Pandora Users Tuning Out Brad Benson Ads







Pandora users are sympathizing with WFAN/New York listeners about enduring ads for Brad Benson's car dealership, featuring his "40-foot erection" (which is actually a Giants Stadium goal post, shown here).

Pandora users are sympathizing with WFAN/New York listeners about enduring ads for Brad Benson’s car dealership, featuring his “40-foot erection” (which is actually a Giants Stadium goal post, shown here).

For years, commercials for the New Jersey-based Brad Benson Auto Group, operated by the former New York Giants offensive lineman, have been running on New York-area radio stations, specifically, WFAN, the New York Giants’ radio flagship.

Due to the ribald and controversial nature of the ads, they’re ones that Phil Mushnick loves to hate (then again, he probably could make a case against photosynthesis, so that’s probably not saying much).

But apparently, these spots aren’t just running on WFAN. They’ve actually been running on Pandora, the popular Internet music service, for years.

And if you thought the outrage against the spots airing on WFAN as brutal, listen to what Pandora users are saying about them:

What these folks don’t realize is that their complaining about the ads translates into free publicity for Brad Benson’s car dealership – specifically, the one in which he talk about his new “forty-foot erection” – i.e. one of the goal posts from the old Giants Stadium that has been erected at his Hyundai outlet in South Brunswick, New Jersey.

One that has now made its way into Pandora’s box.


Tony Romo's New Extension Does Not Sit Well With Donovan McNabb (Audio)







Donovan McNabb took issue with Tony Romo's new contract extension, despite winning one playoff game with the Dallas Cowboys.

Donovan McNabb took issue with Tony Romo’s new contract extension, despite winning one playoff game with the Dallas Cowboys.

As counterparts on teams in the NFC East division, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo always duked it out against each other on the field.

And ever since the Philadelphia Eagles traded McNabb away three Easters ago, all he’s done is make himself look worse on a couple of other teams – including another NFC East team, the Washington Redskins.

Meanwhile, Romo is still the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, and thanks to a new deal reached late this afternoon, it will remain that way until at least the end of the current decade. Both parties agreed to a six-year extension, at $108 million, with just over half of the money – $55 million – guaranteed.

This definitely ticked off now-NFL Network analyst McNabb, who was so flustered, he messed up the details in his initial tweet, which was retweeted 10,000 times within an hour.

By the way, Romo’s lone playoff win – yeah, it came against the Eagles, with McNabb at quarterback. Yikes.

You know who thinks the Cowboys and Romo should have waited a few more days? NBC Sports Radio. Could you imagine if this deal went down right in the middle of the debut of his new afternoon drive show with Mark Malone, “Under Center”? Instead of dispensing his vitriol at Romo via Twitter, he would have voiced his displeasure on the air on NBCSR, in a sound byte that would have certainly generated some buzz for the new network, if not the neophyte afternoon drive show.

In the meantime, I’m sure McNabb, owner of nine playoff victories with the Eagles in his NFL career, will have something to say about Romo’s extension on tonight’s edition of “NFL Total Access” on NFL Network; he’s been appearing on the program all week.

Or will he save it for his new radio platform on Monday?

And will his new radio show last on NBC Sports Radio as long as that 5-year, $78 million deal McNabb signed with the Redskins, just weeks before he was eventually benched and later cut by the club?

And the show debuts on April Fool’s Day, of all days? You got to be kidding me.

UPDATE: McNabb conveniently was a guest on Erik Kuselias’ final evening show until he inherits morning drive next week. According to No. 5, he thought the Cowboys should have invested more money in the players around Romo, as opposed to Romo himself. Click here to listen.

Doug Gottlieb Drops White Noise On NCAA Pregame







Seated alongside Charles Barkley and others on CBS' NCAA pregame show, Doug Gottlieb claimed he was there "to bring diversity to the set... give the white man's perspective."

Seated alongside Charles Barkley and others on CBS’ NCAA pregame show, Doug Gottlieb claimed he was there “to bring diversity to the set… give the white man’s perspective.”

As the “sweet sixteen” from this year’s NCAA basketball tournament was about to tip off, Doug Gottlieb immediately left a sour taste in some viewers’ mouths.

Moments after the start of the pregame show on CBS, Gottlieb really stumbled out of the gate. It’s bad enough he started by taking two popular idioms and melding them together, talking about “cream rising to the crop”.

But sitting right in the middle of Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley – all African-Americans – on the CBS/TBS set, Gottlieb went there.

“I don’t know why you guys are asking me, I’m just here to bring diversity to this set here, give the kind of white man’s perspective on things like the point guard position, no?”

Smith and Anthony were visibly stunned by the comment. Watch the video (alternate link).

Will Gottlieb be reprimanded for it? Probably not. After all, this is the same CBS that gave Craig “Vanilla Thunder” Kilborn a late night talk show.

UPDATE, 3.29.13: In the first segment of his radio show on CBS Sports Radio the following day (audio below), he said: “I said it before, I’ll say it again. Sometimes, you try and ice break a joke, and it doesn’t go over well. No one ever said I was a comedian, and apparently, I found the right profession, and comedy isn’t that profession.” He also made many references to the comment during the course of his show, with an extensive amount of time devoted to it in the third hour.

The fact that he was still able to do his radio show the day after the line means there’s likely no plans to suspend him, as I suggested. But the fact that it grew so much hair in the 24 hours since its utterance, he had to say something.

By the way, here’s some instant Twitter reaction to the latest in a long string of instances in which Doug Gottlieb puts the “madness” in March Madness:

Retirement On Deck For Tim McCarver







The 2013 MLB season will be Tim McCarver's last in the Fox booth, putting the finishing touches of a baseball broadcasting career that has spanned four decades. He could resurface via the new Fox Sports 1 network, however.

The 2013 MLB season will be Tim McCarver’s last in the Fox booth, putting the finishing touches of a baseball broadcasting career that has spanned four decades. Pictured is likely how Joe Buck first responded upon hearing the news.

We knew this day was inevitable – and, as usual, there’s a large faction of baseball viewers who are reveling in delight upon hearing this news – but on Wednesday, Fox Sports made it official: 2013 will be Tim McCarver’s final season in the booth.

The decision was all Tim’s, admitting on a conference call from his California residence that it was “not a tough call… My mind was made up and it had been made up for two years.”

The bottom line: “I wanted to step down while I could still do the job” (he also insists “my health is fine”).

Not to suggest that he could no longer perform or anything. McCarver is one of the few broadcasters to be an analyst on all four major broadcast networks, and was the recipient of last year’s Ford C. Frick baseball broadcaster award. He also won three Sports Emmy Awards for his work, though he had not been nominated for “outstanding sports event analyst” since 2010.

Joe Buck will know how that feels this year. But now, he’ll have more concerning things to worry about – like how to prolong the upcoming baseball season.

“I don’t want to do these games without Tim,” Buck said during a conference call. “But I respect his decision to step aside.”

Not only did Buck deem McCarver “a great teammate,” but he also gave him the ultimate compliment: a comparison to his father, the late Jack Buck. “He’s every bit as important to be as my dad.”

So who’s on the short list to replace T-Mac? Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch believes it’s a toss-up between current Turner Sports employees John Smoltz, the MLB Network figure who is an analyst for baseball contests on TBS, and also previously worked Braves broadcasts on Peachtree TV (or what used to be the Atlanta network previously known as “Superstation TBS”), and Ron Darling, who has been calling Mets games for SportsNet New York since 2006.

The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre agrees, and adds Bob Brenly, who is about to become the new analyst for Arizona Diamondbacks games (departing after one season in baseball is not unheard of; just ask Bobby Valentine).

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman sees Darling as the favorite to fill McCarver’s shoes in the Fox booth, but also sees current Fox broadcaster Eric Karros, whose previous stops include ESPN and KCAL in Los Angeles, as a viable “in house” option.

USA Today’s Paul White likes Karros, as well as Jim DeShaies (who replaces Brenly in the Chicago Cubs booth effective this season), and the aforementioned Valentine; he also has dark horses in the form of baseball players with little or no broadcasting experience, like Chipper Jones (a teammate of Smoltz on the Braves for many years), Brad Ausmus, and yes, even Manny Ramirez.

The website Awful Announcing (which some argue should be McCarver’s middle name, if not his epitaph) speculates Fox might turn to Karros, Smoltz, or even “poach” a member of ESPN’s baseball analyst staff.

And a couple of Deadspin commenters suggest either former ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst Joe Morgan, as well as Fox play-by-player Gus Johnson, should sit alongside Buck come 2014.

The 2013 season will be McCarver’s thirtieth straight year on network television, and the ensuing postseason will be an unprecedented 29th for the Memphis native.

In addition to his national work on NBC (1980), CBS (1990-93), ABC (1984-89 and again from 1994-95 during the ill-fated, strike-stricken Baseball Network experiment) and Fox (since 1996), he had spent sixteen seasons as a color analyst for Mets broadcasts on New York’s WOR (later WWOR in 1987); he then began working games for the crosstown New York Yankees on Fox O&O WNYW from 1999 to 2001 (incidentally, it was around this time that News Corporation purchased WWOR, making it a sister station to WNYW). He also worked Giants games for a year in 2002 on San Francisco’s KTVU, another Fox O&O.

McCarver first started his broadcasting career on WPHL in Philadelphia, where he spent the better half of his final decade of his professional baseball career as a catcher with the Phillies; the majority of his playing time was with the Cardinals, who signed him in 1959.

He was barely thirty years old by the time current Fox Sports co-president Eric Shanks was born.

Now, there’s but less than thirty regular season games, including the 2013 All-Star Game, which will take place at CitiField in Flushing, New York, where McCarver analyzed many Mets games in the old Shea Stadium, before T-Mac calls it a career.

Fox has given him an open invite to be involved with their new cable network, Fox Sports 1, launching this summer, but he’s undecided at this point. “There is no plan right now for that and I don’t want to speculate. This March is not next March, and next March I’ll have a pretty good idea about what I will be doing post-Fox baseball.”

This could be the year of sunset for longtime baseball broadcasters. On the West Coast, Vin Scully is about to start his 64th season in the booth. He’s nearly spent twice as much time working ball games as McCarver – and meanwhile, it’s McCarver who’s planning to hang up the headset.

“Timing is everything and I wanted to step down while I know I can still do the job and be proud of the job I have done.”

Love him or hate him (and there’s quite a few in the latter category that have made it known), it is hard not to be proud of what Tim McCarver’s accomplished in thirty-four years of baseball broadcasting.

And even though, physically, Joe Buck will be teamed with an Eric Karros or a Ron Darling or a Manny Ramirez (!), Tim McCarver – sorry, haters – will be irreplaceable.

Phil Mushnick Says "FU" To FGCU







Pictured: FGCU Eagles players doing the chicken dance on Sunday night. That led Phil Mushnick to lay a big goose egg on the team's spirit.

Pictured: FGCU Eagles players doing the chicken dance on Sunday night. That led Phil Mushnick to lay a big goose egg on the team’s spirit.

As a media observer, the Florida Golf Coast University Eagles’ soaring into the Sweet Sixteen should be the sports universe’s feel good story of the year.

A program that’s just twenty-two years young, they just became eligible for Division I postseason play last year.

And what do they do their first time ever in the big dance? They only send a 2-seed and a 7-seed packing, beating both the Georgetown Hoyas and San Diego State Aztecs, respectively, by exactly ten points.

Oh, and they’ve only made history by becoming the lowest seed ever to advance to the fourth round of the NCAA men’s basketball championship.

This Eagles team has shown more life in Philadelphia this past weekend than that city’s NFL team has last year.

And now, FGCU is thrust into the media spotlight for the remainder of the week, as they prepare for a matchup with the cross-state rivals, the Florida Gators.

And rightfully so. It’s a phenomenal underdog story that everybody can relate to.

Unfortunately, I thought TBS’ latest spelling gaffe of an Eagles player was going to be the only disrespect at FGCU’s expense.

Then, I read what New York Post’s sports media columnist Phil “Get Off My Lawn” Mushnick had to say about it.

“Throughout the first week of CBS/Turner’s NCAA Tournament presentation, the networks went ESPN on us,” Mushnick complained. “The message was clear and repetitive: If you act like a self-impressed fool, we’ll minimally reward you with a slow-motion cameo. And the more you betray the sport as a sport, the greater the televised rewards.”

Then, after taking potshots at Marshall Henderson, guard for the Ole Miss Rebels, another low-seeded surprise of this year’s tournament that was actually eliminated on Sunday night by an even lower seeded team – Ole Miss is 12th, and the La Salle (Pa.) Explorers are 13th – Mushnick laid into the Eagles – namely their guard, Sherwood Brown.

“Near the end of the game, Brown, playing to the crowd and the TV cameras, walked over to Len Elmore, Reggie Miller and play-by-player Kevin Harlan and shook their hands. ‘Hah, hah, hah! He’s loving it!’ we were told. But if only one of them had refused his hand and pointed him back on the court to finish the game and show it some respect…”

Mushnick also lamented CBS’ selection of a highlight of Brown that played over him during a live joint interview with him and Eagles coach Andy Enfield (which, by the way, don’t get too attached to him, Fort Myers). “As Brown spoke, CBS showed tape of him, after hitting a short jumper, in a demonstration of great self-regard. That was the chosen clip.”

Any regular reader of Mushnick’s Post columns knows the drill: He has the tendency to take a wholesome sports story and look at it in a pessimistic light.

His worst nightmare would probably be if Brown, Henderson, or any of the “self-impressed fools” that were in action this weekend were drafted by the Brooklyn Nets.

Brown’s exuberance leads Phil Mushnick to argue that “Florida Gulf Coast’s upset of Georgetown lost some of its wonder glow.”

This coming from the dimmest bulb in the sports media chain.

Enjoy the game.

(H/T The Big Lead)

TBS ID's FGCU Star As "Brett Corner"







Florida Gulf Coast's Brett Comer's name was misspelled by TBS, which has a history of misspelling athletes' names on their air.

Florida Gulf Coast’s Brett Comer’s name was misspelled by TBS, which has a history of misspelling athletes’ names on their air.

Okay, so the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles aren’t necessarily household names.

Sherwood Brown. Bernard Thompson. Brett Comer. They’ve made their presence known during the second and third rounds of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

Unfortunately, TBS’ graphics department have also made their presence known when it comes to what we call the ChyronFail.

During the bridge show between TBS’ Sunday night NCAA doubleheader of FGCU/San Diego State and Duke/Creighton, a highlight reel of Comer was preceded by yet another addition to TBS’ lowlight reel.

As the network would say: Very funny.

Heartless: Doug Gottlieb Mocks Wichita State Player's Heart Ailment







Doug Gottlieb took the opportunity to use a player's heart condition as fodder for a clever throwaway line leading into a commercial break during Wichita State/Gonzaga on TNT.

Doug Gottlieb took the opportunity to use a player’s heart condition as fodder for a clever throwaway line leading into a commercial break during Wichita State/Gonzaga on TNT.

In CBS rookie Doug Gottlieb’s first season as a color analyst for the opening rounds of NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament, let’s just say that he’s an acquired taste.

But at one point during Saturday night’s matchup between the Wichita State Shockers and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, you could say he had a flair for the tasteless.

Late in the game, Wichita State forward Carl Hall made a jumper to give his team its first lead in around ten minutes. A foul was called seconds later, which later led to an official TV timeout.

As a replay of Hall’s shot played leading into the break, Gottlieb had a thought on the Shockers senior that was, well, shocking, to say the least:

“Carl Hall’s got a heart problem, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have heart.”

For the uninitiated, Hall, in his late teenage years, was told he could not play basketball due to a heart condition known as “neurocardiogenic syncope.” (No word if he was passing the time with violin lessons.)

Yet, he defied the odds, and here he is, helping the Shockers shock the Bulldogs for a berth in the Sweet Sixteen.

The irony is, the person who first reported about Gottlieb’s heartless line, The Big Lead’s Kyle Koster, also suffers a heart ailment that, like Hall, restricted him from physical activity for some time during his childhood.

“Perhaps what Gottlieb said was innocuous,” Koster writes. “But to me, and millions of others, it’s no laughing matter.”

Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control has a tally of 26.5 million Americans stricken with some sort of heart disease. And the CDC also reports that heart disease is currently the leading cause of death.

Meanwhile, the next person who laughs themselves to death upon hearing the comedic stylings of Doug Gottlieb will be the first.

Doug Gottlieb: no heart.