Perhaps the “Jeopardy!” home audience is largely unfamiliar with the current condition of TV-delivered football.
Last week The Post carried a story about a successful “Jeopardy!” contestant who was catching heat for unsportsmanlike, self-celebratory in-your-face, childish behavior.
Heck, if any of them had previously watched a football telecast, college or NFL, they’d have no rooting interest as that’s all they’d see as a matter of pre-telecast design.
I have yet to meet a TV exec, game producer or game director who would set out to diminish the sport he/she was authorized to televise, nor would they work to encourage kids to vandalize games or break rules with excessively self-smitten, post-play misconduct.
But such images have not only increased in football telecasts, TV has grown more eager to show them in replays — slow-motion for emphasis. These same, “wouldn’t do that to my kids” folks are clearly eager to do so to yours, to the pointless point of encouraging uncivil behavior to be rewarded by a cameo appearance on TV.
At the same time, a second look at skilled play has been intentionally lost to scenes of muscle-flexing, chest-pounding and all forms of post-play self-aggrandizement, including group demonstrations, much of it clearly rehearsed for TV’s cheap and easy approval and remorselessly redundant — as in, oh so tired — empty-headed attention.
As reader Brian Trainor asks, “Shouldn’t bows be taken at the end of performances?”
For crying out loud, late in that Jets-Giants action-starved debacle, CBS found some: Two kids, maybe 8 or 9, running around in the stands bare-chested in the rain and cold. This scene had to be searched, found and settled upon then deemed a “Go!” worthy of our NFL game-day attention.
What’s in it for TV audiences? For football? Nothing good. It today would be known on TV as “a negative gain.”
I know this: CBS’ broadcast booth showed constraint. Where I would have called for the heads of the ostensible adults who allowed or encouraged this, Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber and Matt Ryan at least pretended they hadn’t seen a thing.
Yet, had even one of them spoken up or out, they’d have won the otherwise miserable day. Sure, they would’ve been at peril for not pandering to the “NFL Experience,” but what could Roger Goodell have done, stopped cashing CBS’ checks?
And now worse has taken a turn for the worse. Third- or fourth-down-and-important triggers the alert in the broadcast truck to flee from the field to show a series of faces-painted, over-served, fried over-easy and successfully dressed for cheap TV attention yahoos in the stands.
Saturday, late in overtime of Texas-Kansas State and KSU about to try a tying field goal, Fox cut to a shot of a bare-chested child wearing a Texas helmet. My sister-in-law would have known better!
This is what TV, no better group thought at work, chooses to show us before the most important plays. How may tight ends are in? Is the defense packed in or expecting a pass? Where are the wide receivers? Is there a first-down fullback in?
Who knows? Who cares? Look, there are guys with beer cups smacking the tarp down near the field! Quick! On ’em! Let’s show all that we can be as stupid as the rest!
The mindlessness (or conditioned laziness) even spills into the studios, where little is recorded then presented as can’t miss! That’s why ABC/ESPN last Saturday, well after Texas A&M-Ole Miss, gave us replays of two 1-yard TD plunges instead of action from a 33-30 final!
By now one would think that the head of every network’s sports division would have long ago insisted that his or her charges promote the games rather than what’s killing them.
One would think that there would be one network that would want to be known for putting the sport ahead of the garbage, the long-term good and welfare of a sport ahead of what’s killing it. One would think.
Kay finds courage to critique Cashman
It was with some sooner-or-later risk that Michael Kay publicly condemned Brian Cashman for his crude and unbecoming self-defense last week. Heck, depending on the way Cashman takes it, that one his most dependable paid public defenders is moved to such a declaration there must be something in it for Cashman to consider as worthy of his consideration.
So, unless Kay suspects or knows that Cashman is a goner, good for Kay for speaking a hard but conspicuous truth.
But now that he sees fit to pass reasonable judgment on the comportment of those in responsible public positions, his ESPN Radio team partner Peter Rosenberg’s other gig as host of a hip hop radio show regularly — and proudly — includes the most vulgar, sexually explicit, hate-filled and violent lyrics and discussions that he cowardly refuses to repeat on Kay’s show lest the station lose its license.
But Rosenberg — another thin-skinned, talks-tough radio guy — remains very sensitive to criticism.
Oklahoma State QB Alan Bowman, starting six years ago, played three years for Texas Tech, then two years at Michigan and this season transferred to OSU.
Bowman has played after a “red-shirt senior” year and after becoming a “graduate transfer.”
Meanwhile, Colorado’s “God Sent Me” coach Deion Sanders, twice the no-tough-questions-asked pal of CBS’ “60 Minutes,” is the father of Colorado’s transfer QB Shedeur Sanders, last week cited for illegally parking his new Rolls Royce won on college sports’ new version of “The Price Was Right.”
Monday, another no-shame college game left to be defended with shallow rationalizations: In its home opener, Fairfield University’s women’s team totaled 34 3-point tries and 16 steals to slip past Lehman, 101-14.
Coaches rule the campus
What do you suppose would happen to the Division 1 college president who placed genuine education over football and basketball? He or she would be a goner, and coaches such as Rick Pitino know it. That’s why they’re the most powerful people on campus.
For little-compromise sports entertainment, I’ll always take my chances on an NHL game. Thursday, as reliably alert Islanders TV voice Brendan Burke noted from Isles-Bruins, the final 8:25 of the second period was played without a whistle.
Still haven’t seen an NHL player flex his muscles after delivering a hit.
As the late Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, sang, “How can we miss you when you won’t go away?” Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Fox’s Giants-Cowboys today at 4:25 will be wrecked by lead analyst Greg Olsen, who would describe, at great length, the uses of water.
My pal, Billy P, ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon to see which would come first.