Marv Albert Finds Web Reports Upsetting
Marv Albert says he's read some creative stuff about himself online. "Maybe I'll look back and think it's humorous. Now, it's upsetting."
At issue is what happened when Albert last week was getting set to appear on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! As he was walking backstage to his dressing room he heard something and thought it was people kidding around. The raised voices, he thinks, came from someone with rapper 50 Cent - another Kimmel guest - wanting to use a phone in Albert's room. "But I didn't even see the guys and don't even think there was a scuffle."
Still, the diminutive TNT NBA announcer says he and friends and family found various online accounts of things Albert says never happened - including that he and 50 Cent had a fight. "I kept reading about new things that never happened," he says. "Maybe it will keep going until Jimmy Kimmel gets punched."
Or, maybe, some wild dogs showed up and Albert had to shoot them right before showtime.
NBC, with its package of Notre Dame home football games, is sort of the school's own TV caddie. But late in Notre Dame's loss to Connecticut on Saturday, leaving the Irish 6-5, NBC aired footage of coach Charlie Weis saying after he'd been hired five years ago that 6-5 was not good enough. Then, NBC announcers Pat Haden and Tom Hammond candidly agreed on-air that Weis is toast as coach.
Notre Dame, which ESPN's Lou Holtz, formerly the Irish coach, predicted would make this season's Bowl Championship Series title game because of its supposedly easy schedule, scored for NBC. Its overtime loss Saturday drew 2.5% of the 56 urban TV markets measured for overnight ratings - its highest overnight for its season finale on NBC since 1999.
Soccer's David Beckham, on Dan Patrick's DirecTV show, discussed his wife Victoria's public candor: "She said a few things in the past that we really laugh about, um, about me wearing her underwear. . . . She's just an honest person, and it's all true." Keep us posted. . . . NFL Network analyst Matt Millen, talking about Carolina Panthers wideout Steve Smith during the Miami Dolphins-Panthers game, sounded like he might be thinking like he did when he was the woeful Detroit Lions' boss: "He is a pure football player. I'd love to put him at safety." And then, maybe, draft another wide receiver. Kidding. . . . Fox NFL pregame comedian Frank Caliendo on Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, 86, gesturing obscenely after a recent road game, for which he was fined $250,000: "I'm just glad (Adams) didn't moon anyone."
Los Angeles Clippers local TV announcers Ralph Lawler and Michael Smith had one-game suspensions Friday after on-air comments about Memphis Grizzlies center Hamed Haddadi, an Iranian. Smith pronounced Iran as "eye-ran" - prompting at least one viewer complaint - and suggested Sacha Baron Cohen could play Haddadi in a film. Lawler said "those Iranians can pass the ball." To sportscasters who haven't figured it out: Almost any on-air reference to race or ethnicity is likely to get you suspended.
Fox's Jay Glazer reports the NFL has a new policy on player concussions requiring teams to consult with independent physicians. And, Glazer reports, because the military has also had problems with concussions, the medical staffs of the U.S. government and the NFL have been trading information. . . . CBS' Charley Casserly says an NFL memo requiring players picked for the Pro Bowl, including ones playing in the next week's Super Bowl, to be at the Pro Bowl site in Miami for introductions on Jan. 31 is a bad idea: "Team chemistry the week of the Super Bowl should take precedence over promoting the Pro Bowl." . . . In its first Thanksgiving replay of a game played on a Thanksgiving, the NFL Network on Thursday (9 a.m. ET) shows the most-watched Thanksgiving game in the past 19 years - Miami's 1993 win vs. the Dallas Cowboys. Can't remember it? Hint: Leon Lett.
Michael Barrett, a former Illinois insurance salesman accused of secretly filming ESPN reporter Erin Andrews, had bail set at $100,000 in a Los Angeles federal court Friday. He faces one count of interstate stalking. . . . CBS' Casserly, on speculation he'd become Cleveland Browns general manager, said he hasn't had any discussions with the team and added that the focus is on Mike Holmgren. . . . ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons is on a two-week Twitter suspension. ESPN says he violated its social media policy by making vindictive media criticism, such as tweeting that ESPN's Boston radio affiliate had "deceitful scumbags." ESPN's Mike Soltys says this is ESPN's first Twitter suspension. . . . After the Chicago Bears declined NBC's request to interview struggling quarterback Jay Cutler, coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo for NBC's coverage of the Bears-Philadelphia Eagles game Sunday night, NBC's Bob Costas didn't seem miffed. "I don't think this is particularly a big deal," he told NBC's Chicago TV affiliate. "Cutler had an especially bad game the last time out. There isn't that much more that can be said about that, so they've decided anything they say just adds to the noise." . . . Jack Arute, longtime college football and motor sports announcer, has worked his last ESPN/ABC event and won't return. Arute also works for Versus. . . . HBO drew 1.25 million pay-per-view buys for its recent Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight, including a record 110,000 from Cotto's native Puerto Rico.