New Year, Same Old Yapping

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

2014 WINTER CLASSIC

New Years Day brings with it new hope and a full slate of sports. From Bowl games to Premier League matches and of course the NHL’s showcase event the Winter Classic. Unfortunately a new year didn’t mean a NBC Sports. They were up to their same old talking tactics of telling viewers that a game was at one time but in all reality it was at another.

VIEWING GUIDE

The Winter Classic was scheduled to begin at 10am PST. They dropped the puck at 10:30am. What was in that 30 minutes? The typical NBC yapping. Multiple people talking about everything from the conditions to the crowd to the actual game.

Meanwhile 106,000 waited in traffic, long lines and sub freezing temperatures. All the while NBC, and we assume Canadian announcers too, talked away stating the obvious.

GAME TIME

This is typical of NBC Sports (their MLS coverage is well documented on this site) and it’s becoming the norm with other broadcasters as well. Later in the day ESPN and the Rose Bowl had a designated kickoff time of 2pm PST when in reality they kicked the ball off closer to 2:15-2:20.

It can’t all be blamed on the broadcasters though. The leagues and the viewing guides deserve some blame. Lord knows what broadcasters paid for the rights and have to create as much commercial time as possible to try and make a profit on these events. This is a business after all. On the other hand, the NHL and NBC are leaving people in the freezing cold, waiting.

The question becomes at what point do people turn away? Is this alienating the fans, not only in the stadium but also at home? It’s hard to say but one has to imagine that the fans have a breaking point. You’re starting to see it with attendance at games. In fact, three NFL teams are facing TV blackouts this playoff weekend including the Green Bay Packers.

There is a threshold to be reached. Where that is no one knows. However it is only fair for broadcasters to say exactly what time actual play will begin. In the mean time get use to more talking and less playing at the beginning of broadcasts.

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Holiday Viewing Guide

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Holiday season isn’t done just yet which means that there are still sports to view on a random weekday.

Tuesday Dec. 31st

(In Progress) AdvoCare v100 Bowl: Boston College vs Arizona – 9:30am ESPN: The country’s best RB Andre Williams vs a tough and under appreciated Arizona team.

Chik-Fil-A Bowl: Texas A&M vs Duke – 5pm ESPN: It’s probably your last chance to see Johnny Manziel as a collegiate. There is also the possibility of a shootout on New Year’s Eve.

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks – 5pm REGIONAL COVERAGE: The Sharks ended the Ducks 10 game winning streak on Sunday night. Ducks are probably out for revenge.

Portland Trailblazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 5pm NBA TV: Two of the top teams in the Western Conference get down to business. Portland is looking to end a two game losing streak, a first for them this season, and OKC continues to try and get by without starting guard Russell Westbrook.

-Coolest event today is not the games themselves but the adventures of Fox Sports announcers Gus Johnson and Bill Rafferty. Check it out on AwfulAnnouncing.com

Wednesday Jan. 1st

Tottenham @ Manchester United – 9:30am NBCSN: It’s a full slate of games for the Premier League. This is the best match up of the day.

Capital One Bowl: South Carolina vs Wisconsin – 10am ABC: Two teams that could be in the BCS if it wasn’t for a tough loss here and there. Should be the game of the morning.

Winter Classic: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Detroit Red Wings – 10am NBC (may change due to weather): It’s become and annual tradition on New Years day and made even cooler by HBO’s 24/7 show. This year a Canadian team finally gets to show it’s stuff on New Years Day. This time it’s outside in the Big House at the University of Michigan.

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs Stanford – 2pm ESPN: This is going to be a good ole fashion, hard hitting football game. Should be tough, close and fun to watch.

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs Central Florida – 5:30pm ESPN: Baylor scores a ton of points and Central Florida has been this seasons “cardiac kids”. Also, UCF QB Blake Bortels is a possible first round draft pick and has a smoking hot girlfriend.