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Fans Miss End of Kansas-Missouri Game Because of Sun Spots Affecting CBS Feed

The tournament hasn’t even started yet but we’re already having complaints from fans about getting their game switched out for another one on CBS. Only this one appears to be due to a legitimate technical error rather than the judgment of an individual.

During Saturday’s border war on the hardwood between Missouri and Kansas, fans in Kansas City, Columbus, and St. Louis had their game on CBS switched to the Michigan-Michigan State contest as I learned from KC radio host Nick Wright. Other fans across the country lost the Kansas-Missouri feed, but were apparently intentionally switched to the Arizona-Oregon game instead.

KU Sports says “KCTV5 apologized to viewers and said that CBS told them the problem related to sun spots causing problems with the satellite feed from the national network.” They’re saying the problem won’t happen again which is good, because I’ve never heard of such an issue.

Kansas may have been ahead by a dozen points with three minutes left in the game, but if there’s anything I know about the Jayhawks it’s that you don’t screw with their fans when it comes to basketball. You mess that up, you get fury and CBS learned that the hard way.

John Ireland Will Walk for Autism Speaks Instead of Cleveland to LA

Late Wednesday night we wrote about KCAL-9 Lakers reporter and KSPN show host John Ireland who said he would quit his job and walk from Cleveland to LA if the Lakers lost to the Cavs. Naturally, the Cavs went on to beat the Lakers 104-99 — the same team that had beat them by 55 in their previous meeting. Like many other people, we wondered how Ireland would handle the situation Thursday, and he addressed it with a settlement he figured was fair.

Instead of walking from Cleveland to LA which is a 2,344 mile journey, Ireland said he would participate in the Autism Speaks walk in April. He pledged $1,000 of his money to the charity and has a goal of raising $2,344 (you can donate here). Additionally, he said he would sponsor five kids to attend Dave Miller’s MVP basketball camp.

So how did the the challenge come about in the first place? Ireland explained it to LBS in an email.

“We have a former NBA and college coach, Dave Miller, who works on our Lakers pre and post shows on 710 ESPN. At the start of the seven game, thirteen day road trip, he said something like ‘the game I worry about is that last one–Cleveland. The Lakers could lose that game.’

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Lakers Host John Ireland Will let Money Talk Instead of Taking Pledged Walk

UPDATE: Ireland addressed his declaration in the first few minutes of Thursday’s show. As you could imagine, he backed out of his promise to quit his job and walk home from Cleveland. Instead, he is pledging $200 for every point the Lakers lost by ($1,000) for the Autism Speaks Walk in April that he will be doing (his goal is to raise $2,344 – you can donate here). He also said he would sponsor five campers for Dave Miller’s MVP camp next year. Here’s the audio of Ireland addressing his promise and his charity plans:

KCAL 9 Lakers reporter and KSPN radio host John Ireland was so confident the Los Angeles Lakers would beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday he declared on the radio he would “quit my job and walk home if the Lakers lose.” Sure enough, after making strong promises like that the Lakers did the unthinkable and lost to the worst team in the NBA 104-99. Just in case Ireland didn’t know the way back to LA from Cleveland, we mapped it out for him:

Ireland, who is a former co-worker of LB and extremely nice guy, was obviously not prepared for the guarantee to blow up in his face. He actually predicted a 13-point Lakers win, so it’s not as if he envisioned a blowout. Ireland said he would return to LA for an event in Manhattan Beach Thursday, then fly back to Cleveland to walk home. At that point he’ll only be a guest on his former show.

Here’s the audio confirmation from the Mason & Ireland Show on Wednesday:

Move’s on you, John. What will it be?

Michael Schiavello May be the Best Announcer You Don’t Know

Watching Strikeforce’s coverage on Saturday, you had to switch between two different networks to enjoy the entire show. The prelims were available on HDNet while the main card was on Showtime. Though the fights and names on the main card were obviously the big draw, I have to say the broadcasting on the prelims was fantastic. Play-by-play announcer Michael Schiavello had me cracking up at every other punch, while former fighter Bas Rutten was outstanding on his commentary like usual.

Honestly, listening to play-by-play voice Michael Schiavello describe the action was like watching a comedy show. The veteran MMA and K-1 broadcaster works his assignments with genuine enthusiasm that engages the viewer, and he does so with a brand of original humor complemented by a good voice.

Seriously, where else are you going to hear fantastic lines like this?

Schiavello described a punch as “stiffer than a honeymooner’s package” and a fighter’s submission attempts as having “more triangles than a band camp.” When one fighter began to rally in the last 20 seconds of a round, Schiavello declared “He might go kleptomaniac and steal the round here.”

Then, my absolute favorite line was when one fighter was getting punched repeatedly and Schiavello said he was “taking more hits than a Dutch stoner,” which was slightly ahead of “Tagging him up more than a graffiti artist.”

Some people will complain about his commentary because no matter what, people love to criticize broadcasters (believe me, I’ve been there before, I know how it is). But Schiavello was original, quick with his quips, and his similes were fantastic. I enjoyed his broadcasting and hopefully you did and have been too throughout the years. Networks should continue to reward such on-air brilliance with more prime gigs; the Australian man deserves to show his talents to a broader audience.

Phil Simms Supposedly Wanted to Hit Desmond Howard Over Criticism of Son

Former Giants Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms apparently got somewhat confrontational with fellow former NFL player, Desmond Howard this weekend. Both players are current TV analysts — Simms for CBS and Howard for ESPN. Simms saw Desmond at the NFL Xperience at the Super Bowl this week, and brought up an insult he heard Howard make on TV during the college football season. From Howard’s twitter via MK Rob:

“At NFL-Xperience and Phil Simms just threatened 2 hit me b/c I said his son was 1 of the worse QBs in the SEC. I told him “LET’S GO! … I am DEAD serious about the Phil Simms thing. We all thought he was joking, but he kept going and said he wanted 2 take a swing at me!! During the season we talked about the Tenn v LSU game and I said “u will see 3 of the worse QBs in the SEC” That’s what Phil did not like.”

Even though Phil is a former player who’s endured criticism and understands the role of playing an analyst on TV, he’s still a father, and that would make sense if he got defensive. He also must have a memory like LeBron to raise that issue with Des. When reached by phone, Matt said he was unaware of the incident. We’re awaiting word from Phil on the story.

UPDATE: Phil issued a statement through CBS via Richard Deitsch “”Desmond and I were having a private conversation that became heated. But at no time was there ever a chance of any physical confrontation, or that I felt the police officer assigned to me by the event planners for my appearance needed to separate the two of us.”

Simms’ wife, Diana, told LBS “that’s not normally like us,” regarding her husband’s actions. She also says she thinks her son Matt is proud of his father for defending him.

For more on this story and much more, keep up with LBS on twitter

T.Ocho Show on Versus Still Struggling in Ratings Department

The T.Ocho Show talk show featuring Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens on Versus garnered headlines when either one of the players popped off. For instance, there was the time when Owens said Jason Garrett was the problem in Dallas, and he was quickly proven to be wrong when Garrett went 5-3 as an interim coach. Then the topper was towards the end of the season when Owens said the Bengals were underachieving from the top down — a direct implication of the coaching staff.

Neither player will likely be back with Cincinnati next season, and their antics have helped lead to Carson Palmer demanding a trade. You figure with all the controversy surrounding the team that many people would want to tune into their TV show to watch the weekly proverbial train crash. That line of thinking has not manifested.

The T.Ocho Show opened to embarrassingly low TV ratings — a 0.1 for their debut back in October. Sure, the ratings need to be taken in context compared to the audience the rest of the programming on Versus receives, but it still came in much lower than hockey on the network, for instance. There have been 16 episodes of the show, and the latest version registered a 0.1 with 123,000 viewers — a dropoff from Hockey Central before it, which had 184,000 viewers. What really commanded my attention was that their show did a 0.0 rating with 29,000 viewers the next night, but that was a re-run.

What this really tells us, besides that Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens really don’t matter to fans anymore, is that the NFL can thrive without divas. They don’t need touchdown dances or celebrations to draw monster ratings in games, and they don’t need loudmouths like these guys. That’s bad news for 81 and 85 moving forward, as many teams won’t be interested in signing either one as free agents.

UCLA-Cal Basketball Game Relegated to Tape Delay in Los Angeles Market

It’s bad enough that some UCLA football games get tape delayed in the local LA market. It’s somewhat understandable when games against Montana on a busy NFL Sunday are delayed until later in the evening. But there is something that will not be acceptable regardless of the day, time, or issue: UCLA basketball should never be bumped off a live slot.

What is this, 1965 with Dick Enberg calling games on KTLA to be shown at 11pm after the local news? How can a brand name and fan base as wide and powerful as the UCLA Bruins get the disrespect of being pushed off live TV? It’s incomprehensible and quite frankly maddening.

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