Friday, December 15, 2006

TNT's NBA broadcast focuses on New Orleans today

Kudos to TNT to devote all their between- and after-game airtime to bring the still-broken condition of New Orleans to the forefront. This was on the occasion of the first game played in New Orleans by the itinerant "New Orleans/Oklahoma City-nee-Charlotte Hornets" since Katrina hit the criminally weak levies to remodel the city.

And a heartfelt shout-out to Ernie Johnson, the longtime host of Turner's NBA halftime show -- hang in there, Ernie! Great to see you back. I've always enjoyed your considerable wit, the smooth way you literally "moderate" the show, your always evident humanity, and now your courage.

I was one who was really annoyed when the bull, Barkley, first joined your fine china shop, since I really enjoyed you and Kenny Smith before he and his great big mouth arrived. But now the youngster's calmed down and settled in, and the three of you are a clever, relaxed, enjoyable ride on the subject of professional basketball.
What a contrast with how ESPN handles its NBA share, the much larger one, unfortunately. I like a lot of the individual on-air personalities, but they're clearly being conducted to deliver all opinions at a high pitch, with that constant, macho hurling of challenges.

Don't you hate those ESPN shoutfests? On one of their regular shows, we're invited to watch as those two guys -- I'm not going to name it or them, because we shouldn't encourage them to carry in the manner they do -- argue and yell at each other as they sprint through a tightly timed series of the day's hot topics. It's exhausting, but even better, it leaves you in a cross, contentious mood. Just what we need more of in our world today.

It's "Crossfire" on sports, and it was an advance of civilization when that CNN show went off the air, sunk, it seemed, by John Stewart's gutsy appearance on their show to beg them to stop.
-- See, now, here's a great example: Barkley says he could compete in the Eastern Conference today, Reggie Miller says if you can run up and down those stairs (the lower bowl of the arena) in 20 seconds, I'll believe you -- and the next thing you know, Charles is charging up the stairs. The camerapeople are quick and zoom back to catch it, and he arrives back in a respectable time, but clearly winded, to the merriment of all.

This kind of spontaneous fun happens so seldom on television these days; it makes you wonder why.
(Note: I wrote this last night while watching the basketball post-game show, after which it was just too late to do any more with.)

Related (satire), here:
"Dance vs. Hoops"

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