Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I Hate You

NASCAR sucks. You suck. Go ahead and do an S.O.C. on the friggin' Daytona. You'll just drive our one reader away. While NASCAR is great for hillbillies and for watching things like this and this, it's not great for the normal person, one with an attention span of more than 30 seconds, 2 hits of chewin' tobaccy, or 3 or 4 left turns. NASCAR sucks. You suck. And I hate you.

As for your Segway Sam about studio anal-cysts, I just have to say that Barry Melrose is lame. LAME! Although his classic mullet is certainly quite tasty. Mmm. I'll have some of that with a side of Merton Hanks's neck. The two together form an unstoppable combination!

Okay, onto my list of five:

5.) Charles Barkley - NBA
The Chuckster is funny and makes fun of people and doesn't care who he offends and yeah yeah yeah. The problem is he brings little or no actual analysis to the table. That's why I think he should just get his own talk show, where he just brings up guests and makes fun of them. We could call it "Ground Chuck" or "The Round Mound Hour" or "I May Have Never Won a Title, But I'll Throw You Through a Glass Window if You Piss Me Off." A ratings winner if I've ever seen one. You telling me people would watch "Tilt" instead of that?

(Sidenote - "Tilt" may have won me over. Trust me, I'm as startled by this revelation as you are. I'm actually moderately looking forward to this week's episode. We'll see where this takes us.)

4.) Steve Young - NFL
Tom Jackson's too buddy-buddy with players for my taste. Plus, yes, he laughs at Berman. At least Young has the good sense to sit there half the time with a "you have got to be kidding me" look on his face while Berman, Jackson, and Irvin cackle on about God knows what. Plus I love that Young just has an air about everything he says, like there's a definite sense of "I know my shit" lurking just beneath the surface. Because he does. Know his shit, I mean.

3.) Clark Kellogg - NCAA Basketball
Fantastic studio man. Yes, it's extremely annoying that he never looks at the camera, and there are times when I'd promise to sell my firstborn for a chance to take that fucking pen out of his hand. But the guy's basketball analysis is top-notch. His work is unparalleled. Except by two other guys.

2.) Chris Fowler - NCAA Football
HE'S THIRSTY!!! And he's the sports telecast equivalent of a circus ringleader. He deftly handles everything that comes up, as Corso puts bizarre hats on, Herby throws chips at people, and Rocket Ismail uses the phrase "Know what I'm sayin'" approximately 3.2 times per sentence. And he keeps everything under control. The calm center. The glue. I love him.

1.) Jay Bilas - NCAA Basketball
Yes and yes. The guy knows his shit, and he's articulate enough to explain it so that people who know less about basketball understand what he's saying, yet basketball die-hards don't feel talked down to. His insight is unmatched. Even his stupid gimmicks (like "The Book On" ... do they still do that?) work. Basically, if Jay Bilas is on my T.V., I'm gonna shut up and listen to what he's saying. And chances are, I'm gonna learn something. Or at least say "Yes, that's right," because Jay Bilas agrees with me. Because I'm always right.

On the flip-side: Holy shit, is Rick Majerus brutal as a color man during games. Watching that Kentucky game last night was painful, as Nessler tried to walk Majerus through the basics of in-game discussion. Yowsa.

And do NOT discount that '97 Arizona team. They became the first team in NCAA history to beat 3 1-seeds in the tournament, as they took out #1 all year Kansas (led by Jacque Vaughn, Jared Haase, Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz, and Scot Pollard), North Carolina (with Ed Cota, Shammond Williams, Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Serge Zwikker, and Ademola Okulaja), and then Kentucky (Ron Mercer, Scott Padgett, Jamaal Magloire, Nazi Mohammed, and Derek Anderson). They were a very VERY good team. Very good. A.J. Bramlett. Bennett Davison. I don't know why I know these things.


At 2:41 PM, February 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, I have no real beef with NASCAR itself. I just have a hard time grasping why its the biggest sport in the nation, but I have a hard time grasping last November's election results, so... you know.

NASCAR isn't without its faults. I mean, I hate hillbillies and think they should all be shot, but I can at least find a common ground with them when it comes to the combination of sports and excessive drinking. (Maybe we're not so different after all.) And 95% of the courses are ovals. That sucks. But here's what NASCAR has goin' for it:
A. Crashes - I sometimes feel bad about rooting for destruction, injuries, and perhaps death (Injury: Death -- Status: Will Return), but that feeling is quickly squashed when I see a driver hop out of his car and start running around the infield on fire.
B. IT'S A FREAKIN' RACE!! - Whether its running, speed skating, cycling, the Iditarod, or hot man-on-man doubles luge, I enjoy a hotly contested race.
C. A fun points system. Sure it's no pre-2004 BCS, but it is the circuit's olive branch to sports stats nerds like ourselves.

Now, all that being said, I don't actually watch NASCAR (unless I'm flipping through the channels and see there's less than 5 laps left). But I do root for Jeff Gordon and the Rainbow Warriors (the ones not from Hawaii). And how could anyone not be entirely in favor of an S.O.C. from Dids?

As for my favorite in-studio talking heads, here's my list:

Honorable Mention: Chris Fowler - I think Jack said it best. He is the epitome of the word "ringleader".

5. Charles Barkley - Sure, he's not the most cerebral fella out there, but he tell's it like it is. And in an extremely amusing way.

4. Barry Melrose - I like Pang too, but when it comes to bald vs. mullett, I think we know who wins out.

3. Jay Bilas - One word: Bilastrator.

2. Harold Reynolds - I simply love the sound of his voice, and anyone that does that many Baseball Tonight commercials deserves major bonus points.

1. Peter Gammons - I was pretty surprised to see no baseball analysts in either of your lists.
And I guess it's obvious that I love Baseball Tonight. In my opinion, its the best sports studio show there is (although it has the distinct advantage of having the constant score updates and highlights that College Gameday doesn't). I even considered putting Kirkjian and Kruk on this list.
That's how much I love that show. (Kruk, by the way, deserves an award for the Most Improved Analyst of all time as he went from sitting next to Tom Arnold on The Best Damn Sports Show Period to sitting next to Gammons on Baseball Tonight in a matter of weeks and actually making it work.)
As for Gammons, the only possible thing you could knock him for is the fact that he tends to be a little focused on the player personnel/general manager aspect of the sport. But that's why former players like Reynolds and to a lesser extent, Kruk, compliment him so well. And I bet he's the only member of the Hall of Fame to have acted out that many embarrassing Bull Durham scenes. OH MY!!

- Nips E.

At 12:58 PM, February 17, 2005, Blogger Jack Fu said...

A.) "Crashes" - I referenced them in my post as the only reason to even give half a shit about NASCAR.

B.) "It's a race" - So's competitive eating, and you'd have to point an Erin-sized bazooka at me to get me to watch that shit.

C.) "A 'fun' points system" - Who cares. Certainly not me. You can't just assume that attaching numerical values to places in races is gonna bring non-hillbillies around. Shit, if anything, it's gonna alienate the "2+2=18" crowd that they already have gathered at those redneckfests - you know, the idiots who had to mortgage their double-wide just to be able to travel far enough to tailgate in front of the fucking thing. Fuck you, NASCAR.

Plus, I'm amending my list to include Peter Gammons at #5. Just because I want to. And becuase Chuck Barkley still inexplicably hates the Pistons, always explaining his rationale with the classic "They just don't have enough scorers" argument, which we all heard from him and Fred Carter ad nauseum up until approximately June 26th. Fuck you too, Charles. Learn your lesson, already.

Oh, and I've decided that if Todd does an S.O.C. of the Daytona, I'm gonna do one the next time Manitoba/Saskatchewan rolls around on the curling circuit. God bless the CBC!


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