Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Who are the best analysts on TV in each sport?

During the Notre Dame-USC game on Nov. 24, USC quarterback Max Wittek threw what appeared to be a gift-wrapped interception directly into the arms of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te’o. At least, that’s how it looked live on television.

Within seconds, analyst Kirk Herbstreit quickly diagrammed on replay exactly what Te’o did, what a truly remarkable play it was, and how it wasn’t a case of a quarterback showing his freshman inexperience. Sure, Herbstreit couldn’t have done it without All Stars in the production truck – the director, producer and person working replay all have to working together in sync – but it was the latest example of what makes Herbstreit so good at his craft.

This got us thinking. Who are the best analysts working on television these days in their respective sports?  It’s common for fans to mock/heckle/rip/laugh at many of the ex-athletes and ex-coaches who “analyze” the games we watch. But who are the best?

Josh Suchon and Matt Hurst decided to make their own separate lists, without consulting each other, and they are comparing their lists below.

The ground rules: this is a TV analyst working a live game. No play-by-play announcers. No studio analysts. Nobody on radio. We’re also not including any local analysts because regional biases always cloud your judgment (pro or con). These analysts, in theory, should be the best of the best, network TV analysts doing national games on TV.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"40 Before 40" checklist -- No. 19 -- Watch a game with The Show

-- by @Josh_Suchon

I'm in the red-black rugby shirt, about 5th row up, next to the railing.
My hands are still sore, especially my right thumb. My voice is a little hoarse.

It was totally worth it.

When I originally compiled my “40 things to do before turning 40 years old” list, watching a San Diego State basketball game with the famously outrageous student rooting section -- known as “The Show” – was intended to be accomplished at a home game at Viejas Arena.

While I’m still hopeful that opportunity presents itself in the next four months, the next-best option manifested Sunday night (for this Los Angeles resident) when the Aztecs played at USC’s Galen Center.

Greg Block, my friend and fellow Daily Aztec alum, drove up from San Diego to join me at the game. We met another Daily Aztec alum, Vinnie Batra, his brother, and what turned into hundreds of other SDSU fans inside The Gastropub Lab before the game.

The tickets I purchased for the game were at the top row of the Galen Center. Upon entry, it was clear this game would not be sold out and we could sit wherever we wanted.

But this was not a time to sit closest to the floor. This was a time to find where The Show was standing (they don’t sit) and join them. Oh yes, you knew the 124 miles between SDSU and USC were not going to stop The Show from exerting its collective will on a non-conference game.

This is pretty stupid, but I’ll admit that I actually had butterflies as we walked over to The Show’s section. What if they looked at us funny? What if we weren’t welcome? Would we have to ask permission to join them? Was there an initiation routine? Is it creepy that two guys who were students 15-20 years ago would join the student rooting section?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The small things that I'm grateful for ...

--by @Josh_Suchon

I’m thankful that …

... Ken Levine gave me this idea to steal.

... half of LA residents leave the city during the holidays, so it’s super easy to get around town.

... I can walk to the grocery store, to get coffee, to my yoga studio, dentist, multiple bars, restaurants and other businesses. Who says nobody walks in LA?

... I went to college at San Diego State.

... I didn’t go to BYU.

... We have the freedom to criticize this country because that’s how you get better.

... My TV is huge and awesome.
... I don’t snore.

... Dexter and Homeland exist.

... The Hollywood sign always helps me get my locational bearings.

... I live where others vacation.

... Twitter gives me instant news and prevents me from being bored.

... When a plant dies, I can buy another and not feel like a total failure.

... Somebody invented cocktail sauce for shrimp.

... Somebody else realized if you smash avocados up and mix with other ingredients, it tastes even better.

... All of my CDs are now on a hand-held device and sound much better.

... Simply clicking the “like” button can make somebody’s day.

... Josh Rawitch convinced me to go to Iguazu Falls when I went to Brazil, and I now have hundreds of photos likes this to show off.

... I told Orel Hershiser he was lucky.

... Oakland A’s announcers Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo never go longer than two minutes without giving the score.

... Most people still do the right thing most of the time.

... The stupidest things make me teary-eyed … and Jim Valvano taught me that if you think, laugh and cry, that’s a heckuva day.