The NFL pregame shows were all over the Bill Belichick scandal, and for good reason. The news that the Patriots coach was videotaping the other team's signals is serious stuff. And just because other teams might do it (and CBS'sBill Cowher said many NFL coaches try to steal signals), it doesn't make it right.
Of all the talk and banter, CBS's Dan Marino summed up best why this is simply wrong: "To a quarterback, if you know the signals ahead of time, that's a huge advantage. If you know where the blitz is going to come from, what coverage that they're going to be in ... it's arrogant. It's wrong. It's cheating.''
Will the spying scandal taint the legacy of Bill Belichick? ESPN's Mike Ditka thinks so.
"The one thing he said - that (this) is behind us, you're wrong," Ditka said. "This is not behind you. It will never be behind you. It is part of your legacy whether you like it or not. I don't make the rules. I'm just telling you, you will always be remembered for this, more than the great things you've done on the sidelines."
Fox reporter Jay Glazer gets the best hustle award for obtaining a copy of the actual video obtained by the NFL from the Patriots in the spying scandal.
Best hustle, runnerup
ABC's Bonnie Bernstein reported that Demetrius Jones, who started at quarterback in Notre Dame's first game this season, left the Irish and was enrolled in classes at Northern Illinois. Sounds like she found out almost as soon as Irish coach Charlie Weis did.
Worst use of a plug
I'm sick of watching the ticker on ABC's college football games and having to wade through promotions for upcoming shows before I see what Penn State (or Ohio State or LSU or whomever) is doing.
After nearly getting bit by the upset bug when UCF opened its new stadium Saturday, Texas coach Mack Brown was asked what he learned about his Longhorns. Brown said, "That we shouldn't open up anymore stadiums!"
Don't expect to see Fox baseball analyst Mark Grace showing up in the Baltimore Orioles clubhouse anytime soon. Grace was less than graceful in tearing into the O's pitching staff during Saturday's Fox pregame show.
"They're embarrassing a very good man and very good manager in Dave Trembley," Grace said. "And ever since he got the job, the pitching staff decided, 'Well, we're just not going to get anybody out.'"e_SClBWeirdest story
ESPN's College GameDay did a story on how Washington has come up with a unique postpractice drink to hydrate players: chocolate milk. They have to drink it. Coach Ty Willingham makes them.
That just sounds gross. Here's a thought for the Huskies who don't like drinking chocolate milk after practice: the next time you win, instead of dumping Gatorade on Willingham ...
You hate to keep picking on Notre Dame football, but geez, did anyone ever believe this team could be this bad? After three games, the Irish still don't have an offensive touchdown.
"USC could beat them by 100 points," Stephen A. Smith said on Sunday's Sports Reporters on ESPN.
Detroit Free-Press columnist Mitch Albom, on the same show, spoke for many when he asked how this could happen.
"The school could close down and a dozen (high school) All-Americans would sign up for next season,'' Albom said. "I don't understand this lack of talent all of a sudden. You can't use graduation or departure to the NFL as a reason. ... I have never seen a team look so discombobulated and offensively inept. ... Astounding."
Another Irish insult
While going over the highlights of Notre Dame's 38-0 loss to Michigan, ESPN analyst Mark May said, "Would it be fair to say the wheels have come off?"
To which host Rece Davis said, "That would be unfair because that would imply they had wheels at some point."
ABC/ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett, talking about Budweiser sponsoring Kasey Kahne: "Good fit, I think. He does a great job on the racetrack and a terrific job off the racetrack, so I think this is a wonderful fit. Yes, he will have to carry his ID with him. He might not look 21, but he can represent Budweiser well."
This goes back before the weekend, but the work of Devil Rays color analyst Joe Magrane needs to be complimented. During the ninth inning of Wednesday's game, the Rays were up a run against Boston. The Red Sox had a man on and David Ortiz up. Pitcher Al Reyes threw several outside pitches. At that point, Magrane not only predicted Reyes would come inside, but that if he did, it would be a huge mistake.
Magrane was dead-on. Reyes came inside and Ortiz hit the pitch into the rightfield stands for a walkoff homer.
Best show of class
Normally, when ESPN's College GameDay goes into a college town, fans of the local team jeer when the show runs a feature on the opposing team. That's half the fun of the show. But Nebraska fans in Lincoln - site of Saturday night's USC-Nebraska game - showed incredible class and respect when GameDay ran a story on Mario Danelo, the USC kicker who was found dead at the bottom of a California cliff a few days after last season's Rose Bowl. Not only did the fans in Lincoln sit in respectful silence, they gave polite applause after the piece.
The best moment of every week during college football season is when Lee Corso ofESPN's College GameDay makes his final prediction of the show and puts on the gear of the mascot of the team he is picking. It's especially great when he does what he did Saturday: talking up how great Nebraska is in front of the 'Husker fans and then ... putting on the USC Trojans outfit in front of outraged fans.
You had to be up until midnight Saturday to see it, but a Colorado woman who didn't know she was on TV giving a one-finger salute to the Buffaloes' kicker who missed a field goal against Florida State was either really funny or really shocking. We're guessing her parents were thinking the latter.
The best part of all the NFL pregame shows? ESPN's 10-year-old Jason Krause, who does a weekly commentary for Sunday NFL Countdown. His commentary included this gem:
"At the end of last season's Patriots-Chargers game things got a little ugly. But as bad as that display was, LT (LaDainian Tomlinson) didn't exactly take the high road to his postgame press conference. Come on, guys, your supposed to be role models for kids my age, not act like kids my age. As for Coach Belichick, looks like he might have been up to some pretty funny stuff last week against the Jets. I know in my school I get detention if I cheat. I wonder, does it work the same way in the NFL? So guys, let's play fair, have fun and no matter who wins the game this time, leave the dancing to the experts."
Times staff writer Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.
Most uptight comment
It only took a week on the job and already former Steelers coach Bill Cowher has turned into an old fuddy-duddy. He is against Cincinnati's Chad Johnson doing things like wearing a fake Hall of Fame jacket on the sideline and jumping into the Dawg Pound in Cleveland.
"It's about the guys on the field, not about wearing some jacket," Cowher said. "Whether you're on the field or up here on this table, it's not about bringing attention to yourself. I don't condone that type. I don't think (Bengals coach) Marvin Lewis does either."
Lighten up, Bill. It's harmless fun. And funny.