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FOX Sports Admits they Created Fake Headlines About Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler got ripped to shreds by many media members and players for exiting the NFC Championship Game last season with a knee injury. Cutler’s Bears teammates defended him, as did many local newspapers. Cutler gained even more sympathy when tests revealed he had a serious knee injury. But that doesn’t change that most people dogged him for pulling out of a game with the Super Bowl on the line.

FOX’s television crew decided to take liberty with the Cutler criticism on Sunday. During their telecast of the Bears-Saints game, they flashed three headlines they said appeared in the newspaper following the NFC Championship Game:

    - Cutler Leaves With Injury
    - Cutler Lacks Courage
    - Cutler’s No Leader

Analyst Moose Johnston even said “these are the actual headlines from the local papers in Chicago.”

Turns out they weren’t. The Chicago Tribune staff thought those headlines didn’t sound right, so they looked it up and discovered they were fabricated.

FOX Sports spokesman Dan Bell admitted the headlines were misleading but that they were trying to “capture the overall sentiment nationwide following that game.”

Yes, that was the sentiment from many sources, but why create fake headlines to convey the point? All it would have taken was a few minutes of research to pull up the stories on the congressmen taking shots at Cutler, the fans burning his jersey, and the numerous athlete tweets about the subject. That’s sheer laziness at work, and it’s just wrong to completely mislead the audience. Jay Cutler already takes enough heat — he doesn’t need any more than he deserves.

Image via Pro Football Talk

FOX’s TV Camera Extends Onto Field, Causes Controversy on A-Rod Home Run

Whether it’s been BCS games or baseball playoffs, we’ve often complained about FOX TV overproducing sporting events. Not to say that I or many others don’t have short attention spans, but it seems to me that along with showing you sports, FOX’s goal is to give you A.D.D. if you don’t already have it. This sentiment goes hand-in-hand with my often used mantra that less is more. Maybe FOX has finally learned that lesson given what happened in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night.

alex-rodriguez-home-run-camera

The Phillies were up 3-0 early and cruising until the controversy in the 4th. After a Johnny Damon flyout and a walk to Teixeira, A-Rod sliced a ball down the right field line, just inside the foul pole. In a Jeffrey Maier moment, the ball hit a FOX TV camera that was poking out over the fence (you can see it in the image above). The umpires later ruled the ball was on its way out so they awarded Alex Rodriguez with a two-run home run to make it 3-2 Phillies. The TV camera and the subsequent ruling seemed to have cost the Phillies a run. Even if the ball were heading out, there’s no reason why a camera should be sticking out over the fence onto the field. Sure it’s a million-to-one shot, but it happened, and FOX looks bad because of it. Maybe they realize now that it’s not about how many cameras you have (and at the least, to make sure they’re not interfering with the play), but about not screwing up the action. That home run by A-Rod snapped his slump and sparked the Yankees offense. They can thank FOX and the umpires for it.

UPDATE: The hit was ruled a home run because the ground rules had been agreed upon prior to the game and they said if a ball hit a camera it would be a homer.

FOX TV Overproduces the Telecast, Ruins the Fiesta Bowl and Others

Every once in a while watching sports on TV becomes so frustrating that I have no choice but to write about it. For instance, just watching Sunday night baseball on ESPN will get you thinking about ways to mute Joe Morgan’s microphone. More often than not, it’s FOX’s national telecasts that bother me and cause me to voice my complaints. I’m guessing the same production crew that does the MLB playoffs on FOX also runs the BCS games on FOX because we’re encountering the same problems. In the MLB playoffs on FOX, they show the viewer everything BUT the action. They’ll show a close up of the manager, the pitcher, the fielders, and of course the fans, before they cut back to the pitch. If you’re lucky you’ll get back in time to see what the batter did. Same thing with their telecasts of the BCS games, specifically the Fiesta Bowl.

Every minute that wasn’t between the snap and tackle FOX was filling us with something to watch other than the game. Have a taste of the fans why don’t you? Here, here’s a band shot (the unofficial count is over 300). Let’s show a replay of nothing. Check out Colt McCoy up close. Take a peak at Jim Tressel. Oh wait, there’s a snap coming? Better get back to it. Incompletion, back to the same routine. And as if having one sideline reporter wasn’t enough (and you know how unnecessary I feel they are), they have two so we can get double the useless information!

Apparently FOX doesn’t understand that fans are interested in watching the play develop from the huddle to the whistle. We like to see adjustments and what schemes both sides of the ball are running. We like to see the whole field and see the setup of a play so we don’t miss any action. Really, if I could equate what FOX TV does to playoff (and Saturday) MLB, and what they do with the BCS games, to any actual situation, it would be like watching a baseball team throw a ball around the horn after every single pitch. I don’t have A.D.D. and neither does the majority of the population. Why do they treat the audience like we do? Perhaps these issues have something to do with the poor ratings the games have been getting on FOX.