Tag Archives: Connecticut Clown College

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

Logo for the DFR Audible post categorySimmons’ Ball Stops Bouncing

Schadenfreude alert: News has come down that HBO has canceled Bill Simmons’ show Any Given Wednesday.

I can’t say I’m surprised, given my reaction to the two episodes I tried to watch back when the effort was first born. The show just wasn’t very good. But this is just a minor setback, right? Simmons is sure to land on his feet somewhere, isn’t he?

Don’t be so sure. Continue reading Simmons’ Ball Stops Bouncing

The Ups And Downs Of Color Commentary

Thanks to being swamped with work these past few weeks, your correspondent has had to take an imposed vacation from The DFR.

Did I miss anything important while I was away?

Kidding. I kept connected enough to know that ESPN’s adopted house team–the Red Sox West Chicago Cubs–won it all. But I would be remiss if I did not note, even this many weeks past the conclusion of Game 7, something else¬†important that happened this past post-season, something that had little to do with what went down on the field.

For all the excitement surrounding Chicago’s victory, it was one of the Connecticut Clown College’s rivals–FOX Sports–that may have achieved the more important and lasting victory, because it looks like the network has finally found the color analyst their broadcasts have been looking for forever: John Smoltz. And Smoltz’s¬†ascendancy into the upper ranks of national sports broadcasters may provide clues to the formula for finding the best announcers for the games we watch.

Continue reading The Ups And Downs Of Color Commentary

Logo for the DFR Audible post categorySomebody Up In Bristol Likes Me

Several weeks ago, when I pointed out how heavily ESPN was pimping Lindsay Czarniak leading into the early edition of SportsCenter, I subsequently noted it when the “Worldwide Leader” ceased that practice shortly after my post.

Now, in the wake of my substantially more positive comments on Rachel Nichols and her appearance on PTI, I have to acknowledge that not only did Nichols return for a second engagement on the program yesterday (and apparently will return to the seat again today), but that her co-host for the episode was none other than Pablo Torre — who I suggested as the best partner for Nichols should the network wish to retool the show for a younger generation by moving Messrs. Kornheiser and Wilbon to a farm upstate and installing younger co-hosts.

I suppose it may have been inevitable that Nichols, once she moved into the PTI guest host rotation, would be paired with Torre at some point, since he’s been on that scene for a while now. But the fact that it happened so soon after my suggesting it…Well, let’s just say that I’m beginning to suspect that somewhere in Bristol, CT there’s a DFR reader who’s been passing along my nuggets of wisdom to the local higher ups.

Of course, the real challenge will be getting the folks at the Connecticut Clown College to turn on Jon Gruden and realize that, maybe, just maybe, he isn’t really all that on Monday Night Football. Sean McDonough is in for a long first season. Trust me.

Rachel Getting Interrupted

As I’ve noted in this space on numerous occasions, I am a longtime viewer of ESPN’s PTI. That’s a bit of a chore during the summer months, because hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon get bored with their platform when the weather turns warm, and they tend to abandon their posts throughout the season.


Rachel Nichols: a host with the most

This eventuality leads to a string of fill-in hosts, most of whom are not exactly up to the standard that Messrs. Wilbon and Kornheiser set. And then, last week, viewers were presented with two shows, on Thursday and Friday, on which Rachel Nichols stepped in to serve as the show’s guest host for the first time.

This did not seem like a propitious choice. As I’ve indicated on more than one occasion, sideline reporters are not my favorite creatures roaming the sports media landscape. Had the channel guide indicated that Nichols would be a guest host on the show last Thursday, I might have just deleted the episode without bothering to watch.

As it was, I went into the episode with little expectation that the show would be anything other than the usual middling effort–at best–that comes when the main men are missing.

Surprise! Nichols didn’t just acquit herself well as a fill-in host; she knocked it out of the park–and got at least this observer wondering if PTI could have a future beyond the days of Mike and Tony.

Continue reading Rachel Getting Interrupted