ESPN To Get Vitale Far Far Away From Duke Game

ESPN is being forced to resort to desperate measures and ridiculous publicity stunts to keep Dick Vitale from calling Duke games. For the Jan. 7 Duke-Davidson game, ESPN will bring in its NBA announcers, while moving Vitale and co. to the Heat-Nuggets game later that day.

Dick Vitale

So that means Mike Tirico, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy are going to have to do some cramming to figure out what the hell a one-and-one is, while Vitale and Dan Shulman are going to need to get used to the 24-second shot clock. But obviously, the real benefit to viewers everywhere, other than not being forced to hear Elliot Williams called a diaper dandy ever 2 minutes, is not having to deal with Vitale having an orgasm on-air anytime Duke does anything competently.

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Brog: ABC Might Want To Freshen Up NBA Display

I’m happy to report that I’m back in Los Angeles for the summer, after five delightful days driving from Miami. First day back, I was at Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which extended the inevitable Boston series triumph by at least one more 48-minute epoch (has a team ever looked worse in a win than Sunday @ Staples?)

Brooks Bill Walton Stephen A Smith

Before the game, I waited for Jerry Buss to pull up with a limo-full of teenie strippers drank in the *electric* atmosphere outside the arena, which featured a chance to admire an embarrassingly outdated display of ABC NBA broadcasters. Best part: Getting to let Stephen A. know how the vast majority of respirating, bipedal NBA fans felt about his past on-air contribution.

Mike Tirico Jeff Van Gundy

The fan photo-op broadcast desk was part of an RV-display that featured cutouts of ABC’s NBA broadcast team, which as you can imagine had passing fans bursting with excitement. One small detail: Smith and Bill Walton aren’t on ABC’s coverage of the NBA Finals.

Staples Center Parking

It’s also nice to see the (Celtics-operated?) Staples-area parking guys weren’t in a mood to gouge Game 5 attendees. Let’s see, buy a quarter-tank of gas, or park for the game?

I traveled around Los Angeles (Pasadena down to Venice) quite a bit yesterday to acquaint myself with how my town was feeling before the game. I was surprised. No car flags, no lines outside of sports bars, no buzz. I know it was Father’s Day, and the Lakers were down 3-1, but I expected at least some excitement around town. But it’s been exceedingly flaccid, especially compared to the early ’90s championship Shaq-n-Kobe era.

Apparently, the country is similarly laissez-faire. The ratings have been better than last year’s putrid numbers, but as Barry Horn of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS wrote, “(ESPN/ABC and the NBA) dreamed of a return to double-digit ratings with Lakers-Celtics, but the numbers have been a disappointment. America knew Michael Jordan. Apparently, Kobe Bryant is no Michael Jordan.

Rocco Mediate as a poker player, from WICKED CHOPS POKER:

Rocco Mediate Poker

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Brog: Now Ready Climb The Highest (Nubian) Peak

Moving Day! I’m outta Miami this afternoon. Really excited, as I’m off to traverse the vast, fruited plain of our great nation, plumbing the depths of the valleys and climbing ever-higher, to the highest Nubian Peak:

Nubian Peak

(That’s almost as good as this- thanks Orson!)

By now you’ve probably seen Punter’s post on the Giants’ Super Bowl rings getting stolen from a jewelry store located just 10 miles from the Patriots’ offices. I’ve since heard from a league source that the rings were soon to be delivered to additional club employees (the players, coaches and top front office staff got theirs first).

Putin Steals Super Bowl Ring From Bob Kraft

So with the news of the heist, boy is Vladimir Putin ever pissed!

I’ve got some breaking news for LSU fans:

LSU Civil War Sign

Nebraska was not a slave state.

From the Dept. of Unfounded, Uncalled-For Cheap Shots, I give you the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: “Was that really the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape in Colorado at one of the Lakers-Celtics games in Boston? A source swears he saw her. Something seemed to be distracting Bryant.

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Billy To Be Sent Packing? “D-U-I” Chant For ‘Melo

No more candy & ice cream for the Yankees? Aw, nuts (& dried fruit & granola)!

• CBS might finally be telling college analyst Billy Packer to pack it in.

Billy Packer

Carmelo Anthony gets treated to special chants at Staples Center.

• An NBA D-Leaguer expresses his desire for “The Office” actress Jenna Fischer through the power of poetry.

• Massive Colorado mascot Ralphie buffalOWNS one of his trainers.

• Quite a weekend for the Manning boys - Eli hits the altar, while Peyton hits the bar.

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Mark Jackson Wants to Be Next Knicks Disaster

During yesterday’s awesomely fantastic, game-of-the-year-so-far Game 1 between the Suns and Spurs, former Knick Mark “YOU’RE BETTA THEN THAT” Jackson was asked for his thoughts on New York’s coaching vacancy.

mark jackson draft

Jackson responded, “As far as history, the New York Knicks are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. That certainly is a job that is very intriguing.” Fellow commentator Jeff Van Gundy is all for it. Read more…