Back in the summer of 2000, I became a DirecTV subscriber. And, of course, I got the sports package. That included NBATV [NBA.com TV now], the Golf Network and the plethora of Fox Sports Net regional networks. Being a Laker fan, I caught on to Fox Sports West. The Lakers were defending champs and looking good for a repeat. I bought the NBA League Pass and watched Laker games all season long and FINALLY getting to hear Chick Hearn on more of a consistent basis.
After Laker wins [or losses], you'd get the post game interviews and what not. One of those locker-room reporters was a gal by the name of Lisa Guerrero. Of course I noticed that Lisa was a "bad mamma jamma". She asked her questions....kicked it back to the studio. Job done. But, damn was she fine!
Then she jumped up to the Best Damn Sports Show Period [which it isn't] where she manned the "update desk". When I heard that little chime, I'd make sure to hold my bathroom break for a sec just to see if Lisa was as smashing as she usually is. Oh yeah. She threw out some hi-lights and smiled really big. Great. But then, they let her SIT with the guys in their opening segment before ushering her off [read: letting the men see her lower body as she sit in a chair then walks off set] to do her updates.
In fact, you could say that was the only reason to watch "Best Damn". The show pretty much sucks without her. And the fact that all of them try so hard to dis ESPN by claiming to be for real guys is laughable. Especially since when ESPN or ABC calls, guys like Stephen A. Smith, John Kruk and, yes, Lisa Guerrero, come running.
Then, as ABC renovated Monday Night Football after a string of bad decisions [Dennis Miller, Eric Dickerson], they let Lisa Guerrero....a relatively novice in the game....as sideline reporter for the biggest stage of the NFL weekend. And she failed. She stuttered during questions. She lost her place in the sentence. And she lofted softball questions like "tell me how big of a game this was" and "how does it feel to have a game like this". Now, she doesn't need to get Jim Grey-esque....but a 10-year old child could ask that. And anyone who's watched sports more than a week could see the answer coming. Maybe, with time, she could've become better. I am not saying she was just a good-looking chick with no knowledge whatsoever. But that's pretty much what she was portrayed as.
Lisa was canned this week as MNF sideline gal for Michelle Tafoya....argueably one of the best in her business at that craft. Tafoya always has her info ready on demand, delivers in precisely and in a manner that is easy to digest.
Here is where I'm going with this. I'm tired of the entertainment business of sports reporting. I'm not saying that Walter Cronkite needs to give me my sports news....but I'm tired of people that shouldn't be on TV giving me insight not knowing more than I do. I don't know about you, but I like watching a game and hearing the commentator mull over the options a team has, why they did what they did, etc. etc. Say what you want about Doug Collins the coach....but Doug Collins the analyst is one of the best. I honestly learn something pretty much every time I watch a game he's telecasting. Jack Givens is another. Too bad he is stuck in Orlando [and bad cable games] that no one gets to hear how great he is. No...it is the Bill Waltons and Snapper Jones that get on my TV. And all you Portland fans know this.....the Snapper Jones on NBC is NOT the same Snapper Jones on local Portland telecasts.
Yeah, Tim McCarver can get annoying at times....but that man knows every situation that comes up in baseball. He is on the ball. Everything he says seems to turn out to be correct. I guess that's why that when MLB moves from CBS to NBC to Fox....he moves along with it. Tim Ryan is a damn good one for the NFL of Fox.
Speaking of the NFL on Fox, it sure would be nice if the studio guys actually make some kind of analysis between jokes. All of them make good points during the telecast. But we must sit thru a BS "picks segment" and Jillian shakin' that salt shaker in front of a weather map...making all of those meterologists across America thankful that she and Al Roker are the headliners for their profession.
Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being entertaining. As we all know, Chick Hearn was one of the greatest wordsmiths put on Earth. But he knew what he was saying and he didn't upstage the entire reason we were watching......the actual game. And I enjoy the joking around that desk guys have during pregame and highlight shows. But, I usually watch information shows [which is what they really are] for information. But, hey....that's just me. Apparantly, this is what America wants....as proven by the ratings.
And that brings me to print guys on TV. This is the dumbest idea in history. And, if you give a newspaper guy his own TV show....he's not a newspaper guy anymore. Hell, Tony Kornheiser has PTI on ESPN and his own radio show on ESPN Radio. Oh yeah....he has a column in the Washington Post, Times whatever. Well, HEY....I now have my own column on an AOL Journal. These are my opinions. But since I don't have my own show....no one will care.
I have always genuinely liked "The Sports Reporters", even back to the days where Dick Shapp was hosting and Bill Conlin and Frank DeFord were on the panel. There is nothing wrong with having a TV show with print guys discussions about the world of sports. All of us do that to. But shows like Around The Horn with people just trying to out yell each other as the means to solidify their points is just getting absurd.