Friday, August 18, 2006
Around the Horn vs. PTI
Around the Horn's personalities are generally likeable. If you don't like Woody Paige, you don't have a sense of humor, he's terrific. Mariotti, Plaschke, Cowlishaw, and Smith are all pretty steady. This core group busts each other's chops a lot and they fit in well. Kevin Blackistone and J.A. Adande are decent, but I'm not a big fan of Bob Ryan, Jackie MacMullan, or Jim Armstrong. Did you know that Michael Smith (36) is older than Blackistone (!) and Adande (both 36)? Reali is only 28 (lucky bastard). Reali calls that "inside information!".
The format has changed a bit since Kellerman left and I definitely like it better now (except for the showdown part at the end). I especially like when Reali makes bets with the contestants and then awards them or deducts points at the beginning of the next show. And who doesn't love it when Paige gets his usual 5 point deductions?
PTI has changed very little since the start (save a couple of new themed segments)- why mess with a good thing, right? The rapid-fire topics with the oft-ignored timer make the show nice and structured. I really enjoy when Wilbon says something along the lines of "Now we move on to YOUR BOY, Darko Milicic". I also like that the banter between the two is harmless, with no resentment, which never makes you feel strangely uncomfortable watching it (like when Clayton and Salisbury debate the NFL). Reali is actually kind of annoying on this show. He scores the portion of the show "odds makers" on the chalkboard and then drops the piece of chalk in a triumphant return to his stat hole.
I do like that they change their segments often, which means variety between "5 Good Minutes", Mail Time, Toss Up, Good Cop/Bad Cop, Over/Under, Role Play, Food Chain, psychic Hotline, etc. I don't like the fact that the end of the show is now merged in with Sportscenter, an obvious ploy by ESPN to keep you tuned in.
My Rankings for the show are as follows
1. Old PTI
2. New ATH
3. New PTI
4. Old ATH
I know there are some people who absolutely loathe Around the Horn, but if you haven't watched it in awhile, give it another chance. Oh God, Bob Ryan is on PTI right now! I'm going to jump.
Another show I like is the Sports Reporters on Sunday morning on ESPN. This show has seen the likes of many legendary writers. Recently deceased Dick Shaap used to be the host and he did a tremendous job. Today the show has writers and commentators such as Michael Kay from the YES network and ESPN radio (who I think only me and my Dad like and nobody else does) and Mike Lupica from the Daily News. My favorite section of this show is Parting Shots which comes at the end of the show. Each member of the show gives his/her opinion on something very current in the world of sports today. These guys also get into it with each other like on ATH or PTI.
So, if anybody is awake Sunday morning around 10 or 1030, put on ESPN and you'll see the show that probably inspired ATH and PTI.
Michael Kay was "not bad" before he got his radio show. That ruined him for me. he true colors came out. I can barely listen to him announce a game anymore. If there is no delay, I wont hesitiate to put on 880AM and listen to Sterling while having the tv on mute. My personal Hell would be to have Kay and Buck announce a game together..... Wait.... They might kill eachother in the booth.... maybe that wouldn't be so bad!