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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Bristolmetrics: Dick Vitale Said "Baby" A Mere 14 Times On SportsCenter Last Week

Illustration for article titled Bristolmetrics: Dick Vitale Said Baby A Mere 14 Times On emSportsCenter/em Last Week

This is a regular feature breaking down, minute-by-minute, the content that appears on ESPN's 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenterthroughout the week. Graphic by Jim Cooke.


When last we met, ESPN lost its mind with "Peytonology," we learned about the inner-workings of Dwight Howard's psyche, and there was some honest-to-God hockey coverage for once. What would this week bring?


Total time: 468 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 353

College basketball: 99.75 minutes (37.6%) (last week 37.6%)
NFL: 91 (25.8%) (last week 10.8%)
NBA: 53.5 (15.2%) (last week 26.2%)
SportsCenter staples (things like the "Top 10," "Encore," "What 2 Watch 4," etc.): 42.5 (12.6%) (last week 20.6%)
NASCAR: 14.75 (4.2%) (last week 2.2%)
Golf: 13.75 (3.9%) (last week 3.6%)
NHL: 11 (3.1%) (last week 3.2%)
MLB: 11 (3.1%) (last week 3.1%)
Other sports: 5.5 (1.6 %) (last week 0.6%)
College football: 0 (0%) (last week 0.1%)

New Orleans Saints (NFL): 16.5 (4.7%)
Syracuse Orange (college basketball): 10 minutes (2.8%)
Miami Heat (NBA): 9.75 minutes (2.8%)
Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL): 5.75 (1.6%)
New York Yankees (MLB): 5 (1.4%)

Rather than break down the amount of time a specific athlete or figure was covered, we counted how frequently names were mentioned in the transcripts from the week. The 15 most-mentioned sports people for March 16-22:

Tim Tebow: 130 mentions
Peyton Manning: 128
Tiger Woods: 41
Kobe Bryant: 36
Jeremy Lin: 30
Roger Goodell: 29
Derrick Rose: 24
Sean Payton: 23
John Elway: 23
LeBron James: 21
Sidney Crosby: 20
Carmelo Anthony: 20
Kevin Durant: 19
Dwyane Wade: 18
Chris Paul: 15


Total time: 4,918 minutes
Time (minus commercials): 3,706
NBA: 909.25 minutes (24.5%)
NFL: 864.25 (23.3%)
College basketball: 783 (21.1%)
SportsCenter staples: 551 (14.9%)
Other: 260.25 (7%)
MLB: 134.5 (3.7%)
College football: 102.25 (2.8%)
NHL: 100.5 (2.7%)


Tim Tebow is unstoppable: Peyton Manning, the face of the NFL, signed with the Broncos this week. The New Orleans Saints, at one time the feel-good story of the league, lost their head coach for the upcoming season over a bounty program that paid defensive players for injuring opponents. Neither story could overcome Tebowmania and his move to New York.


Tebow got 20.5 minutes in all, if you're scoring at home (or even if you're Tim Tebow). Manning got more time overall—25.5 minutes—but keep in mind that the Tebow news didn't start percolating until Tuesday.

Which brings us to a pressing question about the Tebow trade: What does this move mean for ESPN? Tebow is a Very Big Deal thanks in no small part to the Worldwide Leader. With the Jets, he's not likely to get the playing time needed to sustain Tebowmania.


But if we have learned anything in this experiment, it's that ESPN will find a way. If Mark Sanchez has a string of poor performances (basically, if he plays the way he normally does), the ensuing quarterback debate will slowly consume SportsCenter until it's nothing but an hourlong live cam of Skip Bayless's priapism.

Women's college basketball got more coverage than the NHL: The 13.25 minutes of women's hoops coverage was the first time in 2012 that a women's sport bested a men's league. Possibly related: ESPN is the exclusive home of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.


Dickie V. is skimping on his catchphrase, baby: Despite being featured on five out of the seven shows this week, Dick Vitale said "baby" only 14 times this week.

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