Monthly Archives: February 2014

NBA All-Star Game Late Start Is Annoying To Fans

BY COREY MAXWELL

Sporting events have set times when they are scheduled to start and we all know that they rarely ever begin at that particular time. They usually start a few minutes late, which we as sports fans have come to terms with.

Starting an hour late is not okay, though.

The 2014 NBA All-Star game on TNT was scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. last Sunday night. Not really early, but not particularly late either.

The game did not tip until 8:56 p.m., almost an hour after it was supposed to.

There was quite a bit of wasted time during TNT’s broadcast which contributed to the game being started later than scheduled.

There was a musical performance which took around 25 minutes. The starting lineups for both the East and West teams were announced throughout the duration of the performance. Following that, there was a commercial break and following the commercial break was the singing of both Canada’s and the United States’ national anthem.

Typically, the game begins after the singing of the national anthem. That was not the case with Sunday night. TNT felt they had to introduce the starting lineups AGAIN. They played a video showing the players’ highlights and proceeded to talk about the players a little more. The game started soon after.

The delay to the game was pretty aggravating for fans. While scrolling through Twitter I saw quite a few people expressing their annoyance over the fact that it was taking so long for the game to start.

The NBA hasn’t been this popular in years one could argue. If the NBA wants to build on their popularity, then starting a game almost an hour late isn’t going to increase your fan base. I became a fan of the NBA when I was younger and I grew up watching the Lakers win titles with Shaq and Kobe. I had a bedtime though which meant I couldn’t particularly stay up to watch late games. If the NBA wants to appeal to that younger audience, TNT and the NBA must start the games at a reasonable hour to keep that demographics’ viewership.

TNT and the NBA should have been thinking of their fans during All-Star Sunday. I’m sure the fans that were in attendance didn’t really care to wait that long for the game to start. Sure the NBA already had their money, but they have to at least show some consideration to the fans and start the games close to when they are scheduled. If they could promise to do that, and KEEP that promise, then they would have much happier fans.

NBA 2014 All-Star Game New Orleans Half Time Report

BY KIA TYUS

is known for their hilarious broadcasters and for the NBA All-Star Game, those broadcasters did not disappoint.

Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal gave a very entertaining half time report. All of these broadcasters have a high IQ of the game. They were all former players and some are even in the NBA Hall of Fame.

The broadcasters kicked off the half time report showing part of Barkley’s one-on-one interview with President Barack Obama.

Barkley’s interview was okay. He asked many questions on different players ranging from Stephan Curry, Kevin Durant to LeBron James. The one thing that stood out for me during the clip of the interview was the fact that Barkley had a shaky voice and he stuttered throughout the interview. Obviously, nerves played a big role in that.

The broadcasters also highlighted a few new records that were broken during the first half. Johnson brought up the fact that the West set an all-star record with 89 points in the first half and both teams set a record with a combined 165 total points to end the first half. Johnson also highlighted the fact that Blake Griffin tied Wilt Chamberlain’s 1962 record with 10 made field goals in a half.

Instead of talking about the first half highlights, TNT introduced the ultimate highlight video, which showed viewers all of the highlights in the first half.

After the video the broadcasters noted were LeBron’s dunks. Barkley still is rooting for James to compete in the dunk contest. Barkley then goes on record to say, “Nobody will be better than LeBron”.

When the conversation switched to the potential winner of the All-star MVP, Barkley joked, “that the first player with three assists and three blocks will win the award”. Barkley also joked about how hideous the all-star uniforms were.

To close the half time report, the broadcasters ended with a, “Shaqtin a fool” moment starring Kyrie Irving. Irving threw the ball in bounds while none of his teammates were looking and the play resulted in a turnover.

The broadcasters were a very entertaining bunch that joked around and knew how to grasp the viewer’s attention. The one thing I wish the broadcasters had done is talk more about the first half highlights instead of just showing a video.

2014 Winter Olympics Failing To Build Fan Interest in America

BY COREY MAXWELL

The Winter Olympics are a global event that occur every four years and are much anticipated for athletes. It’s their chance to showcase their skills and talent and to show the dedication they’ve put toward their respective sport over the past four years.

It’s too bad not many people in America are watching them.

With the Olympics being held in Sochi, Russia, the events are not being broadcast live for the most part because of the time difference. There is nothing that can be done about that, but NBC, the network that airs the Olympics, waits until the evening time to show the events.

The fact that NBC generally waits to show the Olympics at a primetime hour instead of broadcasting them live hurts the ability to build fan interest here in America. Most, if not all sports fans, want to watch sports when they are live and not on tape delay.

According to a poll conducted by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, 74% of people say that knowing the results ahead of time greatly affects if they watch or not.

And it’s not like news sites try to keep the results hidden, either.

If you go on ESPN or even the New York Times’ websites, you will find some results of the games on their homepage.

Also, many avid fans like me are signed up for ESPN Alerts, which is a text messaging system that alerts you of important sports news during the day. I received results via text message for highly anticipated events such as the men’s and women’s snowboard halfpipe, which was frustrating because I was looking forward to watching them later that night. But since I already knew the results I didn’t care to watch.

With the events in the Olympics being more niche sports than mainstream sports, many Americans do not know much about them. Winter Olympic sports like snowboarding and skiing do not have much of a fan base in America, but have often been highly rated events on television in the past.
Knowing the results ahead of time hurts the chance to build a solid fan base for those sports. Networks and proponents of these sports want snowboarding and skiing to become more popular in the future, but if people are not watching them because the results have been spoiled, then the purpose is defeated.

Knowing the results ahead of time is a very frustrating thing for sports fans. Currently it is hard for a fan to go an entire day without seeing scores or results because modern technology like text messaging, social media and other websites dominate our lives to an extent.

I wish the news and media would keep quieter throughout the day rather than displaying the events results everywhere. If they were able to do that, then American viewership of the Olympics would be higher and it would help develop better fan interest for the sports in the Games and ultimately the future.

LeBron James Post-Practice Dunk Show

BY KEVIN JENKINS

After the Miami Heat practice on Monday, the media was in for a surprise from LeBron James. No one expected LeBron to put on a post-practice dunk show.

LeBron has teased the media every year regarding his participation in the slam dunk contest. His electrifying dunks throughout the season have always brought up questions related to his absence in the slam dunk contest every year.

The show he put on after practice Monday raised questions from the media regarding why he doesn’t want to be in the slam dunk contest.

The dunks he performed after practice were simply athletic. Dwayne Wade even recorded the dunks and said he feels like LeBron has wings sometimes.

On ESPN First Take Tuesday (Feb.11), Skip Bayless voiced his opinion on LeBron’s post-practice dunk show. Skip despises the way LeBron handles the dunk contest controversies every year and he even called LeBron a child because he feels he is avoiding the slam dunk contest.

Calling him a child was something Skip didn’t have to say. I say this because Skip is judging LeBron off his post-practice dunks where he is just having fun. There is so much pressure on great athletes entering the slam dunk contest. I’m curious to know why the media puts so much pressure on these athletes in participating in the slam dunk contest.

Even though LeBron is taunting us with his post-practice show, he has said plenty of times that he is not a slam dunk contest guy.

The media should put this to rest and no longer call out LeBron for refusing to participate in the slam dunk contest.

Expression from reporters and analysts on the Cowboy shoving a Raider

By Anthony Cornwell Jr.

On February 8, 2014 near the end of a game, Oklahoma State, Marcus Smart, shoved Texas Tech fan, Jeff Orr, after reported hearing a racial slur.

Kelly Hines, beat writer for Oklahoma State University’s basketball team, was the first reporter on ESPN to address the issue of Marcus Smart’s incident.

Hines was in shock to the incident reporting that “Smart is a very nice guy, answers any question you asks him, and answers with yes ma’am no ma’am.

Seth Greenberg, ESPN College Basketball analyst, said that officials did a terrible job. “Marcus Smart should have been ejected . . . the fan [Orr] should be held accountable as well” he said. “The image that he created in the past month has hurt his draft stock and has even put his coach’s job in jeopardy.”

In the past month, Smart has been accused of flopping during games and also kicking a chair on the sideline in a game against West Virginia.

ESPN brought up ideas about having more security on the baselines or to move the fans back a few rows. This way when a player goes into the stands, it prevents these kinds of incidents.

Jay Bilas, another ESPN College Basketball analyst, was the first to report that Marcus Smart had been called the N word. Bilas also disagrees with ESPN and fellow colleague Greenberg.
“He was in the stands because he was trying to make a play . . . kicking a chair against West Virginia has no ties to this incident” Bilas said.

Each analyst/reporter that commented on this incident this week did a great job being unbiased. As more information was revealed during the week the analysts seemed to agree that Orr should be dealt with and Smart should be suspended.

It’s instances like these that show how the media is getting better with situations like this.

Golden Opportunity Missed

BY BRANDON SHRIDER

I’m disappointed. Shaun White lost to a kid…

Sure, this could be my opinion on the Sochi Olympic half pipe results, but instead, it is how ESPN chose to reveal the story.

The news of the day wasn’t Iouri Podladtchikov winning his first Olympic gold medal, at least not in the eyes of ESPN.

However, it is this notion that gives cause for concern.

Shaun White, while having an illustrious and victory-filled career, didn’t do anything on the day of the half pipe event to warrant any media coverage. In fact, he failed to place in the top three, and did not seize the opportunity to set a record for three consecutive Olympics with a gold medal.

Instead, he lost, but this is what the viewers were presented with as it scrolled across the bottom of the screen on ESPN. Mention of Podladtchikov was scarce, and the coverage of the well-anticipated event became nonexistent.

The well-hyped event virtually dissipated into the sports media as a proclamation by LeBron James stole the headlines.

So, LeBron James refers to himself as great and Shaun White loses at the Olympics, but these two stories garner more coverage than the victory by the Heat, or the gold medal for Iouri Podladtchikov.

Quite simply, ESPN plays the name game.

If you have the notorious name, you will receive the repeated attention as opposed to those deserving. A story will then be constructed out of information not worthy of such a story and losing might very well become the new winner.

Certainly, Shaun White failed to capitalize on a great opportunity, but ESPN failed to do the same.

Time Difference Ruining Olympic Viewing Experience

BY STEVEN KUBITZA

The excitement of watching live sports in real-time is the suspense. Anything can happen at any moment and those watching in real-time will all take in the events simultaneously as they happen.

Things are a little different for Americans viewing the Winter Olympics.

Sochi is nine hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so the events of the Olympics are long over before the NBC primetime broadcast airs.

This gap of time creates a situation in which the events are already over and reported on before they air. Sure, the events can be viewed as they happen online, but they occur at odd hours of the day so it is often far more convenient to view them in primetime.

This results in events ending and the results being known before they can air on television.

A simple solution to the problem? Don’t go online or watch television until the primetime broadcast airs. However, that is simply not how people function in today’s world. They do not have a strong argument to complain about seeing the results early if they do in fact go online or watch television, but it is still frustrating for viewers.

Shaun White failed to win his third straight gold medal in men’s half pipe as he came in fourth, and this was known early in the afternoon on Tuesday. The event did not air on NBC until late Tuesday night, so instead of watching to see if he would win a medal, viewers tuned in to watch why he did not win. Not exactly a viewing filled with excitement.

There is nothing that can be done about the time difference in Sochi. It is just something that has to be dealt with when watching events that are in different parts of the world.

However, it seems that there is little need for American news outlets to publicize the results of events before they air on American television. (Yes, the events are all available live online, but the majority of people watching the Olympics will do so with televisions).

It is an issue with the age of instant information and the need to know what is happening the second it is happening.

So until people completely shut themselves out from all media during the day, which takes a special kind of self-discipline, spoilers will continue to exist and be discovered for any event that is airing on a tape delay.