Nancy Grace is probably one of my least favorite TV news personalities. I don't know if anyone appears phonier on TV than she does in this clip with Elizabeth Smart (from several years ago). Smart, who was abducted from her home some years back, appeared on Nancy's show to support a bill for the National Sex Offender Registry.
However, Nancy wanted her to delve into her experience as a missing child. Smart was politely reluctant to do so until she flat-out refused. Watching stuff like this confirms to me the idea of no present or future TV news personality will ever be worthy of the late Walter Cronkite's title: the most trusted man in America.
Those days are long gone, with talking heads like Nancy feigning interest for the sake of "good" TV.
Everybody knows it can be hard sometimes to be completely objective and unbiased as a journalist. Some reporters cover it up, some struggle with it and some have just given up trying altogether (Fox News).
In sports journalism, it can be even harder. Almost every person a sportswriter covers is a celebrity, and as a journalist, you want the confidence and trust of the uber-famous person you interview and write about. It takes real effort to keep the line between professionals and friends from getting blurred. And just like in regular news, some have just stopped trying altogether.
Take, for example, this excerpt of Stuart Scott from ESPN The Magazine on January 11, 2010. If you read it, you'll see how Stuart Scott responds to someone bashing his buddy Tiger Woods. Click on the picture for a bigger view. To fully digest how terrible of a response this was, I would like to analyze each sentence from Stuart Scott's response:
Allan, I'm sure you know people who have been just as unfaithful as Tiger. Really, Stuart? Really?! You're "sure" about that? Tiger Woods had affairs with nine different women. (At least nine. That's only the amount of women who have come forward...so far.) You're sure "Allan" knows someone who has a wife and two kids and has flown around the country having sex with club hostesses, porn stars and pancake waitresses? You don't think much of "Allan," do you, Stu?
He's made some bad mistakes, sure. Right, at least nine confirmed ones, so far. But it doesn't make him a creep. If Mrs. Woods was your sister, I don't think you'd be singing the same tune, Stu.
It makes him human. That's right, human. Do O.J.'s actions make him human and not a creep? I get that everybody puts sports figures on a pedestal - especially ones with a squeaky clean image like Tiger had. But what Tiger did makes him a creep, not the worst person in the world, but a creep. One affair, maybe human. At least nine? Welcome to Creepville.
I don't condone what Tiger has done, but calling him names for failings in his personal life is hypocritical. Only if Allan is as big a "sexmonger" as Tiger. I don't cheat on my wife. If I were to call Tiger a sexual deviant, I don't think I am being hypocritical.
I don't get it. THAT is for DANG sure.
Why are people so upset about something that doesn't concern them in the least? Because people like YOU bring us the information that "doesn't concern (us) in the least."You can't report of the shortcomings of athletes for years and years on Sportcenter, and then take this sort of stand. THAT is being hypocritical.
Watch this clip of Jimmy Kimmel decimating Jay Leno on the Jay Leno Show. It's hilarious.
Haven't posted in about a week, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention anything the Leno-Conan Wars going on right now. I assume most are aware of the current situation: Leno named Conan as successor, decides he doesn't want to retire, gets a prime-time show, show tanks and apparently gets The Tonight Show back. While rumors of a "Tonight Show" deal being finalized has not been confirmed, it appears as though NBC wants to support Leno, which I don't completely understand. Apparently, it is being reported NBC has even offered O'Brien $30 million to leave.
Sure, Leno was the #1 late-night guy when he left, and Conan's ratings a considerably lower, but it takes time to build an audience. Time it appears he is not going to get, despite the time Leno was given when replacing Johnny Carson.
Additionally, isn't it about time to build a new "Tonight Show" audience? I know Leno has this weird hold on the fixed-income crowd, but is that what NBC really wants? To own the viewing rights of the elderly? They're not telemarketers, for crying out loud. NBC has got to be the only major network (no, the History Channel is not considered a "major" network) actively pursuing the "Age 50 - Dead" demographic, which is a mistake.
Ages 18-49 is the key demo for advertising money, and Conan is popular within that group. People are getting married later, having fewer kids and, in many cases, both the husband and wife are working, thereby creating more discretionary income at a younger age. Leno does not compare with Conan in that group.
Proof of that lies within the reaction to this whole ordeal. Groups were created on Facebook to proclaim allegiances. Last time I checked, "Team Conan" and "I'm with Coco" have a combined total of over 225,000 supporters, while "Team Jay" and "Team Leno" combine for under 2,000 members. Doesn't that say something?
I think so.
Make the right and smarter choice, NBC. Keep Coco.
Gosh, since it is already January, I know I am pretty late on this one, but I keep meaning to rave about "Modern Family" on ABC. I haven't been the most consistent viewer of the show, but every time I see, I ask myself, "Self, why are you NOT the most consistent viewer of this show?"
One reason to like it is because ABC allows you to watch clips, as well as share them. I don't understand the purpose of companies preventing people from embedding video clips on different Web site. Don't you want more people to see it?
My favorite character is Phil Dunphy, a dad that sees himself as the "Cool Dad." Like Michael Scott (The Office) for bosses, I guess anytime you have a character who sees him/herself as something he or she isn't, it's going to be comedy gold. Here's Phil being Phil:
Then there's Jay, played by Ed O'Neil. His son is gay, and he is uncomfortable with it. In fact, he purposely announces himself before he enters a room to prevent the possibility of seeing his son and and his boyfriend kiss. In this scene, he seeks a "woman's opinion" from the couple:
And here's another scene I thought was very funny:
If I am nothing else, I am persistent. And if the actual outcomes of the BCS games are any indication, I am nothing else.
I'll admit my predictions haven't exactly been on the ball (pun definitely intended), but I'd like to think a lot of people erred in their predictions. And if it saves even a drop of my credibility, I'd like to mention that I am 21-12 in my overall bowl predictions this year, so I'm not completely incompentent - at least at this.
BCS Championship Game Texas (13-0) vs. Alabama (13-0)
Colt McCoy is a great quarterback. No one can legitimately argue to the contrary. He's done a lot of great things during his four-year career at Texas.
Texas is a great team. For any team to finish a regular season at a perfect 13-0, it is impressive. It involves managing the emotions of a bunch 19 and 20 year olds. That's not easy.
However, McCoy and the Texas Longhorns' offense have only struggle in two games (Oklahoma and Nebraska) this season. And both of those games shared one common ingredient in the opponent: a stellar defense. This is not a game where Texas will be able to avoid that. Texas will have to overcome that, and I really don't think they'll be able to do it.
Alabama has a pretty good offense to go with its Berlin Wall-esque defense. Led by Heisman Trophy Winner Mark Ingram, the Crimson Tide has averaged 413.8 yards per game on offense. Good enough for 32nd in the country, which might not seem that impressive, but it's better than some notable offenses: Oregon, Oregon State, Missouri, Bowling Green.
I think Alabama's offense to go along with Texas' struggles against elite defenses will be the keys to Alabama's 2010 BCS title.
Well, since it appears as though I am not accurate, my goal is to at least be interesting.
But I would like to say this about last night's game and Boise State in general:
I apologize for my obvious dislike and short-changing of Boise State. While I don't think either team played its best last night, Boise State convinced me it is much better than I thought - especially its defense.
Looking ahead to 2010 and with a possibility of 21 returning starters, Boise State - with a legitimate out of conference schedule (Va Tech, Oregon State) and preseason ranking - has to be a favorite to go to the BCS title game next year. While I am not a fan of Boise State, I will admit the team gained my respect, and if it makes it through the 2010 regular season schedule undefeated, I will be screaming on its behalf for a title shot.
Let's move on to other things...
Fed Ex Orange Bowl Iowa (10-2) vs. Georgia Tech (11-2)
This is probably the BCS game in which I am least interested. ACC football hasn't really interested me in recent years, and I can only name one player on Tech's team (and I only know Dwyer's last name).
Big Ten football, on the other hand, does interest me - just not all of it. Ohio State? Yes. Penn State? Sure. Even Michigan? Why not? But there are Big Ten teams that don't interest me in the least bit. I'm not going out of my way to watch a Northwestern game. The same goes for Minnesota and sadly, Iowa.
Will I watch this game? From start to finish? No. Absolutely not. Frankly, the Orange Bowl should consider itself lucky if I happen to watch half a quarter.
That said, I think Georgia Tech is the clear winner here. Tech has the best player (whose first name escapes me), and I think that's all it will take to win this one.
Iowa is in trouble. It probably shouldn't have gone to a BCS game, but there really wasn't another team to reasonably give it to. It almost lost to Northern Iowa, an FCS team. Plus, the Hawkeyes have had to come from behind to win too many games against too weak opponents.
However, if Iowa does end up winning, it'd be huge for the Big Ten. Two BCS wins in one season for a conference that rarely gets one would go a long way in reestablishing itself as an elite conference.
While I don't think it will be a blowout, I don't think there will be a doubt as to who is the better team at the end.
I was right about Cincinnati and Florida. I felt like Cincy actually came out fighting. And Florida's first touchdown drive, I was actually a bit concerned for Florida. The Bearcats seemed to be playing with a great deal of emotion, and I wasn't sure if Florida was going to be able to react.
It turns out Florida is just that much better than Cincinnati.
But I was wrong about the Rose Bowl. And what I was wrong about affects my prediction for the Fiesta Bowl. I was wrong about Oregon.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Boise State (13-0) vs. TCU (12-0)
Boise State's signature win for the season was against Oregon, and that win looked pretty quality after Oregon finished the regular season ranked in the top ten in the country. However, I don't know if there was a team in the country playing less consistently than Oregon.
The Oregon that barely beat Purdue isn't the same team that trashed Cal 42-3. The Oregon that barely beat Utah isn't the same team that throttled USC 47-20.
Or are they?
Maybe the Pac-10 overall wasn't very good this year. Its teams certainly haven't fared to well in their bowl games. And if Oregon's close wins at the end of the regular season would have gone the other way (which they very easily could have done), the Ducks would have finished at no better than 4th place in the Pac-10. Then, how good would the Boise State Broncos' win look?
I'll admit I was pretty disappointed about the Broncos being matched up with TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. I, like many others, wanted to see how TCU or Boise St. would have played against Florida, Texas or Alabama - even Georgia Tech or Iowa would have been an upgrade.
This match-up creates no winners for either team. If it's a close game, there's no proof either team is any good. The game would have proven only that the two teams match up pretty well against each other. If it is a blowout, then what will people say about the losing team?
"They didn't belong in a BCS bowl."
Maybe the TCU or Boise St. is really that good and would have done that good against the likes of Florida or Alabama. We'll never know, which is why this game serves as little more than a way for the BCS committee to cover its butt.
Onto the preview...
Unfortunately for Boise State fans, this preview is not going to be very pro-them.
Yes, BSU has one of the top-ranked offenses in the country. It is my opinion they have gotten fat off weaker defenses in and out of their conference. Certainly, the Broncos have never face a team with a defense even comparable to TCU.
TCU is fast. TCU is physical. TCU is scary even from the spectator's point of view. TCU has the top defense in the country, holding opponents to an anemic 223 yards per game.
While BSU does have a prolific offense, a little-known fact is that TCU's is just as good. In fact, the Horned Frogs actually average more yards of total offense per game. QB Andy Daulton has made huge strides in each of the last couple seasons, and that is bad news for Boise State.
I didn't feel like Boise State had a chance from the get-go, and with the news that star wideout Austin Pettis is unlikely to play, this game could get ugly fast.
Thus far, we've had a pretty crazy bowl season, and today, we'll finally start the bowls that don't feature teams like Bowling Green or Middle Tennessee State. The bowls I am describing don't have ".com" in their name. I am of course talking about the BCS Bowls.
Originally, I had intended on giving a preview of all 34 bowls, but uh....I didn't. So here is my last-ditch effort at getting in on the bowl season. Today, I will only be previewing the games happening today, so here goes hopefully something:
Rose Bowl presented by Citi #8 Ohio State (10-2) vs. #7 Oregon (10-2)
The Pac-10 is bleeding somewhat, with a 2-3 bowl record that includes embarrassing losses like Oregon State's loss to BYU (44-20) and Arizona's offensive impotence against Nebraska (33-0). The Pac-10, normally known for its prolific offenses, hopes to get some Viagra for its offenses in the form of the University of Oregon.
My gut feeling is in favor of Oregon. The Ducks' offense is just going to be too much, and after watching Ohio St. lose at home to USC and USC get trounced by Oregon, it seems like a lay-up prognostication.
Yeah, I know. The OSU-USC game was a long time ago (frankly, the regular season was a long time ago). Teams (hopefully) get better throughout the season.
But the way I figure it, that game was a huge game for OSU, as it was trying to redeem itself from last year's 35-3 debacle. The Buckeyes had every reason to play big in that game, and USC, with a true-freshman QB, went into the Buckeyes' house and beat them.
Conversely, when USC was playing Oregon on Halloween, it had every reason to play its best. Oregon was at the top of the conference standings, and USC only trailed by one game. It needed a big game, and Oregon gave the Trojans a shellacking.
While this might sound like I am previewing USC, common opponents is a good way to compare teams. It's not always the best way (and sometimes it makes absolutely no sense), but USC played both of these teams. In both of the games, both teams needed to play their best. The only difference is Ohio State's best was not enough, and Oregon's best was superfluous.
Oregon 31, Ohio State 20
Allstate Sugar Bowl #3 Cincinnati (12-0) vs. #5 Florida (11-1)
This game has certainly accumulated its share of story lines. First, you have the Bearcats playing without the head coach who helped get them their undefeated regular season. Then, you have the Gators playing for the sick little boy in the hospital, who is now back on the sidelines (with the head coach's headset on) in the last game before his leave of absence (however long it may or may not be).
Another thing going for Florida is it got blown out by Alabama. The Gators have more to prove now, than if it would have been a close game. The devastation would have been too much for them to overcome. (ex. Utah 31, Alabama 17) Now, Florida will get its head on straight and win this game.
The Bearcats could go one of two ways. 1) They could pout about their coach leaving and end up playing like a team without a head coach, or 2) they could go out and play their best to show Brian Kelly what he left behind.
After reading some of the players' reactions to him leaving, I'm thinking #2 is a lot more likely. Some of those players might actually hate their ex-coach. They'd love nothing more than to go out and punch Florida right in the mouth.
The only problem is Florida's mouth is made out of steel.