Centers' Little Helper

Dennis Hans, unrenowned former adjunct professor of mass comm and American foreign policy, relentlessly exposed the Bush administration’s “techniques of deceit” BEFORE the Iraq war, when it could have made a difference (see links). For decades he has fought baseball’s discrimination against lefthanded infielders and promoted his ingenious clockwise solution. A lifelong advocate for a flowing, non-brutal, flop-free NBA, he now champions the cause of its second-class citizens: the centers.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

SPOILER ALERT! NBA TV now run by spoilers
The league’s cable channel is giving away the outcome of many vintage games at the opening tip

(This is an essay I penned several weeks ago for which I could not find an outlet.)

By Dennis Hans

The NBA’s 2008 decision to relocate its cable channel, NBA TV, from New Jersey to Atlanta and turn the operation over to the TNT crowd at Turner Sports has, in one respect, been a disaster.

My favorite program on the channel is “Hardwood Classics” — rebroadcasts of great games dating all the way back to the 1963 Finals, when Bill Russell and Bob Cousy squared off against Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. Most are two-hour productions that trim away the fat of pre-game and half-time chatter so that most if not all of the action can be squeezed into the allotted time. Viewers are transported back in time to experience the game “as it happened,” in the words of the voiceover intro on many of the Classics assembled at the old studio in New Jersey.

Some of the Jersey productions add nothing to the original broadcast; others, at the start of each segment, flash in the upper right-hand corner for about 10 seconds the names of the opponents, the game number and playoff round, and the date it was played. The graphic is usually gone by the time the action resumes, and it doesn’t provide a clue as to who won or lost.

Tune in and you’re likely to be swept away by the grace and skill of these lanky, limber gazelles in the pre-bulked-up era of the ’60s, ’70s and much of the ’80s — and amused by their quaint habit of dribbling the top of the basketball. (Everyone knows that the proper way to dribble is to cradle the ball, keeping your cupped hand underneath or on the side of the ball for an eternity or two.) And unless you’re a history nut or a geezer with a good memory, you — and perhaps your kids or grandkids who are just developing their passion for basketball — won’t know the outcome and thus can get caught up in the unfolding on-court drama.

Well, no more. The geniuses at Turner have decided to display — right from the opening tip — an info graphic on most (not all) of their new Hardwood Classics productions that tells viewers who won. This despite having produced new on-screen intros by staff announcers such as Matt Winer and Rick Kamla drawing the audience in by dramatically setting the stage for what is to follow. Here, by Winer, is a typical one:

“In Game 3 of the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, the Chicago Bulls were looking to advance to the NBA Finals for the very first time. Standing in their path: the nemesis Detroit Pistons, who won the last two NBA championships. Can Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and company take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series, and push Isiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman and the Bad Boys to the brink of extinction?”

Let’s overlook the error in logic in the opening sentence: You can’t sew up a seven-game series and thus “advance” by winning the third game. At least someone had the good sense to clear up the confusion with a correct concluding sentence. Alas, that was the last bit of good sense that the Turner people displayed in this production, for here is what viewers saw 25 seconds after Winer’s presentation: BULLS BREAK THROUGH IN MOTOR CITY

If you had happened to run to the kitchen and missed this important news when it first appeared, you did not get lucky. The helpful Turner people made this bulletin a semi-permanent on-screen fixture — a big, black rectangular block with white lettering in the lower left-center of the screen, often blotting out the bouncing of the ball and parts of a player or two. The info-block fades out only when the original broadcast flashes the score or some other helpful fact; once that fades out the 2011 info-block reappears.

An apparently newly discovered tape of the second half of Game 4 of the 1966 Eastern Conference Semifinals, between the Boston Celtics and the Cincinnati Royals, has been turned into a one-hour Hardwood Classic with a fine introduction by Kamla informing viewers that the Royals can eliminate the Celtics with a win. “Do they succeed at the Cincinnati Gardens?” asks Kamla. “Let’s find out.” Barely a second later, we did: CELTICS AVOID ELIMINATION, TIE SERIES 2-2

Believe it or not, these rectangular info-blocks are an improvement on another Turner innovation: a big blue info-blob, taking up a chunk of the lower-left portion of the screen, which ruined the new NBA TV editions of the 1972 and 1977 All-Star Game. (The only thing dumber is ESPN’s baseball telecasts, which superimpose the strike zone on the screen on every pitch, thus obstructing the view of the all-important pitcher-batter confrontation.) Fortunately for fans, the 1972 game airs occasionally on the ESPN Classic channel, minus the blue blob.

Here are three more playoff-game giveaways I’ve encountered in new Hardwood Classics productions from a great NBA decade:

Introducing the start of the 1983 Knicks-Nets series, Winer asked, “Who will take control in Game 1 in Brendan Byrne Arena?” The answer arrived instantaneously: BERNARD KING LEADS KNICKS TO WIN

Winer, setting the scene for the hard-fought 1986 Milwaukee-Philadelphia series, asked “Who will seize control in Game 1 at The Mecca?” Two seconds later his colleagues spilled the beans: BARKLEY LEADS 4th QUARTER COMEBACK

For Game 6 of the 1986 Finals, Team Turner opted to skip a 2011 intro and go right to the original CBS broadcast. Another change: the info-block was raised to the less obtrusive upper left corner, which is where the outcome was immediately revealed: CELTICS WIN 16th NBA TITLE

See if you can discern the winner of the following playoff matchups, using only the subtle clue of NBA TV’s on-screen, ALL-CAPS perma-script:

BARKLEY POWERS SUNS WITH BIG DOUBLE-DOUBLE
BARKLEY’S TRIPLE DOUBLE LEADS SUNS TO WIN
JOHN STOCKTON COMES UP CLUTCH
LAKERS SURVIVE & ADVANCE TO NBA FINALS
MICHAEL JORDAN’S 1ST CAREER PLAYOFF SERIES WIN
SUPERSTAR PERFORMANCE BY KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR
M. JORDAN’S SCORING SPREE LEADS BULLS PAST SUNS
K. JOHNSON LEADS SUNS TO WIN & EXTEND SERIES
BULLS REPEAT AS CHAMPIONS

I don’t know if Ted Turner is still running his media empire, but whoever is in charge I implore thee: keep the NBA TV braintrust as far away as humanly possible from Turner Classic Movies. I don’t want Robert Osborne’s fascinating, non-spoiler set-ups to be followed by a permanent on-screen spoiler caption as the film rolls.

[SPOILER ALERT!!! If you’re new to classic movies and plan on becoming a fan, stop reading now or avert your eyes as you skip ahead to the final paragraph.]

In short, I don’t want to see this:
“Detective Robert Thorn discovers that Soylent Green, a popular processed food, is made from PEOPLE!”

Or this:
“Shy oddball Norman Bates, who years ago murdered his mother without getting caught and now impersonates her, stabs to death Marion Crane in the shower.”

Or this:
“Norma Desmond will soon be ready for her close-up — down at the police station, for the murder of struggling screenwriter and reluctant gigolo Joe Gillis. The butler DIDN’T do it, though he did write all of Norma’s ‘fan mail’ and was once her director AND husband!”

Please, NBA TV. The on-screen clutter is annoying and unnecessary even when it’s innocuous (e.g., JORDAN & MAGIC DUEL IN THE FINALS). It’s unacceptable when it announces the result. Let Winer and Kamla dramatically set the stage, but don’t undercut their efforts and sabotage the viewing experience by allowing the production geniuses to mark their territory with info-block spoilers. Just show the darn game as it was originally broadcast, and let fans of all ages who are discovering these rare treats for the first time enjoy the suspense as well as the artistry of vintage NBA basketball.

14 Comments:

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Kelly Chen said...

air jordan grey toe 13s ,jordan grey toe 13s ,cheap grey toe 13s , grey toe 13s ,grey toe 13 ,retro jordan grey toe 13s ,jordan grey toe 13s , cheap grey toe 13s , grey toe 13s , grey toe 13 , black infrared 6s ,jordan infrared 6s ,infrared 6s ,jordan infrared 6s , infrared 6s, jordan 6s black infrared , black infrared 6s 2014, 384664-023 ,black infrared 6s , gamma blue 11s ,gamma blue 11 , air jordan 11 gamma blue , jordan gamma 11s , jordan 11 gamma blue ,black infrared 6s , air jordan 6 black infrared , infrared 6s ,jordan 6 black infrared ,black infrared 6s 2014 , 384664-023 ,jordan 6s black infrared ,cheap black infrared 6s ,384664-023 ,legend blue 11s ,jordan legend 11s ,jordan legend blue 11s ,legend 11s ,378037-117 ,jordan 13 grey toe , retro 13s grey toe , jordan 13s grey toe , grey toe 13s ,grey toe 13

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Kelly Chen said...

legend 11s , jordan legend 11s ,legend 11s 2014 , retro legend 11s , pre order legend 11s , 378037-117 , air jordan 11 legend blue , legend blue 11 , jordan 11 legend ,jordan 11 legend blue , legend 11 , 378037-117 , legend blue 11 , air jordan 11 legend blue , retro legend blue 11 , jordan 11 legend , jordan retro 11 legend , legend blue 11s, jordan 11 legend blue , retro legend blue 11s , jordan 11s legend , air jordan 11s legend blue , 378037-117 ,legend blue 11s ,jordan legend 11s , jordan legend blue 11s ,legend 11s , 378037-117 , cheap legend blue 11s ,cheap legend 11s ,legend blue 11 , jordan legend 11 , jordan legend blue 11 ,378037-117 , air jordan 6 black infrared, jordan 6 black infrared, jordan 6 infrared, black infrared 6, infrared 6, jordan infrared 6s, jordan black infrared 6, 384664-023

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Kelly Chen said...

cheap legend blue 11s, cheap legend 11s,air jordan 6 black infrared ,jordan 6 black infrared ,jordan infrared 6s,infrared 6s,jordan 6s black infrared ,384664-023,jordan infrared 6s,infrared 6s,air jordan 6s black infrared ,jordan 6s black infrared ,jordan 6 infrared black,infrared 6,jordan 6 black infrared,black infrared 6,384664-023,black infrared 6s,jordan infrared 6s 2014,air jordan 11 legend blue,jordan 6 black infrared, legend blue 11s ,jordan 11 legend blue ,jordan 6 black infrared ,pre order jordans ,jordan 11 legend blue, air jordan 6 black infrared,pre order jordan 11,air jordan 11 legend blue,jordan 6 infrared,jordan legend blue 11 , 378037-117 , air jordan 6 black infrared, jordan 6 black infrared, jordan 6 infrared, black infrared 6, infrared 6, jordan infrared 6s, jordan black infrared 6,384664-023

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger Kelly Chen said...

jordan legend blue 11 , 378037-117 , pre order jordans, pre order jordan 11, legend blue 11s, pre order 2014 jordans, jordan 6 black infrared , pre order jordan 6 black infrared , jordan 6 infrared , black infrared 6 , infrared 6, jordan infrared 6, 384664-023, pre order legend blue 11 , legend blue 11, air jordan 11 legend blue, jordan 11 legend blue, legend 11, jordan legend blue 11, jordan 11 legend, 378037-117, air jordan 6 black infrared, jordan 6 black infrared, jordan 6 infrared, black infrared 6, infrared 6, jordan infrared 6s, jordan black infrared 6, 384664-023, air jordan 11 legend blue, legend 11 , jordan 11 legend blue , jordan 11 legend , legend blue 11 , jordan legend 11 , legend 11 , jordan 11 legend blue , jordan 11 legend , air jordan 11 legend blue , legend blue 11 , jordan legend 11

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

legend 11s , air jordan 11 legend blue , legend blue 11 , legend blue 11s , air jordan 6 black infrared ,replica designer shoes, cheap designer shoes , designer shoes , designer shoes , jimmy choo shoes,jimmy choo shoes ,cheap uggs ,jimmy choo ,jimmy choo shoes , red bottoms ,new balance outlet,new balance outlet, jimmy choo shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes , Giuseppe Zanotti shoes , herve leger dresses, herve leger outlet , herve leger dresses , bodycon dresses , bodycon dresses , gucci belts , jimmy choo outlet, Christian Louboutin Daffodile, jimmy choo shoes, air jordan 11 legend blue, black infrared 6s, designer shoes, gamma blue 11s, jordan gamma 11s, herve leger, jordan 6 black infrared, christian louboutin shoes, air jordan 11s legend blue ,retro jordan grey toe 13s, jordan grey toe 13s, grey toe 13s

 
At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bandage dresses ,gucci belts, new balance shoes, Giuseppe Zanotti ,air jordan 13 "3M", 3M 13s , jordan 13 grey toe, grey toe 13s,grey toe 13s ,air jordan grey toe 13s,jordan grey toe 13s,cheap grey toe 13s , grey toe 13, jordan 6 infrared ,infrared 6s,so kate shoes, cheap air max,nike free ,red bottoms , black infrared 6s , black infrared 6s ,jordan infrared 6s , legend blue 11s , jimmy choo pas cher , escarpins Louboutin , sport blue 6s,air jordan 11, legend blue 11s, gucci belts,legend blue 11s, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes , jimmy choo sale, jimmy choo shoes ,new balance shoes, jordan infrared 6s, infrared 6s, cheap gucci belts, christian louboutin shoes, red bottom shoes,new balance,Giuseppe Zanotti shoes,jimmy chooair jordan 11 legend blue,jordan 11 legend bluegrey toe 13grey toe 13retro 13s grey toe, jordan 13s grey toe ,cheap grey toe 13s

 
At 5:33 AM, Blogger dong dong said...

2015929dongdong
toms outlet
Coach Outlet Discount Clearance Coach Handbags
Gucci Outlet Store Locations
football jerseys cheap
michael kors outlet
Authentic Louis Vuitton Bags Discount
Official Coach Online Factory Sale
ugg outlet
true religion outlet
ray-ban sunglasses,ray ban sunglasses,ray bans,rayban,ray ban wayfarer,raybans,ray ban glasses,ray ban aviators,ray ban clubmaster,ray ban eyeglasses,cheap ray bans,ray bans sunglasses,ray ban aviator,ray bands,fake ray bans,ray ban prescription glasses,ray ban outlet,ray ban canada,ray ban sunglasses sale,ray ban sale
Nike Kobe Bryant Basketball Shoes
tory burch sale
louis vuitton outlet stores
Christian Louboutin Outlet Sale Cheap Online
Authentic Air Jordan 13 shoes for sale
Designer Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet
Abercrombie and Fitch Store
coach outlet
Michael Kors Factory Outlet Online Official
Louis vuitton Official Website Outlet Online
Jordan Concords Low And High
Jordan 3 Retro 2015
canada goose sale
New Michael Kors Handbags Outlet Online
nike air max 90
Louis Vuitton Clearance Sale
hermes outlet
louis vuitton handbags
Oakley Polarized Sunglasses Cheap Outlet Store
cheap uggs

 
At 8:12 PM, Blogger 柯云 said...

2015-12-11keyun
uggs outlet
ralph lauren
abercrombie and kent
louis vuitton outlet
mulberry uk
chanel bags
oakley sunglasses sale
ray ban sunglasses
cheap uggs sale
ray bans
cheap toms
coach factory outlet
canada goose outlet
sunglasses oakley
gucci outlet
louis vuitton outlet
hollister clothing
ugg boots on sale
air jordans
louis vuitton handbags
ugg outlet
coach clearance
uggs on sale
canada goose
coach outlet store
marc jacobs outlet
michael kors outlet
fake oakley sunglasses
uggs on sale
the north face jackets
coach outlet store online clearance
uggs for sale
ugg slippers
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet
christian louboutin
adidas original trainers
ugg outlet
jordan shoes
ugg outlet

 
At 1:39 AM, Blogger Minko Chen said...

ugg boots clearance,ugg australia,uggs on sale,ugg slippers,uggs boots,uggs outlet,ugg boots,ugg,uggs
rolex watches,rolex,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
nike air huarache
true religion uk outlet
nike outlet store
prada sneakers
kate spade uk outlet
michael kors uk
oakley sunglasses sale
oakley canada
hermes birkin bag
louis vuitton outlet store
burberry outlet store
nike air max
air jordan shoes for sale
polo shirts
cheap wedding dresses
beats headphones
longchamp handbags
true religion outlet

 
At 12:18 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.03
nike free, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, tory burch outlet, prada outlet, longchamp outlet, burberry, ugg boots, replica watches, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, louboutin outlet, replica watches, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, gucci outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors, nike air max, tiffany jewelry, jordan shoes, louis vuitton, nike air max, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, ugg boots, louis vuitton, ugg boots, tiffany and co, louboutin shoes, louboutin, oakley sunglasses, uggs on sale, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

hollister, hollister pas cher, nike roshe, coach outlet, north face, lululemon, hermes, replica handbags, vans pas cher, true religion jeans, air max, michael kors, oakley pas cher, michael kors, ralph lauren pas cher, coach purses, nike blazer, nike roshe run, burberry, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, longchamp pas cher, mulberry, michael kors, sac guess, true religion jeans, true religion outlet, tn pas cher, air force, nike free, nike free run uk, lacoste pas cher, new balance pas cher, ray ban pas cher, converse pas cher, coach outlet, true religion jeans, hogan, louboutin pas cher, kate spade outlet, north face, timberland, ray ban uk, air jordan pas cher, nike air max, vanessa bruno, ralph lauren uk, nike air max, nike air max, sac longchamp, kate spade handbags

 
At 12:23 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

timberland boots, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, nike huarache, longchamp, ipad cases, instyler, ferragamo shoes, new balance, reebok shoes, iphone 6s plus cases, vans shoes, p90x workout, iphone 6 cases, north face outlet, giuseppe zanotti, north face outlet, nfl jerseys, chi flat iron, iphone 5s cases, nike air max, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, soccer shoes, mcm handbags, s5 cases, soccer jerseys, hollister, celine handbags, iphone 6s cases, bottega veneta, babyliss, baseball bats, wedding dresses, louboutin, hollister, lululemon, herve leger, beats by dre, hollister, mont blanc, nike trainers, iphone cases, nike roshe, mac cosmetics, iphone 6 plus cases, insanity workout, ralph lauren, jimmy choo shoes, birkin bag, oakley, ghd

 
At 12:25 AM, Blogger ninest123 said...

moncler outlet, louis vuitton, coach outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, moncler, ray ban, pandora charms, moncler, canada goose outlet, barbour, ugg boots uk, sac louis vuitton pas cher, juicy couture outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton, links of london, canada goose uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose, marc jacobs, gucci, swarovski, barbour jackets, ugg pas cher, doudoune canada goose, moncler, canada goose, wedding dresses, pandora charms, swarovski crystal, karen millen, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, converse, supra shoes, canada goose, canada goose outlet, moncler, louis vuitton, hollister, lancel, pandora jewelry, moncler, bottes ugg, moncler, moncler, montre pas cher, toms shoes, converse outlet, vans, pandora jewelry
ninest123 16.03

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160520
louis vuitton outlet online
rolex watches
louis vuitton purses
fitflop shoes
coach outlet store online clearances
insanity workout
tory burch shoes
oakley sunglasses wholesale
coach outlet online
cheap air jordans
timberland boots
coach factory outlet online
nike roshe run
cheap toms shoes
discount jordans
jordan retro 11
michael kors outlet online
kobe 10
coach outlet online
toms outlet
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet store online
supra footwear
louis vuitton outlet
ralph lauren outlet
coach factory outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses outlet
oakley sunglasses
oakley outlet
air jordan shoes
coach outlet store
ray ban sunglasses outlet
louis vuitton handbags
air jordan shoes
louis vuitton purses
cheap jordans
coach factory outlet

 

Post a Comment

<< Home