8:35 AM, Jan 25, 2014 • By IKE BRANNON
Unlike you, I will be watching the Pro Bowl this weekend, albeit grudgingly.
I’m not going to pretend it’s good football. I will watch because it’s the closest thing on television to pro football this weekend, and staring at a six month hiatus without any games makes me just desperate enough to tune in.
But the broadcast could be much better than it will be this weekend. While it’s impossible to ask the players to try harder (although borrowing a page from the Aztecs could do the trick) we could make the game look and feel more like a real NFL game without too much effort.
The first thing to do is change the uniforms. The blue and red jerseys of the past look nothing like a real NFL uniform and should be scrapped for throwback uniforms for two real NFL teams. We could rotate the teams (and the decades) each year to add a little variety. The Nike monstrosities about to be foisted upon us are a step in precisely the wrong direction, by the way.
The second change we need is to move the game to a real NFL stadium. The problem with playing the game at the Hula Bowl is that the stadium looks nothing like any of the stadiums we are currently accustomed to seeing. Also, because the game is halfway around the world it is played in the day even though it’s night when we’re watching. Games look much better at night—and I suspect I’m far from alone in finding it a bit jarring to watch a game played in daylight when it’s night outside.
Nothing looks right at a pro bowl game, from the leis announcers wear when doing interviews to the Hawaiian shirts on the sidelines to the half-empty stadium where no one’s paying much attention to the game.
And while I’m slagging the reporters, let’s keep the sideline interviews to a minimum this Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl broadcast always does a disproportionate amount of these interviews, presumably as a way to inject some interest into the game. It doesn’t work.
The game will always be mediocre, but if it bears a passing resemblance to actual NFL football, people will watch it. If we can’t improve the caliber of the game (and we can’t) let’s at least make the other aspects about the event resemble an actual NFL game so we can pay it half a mind while we read a book or eat dinner and convince ourselves we’re watching real football.
6:46 PM, Jan 19, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On the one hand, Barack Obama, speaking as a dad, says he "would not let my son play pro football." It's a reasonable judgment, one other parents have made and one they're entitled to make (though enforcing it on recalcitrant sons is another matter!).
6:34 AM, Dec 22, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Temperatures in the high 40s, with some rain. That’s the forecast for Buffalo on Sunday when the Bills and the Dolphins kick it off. Balmy, then. So much so that the team from Miami can’t, should they lose, use the weather for an alibi. Likewise, the fans who choose not to pay sit in the stadium and watch. The Bills have been disappointing but not surprising. They seem always to be disappointing. And it’s almost Christmas. So, even if you follow the team and have since the Jim Kelly days, it might seem more appealing to stay at home and wrap presents. With the game on the television. In the background, of course.
8:31 AM, Dec 12, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Last night, this 30-second advertisement ran to encourage folks to sign up in the "Health Insurance Marketplace," otherwise known as Obamacare:
"Now, for the first time, you can be covered -- with a quality health plan from the new health insurance marketplace, part of the health care law," says the male announcer.
3:31 PM, Nov 4, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Stepping into the controversy over the team name for the Washington Redskins in early October, President Obama said in an interview with the AP:
10:55 AM, Aug 19, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The NCAA might just as well become another department of the government and build a lavish headquarters building in Washington. Its bureaucratic culture would make it a perfect fit. The complexity of its rules would make for a seamless merger. And the high-handed, arrogant management style would make the transition almost frictionless.
2:47 PM, Jun 28, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The two top Republican senators, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and John Cornyn of Texas, have written letters to six professional sports organizations, warning them not to work with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to promote Obamacare. The letters were addressed to the top executives at the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association, and NASCAR.
8:01 AM, Jun 25, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
College football fans may soon have another thing to lord over the NFL. The Hill writes, “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday she is in talks with the NFL to help promote new insurance options under ObamaCare.” The report continues, “Sebelius said the football league has been ‘very actively and enthusiastically engaged’ in discussions about a partnership to encourage people to enroll in newly available insurance plans.”
Chicago is bereft of celebrity fans.
Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By JOSEPH EPSTEIN
I was watching the Chicago Blackhawks play the Los Angeles Kings in the western Stanley Cup final round when, in the second period, the television camera panned to Tom Cruise, sitting alone in a rink-side seat. “Tom Cruise is a big Kings fan,” the announcer said.
11:26 AM, Mar 23, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Mighty Georgetown, a number two seed, fell to Florida Gulf Coast, a number fifteen seed, last night. Florida Gulf Coast has only been eligible to play in the tournament for two years.
9:15 AM, Mar 22, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
On March 21, 2013, history was made. Ivy League champion and 14th seed Harvard men's basketball team busted brackets everywhere as it upset 3rd seed New Mexico, winning its first NCAA playoff game ever and notching its first victory over a top-ten team. Read all about it here and here.
8:57 PM, Feb 3, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A power outage disrupted play at the Super Bowl in New Orleans tonight. Here's video:
Philip Terzian, circumspect fanFeb 11, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 21 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Stan Musial, the St. Louis Cardinal who died a few weeks ago, seems to have been one of those great athletes of good character—player-hero, civic monument, example to youth—that sportswriters forever seek but seldom find.