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Our annual year-end media awards

During the next week in this space, I'll post four year-end columns that I'm doing for the newspaper - in addition to the regular newspaper and on-line buzz column posts.

Here's the first: our annual media awards. 

Keep in mind: These are only the national awards. For space reasons, we will post the local media awards in a column next week:

THE YEAR IN NATIONAL SPORTS MEDIA FOR 2012

### Most ridiculous comments: 1) ESPN’s Skip Bayless, last spring: “LeBron James doesn’t have any clutch genes. LeBron James is made for the regular season. Come postseason time, he’s the most overrated, overhyped superstar in my history in this business.” 2) ESPN’s Magic Johnson, last January: “My problem with Miami is they don’t have a will to win.”

### Most absurd predictions: 1) ABC’s Jon Barry, last May: “The Heat doesn’t have the personnel. Maybe LeBron was right. They won’t win one, two, three, four. They won’t win any. They’re front-runners. LeBron and Dwyane Wade don’t complement one another. They can’t be trusted. I’m done with them.” 2) ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, last spring: “The Heat has flagrantly failed to live up to expectations. They’re certainly not winning an NBA championship.” 3) ESPN’s Bill Simmons, last spring: “Nobody is beating the Spurs. They will roll through Miami.” 4) CBS’ Bill Cowher predicting the Kansas City Chiefs would make the playoffs.

### Most regrettable comments: 1) ESPN’s Rob Parker asking if Robert Griffin III is “a brother or a cornball brother.” ESPN suspended him for 30 days. 2) ESPN’s Mitch Holthus saying Kansas State basketball player Angel Rodriguez let his “Puerto Rican temper” get the best of him.

### Worst personnel moves: 1) ESPN using Matt Millen as its lead commentator to talk about the Freeh report that detailed the findings of Penn State’s internal investigation into the Jerry Sandusky case. Millen, blindly loyal toward Joe Paterno, regrettably tried to minimize Paterno’s culpability. 2) Fox hiring not-especially-funny comedian Rob Riggle to replace immensely talented Frank Caliendo, who found work at ESPN. 3) ESPN deciding not to hire Stan Van Gundy.

### Most ballyhooed personnel moves: 1) ESPN reassigning Ron Jaworski, leaving Jon Gruden as the sole analyst on Monday Night Football. Gruden handled the gig fine by himself, while Jaws strengthened ESPN’s studio shows. 2) Erin Andrews moving from ESPN to Fox, where she tried too hard to act “cool” anchoring a college football studio show that couldn’t match of quality of ESPN’s.

### Best hire: ESPN adding Terry Francona to succeed Bobby Valentine on Sunday Night Baseball. But Francona left after one season to manage the Indians. John Kruk replaces him.

### Worst programming decision: The Big Ten Network, claiming it’s not a news organization, not carrying the Freeh report news conference after also choosing not to air last November’s press conference when Paterno was fired.

### Best moves for fans: 1) The NFL expanding its Thursday night package from eight to 15 games. 2) NBC streaming virtually all Olympic events live, on line. 3) Fox starting a Saturday night college football package, meaning more national exposure for Pac-10 and Big 12 games that otherwise would have mostly been regional telecasts on ABC. 4) The NFL moving late-afternoon games from 4:15 to 4:25 p.m. on the double-header network, ensuring less overlap with early kickoffs.

### Worst moves for fans: 1) NBC continuing to refuse to show live TV coverage of the biggest Olympic events. The more viewer-friendly approach would be showing a few of them live, then replaying them in prime time. 2) MLB moving two playoff games to MLB Network, which isn't available in more than 50 million U.S. homes.

### Oops: NBC showing a Today Show promo revealing that Missy Franklin had won an Olympic gold medal in swimming a short time before NBC aired the race.

### Most refreshing trend: NFL announcers were emboldened to criticize the league more than ever before: Terry Bradshaw and others questioned the investigation of BountyGate; John Lynch revealed the league asked Fox announcers not to criticize the replacement refs, “which just speaks to the arrogance of the owners”; and ESPN’s Trent Dilfer, after the Packers-Seahawks replacement officials debacle, ranted: “Our intelligence has been insulted by the league.”

### Personnel move most designed to drive us nuts: ESPN re-uniting Stephen A. Smith with Bayless on First Take. Why not just let them argue among themselves in a room without cameras or microphones? Why do we have to be subjected to it?

### Best game analysts: NBC’s Cris Collinsworth and ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy.

### Most compelling non-event TV moment: HBO’s Hard Knocks airing the tape of Joe Philbin’s uncomfortable meeting with Chad Johnson in which the receiver was released.

### Best audio: NFL Films, for capturing Houston's J.J. Watt telling Baltimore's Ray Rice during a game: "I've eaten burritos bigger than you."

### Overkill award: ESPN’s unhealthy obsession with Tim Tebow, curtailed only when network president John Skipper intervened and told his producers to cool it.

### Worst abuse of power: Southern California coach Lane Kiffin attempting to ban a Los Angeles Times writer for reporting a USC kicker’s injury – information obtained legitimately.

### Worst over-reaction: ESPN firing a writer who used “chink in the armor” in a headline about Jeremy Lin. Even his boss said the writer had no idea it would be considered an ethnic slur. Anchor Max Bretos was unfairly suspended 30 days for the same (unintentional) offense.

### Most unwarranted criticism: Fans blasting Adam Schefter and others for reporting NFL draft picks, on Twitter or TV, before the commissioner announced them. That’s their job, folks.

### Best reporting: ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who was right -- and usually first -- every step of the way in reporting on the Colts’ release of Peyton Manning and the free-agent sweepstakes that followed.

### Notable media deaths: NFL Films president Steve Sabol, college football pundit Beano Cook, Turner sports essayist Jim Huber, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Furman Bisher, boxing writer and sports historian Burt Sugar, ESPN Radio NBA announcer Jim Durham.

### Pettiness award: To ESPN’s Bob Knight, who refused to utter the word “Kentucky” during last year’s NCAA Tournament because of his dislike for coach John Calipari. He referred to them as “that team from the SEC.”

We’ll have local awards in next week’s media column.

   

Comments

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ray

Heatttttttt

juan

Steven A. Smith is turrrible, as Barkley might say

The Seer

Irony Award:

ESPN using & touting Fat Tuna Parcells as a draft & personnel expert without ONCE mentioning his abysmal record w/ the Fins.

Omaximus

Any notion that ESPN retains any journalistic integrity was killed this year. Total indifference towards multiple incidents of plagiarism by their writers, repeated instances of stealing information from other sources without proper attribution, the Tim Tebow circus, putting skip bayless on the air at all, allowing David Stern to bully them not to sign SVG.

Also Peter King deserves some mention for his fawning, breathless coverage of the bumbling Roger Goodell. King's coverage of the Saints bounty scandal lacked objectivity and common sense and often read like a clear ploy to preserve access and avoid any criticism of the NFL.

Neil'sGhost

ESPN losing Michelle Beadle was huge. The chicks that are on their now are just formula driven, as opposed to Beadle's personality driven talent. Smoking hot too was Ms. Beadle.

Don E

You must not watch much college football if you think Collinsworth is better than Gary Danielson on CBS/SEC. Danielson is so superior and college, with many more players, formations and plays, has to be much more difficult to prepare for. Suggest you pay closer attention next season. Honestly, I think Collinsworth is mediocre at best. That said, I do enjoy your columns, thanks and happy 2013!!

green

FIU executive director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said Monday afternoon when asked about the stories bouncing around the Internet that Butch Davis was in as FIU's next head football coach, "Butch Davis is not the FIU football coach. That story is totally false."
-- david j neal

By using the words "totally false" he is making himself out to be a complete liar and douchebag if BD ends up as the coach.
-- PantherCraze

do U trust sneaky pete ...

AS FAR AS I CAN THROW HIM

Posted by: green | 12/26/2012 at 02:37 PM

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/butch-davis-florida-international-head-coach-blocked-north-carolina-contract-squabble-tampa-bay-buccaneers-122712

A contract squabble with the University of North Carolina is keeping Butch Davis from becoming the next head coach at Florida International University, a source told FOXSports.com on Thursday night.
-- alex marvez

TOTAL BULLSH_T

green

Houston’s Andre Johnson (Miami) set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards this year with 1,892 yards with still one regular season game remaining. He also became the first player in NFL history to top 1,600 receiving yards in consecutive years.
-- theacc.com

CATCH-ALL

Megatron

Posted by: green

Andre Johnson. No.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Don't follow much sports do you green?

SVG deserves a job, he has great insight.

green

Don't follow much sports do you green?

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn | 12/28/2012 at 02:15 PM

green is hands down the best blogger and it's not even close. You get more information from him than just about any other source.
-- Riviera Beach Cane

reputation precedes me ...

TOOTING MY OWN HORN

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