At 33 years of age and an NBA pro since 2004, Carmelo Anthony is still keeping both sides in the game.
Sunday at home against the Timberwolves, Anthony hit a 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to give the Thunder a 113-112 lead. He then strutted around making with his three-shots-to-the-head gesture.
But he was so busy kissing his own fanny he either didn’t know or forgot that Minnesota had no timeouts left. With Anthony the last to react, the Timberwolves inbounded, raced up court and won the game at the buzzer on Andrew Wiggins’ 3-pointer.
Saturday, Alabama was up, 28-0, when Tennessee’s Daniel Bituli intercepted the ball and ran 97 yards for a touchdown. A flag for unsportsmanlike conduct followed. As seen in a replay, defensive back Rashaan Gaulden followed Bituli into the end zone, raising both middle fingers, thrusting them toward ’Bama fans.
On CBS, Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson each could only muster, “Not a good idea.” Gaulden is a red-shirt junior, thus in his fourth year as a full-scholarship student-athlete. That within a nationally televised game he would choose rank incivility to become his college legacy was incomprehensible. But the matter was dropped with, “Not a good idea.”
WARNING: Explicit content
Sunday on CBS, the Panthers were losing at Chicago, 17-3, with 12 seconds left in the half, when Cam Newton completed a long pass to Kelvin Benjamin at the 15.
As 10 Panthers sprinted to the new line of scrimmage so Newton could spike the ball to stop the clock for a field goal try, Benjamin stood holding the ball, as if expecting a parade in his honor.
Newton, whose past showboating has imperiled his team as well as his health — a blind-side concussion, last season, after slowing to stylishly enter the end zone — spiked the ball a second too late. The half was over.
Earlier, on CBS’s NFL pregame show, Phil Simms previewed Bengals-Steelers, telling us linebacker Vontaze Burfict is the heart and soul of Cincy’s defense, an especially good player. And that — Simms knows it better than most — was a load of pandering nonsense.
Burfict has supplanted teammate Pacman Jones as the NFL’s top misanthrope and vandal — no easy accomplishment — with fines and suspensions for excessively dirty play and other forms of misconduct to prove it.
Simms worked the 2016 Steelers-Bengals playoff game/prison-yard riot. Near its end, Simms, who’d indulged nearly three hours of untreated garbage, finally called it “a disgrace.” The Steelers won in the closing seconds on a field goal granted by consecutive personal fouls on Burfict (a brutal hit to the head) and Jones (excessive post-play misconduct).
Sunday, in a 29-14 loss at Pittsburgh, Burfict stayed his course, promising, “They ain’t gonna like me today,” then, on the second play of the game, he kicked fullback Roosevelt Nix in the head — with both feet. Once, Simms at least hinted at conspicuously ugly truths.
TV and sports have combined to vastly under-represent, if not ignore, a significant viewer and customer base: Those who know good from bad and are sick and tired — very sick and very tired — of being treated as taken-for-granted fools. And if I read the wind and emails correctly, those viewers and customers are bailing out, perhaps never to return, because the games and telecasts fall further and further beneath their dignity.
During FOX’s Seattle-Giants telecast Sunday, a commercial depicting a corporate endeavor on behalf of Boys and Girls Clubs appeared, with Odell Beckham Jr. mixing with the kids — as if Beckham, likely the most all-about-me player and urination mime in Giants history, is a good influence on kids.
Justin Timberlake has accepted the NFL’s invite to perform during this season’s Super Bowl halftime. Anyone with a sense of right from wrong and any regard for their dignity — not to mention ours — would have disqualified Timberlake’s reappearance following his sudden, violent pull on Janet Jackson’s studded leather outfit to reveal one of her breasts to 144 million U.S. viewers at halftime of the 2004 Super Bowl.
And Commissioner Goodell, with no better idea, wants him back. Or is that the idea? Is Timberlake back to serve the sizzle, hold the audience in anticipation?
While this is the NFL season for taking a knee, the last Super Bowl featured Beyonce and her dance troupe in an ambush salute to the Black Panthers, which assassinated many police officers — black, white and Latino — as a matter of indiscriminate mandate.
Where was the protest, the outrage? Did Goodell know this was coming? Did he approve? Did he later explain or apologize? But it barely made news. Hey, everyone loves Beyonce!
Anyway, as frequently advertised, there’s a new show coming on NBC-owned USA Network, “The Cromarties.”
It’s described as a “real-life situation-comedy” about former Jet Antonio Cromartie and his family. He’s the father of 14 children by nine women. Hilarious!
And unless I’m reading the wind and emails incorrectly as the race backwards continues, for many it has already concluded at the finished line.
The Game showing ‘progress’ in reverse
Yes, “The Game has changed,” still …
After Game 1 of the World Series, Justin Turner admitted that his two-run homer in the Dodgers’ 3-1 win likely wouldn’t have cleared the wall had it not been so hot. OK, then why, with two out, didn’t he run? Why did he jog to first watching the ball barely clear the wall?
And given the opportunity to say so over replays, why didn’t FOX’s Joe Buck and John Smoltz note Turner’s foolish risk?
But Buck has to concentrate on exit velocities and reporting Turner’s “walk-off, game-ending home run” (both?) against the Cubs, Smoltz on “expanded strike zones” (balls as opposed to strikes) and the repeated importance of leadoff batters reaching base “to create traffic.”
Has anyone else noticed Turner has filled out since his pre-slugger days with the Mets? FOX might even show “before” and “after” videos.
With computer-generated, designed-to-distract superimposed advertising in place for the World Series, players on the field actually disappear behind the signage!
And now the World Series, at all times, includes a superimposed box to give viewers a live, one-dimensional sense of three-dimensional pitches. Progress!
You likely have seen that image ad for Ohio State in which long tradition proudly dictates that no logo appears on the school-colored gray, scarlet and white — but only since 1878 — helmets to make room for stickers rewarding on-field accomplishments.
Saturday at home against Penn State, Ohio State — on FOX and on Nike’s orders — will wear metallic gray helmets with gray-and-black uniforms.