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2011 ESPYs Draw Lowest Ratings Since Mid-1990s

The 2011 ESPYs drew 1.984 million viewers on ESPN Wednesday, the least-viewed edition of their annual award show since at least 1995.

Those numbers were down 24 percent from 2010 (2.611 million) and down 14 percent from 2009 (2.3 million).

On a night when there was nothing going on in the sports world (sorry, the Triple-A All-Star Game doesn’t count), the ESPYs had no direct competition.

Well, unless you count TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland (2.0 million), and TNT’s Franklin and Bash (2.54 million), which drew more viewers Wednesday night.

[H/T Sports Media Watch]

Video: Bobby Valentine Apologizes for Saying 'Fagged Out' During HR Derby

ESPN baseball commentator Bobby Valentine apologized for mispeaking during last night’s Home Run Derby, after Valentine — in trying to describe participants who swing at too many offerings too quickly — said they become “fagged out.”

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated asked Valentine to explain the statement, and he did via a released statement through ESPN PR, saying “I meant to say fatigued and it came out wrong. I’m truly sorry for my mistake.”

Seems like a logical explanation. No need to write a story that groups him with DeSean Jackson, Joakim Noah and Kobe Bryant.

(H/T to Awful Announcing)

Deadspin Editor Drops Acid and Plays MLB2K11 to Recreate Ellis' Infamous 1970 No-Hitter

In an homage of sorts to Dock Ellis‘ infamous 1970 no-hitter, which was reportedly achieved under the influence of LSD, Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio decided to drop acid for the first time in his life and try to throw a no-hitter on MLB2K11 — using a custom-generated version of the 1970 Ellis.

The pixelated field was so lush and vibrant, ground zero for some damn good video-game baseball, courtesy of me, the shaggy dude with a head full of low-grade lysergide. I was putting on an absolute clinic for these imaginary spectators, not to mention (editor Tommy Craggs and video editor Matt Toder). “You’re cruising right along,” one of them said, or maybe it was the hydrangea. They marveled at how quickly I’d mastered Dock’s palm ball. [Ed. note: This may have been the point where Craggs wrote to tell the office that A.J. was saying "Palm ball!" to himself, over and over, like an incantation.]

Then Nick Hundley busted it up with a lazy single and my brain screamed “NOOOOOO!” in a high-pitched roller-coaster whistle. That was cruel. Life was cruel. It’s Tuesday. Is my leg on fire? Then I took another dose.

Every time an opposing player got a hit, Daulerio would start over. He did this 48 times. Started over, that is. He didn’t drop acid 48 times (we think). Alas, he was unsuccessful in his quest.

Nevertheless he took acid during a work day, with the full knowledge of his boss, and he taped himself playing a video game. That has to be a milestone in itself.

Vic Carucci Leaving For Cleveland Browns

NFL writer Vic Carucci is leaving for a position with the Cleveland Browns.

Carucci will host a new daily radio show on ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland and contribute to

“This is an incredibly exciting opportunity,” Carucci said. “You’re talking about a franchise with such a rich history and some of the most passionate fans in all of sports. The radio show is an ideal platform to interact with them on a daily basis. The other very attractive part of this job is being able to work with one of the true legends of the game in Mike Holmgren and with the highly talented front-office team that he has put together. Everything about this organization is first class.”

Carucci will continue to host his weekly SiriusXM Radio show.



Cover Of Thursday's Boston Globe Sports Section

Here’s the cover of Thursday’s Boston Globe sports section.

I have a feeling the Vancouver Sun cover will be far different.

UDM to Name Court for Vitale

The University of Detroit Mercy will name their home court after former coach and current ESPN personality Dick Vitale during an ESPN2-televised game against St. John’s on Dec. 5, the school announced Wednesday.

“What Dick has done for the game of college basketball is nothing short of remarkable, and it is only fitting that we honor him in such a special way — given his career started right here at U. of D. as a head coach,” UDM athletic director Keri Gaither said. “Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall will serve as a perpetual and lasting tribute to not only Dick’s time at Detroit but also his significant contributions to the sport over several decades.”

Vitale recorded a thank-you video presentation that was played during the conference.

“I can’t tell you how much this means to me,” he said. “This is an incredible honor.”

Vitale coached the Titans to four winning seasons from 1973-77, including a 25-4 record and NCAA Tournament bid in 1977.

(Source: Fox Sports Detroit)

Video: Media Widely Suggest LeBron Visit Psychologist

When Alex Rodriguez was the focus of the sport world’s disdain, it was widely suggested that the Yankees’ third baseman visit a sports psychologist to deal with his perceived inability to handle postseason pressure. Rodriguez, you’ll recall, came to New York under controversial circumstances, after a trade with the Yankees’ biggest rival, the Red Sox, fell through and the Yankees swooped in and completed a deal, followed by A-Rod saying he preferred the Yankees over the Red Sox all along. Thanks to a monster 2009 postseason that carried New York to its 27th title, no one talks anymore about A-Rod’s postseason failings or his need to visit a sports psychologist. No, that conversation has now shifted to LeBron James, who came to Miami under controversial circumstances and then said he never considered himself a Cleveland resident anyway.

As soon as LeBron wins, people will start suggesting that Carmelo Anthony or Alexander Ovechkin or Kevin Durant need to visit a sports psychologist. The sports world demands to have its physically superior mental midget. It somehow makes us feel collectively better about ourselves: “I may not be able to dribble without looking at the ball, but I would definitely demand the rock in crunch time!”

(H/T to Sportsgrid for video)

Belmont Stakes' Overnight Ratings Up 55 Percent

The Belmont Stakes earned a 4.8 overnight rating and an 11 share Saturday on NBC, up 55 percent from last year’s race on ABC, according to The Nielsen Company.

Last year’s Belmont Stakes, which lacked the winners of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, registered a 3.1 overnight rating, the lowest in more than a decade.

Saturday’s rating is down just four percent (5.0 rating) from the 2009 Belmont Stakes when jockey Calvin Borel attempted to become the first jockey win the Triple Crown on two different horses.

For the first time since 2005, all three Triple Crown races aired on the same network.



The Monday Night Football Logo Gets A New Look

If we have a Monday Night Football this fall, it will have a new look.

ESPN has redesigned the logo to give it a more modern feel.

“Every year we go back and analyze the entire show in the offseason to raise the bar and make our presentation even better,” said senior vice president and executive producer Jed Drake. “The logo has been a point of focus this spring, developing a new mark that embodies the energy, spirit and tradition of Monday Night Football.” Read more

ESPN To Air Road To Omaha Selection Show

ESPN will televise the NCAA Division I Road to Omaha Selection Show Presented by Capital One on Monday, May 30 at 12:30 p.m.

The live announcement of the 64-team field for the NCAA Baseball Championship will be hosted by Ryan Burr along with analyst Kyle Peterson. Along with breaking down each region, Keith Law will discuss which Major League Baseball prospects to watch.

The network’s coverage of the NCAA Baseball Championship begins June 3 on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and