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Behind the Broadcast: Lineup of undeserving teams won’t bowl viewers over

Behind the Broadcast: Lineup of undeserving teams won’t bowl viewers over

For all of you college football fans who believe the Bowl Championship Series is the best thing to h

For all of you college football fans who believe the Bowl Championship Series is the best thing to happen to the sport because it not only determines a national champion but preserves the traditional bowl structure, I have one question: Do you really want to watch Notre Dame (6-6) play Hawaii (7-6) in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve?

I know what I won’t be doing that night — watching that game.

The college bowl season has spir­aled out of control. There are 34 bowl games, which is about 30 too many for me.

What are they trying to preserve? Giving teams with .500 records, like Notre Dame, a chance to play in a bowl game is like saying it’s fine to reward mediocrity. I can’t even imagine that Notre Dame fans are going to sit in front of the TV watching the Fighting Irish play Hawaii.

That is one of many bowl games that don’t deserve to be televised. The bulk of these games are on ESPN, your “World Wide Leader in Sports” and future home of the BCS. Woo-hoo!

Here are some of the other bowl games that I don’t believe deserve to be watched.

u New Mexico Bowl (next Saturday): Colorado State (6-6) vs. Fresno State (7-5). New Mexico in December? Maybe if they were playing in Cancun, then I might watch.

u St. Petersburg Bowl (next Saturday): South Florida (7-5) vs. Memphis (6-6). At least the weather will be warm.

u Independence Bowl (Dec. 28): Louisiana Tech (7-5) vs. Northern Illinois (6-6). This will be going up against NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Is there such a thing as neg­ative ratings for this bowl?

u Music City Bowl (Dec. 31): Vanderbilt (6-6) vs. Boston College

(9-3). It’s being played in Nashville, home of Vanderbilt. I don’t even think Vanderbilt fans want to see this.

u Insight Bowl (Dec. 31): Kansas (7-5) vs. Minnesota (7-5). The perfect game. It’s on NFL Network, and since it isn’t on a lot of cable systems, no one will be able to watch it, anyway.


You have to love Barry Melrose and Cole Hamels. They love to speak their minds.

Melrose, who recently rejoined ESPN as a hockey analyst after he was fired by the Tampa Bay Lightning 16 games into the season, told a Toronto radio station this week that he hopes the Lightning lose the rest of their games.

On Thursday, in an interview on WFAN, Hamels, the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher and World Series MVP, called the rival New York Mets “choke artists” after their back-to-back September collapses.

“Last year and this year, I think we did believe that,” Hamels told host Evan Roberts. “Three years ago, we didn’t, because they smoked everybody. That’s kind of what we believe, and I think we’re always going to believe it until they prove us wrong.”

You know what? I loved their candor.

Melrose sounded bitter about being fired, and who can blame him? Getting fired 16 games into an

82-game schedule doesn’t leave enough time to turn around a franchise.

And with Hamels’ comments, he’s right. Even you die-hard Mets fans know that, too.

In an era when athletes and coaches seem to be overly guarded with their comments, it’s refreshing to hear two men say how they really feel. It makes this job fun.


Here is the list of NFL and college football games that will be televised in the Capital Region over the next week. Announcers, listed in order of play-by-play person, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses.



CBS (WRGB Ch. 6 and WRGB HD) — Buffalo at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m. (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf); Pittsburgh at Baltimore, 4:15 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).

Fox (WXXA Ch. 23 and WXXA HD) — Tampa Bay at Atlanta, 1 p.m. (Dick Stockton/­Brian Baldinger/Laura Okmin).

NBC (WNYT Ch. 13 and WNYT HD) — N.Y. Giants at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. (Al Michaels/John Madden/Andrea Kremer).


ESPN and ESPN HD — Cleveland at Philadelphia, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser).


NFL Network and NFL HD — Indianapolis at Jacksonville, 8:15 p.m. (Bob Papa/Cris Collinsworth).



ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — NCAA Division II playoffs: Championship, Minnesota Duluth vs. Northwest Missouri State, 1 p.m. (Pam Ward/Ray Bentley).

ESPN Classic — SWAC Championship: Jackson State vs. Grambling State, 2 p.m. (Charlie Neal/Jay Walker).

ESPN and ESPN HD — NCAA FCS playoffs: Semifinal, Richmond at Norther Iowa, 4 p.m. (Joe Tessitore/Rod Gilmore).


ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — NCAA FCS playoffs: Championship, 8 p.m. (Bob Wisch­usen/Brock Huard).

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