(From Mike Patrick daydreaming about Britney Spears to Suzyn Waldman hyperventilating over Roger Clemens to Stephon Marbury seemingly forgetting he was on live television, it's been memorable year in the sports media. Below, we look at 10 of the more interesting moments).
1. It was arguably the most bizarre moment in the most bizarre college football season ever: ESPN announcer Mike Patrick interrupted coverage of the overtime action between Georgia and Alabama on Sept. 22 to ask partner Todd Blackledge an important question: "What is Britney doing with her life?" Blackledge's incredulous response ("Britney who?....Why do we care at this point?") was priceless. The clip has since been viewed on YouTube more than 430,000 times. Later explaining his Spears daydreaming, Patrick told USA Today: "I have a weird sense of humor and thought this was funny." Only to Kevin Federline, Mike. Leave Britney alone!.
2. As a talk-show host, Stephon Marbury made Magic Johnson look like Tim Russert. The first episode (featuring guest Kobe Bryant) of his Stars on Stars interview show on Fox Sports Net debuted in March and drew 75,000 viewers, a 0.1 rating, and more softballs than a Sunday afternoon beer league. But Marbury was just getting started. He added a new level of absurdist theater as a guest with New York's WNBC-TV: Marbury took a cell phone call during a live, rambling interview ("I'm sorry. That's my better half. That's my better 'ho. My better half, my wife."), attempted to teach anchor Bruce Beck how to dance while the broadcaster was reading highlights, and generally appeared about a three-point jumper away from the funny farm.
3. They'll be playing Yankee broadcaster Suzyn Waldman's hyperventilating call on WCBS-AM of Roger Clemens' return to baseball ("Oh, my goodness gracious. Of all the dramatic things, of all the dramatic things I've ever seen, Roger Clemens standing right in George Steinbrenner's box announcing he is back!") long everyone reading this has left the earth.
4. Sure, it was ear-splitting and homerism to the highest degree, but the audio of Appalachian ISP Sports Network broadcasters David Jackson and Steve Brown going delirious after Corey Lynch blocked Michigan's field-goal attempt never gets old. Jackson has called Appalachian State games for the past eight seasons (he's an associate athletics director at the school) and color man Brown is a former quarterback for the Mountaineers. "I'm the Appalachian State broadcaster and that gives me full right to be a homer," Jackson told SI.com in August. "
5. ESPN's Who's Now promotion drew Andre The Giant-sized criticism from mainstream types such as Peter King ("Silly, silly stuff") as well as the watchdogs in the blogosphere ("Soul-crushingly lame," cried Deadspin). Once again, it's worth noting that there are plenty of talented people behind even the lamest ideas and the producers at ESPN are some of the best in the business. But SportsCenter should not be ceded to the likes of the promotionally-drunk Jessica Biel and Kevin James. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict Tiger Woods won't have to defend this title next year.
6. ESPN soccer analyst Eric Wynalda offered to club Jim Rome's rump (among other things) in an interview with soccer blog, Fullham USA.com. (Wynalda later apologized for those comments.) Later in the year, during an ESPN2 MLS broadcast, Wynalda said "looks like California" when cameras panned to fans at Toyota Park lighting flares in the stand. In an interview with the blog "Soccer by Ives," Wynalda told soccer journalist Ives Galarcep that he was he not joking about the wildfires and wanted to further clarify his comments when his mic was cut off by an overzealous producer. An ESPN spokesman later told SI.com that "he had a producer in his ear saying don't go there. The mic was not cut off."
7. In the reporting rush prior to the release of the Mitchell Report, WNBC-TV of New York offered a list of 75 players, including some major figures in the game, expected to be named by the former Senator. Big problem: Forty-one of the players named by the station were not on the list. The station later issued a statement apologizing for the error.
8. Click here for to see what happens when people stay on the air well past their prime. (Warning: Link contains strong language.)
9. Those not formally banned from ESPN's Monday Night Football include Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi. But Jimmy Kimmel found himself persona non grata from the the MNF booth after tweaking Tony Kornheiser about having Joe Theismann whacked (among other comments) during the Oct. 15 broadcast between the Giants and Redskins. That prompted MNF producer Jay Rothman to tell the New York Times that Kimmel would never be invited back on the show. Kimmel and Rothman have since made up following a series of friendly e-mails. He is now presumably allowed back on the show, along with any other person on Parade magazine's annual list of the World's Worst Dictators.
10. NBC left during overtime of Game 5 of the Sabres-Senators series to switch to the pregame coverage of the Preakness, leaving those without cable network Versus on thin ice. The message? Puck you, hockey fans.