Category Archives: Television

Camera Work From Camera Jerks

Postseason, regular season, any season–it doesn’t matter: greed never has an off-season.

I call this truism to everyone’s attention because I just noticed a new money-grubbing wrinkle while watching game 1 of the ALCS on FS1: the computer-imposed ads, usually seen behind home plate on the backstop, have now metastasized onto the batter’s eye in center field.

Continue reading Camera Work From Camera Jerks

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Say ‘Que?’

There’s been a lot of surprising and puzzling things going on early in this NFL season, but maybe the most surprising and puzzling thing is happening not on the field, but on your television.

Why exactly is ESPN broadcasting Monday Night Football in Spanish on ESPN2?

The standard bilge from the network will undoubtedly tell you that it’s a move intended to further build viewership in that oh-so-important demographic, but I suspect there’s more going on here than meets the eye and ear. And it’s at least as much about what’s going wrong with ESPN as it is about courting Spanish-language viewers for the network and its NFL partner.

Continue reading Say ‘Que?’

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The Song Remains A Pain

If you asked me why I tuned in to this year’s U.S. Open, I could probably enumerate 750 reasons for my viewership, and the words “Shania” and “Twain” would never come up.

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Shania Twain: another example of a terrible trend in sports broadcasting

Likewise, if and when I tune in to Sunday Night Football, I will do so with absolutely no interest whom they have singing their execrable theme song. (Possibly still Carrie underwood, but I make vigorous attempts to ignore and/or miss the opening, so I’m not entirely sure.)

In fact, I never care about someone’s music when I turn on any sort of sporting event–because I tune in for, you know, the sports.

Why can’t these broadcasters understand that? Continue reading The Song Remains A Pain

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The First Great Call Of The NFL Season

It seemed like a crazy thing when Tony Romo decided to bow out of the NFL and head into the broadcast booth. It seemed even crazier when CBS decided not only to hire Romo, but to also shove Phil Simms aside and install Romo next to the network’s no. 1 announcer Jim Nantz, thus making him the channel’s de facto top game analyst. No one has made a move like that since John Madden left the sidelines to jump into the broadcast booth–and even Madden needed a little seasoning before he became The Guy.

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Nantz, Wolfson, and newcomer Tony Romo: the new guy makes a great call

After Sunday’s season opener, none of it seems all that crazy anymore. Continue reading The First Great Call Of The NFL Season

The Bell Tolls In Bristol

If, at any time in the last several years, you invested heavily in ‘ESPN/schadenfreude’ futures, then last week was the moment when you became a very wealthy person.

I, of course, preferred to wait a decent period to comment on last week’s layoffs, out of respect for those…

Oh, who am I kidding? I was laughing my ass off over “The Worldwide Leader” and its problems. Not so much over the people laid off; most of them deserved better, I’m sure, and for the ones who were just doing the job of covering their beats–like Ed Werder or Ethan Sherwood Strauss–I have varying degrees of actual respect. They weren’t the ones who were creating the clown show; they just happened to be the ones who paid for it.

No, the main theme is a simple one: ESPN brought a lot of its woes upon itself–and if you tuned in to last night’s Sunday Night Baseball–while the ink on the pink slips was still not dry–you could see exactly why the network is having its problems.

Continue reading The Bell Tolls In Bristol