Hannah Storm. Josh Elliott. And a bunch of highlights already seen last night. The debut of SportsCenter's new 9 a.m. slot gets its very special live blog, which you might be able to watch develop if you properly click on the Jump Of Kings.
***12:00 — Robert Flores and Chris McKendry? That's my cue to stop live blogging. Thanks for playing along. (Assuming you actually see any of this text.) 11:58 — And on the third Top 10 attempt, they opt not for the "pan to Josh and Hannah standing up doing the highlights." Now that I didn't see them, I can only assume they did those highlights sitting in their bedrooms wearing pajama bottoms and using Skype. 11:56 — So ... four more minutes, and ... Berman? C'mon, Berman, wake up so we can have bingo. 11:50 — And, for the third time today, Team USA visits the Great Wall. The sad part? The Mongolians are still trying to figure out how to pass across it. But by the time they get there, they'll probably have forgotten why they're invading and plundering in the first place. 11:47 — Even at this point, Josh and Hannah have to be pretty sick and tired of Brandon Webb, the pitcher/hitter/fielder gimmick. 11:43 — So, Awful Announcing just pointed out to me in his live blog (which people can actually fucking see) that the two radio guys they had on SportsCenter today are — coincidentally! — from the markets of the two teams who play tonight on Monday Night Football. No, you know what? That's just outright clever. Shameless subliminal promotion, yes, but that's clever. And hats off to AA for the John Nash-like observation. 11:38 — Are you also wondering what Sage Steele is doing between "SC Right Now" updates? Besides reading this live blog, of course. 11:36 — Not sure on this, but I think Gabe Kapler hit some kind of game-winning home run yesterday. Did anyone else hear about that? 11:33 — I'm feeling generous/desperate, so I'm marking down "triple replay" because it probably happened one way or another. Which means we are one space from bingo. Don't let us down, Berman. 11:31 — What the ... it's something new for the first time in, what, 45 minutes? Discussing the Bengals with C. Trent Rosecrans from ESPN Radio in Cincinnati. If the name "Trent" outweighs the dorkiness of whatever C. stands for, then I really want to know what that "C." means, or my name isn't M. Tinkerbell Sussman. 11:25 — If you gave me a ditto to fill out based on what was shown this morning, I would probably get an A-minus. In no way is that sad and pathetic. 11:23 — Oh, good. The Twins-Royals highlights again. Minnesota playing small ball has really kept the small market team in the race for the divizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... 11:18 — Now THAT's news. Matt Jones pleads not guilty to sitting in a car and cutting up cocaine. It wasn't him? 11:15 — Looking at the bingo card, I have to wonder if the "triple replay" is unfair if I mark it down just because we're at 27 replays of the swimming relay race. The intent was to honor three consecutive replays of something. 11:11 — Fantasy football advice from Cris Carter on drafting Darren McFadden? Seems off the cuff, but let's count it. 11:08 — Again with the Bengals' "B" and the Packers' "G." I love those two letters in succession. Can't place why. 11:05 — Hey. Idea. How about highlights of some of these O-lym-pics? I mean, beyond the relay comeback, USA basketball, and the relay comeback. 11:01 — Wow. Wow. What a relay finish. That was amazing. I'm going to have to see it four more times this hour. 10:59 — Coming up on SportsCenter: The swimming mens relay. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS. 10:55 — Michael Wilbon singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" at Wrigley. Nice to see him wake up for the occasion. We secretly replaced Willybuns' Aquafina with NyQuil. Let's see if he notices. 10:51 — A preview of USA basketball vs. Angola. Yikes. Based on that graphic (Angola's tallest player is 6'8"?), the Americans are already up 11-2. 10:46 — Did it really take them almost two hours to show Manny Ramirez getting beaned in the head? 10:39 — Sage Steele will not rest until she informs every American that Team USA beat China in basketball. 10:36 — As a benchmark, I've been waiting to see how long until the Tigers-A's highlight. So far, nothing. I have, however, seen R.A. Dickey try to blow a bunted ball foul twice. 10:30 — A radio guy from Jackson, Wisconsin, talking about Green Bay. Rounding up, this is our interview with an obscure beat writer. (Obscure to us. I'm sure the city of Jackson is atwitter with this interview, however.) 10:28 — And there's the NASCAR highlight again. It's ... it's just gonna keep going on like this, isn't it? 10:23 — With all these flat-screen TVs in the studio, you can tell ESPN built its SportsCenter set in an old abandoned Buffalo Wild Wings. 10:21 — Stop saying "Woodsian" on this PGA Championship highlight. 10:19 — They breeze through the "Morning News," which is apparently the news we just heard about this morning ... in one screen graphic. Back to highlights we saw last night, said by different people this morning ... LIVE! 10:15 — The Madden video games might be one of the most successful series of video games in history ... and yet they're too cheap to go outside the public domain for their commercial music. Because when I think smashing CGI-generated football players, I think "Amazing Grace." 10:13 — Looking at Josh Elliott speak to Buster Olney on a flat-screen TV, I can't help but wonder if this was Jetsons-inspired. 10:11 — Joba Chamberlain injury update. Mark it. 10:11 — "Morning News" is four boxes away. Then what the hell have I been watching for the last hour? 10:07 — There were 15 Major League Baseball games yesterday. Fifteen. But damned be all if they don't get through the Yankees/Red Sox/Rays highlights twice before moving onto other games. 10:04 — Maybe it was the three hours of new live SportsCenter I heard about that led me to believe that the second hour wasn't going to be like the first hour. Not the kind of thing I'd expect to see while sitting here in this Punxsutawney B&B. 10:01 — Well, hey, I'm glad I got to see this USA relay footage again. The first two times, I didn't notice Mark Spitz tailing Jason Lesak wearing a plastic shark fin. Such the consummate sportsman, that Mark Spitz. Excelsior to you. 10:00 — Sage Steele as Paul Shaffer as Jimmy Kimmel à la "Win Ben Stein's Money." 9:57 — Did Josh Elliott just say "he loves footsie" and "he loves little kids?" in succession? That's actually great to hear these days. A grown man who enjoys raising children is so hard to find these days. Although I can't say I approve of the "footsie" inclination. 9:55 — Hannah Storm is calculatedly pumped for doing her first Top 10. 9:52 — Two minutes of Jeremy Schaap, and I got nothin'.
9:49 — The small of Hannah Storm's back is clearly visible. That's the kind of footage that launched a million teenage boys into a new fantasy.
9:46 — Jillian Barberie lost weight on Nutrisystem? I thought she lost weight when, y'know, the kid finally popped out.
9:45 — SportsCenter outro music courtesy of the Mega Man X stage select screen.
9:44 — I'm sorry. This isn't SC Right Now. That was SC Just Then.
9:43 — They have three hours of this show. And less than in hour in, we already have our repeat story. USA swimming relay comeback. Does this mean we here at Deadspin have carte blanche to repeat stories?
9:42 — The Phillies have blue hats, natch, because that's one of their team colors. (?!?)
9:39 — If "SC Right Now" isn't for a few minutes ... when will then be now?
9:38 — Oh, we were supposed to ask Cris Carter questions in that e-mail link? I asked Josh Elliott what he has for breakfast. I misunderstood the form.
9:37 — Back from commercial, and Josh/Hannah just got done from laughing at a very funny joke. It was probably the one I sent them, two minutes ago.
9:33 — So I can bang out over a dozen meandering sentences for a live blog in a half hour, but how freakin' long does it take for me to phrase one — ONE — question to the SportsCenter team? The answer is 31 minutes. 31 minutes.
9:31 — Sage Steele is what appears to be "SC Right Now." An update on women's basketball. Judges, should we actually count this as the "actual breaking news item?" I'm going with "maybe."
9:29 — I gotta say. NASCAR crashes on road courses aren't that interesting, because they're going as fast as I normally would on the highway. And a car crash I can relate to ... not that exciting, let me tell ya.
9:27 — "SC Right Now," whatever that is, is four boxes from being now.
9:25 — Chris Carpenter leaves the game with an injury. C'MON, WHERE'S THE RECENT NEWS?
9:22 — Padraig Harrington will forever be known as golf's Hakeem Olajuwon.
9:21 — Sergio Garcia hits a crucial shot into the sand trap. Again ... where's the fresh news here?
9:19 — Gary Sheffield is unhappy with his role on the team. Hey, I thought this was new news they were bringing us.
9:15 — All right, back to the SportsCenter website, actually. We've got to ask a question that'll make it onto the show. We have three hours. Ready? BREAK. (Hey, I probably should include the link, ought'nt I?)
9:13 — Cris Carter breaking down football gives me the perfect opportunity to go over to that website and see that, probably seven years too late, they finally have a SportsCenter website. Anchor bios! Blogs! Video! All right, I'm suddenly bored with that website. You should be to. Return to this live blog. Hey! C'mon. Come back. [lays plate of bacon underneath propped-up box]
9:11 — I'm supposed to go on the ESPN website and vote for something, but ... ooh, big pretty NFL logos. They look plush, but I'm sure if I tried to playfully fall into one of those logos, there would be some kind of painful injury.
9:09 — A-Rod. Hmm. What's that short for? Ah, I guess I'll never know.
9:08 — I'm sorry. I can't get over these boxes. I know that I have plenty of time before they bring us the preliminary Olympic judo results. No, I am not paid an extra amount of money to praise the concept of useful boxes.
9:07 — ELL-OH-ELL, HANNAH SAID "BROOPER" INSTEAD OF "BLOOPER" THAT IS COMICAL!
9:05 — The bottom ticker has a grammatically correct sentence about the score of the USA-China women's basketball game. Don't think I've seen that before.
9:03 — Oh, this is convenient as hell. Little boxes on the right containing upcoming stories, so you schedule when exactly to take your morning piss.
9:01 — I gotta say, that was an impressive finish by USA swimming in the relay, but I don't think the French are going to let Eric Gagne swim the final leg of the relay any more.
9:00 — And ... rolling. And ... Brett Favre. Twenty seconds in, and already one box marked off.
So, after reading Michael David Smith's interview with Josh Elliott, a.k.a., the guy next to Hannah Storm that I think I've seen before, I'm well aware that Elliott is well aware that I am live blogging this. But does he know I know? Will he find out that I know? Furthermore, how many iterations of back-and-forth knowing can we get to before next Wednesday? I'm going with 6.
Now for the bingo sheet. It's quite the chore to delve into the minds of one of these anchors, since they're way more focused than sports announcers and analysts. I always pictured the internal monologue of these folk to be "Dontfuckup dontfuckup dontfuckup dontfuckup." And since I can't very well use that for 24 squares, this was the next best option: