After The Athletic reported the Dallas Mavericks ceased playing the national anthem before home games this season, it triggered a predictably spirited discussion.
Team owner Mark Cuban was met with a firestorm of outrage from people compelled to exclaim their support for the flag, while others defended the decision to respect those who don’t feel properly represented by the anthem. In the wake of the debate, the NBA quickly reinforced their blanket policy that all teams play the national anthem before games.
On Wednesday, ESPN Radio’s Alan Hahn offered an interesting perspective on the playing of the national anthem. Hahn told his co-host Bart Scott that he believes the anthem can impact the outcome of a game.
While on the Islanders beat in 2003, Hahn remembered The Star-Spangled Banner getting booed by Canadian hockey fans before a game in Montreal. The reaction came in protest of President Bush’s then recent decision to bomb Iraq. Hahn said he became angry and emotional over the booing, just as most Americans would have at the time.
But the fan reaction gave meaning to what was a meaningless regular season game. Islanders goalie Garth Snow, an American born hockey player was impassioned by the moment and led the Islanders to victory, shutting out the Canadiens.
Bart Scott makes an equally strong point at the end of the clip, wishing people would be consistent in their love and support of the flag. It took almost two months for outrage to be directed at Cuban over removing the national anthem from Mavericks games, although fans were only in attendance for the first time this week. But if not for The Athletic report, this likely doesn’t become a national story.
I’ve been to many sporting events in my life. I can recount specific plays from almost every one, I can even list the food I ate at many of them. One thing I don’t remember is who sang the national anthem. If there was a game I attended where the national anthem was skipped for any reason, my delayed outrage would be misdirected.
Peyton Manning Swears Into Hot Mic On Manningcast
“Late in the first quarter, Eli tried to throw it to his older brother to breakdown the play that resulted in the Rams’ first score of the night. It didn’t go as planned.”
Why do people love the Manningcast on ESPN2? It has a lot to do with Peyton and Eli being their authentic selves on screen. The same goes for their guests. That authenticity has included a few NSFW moments this season and we got another during the first ever Monday night playoff game.
Late in the first quarter, Eli tried to throw it to his older brother to breakdown the play that resulted in the Rams’ first score of the night. It didn’t go as planned.
Kudos to Eli for the simple, but truly funny response of “never mind”!
It is a memorable way to close an undeniably successful first season for ESPN2’s alternate coverage of Monday Night Football. Certainly everyone at the network would love to bring the Manningcast back for 2022. Whether or not Omaha Productions can make that happen will likely depend on just how serious rumors of Peyton Manning’s interest in being a part of owning the Denver Broncos are.
Charles Davis Tells Jim Rome Titans Will Use Him As Motivation
“CBS will send its top team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to Kansas City for the Bills and Chiefs. Davis told Rome that is a fact that will not be lost on Titans coach Mike Vrabel.”
It’s kind of hard not to feel bad for Charles Davis. He was a guest on Monday’s edition of The Jim Rome Show. It was an interview that opened with The Pimp in the Box asking Davis about just how cold he was in Buffalo over the weekend.
Temperatures reached the single digits with wind chill in the negative numbers during the Bills’ blowout of the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round.
Davis said that there was no way not to think about his discomfort. He gave credit to the stage crew in the booth that helped to keep him an Ian Eagle warm.
Later in the interview, Rome asked Charles Davis if the Tennessee Titans were being unfairly overlooked. They are the top seed in the AFC afterall.
Davis said that was very likely. The team is getting both Derek Henry and Julio Jones back in time to face the Bengals in the divisional round.
That is the game assigned to Davis and Eagle. CBS will send its top team of Jim Nantz and Tony Romo to Kansas City for the Bills and Chiefs. Davis told Rome that is a fact that will not be lost on Titans coach Mike Vrabel.
“He’ll use this one. Jim and Tony are going to Kansas City/Buffalo. He’s getting Ian Eagle and myself,” Davis told Rome. “He may not disrespect us, but he’ll let his team know the number one team is not getting the number one broadcast team.”
Teams shouldn’t need extra motivation. Every game in the playoffs is your last if you don’t find a way to win. Charles Davis says that doesn’t mean Vrabel isn’t looking to add a little extra juice to his locker room and he and his partner’s presence may be the perfect catalyst.
“He’ll use that. Coaches use all of that stuff. He’ll use it to the Nth degree.”
Damon Amendolara: The NFL Is Giving Us Quantity, Not Quality
“Amendolara asked on Monday at what cost did the expanded playoffs and extra regular season game this season serve as a success for the league?”
The NFL’s first “Super Wild Card Weekend” provided for more blowouts than competitive games. The Bengals/Raiders game Saturday afternoon, and the Cowboys/49ers contest came down to the wire and provided the drama playoff football usually delivers. But the rest of the games turned out to be duds according to CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara.
He pointed to the Bucs/Eagles game and the Chiefs/Steelers game during his show on Monday as two of the biggest flops of the weekend.
“They weren’t competitive,” he said. “Those were the two worst games of the weekend.”
You could throw in the Bills/Patriots game in the mix as well.
Amendolara asked on Monday at what cost did the expanded playoffs and extra regular season game this season serve as a success for the league?
“The same way the NFL went to the 17th game for ‘More football’ and the same way they expanded the playoffs for ‘More playoff football’ was about more not quality,” he said. “Quantity not quality.”
One thinks about the NCAA basketball tournament where usually the opening round games are cake walks for teams seeded 1-4. That first weekend is awesome because there’s so many games on from noon to past midnight. But with the obvious exception of UMBC a few years ago, the top seeds in each region aren’t going to captivate audiences those first couple games because things will get out of hand quickly.
In the NFL’s case, Amendolara said opening up the playoffs to teams that probably shouldn’t have been there made for less entertaining contests at the expense of having an entire weekend of games to watch.
“The football wasn’t better,” he said. “It was just more.”