Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Print edition for the week of 02/06/09

Okay, my quickie takes on Super Bowl stuff- since that's the buzz this Monday morning:
- Faith Hill looked skanky and "I Hate Myself for Loving You" wasn't a good song BEFORE they reworked the lyrics.
- "America, the Beautiful" AND "The Star-Spangled Banner"? Really?
- The pre-game hoo-ha lasts WAY too long. Shelby and I turned it on at 6:00 and I was ready to drive to Tampa and choke an NBC executive by the time kick off finally rolled around.
- If kickoff is scheduled for 6:15, KICK OFF AT 6:15!
- Too many ridiculous penalties called, and some really glaring ones overlooked.
- Hey, I like Springsteen and all. I even considered getting tickets to his show at Philips in April (despite seeing him last year) - but half time is supposed to be 15 minutes. Fifteen. Not 14. Not 16. Certainly not 25! Isn't this whole
thing supposed to be about the game?
- Wait, no. Of COURSE it's not about the game. How else would you explain NBC hyping the fact you could watch the commercials online at TWO DIFFERENT WEB SITES? (Yes, I know a ridiculous number of people watch the game for the commercials, but come on.)
- That said, I would've like to have seen all of the "Star Trek" commercial. I just wasn't paying attention. And I
certainly wasn't watching the game to see it.
- Two hours to play one half of football is entirely too long. A four hour game that doesn't involve OT is worse. The NFL must be taking a play out of MLB's "How-to-let-the-networks-ruin-your-championship-telecast-by-having-too-danged-many-commercials" playbook.
- Too bad they couldn't have skipped all the preliminaries and just played the fourth quarter.
- Shelby was probably just being polite, but I evidently make pretty good hot wings. The chili she made for lunch was seriously good, though. For dinner, too. And lunch Monday.
- I'm sure the 3-D was cool and all- but four or five minutes of it?
- Until his idiotic play on a Cardinal punt kept an Arizona drive alive, James Harrison- already the NFL defensive player of the year- was a shoo-in to be the game's MVP after returning an interception 100 yards for a TD to close out the first half.
- Harrison's INT return now stands as the longest yardage play in Super Bowl history. Probably the longest time-wise, too. You could certainly tell it was a lineman doing the running.
- Incredible catch by Santonio Holmes for the game winner. (Seriously, though- Santonio? Is that his name or did someone misspell where he was born AND write it in the "First Name" spot on his birth certificate?)
My first thought when I looked up from the book I was reading was "aw, man- out of bounds." Once I saw the replay, though. Well, as I said- incredible catch, which locked up the game's MVP trophy for Holmes
- Seriously, though- during that runback- pushing Kurt Warner down doesn't cut it. If you're a defensive player and you get a chance at free shot on a QB like that, you FLATTEN him. I forget who it was that just kind of pushed Warner away, but I was HOWLING at the TV.
- Overall, a good football game. You know, when there was football being shown.
- As much as I think they didn't belong there, they were. Props to the Cardinals for putting up a heck of a fight
against a great defense.

For once, I managed to actually stay awake for the entire thing- and even watched a lot of it. Granted, I had ear phones in, aggravating Shelby, but keeping me from listening to too much of the incessant drivel pouring out of the mouths of Madden and Michaels...

While I'm thinking about it (what with the droning of John Madden fresh in my mind since I couldn't block him out completely), I read this list some folks had compiled of the best and worst broadcasters last week and- shockingly- Madden only showed up on one of the lists. And guess which one?
"Worst" list, you say? Well, no. Because the guys who came up with this list must ENJOY excessive hyperbole (although you- dear reader- must, a little, 'cause you're engrossed in this drivel) and the type of commentary that would have us trying to escape the senior citizen stuck behind us in line at the bank.
That's right, the necrotic appearance and frequent shouts of exclamations like "BOOM" and "SMASH MOUTH FOOTBALL" landed Madden a spot on the "Best" list.
Amazingly, Tim McCarver made the "Best" list, too. He also made the worst list, which leads me to wonder what the criteria was. Oh, that's right- there was none. The lists are completely subjective. (Hey, opinions are like… well, you know.)
Anyway here's the rundown of the supposed 50 Best Announcers of all time. Most of the names I know, though some, like hockey announcer Mike Emrick, I'm not too familiar with:
1. Howard Cosell (Uh- okay.)
2. John Madden (This one's just stunning to me.)
3. Brent Musburger (Another puzzler.)
4. Al Michaels (Yikes, three in a row.)
5. Dick Enberg (Finally, one I'm fully behind.)
6. Curt Gowdy (A mini-streak.)
7. Keith Jackson (Twenty years ago, sure.)
8. Bob Costas (Absolutely. Not.)
9. Jim McKay (Definitely.)
10. Pat Summerall (At least he finally had the good sense to retire, unlike his former booth-mate.)
11. Jim Nantz
12. Dick Vitale
13. Joe Buck (Really? He always sounds like he'd rather be somewhere else- no matter the event.)
14. Marv Albert (YES! Uh, no- actually.)
15. Frank Gifford (Mr. Kathy Lee was good when paired with Cosell and Meredith. That's as generous as I can be.)
16. Vin Scully (Much as I hate the Dodgers, Scully is a gem to listen to. He should be in the top ten.)
17. Mike Tirico
18. Chris Berman (You've got to be kidding.)
19. Billy Packer
20. Dan Patrick (Unlike many of his ESPN brethren, has never really developed the smarmy attitude.)
21. Greg Gumbel
22. Tim McCarver (The guys who made this list were high, obviously.)
23. Jon Miller (Paired with anyone but Joe Morgan, I might actually agree with this one. But since he only seems to fawn over Joe's every word, I've got to vote no here.)
24. Mel Allen (How about that! Another guy that should be ranked higher.)
25. Joe Garagiola (A golden voice from days past. NBC afternoon baseball with Garagiola and Scully was a Saturday afternoon staple for my dad.)
26. Bryant Gumbel (Remember when he was a sports guy instead of a pretentious cable talk show host?)
27. Don Meredith
28. Joe Morgan (Great players don't always make great announcers.)
29. Phyllis George (Still better than most of the women she opened the door for.)
30. Ray Scott
31. Terry Bradshaw (Sure, if you like screaming- and a backwoods hick act that always makes you think of the banjo playing kid from "Deliverance."
32. Jack Whitaker
33. Al McGuire
34. Dick Stockton (Should be ranked much higher.)
35. Tony Kubek
36. Chris Schenkel
37. Mike Emrick
38. James Brown (I like him a lot better now, on CBS, than I did when he was on Fox.)
39. Hubie Brown
40. Lindsey Nelson (Another voice from the past.)
41. Jim Simpson
42. Verne Lundquist
43. Jim Lampley (Not bad, considering he kept getting saddled with Olympic coverage.)
44. Ernie Johnson (Mislabeled, though. These guys are actually referring to EJ Jr. but he's not bad, either.)
45. Don Criqui (Ah, back to my childhood again. Dolphins' games on WSAV most every week. And he's still going strong.)
46. Tom Hammond
47. Bud Collins
48. Ken Venturi
49. Jim Gray
50. Harry Wismer
Again, I've got no clue what the criteria was. I would've included Jack Buck (not his dullard offspring) and Ernie Johnson (senior). And Skip and Pete, of course (pure bias there). How about Dan Fouts? Jerry Punch? (Yes, I actually know who Jerry Punch is.) Cris Collinsworth?
So, who are your favorites? (You don't have to have 50.) Send in your thoughts to the regular place. We'll go over the "Worst "list next week…

Speaking of announcers I don't like, with Sutton returning to the booth for the Braves, there was a bit of commentary on regarding his second tour with Atlanta- including this one from "EW" regarding Sutton and columnist Mark Bradley's opinion of Tim McCarver's abilities:
"(The Braves) have had two losing seasons since Sutton left. I don't know if they are connected but it is great to have him back. I have to disagree with you about McCarver. He is the one who wrote the book on smugness and how to talk too much. When I hear McCarver doing a game it makes me want to drive my car off a cliff. Maybe it goes back to Deion."
To which I say- if McCarver wrote the book, you can be darned sure Sutton sure penned the sequel- at least on talking too much. And McCarver doesn't make me want to drive my car off a cliff. McCarver makes me want to drive HIS car off a cliff…

I saw a rumor that Bobby Knight is interested in the men's basketball coaching slot open at UGA.
Just what the school needs- a frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic in charge…

The Atlanta area doctor who prescribed steroids to wrestler Chris Benoit pled guilty to illegally dispensing drugs last week. That reverses Phil Astin's original not guilty plea on 175 counts of unlawful drug distribution. He faces up to 20 years in 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines for each count.
Benoit, in a steroid induced rage, killed himself after killing his wife and seven year old son.
US Attorney David Nahmias said the "case demonstrates the irreparable damage that can be done when a doctor violates his oath to help others and instead chooses the path of illegal drug dealing."
Astin is scheduled for sentencing May 12...

The Braves' pitching camp is underway at Turner Field. That means spring training can't be far behind. The first game comes on the 25 against Detroit…

When Shelby read about Seattle lineman Roy Hill's arrest, she told me a little story about a friend of hers named Scotty.
Scotty fell asleep in the drive thru at Wendy's waiting for them to open because he evidently wanted a biscuit.
When the workers got there, he was parked in the drive thru lane. He got a D.U.I. while asleep, and parked with his keys in the ignition.
All while waiting for a biscuit, which Wendy's doesn't even serve…

Shelby said I was out of luck if I was expecting her to do my mending (for the record, I wasn't) while Sandra J. said she'd be happy to do it for me if I wanted to send it to her. (I do appreciate that, but it would probably be cheaper to buy a sewing machine.)
Michelle said she almost failed "home ec" in high school because she "couldn't run a freaking sewing machine. I only passed because I could make some good cookies."
"I got a freaking D in home ec...who gets a D in home ec ???"
Evidently, you did (yes, friends are for helping add humor to my complaining)…

And, finally- happy birthday to Eddie and Lea- who are celebrating on Thursday and Friday- and my mom, who celebrates next Thursday…

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