Athens, GA (Mar 27, 2008) - In a recent column by USA Today's Michael Heistand, he said it was unfortunate that CBS Sports did not follow the example of ESPN and ABC and have celebrities show up during coverage to pump the ratings. Not just any celebrities, but those tied to the schools playing:
Or, CBS could follow Fox and ESPN and find ways to inject celebrities into NCAA coverage — an omission that seems almost like a throwback. It just focuses on sports. Even the most obscure college must have some celebrity alumni who could pop up to lighten things up for casual viewers.
There is a reason Monday Night Football has gone down in quality, as Disney celebrities keep showing up on air. And Michael, the coverage should be about sports. My wife, who is the most casual sports watcher on Earth, enjoys watching some of the games and could care less about celebrities. Well let me rephrase that, she is casual unless it is her native Trinidad and Tobago playing England in the World Cup, and then there is no such word as casual.
But occasionally it is cool to see friends and colleagues on air, even if it is accidental. Brian Powell of Awful Announcing caught a friend and colleague of mine tonight in an "oops, CBS had a technical goof" video clip tonight.
Yes, sitting in the background is Karen Blackman, one of the true really good people I have worked with over the years. Karen works for Clemson University by day, and in her spare time can be found working as a stage manager or talent statistician for one of the major networks or syndicators.
Nancy Lieberman (left) and Pam Ward (center) enjoy a light moment with talent statistician Karen Blackman.
Karen has been doing this successfully for years, and the major reason is that she is good at what she does and can be depended on in any situation. So I could not resist throwing this post up as a shout out to her since she is now a budding YouTube star!
Karen Blackman stage managing for SunSports at the Florida-Georgia Men's Basketball game last month
Karen Blackman with her brother Sam, who is an Associate Sports Information Director for Clemson University, before the Florida-Georgia game last month. It must be a family thing as Sam worked as the talent statistician for the game while Karen managed the stage.
Photographs Copyright 2008 by Christopher Byrne/Eye on Sports Media. All Rights Reserved.