The Bucs are back
A few observations on Tampa Bay's first preseason game
• Chris Myers, below, did Saturday's preseason opener against the Titans, and thankfully, he broadcasts Bucs games only in the preseason. If he did regular-season games, he would have most viewers scrambling for the mute button. His cutesy lines are painful, like this beauty about running back Derrick Ward, who grew up in Kansas. "He has the feeling he's not in Kansas anymore." Groooaaaan.
• Did you know tickets are available for Bucs regular-season games? If you didn't, the broadcast had about 250 ads to let you know. Think the Bucs are a little nervous they'll have lots of empty seats on opening day?
• Calling Bucs defensive lineman Stylez White by his new name sounds ridiculous. Myers and John Lynch called his name plenty of times in the second quarter and mentioned that he had legally changed his first name from Greg (he did it last year).
Beware, Bucs fans
Former Bucs safety and fan favorite John Lynch, right, made his preseason broadcasting debut and did pretty well. He was a little frenetic at times, but he had insight, and as those in the Tampa Bay area know, he's well-spoken.
Lynch brought up a good point during the game. Because the Bucs have switched defenses, moving away from the Tampa 2, teams are going to throw deep against them much more. The Titans did that with success, and Lynch said it will continue all season.
"Get used to it, Bucs fans," Lynch said. "You're going to see teams throw deep on them all season. When we had the Tampa 2, teams didn't try that as much, but now they're going to test that secondary every chance they get."
St. Petersburg Times staff writer Rodney Page looks at TV's best and worst from a weekend of sports.
Before its national telecast of the Phillies-Braves game Saturday, Fox swung and missed during the pregame show on a piece about Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino. Host Chris Rose teased to the interview in the show's introduction. Then he started the piece by talking about how Victorino has been in the news lately. Victorino was ejected by umpire Ed Rapuano on Aug. 9 for arguing balls and strikes from centerfield. A few days later he was doused with beer while catching a fly ball against the Cubs at Wrigley Field and filed a police report. So it was only fair to expect the interview would touch on those subjects. Instead, viewers were shown an interview conducted during the All-Star break that made fun of Victorino's nickname, the Flyin' Hawaiian, and the grass-skirted bobblehead that was given to fans in 2007. 2007! Victorino donned a plastic grass skirt, but he wouldn't do a hula dance. So all we basically learned about Victorino is that he is from Hawaii. Oh, and he doesn't like to surf.
CBS's strategy for covering the PGA Championship seemed to be "all hands on deck." Nine announcers vied for airtime throughout the weekend, and sometimes it got a little confusing. Jim Nantz was an anchor. So was Verne Lundquist, though he didn't get as much time. Then Gary McCord and David Feherty provided insight and wit (sort of). And Nick Faldo and Ian Baker Finch offered expert analysis (sort of). Peter Kostis did some analysis and post-round interviews. Oh, and Peter Oosterhuis and Bill Macatee got airtime. Is anybody left? Unlike NBC, which has Johnny Miller, a strong personality who can carry a broadcast, CBS relied on its depth. It just seemed disorganized. But give the network credit for the Swing Vision slow-motion camera that breaks down swings. And the overhead camera that follows ball flights was pretty cool, too.
Illegal substances talk of the weekend
Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, a Brooksville resident and former Hernando High standout, said in a USA Today interview last week that he takes numerous supplements and that he is probably on the 2003 list of players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. On Sunday morning's Sports Reporters on ESPN, New York Daily News columnist Mike Lupica said he likes Arroyo being honest but the pitcher went too far.
"Give Arroyo credit," Lupica said. "He didn't say he was unaware of what he was taking, and he didn't blame it on his cousin. I thought he was going good until he said, 'Do you think at the end of the day anyone really cares if Manny Ramirez's kidneys fail and he dies at 50?' As if, if that happens, it will somehow be our fault. That way he doesn't sound like some brave, individual thinker. He sounds like a meathead, one more guy who acts like it was his civic duty to use this stuff. He sounds like more of a meathead when he says people treat Ramirez like Ted Bundy. On what planet does anybody think that? Oh, wait. I know. Planet Arroyo. In the end, the interview was about half good."
Vick talk of the weekend
ESPN's Outside the Lines on Sunday spent a segment trying to dissect how Philadelphia really feels about the Eagles signing Michael Vick. Are animal activists outraged? Does the city feel threatened by having Vick in town? Basically, the answers are no. Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Smallwood summed it up best: The Vick decision was based on football. If the Eagles are winning, nobody will care.
"Honestly, a lot of this is going to depend on how the Eagles are doing," Smallwood said. "If the Eagles are 3-1 and 100 protesters are holding up signs while 65,000 Eagles fans are going in to watch their team, I don't know how big of an impact that's going to be. If they're 1-3, it could be a lot different."
Three things that popped into my head
1 Is there any way to eject a golf fan for yelling "Get in the hole!" when a player hits a tee shot on a 620-yard par 5? It's not going in the hole, so try to come up with something a little more original, like "You da man!" Oh, wait …
2 It's a good thing some of my Little League coaches weren't wearing microphones during games like they are for ESPN's coverage of Little League World Series regional tournaments.
3 Gregg Zaun wasn't looking like much of a pickup for the Rays … until Sunday.