Sunday, September 16, 2012

If you weren’t watching, you may not be aware that ESPN’s bombastic Chris Berman hadn’t called NFL play-by-play prior to doing Monday’s game between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers. . . . How’d he do? . . . “Listening to this game with Chris Berman doing play-by-play ought to be fun,” wrote Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star. “Good, clean fun, like driving nails into my nostrils.” . . . Then there was Jeff Ericson of Rotowire: “This is hardly a new revelation, but Chris Berman cares more about his schtick than doing a competent job covering this game.” . . . Here’s Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News: “Holy moly, the Raiders are a disaster. They are not, however, as much of a disaster as Berman on the stick.” . . . But then there’s Nate Davis of USA Today: “The ancient Raider references aside, I actually thought Berman was pretty good and fairly understated tonight. But big props to Dilfer.” . . . You know what they say about another man’s trash. . . .
At a Thursday briefing with the media, Gary Bettman, the commissioner of lockouts, said: “We made what we thought was a fair deal in ’04/05. It turned out to be more fair than maybe it should have been.” . . . Gee, you think? . . . Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold is on the NHL’s bargaining committee. This is the same guy who in July signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to those 13-year, US$100-million contracts. Did Leipold know at that point that the NHL would be asking those players for a rollback? . . . On Friday, NHL teams signed six players for US$103.17 million. You have to think there are times when Bettman just goes and bangs his head against a wall. . . . It is interesting, too, that while Bettman has a muzzle on each of his owners, NHLPA boss Donald Fehr has no such restrictions on his players. . . . Hey, TSN and Sportsnet. Enough with the NHL lockout. Please. No more panels. No more armies in New York City. It’s football season. It’s the best part of the baseball season. OK? . . .
Centre Tyler Redenbach, who won the WHL’s 2003-04 scoring title while with the Swift Current Broncos, got his SM-liiga season off to quite a start Thursday as he helped HIFK to a 7-3 victory over Jokerit. Redenbach, who used to live in these parts, drew four assists in the victory, with linemate Ville Peltonen scoring three times and adding an assist. . . . A friendly reminder that the deadline to apply to be a beneficiary of The Daily News Christmas Cheer Fund is Sept. 30. If your organization is interested, just visit our web site (, click on the Christmas Cheer Fund logo and follow the instructions. . . . Oh, and Merry Christmas! . . . With the Washington Nationals poised to shut down starter Stephen Strasburg because they are looking to the future, Janice Hough, the Left Coast Sports Babe, noted: “Right, like when the Cubs lost the 1910 World Series, and their fans thought, ‘Well, heck, we won in 1908, we’ll be back.’ ” . . . The Nationals, of course, halted Strasburg’s season a week ago. . . .
Here’s R.J. Currie, from “Maria Sharapova said her breakup with Sasha Vujacic was due to them both having such busy schedules. For those of you scoring at home, make that a double fault.” . . . If you happen to be in Barrie, Ont., on Sunday, you may want to stop by the PIE-Wood Fire Pizza Joint for what is billed as “Canada’s Largest Eating Competition.” It will feature Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi and American Manny Yarborough, with the winner taking home $3,000. . . . Kobayashi is the two-time defending champion. Yarborough, at 6-foot-8 and 680 pounds, appears to have ended his sumo career. . . . No, that isn’t a typo — Yarborough weighs 680. . . . Yes, that’s a lot of pizza. . . .
The Chilliwack Huskers are a junior football team. They have played five games. They have lost all five by a combined score of 319-26, including an 85-0 beating inflicted by the Vancouver Island Raiders a week ago. . . . Hey, BCFC, gotta think you’ve got a problem there. . . . Michael Wilbon, he of Washington Post and PTI fame, was in Green Bay for the Thursday night NFL game between the Packers and Chicago Bears. He tweeted about what a great time he had. Among the responses he received was this one: “When Pack fans visited Cleveland they were knowledgeable, fun, & good to talk with. Browns fans started fighting each other.” . . . Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “If I was U.S. Ryder Cup captain (I’m not), my first captain’s pick would be Charles Barkley. Then I’d pick John Daly. Hey, I want people to watch this thing. Sue me.” . . . Headline at Tim Tebow’s 11 rushing yards lead Jets to 48-28 rout of Bills. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “Somebody needs to tell Clint Eastwood to stop explaining what he did with that empty chair in Tampa and why he did it. He was much better in those old westerns when he hardly said anything at all.”

 (Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at, and Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn’t.)

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