At some point during the TicketCity Bowl between Houston and Penn State, there was a short cut away from the broadcast to a recorded piece. We see Case Keenum’s girlfriend and she is taking us on a “tour” of her and Case’s tiny, small, yet cozy, apartment. It had a cool setup; a front door which leads directly into the living room, which is so small that there is “no room for a coffee table” and the couch is about four feet from the underwhelming television, and a kitchen a little bigger than a phone booth, which separated from the living room only by a counter space.
Like 1/3 of size of this beautiful set.
Alright, so why are they showing this? Oh yeah, so ESPN can cut back to the game and the announcers, Clay Matvick and Danny Kanell, could make jokes about the star quarterback's residence. They commented on how compact it was and how "sometime after April they should be able to upgrade." Of course the draft is in April and the yappers were eluding to the fact that he will be drafted and be able to pay for a legitimate home.
We know that ESPN and the NCAA exploit college athletes, and a player with Kennum's talents and status should not be playing football at Houston for just the price of attendance costs per year. We know that Keenum has been the main part of the team's success and, in turn, revenue. ESPN knows this too, and if we sit and think for two seconds, we know they know. But can they at least pretend to hide that fact?
If he got paid $1 for every passing yard yesterday, Keenum would have made... $532!
The second case, which you can probably guess at this point was the one that was handled well, was during the Outback bowl between Georgia and Michigan State. Near the end of the game, when Spartans' quarterback Kirk Cousins was in the process of leading his team to a comeback victory, Mike Tirico asked John Gruden if Cousins would be a good pro prospect. Gruden, of course, knows a good bit about draft status and potential, especially in quarterbacks.
Even though Cousins is not a great prospect, he is projected to go somewhere in the third round at this point. Gruden knows this, and it is his job to know this, so when Tirico asks the question, Gruden could have easily said, "He is about the #10 quarterback in my rankings," or something along those lines. That would not be disrespectful at all, but in this unique situation, all the Michigan State fans and Cousins' friends and family deserve to hear something a little more positive.
No, YOU da man!
Gruden pauses for half a second and says, "He has great physical tools, great leadership qualities, great intangibles you like to see at the quarterback position..." etc. He also goes on to say that he saw Cousins in some quarterback camp over the summer and was really impressive in person. By saying that, Gruden not only gave Cousins some well-deserved props, but may have raised his draft stock in the process. If he would have just said, "He will be a third round pick and a decent backup in the pros," it probably would have been accurate, but not as flattering.
It just goes to show how in one case, someone can go out of their way to put down a player and in the other, someone can go out of their way to praise a player. Both were in the spur of the moment and revealed the true colors of the in-game announcers we have learned to love...