"Not only was he the first voice Mariners fans heard, he was the best voice they heard," said Kevin Cremin, the executive producer and engineer for Mariners radio broadcasts who had been Niehaus's colleague since 1983. "You felt the love and the joy of the game with Dave. He had an avuncular style. Dave came into your home and was a part of your family."
Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims, who has called games for the team since 2007, might have put it best: "He's been the singular constant with the ballclub since the beginning. He basically raised 2-1/2 generations of Mariners fans."
One of the smart twists of the production was choosing eclectic presenters for the choices, such as Burt Reynolds for Jim Brown (No. 2) and Ray Lewis for Peyton Manning (No. 9). NFL Films president Steve Sabol said that approximately 100 people put in more than 10,000 production hours for the project, including researching over 100 million feet of film. Nicely done.
The book is scheduled for publication early in 2012 and Raab plans multiple trips to Miami for research. (He
"There is a lot of talk -- and there has been going back to my days at ESPN -- in the value of a three-man booth," Quenzel said. "I think it depends on who you put in the booth. Joe, everyone knows very, very well. What he brings obviously is an offensive expertise, and he is very, very opinionated. He's not afraid to put it out there and call it as he sees it. I think Matt is the same way, but he has a defensive orientation. They both are very smart and opinionated, which means there are times when they will agree, and there are going to be times that they disagree. I'm extraordinarily encouraged by how well they meshed [in a rehearsal game] when they agreed on things and disagreed."
Before the season started, I offered
Perhaps in time the trio will forge terrific chemistry, and I've long been an admirer of Papa's work as a game-caller and credible voice. But the NFL Network should pay attention to the voices of the fans who were loud last Thursday night, and in Theismann's case, merely restating their longstanding opinion. Worth noting is that the game drew five million viewers -- the most-watched opener in NFLN history -- and that is usually how network execs determine success.
The e-mail began, "We represent Ines Sainz, Mexico's sexiest sports journalist, who will be covering Top Rank Boxing's WBC Super Welterweight title fight this Saturday.... Although known for her looks and curvaceous body, Sainz is a legitimate journalist and takes pride in her thorough research on every sport she covers (she even hopped in the ring with Pacquiao to have a firsthand experience)." It concluded with a photo gallery of Sainz, complete with shots of her wearing a bikini on the cover of Mexico's
There is no argument that Sainz has used her sex appeal to propel her career, and it's one thing if the reporter is directing such nonsense. But Sainz said she had no idea she was being pitched this way. If she is being honest here, and we tend to believe her, she's been played.
Said Sainz: "No, actually no. I don't even know why they would say that. I must speak with them. I didn't know that. The people know me as the girl inside the Jets' locker room, but I want everyone to start to look for my work. I think I'm very different than the sexiest reporter in Mexico. That's not a good adjective for me."
The one word that consistently came up to describe the rookie was "unselfish." Saunders, Turiaf, the scout and Wall's teammates also cited Wall's high basketball IQ.
That's a long preamble to what I'd call Cowherd's character assassination of Wall last week. His misguided words are chronicled
I take no issue with Cowherd floating his opinion, even when I disagree with him. In the past, I've been crushed by bloggers because I'm one of the few mainstreamers who has praised Cowherd. Five years ago,
But there is opinion, and then there is getting your facts wrong, a thesis highlighted by Ted Koppel on Sunday in an
Saying Wall won't be Magic Johnson or Rajon Rondo is an opinion. But Cowherd's attack on Wall's supposed unselfishness ("J-Wow's 37-second 'Yo dawg look at me I'm the man' [dance], and his wild, out-of-control style, everybody else is buying his stock, and it told me all I need to know") was not factual. Nor was calling Wall "an idiot" and saying "he was not a sharp guy." Those are reckless and unfair assertions. After talking to people who actually know Wall, as well as interviewing him myself, I believe that he's a bright kid who plays the game like a professional. But I'm biased, having actually reported on him.
I don't expect ESPN to call Cowherd out in any meaningful fashion. (Perhaps the current ombudsman will weigh in after his Thanksgiving turkey.) The radio host is liked by ESPN brass and he's delivered for his employer. He's also entertaining. But unfair is unfair, so even though this is ultimately providing Cowherd with publicity, bravo to Dan Steinberg of
Do not expect Cowherd to apologize. As someone who once co-hosted a daily sports-talk show on a 50,000-watt station, I know that's not how this game is played. He's already retrenched, and last week during another take on Wall, he asserted that there's a correlation between leadership at point guard and coming from a
No doubt Cowherd may be right that Wall will never win an NBA title. (It certainly won't happen anytime soon with the Wizards.) He pointed out that he's been right about other NBA players, including Greg Oden, though when you are a talk show host on the air five days a week (or a long-winded media columnist, for that matter), you probably
Cowherd is charged with getting people to listen to him, and he's always been honest that his job is to be entertaining and get ratings. But I expect more from someone who has reached the highest level of his profession and has the imprimatur of a powerful brand such as ESPN Radio. Perhaps that makes me an idiot, too. Last night, the