Sunday, December 7, 2008

NBA -- Rating the announcers

So now that I have league pass (more cheers) and have been listening to NBA broadcasts around the league, the first thing that jumped out at me was the differing quality of the team's in-game announcers, the play-by-play and color commentators. Simply put, some of them are ready for prime-time, up to the quality TNT broadcasts (I always enjoy TNT's announcers), and some are just horrible. I started keeping a list, if only to save myself from the pain of some of the babblers and ramblers out there, but a few stick out in my mind.

The Ugly:

* Hornets: I don't know if I'll ever listen to a N'awlins home broadcast ever again. These guys take homerism to unbelievable levels. You could go an entire game without hearing one substantial remark about the opponent or their play. And the way they cover some plays, you're left to wonder which game they're watching. Ball thrown out of bounds? Must've been tipped. Foul by Chandler? Inconceivable. Chris Paul could defend Deron Williams by beating him in the head with a club and these guys would look for an offensive foul. The color commentator actually once took the time to pontificate about his belief that Kobe orchestrated the great Lakers breakup of 2004. I had to turn and check my calendar -- yup, it's still 2008. The word "Colorado" never turned up but I'm assuming I simply missed it when I went for a bathroom break. You usually have to go to a web forum to hear that level of ancient overt man-hating. As a matter of fact, that's the only place I want to go to hear it. I'd put these two on mute if they were commentating the basketball scenes in an episode of The Fresh Prince.

The Bad:

* Jazz, Nuggets, Celtics: Nearly as high on the homerism scale as the Hornets, except they actually watch the game that's transpiring in real life instead of the one being fed thru their rose-coloured glasses. You won't hear anything substantial about the opponent, but you also won't hear them blame a cross-wind for one of their players dribbling the ball off his foot during warmups. I might listen to their broadcasts again, but only after getting myself into the same mindset I'd use to watch Dumb & Dumberer, Step Brothers, or Fox News Network.

The Good:

* Grizzlies, Magic, Lakers: These broadcasters are like a breath of fresh air. The fans in those cities will actually hear something about both teams. It's really an amazing concept: to talk about the opponent. Their tendencies. Their good players. How they've been playing lately. How they're playing tonight -- good or bad. Plays they like to run. The fact that the opponent made a good play or that a player from the home team actually took four steps on the way to the rim. Beyond just hearing a fair, intelligent broadcast, you'll undoubtably learn a tidbit or two about the opponent by the end of the night. These guys realize they have 82 games to talk about the home team, that breaking a nightly monotony with facts about the opponent is actually good broadcasting.

Don't misunderstand, I expect a certain amount of hometown favouritism from the commentators. They shouldn't be working for that team if the aren't leaning their broadcast towards them. But there is a point at which favouritism becomes cheerleading. And a point at which cheerleading crosses the line into homerism.

Then there's a line wayyy far off in the distance, just past the horizon, a zip code reserved only for the Hornets broadcast. God, are they awful.

Friday, November 7, 2008

NBA League Pass -- It's Fantastic!!!

OK, it's all over. I just found out about -- and almost immediately signed up for -- NBA Leauge Pass Broadband. Quick backstory: we don't have cable, dish, or any other traditional TV subscription up here on Mars. So up till now I've been forced to catch sports a couple times a week at bars, friend's houses, ESPN360, etc. No mo'.

Unless I'm mistaken, the NBA is the first league to have a broadband-only service for TV-challenged losers like myself. MLB maybe? In any case, bless you NBA.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jeter Overrated?; Shaq Over-Exposed

There's been a lot going on in sports that have been on my mind -- which is what finally spurred me to create a blog. So, just to get caught up, I'll just throw out some random thoughts....

  • Read an article on ESPN -- or was it Yahoo? -- listing the Most Overpaid MLB Players. One of the leading names was Derek Jeter. And the reason? Because he's (supposedly) having a down year offensively. Now, if you read my Intro blog post, you'll remember me calling 75% of sports writers idiots. Well, here's one prime example.

    Yes, if you simply went trolling about the internet looking at stats, you might see Jeter's .278 average and think he's fallen way off offensively. That of course would make you an idiot. Look at Jeter's game log; you'll notice that on May 20th he was batting .312, then you'll see his batting average plummet over the next 2 weeks. What's so significant about May 20th? He got hit by a pitch on his hand. The question is, why do I know this and a paid sports writer doesn't?? But I guess the health of your hands and batting have nothing to do with each other.

  • Memo to Shaq: didn't you divorce your wife because she was hiding money from you?

  • Memo to Shaq: fun is fun, battling is battling, but the implication that you thinking about a next man tasting your ass is pretty gay. Please do keep the salad-tossing fantasies to yourself. You could've just said "...from first to last place, Kobe tell me how that ass taste" and had the same effect, no?

  • Memo to Shaq: Vasectomy? T...M...I.

  • I'm sometimes embarrassed to be the same age as Shaq. Same goes for Beenie Man and Bounty Killa when they start warring but....that's another subject for another blog I'll never bother to write. My brothers, my breddrin, stop acting like you're 12 years old. There's a difference between locker room/back alley chatter and warring on stage in front of dozens of people with ears and cellphone cameras.
  • Intro

    First things first, why did I decide to create a sports blog? Well, to put it bluntly, about 75% of sports writers are idiots -- in my most humble opinionated estimation of course. Too prone to emotional misgivings, too in need of page hits, validation and gratification. You read some sports stories and you can just see the nerd hovering over his keyboard with fidgety fingers dreaming up new ideas specifically trying to create controversy.

    I promise you won't get that here; if I type something, it's actually going to be my viewpoint, 75% of which you as an Earthling will undoubtedly disagree with. But this is simply my outlet, my way of preventing myself from frothing at the mouth and mumbling "idiot" at the stories I read and opinions I hear. I already have an outlet (music) for every other subject in the world, but I'm pretty sure no one wants to hear songs about how great LeBron James plays.

    Another thing you won't get here is the typical shemotional attitudes towards athletes. I think most of you have lost your minds "hating" Kobe because he's somehow got a big ego in your estimation, as if there is any player in the NBA that doesn't have an overdeveloped ego -- how could anyone get to that level without believing they are the shit? Besides, you want ego? Watch boxing and track & field. There isn't an ego in all of team sports that can keep up with that of individuals who depend only on themselves. But I couldn't care less; I've never even met Kobe, Shaq, Terrell Owens, A-Rod or most any other of these humans to know what they are truly like; nor do I fool myself to believe otherwise.

    Finally, why Mars? Just a way to highlight what I believe will be a somewhat unique view on the sports world. Also,  I'm an Aries, and the Aries sign is ruled by Mars. Not that you cared, but just in case you may have wondered.

    OK, enough babbling, thanks for reading, though I know no one actually is.