I received a couple of Emails concerning the 'YouTube' clip posted yesterday of ESPN Analyst, Desmond Howard's comments concerning his 'most intriguing bowl match-up' and from the emails they didn't understand what was wrong with his comments.
So ESPN has a special broadcast covering the upcoming bowl season, and 5 or so of their 'experts' are given approximately 30 second to give their take. Howard decides that his favorite match-up is the Holiday Bowl. (a match-up between Pac 10 University California and Big 12 University Texas A&M) How ever Howard states that the match-up is between 'Cal and Texas'. Now that 'mistake' is understandable on the surface (much like a play by play announcer calling a player by the wrong name, or in Nascar, calling out the wrong car). Those things can happen.
But then Howard goes into detail of individual TEXAS players and how they would match up against the CAL team. He clearly has not just 'mis-spoke', he has simply not done his homework. The other glaring problem with this incident is that ESPN allowed this to happen TWICE! Once before the game, and the other during the halftime show. Not once did any of the ESPN producers or on air Analysts attempt to correct Howard.
Howard, the former Heisman Trophy winner, apologized for the gaffe Wednesday evening on ESPN's SportsCenter. Howard was already scheduled to appear on the Budweiser Hot Seat segment of the show, a network spokesman said. Howard said he "mis-poke." Regardless of which team from Texas that Cal was playing, he added, he was still picking the Bears to win. (like that justifies anything)
And like i mentioned yesterday, this is the network that is going to 'save' the Nascar coverage next year.
The rumor that just wont go away:
Now first off, I pretty much fully expect Ricky Rudd to be piloting one of the RYR cars next season in some capacity. However, the rumors that just won't go away are simply amazing, and frankly, I blame the Nascar Press for their 'bad reporting'.
When I look at coverage of other sports/entertainment/politics, what I see is a more in depth and complete coverage then what we see in Nascar. For example:
Rudd/Gilliland tested for RYR? been told that David Gilliland and Ricky Rudd tested the COT [Car of Tomorrow] last week at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, SC for Robert Yates Racing. Gilliland is, of course, the driver of RYR's #38 M&M's Ford and Rudd is being heavily rumored to be taking over the #88 Ford [Snickers? renumbered to #28?] in 2007.(12-21-2006)
Just how can two teams test at a track and no Nascar reporter 1) knows about it 2) be there in an attempt for an interview 3) get photographs. 4) at the very least confirm just which teams were actually testing, and who was behind the wheel
Lee Spencer has made an (unconfirmed) email claim that 'Ricky has been seen at RYR getting fitted for fire-suits'. Now I am not doubting this claim, but if I was trying to get the 'scoop', how difficult would it be to 'camp out' and capture of a glimpse of Ricky's comings and goings at the Moorseville shop. It has been a couple of years since I visited RYR's multi team shop, but if I remember correctly, it was in an industial park with a single access to the main road. Not that hard for a reporter to validate some of these 'rumors'.
Lets put all of this into a bit of perspective. The University of Alabama is searching for a head football coach. something that has just about as much impact as a driver for RYR in terms of contributions to their respective sports. There are reporters that are tracking University leased airplanes, and when they are stopped for an amount of time need for an 'interview', those reporters are there trying to find out just who is being interviewed and are there on the spot.
We see this same type of passion in other sports as well, especially when 'free agents' are shopping themselves around to other teams.
Why do they do it? Because it add credibility to their 'rumors', and they truly are aggressive and getting the scoop. Not simply waiting for an announcement. After all, 'good reporting' is getting the news worthy stories before they are stories.