Today in sports: BP is launching a PR offensive to coincide with college football's title game, the ever-growing role of translators in boxing coverage, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers consider bringing Marty Schottenheimer out of coaching exile.
The Louisiana State University Tigers will play the University of Alabama Crimson Tide in college football's BCS title game in New Orleans on Monday night. The teams already played once this season back in November, in a matchup that was sold as college football's "game of the century," but turned out to be choppy, low-scoring and almost unwatchable, with LSU eventually winning 9-6 in overtime. Viewers should expect more of the same from tonight's game. At his final press conference before the game, LSU head coach Les Miles predicted both teams would play "big boy football," which sounds like coach-speak for running the ball up the middle and kicking field goals on fourth down. The sports book at the MGM-Mirage in Las Vegas, meanwhile, has set the game's over/under line at 40.5 points. (By way of comparison, the over/under line for the Alamo Bowl game last month between Baylor and Washington was 79.5 points.)
In other BCS title game news: on the occasion of the game coming to New Orleans, BP is pushing a new campaign about how great things are going in the Gulf of Mexico. BP has running the campaign showing "sparkling beaches, booming businesses, smiling fishermen and waters bursting with seafood," despite the fact the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded less than two years ago, and according to the AP, the television campaign has been "ramped up for the two-week period around the Sugar Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game." Those who made the trip to New Orleans are also getting to experience BP's promotional offensive. The company "hired two seafood trucks to hand out fish tacos and seafood-filled jambalaya to the hundreds of thousands of tourists and fans pouring into the city for the football games" and has taken to "spreading its messages at galas, pre-game parties and vacation giveaways" in New Orleans in recent days. [AP]
By leading his team to an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow set a new Twitter "sports tweets per second record" with 9,240. He also earned himself a cool $250,000, thanks to "an escalator of $250,000 in his contract for each playoff win." Tebow made just $1.62 million for the 2011 season, and while he'll likely have some playing time bonuses coming, a $250,000 bonus for him is worth 15% of his total salary. Not bad for an afternoon's work.in his [ESPN]
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will apparently interview Marty Schottenheimer for their head coaching vacancy on Tuesday. The 68-year-old Schottenheimer --who has been out of the NFL 2006 -- won 200 regular season games in 21 seasons as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and San Diego Chargers, an astonishingly successful mark that many fans (not unfairly) tend to forget in light of the painful and complicated ways Schottenheimer's teams have found to lose playoff games. It should be noted that last year, Schottenheimer coached the Virginia Destroyers of the upstart United Football League to a championship, so it's not like he can't win all of the big ones. [ESPN]
Translators are becoming an indispensable part of boxing telecasts featuring non-English speaking fighters. Most of their impact comes between rounds, when corner men are speaking into their boxer's ear. The network wants a translator to provide the announcing crew, and viewers, with an exact translation of what's being said, usually very quickly and profanely. "The key is to be 100 percent accurate," says Jerry Olaya, a Spanish translator for HBO Sports. "You don’t summarize things. You don’t change things. You don’t editorialize. You are there to be seamless. If you are not noticed, that’s all the better.” It's a harder job to fill than one may think: ring translators must be familiar with boxing terminology and slang, which means producers tend to look for -- and hold on to the best translators -- since they can't just go out and hire someone because they are bilingual. [The New York Times]