Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TV. Show all posts

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's Been a Long Twins Season for the Production Crew, Too

Felix Hernandez pitching. All-Star. Commanding, 3 hits over 8 innings performance. Twins Killer. His name happens to not be Pedro. But, you know, close enough.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hey, What About the Olympics?

The Olympics are coming to a close this weekend, and this here blog has run silent, run deep throughout the Olympic Mayhem. Why?

Because I have a really hard time not buying in, on some level. I waited, day after day, to watch track events. Many of my favorite websites became verboten after 11 am my time, because I did want to watch the prime time version of the Olympics, and I didn't want it spoiled,  no matter how terrible NBC's handling of it was (and it was often terrible).

I didn't care much about the tape delay. I have a job, and wasn't going to be watching a lot of events as they happened anyway. But good Christ, the jingoism and poor decisions combined and abounded in terrible ways.

NBC decided that Synchronized Diving needed to be prime time, because the US had focused on that event as a way of acquiring medals. Hey, that's a great strategy for the US Diving people. That doesn't make Synchronized Diving more watchable than say, top quality handball or field hockey or water polo.

And that's what killed NBC's coverage--their absolute belief that Americans don't care about great moments in the Olympics; that Americans just care about Americans. NBC followed that to line of reasoning to its breaking point--that during the final few days and evenings, Americans would rather see Bob Costas interview the Beach Volleyball tandem of Walsh/May-Treanor yet again than actually cover a sport.

Meanwhile, the Decathlon, which featured two Americans both pushing to break the World Record in the event--got what? 10 minutes for each day? that's 1 minute per event. The field events in the Track and Field, which used to be covered in detail and with drama where often explained in five minute chunks.

Pole Vault, High Jump, Long Jump, Discus, Shot Put, etc--those were all Blink And You'll Miss It Events. Why? Because Beach Volleyball IS JUST THAT IMPORTANT. You can't just watch what is essentially a really watered down version of real volleyball, you also need to set aside 10 minutes for the heavily favorited winners who actually battled with the odds and won to be interviewed.

Did Bob Costas, at any point, speak to a non-American? Did Andrea Kremer begin an interview with anything besides, "What was going through your head when you touched the wall and you realized you won?"

If you leave this Olympics thinking that it was shittily produced, and you live in England? Fuck you guys, because the BBC put on a show. If you live the USA, and you think NBC did a shit job, well then, you are quite right. Let's all now get ready to enjoy The Spice Girls on tape delay.

One take away from this Olympics--I don't know if it is possible to put into words what Usain Bolt has done. I think people are like, "Yeah, people are faster, and tracks are faster, and whatever." Usain Bolt's times will stand for awhile, I think.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Your Hate of Soccer is Making You Dumb, Joe Anderson

I want to preface my comments with a clear statement that Judd & Phunn (Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson) host my preferred local morning sports radio show. They are generally entertaining, and have a nice back and forth that works. The result means more talking about sports, and less of the painful shtick that their opposite number Paul Allen is producing morning in morning out on KFAN. There are no minute long musical bumps on Judd & Phunn. There's little to no effort expended on coming up with wacky names for wacky segments. It is clear, informative (as far as sports radio goes) and generally not painful to listen to.

If I had one complaint, it is that they talk hockey way too much. But I'm a transplant to Minnesota, and I long ago learned to live with Minnesotan sports idiosyncrasies (high school tournaments on prime time TV? Sure. The Vikings are terrible/Super Bowl Bound in the span of a couple of weeks? OK. A belief that hockey is the world's greatest sport if the world would just get its head out of its ass? Why not? Doesn't hurt me any).

But the hockey thing gets more annoying when it gets paired up with someone like Joe Anderson of Judd & Phunn, mostly because of Anderson's bizarre antipathy to the world's favorite game--soccer. I have ripped various folks for hating on soccer (Tom Powers comes to mind), but it is much easier to do when I don't really care for the body of their work in general. I really don't like criticizing guys who I generally enjoy, and like I said, Judd & Phunn is a pretty enjoyable sports show. I enjoy Scott Van Pelt more than most of the guys on ESPN these days. Both Anderson and Van Pelt can be total dicks about soccer.

But Anderson's dislike for the game is particularly puzzling to me for two reasons. First, the intensity. He isn't a 'take it or leave it' kind of guy--he hates soccer. Today, during the segment that I'm about to finally get to, he muttered as they went to break, "Soccer is just stupid." Thoughtful take, "Phunn". Second, I'm confused to how a guy who loves hockey can hate soccer that much, because they are probably more alike than either fan would like to admit. Set aside the niche audience, the frequently low scoring, and continually put-upon fans. To transform hockey into soccer takes about 3 steps, and it is mostly about scale. Double the size of teams, greatly expand the size of the goals and playing surface (which obviously needs to switch from ice to grass). Boom--soccer. Both are free-wheeling games, with minimal stoppages when things are going well. Both require a ridiculous amount of conditioning to play at its peak. You don't find roles for 350 pound guys in either sport. There are more similarities than differences, really.

So here's the segment that made me a little crazy. Judd and Joe were discussing the flagging ratings of the Stanley Cup, as the media does every year. They were both stunned to discover that a show about training dogs (that they thought was about walking dogs) got better ratings than a potential final game of the Stanley Cup. Anderson then started a weird little rant about how soccer fans are going to eat up these low numbers and start pushing for more soccer on TV, because in terms of ratings, soccer is getting close to hockey numbers. And he huffed and fumed about that for awhile before making a prediction that it would never happen.

Except, of course--it already has. The Champion's League Final, just last month, outperformed not only the playoff hockey game that aired the same day, it was watched by more people than any Stanley Cup Final game in the series. The only reason European soccer doesn't regularly outperform hockey as this point is because of the time difference. Prime time games are aired live in the middle of the afternoon here. Tired whining about how soccer is dumb and boring aside, the people have spoken, it appears.

What will be interesting to see is how well the Euro Cup (started this morning! the Polish goalkeeper saved a penalty kick!) does in terms of eyeballs throughout the next few weeks. I imagine there will be any number of games that will demonstrate that world soccer is a far bigger viewership draw than the NHL. Joe Anderson might not like it, he may hate it, but soccer fans don't have to do any whispering campaigns about how soccer deserves to take precedence over hockey. The campaign has already happened, and already been won.

UPDATE (6/10/12): Brazil lost to Argentina 4-3, with a Messi hat trick and over 80,000 people in attendance. In MetLife Stadium in New Jersey (aka, the Meadowlands).  Further proof that um, hey, the demographics of the US are changing, and soccer has eclipsed hockey in almost every way. (the quality of the MLS still needs to bump up several notches).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kids in the Hall Era Dave Foley Agree on Golf

Every single time I accidentally catch even a smidgen of golf on TV, this is what I think of (god bless you, Dave Foley)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Subaru--The Car For Moms Who Will Go To Hell

I thought it odder when Cadillac decided to use a song from the Pogues in a commercial that featured the line, "With a heart full of hate and a lust for vomit", but this commercial is still odd.  The song and its title is featured prominently, "If I Should Fall From the Grace of God."  Is Subaru suggesting that a mom forced to drive her triplets around would contemplate the sweet, sweet release of death and a horrible afterlife?  Makes sense to me, but to the broader consumer market, it may not.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas, Bitches Part 2

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Photographic Microcosm of the Timberwolves Season

That sums it up, no?  The graphic is supposed to read "Back to Back Road Wins".

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Homoeroticism, Cleveland Style

Sunday, January 23, 2011

That's Kind of Rude, Mark Sanchez

AFC Championship game--cameras catch Mark Sanchez wiping his booger on Mark Brunell's jacket.  Awesome!  Big ups to the CBS camera crew for this one.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's SportsDome, and it's Infinite

If you aren't watching this show, you really, really should be.

Onion SportsDome

Friday, January 07, 2011

More Terrible Judgement from Wisconsin: Snooki Edition

The AV Club has helpfully highlighted the pride of a man from Union Grove, WI.  His Snooki tattoo.  God damn you, Wisconsin.  Stop acting like shitheads for a day, please.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pretty Sure That's Against the Rules, Jim Petersen

For the record, not the only time in this game Jim Peterson referred to "sucking off". That can't be the NBA approved phraseology. (Fox Sports--12/15/10)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Seems Reasonable, Wisconsinite


A 66-year-old man from the Town of Vermont is in custody after a tense 15-hour standoff between himself and Dane County deputies that allegedly began after he became enraged by Bristol Palin's performance on "Dancing with the Stars" and fired a shotgun at a television in the home.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Nothing About Pool Hustling; Lots About Ordering Sandwiches

Thanks, AV Club and Found Footage Festival!

The world's most arrogant pool hustler will teach you almost nothing

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Todd Haley has Two Penises and is Very Proud of Them

I'm a mature man, with a very sophisticated sense of humor.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Johnny Randle's Still Got It

John Randle, for those of us of a certain age, is almost the prototypical "motor" guy.  He was also enjoyably insane--be it the face paint, be it the knocking of heads as his fellow players joined together for the after-game prayer circle.  He's also a Hall of Famer.  But he knows what his legacy is--a motor that won't quit.  Proof!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rent-A-Center Magically Makes PlayStation3 worth $2400

via Kotaku, please to enjoy the story of a woman suing her boyfriend for her $2500 Playstation3.  Thanks, Magic Johnson, you dick.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Friendly Reminder: ESPN's Mike Greenberg is Stupid, Reactionary

Just a quick follow-up to some of my predictions in reaction to Mike Greenberg (of Mike & Mike in the Morning, a show so important it is simulcast on radio and ESPN2 every weekday morning).

Mike Greenberg predicted that the NFL Draft was going to be the #1 show on Thursday night.  That was hilariously incorrect.  It basically tied the vampire teen show on the CW.

Mike Greenberg also suggested that the Twins without Joe Nathan were doomed to finish in 3rd or 4th place in the AL Central. How's that prediction working out so far?  Horribly, that's how--because as I predicted, the Twins have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league, and as I also predicted, have found a very solid closer in their in their bullpen in Jon Rauch.  (OK, sure, I guessed it would be Pat Neshek, but the point stands)

What's my point?  Mike Greenberg gets paid money--a good amount of money--to talk about sports.  And he doesn't know shit, half the time.  And that's not even mentioning the time he tried to bring the phrase "womanned down" (the opposite of "manned up") into the American vernacular.  Seriously, he tried.

Let's be clear--I'm not saying I could do his job better than he does.  The idea of waking up at 3 am so I can drive into Bristol, CT and stare at the flapping jowls of Mike Golic frightens me terribly.  It would be a form of hell for me.  I could not do the job that the Mikes do, day in, day out.  But I can point out, quite fairly and reasonably, that they are idiots, and Mike Greenberg is a fucking waste of space who doesn't know what he is talking about, even as he weighs in on the topics of the day (that he knows nothing about) with supreme confidence.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NFL Draft, Or: Oh, Mike Greenberg, You So Crazy

This morning, prior to leaving for work, I was watching Mike and Mike (I know, I know) and "Greenie" said something that I find highly dubious.

He predicted that the first round of the NFL Draft (In case you haven't heard somehow, the First Round is on in Prime Time on Thursday night) would win the ratings battle for the evening.  Co-host Mike Golic was a bit more circumspect, saying that he had to know what was on before he made that prediction.

I predict "No way, Jose", for a couple of reasons.

A lot of the people who look at numbers, but don't really look much beyond the first blush (like, say Mike Greenberg) see this as an easy prediction for Greenie to make.  Last Year's draft drew 36.7 million viewers.  On a Saturday afternoon!  Why, on prime time, it will draw at least twice as much!

But think about it for a second.  That 36.7 million viewers was a total made up of the entire five hours (Rounds 1 and 2) of Saturday coverage.  The draft Thursday night won't be anywhere near as long, because it is only the first round.  Let's be fair and assume that a lot of those viewers were checking in on the first round.  Let's say that 25 million people were eyeballs during the first round.  That might be generous.

Last Thursday night, the lineup on the five "major" (that includes The CW) networks combined for 33.6 million viewers just from 7-8 pm eastern.  Most of that was Survivor and Bones (almost 4 million were watching a rerun of the Office, though).

Let me put it another way--last week, CBS in three hours of prime time, grabbed 36.65 million viewers--that includes, for some reason, almost 12 million people for a rerun--a RERUN--of The Mentalist.

That's one thing--those five hours of coverage generated big numbers, but only in the context of 5 hours of draft coverage, not for primetime Thursday night fare.

Here's the other side of that coin--the Draft last year was competing against infomercials and maybe a baseball game on your local Fox affiliate.  It has purposefully moved itself to face real competition.  I personally think that's a horrible idea.  They owned one Saturday in April, and now they are trying to make it 2 evenings in April.  That's overreach.

For the first hour of the draft, it will be going against all new episodes of FlashForward, Community & 30 Rock, Survivor, and Bones.  At least on the East Coast and Central Time Zones.  On the West Coast, you'll have your choice of new episodes, or the last third of the first round, as it starts at 4:30 your time.  Are people  in San Francisco leaving work early to see who the 49'ers draft?  I tend to doubt it.  Oh, and LeBron James and Derrick Rose will be going at each other on TNT, as will Kobe and Kevin Durant.

Why does this matter?  Who gives a shit about the ratings about the NFL Draft?  Well, to some degree, I do. Because I think this is a chance for the NFL power structure to get the shot across the bow it so desperately needs.  The NFL is clearly convinced it can do no wrong; that NFL fans will swallow anything the NFL spoon feeds them.  I think this is the one of the few times left it might get proved wrong before they rush headlong to the player lockout they desperately crave.

I'm not rooting for the draft to fail on prime time, but I think it will.  I don't think it will lose to the Vampire Girl Show on the CW, or anything, but anyone who thinks the Draft will win the night is living too much in the sports world.  Given the option, would you rather listen to Steve Carell and Joel McHale make jokes, or Chris Berman and Mel Kiper, Jr?

I predict a huge percentage of the folks who plunked themselves down in front of their TV on a Saturday afternoon for a few hours (like I have done, for the past few years) will do what I will do on Thursday night--watch their favorite shows, and during a commercial break, flip over to ESPNews and check out the Bottom Line to see who their team picked.  And suddenly, when given a choice of entertainment and something that isn't really all that entertaining to watch, will wonder "Why the fuck did I watch this shit last year?"  The NFL might take a step back and say, "Oh wait, our piddling Human Resources minutiae isn't the most important thing in the world?  Good to know."

Nice work, NFL.  You fucking dummies.  And nice predicting, Mike Greenberg.  You are my least favorite dummy of all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The abhorrent state of journalism.

Perhaps some of you recall last fall when Andy Richter pummeled Wolf Blitzer on celebrity Jeopardy. O.K., Andy is intelligent and educated so that's not necessarily a huge surprise. The latest celebrity Jeopardy pitted Anderson Cooper, Aisha Tyler, and Cheech Marin against each other. Before final jeopardy Cheech - yes Cheech - lead both Cooper and Tyler( who were tied with $8,000) with $14,200. The final Jeopardy question that stumped them? Basically, who wrote "The Wizard of Oz." Tough one. Cheech claimed not to get the answer because he read the date wrong (1980 instead of 1890). At least Cheech gave a reason. If you'd like, watch the final Jeopardy question - Cooper is visibly pleased to have his ass handed to him by none other than Cheech Marin.
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