orleans - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
NY Giants @ Minnesota - Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger
St. Louis @ Atlanta - Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan
Chicago @ Houston - Matt Vasgersian, J.C. Pearson
Detroit @ Green Bay - Chris Rose, John Lynch

Emerald Bowl Open Thread

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Because you can never have enough of Jahvid Best losing his lunch.

Game: Emerald Bowl
Teams: California Golden Bears (8-4) vs. Miami Hurricanes (7-5)
Location: AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Start Time: 8 PM EST
Network and Announcers: Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore, ESPN
Favorite: Cal (-8.5)
S2N's Pick: The U to cover, Cal to win. This is mostly about the U's defensive studs against Cal's offense. Anything that comes out of Jacory Harris and the Miami offense should be considered a bonus.

Death Comes In Threes In The World Of Mixed Martial Arts

Sad news to report from the fighting world, as they're reacting to the death of Justin Eilers in what appears to have been a domestic disturbance gone wrong over the holiday season.

An autopsy conducted Friday released the cause of death as a single gunshot wound to the chest. The bullet reportedly punctured Eilers’ lung before exiting his body, said Monte Cox, Eiler's longtime manager.

Cox said Eilers had gathered with relatives for the holidays, but tensions escalated with an ex-girlfriend, also in attendance. Eilers was asked to leave the residence, but was said to have refused and began throwing dishes and other objects in protest. The home’s owner was then said to have pulled a gun on Eilers and shot him in the chest after a brief verbal confrontation.

Eilers’ ex-girlfriend, mother, and young son were said to have been in the room at the time of the shooting.
The Canyon County (ID) sheriff's department arrested James Robert Malec, who may be Eilers' mother's boyfriend on second-degree murder charges. Eilers moved between WEC, UFC, and EliteXC in his fighting career after playing football in college. His death is the third tragedy to hit MMA in the past few months. Justin Levens was found dead along with his girlfriend in an apparent murder-suicide last week and Evan Tanner disappeared in the desert back in September.

Eilers Shot Dead [Sherdog]

Posted by Signal to Noise at 6:40 PM 2 Comments Links to this post

The Unusual Case of Elena Delle Donne

So, imagine you're the top athlete in the country in your sport, at your particular level, and you realize that you're really, really sick of the sport you excel in. You get a scholarship to a powerhouse program, and two days in, you quit and move back to a Div. I-AA school closer to home.

Sound weird? Well, that's the case of Elena Delle Donne, whom you may have heard about. She was a 6'4" guard all set to play for Geno Auriemma at UConn until she'd finally had it with basketball in general -- now, ESPN's Mark Schwarz checked in with her for a piece to air on Outside the Lines tomorrow, and she seems more than happy to be away from the path that had been set out for her. She's now playing volleyball for Delaware; this came only months after everyone was predicting that she would be the Next Big Thing to impact women's hoops on a big-time level in both the college and, eventually, the pro ranks, after Candace Parker.

The piece makes Auriemma come off like a bit of a prick, saying he can't understand how someone can play a game that they've hated since the age of 13. Well, if you have a trainer from the age of 7 like Delle Donne did, and you get real good at something, it's hard to give it up even if you loathe it. Considering the pressure put on players like Parker and Chamique Holdsclaw before her (and Holdsclaw had a breakdown) in the lower-stakes world (media-wise) of women's hoops, it's a wonder we don't hear about more cases of burnout from male athletes in the power sports of football and basketball -- kids are specializing in a sport earlier and earlier, and those with disposable income are getting all sorts of specialized training.

Then again, Delle Donne may have the luxury of being able to walk away from a basketball career that would have likely had her globe-hopping between the WNBA and a Euro team. Many of the athletes making it big in the pro and college ranks are doing it for a shot at a better financial future.

Delle Donne finds happiness at Delaware [ESPN]

Champs Sports Bowl Open Thread

Watch Bobby go for King of the Zombies in order to keep up with JoePa.

Game: Champs Sports Bowl
Teams: Florida State Seminoles (8-4) vs. Wisconsin Badgers (7-5)
Location: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Start Time: 4:30 PM EST
Network and Announcers: Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, and Paul Maguire -- ESPN (Pammy contenders, ahoy!)
Favorite: FSU (-5.5)
S2N's Pick: Free Shoes U. Wisky is absolutely DREADFUL this year. I mean, they would have lost to I-AA Cal Poly had the Mustangs' kicker not blown goats.

Zelasko Wants To Work Blue

Not in that way, silly.

By now you've likely read that Jeanne Zelasko, the former host of Fox's MLB pre-game show (which got the ax earlier this year) would like to bring her voice to play-by-play. Zelasko has thrown her name into the hat to call the package of 40 L.A. Dodgers' road games that Vin Scully doesn't. (For those of you unfamiliar with the arrangement, Scully scaled back his broadcast work a couple years back; he doesn't call road games outside the NL West, with the exception of Angels interleague games. Basically, he doesn't travel further east than Colorado.) Charley Steiner held this role for a few years, but the Dodgers decided to have him handle all of the radio broadcasts with Rick Monday (he had been replaced by Jerry Reuss when called on to do TV.)

Despite a lack of experience (she's never done PBP for the sport before, only handling such duties for gymnastics and figure skating), she obviously believes she's a strong candidate for the gig. As someone who watches a lot of Dodger games, I probably wouldn't mind her. I don't find her as annoying as some folks do, but the "no experience with calling a game" thing is a bit of a bother.

Zelasko seeks Dodgers' play-by-play gig [Arizona Republic]
Zelasko interested in Dodgers' play-by-play gig [Sports Media Watch]
Charley Steiner will do radio only for the Dodgers [L.A. Times]

Meineke Car Care Bowl Open Thread

It's the last game for that magical quarterback known as Pat White.

Game: Meineke Car Care Bowl
Teams: West Virginia Mountaineers (8-4) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-4)
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Start Time: 1 PM EST
Network and Announcers: Sean McDonough and Chris Spielman, ESPN
Favorite: WVU (-1.5)
S2N's Pick: UNC, because Bill Stewart will find a way to have a brain fart at the worst possible time for the 'Eers.

The Day In College Hoops

If you're not bowl attached, the stuff worth watching involves WVU and Huggy Bear taking on Thad and the Buckeyes, and that's pretty much it. Quiet Saturday here.

Miami @ St. John's (ESPNU, Noon)- Justin Kutcher, Doug Gottlieb
Washington State @ Louisiana State (ESPN2, 2pm)- Dave Barnett, Jimmy Dykes
Florida Atlantic @ Kentucky (SEC TV, 3pm)- Dave Baker, Kyle Macy (Will Air on FS South, SUN, ESPN Full Court)
Rider @ Drexel (CN8, 3pm)- TBD (Will Air on CSS)
West Virginia @ Ohio State (CBS, 4pm)- Verne Lundquist, Clark Kellogg
Alabama-Birmingham @ Louisville (ESPN2, 4pm)- John Saunders, Len Elmore
SIU-Edwardsville @ Missouri (Mizzou Sports, 4pm)- Dan McLoughan, John Sunvold (Will Air on FS Midwest, ESPN Full Court)
Michigan State v. Oakland (FSN, 5pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Arizona, Detroit, Florida, North, Northwest, South, West, CSN Chicago, New England, FCS Atlantic)
Northwestern State @ Arkansas (ESPN2, 6pm)- Sam Gore, Mark Adams
Iona @ South Florida (Bright House-Tampa, 7pm)- TBD (Will Air on ESPN Full Court)
Western Illinois @ Iowa (ESPNU, 8pm)- Lou Canellis, Mike Kelley

Motor City Bowl Open Thread

Friday, December 26, 2008

Game: The Motor City Bowl
Location: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Teams: Florida Atlantic (6-6) vs. Central Michigan (8-4)
Announcers and Network: Todd Harris, Ray Bentley (ESPN)
Start: 7:30 PM
Odds: Central Michigan (-7)
AA's Pick: 34-21 Central Michigan

Dave Pasch Is An Early Candidate For A Post Season Pammy

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm wating until the end of all the Bowl Games to come up with a list of quotes for you to vote on, but Dave Pasch had one last night that just has to be highlight on Christmas Day. Instead of a Christmas Eve miracle, Pasch decided to give us a Christmas Eve "Golden Shower! Via Sports Rubbish....

"Christmas in Honolulu, always beautiful, but we do have a golden shower here."- Dave Pasch

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The Hawaii Bowl Open Thread

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Game: The Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI
Teams: Hawaii Warriors (7-6) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-6)
Announcers and Network:Dave Pasch, Andre Ware, ESPN
Start: 8 PM
Odds: Notre Dame (-2), O/U 49
AA's Pick: Another intriguing matchup tonight. It's a case of two teams that barely got into the Bowl Season, and who are both just bad enough to make this a close/high scoring game. I was seriously wrong about the scoring in the Poinsettia Bowl, but still got the pick right in the end, so I'm going with the same line of thinking for this one....

27-24 Notre Dame

Happy Holidays Half Day

Just wanted to wish all of you AA readers, Happy Holidays and a great New Year. I'll be in and out of these pages over the next few days, and will have open threads up for all of the Bowl Games, but wanted to thank you all for your patronage over the past year. There will also be a "Year in AA" post coming before the New Year and a couple of other goodies as well.

So everyone get out of here, and enjoy Christmas Eve, Chanukah, Kwanzaa and Festivus, with you and yours!

Posted by Awful Announcing at 1:04 PM 1 Comments Links to this post

A Look Back At The 2008 Monday Night Football Season

After the third year of Monday Night Football on ESPN, the trio of Tirico, Jaworski and Kornheiser have definitely improved in the booth, but there are still some things that bother both myself and the masses. Kornheiser doesn't seem to annoy everyone as much as in years past, and is starting to settle into his role, but some of his tangents and on-air "articles" remain over-the-top. The constant Brett Favre talk through the first five games or so was unnecessary, and it took a chastising from Tirico to finally make him stop.

Other than that, the only other thing the trio suffered from was a set of terrible games. But even with some stinkers, Monday Night Football was the most watched program on cable this past year. Via ESPN PR....

ESPN’s third season of Monday Night Football was the most-watched series on cable television in 2008, set an all-time cable viewership record for the third straight year and drew the year’s three biggest cable household audiences and 13 of the top 15. In three seasons on ESPN, Monday Night Football has registered seven of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history, led by the Eagles-Cowboys telecast on September 15, which attracted cable’s largest household audience ever (an average of 12,953,000 million homes).

ESPN’s 17 Monday Night Football telecasts in 2008 averaged a 8.9 rating, representing an average of 8,679,000 households (11,962,000 viewers – P2+), increases of 3%, 5% and 7%, respectively, vs. 2007 (8.6; 8,277,000 and 11,230,000). MNF ended on a particularly strong note with last night’s Chicago Bears’ 20-17 overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers delivering a 9.8 rating, representing an average of 9,582,000 households (13,803,000 viewers – P2+). The game ranks as the third-largest household audience on cable this year.
The numbers don't lie, and for those of you expecting or wanting a change, aren't going to be getting it anytime soon. I know we poke fun at the trio each Monday night, but they're slowly getting better each season and each broadcast. If it ain't entirely broken, I'm sure ESPN feels no need to fix it. And they honestly shouldn't mess with what's working (for the most part) at this point.

That's not to say that there weren't some funny moments and quotes throughout the year, so what I've done is come up with a top ten set of quotes, and a compilation video of clips I've saved throughout the year. We've got Tony apologizing for a comment on Hispanic Heritage Day, Emmitt being Emmitt (Plaxico Berries, Rites of Patches and more) and Kat Deluna butchering the National Anthem. So buckle up and enjoy your 2008 Monday Night Football Season in just eight short minutes!

10. "Hi Brett, Hi Diana."- Mike Tirico during the Week One Packers-Vikings matchup

9. "This is not a Buccaneer team that's built to come from behind." - Jaws
"But they have, on the road. 3 times." - Mike Tirico

8. "Does that mean that, Delhomme, he went to Jarrett?" - Tony Kornheiser

7. "Great play calling, I can't tell you anything else. Very hard."- Mike Ditka

"The good thing about being short is that everyone else is tall...."- Emmitt Smith

"They were dooing for Deuce McAllister."- Mike Tirico
"Dooing?"- Tony Kornheiser
"Deucing."- Mike Tirico

"We put the focus on Favre because people like me are in love with him."- Tony Kornheiser

"That's exactly the kind of pass Favre would have thrown. Does it remind you of him at all?"- Tony Kornheiser
"Yes, but you've got to let it go, Tony."- Ron Jaworski
"I'm going to put a Favre moratorium on the Second Half. You only get five mentions!"- Mike Tirico

2. "I took high school Spanish, either he said he's not going to be caught, or please pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow." - Tony Kornheiser
"I said something before which I shouldn't have said, I apologize for it. Not my first mistake, undoubtedly won't be my last, but a 100% apology."- Tony Kornheiser

1. "This kid has obviously not earned his rites of patches in the locker room."- Emmitt Smith

Thanks again to all of you who took the time to join in on the live-blogs each Monday Night, and sorry for bailing near the end of the season (there was good reason, but I don't want to bore you with the details).

While Eagles Fans Boo Santa, The Steelers Kick Him Out of Press Conferences

This went down yesterday, but it was so weird that I had to share it with all of you. Santa (Bill DiFabio, a sports announcer from Washington, Pa.) showed up at a Steelers press conference, and after some bad schtick, the Steelers booted Mr. Claus from their facility.

Here's a taste, but it's what happened after this which is the funny part....

But when DiFabio commandeered the news conference for more than five minutes, passing out gifts and cracking jokes about fellow sportscasters, the Browns and Cowboys, nose tackle Casey Hampton's weight and the woebegone Pirates, Tomlin became impatient.

To end the unrehearsed skit, Tomlin — who could be heard sighing several times throughout the comedy bit — grudgingly agreed to toss a football to the fake Santa.

"If that will get you out of here," Tomlin said.

Tomlin repeatedly emphasized the Steelers (11-4) would not treat Sunday's meaningless game against the Browns (4-11) like an exhibition, and he apparently did not appreciate a comedy skit interfering with his message.

Later, the Steelers said there would be no future appearances from Santa at any of their news conferences.
How random is that? An announcer trying to make it all about himself??? Never heard of such a thing. This just goes to show you that noth even Santa is safe in the "No Fun League".

Visit from fake Santa doesn't amuse Steelers coach (Associated Press)

The Jets Digitally Bring Michael Strahan Out Of Retirement

Uniwatch via Sports by Brooks came across a really weird feature on the New York Jets website yesterday. Well the feature is a look inside their new stadium, which isn't weird per se, but rather a jersey worn by a woman on one of the virtual concourses. Take a look....

Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a woman wearing a green Strahan jersey out amongst the other Jets fans. Maybe the Jets know something that we don't know.

Uni Watch DIY Project: Building a Better Bucco Beanie (Uni Watch)
Do The New York Jets Know Something We Don’t? (Sports by Brooks)

The Poinsettia Bowl Open Thread

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Game: Poinsettia Bowl
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Teams: Boise State Broncos (12-0) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (10-2)
Announcers and Network: Rece Davis, Lou Holtz, Mark May and Todd Harris, ESPN
Start: 8 PM
Odds: TCU (-3)
AA's Pick: Probably the most anticipated, Non-BCS Bowl of the season. The game will match a top-13 offense (Boise State) against the nation's second-best defense (TCU), and should be a heck of a throwdown in San Diego this evening.

36-30 Boise State

The Recession Certainly Isn't Bothering The Evil Empire, Yanks Add Teixeira

Good lord. I honestly though that the Yankees were out of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes, but apparently I was wrong. The Yankees just signed the slugger with a eight-year deal worth $180 million. Not only have the Yanks signed three players in the offseason totaling $423,500,000, but they now have four of the MLB's highest paid players on their roster.

And while everyone in and around Baseball is rolling their eyes, there is one man who thinks this is a great idea. Stephen A. Smith!

I'll gloss over the fact that S.A.S. said that the Yankees didn't, "walk away with a World Series Championship this millennium," (ummmm....they have a good while to attempt that), there's no way they can still be considering signing Manny. I guess Steven does have a point though. If you've already spent $423 Million, you mind as well make it a cool $500.

ESPN Hires Infomercial Maven, Billy Mays To Help Sell ESPN360

Cult hero and infomercial king, Billy Mays has been hired by ESPN to do ads for ESPN360. You should start seeing them right away across all of ESPN networks, but what kind of host would I be if I didn't have a sneak peek? Here is the set of ads for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Hilarious. As a college student, I would love nothing more than to stay up late...umm....studying, and watch Mays try to sell everything from a Bloomin' Onion Maker to any number of household cleaning products. So great idea to utilize him in the ads. Plus the part where the girl says, "Now my job is way less soul crushing," cracked me the hell up. Bravo ESPN!

Time Lapse Video Of The New Hockey Rink Being Built At Wrigley

NHL Network spent some time putting together a time lapse video of the ice being brought into Wrigley, and I have to say it's pretty badass. Workers braved the elements, worked night and day, and because of it there will be outdoor Hockey in Chicago on New Years Day....

I've honestly been getting back into Hockey lately, but they really need to pick a different day for this "Winter Classic". Even though most of the matchups are pretty lame, it's still going to be tough to beat out New Years Day Bowl Games.

(Via WL)

ESPN To Get Interactive With You In 2009

ESPN's technology department hasn't exactly been lining up winners lately. They've tried the mobile game and failed, but now they're trying to get into your television remote. According to Ad Age, beginning this summer ESPN will offer three new "iTV" products that will allow you to join in the network's reindeer games....

Beginning in summer 2009, the Walt Disney Co. sports-entertainment network will offer three new iTV products, tentatively titled ESPN My Vote, ESPN In Game Extra and My Bottom Line. Specific cable-distribution partners have yet to be determined, but ESPN My Vote and ESPN In Game Extra will each employ EBIF middleware technology, already available in millions of set-top boxes nationwide, while My Bottom Line will use Tru2way technology, the cross-cable software that powers cable operators' interactive programming guides, games and other programs.

ESPN My Vote is an interactive feature that will enable viewers to participate in voting and polling during live broadcasts of "SportsCenter," "College Football Live," College Football telecast, Major League Baseball telecasts and "Baseball Tonight."

ESPN In Game Extra will give viewers the option to access additional game stats during live telecasts, including player tracking, scores, standings and schedules.

My Bottom Line refers to the bottom line, or news scroll across the bottom of the TV screen, which fans will be able to customize to their favorite teams or cities, regardless of geography. So a Cleveland sports fan in New York could customize scores for the Cavs and the Browns, with live access to stats, standings, research and even information about fantasy players.
I can't stand polls personally, but the other two actually sound pretty awesome. I've always loved the DirecTV feature where you can plug your fantasy football team in and get stats across the board. Plus, having to wait through WNBA and MLS scores for real Sports is a pain in the ass. I wish I had "My Bottom Line" right now actually.

ESPN Rolls Out Interactive Features (Ad Age)

Create The Caption #330

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo, you provide the caption, and then hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Yesterday's Winners....

"Get off my lawn!"- Anon

"This is for that God-awful song Wishing Well"- Joseph (That one's a spit take)

"ACC Referee Ron Cherry in the crowd: "Personal Foul. Number 53 of the officiating crew. He was giving him the business. 15 yard penalty. Automatic first down."- JFein


Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of Junior Seau falling after being tackled by a fan during the Patriots' game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.?

Daily Links:

2009 Playoff Cliches (Chichester Said So)
Big Baby's Car Crash (Central Maine)
The All NCAA Name Team (America's White Boy)
An Awesome Sports Injury Collection (Redux)
Welcome To Chad Pennington Month! (Simon on Sports)
Terrible Sports Memorabilia (Steady Burn)
Cavs Fans To Get Chalk In Their Stockings (WFNY)
What Phil Mickelson Learned This Year (Food Court Lunch)
Your Mugshots Of The Year! (Brahsome)

Marshall Faulk Wants To Coach The Rams, Seriously

I know I overuse the words seriously and apparently, but I can't stress that above seriously enough. Marshall Faulk honestly and truly (new words!) wants to be the Rams next head coach. joke. Via PFT....

In an excellent Monday Night Countdown segment in which ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reviewed the status of various embattled head coaches, Mort mentoned that former Rams running back Marshall Faulk wants to be the next head coach of the team.

Seriously. [Ed note: Sweet useage!]

Our take? The dude has been hanging around Deion Sanders too much.

As you might recall, Sanders tried a couple of years ago to throw his fedora into the ring for the Falcons job — with zero experience in coaching or personnel evaluation and/or management.

Faulk, like Deion, simply doesn’t have the credentials to be a head coach. He could be an assistant coach, and then he could gradually learn the side of the business he never saw while he was a player. And then after working his way up the ladder and gaining some experience he might be ready to become a candidate for a head-coaching job.
I missed the segment last night, and no other source has picked up on this besides PFT and Rotoworld, soooooo we might be looking at another Chris Mortensen "exaggeration" here. Obviously I agree with Florio's statement above, but really anyone could probably do better than what Linehan and Jim Haslett combined to do this year.

Plus, anything that can be done to make sure I never have to endure Deion Sanders and Faulk calling a game again is definitely a good thing.

What The Faulk? (Pro Football Talk)

Mike Tirico Gives An "Up Close" Look At Monday Night Football

I have a little year in review piece going up for Monday Night Football later in the day, but MDS of Fanhouse got the chance to sit down with Mike Tirico before last night's game to talk about the crew's third year in the booth. Tirico answers questions about his preparation, and Jaws' Xs and Os, but more importantly....does Tony Kornheiser mention Brett Favre too many times?

Great interview, but that camera sure is close. I kid, I kid. I also think that's as good of a booth breakdown as you're ever going to get. I'm not saying whether the three succeed in their preparation, but you can definitely tell that's the direction they're going on gameday.

ESPN's Mike Tirico Discusses His Preparation and Working With Jaws and Tony (Fanhouse)

The MLB Network Wrestles Away Barry Larkin From The Nats

I honestly have no idea what an "Assistant to the GM" actually does, but apparently the job isn't as glamorous as TV analyst on a newly formed network. The MLB Network's latest hire is a familiar face, and one that could end up being pretty good on set, Barry Larkin....

WASHINGTON -- Barry Larkin said on Monday that he is leaving the Nationals to take a job as an analyst with the MLB Network, which launches on Jan. 1, 2009.

Larkin, 44, spent the past four seasons as a special assistant to Nationals general manager Jim Bowden. He worked with Minor League players on hitting, baserunning and fielding, and sometimes helped Bowden make personnel decisions.

During the final weeks of the 2008 season, however, Larkin was in talks with Bowden about his future with the club. Bowden offered Larkin the first-base coaching job, but Larkin turned it down because of family commitments and business interests outside of baseball. The position eventually went to Marquis Grissom.
Well I guess that explains my question of what he did above. Seems like a pretty sweet gig, and one that's less of a burden than the one he took. Either way though, it's yet another good hire by the MLB Network. At this pace they should fill out their 42-man roster by the middle of January.

(Via MLB PR)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 9:41 AM 5 Comments Links to this post

The Bears Decide To Wake Up And Make The Playoff Just A Bit More Interesting

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Bears played three and a half quarters of just flat out terrible Football, but somehow managed to pull out a win. After a Matt Forte TD to tie the game, Will Blackmon returned the following kickoff to the 50, but an Adrian Peterson late hit gave the Packers the ball at the Bears' 45 yard line.

After a first down and a few runs, the Packers had a chance for the win with a 38 yard Mason Crosby FG. The Bears blocked it, sent the game into overtime (after a coin toss off the head of Urlacher), and proceeded to keep their Playoff dreams alive with a 47 yard drive and a game winning Robbie Gould FG....

This season just gets more and more ridiculous each week. The Packers should have won that game by twenty, but the Bears would not be denied. And with that we bid adieu to the 2008 season of Monday Night Football. Try not to cry.

Rob Parker Publically Apologizes On ESPN, Marinelli Not Accepting

I missed this earlier, but Rob Parker went on ESPN2 to talk with Michael Kim, and the network gave Parker the opportunity to publicly apologize on National Television. Here's the clip in case you haven't seen it yet....

The more I think about it, the more I do think it was an attempt at humor, but also an extremely bad one. The odd part is that while Parker maintains that he and Marinelli are on good terms, the Coach is actually not currently forgiving the beat reporter. Via MLive....
"Anytime you attack my daughter, I've got a problem with that. In a room of stink ... and as a man and it was premeditated. I think there was something wrong with that, yeah.''

When asked about Parker's apology column, Marinelli said: "I didn't read it, but I was told a little bit about it. I don't accept anything. There are so many times people will say ... I had an assistant coach (Jim Colletto) one time make a remark with you guys that he didn't want to embarrass a player (Drew Stanton), did he take that remark back? Would you guys let him? No, you went from our practice field and ran to the locker room and put a microphone in front of the player -- and (the coach) didn't mean it that way. Do you remember that? To me, this is worse. Because his intent was to stir me up which is never going to happen. I can shoulder anything you bring. Easy. I can shoulder anything you bring.''
There are obviously worse things that Parker could have said when referring to Marinelli's daughter, but I think the general rule of thumb is that you just leave people's family members out of any discussion.

Lions' Marinelli won't accept Parker's apology (M Live)

Kobe Would Love Dickie V To Call One Of His Games

Ball Don't Lie's Nick Friedell spoke in passing with reigning MVP, Kobe Bryant recently, and mentioned to the Laker that Dick Vitale would be calling an NBA game in early January. Kobe seemed to think it was a great idea, and when asked if he would like Vitale to call one of his games, he had this to say....

As you may have heard already, Vitale, and his partner Dan Shulman, will be covering the Heat-Nuggets game on January 7th while regular NBA announcers Mike Tirico, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will be covering the Davidson-Duke game on the same night.

When I told the reigning MVP about this, and asked him if he would enjoy having Vitale announce one of his games, his eyes perked up. "I would love it," Kobe told me.

"Would it even make a difference?" I said.

A big smile started to spread across his face before he could answer the question. "Well yeah," Kobe said. "It'd be awesome, BABY!"
I still think that having Dickie V call an NBA is a terrible idea, but if the players would enjoy it, what else can you say? The guy does draw attention wherever he goes, and even though it seems like an obvious gimmick, it might actually bring viewers.

FYI- The best take I've heard on this yet come from KSK's Unsilent Majority....
It's funny cause it's (going to be) true.

Kobe thinks Dickie V's NBA presence is 'awesome, baby!' (Ball Don't Lie)