Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pittsburgh's collective IQ just went up ten points

Word from people I've talked with who are covering the SEC meetings in Destin is that the SEC is moving closer to announcing they'll create something resembling their own network. Supposedly CBS will try and scoop up some leftover conference games this year, after Raycom has had their weekly pick, and put them on the former CSTV (now CBS College Sports). It sounds to me like a trial run to show how much better their product will be than the current Raycom "All Daves and fuzzy pictures all the time" package. Turning CSTV into a largely SEC focused network might be a middle ground between the Big Ten's ineffective "the cable companies will have to pay us, there's no way the fans will put up with missing games" distribution/extortion strategy and doing nothing new at all.

If you're the NBA, you simply can not have Joey Crawford working critical Spurs playoff games. With all the referees available, the guy you want out there in game four to decide whether to call a critical foul is not someone who has had multiple embarassing public episodes involving one of the teams. That's because when Crawford blows an incredibly obvious call, as the league has now acknowledged he did, you give fuel to the conspiracy theorists fire. "THEY want the Lakers and Celtics, and they'll rig the games to get it! Oh, you don't believe me? Then why is the ESPN Club in Orlando already selling this?"

Can't wait to see Jeff Demps in a Florida uniform? You might have to.

Former Tampa Bay offensive lineman Tom McHale seemed like a pretty sharp guy. He was a Cornell grad who made the Buccaneers as a free agent and lasted eight years in the league. After the pro football career ended, he opened some reasonably successful restaurants in Tampa. Not sure when things went wrong for McHale, but he's now dead at 45. Say no to drugs, kids.

As I mentioned at the end of last week, Mark Madden of ESPN 1250 in Pittsburgh has been an embarassment to those of us who work in sports radio for quite a while. He was the classic screaming insults stereotype sports talk host. Emphasis, mercifully on WAS. It's always nice when the bad guys lose.

This is a great piece from Spin magazine by Jeff Pearlman explaining one of the mysteries of our time - how did "YMCA" become a staple at sporting events and weddings? Some people in our society clearly don't pay much attention to song lyrics.

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