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.