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Today’s fun video: Obama fills in brackets

 

In what has become an annual tradition, President Obama filled in  his NCAA brackets for ESPN. The clip picks up when the president is at the Sweet 16 level, so you'll have to look at the ESPN website to realize that he dissed Gonzaga, expecting them to lose to OK State in their first game.

Of course, he had the Zags going pretty far last year, and like many bracketologists in Spokane, was knocked out of the money early.

Now we can expect the annual tradition that follows this annual tradition: Conservative pundits complaining that Obama should be doing something more important with his time than filling out his bracket on ESPN. This year, one can expect those complaints to include the words “Putin” and “Crimea” as well as the old standards like “Benghazi” and “Syria.”

Feel free to weigh in on the comments section on whether you think the president should be spending his time doing something else than filling out his bracket on ESPN.

Alternate question: In the interests of gender equity, shouldn't Obama also fill out a bracket for the women's tournament on ESPN?

Click here to weigh in.

 

Did you watch this?

What did you think?

Wonder how many viewers were too young to really recall the surreal Tonya and Nancy saga.

www.hardbodynews.com

Gonzaga women rolling

Coming into the 1 p.m. Saturday showdown with No. 6 Stanford, the No. 23 Gonzaga women’s basketball team has all the marks of a good team that has yet to find it’s true identity.

Despite off nights Tuesday against Wisconsin for Haiden Palmer (6 points, 6 rebounds) and Lindsay Sherbert (9 points, 6 rebounds), the Zags got a huge lift from senior guard Jazmine Redmon. She scored 15 points on 5-of-8 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the 3-point line.

Graves sang her praises, noting that Redmon currently has 45 assists to only nine turnovers on the year.

“Both Taylor Karr and Courtney (Vandersloot) twice led the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio. For Redmon to be 5-to-1 (in the same category) is incredible,” Graves said.

 

Would it lower your opinion of ESPN?

If, as some contend, it's fair to say the NFL approached the network and told ESPN to distance itself from the PBS “Frontline” investigation of the league's handling of concussions and ESPN acquiesced, would you think less of ESPN?

Or did you never have any illusions about what the “Worldwide Leader” would do when it came to remembering who butters its bread?

ESPN buys Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is being bought by ESPN. Bowl officials said in a statement Wednesday that the network had agreed in principle to acquire the bowl game from the Humanitarian Bowl Inc. Details of the deal were not released. The Potato Bowl would be the eighth bowl game to be owned and operated by ESPN. The game features teams from the Mid-American Conference and the Mountain West Conference. It is played at Bronco Stadium on the Boise State campus. The 17th annual game will be played Dec. 21.

Any Famous Idaho Potato Bowl fans out there?

ESPN buying Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is being bought by ESPN. Bowl officials said in a statement Wednesday that the network had agreed in principle to acquire the bowl game from the Humanitarian Bowl Inc. Details of the deal were not released. The Potato Bowl would be the eighth bowl game to be owned and operated by ESPN. The game features teams from the Mid-American Conference and the Mountain West Conference. It is played at Bronco Stadium on the Boise State campus. The 17th annual game will be played Dec. 21.

ESPN gets a couple free bags of Zags Blend coffee, thanks to Cravens

Our second leftover from the Merch Madness story that ran today in The Spokesman-Review.

Cravens Coffee, a big fan of GU basketball, has seen plenty of sales for its Zags Blend coffee.

Since Neil Everett is an announcer at ESPN, company owners Simon Thompson and Becky Templin sent two bags of Zags Blend to ESPN's Connecticut office.

“Everett is a graduate of Lewis and Clark H.S.,” Thompson said. It was worth a shot, and maybe on a slow day someone would be seen pouring out a cup of the Spokane-roasted coffee.

So far, however, that's all there is to the story.  Not even a thank you note, at last check.

ESPN: Kibbie Dome One Of A Kind

The Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho, the smallest stadium in the FBS, seats about 16,500. (University of Idaho courtesy photo)

The Kibbie Dome is like no other venue in college football. It sits like an enormous barrel half-buried into the University of Idaho campus and, in fact, once was referred to as “a Campbell's Soup can cut in half” by a visiting coach. It ranks as both an architectural marvel and the smallest home field in the Football Bowl Subdivision, holding about 16,500 fans. Inside, the roof of laminated wooden beams arches over a field sunken below ground level, and new translucent panels over the end zones allow a flood of natural light. Goalposts are attached to the walls about 5 yards behind the end zone — rather than from a post in the ground — with those walls padded for players' protection. The Dome has been called too small and outdated by some, yet embraced by others who've seen (and heard) it at its packed-to-full-volume glory/Doug Williams, ESPN Playbook. More here.

Question: Do you enjoy watching games in the Kibbie Dome?

Late kickoff for WSU vs. Oregon

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Washington State announced Sunday that its Sept. 29 game against Oregon at CenturyLink Field in Seattle will kick off at 7:30 p.m., and will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.

It will be the Cougars' third game on ESPN this season. The first two — at BYU and at UNLV — were also night games.

WSU’s opener against BYU moved to Thursday

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — The Mike Leach era at Washington State will begin two days earlier than originally planned. Read on for more.

Rathdrum angler doesn’t make last round in Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, didn't get skunked today but he also didn't come up with enough fish to make the cut for the third and final day of competition in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The photo above shows Palaniuk landing his first of three fish totaling 5 pounds 15 ounces at today's weigh in. But that total just moved him up to 48th place among the 49 anglers who competed today. He was the only angler in the competition to get skunked on Day 1

After today's weigh in, the field was cut to 25 anglers for the last day of fishing.

Josh Polfer of Nampa, Idaho, a Bassmaster rookie, is the only Westerner to make the cut. In two days of fishing, he's in 19th place.

Continue reading for the latest news on the leaders and the complete catch totals in this “Indy 500” of bass fishing.

Rathdrum angler skunked on opening of Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, had a horrible start among the 50 select anglers who roared off this morning to start the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The weigh-in has just been completed, and Palaniuk is the only angler in the field who caught no fish.

He's in last place after Day 1. I don't have a report on what happened.

See more details on Rich Landers' Outdoors Blog.

Rathdrum angler skunked on opening of Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, had a horrible start among the 50 select anglers who roared off this morning to start the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The weigh-in has just been completed, and Palaniuk is the only angler in the field who caught no fish.  He's in last place after Day 1.  I don't have a report on what happened.

The 30th Bassmaster, a three-day culmination of months of qualifying tournaments, no longer has the distinction of being the richest prize in bass fishing. The Forrest Wood Cup claimed that distinction wtih a $1 million championship prize to Scott Suggs in 2007.

But the Bassmasster Classic is still considered the big stage. A win here can put a half a million bucks in your pocket and bring sponsors to your door.

This is the second consecutive year Palaniuk has qualified for the “Indy 500” of tournament bass fishing.

Palaniuk caught a lot of attention in last year's main event. The youngest competitor in the 2011 classic and the only angler to qualify from the West, he finished in fourth place, winning $30,000.

This year, four anglers from the West are in contention, including Josh Polfer of Nampa, Idaho, and Californians Jared Lintner and Iah Monroe.

Read on for more details on Palaniuk and the ESPN Bassmaster Classic TV coverage, which is being compiled for broadcast next week.

ESPN Fires Editor For Headline Slur

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind - and he was devastated when he realized his mistake. “This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News. “I'm so sorry that I offended people. I'm so sorry if I offended Jeremy.” The headline - “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin's 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets” - appeared on ESPN's mobile website at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday and was removed by 3:05 a.m. Battling to contain a furor, the sports network fired Federico/Irving Dejohn & Helen Kennedy, New York Daily News. More here. (AP photo: New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin, center, drives through Dallas Mavericks' Vince Carter, right, and Dominique Jones)

Question: Is ESPN over-reacting to an honest mistake? Or is it acting appropriately whether or not the mistake was intentional?

Rathdrum angler returns to Bassmaster Classic

TOURNAMENT FISHING — Brandon Palaniuk, 24, of Rathdrum, Idaho, has been pre-fishing this weekend, warming up with the 50 anglers competing in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 24-26, on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier City, LA.

This is the second consecutive year Palaniuk has qualified for the “Super Bowl” of tournament bass fishing.

Palaniuk caught a lot of attention in last year's main event. The youngest competitor in the 2011 classic and the only angler to qualify from the West, He finished in fourth place, winning $30,000. 

This year, four anglers from the West are in contention, including Josh Polfer of Nampa, Idaho, and Californians Jared Lintner and Iah Monroe. 

Read on for more details on Palaniuk and the ESPN Bassmaster Classic TV coverage scheduled for the following week.

ESPN Cuts Ties With Hank Williams Jr.

ESPN has dropped Hank Williams Jr. from opening Monday Night Football tonight after Williams' controversial comments Monday about President Obama. Says ESPN, in a statement: “While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize he is closely linked to our company through the opening to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast.” Williams, perhaps best known for his “are you ready for some football?” lead-in to ESPN's Monday Night Football, Monday compared this summer's so-called golf summit between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner as “one of the biggest political mistakes ever.” As Williams put it on Fox News' Fox & Friends: “It would be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli leader) Benjamin Netanyahu“/Michael Hiestand, USA Today. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Did ESPN react properly in jettisoning Hank Williams Jr. immediately?

WCC-ESPN agreement extended eight years

The WCC and ESPN on Wednesday announced an eight-team contract extension.

ESPN will televise at least 48 WCC men's basketball games annually on its family of networks. The WCC has averaged 38 games on ESPN the last three seasons.

More here.

Sitcom Pilot Based On Ex-UI Vandal

During ‘Upfront’ next week, television networks unveil their new fall show schedules to advertisers and media. ESPN will have its share of announcements Tuesday morning, but it’s the CBS slate that ESPN Radio and SportsNation host Colin Cowherd and NFL Live analyst Mark Schlereth are keeping an eye on with great interest. Both have sitcom projects in the works based on their lives. Scripts have been written and rewritten, and their pilot episodes have been shot. Now they’re waiting to hear whether their respective shows will get picked up by the network. Schlereth’s show is called Home Game. Cowherd’s show is still untitled/Bill Hofheimer, ESPN Front Row. More hereH/T: Idaho Dad.

Question: If a sitcom was based on your life, what would it be about? And who would play you?

Eags in ESPN’s BracketBusters mix

All nine Big Sky Conference men’s basketball teams are part of the 114-team pool from which ESPN will pick to decide which matchups will be televised as part of its annual BracketBusters weekend that will play out Feb. 18-20.

Eastern Washington will host Big Sky rival Montana that weekend, but ESPN will not announced with 11 games it will televise until Jan. 31.

You can read more here.

 

 

Zags part of ESPNU’s Midnight Madness

Gonzaga will join Duke, Kentucky, Memphis and Kansas State and the UConn women’s team as programs featured on ESPNU’s four-hour Midnight Madness special on Oct. 15. All five of the men’s teams are ranked in ESPN’s Top 25 with the Zags checking in at No. 9.

More below.

UPDATE: More on GU’s Kraziness in the Kennel here.

Five GU conference games on ESPN

Five of Gonzaga’s West Coast Conference games will be televised on ESPN’s family of stations. The five games are Jan. 20 at Santa Clara, Jan. 27 vs. Saint Mary’s, Feb 3 at Portland, Feb. 10 at Loyola Marymount and Feb. 24 at Saint Mary’s.The Santa Clara game will be on ESPNU and the other four on ESPN2.

GU will open WCC play with three straight home games and five of its first seven will take place at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Zags close the conference season at Saint Mary’s and San Diego.

More on GU’s WCC schedule and the entire conference slate here.

GU on ESPN’s hoops marathon

The Gonzaga-San Diego State game will be part of ESPN’s College Hoops Tip-off Marathon (24 straight hours of games) on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The GU-SDSU game will air at 8 p.m. from the McCarthey Athletic Center on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. The game is part of the CBE Classic that will conclude in Kansas City.

Read on for the entire lineup.

Preseason Peak: Vandals On Upswing

If the Vandals are going to repeat last year’s success — their first winning season in a decade — they are going to need to get better in the offensive line and on defense. Head coach Robb Akey sees both of those things happening. “We’re gaining ground in the offensive line,” Akey said. “We knew that was going to take some work. It’s going to continue to be a work in progress, but I do feel like that is getting better. “The defense is starting to get a little swagger to it, and I expected to see that,” he said. “They’re performing better and I can see confidence growing there”/Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook & ESPN. More here.

Question: Are you marking the days down until the Idaho Vandals Sept. 2 opener against North Dakota in the Kibbie Dome?