Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Posts about Television

Weekend Links with Jon Marthaler: Fox Sports 1 can't really challenge ESPN

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: August 17, 2013 - 10:26 AM

Fox Sports 1 officially launches today, replacing the Speed Channel in your cable or satellite lineup. The network has been heavily promoted in recent days, mostly as an alternative to the monolith that is ESPN - just as the NBC Sports Network was when it rebranded in January 2012.

Of course, neither NBCSN or FS1 will actually challenge ESPN; the folks in Bristol have an enormous head start. To truly catch ESPN, Fox Sports would have to eventually launch at least three more channels, make its website into one of the most-visited on the internet, an emerge as both an important broadcaster and an important source of journalism. This, frankly, seems unlikely from the network that inflicts both Tony Siragusa and Cleatus the FOX Sports Robot on a cowering American public.

This is, of course, not excusing ESPN; the network's myriad faults are on display every day. And so this got me thinking: if I was going to design a sports channel, what would it look like? Here's what I came up with:

  • There would always be a game on. There must be some kind of sporting event going on, somewhere on the Earth, 24 hours a day; surely it'd be possible to be broadcasting something at all hours.
  • All "shoulder" programming - you know the type: preview shows and magazine shows and non-highlight review shows - would be relegated to the internet.
  • Highlights shows would be required to show nothing but highlights, preferably with the announcers and crowd noise from the original broadcast. Anyone attempting to offer pithy commentary would be tackled and dragged off, except in the case of blooper reels, which are always fun.
  • Any show that is based on old sportswriters arguing will be recorded, not live, and the recording will be put in a can, sealed in a shipping container, and dropped into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or an active volcano.

So there you go, Fox Sports 1. I know you're not interested in following my advice, but hey, a guy can dream.

*On with the links:

*Deadspin has an expansive profile of Michael Bradley, who is not the most famous American soccer player, but may well be the best.

*Parker Hageman - have I mentioned before how much I like Parker's writing? - looks at the mechanical changes at the plate that Brian Dozier made to turn around his season.

*I like to write, but when I read Charlie Pierce writing about Tiger Woods, it turns out instead of writing I am only mashing my fists into the keyboard.

*Education time! Chris Brown at Grantland learns you all about the new option football, which involves running a passing play and a running play at the same time. And while he's at it, he also explains the concept of the "option route," which basically boils down to the "just go down and get open" plays you used to call in the backyard.

*And finally: Let's all just watch Jozy Altidore's free-kick in Sarajevo a hundred more times.

Stu's Hunt Down: Craig Kilborn

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated: June 3, 2010 - 12:29 PM


The Huntdown


Name: Craig Kilborn
Nickname: Craigers, Kilby (note: I believe he gave these nicknames to himself).
Claim to Fame, Minnesota: one of us! Although born in Kansas City, Kilborn grew up in Hastings, where he was an All-State high school basketball player, earning a scholarship to Montana State University. He later sat in on a few Timberwolves broadcasts and even scrimmaged with the team during their 2003 training camp
Claim to Fame, Everywhere Else: after his college basketball career ended, Kilborn went into sports broadcasting, landing at ESPN in 1993. He left the Worldwide Leader in 1996 to host the original incarnation of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. He parlayed that into his own post-Letterman show on CBS three years later, before departing to “focus on writing and producing different television projects” in 2004. Speaking as someone who has enjoyed his work, it’s fair to note that he was succeeded at both The Daily Show and the Late Late Show by people who are funnier than he is.
Where He Is Now: after essentially falling off the face of the earth for the last six years (save for appearances in The Shaggy Dog and The Benchwarmers), he is returning to TV this month with The Kilborn Files, a half-hour show that will air on select Fox affiliates across the country this summer, although not locally.
Glorious Randomness: if you’re reading this, you’re probably well aware that Kilborn played Meredith Grey’s jerk husband love interest in Old School, which means you’d probably like to watch the scene where Will Ferrell takes a tranquilizer dart to the neck. (Earmuffs needed for language, per usual in that movie).



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