Behind the Mic: Four Is Not Enough

If any college football fan doubts the wisdom of a four-team College Football Playoff system, this past weekend should eliminate those doubts.  The Selection Committee has no choice under the current system.  They can choose four and ONLY four.  The idea in the beginning was that conference champions would fill the four slots.  The only problem there is that there are five power conferences, but I’m sure the founders felt they could surely eliminate one of the champions.  But this year, the committee eliminated two – the Big 12 champions and the Big 10 champion.  The ACC will send Clemson; the Pac 12 will send Washington; and the SEC will send Alabama.  It is hard to argue with any of those choices.

Now we come to Ohio State.  Should they go or should the committee have chosen Penn State – the Big 10 champion?  I have no argument with Ohio State’s pedigree.  They lost only one game; they beat Michigan; they were ranked in the top three all year; and they beat Michigan.  That’s good enough for me.  EXCEPT….

Penn State won the Big 10 championship, while Ohio State did not play at all last week.  Penn State gave Ohio State their only loss of the year 24-21.  Penn State’s losses were to Pitt, which, by the way, beat Clemson and they lost to Michigan.  Both of those losses were on the road.  And if “playing well at the end of the year” means anything, Penn State has not lost since September.  They have won nine games in a row.  Ohio State lost to Penn State in October and Michigan lost two of their last three.

Winning a conference title is supposed to give the winning team a 13th data point.  Penn State earned that point; Ohio State did not.  Conference championships should matter.  For two teams, it did not.

As I said earlier, Ohio State, with only one loss should be in the mix for a national championship.  My fault with the system is four teams.  If you make it eight you add only one more week to the schedule and that should be palatable.  I know if you add eight, then nine and ten will feel shunned.  But eight gives you the five conference champions,   (the Big 12 will start playing one next year) and three “wild cards”.  A similar system works quite well for the NFL and six of those teams have gone on to win the Super Bowl.

So Penn State will play in the Rose Bowl against USC and that certainly is a justified reward for their season, but should they have been playing for a national championship?  What if you were on the committee – how would you have voted?

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. I really started to watch Penn State because of Saquon Barkley, the former Whitehall Zephyr. Now I watch them because they are one of the most exciting and dramatic teams in college football.  Their win over Wisconsin, after being down by 21 points and being totally dominated early in the game, was nothing short of miraculous!
  2. The Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks played almost as well on Friday night against undefeated Imhotep Charter out of Philadelphia. Imhotep is the defending state champion and has won 28 games in a row.  No team stayed within 30 points of them this season.  Until they met the Hawks!  The Hawks lost 24-13 when Imhotep scored a TD late in the game. Beca was in it right up until the very end of the game and actually led at one point.  It was a great year for Coach Kyle Haas and the Beca football team.
  3. Notre Dame High School did not win a game two years ago. On Friday night, they played in the PIAA state semifinal game against undefeated Middletown.  The Crusaders lost that game, but their resurgence in the past two years has been amazing.
  4. The Eagles looked like a team that cannot make the playoffs this past Sunday. The Bengals just crushed them.  Maybe it’s not a good thing for the coach to say they are looking towards the future before the present is completed.  The Eagles took major steps in the wrong direction this past Sunday.
  5. High school basketball begins next week with Freedom-Allen and Liberty-Easton on Tuesday, December 13. We will have Liberty-Central and Saucon Valley-Wilson on Friday, December 16.  The wrestling season begins on Wednesday, December 14, with Liberty taking on Nazareth.

 

 Gary's Picks

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (Last week – 12-3; Overall – 119-72-2 – 62%)
Week Fourteen

OAKLAND
PHILADELPHIA
MINNESOTA
DETROIT
CINCINNATI
ARIZONA
INDIANAPOLIS
DENVER
CAROLINA
PITTSBURGH
JETS
TAMPA BAY
ATLANTA
SEATTLE
DALLAS
NEW ENGLAND

Behind the Mic: Father’s Day

Due to a Monday commitment, which is the day I usually write my blog, I am sitting at my computer Sunday morning contemplating what to write about.  I have already been reminded that it is Father’s Day by my two daughters who have sent their well-wishes and will visit later in the day.  They have both made my wife and I very proud as both successful citizens, employees (one in hospital management and the other as an ultrasound technician), and, most importantly, excellent parents.  And they, for me, are what makes my Father’s Day enjoyable and special. They are the “end products” of what my wife did as a mother and, in some fashion, what I did as a father.

When we sit around the kitchen table, which we do quite often, conversation often turns to those moments when I did not do such a good job.  I vividly remember keeping Natalie from going to her first school dance because she could not find her music book when her instructor came to the house for weekly music lessons.  His trip was a wasted one, and it became obvious that Natalie had not practiced all week.  It also was the night of her first dance.  I laid down an ultimatum- if she didn’t find the book; she couldn’t go to the dance that night.  After hours of tears and frustration, the book was not found and she did not go to the dance.  I felt terrible, but I hoped that she learned a lesson.  The next morning the music teacher called to tell me that he had Natalie’s book in his briefcase – he had accidently taken it home with him the week before.

When Christine was working in banking, she was to go to a seminar in the Poconos.  She wanted to do what other employees were going to do, take her boyfriend with her because there was going to be time for socialization.  My wife and I were not comfortable letting our unmarried daughter go away for the weekend with this young man (my, how times have changed).  It created an uncomfortable moment for us with our daughter, the young man, and his parents.  And, of course, they stayed together and are now married.

These are just two examples of many where I screwed up as a father.  I am quite proud, however, that we made the girls work throughout high school, got them involved in extracurricular activities, and taught them to do the right thing.  They never let us down.

My own father died in his early sixties, but he worked hard to financially support his family, cheered his four children on in all that we did, and made us responsible for our actions.  He was certainly my role model.

So, as I sit here on Father’s Day morning, knowing that gifts are forthcoming and a nice card and a little more precious time to reminisce once again about fatherhood, I really believe that this day should be more about a father’s children.  They, more than anything, are the true measure of what Father’s Day is all about.

And, because that is my mindset, I will thoroughly enjoy this day.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. The RCN-TV crew spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at Penn State this past week in order to do the statewide broadcast of the PIAA baseball championships for PCN. Due to the weather, two of the games scheduled for Thursday were postponed until Friday.  We normally would do all four games in one day.  This was one of the few times that the crew was glad to see rain.  Two games one day and two games the next is a much more enjoyable experience for all of us.  Four games in one day is not an enjoyable experience.
  2. Since we were at State College, we were not all that far away from Oakmont, where the US Open was being played in Pittsburgh. The USGA was faced with the same weather problems on Thursday, but somehow they logistically figured it all out to get everyone back on track by Sunday afternoon. Now that is a scheduling nightmare, but it got accomplished.
  3. If you do not like golf or golf broadcasts, you should, at least, respect the honesty of the players. Shane Lowry who was leading the US Open as I write this, called a one-stroke penalty on himself on Saturday because as he addressed his ball to putt on the 16th green, the ball moved ever so slightly.  He did not touch it, but it did move.  He stopped play, called over an official, explained the rule violation and took the one-stroke penalty.  If he doesn’t win, let’s hope he does not lose by a stroke.
  4. Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors has threatened to cut off the WiFi in his house to keep his wife Ayesha from tweeting. She tweeted that the NBA was rigged for money after Game Six, when her husband fouled out. I’m sure the NBA frowned on that.
  5. Watch Blue Mountain League baseball every Tuesday for the next six weeks on RCN-TV. It’s good baseball played by guys who play for fun and love the game.

Behind the Mic: Saquon Barkley

October 17th was a rare Saturday for me.  Campus Insiders, an internet sports streaming group affiliated with the Patriot League, was granted the rights to the Lafayette-Harvard game.  There were slim pickings among the high school match-ups, so we all took the day off, a circumstance usually unheard of at this time of the year.  So what did I decide to do – WATCH football, of course. Specifically, I wanted to watch Penn State freshman “phenom”, Saquon Barkley of Whitehall High School, go up against the #1 team in the nation – Ohio State.  This, as many know, is the same Saquon Barkley who thrilled us on RCN-TV last year.  The 18-year-old is a true freshman and playing Big Ten football.  Watching him on Saturday night and putting it mildly, he did not disappoint.

Saquon had sat out the previous two games due to an ankle injury and his availability for Saturday’s game was not known prior to game time.  Trust me, he was available. Saquon rushed for 194 yards on 26 carries, an average of 7.5 yards per carry.  And he had a 44-yard touchdown run called back in the first quarter.  He did have a season-long 56-yard run in the fourth quarter.  He had four runs of over 14 yards.  He has now rushed for over 100 yards in three games and combined with the 195 yards rushing against Rutgers, he now ranks third and fourth in all-time rushing games at Penn State by a freshman.

His runs were dazzling and included another leap over a potential tackler, his second of the season.  He is spectacular at “putting his foot into the ground” and making cuts that leave defenders grasping at air or just watching him run by them.  To me, he has instincts that match some of the greatest to ever play the game.

Barkley is shredding college defenses much like he did at Whitehall.  In his senior year, he rushed for 1851 yards, 8.6 yards per carry and scored 24 rushing touchdowns.  He added another three receiving and a punt and kickoff return for touchdowns.  Take a look at his high school highlight tape:

When his Penn State highlight tape is put together at the end of the season, it should look almost as impressive.

Add to that, he is a great young man who distinguished himself both as a student and an athlete at Whitehall.  He played basketball, even though he was not a great basketball player and could have easily walked away from the team his senior year after acquiring the full scholarship at Penn State.  He played hard in every game and used all the basketball ability he had.  Then, he went on to be a track star and gave away one of his gold medals to a young lady whom he felt deserved one after a bad break cost her a victory.

For me, it is always special to follow the players who were part of the RCN broadcasts in high school.  I relish their success.  Liberty High School product and Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard comes to mind as he gets ready to launch an NBA career.  I want the same kind of success for Saquon.

Here’s hoping Saquon stays injury-free and continues to create exceptional highlight reels.  He has moved well beyond local television in the Lehigh Valley to national exposure on the major networks. For the next 3 ½ seasons, I will be yelling, like all the Nittany Lions fans,

“We are – Penn State!!”

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Cleveland QB Johnny Manziel got into trouble again this past week when he was stopped and questioned by police following an argument with his girlfriend. He was stopped in his car and admitted to drinking prior to the incident.  He was not arrested and did not play in the Cleveland-Denver game.
  2. In case you did not believe Yogi Berra when he said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”, take a look at the Michigan State-Michigan game this past Saturday:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/10/michigan-state-stuns-michigan-by-returning-punters-fumble-for-td-on-final-play

  1. If you watched the Colts self-destruct against the Patriots on Sunday night, this might be what they really wanted to do:

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/10/university-of-maine-ran-a-similar-play-to-colts-trick-play-but-it-actually-worked#cx_ab_test_id=17&cx_ab_test_variant=cx_blend&cx_art_pos=4&cx_navSource=arttop&cx_tag=trend&cx_ctrl_comp_grp=true&cxrecs_s

  1. If you are an Eagles’ fan, you must constantly be bewildered. How can they make so many mistakes on offense and still win?  If “defense wins championships”, the Eagles can still have a good season.
  2. The EPC South picture could become clearer on Friday night when Freedom (5-0; 7-0) visits Parkland (4-1; 6-1). You can watch the game LIVE on RCN-TV.  Saturday’s games are Lafayette at Holy Cross LIVE at 1:00 and Wilson at Pen Argyl at 7:00.

Gary's Picks

NFL PICKS LAST WEEK – 9-5; OVERALL 61-30 (67%)

NFL PICKS (WEEK SEVEN)
SEATTLE
BUFFALO
WASHINGTON
ATLANTA
INDIANAPOLIS
DETROIT
PITTSBURGH
BROWNS
HOUSTON
NEW ENGLAND
SAN DIEGO
GIANTS
CAROLINA
ARIZONA

Behind the Mic: There’s No Clock in Baseball

I have heard many times from baseball fans that the reason they love the game is that “there is no clock in baseball”. That has never been more evident to me than this past Friday when RCN-TV was producing for the 14th consecutive year the PIAA Baseball Championships for the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). The games are played at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in University Park. Yes, the same location where Penn State fans enjoy watching the Nittany Lions play football at nearby Beaver Stadium. So, for me and the crew, it is a three hour ride on Thursday to the motel so that we can prepare for the four-game marathon on Friday. We discovered the next day that “marathon” was not a strong enough description of the day.

Friday begins with a RCN team breakfast at the hotel. Up at 7:00, meet at 7:30 AM. Everyone is to be ready to head to the venue at 8:00 AM. Game One is to begin at 10:30. The crew worked meticulously the day before to have everything ready to go when they arrive. They must confirm that everything is working Friday morning. I organized all the materials that I had gathered during the week from the coaches on Thursday in the motel and gave packets of that information to my fellow announcers to go over prior to the games. Upon arrival at the ballpark, our job is to meet with the coaches of the first game, confirm lineups and pronunciations, and become familiar with their teams. All is normal at this point and we are ready for Game One. We all agree that it is imperative that this game moves along in normal fashion to help the time frame for the rest of the day. That did not happen. Game one featured eight hit batsmen and five walks. Throw in only two “1-2-3” half innings and the first game and post-game festivities ended at 1:20 PM.

Game Two was scheduled to start at 1:00 PM! It was pushed back to 2:00. This game featured the big schools – labeled as the AAAA schools and usually featured the most talent. We needed a quick game from these guys. That was not to be. This game went extra innings! It took them eight full innings to decide a winner. It concluded at 5:00 PM. Game three was supposed to start at 3:30 PM. Are you beginning to get the picture?

The 3:30 game was announced that it would begin at 6:00 PM. Twenty minutes later, the stadium personnel decided that a rain storm was on the way. They would cover the field with a tarp and delay the start of the next game. The delay was approximately one hour and game three began at 7:00 PM. We could only pray that this one would have no delay again, just cruise along and we could get to Game Four as quickly as possible. Not a chance! Game Three went two extra innings and was won in the bottom of the ninth on an error. I think the whole crew wanted to hug the kid who did not catch the ball!! That just wouldn’t be right!

The 6:00 game, it was announced would start at 9:40 PM – over 3 ½ hours later than scheduled. Those two teams had been at the ballpark since mid-afternoon. This one moved along rather nicely, took only seven innings and the final medal ceremony and the awarding of the trophies ended at midnight. We just finished on the same day we started!

So, you say, you only worked a 16-hour day. No. No!!! The crew now had to pack up all the wires and the equipment that it takes to do this event. Imagine the amount of wire to run cameras to first base, third base, up high behind home plate, down low on the field for the ceremonies, and way, way out into center field. Imagine carrying very, very heavy cameras from those locations. Another hour or more for sure.

And me? Well, I always figure the games will end at 9:00 PM so I do not make arrangements to stay another night like the crew does. I always just jump in the car and drive home. Which I did. The 185-mile drive took another three hours. I finally pulled into my garage at 3:00 AM Saturday morning. My day ended after 19 hours!!

So, at least for a couple of months, please don’t tell me you love baseball because “there is no clock”. I may just punch you in the mouth and, after hearing my story, I don’t think any judge would convict me of assault.

Check out some of the game highlights below:

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
No musings this week. I’m catching up on my sleep!

 

Behind the Mic: Dream Come True Telethon

 

Dream Come True Telethon

I love my job. Make no mistake about it. In the past few weeks, I have been able to watch our local high school football teams compete for a conference championship, a District title, and make a run for a state championship. In addition, I was able to broadcast the 149th edition of the Lafayette-Lehigh football game and begin the college basketball season with the Lafayette men’s team. Right around the corner is another season of high school and college basketball which will quickly take me through the winter and into March Madness. It’s the best.

There is one night a year, however, that is even better. It is the night that I co-host the Dream Come True Telethon. On Monday, December 9, we will do the Telethon for the 28th year. I have not hosted all of them, but in the early years, I made sure I was a guest on the show. The Dream Come True organization, in case you did not know, was founded in 1984 by Kostas Kalogeropoulous, a local businessman. The goal of the organization is simple – fulfill the dreams of children who are seriously, chronically, and terminally ill and reside in the greater Lehigh Valley area. Children are referred by family, friends, clergy, doctors, social workers, etc. and the dreams usually fall into three categories – trips, contact with celebrities, and special gifts (computers, shopping sprees, for example).

Scott Barr and I have been hosting together for many, many years. He handles the auction area and, boy, is he terrific! If you watch Home Shopping Network or any of the other all-day shopping TV channels, just watch Scott do his thing during the four-hour night. He is as good as, if not better, than the professionals.

There is always a variety of unique items donated by local businesses as well as our friends from the cable TV networks. If you want something really unique and not found in any store, tune us in and bid on the items. You’ll make Scott’s night.

Ann Savkova, our excellent parade announcer, will do many of the interviews with the children who have had their dreams fulfilled. She is a pleasure to have as part of the team.

We will, once again, be at The Outlets at the Sands. They were wonderful hosts last year as we broadcasted for the very first time from this venue. It is an exciting location and we enjoyed the new “digs”. You certainly are invited to stop by, say hello, and, hopefully, make a donation. It is a great place to shop and giving to Dream Come True will certainly get you into the holiday spirit.

The important facts are:
The Date: Monday, December 9
The Time: 6:00 – 10:00 PM
The Location: The Outlets at the Sands
The Television Dial: RCNTV channels 4 and 1004 (HD)
The Purpose: To fulfill as many hopes, dreams and fantasies for seriously, chronically,and terminally ill children as possible.
The Phone Number to Make a Donation: 1-800-749-8099

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. I know that this past Friday is known as Black Friday, but since I would never shop that day, it means very little to me. However, I did suffer through Black Saturday when all of our local football teams went down to defeat – Lafayette lost 45-7 to New Hampshire; Parkland lost 21-10 to St. Joe’s Prep and Catty lost 49-0 to Imhotep Charter. It was a “black” day indeed.

2. There were some amazing college football games on TV this past weekend. Penn State was a 24-point underdog to #15 Wisconsin and beat them 31-24. I watched as #17 LSU needed to go 99 yards in the final minute to beat Arkansas 31-27. Arkansas did not win an SEC game all year. And the best of all was watching Auburn’s Chris Davis return a missed field goal 107 yards with no time left to give #1 Alabama their first loss in 16 games. Can we actually have a BCS championship game without an SEC representative? We can and probably will, but I still think Alabama and Auburn are the two best teams in college football. Again, no true championship decided on the field.

3. Dare I forget that Ohio State beat Michigan 42-41? Michigan coach, Brady Hoke, decided to go for two points in the last few seconds. It failed. Speaking of that rivalry, Sunday Night’s 60 Minutes did a feature on a young boy who is an avid Ohio State fan. He has brain cancer but hates the word “cancer”. He calls his tumor “Michigan”.

4. Speaking, again, of good football, 10 NFL games were decided by seven points or less this past weekend – two went overtime and NOTHING changed in the standings or the Wild Card scenarios.

5. The Lafayette women’s basketball team is off to a very impressive 5-2 start with wins over Rider, Brown, Columbia, Pit, and Loyola of Chicago. RCN-TV will broadcast the first women’s game of the year on Sunday, December 8, LIVE at 2:00pm. Join us.

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 11-5) (120-71-1 overall – 63%)
HOUSTON
BALTIMORE
CINCINNATI
NEW ENGLAND
JETS
PHILADELPHIA
PITTSBURGH
BUFFALO
KANSAS CITY
ATLANTA
DENVER
ARIZONA
SAN DIEGO
SEATTLE
NEW ORLEANS
CHICAGO

Behind the Mic: Pennsylvania State Baseball Championships

The Pennsylvania State Baseball Championships

Preparation
On Friday, June 14, the RCNTV team broadcast 4 games for the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). There was plenty of work that occurred prior to the games themselves in order to be prepared to do the best job possible. The crew and office staff took care of all the logistics to get 15 people to the site, set up, fed, and housed. This is our 13th year of doing these games so the process was pretty much set.

For me, however, the process was greatly disrupted this year. The semifinals were to be played on Monday, which was the case for the past 12 years. This year, however, 15 of the 16 Monday games were postponed until Tuesday. One full day of preparation was eliminated. Everything was moved back a day. After Tuesday’s games were played and the championship finalists were known, a conference call was held on Wednesday morning informing all the teams of their responsibilities to the games and to me. I needed information and I needed it fast (coaches, rosters, starting lineups, statistics, human interest stories on the players and teams, historical records for the programs, coaches’ histories, etc.) The normal process allows two days – one day for gathering the information (Tuesday) and one day for organizing the information (Wednesday). There was only Wednesday this year. It all got finished with the last school to respond getting with what I needed by 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon. Additional information kept trickling in from the schools throughout the evening.

Driving to Work
The crew left for Penn State, the site of the championship games, at 9:00 and I left at 11:00. They needed to get to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to lay all the wire, set up all the cameras, run the audio lines, and prepare the graphics for the next day. I needed to get to the hotel to sift through all the information I had gathered and prepare packets for each game for my fellow announcers. Their work is very physical, mine is mental. We all met in the hotel lobby, went to dinner and discussed the elements and concerns for the next day. Crew call was 7:00 AM; announcers’ call was 8:00 AM.

Championship Friday
Everyone was at the field by 8:30; 2 hours prior to Game One. The crew tested all the equipment; the announcers talked to the teams and their coaches. Everyone took their positions in the stadium and in the press box by 10:00 AM. “Let the games begin”. I have attached a highlight video summarizing the baseball highlights of the day. Tim Kafer put the piece together; and the musical background is from “The Greatest Game in the World” by Fran Kovalski.

There are 664 high school baseball teams in Pennsylvania; 39 District Champions; and just 4 State Champions. Congratulations to the winners!

As for our gang – We came on the air at 10:30 AM and said, “Good night, everybody” at 10:10 PM – 11 hours and 40 minutes later. In between, there were 4 games, 30 innings, with the final game of the day (naturally) going two extra innings to decide a champion. All of us believe we “hit a wall” sometime during Game Three, persevered, and got through it. It seems to happen every year. I had plenty of time to ponder the day with the 3 ½ hour ride home that followed and there are always the same two thoughts, “Job well done” and “I’m glad that’s over”.

Behind the Mic – January 4th

2013 is upon us, so I thought I would take one last look at the top 10 national sports stories, in my opinion, for 2012:

10.       Tiger Woods wins again, but not very often.

9.         Peyton Manning released by the Colts; he has a great year with the Broncos.

8.         Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Gabby Douglas make the London Olympic Games very special.

7.         Lance Armstrong stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

6.         Replacement refs in the NFL – How did that work out?  They were replaced after Week 3 debacle with Green Bay and Seattle.

5.         Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck become the most exciting rookies to play in the NFL in a long, long time.

4.         Notre Dame ends college football’s regular season #1, undefeated, and becomes a very relevant football program once again.

3.         Lehigh beats Duke in NCAA basketball (enough said).  Kentucky wins championship with freshmen and sophomores.

2.         College football playoffs in the BCS are approved for 2014. Top four teams  will compete.  You just know it will expand in the future.

And the #1 story:

  1. 1.      NCAA imposes on Penn State a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, a reduction of scholarships, imposes a five-year probation, and vacates all wins from 1998-2011.  Overkill?  Joe Paterno dies.         

 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

1.                  On Sunday night in Washington, do you think there was more interest in the “fiscal cliff” or the Washington-Dallas NFL football game?

2.                  All four Wild Card games this coming weekend look like tossups to me. 

3.                  Having done four high school basketball games before the holiday break, I think this might be a very, very competitive and exciting year.  Although, looking back, I think I say that every year.

4.                  Happy New Year to everyone, but especially to Mike Joseph, John Leone, Tom Stoudt, Scott Barr, and John Bowman!  I spend a great deal of time in the booths and at courtside with those guys and thoroughly enjoy their company each time!

5.                  In 2012, I lost my 97-year-old mother and my 96-year-old father-in-law.  There will be a large void in 2013.

 NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK

(Last week – 12-4 )  (  83-49 for the season – 64% )

HOUSTON

GREEN BAY

 

INDIANAPOLIS

WASHINGTON

Behind the Mic – December 12th

I know this blog is called “Behind the Mike”, but this week it would be better titled, “Behind The Computer”.  I thought you might be interested in how news and sports people find some of the stories that they report.  You probably often wonder how a reporter went out and found some of the unique stories and people that make up their columns, their TV reports, their radio interviews.  Well, many times, those stories just come to them.

Each week, I am offered some “wonderful opportunity” (their words, not mine) to interview a person on a variety of subjects.  Since I am basically a play-by-play broadcaster and our local programming is limited in scope, those anonymous press agents are seeking out the wrong person.  However, I always find their proposals quite interesting.  Let me share the last ten I have gotten and, by the way, these have come in just this past week.  The comments in parentheses are mine:

  1. Undercover Agent’s Life Made into a Movie  (I have seen this movie many times)
  2. College Basketball Returns  (I never thought it wouldn’t)
  3. Freshman Wins Heisman  (This would be the same person who wanted to discuss the return of college basketball – see #2.  Like me, he, also, reads the paper and watches TV)
  4. A Legend’s Journey – The Life of Jake “The Snake” Roberts – Former Professional Wrestler   (Is “The Snake” really a legend?)
  5. Top 12 Amusement Parks for the Holidays   (I would rather know how to afford them)
  6. Life Threatening Results of Concussions   (I already knew head injuries could be dangerous).
  7. Thuzio – The Ultimate Fan Experience – With Tiki Barber   (Play flag football with a football player; have dinner with an NFL player, etc. – Doesn’t this sound like it would be very, very expensive?)
  8. Sports From a Woman’s Perspective   (I get this message from my wife EVERY weekend!)
  9. New Year’s Revolution – What You Were Born To Do   (So this person was born to tell others what they were born for?  Huh?)
  10. Non-surgical Facelift Uses Sound, Not Scalpel, To Help Smooth Away the Years… in Minutes   (My personal favorite)

So, in conclusion, #10 is my favorite.  I think, before I entertain the idea of having this person on my show, I will hold an iPod up to my face for a week.  I wish I knew what sound works the best.

Let me get back to you on this one!!


 

 ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Our local football teams were all eliminated from the state playoffs by the Philadelphia Catholic schools.  This has been happening with very few exceptions every year since the Catholic schools became part of the PIAA.  The big difference seems to be the linemen.  We need to get bigger and stronger to compete.
  2. Would it be wrong if Penn State played Ohio State in a Bowl game and the money would go to charity?
  3. It sure looks like there will be a Manny Pacquiao-Juan Marquez #5 after Pacquiao was knocked out cold this past weekend.  Just let these two fight every six months.  By the way, the replay is on HBO this Saturday.
  4. The Phillies, with this week’s trades, seem quite serious about contending again.  The deals look very good right now (but it is December).
  5. Got this offer this week -Jan. 7–BCS National Championship Bowl (Notre Dame-Alabama). Tickets start at $1,450.00. I also have a 20 Person Suite!  Interested??

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week- 9-7)  (73-43 for the season – 63%)

  • CINCINNATI
  • GREEN BAY
  • GIANTS
  • NEW ORLEANS
  • ST. LOUIS
  • WASHINGTON
  • MIAMI
  • DENVER
  • HOUSTON
  • SAN DIEGO
  • SEATTLE
  • DETROIT
  • DALLAS
  • OAKLAND
  • NEW ENGLAND
  • JETS