With all the hype over the Eagles' stunning 16-15 upset win over the Chicago Bears due to Cody Parkey’s partially tipped field goal miss, it’s easy to forget that three other playoff games were played over the weekend.
During the Los Angeles Chargers' 23-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL Wild Card game Sunday afternoon, LA quarterback Philip Rivers was caught yelling at his teammates after a blown assignment led to an easy sack by the Ravens’ Patrick Onwuasor.
CBS analyst Tony Romo had a colorful description of Rivers' reaction, saying the quarterback was “p-ed.”
Most sports reporters and pundits seemed amused by Romo’s colorful language, but former ESPN reporter Ed Werder — who handles sideline reporting duties on Westwood One — wasn’t among them.
The folks who handle closed captioning on CBS apparently agreed with Werder. Instead of going with Romo’s word choice, they cleaned up his potty mouth and went with “upset” instead.
Despite the racy language, Romo actually called a great game with all the enthusiasm you’ve come to expect from the former Cowboys quarterback. One funny moment happened during the third quarter, when Romo compared Chargers cornerback Jeff Richards’ hair-pulling antics to the fights he would have with his sisters — Jossalyn and Danielle — growing up in Wisconsin.
Most sports media fans were focused on the demise of Booger McFarland’s “Booger Mobile” during ESPN’s broadcast of the Indianapolis Colts' 21-7 win over the Houston Texans on Saturday.
But during the broadcast itself, ESPN aired an odd graphic fearing Colts quarterback Andrew Luck as a Union general (a play off the @CaptAndrewLuck Civil War-themed parody account). Not only did the short graphic awkwardly show both Confederate and Union soldiers protecting Luck, the music playing in the background was the Confederate anthem, “Dixie,” a song that originated from blackface minstrelsy with problematic connections to slavery and racism.
“Is George Pickett running the graphics department at ESPN,” The Ringer’s Michael Baumann wrote on Twitter, a reference to the Confederate general who led the failed charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.
“It was a mistake to use this song. We regret having done so and we apologize," ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said in a statement to the Sporting News, which reported that the song was dropped into the graphic unplanned at the last moment by a staffer in the production truck.
Oddly, the graphic and song remain on ESPN’s Monday Night Football Twitter account following the apology for awhile, but was ultimately deleted.
· NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo predicted Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey would hit the upright during a final seconds of the NFC Wild Card game against the Eagles, securing the 16-15 win for the Birds.
· FOX Sports play-by-play announcer Joe Buck was mocked after butchering the pronunciation of former Saved By The Bell actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s name during a promo read for his new show, The Passage.
· There’s still nothing more classy in sports broadcasting that announcers on CBS wearing the network’s official blazer during games while on camera.