Archive for December, 2007
College Football/Motor City Bowl, Purdue vs. Central Michigan – ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
NHL/Toronto at New York Islanders – TSN/NHL Network (US), 7:30 p.m.
Most Outrageous Moments – NBC, 8 p.m.
30th Annual Kennedy Center Honors – CBS, 9 p.m.
Funniest Commercials of the Year: 2007 – TBS, 9 p.m.
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel – HBO, 9 p.m.
Inside the NFL – HBO, 10 p.m.
NBA/Boston at Sacramento – Comcast SportsNet New England, 10 p.m.
NHL/San Jose at Anaheim – NHL Network (Canada), 10:30 p.m.
Time to give you some links on the second busiest shopping day of the year. I have to say when I went out shopping on Sunday, there weren’t many people at the malls or grocery stores as it was late and the Patriots were on so traffic was down. I expect the malls to be practically empty on Saturday when the Pats take on the Giants as fans scramble to try to watch the game.
Now we know that WCVB in Boston and WMUR in New Hampshire have been given permission from the NFL to carry the game. WJAR-TV (NBC10) is now petitioning the NFL to also pick up Saturday’s game saying Providence is 33 miles from Foxboro. In addition, the station says the NFL has considered stations with a 75 mile radius of the team’s stadium to be home team TV stations, so WJAR should be considered as such. The station says it has cleared its primetime schedule on Saturday in case the NFL agrees to Channel 10′s request. As they say in the broadcast business, stay tuned.
Don Kaplan of the New York Post reports that WFSB-TV in Hartford is also using the 75 mile rule being in proximity to both Giants Stadium in New Jersey and Gillette Stadium in Hartford to try to carry the game.
Caroline Roberts of the Bostonist website says it’s not fair for the entire New England region not to have access to the Pats-Giants game.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy talks about the NFL’s Super Bowl ad contest in which fans will decide which player’s story they want to see.
Phil Swann of TV Predictions.com wonders if big cable will actually decide to carry the NFL Network in time for Saturday’s game.
Newsday’s Neil Best says despite having the worst record among the New York NFL teams, the Jets have the better postgame show. And Best gives best wishes to Fox Sports Director of Communications Tim Buckman who’s leaving the network.
Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch has the Top Five Boston Sports Media Stories of 2007.
Dave Goetzl of Mediapost Publications says Verizon is becoming a major mobile sports hub. Wayne Friedman from Mediapost has a story on NBC winning Sunday night’s ratings in the 18-49 demographic thanks to Sunday Night Football.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews the Fox telecast of the Packers-Bears game from Sunday.
Ed Sherman in the Chicago Tribune profiles the Voice of Illinois football and basketball, Brian Barnhart, who will call the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. From last week, Sherman reports that former Cubs TV analyst Steve Stone will now work on radio for White Sox home games on Fridays during the regular season.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says after the broadcast of the Liberty Bowl on Saturday, local radio station WQTM will switch from all-sports to a Latin-based format.
Mike Dougherty of the Lohud (NY) Journal News says MSG Network’s Jimmy Cavallo has carved out a nice niche covering high school sports.
I missed this from last week, but hockey fans will be happy to know that the NHL Network will pick up coverage of the entire medal round of the World Junior Hockey Championships starting January 2. George Sipple has the story from the Detroit Free Press. And William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that the tournament is a big deal to TSN.
That’s it for now.
As I get ready to do the recap for the Amazing Race 12, Ep. 7, I’ll give you some videos of one of my favorite songs, Tiny Dancer. Originally done by Elton John, it was given some more prominence when Director Cameron Crowe chose it for one of the key scenes in his movie, “Almost Famous” which really brought me back to the 1970′s. For some reason, Cameron gets the feel for his movies just right and when I saw this when it premiered in 2000, it immediately became one of my all-time favs.
So I first give you a performance of Elton performing this for the BBC’s Top of the Pops in 1971 sans band.
But this performance for the BBC also in 1971 without his band is ten times better than the one for Top of the Pops.
The scene from “Almost Famous” when Russell Hammond wants to experience life with William Miller who’s covering the band, “Stillwater” for Rolling Stone. The band finds Russell and he knows he’s back with his mates when they sing “Tiny Dancer” together. And when William tells groupie Penny Lane (played adeptly by Kate Hudson) he has to go home, her reply is the best. This scene brings the movie home and is probably one of the best directed scenes in the last ten years.
And someone made a tribute video to Penny Lane from Almost Famous. Very nicely done.
I have to throw in the “I AM A GOLDEN GOD!” scene for kicks.
Another for good measure. Elton and Kiki Dee in 1976 doing, “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”. Wow.
Wanna see Elton and Kiki in present day mode? Why not? Here’s their duet from recent times and Kiki looks good.
Trying to see if I can post via my cell phone. This is only a test.
We have a few links for you today. I know this blog won’t be visited all that much today, but I’ll still provide with some fresh linkage.
Under the voice of Howard Cosell, Richard Sandomir writes about the NFL vs. Cable dispute. Sandomir has Cosell down pat.
Speaking of the NFL Network, it plans a full week of Patriots coverage leading up to the game on Saturday vs. the Giants. Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch has the full details.
The Sports Media Watch is pleading with an NBA team to hire Mark Jackson so fans won’t have to be subjected to him on network broadcasts. Paulsen says the Pats at 15-0 will certainly guarantee a big rating for the NFL Network. And Paulsen wonders if last night’s Denver-San Diego game was the last for Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth. I know that Newsday’s Neil Best feels that this is the last year for Tony. I also feel the same way.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail is none too happy with Don Cherry’s segment last Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada. For those in the States who didn’t see it through NHL Center Ice, here it is.
Don was in a bit of a bad mood on Saturday. The media is making more of a big deal than necessary on this, but at the same time, both Don and Ron went a bit overboard. Andrew Ferrence is Dr. Suzuki? That’s a bit far.
Jay Fitzgerald of the Boston Herald writes that Senator John Kerry is urging the NFL to find a way for fans to see Saturday’s Pats-Giants game.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post has some holiday wishes for the sports media.
Jeff Gordon (no, not that Jeff Gordon) writing for FoxSports.com has the 10 Worst Sports Stories of the Year.
In his Four DVRs, no waiting blog, the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron says the NFL has moved the Dallas-Washington game to a late afternoon start meaning no conflict with the Jacksonville-Houston contest this Sunday.
That’s it for now. Have a Merry Christmas.
After last week’s boring episode and piss-poor behavior of Rovilson & Marc and Terri, I was thoroughly disgusted and decided not to do a recap. This week’s episode was much better, although the behavior from the aforementioned didn’t improve by much, there was more suspense. But looking back on Episode 4, it appeared to me that Alan wasn’t too happy with Rovilson & Marc pretending to be lost “only to find” the mat right in front of them.
Ok, let’s begin. Seven teams remain after Sophie & Aurelia were eliminated last week at an Hours of Operation on the way to Rotorua, New Zealand. Rotorua was the 4th pit stop on the Rovilson & Marc Invitational Race. In fact, we’re no longer going to refer to the Philippino alpha male team by name. From now on, they’re going to be referred to as the Arrogant Assholes. And if possible, we will not put any pictures of them until they’re eliminated. They have practically ruined my enjoyment of this race and I can’t believe anyone can find these two idiots enteraining. Anyway, we continue.
The Arrogant Assholes are the first to leave the mat at 12:46 a.m. and they find they’re to go to Tokyo, Japan. From Rotorua, the teams are to go to Auckland International Airport and fly to Tokyo. They’ll make their way to Shiba Park where they will find their next clue.
The AA’s mug for the camera once again and get into their car to drive to the airport. Arrogant Asshole #1 says in a pre-leg confessional that they’re clicking on all cylinders. I really hope they don’t win this race. In the car, Arrogant Asshole #2 says he’ll have to keep Arrogant Asshole #1 from the Japanese girls. Maybe they can both be arrested in Japan for attempted assault. I can only hope. I can’t fault these two for winning legs, but I can fault them for constantly mugging and thinking of one-liners instead of being real. Reality TV is about being real, not scripting or faking something. Jerks.
And on the way to the airport, these two fuckfaces get out of their car and bow to a sheep. Go away.
Next to depart are Adrian & Collin who have done very well in this race and are my favorites to go to the Final Three. Yes, Adrian is hearing impaired, but it hasn’t stopped this team from doing very well. They’re followed by the bubbly Paula & Natasha who are also doing quite well. And Paula is loved as she’s a TV host in the ANZAC region.
After the childhood friends leave, it’s Malaysian moms Ann & Diane. They have three third place finishes and one fourth. They’re hoping to do better here. While three teams are on the road, the Arrogant Assholes have reached the Auckland International Airport. Diane says the AA’s are the strongest and she would like to see them gone. And inside the airport, the Horsefaces find out the ticket counter is closed until 4 a.m. which means bunching.
Siblings Daichi & Sawaka leave the mat next and find they’re going home to Tokyo. They’ll definitely have an advantage here. Sawaka says she and Daichi know Japan really well and knowing the language, they’ll definitely have an advantage over the other teams.
Now we get a strange sequence as Vanessa & Pamela are labeled “Last to Depart, 5:06 a.m.”, but we then see shots of Terri & Henry leaving as “6th to depart, 4:26 a.m.” Either it’s a mistake by the producers or Vanessa & Pamela got up late or got a penalty, but whatever, it doesn’t matter because of the airport bunching.
Henry says something that is an indirect shot at the casting, “We’re not movie stars. We’re not dancers or singers. We don’t host our own show. We’re not models. We’re different from most of them. That’s just the way we are.” That’s the thing about reality TV, you get real people, not the Mactors like the producers have for this version of the race. It’s cost them I feel. But we move on.
Natasha says Paula has been to Japan numerous times and can speak a little of the language. And Japanese people love her because she’s cute. That Natasha can be snarky sometimes. I like that.
We get analysis from the teams speaking about Japan and the language barrier that definitely comes into play in this episode. Sawaka says she’s willing to help the other teams with the exception of the Malaysian moms. She especially doesn’t like Diane. Terri says “Diane is the sneaky, evil one. You wanna be sweetie, sweetie, but deep inside, she’s a devil, too.” Now up to this point, we really haven’t seen any evidence of this. And Paula & Natasha pile on calling Diane “fake”. I wonder what she did to make the teams feel this way. Perhaps as the number of teams dwindle, we’ll see evidence of this, but up to this point, the moms have come across in a favorable light. Yes, they can’t navigate to save their lives, but their edits have been quite good. Maybe that will change in this episode. Daichi says the Malaysian moms are rude … and it seems nobody likes them. That’s harsh. Then Natasha adds if the moms do something against them, then it’s Game On! Wow. I’m now hoping for some conflict.
The Arrogant Assholes are waiting at the airport and find out the first flight out to Tokyo isn’t until midnight so this will allow all of the teams to catch up and go on the same flight to Japan. All 7 teams are on the flight to Tokyo, as Alan says a journey of 8,839 km.
Once out of the airplane and customs, the Japanese siblings, Daichi & Sawaka rush out first and head to the subway to take them from Narita Airport to downtown Tokyo. They hide behind a column in hopes the other teams don’t find them and thus, missing the train.
Terri & Henry run into their first obstacle, the language barrier. They try to get instructions on which train to take into Tokyo, but as Henry says, “I would never recommend anyone going to Japan for a vacation.” Terri adds people want to help, but they don’t speak English and she has no clue what they’re talking about. When Terri & Henry are like this, they’re funny, but when Terri is in bullying mode, it’s not fun to watch.
All of the teams except for Terri & Henry get on board the same train heading from Narita to Tokyo. Arrogant Asshole #1 finds a girl to hang on to and asks her for the correct time. He tries to flirt with her, but she kicks him squarely in the nuts. Ok, she doesn’t, but this scene is just stupid to watch.
Terri & Henry finally get on a train to Tokyo, solidly behind the other 6 teams. Daichi & Sawaka sprint out up an escalator leaving the other teams to fend for themselves. Right off the bat, we get separation. While sisters Pamela & Vanessa ask natives how to get to Shiba Park, the Male Egotists get on a train. Daichi & Sawaka decide to take another subway, then get off to find a taxi to get to Shiba Park. Terri & Henry find a native who gives them a crash course in Japanese. Good luck.
Ann & Diane get out of the subway station and take someone’s taxi to go to Shiba Park. So Daichi & Sawaka along with the AA’s get out of the train. Over to Paula & Natasha who are having trouble finding their way out of the subway station. Adrian & Collin find a taxi and we find that Adrian speaks Japanese which will help in this leg. The sisters also find a cab and head off to Shiba Park. But Paula & Natasha are still lost inside the station and can’t find their way out. Paula bumps into a woman at the turnstiles and it’s a mess for the childhood friends.
Daichi & Sawaka find a cab now that they’re out of the subway station and head towards the park. The moms appear to be on their way on foot to the park, but Terri & Henry have just arrived at Tokyo Station way behind the other teams.
The moms are first to arrive at the park, but cannot find the clue. They search inside, outside and probably around the park, but walk around aimlessly. Believe it or not, the Arrogant Assholes are the first to find the clue box and find that they must take a flagged rickshaw and direct the driver to the Sony Building in the Ginza district of Tokyo. Once there, they’ll receive their next clue.
Daichi & Sawaka are next to see the clue box and they both say once they get to Ginza, they know the way to the Sony Building. The Arrogant Assholes realize they should have bought a map of Tokyo, but it’s too late.
Paula & Natasha are seen getting out of train and are not confident getting out. Terri & Henry are still in Tokyo Station, but she suggests to get a cab so they can get out of there. Vanessa & Pamela get out of their cab, but they’re in a different section of the park, so they don’t see the clue box.
Daichi & Sawaka see the Arrogant Assholes and they instruct their driver to overtake the Egotistical Men which they do. Unfortunately the Assholes instruct their driver to follow the siblings to the Sony Building.
At the park, the Malaysian moms and Adrian & Collin try to work together to find the clue. The gym buddies find it before Ann & Diane and are able to get out of the park. Paula & Natasha finally reach the park, but again, it’s in a different section so they aren’t able to find the box and are lost. The sisters are also lost and feel it could be a long night. The two teams meet up and decide to work together to see if they can find it.
Terri & Henry arrive at what appears to be the park and finally, Ann & Diane find the entrance and the clue box. Natasha feels that four heads working together are better than two. Vanessa said the park is so big. Natasha said that Vanessa & Pamela work different than she and Paula do, but again, no evidence of what she’s talking about. Terri & Henry ask a policeman for help and he kind of points them in the right direction.
So we have four teams on rickshaws and three teams still lost in the park. Terri & Henry are walking by themselves while childhood friends Paula & Natasha and sisters Vanessa & Pamela are working together to try to find the clue. But all of a sudden, the husband-wife team find the clue and are fifth to get a rickshaw.
The first two teams, Daichi & Sawaka and the Arrogant Assholes get to the Sony Building to get their next clue. They find they must convince someone on the street to sing “Sakura” with one team member, a Japanese traditional song about Cherry Blossoms. The other will use (dreaded product placement ahead) a Sony HD Handicam to record the performance.
So both the Arrogant Assholes and Daichi & Sawaka go into the Sony store to grab their Handicams and go out into the streets to try to convince some sucker …. I mean, a willing participant to sing Sakura. The AA’s quickly find a girl who is practically raped into the singing the song. Daichi & Sawaka have trouble finding someone right away. Arrogant Asshole #1 sings along with the girl and it’s obvious he has no idea what he’s doing.
In the meantime, the other teams that are riding rickshaws are on their way. However, not all of them are successful in finding the Ginza district.
Back to the Shitheads, Arrogant Asshole #1 is mugging for the camera again and it’s sickening. And Arrogant Asshole #2 who’s shooting this on the Handicam, also mugs which makes me want to take them out with a high powered rifle at close range. Daichi & Sawaka can’t find anyone to take part. But the Big & Tall Wastes of Oxygen have finished shooting their girl and take the tape into the Sony Store to get their next clue.
While Paula & Natasha continue to wander aimlessly around Shiba Park, Daichi & Sawaka finally find a woman to sing “Sakura”. If you saw the first edition of Amazing Race Asia, this is strikingly similar to the task in Sydney when teams were asked to use a Sony HD Handicam to shoot a local singing “Click Go the Shears“. I hope Sony doesn’t ask teams to do this again next season because this task is painful to watch.
Inside the store, the Amazingly Untalented, Unfunny & Unintelligent Assholes are getting jiggy to the tape of their participant, but they’re both knocked down a peg when the judge says the girl messed up the lyrics. HA! Arrogant Asshole #1 says, “She laughed. She laughed.” But the judge orders them to go back out to the streets and find someone to sing it correctly. While they try to plead their case, you can tell the judge is not falling for their attempts to charm her into giving the reason why their attempt fell short. She tells them the girl didn’t do it right and throws the camera at their head. Maybe she didn’t do that, but she should have.
Over to Sawaka, she finishes her performance with her participant (it’s a good thing Sawaka can sing), and the tape is taken inside. While the Unfailingly Short on Talent Assholes try to find someone to sing, they discover that mostly tourists are congregating outside so they’re having trouble in getting someone who knows the song. This is good. Perhaps they can be arrested by Tokyo Police for starting an international incident and thrown in jail for life.
The judge approves of Sawaka’s performance and promptly gives her and Daichi their next clue. They’ll have to go to Shibuya, the youth fashion center of Tokyo and (dreaded product placement ahead) using a Sony Cybershot camera, find the girl pictured who’s dressed as her favorite anime character. This is known as “cosplay“. Once teams find the girl, they’ll receive their next clue.
We see a scene of the Philippine Jackasses finding two girls to sing “Sakura” and it’s harsh. I won’t go further with it because it really should have been censored from public viewing.
But back to Shiba Park, the last two teams, Paula & Natasha and Vanessa & Pamela are consulting a map to see exactly where they should go to find the clue box. They realize they have to go around back to the main entrance where the box is located. I feel for them.
Back at the Sony Store, the Big on Brawn, but Short on Brains Team are finished and hand their tape over to the judge who finally gives them their next clue.
So they and Daichi & Sawaka are rushing off to the Ginza Line of the Tokyo Subway to get to Shibuya. We then notice that the last two teams are still walking around Shiba Park, trying to find that last clue. It’s been a nightmare for both all-girl teams thus far.
And finally, breathing a sigh of relief, Paula & Natasha and Vanessa & Pamela get to the clue box at Shiba Park ending their long nocturnal nightmare. They get on their rickshaws and head over to the Ginza District.
Terri & Henry are still on their way to the Sony Building.
And Daichi & Sawaka are getting onto another train to find the girl on their digital camera. The Philippine Version of Lenny & Squiggy are also boarding a train to Shibuya.
Over to Ann & Diane, they’ve found a girl, but she can’t do it so they basically hogtie a businessman into singing “Sakura”. This reminds me of Charla & Mirna bullying people into helping during TAR All Stars, but I digress. While Ann is trying to choreograph their number, Collin & Adrian rush into the Sony Store to grab an HD Handicam. Ann says she knew of the song so it was easy for her to sing. The businessman was just basically there for the ride. They bring their tape to the judge and are able to get their next clue.
Adrian & Collin are now in the streets of Tokyo trying to convince someone to sing. Adrian speaks Japanese giving him an advantage over the other teams and he’s able to find someone to take part while Collin for all intents and purposes butchered the song. Collin said he would never sing again, at least he knows his limitations.
The top two teams, Daichi & Sawaka and the Big & Tall Melonheads have made it to Shibuya and start to see if the girl in their cameras are a match. After going around to a few girls, Daichi & Sawaka find their girl as depicted in the (dreaded product placement ahead) Sony Cybershot camera and are given their next clue. They find they’ve reached a Detour.
As we all know, a Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In this Detour, we get a choice of Catch It or Cart It.
In Cart It, teams must find this place, a dry cleaner and take a Yukata, a traditional Japanese garment or better known as a casual form of kimono, and deliver it by foot to a local address. However, trying to find the address while navigating the confusing streets of Tokyo could take a long time. Daichi & Sawaka decide to do Cart It.
Over to Terri & Henry, they’re still trying to navigate the streets hoping to find the Sony Building. And while they’re getting the directions on how to get there, Henry notes that people can’t give them the right directions when they don’t understand their questions. Plus if he can’t understand the answer, then it’s a double disaster. And you can tell he’s just lost in this pic.
Paula & Natasha are seemingly on their way on their rickshaw while Vanessa & Pamela are battling the language barrier as well.
Over to Ann & Diane, they’re on their way to the cosplay location and quite happy with their efforts thus far. Collin is still singing “Sakura”, but he finally manages to finish and once the judge sees their tape, he and Adrian get their next clue and are ready to leave.
Back to the Arrogant Assholes, they’re really having trouble finding Shibuya, not faking it like they did last week and it feels good. They look at maps and they’re all in Japanese so they’re lost in the subway station.
Vanessa & Pamela are frustrated over not being able to reach the Sony Building as their questions are not being understood.
Finally, the Men of Stupidity finally find the girls dressed in anime costumes and try to find the right one, but after several attempts, they finally get the right answer and are given their next clue.
The Slimy Shitheads flip a coin as they continue to play for the camera and decide to do the Cart It task.
Daichi tries to catch a goldfish, but breaks his paddle instead.
Adrian & Collin grab a cab and head to Shibuya.
Sawaka finds the going tough and suggests she and Daichi change tasks which he immediately welcomes with open arms. They head over to the dry cleaner to find the Yukata.
Paula & Natasha and Vanessa & Pamela finally reach the Sony Building leaving Terri & Henry still on in their rickshaw and hopelessly lost. The two all-girl teams find a sucker …. er … willing participant to sing “Sakura”. Finally, Terri & Henry reach the Sony Building. You can feel the anger within her ready to blow.
While the Unfunny Urinary Tracts get directions to find the dry cleaner, Terri finds someone to sing with her while Henry looks into his Handicam. Ann & Diane along with Adrian & Collin have reached Shibuya and start looking for their cosplay girl. I keep wanting to write “Costco“, but I stop short.
Daichi & Sawaka find the dry cleaner and get their Yukata with the address you see on the left. Sawaka wonders if it’s a Kimono Rental place, but it is indeed a Kimono Rental place. The Giant Dickheads start to look for the dry cleaners wandering through the streets of Tokyo.
Ann & Diane are asking locals for help finding the cosplay area to no avail.
Vanessa & Pamela finish their song performance, but find out that they pressed the record button twice meaning the tape was paused during the entire time. So they have to do the whole thing all over again.
No such misfortune for Paula & Natasha. Not only did they tape the performance correctly, they also did the song right. So they get their clue and rush off towards Shibuya.
But at Shibuya, Adrian & Collin are having trouble finding the girls dressed in costume. But Ann spots them while on an escalator and she’s able run downstairs while recognizing the girl in the (dreaded product placement) Sony Cybershot camera to get their next clue. The girls are cute, are they not? Anyway, as I get my head out of the clouds, Ann decides for her team that the moms will Catch It.
Ann & Diane lasso a guy asking him directions to get to the next task. Adrian & Collin decide on Cart It. And after learning the location of the Catch It, they switch and decide to Cart It.
Back to the last teams at the Sony Building, Terri finishes her performance, but Henry also pressed the record button on his camera twice so they must do the whole thing all over again. Terri’s emotions are about to enter the red zone and we’re not talking about the NFL here.
Terri can be heard yelling while Vanessa is singing “Sakura” with a man outside the Sony Store. And Terri lets Henry have it for not recording properly. This starts a whole new sequence of Terri’s bad behavior in this leg. She’s yelling at Henry to hurry up, but he says he’s not going to rush their participant.
In the meantime, the sisters are done and get their next clue.
Terri finds two men to sing with her and this time, Henry makes sure he records everything. We see Paula & Natasha get on a subway train to Shibuya. Vanessa & Pamela decide to take a cab to Shibuya. And Terri is happy to be finished singing. And the married couple are finally allowed to leave the Sony Store.
As Henry reads their next clue, Terri looks like her mind is about to shut down and wants to leave the race. They head out to Shibuya, but at the same time, Daichi & Sawaka have finished the Detour delivering the Yukata to the Kimono Rental place.
The siblings rip open their clue to discover their next task, a Roadblock. We know that a Roadblock is a task that only one person may perform.
The question of “Who is Cold and Calculating” is taken by Sawaka who decides to take on this task.
After an enjoyable five minutes without the Giant Dickheads, we unfortunately see them again, but this time, it’s for a totally good reason. The directions they received to a dry cleaner turns out to be the wrong one, so they have to start all over again.
Henry has his camera which contains the cosplay girl. Terri is just yelling at him. Horrible.
In their cab heading over to the Icebar, Daichi says he would like to see the Malaysian moms eliminated in this leg, but in terms of the race, he would like to see the Arrogant Assholes out and Sawaka adds that Japan is the only place where they can beat them.
The Slimy Shitheads who are still looking for the dry cleaner see Ann & Diane and try to steer them in the wrong direction but they see through this rouse. Eventually, the AA’s find the place and grab one Yukata to deliver to the Kimono Rental Place. Ann & Diane suddenly discover the Shitheads have disappeared. But they find the dry cleaner without further delay.
Terri & Henry are having all types of trouble finding Shibuya. They get out of the subway, then back into the subway. He says, “All of the streets signs are in Japanese so it’s tough for an American to get around. I hated Japan before and I really hate it now.”
Over to Ann & Diane, they are scurrying through the confusing streets of Tokyo. However, the Giant Jerks have found the Kimono Rental place, how I don’t know. Arrogant Asshole #1 decides he’s cold and calculated and agrees to do the Roadblock. They grab a taxi and head over to the Icebar Tokyo.
Ann & Diane continue to have trouble finding the Kimono Rental place. The other all-girl teams, Paula & Natasha and Vanessa & Pamela are at Shibuya looking for the cosplay area and both teams arrive there at about the same time. Both search for the proper girls and Paula is able to find hers. Soon afterwards, Vanessa & Pamela are able to find their girl as well. For the Detour, Paula & Natasha decide to Cart It. Vanessa & Pamela go for Catch It.
Terri & Henry board a train and she’s completely exhausted. Killer Fatigue is setting in for her and she’s about to blow.
While Henry is still enthusiastic about finding the girl, Terri tells him off in what is really despicable behavior. He says all they have to do is find her, but she’s having none of it. The train doors open and she orders him to get off. How does this couple stay married? But they manage to find themselves in the right area. Will they be able to find the right girl before Terri blows her top?
As Ann & Diane run down one street, Adrian & Collin are seen running in another direction. But Vanessa & Pamela aren’t even at the Detour yet. They’re asking for directions, but the locals can’t help them. And Paula & Natasha aren’t having any luck either.
Adrian & Collin have finally found the dry cleaner and take the Yukata.
Over to the Icebar Tokyo, Daichi & Sawaka have arrived. She puts on a parka and goes into the freezing bar where the ice puzzle awaits. She says the room was very cold and the letters were in giant ice cubes. She was told that she could go outside to get warm, but Sawaka refused knowing she had to finish.
Ann & Diane have finally found the Kimono Rental place and get their next clue. Ann says she’s cold and calculating so she’ll be solving the puzzle.
Vanessa & Pamela ask another local for directions, but she offers them barbecued chicken instead.
Paula & Natasha are having trouble finding the dry cleaner, but Adrian & Collin have finally delivered their Yukata and get their next clue. Adrian decides he will do the task.
Ann & Diane are on their way to the Icebar in a subway train, however, they find asking locals for directions is like asking a heart surgeon to perform plastic surgery. It’s not going well.
Alan tells us that Fukuoka is the largest city on the island of Kyushu. It’s been an important harbor city for many centuries.
They will make their way to the pyramid at the the Fukuoka International Congress Center which will be the pit stop for this leg of the race. Alan says the last team to check in, may be eliminated. Right. Whatever you say.
Over to the last team, Terri & Henry. They’ve been bringing up the rear for most of the race. Terri is now under the grasps of Killer Fatigue. She now wants to go home. Henry wants to keep going, but she’s had enough.
Paula & Natasha who originally decided to Cart It have stumbled on the goldfish so they decide to Catch It instead.
Terri & Henry are trudging along and can’t find Shibuya. She says she wants to quit, but he asks to give her until 11:45 p.m. to find the girl. But she doesn’t want to backtrack as he’s suggesting. She yells at him. He tries to shush her, but she’s still yelling. Horrible. But they finally find the girls and the one pictured in their Cybershot. They argue over who found her first, but the main thing is that they found her. And they decide to do Catch It which for them, is the right move.
With the goldfish, Natasha says she’s done this on a video game so she’s catching fish with ease.
Over to the Icebar, the Shitheads have arrived with Shithead #1 putting on his parka and to take on the ice puzzle. He makes some stupid comment about going to Chicago. Shut up and do your puzzle, pisshead.
Vanessa & Pamela are frustrated as they can’t find the goldfish task. The streets are confusing. There are no numbers. They can’t ask anyone. They walk aimlessly in Tokyo.
Meanwhile, Baldy is trying to decipher his puzzle and mugs for the camera saying he wants to spell “Vegas”. Spell S-H-U-T T-H-E F-U-C-K U-P.
Vanessa & Pamela finally reach the goldfish task just as the other all-girl team is going into the taxi to go to the Icebar. The sisters are breaking paddles left and right. Paula says they’re overthinking the clues not realizing the locations are right under their noses.
In the meantime, the Giant Bald Eagle has figured out the next destination is Nagasaki which is wrong.
Vanessa & Pamela keep breaking their paddles.
Daichi & Sawaka have made it to Shinagawa Station. Sawaka explains the ice puzzle task was very cold and her hands became numb. While Arrogant Asshole #1 tries Kyoto which is wrong, Sawaka says the other teams will have trouble with the task. And the Giant Squid tries Nagasaki for the second time and again it’s wrong. Jerk.
Vanessa & Pamela have caught 9 fish so they’re on their way. Henry correctly surmises that the goldfish paddles will be made of rice paper while Terri yells at him. He’s got to get out of that marriage. This is unhealthy. While Vanessa & Pamela are increasing their fish count, Terri & Henry get directions to the task.
Unfortunately, Giant Squid #1 has solved the puzzle and gets his next clue. Giant Squid #2 breaks the clue over his head. Oh, these two are so funny. Yeah, funny for me to poop on. They now head to the train station.
Vanessa & Pamela finally finish the Catch It detour and get their next clue. Their long nightmare is not over, however. While they try to decide who is cold and calculating, Pamela eventually volunteers.
Adrian tries the ice puzzle and offers Kobe as an answer. No beef here. He’ll try again.
Terri continues to yell at Henry. Meanwhile, Vanessa & Pamela get into a cab and go over possible answers of which they actually state Fukuoka.
Henry & Terri have finally gotten to the goldfish task and he tries to grasp how to do it.
Adrian drops one of the cubes on the floor. As Terri & Henry catch the goldfish, she admits that doing that task actually calmed her down. And she’s the loving Terri now. Good gravy, man. And they finally finish the task to get their next clue. Henry decides that he’ll tackle the ice puzzle.
Adrian then tries Yokohama, but that’s wrong. He tries Tokyo, but he’s in Tokyo, so that’s out. Ann & Diane have reached the Icebar and Ann goes inside to try her hand at the puzzle. So she’s now inside with Adrian.
As the Philippine Pissants enter the Shinagawa Train Station, Sawaka finds that the next train to Fukuoka isn’t until 6 a.m. so as each team finishes the ice puzzle, we’ll get a giant bunching once again.
Ann tries Kyoto which is wrong. Finally, Adrian comes up with Fukuoka and he’s able to get out of the Icebar with the next clue. Adrian admits that he knew Fukuoka is one of the largest cities in Japan, but he kicks himself over taking a long time “to unravel the mystery.” It’s not quite obvious. I don’t think I would have been able to figure that out right off the bat.
The last teams are now heading to the Icebar. Paula & Natasha find an American who points them in the right direction. Terri & Henry are also on their way there.
Ann tries Osaka while covering up “MA” and that’s wrong. As Paula & Natasha arrive at the Icebar, Ann gets the right answer and the next clue.
Paula goes inside and tries Yokohama. Try again.
Ann says her fingertips are hurting after doing the ice puzzle. Frostbite. We know it here in the Northeastern United States.
Paula tries another answer and that’s wrong too. Adrian & Collin have arrived at the train station only to be informed by the Arrogant Assholes that they won’t be leaving right away. They say they’re looking for a place to sleep so they decide to lie outside. I hope they get mugged for mugging for the camera.
Paula tries Kobe and that’s incorrect. Natasha looks inside and says Paula looks like Snow White. She finally comes up with Fukuoka and is able to get her next clue. Paula is rubbing her fingers after dealing with the ice cubes.
Now, Vanessa & Pamela are going over possible answers as they arrive at the Icebar. Pamela is strapped and she looks like she’s drawing a blank. She tries to write some answers down going over all of the possibilities, but none are coming to her. Vanessa says outside, “I really don’t know if she can do this.” Pamela says she doesn’t have a clue and that’s going to hurt her in this stage. She cries and walks out of the room.
She’s tired and she’s straining for an answer. But after taking a few moments, Pamela gathers the strength to go inside. Vanessa asks if she wants to take a few more moments, but Pamela says she’s ok.
Terri & Henry have finally arrived and he puts on the parka to go into the icy cold room.
Both Pamela and Henry are struggling to come up with an answer. Her first attempt is wrong. Vanessa says, “It might be a long night in Tokyo.” Terri just puts her hand over her face.
Henry tries some garbled word and of course it’s wrong. But Pamela finally comes up with Fukoka and it’s right. She gets her clue and runs out of the room. But she leaves enough of the answer up so Henry can peek at it and he’s able to get Fukuoka as well. He said if he didn’t do that, he would still be at the Icebar. Whatever it takes, I guess. Pamela says didn’t think Henry would actually take a look her answer.
Paula & Natasha have arrived at Shinagawa.
Henry has now put together Fukuoka and is able to get his next clue.
Vanessa asks Pamela if Henry saw her answer and she replies, “Part of it.” Henry says he outright cheated and looked over Pamela’s shoulder. Oh well. He isn’t proud of it, but he needed to get out of there.
So now all of the teams are now bunched at Shinagawa Train Station and are either sleeping outside of the station or in line at the ticket counter.
Once out of the train, the teams don’t have to worry about customs so they run towards a taxi.
For some strange reason, the Arrogant Assholes put on fake mustaches in another attempt to be funny. It’s not. It’s just another in a long line of scripted behavior between these two jerkoffs. I really hope they get eliminated because they are really getting in the way of my enjoyment of this season. Michael McKay, Executive Producer must be blamed for accepting these two idiots for this season. Everything between these two is fake and is as far from reality television as you can get. We like reality TV because it’s real. If I want scripted comedy, I’ll watch “The Office” or Fox News Channel, but this is out of hand.
So it’s a race of the teams to the mat. Ann & Diane reach the mat first, but we see only Alan standing there. No, wait! He says the race is not over. He says this is not a pit stop and he hands the Malaysian Moms their next clue. And the leg is ….. “TO BE CONTINUED.”
So with this, we don’t have an order of finish as of yet. Expect this race to continue and I do hope Daichi & Sawaka can use their home country advantage to finally eliminate the Arrogant Assholes. We’ll see you next week.
A Christmas Story – TBS, all day until 8 p.m.
Celebrity Golf/Chick-Fil-A Bowl Alma Mater or Whatever the Hell it is – CBS, 2 p.m.
NBA/Cleveland at Miami – ABC, 2:30 p.m.
Capital One Holiday Celebration on Ice – NBC, 3 p.m.
NBA/LA Lakers at Phoenix – ABC, 5 p.m.
NBA/Portland at Seattle – ESPN, 8 p.m.
Deal or No Deal – NBC, 8 p.m.
Kind of thin tonight as the major networks and sports leagues are taking the holidays off. But we try to give you what we can.
A Christmas Story – TBS, 8 p.m. until 8 p.m. Christmas night
Monday Night Football/Denver at San Diego – ESPN, 8 p.m.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas – ABC, 8 p.m.
How I Met Your Mother – CBS, 8 p.m.
Two and a Half Men – CBS, 9 p.m.
Christmas Eve Mass – NBC, 11:34 p.m.
Christmas Eve Service – CBS, 11:35 p.m.
This being a holiday week, posting will be to a minimum. I don’t expect to be posting on Christmas Day so I’ll have the Christmas Primetime Viewing Picks coming later tonight. Let’s get to the links now.
Richard Perez-Pena of the New York Times writes about ESPN and Yahoo! poaching newspapers and magazines to hire prominent sportswriters for their respective sites. And Felix Salmon of the Conde Nast Portfolio.com site has reaction to the article.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that there will be plenty of pregame hype of the Patriots-Giants game this Saturday as the NFL Network also attempts to get the game on a wider distribution.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has two good gift ideas for children in the final hours of the Christmas shopping season.
Phil Mushnick in today’s New York Post comes out swinging at Bryant Gumbel.
Last night, Newsday’s Neil Best blogged as soon as NBC and the NFL announced that next Sunday’s primetime game would be Tennessee at Indianapolis, once a 1 p.m. ET game, now forcing fans who bought tickets to stay up late. And Neil says he’ll be rooting against Alabama coach Nick Saban on Christmas Day.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes in his Farther Off the Wall blog about the Final Flex game for NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says he should consider CBC’s Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada as a comedy act instead of serious analysis. And Zelkovich has his Good, Bad and the Ugly feature.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes in his Reiss’s Pieces Patriots blog about Senator John Kerry writing another letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in hopes of getting the Pats-Giants game to a wider audience. Matthew Hay Brown of the Tribune newspapers’ “The Swamp” blog covering DC, says Kerry will call for Congressional hearings unless the Pats-Giants game is placed on NBC. There’s a threat for you.
Mike Sullivan of the Portsmouth (NH) Herald News reports that local TV station, WMUR will also carry the Pats-Giants game this Saturday in addition to Boston station, WCVB. Here’s the announcement from WMUR itself. MSNBC’s Mike Celizic says it’s too bad most of you won’t be able to see this Saturday’s game.
Jeremy Muck of the Pine Bluff (AR) Commercial says Cowboys fans in Arkansas were not able to watch Saturday’s game against the Panthers on the NFL Network.
Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram warns readers to be ready for plenty of T.O. TV this week as the media covers Terrell Owens’ ankle injury ad nauseum.
Greg Johnson and Larry Stewart have teamed up on an article for the Los Angeles Times on UCLA and USC shoveling more sporting events online to feed their fans’ growing viewing appetite.
Dusty Saunders writes in the Rocky Mountain News about NBC’s efforts to broadcast the NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
That will do it for now.
Thanks to Rob over at the Reality Fan Forum for posting the video. Preview for next week’s episode.
Let’s give you some links for today.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Time Warner Cable rejecting arbitration with the NFL.
Newsday’s Neil Best says one of the New York Islanders’ biggest assets is its cable TV contract with Cablevision. And Neil says in his blog that ticket prices for the Yankees and Mets will just keep going up.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is not happy with the way networks broadcast the NFL.
Bob Raissman is full of hate in today’s New York Daily News.
The Sports Media Watch provides the holiday weekend ratings predictions.
David Knox of the Birmingham News profiles ESPN’s Pam Ward who called the Papajohns.com Bowl yesterday.
The Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck sarcastically writes about the Senators who want to get involved in the NFL Network vs. Cable mess.
From the Daily Oklahoman, Jenni Carlson (Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s favorite columnist) correctly surmises that TV is one of the parties hampering a playoff system in college football. And in a sidebar column, Carlson writes about the NFL Network picking up a bowl.
The Hartford Courant’s Daily Dose has the menu for sports viewing this week.
Not too many links today, but as I’ve said in the past, it’s quality, not quantity. Talk to you later.
I just got back in from doing from Christmas shopping. I can’t believe I have to go out again on Christmas Eve do finish shopping, but that’s what I have to do. But anyway, here are my picks.
New York Giants at Buffalo Bills – Fox, 1 p.m.
Bills can play the spoilers here. Giants will be in windy conditions. If the G-Men lose today and next week, expect Tom Coughlin to be looking for a job on New Year’s Day. Bills are a proud team and want to show that they are among the teams to watch in 2008. Take the Bills to win today, 17-9.
Green Bay at Chicago – Fox, 1 p.m.
The Packers have to win to keep the pressure on Dallas for NFC home field in the playoffs. Take the Pack over a woefully inept Bears offense, 21-6.
Philadelphia at New Orleans – Fox, 1 p.m.
I can’t figure out the Iggles to save my life. I pick with them and they lose. I pick against them and they win. With Reggie Bush out for the Saints today, I’ll go with the Eagles, 16-3.
Cleveland at Cincinnati – CBS, 1 p.m.
The Browns know what to do, win and they’re in the playoffs. The Bengals are shitty. The Battle of Ohio goes to my Browns, 24-10.
Kansas City at Detroit – CBS, 1 p.m.
I want the Lions to do well at the end of the season and I’m going to pick them here to beat the Chefs, 27-9.
Houston at Indianapolis – CBS, 1 p.m.
The Colts know they have a 1st round bye in the playoffs. The Texans won’t have Matt Schaub at QB today. Sage Rosenfels will start in his place. The Colts will be ready for the playoffs with a coasting win today over the Texans, 31-16.
Oakland at Jacksonville – CBS, 1 p.m.
No one wants to play the Jags in the playoffs because they have a balanced offensive attack. I like this team heading into the postseason. Expect JaMarcus Russell to play for the Raid-uhs today. Won’t help them at all. Take Jacksonville, 29-7.
Tampa Bay at San Fransisco – Fox, 4;05 p.m.
Thank goodness this game was taken out of primetime tonight. Can you imagine this being the showcase for NBC? What would John Madden say about it? There’s no way you could hype this game to get people to watch. Take TB by a hair today, 17-16.
Atlanta at Arizona – Fox, 4:05 p.m.
I won’t be watching this game either, but I’ll pick ‘Zona to defeat a Falcons team playing out the string and waiting for 2008, 26-7.
Baltimore at Seattle – CBS, 4:15 p.m.
This is a showcase game for CBS? You’ve got to be kidding. Seattle over the Ravens, 19-0.
Miami at New England – CBS, 4:15 p.m.
Miami might be able to keep it close before the winds and rains come in at 6 p.m. ET. I’ll go with the Pats who will go to 15-0, 25-16.
Washington at Minnesota – NBC, 8:15 p.m.
The Redskins are coming into this game playing well. So are the Vikings. I’ll go with the Vikes at home, 28-24.
Denver at San Diego – ESPN, 8:15 p.m., Monday
I like the San Diego Super Chargers, 28-14.
There you go. Just under the wire again.
If you’re waiting for my Amazing Race Asia 2, Episode 5 recap, just know that’s it’s being written.
While you’re waiting, enjoy OK Go.
Dallas at Carolina – NFL Network, 8 p.m.
The Cowboys come off a loss to the Eagles last Sunday that put them into a tie with the Green Bay Packers for home field advantage in the NFC playoffs. However, the Cowboys own the tiebreaker so as long as the Cowboys win out, they’ll stay home. But Carolina does have something to play for and the Panthers have an outside shot at the final wild card playoff spot. Thanks to Sunday’s win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers are still in the playoff hunt and quarterback Matt Moore has given the Carolina fans a reason to hope. He’ll start again tonight for the Panthers.
In the meantime, Tony Romo’s thumb wasn’t the only issue in Big D. It was WR Terrell Owens flapping his trap again, this time saying that Romo’s girlfriend, bimbo Jessica Simpson should stay away from him. But T.O. had to backtrack saying he was only joking. Yeah, right. Jessica has severely damaged Nick Lachey’s career and if Romo isn’t careful, he’ll be next. Romo’s thumb injury hampered the Cowboys’ passing attack against the Eagles on Sunday and he’ll be needed tonight. If the Cowboys can’t run against the Carolina offense, then Romo will be asked to win the game and if he’s not 100%, the Cowboys will be in trouble.
I’m not going against the Cowboys tonight, but this game will be close. Dallas, 19-16.
Let’s give you a quickie links thing today as I have a lot of errands to run (Christmas shopping, you may have heard of it).
Starting with Jerry Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News says the NFL Network and the cable companies continue to be Scrooge or the Grinch, whichever you prefer, during this holiday season.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar writes that St. Louis resident Bob Costas gets some New Year’s Day duties hosting the NHL Winter Classic for NBC. If you are one of the few that has the NFL Network, you may have seen Costas hosting the number retirement ceremony for the Rams’ Marshall Faulk on Thursday.
Jefferson George of the Charlotte Observer writes the usual story of the NFL Network not being available outside of the 75 mile radius of Charlotte for tonight’s Dallas-Carolina game. Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says a local station is coming through so Cowboys fans can watch tonight’s game.
Dan Frommer of the Silicon Valley Insider blog says the NFL Network is charging higher ad rates for next week’s Patriots-Giants game and is practically on its hands and knees trying to get the game on a wider distribution. Over to the Boston Herald and business writer Jay Fitzgerald who writes that many fans outside of Boston are going to be angry if they can’t watch next week’s game. Mike Donoghue of the Burlington (VT) Free Press says the NFL has refused to allow a local TV station to pick up the NFL Network’s feed despite the state’s congressional delegation making a request. John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that Hartford (CT) station WFSB thinks it can carry Saturday’s game and is clearing its schedule just in case. Good luck. Boston station WCVB will pick up the game for the local market.
Pete Barth of the Sheboygan (WI) Press says it’s time to end the dispute so fans can watch the NFL and Big Ten.
Somehow I missed this story yesterday. Adam Thompson of the Wall Street Journal talks about ESPN’s recent raiding of the print world and signing reporters for its various platforms. But Jack Shafer of Slate.com says this is not a recent trend and it actually goes back more than ten years.
Adam Kuriloff and Erik Matsuzewski of Bloomberg says the NFL’s TV ratings are up this season thanks to the Patriots’ pursuit of perfection.
TV Week’s Chris Pursell has your NFL Week 16 Broadcast Preview in his Pressbox blog.
David Kiley of BusinessWeek magazine writes how the poor Notre Dame season contributed to NBC’s ad revenue slump.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his Watch This! blog that today is a big day for TV sports viewing including college basketball, bowls and capped off by the Dallas-Carolina game.
And we must cap off the links with news about Philadelphia news anchor Alycia Lane. If you go into the May archives when I relaunched this site, Alycia was one of the reasons why I got back into this, so I continue to cover the latest news on her whenever it breaks. TMZ.com and Perez Hilton have Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. I have Alycia Lane. Anyway, Page Six in the New York Post reports that Playboy has allegedly offered money to Ms. Lane to pose nude. That would supersede the bikini pictures that she sent to Rich Eisen we’ve been seeking since May. Of course, that would end any last semblance of creditability she had left. But youneverknow. And the Philadelphia Inquirer has an editorial comparing Lane’s latest incident to the Mel Gibson anti-Semetic rant last year.
Coming up sometime this weekend, the NFL Picks for Week 16 plus the Amazing Race Asia recap for Episode 5 and the Amazing Race 12 recap for Episode 7. Keep it here.
Here’s the promo for the next episode of the Amazing Race Asia 2.
This has not been the best of weeks for sportscasting news. We learned earlier this week about the passing of legendary announcer Don Chevrier at the age of 69.
Then, we learned that ESPN’s Stuart Scott is undergoing chemotherapy after cancerous cells were found in his abdomen following an emergency appendectomy.
Now we learn from Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News that Fox Sports’ Jeanne Zelasko has thyroid cancer and will undergo surgery after she finishes her assignments at the Cotton and Orange Bowls next week. Reading the story, it appears Jeanne is in good spirits. Interestingly enough, Jeanne and Stuart share the same agent.
Best wishes to Jeanne in her recovery and the same to Stuart as well.
UPDATE -12/22/07, 10:15 A.M.
I also should have mentioned the vocal cord surgery that ESPN’s Dick Vitale had earlier this week in Boston. It’s been truly a bad week for sportscasters.
Best wishes to Dickie V. as well.
Saturday, December 22
College Football/Papajohns.com Bowl, Cincinnati vs. Southern Mississippi – ESPN2, 1 p.m.
Golf/Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge – ABC, 4 p.m.
College Football/New Mexico Bowl, Nevada vs. New Mexico – ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
NHL/Chicago at Ottawa – CBC/NHL Center Ice, 7 p.m.
NHL/Toronto at Florida – CBC/NHL Center Ice, 7 p.m.
College Football/Las Vegas Bowl, BYU vs. UCLA – ESPN, 8 p.m.
NFL/Dallas at Carolina – NFL Network, 8 p.m.
Best of Saturday Night Live – NBC, 8 p.m.
Saturday Night Live Goes Commercial – NBC, 9:30 p.m.
NHL/Vancouver at Phoenix – CBC/NHL Center Ice, 10 p.m.
Sunday, December 23
NHL/Boston at Pittsburgh – NESN/NHL Network, 3 p.m.
Curling/Korbel Challenge – NBC, 3 p.m.
Golf/Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge – ABC, 4 p.m.
Skiiing/Women’s Alpine World Cup, Slalom – Versus, 4 p.m.
60 Minutes – CBS, after NFL, approximately 7:15 p.m.
College Football/Hawai’i Bowl, Boise State vs. East Carolina – ESPN, 8 p.m.
The Amazing Race 12 – CBS, approximately 8:15 p.m.
Saturday, December 22
Georgetown at Memphis – ESPN, noon
Coppin State at Indiana – Big Ten Network, noon
UCLA at Michigan – CBS, 2 p.m.
Tennessee at Xavier – ESPN, 2 p.m.
Florida at Ohio State – CBS, 4 p.m.
Stanford vs. Texas Tech at Dallas – ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.
Texas vs. Michigan State at Auburn Hills, MI – ESPN2, 6:30 p.m.
Santa Clara at Minnesota – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
Missouri vs. Illinois at St. Louis – ESPN2, 8:30 p.m.
Valparaiso at Wisconsin – Big Ten Network, 8:30 p.m.
Oregon at Oakland at Auburn Hills, MI – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Sunday, December 23
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest – FSN, 5:30 p.m.
Cincinnati at North Carolina State – FSN, 7:30 p.m.
All Times Eastern
Fox NFL Sunday – Fox, noon
New York Giants at Buffalo – Fox, 1 p.m. (DirecTV channels 704/719)
Green Bay at Chicago – Fox, 1 p.m. (DirecTV channels 705/720)
Philadelphia at New Orleans – Fox, 1 p.m. (DirecTV channels 706/724)
Oakland at Jacksonville – CBS, 1 p.m. (DirecTV channels 707/723)
Cleveland at Cincinnati – CBS, 1 p.m. (DirecTV channels 708/721)
Miami at New England – CBS, 4:15 p.m. (DirecTV channels 713/725)
Football Night in America – NBC, 7 p.m.
Washington at Minnesota – NBC, 8:15 p.m.
NFL Gameday – NFL Network, 11:30 p.m.
NBA/Chicago at Boston – Comcast SportsNet New England/ESPN, 7 p.m.
NHL/New York Islanders at Pittsburgh – NHL Network, 7:30 p.m.
NHL/Philadelphia at Buffalo – TSN/NHL Center Ice, 7:30 p.m.
College Football/New Orleans Bowl, Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis – ESPN2, 8 p.m.
A Home for the Holidays – CBS, 8 p.m.
Dateline NBC – NBC, 9 p.m.
NBA/LA Clippers at Dallas – ESPN, 9:30 p.m.
20/20 – ABC, 10 p.m.
NHL/Dallas at Calgary – TSN/NHL Center Ice, 10 p.m.
Katie Morgan’s Porn 101 – HBO, 11 p.m.
Co-ed Confidential 08 – Cinemax, 11:30 p.m.
Back from the jobsite, I’m now at home so I’m going to give you the Friday megalinks.
Let’s start with the South this time and basically do a circle around the country.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel is fed up of inane questions that are asked by many a TV reporter.
To the Houston Chronicle, David Barron says the NFL is still trying to get the Patriots-Giants game on Time Warner Cable.
The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jay Posner likes the work of ESPN’s Ron Jaworski on Monday Night Football. In his media notebook, Posner says time is running out for the nation to see the Patriots-Giants game on the NFL Network. And here are the ratings from last week in San Diego.
John Maffei of the North County Times says ESPN will be ready if the Broncos’ John Lynch decides to retire after Monday Night’s game against the Chargers.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Times writes about Stuart Scott’s battle with cancer. And in his notes column, Carlisle discusses the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame and Dick Vitale’s vocal cord surgery.
From the Los Angeles Times, Christine Daniels writes in her Sound and Vision column about both UCLA football and basketball which will be playing on Saturday.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says that having two NFL teams in the market prevents fans from seeing the entire picture.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that the local NBC affiliate gets a Christmas present this Sunday with the Vikings in primetime.
Ed Sherman in today’s Chicago Tribune writes about a nice Christmas present for Bears fans.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun writes that ESPN did plenty of reporting of the Bill Parcells-to-Miami story, without hearing from its employee, Parcells.
Laura Nachman writes about 76ers announcer Marc Zumoff broadcasting his 1,000th regular season game, plus Stuart Scott’s return to the air tonight.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick advises Knicks fans to get on owner James Dolan, not coach Isiah Thomas. The Post’s Justin Terranova writes that New York NBA fans will get a double dose of Kobe Bryant this holiday weekend. And Terranova has five questions for Giants analyst Carl Banks.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says Dolan had a chance to watch his Knicks in action the other night, but passed.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Time Warner Cable rejecting arbitration with the NFL Network.
Neil Best of Newsday profiles legendary sportscaster Warner Wolf who’s doing double duty on morning drive, doing sports updates on ESPN Radio in New York and on WABC. And in his blog, Best has more from Warner. Neil also suggests to WFAN’s Mike & the Mad Dog that they start pumping in some talk to get younger listeners. Finally, from Neil, he says getting live look-ins on NFL.com for NFL Network games is better than nothing.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks with Celtics TV announcer Mike Gorman about the team’s resurgence.
Up to Canada, Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star talks about a new look at the Score.
That’s going to do it. We still have quite a few features to give you including Primetime Viewing Picks, Weekend Viewing Picks, NFL Picks, College Basketball Viewing Picks, NFL Viewing Picks and a whole bunch of other stuff. Keep it here.
Ok, I’m not going to bed just yet. Thanks to puddin over at the Reality Fan Forum, she’s posted this preview video of this Sunday’s episode. Looks quite interesting. No Goths, though. I’m a little nervous about them in this episode. I hope it’s for naught.
Today, this blog received a nice mention from Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch in his Media Awards for 2007. In the “Best Non-Corporate Sports Web Site”, Fang’s Bites received an Honorable Mention. Pro Football Talk was named the best in the category and deservedly so. I can’t complain being mentioned with Awful Announcing, Fire Joe Morgan, MinnPost.com, Dan Shanoff, Sports Media Watch and Sports Media Guide. And the Runners-up which consist of The Big Lead, Boston Sports Media Watch and SportsJournalists.com are all deserving as well. Ten years ago, blogs did not exist and really exploded in the last five years. There’s room for everyone and I thank Richard for his mention of this site which launched two years ago, but after a one year break, I started up in earnest again and it’s been a lot of fun. And thanks to the regular visitors and those visiting for the first time. I hope you have liked what you have seen and I look forward to serving you in 2008.
So let’s get to the links.
The Poinsettia Bowl is on as I write this entry. Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes in his Watch This! blog that you can not only see it on ESPN, but also on your cell phone if you so choose. And Williams writes a column for the Examiner wondering if the NHL is starting its own New Year’s Day tradition.
And Terry Frei of the Denver Post writes for ESPN.com wondering if fans will watch the NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews the 50 Most Influential Sports People in Sports Business in 2007 as compiled by Sports Business Journal.
Bruce Allen of the aforementioned Boston Sports Media Watch tells us what it was like watching the Steelers-Patriots game while on vacation in Mexico.
Newsday’s Neil Best who was honored by Richard Deitsch in the Mainstream Sports Media Bloggers category along with the LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth and AOL’s Michael David Smith, says the NFL has flexed the Chiefs-Jets game out of primetime next Sunday, December 30.
The aforementioned Deitsch also gives us the Top Ten Most Bizarre Media Moments and Stories of 2007. Some have been mentioned here in this blog over the year.
ESPN tells us about the features that will be seen on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown.
Shall we move to NFL Network news? Yeah, why not. Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that Time Warner Cable has refused an offer by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to enter binding arbitration to get the Patriots-Giants game on its lineup. Steve Donohue of Multichannel writes that Cablevision has added ESPN2HD to its lineup.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes in his blog about the political posturing before the Pats-Giants game. John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News writes in his Morning Buzz blog that the NFL’s desperation leading up to the Pats-Giants matchup is beginning to wear thin. Sandy Penner of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin says the NFL vs. Cable is a battle of greed.
King Kaufman of Salon.com talks with NFL Network host Rich Eisen about his new book.
TV Week’s Chris Pursell provides the broadcast and announcing team lineups for each and every college bowl in his Pressbox blog.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune Lifestyle writer C.J. has a video looking behind-the-scenes at the taping of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption at the Metrodome on Monday.
ESPN has gotten a bit bigger buying the resources of SchoolSports Inc., a high school sports media company.
And the Lancaster (OH) Eagle-Gazette reports that Time Warner Cable is adding something to its lineup, FSN Ohio HD and the NHL Network.
With that, the Steelers have beaten the Rams, 41-24 and I’m going to bed. Good night. Friday megalinks will be up sometime in the afternoon or possibly in the evening.
Here’s our pick for tonight. I’ll have to do the overall record of my picks later on.
Pittsburgh at St. Louis – NFL Network, 8 p.m.
The Steelers have lost two in a row. That’s right. Losers to the Patriots in Week 14 and Jacksonville on Sunday. Now, they’re tied for the division lead with Cleveland, but hold the tiebreaker having swept the season series. If the Steelers had to go to a team with a decent record, I might be a bit more confident picking the home team, but the Rams just like the Steelers have lost their last two games. The key here is the running game for both teams. The Steelers’ Willie Parker leads the NFL in rushing yardage. Stephen Jackson is now healthy for the Rams and is running the ball well. The key here is controlling the ball. If the Rams punch the Steelers in the mouth like Jacksonville did on Thursday, they’ll have a decent shot of the upset. But the one thing the Steelers have is WR Hines Ward and a decent receiving corps. Based on that intangible, I’ll have to take the Steelers. I will gladly take a Rams upset so my Browns can lead the division by a half game going into this Sunday’s action, but I’ll go with my head here and take the Steelers, 23-13.
College Basketball/Duke vs. Pittsburgh at Aeropostale Classic, New York, NY – ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Oklahoma State vs. Oral Roberts at All-College Classic, Oklahoma City – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Miami (OH) at Illinois – Big Ten Network, 7 p.m.
NBA/LA Lakers at Cleveland – TNT, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Howard at Northwestern – Big Ten Network, 9 p.m.
College Football/Poinsettia Bowl, Utah vs. Navy – ESPN, 9 p.m.
College Basketball/Oklahoma vs. Gonzaga at All-College Classic, Oklahoma City – ESPN2, 9:30 p.m.
NBA/Houston at Denver – TNT, 10:30 p.m.
Let’s get to our links now. They’re delayed today plus I have to get a lot of work done. And the Friday megalinks will be delayed also.
Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit News writes that there won’t be peace between the rival sports radio stations in 2008.
Mel Bracht of The Daily Oklahoman talks to ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla about tonight’s All-College Classic. Bracht also writes about Oklahoma University winning the mythical ESPNU Championship Series. And Bracht gives his weekend viewing picks.
The Sports Media Watch blog has a series of stories today. First, Paulsen talks about the ratings for the NFL and the NBA. Now that the NFL regular season is wrapping up, the networks are ready to start broadcasting the NBA and the NHL. Here are the weekend ratings. Finally, Paulsen notes that the Celtics are getting more national TV appearances with their improved record.
Bruce Allen of the Boston Sports Media Watch tells us that the Boston Herald’s Michael Felger joins Comcast SportsNet’s New England Sports Tonight as a co-host.
ESPN’s Stuart Scott who underwent an emergency appendectomy last month and during surgery, will undergo chemotherapy after a malignancy was found. He’ll still work NBA pregame shows for ESPN and ABC. Best of luck to Stuart. And Michael Hiestand of USA Today has more on the Stuart story. Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek says Stuart returns to ESPN on Friday. This comes in the wake of Dick Vitale’s vocal cord surgery.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News blogs about the latest gossip on San Antonio Spur Tony Parker, his wife Eva Longoria and a supposed affair with a French model.
NBC Sports.com has Bob Costas discussing the NHL Winter Classic which will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo on New Year’s Day.
Justin Terranova of the New York Post writes that ESPN has pulled an ad featuring Roger Clemens.
You may have seen this already, but I’ll link to it anyway. Two U.S. Senators are threatening to reconsider the National Football League’s anti-trust exemption about the lack of access to the Patriots-Giants game on December 29. Mike Donoghue of the Burlington (VT) Free Press says Senator Patrick Leahy is awaiting word on whether Vermont residents can watch the Patriots in Week 17. Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant writes that Connecticut fans won’t be able to watch the game unless they have a satellite dish or go to a sports bar. Steve Raabe of the Denver Post writes about the battle between Comcast and the NFL Network. The Erie Times-News has an editorial on the NFL Network-cable dispute. Bill Liesse of the Peoria (IL) Journal Star says the NFL Network is an acquired taste. Jeff Richgels of the Capital (WI) Times says a new poll shows that most do not want the government to get involved in the cable vs. NFL/Big Ten Networks dispute. That poll was subsidized by the cable industry, by the way.
Walt Frank of the Altoona (PA) Mirror says Atlantic Broadband has picked up the NFL Network in time for tonight’s Steelers-Rams game.
Theresa Howard of USA Today says starting today, Gatorade gives sneak previews of its Super Bowl ads.
Plenty of links today. I’ll have more later.
From YouTube, here’s another CBS promo for the Amazing Race 12.
NBA/Detroit at Boston – Comcast SportsNet New England/ESPN, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Memphis at Cincinnati – ESPN2, 7 p.m.
College Basketball/Wofford at Purdue – ESPNU, 7 p.m.
NHL/Los Angeles at Detroit – NHL Network, 7:30 p.m.
Frosty the Snowman – CBS, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/San Jose State at Michigan State – Big Ten Network, 8 p.m.
College Basketball/Nicholls State at North Carolina – ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Hotel Babylon – BBC America, 9 p.m.
NBA/Phoenix at Dallas – ESPN, 9:30 p.m.
College Basketball/Arizona at UNLV – CSTV, 10 p.m.
Inside the NFL – HBO, 10 p.m.
Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller – Versus, 10 p.m.
NHL/Colorado at Anaheim – NHL Network, 10 p.m.
Time to give you some links today.
First, David Scott from the Boston Sports Media Watch talks about changes at the top of Comcast SportsNet New England, changes to the NCAA live blogging policy and rumored changes to the Patriots radio booth.
Newsday’s Neil Best says his blog is part of a 64 sports blog tournament on Busted Coverage. And here’s the actual link to the tournament. By the way, we appreciate being on the blogroll of Busted Coverage.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes about ESPN’s Dick Vitale being silenced by vocal cord surgery and the passing of veteran sports announcer Don Chevrier.
Chuck Bausman of the Philadelphia Daily News also writes about Vitale’s absence.
Mark Zuckerman of the Washington Times says the Nationals home opener which will unveil the team’s new stadium will be shown on ESPN.
Veteran announcer Roger Twibell, currently of the Big Ten Network and who has done some time in Boston at WBZ-TV and ABC Sports has a new radio gig according to Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star.
Bob McClure of the Tampa Bay Newspapers writes that ESPN was in town to shoot a commercial for Little League Baseball.
Multichannel News reports that ESPN won the ratings on Monday for the Minnesota-Chicago game.
Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that officials from the Big Ten and NFL Networks will be talking to the Wisconsin State Legislature on Thursday.
Robert Dvorchak of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says viewers outside the Pittsburgh metro area won’t be able to see the Pittsburgh-St. Louis game tomorrow night either through the NFL Network or KDKA-TV.
Rich Flowers of the Athens (TX) Daily Review says viewers in the local area will be able to watch the Dallas-Carolina game on Saturday thanks to KDFI picking up the NFL Network feed.
You want more NFL Network news? Darry Madden of BostonNOW says the Patriots-Giants game on December 29 won’t be available in the entire New England region.
Ed Bark of the Pegasus (TX) News says ratings for the Eagles-Cowboys game on Sunday were almost equal to the first matchup this season.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable says NBC’s Sunday Night Football will have some interactive features this week.
Ashley Fox of the Philadelphia Inquirer has come out in support of Fox Sports’ Pam Oliver in the Donovan McNabb controversy.
Laura Nachman has an update on KYW’s reaction to Alycia Lane’s arrest.
And there you have it. Those are the links for now.