NFL General

Odds and Ends: What? No Christian Slater in the booth?

I have friends who are A-listers

The lead producer of Monday Night Football has admitted that perhaps having “B-listers” in the booth for Monday Night Football was a mistake this year and points specifically to Christian Slater. If you were lucky enough to miss Christian Slater promoting a movie during the Seahawks-Raiders game, well, it was extremely painful. When asked whether he was a football fan by Joe Theisman, he replied, “I have friends who are football fans.” Ummm… ok. So next year, ESPN will no longer have any B-list celebs in the booth during games, although there will be plenty of A-list celebs promoting Disney movies.

In other news…

[Call of the Green Monster]: To Welcome Matsuzaka, Manny Plans to Learn “Chinese”

[]: Gilbert Arenas responds to Kobe

[Fox News]: Prosecutors drop rape charges against Duke lacrosse players (still face kidnapping and sexual offense chargers)

[]: NHL is considering realigning to 4 divisions

[Newsnet5]: Personal Info On Dozens Of Ballplayers Taken From Dumpster

[Basketbawful]: Whatever happened to Armon Gilliam and his gumby haircut

[Steroid Nation]: Fighter submits a sample of “non-human urine or urine from a dead human being”


Dec 14 in Sports History: The first black heavyweight champion

In 1908: Jack Johnson became the first black world heavyweight champion in boxing by knocking out Tommy Burns (who had to be paid $30,000 because he initially refused to fight a black man) in Sidney, Australia. Accounts from the fight say that Johnson literally knocked the much lighter Burns out while Burns was still on his feet and the fight had to be stopped. Johnson had a career record of 79-8 with 46 knockouts, 12 draws and 14 no decisions (which some believed were attributed to biased judges). Interestingly, he would become a fugitive for several years (while still champion) for transporting a white woman across state lines “for immoral purposes.” He was charged in court by Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, the future first commissioner of baseball. His story is documented on a PBS special called “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson”.

In 1988: The Miami Heat, much like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, set a standard for expansion futility when they lost their first 17 games in the NBA. The got off the schneid by beating the equally pathetic Los Angeles Clippers 89-88. The Heat were built to suck that year, as they featured a starting lineup anchored by Rony Seikaly and Pat Cummings; and no player made more than $650,000. They finished 15-67. A little trivia: which division did the Heat play in that first year?

In 1984: ABC’s “Monday Night Football” became a lot less controversial, but also a lot less interesting as commentator Howard Cosell retired. Whether fans loved him or hated the former New York lawyer, they always tuned in to watch him. Many believe that MNF went downhill after Cosell left because a good replacement was never found (simply because there was only one Cosell). Cosell always had to “tell it like it is“, whether raging about the “jockocracy,” or calling a player an idiot. His most memorable moments during MNF were suddenly announcing the murder of John Lennon during a game and calling Redskins receiver Alvin Garrett a “little monkey.” Cosell died in 1995. A few other interesting facts about Cosell: he never announced a Super Bowl and he once hosted an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

NFL General

MNF or Muay Thai?

Last night, the MNF crew predicted that this video clip of Tyler Brayton kneeing Jerramy Stevens in the groin would be all over the blogs and news reports today. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been that big of a topic — perhaps because by the time the man foul happened, only 4 people were still watching.

Here’s the clip… and some reaction from There’s Your Karma, Ripe As Peaches.

P.S. What the hell was Christian Slater doing in the booth? Stop with the celebrity tie-ins, MNF/ESPN/DISNEY. You bitches.