Sunday, December 25, 2011

Regional Bias

By Keith Antigiovanni

On Christmas Eve I was driving somewhere and put the radio on and the New York Jets- New York Giants football game was on. I am a fan of neither team and wasnt much interested in the game until I heard the announcer, Howard David in his east coast accent, commented about how important a specific call by the referee would be in the game and if he made a mistake it would be magnified because two New York teams were playing.

The game was also the only one televised locally.

My first thought was who cares if two New York teams are playing the guy needs to get the call right.Then he followed up his comment with the fact that this particular official worked in his words "an unimportant" game the previous week when the Tennessee Titans played the Indianapolis Colts.

I know that the Colts have been out of the playoff race all year but the Titans are competing for a playoff spot just like the Jets and Giants are at this time.

The ignorant comment made by David illustrates the "East Coast" bias in the media as if only the results of east coast teams are important as opposed to teams in Nashville, Tennessee or Indianapolis, Indiana. That would be fine if he was talking to an east coast audience but the game was broadcast nationally.

Obviously the east coast fans care about as much about Tennessee-Indianapolis as someone on the west coast cares about the Jets/Giants. Isnt the NFL, the National Football League? Not the east coast football league? If the NFL is serious about presenting itself a national sport then its about time they hired announcers who do their homework and know all the teams and not just the ones they cover locally or regional announcers will continue to show their bias and present the NFL as a less than national sport.

Friday, December 9, 2011

AFC/NFC South: Week 14

By Keith Antigiovanni

The NFC South leading New Orleans Saints (9-3) are away this week to play the Tennessee Titans, the second-place team in the AFC South.

The Saints are coming off an impressive 31-17 win over the Detroit Lions and are close to clinching the NFC South title and are trying to position themselves for a bye. The Titans must continue to win to stay in the AFC South and Wild Card race.

At first glance the Saints look to be favorite in this game but the Titans have found their dormant running game with Chris Johnson.

The AFC South leading Houston Texans (9-3) face the Cincinnati Bengals (7-5). The Houston-Cincinnati game is similiar to the New Orleans-Tennessee game. Houston is close to clinching their first AFC South title and postseason berth while the Bengals must win to stay in the AFC Wild Card competition.

The second-place NFC South team Atlanta Falcons (7-5) are in Charlotte to play the Carolina Panthers (4-8). The Falcons defeated the Panthers 31-17 in week 6 at the Georgiadome. Atlanta will have to stop rookie quarterback Cam Newton who has thrown for 3,297 yards in 12 games.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

College Football Week 14 Preview

By Keith Antigiovanni

This week will determine the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference championships, bowl and BCS match-ups and the National Championship Game.

The #1 LSU Tigers (12-0) will face the #12 Georgia Bulldogs in the 20th annual SEC Championship game in Atlanta's Georgia Dome. If LSU wins, they will advance to New Orleans and play in the National Championship Game. If Georgia wins then who knows what the BCS computer will do but in either case the Alabama Crimson Tide has already earned a berth in the title game.

The #10 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2) are going up against the #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1) to decide the Big-12 championship which no longer has a championship game after the departure of Colorado and Nebraska. If the Sooners win it will be their eighth conference title in the Bob Stoops Era (12 years) but if OSU wins it will be their first conference title they shared the Big-8 in 1976.

The first PAC-12 and Big Ten championship games will be held this weekend. The #15 Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) and #13 Michigan State Spartans (10-2) will square-off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The winner will earn the Big Ten BCS berth. In the PAC-12 the #9 Oregon Ducks (10-2) host the UCLA Bruins (6-6). The Bruins are in the title game because of USC's probationary status and were soundly defeated by the Trojans 50-0 the week before. The result was Bruin Head Coach Rick Neuheisel's firing on Monday.

The Bruins will have a chance to pull of a major upset and can knock Oregon out of a BCS Bowl game.

The ACC Championship Game will be held in Charlotte on saturday and will pit the #21 Clemson Tigers (9-3) versus the #5 Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1). Clemson was undefeated thru the first eight weeks but finished poorly. However the Tigers were able to clinch a division title for the second time in three years.

Virginia Tech will be making their fifth conference title game appearance and have won in three previous tries (2007, 2008, 2010). The Hokies have a chance at the National Championship game if they win and LSU loses but would have to win convincingly against Clemson.

The #6 Houston Cougars (12-0) also have a chance at a BCS Bowl if they can beat #24 Southern Mississippi (10-2) in the Conference USA Championship Game. The Cougars also appeared in the 2006 and 2009 Conference title games with a win in 2006 over Southern Miss.