tom jones' two cents
The latest from the world of sports
The four tops A quick look at four current sports media stars.
The former Red Sox manager is probably going to end up managing next season, but his two-game stint filling in for Tim McCarver on Fox's American League Championship Series coverage was surprisingly good for someone with no experience.
Last week I watched an old NBA playoff game from 1979 and who was doing the play-by-play? Musburger. Now, 32 years later, he calls the best college football game of the week for ABC. And he calls it well.
Versus/NBC's lead hockey announcer is the best announcer in sports and great to hear now that the NHL is under way. For all the griping I've done about the NHL needing to return to ESPN, Versus' coverage (thanks to its partnership with NBC) is first-rate and more prominent than what ESPN could offer.
No, not the Brian Anderson of the Rays, but the Brian Anderson who is calling play-by-play for TBS's NLCS coverage. Anderson is the Brewers' TV announcer during the season, but he has shown no bias during his call of the Brewers-Cardinals series. His job has been top-notch.
• ESPN's Pat Forde, who writes and reports on college football and basketball, is leaving ESPN for Yahoo Sports when his contract expires Nov. 1.
• Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch reports that truTV will air a documentary next March on Duke's back-to-back national title teams of 1991-92. Duke stars Grant Hill and Christian Laettner are the executive producers.
• Ken Hershman, formerly with Showtime sports, will take over as president of HBO Sports in January. He replaces Ross Greenburg, who is stepping down after 33 years with HBO.
• A new Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel debuts Tuesday on HBO at 10 p.m. Among the stories is a feature on NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West, who talks about his lifelong battle with depression.
• ESPN's E:60 returns next week with shows on Tuesday (7 p.m.) and Wednesday (8 p.m.). Next week's shows include features on Doc Gooden, Santonio Holmes and Patrick Willis.
• Sunday's Outside the Lines (10 a.m., ESPN2) will focus on how high school football has helped the healing and rebuilding of Joplin, Mo., which was struck by a devastating tornado in May.
• Only 1.6 million people watched the Irish play Air Force on NBC last week, the least-viewed Notre Dame game ever on NBC. The Irish won 59-33.
The replacement games
The NBA lockout likely will knock out the first month of the season and now commissioner David Stern is saying Christmas games are in jeopardy if an agreement is not reached next week.
So what does that mean for ESPN/ABC and TNT, which televise NBA games? Well, it's good news for college basketball and football fans. ESPN plans to fill the NBA openings with additional college hoops and football games. Meantime, TNT likely will just continue with its normal nonsports programming.
Three things that popped into my head
1. It's only four games, but the Lighting's play during a 1-2-1 start falls somewhere between troubling and disturbing.
2. The Gators, Bulls, Seminoles, Bucs, Dolphins and Jags are a combined 14-16.
3. Don't you wish the Rays were playing today?