Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

07 Oct 2005

Dr. Z's Rants: Four Minutes, TV Announcers

Paul Zimmerman is in fine form today, starting with a critique of ESPN's decision to run its drama Four Minutes with a news crawl at the bottom of the screen, so you could learn that Randy McMichael signed a new contract while you became absorbed in 1950s England. (If you saw Four Minutes, please tell me in the comments whether it's any good. I'm very interested in the story of Roger Bannister, but not so sure an ESPN docudrama is the way to learn more about it. Also, is it just me, or did ESPN not hype Four Minutes to anywhere near the extent it hyped Playmakers, Season on the Brink, 3, etc.?)

Once he gets into football, he praises Brent Jones but doesn't seem to realize that Jones has now left the broadcast booth. He also says LaDainian Tomlinson is a lock for Canton and Shaun Alexander is too soft.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 07 Oct 2005

17 comments, Last at 10 Oct 2005, 4:07am by J-Diddy


by Ray (not verified) :: Fri, 10/07/2005 - 6:37pm

I watched a good chunck of Four Minutes last night, and I enjoyed it. I think it's worth your time.

But you should probably know that aside from that movie, I'm completely unfamiliar with the Roger Bannister story, so I may not be the best judge of how accurate or faithful it is to actual events.

by princeton73 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/07/2005 - 6:58pm

just out of curiosity, why didn't you link his power rankings this week?

by Joey (not verified) :: Fri, 10/07/2005 - 8:49pm

It was just you. I saw a bazillion commercials for it.

by masocc (not verified) :: Fri, 10/07/2005 - 11:56pm

Ummm.... just out of curiousity, what happened to the idea of linking to the printable version of articles (especially SI's ad-filled atrocities)?

by R.J. (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 2:11am

It only takes about four minutes of watching "Four Minutes" to know that you liked it the first time you saw it when it was called "Chariots of Fire". I guess it's only fair that they made the same movie twice about British track stars since they also made the same movie twice about the late great American runner Steve Prefontaine. It is a shame that running as a sport is so dominated by english speaking white guys that they have to keep making the same movie over and over again. I guess we have to be patient and look forward to the day when a person of color can win a foot race so they can make a movie about him. (Kidding aside, this one is by far the best of all the sports docudramas ESPN has been wasting their time producing. Written by Frank Deford, it is actually worth seeing.)

by Fnor (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 2:33am

"Numbers are peaceful little creatures. They work hard, come home to their wives at night, eat a nourishing meal and go to sleep. Don't ask them to carry on any arguments for you."

Amen. I'm probably guilty of that, but boy is it a great sentiment.

by MDS (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 12:29pm

Ummm…. just out of curiousity, why did you link to the exact same thing I linked to in your complaint about what I linked to, masocc?

by masocc (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 2:40pm

I guess I answered my own question, didn't I? It'll take someone smarter than I to outwit clickability.com

by masocc (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 2:41pm

And for the record, it wasn't a complaint, it was an honest question.

by MDS (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 5:08pm

OK, no problem. We'd certainly like to be able to link to the single-page view, but the folks at SI HQ have made that impossible.

by Vern (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 8:34pm

The correct link is possible, see it under my name. It just takes a couple extra clicks now. They made it so you can no longer just hover over the "print this" link and copy it.

To get the link all you have to do is:

1. Click the "print this" link. This opens a new browser window.

2. Right click in the new browser window (anywhere that is not an image or a link) and open "properties" (from IE) or "view page info" (Firefox).

3. In that dialog, you will see the URL, can highlight it, copy it to the clipboard, and be on your way. Make sure when highlighting the text you let it scroll over the whole URL so you don't miss a bit.

If you ever are in a pop-up window and wonder what the URL was to the page in that window, the same thing will work for that too.

by Vern (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 8:41pm

Looks like the "URL" form field in this forum gets truncated (the URL is 310 characters long, I'm guessing your form cuts off at 255). Anyway, here is the same link in the message body using HTML:

link here

by Vern (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 8:42pm

Ok, that one worked.

by Astro Boy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/08/2005 - 8:49pm

It was a little bit amusing to see the Z man so worked up on the Harrison vs. Boldin comparison when he doesn't seem to get the concept of significant figures.

by Joey (not verified) :: Sun, 10/09/2005 - 2:21am

Re. 5
Great post, RJ! I heard the CoF theme music in my head every time I saw a commercial.

by Flux (not verified) :: Sun, 10/09/2005 - 9:39am

Not that this complaint is going to change anything, but I found that article surreal and borderline unreadable, simply due to his abbreviated and arbitrary synopses of emails he didn't choose to share with us. It was like he replied to every emailer individually, CC'ed them all, and BCC'ed it into a column.

I guess that's professional/print format, where they're short on space and can't/don't actually quote what they're replying to, but it sucks online, where word counts don't matter and we'd like to get a bit more context than a dozen email replies with some version of, "thanks for the kind words" taking up half the space in about 9 of them.

by J-Diddy (not verified) :: Mon, 10/10/2005 - 4:07am


Never read Dr. Z before, have you?