March Media Madness 2014: The Television Bracket

By Ty Duffy

Yesterday, we had the Sports Talk bracket. Today, we unveil the second bracket of March Media Madness 2014: Television. Loosely, this is people who you see on the box who are not necessarily involved in a live game broadcast.

Bob Costas is an NBC legend and a botox user, allegedly. He will be hard to replace. Charissa Thompson left ESPN to take the position of arch-blonde at Fox Sports 1. She’s also would be high on the sports media power couple rankings, if those existed.

It’s not clear where Charles Barkley belongs on a most powerful person in sports media list. But he is definitely the most teflon. Lately, Chuck has been experimenting with beer pong and dropping topical humor. Deion Sanders, lingerie enthusiast and interviewing maestro, remains a fixture on the NFL Network.

Because NFL Draft season is year-round. Mel is an icon, with his infamous hair helmet and the ear of NFL players. McShay brings a strong, all-around TV game. But Mayock is a dual-threat with both play-by-play and draft analysis. He’s also well ahead of ESPN’s dynamic duo when it comes to  1990s hip-hop references and euphemisms for powerful ass.

Michelle Beadle came into her own on a zany sports variety show. Katie Nolan, between sheer decapitations and TBL interviews, is doing the same on a rival network. There may be two sports media women who would be comfortable dropping a dick joke on air. The choice is yours.

The two faces of Sportscenter. One is the esteemed professional in the morning with decades of network experience. The other is the oft-acknowledged “rising star” (and new mom, congrats) who once had class with Jason McIntyre. Both have put up with indignities that are not experienced by their male colleagues.

Both deliver large quantities of knowledge and nuance in a venue that often seems ill-suited for it. Both are fluent on a range of topics. We can’t think of a reason to choose against either, which is why we are forcing you to do so.

Jay Bilas has been a one-man wrecking crew on NCAA Amateurism and still maintains the intimidating 649,000-0 followers to following count on Twitter. Jim Nantz has the hots for Michael Lombardi, got married on the 7th hole at Pebble Beach and released his own wine label.

Tim Tebow is not quite where he was in January 2012. Though he debuted as an analyst during ESPN’s BCS title game coverage (and was quite decent at it). Look alive, Herbie. Bonus points for helping Urban Meyer commit an NCAA violation. Ray Lewis passed his background check, debuted as an ESPN analyst and…said nothing we found noteworthy for an entire season. Take it away, LeGarrette Blount.