Ah, to sleep, perchance to miss it all.
During the first half of Sunday’s Niners-Jets game, a large graphic appeared to promote the halftime show that would include, “Steelers Host Winless Broncos.”
Winless Broncos? The Broncos were 0-1. Half the NFL’s teams were winless!
No matter, play-by-play man Brandon Gaudin dutifully parroted the “winless” graphic for our further enlightenment.
At the start of the Giants-Bears game, CBS scrolled a bunch of distracting stats giving both teams’ offensive and defensive percentages and ranks. The “when accumulated” went unaddressed, but if these were last season’s numbers they were irrelevant and if they were this season’s they were, off just one game, also irrelevant.
In the first quarter, CBS play-by-play man, Ian Eagle, perhaps stuck for something — anything — to say, said the Giants’ defense “has been in its nickel throughout.” The game was just over three minutes long.
It’s wall-to-wall. Late Sunday afternoon, the stat-headed host of the NFL’s gambling-centric Red Zone channel, Scott Hanson, stated that the Falcons, up 15 over the Cowboys midway through the fourth quarter, had a 98 percent win probability. That soon dipped to zero percent.
The USGA, over the weekend, did everything in its power to wreck its premier event, the U.S. Open. In repeated — as in dozens of times — frame splits that relegated live major golf on NBC to distant stick figures in indiscernible activities, three-fifths of the screen was devoted to commercials.
What made this particularly astonishing was that many of the commercials/promos seen in those dominant boxes were for the USGA! Don’t watch the USGA’s Open, watch repeated promos for the USGA!
And the commentary, especially that spoken by cliché-dependent NBC host Dan Hicks, was insulting. He repeatedly said that this was the first Open cut missed by Tiger Woods since 2006, citing his father’s death at the time for the reason.
But such a maudlin treatment was terribly misleading. Woods, golf’s most privileged, took an entire month off after his father passed — evidence, as per groveling TV announcers, that no one loved their father as much as Woods loved his.
How many of us are allowed such leave from work after the passing of a loved one? An itinerant pro, Jay Delsing, played in the Open and played in other events shortly after his father’s death in order to try to keep making a living — a story widely ignored.
And the say-anything filler was enough to stuff a year’s supply of prison meat loafs. As contender Harris English prepared to play the 18th hole during Round 2, Gary Koch, who relies on vacant commentary, said, “It all starts with a tee shot.” To think he has the right to remain silent.
NBC’s Stanley Cup Finals “coverage” continues to beg both the impossible and senseless from viewers. Along the top it has scrolled the running time of players’ shifts on the ice. Who cares enough to cease watching the game to study for such needless info? And during the Stanley Cup Finals, no less!
And will someone at Fox, please — please! — at last tell or convince MLB analyst John Smoltz to take off a pitch or two. Whatever good stuff he has to add is lost after the first inning of his say-something sense of duty after every bloody pitch!
Losing? No worry, you can still pose
Never thought we’d see what we saw on ABC/ESPN during Saturday’s Navy-Tulane game. After a Navy defender sacked the QB, he rose and did an all-about-me skit that ended with a mime of him sinking a putt, as opposed to a battleship. The conspicuously immodest from a U.S. Naval Academy man!
At the time, Navy trailed, 17-0. Naturally, announcers Mark Jones and Dusty Dvoracek could muster not a word of discouragement.
The next day, Jets WR Chris Hogan caught a short pass then spun the ball on the ground before doing that hackneyed, self-aggrandizing downfield first-down signal.
At the time, the Jets trailed, 24-3.
Alex Rodriguez’s “Baseball Has Never Been More Fun To Watch” Games of the Week:
On Sept. 20, Howie Rose tweeted, “Last night’s [Mets] game started at 7:07. It wasn’t until 7:32 that the first ball was put into play, a two-run single by Robinson Cano. 25 minutes in – and Cano was the 8th batter. 4 BBs, 3K’s, plus a pickoff.
“Maybe I’m missing something, but is this what we really want? Hard to imagine it is.”
Same with this: The Cardinals beat the Pirates 7-2 last Friday in the second game of a doubleheader. There were 21 strikeouts — in a 6 ½-inning game.
And with this: That same night, in 8 ½ innings, the Brewers used seven pitchers to beat the Royals, 9-5. And all, by new, feckless rule, six pitched to at least three batters.
Doug Adler, the longtime ESPN tennis analyst fired in 2017 as a racist after a New York Times freelancer and frightened ESPN execs determined that he had, out of the blue, called Venus Williams a “gorilla” — he was admiring her net-poaching “guerilla tactics” — returns to the air Sunday on Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open.
Adler, who had also been drummed out of French Open coverage after nine years following the preposterous accusation — and then suffered a stress-related heart attack — last worked the French in 2016.
It’s Saturday, let’s not play a ballgame
Uncle Rob Manfred’s claim to embrace kids as MLB’s top priority was on full display, last Saturday, as only one afternoon game was scheduled, and that was for Giants-Athletics, a 4:05 ET start for Fox.
Craig Carton’s remorse via that HBO documentary seems a matter of feeling sorry for himself as much as his family. He also came across as what he was pre-arrest: defiant, belligerent and narcissistic — an uncured ham.
Think Pete Alonso regrets all his LFGM!, I’m-the-man! second-season preseason bravado?
Reader Nathan Mayberg has a good question: When did “He’d like to have that pass back” become legitimate, in-game quarterback analysis?
Here’s hoping TBS doesn’t rush Curtis Granderson onto center stage before he’s ready. No one easier to root for than Granderson, a mensch. And thousands of kids have his autograph to prove it.
One of Vince McMahon’s most popular wrestlers, Road Warrior Animal (Joseph Laurinaitis), died this week at 60. That’s a long life by pro wrestling standards. His Road Warrior/Legion of Doom partner, Hawk (Michael Hegstrand) died of a heart attack in 2003 at 46. Not that WWE yahoo Peter Rosenberg of “The Michael Kay Show” cares.
Reader Steve Arendash: “While I’m watching the NFL on CBS, I’m told by CBS that I’m ‘watching the NFL on CBS.’ Next they’ll tell me that the postgame show follows the game.”
New York Post
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