Media Power Rankings for August
App. St. radio team, Jaws, Bud Collins highlight list
Posted: Wednesday September 5, 2007 2:33PM; Updated: Wednesday September 5, 2007 2:45PM
1. David Jackson and Steve Brown, Appalachian ISP Sports Network broadcasters: Sure, it's ear-splitting and homerism to the highest degree (the call has been trashed in some circles) but the audio of Jackson and Brown going delirious after Corey Lynch blocked Michigan's field-goal attempt is also honest and fun. Jackson has called Appalachian State games for the past eight seasons (he's an associate athletics director at the school) and color man Brown is a former quarterback for the Mountaineers. "I'm the Appalachian State broadcaster and that gives me full right to be a homer," Jackson told SI.com. "Also, I'm a holder of a diploma here as is Steve. The way I like to call games is to do it with such emotion that you have absolutely no doubt as to what team I'm calling the game for. I don't think there will be another moment as big that will happen to our school so forgive us if we were excited." And forget about the call being pre-planned. Says the 29-year-old Jackson, laughing: "I can guarantee you there was no point in time in the last three weeks where I said, 'Well, when we get ready to beat Michigan, what should I say?'"
2. Real Sports, HBO: The venerable sports journalism warhorse (full disclosure: it has partnered with SI on certain stories and employs Frank Deford) continues to churn out terrific stuff but it arguably offered its best-ever episode last month: The Bernard Goldberg-fronted piece on dogfighting's underworld was equal parts disturbing and illuminating. Then there was Bryant Gumbel's interview with a not-so-contrite Adam (Pacman) Jones, Andrea Kremer's sitdown with Javon Walker on the death of teammate Darrent Williams and a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the marriage of Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi. It's the most impressive hour of sports television I've seen in some time.
3. Ron Jaworski, ESPN: The early reviews of Jaworksi's performance on Monday Night Football have been spectacular. Not to say we told you so but we did.
4. John Sudsbury, Associate Media Director, Cal: Plenty of college football media relations directors are conducting cyber-Heisman Trophy campaigns this season, but Cal's "The 1 To Watch" hawking wide receiver DeSean Jackson is the best we've seen. "With us out west," Sudsbury told Sports Business Daily's Rick Ellington, "it gives people a chance to see him play that might not otherwise."
5. Michael David Smith, sports blogger: Last month ESPN reached out to Smith (who blogs for AOL Fanhouse and Pro Football Talk) to attend a three-day symposium in Bristol, an ESPN-palooza which featured meetings with executives, tours, and, for some airtime-loving reporters, a segment with Rece Davis on College Football Live. That Illusion Inc. (a.k.a ESPN's communication department) extended the invite speaks to Smith's growing standard in the sports blogosphere. With cogent commentary and a reporter's nose for news, he's an interesting read.