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Sports Guy Bill Simmons Brings Living Room Commentary to Heat-Warriors Game

ESPN has been known to pull announcer stunts before (see Dick Vitale on NBA games) and they followed the same model on Friday night. The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, was added as a color commentator to the Heat-Warriors telecast along with Dan Shulman and Mark Jackson. Though the haters brought their criticism, I thought Simmons did fine.

At first he brought a really genuine feeling to the telecast joking he was excited the Bulls-Lakers game didn’t go into overtime because he was excited to do his “stand-up” introduction to the game. Simmons got in a few Steve Kerr references, one of which was regarding Carlos Arroyo’s role on the team. He brought his typical humor when talking about Reggie Williams saying he made the list of Top 75 D-League stories and that Dorell Wright was “playing like a spurned girlfriend.”

Simmons seemed to be most comfortable picking on the little guys. In addition to Dorell Wright and Reggie Williams, Dan Gadzuric was one of his targets. He pointed out something most announcers wouldn’t touch, that Gadzuric is playing harder now that he’s going to be a free agent than he was in Milwaukee where he had a nice contract. Also, he mentioned that the story about players lacking confidence in Erik Spoelstra likely came from LeBron’s camp, something else most announcers wouldn’t be bold enough to say.

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Colin Cowherd Sells Life Story to CBS in Sitcom Deal

No need to double check the URL — this is not The Onion. This is in fact a true story. Trust me, I had to quadruple check before I published this post and actually did more fact-checking than I have for any other story I’ve ever written. You read correctly: ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd has apparently sold his life story to CBS which will turn it into a sitcom.

The Hollywood Reporter via The Sports Hernia provided the following details: “The Cowherd script sold as a multi-camera comedy to CBS, with writers Bill Martin and Mike Schiff attached (Hank, Grounded For Life), as well as executive producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men).”

Keep something in mind: just because the story was sold to CBS doesn’t mean this will ever appear on TV. CBS has purchased the rights to make a show based on Cowherd but we’re pretty far away from seeing it on TV. Still, what I don’t get is why anyone pays attention to this clown.

Cowherd says things just for the purpose of irritating and agitating people. When you hear b.s. coming out of someone’s mouth, why wouldn’t you just change the radio dial? That’s exactly what I do. Then again, I also zoom by at 70mph when I see a crash on the side of the freeway whereas most people slow down to check out the scene. Most people can’t help but be hooked by this garbage and it truly is pathetic. Actually, this show is billed as a comedy; it’s further confirmation that Cowherd’s goal is to be a joke.

Joe Morgan Shows Us How Not to Take the High Road

Look, it’s pretty difficult for anyone to go through getting fired from their job much less having to talk about it. I get that. But Joe Morgan’s response to being removed from ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball coverage is, well, exactly why we all wanted him gone.

SbB Live shared with us Morgan’s response to losing his job (via the New York Times): “I was not surprised by ESPN’s decision. They have been taking ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ in a different direction the last two years and I was not comfortable with that direction.”

Just like Joe to make this about him. See, it was his decision, not ESPN’s for him not to return. Joe was not comfortable with ESPN’s direction. What direction was that, towards the truth? Towards analysis that makes sense and doesn’t include fibs? Analysis for the enlightened baseball fan? This guy is unreal and his smug attitude makes me even more satisfied we won’t have to put up with him any longer.

Dave Niehaus Dies at 75 and so Does Best Grand Slam Call of All Time

The Seattle Mariners confirmed that longtime broadcaster Dave Niehaus died on Wednesday, as I first found out via Jimmy Traina. Niehaus, the 2008 Ford C. Frick Award winner, was the voice of the Mariners since the franchise’s inception in 1977. Niehaus spent time as a broadcaster in Los Angeles prior to moving to Seattle, calling California Angels games and UCLA football and basketball.

In case you’re from a different part of the country and unfamiliar with Niehaus, he had the best grand slam call of all time. I remember working as an audio editor cutting highlights when my man Eddie Garcia first introduced me to Niehaus’ work. After hearing his call, I was hooked. From that point on I got excited whenever the Mariners loaded the bases, just hoping to hear Niehaus’ brilliant call “Get out the rye bread and mustard grandma, it’s grand salami time!

The best example of a Niehaus call I could find online comes from this bottle cap opener:

And of course Mariners fans will never forget this special moment for the franchise:

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Jon Miller and Joe Morgan to be Replaced by Dan Schulman, Orel Hershiser on ESPN

Jon Miller is one of my favorite broadcasters around. Joe Morgan is my least. It’s unfortunate that the latter all but certainly cost the former his job. Jimmy Traina shared with us the New York Times report that ESPN is breaking up its Sunday Night Baseball team after 20 years. They say Orel Hershiser, who joined Miller and Morgan as part of a three-man team this past season, will serve as the analyst to Dan Schulman.

The move from ESPN was long overdue. It got to the point with Morgan where I couldn’t listen to the man speak without thinking there was something wrong or erroneous about what he was saying. That happens when you tell lie, after lie, after lie on national television and the listening audience calls you out each time. Joe Morgan has a big name but zero credibility. Not that having zero credibility has not stopped networks from hiring people before, but it should be a huge factor in putting someone in front of millions.

The good news is we don’t have to endure Morgan regaling us with falsehoods any longer. Also, Jon Miller may continue doing Sunday night play-by-play for ESPN Radio, so he might not be entirely missed. Lastly, Schulman is an excellent play-by-play man and Hershiser provides great commentary, so I’m looking forward to hearing them on TV in the future. Good move by ESPN, it was about time and they did a great job picking the replacement team.

Jenn Sterger’s The Daily Line Show Reportedly Getting Axed by Versus

Some interesting news came down the twitter pipes Friday morning that has me surprised. Sports Business Journal says cable network Versus will dump The Daily Line for anemic ratings. The Daily Line of course is the show featuring Jenn Sterger as one of its four talk show hosts. I didn’t know that for certain because I’ve only seen the show once (and it was by accident), but that’s what it says on the Web site.

It’s hard to say Sterger is to blame for the poor ratings; if anything, Sterger’s new found fame should have helped raise the show’s profile. The problem is most people aren’t going to Versus for a sports talk show. We go to Versus to watch games and events like the NHL, WEC, and college football.

If you’re going to rag on Sterger for her show being canceled, it must also be mentioned that the T. Ocho Show featuring Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens is hardly pulling numbers either. Those are two extremely high-profile athletes, and if they’re not getting ratings that’s more on Versus than the actual shows.

Ozzie Guillen Says FOX Told Him to Drop an F-Bomb to Boost Ratings

Ozzie Guillen is an LBS Hall of Famer for his legendary contributions to the site. To get caught up if you don’t know what we mean, go here, here, here, and here and you’ll be laughing non-stop. Anyway, there was great news announced a few days ago that Ozzie would be joining the FOX pregame and post-game crew to help provide analysis. The natural reaction was jeers suggesting FOX better watch itself because Guillen might let loose with one of his legendary profanity-laced rants.

Well guess what? Apparently that’s exactly what they want him for!

Call it the Charles Barkley phenomenon, Ozzie explained in an interview with FOX Chicago News that the FOX CEO told him to drop one because they would get a lot of ratings. Ozzie says he won’t do it because he does not want to get fired:

All I know is F-Bomb or not, I’ll be watching. Anywhere you put Ozzie you get my eyeballs.