The White Sox Dive Head First Into October

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Man that was a heck of a game. Sure it was low scoring, and a pitching duel, but the crowd at the Cell made every out and every pitch that much more intense. Here's the way it ended and if you haven't seen it yet....I won't ruin it for you (just don't read below until after you watch)....

Sure walkoffs are amazing, but a great defensive play like that with a relatively fast runner up....takes a ton of balls. We're glad to have you White Sox, and Chicago is going to be rockin' this October.

Your Exclusive First Look At ESPN's "Mayne Street"

When ESPN first released word that they were going to be using Kenny Mayne for an online sitcom, I scoffed at the idea. But after watching the clips that they released today, I think it actually might be worth a viewing. Here's a little background info from ESPN and I spliced together the first set of videos for you to take a gander at....

The ESPN veteran known for his dry wit and offbeat sensibilities, maneuvers through each of the 15 three- to five-minute webisodes in the kind of clever and entertaining style that has made him one of ESPN’s most popular personalities. Mayne’s re-occurring foils consist largely of his fictional production crew which includes his producer, Sarah (Alison Becker); cameraman, Video Cowboy (Jon Glaser) [Ed Note: Awesome writer for Wonder Showzen and Human Giant]; production assistant, Jordan (Jordan Carlos); network executive, Mintz (Ben Schwartz); Mintz’s right hand, Robin (Aubrey Plaza); as well as other ESPN personalities including Scott Van Pelt, Neil Everett and others.

"The ESPN Original Digital brand adds tent pole programming to's already incredible and award-winning lineup of high quality, episodic content," said Ron Wechsler, ESPN vice president, series content and development. "We can think of no better way to get into the scripted web serial space than with the unique and hilarious voice of Kenny Mayne."

As part of ESPN’s Original Digital initiative to create original programs exclusively for ESPN’s array of digital platforms, Mayne Street joins a growing lineup of originally produced studio and news programs including SportsCenter Right Now, Fantasy Focus, Daily Dime, Guerilla Cam, MMA Live, and’s live Sunday fantasy football show Fantasy Football Now.

Pretty darn funny if you ask me. It's almost like it's a parody of Sports Night, which was actually a parody of ESPN. How crazy is that? The first episode debuts online, November 11th and again....might actually be worth checking out.

Kenny Mayne To Appear In A Series Of Online Webisodes For ESPN (Awful Announcing)

Your Pammy Winners And New Standings After Week Five

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote for the nominees from this past weekend. There were close to a thousand votes again for the third straight week and thanks for weighing in. Gary Danielson has officially made his move for a repeat, and with Pammy on the bench this weekend a ton of people are going to try and make up some ground.

Here are the Top Ten and the results as well as your updated standings at the bottom.....

10. "Tennessee has beaten Tennessee three times this year."- Gary Danielson

9. "It was a missed PTA." - Brent Musburger referring to the end of the Ole Miss/Florida game

8. "They call it a naked bootleg, because you are out there alone, and they are undressing you, and you are left all exposed." - Dave Archer

7. "Four of the last three years." - Kirk Herbstreit in reference to USC losing to unranked opponents

6. "He's giving the traveling call"- Jesse Palmer not realizing that the motion is the same for a false start

5. "In college football brad, you know, when you make a first down, first downs that you have possession of aren't really that important because if you make a first down it stops the clock" - Bob Griese

4. "You gotta love the offensive game plan so far here by California" - Charles Davis calling the Minnesota/Ohio State game

3. "This is an old-fashioned, country butt-kicking... and Georgia is supplying the butt." - Mike Patrick

2. "You gotta go for it here if you're Butch Davis and you came to win"- Andre Ware
"It's only third down"- Dave Pasch

1. "I don't even know if you're allowed to say this. But just like you can't be a little bit pregnant, you also can't be a little bit spread."- Gary Danielson on Auburn's spread offense

Standings After Week Five: 1. Pam Ward (40), 2. Mark Jones (21), 3. Bob Davie (20), 4. Charles Davis (18), 5. Lou Holtz (15), 6. Brent Musburger (13), 7. Andre Ware (14), 7. Kirk Herbstreit (14), 9. Mike Patrick (13), 10. Gary Danielson (12), 11. Brad Nessler (10), 11. Sean McDonough (10), 13. Tom Hammond (9), 14. Pat Haden (8), 14. Brock Huard (8), 14. Petros Papadakis (8), 14. Ray Bentley (8), 18. Alex Flanagan (7), 19. David Norrie (6), 19. Bob Griese (6), 21. Jesse Palmer (5), 22. Terry Gannon (4), 23. Dave Pasch (3), 23. Paul Maguire (3), 23. Dave Archer (3)

Your Week Five Pammy Nominees (Awful Announcing)
The Pam Ward Chronicles: Week Five (Awful Announcing)

Your College Football Announcing Schedule For Week Six

Sorry for the delay in getting this to you but there were some small discrepancies with ESPN's teams. With the help of The506, I think we've figured out the correct teams for each game. There are a ton of midweek games, and some interesting moves of teams again by the "Leader", so keep your eyes peeled. Oh and there's an added bonus this weekend for you fans of Michigan State and Iowa. Pam Ward, originally scheduled to call the game, has been moved to the WNBA Finals. So you've got that going for you....which is nice.

Here's your schedule and don't forget about the Pammy Awards for Week Five, which I'll get to you later this afternoon....

Tuesday, September 30th

Florida Atlantic @ Middle Tennessee (ESPN2, 8pm)- Todd Harris, Ray Bentley

Wednesday, October 1st

Louisiana Tech @ 18 Boise State (ESPN, 8pm)- Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore

Thursday, October 2nd

Pittsburgh @ 10 South Florida (ESPN, 7:30pm)- Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, Erin Andrews
Memphis @ Alabama-Birmingham (CBS College Sports, 8pm)- Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor
Oregon State @ 15 Utah (Versus, 9pm)- Joe Beninati, Glenn Parker, Tim Neverett

Friday, October 3rd

Cincinnati @ Marshall (ESPN, 8pm)- Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard
7 Brigham Young @ Utah State (KJZZ, 8pm)- Steve Brown, Mike Norseth, Alema Harrington

Saturday, October 4th

6 Penn State @ Purdue (ESPN, Noon)- Dave Pasch, Andre Ware, Erin Andrews
Iowa @ Michigan State (ESPN2, Noon)- Clay Matvick, Ray Bentley
Duke @ Georgia Tech (ESPNU, Noon)- Dave Armstrong, Larry Coker
Indiana @ Minnesota (BTN, Noon)- Wayne Larrivee, Charles Davis, Charissa Thompson
Rutgers @ West Virginia (ESPN Plus, Noon)- Mike Gleason, John Congemi, Quint Kessenich
Akron @ Kent State (ESPN Plus, Noon)- Jim Barbar, Bob Chmiel
Boston College @ North Carolina State (Raycom, Noon)- Steve Martin, Rick Walker, Mike Hogewood
1 Oklahoma @ Baylor (FSN, 12:30pm)- Bill Land, Gary Reasons, Emily Jones
16 Kansas @ Iowa State (Versus, 12:30pm)- Ron Thulin, Dale Hellestrae
13 Florida @ Arkansas (Raycom, 12:30pm)- Dave Neal, David Archer, Dave Baker
Nevada-Las Vegas @ Colorado State (MTN, 2pm)- Bill Doleman, Blaine Fowler, Roger Bailey
Stanford @ Notre Dame (NBC, 2:30pm)- Tom Hammond, Pat Haden, Alex Flanagan
Army @ Tulane (CST, 3pm)- Sean Kelley, Ronnie Rantz, Sean Temple
Kentucky @ 4 Alabama (CBS, 3:30pm)- Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
Illinois @ Michigan (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm)- Dave Lamont, David Norrie, Jeannine Edwards
Florida State @ Miami (ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm)- Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, Stacey Dales
8 Texas Tech @ Kansas State (ABC, 3:30pm)- Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Jack Arute
Arizona State @ California (ABC, 3:30pm)- Eric Collins, Rod Gilmore
Southern Methodist @ Central Florida (CBS College Sports, 3:30pm)- Tom Hart, Trev Alberts
Temple @ Miami-OH (ONN)- Steve Baker, Tim Bray, Neil Dougherty
South Carolina @ Mississippi (SportSouth PPV, 3:30pm)- Mike Morgan, Brad Muller, George Rogers
Navy @ Air Force (Versus, 4pm)- Tim Neverett, Glenn Parker, Anne Marie Anderson
Nevada @ Idaho (MyNetworkTV Reno, 4pm)- Bob Akamian, Scott Gordon
14 Auburn @ 19 Vanderbilt (ESPN, 6pm)- Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters
San Diego State @ Texas Christian (MTN, 6pm)- Rich Cellini, Jon Berger, Cash Sirois
23 Connecticut @ North Carolina (ESPN2, 7pm)- Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard
5 Texas @ Colorado (FSN, 7pm)- Joel Meyers, Dave Lapham, Jim Knox
Maryland @ Virginia (ESPN, 7pm)- Doug Bell, Charles Arbuckle
Florida International @ North Texas (ESPN Plus, 7pm)- Sam Smith, Doug Graber
Northern Illinois @ Tennessee (Vol Network, 7pm)- Randy Smith, Pat Ryan
Washington @ Arizona (Versus, 7:30pm)- Joe Beninati, Kelly Stouffer, Lewis Johnson
12 Ohio State @ 17 Wisconsin (ABC, 8pm)- Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
20 Oregon @ 9 USC (ABC, 8pm)- Mark Jones, Bob Davie, Todd Harris
Rice @ Tulsa (CBS College Sports, 8pm)- Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor
3 Missouri @ Nebraska (ESPN, 9pm)- Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Rob Stone
Wyoming @ New Mexico (MTN, 9:30pm)- James Bates, Todd Christensen, Toby Christensen
Hawaii @ 21 Fresno State (Oceanic/KFRE, 10pm)- Jim Leahey, Russell Yamanoha/Ralph Wood, Randy Rosenbloom
Washington State @ UCLA (FSN, 10:15pm)- Bill Macdonald, James Washington, Dain Blanton, Jackie Pickering

(Above photo via SI's Cheerleader Of The Week)

The Next Movie To Be Promoted By ESPN Is....

I always try to avoid the back-to-back ESPN posts, but I just couldn't pass on this item. ESPN is always looking for one movie or another to get into bed with, and was even helping to promote one as recently as last night. Monday Night Countdown used the theme from the new Bond movie (although not as much as I originally thought they would), but I've also posted on cross-promotions with "The Mummy 3", "The Gameplan" and "Live Free Or Die Hard". Well this week's movie collaboration comes with the DVD release of "Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and it's actually a much better promotion than any of the annoying ones they tried above.

Starting today, if you go to and search for the keyword "Indiana Jones", you'll be linked over to a set of videos. Seven university bands (Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, LSU, USC and Texas) have all performed, John Williams' Indiana Jones Theme and the school with the most votes with receive a $25K donation from Lucasfilm Ltd. for their school's band program.

I say that it's a good promotion for a few reasons but the obvious ones are the donation, it's not plastered all over or on Sports Center, and most importantly.....the song and performances are pretty badass. My vote is going to LSU not only because they have both the mascot and cheerleaders dressed as Indy (amazing look btw), but anytime you can give me a Les Miles cameo where he tells me to, "Have a great day"....I'm in your camp....

Battle Of The Bands And The Quest For The Crystal (ESPN)

Create The Caption #287

(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.

Last Thursday's Winners....

"Brewers management was nice enough to let Ned Yost celebrate with the team. If you look really close you can see him in the upper deck!"- Foos

"In a vain attempt to cover his beloved Sox shirt, this youngster realizes Miller High Life really is the Champagne of Beer."- Anon

"I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm"- Jeff M (Always a winner)

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. Sclemeel, schlemazel, hasenfeffer incorporated. We're gonna do it!"- Tom Selleck

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of internet sensations Ben Roethlisberger and Jeff Reed following last night's win?

Daily Links:

Monta Ellis Shows Up To Camp Riding A Different Bike (Warriors Examiner)
Gina Carano Is Turning Everyone Into An MMA Fan (Fanhouse)
How Awesome Are Sled Dogs? (Steady Burn)
People To Love And Hate During The MLB Playoffs (CBS Sports)
Rudy Fernandez Is Practicing His Trash Talk (Fans Attic)
One Of Suisham's Kick Might Be In Question (Yardbarker)
Adrian Gonzalez Is Still The Best Value In The Majors (Rumors and Rants)
Conventional Wisdom Beat The Ravens (Zone Blitz)
It's Not Hard To Get A Bowl Game These Days (Juiced)
Are International Bonuses Worth It? (Sports Agent Blog)

ESPN Promises To Just Focus On Live Events In The Future

We all know how this went the last time they promised a streamlined focus on the Football part of Monday Night Football, and now ESPN is promising so much more! According to an interview, ESPN's VP of Content John Skipper, conducted with Mediaweek, they're going to focus on "live events"....

“We have found that what sports fans really care about, and why they come to ESPN properties is to watch live games,” said Skipper, the company’s vp of content. ESPN’s Sept. 16 Monday Night Football telecast drew 18.6 million viewers, the largest cable audience ever.

Skipper said he will continue to pursue deals for more major college games, and will look to get additional rights to major professional tennis and golf events when they become available. Reclaiming the National Hockey League is also on his to-do list. The NHL is slated to run on Versus through the 2010-2011 season.

Skipper’s philosophy is a considerable departure from predecessor Mark Shapiro, who he succeeded in 2005. Shapiro started ESPN Original Entertainment in 2001, a unit that produced original series and movies for the network. “We are no longer in the movie business for television,” Skipper said. “We can make 10 documentaries for the same $5 million it would cost us to make one movie.”

Skipper said he wants to run more live sports on ESPN and ESPN2, and stream much of that via the Web and mobile. The network’s large number of SportsCenters, along with shows like College Game Day, will cover those live events and offer news and perspective, along with some investigative reporting.
Well, hey now! Who would have ever thought that people watched a "Sports Network....for actual Sports?!?!?! In all seriousness, in the almost three years I've worked on this site, ESPN started to take a few positive steps forward, and then they'd take one giant leap back. While the above approach is obviously the correct one to take (and may I add....the obvious one), I just don't see it happening. Even though ESPN has made some good programming decisions and hires over the past few years, they still find it tough to get away from the yelling and random panel programs like First Take and Around the Horn.

I'm with them in theory, but until they start cutting some of the fat (ahem*Skip Bayless*ahem) one is really going to really care about Hockey coming back or the network acquiring the rights to the Olympics. People are obviously going to watch the games because they love Sports, but we'll continue to be unhappy with instigators, bias and hyperbole.

Skipper: Entire ESPN Franchise to Key on Live Telecasts (Mediaweek)

Michael Strahan Is Now The New Face Of Vaseline For Men

There's been a recent surge to label everything skin or hair care related with stamp of "man approval" as of late. Lotions, shaving cream and even hair removal products like Nair (not that I would no first hand, or that there was anything wrong with that) have all been given the label as of late. Well the latest product to go through the "man treatment" is a line of products from Vaseline, and who other than Michael Strahan to be your spokesperson? From CNBC via Deadspin....

Michael Strahan had a tremendous amount of success as an endorser when he was playing in the NFL with the New York Giants, including deals with Right Guard and Subway.

But we're wondering what Strahan was thinking when he picked up a deal to endorse "Vaseline Men." Ads featuring the retired defensive end, who is now paid by FOX Sports, were all over this weekend.

Vaseline Men is basically a line of "cleansing and skin care products." It's an interesting play for the folks at Unilever, which owns the brand, and an even more interesting endorsement.
There are obviously some connotations that come along with men and the Vaseline line of products, and sure that photo above isn't helping anything, but I don't really see anything wrong with the endorsement. I can't remember the last time I used lotion myself, but maybe it's time I started. Uh, on my hands people. You know....for moisturizing AND peak performance?

Michael Strahan: The Face Of.. Vaseline? (CNBC)
Michael Strahan's Strong Enough to be A Vaseline Man (Deadspin)

Warren Sapp Breaks Out The Matrix On DWTS

I haven't been paying too much attention to Dancing With The Stars, but when The Sports Hernia pulls photos like the one above, I'm going to take a gander. Here's Sapp's all-leather, Matrix'esque performance from last night....

Again, I'm rather impressed by Sapp's moves, but that leap did not look nearly as good in video form as it looks in that picture. The big man is still alive though and I'll be watching for some more performances like this down the line.

Bedazzled Undertaker invades Dancing With the Stars (The Sports Hernia)

Emmitt Gets His Pregame Groove On

A few people mentioned that Emmitt Smith was rocking out on-air not knowing he was on camera, and thanks to BSO, we have the video. Here's Emmitt rapping along with "Put On" by Young Jeezy and Kanye West (thanks to JTom for the song recognition)....

Hahaha. I love the look after he realizes he just got caught. Too funny.

Emmitt Smith Thinks Women "Still Owe Him Sex" (Black Sports Online)

Monday Night Football Week Four Live-Blog: 2nd Half

Monday, September 29, 2008

Brutally awful game, terrible. (Via Hollywood Wags)
Ok... I tried. No way I can go through another half of this mess. G'nite kids. (Via Rob)

Godspeed all. I don't blame you one bit. At least last year's Dolphins-Steelers game had balls getting stuck in the turf like lawn darts. This is just dreadful. How about we just cut this one off at the end of the third?

10:32- Tony calls the Steelers overrated and I haven't agreed with him more. They will now proceed to put up 40 points this half.

"I don't know if I can say this on TV, but his guys were pissed off."- Suzy Kolber

Ooooooh! Controversial. Ray Lewis blasts Mendenhall and the rookie comes out of the game hurt. Roethlisberger to Miller and Johnson and Lewis nail him but he hangs on. The Ravens smell blood. 3rd and a yard and the Steelers are in a shotgun formation....

Short! Fumble, and it goes out of bounds. Steelers punt and Figurs runs around in circles and Tomlin is going crazy for a roughing the punter penalty. He's not getting one.

"Berger FLOPPED"...when did this become Futbol... (Via Ondanuts)

It's about as exciting as a soccer match at this point. Ravens ball near their own 30. And now Jaws is giving out grades....

"Give me a first half grade for Flacco."- Mike Tirico
"A.....A."- Jaws

Flacco runs from one side of the field to the other and then somehow finds Mason. That was a dumb play, but everything is going right for the Ravens.

"That particular play. He kept that alive so long, Usain Bolt could have won the 200 and taken a victory lap."- Tony Kornheiser

When were the Olympics again? Like two months ago??? Mendenhall is being carted off and the Ravens punt.

MVP tonight: the Medical Cart Driver (Via KR)

So wrong....but so true.

10:44- Steelers ball at their own seven...AND HEY....a completion!!! Ward for eight yards. Carey Davis ironically also from Illinois is now your running back and picks up a first down.

The Steelers are still trying to establish the run and it just ain't working. More boos from the crowd. False start.....BOOOOOOOOOOOO! 3rd and 16....Roethlisberger is blitzed again, he avoids it, but Holmes drops it near the marker. Another punt and more flags.

Ravens go three and out and punt. I have to admit I watched none of that drive.

"Remember that play by Roethlisberger in the first half?"- Mike Tirico

No I don't. The Ravens defense commits a dumb penalty after a lame reverse to Nate Washington and the Steelers are in business. They're still trying to run the ball though but are now in the no huddle. Roethlisberger sneaks on 2nd down and......

HOLY SHIT! The Steelers score a touchdown for the first time in eight quarters! It twas a lucky one, but one none-the-less....

13-10 Ravens and here comes Pittsburgh!

Excitement? is that you my love? (Ondanuts)
Good Lord, this game is getting close and it's going to go to 2AM. (Hollywood Wags)

11:02- Ravens ball on their own 29....


Now we're talking! Woodley picks it up after a Harrison's huge hit on Flacco and the Steelers are somehow winning this game 17-13.

Pretty sure Flacco doesn't even want to go back out there at this point. Ravens ball at their own 26....The Ravens smartly run the ball to settle the crowd a bit on first down, but Baltimore has to call a timeout and they're right back in it.

Flacco hit again and it's almost picked off. 3rd and 6....and it's loud at Heinz....

SACK! FUMBLE! The Ravens recover this time. Unbelievable surge from the Steelers D and you have to wonder where this was all game. Ravens punt and Koch booms another one. Steelers ball at their own 39 yard line....

Ben to Nate Washington on the slant...first down. Davis on the carry for three and the Steelers are still in the no-huddle. Ray Lewis drops Davis on second down and Pittsburgh reverts right back to their old boring offense. Incomplete on third and the Steelers will punt it back. Inside the eight and it's going to be even louder for Flacco this drive.

END OF THE THIRD! Thank god. 17-13 Pittsburgh after three.

What I like about Joe Flacco is his poise in the pocket...No, sorry that was flustered, cuz now they are behind. When they get ahead, he'll have poise again, and I will like it. (Via Wags)

3rd and two and Larry Foote bats it down. Another Ravens punt and I think Koch is the front runner for Pro Bowl punter after this performance. Seven punts for an average of just under 48 yards per. Ravens punting excitement is fantastic!!!

"All this game needs in snow"- Tony Kornheiser (Via Mark)

That's a scary thought. Roethlisberger avoids a sack and then hits a wide open Hines Ward down the field for a 31 yard gain. Mike Tirico actually said it was Washington and apologizes for messing that up. Thanks Mike...that's nice of you.

11:29- I cannot believe that the fourth quarter just started. Davis takes it inside the ten and Ray Lewis yells at him. Big Ben throws the ball away on second down but there's a penalty on the Ravens. Holding and a first down. Terrible penalty as the Ravens needed to hold Pittsburgh to a FG here to have any chance.

First Favre reference by Tony!! I'm amazed it took so long! (Via Jay)

Me too. Another throw away from Roeth and a run by Davis makes it 3rd and Goal from the one....nothing....Ray Lewis takes down Mewelde Moore short of the one. FG attempt....

Good....Steelers up seven....20-13 with 9 minutes to go.

B'more ball at the 24....nowhere on first but a catch by Mason for a first down up to the 41. Back to McClain and he picks up a first down across midfield. Here come the Ravens! Annnnnnd back to Mason for yet another first. Annnnnd back to McClain for two yards.

"You know who's rooting for a tying touchdown and a long overtime?"- Mike Tirico
"Uhh, Tony Kornheiser???"- Ron Jaworski

Hahahaha. Winner! Flacco is sacked for the fourth time tonight....3rd and 12 and....MASON CATCHES IT! He spins out of a tackle and takes it all the way down to the five! 1st and goal....

McClain to the two....and.....

TOUCHDOWN RAVENS. McClain just blasts through Timmons for six...and we're tied....20-20.

If this game goes to overtime....I'm ending it all.

11:47- Pittsburgh is trying to make sure every running back in the state of PA is hurt by the end of the game by rushing Moore a few times in a row. 3rd and short...

First down on the out to Moore and he's up near midfield. Two minute warning....thank god. 2nd and 5 for the Steelers from their own 47. Moore leaps for a fade down the sideline and for some reason I don't trust a kicker who I've seen almost nude on the Internet. 3rd down and 5.....

Incomplete. This is so going to overtime. Ravens ball at the 13....

Tony Kornheiser still makes me want to throw my tv out the window. Then walk down and hit it with a sledgehammer. And burn it. (Via Alex)

The Ravens are running out the clock and now McClain is hurt. That's the Ravens last timeout and we're going to overtime....fuck me. Wow....McGahee's eye is f'ed up.

That's the end of regulation....20-20.

"Here's the big play of the game....the coin flip."- Tony Kornheiser


Wait....there was an issue with the penalty and they put seven seconds back on the clock....pointless....Flacco kneels.....


12:02- B'More wins the toss and will receive, much to the chagrin of Jaws who was trying to rationalize differing. I'm betting on a James Harrison sack-fumble and a Jeff Reed kick for the win. Anyone else?

Figurs to the 50, buuuuuut it's coming back.

"Two more flags and we would have had an amusement park."- Ron Jaworski

Either I'm really tired, drunk, or both, but that was hilarious. McClain gets zippy on first down. Ravens pick up a blitz on second down, but do so with a chop block....personal foul and a replay of second down. 2nd and 17....McClain to the fifteen for seven and it'll be 3rd and 10....

BLITZ! SACK! Ravens will punt. Holmes grabs it on the sideline and gets smashed by Barnes. Great coverage there, but the Steelers still have it at their 43. Run for two. Roethlisberger hit on second down and his pass falls incomplete. 3rd and 8....

MEWELDE MOORE IS MY SAVIOR! He takes the dump off and makes four defenders miss and picks up 24 yards!!!

Moore goes nowhere on first down and shit.....

Moore falls down on second down and loses four yards. DAMN YOU! Ravens blitz everyone and Roethlisberger somehow gets the yardage back on a quick hitter to Moore....46 yarder....

Timeout....46 yarder....

GOOOOOOOOD!!! Reed just barely neaks it inside the left upright and that's it! Thanks to the champs that stuck out that retched game with me and I'll see you tomorrow morning.

FINAL: Steelers 23 - Ravens 20

Monday Night Football Week Four Live-Blog: Ravens-Steelers 1st Half

Sorry.....I just couldn't pass on that picture. Between S2N and myself we've probably used it close to fifteen times for live-blogs, but it really never gets old. We're getting underway shortly after 8pm in these parts and hopefully the Tigers-Sox game will be all finished up you Baseball fans can revel in Tony's nonsense with the rest of us. Tonight should be a defensive battle and there could very well be some payback for hits like the one below from last year. It should be a fun one....see you then!

I actually hit record ahead of Emmitt's rant on T.O. a minute ago, knowing he was going to do or say something stupid, but he was surprisingly spot on. He said that the receiver got 19 balls thrown his way and that he needs to just shut up and play. A much better way to put it than the way he did by calling him out on Sunday. Oh and Chris Berman just called Michele Tafoya the "Giant Ketchup Bottle" because she's wearing a red coat. I'm sure she really appreciated the "giant" part.

"What Jim Harbaugh said.....who cares?"- Emmitt Smith

Wrong Harbaugh Emmitt, but I too have called him I'll let it slide. Yes our first listen of the Bond song we'll be hearing all night! I actually listened to it earlier today, and it's not that bad, but I'm sure it will get old after 40 listens or so.

"He's [Polamalu] the where's the Waldo of the defense."- Ron Jaworski
"He's not hard to find. Just look for the hair!"- Tony Kornheiser
"Well he's got it up today, perhaps the Sarah Palin look?"- Mike Tirico

Ugh. Do they have to bring her up every broadcast?

"Did you say West Coasty?"- Stu Scott
"West Coasty, baby!"- Steve Young

"With Rashawn Mendenhall running the rock...."- Emmitt Smith

Did you just see Emmitt rocking out to that song before he realized he was on-air? Funny stuff. (Via Sports Fanatic)

Damn...I must have just missed it. What was the song?

Gee, Mort reporting that Lane Kiffin is getting fired. It must be Monday. Shouldn't he just wait until Jay Glazer reports it like he usually does? (Via Rob in WI)


"Happy New Year again everybody."- Chris Berman

What's the date again? I'm so confused (Update: It's Jewish New Year. That actually makes sense)

"He was decked so much last week by the Philadelphia Eagles, he was like patio furniture, Jaws."- Tony Kornheiser

Still confused. Kickoff is coming up after the commercial and I'm pretty sure Ray Lewis is ready to go....

"Everytime they touch the Football...somebody getting knocked out tonight!"- Ray Ray

8:36- Since Tony doesn't have a "live column" angle expect a lot of talk about the Colts and the Steel Curtain defense this evening.

"I'm going to the darkside tonight. I'm going to have some fun breaking down some defense."- Ron Jaworski

Bang! The helmets clash and we're ready for kickoff. Ravens ball first. Baltimore brings it out to the 17-yard line and there were already two huge hits during the first play of the game and a Steeler down.

Over/Under on Favre references tonight? I'm sure he'll still get 3 or 4 even though he has nothing to do with this game. (Via Jay)

Oh especially with the 6 TD performance burning a hole in his pocket from last night. I'd bump it up to 6 or 7. Andre Frazier is still down for Pittsburgh and the cart is out on the field. Okay we're underway. Hopefully everything is okay with Frazier.

8:50- Ravens open up with a pair of runs that go nowhere and then Flacco throws into coverage incomplete on third. Three and out and here come the first of MANY punts tonight. Santonio Holmes with a nice return, but there's a block in the back. Steelers get the ball at the 24.

Mendenhall gets zippy on first down, Heath Miller gets a yard on second but Holmes is wide open and gets nineteen on the play. He also throws a shoulder into a defender at the end as well.

I wonder if Tirico feels left out of Tony and Jaws' bromance. (Via Anon)

I think Tirico just shakes his head at those two. Scott knocks down the first down pass right at midfield. Mendenhall rips off a nice eight yarder and it's 3rd and 2....False start on the play and more flags come in after. The trash talk is underway early and Barnes just flat out slaps Holmes in the head.

"The yap that cause the Barnes tap. Offsetting penalties."- Mike Tirico
"I thought you were going the triple there when you went to yap and tap, I thought you were going to rap. We could have had a whole poetry thing going for you."- Tony Kornheiser
"It's early."- Mike Tirico

Good lord that's so unfunny. Mendenhall with another nice run and it's the Steelers ball at the Ravens' 23 yard line. He loses yards on first down but picks them back up and more on second. It'll be 3rd and 7....another false start on Pittsburgh. 3rd and 12 now....

Sack and it'll be a long one for Jeff Reed now.....

Good. 3-0 Steelers.

"Could be worth a photo on the internet for you Reed fans. Lots of them out there."- Tony Kornheiser

Now that's funny.

9:05- Ravens ball from their own twelve. Play action and Flacco goes deep! Horrible pass into coverage. Jaws talks about Flacco's arm strength and then says the ball was under thrown. Nice. 3rd and long....Flacco is crushed by James Harrison and sacked.

PICK! Ngata picks off Roethlisberger and I have no idea who he was throwing that to.

"It looked like he was going deep and he threw it five feet into a fat guy's gut."- Tony Kornheiser

Tony will be apologizing to fat people randomly in the 4th quarter tonight.

9:15- Ravens are sporting a total of -6 yards of total offense but Flacco puts them back into the black with a throw to Mason. 3rd and short....empty backfield. Polamalu almost picks it but it barely gets to the receiver.

"We call that Sabathia fast."- Tony Kornheiser

McGahee goest nowhere and we're approaching the end of the 1st Quarter and the talk of the eye gouging comes up....

"Last year we had Spygate, this year we have Eyegate."- Tony Kornheiser

Flacco to the endzone! Just out of bounds. 3rd and 8....incomplete. A Stover FG attempt is coming....


"A tight end Blackie...blocking." - Jaws (Via SS)

9:24- Whoops. Stover kicks off and the Steelers take over at their own 25. Mendenhall for a few and Lewis with the tackle.

That's the end of the first and we've got a barn burner! 3-3.

Tony is not dong too bad tonight in my humble opinion... (Via ondanutsofbrady)'s better because he doesn't have one subject to harp on all game, but his jokes are still lame. Roethlisberger throws it away on second down and it's third and long...incomplete. Ravens to punt.....Figurs muffs the punt, but gets it back and more fighting between the two teams. Ravens get an unsportsmanlike and go back fifteen.

Flacco to McClain and hey....a Linda Cohn update! Sorry she distracts me for some reason. 3rd and nine and Flacco hits Willis for a first down. Nice throw and run. Tony with a nice tidbit about Flacco not being nervous and he throws up another gift that the Steelers can't pick off. Third and long again....

Flacco rolls out and has nowhere to throw to. Another Ravens punt coming. Holmes loses three on the run after a huge punt by Koch and the Steelers will start from their own 11.

NBA Live: Pretending to make improvements since 2001. (Via SS)

So true.

Tony is like my drunk grandfather...ranting and raving but after a while, eh, you just tune it out, smile and nod your head (Via OndanutsofBrady)

I wish that theory worked for me. I just hear fingernails on a blackboard. Steelers go three and out in about 5 seconds and the Ravens will get the ball back in good field position.

9:43- Ravens pick up a quick first down and they're well into Steelers' territory. 3rd and 3, timeout.

"Let them sleep in their homes, didn't do 2-a-gays." - Kornheiseron Billick (Via SS)

Screen to McGahee and he picks up the first. He follows that up with a six yard run to the right but comes up a bit gimpy after the tackle. 2nd and 5 with 6 minutes left to go....Mason bowls over Clark and gets another first down. 1st and Goal from the 8 yard line....

No go on first down and Flacco throws out of bounds on second. 3rd and Goal....Timeout....

Draw to McGahee and that was a questionable call. Stover back out for another FG....

Good...6-3 Ravens. Whoooooo!

9:55- I understand that Flacco is showing promise but he's still just 8 of 16 for 62 yards and should have had at least two passes picked off. Jaws loves him for some reason though, so he's got that going for him.

Roethlisberger loses a shoe and is sacked on 1st down and Mendenhall picks up a few on second. Third and long....Sack....and the Steelers offense are getting booed by their own fans now. Two minute warning and I'm begging for this half to end.

Long delay for a Mason catch that should be overturned, and it is. 1:31 to go....

Jaws keeps calling Flacco "Flock-o." (Via Jay)

I noticed that at one point as well. I thought it was just one instance though. And McGahee is injured once again.

The play by play guy on westwood one is yelling in exictment after random plays (Via KR)

That would be Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason, who might not be together after this season. At least someone cares about this game. Flacco with another dump off to McClain and after a few nice moves he's inside the two! Great run after the catch there and the Ravens call timeout.

1st and goal and holy crap! The Steelers miss a receiver....he's wide open but Flacco spazzes and it's incomplete and with a flag....:26 seconds left. Incomplete on second down and there's another unsportsmanlike flag! This game is just flat out terrible. it doesn't matter. 2nd and goal....flag on the Steelers.

"1st half has taken a week."- Tony Kornheiser

Amen. Ball at the four now....2nd and Goal....

TOUCHDOWN! Flacco to Wilcox and that's the rookie's first TD pass in the NFL.

13-3 Ravens (I also don't know why I just used an exclamation point when nothing in this game could excite me)

"Oooh, I just hit my..."- Ron Jaworski
"It wasn't on camera."- Tony Kornheiser

That's the half. 13-3 Ravens. I'll be back (begrudgingly) for the second half in a new thread, but I won't hold it against you if you punt the next two quarters and watch something else.

Tigers-White Sox "Makeup Game For A One Game Playoff Game": Open Thread

One of the great benefits of working from home is being able to watch daytime events, like Playoff Baseball and the NCAA Tournament, without having to come up with new lies every year to tell to your boss. I always love to help those out who are stuck at work, or don't have access to the game, so this spot will serve as your goto for updates, quotes and videos of the game.

Dave O'Brien, Orel Hershiser and Steve Phillips are on the call for the game airing on ESPN2 and your pitching matchup is Freddy Garcia against Gavin Floyd. Leave your predictions and thoughts in the comment section and I'll update this spot throughout the game.

Update: The tarp is on the field and we're looking at a bit of a rain delay. Dave O'Brien promises Baseball in a few, so I'll update you when I know what the start time is.

Update #2: It's 5pm and we're underway! Orel Hershiser is talking about energy bars and eight track players for some reason. They must have gone stir-crazy during this three hour delay. If anything exciting goes down I'll be sure to grab the video and put it up in this spot. If not, I'll see you for Monday Night Football.

Update #3: Alexei Ramirez broke a 2-2 with a grand slam in the sixth and the White Sox are currently batting in the bottom of the 8th. I'll have video of that and the final few outs up shortly following the game.

Update #4: The Sox win it 8-2 and there will be a one-game Playoff tomorrow with the Twins coming to Chicago. The game will air on on TBS at 7:30pm.

Monday Night Football Week Four Live-Blog: Ravens-Steelers Pregame

Who: Ravens at Steelers
Where: Heinz Field
Why: So Ron Jaworski can compare Ray Lewis to Lawrence Taylor
Spreads: Pittsburgh -6, O/U 34.5
Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser

MNF Links:

Flacco to get road test (Baltimore Sun)
Text From Steelers' Rookie To Ravens Friend Fuels Monday Night Fire (WPXI)
Behind Enemy Lines: Steelers-Ravens (Mondesi's House)
Remember Last Year? (Blogimore Ravens)
Time To Apply Those Lessons Learned (DC Steelers Nation)
Steelers vs. Ravens Open Thread: Time To Find Out What The Steelers Are Made Of (Behind The Steel Curtain)
Steelers ready for Ravens D (MASN)

Monday Night Countdown Segments:

“Unmasked:” Ray Lewis
Known for his on-the-field fiery personality in addition to his play, Countdown takes viewers under the helmet with Baltimore’s star linebacker in “Unmasked.”

“Soundtracks:” Mike Tomlin
In his first season as the Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin won a division title in Pittsburgh and became a fan favorite after replacing Bill Cowher. This week, “Soundtracks” captures what it sounds like to play for Tomlin.

ESPN the Magazine's “For Love or The Game:” Derrick Mason
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason will be the subject of Monday’s “For Love or The Game”. Mason's wife, Marci, and his teammate Bart Scott battle to see who really knows Mason better.

EA Sports Virtual Playbook: Protecting Big Ben
Countdown’s Tom Jackson takes viewers on the field to show why the Steelers are having problems protecting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Weekly Monday Night Countdown Segments: Field Pass, Quarterback Conundrum (Steve Young and Trent Dilfer offer their views on topical issues), Teams at 20

AA's Prediction:

I know the Steelers are banged up offensively, and the Ravens defense is looking like their defenses of old, buuuuuuut I just don't see a rookie QB taking Baltimore to a hostile Heinz Field and coming out victorious. The Ravens will keep it close but a late score by Hines Ward will seal it for Pittsburgh.

Steelers 24 - Ravens 13

FYI- I put this post up a bit early because I'm going to be making an appearance on 1560 The Game around 5pm EST with friends of the site, Sean and John. We'll be talking College Football and Baseball, so click on the link below to listen if you've got a second....

1560 The Game: Listen

Your Week Five Pammy Nominees

Every Monday you will have anywhere from ten to twenty quotes to pick from and your votes will decide our weekly winner and ultimately the grand champion. I'll have the winners and new standings up tomorrow and be sure to cast your vote at the bottom.

It's going to be a tough decision for you voters this week. Here are the thirteen quotes to choose from in no particular order....

The Pam Ward Chronicles: Week Five

1. "You gotta love the offensive game plan so far here by California" - Charles Davis calling the Minnesota/Ohio State game

2. "He's giving the traveling call"- Jesse Palmer not realizing that the motion is the same for a false start

3. "Tennessee has beaten Tennessee three times this year."- Gary Danielson

"The college football world is flat. Anybody can beat you."- Spencer Tillman

"You gotta go for it here if you're Butch Davis and you came to win"- Andre Ware
"It's only third down"- Dave Pasch

"Yeah you've gotta expect Ringer to get it here"- Ray Bentley with Michigan State at the 1 yard line going in to score and an empty backfield

7. "That's going to bring up third and a credit card."- Joe Tessitore

8. "In college football brad, you know, when you make a first down, first downs that you have possession of aren't really that important because if you make a first down it stops the clock" - Bob Griese not making much sense

9. "Four of the last three years." - Kirk Herbstreit in reference to USC losing to unranked opponents

"I don't even know if you're allowed to say this. But just like you can't be a little bit pregnant, you also can't be a little bit spread."- Gary Danielson on Auburn's spread offense

11. "They call it a naked bootleg, because you are out there alone, and they are undressing you, and you are left all exposed." - Dave Archer

12. "This is an old-fashioned, country butt-kicking... and Georgia is supplying the butt." - Mike Patrick

"It was a missed PTA." - Brent Musburger referring to the end of the Ole Miss/Florida game

Cris Carter Hammers Matt Millen On-Air With His Ego And A Flat Out Lie

I thought Cris Carter was a good hire for ESPN when they brought him on to replace Sean Salisbury, and while he hasn't really disappointed, he's certainly not doing much to improve his reputation. He verbally threatened Will Leitch a few months back and now he's taken to flat out lying on-air.

The topic of Matt Millen's firing came up on Sunday Countdown and when drilling the former Lions GM's drafting downfalls, he had this to say....

“Matt Millen – do a little undercover work. (Mike) Williams and Charlie Rogers both worked out with me before the draft. I could have told him, don’t draft neither one of them. (He) never asked me.”- Cris Carter
Okay then. That's kind of an egotistical way to go about discussing a topic, and I guess Carter's opinion is well thought of in the Football community, but there's one small problem. According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, he actually WAS asked back in 2003 and 2005 by two separate newspapers, and he had a completely different view of the two receivers before they were drafted....
That’s interesting because here is what you said about both players just before they were drafted. Carter’s comments about Rogers, to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel just before the 2003 draft: “He’s very similar – and I don’t like to make a lot of comparisons – to Randy (Moss) in a sense, a big basketball player playing wide receiver. He’s the only receiver that’s come out since Randy that you can make an honest comparison to. He has a yearning to learn.”

And Carter’s comments about Williams, to the St. Paul Pioneer Press just before the 2005 draft: “I think he’s going to be a great player. I think people will be surprised at the kind of person he is. He’s really a hard worker. He takes his training very seriously and wants to be very good.”

So much for consistency.
It's one thing to forget a prediction or two as you go through the season, but something like this is pretty egregious mistake. I still find it funny that media members rarely go back and look up what they said when they spout off at the mouth like this. I'm no pro at the Internet, but it should be pretty easy to just Google "Cris Carter Mike Williams Draft", if you can't remember what you said 3 to 5 years ago.

Winners and losers (Yahoo Sports)

Create The Caption #286

(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.

Last Thursday's Winners....

"The A's unveil the new alternative (lifestyle) uniforms for use in the 2009 season."- MMayes

"Through exhaustive analysis, Billy Beane determined that dressing rookies in drag increased lifetime OPS by .002"- Mathlete

"The "Who Wants To Date Eddie Murphy?" reality show casting call was a complete success."- RJBO

"My kinda team kinda team"- Anon (Lou Brown baby!)

Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of the the Brewers celebrating their trip to the Playoffs with their fans? (I just couldn't bring myself to put up a photo of the Mets. Haven't their fans been through enough already?)

Daily Links:

It's Time To Pee Your Pants, Brewers Fans! (PYPFTB)
The Bandwagon Is Now Taking Tickets (KSK)
Dan Snyder Is Intense! (Mister Irrelevant)
10 Reasons Why The 'Boys Lost To The Skins (The Landry Hat)
The Sooners Are #1 After A Crazy Week (Moon Dog Sports)
Win Latrell Sprewell's Money! (Food Court Lunch)
The Avian Bo Jackson (On 205th)
Can I Be A Steeler Fan Now? (Ryan Parker)
The Best Of Favre's Sidekicks (Yep Yep)
A Chuck Norris Video Game (Pwned Video)
Manny For MVP And CC For Cy (Rizzo Sports)
The Rays Have Strange Ways Of Celebrating (Big League Stew)

Even Nantz And Simms Think Lane Kiffin Has Lost His Mind

I've seen some crazy coaching moves over my years, but this one takes the cake. Shutdown Corner wrote yesterday about how the Raiders called timeout with one second left in the first half to attempt a 76-yard?!?! field goal and we now have the video evidence. Lane Kiffin actually had timeouts left in the first half of yesterday's game against the Chargers. With :20 seconds left in the stanza, Jamarcus Russell hit Michael Bush over the middle to get to the Oakland 42. Much to Jim Nantz and Phil Simms surprise, Kiffin decides against a spike, or calling a timeout right away, just to then decide to use a timeout with :01 left so Janikowski could attempt this ridiculous kick....

"The wind is in his face."- Phil Simms
"Unimaginable."- Jim Nantz

I still can't stop laughing. After adding seven yards for the snap, the ball was spotted just shy of Oakland's 35-yard line! That's further than an f'ing kickoff!!! Either Lane Kiffin absolutely had no idea where they were on the field, or he was just completely trying to piss off Al Davis. Either way, the result was awesome. Janikowski didn't even get it to the goalline and with Cromartie back there, that just heightened the idiocy of the decision. Unbelievable.

When Norv Turner is out-coaching you on the other's time to just quit.

Brett Myers Really Likes Beer

I'm not exactly sure where the recent trend of also having cans of beer to compliment champagne bottles during celebrations came from, but I have to say that I approve. Especially when the celebrations with the cans involve Phils Pitcher, Brett Myers, having one (or several) in his possession.

Via the Fightins comes two very special clips of Myers during the Phillies' celebration after winning the N.L. East Championship. The first is of Myers giving a local female reporter a beer shower along with the champagne bottle wielding Pedro Feliz and the second is a somewhat slurred interview he gave on-air to Comcast Sportsnet's Michael Barkann and Mitch Williams with beer in hand....

Well then. The funny part about the reporter "shower" is that it's the second year in a row that a female journalist was targeted by the Phillies. This year it was Jamie Apody but last season's attack of Jade McCarthy, looked a lot more fun. Other than that, I'm pretty sure that was a long night for Myers and the prediction of not getting swept was classic. Good times.

Brett Myers Issues A Playoff Guarantee (The Fightins)
Jamie Apody Experiences The Joy of Champagne Celebrations (The Fightins)

Emmitt Smith: "Terrell Owens Is Not A True Cowboy

After the Cowboys beat the Eagles on Monday night back in week two, Emmitt Smith seemed to be in love with T.O. during a postgame interview, but apparently that wasn't the case. Smith was on Sports Center early Sunday morning to answer emails on-air when a comparison question caused him to take a shot at Owens. Via Fanhouse....

Sportscenter has Emmitt Smith on every Sunday morning to talk about football; yes, he is by himself, but it's early enough where he can only do so much damage. While he's on, some anchor asks him questions posed by reader emails. How spicy! Not really, but it was kind of interesting to get his take when someone wrote in to ask how, paraphrasing, the trio of Tony Romo, Terrell Owens and Marion Barber compared to Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.

After laughing a little bit and dogging the younger crew, Emmitt pointed out that: Terrell Owens is not a true Cowboy.
I guess if anyone is qualified to dub someone a "True Cowboy" it's Emmitt, but I really don't know why he would single out T.O. like that. I'm also getting annoyed with how Emmitt keeps using the word "we" when he's referring to the Cowboys and how he acts like he is still employed by the team. I still think Emmitt is terrible, but he has improved a bit this year, and if ESPN is planning on sticking with him.....they might want to get that under control.

Emmitt Smith Says That Terrell Owens Is 'Not a True Cowboy' (Fanhouse)

Gameday Staying In SEC Country, Will Head To Vandy For The First Time

You people said I was crazy for thinking that ESPN would take Gameday to Vandy for week six, and that OSU-Wisconsin was a virtual lock, but that's exactly where the College Football pregame show will be next weekend. Vanderbilt University has confirmed that Gameday will be in Nashville (for the first time in the show's history) this Saturday for the Commodores' showdown with Auburn. Via

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Count ESPN's College GameDay crew - yes, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard - among the audience for Vanderbilt's nationally televised meeting with Southeastern Conference Western Division power Auburn this Saturday on campus.

ESPN officials confirmed Sunday morning that its popular "College GameDay Built by the Home Depot" show will broadcast from the Vanderbilt campus on Saturday, October 4. It will mark College GameDay's first appearance in Nashville.

Vanderbilt officials were pleased with news of College GameDay's announcement.

"This is tremendous for our university, Coach (Bobby) Johnson's program and this great city," Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for Student Athletics and University Affairs David Williams II said. "ESPN's decision to bring College GameDay to Vanderbilt speaks volumes about the outstanding job Bobby Johnson had done during his tenure and the student-athletes he has attracted into our football program. We're extremely pleased and excited about this announcement."
In all honesty, after reading through everyone's comments about the OSU-Wisconsin game, I too thought they'd be heading up north. No dice though. The funny thing is that there's only really one possible game where they would travel above Route 70 all season and that's PSU-OSU in week nine. Other than that it's going to be back and forth between the SEC and Big XII for the rest of the year.

ESPN's College GameDay coming to Vanderbilt (VU Commodores)

A Look At TBS' Pairings For The Opening Round Of The MLB Playoffs

TBS has all four of the opening round series during the 2008 MLB Playoffs and they have finally released the pairings for each of them. TBS had some interesting choices with whom to put with whom, and where to send their top team, but in the end I think they did the best they could. The top team of Chip Caray and Buck Martinez get to go L.A. for the Sox and Angels, and here are the rest of the teams and schedules for game each series....

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Wednesday, 2:30pm) - Brian Anderson, Joe Simpson and John Smoltz
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs (Wednesday, 6:30pm) - Dick Stockton, Ron Darling and Tony Gwynn
Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Angels (Wednesday, 10pm) - Chip Caray and Buck Martinez
Chicago White Sox or Minnesota Twins vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Thursday, 2:30pm) - Don Orsillo and Harold Reynolds

But wait.....there's more! The White Sox-Tigers makeup game is on ESPN2 today at 2pm with Dave O'Brien, Orel Hershiser and Steve Phillips on the call. If the White Sox win, the one game Playoff between the Sox and Twins will be Tuesday on TBS with Dick Stockton, Ron Darling and Harold Reynolds on the call. And lastly the two other games on Thursday following Game One of the AL Central Winner and the Rays will be Brewers-Phils at 6:30pm and Dodgers-Cubs at 9:30pm.

Whew....okay. I think all of that is right. As far as the booths go, I really like the teams of Orsillo-Reynolds and Anderson-Simpson-Smoltz. I will also be doing everything I can to avoid the dreadful trio of Stockton, Darling and Gwynn. It's going to be a fun Playoff season and I hope you're ready.

SNF Live-Blog: Eagles @ Bears, 2nd Half

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Philadelphia: In Donny We Trust.

Akers kicks off to Danyel Manning, who comes out to the 28 yard line. A quick three and out punctuated by an incompletion to Marty Booker, and Brad Maynard will punt again. DeSean Jackson lets it bounce, and it heads back to the 6, where it's downed.

Donny Mac talks about his homecoming to Kanye West in the background. He throws to Brown for an eight-yard gain, while John and Al ramble on about baseball. Correll Buckhalter rumbles for 24 yards out to about the 45. McNabb throws a pick to Kevin Kane -- who returns it all the way to the Eagles' 10 when Buckhalter tackles him -- and Buckhalter's hurt, which the Eagles do not need with Westbrook out.

On 2nd down, Orton throws and it's picked in the end zone. Eagle ball, back at the 20.

Blackhawks, winners? huh? - Not a Blackhawks Fan
What the hell is McNabb talking about? The Cubs and Blackhawks have the longest championship droughts in their sports - the Bulls have sucked since MJ - the Bears have been living off one year for two decades. A town of winners? my ass. - Gibbon Jockey

Lorenzo Booker rushes up the middle for a couple yards, and I bet there's a rush on both Yahoo and ESPN to pick him up off waivers. Jackson drops the 2nd and six pass, as Andrea Kremer tells us Buckhalter's got a lower back contusion. 3rd and six is incomplete, and the Eagles will punt it away -- Hester picks that sucker up and runs backwards to get it. He's out at the 2.

Rex Grossman has a grin on his face, is warming up, and as we speak, is bribing Lovie with (muffle muffle muffle garble) to get in the game after that Orton pick. - SSReporters

This game almost demands a Sex Cannon appearance. Forte loses two on the carry, and the Bears are at their own 1 on 2nd down. Orton's pass got knocked down by either Gocong or Omar Gaither. 3rd down rush goes nowhere, and Maynard punts from the back of his end zone. DeSean Jackson brings it back to the Bears' 35.

Lorenzo Booker just got pasted by Lance Briggs on that 2nd down pass. 3rd and 13 -- and it goes to Selleck, the tight end. Not enough for the first, but enough to get Akers out there, maybe?

Between Booker, Buckhalter and Westbrook, don't you think science could create one running back who could stay healthy for 16 games plus playoffs? Isn't this what the Philadelphia Experiment was all about? - Rob in WI

All my RBs are hurt, so I have to throw on every down. After all these years, Andy Reid finally can execute his perfect game plan. - JG

After seeing the shot of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore next to him, all I can say is Gale Sayers needs to find a new posse. - Jim Williams

Akers' kick bounces off the upright, no score.

"There's your doink." - Al
"That's a doink." - John

And we go to break on "You Dropped a Bomb on Me", which I'm fairly sure is the Gap Band.

That's how many turnovers by Orton the past few plays? Trent Cole smacks the ball out of his hands and Omar Gaither picks it up. Philly ball on the Chicago 28.

FUMBLE...and now "Orton Hears A Boo" - Jim Williams

+1 fish, 2 fish, red fish, blue fish.

Donny Mac converts the latest third down by hitting Jason Avant. He then hits Celek for another six yards. Shovel pass to Avant near the first down marker at the Bears' 3, and it is a first down.

No catches for Hank Baskett so far? Kendra Wilkinson is disappointed. McNabb aims for Baskett, but it's incomplete and thrown into double coverage. D-Mac covers up after tripping on his lineman's foot. 3rd down pass is incomplete, busted up by Nathan Vasher. Let's see if Akers can actually hit this kick.

Up and good, 21-17, Bears.

Akers kicks to Hester, and he busts it all the way to midfield when Akers busts him in the gut for a tackle -- losing his helmet. Orton hits Greg Olsen for three yards. Forte pushes for three more. Bears wind up punting, Jackson fair catches at the 17.

Next week: The Glove vs. Silky Garrard, in that hub of football known as Jacksonville.

After a Jackson catch, it's 3rd and 3 for the Eagles on their own 24. The pass to Brown is broken up. PUNTING IS WINNING!

Hester gets tackled at the Chicago 35 on the punt. Kevin Jones suffers a bout of FUMBLEITIS, and it's Philly ball again. That's three or four Chicago turnovers, right? Al says four. Buckhalter's back, and he rushes outside for four yards. Jackson gets the handoff on the next play and rushes all the way to the Chicago 15.

Hunter Hillenmeyer destroys McNabb on that 1st down, as someone blew a blocking assignment. Buckhalter gets back to the 20, 3rd and 15 now. Short gain to Avant, and here comes Akers again.

With all the Bears turnovers and punts, and the Eagles throwing on every down this game might not be over until sunrise. - JG

Most of find this to be rapidly declining football. The Browns and Bengals, however, find this to be championship calibur play. - Jim Williams

"They're going to try and knock the Eagles out of field goal position." - John

The Bears 24 yard line? Really? - SSReporters

Kick is up and good, 21-20, Bears.

Chicago starts on its 41 yard line and I'm going to say this drive will end in a pick this time. So now, the clock is having issues along with both offenses, conspiring to keep us watching the game longer.

"The scoreboard is frozen, much like the credit markets." - Al

Marty Booker took the end around up to the Bears 43. 2nd and 7 is incomplete. Orton checks off the play and gets a first down with a screen pass to Matt Forte. Hester gets to the Philly 26 on another end around play. He gets snubbed on 1st down, Orton throws it away on 2nd down. Omar Gaither rushes and the 3rd down pass is incomplete...Robbie Gould on for the FG try...from 41 yards is good. 24-20, Bears.

Demps returns it to the 24.

"McNabb's going to try to bail the Eagles out." - Al

Buckhalter runs to the 46 after getting sprung on a nice block. The ball keeps moving as McNabb hits Hank Baskett at the Bears' 21. Buckhalter barrels to the 13. McNabb throws it on a short screen to Tony Hunt, who gets up to the 4. Buckhalter up to the 1. Correll gets smashed up at the 1, and the third down run is also stopped short.

Eagles time out. Garbage's "Push It" for the bump music.

Andy Reid's gonads were surgically removed. How do you go for it on 4th and 1 and run the EXACT SAME PLAY THAT DIDN'T WORK THREE TIMES BEFORE? Bears ball.

Note to Pizza Hut: It is not "mac 'n cheese" unless you actually use, y'know, elbow macaroni pasta. Rotini doesn't count.

3rd and 4, Forte busts out for a crucial first down to the 18 yard line. No more time outs for Philly now. Another short rush and we're at the two minute warning.

Which is a worse choice of music for NFL commercials:

1) Everyday is Like Sunday - The Smiths


2) 32 Flavors - Ani DiFranco (2000) - Gibbon Jockey

I vote for the Smiths, only because I like that band. (Ani DiFranco can go die in a fire.) Both are equally bad in terms of songs to go with sporting events.

The Bears are rushing the ball to kill time, and Maynard is punting. He'll take a time out as the play clock winds out, and we've got 28 seconds left. Jackson gets out of bounds at the 17, and McNabb has 18 seconds left to get 83 yards. McNabb hits Brown, but he's in bounds, and that ends the game.

Your final is 24-20, Bears, and now both teams are 2-2.

Thanks for joining me, and see you next week for Steelers-Jaguars.

SNF Live-Blog: Eagles @ Bears, 1st Half

Brian Urlacher caught you a delicious bass. (The site I found the pic at describes it as a "King", but of course, I'm gonna use a movie line.)

I have the Eagles winning a low scoring game. There is nothing less exciting than having to watch the Bears offense work. At least when Rex Grossman was under center, you had something to watch for (in the inevitable dumb pick or two per game.)

The Eagles will start at the 20, and Brian Westbrook isn't in today with that bum ankle. McNabb's first is incomplete to the back-up TE (the one who isn't L.J. Smith.) 2nd down means not much, and Danyel Manning sacks Donny Mac on third down. Sav Rocca punts it, bouncing away from Devin Hester at the Chicago 41.

Orton hits Rashied Davis inside the Philly 30, Matt Forte gets seven more on the next play to get within the 20....and Orton rifles it to Greg Olsen for the TOUCHDOWN!

That was Sex Cannon-esque right there.....although they are gonna challenge it....what??? No flag?? I guess so. 7-0, Bears.

WTF?? Where did that offense come from? Is Neckbeard drunk or something? - Rob in WI

Plasma power, son. Plasma power.

Philly brings the ball back to their 28 on the kickoff. After a false start, Correll Buckhalter gets a few yards on first and 15. McNabb fires a bullet to DeSean Jackson. That thing looks like it makes hands hurt. 1st down after a gain of 23. Buckhalter brings out a screen pass past midfield to the Bears' 48. Reggie Brown gets five more after the catch for another 1st.

Sneaky, sneaky, end-around for DeSean Jackson, who sweeps around to the Bears 18. McNabb goes for it over the middle to the TE Schobel (?), who gets walloped by Mike Brown while trying to make the catch. Not much for Buckhalter on 2nd and 10. Donny Mac airs it to Jackson right in the back of the end zone, TOUCHDOWN. Kick by Akers is up and good, 7-7 tie.

Did I say something about this being a defensive game? Not right now, anyway. And that's very sneaky (or cliche) of you, NBC: using Steve Miller's "Fly Like An Eagle."

I'll say this much - love or hate the bears - you gotta admit their defense brings the lumber in the first quarters. Wow those boys can hit.

of course, they don't do much about protecting the endzone, but at least they hit.... - Gibbon Jockey

Sheldon Brown would like to speak up for the Eagles also delivering blistering hits. Twice.

Matt Forte starts with a short rush, and 2nd down will now move back 5 yards. Forte gets 13 of those back and then picks up the first down on the 3rd down carry. The ball's now out at about midfield. A short pass to Hester gets across midfield. Orton misses Forte on the sideline, and here comes the first punt of the game from Brad Maynard. DeSean Jackson is back to receive.

He fair catches at the 20. Jon Runyon gets flagged for the first time in 24 games, which Al and John apologize for jinxing (they mentioned it when they talked to Andy Reid last night.) McNabb hits Jackson for another first down; the next pass is incomplete to Buckhalter. Not much for Buckhalter on the rush, it's 3rd and 10 from the Philly 30. Alex Brown and Israel Idonije get the sack. Rocca punts all the way to the Bears 30; Hester fair catches, but there's a flag.

This looks like the 15-yard variety of roughing the kicker on Charles Tillman -- but there's an illegal formation on Philly, so they offset and they kick again. Hester brings the second punt out to the Bears' 45.

AA, what are the odds of NBC throwing in "Waltzing Matilda" as bumper music after a punt by the Eagles' Aussie punter? I hope they're not THAT cynical. - Jim Williams

We'll be on the lookout for that.

How does a personal foul and illegal formation offset? I thought the PF trumped the other penalty? - Rob in WI

A flag on each team on a play negates the other automatically, regardless of severity.

Forte starts with a rush and the Bears will get 15 extra yards thanks to a face mask. Orton skies one a bit too high for Hester (well, it looks like it went right through his hands.)

That prompts John to say, "Maybe there's a reason he was a corner." 3rd and 11 brings the first Eagles sack of Orton tonight, and Brad Maynard will be punting again. Jackson goes out of bounds at the Philly 12.

"There's Donovan's mom, she came to the hotel last night and made dinner for the whole team." - Al
"I must say, I had some of that meal." - John

(a bit later)

"She didn't make any soup, though, huh?" - Al

Three and out for the Eagles, here comes Rocca. Good coverage by the Eagles keeps Hester from advancing past his own 45. Forte gets two yards; Orton then gets sacked by Chris Gocong. By the way, Al and John, I know Gocong said "Cal Poly San Luis Obispo," but the university freaking hates that.

I heartily encourage all of you in the comments who are bitching about them talking about Mama McNabb and her cooking for way too damn long. There is a football game going on, gentlemen. While the greens and sweet potatoes looked good, there is a game on.

Like say, DeSean Jackson muffing a punt, and the Bears getting it back. (D'OH!) Bears start again at the 24, Forte grabs two yards. Orton just went all PLASMA POWER to Marty Booker, and that's a 23-yard SCORE!!!!

Kick is up and good, 14-7, Bears.

And, the Jekyll and Hyde complex that is Desean Jackson has returned.

Frustrated Eagles Fan - Jim Williams

Brian Dawkins visited the Roy Williams School of Safety Coverage this week. - Rob in WI


Demps brings it out to the 33, McNabb incomplete to Reggie Brown. He then goes right back to Brown for a 16 yard gain and 1st down at midfield. Donny Mac must be a fan of UPS -- because Brown can get him another 31 yards on the next play. Touch floater to Buckhalter gets 19 yards, and Philly has a 1st and goal. Buckhalter then busts his way into in for the TOUCHDOWN. Kick up, kick good, 14-all.

American Hi-Fi's "Flavor of the Weak" for a bump -- the frontman used to drum for Veruca Salt, which was based in Chicago, but...not enough of a connection.

Hester brings the kick out to the 20. Orton rolls out and throws it away. He then hits Brandon Lloyd for a 1st down across the 30. Kevin Jones takes the next two carries and gets first down yardage.

3rd and 12 at the 50 -- and Orton gets picked off by Darren Howard, because he was under pressure and held the ball too long. McNabb threw to Brown for 4, but the third down rush by Buckhalter isn't close. Here comes Akers for an FG try...50 yards....up and wide right.

"Juqua Thomas changed his name to Juqua Parker. Tra Thomas changed his name to William Thomas and now back to Tra Thomas. It's a good thing Chad Johnson doesn't play on this team." - Al

Unlike the Bengals, the Eagles actually recognize it when players legally change their names. - JFein

I don't think that was so much the Bengals so much as it was the NFL insisting that Chad Johnson buy all the jerseys Reebok made with his now former last name. Let's just say that I don't think Juqua Parker's name moves a lot of merch.

Forte gets stuffed at the Chicago 40, goes on a screen for five tough yards, and then Orton goes all long bomb to Brandon Lloyd again, deep into Eagles territory -- and then Lloyd tweaks something.


Short passes to Jason McKie and Devin Hester follow. Matt Forte's screen pass looks short of the first down, honestly, but here come the sticks -- and that was enough for the first. The next two plays gain a yard total -- and Orton hits Devin Hester down the line, who keeps his feet in bounds for the TOUCHDOWN!!!

Kick up and good, 21-14, Bears.

Jim Williams alerts us to Al's use of "Rappin' Roberto Costas" when describing the upcoming halftime show. I proceed to gag. McNabb hits Jason Avant at the 28 yard line. Reggie Brown drops the 2nd and 5 pass. The 3rd down pass comes up short, and Devin Hester will get another shot at the football before the half. Short kick, ball winds up at the Chicago 37. He hits Forte for a few yards, and spikes it. 3rd down pass is incomplete....wait, they're calling that a fumble? At lesat they're reviewing it, but sheesh.

Of course, it's ruled an incomplete, Maynard punts, and it's downed at the 4 yard line of Philly with one second left. McNabb kneels, and we've got 21-14, Chicago at halftime.

See you in the second half post.