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CBS Replacing Billy Packer with Clark Kellogg

Now all we need is ESPN to do the same with Joe Morgan and the Angels with Rex Hudler. Though Clark Kellogg wouldn’t be the replacement of choice. Anyway, the Miami Herald reports that CBS is letting Billy Packer go after 28 years with the network. This decision means that Packer won’t be providing commentary for his 35th straight Final Four, most likely. It doesn’t take me saying it for you to know that Billy Packer is an old and crotchety dude who’s expressed an inability to adjust to the times. Honestly, how’s Packer supposed to properly commentate on these games without using the best resources available to him, like say for instance, a computer. This news also comes about a year after Packer got into some hot water for making a “fag out” comment in an interview on PBS.

Between the “fag out” comment and Packer’s proclamation that the Kansas/North Carolina game was over with 27 minutes to play, suffice it to say that CBS had had enough. The only problem is Packer’s replacement — Clark Kellogg. He’s a nice enough dude who obviously knows the game, but he’s too even-handed in his analysis. Maybe getting him out of the studio and putting him courtside will bring out his best. Whenever they do pre-game analysis and expert picks, he never takes an actual stance giving a real pick, he just explains how both teams can win. Gee, like I didn’t know that Carolina can win if Hansbrough dominates, but that Kansas can balance things out with their guard play. Like I said, hopefully Kellogg’s best will come out in game analysis courtside.

Imus Makes Adam Jones Into a Victim

The one thing I didn’t think was possible has happened. Somehow, in this entire messy situation, Adam Jones — the biggest perpetrator of crimes within the last two years — was made into a victim by Don Imus. That is just maddening. It just goes to show how clueless Imus really is, and how idiotic you can make yourself sound when you just shoot from the hip. I’m still trying to wrap my arms around this one. How could this whole thing result in Adam Jones saying he’s actually praying for someone else? Think about all the lives the man formally known as Pacman has ruined. And now you’re telling me that he feels bad for someone else and that he’s praying for them? Since when did Adam Jones become the moral police? And where does he get off being more credible and ethical than any other person on this planet?

And how about that lepton brain Imus who compounds an already insanely idiotic statement by sticking his foot even further down his mouth. How did he possibly make himself sound even dumber on Tuesday than he did on Monday? Just check out his statement when he said he was being sarcastic, “What people should be outraged about is that they arrest blacks for no reason,” Imus said Tuesday. “I mean, there’s no reason to arrest this kid six times. Maybe he did something once, but everyone does something once.” OK mister trying-to-cover-up-my-tracks-but-digging-a-deeper-hole. Do you have no idea about Adam Jones and all the trouble he caused in his past life as Pacman? Have you no clue about all the incidents at clubs the night before games? Or how about that shooting at the strip club that resulted in a man being paralyzed? Yeah, he sure was arrested for no reason, I have to agree, Imus. Apparently five seconds of research is too much to ask for from this clown. Someone, please, take the mic away from this guy. He knows not what he says.

Mike and the Mad Dog Done?

Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have teamed together for their Mike and the Mad Dog show so long, they’d put most married couples to shame. In fact, the two are coming up on their 19th anniversary together on WFAN, the popular sports station in New York. Considering most partnerships, let alone marriages, don’t last for 19 years, it’s not too surprising to read the report from Newsday that the show could be ending.

Barring a change of heart, the partnership between Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not expected to survive to see its 19th anniversary Sept. 5, industry sources with knowledge of the situation said.

Clearly, though, their relationship is one element in the drama. Several WFAN staffers have observed them feuding off the air in recent months.

Russo did confirm strains in the hosts’ relationship, saying, “I think we’ve been going through that,” but he added, “I think we’ve been fine the last couple of months.”

Even though I do catch them on YES Network from time to time, I can’t say I follow the situation closely enough to really know what may or may not be happening. I do know that it’s hard to sustain partnerships in entertainment and it’s only a matter of time before many of them fall apart. People want newer, more challenging projects, and they want to prove they can be successful independently. Just the nature of things. I’m not saying their show is done for certain, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were. 18 years is a long time in radio, long time.

(via Ballhype)

Chris Berman a CFL Celeb in Canada

And you thought Chris Berman only had incredible pull with the ladies in the U.S. Perhaps you were wrong. Turns out he’s taken his high-flying, bananas fostering, rumblin bumblin, marshall marshall marshall ass up to Canada where they truly appreciate his talents.

Football media personality Chris Berman of ESPN met Milt Stegall and Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ head coach Doug Berry at the CFL club’s practice today. And he crowed about what a CFL fan he is. Berman, the long-time, gravelly-voiced host of ESPN’s expansive NFL coverage, is in Winnipeg as guest speaker at tonight’s YMHA dinner. He showed up at Bomber practice and was presented with a team jersey with his name and Stegall’s No. 85 on it by club president/CEO Lyle Bauer. Then he chatted with Stegall and, later, Berry in the end zone while the practice was still on.

Apparently Boomer then went on to show off his limited CFL knowledge — probably the equivalent of saying “Hey, that Tom Brady guy is pretty good, huh?” You figure after the way he’s been torched here lately, he has no choice but to escape to America’s hat. It’s gotta be a self-esteem booster for him.

Woody Paige Goes Off on Tony Reali

Much like AA described in his post on the matter, I cannot stand Around the Horn. Just like him, I can’t stand the format, I further loathe the guests, and I find almost nothing redeeming about the show. Like I really want or need to hear the opinions of all these hacks who hardly played any sports, don’t have any real or legitimate insight on the matters at hand, and weren’t present (or watching) for 99% of the events they discuss. OK, take all that above and it’s easy to see why I appreciated this video so much.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Paige taking a “break” from the show some time soon. As for the show, I don’t know too much about the ratings, but I can’t imagine they’re very good. I know Rome does well and that many of my friends and colleagues, myself included, like PTI, but I’ve never heard anyone speak positively about ATH. They need some newer, fresh faces on that show, desperately. And yes, that is me whoring myself out there for a guest appearance. Can’t be worse that Marrioti or Paige, right?

Finally a Reason to Switch to Directv

Bryant Gumbel NFL NetworkI could have come up with something really solid, you know, something about Directv offering top-notch sports programming or a wider variety of HD channels. Sure, that would be true and all, but it wouldn’t be nearly enough of a reason to switch to Directv from your typical cable company. Alas, for all of you who have resisted the movement, myself included, you now have an outstanding reason to switch to the dish: Bryant Gumbel is out from NFL Network. From the press release:

Bryant Gumbel has decided to give up his duties as the play-by-play voice for the NFL Network’s eight-game package of NFL games, NFL Network announced today. Gumbel served as the play-by-play announcer for NFL Network’s Thursday and Saturday Night Football games for the past two seasons.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to call NFL Network games the past two years, which was a new experience for me,” said Gumbel. “But we’ve agreed that we’d all be better served going in different directions. There are a lot of talented people at NFL Network. I thank them, I wish them well, and I have no doubt that they will be very successful going forward.”

I just want to ask what took so long. Man, I really thought that you had to put in actual effort to be that bad at play-by-play. I mean Gumball was awful, AWFUL, horrible. He single-handedly ruined games — or made them must-listen TV, depending on your viewpoint. The guy butchered names, got strategy wrong — he was just utterly clueless in the booth. Your typical fan could have done better — and that’s not even a stretch. So like I said, for all you contemplating making the switch, add this news to the “pro” section when you’re weighing your decision.

Roger Lodge and Dave Smith Debuting New LA Sports Talk Show

Flipping through stations along the dial on my way home from work Tuesday night, I stopped on 97.1 FM to hear them talking — oddly enough — about sports. Didn’t take long before I realized why — Roger Lodge and Dave Smith were on there to promote a new show they’re debuting in LA on Monday. From what I could gather, it’s a new show called The Sports Lodge with both Roger and Dave. The show starts at 6am and will be heard on 830am — Arte Moreno’s station. That’s quite interesting considering the Angels and Ducks are both on that station now that Arte’s assumed control of his Angels radio broadcasts.

Perhaps LA is headed for a third sports station? I don’t know, but I think most sports fans would be in favor of increasing their programming options. Congrats to Roger and Dave on their new show. Both are good dudes who have been in the business for quite some and have hosted in LA previously. So keep it in mind: Monday morning, you have a new show to check out.