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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fab Five Q&A

Fab Fiver turned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose talked to Detroit Free Press about the upcoming ESPN documentary about the group Rose helped produce. Some highlights:

On how hard it was to produce the documentary: “It was difficult because it could have been five separate documentaries. Each guy had his own story. Each had his own way of doing things. Had success and failures. But I think we did a great job of capturing of what the Fab Five meant to the public. I think people will be excited when they see it.”

Rose also went on to say he still hates Duke, a team the Wolverines never beat, including a loss in the 1992 national championship game. He also describes the atmosphere the night teammate Chris Webber shipwrecked the group's second-and-final chance at a national title a a year later, calling a timeout the team didn't have in the closing seconds against North Carolina, a team Rose insists U-M should have beaten.

The uneasy situation resulting from Webber's later grand jury indictment and subsequent banishment from the school could be rectified when the school restores the team's banners of accomplishment to the Crisler Arena rafters, Rose said.

“I think everything can be forgiven on both sides once the banners have been reinstated. I think true closure will happen if and when the banners are reinstated.”

I'm sure there will be plenty to come out about the forever infamous group in the March 9 premiere.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

YouTube: Not just for obscure references anymore

The Internet bastion known for bringing you obscure music videos and highlight reels might be bringing live action in the near future. It seems YouTube is in discussion with "most pro sports leagues" to start hosting live sports on the web.
You can already watch sports online through subscription services, but this could make a dent in that in market and bring teams to more fans.
The site, now owned by Google, already shows cricket matches and is aiming to keep viewers on its site longer with the live broadcasts.
Kia will begin airing ads where Blake Griffin flies over one of their cars ... wonder if he's getting a cut of that? ... The Knicks debut of Carmelo Anthony Wednesday was their most-watched regular-season game in 16 years. The previous high? Michael Jordan, still wearing No. 45, scored 55 for the Bulls.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More to 'Melo

There were several different aftershocks felt from Tuesday night's deal:
Anthony appeared on Conan O'Brien's late-night show on TBS. As you may know, such programs are taped in the afternoon. The Carmelo deal didn't go down until the late-night hour. O'Brien offered Anthony an all-in-one jersey featuring stitches of Nets, Knicks and Nuggets jerseys.
Ever the journalist, Harvard grad turned comedian O'Brien tried to get the scoop on the impending deal from Anthony himself, to no avail.

Of course, joining a storied franchise like the Knicks is not a seamless transition when it comes to figuring what number Anthony, who wore No. 15 with the Nuggets, will wear. His old number was already retired by New York. He will reportedly will wear No. 7, while teammate Chauncey Billups will go to No. 4. (He wore No. 1 well with Detroit and Denver).

The new uni should also help Carmelo slip back into the ranks of best-selling NBA jerseys.

Stock in the Knicks franchise actually went down because of all the money the franchise through its owners, Madison Square Garden, are tied to between Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and a renovation project.
Reports were that Anthony would start Wednesday for the Knicks, driving an already high courtside seat cost to nearly $12,000. In fact, the average ticked for the game has risen to $256, more than 2 1/2 times the original going rate. Some ticket brokers were urging fans to wait a couple weeks to go to Madison Square Garden to see 'Melo, as the demand should decline accordingly.
New York papers opted for the "Hello, Melo" headline. I also liked "
DOLAN IT OUT FOR MELO" and "YOU HAD ME AT MELO" suggestions that were floating around the Internet last night.
For more sports business news, follow Darren Rovell's blog on CNBC.
UPDATE: MSG shares finished up 1.4% for the week, according to Rovell. ... Also per Rovell, the Knicks are reporting Melo related apparel has moved 3,500 units.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will Kevin Smith's Detroit hockey film be a 'hit?'

Moviemaker extraordinaire Kevin Smith was on 101.1 WRIF-FM's "Drew and Mike" program Tuesday morning to discuss his new Detroit-based hockey film "Hit Somebody." The film, reportedly about a player with a penchant for fighting, is based on a song written by Mitch Albom, and rumored to be the legendary Gen-X filmmaker's final run.

According to MLive, Smith told the show hosts Detroit is the ideal place to film the movie because it hasn't changed much since the 1980s, near the time setting for the film.
Hearing Albom talk about the lyrics make me long for Bob Probert, who would make a good subject for a hockey biopic.

I hope for Smith and Detroit, the film can put both in a positive light once again.
(The audio of the interview could not be found ... yet)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Anoter Fab '30 for 30'

Apparently it's finally coming: A "30 for 30" about the legendary Fab Five from Michigan. Of course, in real life, it never happened. Or so your children might think if they were to look at the record books. If I had a DVR, it would be set for ESPN the night of March 13 (9 p.m.)
The Fab Five were my first foray into idol worship and I maintain if Chris Webber's ill-fated timeout had never been called, he wouldn't have left for the NBA and the core group would have gotten one more year together and likely at least one more banner to take down.

To prep for the show, I've already ordered a copy of "Fab Five" by Mitch Albom, which I haven't read since the sixth grade, to brush up.

I wonder if Michigan personnel will continue to decline interviews for this piece and I'm anxious for the school's disassociation from Webber to end next year.

The "30 for 30" series has been terrific, and I'm all for ESPN continuing outside of its original parameters of the series. Another terrific addition would be a feature on the Bad Boy era Pistons. I've been waiting on the documentaries of both these groups and I'm glad at least one has come to fruition.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Controversy surrounding "Ferris Bueller's day off"

Growing up, "Ferris Bueller's day off" was one of my favorite films. In fact, the 1986 John Hughes classic is still up there. The film spins the legend of my one-time idol, played to perfection by Matthew Broderick, carousing around the big city (Chicago) while playing hookey from school.
At one point, Bueller and his accomplices, girlfriend Sloane and best friend Cameron, take in a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, going as far as to catch a foul ball from his seat along the left-field line. A report came out this week claiming the crew actors WERE ACTUALLY AT a Cubs game in 1985 to shoot that scene. An SBNation (had to go to the source) story debunks that claim, citing the shadows in the scene and how they differ from the sunlight in the game action shown in the movie.

It's plenty bright in the shadowy left-field stands, as you'll see around the 2:25 mark.
It's naive to think movie and TV scenes are shot at actual games, but this one got my goat and sucked up much of my time earlier today. At least they actually figured out which game was actually referenced in the film.
I realized early on (I've been watching tons of TV since childhood) that these crossover scenes can be shot in real stadiums with actors playing the parts of players and other fans in the background. That's not to say legitimate athletes haven't played themselves in TV and movies while performing their craft, but that's usually not the case.
Either way, glad to see I was right all along about one of my all-time faves.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Super Bowl ads bore, but ratings hit high another note

As ratings for everything have been on the rise this year, including NFL ratings this season, it came as no surprise Super Bowl XLV set another ratings record: It was another close game in what we should consider the "steroid era" of TV viewing.

(For another option to view all the day's advertisements in a different format.)
The overall feeling seems to be that the ads were underwhelming, but I did like the one spot where the NFL mashed up old sitcom clips and reimaged them wearing NFL gear, but I think "ALF" had finished its (his?) run prior to the formation of the Carolina Panthers franchise, but I digress.
Metro Detroit is abuzz over Eminem's Chrysler ad (not the iced tea spot so much, but I did enjoy it.) They managed to keep that under wraps for a long time, even with the auto show in town it didn't manage to leak, which is a big surprise, especially in an era of online unveiling intentional and otherwise.

As you may know, I love Twitter and harnessing its power, which is what did to host the second "Brand Bowl," comparing consumer reaction to Super Bowl ads through Twitter chatter.
A list shows the most popular Super Bowl ads of all-time based on replays and shares. Tech site Mashable even hosted a live blog during the game — about the ads. They didn't seem to care too much for the Eminem Chrysler add by the way, zip to the 9 o'clock hour for the proof.

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Other possible headlines

CNBC sports financial analyst Darren Rovell held a Twitter contest Sunday night seeking Super Bowl headlines. There were plenty of funny ones in there, mostly at Ben Roethlisberger or Brett Favre's expense. The winner was "And the cheese stands alone." I don't really understand it, but I liked several of the entries.
"Rodgers that"
"Brett who?"
"Say cheese"
"Cheese whiz"
"Lombardi goes home"
"Steelers sent Packing"
"Complete Package"
"Stronger than Steel"
"Big Ben loses, allegedly"
"Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood"
"Rodgers to Roethlisberger: No means no"
"Big cheese in Big D"
"The belt fits"
"Favre-orite son"

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Super Bowl XLV commercials primer

Sure, the games have been great recently, but the ads are a big draw to the Super Bowl. They've even attracted attention prior to Super Sunday with spoilers.
Talking about Super Bowl ads inevitably results in people bringing up some of their all-time favorites.
I have a pretty short-term memory for these ads and they all seem to run together. There are however, a couple from the recent past I remember the most, and they don't involve girls fighting over beer, Clydesdales playing football or beer bottles playing football: Fictitious character David Abernathy, certified genius and overachiever struggles to find a car.

One of my other favorites is actually a public service announcement that ran a couple years ago. The Onion's "SportsDome has even weighed in on the subject, mockingly suggesting the big game would be pushed back because a Doritos ad wasn't ready.

One ad you won't see was produced by PETA, featuring girl-on-girl-on-vegetable action.

Get read for the big day by watching last year's commercials.

Of course I'll be watching the game AND the advertisements, I have a feeling I will forget them by Monday.

UPDATE: I do remember some of these famous Super Bowl commercials.

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