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October 22, 2014

Sports

ESPN Suspends Kornheiser Over Hannah Storm Remarks

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 23rd 2010 5:02PM
Tony KornheiserFor a cable network that is far and away the leader in sports television -- so much so that they've called themselves "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" for over 30 years now -- ESPN seems to be quite the tight-assed organization.

Despite forging a reputation for opinionated sports coverage via TV, radio, and internet, they have issued an edict to their employees to not say anything critical about fellow ESPNers, under threat of suspension or other finger-wagging punishment. Bill Simmons has chafed the most under these regulations, but Tony Kornheiser isn't far behind.

So when Kornheiser opened his radio show last week by criticizing the semi-revealing outfit 'SportsCenter' anchor Hannah Storm wore that morning, you knew something was coming. Sure enough, ESPN has suspended Kornheiser from 'Pardon the Interruption' for an indeterminate period of time, according to FanHouse.

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Super Bowl "Nipplegate" Fine Being Reconsidered

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 23rd 2010 4:01PM
CBS logoSo...let's talk about nipples. Remember when Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Janet Jackson's jacket and exposed her breast during the Super Bowl (oh, memories...)? A Federal appeals court has already thrown out the $550,000 fine judgment against CBS but now they want to "re-examine" the decision. Maybe they just like looking at the video of the nipple incident (or "nincident," if you will) over and over and over again.

I've never understood why CBS got fined in the first place. It was a live sports broadcast. If you want to fine Janet Jackson or Justin Timberlake or the people who made Jackson's coat, OK, go ahead. But the only way a fine against CBS is justified is if you think they knew about it ahead of time and gave the OK for it to happen. What's the basis for the fine?

(By the way, the picture above is the CBS logo, not a nipple.)

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Oprah Swipes Shaun White from 'The Early Show'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 22nd 2010 10:00PM
Did it seem weird to anyone else that Oprah Winfrey managed to score the first big interview with Olympic wonderboy Shaun White? That's because her awesome Oprah powers allowed her to scoop the entire mainstream media.

Actually, CBS' 'Early Show' had plans to do a remote interview with the snowboarder, but Oprah's people snatched it away from them in the zero hour.

One of the network's news producers wrote on her blog that she had everything from flights to remote broadcasts set up to interview White following his medal ceremony, but "it's tough to compete with Oprah and a private plane."

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NBC's Olympic Coverage Stinks, But It Gets Results

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 22nd 2010 8:22PM
NBC's Vancouver Olympics logoComplaining about how NBC covers the Olympics is almost an Olympic sport all by itself. Pretty much ever since the Atlanta games in 1996, NBC has been raked over the coals for tape-delaying events and concentrating on stories instead of the sports themselves.

The outrage has been especially loud when the Games have been held in North America, mainly because the time differences are minimal. The hue and cry has been louder than ever from Vancouver, mainly because, in a world where results can be shot around to every computer and cell phone in the world via Twitter and Facebook, NBC is shooting itself in the foot with what seems to be 1990s thinking.

Here's the rub, though: The Olympics are kicking tail in the ratings, despite all the complaints.

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Stephen Colbert and His Sandwich Spotted at the Winter Olympics

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 18th 2010 10:02PM
Stephen Colbert has been lurking around Vancouver with nary a word from him like a class clown just waiting for the right moment to pounce on the biology teacher the minute she uses the word "titmouse."

NBC posted some photos of America's truthinestitizer joking around at the Vancouver Winter Olympic speed skating meet and greeting his fans at his outdoor set that the world will get to see next week.

It's not known if these images and bits will be included in his upcoming episodes or his coverage of the games for NBC. Either way, sorry for spoiling it for you. I might as well get ahead of the curve.

[via Buzzfeed]

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Oprah's Oops Moment with Drew Brees

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 16th 2010 10:00AM
drew_brees_birthmark_new_orleans_saints_quarterbackOh, my. This is embarrassing... for Oprah. Apparently, she didn't see New Orleans Saints quarterback and Super Bowl MVP ever before in her life. How else can you explain what happened when Drew Brees was a guest on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show'? Before we go to the tape, a few thoughts.

First, what does it say about the staff research on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' that something as big as Drew Brees' birthmark, clearly visible on his right cheek didn't make it into the notes?

Nobody ran a little tape on the guy? There were no football cards or an 8x10 glossy? It makes you think that somebody simply handed Oprah a set of cards and said, "Here you go. His team won the Super Bowl. He throws the ball. Go get him, O."

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Does NBC's Olympics Theme Music Sound Familiar?

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 15th 2010 5:03PM
Sharp-eared TV fans have probably known this for a long time because NBC has been using the music for a while, but 'Lost' producer Carlton Cuse Twittered about it the other day to let everyone else know: a lot of the music that NBC is using on their Olympics coverage is the theme song to another show that Carlton co-created/produced back in the early 90s. Here's the video. God I loved this show.

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NBC News President Finally Bans Video of Luger's Death

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 15th 2010 1:30PM
NBC logoNews is a tricky thing. If you have footage of something, particularly something that is shocking or important or "breaking news," you're almost obligated to show it. If you don't show it, people would start to wonder why you're not showing it, especially if it has something to do with a major event that you as a network are covering. For example, the death of Olympic luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.

But when does "news" turn into exploitation and "too much?" That's what NBC was facing with the footage of Kumaritashvili's death before the Olympics even started. Some (including me) thought that they showed it way too much. Over and over again, often in slow motion and with commentary. They even showed it at the start of the opening night ceremonies and viewers weren't happy about that at all.

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And So It Begins: 'Today's' Annoying Olympics Coverage

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 12th 2010 12:29PM
Roker and Lauer on the two-man luge at the 2006 Torino OlympicsAlthough I'm generally a 'Today' show loyalist, for the next two weeks, I'm going to be a 'Good Morning America' fan.

Why? Three words: The Winter Olympics.

Every two years, since NBC started carrying the Olympics, they turn their top-rated morning news show into essentially the Games' morning recap show. Sure, you still get that first half hour of pure news, but after that, the show becomes all-Olympics, all the time, from examining the personal stories of the athletes, to travelogues about whatever exotic locale the Games are in that year, to deep, 'SportsCenter'-like examination of the previous night's results.

But that's not the part that annoys me the most. When the hosts go out and try to do the Olympic sports themselves, the cringe factor goes up exponentially. Especially when Matt Lauer and Al Roker are involved.

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Letterman Pays Tribute to Art Donovan in Super Bowl Ad

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 10th 2010 5:01PM
Leno/Oprah/Letterman promo for the 'Late Show'
If you were watching carefully during the now-momentous Letterman/Oprah/Leno promo for the 'Late Show' that aired during the Super Bowl, you'll notice that Dave was not wearing an #18 Peyton Manning Colts jersey, like he did in the 2007 promo with Oprah that kicked off this series. Instead, he wore a #70 Colts jersey, a number which is not on the team's current roster.

When I saw the promo for the tenth or eleventh time (for some reason, I still get a kick out of it), I vaguely recalled that #70 was the number for Art Donovan, a Hall of Fame defensive lineman for the then-Baltimore Colts in the '50s and '60s. He was also a frequent TV presence in the '80s and '90s, telling hilarious stories about his playing days on Letterman's shows, as well as many others.

Richard Roeper wondered this, too, and confirmed it in his column this morning. See what happens when you follow up a notion with a simple Google search?

More on Donovan, including video, after the jump.

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Alan Alda's Take on the Super Bowl Besting 'M*A*S*H' Record

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 9th 2010 11:41AM
MASH_hawkeye_trapper_cbsYou gotta love the feisty attitude of former 'M*A*S*H' stars Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers about Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast being a record-breaker. Alda was gracious about the 'M*A*S*H' finale being topped by the Super Bowl broadcast. The New Orleans Saints victory over the Indianapolis Colts had more total viewers than the 1983 'M*A*S*H' finale. But Alda and Rogers both added a shot of vinegar to their honey coated responses.

Alda said in a statement to the L.A. Times, "If they broke our record, I'm happy for New Orleans and I hope it gives even more to cheer about to a city I love." However, he did wonder about how Nielsen measured the audience. It's a good question and one many people ask.

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Super Bowl Gets Best Numbers in 23 Years

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 8th 2010 1:03PM
CBS logoIt looks like a lot of people were curious to see if the New Orleans Saints could beat the Indianapolis Colts in their first Super Bowl appearance (spoiler: they did). Or maybe they just wanted to see if Abe Vigoda was still alive or what a bunch of guys walking around in their underwear looked like. Either way, the CBS broadcast of the game got the best household numbers in 23 years, up 10% from last year's game that...well, no one really remembers who played last year.

That's pretty good considering there wasn't a nipple in this year's game.

It's not hard to see great ratings for the game most years though. TV networks usually don't air much opposite them. Last night, for example, ABC and FOX ran repeats of their comedies while NBC had repeats of 'The Biggest Loser.'

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The Super Bowl Commercials: The Worst

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 7th 2010 10:24PM
Super BowlIt has become a cliche to say "I watch the Super Bowl just for the ads," but I really do. I have no interest in football at all (even less this year because the Patriots aren't in it - the only reason I would have to even be a little interested in the game is if the team from my area was in it), so I really do look forward to seeing and reviewing the ads. Too bad the Super Bowl ads aren't what they used to be (except for that Letterman/Leno/Oprah ad ... wow).

This year I'm picking the seven worst ads, while Kona is handling the seven best. Two rules for my worst: no movie ads (they're in a category all by themselves and shouldn't be judged with the other ads), and I tried not to pick any commercials that aired before today.

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TV Squad Ten: Most/Least Sexy Super Bowl Ads of All Time

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 7th 2010 10:31AM
Will Rogers once said, "Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need."

And how do you that? That's easy. Just sprinkle in some sex! It's nature's negotiator.

Of course, it's not as simple as it sounds. These days, people are easier to offend than Catholic nuns and the FCC has made it nearly impossible to advertise products the way God intended (i.e. naked girls with abnormally large boobs writhing and moaning over the awesomeness of Flonase). So an even subtler art of using sex to get your money lies within this deeply layered process. Here are the best of the best and the worst of the worst.

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Super Bowl Live Blog at Asylum

by Jane Boursaw, posted Feb 6th 2010 1:30PM
Super Bowl logoIf you're looking for a fun way to enhance your Super Bowl XLIV viewing experience, our own Danny Gallagher will be live blogging the game over at Asylum.

Danny has a vested interest in the game, since he grew up in New Orleans and is super excited to see his hometown team, the New Orleans Saints, bring home the Vince Lombardi trophy. After all, it's been 43 years since they've made a Super Bowl appearance. It's time, people. The Indianapolis Colts will just have to try again some other year.

Danny will also be Livetweeting Super Bowl Sunday at Asylum starting at 6PM ET, along with Asylum and NPR contributor Renny MacKay. You can join in that conversation by using the #AsylumSB hashtag. In fact, check it out now, because the conversation has already started. What did we do before live blogging and tweeting? We led such lonely, distant lives. But not anymore!

Go Danny! Go Saints!

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