- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 30, 2008

People in the news industry have a tendency to give out awards more freely than candy at Halloween. There are Pulitzers, Emmys, Edward R. Murrows and regional and local awards galore. Some of them are quite prestigious, others about as meaningful as a glass of water poured into the ocean.

But no matter the award, it’s still fun to take a look at who won and who didn’t, and it’s also nice to see some previously unappreciated work get some recognition.

On Monday night, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences presented the 29th Annual Sports Emmy Awards. There weren’t too many surprises, but let’s take a look at some of the winners.

Outstanding Sports Personality Play-by-Play: Al Michaels. Big Al probably has a separate house for all his awards, and he probably deserved this one for his work on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” Marv Albert is always a safe choice, too.

Outstanding Sport Event Analyst: John Madden. We all love John. But is he really the most outstanding? Frankly, Cris Collinsworth is the best at doing football at this point but was not even nominated for some reason.

Outstanding Studio Analyst: Cris Collinsworth. I’d have given this award to Jay Bilas for his college basketball analysis, but Collinsworth is excellent on “Sunday Night Football.”

Outstanding Live Sports Special: BCS on FOX Fiesta Bowl. Boise State’s upset win over Oklahoma was one of the best college football games in recent memory. And Fox did a good job with it. Well deserved.

Outstanding Live Sports Series: NASCAR on Fox. Given the amount of resources Fox has thrown at its NASCAR coverage, it should be expecting Emmys. You can argue that ESPN’s coverage is better, but when in doubt I guess you give it to the broadcast network.

Outstanding Edited Sports Special: De La Hoya/Mayweather, 24/7. Spare me. This HBO special was nothing more than a promotional vehicle for an overhyped fight that — surprise — aired on HBO Pay-Per-View. The more deserving nominee here was ESPN2’s special “Unsettled Scores” about the mysterious death of former NBA player Bison Dele.

Outstanding Sports Journalism: “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.” Again the HBO program wins, this time for its report on the NFL and its concussion crisis. The other three nominees in this category were also “Real Sports” programs, which speaks both to the quality of the show and the total lack of serious sports reporting going on elsewhere.

Outstanding Studio Show, Weekly: “College Gameday.” This ESPN show is fun, but you can only take so much of Lee Fowler and Dickie V. In this category, I’d have gone with HBO’s “Inside the NFL.”

Outstanding Studio Show, Daily: “Inside The NBA.” This program on TNT is better than fellow nominee “Pardon the Interruption,” but it’s surprising to see this beat out “NASCAR Now” on ESPN. And I think NBC’s “Wimbledon Tonight” show was more than deserving.

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