The down side of a highlight

So… our first controversy in 2008 isn’t over whether this kid should start, that kid should be benched or directional kickoffs (though maybe they should be), but why this isn’t plastered all over ESPN.

Even Mark Richt got in on the act.

… Afterward Richt said it was one of the most amazing runs he’d seen in all his years and he looked forward to seeing it on SportsCenter that night. Trouble was, ESPN didn’t bother showing it.

ESPN buried Georgia’s game deep within its broadcast and, when it finally got around to the nation’s No. 2 team, quickly ran through the 78-yard interception return by Demarcus Dobbs, the first TD catch by Mohamed Massaquoi and Moreno’s 52-yard TD run in which he stiff-arms a defender to spring him down the sideline.

But the play that awestruck everybody that saw it was a no-show.

I asked Richt about its omission on his weekly Sunday teleconference call and it initiated a pretty interesting exchange between me, him, a guy from an ESPN-affiliated website and a guy supposedly with Fox Sports South.

Was he surprised they didn’t show it?

Richt: “Yeah. They missed the boat or didn’t do their homework or whatever. I don’t know how they couldn’t have noticed that as thorough as it seems like that are most of the time. But it’s going to make our highlights for a long time.”

The exchange that follows – a pillow fight between an ESPN rep and a Fox affiliate (both of whom cover the Dawgs) – is hilarious.

… Then Brett Jensen of “TotalUGA.com,” a website that covers Georgia athletics for ESPN, piped in.

Jensen: “I spoke to some people up in Connecticut about that today. They said Fox, who had control of the game, didn’t put that in that highlight in the highlight package they sent up to the satellite.”

Richt: “You’re kidding me? [Starts laughing] Oh, so you throw Fox under the bus? I threw you under the bus and now you throw Fox under the bus. That’s the way it works.”

Then Dean Legge, whose website georgia.scout.com is in the Fox family, chimes in? “They had cameras there. They could have pulled it off the satellite.”

Richt: “Maybe it just wasn’t that good of a play. I don’t know. I thought it was pretty good.”

Another reporter asks: “So ESPN is back under the bus?”

Richt: [Laughs] “I think they’re both under the bus now.”

Will the lack of narrative itself become a narrative?  Maybe, if ESPN’s smart.  (And, note that Chris Low did pay homage to the Hurdle in this blog post.) For the WWL, any audience attention is generally good attention.  Besides, look for Uncle Verne to play up the Hurdle on this Saturday’s broadcast.

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19 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

19 responses to “The down side of a highlight

  1. I loved CMR’s exchange with them – loved it – and am truly very surprised that that highlight didn’t make the rounds on Saturday evening. Seriously, isn’t ESPN the same outlet that made us #1 and put Knowshon on the cover? They know him and like him.

    To have the one and only main highlight be D. Dobbs seemed a bit silly but let’s just keep winning and worry about it from there.

  2. NebraskaDawg

    If it didn’t happen at Florida, LSU, tOSU, Michigan or USC (and not USuck Chicken fans) then it might as well have not happened at all.

  3. I stayed up to 1:30am Sunday morning hoping to see that clip. I don’t see how ESPN can say they didn’t get the clip because I saw it during the “here’s what’s coming up section” of the Gameday Final show. When watching the section though, it looked like the Georgia coverage had a malfunction and accidentally popped up halfway through Auburn’s highlights.

    Did anyone else see that?

  4. Let’s face it, guys, the next week is going to be Trojans-Buckeyes, All The Time. Not only did Knowshon’s hurdle not make the ESPN highlight reel, the WWL may forget that Georgia and South Carolina are even playing this weekend. (Thank God for CBS.)

    But that’s fine with me. I’m totally OK with being the first-ever preseason #1 to fly underneath the radar, and as long as we get to go to Miami in January, I don’t care if we don’t get a lick of media attention between now and then.

  5. baltimoredawg

    Well, we’ll see that re-played a lot this season, ESPN or otherwise.

    Anyway, I’m for the democritization of the availability of sports highlights: Moreno’s hurdle was on Youtube before Sportscenter came on anyway. There’s your WWL.

  6. I’m totally OK with being the first-ever preseason #1 to fly underneath the radar, and as long as we get to go to Miami in January, I don’t care if we don’t get a lick of media attention between now and then.

    Exactly. What we need to remember is that in some ways this year’s schedule is Georgia’s friend. If the record is right, in the end it will be impossible to ignore the Dawgs.

  7. ESPN’s straw poll of 100 Montanans indicated they weren’t interested in seeing the clip.

  8. Hey to Goober

    Here’s what got me … I was watching Sports Center Sunday a.m. When the time for the top five plays rolled around, not only was Moreno’s leap not included, but they had a clip of a defensive lineman intercepting a tipped pass and running it in for a touchdown.

    And, no, it wasn’t even Dobbs! And, the guy’s run only started somewhere around mid-field.

    I’ve never been one to buy into conspiracy theories, but after a while, one starts to wonder.

  9. RedCrake

    It’s true, they put Knowshon on the cover and ranked us number 1. The problem they have with Knowshon being a Heisman contender is that he doesn’t like to give interviews and doesn’t constantly go around extolling his own virtues like ol’ Timmy does.

    They want a puff piece that can take up 10-15 minutes on the two hours of College Gameday. Knowshon doesn’t give them that because he is a private person around the press (which to me is much more impressive than Filipino circumcisions). Dr. Tebow is more than happy to fill that role.

  10. Senator,

    In the excerpt from Chip Towers blog, he said that ESPN “quickly ran through the 78-yard interception return by Demarcus Dobbs.” What? Did they speed it up like a Benny Hill skit? There wasn’t anything “quick” about that 78 yard rumble, but that merely allowed us to enjoy it even longer.

  11. Did they speed it up like a Benny Hill skit?

    IIRC, they did, actually.

  12. But that’s fine with me. I’m totally OK with being the first-ever preseason #1 to fly underneath the radar, and as long as we get to go to Miami in January, I don’t care if we don’t get a lick of media attention between now and then.

    I’m fine with that as a Dawg fan.

    But not as a college football fan. I want my Worldwide Leader in Sports to show the best sports out there. I want my Entertainment and Sports programmer to show sports clips that are entertaining. I want the friggin play of the year to not get burned as an afterthought in lieu of mindless babble about a- can we please just face it?- fairly pedestrian Ohio State team.

  13. DawgDaze

    @Mackalicious

    I did see that. The ESPN coverage of our game was almost non-existent. I remember very well that the only thing they showed on CFF was Dobbs’ interception and run. And their only comment about that was May saying “I thought they had more speed down there at Georgia.” I didn’t get to see the game, and stayed up late for CFF to catch some highlights. I was pissed.

    Falling to #2 doesn’t bother me as it gives us something to shoot for, something to feel snubbed about (motivation), and someone to chase. But not showing our game highlights, when they clearly had the clip because it definitely was in the pre-commercial teaser, was a very thinly-vailed attempt to skew voters.

  14. DirkDawggler

    If Reggie Bush hurdles someone like that a few years ago, it’s part of a Chevy ad. If Tebow doesn the same thing this year, ESPN will rename the ESPY’s the Tebow’s. Whatever.

  15. SRQDawgs15

    On SportsCenter today it was #3 in the Top Plays from the weekend. They made some remark like “I know Georgia coach Mark Richt will be happy to see this play on ESPN.” I guess that little comment he made got around the newsroom over there.

  16. anonymous

    yeah, ESPN is full of it when they say they did not have the clip of the leap because Saturday night (can’t remember if it was Gameday Final or SC)they showed the leap right before a commercial break as the announcers were saying “and see how #2 Georgia did when we come back”, but then when they came back from commercial break all they shows was the 78 yard int. return.
    conspiracy, i think so

  17. anonymous

    SRQ, good. I’m glad they caught wind of Richt’s remarks. Kind of puts those glib pricks in their place. And their little comment during the highlight shows that they know, but don’t want to look like complete cool aid drinkers.

  18. watcher16

    And now they keep bringing it up and talking about Knowshon’s runs on CFL in a very mocking and derogatory manor towards Richt…we can’t win for losing!

  19. Daryl

    right on watcher16. i thought the same thing. the mention about CMR and the clip was waaayy smartass. more like ” are you happy now Coach Richt??” pretty crappy response if you ask me.