SBD/January 14, 2011/Media

People & Personalities: Critics Find Fault With ESPN's BCS Coverage

Critics contend mistakes by Musnurger (l) stood out during BCS title game broadcast

In Miami, Barry Jackson writes ESPN's Brent Musburger "had some odd moments" while announcing Monday's Auburn-Oregon Tostitos BCS National Championship Game. Those moments included "calling the Arizona Cardinals the 'Phoenix Cardinals,' misidentifying who would appear on ESPN's halftime show and prematurely calling a touchdown for Oregon when the receiver was tackled short of the end zone." But Tostitos should "send him a thank-you note" for saying that Auburn's winning field goal was "for all the Tostitos" (MIAMI HERALD, 1/14). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes ESPN's announcing of Monday's game was "nonsense posed as expertise with overly stylized goop thrown in to ensure nausea." Musburger has "lost the fastball he never had," while his partner, Kirk Herbstreit, "so often referenced 'space' -- as in 'run to space,' 'out in space,' 'he was there with space' -- that he should’ve called the game with Alice Kramden ... on the moon" (N.Y. POST, 1/14).

CHOMPING AT THE BIT: Former Univ. of Florida football coach Urban Meyer was part of ESPN's broadcast team for the BCS title game, and he said that he "could be closer to continuing to work for the network." Meyer said, "I’m not sure in what capacity. We haven’t made those decisions yet. And obviously, my family’s going to be involved in the decision" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/14).

SAVE A SPOT FOR ME? The Cubs and Kerry Wood have denied a report that the pitcher "has been promised a broadcast job with the team after his playing career ends." Wood said, "I have no interest in broadcasting and that report is untrue." Chicago's WSCR-AM had reported that Wood "had an unwritten agreement that he would get a broadcasting role with the team after he retired." A separate report indicated that Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts told Wood that he "could be a part of the organization for as long as he likes after retiring, but no specific role was discussed" (CHICAGOBREAKINGSPORTS.com, 1/12).

BAND OF BROTHERS: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth profiles Andy and Brian Kamenetzky, who have been "taking a blog they've been crafting on the Lakers for the past five-plus seasons and squishing into as many multi-tasking, double-helix platforms as today's technology will allow." In addition to their blog, now part of ESPN L.A., the brothers have a weekend sports-talk show and contribute to Lakers pregame on KSPN-AM. Hoffarth writes the Kamenetzkys' approach -- "attention to detail while covering the team as credentialed journalists, while adding their own snarky, smart commentary propped up by whatever pop culture or deadpan line that comes out of their comedy-writing heads -- deftly cuts through the clutter and rises above the noise" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 1/14).

CHANGING THE LINEUP: In Cincinnati, John Kiesewetter reports after "one year on Reds' radio broadcasts, Jim Kelch will move part-time into the television booth." Kelch will "replace Paul Keels as the secondary Fox Sports Ohio play-by-play announcer when not on radio" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 1/14).

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