Saturday, January 12, 2008

Motivation On Trial, Juror Put To Sleep

A freelancer checked in with a story that many people in the Sports TV industry can relate to.
A well deserved break in his schedule coincided with a summons for jury duty. While cursing himself for not throwing the notice away in the first place, our hero reported to his local courthouse prepared to fulfill his civic obligation.
However a 9:00 AM report time following a game and strike the night before left little time for sleep and by now you've probably guessed the result.
At one point during the day in court, our man was awakened by the sound of his own snoring.
When asked about his less than inspired public performance, he said "You know what happens to me with morning call times. If I can't get to work on time to make $600, you think I'm going to be motivated when they pay us $40?"
At least the prosecution will be pleased. Regardless of the evidence, we were told, "This guy swings. And when it's over, everybody in here will swing."
We hear ya, brother.

Friday, January 11, 2008


Phil Simms should sleep well tonight in his hotel room with the knowledge that clear skies are predicted for Saturday Night's AFC Divisional Playoff game between Jacksonville and New England.

No snow = no snow balls!


In one way this could be good.

But in many ways this is bad. Really bad.

Those who champion equal rights must be somewhat satisfied that Kelly Tilghman is actually being treated the same way a man would be. Because for the first few days after the story broke, she really wasn't.

Golf Channel broadcaster Tilghman's unfortunate and potentially offensive remark about Tiger Woods one week ago was widely reported. She and the channel apologized publicly, and Tilghman apologized to Woods over the phone. Woods accepted the apology. Golf Channel said there would be no disciplinary action towards Tilghman.

Case closed? End of story?

If so, great. But we wondered how this would have been handled had a male sportscaster made such a mistake. If past examples are any clue, it wouldn't have been pretty.

An inebriated Jimmy (The Greek) Snyder lost his job at CBS over a racial statement that had no malicious intent. And despite a career filled with efforts on behalf of African-American athletes, Howard Cosell was shrouded in controversy following his "little monkey" remark about Washington Redskins wide receiver Alvin Garrett. Cosell meant the term to describe someone of diminutive size, and had used the phrase on the air a decade earlier about Mike Adamle, who is white. Frustrated and angered over the furor that spanned the entire 1983 season, Cosell did not return to Monday Night Football in 1984.

Yet for several days following her gaffe, Kelly Tilghman faced no such furor.

That is until Al Sharpton jumped up and threatened to have his National Action Network supporters picket Golf Channel's Orlando HQ if Tilghman wasn't fired. According to CNN, Sharpton "compared Tilghman's statement to calling for a woman to be raped or for a Jewish-American to be sent to a gas chamber. "

Does anyone find THAT remark offensive?

Tiger Woods issued a statement through his agent saying he was friends with Tilghman and, "We know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments." But that's not nearly good enough for Sharpton.

In what looks like an appeasement effort, Golf Channel reversed course and suspended Tilghman on Wednesday for two weeks. The channel did so in an anonymous statement, with no executive or spokesperson standing publicly behind the action.

"The GOLF CHANNEL regrets the poorly chosen remarks made by Kelly Tilghman on a recent broadcast and, again, extends our apologies to anyone who was offended. There is simply no place on our network for offensive language like this. While we believe that Kelly's choice of words were inadvertent and that she did not intend them in an offensive manner, the words were hurtful and grossly inappropriate. Consequently, we have decided to suspend Kelly for two weeks, effective immediately."

Whether Golf Channel's cowardly act is good enough for Sharpton to recall his troops remains to be seen.

Welcome to the boys' club Kelly Tilghman.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What can happen to baseball producers in the off season

Three baseball producers got together recently to rehash last season's glories and talk up their plans for 2008.

And to play a little Wii.

Thanks to FAN IQ

Gotta love the one guy's mom, even if she needs a lesson in camera work (shoot the TV next time). She may ask her son to get his own place soon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Do you remember when analysts were always called color commentators?

Well a few off-color comments have been uttered on air lately. Disconnects between brain and mouth, Freudian slips, and good old fashioned racism popped up on no less than three recent broadcasts.

Example #1

December 28, 2007 - Atlanta Hawks @ Dallas Mavericks - FSN SOUTHWEST

Brad Davis, former NBA player and current Mavs analyst, describing a play:

“..When he has to full court press and grab and hold and everything else. And it gets to a point sometimes where the referees just get tired of f—ing calling fouls on them.”

Thanks to Sports By Brooks

For $20 you can buy a personalized CD that will give your youngster the thrill of a lifetime, and maybe a lesson in English slang.

The Dallas Mavericks Play-By-Play Personalized CD features professional announcers calling out your full name as you become the hero of your favorite team. This 10 minute CD has great sound effects and music. Listen to your name called out as you lead your team to an amazing come from behind victory in game seven of the NBA Finals. Personalize the CD cover by inserting your own photo beneath the cut-out star. Makes a great gift for young fans!

Call now! Operators are standing by.

Example #2

Kelly Tilghman, Golf Channel's main play-by-play announcer pulled a Fuzzy Zoeller last Friday at a PGA event in Hawaii.

Thanks to FAN IQ

Tilghman, according to the Chicago Tribune, "has apologized after saying during Friday's telecast of the PGA Tour's opening event that today's young players should "lynch Tiger Woods in a back alley."

In a statement issued Monday, Tilghman said: "On Friday during our golf broadcast, Nick Faldo and I were discussing Tiger's dominance in the golf world and I used some poorly chosen words. I have known Tiger for 12 years and I have apologized directly to him. I also apologize to our viewers who may have been offended by my comments."

Tilghman will face no disciplinary action.

There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that she meant to say Woods should be chained to the back of a pickup truck and dragged through Texas.

Example #3

Cris Collinsworth had an unfortunate slip of the tongue on NBC's NFL playoff game between Washington and Seattle last Saturday.

As posted by Awful Announcing, Cris is talking about the Skins pressure on Matt Hasselbeck when it sounds like he says, "When that guys' 'coming' right in her face."

Sounds like Cris may be spending a little too much time watching adult movies in his hotel room.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

SURFING (the net) WITHOUT SPENDING (your per diem)

I've been confronted with a common problem amongst free-lancers: how to get onto the Internet without getting gouged by the hotel or having to rely on a weak, intermittent, or password protected press signal at the venue.

Well, for those of us with a Sprint Treo freedom is nigh. We can use them as modems for our laptops. There a couple of different approaches to this end ranging from the entirely legal and very expensive to what we could euphemistically call "creative" and free.

To stay within the law Sprint requires a "Phone as Modem" contract costing $39.99 per month. That's a lot of money if you ask me. In addition Sprint requires basic data services starting at $15.00 per month to get the ball rolling. That's $660.00 for an Internet connection? C'mon!

A second method requires basic data services and a visit to PDAnet to pay for and download their software. It's $34.99 for the software and it loads easily. You can be surfin' the net within minutes using the USB sync cable that came with your phone. PDAnet will not take any responsibility for any additional fees should Sprint notice your additional data usage but from my experience it's only those folks downloading music or movies that cause any concern.

A further, more creative method requires just basic data services, a little ingenuity, and the desire to stick it the "man". It may be the most challenging technically but for tech geeks like us it's a piece of cake. I suggest a Google of the phrase "Internet on Air" which will lead you to Trevor Harmon's web page detailing directions for your 650, 680, 700 or 755p. It took me about 30 minutes to download the hack, get a trial version of Resco Explorer (which is a really cool software program - think Windows trees for your phone) and then move the hack via Resco to my phone's RAM. Again, common sense use of data services is suggested. Simply checking your mail and surfin' the net shouldn't be a problem.

One additional note: I used the USB cable that came with my 755p because I have a pre Bluetooth laptop but if you have Bluetooth on your laptop you can surf via Bluetooth.

Now that's cool.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Back in November when the LA Angels announced their 2008 broadcasters, it was widely reported that Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler would split the season between TV and radio, calling around 75 games on KSPN and the rest on FSN West or KCOP.

Angels radio broadcaster Rory Markas, who has called games with Terry Smith since 2002, would now pair with Mark Gubicza 75 times on TV. Smith's role in the booth when Physioc and Hudler are on the radio wasn't defined. Jose Mota, whose 50 TV games in 2007 weren't embraced by the fans or the critics, would be given pre and post game TV work in addition to his play-by-play duties on the team's Spanish radio network.

However, if and when the game by game assignments for TV and radio are finally released, the 2008 schedule may not resemble what people thought it would be like back in November 2007.

Physioc and Hudler, who were cut from 150 TV games down to 100 last year, may only work 50 games on FSN West and KCOP, while calling upwards of 100 games on KSPN radio.

Meanwhile Rory Markas would go from 3 TV games in '07 to 100 in '08. Gubicza's profile would also rise considerably with 50 additional telecasts.

And Terry Smith?

He still seems to be the odd man out in this merry-go-round. If he isn't just relegated to pre and post game shows when Phys and Hud are on the radio, he'll be in the uncomfortable position of trying to be something more than an afterthought in his own booth.

These moves kind of make you wonder what the Angels long term plans are, don't they?


We're posting this item because of the affect on numerous SoCal sports freelancers who also work these events:

Despite what has been and is being reported by mainstream media, we have learned that NBC has indeed canceled the Golden Globe Awards scheduled for January 13.

An announcement confirming the decision will take place on Monday.

That makes the score something like WGA 3, AMPTP 0.