Shooting from the Lip/Monday edition
Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...
Baseball's postseason was moved back a bit this season because of the World Baseball Classic in March, but baseball still needs to figure out how to avoid playing postseason games in weather more suited for the NHL's Winter Classic than baseball. Can you imagine how cold it might be two weeks from now in New York, Philadelphia and Denver -- all cities that could still be hosting baseball games?
Saturday's game in Denver was postponed because of snow and Sunday's game was played with temperatures in the 20s. Remember last season how the weather in Philadelphia turned Game 5 of the World Series into a three-day event
Obviously, baseball isn't going to cut games out of the schedule or cut the number of teams in the postseason back to four and it can't start the season any earlier than it already does. The only solution might be to schedule more day-night doubleheaders during the season. Teams could still have full gates from 81 homes games, but if they could knock even a week out of the regular-season schedule, it might help avoid some of the chilly weather.
Desmond Howard appears to have more of a role on ESPN's College GameDay this season, perhaps because analyst Lee Corso still isn't quite 100 percent after suffering a stroke over the summer. In the past, Howard has been rather vanilla with his comments, but with more air time this season, he has developed a stronger voice. Saturday was his finest hour on GameDay as he weighed in with unique and thought-provoking comments, especially when it came to whether Tim Tebow should play later that night against LSU.
Howard suggested that Tebow should not play even if he was to be cleared medically (Tebow was cleared and he did play, apparently with no negative effects). But Howard brought up something worth considering: Imagine how Gators coach Urban Meyer could have solidified future recruiting if he sat Tebow. Imagine Meyer going into the living room of recruits and telling their parents how their son's health is paramount and being able to point to the time he sat Tebow in a big game even though Tebow was cleared to play. Whether you agree isn't the point. It was something that made you think, and isn't that what a good analyst does?
Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN's College GameDay blasted Florida State officials who are trying to push out football coach Bobby Bowden. Herbstreit doesn't have an issue that there are those who want Bowden out, he has issue with how it's being done.
"The chairman of the board of trustees (Jim Smith) got emotional and let his feelings behind closed doors be known publicly,'' Herbstreit said. "The Florida State powers-that-be are entitled to have their own opinions and make whatever move they need to make. But their thoughts should be kept behind closed doors. … Don't let your feelings out like that publicly. That's embarrassing to your school and embarrassing to a guy who has done so much for that school.''
Thanks to the well done Sports Business Daily for pointing this out: TBS baseball announcer Chip Caray is getting clobbered by the national media for his postseason performance. New York Times sports media writer Richard Sandomir said Caray is "prone to bad play-calls, descriptive exaggerations and factual errors.'' New York Post writer Phil Mushnick, as only Mushnick can, was more to the point, saying Caray was "like an interpreter who can speak with a French accent but doesn't know French. … When did broadcasting executives lose the ability to distinguish good from bad?''
Did you hear that it was actually rapper MC Hammer who helped jump-start the negotiations between the 49ers and first-round pick Michael Crabtree, who eventually signed last week? ESPN's Adam Schefter said, "Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize this week; maybe it should have gone to MC Hammer.''
Most average broadcast
The Florida-LSU game Saturday night wasn't exactly the most compelling college football game ever played, and it might have been overhyped to begin with. Still, CBS's broadcast was just so-so, and surprisingly so, because announcers Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson are top-notch broadcasters. But even their performance was mediocre. They spent too much time trying to convince viewers that Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was playing better than he actually was and not enough time pointing out that LSU was vastly overrated.
If you're a baseball fanatic and can't get enough of the postseason, tune into the MLB Network's Path to the Pennant pregame and postgame shows, because it gives you more than enough. The advantage the MLB Network has over, say, ESPN and that network's Baseball Tonight is time. MLB Network has nothing else to cover but the playoffs. It can, and does, spend all night dissecting practically every inning of every game. It's easy to turn it on and leave on.
Los Angeles Times writer Diane Pucin pointed out how someone at TBS needs to pay attention to the order of the commercials during the postseason baseball games. During Game 1 of the Red Sox-Angels series, there was a Captain Morgan ad that told viewers how there are 40 shots in their big bottles of rum. That was followed by a Fox/TBS ad for postseason coverage that centered on how the Angels are honoring Nick Adenhart, the pitcher killed in April by a man charged with drunken driving.
Three things that popped into my head
1. Doesn't it seem like the Dodgers went just a tad overboard with an out-of-control champagne celebration when all they did was win a division playoff series?
2. Most interesting thing on TV over the weekend was a piece on ESPN's Outside the Lines looking at the earthquake in the 1989 World Series and, honestly, how different the world was back then without cell phones. Plus, anytime host Bob Ley is reporting the story, it's can't-miss stuff.
3. Prediction: The best college football game this season will be Florida and Alabama meeting in the SEC Championship Game.