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OK, Who Didn’t Vote Brady for MVP?

The news of the day isn’t so much that Tom Brady was voted the NFL MVP, but rather, that a writer voted for someone other than Brady as MVP. Tom Brady received 49 of 50 votes as the NFL’s MVP according to the AP vote. Apparently the one person who didn’t vote for Brady chose Brett Favre as his MVP. Sure, Favre had a great, unexpected comeback season, but how could you possibly vote for anyone other than Tom Brady? That’s like some dickwod not voting Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken to the Hall of Fame because they don’t believe anyone should make it unanimously on the first ballot. Makes no sense.

Let me ask this: what more do you want a player to do before you award him the MVP? Tom Brady had the best season by a quarterback EVER in the history of the game. How is it possible that that isn’t good enough for someone? Brady broke Peyton Manning’s single season touchdown record by throwing for 50. His touchdown to interception differential was greater than any other quarterback in history. He led his team to a 16-0 regular season — the first time that had ever been done. He finally gets some receiving weapons around him and utilizes them to his advantage, only to get snubbed by one writer. Brady proved that if Daunte Culpepper could throw for nearly 40 TDs with Randy Moss, he would throw for 50. In his first year ever in the league with true receiving weapons, Brady took complete advantage of his tools to put up a record breaking season. What more do you want from him? How can you not vote Tom Brady as MVP?

UPDATE:
Via the comments, looks like we have our man.

Sydney Australia Gets NFL Network

Bryant Gumbel NFL NetworkIt took me traveling halfway across the world to finally catch an NFL Network televised game. I live in Los Angeles which is where the NFL Network is based, but my local cable system does not offer the channel. In Australia however, 17 hours ahead in time, and only about what, 10,000 miles away in distance, I was able to watch NFL Network games. Go figure.

First I saw my Bengals get embarrassed by the Niners on the Saturday night game two weeks ago. Less than a week later, I got to see the Steelers bring the pain to the Rams on Thursday night. Both telecasts were commercial free — it was amazing. The only thing that would have made the games better were if Gumbel weren’t doing the play-by-play; it’s really embarrassing how bad he is. I heard Gumbel screw up names, plays, and strategy analysis. I didn’t even have a spotting board or producer with me and I still knew the names of guys making plays on the field better than him.

So with the final game of the regular season for New England set for kickoff Saturday night against the Giants on NFL Network, I may have left Australia about a week too early. It sucks that most of the country won’t be able to get this landmark game. Further, I’m left scratching my head wondering why we can’t get our asses together to have it air 10 miles away, but they can figure it out 10,000 miles away. Incredible.

UPDATE: Per Signal in the comments, the game will now be simulcast on NBC and CBS

Sick of the Overhyped Managerial Jobs

When told over the weekend that the Patriots/Colts game received a ridiculous amount of media hype during the week, I was skeptical. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason why, but I didn’t feel like I got the full, Super-Bowl caliber dose of Pats/Colts all week. Then I figured it out: there was so much attention given to the managerial hirings in baseball that it clouded the attention given to the football game. I’m glad that we’re probably done talking about those openings being filled because they didn’t deserve anywhere near the hype they received. Of course, I’m talking about the hiring of Joe Girardi and Joe Torre.

I can’t believe people are making a big deal over the Dodgers hiring Joe Torre. That’s exactly what LA wants — headlines and buzz. The news appeared on the front page of the local paper. No, not a big-time player getting signed, just a new manager being hired. Oh yeah, while another one, to whom ownership pledged allegiance the day the season ended, was disgustingly kicked out the door. There are two dynamics of the hire I didn’t like: the fact that Little was committed to and then essentially fired, and then all the headlines Torre got. As my friend Ben Maller joked, are people going to pay big bucks to watch Torre make a double-switch? Exactly.

Unless Torre convinces the Dodgers to up their payroll to $200 million, his presence won’t make a big difference. Oh yeah, and as for all those A-Rod to follow Torre to LA rumors? Bullcrap. Has everyone forgotten that this is the same manager who batted what will wind up being the all-time home run leader in baseball history 8th in a playoff game? Now why would A-Rod want to follow that? If Alex is going to an LA team, it’s certainly not the Dodgers. And last I checked, Bob Abreu and Derek Jeter weren’t following Torre either, so what’s the big deal. There isn’t one. It’s all just a big farce that they want you to believe is important.

HBO President Rips Sports Illustrated for Lack of Boxing Coverage

Last we checked up on boxing, other than to present you the news of Old Field’s 9th loss, I was sharing with you Unsilent Majority’s great piece on the sports media burying boxing. UM’s premise was simple: Boxing is alive and well, you just wouldn’t know it because places like ESPN have it low on their agenda. Well, Unsilent isn’t the only person who feels that way. While I was handling business the other day, I read an interesting letter to the editor in Sports Illustrated that caught my attention. Here’s what it said:

I am getting a little tired of your using the “save boxing” story line every time you guys decide to cover the sport, as you did in your story on Kelly Pavlik. If boxing is dying, why did our 24/7 De La Hoya-Mayweather reality series average 4.7 million viewers a week over a four-week period? And how did the fight itself do 2.4 million buys? If boxing is dying, why is the anticipation for Calzaghe vs. Kessler, Cotto vs. Mosley, and Mayweather vs. Hatton so great? I think magazines and newspapers that characterize boxing as dying are trying to rationalize their stubbornness in not covering the sport. Boxing fans are out there in millions. You and others are just not serving their needs. We are.

Ross Greenburg, President, HBO Sports

That letter was so well put, I could not have said it better myself. Greenburg completely hit the nail on the head. And I have to give SI credit for not being too embarrassed to publish such a harsh letter; it’s not easy to not only take that type of criticism, but put it on display for millions of readers.

Hardly a Eulogy for Skip Prosser

I’m going to go ahead and give the web editor who posted this the benefit of the doubt for the moment. After all, I’ve been rushed before and made mistakes that I later corrected. Anyone read this site? You could probably find a handful of mistakes on every page. So I’m really hoping that this was produced out of haste, not lack of sports knowledge.

A sad tribute to Skip Prosser, as spotted by Between the Lines.

Of course, this was not the first time this week we saw an excellent headline in the media. Remember the ladies jacking off?

Joe Morgan Corrects Himself on Sunday Night Baseball (Audio)

I noted recently that Joe Morgan was caught making a mistake (also known as a lie) while telling a story on Sunday Night Baseball. He said that he helped the Phillies continue their notable 10 game losing streak with an RBI single in his major league debut back in 1964. Problem was, Morgan made his debut in 1963, and he never even had an RBI in 1964. So Joe was wrong on both accounts, trying to place himself into a situation that he clearly was not a part of.

Well, Phil Musnick in the NY Post noted that Morgan was expected to make a correction on his next broadcast of Sunday Night Baseball. That night came, and Joe acknowledged his mistake. Kind of. Jon Miller had to lead Joe through the entire event, with Morgan just giving one-word answers the entire time. You could really tell how much Morgan hated doing it. Listen to the audio right here (mp3).

Joe Morgan on LBS:
Joe Morgan Audio Apology
Joe Morgan is Officially Full of Crap

Joe Morgan Is Officially Full of Crap

Joe MorganIf there’s anything that could possibly make Jon Miller sound bad, it’s Joe Morgan. The guy is just horrible. He rambles on about every single little detail in a telecast and never lets go. And he makes a manager picking his nose sound like it’s a complicated baseball matter — some sort of sign being given out. Anyways, Awful Announcing points out the latest on Joe Morgan, a column from Phil Mushnick exposing the fraud that is Joe Morgan:

Cardinals-Phillies was part of ESPN’s pathetic “Sunday Night Baseball” coverage. The Phillies were about to become the first Major League Baseball team to 10,000 losses. And Joe Morgan, ESPN’s No. 1 baseball analyst, a fellow whose wisdom is often laced with convoluted, confounding and contradictory nonsense, was moved to tell a national audience about the significant role he played in Phillies history.

The year, Morgan told us, was 1964, that calamitous season when the Phillies blew a 61/2-game lead with 12 games left by losing 10 straight. Morgan said he made his major-league debut late in ’64, against the Phillies. And it was in that game that his RBI single beat the Phillies, extending their infamous losing streak to eight or nine.

Morgan added that Phillies manager Gene Mauch was so upset he threw over the buffet table in the clubhouse, hollering that his club had just been beaten by “a Little Leaguer!”

Great story. But unless Morgan was confusing himself with Reds rookie infielder Chico Ruiz, it never happened. As several readers were moved to write, the Phillies played the Reds, Braves and Cardinals during that losing streak; Houston wasn’t in the mix.

Furthermore, Morgan, though called up in 1964, did not have an RBI that season for Houston.

And he did not make his big-league debut in ’64, either. That came Sept. 21, 1963, when he went 0-for-1, pinch-hitting against the Phillies.

Al Martin and George O’Leary think that’s far-fetched. Now, if only ESPN could clean up Sunday Night Baseball and get a real analyst in the booth — you know, like Harold Reynolds — then all would be well in this world. Until then, we must suffer through the obvious crap this guy spews on a weekly basis. The horror.