Falcons Ticker: Pam Oliver asks the brave questions

Pam Oliver was out at practice last week to interview Asante Samuel inside the team's indoor facility.

Pam Oliver was out at practice last week to interview Asante Samuel inside the team's indoor facility.

Listening to NFL on Fox studio host Curt Menefee tease a pregame segment on the Falcons, whom he termed “Angry Birds,” this had to be good.

“Our Pam Oliver grills the Falcons about something no one else even has the guts to even bring up!” Brown said Sunday before a commercial break.

That’s great because there are so many pressing, sensitive questions for the Falcons. For instance: Did Michael Turner go drinking after the game Monday because even he was desopndent over his numbers in the first two games?

Alas, Oliver’s “grilling” amounted to telling Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel that the Falcons have an “image problem” because “people” think the team is “soft.” You could tell that was the tough question by how the producers used editing and ominous music to desperately make it seem like a tense interview.

“My first couple days here, they [said], ‘It’s a bunch of nice guys,’” Samuel said. “I said, ‘Well, we are mean now, and we are going to go out there and play mean.’”

Guess we’ll have to wait until someone else has the guts to ask Turner if he tips big at Magic City.

Consider the source

Atlanta’s defense was getting a lot of attention from Fox because of the way it flustered Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning last week. In light of that performance, most of the studio analysts speculated about what might be wrong with Manning, but Terry Bradshaw said “the problem the other night was simply an excellent job done by Atlanta in confusing him.”

Before you start feeling good about Bradshaw being among the few analysts to credit the Falcons rather than fixate on what’s wrong with Manning, Bradshaw had earlier confessed: “We all know I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”

He gets points for self-awareness.

In his head?

Before the Falcons played at Kansas City, Fox NFL studio analyst Jimmy Johnson played down the impact of Atlanta’s new coordinators. After the Falcons won that game, Johnson credited Atlanta’s coordinators and continued with the same theme Sunday.

Mike Nolan is probably one of the hottest defensive coordinators in the league,” Johnson said of Atlanta’s defensive coach. “You think about this: He’s going up against [Chargers coach] Norv Turner today. Well, who knows Norv Turner’s offense better than Norv? Mike Nolan.”

Under normal circumstances it would seem silly to declare that another coach (and a defensive specialist) knows Turner’s offense better than Turner. Actually, that makes no sense under any circumstance.

But it’s an opening to ponder one of life’s great mysteries: How is Norv Turner still an NFL head coach?

Short takes

  • After Falcons long snapper Josh Harris botched the snap on a failed extra point, game analyst Tim Ryan said: “It’s incredible, I was watching the snaps in pregame and they were absolutely perfect.” Anyone who listens to Ryan call a game can totally believe he’s the kind of wild and crazy guy who intently watches pregame long snaps.
  • Fox NFL studio analyst Howie Long: “[49ers coach] Jim Harbaugh wants to punch you in the mouth, particularly at the end of the football game.” Sadly, he was talking about San Francisco’s running game, not Harbaugh’s post-game handshake strategy.
  • Teasing another segment, Brown said: “Is there a brewing power struggle in Dallas between [coach] Jason Garrett and owner Jerry Jones?” That’s just baseless speculation based on everything that’s ever happened with every single coach under Jones.

41 comments Add your comment

Falcon Fan

September 23rd, 2012
7:54 pm

I love it! Lets keep it up and put the division away early!!

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
8:16 pm

[...] From Other Great Blogs issue #1 By NFC South Daily Editor, on September 23rd, 2012 Falcons Ticker: Pam Oliver asks the brave questions – blogs.ajc.com 09/23/2012 Listening to NFL on Fox studio host James Brown tease a pregame [...]


September 23rd, 2012
8:37 pm

Heaven bless you Ledbetter, every sleaze from Snarky Central and some hiding multiple user-name personality disorder with a computer and hijacked Wi-Fi is gonna be on your door until somebody decides to stop tempting fate and runs the ball down their throat!

Good luck with that and have some fish tacos before you come back…


September 23rd, 2012
8:41 pm

Fox studio host is not James Brown. Brown works for cbs.


September 23rd, 2012
8:47 pm

That would be Curt Menefee, not JB

william cranman

September 23rd, 2012
8:48 pm

Thanks for clearing that up Roark. I was going to say the same thing. D I assume you meant Kurt Menefee?


September 23rd, 2012
8:59 pm

D led didn’t write this someone else did Got Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeem


September 23rd, 2012
8:59 pm

Very well written, Mr. Cunningham. I had to go back and check the byline because as I was reading I wondered when and how DLed became so witty. I hope to read more of your work in the Falcons blogs.

As to the Falcons, I haven’t been this excited about our team in a long time. The new OC and DC have really taken the team to a new level. I couldn’t be more impressed!! GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!


September 23rd, 2012
9:00 pm

Atlanta Falcons Falcons Ticker: Pam Oliver asks the brave questions
7:52 pm September 23, 2012, by Michael Cunningham

thnx MC


September 23rd, 2012
9:00 pm

Heck DOL, I’m stilling wondering why Tim Ryan even has a job; what a horses a$$ this bozo is.

Michael Turner

September 23rd, 2012
9:08 pm

D-Led, man I thought I was the only drinking…like my man Roark said, JB works for CBS. Plus, why wouldn’t Mike Nolan know Norv Turner offense better than him. Norv was Mike’s offensive coordinator with 49ers. Seems like Jimmy would have a point their buddy….


September 23rd, 2012
9:17 pm

Have the Falcons ever thought of running Rodgers on a pitch to the outside like the Saints do with

rushing attack

September 23rd, 2012
9:30 pm


September 23rd, 2012
9:37 pm

If they spoke about the true events and did not over analyze or just make up stupid things, they would have nothing to get them rolling. In other words, most of them make up stupid statements just to create interests and we all sit there and wonder if they even watch the game. What is the Gump saying, “stupid is as stupid does”. You get it- right.

Magic City

September 23rd, 2012
9:47 pm

Pam Oliver is soft.

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

September 23rd, 2012
9:53 pm

What is this blog about?


September 23rd, 2012
9:56 pm

James Brown is not on FOX. He is on CBS with Shannon Sharpe and the boys.

grand sport

September 23rd, 2012
10:33 pm

Saw Deion Sanders today when they talked about the Falcon’s he wasn’t too hot on them the way he sounded he down played the positive comments from the other commentators.


September 23rd, 2012
10:47 pm

People being paid to do a job and are unqualified. Announcers for the GT/Miami game said that Stone Mountain is a National Park and that Eastlake Golf Club is “North of the city”,facts don’t matter anymore.

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

Bud Wiser

September 24th, 2012
6:23 am

ESPN’s so-called post game coverages was what I expect from thatsmarmy crowd.

Stu “backbackbackback” Berman said toward the end of the shot that they (ESPN) wouldn’t be showing highlights from 3 games (Falcons/Texans/Titans) because they didn’t have the time, but would ‘be discussing them later’.

Typical of their network. They have plenty of time for Miami, Jets, Oakland, Aints, and other losers, but not for the Falcons and Texans, the only 3-0 teams in the entire league?

Gimme a break. Most of their broadcasters are has-beens ans wannabees, announcers that think hangin’ with the jocks, and their trademark stupid shouting during highlights makes them cool.

We need another sports network as competition, because these idiots are more wrapped up in themselves that doing what they’re supposed to be doing, and that’s showing real analysis and replays instead of the ‘backbackbackback’ and ‘gimme some lovin’ crap they do now.

How sad that the losers get more air time than the winners, simply because they are a large market team.


September 24th, 2012
7:06 am

“THEY” all look alike to me!!


September 24th, 2012
7:16 am

Love that hit that Samuel made…who says he don’t like to tackle! Mr. Blank…go ahead and give the DC a long-term contract…the birds’ “D” is fantastic…our next victim…Cam! Looks like the Saints’ fan might go the grocery store and pick up some paper bags…look likes “AINTS” might be the word of the day…and finally, Tong G…please, please stay…we like seeing a hall of famer in action!!!


September 24th, 2012
7:20 am

Did any one else notice that Fox 5 went to a cold screen they ultimately cut the Falcons game after they recovered the fumble with 2 minutes left to go in the game? They then went on to show “Family Guy”. Besides that, the announcers, refs, no one even explained the fumble prior to them going to a commercial break. What the H3!!…..?


September 24th, 2012
7:57 am

The national media won’t join the bandwagon until we win the Super Bowl. Then they’ll p*ss all over themselves to tell us that they BELIEVED in the Falcons all along.

I hate the national media.


September 24th, 2012
8:02 am

Great Start Dirty Birds!!! Not to throw sand on the Parade I recall when we went 5-0 and didn’t make the playoff’s. Remember each game is a must win, we have a long road ahead of us Thirteen more weeks. Go Dirt Birds!

I usually just read but...

September 24th, 2012
8:02 am

James Brown is not on FOX. He is on CBS with Shannon Sharpe and the boys

Shannon Sharpe. the face of the broncos, haha.
whoaaa there horsy, that boy r ug-lee


September 24th, 2012
8:04 am

Pam Oliver is Hot!!! you go Gurl!!!!


September 24th, 2012
8:19 am

It’s Curt Menefee you freakin’ mouth breather. @$!^!#!

Macon Fan

September 24th, 2012
8:41 am

Maybe the Falcons will start to get some props from the media but don’t expect much from ESPN. Last Tues I tuned into PTI to see what they had to say about the Falcons dismantling of “their boy” Peyton Manning. The lead was about the MNF game and how Manning had looked rusty at first but then he looked great late in the game. I don’t think Kornheiser or Wilbon even uttered the word “Falcons” and Ryan was only mentioned as “the other quarterback.”


September 24th, 2012
8:59 am

James Brown moved to CBS 2 years ago. Wake up Ledbetter. Curt Menefee is the Fox host.


September 24th, 2012
9:00 am

Those in the broadcast booth need to return to eighth grade and be forced to diagram sentences. Double subjects are rampant! Who’s training these guys? I punch the mute button, listen to classical music and drink beer.
Those of you who twitter or diddle or whatever need to start a campaign against double subjects. It starts now!


September 24th, 2012
9:17 am

Anyone got to say about the FOX poor coverage of Falcons game? This is twice in 3 games !!!


September 24th, 2012
9:25 am

I think we need a few more people to correct the JB/Menefee mistake. It hasn’t been corrected enough times. I especially like the dude who feels the need to throw insults about it. Real anger issues there. I’d hate to be his dog after making the mistake of whizzing on the carpet once.

Wake up, Recovering_Preacherskid, it’s not D-Led, it’s Michael Cunningham.


September 24th, 2012
9:31 am

Slaphead is clearly an Obama supporter as he believes that someone should be given a pass for not doing their job properly. If Cunningham actually bothered to read his blog he would’ve corrected the mistake by now.


September 24th, 2012
10:28 am

It’s possible that Cunningham figured everyone else correcting him was enough. I know I feel that way.


September 24th, 2012
10:39 am

I would appreciate it if you would stick to the topic at hand; i.e. the Falcon’s game, & instead leave your political comments at one of the AJC political/editorial blogs.


September 24th, 2012
10:51 am

I would appreciate it if you would respect my right to free speech.


September 24th, 2012
8:39 pm

If you actually analyze the broadcast I’d say that Fox failed again. When will we get to see a complete game with no distortion? As for Pam’s questions, they were softballs at best. Just a time filler until the game started.


September 25th, 2012
4:06 pm

These TV types are just like Rush and Sean and POX Noise: They just say stupid stuff they KNOW isn’t true just to create controversy and get their names mentioned by more legitimate news organizations (of which there are few – not CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC – stick with PBS and NPR).