At 7 p.m. Wednesday on the NFL Network (Cox 252), the five defensive back draft prospects of Prime U. reunite for a look at how they stand after the NFL draft. For OU’s Lendy Holmes, South Carolina’s Emmanuel Cook and Penn State’s Lydell Sargeant, that’s unhappy after not being drafted.
Connecticut’s Darius Butler went in the second round to New England and South Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn was selected in the seventh round by Carolina. The five have spent months receiving training and guidance for life on and off the field in the NFL from Deion Sanders. This updated episode of “Under Armour Presents: Prime U” takes a look at the hard work and dedication shown by these five draft hopefuls and where they stand now after the NFL Draft.
Another NFL Network show, “Draft Journey: Crabtree–Stafford–Cushing–Life on the Road to the NFL,” airs at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The one-hour documentary tells the stories of three of the top draft prospects — Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree and Brian Cushing — as they make the journey from their final days of college football to the moment they are drafted into the NFL. The program goes behind the scenes to capture intimate moments in the lives of the college stars that will ultimately affect their NFL careers. Draft Journey concludes with the end of the waiting game at the NFL Draft.
At 7 p.m. Thursday, the “2008 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Special” is a one-hour look inside the making of the swimsuit calendar of one the most recognizable cheerleading squads in the world. At 8 p.m. is the NFL Network debut of “Hard Knocks: 2008 Dallas The latest edition of the NFL Films-produced series offers an inside look into the training camp that shaped the last Cowboys roster to call Dallas Stadium home.
Oklahoma City’s former NBA team, the New Orleans Hornets, are on track for an early elimination from the NBA playoffs. The Hornets lost to Denver 108-93 Wednesday night. Former Thunder coach P.J. Carlisimo provided the commentary for TNT’s telecast. Some of Carlisimo’s comments:
On Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups: “I think sometimes Chauncey gets tired of hearing about the young guards in the league. Very few of the young guards, in fact none of the young guards, have accomplished what Chauncey has.”
On Nuggets guard J.R. Smith, a former Hornet: “(The maturation) is happening a little slowly. (J.R. Smith) is coming along, but you’ve got to realize he’s only 23. As George Karl says, he’s a good/bad player, but a lot more good. J.R. Smith is improving with his ball skills, he still turns it over occasionally when he tries to go to the rim. Everybody plays him, they get into him and try to take away his three, the middle game and the finish, that’s what he’s got to develop.”
On Hornets center Tyson Chandler playing with an ankle injury: “The margin for error is not quite the same because (Tyson Chandler) is not quite as explosive. It used to be Chris Paul threw it up in the air and he would go and get it, but he’s got to be a little careful now.”
Studio analyst Charles Barkley on Hornets point guard Chris Paul having to do too much for his team: “It’s unfair to Chris Paul because he has to do so much. Chris Paul is too little to have to get everyone on offense involved. He (has to) make David West, (Tyson) Chandler and (Rasual) Butler go (on offense) and guard Chauncey Billups at the same time…that’s physically impossible.”
And Barkley on Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen’s Mohawk: “(Birdman’s) hair looks like Tweety Bird.”
If there ever was an announcer who had a voice for the dramatic, it was Philadelphia Phillies announcer Harry Karas, who died Monday. Whenever you heard Kalas broadcast a game or narrate an NFL Film production, you knew it was Harry. His booming voice carried enormous clout. If you had to nominate someone to broadcast the end of the world or the rapture, it would be Harry. I just love him saying, “the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” for some of those great Packers playoff games.
Many of his sportscasting colleagues remembered Kalas, who was 73, for his work ethic and his fun personality.
Chicago Cubs radio announcer Phil Hughes said Kalas had the greatest voice in sportscasting. During a rain delay in the Cubs game Monday, Hughes told a story of how Kalas fell in love with baseball. As a wide-eyed 10-year-old, Kalas said Washington Senators first baseman Mickey Vernon invited him into the Senators dugout during a rain delay and gave him an autographed baseball.
ESPN analyst John Kruk, a former Phillies star, talked of sharing a limousine with Kalas when they commuted from Philadelphia to New York to cover Phillies-Mets games. They would drink a couple of beers and swap baseball stories, said Kruk as his voice choked up. He said the best part of being injured as a Phillies player, “You got to listen to Harry.”
MLB Network broadcaster Jim Kaat, a former Phillies player: “We all liked to imitate Harry when I was with the Phillies and say ‘Michael Jack Schmidt.’ Harry was a great friend. We had 16 of us who usually gathered in the winter time to play golf for four days down in Florida, and Harry regaled with us with his ‘Hail to the Redskins’ time after time. Beyond a broadcaster with a booming voice, I was privileged to know him as a friend.”
Bob Costas, a sportscaster for MLB Network and NBC: “Obviously he’s going to be remembered as the successor to John Facenda, the voice of NFL Films. And as so many of the greatest local announcers become, he was more than just admired for his craft, he was a beloved institution in Philadelphia. I think this is generally true, in an era where players, even great players, come and go the real fixture in baseball is often the local radio voice.”
Courtney Paris had barely walked off the court Sunday night following the Sooners’ 61-59 loss to Louisville in the Women’s Final Four when an ESPN reporter asked her the $64,000 question — did she intended to fulfill her it pledge to repay her OU athletic scholarship since the Sooners didn’t win the national championship? Courtney replied she didn’t have $64,000 at the moment, but planned to do so. Moments after such a painful loss, this didn’t seem a good time to hit her up with the $64,000 question.
It fit ESPN’s tone for the night of beating up on Paris, the first four-time All-American in women’s basketball who had broke several NCAA scoring and rebounding records. On several occasions, commentator Doris Burke criticized her for being out of shape, noting she appeared winded and had difficulty getting up and down the court. She said if the Sooners were to win, the winner of the Connecticut-Stanford game would be wise to get her in a transition game. Burke has a right to her opinion, but constantly harping on it is another story. Paris, obviously is not in as good of shape as twin sister, Ashley, but she has played that way for years with — and with much success.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, appeared on the ESPN pregame show to talk about his sister Carlee, a reserve for the Sooners. Ben said, “My hands are sweating more now than they were in the Super Bowl.”
ESPN’s telecast said an Oklahoma City record for a women’s basketball game with a 19.4 rating. The previous high was a 19.3 for the Oklahoma-Duke game on March 29, 2002.
CBS’ “The Road to the Final Four” pregame show, 3 p.m. Saturday, will include a report commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Indiana State/ Michigan State 1979 NCAA championship game. Players from both teams reflect on the 1979 season and the “Game that changed the Game,” and their lives over the last 30 years. The piece features interviews with Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird reminiscing about their memories and the lasting impact of the 1979 NCAA championship. The feature is narrated by CBS Sports’ Dick Enberg who was the play-by-play announcer for the game.
Michigan State, coached by Jud Heathcote, won the national title with a 75-64 victory in the final game over an unbeaten Indiana State team, coached by Bill Hodges. Magic was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
Other feature stories on the pregame show include North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough, Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds, Connecticut guard A.J. Price and Michigan State’s homecoming as the Spartans play in the Final Four at Ford Field in Detroit.
Don’t forget Russell Westbrook
Last week, TNT analyst Chris Webber discussed his pick for Rookies of the Year between the Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo and Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose: “In my mind, I think you should do exactly what the NBA did the year (1994-95) that Grant Hill and Jason Kidd won (co-Rookies of the Year). If Derrick Rose doesn’t make it to the playoffs then he and O.J. Mayo are both out of the playoffs. Derrick Rose has much better players around him (on the Bulls) and Mayo is trying to change the mentality in Memphis. I would give them co-Rookies of the Year because both of their teams aren’t that great.”
TNT analyst Charles Barkley chimed in that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook also should be in conversation for rookie of the year: (Derrick) Rose is going to win it, because we expect him to win it, he’s the No. 1 pick. Let me tell you something, Russell Westbrook has a very bright future.”