Jump to content

Fox's favorite subject? Itself


Recommended Posts

Fox's favorite subject: itself




[email protected]


Fox's live coverage started Sunday with the most mindless, insipid program in recent Super Bowl history. Thankfully, it slowly improved from there, culminating in a highly respectable game broadcast. (More on that later.)


First, some unsolicited advice to Fox: Never let Tom Arnold appear on another Super Bowl pregame show. Ever. Give us anybody -- even Martha Stewart or Dennis Rodman, if you must -- but not Arnold, who has more lives than a cat.


Arnold began the day by telling a urinal joke on a program that should have been renamed, The Worst Darn Super Bowl Road Show Period. Throughout the next 60 minutes, he yelled to the point of incoherence.


Fox briefly lost audio as Worst Darn panelist John Salley was explaining the rules of an eating contest in which the participants had to stick their face into chili. Fortunately, we never saw the chili footage. Unfortunately, Salley's microphone resumed working.




The four-hour pregame show, while an improvement over Arnold's nonsense, was dragged down by excessive self-promotion and a misplaced, sleep-inducing golf competition on the 17th hole of the TPC course outside Jacksonville. Was anyone really interested in seeing how Jerome Bettis and John Smoltz hit golf balls?


The golf segment, hosted by Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver and won by NASCAR's Dale Jarrett, featured players from only the sports Fox televises (NFL, baseball and NASCAR). No coincidence there.


Sunday, in fact, was all about self-promotion for Fox, much as Super Bowl Sunday has become for any network with rights to the game. How else would you explain the two irrelevant pregame appearances by American Idol judge Randy Jackson? How else would you explain McCarver weaving in an awkward plug for Fox's new cable soccer channel that launches this week?


Considering Terry Bradshaw has been the target of cheap shots about his intelligence, it was surprising to hear him call Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell ''not the sharpest knife in the drawer'' and point out that Mitchell had incorrectly said Benjamin Franklin was the first U.S. president.


Less than half of the first two hours of the pregame show had anything to do with football. Instead, viewers witnessed Jillian Barberie fawning over pregame performers Kelly Clarkson and John Fogerty.




The pregame show had a few decent segments -- including one in which Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson watched film together -- but only one that was compelling: Pam Oliver's piece on Philadelphia's Jevon Kearse, whose family history includes several violent deaths.


Johnson, battling a hoarse throat, had a good line to open the pregame show: ``I'm back at the Super Bowl, and [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones said I would never make it back.''


But Johnson, like many observers, miscalculated when he said, ``I don't see Terrell Owens being a major factor in this game.''




The game broadcast proceeded smoothly, although Fox's ballyhooed TurfCam proved worthless. The network placed four cameras in the ground, and another eight on the pylons, but the tiny cameras weren't a factor. PylonCam offered a mediocre replay of Corey Dillon's go-ahead, fourth-quarter TD.


Game analysts Cris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman, calling their first Super Bowl, seldom disagree, meaning viewers don't hear the point/counterpoint debates typical of the Joe Theismann/ Paul Maguire banter on ESPN. But Collinsworth and Aikman delivered valid points about strategy and individual plays.


Collinsworth, less critical than usual, earns points for making observations not apparent to most viewers. He correctly noted, for example, how Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went to a secondary snap count to see when the Eagles would blitz -- an approach that proved successful. Aikman, meantime, smartly noted time-management mistakes, especially the Eagles' failure to go to a no-huddle offense before the two-minute warning. He called the Patriots winning three Super Bowls in four years more difficult than his Dallas team doing likewise in the 1990s.


Joe Buck, in his Super Bowl debut, delivered a capable, understated call devoid of the whimsical observations characteristic of his baseball work. Unfortunately, Fox doesn't update player statistics as often as CBS and doesn't deliver as many noteworthy graphics as ABC.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The golf segment, hosted by Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver and won by NASCAR's Dale Jarrett, featured players from only the sports Fox televises (NFL, baseball and NASCAR). No coincidence there.


Well lets see, NFL season is over, Baseball season is over, NASCAR season is over, does anyone see a pattern there.


There is sooooooooooooo much a network, a show, a person can say about the GAME. The GAME was broken down, analyzed, prodded and poked a week before the GAME even started. BJ is just being a FOX hater. Every year the network that hosts the SB does nothing but self promotion. I didnt see any of the pre game show, but Im sure it WAS full of fluff, but America loves FLUFF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night was the least watched superbowl the Patriots won. It's time for a new damn team in the AFC.


Or maybe for a team that poses a threat for the Pats. Everyone thought that this thing was over before it started. Also, in the age we are in, many more people are getting together and watching just one TV set...so the ratings could dip a tad because of that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...