The first of two shows today. Nick and I talk about LeBron’s rumors and whether or not the people — namely show guest Stephen A. Smith — were right in reporting that LeBron was going to Miami. So many things have happened since that report, but if he ends up going, does that make the report correct and thereby confirmed, or nothing more than coincidental?
The analogy that I use is that of a math problem. If you get the answer right, but your work is wrong and you just happened to end up with the right end result, does that mean you were right at all? If 2 plus 2 is 4 and you got 4 as your answer but did so by adding 3 and 1, were you right? Maybe I’m over-thinking it.
Nick also talks about the AT&T this weekend and his brush with Tiger Woods at the 10th tee. People are in awe of the man. Tiger, not Nick. Well, Nick’s pretty good too.
Thanks for listening. Check the next show out for our World Cup recap and finale preview with Jon Tannenwald of The Goalkeeper.
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Here’s 1,000 words on Phil Mickelson winning the Masters.
Plus, Nick’s best man speech, our trip to the hospital and a detailed breakdown of CBS covering the Masters. Click here to listen.
It’s the day after Sports Christmas and we’re still opening presents. The show is in three segments.
First, Nick and I talk about the National Championship game and I sound like, gasp, an NBA fan. People are talking about how great the game was, but does close automatically equal great? There was very little scoring at the end of the game – one point scored in the last 54 seconds and no baskets for the national champion in more than two and a half minutes to end it – but it was hard-fought and tenacious. Does that, alone, make the game as great as people are writing today?
Also, we apologize to Duke. They deserve the title. And we rip to shreds One Shining Moment and whoever at CBS thought it was okay to put FIVE different shots of Jennifer Hudson. Chris Littmann has a better breakdown than I could do.
Shane Bacon and I talk about the Tiger Woods press conference. For video clips, and my take, check out here. For Shane’s take on the presser – other than our conversation – read him at Devil Ball Golf.
We also take some time to preview the Masters. Is Anthony Kim the guy? Is another young gun? How about a guy like Steve Stricker? Or maybe a guy named….Phil….something.
Can Mickelson compete after having a rough start to the season? And will he go into his presser this week and remind everyone that his wife and mother had cancer and it’s not all about Tiger’s big swinging…putter?
To read his preview, click here. (Lots of plugs today).
Opening Day. We can breathe again, as baseball is back. Nick and I talk about the winners and losers. Hey, look, a plug. Read my take here.
Click here for audio. Thanks for listening.
We’re back. Please tolerate the congestion.
Pleased to have Gary Thorne, venerable broadcaster and the voice of MLB2K10 on the show. We talk a bit about the game and the process by which he records all those sounds. I never knew they do it in a booth with no visual aids. They are basically calling an imaginary baseball game? Wait not just one game…like 70 hours of imaginary games.
We talk about the fact that Thorne isn’t given a script – that he’s hired for the way he calls the game as much as his voice – and how different the game is when there’s nothing to cross-talk about. Isn’t the cross talk what makes baseball announcing so much fun?
We discuss actual baseball as well, as I ask Thorne about the differences between calling national games and local games for the Orioles. And being in Baltimore, does he find his audience is much more dedicated, and therefore baseball savvy, than a larger audience of bandwagon jumpers may be in, say, Philadelphia or Boston? Thorne does agree that it’s important to know the audience, but not to talk over them and get to inside baseball.
Speaking of that, we do discuss the balance of stats and sabermetrics in a broadcast with the “Joe Morgan” types of announcers. Thorne’s wife has a company that trains former players to become broadcasters, so we discuss the importance “having been there” with “the numbers indicate”. What is the balance? And could it be that TV and radio – due to the audience and the time constraints of the game going on in front of you – lend themselves more to “experience” as expertise while the number crunchers can have more focus in print and other non in-game mediums?
We talk a lot about the idea of Floating Realignment, and if it’s a viable idea for change. In fact, is any change needed? Thorne does bring up the concept of buying a championship, which you can make the case that only a handful of teams can afford to do. Of course for every Yankees (or Red Sox of Phillies) there is a Dodgers or a Cubs, who can get to the playoffs, but can’t win anything – a concept to which Thorne rightly brings up the point that getting to the playoffs has been far too marginalized in baseball. It’s still a really big deal.
Last, we talk about hockey. Well, hockey and baseball and which Thorne likes to announce more and which he thinks he is more known for. The short answer: it’s like asking him which kid he loves more.
Jon and I run down the weekend’s games – a full compliment of storylines so deep that we didn’t even get to the Maryland-MSU game that may have been the best (and worst for some in my family) of the weekend.
We do talk a great deal about Cornell and try to figure out exactly why we didn’t pick them over Temple. We also look forward to the announcing crews for the Regionals. For more on that, and a look back at this weekend’s job – and how Gus Johnson had the most boring games of anyone – read Press Coverage today at TSB.
Tiger Woods did two interviews yesterday. We said we’d talk for five minutes about this and it goes about 14 and change. And I know I said at the start of the segment that I have Tiger fatigue and then spend those 14 and change talking about the topic, but it’s not so much about Tiger as it is about the media covering Tiger. Why would CBS not do the interview, even if it was only limited to five minutes? And why are media people applauding that decision. From an outsider (me) and an insider (Tannenwald) in the media world, we have a pretty frank debate about whether or not putting a shot clock on the interview is fair to a reporter, and if that would be a deal breaker for some.
For a question-by-question breakdown of Tom Rinaldi’s and Kelly Tilghman’s interviews, head over to TSB for Press Coverage. It’s pretty interesting to read them together.
I was a bit concerned when I was asked to talk with Paul Bessire of PredictionMachine.com because I hate doing interviews with guys who do 25 interviews in a day. They get tired of answering the same questions over and over again and it turns into autopilot mode.
This is not that interview, and it turned into one of my favorite shows in a long time. If you’re listening CLICK THIS LINK TO FOLLOW ALONG. It’s heady number crunching and it helps to have a something to look at. But honestly, I’m convinced this system could work.
Paul mentions that they have a book on every single player in college basketball, and use that to create team profiles. The team profiles are used to run 50,000 tournaments to determine the probability of how far each team will go. It’s rather incredible.
We run through the chances of too many teams to just list one or two here (ahem Villanova), so please listen if you want your bracket to do well. Or if you’re a stat geek.
We try to do today’s show in five minutes bites. Or, I suppose, bytes. It obviously doesn’t work.
Today, we discuss:
• Tiger’s return and the theory that CBS put the kiabosh on Bay Hill because it would coincide with the NCAA Regionals (and be on NBC) as opposed to his enormous, and protected, return on CBS for the Masters.
• The crazy up and down world of the BIG EAST, including the chance that West Virginia could be a #1 seed. Plus, some Big 12 talk as well! See, we aren’t totally east coast biased.
• A complete and utter dismantling of the ridiculous Floating Realignment idea in MLB. More on that at TSB if you want to read my thoughts and see my plan for realignment. Oh, an a bit of advice for the teams who think they can’t compete for their division crowns because other teams are better: get better. If you can’t beat the Yankees and Red Sox, tough darts. Get better. Sure those two teams habitually make the playoffs, but the Red Sox have only been in two World Series since 1986. The Rays have been in one more recently. I’m not saying things shouldn’t change, but let’s back off the radical ideas because of the “success” of two teams.
• MLS labor talks may lead to a strike. So far, both sides have been doing things right.
• RIP Merlin Olsen. Nick puts out the question, for you, of which current athletes (or recently retired) will we think of more as actors/pitchmen/analysts and less for what they did on the field?
There is a lot going on in sports today, namely a press conferences — SORRY, NOT A PRESS CONFERENCE — in two hours, so we give you bullets today.
• My new love of online curling.
• Tiger talk, specifically if the GWAA was just in boycotting. Are they missing out on media opportunities outside of Tiger?
• What station will you watch? Will you got to a sports station or a news station for the coverage?
• The Olympic hockey tournament just got interesting last night. Too bad NBC doesn’t seem to care.
• Are snowboarders just programmed differently? Does winning matter as much to them, or is it a lot of hanging out on the mountain? The NBC announcer seems to think that training isn’t what most snowboarders do. Okay then.
• More Olympic stuff.
Is it okay for a school to spy on your kids through a school-issued computer? I think it is, with limitations. If the kid visits a website or keys in something that triggers the web cam to come on, that’s fine to me. I plan to spy on my kids computer habits as well. But random searches of kids’ rooms is not right. Listen and let us know what you think.
• Flash Mobs are getting people to sue Facebook. That’s hilarious.
Thanks for listening all week and putting up with our transition to the new site. Click through to listen to today’s show.
Whenever we have a long show (run time on this sucker clears 62 minutes) I always seem to come up with a shorter write up. It’s no disrespect to our guest, Chris Chase of Yahoo’s Fourth Place Medal, but more to the point that there’s so much we discussed, I can’t remember everything when I try and do a recap. So, I’ll do my best.
First, Nick and I discuss the Tiger Woods news that he’ll be conducting a (NOT IN ANY WAY) media conference on Friday morning, with three wire services, TV camera and select friends in sports media world. Nick, like most people, thinks this is cowardly and typical of what Tiger Woods would do. If he were a changed person, he’d open it up to all media, or at the very least, allow those privileged enough to get a Golden Ticket the ability to ask questions. Basically, the media is window dressing for what could have been a recorded message thrown up on his website for the world to embed.