60 Minutes, Maybe More

Monday, November 21st, 2005, 12:30 pm

Some random observations on the weekend past:

Before I comment on her report about online gambling, what’s up with Lesley Stahl’s hair? You don’t need a comb to navigate those bangs, you need the Maid of the Mist

Rather a pro-gaming piece. This was in large part to the English gentleman from sportsbet.com (I forget his name, alas) who sounded like that rarest of birds in today’s media, the Voice of Reason. Regulate gambling. Tax it. Chase out the shady outfits. Keep kids out of it. People sometimes become addicted to gambling? Regulation will help make treatment more available. Plus he had a soothing and erudite British accent. The executive from MGM/Mirage also spoke movingly about his company’s plight. And Senator John Kyl came across as the sort of person who would favor putting millions of people in federal prison for engaging in an activity he doesn’t like–because he cares about us, so very, very much.

During the piece the 16-year-old son of one of the producers used his dad’s credit card to access a site and lost about $100 playing roulette. What he did was technically illegal…well, actually, it was just plain old illegal illegal. Wouldn’t it be simply smashing if this morning federal agents raided his high school and led him away in handcuffs for violating whatever law it is we all violate every single day? Perhaps a few brave souls will have to be martryed along the way to online poker legalization. If that’s the case, I will add my voice to the cheering throng in my usual way, “Not me! Not me! Pick him, him!”

My Nittany Lions reign supreme over the Big Ten, and I’m sure there is a most Happy Valley in Centre County right now. And if Texas or USC has a brain cramp the next two weeks maybe Penn State can sneak into the Rose Bowl (though after the Trojans survived their Fresno scare the chances of that happening are about 5,301-1 against). I have one sizable bone to pick. In my mind, the pick for National Coach of the Year is a no-brainer. It’s Paterno. He took a team that’s struggled the last 3 years, that finished 4-7 a year ago, and turned it into a 10-1 Big Ten champion that came one play (thanks to some offical shenanigans) from going undefeated. The ESPN GameDay crew, however, didn’t even have JoePa on their shortlist. Chris Fowler I believe said Mack Brown. Mack Brown? They have the best talent in the country, play one tough game (Ohio State, which they should’ve lost) and they frantically run the score up every chance they get. Kirk Herbstreit said Pete Carroll of USC, because they’ve done so well under the pressure of being #1 and losing so many players to the NFL. Uh huh. He still had Leinert, still had Bush, and still played in the Pac 10. They had one tough game this year and it took a make-an-atheist-out-of-the-staunchest-Irish-Catholic last minute drive to beat Notre Dame. Also, let’s remember that USC and Texas were preseason #1 and #2 and have simply maintained the status quo. Lee Corso said his top three were Karl Dorrell of UCLA, Steve Spurrier of South Carolina, and Charlie Weis of Notre Dame. Uh, UCLA lost to Arizona by 45 points, that alone should DQ Dorrell. Spurrier and Weis have done outstanding jobs this year, but Penn State is ranked ahead of both.

The crew who officiated the Ohio State-Michigan game was the same one who did Penn State’s game in Ann Arbor, and try as they might the refs couldn’t gift the game to the Wolverines. There was a phantom pass-interference call that gave Michigan the ball on the goal line, but that’s run of the mill stuff. The call that had me laughing was when Santonio Holmes caught a pass and dove in the end zone just as a defender was closing on him. Again, routine stuff these days–in fact a Michigan State running back did the same thing against Penn State–but this time the back judge threw a flag for unnecessary celebration. This was perhaps the biggest joke call of the year, a ref interjecting himself into the game for no good reason. It forced Ohio State to kick off from their 25-yard line with under 6 minutes to go in the game and down by 2. But I was stunned that the refs didn’t flag Buckeye Tony Gonzalez for running out of bounds after he caught that pass inside the 10. He was pushed out by a Michigan defender, but after he caught the ball the offical could’ve dropped his flag and negated a huge play. It made me doubt all the conspiracies that bring structure to my paranoid little life.

Speaking of conspiracies, if Reggie Bush doesn’t win the Heisman a Congressional commission should be created to investigate. I wouldn’t call Fresno State’s defense “stout” or “good” or “especially defensive”, but you ring up 500 yards of total offense as a running back you get my attention. Everytime he touches the ball, and he DOESN’T go for an 84-yard TD, you aren’t just disappointed–you’re nearly in disbelief. Someone got a hand on him? Well done! How well his game will transfer to the NFL is, I think, going to be the big story of the 2006 NFL Draft. Is he the next Gale Sayers or the next Rocket Ismail?

I can’t say who was worse on Sunday–Kyle Boller, Tommy Maddox, or the CBS broadcast I was forced to endure. They don’t show replays. They forget to mention when penalty flags are thrown. They have Solomon Frickin’ Wilcox providing commentary, and I swear to God the guy is in a locked room somewhere watching the game on a 10-second delay. After Terrell Suggs caught (well, don’t get me started on that) Hines Ward’s Beckhamesque free kick, you knew the refs would give it a second look. There was less than 2 minutes to go, Suggs allegedly pulled the ball off the turf, they’re gonna look at it. And, sure enough, the referee switches on his mike and says, “The play is under review” and he starts to trot off toward the peep-show booth. Wilcox keeps blathering on and then he stops and says, “I think this play is going to be reviewed?”. What gave it away, pal? The situation, the fact the the ref SAID it was under review, or the fact that he’s running toward the replay monitor? Jesus Tapdancing Christ.

If Big Ben doesn’t hurt his knee the Steelers are 9-1, but he did and so we’re 7-3. I’m sure they’re celebrating in Baltimore, but my friend Scott down there should have an easy riposte. Tommy Maddox will spend the rest of the season nailed to the bench (perhaps literally). Kyle Boller’s all you got. Good luck getting to sleep tonight.

This is a poker blog, so let me talk briefly about poker. I like playing micro NL cash games. Sorry, that’s all the insight I got for you right now. I’ve been battling a wicked case of writer’s block (or it may just be a general malaise) the past month and my wit just isn’t all that sharp. I think Vegas is oppressing me. Not oppressing in the “I don’t wanna go” kinda way, more in the “I don’t wanna do anything until I get on the goddam plane” kinda way. I must overcome.

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4 Responses to “60 Minutes, Maybe More”

  1. John in Pgh Says:

    ya, I’d rather hear Myron Cope blather on and on than watch that broacast team. Ian Eagle???? btw… its Wilcotts

  2. Todd Says:

    Could be worse. In St. Louis we had Neil O’Donnell doing color. I’m not sure if I had ever heard him speak before, but he sounds like a 65-year-old black man who had recently suffered a stroke.

  3. Mike Says:

    Completly agree…I don’t know where they find these guys to broadcast football games, but most of them plain suck…As an OSU fan, thank you for pointing out the terrible celebration call against the Bucks as a ridiculous call…so it wasn’t just me.

    Here’s hoping Ben can get to 100% for Monday’s game against Indy…we’re going to need to squeeze out every point we can get this week to keep up with the Colts at home.

  4. Bob Says:

    I honestly can’t watch any CBS team for more than 2 seconds before I get angry at how crappy it is. The graphics suck, the crew sucks, the AFC is boring, can’t we just watch every game on Fox or ESPN?

    And if I could get away with it, I’d make Shannon Sharpe disappear. Listening to him make ridiculous statements with at least 10 marbles stuck in his mouth makes me want to throw up.

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