Everyone in Columbia continues to talk about Stephen Garcia being tackled by the referee during Saturday night's game. It was definitely different, but I think it's being way overblown. Since the official in question played linebacker at Kentucky, the team SC beat last week, some are claiming that must be why he did that. If the umpire had a bias against the Gamecocks, he'd call lots of penalties - especially holding. His crew called three penalties on the Gamecocks in the entire game. The idea the umpire intentionally took a shot at Garcia on purpose makes no sense - it would get him fired on the spot. Still really strange looking, though.
Can someone explain why media people think you or I need to know about TV ratings for sporting events? There are lots of articles like this one forecasting dire ratings consequences for Fox since the World Series will be Phillies versus Rays. I can see why there's coverage of ratings for entertainment shows. If you like "Heroes" but the ratings drop, it might go off the air. If it turns out the only people wathing the Series are me and Joe the Plumber, Fox will still be airing the whole thing. So unless the publication writing about it is the Fox in house newsletter or maybe Advertising Age, why would anyone else care if they get good ratings?
Good Nielsen ratings don't always help much, particularly if the product people are watching is complete crap. CBS got some decent ratings for the Kimbo Slice clown show disguised as mixed martial arts that was Elite XC, but now the company has folded. I keep being told that MMA is going to eventually be as big as boxing once was, but I'm far from sold on that.
I'm not sure what's going on in Hollywood, but all of a sudden we have this crazy run of sports movies being produced. It's not like the ones coming out are huge hits. Semi-Pro didn't perform nearly as well as a typical Will Ferrell movie. That Ice Cube as football coach film "The Longshots" did eleven million dollars worth of business. The Express just tanked at the box office. Despite all of this, someone thinks Michael Lewis's book Moneyball needs to be made into a movie. And who should play GM Billy Beane? Brad Pitt, of course! At the rate we're going, someone likely thinks Wake Forest's 2006 football season might make a great movie. Think I'm being sarcastic? Nope. Al Pacino as Tommy Lasorda - other than the fact they look nothing alike, why not? If any Hollywood types are reading this, I've got a great story pitch for you on a jai alai movie - we'll call it "Cestas de Fuego"!
I'm on the road the next couple of days for SEC basketball media days. I will attempt to post from Birmingham, internet situation willing.