ABC affiliate's massive Chiefs blunder, Gruden's emotional ESPN sendoff

Chiefs-win-error
KMBC-TV sportscaster Matt Flener reports about the Chiefs’ 22-21 loss to the Titans as the network displays a graphic declaring, “Chief’s kingdom celebrates win.”

The Kansas City Chiefs blew an 18-point lead over the Tennessee Titans in their AFC wild-card matchup Saturday, ultimately losing their sixth straight home playoff game, 22-21.

Unfortunately, the producers at KMBC-TV in Kansas City must have assumed the Chiefs had the game in the bag. As Matt Flener reported live from Arrowhead Stadium after the game, the chyron on the screen read, “Chiefs Kingdom Celebrates Win.”

“Yes. We had a graphic mistake on our post game coverage. We recognize it,” Flener posted on Twitter after the game. “Chiefs lost. Onto next season!”

That wasn’t the only mistake angry chiefs fans noticed. Several viewers pointed out on Twitter that KMBC sports anchor Karen Kornacki wore a Chiefs hat during her broadcast, a big no-no for journalists covering a game.

Gruden gets emotional sendoff

After a solid week of reporting indicating Jon Gruden would be leaving Monday Night Football to become the next coach of the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders, ESPN offered him an emotional sendoff after his nine years in the booth.

“Coach, as we wrap this one up, all of us last night in our production meeting had a chance to tell you what we think about you, and how much you’ve meant to us and to Monday Night Football, and what a great way to send you off,” said Sean McDonough, Gruden’s on-air partner for the past two seasons. “Appropriately so. Good luck with the Oakland Raiders. It’ll be tough for a lot of us on the crew to be impartial when we go into those production meetings and see you next year.”

Gruden said: “Thank you. It’s been a great run.”

After ESPN cut away from the game and into its postgame show, former Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson couldn’t hold back his excitement about Gruden’s return to Oakland.

“Welcome home, Jon! Welcome home, Gruden,” Woodson exclaimed. “Go Raiders!”

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Gruden will be formally introduced as the Raiders’ new coach Tuesday. Though the terms of the deal haven’t officially been announced, several news outlets have reported that Oakland will give Gruden a 10-year contract worth $100 million, which would be the largest contract ever given to an NFL head coach.

Tony Romo has fun during dull Wildcard game

Broadcasting his first NFL playoff game, CBS Sports analyst Tony Romo had a bit of fun at his cameraman’s expense during an otherwise boring AFC wild-card game in which the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Buffalo Bills, 10-3.

During the third quarter Sunday, Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles scrambled for a first down, but plowed into a CBS cameraman on the sideline. Considering it was the most exciting moment of the game up to that point, Romo noticed the look of terror on the cameraman’s face and inserted his own dialogue and sound effects as CBS replayed the painful moment in slow motion.

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The Jaguars won the game despite Bortles’ completing just 12 of his 23 passes for only 87 yards. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor was even worse, completing only 17 of 37 passes for 134 yards, including one interception, leading FS1 host and Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter to joke that the best quarterback on the field that day was Romo.

Romo has received a great deal of praise during his first season in the booth, in part because he hasn’t been afraid to have fun during lighter moments. In Week 8, Romo offered a terrific breakdown of a stray cat that wandered onto the field at M&T Bank Stadium in Miami during a 40-0 rout by the Ravens.

“This is like how you ran in high school,” Romo joked to his booth partner, Jim Nantz.

“In all my years of television, I haven’t seen anyone get this amount of immediate positive reaction, especially on social media, which is often so vitriolic,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told me last month. “It doesn’t happen in the world of sports television like this.”

Saints coach gets advice from Fox reporter

After halftime of the NFC wild-card matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Fox Sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews revealed that the wife of Saints defensive tackle Tony McDaniel had gone into labor, and head coach Sean Payton sought her advice about how to handle the situation.

“He said, ‘What do I do?’ and I said, ‘Well, you have to tell him,’ ” Andrews told Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck.

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Payton ultimately told McDaniel on the sideline, and gave the defender the option to leave the game. McDaniel decided to say, but it ended up not making a difference because, near the end of the third quarter, Andrews reported that McDaniel’s wife wasn’t giving birth — she just had a stomach bug and was admitted to a hospital.

McDaniel was signed by the Saints on Dec. 26 after being cut by the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 13. He has played for six teams during his 12 seasons in the NFL, and has 11.5 sacks and 286 tackles.