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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. I'm huntin' quartahbacks."

Per Andrea, Lovie Smith claims the Bears dominated the first half. I'd like some of the drugs he's smoking. Orton starts with a nine yard completion, Forte gets the first down at the 39 yard line for the Bears. Orton aims downfield for Rashied Davis, who drops it -- it's a few feet ahead of him. Orton then underthrows Hester, with Antoine Winfield putting a hand on it. Hester didn't look like he was ready for it, though. Orton hits Davis over the middle, throwing it just as Chad Greenaway nails him.

First down at the Minny 44 will be first and five at the 39 after encroachment on the Vikings. Coach Major Dad is pissed. Forte gets knocked back a few yards, and now we've got 3rd and 7. Allen the Hunter clips Orton first on the play, and another Minny lineman finishes him off. Maynard to punt to Berrian, who fair catches at the 11.

Purple Jesus picks up three yards on the carry, and he's looking a little gimpy. Quick sling to the fullback for a couple to make it a 3rd and 4. Frerotte throws into double coverage and it's picked off by Kevin Payne! He goes all the way across the field and then gets to the Vikings' 4 yard line before stepping out of bounds.

First and goal, Bears.

"I guarantee they're not gonna hand it to the fullback up the middle." - John

No, but they go to Forte for two yards to the 2 yard line. Forte splits out wide on Chad Greenaway, and Orton hits him in the end zone. TOUCHDOWN, BEARS!

Gould's extra point is good, and that cuts the Vikes' lead to 17-14.

The Vikes' rookie kick returner brings it out 48 yards, and they'll be starting in good position. This song with the LeBron James ad -- that "Candyman" song -- I can't remember who did this song. Can anyone help me out?

PJ takes the screen pass but Urlacher sniffs it out for a 2 yard loss. Peterson takes the next carry and gets seven yards on the outside. The 3rd down pass by Frerotte is tipped by Ogunleye, so the defense holds against the good field position. They need Hester to get something back in terms of yardage on this punt. It bounces into the end zone again; Chicago will start on the 20.

Orton goes deep and pulls a Rex Grossman by aiming it right into the arms of Darren Sharper, who picks it at the 46. Peterson grabs six yards on two carries, 3rd and 4. Frerotte hits Sidney Rice on the side for a first down. Peterson to the 22. In comes Chester Taylor, and he busts it down the sideline on an outside run to the end zone -- TOUCHDOWN, VIKINGS. Longwell's kick is up and good, 24-14, Vikings.

Forte gets nothing on the first carry from the 18. Four yards on a catch from Devin Hester. Orton's 3rd and 7 pass is incomplete to Greg Olsen, it's right behind him. Maynard's punt goes out of bounds near midfield, and Frerotte starts by throwing to Berrian for a ccuple of yards.

"At the end of every tackle, they're trying to strip the ball out. So they're very good strippers. They know where to go." - John
"Yeah, right to the Love Boat." - Al

Hiyo! 3rd and 3. Frerotte rolls to his right, tries to hit Shiancoe, but overthrows him by just a little bit. Another punt for Kluwe. Hester fair catches it at the 6.

Forte starts by heading right through the middle for 25 yards, giving the offense some breathing room. He catches the next pass for a few after topping 1,000 rushing yards for the season. Forte heads up to the 39, and it'll be 3rd and 2 when the fourth quarter starts.

Late in posting this gem, but it happened a couple drives ago:

"You knew that something good wasn't going to happen on that drive because the Bears have never scored on a drive that started at the 20 and that drive started at that 20." - John Madden (via JFein)

Astonishingly dumb.

3rd down pass to Davis is incomplete, punt time (again!) Berrian gets hit at the 14 after receiving Maynard's punt. Two plays of not much make a 3rd and 8, and John is talking about Frerotte's original "go home on Monday and Tuesday" arrangement as the back-up. Not enough on 3rd down, as Frerotte checks down to Taylor. Hester takes the line-drive punt at the 44 and loses a couple after being hit.

Hester gets three yards on the end around. Orton is promptly picked off by Ben Lieber, he runs the other way, and Greg Olsen stripped him while tackling. The call gives the Bears the ball back, but this will be challenged to see if the ball goes out of bounds.

Childress wins his challenge -- because that ball did go out of bounds. Minny ball at the Chicago 22. Peterson gets a yard on the carry. Chester Taylor barrels through for about seven yards. Taylor then goes to the five on the next rush. He's still short two plays later. 3rd and goal, and here comes Peterson back in.

Peterson walks in for another Vikings TOUCHDOWN, even with 12 Bears on the field. Longwell's kick is good, 31-14.

Hester finally makes a kickoff return, and we get more Prince. Orton is promptly picked by Benny Sapp, completing the Sexy Rexy-like performance -- and Brandon Lloyd gets called for a horse-collar tackle, adding on 15 more yards.

First and 10 at the Chicago 20, and Peterson gets about three yards. Four more on the next carry, and it's 3rd and 3. He runs to the 7 and it's first and goal. The next few efforts to get in the end zone don't fly, and Longwell comes on to kick a field goal. His FG is up and good, 34-14, Vikings.

Danyel Manning brings the kick out to about the 30, but it's getting pushed back thanks to a holding flag. The Bears get bunk on the next couple plays, and will punt again, basically ceding the game now. Now we have to wait out a few minutes. Berrian fair catches with 2:38 left to play.

"When Jared Allen gets a sack he ropes a calf." - John (via Mal)

"He's gonna drink this all in." - Al, on Allen (seems like an odd choice, Allen being an alcoholic who's been through the 12-step)

The Vikes are running out the clock by using Chester Taylor, and Kluwe will punt with about 30 seconds left. Earl Bennett takes it out to the 32. Garrett Wolfe takes the carry, and that's it: Vikings win 34-14 and take the lead in the NFC North at 7-5. See you all next week for the college football conference championships and another week of NFL action!

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

It's not a live-blog of a Bears game without a photo of Kyle Orton out on the town, really. Blog law, y'know.

Al just referred to the "friendly confines of Soldier Field" when referring to the rest of the Bears' schedule. NO. MAKE IT STOP.

The Vikings are wearing the old purple uniforms without all that silly piping and sheen. Why not go back to those, Minnesota? Peterson is smashed at the line by the Bears on 2nd down. 3rd down pass is incomplete, looked like it was going to Shancoe and Urlacher was covering him. Kluwe to punt to Hester, it bounces, and the Vikings down it inside the 1.

Brad Childress, the fierce urgency of now really would dictate having a better quarterback than Gus Frerotte. I would have to vote for Childress as the NFC's Peter Principle Coach. (The AFC's? Norv Turner, of course!)

Robbie Gould will kick off and it goes all the way into the end zone for a touchback. Frerotte completes his first pass to Bernard Berrian across the 30 for a first down right off the bat. Adrian Peterson busts through to the 38 on his first carry. Swing pass on 2nd to Jeff Dugan for another first down. 2nd and 11 is another Peterson run up the middle, and Frerotte's going to have to throw again for a first....and Alex Brown sacks him on 3rd down.

"Brad Childress says that he's a violent runner." - John Madden (via JFein), on Adrian Peterson

Chicago will start at its own 20 thanks to a punt trickling into the end zone.

Orton throws two passes out of the gun to start, both are incomplete to Des Clark and Greg Olsen, respectively. 3rd and 10. Orton's sacked, but it's due to an offsides on Minny. So, now we get 3rd and 5 thanks to the most penalized team in the league. Doesn't matter though, as Orton's 3rd down pass is tipped and nearly picked off. Brad Maynard punts to Berrian, who gets knocked back on the return 3 yards.

Peterson gets a couple, up at the 32. He gets the carry on 2nd down for 2 more. Tommie Harris comes in and smothers Frerotte on 3rd down. Chris Kluwe punts to Devin Hester, fair catch. No one said it was going to be a pretty game offensively, but this is not a good sign.

I am glad to see Brandon Lloyd dropping passes for a team other than the Niners. - 49er16

Redskins fans would also like to affirm that statement.

"You can choose your own cameras; channel your inner Drew Esocoff." - Al Michaels on being able to go to and watch the games by choosing your own cameras, etc. (via JFein)

Matt Forte finally gets his first carry for 3 yards. Oh, sheeeit.....Orton to Hester and two dudes completely missed him. Hester makes like EPMD and is housin'. TOUCHDOWN, BEARS!

Gould's XP is good, 7-0, da Bears.

Earl Bennett wails on the Minny kickoff returner at the 16.

"Hester made him look like he'd never played before." - John, on safety Darren Sharper.

Peterson only gets a yard or two on the carry on first down. Frerotte fires a rocket to Visanthe Shincoe for 20 yards at the 38. Next pass is incomplete to Bobby Wade past midfield. Peterson gets stuffed again, the third down pass is incomplete. Vikes punt and down it inside the Bears' 1, but Lovie Smith is challenging, saying the Viking player was in the end zone when he touched the ball.

Smith wins the challenge, and Matt Forte busts out for 18 to the 38 yard line after the Bears start at the 20. False start flagged, then the next pass to Hester is incomplete. Screen to Hester on 2nd and 15 gets nothing. Brandon Lloyd hauls in the 3rd and 15 on the sidelines, and the Bears are in Vikings territory.

1st and 10 on the 43, and Forte gets nailed in the backfield. Another 2nd and long coming up. Orton overthrows Hester on the sideline. Another pass to Hester on 3rd down, and he can't bring it in. Maynard will be punting again after a good defensive play by Winfield at defensive back. The Bears down it at about the 4 yard line.

That is why Adrian Peterson is Purple Jesus: he dragged six or seven Bears with him for 10 yards and a first down on that carry. But then, Mike Brown gets him in the backfield on the next play. 2nd and 12 is over Berrian's head. Screen to Chester Taylor gets up to the 20, but it's still short. Kluwe's punt is caught by Hester, but he can't get anywhere before being tackled.

"His family still lives in St. Louis. So that's a problem. But he loves the paycheck." - John on Frerotte
"Don't we all these days, with this economy!" - Al, laughing

Forte gets two yards on the first carry, as Andrea talks about the StarCaps deal with Kevin and Pat Williams as the first quarter ends. It does sound like a raw deal -- I mean, there's a banned substance, but the NFL didn't tell the Players' Association about it?

Mike Brown, jubilant for actually making a play for the first time since 2001, proceeds to tear his ACL and MCL and is out for the season. - SSReporters

Ha. Jared Allen savages Orton like a bouncer throwing a drunk out after he's been 86ed from the bar on 3rd down. Berrian fair catches Maynard's punt at the Vikings' 35.

Holy crap, AP is good. He bounced off the end for what seemed like 4 yards, and then got sprung down the sideline, Charles Tillman saved a touchdown (for now) by tackling him at the Bears' 5 yard line. Frerotte is nearly picked on 2nd and goal, as it's tipped and almost retrieved by Urlacher. 3rd down is going to Bobby Wade, and it's incomplete -- and Frerotte is on the ground, hurt.

Al: "Gus Frerotte - the modern day 'Suitcase Simpson'". Whatever the heck that means. - Mal

Well, the Bears handle luggage kind of rough, even if you put "Fragile" stickers on it. Ryan Longwell's FG attempt is up and good, 7-3, Bears.

Generally, I'm of the opinion that too many late hits on QBs in the pros and college are overreactions over split seconds, but Adewale Ogunleye is going to be hearing from Lord Rog on that later this week -- in the form of a fine -- for that one on Frerotte that didn't get called.

Danyel Manning takes the kickoff and gets all the way to the Bears' 47 for great field position. 3rd and 2 is caught by Rashied Davis, but he might be short, and there's a flag, too. Illegal formation and that actually cancels the first down.

"It's the first cousin to a false start." - Al, on illegal formation. Forte gets six of the seven needed for a first down, and the Bears will punt on 4th and 1. Maynard's kick rolls out of bounds at the Minny 4.

Finally, a Prince bump! "I Would Die 4 U." Nice choice. Now, NBC, give us some Husker Du and Lifter Puller. Maybe some Replacements while you're at it. Peterson gets knocked for a couple for a loss on the first down carry. More stops, and Chester Taylor only gets up to the 7 on third down. Kluwe will punt again. Hester takes the return out of bounds at the Minny 46.

And we get the Heidi Klum Guitar Hero ad. Frankly, I'm disappointed that they didn't use the director's cut version:

So the Bears' direct-snap is "Cajun" if it's Matt Forte back there and "Cane" if Devin Hester is back. 3rd and long has Orton sacked, but another offsides penalty. 3rd and 4 gets stuffed by one of the Williams linemen. Flag in the secondary -- personal foul on the Vikes, and a 1st down for the Bears. Nice cheap shot, Benny Sapp.

And Forte makes 'em pay by getting around the corner and running all the way to the Vikes' 4 yard line. 1st and goal. Orton throws it out of the end zone since everyone's covered.

"Benny Sapp, feeling like one now." Al, after that awful penalty he committed (via Yet Another Idiot With a Music Blog)

Forte is stuffed on 2nd down just shy of the goal line. Fullback Jason Davis tries to ram it in on 3rd and goal and he's stopped too. Bears are going for it, and Jared Allen comes up to make the stop! Turnover on downs, and Benny Sapp just got bailed out big time.

Lovie Smith and Ron Turner need to have their heads examined for not even bothering to change the play call. How about some play action, guys? Frerotte hits Bernard Berrian, and he's going 99 yards for the score. TOUCHDOWN, VIKINGS!

"Frerotte bounced back rather quickly, didn't he?" - John
"I'll say!" - Al

Longwell's kick is up and good, 10-7, Vikings.

Forte is out to about the 38 after a carry and picks up the first down on the next play.

"Unless they come with 50,000 dollars, they're not getting a date." - John, quoting Pat Williams' stance on boys wanting to date his daughters.

The Mortal Adrian Peterson gets a carry for the Bears for a few yards to set up a 3rd and 5. That has to suck, sharing a name with a superstar. You almost feel like you have to change it, even though you've been in the league longer. Mortal Adrian Peterson drops the pass for the Bears. Maynard punts and it goes out of bounds at the 14.

Purple Jesus gets a yard on the carry. They're driving and have two timeouts at the two minute warning, looking to tack on three or seven more.

PJ gets 16 more and is up to the 41 now. Bobby Wade catches a pass from Frerotte and brings it up to the Chicago 44. Berrian gets tackled after a short pass, and there will be 15 more yards thanks to a horse collar tackle by Charles Tillman. 22 yards total on the pass and the penalty.

"That's a horse collar's horse collar." - John
"Even Roy Williams would admit that that's a penalty." - Al
"You could look that up as the definition of a horse-collar tackle." - John
"It's a Clydesdale." - Al

Frerotte over the middle to Jim Kleinsaucer in the end zone -- and it's TOUCHDOWN, VIKINGS!
This is being reviewed by the booth, and it's being reversed. Kleinsaucer was down at the "quarter-yard" line.

"Let me get this straight now: that would be the nine-inch line." - Al, following it with a drop of "Nine Inch Nails."

Al just referenced Nine Inch Nails? Dear God... Al's head would probably explode if he heard the entirety of a Trent Renzor song. - Yet Another Idiot With a Music Blog

Al's got a head like a hole.

Frerotte on the QB sneak on first and goal, and we have our TOUCHDOWN, VIKINGS, followed by a kind of goofy looking spike.

"That's a man's spike." - John
"That one's for Kleinsaucer." - Al

Longwell's PAT is good, 17-7, Vikings.

Is Andy Reid coaching for the Bears? how else to explain that goal line stance and the play calling. As an Eagles fan, I know I've seen that sequence before. - walnuts

The mention of that fat walrus' name pisses me off right now. I'm sorry, but after four weeks of forgetting that Brian Westbrook exists, he then goes back to him for four touchdowns and I've gotten sick of it, so I benched him.


The Bears run out the clock to let the half expire. 17-7, Vikes at the half. See you in the second half thread. But first, a musical break featuring Al's new favorite artist for you. (I would embed it but Trent Reznor or his record company do not like embedding and have disabled it on YouTube.)

SNF Live-Blog: Bears @ Vikings Pre-Game Open Thread

That's Adrian Peterson, Brian Urlacher, 50 Cent, Dwight Howard, and David Ortiz in an ad for Vitamin Water. The first two are featured in tonight's action on NBC.

But first, catching up with the late slate:

  • The Steelers are opening the can up on the Patriots in Foxborough. Two TD passes from Big Ben and three Jeff Reed FGs have them up 23-10. Pitt's defense has brought Matt Cassel back to earth this week.
  • Jay Cutler has thrown for 300+ yards and the third quarter isn't quite done in New Jersey. Broncos have a 10-point lead on the Jets, thanks to a fumble recovery for a score and touchdowns from Peyton Hillis and Eddie Royal. Thomas Jones has hit paydirt twice for the Jets.
  • Atlanta is up 6 on San Diego thanks to 2 TD throws by Matt Ryan, two FGs, and a safety. An Eric Weddle fumble recovery for a score has SD still in the game, and they're about to get the ball back with 3:15 left in the 4th.
  • Another fumble recovery for a touchdown has spurred the Chiefs to a lead in the Cripple Fight in Oakland. The Raiders actually got worse from the first half to the second half. Chiefs up 20-10.
Live-blog starts between 8 and 8:15 EST, of course.

What We Learned From Week 14 In College Football

The ultimate lesson this week is that the BCS is always going to screw some team, but we weren't aware that it would really do it before a conference championship game. Here are your BCS rankings per the WWL, and officially, Texas just got hooked, as the Sooners will be going up against Mizzou in Kansas City next week for the Big 12 title.

1. Alabama
2. Oklahoma
3. Texas
4. Florida
5. USC
6. Utah
7. Texas Tech
8. Penn State
9. Boise State
10. Ohio State

Oklahoma's 61-41 victory over Oklahoma State last night was enough to do it for the human voters, whom decided that the recent running of 60+ points in games plus a tougher non-con schedule was enough to outweigh the fact that the Sooners lost to Texas at a neutral site. (Expect Sam Bradford to, accordingly, be the leader in the clubhouse for the worthless trophy in the stiff-arm pose.) Texas' destruction of Texas A&M on Friday wasn't enough to keep them ahead. Question is, whether you agree with the choice here. I don't like the BCS standings being a tie-breaker with the three-way, but such as it is, the post Matt Hinton wrote anticipating exactly this result over at Dr. Saturday seems to jibe with the way it went down.

Now, the rest of the notable things:

  • Would you like to place bets on whether Charlie Weis is done at Notre Dame? Losing 38-3 at the Coliseum to a defensively stout USC team is still an embarrassment, particularly when the most fight the Irish showed was, well, the fight before the game started. It took until the third quarter, I believe, for the Irish to get a first down in the game.
  • The BCS would like to thank Oregon State for remembering that they are Oregon State, and thus, collapsing when they least could afford it in the Civil War, losing 65-38. The Beavers allowed both Oregon running backs to stomp all over them and ceded the Pac-10 to USC, who should thrash an offensively deficient UCLA squad next Saturday. (Of course, we've written this before, and then UCLA won 13-9.)
  • Compared to the Big 12 South, the SEC's picture is clear: Alabama blanked Auburn 36-0 in a display of nasty, brutish, defensive football that Nick Saban made his name on; Florida owned FSU by 30 in a rainy mess at Tallahassee. It's going to be very simple next Saturday with the winner of the SEC championship going to the BCS title game.
  • Paul Johnson just sealed his ACC Coach of the Year award and probably should get a national nod, too. Georgia Tech took it to Georgia in Athens by ripping off 410 yards on the ground and taking advantage of Matthew Stafford's two picks. The funny or bizarre thing is that what looks like the best team in the ACC won't play in its championship game, because Virginia Tech beat them earlier this year, and its anemic offense was helped by its defense in beating Virginia -- which means we get another VT-Boston College ACC championship this year.
  • Things you never really expected to happen in college football: an interim coach at Clemson, Dabo Swinney, curb stomps the Ol' Ball Coach 31-14, as South Carolina's Chris Smelley lived up to his last name with four picks.
  • With the scuttlebutt on the interwebs leaning everything towards Lane Kiffin being the next coach at Tennessee, the now-former coach Phil Fulmer, departed with an 18-point win over Kentucky -- despite a 7-3 halftime score that would have sent anyone who enjoys offense screaming from the TV set.
  • Baylor almost made this BCS/Big 12 South confusion moot -- too bad they choked on a lead over Texas Tech in Lubbock. Tech comes back despite losing Michael Crabtree, winning 35-28.
  • Todd Reesing is ten feet tall in the hearts of KU fans. Some manic scoring sequences in the last six and a half minutes in this year's edition of the Border War with Mizzou, and Reesing threw a touchdown pass to Kerry Meier with 27 seconds left to give KU a 40-37 win after the Tigers' kicker left a tying FG try short.

Posted by Signal to Noise at 4:45 PM 16 Comments Links to this post

NFL Open Thread - Week 13 Late Games

What we've seen from the first slate so far:

  • The Giants still look dominant, picking off Jason Campbell multiple times and handicapping the Redskins' offense. 23-7 in the 4th.
  • Indy finishes off Cleveland in a game without an offensive touchdown. The difference came when Dwight Freeney sacked Derek Anderson, causing a fumble which Robert Mathis picked up and ran in for a score.
  • Carolina and Green Bay are now tied at 28, after the Pack made a nice comeback to take the lead. Pack driving with 8:30 or so left.
  • 20-all tie between the Saints and Bucs in Tampa. Drew Brees has thrown for two scores, Garcia for one. 4 minutes to go and Tampa's driving.
  • Miami is only up 4 on St. Louis but has the ball with about 2 minutes left to go. Ronnie Brown has the only touchdown of the game.
  • A Shaun Hill to Isaac Bruce hook-up is the only end zone action in Toronto today, as the 49ers visit the Bills and have the ball with about 3 minutes to go. Buffalo has not helped itself with a failed 4th down conversion and a missed FG. 10-3, SF.
  • The Ravens are destroying the Bengals right now. 27-3 after two TD passes from Joe Flacco and a third by wideout Mark Clayton to Derrick Mason.
Now, your late games. I'm stuck with the cripple fight that is KC/Oakland. Kill me now.


Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
- Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Denver Broncos at NY Jets - Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders - Bill Macatee, Steve Beuerlein


Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers - Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson

NFL Open Thread - Week 13 Early Games

An NFC East showdown is one of the highlights on today's NFL schedule. Clinton Portis is ready. Here's your Week 13 maps and announcers, and let's go.


Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns
- Dick Enberg, Randy Cross
Miami Dolphins at St. Louis Rams - Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals - Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots


N.Y. Giants at Washington Redskins - Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Brian Billick
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers - Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan
San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills - Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli

The Pam Ward Chronicles: Week 14

Saturday, November 29, 2008

(Taps microphone.) Is this thing on? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? (Taps mic again.)

Hi. Sorry I had to ditch y'all these last two Saturdays. If there are any of you left after slipping into a tryptophan coma (re: the "itis") on Thursday, please join me as I try to keep abreast of the best of our play-by-play and color announcers during Week 14. I'll be with you until about 7 EST or so, because then I'm headed out to Spanos Stadium and some FCS playoffs between Cal Poly and Weber State.

Here's your announcing schedule for Week 14, and let's hop to it! Our leader, the matron saint of this feature, is calling Maryland/BC, 2nd place holder Lou Holtz will be in studio, and Uncle Gary is at the Iron Bowl in Tuscaloosa. I'll be starting at noon EST with Craig Bolerjack and Trev Alberts with Georgia Tech/Georgia. GO BEEEEEEEEEEES.

I originally wrote this as Ian Eagle and Craig Bolerjack, but the 'Jack is doing play-by-play. Yikes, we're gonna be in for a long morning.

Rick James Bible Owner gets us started with some gems from earlier this week:

"(The Big XII) isn't even going to wait and use the BCS standings after the Championships. They're gonna use the November 30th BCS standings." - Rod Gilmore

After a fumble that led to an ASU touchdown:
"You have to play to the whistle." - Chris Spielman
"Except the guy for UCLA (Coleman) is completely deaf." - Sean McDonough

"You know the rule. If you're long, you're never wrong." - Chris Spielman

That's just goofy.

"And there's Dante Lewis" (referring to Dante Love) - Todd Harris, from Tuesday's Ball State game (via BRuss)

"I had so much turkey, that I'm going to explode" - Craig James, during Texas A&M-Texas on Thursday

"A little bit too long for Macho Harris." - Andre Ware (via SSReporters)

"That was like a wedge shot, stuck on to the green. 30 yard punt." - Craig Bolerjack, mixing his sports analogies

"You can hear the concussion from that hit all the way from up here." - Ron Franklin, during Friday's Colorado-Nebraska game (via Stephen)

"Bet you love that when the mouthpiece went flying." - Dave Pasch, after Tyrod Taylor got nailed.
"No. No. I didn't." - Andre Ware
"Did you get up and look for the mouthpiece, use it again?" - Pasch
"Yeah, you got up and looked around for it on the ground, see if you could find it." - Ware

Taylor's gonna be feeling that one all of next week too.

Notes: Sly Croom just got fired or resigned, depending on whom you actually talk to, at Mississippi State.

"Three flags thrown. This ground is littered." - Craig Bolerjack

Honestly, I thought Trev Alberts would say more. He's barely talked this first half.

"John Chapas does a great job of getting behind the uglies there." - Trev Alberts, as Chapas takes a pass from Matt Stafford and makes his way to a first and goal.

"The BCS will take more than Jesse Palmer to figure out." - Wendi Nix, via BSPN

"They haven't penetrated the 40 yard line of Clemson so far." - Eric Collins, via BSPN

"What a year it has been for Brev.....Brett Favre." - Craig Bolerjack, via SSReporters. Craig isn't used to doing the promo end of things for the NFL games.

I just saw Lee Corso in a commercial for Hooters and it disturbed me greatly, aside from the high school AV club production quality.

"A little Dab will do ya." - Tim Brando on Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, who's up 24-7 on the Ol' Ball Coach and his 'Cocks at halftime -- via RJBO

"It was a run from the very....snap of the football." - Andre Ware (via SSR)

"Virginia is for lovers, but there's plenty of hate in this rivalry." - Todd Harris. Ah, the power of cliche....

"The sting is back!" - Trev Alberts, after Jonathan Dwyer goes 60 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

"And Dwyer for a touchdown.....I mean two!" - Craig Bolerjack, still stunned after that great run when Dwyer runs in the two-point conversion pitch.

"Now let's get that recipe for that Brunswick stool...I mean stew!" - Dave Pasch (Via Anon)

GT just came back from at least two scores down to tie the Dawgs at 28. You should be watching this. VA Tech and UVA are tied at 14, and Clemson is up 24-14 and knocking on the door for another score. Kansas is up 26-10 over Mizzou in the Border War.

"Todd Reesing's swagger is as big as it's been all year long." - Dave Lapham, and as Agent Zero would say, Todd's swag is phenomenal.

Um, Georgia Tech just got another touchdown on a Jonathan Dwyer run and is up 35-28. BEEEEEEEES.

"Big Rock toted it in, got it across the line before the ball got free." - Tom Hammond, giving the nickname for the Southern fullback who just scored. Southern and Grambling are playing in the Bayou Classic on NBC right now, and if you do anything, check out the halftime show for the bands.

"We've got a good ol' fashioned frog choker in Tallahassee." - Brad Nessler (via SSR)

Battle of the Bands time! Everyone to NBC right now!

"You've got an inch into it." - Brad Nessler (via James Craven)

"You talk about sex, she can't even keep her gum in her mouth." - likely (but not sure) of Dave Lapham during KU/Mizzou (amazing finish to that game), via Stephen

"Demps was faster than a rabbit in love." - Brad Nessler, via two Anons. I think we have a new leader in the clubhouse this week.

"I saw him go right down the line and straddling it."- Uncle Gary Danielson, via Stephen

"They'ne not built to come from behind. They're not built to come from ahead, either." - Uncle Gary on Auburn's offense, via James Craven

"I get myself in trouble sometimes saying these things." - Uncle Gary, after Uncle Verne references the previous comment.

"I'll go either way, I'm amphibious."- Uncle Verne Lundquist
"Yes I know that."- Your reigning Pammy Champion, Gary Danielson (via Stephen)

"They say Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas." - Nessler, recycling internet jokes. (via Mal)

"Who's your top performer of the week, Rob?" - Nessler
"My digestive system. Had a great Thanksgiving. My mom had all the duffin muffins, turkey, and stuffing, and it performed great." - Rob Stone

"I gotta go with Brooke Burke, the Dancing with the Stars champion. I hope my wife didn't hear that and I hope her husband didn't hear that." - Nessler, on his Top Performer of the Week.

"Maybe I gotta go with Brooke's husband, any guy who can deal with a guy grabbing his wife for 12 weeks is a top performer." - Nessler
"All kissin' and huggin' her and stuff." - Bob Griese

"Jenkins, a true freshman, is seeing his first action of the year. He's made 10 starts." - Bob Griese, via Smitty Lite.

I tuned into a football game and I swear I stumbled into a bad stand-up show instead. James asked a good question a while ago: where's Stacey Dales? Her hotness might make this tolerable.

Not necessarily a bad announcing thing per se, but an error: in mentioning the number of black Division I-A coaches after Sly Croom's resignation, Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman are saying there are only two (Turner Gill at Buffalo and Kevin Sumlin at Houston.) Guys, don't forget Miami's Randy Shannon.

"How high can Rice count?" - Carter Blackburn, as Rice begins to run it up on Houston.

"24 years later we still have some Flutie Magic." - Ray Bentley, after Doug's nephew Billy Flutie throws a TD on a fake FG.

Florida is waxing the floor with FSU, Auburn is supplying the butt for Alabama,, and the Baylor-Texas Tech tilt is not on TV in my area...never mind, it's on Versus, but that almost doesn't count as televised.

"Touchdown Texas Tech Griffin, Touchdown Baylor Griffin."- Ron Thulin, master of the team identification (via Stephen)

"This isn't his first goat race." - Nessler, on FSU's Drew Weatherford (via Mal)

"I think their pager sensitivity needs to go up." - Kelly Stouffer (via Mal)

Anon provides us with a nice summation of this Versus team: "These guys on VS calling the Texas Tech-Baylor game are some of the worst I've ever heard. Just generally clueless about the rules and what is going on."

Ron Thulin and Kelly Stouffer, everyone. Their crews and camera work have been very poor since Versus got college football last season. Absolutely hackish work.

Guys, I've gotta get ready to go to the Cal Poly game (get cash, walk to the stadium, etc.) Have fun with Bedlam (OK-Okie State) and the further shaming of Pear Bryant as Notre Dame supplies the butt for USC tonight, and I'll see you back here for NFL action tomorrow.

"The two highest-ranked [Big 12 South] teams in the BCS will go to Kansas City and play Missouri in the championship game." - Ron Thulin

"I miss the nightclubs where you didn't need to bring a gun." - Mike Patrick on the Burress incident

"In the upper right folks that is Boone T. Pickens." - Brent Musberger mixing up the correct name of T. Boone Pickens

Musburger: "I listened to your gal Beyonce."
Herbstreit: "What'd you think?"
Musburger: "I went right back to Willy Nelson so fast it was unbelievable. But I'll say one thing; she is attractive...oh baby."

"They line up those tight ends and bang and bang."- Gary Danielson

"Does OU have enough style points to overhaul Texas?"- Brent Musburger

Dr. Lou Would Like To Wish You A Happy Thanksgiving, And Serve You Some Turkey

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dr. Lou would like to serve some food, and give you some advice on this wonderful holiday....

Man, Lou was sure stingy with that turkey, wasn't he? Hope you all a great day.

Your NFL Broadcast Maps And Announcing Schedule For Week Thirteen

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CBS Thanksgiving Day (12:30pm): Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions - Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
FOX Thanksgiving Day (4:30pm): Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys - Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
NFL-N Thanksgiving Night Football: Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (Bob Papa, Cris Collinsworth
NBC Sunday Night Football: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (Al Michaels, John Madden)
ESPN Monday Night Football: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser)

CBS 1pm:

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns - Dick Enberg, Randy Cross
BLUE: Miami Dolphins at St. Louis Rams - Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker
GREEN: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati - Ian Eagle, Solomon Wilcots

CBS 4pm:

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots - Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
BLUE: Denver Broncos at NY Jets - Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
GREEN: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders - Bill Macatee, Steve Beuerlein


N.Y. Giants at Washington Redskins (1pm)- Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa
BLUE: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1pm)- Dick Stockton, Brian Baldinger, Brian Billick
GREEN: Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (1pm)- Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan
YELLOW: San Francisco 49ers at Buffalo Bills - Ron Pitts, Tony Boselli

ORANGE: Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers (4pm) - Matt Vasgersian, JC Pearson

Your College Football Announcing Schedule Week Fourteen

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, November 25th

Western Michigan @ 15 Ball State (ESPN2, 7pm)- Todd Harris, Ray Bentley
Navy @ Northern Illinois (ESPN Classic, 7pm)- Eric Collins, Shaun King

Thursday, November 27th

Texas A&M @ 2 Texas (ESPN, 8pm)- Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer, Craig James, Erin Andrews

Friday, November 28th

West Virginia @ 25 Pittsburgh (ABC, Noon)- Dave Lamont, Brock Huard
Ohio @ Miami-OH (ESPNU, 12:30pm)- Dave Ryan, Jay Taylor
Mississippi State @ Mississippi (Raycom, 12:30pm)- Dave Neal, David Archer, Dave Baker
Texas El-Paso @ East Carolina (CBS College Sports, 1pm)- Tom Hart, Brian Jones
Kent State @ Buffalo (Time Warner-NY, 2pm)- Howard Simon, Brian Koziol (Will Air on FS Ohio)
Louisiana State @ Arkansas (CBS, 2:3opm)- Don Criqui, Dan Fouts
Colorado @ Nebraska (ABC, 3:30pm)- Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham, Jack Arute
Bowling Green @ Toledo (ESPN Classic, 3:30pm)- Todd Harris, Shaun King
Fresno State @ 9 Boise State (ESPN2, 6:30pm)- Joe Tessitore, Rod Gilmore
UCLA @ Arizona State (ESPN2, 9:30pm)- Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Rob Stone

Saturday, November 29th

22 Georgia Tech @ 11 Georgia (CBS, Noon)- Craig Bolerjack, Trev Alberts
Virginia @ Virginia Tech (ESPN, Noon)- Dave Pasch, Andre Ware, Todd Harris
South Carolina @ Clemson (ESPN2, Noon)- Eric Collins, David Norrie
Syracuse @ 16 Cincinnati (Big East Network, Noon)- Mike Gleason, John Congemi, Quint Kessenich (Will Air on SNY, MASN, Altitude)
Miami @ North Carolina State (Raycom, Noon)- Steve Martin, Rick Walker, Mike Hogewood
13 Missouri v. Kansas (FSN, 12:30pm)- Bill Land, Dave Lapham, Jim Knox
Nevada @ Louisiana Tech (ESPN Plus, 2:30pm)- Trey Bender, Rene Nadeau
New Mexico State @ Utah State (Aggie Vision, 3pm)- Jeff Siembieda, Danny Knee (Will Air on FS Arizona)
Auburn @ 1 Alabama (CBS, 3:30pm)- Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, Tracy Wolfson
Baylor @ 7 Texas Tech (Versus, 3:30pm)- Ron Thulin, Kelly Stouffer, Lewis Johnson
4 Florida @ 20 Florida State (ABC, 3:30pm)- Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Paul Maguire, Stacey Dales
Maryland @ 21 Boston College (ABC, 3:30pm)- Pam Ward, Ray Bentley
Houston @ Rice (CBS College Sports, 3:30pm)- Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor
Tulane @ Memphis (CSS, 3:30pm)- Bob Neal, Chuck Oliver, Sandra Golden
North Carolina @ Duke (ESPNU, 3:30pm)- Doug Bell, Charles Arbuckle
Kentucky @ Tennessee (ESPN2, 6:30pm)- Mark Jones, Bob Davie, Erin Andrews
23 Oregon @ 17 Oregon State (Versus, 7pm)- Tim Neverett, Glenn Parker, Anne Marie Anderson
Vanderbilt @ Wake Forest (ESPNU, 7:30pm)- Clay Matvick, David Diaz-Infante
Notre Dame @ 5 USC (ESPN, 8pm)- Mike Patrick, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe
3 Oklahoma @ 12 Oklahoma State (ABC, 8pm)- Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Lisa Salters
Washington State @ Hawaii (Oceanic, 11pm)- Jim Leahey, Russell Yamanoha

Monday Night Football Week Twelve Open Thread: Packers at Saints

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who: Packers at Saints
Where: The Superdome
Spreads: Packers -1.5, O/U 52
Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Tony Kornheiser

Monday Night Countdown Segments:

ESPN the Magazine's "For Love or The Game:" Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian

Saints running back Reggie Bush and his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, reality TV star - will be the subject of Monday's "For Love or The Game," a Countdown segment that pairs a player or coach with a family member or girlfriend and a teammate to find out which person knows more about him. Kardashian, who stars on the E! reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, will battle Bush's teammate Bobby McCray to see who really knows Bush better.

“Soundtracks:” Charles Woodson

In his 11th year in the NFL, Charles Woodson remains one of the league's top cornerbacks - tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with five. Woodson is wired for in-game sound in this week's edition of "Soundtracks."

EA Sports Virtual Playbook: Packers Quarterback Aaron Rogers

In EA Sports Virtual Playbook, Jackson breaks down how Aaron Rodgers' quick slants could create problems for the Saints defense.

AA's Prediction:

Due to not being able to move a weekly engagement away from Monday nights, I'll probably be going with open threads the rest of the season unless something changes. I'll be recording and checking in later tonight with vids though, so if you have anything to share, feel free to do so in the comments.

Saints 31 - Packers 24

Adidas Is Apparently Having Some Sort Of Party

So, I got this clip forwarded to me from a couple of different PR firms, and thought I would share it with you to end the day. It's of a commercial which stars various Sports and Entertainment Stars (Kevin Garnett, David Beckham, Missy Elliot), and for some reason they're calling each other up on their cell phones and talking about some sort of party. Here's the spot....

Sounds like a sweet get together. I did some research and apparently the campaign is for Adidas' 60th anniversary of the 3-Stripes mark and the commercials will be of a shindig that features a mix of people from the worlds of music, fashion and sport. The campaign kicks off tomorrow, so keep a lookout for it on the airwaves.

ESPN To Charge For Video Content, Have Sharapova Edit "The Mag"

Sort of a combo post here because both tidbits are about ESPN, but both were interesting enough to warrant a spot on the site. First up is the news that the "Leader" will soon be charging for some of its video content that was once free to visitors of the website. Via Mediapost....

Over the past several years, ESPN has moved aggressively in making full episodes of its popular debate shows "PTI" and "Around the Horn" widely available on the Internet. First, the shows were carried on (which is free, but in only 24 million homes). Then, they were moved to, available to everyone for nothing.

No more. Now, in order to view the duo on, a person must be what's called an ESPN Insider and pay a fee ($6.95 a month, $39.95 a year).

ESPN is also looking at curtailing access to some of the live events it provides at no cost on it offers a wealth of high-profile simulcasts of games seen on its networks. Here again, the programmer has been ambitious in expanding its offerings, which include NBA playoff games; Duke vs. North Carolina and other top college basketball games; SEC football; and starting last summer, Major League Baseball.
I had always wondered why they put so much time and effort into a free service, but their video content had gotten so good over the last few years, I wasn't about to complain. It stinks for fans of those shows and that content, but it certainly makes good business sense.

As far as our second little item, it seems as if ESPN the Mag will be letting Maria Sharapova run things for an issue. Every so often, the Mag will grab an athlete to edit its pages for an issue (Chad Johnson, Matt Leinart), and the Tennis star will be the next one to do so. According to Deadspin though, they are having some issues finding Ms. Sharapova assignments....

Maria Sharapova is going to be the "Editor-in-Chief" of our Athletes Issue. She accepted this responsibility with great enthusiasm and would like, for an issue, to focus her efforts for the Magazine toward revamping the fashion-sense of America's favorite athletes. She has two ideas:

-The make-over. She wants to redo the style of LeBron (even though he only wears Ralph Lauren's premium label), Carmelo Anthony, Reggie Bush etc.
-The Best Dressed/Worst Dressed list. It's debut in our pages.

Why am I going on about this? Because we need to come up with some other things she can do in addition (or in place of) the above. Ideally, some of you have ideas that put to use her interest in style and applies it to our pages. I'd love to hear any and all thoughts on the matter. There are no stupid ideas. Please take a few minutes and ask yourself "If Maria Sharapova were my boss for a day, how could she make the magazine better?" And then send me what you come up with. By Wednesday, please.
I think when you say "there are no stupid ideas", you're pretty much setting yourself up for some stupid ideas. Hopefully they don't embarrass her too much. Good times at the "Leader"!

No Free Ride: ESPN Charges For Some Web Shows (Media Post)
ESPN Mag To Get a Sharapova-cized Makeover (Deadspin)

Your Week Thirteen 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.

You guys were animals this past Saturday, so we've got 21 gems to choose from. There was a ton of innuendo, Brent Musburger not knowing Beyonce, Mike Patrick loving Coldplay, and Lou Holtz being depressing. We're coming down to the last weekend people, so make the votes count!

The Pam Ward Chronicles: Week Twelve

1. "I love Coldplay."- Mike Patrick

2. "He yanked it, pulled it from the get-go." - Kelly Stouffer on a missed PAT

3. "Behind that group will be 27 seniors will take the field at Ohio stadium for the very first time today. For the very LAST time today". - Brad Nessler on tOSU's seniors

4. "Is Ratt nominated for an award?"- Chris Speilman on the AMAs

5. "That's not a terrorist. It's Florida State kicker Graham Gano."- Ron Franklin, commenting on Gano's ski mask in the Maryland cold

6. "The first turnover of the day for West Virginia, and they'll have the ball in good field position."- Andre Ware, as WVU gets the ball at about their own 15 yard line

7. "Keep your head down and stroke it well young guy"- Kelly Stouffer to the Oregon State kicker before the game winning field goal

8. "The only thing above us is the Goodyear Blimp and that thing's a mile away."- Brad Nessler

9. "Unofficially, we have him for three and a half sacks on his own."- Ron Franklin

10. "Kinda tells you about Michigan's season. The little truck that couldn't do it and finally they get in." - Bob Griese

11. "Remember this. Bear Bryant retired at age 69, and he died 28 days after he stopped coaching. If you don't have something, and a purpose in your life, you're gonna die."- Lou Holtz

12. "You're exactly right, Ray Lewis." - Todd Harris talking to Ray Bentley

13. "Beyonse."- Brent Musburger
"I know who Kenny Chesney is. The least you could know is who Beyonce is."- Lisa Salters

14. "I'm not real good at Math, but that sounds like a backwards pass."- Ray Bentley

15. "He's not getting enough tasty balls that he can take a bite at."- Petros Papdakis

16. "If a beagle could win the Westminster upset.....I don't know if this would be that big but this would be big." - Pat Haden

17. "Texas Tech first in the Big South, er, the Big 12 South."- Mike Patrick

18. "He is in midseason form!"- Ray Bentley on Purdue's Curtis Painter

19. "These guys are making me hot."- Paul McGuire

"Hoyer has been bedeviled by wide receivers dropping balls on him this year."- Mike Patrick

"Greg Orton came over and they slapped each other... on the palms." - Pam Ward

A Look Inside An ESPN Focus Group On The New Sports Center Format

Having moles in and around ESPN is always an interesting thing. A lot of the time you get accounts of who ate what at lunch that day, but every once in awhile you get a great email account of interesting day to day goings on. Well, recently I received one of those emails from a person who was involved in an ESPN Focus Group recently and while some of the questions asked aren't a surprise, some of the results/answers were. But first here is a little background from our focus grouper and a quick rundown of the questions....

"My group in particular included about 12 guys (no women) aged between 18 and 25. There were two african americans, and the rest were white. Everyone was paid $170 for participation. We were required to complete a homework assignment (keep a SportsCenter journal for two weeks before the focus group.)"


For your upcoming focus group at (INSERT FACILITY NAME) at (INSERT TIME) we have a homework assignment for you.

The Assignment:
1. Watch SportsCenter on ESPN over the weekdays between 9am and 3pm.
a. Watch it critically during this time for at least 3 total hours or more. (*It is very important that you watch SportsCenter between the 9am and 3pm hours)
b. As you watch SportsCenter, take some notes on what you like/dislike about the show at those specific hours
c. Try your best to focus on the show, format, anchors …and not the sports content
d. Recording the show is allowed if it helps with note-taking
2. Ask yourself the following question:
“If SportsCenter at the 9am-3pm hours was a person, what type of person would you describe him/her as?”
Descriptions ‘could’ contain the following:
i. What type of car would it drive?
ii. What ‘other shows’ would it be friends with?
iii. What type of clothes would it wear?
iv. What music would be on its iPod?
v. What age would it be?
vi. What type of activities would it do in its ‘free time?’
3. Find 5 or more images from magazines, newspapers, or the Internet that helps you describe the type of person it would be
4. Take 2 regular size sheets of paper and tape them together to make 1 large sheet
5. Glue, tape, or staple your images on the 1 large sheet in whatever arrangement you see fit to show this person
6. Then put your name on your notes and your collage and bring them both to your focus group to turn in!

*The most expressive and vivid collages will be considered for a Best Buy© gift certificate
Just weird questions, right? I guess that's what focus groups are for, to try and find new and interesting information out there, but to ask what music it would have on it's Ipod? And collages?!?! Is this preschool? That is just plain strange, but I guess for $170, and a chance at a Best Buy gift card, I'd give it a shot. Anyway, I know you're curious as to the results, so here is our correspondent's assessment of what went on and namely which anchors the group liked and disliked....
Finally, the anchors were discussed. We were shown headshots of the following SportsCenter anchors, and tested to see how many our group could identify. We were asked whether they were perceived as "Old or New" and "Triple-A, Pro, or All-Star."

John Anderson - group couldn't think of his name - "Old" - "Pro"
Josh Elliot - was identified - "New" - "worst SportsCenter anchor ever"
Neil Everett - group couldn't think of his name - "Old" - "Pro"
Robert Flores - group couldn't think of his name... one person thought he was Josh Elliot - "New" - "Triple-A"
Brian Kenny - group couldn't think of his name - "Old" - "Pro" (a couple people didn't like him)
Steve Levy - group couldn't think of his name - "Old" - "All Star"
Kenny Mayne - was identified - "Old" - "All Star" (some said Hall of Fame)
Chris McKendry - was identified - "New" - "Triple-A"
Sage Steele - was identified - "New" - "Triple-A"
Hannah Storm - was identified - "New" - "All-Star"
Scott Van Pelt - was identified - "New" - "All-Star"

Then the proctor asked: If we were the producers of the show, which anchors would we keep, and which we would fire? The group voted unanimously to fire Josh Elliot. Nearly everyone said to fire Chris McKendry. Some people said to fire Robert Flores. Nobody else got the axe. The group's favorite, by far, was Hannah Storm. Several people said they wanted to see more of her. One person asked if he could keep her headshot photo. Steve Levy, Kenny Mayne, and Scott Van Pelt were the group's other favorites.

Next, they asked aesthetic questions about the show. For example, they asked if the group liked when the anchors were filmed standing up, instead of sitting at the desk. The group was indifferent about that. The group didn't like the new machine sounds played during the SportsCenter cut scenes... several participants said they preferred the way SportsCenter used to play its theme music more often.
Obviously our insider wants to stay Anonymous, but I'd like to thank him for giving us such a detailed account. A few thoughts....Kenny Mayne is a HOFer? Really??? The guy is humorous, but I didn't think people thought of him as such a pro. Also, hearing that people don't like Josh Elliott, while not the way I feel, isn't really surprising. In focus groups, men tend to be negative towards attractive males (I'm comfortable in my sexuality to say Elliott is a handsome man) and extremely responsive to attractive females (i.e.- Hannah Storm) As far as the rest of the group's findings, I can't really disagree with them.

Thanks again to our focus group attendee, and it'll be interesting to see if they make any changes to the format in light of these results. I wouldn't count on it, but anything is possible. As far as you the reader, you know ESPN is reading, so what would you change about the show and what do you think it would have on its Ipod?

Create The Caption #316

(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 Friday's Winners....

"I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman."- Foos

"I hope someone sees this picture of me looking annoyed and attaches a slightly appropriate quote from a television show or film that is popular enough for a select, elite few people to recognize it, but not so popular that it implies that the author of such caption is some American-Idol-watching Philistine. Maybe something like 'Damn if feels good to be a gangsta.' Office Space? Anybody?"- Austin

Let's see - did I get all my buzzwords in? Parity - check. Competitive balance - check. Record attendance - check. TV partners - check. Toughest drug testing program in American sports - check. Tradition - check. Hank Aaron - check. Diversity - check. Labor peace - check. Golden era of baseball - check. How about subtext? Threaten to move teams unless they get a free stadium - check. Distance myself from collusion - check. Make it seem like there is a chance in hell Cuban will get the Cubs - check. Avoid directly thanking Hal and the Yankees for economically supporting every shittily run team - check."- Butterscotch

And your winner of a copy of EA's NCAA '09 is (drumroll)........

"I've never been a part of a win or loss in an All-Star Game. I never even knew that was in the rule book. It's part of the rules, and we have to go with it. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately, with the rules, we settled with a tie."- The Sherm

Thanks for all of the entries last week, and EA Sports will be mailing the winners copies of the game very shortly. If I don't have your mailing address, please get it to me ASAP. The sponsor for this week's caption contest, as suggested by a commenter, is IMDB....and the winner will get absolutely nothing!

Captioners Choice: Are you funny enough to create a caption for this photo of Dick Vitale accepting his HOF medalion from Bobby Knight or are you funny to create a caption of Donovan McNabb sitting (or standing) out the second half yesterday?

Daily Links:

Phelps On Entourage (The Sporting Blog)
Neil Everett Is Creepy (The Howeva Files)
Speaking Of Creepy....Here Is The A's Owner Looking Extra Sketchy (The Sports Hernia)
Live From The Maui Invitational (Rumors and Rants)
Peter King Still Loves Brett Favre (KSK)
Lou's Loogie (Puck Daddy)
Patrick Roy's Son Is Violent (Going Five Hole)
NFL Redemption Stories (Mondesi's House)
The WWYD Championship Is Here! (The Big Picture)
An Interview With One Of The MLB Network's New Hires (Sports Bubbler)

Your NBA Announcing Schedule For The Week Of 11/24

For some reason, networks seem to be picking one or two teams to highlight each week. Last week it was the Blazers and Bulls, and this week it's the 76ers with three appearances on National TV. There's nothing wrong with that approach, in fact it's rather enjoyable considering the Cavaliers, Lakers and Celtics will be featured the rest of the year.

Here are the rest of your games for the week....

Monday, November 17th

Philadelphia 76ers at Charlotte Bobcats (NBATV, 7pm)- Steve Martin, Henry Williams (Local Announcers)

Tuesday, November 18th

Fan Night Matchup: Cleveland Cavaliers at New York Knicks (NBA TV, 7:30pm)- Mike Breen, Walt Frazier (Local Announcers)

Wednesday, November 19th

Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers (ESPN, 7:30pm)- Mark Jones, Hubie Brown

Thursday, November 20th

Orlando Magic at Washington Wizards (TNT, 8pm)- Dick Stockton, Mike Fratello and David Aldridge
New Orleans Hornets at Denver Nuggets (TNT, 10:30pm)- Marv Albert, Doug Collins and Craig Sager

Friday, November 21st

Miami Heat at Phoenix Suns (ESPN, 8pm)- Dan Shulman, Jon Barry
Dallas Mavericks at LA Lakers (ESPN, 10:30pm)- Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy

Saturday, November 22nd

Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA TV, 8pm)- Tom Hanneman, Jim Petersen (Local Announcers)

Sunday, November 23rd

Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers (NBA TV, 5pm)- Marc Zumoff, Steve Mix (Local Announcers)

Your College Basketball Announcing Schedule For The Week Of 11/24

Feast Week is here, and not only do we get a ton of great tournaments throughout the next seven days, and a few games called by new HOFer Dick Vitale(!), but we also get our first look at Gus Johnson on the BTN tonight! He'll be on the call of the Bowling Green-OSU game with Jim Jackson. Even though OSU is favored by over 12 points, with GuJo on the call you can expect a battle. Here is your schedule and as always, thanks to the work that The 506 puts in on these. Sorry for the holes in spots, but there's just no way to come up with announcers from FS Ohio and Altitude for every game. If you have something or someone to share, please add it or them in the comments....

Monday, November 24th

Maui Invitational: St. Joseph's v. Texas (ESPN2, 3pm)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes
Maui Invitational: Indiana v. Notre Dame (ESPN2, 5pm)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes
Paradise Jam: Miami v. San Diego (FSN, 6pm)- Dan McLaughlin, Larry Conley (Will Air on FS Detroit+, Florida, Midwest, North, Northwest, Ohio, Prime Ticket, Rocky Mountain, South, CSN Bay Area, Mid-Atlantic, New England, FCS Pacific)
Longwood @ Kentucky (Big Blue Sports, 7pm)- Dave Baker, Kyle Macy, Rob Bromley (Will Air on FS South)
CBE Classic: Syracuse v. Florida (ESPN2, 7:30)- Dan Shulman, Bob Knight, Doris Burke
Bowling Green @ Ohio State (BTN, 8pm)- Gus Johnson, Jim Jackson
Paradise Jam Championship Game: Connecticut v. Wisconsin (FSN, 8:30pm)- Dan McLaughlin, Larry Conley (Will Air on FS Detroit+, Florida, Midwest, North, Northwest, Ohio, Prime Ticket, Rocky Mountain, South, CSN Bay Area, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England, FCS Pacific)
Nevada-Las Vegas @ Texas-El Paso (CBS College Sports, 9pm)- Carter Blackburn, Greg Anthony
CBE Classic: Washington v. Kansas (ESPN2, 9:30pm)- Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Doris Burke
Maui Invitational: North Carolina v. Chaminade (ESPNU, 9:30)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes
Maui Invitational: Oregon v. Alabama (ESPN2, 11:59pm)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes

Tuesday, November 25th

Maui Invitational: ST JOE/TEXAS loser v. IND/ND loser (ESPNU, 1:30pm)- Dave Barnett, Jimmy Dykes
Maui Invitational: CHAM/UNC loser v. ORE/ALA loser (ESPN2, 4pm)- Dave Barnett, Jimmy Dykes
Maui Invitational: STJOE/TEXAS winner v. IND/ND winner (ESPN, 7pm)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes
Gardner-Webb @ South Carolina (SportSouth, 7pm)- TBD
Mount St. Mary's @ George Mason (MASN, 7pm)- TBD
CBE Classic: SYR/FLA loser v. WASH/KANSAS loser (ESPNU, 7:45pm)- Dan Shulman, Bob Knight, Doris Burke
Texas Southern @ Marquette (Big East Network, 8pm)- TBD (Will Air on Altitude, MASN, TWC Sports 32)
Oakland @ Kansas State (FS Kansas City, 8pm)- TBD
Saint Louis @ Nebraska (FS Midwest, 8pm)- TBD
Boston @ Northeastern (NESN, 8pm)- TBD
Norfolk State @ Michigan (BTN, 8:30pm)- Michael Reghi, Tim McCormick
Maui Invitational: CHAM/UNC winner v. ORE/ALA winner (ESPN, 9pm)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes
CBE Classic Championship Game: SYR/FLA winner v. WASH/KANSAS winner (ESPN2, 10pm)- Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Doris Burke

Wednesday, November 26th

Maui Invitational: 5th Place Game (ESPN2, 2pm)- Dave Barnett, Jimmy Dykes
Maui Invitational: 3rd Place Game (ESPN2, 4pm)- Dave Barnett, Jimmy Dykes
Preseason NIT: Boston College v. Purdue (ESPN2, 7pm)- Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin, Allen Hopkins
Maui Invitational: 7th Place Game (ESPNU, 7pm)- Dave Barnett, Jimmy Dykes
Maine @ Quinnipiac (NESN, 7pm)- TBD
Eastern Washington @ Minnesota (BTN, 8:30pm)- Wayne Larrivee, Trent Tucker
Southern Methodist @ Texas Christian (MTN, 8:30pm)- TBD
Preseason NIT: Alabama-Birmingham v. Oklahoma (ESPN2, 9pm)- Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin, Allen Hopkins
Northern Colorado @ Denver (FS Rocky Mountain, 9pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Central)
Maui Invitational: Championship Game (ESPN, 10pm)- Sean McDonough, Bill Raftery, Jay Bilas, Jimmy Dykes

Thursday, November 27th

Old Spice Classic: Tennessee v. Siena (ESPN2, Noon)- Bob Wischusen, Len Elmore, Andy Katz
Old Spice Classic: Wichita State v. Georgetown (ESPN2, 2pm)- Bob Wischusen, Len Elmore, Andy Katz
76 Classic: St. Mary's v. Texas El-Paso (ESPNU, 2pm)- Steve Physioc, Bob Wenzel
76 Classic: Wake Forest v. Cal State-Fullerton (ESPN2, 4:30pm)- Scott Graham, Bob Wenzel
Old Spice Classic: Maryland v. Michigan State (ESPN2, 7pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz
Old Spice Classic: Oklahoma State v. Gonzaga (ESPN2, 9pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz
76 Classic: Arizona State v. Charlotte (ESPNU, 9pm)- Steve Physioc, Stephen Bardo
Great Alaska Shootout: Louisiana Tech v. Seattle (FS Northwest, 10pm)- TBD
76 Classic: Providence v. Baylor (ESPN2, 11:30pm)- Scott Graham, Stephen Bardo

Friday, November 28th

Old Spice Classic: TENN/SIENA loser v. WICH ST/GTOWN loser (ESPNU, 10:30pm)- Bob Wischusen, Len Elmore, Andy Katz
Old Spice Classic: TENN/SIENA winner v. WICH ST/GTOWN winner (ESPN, 1pm)- Bob Wischusen, Len Elmore, Andy Katz
Preseason NIT: BC/PURDUE loser v. UAB/OKLA loser (ESPN2, 1:30pm)- Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin, Allen Hopkins
Duquesne @ Duke (ESPN, 3pm)- Bob Picozzi, Jimmy Dykes
Preseason NIT Championship Game: BC/PURDUE winner v. UAB/OKLA winner (ESPN2, 3:30pm)- Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin, Allen Hopkins
76 Classic: ST MARY/UTEP loser v. WAKE/CSFUL loser (ESPNU, 3:30pm)- Steve Physioc, Bob Wenzel
Old Spice Classic: MD/MICH ST winner v. OKST/GONZ winner (ESPN, 5:30pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz
76 Classic: ARIZ ST/CHAR loser v. PROV/BAYLOR loser (ESPNU, 5:30pm)- Steve Physioc, Bob Wenzel
Legends Classic: Mississippi State v. Washington State (HDNet, 5:30pm)- TBD
South Padre Island Invitational: Kent State v. Illinois (FCS Atlantic, 6pm)- TBD
Legends Classic: Pittsburgh v. Texas Tech (HDNet, 8pm)- TBD
South Padre Island Invitational: Tulsa v. Texas A&M (FCS Atlantic, 8:30pm)- TBD
Chicago Invitational: Northern Iowa v. Marquette (Big East Network, 8:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on TWC Sports 32)
Old Spice Classic: MD/MICH ST loser v. OKST/GONZ loser (ESPNU, 8pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla, Andy Katz
Las Vegas Invitational: West Virginia v. Iowa (Big East Network, 9pm)- TBD (Will Air on SNY, MASN)
76 Classic: ST MARY/UTEP winner v. WAKE/CSFUL winner (ESPNU, 10pm)- Scott Graham, Stephen Bardo
Las Vegas Invitational: Kansas State v. Kentucky (ESPNU, 11:59pm)- Jim Barbar, Larry Conley

Saturday, November 29th
76 Classic: ARIZ ST/CHAR winner v. PROV/BAYLOR winner (ESPN2, 12:30am)- Scott Graham, Stephen Bardo
Samford @ Ohio State (BTN, Noon)- Tom Hamilton, Tony White
Bryant @ Connecticut (Big East Network, 1pm)- TBD (Will Air on WCTX)
North Dakota State @ Minnesota (BTN, 2pm)- Dean Linke, Spencer Tollackson
Pacific @ Washington (FS Northwest, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Pacific)
Miami (OH) @ Xavier (FS Ohio, 4:30pm)- TBD
Legends Classic: MISS ST/WASH loser v. PITT/TX TECH loser (HDNet, 5:30pm)- TBD
Denver @ Wyoming (MTN, 6pm)- TBD
Florida International @ UCLA (FS Prime Ticket, 7:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Pacific)
Legends Classic Championship Game: MISS ST/WASH ST winner v. PITT/TX TECH winner (HDNet, 8pm)- TBD
Chicago Invitational: Dayton v. Marquette (Big East Network)- TBD (Will Air on SNY, TWC Sports 32, WHIO)
Creighton @ Nebraska (FS Midwest, 8pm)- TBD
Cancun Challenge: Drake v. Vanderbilt (CBS College Sports, 8:30pm)- TBD
South Padre Island Invitiational: KENT ST/ILL loser v. TULSA/TX A&M loser (FCS Atlantic, 8:30pm)- TBD
Las Vegas Invitational Championship Game: KAN ST/UK winner v. WVU/IOWA winner (ESPN2, 10:30pm)- Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin
Colorado @ Stanford (FSN, 10:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Florida, Midwest, South, CSN Bay Area, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England, MSG+, FCS Pacific)
Cancun Challenge: Virginia Commonwealth v. New Mexico (CBS College Sports, 11pm)- TBD
South Padre Island Invitiational Championship Game: KENT ST/ILL winner v. TULSA/TX A&M winner (FCS Atlantic)- TBD

Sunday, November 30th

Old Spice Classic: 7th Place Game (ESPNU, 10:30am)- Rich Waltz, Len Elmore
Old Spice Classic: 5th Place Game (ESPNU, 12:30pm)- Rich Waltz, Len Elmore
UMKC @ Florida (SUN, 1pm)- TBD (Will Air on SportSouth)
76 Classic: 7th Place Game (ESPNU, 3pm)- Steve Physioc, Bob Wenzel
Rice @ Texas (FS Southwest, 3pm)- TBD
Cornell @ Indiana (BTN, 4pm)- Mark Neely, John Laskowski
Northern Arizona @ Arizona (FS Arizona, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on FCS Pacific)
Oral Roberts @ Missouri (Mizzou Sports, 4pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Midwest)
76 Classic: 5th Place Game (ESPNU, 5pm)- Steve Physioc, Bob Wenzel
Old Spice Classic: 3rd Place Game (ESPN2, 5:30pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla
Cancun Challenge: Central Florida v. Morehead State (CBS College Sports, 6pm)- TBD
UNC-Asheville @ North Carolina (FSN, 6:30pm)- TBD (Will Air on FS Florida, Midwest, South, CSN Bay Area, Mid Atlantic, NESN, MSG+, FCS Atlantic)
Old Spice Classic: Championship Game (ESPN, 7:30pm)- Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla, Len Elmore
76 Classic: 3rd Place Game (ESPNU, 8pm)- Scott Graham, Stephen Bardo
Cancun Challenge: DRAKE/VANDY loser v. VCU/N MEX loser (CBS College Sports, 8pm)- TBD
76 Classic: Championship Game (ESPN2, 10:30pm)- Scott Graham, Stephen Bardo
Cancun Challenge Championship Game: DRAKE/VANDY winner v. VCU/N MEX winner (CBS College Sports, 10:30pm)- TBD

NBC Likely Flexing The Skins-Ravens Game In Week Fourteen

We knew that a flex was likely coming for Week Fourteen's Patriots-Seahawks game, but we weren't exactly sure which game was going to go in its place. The options were WAS-BAL, NO-ATL and PHI-NYG, and while I really thought it was going to be the Eagles-Giants, an Eagles loss against the Ravens made the Skins-Ravens game the most appealing. Well the Saints-Falcons would probably be the better game, but Skins-Ravens will surely pull in more in the terms of ratings.

The network has until tomorrow, but that's what I'm hearing from a handful of people this morning.

Expect NBC To Only Flex One Game This Year (Awful Announcing)

Shotgunning Red Bull Is Extreme!

I don't know how many of you realized this, but the MLS Cup was awarded yesterday to the Columbus Crew (I had no idea either), and that's where this craaaaazy video comes from. Alexi Lalas had promised to shotgun a Red Bull if the New York Red Bulls made the playoffs and Rob Stone made sure he paid up before the game on Saturday....

I knew Soccer was lame, but this takes that theory to a whole 'nother level. It also took Lalas about five minutes to "gun" that think and it's about half the size of a regular beer can. They must not have been big drinkers at Rutgers University in the 90s.

Gameday Moving On To Stillwater, OK

Every time I hear the town name of Stillwater, I think of the crappy VH1 movie about a band with the same name, but I digress. Gameday will be in Stillwater, more specifically Oklahoma State, next week for Bedlam 2008!

STILLWATER -- It became official late Sunday morning that ESPN College Football Gameday will broadcast its show from outside Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday before the Oklahoma State-Oklahoma game.

GameDay, hosted by Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard, will set up on the library lawn for shows on Friday and Saturday.

It is the show's first trip to Stillwater since the Cowboys hosted OU in 2004.

The Bedlam game is set to kick off at 7 p.m. and will air on ABC.
Stillwater is only about and hour and a half down the road for Norman, so the group doesn't really have that far to go. To tell you the truth though, I'm surprised they didn't head to USC for their game against Notre Dame. This will mark the fist time since 2003 that they haven't setup for more than one Trojans game in a season. Well, they could elect to go to UCLA next week, but with Alabama at Florida on the schedule, that's not likely to happen. Even though it's a CBS game, a #1 vs. #2 game is just too tough to pass up.

ESPN GameDay will be at Bedlam (News OK)