Broken Coverage

AN IRREVERENT LOOK AT ALL THINGS SAID, CONSIDERED, TWEETED, POSTED, PHOTOGRAPHED, PLAYED AND OTHERWISE GONE AMUCK IN COLLEGE SPORTS

Tweet storm watch 2018: Our action-news eyewitness reporter, Bob Jenkins, is on the scene to bring you the very latest in punishable things recently tweeted by network announcers.

Newsroom: "Bob are you there? What's the latest on ESPN's Mark Jones?"

Bob: "Well, yes, the announcer who participated in last year's 'cupcake broadcast" of Washington game vs. Cal really stepped in it this week. Washington was criticized last year for playing a weak non-conference schedule and during that broadcast, they thought it would be funny to show cupcakes to illustrate their point."

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Newsroom: "And Washington really didn't like that, right Bob?

Bob: "That's correct.

Newsroom: "Isn't it unusual for a network partner to take a pot shot like that on national TV?"

Bob: "Washington thought so, yes, and the Pac 12 too."

Newsroom: "So what has Jones done now?"

Bob: "Jones put out a tweet after Washington lost a hard-fought, 21-16 game last weekend to Auburn, which is not a cupcake."

Newsroom: "We're showing that now on the screen. So what are the repercussions?"

Bob: "Well, it was confirmed this week that Jones will not be invited to do Washington broadcasts in the foreseeable future. The Pac 12 released a statement: "We are aware of the inappropriate comments in this tweet and have addressed it with ESPN."

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Newsroom: "And isn't there an interesting kicker to this Washington story?"

Bob: "Yes, the idea that the University of Washington tries to duck top programs in non-conference games is a fairy tale. Washington has historically played an aggressive schedule but did get caught up in a few bad cycles mainly because Rutgers football took a turn for the worse.

In fact, though, Washington in this century has played at Ohio State, at LSU, at Nebraska, at Notre Dame, at Michigan, at Miami, at Oklahoma. In 2008, Washington played Oklahoma AND Notre Dame in non-conference and in 2007 the Huskies played Ohio State, Boise and Syracuse."

Newsroom: "And the other Tweet Storm Watch story, Bob?"

Bob: "Yes, it involves former Michigan player Braylon Edwards, who now works for the Big Ten Network. He took some potshots at some Michigan players after Saturday's 24-17 loss. He called one player "weak" and one players "scared." Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh, also a Michigan alum, did not appreciate this and called out Edwards at his Monday press conference. Harbaugh told Edwards to leave his players alone. 'Come after me.'"

Newsroom: "Is Harbaugh right?"

Bob: "I think so. Media members should generally leave unpaid college athletes alone and save their salvos for millionaire head coaches."

Newsroom: "Ramifications, Bob, what are the ramifications?"

Bob: "Edwards has been suspended by the Big Ten Network but that hasn't stopped him from ramping up the pressure with more tweeting."

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Newsroom: "Should analysts be more careful with their tweeting, Bob?

Bob: "Oh, yeah."

Newsroom: "Should we be worried, Bob, about some of your old tweets?"

Bob: "Hey!"

Newsroom: "In the old days, Bob, the quickest way to get fired was to put the boss's tie into the paper shredder, with the boss still wearing it. What's the quickest way to get fired now, Bob?"

Bob: "Tweeting while drunk and\or watching your alma mater getting its butts kicked against Notre Dame."

Newsroom: "Thanks, Bob, great work, but why did we do this segment as a remote when you're standing 10 feet off stage?"[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

***

You can't blame Nick Saban for being miffed at sideline reporter Maria Taylor after last week's Alabama opener. After all, the Crimson Tide sputtered, hissed and generally played like crud against Louisville.

Oh wait, that's not the case at all. Alabama looked terrific in a 51-14 win over Louisville.

Sabansnip

The truth is Saban just can't help himself. I don't think he is the biggest jerk in college football but he acts like it too much. Saban is college football's "anger coach," what Lewis Black is to "anger comedy."

Maybe Saban needs a 10-minute cooling off period?

Every year, at SEC media days, Saban thanks the media and says he appreciates what we do, then he spends the rest of the year ripping us to ribbons.

Saban was wrong, wrong, wrong for snapping at Taylor for asking a legitimate question about his quarterback situation. Here's the thing Nick: You don't get to decide what questions we ask.

Then, of course, Nick did what he always does. He called Taylor to apologize and then followed up at his regular Monday presser:

"I could have handled it in a better way," Saban said. "...I pray every Sunday that I never get angry."

Pray harder, Nick, because screaming at sideline reporters is a bad look.

***

Mice and men

We understand why Texas Coach Tom Herman might get his classic novel plot lines mixed up. Herman is under extreme pressure after Saturday's loss at Maryland ran his record to 7-7 in Austin. Which reminds us: remember when Texas had a perfectly fine coach named Mack Brown?

Anyway, Herman, who is very smart, was trying to use Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" to illustrate just how hard his Longhorns are trying.

"Lenny wanted so badly to touch the rabbit and play with the rabbit he squeezed it so hard he killed the rabbit," Herman said.

Not quite.

Herman, though, in describing his team's resolve, did mostly nail the lyric from "Annie," the hit Broadway musical.

"The sun is going to come up, hopefully, tomorrow," he said.

Bet your bottom dollar.[/membership]

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