The Pam Ward Chronicles: Week One

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Okay everyone, the day has arrived! It's the first Saturday of the College Football season and the return of the Pam Ward Chronicles. The AA two day vacation is over and I'm ready to go. All it really took was seeing Brooklyn Decker from about two feet away but the rest of the two days was need as well. No on cares about that though. You all did an excellent job of keeping track of Thursday and Friday so let's throw up a few of the better ones to get this thing underway....

"Immediate penetration for Akers the backer!"- Chris Fowler (Via Mez)

"The artists formally known as the Flying Dutchmen that should always want to be known as the Flying Dutchmen instead of the Pride or whatever it is they want to be called now"- Rece Davis (Via Anon)

"And that's a great st-sta-statistic if you're a defensive coordinator because that means you don't allow people to score points. If the opposing team can't score, then it's tougher for them to win."- Shuan King (Via Eric)

"The record he said he will be most proudest of..." Rod Gilmore (Via Rock Chalk Jayhawk)

Not a bad start at all. I'm thinking that Shaun King is going to be a strong contender this entire year. Gameday is in full swing and things the games start in about 30 minutes. Gustav has forced an 11am start time for LSU-App State, so McDonough, Spielman and Rob Stone our are first crew of the day. Keep the quotes coming people! Oh and I'm currently looking for a shot of that Craig James goater. That was so scraggly looking.

"Are we on MSNBC? It sounds like someone emailed you the talking points. And you're going down. Why do you want to defend the ACC? Valid points but..."- Chris Fowler
"Didn't ESPN sign with the ACC?"- Lee Corso

Hahaha. Corso is not openly admitting to hyping crappy conferences so people will still watch. Good to know.

"They can have Maroon 5 but they kicked out Fall Out Boy."- Desmond Howard

Des drops a pop punk reference!

"Well glad to know, in his first hit of the season for us, Rob Stone is already in midseason whiny form."- Sean McDonough after Stoner complained about the 10am sun being in his eyes.

That was hilarious.

"Four guys go out and four guys go in like the storm troopers in the Star War movies."- Chris Spielman

"My opinion of this USC team is that this offense might be better than any offense at USC since going back to the Lendale White, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart days."- Kirk Herbstreit

Whoa, whoa, whoa! ALL THE WAY back to 2005!? I mean there's been a grand total of one quarterback in that time. That's just crazy talk.

"You can tell I have kids right? Just so I don't break out into a Barney tune here in three minutes."- Chris Spielman

When Syracuse intercepts the ball to end its very first defensive series of the season: "That's his first interception of the year!"- Pam Ward (Via Anon)

"He maybe making his case to put some votes, get some votes for the Heisman Trophy."- Tony McGee

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Indiana Quarter Back Kellen Lewis won't be receiving any Heisman votes this year. I could be wrong though.

"I talk about the eyeball test when you look at offensive linemen. If you look at last year they had skinny legs and pot bellies."- Ray Bentley

Did anyone else just see the little pop up that said AC/DC "For Those About To Rock" when the song came on before the commercial break? Did they do that on Thursday night?

HI PAM! I love the light blue coat!!!

"Northwestern players...looking over to the sidelines...they want to go for it."- Pam Ward,
It is 3rd and 9. (Via Anon)

Hahaha. There's the Pammy I know.

"Fair catch it so you don't get careered."- Chris Spielman
"Careered. What does that mean?"- Sean McDonough
"That means your done. It's over. Congratulations. Thanks for coming."- Chris Spielman

"I asked him what your philosophy in offense is, and he said the number one thing is move the chains. And when you move the chains that lends itself to ball control."- Ray Bentley


"We're in the second quarter..." - Pam Ward
"Do you mean second inning." - Ray Bentley
"The Cubbies, they're on a roll..." - Pam Ward
(Via S2N)

"You can say it now, Andre: you're a man, you're 40." - Dave Pasch
"What? I'm not a day over 26!" - Andre Ware
(Via S2N)

"Then you are under the pile and that is where all the dirty stuff happens."- Andre Ware
"The French Uppercut"- Dave Pasch
(Via Half Court Heave)

I caught that one as well and I have no clue what it means.

"It's now going to be a longer third and short...more like third and medium" - Andre Ware (Via Bazooka Jones and HCH)

"I don't think you go for 2 here, just kick the extra point here and make it a 22-20 ballgame."- Andre Ware

It's amazing that an ex-Football player doesn't understand simple Football math. Also, this "Ray's RV" feature is no "Todd's Taste of the Town"!

"His son Shane Beamer gave birth yesterday." - Dave Pasch (Via SS)

Let's go Pirates!

"A Field Goal will basically seal the deal here."- Andre Ware

IT'S 27-22!!!!!! That would not seal the deal Andre! Good the hell did he ever graduate from Houston?

"Last year we might have called this an upset. This year, I don't think so."- Dave Pasch

Ummmm. The #17 team in the country? Really???

"If he's thinking about taking the redshirt off of Ike Taylor..." - Dave Pasch (Via HCH)

"Offensively they're like a box of chocolates. I'm not sure if anybody knows what they're going to get."- David Norrie

"Then Chris Turner comes in and beats that Rutgers team and BC a few weeks ago."- Charles Arbuckle

Or last year.

"He's academically uneligible"- Brad Nessler (Via jg)

"We didn't know who the starter would be at Michigan. It was highly secretive like a vice presidential pick"."- Terry Gannon (Via Mal)

"Oklahoma is so multiple on a longer field."- Brian Davis (Via Hardwood Paroxysm)

"Both of these teams like to get up to the line of scrimmage and snap the ball"- Terry Gannon (Via Sam)

"Only 4 pass attempts from Bryant, one of those for a score.....He's only thrown the ball 4 times, but 25% of his throws have gone for a score. What if, say, Chase Daniel does that tonight with 40 attempts?"- Tom Hart (Via Eric)

"Oklahoma State, 7th in the United States in penalties." - Brian Davis (Via SS)

"I've got to be right with my balls."- Brock Huard

"Alabama and Clemson will rock your world tonight."- Brent Musburger

Seriously, what the hell is up with all of the AC/DC and who let Brent dress like Mr. Roarke from Fantasy Island?

EA on outfit #2 today. (Via Anon)

Yeah she's been changing multiple times a day the past few weeks. I don't know how I feel about the leather getup. Her and Musburger together would make a heck of a couple at a Halloween party though....

"On the streets of Atlanta today we saw ticket scalpers. That's when we knew we had a major event."- Brent Musburger (Via Mal)

"The Atlanta Falcons should be lucky to have crowds like this."- Brent Musburger


"You could see his head was all the way back because it was grabbed."- Ron Franklin (Via Nick)

"A calamitous swing of momentum for Missouri."- Mark Jones

Not a bad call at all, but I can't say I've ever heard that word before. You learn something new everyday. As well as this....

"When he gets the ball in his hands, he's as quick as a hiccup."- Chris Martin (Via Eric)

"I know Clemson is down 20, so their gameplan has changed."- Kirk Herbstreit

You think?

"Part of the ligament that they replaced in him was a ligament from a cadaver. Yeah, he's got a part of a dead man in him, but his game is alive!"- Mark Jones

Oh man....that might just be a winner. So bad.

"I watched this guy in the spring and I couldn't keep up with him with my eyeballs."- Craig James

"Alabama gets an A+ right now. Clemson gets a C-."- Brent Musburger (Via Anon)

A "C"? Really?!?

"Well defended by Missouri defensively"- Mark Jones (Via Anon)

"Maclin...gonna break'em off proper again."- Mark Jones (Via Scumdog)

"Last two games he's upset Hawaii and Boise State and now he's beaten Virginia Tech in Blacksburg."- Brent Musburger

Or Charlotte, North Carolina. You know....a neutral where you are, Brent.

"Wide Open! And I mean that is room service with chocolate on your pillow!"- Mark Jones


"This extra point means a lot of things to a lot of people across the country."- Bob Davie

Okay, last point before we end this thing. Announcers should really never be able to recall a 10-point spread like Bob Davie did at the end of the game like that. Mark Jones rooted for Illinois and Juice Williams throughout the game and that Davie comment just solidified who they were pulling for. I know this isn't a new thing, but if you do bet announcers....let's try to not make it so obvious.

Thanks to all of you for making this first day such a success. Be sure to stop by on Monday to check out your winners and losers.

Introducing Doctor Lou!

I'm still upset that ESPN isn't bringing back the Lou Holtz Pep Talk, but this is a good enough replacement. I give you Dr. Lou! The doctor will see you now!!!

I really have no words. Lou Holtz is just a sideshow for the "Leader" now, but as long as he's having fun with it....who cares right? And everyone remember....

"You should have four things in life. Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for and something to believe in."- Lou Holtz

Here Come The Erin Andrews Commercials

You knew it was just a matter of time before some men's product swooped in and made Erin Andrews their spokesperson and the first company to do so is Gillette. The shaving cream company has a campaign through Major League Baseball called the "Gillette Rookie Reporter Showdown" in which 48 guys compete to win....well I can't quite figure it out actually. They do have an entire Erin Andrews section though and are using the following clever tagline for the contest....

ERIN ANDREWS- The hardest-working, sexiest sideline reporter in Major League Baseball® wants YOU!

Get it? She WANTS you! There are about 4,000 videos on the site with random guys doing reports, but it's the actual Gillette ad with Erin Andrews in a Baseball locker room that got my attention. Here it is for your enjoyment!

Again....I'm not quite sure what all of that is for, or what you can actually win, but here is by far the best feature on the site. You can print out your very own Erin Andrews baseball card! Don't think for a second that I'm not going to print this out and keep it in my pocket like Bob Costas does with that Micky Mantle card of his....

Gillette 2008 MLB Rookie Reporter Showdown (MLB)

(Thanks to JT for the tip)

The "Chronicles" Are Back And Some Other Important Site Announcements

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Alrighty folks. The College Football season is getting underway tonight and you know what that means right? The Pam Ward Chronicles are back and in full force. You can see that the beautiful illustration above is our new official logo, and many many thanks go out to Dan Levy (not the FOX guy) of On The DL and 609 Design for coming up with that lovely thing.

To be honest with all of you, I had contemplated changing the name to something like the Mike Patrick Report (silent "T" like the Colbert Report), but in the end the PWC is what people know, and change is scary. I'd also like to say that the title is not in any way sexist and is solely named after Pam Ward because she's a really really really REALLY bad announcer. I know I don't need to explain that to most of you, but there are a few readers who don't seem to get it (and probably never will).

If you've forgotten, the rules are simple. On Saturdays, you find quotes and put them in the comments. From there I'll add yours to the thread, find some of my own as well as a few videos, and we laugh and drink the day away. On Monday, I pick the best ten quotes and points are assigned in reverse order. You can certainly challenge my picks and changes can happen if a good case is made. Best quote (well worst actually) will then get ten points, the next nine and so on.....and good times are had by all. Here were your final standings from last year....

Final Standings- 1. Gary Danielson (60), 2. Brad Nessler(53), 3. Mike Patrick (52), 4. Pam Ward (45), 5. Chris Spielman (44), 6. Andre Ware (34), 7. Lee Corso (31), 8. Paul Maguire (27), 9. Dave Pasch (26), 10. Bob Griese, Tim Brant (23), Post Season Winner- Lou Holtz

Other Site Announcements:

Commenters....You crazy, crazy commenters. I do love you all for taking the time to read the site and discuss the topics of the day, both the dedicated and the cynical. You may have noticed at times over the past few weeks that I have been playing around with comment moderation and have even deleted a few comments. I was really just trying things out, and have since come to the conclusion that I'm not going in that direction for the site. HOWEVAH! Every single racist, demeaning, sexist, homophobic and hateful comment WILL BE deleted. You can spew your hate at whatever message board that you fancy, but it's not going to stay up here.

I like the fact that anonymous people in the business can comment if they want to and people can vent their frustrations. That's why I started the site in the first place. I won't be deleting, or have I ever, deleted a comment that disagrees with me..... I want you to disagree with me and tell me why I'm wrong. I want you to have a place to voice your opinion. As long as you're respectful to each other, you can have all the VORP debates (in a post about Brian Kenny and John Kruk) you want. It makes the site better and it entertains me. Oh and you can also continue to make fun of my grammar if you want to as well. As long as you keep reading, I could care less how you feel about the writing.....I know you''ll keep reading.

S2N is going to be back.... on your weekends in various capacities throughout the rest of the year. His famous Sunday Night NFL Live-Blogs will be back, but you'll also see him in and around the PWC on Saturdays. Everyone say hi and please welcome him back with open arms!

AA is going to be on a brief hiatus....Nothing crazy, but I'm going to get some "me" time in before College Football (really) gets underway on Saturday. It's just two days, but I'm going to try and cleanse myself before diving head long into Football. The funny thing is that I'm going to attempt that by watching Sports live and in person. The main thing is that it will be a break from the computer, which is what I really need. If anyone is going to be either at the Giants-Pats game, or the US Open, in the next two days, hit me up in email and maybe we can grab a drink somewhere.

It's going to be a fun fall at AA this year, and it'll get underway early Saturday. Until then you're just going to see Pam's pretty face at the top of this page, but I think you can live without the site for a few days. With that said, I'm also asking the lot of you to help me get a jump on the "Chronicles" by submitting comments from the announcers from the Thursday and Friday night games in this spot. I'll be completely out of the loop, and I'd greatly appreciate it and if anything crazy happens send up the "AA" signal and I'll find a way to get the video up. So until Saturday....thanks for reading and keep reaching for the stars.

Cheers and XOXO,

The Chicago Sun-Times' Doesn't Appear To Be Missing Mariotti

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Randball came across the Chicago Sun-Times press release this afternoon in regards to Jay Mariotti quitting his role at the paper, and it could quite possibly be the funniest statement ever written. From RB via Poyneter...

Topic: Miscellaneous items
Date/Time: 8/27/2008 1:19:18 PM
Title: Sun-Times' statement regarding Jay Mariotti
Posted By: Jim Romenesko

Release from the Sun-Times

August 27, 2008

Chicago Sun-Times Editor in Chief Michael Cooke issued the following statement today regarding the resignation of sports columnist Jay Mariotti:

The Chicago Sun-Times had the best sports section in the city before Jay Mariotti came to town -- that's why he signed up with us -- and his departure does not change that.

We still have the stars -- respected veterans such as Rick Telander, fiery newcomers such as Greg Couch, quirky voices like Carol Slezak, not to mention seasoned beat reporters tracking the Cubs and White Sox toward their eventual collision in the World Series, plus the Bears, the Bulls, the Blackhawks, and all the other teams that make Chicago the sports center of the nation. We could have a World Series in Chicago in a couple of months ... talk about excitement!

The Chicago Sun-Times and will continue to have the scores and the stories before anyone else, anywhere, and the deepest and most comprehensive stats and standings. We wish Jay well and will miss him -- not personally, of course -- but in the sense of noticing he is no longer here, at least for a few days.

A paper, like a sports franchise, is something that moves into the future. Stars come and stars go, but the Sun-Times sports section was, is and will continue to be the best in the city.
Hahahaha. With that one jab, Michael Cooke just became my hero. It's sad that his industry is dying, and that Mariotti wins out in the end because he'll always have an opportunity to spew his nonsense at ESPN, but that's just downright hilarious. Bitter much?

Update: Mariotti is still doing ATH from the CS-T newsroom. They must not hate him THAT much....

"All these celebrations in and around Chicago. What's going on today?"- Jay Mariotti

Sun-Times' statement regarding Jay Mariotti (Poynter)
Jay Mariotti will not be missed by his editor (Randball)

An Early Look At ESPN's College Gameday Schedule For Basketball

Unlike the College Football version of the show, College Gameday for the NCAA Basketball season is planned out ahead of time. Actually five months in advance. ESPN passed around their travel plans for Rece, Digger, Hubert and Jay today and they've done a good job of coming up with completely new schools from last year. The crew will hit eight institutions starting with North Carolina on January 17th, 2009.

Here's the rest of the schedule. The primetime game that night will be in parenthesis.

Jan. 17- Chapel Hill, N.C. (Miami at North Carolina)
Jan. 24- South Bend, Ind. (Connecticut at Notre Dame)
Jan. 31- Knoxville, Tenn. (Florida at Tennessee)
Feb. 7- Spokane, Wash. (Memphis at Gonzaga)
Feb. 14- Madison, Wis. (Ohio State at Wisconsin)
Feb. 21- Austin, Texas (Oklahoma at Texas)
Feb. 28- Berkeley, Calif. (UCLA at California)
Mar. 7- Morgantown, W.V. (Louisville at West Virginia)

A good bit of variety there, but I thought it was good last year when they threw in a mid-major like Southern Illinois. The Saluki fans looked like the only student body that entirely filled the stands that early in the day. I'm also hoping for another quarterback or Football player to come hype the team before their broadcast ala Tim Tebow....

Tim Tebow Pumps Up The Gameday Crew (Awful Announcing)

The ESPN Late Night Talk Show Rumors Are Apparently True

There's been a rumor floating around the Sports World for awhile now that ESPN was/is planning a late night talk show to air weekdays on ESPN2. Well according to multiple media outlets, including the NY Post, the rumor is soon to become a reality.

The show, according to officials, would be more of a cross between talk radio and "SportsCenter" than "The Tonight Show."

"It would be tomorrow's sports talk - tonight," a spokesman said, declining to provide further information citing the network's policy of not discussing shows in development.

ESPN sources note that the show is still in its earliest stages - although executives did tease the show to potential advertisers last May during the network's "Upfront" presentation.

The understanding is that the new show would include three recognizable ESPN personalities offering their opinions on the day's sports news.

ESPN 2's late night slate is currently something of a TV wasteland, with shows ranging from coverage of streetball to a NASCAR wrap-up show.
This is beyond a terrible idea, but there seems to be no stopping the "Leader" now. The sure-to-trainwreck show is plowing forward and if you thought First Take's ratings were bad....wait until ESPN "Late Night" gets going. The host names that have been floating around included Erik Kuselias, Dan LeBatard, Jason Whitlock and yes....Colin Cowherd. The good news is that TBL's "sources" say that three of the four have declined. The bad news....the one that hasn't is Kuselias. It very well could be the reason you've been seeing him everywhere on the network as of late.

I have a different thought though. Who's the one person at ESPN who actually has a good bit of experience working on a talk show? That's right folks....Bill Simmons. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but don't be surprised.

ESPN Joins Late Night (NY Post)

Yep, Craig Sager Is Still Hilarious

The newly formed blog on Mouthpiece Sports has been lining up some killer interviews early on and today they have up a great one with TNT's Craig Sager. Sager has been "oversharing" a lot lately, but this story takes the cake. Here he is talking about the Goodwill Games, a plane ride and Ted Turner trying to get with Jane Fonda. Enjoy!

Well then! On top of the story being amazing, his impression of Turner was spot on. Too funny. I'm not sure if Craig is losing it, or if he's always been this crazy and we just haven't had the means to get it out of him. Either way I approve!

Craig Sager Tells Us About Ted Turner and Jane Fonda’s Weekend Tryst (Mouthpiece Sports Blog)
Craig Sager Is A Big Fan Of Thongs And Hooters Restaurants (Awful Announcing)

Create The Caption #269

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo from the AP or one of the bigger sites and you provide the caption. Hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Last Thurday's Winners....

"Jonathan Taylor-Thomas tells us how many times A-Rod hit on him before the photo shoot began."- Anon

"The guy with the hood is correct in guessing how many clutch hits A-Rod has this year."- The Mask

"Shortly after this photo was released, GM Brian Cashman denied a report that the Yankees would be signing Menudo 2008 simply because they didn't want anyone else to sign them first."- Anon

"Answer: A-Rod and Menudo.
Question, "What are haven't had a big hit in 10 years?""- Bob Mantz

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of Norm McDonald making Gymnast Nastia Liukin laugh during an appearance on last night's Tonight Show?

Daily Links:

The Nats Have Some Serious Problems (Mister Irrelevant)
Backstop Ads Are Messing With Announcers Heads (Dave Copeland)
A Blogger Interviews A 2012 Olympic Hopeful (Sports On My Mind)
Another Blogger Talks With Ex-NFLer Stephen Davis (Cat Crave)
USC vs UCLA, No Contest (Part Mule)
Ocho Cinco Has Torn Labia? (America's White Boy)
A Nice Practice Jersey Choice For Aaron Rodgers (Stock Lemon)
Chris Bosh Can Flirt And Eat At The Same Time (Where's Ubaldo)
Is Albert Pujols Among The Best Hitters Ever? (I'm Writing Sports)
Nate Robinson Is The Only One Preparing For A "Knicks Revival" (NBA)
Tracking Athlete Contributions To Each Political Party (Rumors and Rants)
Steelers Camp Turning Into A Scene From The Movie "The Program" (Mondesi's House)

"Take That Twinkie Out Your Mouth" And The Rest Of LL Cool J's Perplexing Interview On Sports Center

I can almost understand when Sports Center promotes a Disney movie like "The Gameplan". It makes synergistic sense for the company and it's even somewhat Sports related. I can also understand when ESPN uses new music for intros and outros, ala 3 Doors Down and the MNF bumper music. They need something there and why not a CD coming out the next day? Sure they're annoying as hell and painfully self-serving but at least they make some semblance of sense.

Which takes us to today. When you have a crappy morning show opposite your flagship program (which you just made live in the past month), why.....WHY?!....would you interview a 40-year old rapper/actor for over five minutes?!?!?!

"40 years old, how do you do it?"- Stan Verrett
"Steroids."- LL Cool J
"One day at a time."- LL Cool J

Aren't interviews like this the EXACT reason ESPN kept First Take on after going live with the morning Sports Centers?! I guarantee you if I turn it to ESPN2 in the next five minutes, he'll be talking to those jokers. Everytime ESPN does a few good things (SC live, Limiting guests in the MNF booth) in a row, they ruin it with one giant leap backwards with crap like this......and right on cue LL is on First Take.

Look, I have nothing against LL Cool J, or that they're having him argue with Skip Bayless right now, but interviewing someone randomly like this on Sports Center just makes no sense. I know you have a lot of time to fill, but could you maybe have some athletes on? The Chris Coste interview was right before 11am was perfect. Can we stick with that format?

Your Latest ESPN Musical Artist To Be Featured Is....... (Awful Announcing)
Monday Night Football, New Music, And You! (Awful Announcing)

(Side note: Anyone know why Hannah Storm and Josh Elliott are absent after doing just two weeks of live shows? John Buccigross and Stan Verrett are on today and actually doing pretty damn well together. Outside of the whole Ladies Love Cool James thing.)

No More Campbell's Soup NFL Mom Ads

I always thought those Chunky Soup ads with the likes of Mrs. Tomlinson, Hasselbeck, Elway and McNabb, were pretty cheesy but there was still something appealing about them. Well according to the Wall Street Journal, the mamas "have been canned"....

For the past six years, the company has been running a well-received series of ads for its "Chunky" soup that feature National Football League greats and their mothers calling them inside for dinner and serving them soup.

But starting with this NFL season, those moms will be riding the bench. The reason for the change? Campbell Soup says its new research has revealed that the company's target consumers -- men in their 30s -- are finally achieving soup independence.

The new campaign, dubbed "Working Day," features San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. In one of the series of five ads, which debut when the NFL season kicks off on Sept. 4, Mr. Tomlinson is shown in action on the field as a voice-over describes his job in blue-collar terms.

"Another grueling day on the job," the ad begins. "You're dying to get out of those work clothes. You're hungry. You take a can of Chunky soup. You think about your day. Was I productive? Did I do right by my boss?"
Boooooo! Whether they were cheesy or not, at least they were original. The whole workday lunch thing has been done a thousand times over. Plus, where is Wilma McNabb supposed to get her income from now? Oh that right....her son is an NFL player....nevermind. I'll still miss you though, Wilma.

Campbell Soup Sacks NFL's Mothers (WSJ)

Brian Kenny's Next Sports Center Victim, John Kruk

Brian Kenny is dropping these little debates on people almost nightly now and I couldn't be more pleased. First it was Chad Johnson, then Steve Phillips, and now it's John Kruk's turn on the hot seat. Tonight's discussion is of 9-year old pitcher Jericho Scott and the real fun gets underway at about the one minute mark....

The best part of that edition of Sports Center was that Kenny and Jay Harris kept the debate going all the way to the end. And while I'm definitely with the Kruk side of the argument, there should be nothing in the rule book that says Kenny couldn't or shouldn't question the analysts who come on. These little tiffs/debates are about 10x more intelligent than anything that's ever been on ATH, and I usually learn something from them. Like tonight for example, who knew Kruk was once a little league coach? Good stuff if you ask me.

However, Kenny might want to give a bit of warning and he might not want to do try it on Kruk again....he looked a bit

Jay Mariotti Resigns From His Position At The Chicago Sun-Times

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

For years, I never understood how Mariotti kept a job in Chicago. He bashed the teams, the fans and mailed in articles for the better part of the last two years. He was really the epitome of everything negative in mainstream media, but worry not Chicago, you don't have to deal with Jay the Joke any longer.

Mariotti, whose public battles with fellow staffers, team owners, and rival columnists are legendary, didn't disclose any specific plans except to say he will continue doing his regular stint on ESPN's "Around the Horn.''

He said that he "is talking with a lot of Web sites'' and added that the future of his business "sadly is not in newspapers.'' Mariotti said that he sent a resignation letter to Cyrus Freidheim, Sun-Times Media Group Chief Executive and Sun-Times Publisher. When asked via email by the Tribune whether Mariotti had resigned, Sun-Times Editor Michael Cooke responded, "You're kidding?''

"They accepted it,'' Mariotti said of his resignation. "It was my call entirely.''

"I'm a competitor and I get the sense this marketplace doesn't compete,'' he said. "Everyone is hanging on for dear life at both papers. I think probably the days of high stakes competition in Chicago are over.

"To see what's happened in this business...I don't want to go down with it.''
It's probably a relief for most Chicagoans to see him go, but dammit if the guy isn't dead on in his reason for leaving. All this ultimately means is that he'll be on ATH more and coming to a podcast/webisode near you in the not so distant future. Chicago wins but America loses.

Now if we could only get him to jump off that ledge in the photo above (I kid, I kid).

Sun-Times columinst Jay Mariotti resigns (Chicago Tribune)

Breaking News: Strahan Officially Staying With FOX

Well that was quick wasn't it? I really thought this was going to drag out for at least a week, but Jay Glazer is breaking the news (well he is a co-worker, so not exactly "breaking") that Strahan will NOT be returning to the Giants next season. The retired defensive end has decided to stay retired and will continue his role with FOX as planned. Via Fox Sports....

The recently retired perennial Pro Bowler told exclusively that he has decided to remain retired and has turned down the Giants' offer to lure him back to action.

"This has been one of the toughest nights of my life," Strahan said from Greece. "But after long deliberation and throwing around a million scenarios in my head for the past day, I think it's just best if I stay retired."

"I have gone back and forth on this because as a player you'll always want to play, you'll never lose that urge to be out there. But I could only do this if I could commit 100 percent, physically, mentally, emotionally and I can't do that. I've tried to convince myself and my body to give it one more year, but in the end I just don't think I could turn it on like I need to again."

"I really love my life now," he said. "It's great having nobody put a finger on me. You really put yourself through an awful lot in this league, more than people realize.

"I've got a great home at FOX now and I think it's where I belong. I wish I could've had different news for Giants fans but I've known for a while I'm done."
Strahan was also quoted in the article as saying that the money was right, but that he didn't want to put his body through the rigors of another season. While this is bad news for Giants fans, it's certainly good news for this site. After Emmitt Smith and Tony Kornheiser, I think Strahan is going to be one of the biggest soundbytes this entire season. I'm looking forward to it.

Strahan turns down Giants, will stay retired (FOX Sports)

Your Full Week One College Football Announcing Schedule

Two Days? Really??? Just two days until College Football starts?! That's the best news I've heard all Summer long, even if that means that Summer is almost over. I'm still hammering out some of the details regarding the "Chronicles" for this season (post should be coming tomorrow or Thursday), but I'll once again be filling your Saturdays with beautiful and quotes every weekend from here until the BCS Championship Game. It's going to be a blast once again and I encourage you to participate as well, if not better, than last year.

With that said, I gave you a look at ESPN's announcing schedule last week, but I've finally gathered up all of the teams for every single game (Thanks for the help, Mookie). Here is your full Week One announcing schedule and I hope you're just as happy as I am that College Football is just around the corner!

College Gameday: Live from Atlanta, GA for the Alabama-Clemson game

Thursday, August 28th

Vanderbilt @ Miami- OH (ESPNU, 7:30pm)- Mike Gleason, John Congemi, Melissa Knowles
Troy @ Middle Tennessee (ESPN Plus, 7:30pm)- Sam Smith, Doug Graber
Hofstra @ Connecticut (ESPN Plus, 7:30pm)- Bob Picozzi, Jim Donnan
North Carolina State @ South Carolina (ESPN, 8pm)- Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, Erin Andrews
Wake Forest @ Baylor (FSN, 8pm)- Bill Land, Gary Reasons, Emily Jones
South Dakota State @ Iowa State (FCS Central, 8pm)- Dan McLaughlin, Richard Baldinger
Oregon State @ Stanford (ESPN2, 9pm)- Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Jack Arute

Friday, August 29th

Temple @ Army (ESPN Classic, 7pm)- Eric Collins, Shaun King
Southern Methodist @ Rice (ESPN, 8pm)- Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore

Saturday, August 30th

Virginia Tech @ East Carolina (ESPN, Noon)- Dave Pasch, Andre Ware
Syracuse @ Northwestern (ESPN2, Noon)- Pam Ward, Ray Bentley
Bowling Green @ Pittsburgh (ESPNU, Noon)- Dave Armstrong, Larry Coker
Western Kentucky @ Indiana (BTN, Noon)- Tom Werme, Tony McGee
Maine @ Iowa (BTN, Noon)- Mike Crispino, Anthony Herron, J.B. Long
Youngstown State @ Ohio State (BTN, Noon)- Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Charissa Thompson
Coastal Carolina @ Penn State (BTN, Noon)- Mark Neely, Glen Mason, Kenny Jackson
Akron @ Wisconsin (BTN, Noon)- Matt Devlin, Ian Allen, Jay Wilson
Hawaii @ Florida (Raycom, 12:30pm)- Dave Neal, David Archer, Dave Baker
Georgia Southern @ Georgia (CCS PPV, 12:30pm)- Matt Stewart, Buck Belue
Ohio @ Wyoming (MTN, 2pm)- James Bates, Todd Christensen
USC @ Virginia (ABC, 3:30pm)- Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, Stacey Dales
Utah @ Michigan (ABC, 3:30pm)- Terry Gannon, David Norrie, Jeannine Edwards
Oklahoma State v. Washington State (FSN, 3:30pm)- Brian Davis, Tony Boselli, Dain Blanton
Towson @ Navy (CBS College Sports, 3:30pm)- Tom Hart, Trev Alberts
Villanova @ West Virginia (ESPN Plus, 3:30pm)- John Sanders, Renee Nadeau
Delaware @ Maryland (ESPNU, 3:45pm)- Doug Bell, Charles Arbuckle
Appalachian State @ Louisiana State (ESPN, 5pm)- Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Rob Stone
Texas Christian @ New Mexico (Versus, 6pm)- Joe Beninati, Glenn Parker, Tim Neverett
Northern Iowa @ Brigham Young (MTN, 6pm)- Rich Cellini, Jon Berger
Mississippi State @ Louisiana Tech (ESPN2, 6:45pm)- Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard
Northern Illinois @ Minnesota (BTN, 7pm)- Wayne Larrivee, Chris Martin, Ron Johnson
Western Michigan @ Nebraska (FSN PPV, 7pm)- Ron Thulin, Richard Baldinger, Stacey Paetz
Chattanooga @ Oklahoma (FSN PPV, 7pm)- Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman, Paul Thompson, Emily Jones
Florida Atlantic @ Texas (FSN PPV, 7pm)- Bill Land, Gary Reasons, Ahmad Brooks
Boston College v. Kent State (ESPNU, 7pm)- Clay Matvick, David Diaz-Infante
Louisiana-Monroe @ Auburn (CCS PPV, 7pm)- Andy Burcham, Cole Cubelic
UT-Martin @ South Florida (ESPN Plus, 7:30pm)- Dave Weekley, Doug Graber
Michigan State @ California (ABC, 8pm)- Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Heather Cox
Alabama v. Clemson (ABC, 8pm)- Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters, Erin Andrews
Idaho State @ Boise State (KTVB, 8pm)- David Augusto, Tom Scott, Larry Gerbert
Illinois v. Missouri (ESPN, 8:30pm)- Mark Jones, Bob Davie, Todd Harris
Cal-Poly @ San Diego State (SD4, 9:30pm)- Steve Quis, Lon Sheriff
Washington @ Oregon (FSN, 10pm)- Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis, Bill MacDonald
Northern Arizona @ Arizona State (FSN Arizona, 10pm)- Trey Bender, Juan Roque, Jody Jackson

Sunday, August 31st

Kentucky @ Louisville (ESPN2, 3:30pm)- Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore
Colorado State v. Colorado (FSN, 7:30pm)- Joel Meyers, Dave Lapham, Jim Knox

Monday, September 1st

Fresno State @ Rutgers (ESPN, 4pm)- Dave Pasch, Andre Ware, Rob Stone
Tennessee @ UCLA (ESPN, 8pm)- Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe

(Photo via SI's Cheerleader of the Week collection)

Kenny Mayne To Appear In A Series Of Online Webisodes For ESPN

I still haven't really delved into the whole webisode game, so this idea seems a bit hinky to me, but ESPN is coming out with a series of online videos featuring Kenny Mayne doing the goofy things that Kenny Mayne does. According to TV Week, Mayne will even be acting out more scenes with the likes of Soprano's stars Tony “Paulie Walnuts” Sirico, Steven “Bobby Bacala” Schirripa and Dominic “Junior Soprano”....

Fans of ESPN’s Kenny Mayne know he’s got a dry wit and a deadpan delivery that trusts them to get the joke, whether it’s on him, his confreres at the sports network or the audience.

He stoically exercises his familiar funny bone in “Mayne Street,” which is opening new online territory on Oct. 2 as’s first scripted series.

Mr. Mayne plays his lanky, laid-back, authority-baiting self in the 15-Webisode series—produced on a budget that might cover the average prime-time pilot at a broadcast network—that aspires to hit a comedy sweet (and sour) spot somewhere between “Arrested Development” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

In one installment, he’ll fail to get to Beijing to do an Olympics feature and try to fake his report in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Also in the cast: Alison Becker as the producer constantly trying to save Mr. Mayne from himself; Jordan Carlos as a young p.a.; Ben Schwartz as the wunderkind new executive nobody at ESPN would admit to recognizing; and Aubrey Plaza as the executive’s assistant. And carrying the flag for ESPN are personalities ranging from Scott Van Pelt to Neil Everett.
It's witty/snarky Kenny Mayne, acting as witty/snarky Kenny Mayne, but in longer versions of pieces which he's already done before! I don't even know what to say. The stories and videos he does for Sports Center are cute and occasionally funny, but to expand on those in this format has failure written all over it.

ESPN’s ‘Mayne’ Thing (TV Week)

Do Not Worry Anymore Ohio, You Will Be Able To See All Of Your Precious Buckeye Games

The whole State of Ohio was in an uproar recently (and rightfully so I might add) about the whole Big Ten Network-Time Warner battle that would cause some fans to miss games, but today the BTN announced they two sides had reached a deal. Just in time for fans to see the team lose to Youngstown State! (Sorry, it must happen to balance out the World after the UM loss to App State last year)....

Time Warner Cable and the Big Ten Network announced today that they have reached an agreement-in-principle on terms of carriage for the Big Ten Network and its high-definition and video-on-demand programming on Time Warner Cable's line-ups throughout the Big Ten territory, including Ohio and Wisconsin. The pending agreement will ensure that Time Warner Cable's customers across these Big Ten states will have access to this Saturday's Big Ten college football season openers and all future Big Ten Network programming on an expanded basic level of service.
It seems like the Big Ten Network has fought with every cable outlet from Comcast to Al Jazeera, but hopefully this is the last of them. And given that there are over 2.2 million Time Warner customers in the State, it's great that the two came to terms before the season got underway. They even got it done on the expanded basic cable package....bravo.

Joint Statement from Time Warner Cable and the Big Ten Network (BTN)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 3:13 PM 8 Comments Links to this post

FOX Not Standing In The Way Of A Strahan Return

It's really a shame that this Osi injury went down. No, not because he's a great player and I want to see him play this season but rather because I was looking forward to Strahan joining the NFL on FOX. I think he's perfect for television, and while five people on set is never a good idea, the addition was a great one for that network.

I speculated that the ex-Giant probably had a clause in his contract that would let him make a return and late last night, Vice President of Communications Dan Bell said the network wouldn't try to stop an "un-retirement". From SBD via Sporting News Today....

SPORTING NEWS TODAY's Dennis Dillon reports if former NFLer Michael Strahan re-joins the Giants, Strahan's contract with Fox Sports "will not impede the process." Fox officials yesterday "gave Strahan their blessing to return to the Giants without jeopardizing his job status." Fox VP/Communications Dan Bell: "If he does decide to go back and play for the Giants, he has our full support and his job will be waiting for him when he returns."
I guess that's the right decision, and obviously a good faith gesture by FOX, but now I'm rooting for Strahan to ignore the Giants and move ahead with his second career behind the mic. And no, not just because I'm a Skins fan. I genuinely think he'll be open and honest about teams and players and someone like that is definitely needed within the NFL these days.

Chris Mortensen Gets Another "Breaking News" Story Wrong

Mort's reporting has been well documented on this site as extremely suspect and now you can officially add another to his resume. On Sunday, Chris Mortensen had the breaking news that the Arizona Cardinals were choosing veteran Kurt Warner as their starting quarterback. Well that had every beat writer in the Grand Canyon State perplexed and scrambling for a statement from Cards' Coach Ken Whisenhunt. The coach refuted the item early yesterday morning and by the end of the day the AZ Central had the news that Mort's report was completely off-base.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, however, citing a team source, said Warner would be named the starter ahead of Leinart, who threw three interceptions against the Raiders.

“I haven’t read the paper today or seen the Internet,” Whisenhunt said. “Do we have a quarterback? … It seems like Chris Mortensen is making the decision on our quarterback for our football team. … But nothing has changed.”

Update: Leinart remains Cardinals starting QB

Matt Leinart remains the Cardinals starting quarterback, despite a news report on Sunday that coach Ken Whisenhunt had decided to replace him with Kurt Warner.
Whisenhunt denied that was his plan and said today that the evaluation process at quarterback is continuing. He met with Leinart this morning to talk about the reports, assuring the young quarterback that the information didn't come from the Cardinals.

Leinart took snaps with the first team in Monday's short practice but so did Warner. That has been the norm this off-season.
In the past two years alone Mort has been responsible for a laundry list of false reports. First, it was that Michael Vick unlikely to get indicted, we all know how that turned out. After that came the guarantee that Ron Rivera was the next Cowboys Coach, and when that didn't pan out he was chided by colleague Greg Easterbrook online. Next, it was Mortensen saying that Eli Manning would "officially" miss a month to start last season, Eli played every game. THEN it was Jon Gruden put him on blast. If you add to that this Cardinals story, the Parcells to Atlanta guarantee, and the lock that Brett Favre WAS NOT going to come back this season, you have grand total of eight....EIGHT!....breaking news items that Mortensen was dead wrong about.

Look, I'm not denying that Mort has sources or that he works his tail off, but good lord! How many times is ESPN going to go all-in with one of his guesses just to have it blow up in their face? It's not the fact that he gets reports wrong, that happens to everyone (obviously not that many times), but every damn show on ESPN then talks about them like they are gospel. Yesterday alone PTI, ATH, NFL Live, First Take and Sports Center all spent a good two to five minutes on the item when Whisenhunt had already refuted the claim. Hell, he said that wasn't the case at around 9am Monday morning! Anybody can make guesses like this, but if he was a reporter for a local newspaper, he would long been fired for so many errors.

The guy is obviously there to say, but can we please just tone down all the "Breaking News" reports the next time he happens upon some news, ESPN? I'm just looking out for you.

Whisenhunt says no decision yet (AZ Central)
Still No Named QB in Arizona ... Mort Guessed Wrong Again (Fanhouse)
Chris Mortensen is back in the game, baby (PaxArcana)

Create The Caption #268

(Usually) Everyday I'll throw out a photo from the AP or one of the bigger sites and you provide the caption. Hilarity ensues. I'm also adding a handful of links at the bottom of the page that you should check out each day.

Last Thurday's Winners....

"Seconds later, Beckham flopped, but it was the cellist who was given a red card."- Anon

"David Beckham attempts to set a new personal record by going 16 consecutive seconds without sustaining an injury."- Anon

"Associated Press: David Beckham suffered a career threatening knee injury as he kicked full force at what he thought was a soccer ball, only to find out that it was actually CGI'd in front of him."- JP

"In addition to Beckham you will see stars like Celine Dion, NBC's own Tracy Morgan and the fat guy from Lost. Not just TV, it's Must See TV only on NBC in 2012"- Blackhawk

I've been saving this one for just the right day and I think this is that day. Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of A-Rod hanging with (the new) Menudo in NYC? (Via SI's Did You See That?)

Daily Links:

Don King On The "Grapple" (YBB)
Charles Barkley Heckling Jordan On The Golf Course (NESW Sports)
This Jericho Scott Nonsense Is Just Ridiculous (Rumors and Rants)
The Top 25 Marketable Athletes From The Olympics (CNBC)
Matt Ryan Is Officially Thrown To The Wolves (5 On Five)
Will Athletes Start Selling Their Seed More Regularly? (Sports by Brooks)
College Football Is Almost Here! (LOCG)
Are The Eagles Constantly Looking For Cheerleaders? (Uncoached)
The Top Ten Athletic Democrats (Real Clear Sports)
Jamal Lewis, Fantasy Team Killer Since 2005 (KSK)
Here Comes Yet Another Sox-Yanks Series (Yardbarker)

More U.S. Open Hype: The Williams Sisters vs The Mannings In The DSRL

It was inevitable wasn't it? Almost immediately after I put up the Don King/Undertaker post yesterday, I noticed a DSRL commercial that seemed a bit different. The Mannings were at a press conference and....oh no....not Venus and Serena!

Lame. I do have to say though that the DSRL theme song is catchy as hell. These U.S. Open promotions are just everywhere and since someone guessed this one in the comments yesterday, I'm going to give it a shot. My prediction is that the next U.S. Open spot will come either during A) America's Got Talent or B) Hillary Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Video: Williams Sisters Challenge Manning Brothers To Oreo Licking Race (You Been Blinded)

WFAN's "Russo Replacement List" Has Some Very Interesting Names On It

NB of Newsday has been smack in the middle of this mess the whole Summer and now he's moved on to finding out who Mike Francesa's new partner will be. Apparently the network also has to find an update person, which is the topic of his most recent post, but he throws out some very interesting partner possibilities as well.....

The search for an update person seems to be further along than that for a new No. 2 man (or woman).

From what I have been able to piece together, the update list includes Bob Heussler, Jerry Recco, Sal Licata and Jonas Schwartz. Heussler, known as "Mr. Met" on the show, long has shown a willingness to stand up to Francesa and Chris Russo as well as a dry sense of humor.

As for the bigger job . . . all sorts of interesting names have been seriously discussed, from what I hear, including Sid Rosenberg, Chris Carlin, Ian Eagle and even's Bill Simmons.
Hahaha....and I want Chuck Klosterman as a weekend editor!* They have to be delusional if they think that Simmons would ever accept that job, but I guess you don't know the answer until you ask. The leading candidate from what I've heard is Sid Rosenberg, and while he's had his "issues" over the years, it wouldn't really be that bad of a pick. He's seemingly settled down a bit in his old age and has experience working in New York. Albeit with Imus, but experience none-the-less.

I'm also surprised with Ian (EYE-IN) Eagle's name being among those mentioned. I'm a fan, and I think he's a pretty good announcer, but the guy comes off as being just boring as hell. Well unless he feels like he's at a Bar Mitzvah....

Mike Francesa, WFAN looking into new cast members (Newsday)

*- I wouldn't really subject you all to him every weekend. It was just an example.

BBC Soccer Reporter In Trouble After Comparing Using A Terrible Analogy On-Air

As always, it amazes me what the human brain comes up with when someone is at a loss for words and you can now add using an analogy that compared a Soccer team's defense to the plane crash in Madrid, Spain last week. According to England's Mail Online, reporter Chris Price was on-air when he decided to drop this lovely gem on the listening audience....

Reporter Chris Price was speaking live on air when he said Rochdale 'were making more holes in the Bradford defence than in a Spanish aircraft'.

He was speaking on Saturday just three days after a Spanair plane crashed at Barajas International airport in Madrid killing at least 153 people. Outraged listeners complained to BBC Radio Manchester, which has now been forced to issue an apology.
Freelance journalist Price, 25, from Rochdale, said he had been trying to add some colour to his report during the live update on the League Two match.

But he admitted he had made a 'horrible mistake'.

One former BBC commentator described him as 'unprofessional and stupid'. A spokeswoman for the BBC said: 'This was an inappropriate remark and we would like to apologise to our listeners for any offence caused.' Price, who has covered football and rugby for the BBC for a year, claimed he only had a split second to put the report together.

'I honestly thought I was being descriptive,' he said. 'It wasn't meant to be funny; it was just a descriptive phrase. If people are offended by what I said, then of course I apologise but I never intended to offend anyone.'

He added: 'From the reaction there has been, if I could take it back then I would.'
Ah yes, the non-apology-apology. It's one of my favorite moves that people use when they don't really think they said anything wrong. Look, you don't have to go all "Michael Richards" on us, but if you can't apologize or see that comparing a defense to a plane crash in which 153 people just don't really deserve to be on-air.

BBC apologises after football reporter makes jibe about Spanish air crash during match commentary (Mail Online)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 8:04 AM 4 Comments Links to this post

What Exactly Does Co-Horsing Mean? (And The Rest Of Your Monday Night In Emmitt)

Last week, Tony joked on Jaws' involvement in the AFL, but this week's MNF Video of the Night features new material from our good friend Emmitt! It's been a few Mondays since Smith was on Countdown, and it really only takes one night of Emmitt to realize just how much I miss him when he's not there. Today's video is a clip of Smith explaining why Shawne Merriman shouldn't let the Chargers "co-horse" him into getting season ending surgery....

Just plain lame! Everything he says at this point just cracks me up. Even words I've actually heard before, I have to go back and check to see if they actually exist. It's really fun as hell....I suggest you try it sometime. The guy could seriously recite passages from War and Peace flawlessly, and I would still just start giggling like a little kid. I honestly love the guy.

In other news, ESPN actually aired a Football game last night without pointless and inane interruptions. Someone was apparently missing, but I still can't quite figure out who that was. Anyone have any suggestions? Onto the quotes....

F the quotes. Since you are all such a great reading audience, I'm going to forego your night in quotes for....wait for it....BONUS EMMITT TIME!!!!!!!

Nick who? Out of my mouth to your ears one thing I can promise you this....I love me some Emmitt. Oh and if you didn't know, "LT" stands for LaDanian Tomlinson and the "opening season" is....well I have no idea what that is.

Video: Obama's Sit-Down With Stuart Scott

Monday, August 25, 2008

When I blockquoted those few quotes that ESPN released, I didn't realize that I was highlighting the entire interview, but it appears that's exactly what happened. If you read the post below this then there's probably no reason to watch this outside of some some one-on-one footage of Stu and Barack playing old man style!

I'm one of those people that like my Sports and Politics separate, but couldn't ESPN have assigned someone to this that might have asked a hard-hitting question or something about the Presidential Race? I mean he IS a Presidential Candidate, not Jim Belushi or Drew Caray. It's also very odd that ESPN screwed Bill Simmons once again, who had an interview with Obama lined up for his podcast that was nixed at the last minute.

Other than that, they both have pretty good game and I found it funny that Stu Scott was taking it that seriously. The dude had the money Rec Specs on! I know you're rumored to be supporting John McCain, Stu, but there are a few people in this country that would rather you not break Obama's sternum backing him into the lane.

Oh and one more thing. That John McCain interview I said would probably be coming soon, is definitely in the works.

ESPN's Stuart Scott Misses Opportunities as He Interviews Barack Obama (Fanhouse)

Stu Scott Interview With Barack Obama To Air On Sports Center Tonight

ESPN will air a Barack Obama interview that was took place in Greensboro, N.C. last Wednesday during the 6pm edition of Sports Center tonight. The Presidential candidate, and current Illinois Senator, sat down with Stuart Scott and discussed everything from PEDs and Olympics to who his favorite players were growing up.

Here are a few quotes that ESPN put together to get you excited for the spot....

Barack Obama: “My favorite player when I was a kid was Dr. J. He had those old Nets shorts with the socks up to here. Those Converse Dr. J's, that was the outfit then.”

Stuart Scott: “If your vice president had to be an athlete, who would you pick?”
Obama: “Well, I'll tell you what. I'm a Chicago guy, so I'm thinking Walter Payton. ‘Sweetness.’ That guy had durability -- he could block as well as run. Michael -- doesn't lose, and, since I haven't won the presidency yet, that wouldn't be a bad teammate to have. I'd just keep on feeding him and figure he'd hit the last shot.”

Scott: “Because of human rights issues, there was a loud cry for President Bush to boycott the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Games. If you had been President, faced with that, what would you have done?
Obama: “Well, I said very early on that I don't want Olympics to be overly politicized. But, when a host country is violating human rights, I think we have to say something. It would have been an appropriate statement for the President to say that, ‘I will not go to the opening games unless we have seen some progress on the issue of Tibet.’ If all of us are silent all the time, then human beings all across the globe are being silenced and being oppressed in ways that I don't think captures the Olympic Spirit.”

Scott: “Congress played a vital role through its hearings, and baseball union and players union into more frequent testing for performance enhancing drugs and stricter penalties. When you were watching the hearings, what did you think of them?”
Obama: “I love baseball. Baseball is America's pastime. I'd like to see the baseball Commissioner handle this without Congress being involved. We've got a lot of stuff on our plate.”

Scott: “If the Cubs and the White Sox both make it to the World Series?
Obama: “I would be going.”
Scott: “Who would you root for?
Obama: “Oh, that's easy. White Sox. I'm not one of these fair weather fans. You go to Wrigley Field, you have a beer, beautiful people up there. People aren't watching the game. It's not serious. White Sox, that's baseball. Southside.”
The last that I had heard was that this interview wasn't going to take place because EPSN didn't want to look like they were choosing a side. That's obviously not the case anymore so I'd keep your eyes peeled for a John McCain one coming soon after this one.

For Obama's sake, I hope this spot isn't overly cheesy (See running mate question above), but this IS Stuart Scott we're talking about. We should probably be preparing for the worst. I'm also hoping that ESPN can work in Barack's friend, Emmitt Smith at some point. That would make my night.

Again, this airs tonight during the 6pm Sports Center and I'll try to have some video up later on.

Sharpe, Not Exactly Sharp In His First Attempt At Play-By-Play

(See what I did there?) I mentioned last week that I was planning on making the time to check out Sterling Sharpe's first play-by-play gig on the NFL Network and that I was actually looking forward to it. I also added that I thought it might actually work and after checking out a good portion of the game, I want to take this time to say that I was very wrong.

The broadcast wasn't entirely bad, and the trio eventually settled in a bit, but the first half was beyond horrendous. It seemed as if Sharpe didn't know he was supposed to be doing play-by-play and at times he would go five to seven minutes without even describing the action on the field. During just about every series, and on punts and kickoffs, there were gigantic pauses and dead air while the play was going on, and occassionally players would be running back to the huddle before he would convey the results. At one point, Marshawn Lynch pulled off a 16-yard run and the RB was back in the huddle before anyone in the booth said a word. It was easily a good 40 seconds or so of nothing. As a PbPer, you don't have to describe every single moment of each play but it would be nice to hear a little description every once and awhile. Here's a brief Youtube clip where you can get a sense of what I'm talking about....

And that was just part of the first quarter! Sharpe also struggled with player's names and yardage throughout and seemed to use the phrase "To a Man" in regards to every single conversation with a coach or player. Both Faulk and Deion tried to help him out when they could but it was almost like the were waiting for a cue from Sharpe. They all sounded and looked to be having fun, but it really came across like Sterling got zero coaching and was just thrown to the wolves. Having three analysts in a booth and no play-by-play guy is close to the most distracting thing I've ever watched.

Again, I think he's a great analyst but this experiment was not a success by any stretch of the imagination. If he sticks to the analyst role, and to honest commentary on Matt Cassel and other players, I think we can just pretend this never happened.

The NFL Network Gives Sterling Sharpe A Shot At Play-By-Play (Awful Announcing)
Tom Brady And The Pats vs The NFL Network (Awful Announcing)

Good Thing Tim Tebow Skipped That Whole Playboy All-American Party, It Was Craaaazy!

When you picture a party at the Playboy Mansion in your mind, I'm pretty sure it doesn't include guys playing Guitar Hero, Pop-A-Shot, Pool Volleyball, as well as hanging with older (yet still lovely) event coordinators and a grand total of zero Playmates.

I could be wrong, but if I was a betting man, I think it would probably be playing out a little different. Well the scene describe above is exactly what the Tim Tebow shunned "Playboy All America Weekend" consisted of. From via Playboy U....

The weekend is a completely wholesome experience where the players get a chance to relax from the rigors of the weight room and the classroom. They get the chance to meet other players who they may have heard about or even played against. Stories are traded, boasts are made and friendships are formed, some of which last a lifetime.

This year's weekend was held in Phoenix, Arizona in early May. Lots of fun was had by all. – Gary Cole, Playboy Sports Editor

Again, you can't blame Tebow for not wanting to hurt his pristine image, but that party looks like every kid's thirteenth birthday party at a community pool or roller skating rink. If there was a DJ there it was probably EVEN COOLER!

"What's up All Americans? Get ready for the hokey pokey and limbo contest in about ten, but coming up next is Jordin Sparks's "No Air". This one is going out to Erin Andrews from WVU QB Pat White and it's our long distance dedication of the evening!"

Laurinaitis Dominates Playboy All-American Weekend; Tebow Misses The Shirtless Fun (Busted Coverage)
Behind the Scenes at All America Weekend (Playboy U)
Tim Tebow Says No To Playboy (Awful Announcing)

Will (And Can) Strahan Put FOX Analyst Gig On Hold To Rejoin The Giants?

As soon as Osi Umenyora went down with a knee injury on Saturday everyone in the Sports Media world began searching for Michael Strahan's cell number. And that was even before it was announced that the DE was lost for the year. Strahan, who was vacationing in Greece, told multiple sources that he'd listen to the Giants yesterday and the rumored amount to get him back in NYC appears to be a grand total of $8 million. Via TSB....

"If the Giants make a sincere overture, it's a good chance that Strahan would consider coming back," the source told the newspaper. "There are other things he has to take into consideration: the money and his contract with Fox. But if the Giants really want him, they have a shot. It's not out of the question."

Strahan, who is 37 and retired June 9, has a contract with Fox to be a television commentator. He didn't rule out a return to the Giants in an interview with NFL Network.

"I haven't heard from anybody else, so to say if I would or wouldn't is premature," Strahan told NFL Network. "So I'm enjoying my retired life right now."
While most of those in the know seem to think that the return is "doubtful", I'm thinking that Strahan will be back in Giant Blue very soon. His contract with FOX is for $2 million a year and I'm assuming that there has to be a clause built in that lets him return to the game if he wants to. Also, that $8 million mark is easily within reach for New York as they currently have $12 million on the cap to spare. That price would be a steal for a future HOFer who hasn't really lost that much of a step.

Obviously the contract amounts are just educated guesses, but in the wake of his highly publicized divorce, it seems like a no-brainer for him to sign with the Giants. Strahan was ordered to pay his ex-wife Jean over $15 million and is also on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in child support. That's not necessarily the best reason for a return, but it might very well make the decision to come back a little easier.

Strahan Could Return or Umenyiora Could Be Back By October or Neither Could Happen (The Sporting Blog)
Can't hurt Giants just to give Strahan a call (NY Daily News)