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Newz Forum: OTHER: The Sports Curmudgeon on CBS' NFL Games, ESPN2, Poker plus more...

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posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 03:13 PM
There was a story in the Washington Post about the US Olympic Committee "taking a cautious approach" toward its budget processes under new chairman, Peter Uberroth.

It says that money is available but that Uberroth and the newly downsized board - from 123 members to 11 members no less - will probably approve a budget for only 2005 and not a single budget for the quadrennium 2005-2008, as was previous practice. And we wonder how there could have been scandals and loose accounting practices? Imagine if you were the shareholder of a company - National Veeblefetzer to recall the early days of Mad Magazine - and they came to the annual meeting with 123 members of the Board of Directors and a budget projection for 4 years that you were asked to approve on a voice vote. Even the Enron folks wouldn't have tried that.

Meanwhile those noble folks at the International Olympics Committee have also done something sensible in recent days. Some goof at the BBC came up with the idea that it would be useful - and maybe even entertaining? - to have representatives of all five cities bidding for the 2012 Olympic Games engage in a debate that would be televised by the BBC. Before anyone asks, I'd rather watch every minute of every playoff game for the history of the WNBA than to sit through this kind of "debate drivel". But it isn't going to happen because the IOC was sensible enough to say no to the idea. Dave Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram had the best reaction to this news:

"Did you feel that sense of relief you experienced years ago when Uncle Louis pulled out the vacation slides only to discover that the slide-projector bulb had burned out?"

The Dallas Morning News had a report of a different kind of QB Showdown in Dallas. It seems that QB, Vinny Testaverde, is a 3-handicap golfer and QB, Tony Romo, is a scratch golfer and the two of them are scheduled for the country club version of a Texas-Chainsaw-Steel Cage-Death-Match. I'm sure there is a great potential for some smack-talking here and maybe even the possibility for the outbreak of some "full contact golf". I hope someone at The Golf Channel is paying attention.

Thinking of NFL quarterbacks, I am reminded of something that has been growing on me for the last month or two. I have had about enough of Dan Marino on the CBS Pregame Show. While I am not about the try to make the case that Greg Gumbel, Shannon Sharpe or Boomer Esiason is the reincarnation of Edward R. Morrow, they are a bit informative and a bit entertaining. Marino is a mush-mouth and the thing he seems to do best is to take offense when the other people on the "panel" poke fun at him. I think that CBS would do well to replace Marino with someone who was an NFL coach to provide another perspective on the program. I do not want them even to consider Mike Ditka or Jerry Glanville or Bill Walsh, but how about Marv Levy to increase the average IQ on the panel by about 30%?

I read a report saying that ESPN2 will air a new program in the summer called Quite Frankly. It will be a 60-minute news/analysis/opinion program and it will feature - take a deep breath here - Stephen A. Smith. Let me say for the record that I like Stephen A. Smith's columns in the Philadelphia Inquirer and I enjoy his NBA commentaries on ESPN. How-wevah, I think I enjoy his commentaries on ESPN because they come in short bursts/small doses. I don't know how I'm going to be able to take an hour of Stephen A. Smith; I don't know if I can maintain my adrenaline level at a sufficient level for that period of time. I'll surely give the program a try and you can bet that ESPN will give you just a little advance notice about when it will be on...

I hope that this program is better than the ESPN attempt to turn Jim Rome into a 60-minute TV news/analysis/opinion program host. For me, Rome is very much like Stephen A; both are best tolerated in small doses.

Flipping through the channels last night among college basketball games, I did notice that Tilt was on ESPN yet again. I think there is an evolutionary path here and if I'm right and if all of us are fortunate, the evolutionary path is a dead end that will result in the demise of the entire line.

First, we had poker on TV.

Those programs spawned Celebrity Poker and Invitational Poker and reruns - ad nauseum to be sure - of various poker games as the second stage of the evolutionary chain.

Third came Tilt as a primetime soap about poker and the people who play poker in Las Vegas.

Now the fourth stage of the Poker Programming Evolution may be the killer for the genre if it ever springs up. Imagine a Reality Show about couch potatoes who don't play poker but who sit there, watch poker on TV, and play hands on remotes against the TV and the other watchers. That would have all the excitement and entertainment value of watching fruit ripen and may put an end to all this.

And we do need an end to this...

Finally, in the agate section of my paper this morning I learned that Brad Nasato had been named assistant lacrosse coach at Limestone College. Immediately, I thought that it would have been so much better had he been named Brad Rock since this was Limestone College and so I went to the college website to find out if any athletic coach there was named Rock. I got tired of trying to sift through each and every sport and so I went to Google and tried "Brad Rock" just to see if I might get lucky. Guess what. Brad Rock is a sports columnist for the Deseret Morning News in Salt Lake City.

Memo to Brad Rock: You missed your calling, my man. You need to become a coach or athletic director at Limestone College. It's destiny.

But don't get me wrong, I love sports...

Copyright The Sports Curmudgeon

[Edited on 2/5/05 by SportzWriter]

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