Shooting from the Lip/Monday edition
Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...
Most mediocre broadcast
The normally solid CBS broadcast team of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson had a rare off day calling Saturday's SEC Championship Game, including a bizarre reference to When Harry Met Sally, for crying out loud, a movie that came out 20 years ago and was last relevant, uh, never. It made the two sound 100 years old. In addition, Lundquist also mentioned the great Notre Dame teams of the 1940s that featured Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, except there's one problem: Blanchard and Davis played for Army, not Notre Dame. Overall, a subpar day for a duo that usually is among the best in the business.
Best line from SEC Championship Game
CBS's Gary Danielson did have one line that, unfortunately for Gators fans, summed up the past four years perfectly:
"They'll be remembered as champions, but they were going for historic. They’re not going to get historic.''
The same could be said about Gators quarterback Tim Tebow. He came this close to finishing his career with three national championships and two Heisman Trophies. Instead, he will finish with one Heisman and two national titles, although one could point out that he wasn't the starting quarterback on one of those teams. This isn't meant to tear down Tebow, just to point out how much Saturday's loss will alter history.
"Darkness,'' CBS announcer Verne Lundquist said, "has descended upon Atlanta. And Gainesville.''
Best SEC Championship postgame
At a time when so many local news stations are slashing their sports budget, it was encouraging to see Ch.??10 have a live 90-minute postgame show with sports anchor Dave Wirth in Atlanta. Ch. 10 probably would've preferred a Gators victory, but it still did a good job with postgame interviews and analysis for those Gators fans who wanted to wallow in disappointment.
Best camera work
Perhaps it seemed a bit insensitive, but CBS absolutely did its job by showing a tearful Tim Tebow on the sideline in the final seconds of Florida’s loss, as well as a brief shot of Tebow's parents looking solemn in the stands. Win or lose, Tebow is an emotional, passionate player, and that's part of what has made him such a celebrated athlete and cult figure over the past four years. Viewers wanted to see Tebow's reaction, and CBS covered the story. Unlike many out there, I had no problem with Tebow crying after the game, especially when he showed such class in a postgame interview by giving credit to Alabama and remaining true to his faith.
You can take two kids playing Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots, and if you put it on HBO and have announcers such as Jim Lampley, Max Kellerman and gang calling it, I'll watch. The strongest opinion uttered on TV over the weekend was when Lampley tore into a judge for his score in the close Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez fight Saturday night. Williams won the majority decision when one judge called it a draw, another gave the fight to Williams 115-113 and a third, incredibly, scored it 119-110 for Williams.
"119 to 110? Who's kidding whom?'' a disgusted Lampley said. "That is just a travesty. Ridiculous. Judge Pierre Benoist of New Jersey is the one who scored it 119-110. I say he’s blind.''
Biggest missed story
ESPN's College GameDay might be the best sports show on TV, which is why it was so disappointing to see it drop the ball on Bobby Bowden. The show interviewed new coach Jimbo Fisher and talked about the future of the Florida State program but barely acknowledged Bowden's incredible career as a coach. It couldn't have taken two minutes to talk about the end of one of the greatest coaching careers in American sports?
Maybe it's not a surprise, but it was disappointing that NBC did not address the Tiger Woods situation during the weekend coverage of the World Challenge tournament that benefits Tiger's charity. During the opening Saturday, host Dan Hicks said Woods was in a car accident last week and would not be playing, and that was pretty much it.
The Woods situation is a sticky one for the networks. One side would argue that it's a private matter that has nothing to do with golf and, thus, Woods should have his privacy. Still, Woods might be the most famous golfer in the history of the game, and it just seems as if NBC should've found some way to address a story that has rocked the sport. By ignoring the story, NBC, rightly or wrongly, comes off as if it is either afraid of Woods or protecting him.
In talking about the lack of minority coaches in college football, NBC's Tony Dungy called the situation "disgraceful'' and had a startling revelation that suggests the NFL is more of an equal-opportunity employer than the NCAA. Dungy said in 2007, he recommended then-Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin to a BCS athletic director whom he knew.
"I said this is a guy you need to talk to,'' Dungy said. "Mike didn't even get an interview. A month later, he's the head coach of the Steelers. That's the difference between the NCAA and the NFL right now. … Raheem Morris was a defensive coordinator for Kansas State. He left there to be a position coach in the NFL feeling like he had a better chance for advancement.''
Best reason for FSU optimism
On ESPN's College GameDay, analyst Lee Corso predicted Florida State will win nine or 10 games next season, as well as the ACC championship.
Three things that popped into my head
1. I still say Stanford's Toby Gerhart should win the Heisman, but I'm predicting it will be Alabama's Mark Ingram.
2. College GameDay's Kirk Herbstreit was exactly right when he said Notre Dame should think more about hiring a good coach than how the news conference to introduce that coach is going to look. In other words, hire the right coach, not the biggest name.
3. Worst scheduling: North Carolina and Kentucky played each other in basketball Saturday and no one cared because everybody was watching football.