Sunday, January 30, 2011



Written by: Mike in DA
Date posted: 1/30/2011



Once again, announcers keep their mouth shut when they should be making critical comments on a play, as the following two examples from last Sunday’s (1/23) Green Bay-Chicago NFC Championship Game can attest to. But you can watch any NFL game from opening weekend to the Super Bowl and find situations where the announcer hits the mute button when he (she) should be making himself (herself) heard, especially at times when criticism of a player is warranted.

With Green Bay leading by a touchdown, 14-7, in the third quarter, the Pack’s nose tackle, B.J. Raji, a blimp-like 330-plus pounder, intercepted a pass at the Bears' 18-yard line, then ran toward the end zone while holding the ball out in his right hand, putting the ball in harm’s way.

As he crossed the goal line for what eventually turned out to be the game-winning touchdown, Raji was hit by Bears QB, Caleb Hanie, causing the ball to come loose from his grip. Several of his teammates chased the football into the end zone, thinking it was a fumble, while he was doing his cool “look at me” end zone dance.

It was determined that he had passed the goal line before he lost the ball, so he got away from a potential very embarrassing moment. If he fumbled one or two yards earlier and if the play would have affected the final outcome of the game, he would be known for and ridiculed the rest of his life as the jerk who made the goal-line fumble in a close NFC Championship game.

Of course, excluding Bear fans, most of us chuckled at the play seeing the big guy rumble into the end zone, especially if we had the Packers laying a field goal, but on FOX, Troy Aikman as the game analyst, who certainly knows better, pretended that he didn't feel the need to criticize Raji. Instead of saying, "What the hell was Raji thinking?", Troy joined with us in some laughter, as he overlooked what he should have criticized, especially with the importance of the game.

But Aikman happily said that not only did Raji know where to run, but he also knew how to celebrate. Even Aikman's buddy, Joe Buck, sounded just as pleased by Raji's conduct, though, after the second replay he realized, "You gotta be careful with the football."

Then with Green Bay leading, 21-14, with less than a minute left and Chicago facing fourth-and-four from the Green Bay 29-yard line, Packers defensive back, Sam Shields, intercepted a pass. All he had to do was knock down the ball and the game would have been over, but since he caught it, all he next had to do was fall down and the game is over.

Instead, he ran it back! And guess what, he fumbled. Luckily for him, it was ruled that he was down right before he fumbled. But his stupidity was ignored by Aikman and Buck. Another opportunity for those guys to ask, "What the heck was he thinking!?"

And these guys are the well-paid “experts”.


 Both Earlis and Anonymous left comments on Lamont Mann’s post of 1/28, "RADIO ARBITRON RATINGS/SHARE EDUCATION" (

“Wow this is great info. I do know that hands down Dallas is a much more viable sports-talk radio market. I keep waiting for a Houston station to break the mold and do things different. Speaking of high school sports, the Univ. of Texas Sports Network will carry high school sports content while the Houston sports talk gurus would have you believe that there is no commercial on-air value to presenting high school sports information and content. I wonder why ESPN presents high school sports?” From Earlis, END.

“Boring! Who cares about all this ratings bullcrap? I listen to the shows I like so why do I care what the "ratings" are?” From Anonymous, END.

Response to Anonymous: The purpose of the Arbitron ratings is mostly for advertising purposes and not to suggest which one is the best show or station for you to listen to. You are the expert as to what you like or enjoy the most for your filler time and unless you are paid by Arbitron and your listening time is monitored by that organization, it really doesn't matter to anyone but yourself what you listen to.

But just because the ratings don't mean bullcrap to you, it means a lot to your favorite station's management and its personalities, including the shows you like.

Radio stations exist because of the revenue they bring in from advertisers, not from you listening to their show unless you patronize their sponsors, so they need some kind of measuring stick support for that info and Arbitron provides it to the best of its ability, though some may think it has its flaws.

Depending on what type of customer a business wants to attract, it wants to make sure the station it’s considering buying time on can deliver the demographic that they sell to. The radio station’s Account Executive with the help of the Arbitron ratings should be able to produce this information,. If he can’t, then the advertiser should think twice about any sales pitch the Account Executive is giving him.

If the advertiser doubts a radio station Account Executive is being honest with him, it’s easy to find out: call his competitor – and ask to see a copy of that station’s most recent ratings. All stations in a market are represented in the same ratings report. The advertiser will find out soon enough if he’s getting the truth – or not.

The next question you might ask is how is it that several stations in the same market can claim to be #1? That’s because radio stations only concentrate or specialize in serving one demographic such as Men, 25-54 years of age; Women, 18-49; Men, 18-34; Men and Women 25-54, etc.

Hence, if the local Modern Rock station claims it is #1, it might really mean #1 in the demographic comprised of Men, 18-34 or Men and Women, 18-34. Your local Sports Talk station might claim it is #1, but ask in more detail and it will define that status as #1 in the demographics of Men, 25-54.

Technically, a radio station can call itself "#1" on-the-air and have no significant ratings whatsoever in any key demographics! For example, if 1560 says it's #1 and is confronted to prove it, the station can easily defend that statement by simply saying, "That's our opinion. We think we're #1 because we sound fuckin' great!" It's puffery, but it's not illegal and some will argue not even unethical.

If one ever has a question about a radio station’s “#1” status – especially if he is planning to purchase ad time or “spots”, he should ask an Account Executive in the sales department to provide him with the latest Arbitron ratings.

And remember that if Arbitron ratings are very low for your favorite show(s), your favorite radio personality(ies) may get dumped by his employer. Just ask Ken Hoffman and a few others on Houston radio.


In Saturday's (1/29) Houston Chronicle on page C-12, we see that even Associated Press stories have flubs. In a story on Jeff Fisher who was recently let go by the Tennessee Titans, the story read: "The Titans ....wasted a 5-2 start in 2010 by losing eight of the final 10 games." If that's true, the Titans ended the 2010 season with a 7-10 record. Last time I looked the NFL season consisted of only 16 regular season games.


Earlier this month, the Houston Texans said they will not be increasing ticket prices in 2011, which is great news for Texan season ticketholders.

On top of that, if there is a lockout during the 2011 pre-season and regular season, the Texans announced that ticketholders wll be reimbursed for any and all cancelled games. This is a very innovative idea, which surely is a great form of goodwill by the team.  

Wow! I wish I was a ticketholder. When it rains, it pours.


Last week, local sports talkers told us that NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, vowed that he would take a massive pay if there was a lockout. But they only got half the story.

The Commish also vowed last week that if an NFL work stoppage is avoided, he will continue paying himself a salary far beyond that which someone of his talents and achievements deserves.

Goodell's Dog and Pony Show
 Goodell, who makes more than $10 million a year as commissioner,  first stated that he will slash his salary to $1 if there is a work stoppage. “But that’s obviously just a symbolic gesture,” said Goodell. “It’s not like I’ll notice it much because I have made a fortune doing this job. Seriously, I am loaded.”

With his massive compensation package, Goodell makes more than most of the players - a fact he feels is more than deserved.

“I may not fill seats and sell jerseys like our players do", he said. "No one buys tickets or turns on the TV to see me. But I move the needle. The vast majority of fans probably hate me and think I am absolutely terrible at my job. I get people talking. That kind of publicity is invaluable”.

Goodell also said he does a lot of behind-the-scenes work that doesn’t get noticed.


1.With five major snowstorms so far this winter in the New York area, where are all those NFL folks who said that having a Super Bowl in the New York area in mid-February (assuming an 18-game season) is a great idea? Instead of the “Super Bowl Shuffle”, maybe in 2014 we’ll have “The Super Bowl Shovel”.

2. The basketball team at USC (University of Southern California for the acronym-challenged) whose school colors have been cardinal and gold, is the latest to add gang-color black to their uniform inventory, compliments of the guys at Nike.

3. Now that ESPN is a business partner with the University of Texas for the next 20 years with a 24-hour UT sports cable network, maybe "Around The Horn" will be renamed “Around the Longhorn".

4. Last Tuesday (1/25) HBO’s “Real Sports” with Bryant Gumbel gave a nice tribute to the “godfather of fitness”, Jack LaLanne, who died last week at age 96. I used to catch his afternoon show on TV in the early 1950’s, but I never followed his regimen and obviously paid for it.



Yesterday’s Record ATS: 10-4
Cumulative Season Record ATS (excludes “pushes”): 295-194

Today’s Action (for reading purposes only):


The Sixers play hard, just cannot seem to get over the hump, but they have a nice home stretch here and only have to travel to Jersey and New York for the next four games. If Sweet Lou Williams can get hot, the Sixers could shock here. PHILADELPHIA, 92- 91

Balanced scoring propelled the Knicks to victory in OT in late November. The key match-up was the way Amar’e Stoudemire destroyed Ben Wallace outscoring him by 33. The win came even though Raymond Felton had a poor game when in foul trouble the whole night. New York has a nice mix of young and hungry talent, and guys that have been around the league and know the ante has been upped. NEW YORK, 111 - 95


DAYTON (+7.5) over DUQUESNE*
From the Associated Press: “A nine-game winning streak, the school’s longest in three decades. The best conference start in school history. There are plenty of reasons to pay attention to Duquesne basketball...” Right. And one of the reasons could be to take advantage of the hype, which overlooks the match-up. Good-shooting, up-tempo teams that are as small as Duquesne tend to take the worst of it when matched up against a bigger team that can run the floor as well as Dayton can. “Oh, we have to defend the paint, and we can't sap the other team's energy with our pace? No fair!” Nine-game winning streak, yes, but small teams can't afford to get fat and happy. Dayton is as angry a customer as will come calling on the Dukes, following a home loss to Richmond, a foe that defends a lot better than Duquesne does. Playing this in the Consul Energy Center instead of their usual home floor could take a little edge off the outside shots that Duquesne relies on. DAYTON, 72-71

Another likely opportunity for Sparty to take out considerable levels of frustration over the way this season has gone. After the loss to Purdue, Tom Izzo said : “We’re playing better – but not enough to beat a real good team. And Purdue’s a real good team.” No such issue here. MICHIGAN STATE, 77-59



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