Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Week that was - The Sunday Seven

As I’m shattered the Sunday Nine has been shortened to a special NFL dominated Sunday Seven this week.

So last week we witnessed one of the dullest Superbowl in recent history. I watched it and just longed for USC v Texas or USC v Notre Dame or USC v Fresno State or Colts v Pats or something good. Big Ben looked awful but won, the Seahawks looked better but lost. Whilst I enjoy football I’m glad the baseball season is coming back soon, I really am.

The final word on the Superbowl goes to the referees. They were atrocious and anyone who disagrees is just plain wrong. The phantom call on the Seahawks TD that never was early on set the stall out for a game which will always be remembered for being badly refereed. The refs didn’t lose the game for the Seahawks as the Steelers found the big plays but the refs certainly didn’t help the contest in any way shape or form. Why not give the big games to the big experienced referees or is that too simple?

ESPN and NBC agreed a stunning deal to allow Al Michaels to leave the cable giant and broadcast games with John Madden again on NBC. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the dealmaker, the pre-runner to Mickey Mouse whose right have been passed on to the Disney Corp. who own ESPN. Another part of the deal sees cable rights to Friday coverage of the next four Ryder Cups through 2014 pass to ESPN. NBC also granted ESPN increased usage of Olympic highlights through 2012 and other NBC properties through 2011. NBC, in turn, gets expanded highlight rights to ABC and ESPN events. Is Al Michaels really worth it? I really don’t think so.

This move paved the way for my boy Tony Kornheiser to be installed as a second colour guy alongside Mike Tirico and Joe Theismann. Kornheiser presents one of my favourite shows on TV and I’m delighted that his new gig will bring him into the mainstream as well as keeping him in the chair for PTI. Having some humour in a commentary box is always a plus in my eyes and Tony isn’t a comedian but just a genuinely funny guy who knows sport inside and out. I’m looking forward to the new MNF, let’s hope it’s as good as I envisage.

More NFL news, it’s just dominating today and the Oakland Raiders have installed Art Shell as Head Coach for the second time. Shell was at least the third choice behind Ken Wizenhunt (Steelers Offensive Co-Ord.) and Mike Martz were both favoured but turned down the opportunity to coach the lacklustre Raiders. Whilst this move smells of desperation, it might actually work in the Raiders favour as this guy has worked under Al Davis before and knows what being a Raider is all about, still if they go 8-8 next season he’ll of done an amazing job.

The Men’s Downhill was this morning and surprise surprise Bode Miller didn’t win gold. I don’t want to knock the guy but he’s made such a big deal about himself that he needed to walk the walk and he didn’t. Some French bloke won not that anyone cares but the important fact is Miller didn’t – shame.

Alfonso Soriano has lost his arbitration case but will still collect a cool $10m next season and he still won’t play in the OF. Not bad money for a bench player is it? Soriano had the natural talent to be an all-time great but the attitude of a lazy arse sitting back and resting on his laurels (reminds me of me and my broadcasting ways but I don’t get Soriano money for doing the odd bit of freelance work here and there alas). I fully expect Soriano to be traded as the Nats can’t afford for him to be sitting on their bench but his stock is falling all the time and it is getting to the stage where they’ll find it difficult to give him away.

The baseball season is fast approaching and we’ll be getting back into the swing of things soon, it's just the fact that hardly anything is going on at the moment with the Sox or Yanks!

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