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Tom Jones' Two Cents

Sports analysis, perspective and more.

Poll: what should the NCAA do about Penn State football?



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Shooting from the lip/July 16th edition

Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...

paterno.Something to consider
In the wake of the horrible things that happened -- and apparently were allowed to happen -- at Penn State, there's a growing sentiment that the football program should come under the so-called "death penalty.'' Some believe the NCAA should shut it down and, if it doesn't, the school itself should close the doors on football.

Any time one writes or talks about former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing boys and the school's cover-up, you feel it necessary to acknowledge that, truly, we hope the victims can live as normally and peacefully as possible. Nothing is more important than that. And suggesting Penn State not come under the death penalty does not mean one does not care about the victims.

However, here's one aspect that, perhaps, some who want the death penalty have not considered. Football at Penn State, like most Division I-A schools, provides the bulk of the revenue for the entire athletic department. To shut down the football program might cripple all sports at Penn State. …

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Gallery: Celebrating baseball's facial hair


More than any other sport, baseball celebrates facial hear. There are beards. There are sideburns. There are mustaches. There's the regular mustache, the handlebar and the pencil-thin. There's the goatee and the soul patch, the five o'clock shadow and the ZZ Topper. So today, put down the razor and enjoy our favorite whiskers in baseball. 

View the gallery here.

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Ch. 32 to air Oct. 25th Bucs-Vikings game

bucs.vikings.Ch. 32 will air the Bucs-Vikings game on Oct. 25th. The station secured the local broadcast rights to air the NFL Network's coverage of the Thursday Night Football game, which will air at 8 p.m. from Minneapolis. Ch. 32 can be seen on Brighthouse on stations 12 and HD 1012, on Verizon-Fios on 12 and HD 512 and on Comcast 12 and HD 437.

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Shooting from the lip/July 9th edition

Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...

fowler.Best announcer
Time to put the name of ESPN's Chris Fowler among the elite broadcasters in the business. That's to say he belongs somewhere high on the list, a half-notch below Bob Costas and Al Michaels. His work at Wimbledon over the weekend, as well as the past two weeks, was first-rate.

Fowler's greatest strength calling tennis -- and the best part of his brilliant juggling as host of ESPN's football version of College GameDay -- is his economy of words. He says exactly what needs to be said to get his point across, no more, no less. And whether it's Kirk Herbstreit on GameDay or Chris Evert or John McEnroe on tennis, Fowler is all too willing to set up his expert analysts as the stars.

The egos of a lot of play-by-play broadcasters are too large for them to do that. Those announcers not only want to be the stars of the booth, but the stars of the entire broadcast. Fowler realizes the analysts are the stars with the microphones and the event is the star of the broadcast. …

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Tiger's back? Not so fast


Tiger Woods has won three PGA events in 2012, more than any other golfer. He has won three of the past seven events he has entered. He's No. 1 on the PGA money list for 2012 and first in the FedEx standings. Yet I'm still not convinced Tiger is "back.'' Here's why:

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Shooting from the lip/July 2nd edition

Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...

andrews.Biggest hire
Erin Andrews has a new home. Fox Sports announced Sunday it has hired the Tampa native and University of Florida grad to host a new 30-minute pregame college football studio show as well as work on its NFL and MLB coverage.

Andrews, the former Lightning television sideline reporter, joined ESPN in 2004 and was mostly known for sideline work on college football and basketball. Last year, ESPN increased her role, naming her host of the first hour of football's College GameDay. Her contract expired last week, and Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch broke the story that Andrews, 34, was not returning to ESPN and was in talks to join Fox.

Fox is beefing up its college football coverage and has long-term deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12. It will air a minimum of eight regular-season games, including four in prime time. There's also a thought that Andrews could end up doing work for Fox entertainment. It has long been rumored that Andrews would end up working on an Entertainment Tonight-type of show.

The other question that remains is how badly did ESPN want to keep her? …

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A college playoff still has problems


Last week, the long national nightmare for most college football fans, otherwise known as the BCS, came to an end. Starting in the fall of 2014, Division I-A college football will have a four-team playoff. While many college football fans rejoice, here are four reasons why there still are matters to consider before calling this a victory and why this particular fan is already lamenting the end of the BCS.

The playoff is not going to stay at four teams
My biggest argument over the years for the BCS and against a playoff system is the fear a playoff would hurt the importance of college football's regular season. There is no better, no more meaningful regular season in all of sports than college football.

Every game matters. One loss could ruin your season. To win a national title, you have to be good each and every week as opposed to getting hot at the right time of the season. The current system is why you might stay up past midnight on a Saturday in October to watch what you thought was going to be a nothing game turn into an undefeated powerhouse such as USC on the ropes against a big underdog. You know if USC loses, you can pretty much cross it off the list of national contenders. …

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