tom jones' two cents
Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.
It's preseason for NFL broadcasters, too.
The opening preseason game for the Bucs on Ch. 8 was an uneven affair. There were good and not-so-good moments during the coverage of the Bucs-Bengals game Friday.
Play-by-play announcer Chris Myers is a pro and is going to give you the nuts and bolts with generally no issues. He is not, however, my cup of tea and missed a couple of calls Friday, most notably a spectacular interception by Vernon Hargreaves. Myers thought it was an incomplete pass and seemed to be the last person to know it was a pick. In fairness, his vantage point might not have been great. Still, a down moment.
Analyst Ronde Barber is coming into his own as a broadcaster and does a good job breaking down the game. Sometimes he can be a little too forgiving when a player makes a mistake, and that was glaring when he wasn't as critical as he should have been when talking about kicker Roberto Aguayo.
First, Barber suggested that Aguayo was winning the kicking battle over Nick Folk in camp. Then when Aguayo missed an extra point, Barber said, "All I can say is at least he hit it hard and dead straight.''
The ball hit the upright and did not go in. Myers chimed in with, "Bucs fans are saying, 'Here we go again.' ''
Barber responded: "Again, it was a well-hit ball. It just didn't do what he wanted it to do.''
It didn't do what anyone wanted it to do: go through the uprights.
It was the biggest thud of the broadcast, but it was Barber's only stumble of the night. The rest of the game, he was solid.
The most compelling part of the PGA Championship television coverage Sunday had nothing to do with the final groups and the chase for the title. It happened earlier when Ian Poulter got into it with a rules official. It happened so much earlier that it was on TNT's coverage, not CBS's.
Poulter hit his drive on the par-4 eighth hole into the woods. The ball clearly crossed the hazard line, meaning Poulter would have been allowed a drop near where it disappeared. But because no one could find it, the rules official said it was a "lost ball'' and Poulter had to go back to the tee.
"You gotta be kidding me," Poulter said. "You absolutely gotta be kidding me.''
Eventually, the official was convinced the ball had crossed the hazard line, and Poulter was allowed to take a drop. He went on to bogey the hole. The ball eventually was found outside the hazard area, meaning Poulter was right all along.
Kudos to CBS for an outstanding open to Saturday's coverage of the PGA Championship. It featured John Daly, a virtual unknown when he won the major event 25 years ago. He told viewers he was the ninth alternate for that tournament, and his chance of even getting into the field seemed impossible.
"I got the call,'' Daly said. "All I wanted to do was grip it and rip it.''
That he did, winning the first of his two majors by three strokes.
"It changed the career and life of John Daly,'' CBS host Jim Nantz said.
Overall, it was a solid weekend by CBS covering the PGA Championship. Top analyst Nick Faldo was on top of his game, particularly Saturday when he tore into Jason Day, who took himself out of the running on the 18th hole. Instead of merely chipping out from behind a tree, Day tried to go for the green and ended up in more trouble, taking a drop and finishing the hole with an 8 on the par 4.
Faldo came strong: "One of the worst decisions I've seen a professional golfer make."
Right after the Bucs booted kicker Roberto Aguayo on Saturday, one of the ESPN's biggest personalities had this hot take:
"It's officially the worst draft pick in NFL history. Traded UP to get a kicker in 2nd round … didn't make it to a 2nd season.''
That's what Trey Wingo, host of NFL Live and the pick to replace Mike Greenberg on the Mike & Mike radio show, put on Twitter.
I'm a big fan of Wingo's, but this isn't even the worst pick in Bucs history. That would be when the Bucs took Bo Jackson with the first overall pick in the 1986 draft. Jackson never played a game with Tampa Bay. Some, such as thebiglead.com, suggest it might not even have been the worst pick of last year's draft. That could end up being the Jets taking Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg with the 51st pick (that was eight spots ahead of Aguayo). We shall see what happens with Hackenberg, but many are already predicting he will never make it as an NFL quarterback and the Jets, who could have taken Dak Prescott, will regret that pick forever.
• Those rumors that Charissa Thompson is going to leave Fox to join ESPN? Sports Illustrated reports she is staying with Fox.
• What has become of John Clayton, who was let go as an NFL reporter at ESPN after 22 years? He has landed in Seattle and will be the sideline reporter on Seahawks radio broadcasts. He also is hosting a daily sports-talk radio show in Seattle.
• J.A. Adande has left ESPN to devote all his energy into his other job, director of sports journalism and associate professor at Northwestern. He still might appear from time to time on Around the Horn.
Three things that popped into my head
1. Time to come clean: I thought the Bucs taking Roberto Aguayo with a second-round pick last year was a really good pick. I thought that getting a reliable kicker was absolutely worth trading up to get. I'll take an "L'' on that one, right alongside Bucs GM Jason Licht.
2. The Premier League is back on NBC. I don't know that any network does a better job covering a sport than NBC does covering the Premier League. And I'm not even a big soccer guy.
3. MVP of the Rays this season? Steven Souza Jr. And it's not even close, is it?