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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Both teams' announcers blow call at end of Pistons-Wizards game

The fine folks at Awful Announcing, who, if you're interested in this post then I would recommend you follow them, have pointed out that the home and visiting broadcasts BOTH incorrectly called a last-second 3-point attempt as the game-winner for the Wizards Wednesday night.
The Wizards' broadcast team appears to be the loser, shouting "Dagger!" after the ball grazed the net. (Watching at the gym without sound, I also thought the shot was good.)

Meanwhile, on the Pistons' broadcast, George Blaha said the shot was no good, but reasoned that it had been released after the buzzer. After replays disproved his assertion, Blaha points out the broadcast "booth" is actually in the rafters of the arena.
Awful announcing substantiates Blaha's excuse, reporting Washington's Verizon Center is one of just two NBA arena's which relegate TV broadcasters to the upper bowl of the stadium. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MLB enters 21st century, makes classic highlights available online

You may have noticed it can be quite difficult to find your favorite MLB highlights on YouTube. Recently, though, it seems the league, which typically does a good job of sharing recent highlights, has uploaded a significant cache of classic highlights to it's website,
The move is a departure from MLB's draconian measures of holding its copyrighted material hostage and includes such Tigers highlights as:
Cecil Fielder's 1993 roof shot at Tiger Stadium (There's also the 1991 home run when Fielder hit it all the way out of Milwaukee's County Stadium)
A much younger and skinnier Miguel Cabrera puts the Florida Marlins ahead in Game 7 of the 2003 NLCS against the Cubs

A two-HR inning from Magglio Ordonez in 2007

Other Tigers moments include stellar defensive plays from Lou Whitaker and Brandon Inge, as well as the day Carlos Guillen hit for the cycle. 
You could spend hours locked away in this vault of treasures. It also includes some of Bo Jackson's finest plays, enough Barry Bonds clips to satisfy even Barry Bonds himself, and even a scuffle or two.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

U-M clarifies which block 'M' it wants media to use

U-M issued the following notice to the media
As many alternate uniforms as Michigan's football and basketball teams wear these days, there's at least as many iterations of the famous block "M" floating around.
At The Oakland Press, we recently received a politely-crafted letter from U-M Public & Media Relations requesting we use just the two latest versions of the famed insignia. The notice also asks that "we," assuming this is a standard letter sent to all local media, remove any of the offending versions from our archives.
Not a "blocked "M"
"One of the goals of the athletic department is to create brand consistency by clearly defining and limiting versions of the block M that so distinctly represent our institution."
 That's an interesting justification coming on the heels of the ever-changing uniforms that have found their way into the Wolverines' locker rooms of late.
We try to use the latest versions on logos, but it's strange a program which is constantly changing it's look is insisting media stick to two of its logos.
For a quick history of the evolving block "M" and other University of Michigan logos from the past, visit

Monday, February 25, 2013

YouTube videos of NASCAR crash at Daytona raise ownership issue

NASCAR: Nothing to see here
Do you ever look at the back of your ticket stub or take a minute to consider broadcast rights before posting photos and/or video from a game you've attended?
NASCAR, to much scrutiny by media types, flagged a popular video of Saturday's crash at the end of the Nationwide Series race for copyright infringement, to which YouTube initially obliged, but later rebuked. NASCAR had been claiming the video constituted copyright infringement, but later said the move was made in attempt to protect the victims in the horrific crash. The merit of the complaint remains in debate, but begs the question — Where does a fan's ownership over photos and videos end?
Does a fan surrender its rights to any media the second a ticket is purchased? Where do you draw the line?
Professional leagues scramble to protect their lucrative broadcasting deals, ignoring the fact that most fans wouldn't record an entire game from the stands even if they could legally do so.
It's clear the Daytona video that drew NASCAR's ire isn't meant to be a reproduction of that day's broadcast. The impromptu video and subsequent coarse language add a human element to a tragic event.
It's also evident Fox was eager to avoid the Daytona crash, instead moving on to planned pre-race "coverage" Sunday afternoon.
It seems the Google-owned video platform made the right call this time and could serve as precedent in the future of fan-generated media during times of crisis.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

After due diligence, Associated Press issues correction for Manti Te'o story

A few weeks back, Feb. 11 actually, the ever-prudent Associated Press took the corrective measure to retract any references to the death of Manti Te'o's girlfriend in any of its stories which were published by various news outlets prior to Deadspin's revelation that there really was no girlfriend whatsoever.
We ran the correction on and associated stories, but it's not likely many organizations bothered to go through the steps to right the fable several many weeks after the revelation was pulled from the murky depths of humanity, like a catfish.
The correction read:
"In a Sept. 15, 2012, story about Notre Dame’s college football victory over Michigan State that highlighted linebacker Manti Te’o's performance, The Associated Press erroneously reported that he played in the game a few days after the death of his girlfriend, who had a long battle with leukemia. Other AP stories through Jan. 3, 2013, also contained references to the girlfriend’s death, including some directly quoting Te’o and his father, Brian Te’o, about how he played through personal grief. On Jan. 16, Notre Dame officials and Manti Te’o said there was never a girlfriend or a death, and that Te’o was victimized in a hoax. Others have since come forward to say Te’o was duped in a series of phone calls and online messages purporting to be from a girl he never met in person."
Director of media relations Paul Colford told media watchdog Poynter the AP issued the Te'o reversal basically because it felt a need to hold the Te'o story to the same standards of any other story:
“Of course, almost everyone already knew the T’eo story was false, but we feel an obligation to carry formal correctives in any case," he told Poynter.
And just when you thought we had moved on from the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax, Te'o answered questions about the scandal from hordes of media at the NFL Combine.  Even if Te'o wins a Super Bowl championship or enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame, we'll always remember his girlfriend that never existed. 

Possible 2014 NHL Winter Classic jerseys arrive before official announcement

Despite the fact the NHL has yet to officially announce the 2014 Winter Classic will again be rewarded to the Detroit Red Wings and the University of Michigan as a makeup gift for the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, the unused uniforms from the game may have already made their online debut., one of my favorite websites as a media savant, reported online auctioneer Ebay may have possibly erred (or not) in putting the suspected Winter Classic uniforms up for sale. 
It is interesting neither jersey appears to have a special event patch marking the game, but it seemed clear well before the date that the event wouldn't be taking place.
Both jerseys seem to encapsulate each teams' heritage without being gaudy like today's collegiate alternates.
It's hard to believe they would scrap this concept completely and begin again from scratch for next year's uniforms, but it is, after all, the NHL at work.