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Time Names Bleacher Report and Grantland Among 50 Best Websites of 2011

The sports website Bleacher Report gets a lot of grief in the sports blogging community. The Sports Pickle, a satire site run by the esteemed D.J. Gallo, recently ran this mock-up of Bleacher Report‘s newly redesigned front page, and it hits on all the perceived shortcomings of the upstart website — spelling errors, annoying slideshows that boost page views, untimely columns about staid topics, stupid columns about stupid topics, etc.

Nevertheless a lot of people read Bleacher Report, which claims to be the 4th-largest sports media site in the U.S. with 20 million monthly readers. Mind you, this traffic is no doubt buoyed by some voodoo search engine optimization, which seems to put BR articles at the top of most sports-related Google searches. Perhaps that helps explain why Time magazine named Bleacher Report one of its Top 50 websites of 2011. Here’s the write-up from Harry McCracken, a name we believe to be real.

At Bleacher Report, the sports reporting isn’t performed by a tiny staff of full-time journalists – it’s done by thousands of fan-contributors, which is why it feels so deep and so passionate. The standard of quality is markedly higher than at some community-created news hubs, where “citizen journalist” can be a synonym for “poorly paid amateur.” Like a sports-themed variant of the Huffington Post, the site has a penchant for wacky lists and sideshows. Many of them, like “50 Bold Predictions for the Rest of the MLB Season,” are nicely done, not just fluffy filler. Read more

Nothing Says 600 Home Runs Like Condoms

It’s not everyday a baseball player hits 600 home runs.

It’s also not everyday that a guy gets his teammates 600 condoms as a result.

Both of these scenarios came to fruition for Jim Thome in the last 24 hours.

“As a congratulatory gift for Thome’s incredible feat, NuVo sent the Minnesota Twins 600 condoms,” the condom company said in a release. “NuVo hopes this offering to the team will help keep the Twins players and their partners safe during their celebrations!”

That should be just enough to get the Twins through their next road trip.

 

Musburger and Lundquist To Be Honored By National Football Foundation

Broadcasting legends Brent Musburger and Verne Lundquist are co-recipients of the 2011 Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award from the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame. The two will be honored at the NFF’s annual awards dinner on Dec. 6 in New York City.

“We are thrilled to honor both Brent and Verne, two of the best announcers our sport has ever known,” said NFF president and CEO Steve Hatchell. “Millions of fans have had their fall Saturdays enriched by their exceptional storytelling abilities, and they stand atop the broadcasting profession as true masters of capturing the drama of the gridiron. We are all truly fortunate to have been in their audience for so many years, and we look forward to honoring them.”

Lundquist, aka, “The Golden Throat,” is CBS’ lead play-by-play announcer for college football. The 71-year-old was the Dallas Cowboys’ radio man from 1967 to 1984. Nationally, he worked for ABC Sports from 1974 to 1981, CBS from 1982 to 1995, and TNT from 1995 to 1997 before returning to CBS in 1998.

Musburger, one of the original members of CBS’ tremendous pregame program The NFL Today, has been the top broadcaster at ABC Sports since 2006. He works the channel’s college football primetime series with Bob Davies and Kirk Herbstreit, among other duties. Like Lundquist, Musburger has called many of the world’s best sporting events.

Kansas State Launching HD Online Network

It’s no Longhorn Network, but Kansas State is launching their own high-definition digital network at the end of month called K-StateHD.TV.

Wildcat fans will have access to over 100 live athletic events during the 2011-12 season, classic K-State games and replays, press conferences, originally programming and on-campus performances.

K-StateHD.TV goes live on Aug. 30 with the Wildcats’ volleyball home opener against Creighton. K-State’s football season opener against Eastern Kentucky will be broadcast live exclusively on K-StateHD.TV, the first time in school history that a live home football game will be made available solely online. Read more

The Dan Patrick Show to Air on CSNNE Starting Monday

The Dan Patrick Show will be simulcast on Comcast SportsNet New England from 9 a.m. to noon starting Monday. The radio show from Premiere Radio Networks can already been seen on DirecTV and certain of Fox Sports Net, Root Sports and Comcast Sports Net. Patrick, a former ESPN personality, also co-hosts NBC’s Football Night in America on Sundays and writes a weekly interview piece for Sports Illustrated called “Just My Type.”

David Ortiz Finally Got The RBI He Was Pissed About

We thought David Ortiz was ready to go postal last week after he was robbed of an RBI against the Cleveland Indians.

Well, today we learned that not only did Ortiz get the RBI when MLB reviewed the decision made by official scorer Charles Scroggins, but his postgame tirade was all thanks to a prank by teammate Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox second baseman told the slugger his RBI was taken away after John Henry and Theo Epstein ordered Scroggins to change the official call in order to keep Ortiz’s stats low for when both sides negotiate a new deal this offseason.

That’s one way of maintaining a loose clubhouse.

 


Fox Announces New Football Broadcast Pairings

Rest easy, you Joe Buck fans. The master of the subdued will remain paired with Troy Aikman as the No. 1 Fox broadcast team for NFL football this season. Moreover, the No. 2 and No. 3 teams — Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Tony Siragusa and Thom Brennaman/Brian Billick — remain intact, as well. But the remaining Fox pairings will be tossed up this year, with John Lynch and Jim Mora receiving promotions.

Lynch, the former All-Pro safety for the Bucs and Broncos who called games last year with play-by-play announcer Ron Pitts, moves up to Fox’s fourth on-air team to work with announcer Dick Stockton. Analyst Tim Ryan, who worked with Sam Rosen last season, will team with Chris Myers. Mora, a part-time analyst last year, moves up to become a full-timer alongside Pitts. And rookie analyst Chad Pennington, who is rehabbing an offseason injury and hoping to return to the NFL, will call games with Rosen.

Gus Johnson, who came over to Fox from CBS, will team with Charles Davis as a part-time team and will begin with the Oct. 2 game between the Redskins and Rams.

ESPN 3D Airing 20 Regular Season College Football Games

ESPN 3D will carry 20 regular-season games during the 2011 college football season, double the amount from 2010.

The network’s 3D coverage kicks off Labor Day weekend when ESPN 3D will broadcast UNLV vs. Wisconsin (Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. ET) and Miami vs. Maryland (Sept. 5, 8 p.m. ET).

The Dr Pepper ACC Championship game will cap off ESPN 3D’s regular-season coverage. For the second straight year, ESPN 3D will broadcast the Allstate BCS National Championship Game, along with five additional bowl games as well.

The complete 2011-2012 ESPN 3D schedule is below: Read more

HBO PPV Lands Pacquiao-Marquez III

Manny Pacquiao will make his return to HBO on Nov. 12 as the cable network will distribute his pay-per-view fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.

‘We’re thrilled that Manny Pacquiao’s Nov. 12 fight with Juan Manuel Marquez will be presented by HBO Pay-Per-View,” the network said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Top Rank on this special event.”

Exact details about HBO’s coverage haven’t been confirmed yet, but Dan Rafael of ESPN.com tweeted that HBO’s 24/7 for Pacquiao-Marquez will be replayed on CNN. Read more

Damien Woody Is The Latest ESPN NFL Hire

Former NFL offensive lineman Damien Woody is the latest to join ESPN as an NFL analyst.

The 12-year veteran, who announced his retirement from the league Friday, will appear on SportsCenter, NFL Live, First Take and ESPNEWS.

“I’m grateful for all the support over the years from my family, my fans, and the league,” said Woody. “I’m excited to start the next phase of my career, moving from the NFL family to the ESPN family, and I feel blessed to continue to be a part of the game of football.”

Woody will make his ESPN debut next month.

Earlier this week, ESPN hired former coach Eric Mangini and ex-defensive end Hugh Douglas.

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