Your Friendly Neighborhood Sports Columnist

I was sitting in my room, reading an article about college basketball, tuning in to my favorite radio personality, J.L Cauvin, from 9 to 11 a.m. every Friday on WCFM. That’s 91.9 on your radio dial, folks.

Anyway, in the midst of this, I suddenly became incensed. The result is this letter, actually sent to CBS sports television. I have not received a response, nor am I holding my breath.

Dear CBS,

I am a loyal watcher of all your programming, enjoying a casual laugh at inspired sitcoms such as Everybody Loves Raymond and your dramas that ride the coattails of other network hits such as Chicago Hope or the much-anticipated Falcone. Not really. However, there IS a special place in my heart reserved for your coverage of the Men’s NCAA Tournament.

At least there was before this year. You’ve almost ruined it for me. The number of commercials that viewers were forced to sit through this year was ridiculous. How can that much corporate sponsorship be necessary? I know you paid the NCAA an enormous amount of money recently to secure the rights to the tournament until 2014. You don’t have to make it all back in one year.

I can’t believe that Microsoft sponsors your statistical breakdowns. I can’t believe that you let Bobby Cremins, whose voice sounds like PeeWee Herman, on as an analyst. He does not belong on radio or television. Here’s one: did Jim Nantz really call Mateen Cleaves one of the “greatest leaders the college game has ever seen?”

If you take that comment by itself, a lone ejaculation of hyperbole, it does not seem that bad. But if you notice that Billy Packer said: “here’s where you have to reach down,” at a critical moment after Cleaves left the court with a sprained ankle, “do you have that American dream, to reach down and pull it out?” then you see the pattern that left me yelling at the TV screen like a lunatic.

What are you talking about? You guys already have John “Don’t call me Cougar” Mellencamp waxing poetic about Indiana basketball and America. We all saw Hoosiers. We get it.

I want to watch a basketball game. I do not want shots of the your new Jeff Gillooly figure, Teddy Dupay, on the bench. Is he supposed to have a guilty look on his face?

He did not try to hurt Mateen Cleaves. It was unintentional. Stop trying to create stories in the middle of the game, especially if it’s keeping us from actually seeing the action on the court, and especially if they don’t carry with them a grain of truth.

So you need to start making back that money they gave to the NCAA. Here are my budget cuts: first, can Dick Vitale. I know he works for ESPN. That doesn’t amount to an excuse. Fire him. Second, Dick Enberg belongs on NBC doing football, not narrating cute little segments about the cheeseheads of Wisconsin.

Maybe have these changes will alleviate whatever problem it is that is causing you to squeeze forty-five minutes of commercials into each hour of your telecast. Also, Letterman needs to start drinking more coffee, maybe put Madonna back on the show to liven him up, or decrease his Valium dosage. He looks tranquilized, and talking in a hillbilly country voice doesn’t solve this one. Just trying to help.


Daniel Dickens

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