By Bob Brainerd Special to Published Sep 23, 2006 at 6:21 PM

I hate to throw stones in glass press boxes, but since the ESPN crew calling the Wisconsin-Michigan football game took Badgers coach Bret Bielema to task, they’ve got it coming.

Shortly before halftime in a 10-10 ballgame, Wolverines quarterback Chad Henne threw a sideline pass that was caught short of the first down. Even though the receiver was pushed out of bounds, the clock rolled, and the official in front of the play clearly signaled it so by winding his arm in the face of Bielema. The coach quickly decided to call time out in order to get the football back for a scoring shot before the half.

The ESPN crew…didn’t see it that way.

“We talked about his youth and studying under some veteran coaches, but that might have been a youthful mistake,” Sean McDonough said. “Yeah, that’s a mistake.”

Later, when the Badgers had the ball and took their final timeout of the first half, McDonough didn’t let it die.

“And now you know, Bret Bielema is really kicking himself for using that unnecessary timeout a moment ago.”

Clearly, the mistake was made by McDonough, and he should be kicking himself. By insisting it was a bad move by Beilema, he also talked color man Chris Spielman into it as well, despite seeing it on the replay as well. Then the sideline guy, Rob Stone, made it three for three in announcers not paying attention by asking Bielema about his clock management before the half.

When Bielema gave a generic response, Stone pressed him by laughing and saying “You’re avoiding my question, good job!”

No idiot, he didn’t know what you were talking about!

You can also blame the producer in the truck for not helping his crew out, but that didn’t happen either. Then again, I’ve been in these production trucks during college football games … it’s chaos to say the least.

McDonough started it all by not watching the play, which wasn’t the first time in the game. The veteran announcer insists on reading off more bio and hometown information attached to each player when his number is called than keeping his eyes on the unfolding play.

Fellas, don’t point the finger at the coach … he was right, and you were wrong, and all three of you missed the play. 

Then again, Big Ten officials as a group miss stuff all the time, so maybe you all just got caught up in the moment. The zebras “picked up” more yellow flags than they threw. Wonder if they have a ref’s signal for “Never mind!”
Bob Brainerd Special to
Born and raised in Milwaukee, what better outlet for Bob to unleash his rambling bits of trivial information than right here with

Bob currently does play-by-play at Time Warner Cable Sports 32, calling Wisconsin Timber Rattlers games in Appleton as well as the area high school football and basketball scene. During an earlier association with FS Wisconsin, his list of teams and duties have included the Packers, Bucks, Brewers and the WIAA State Championships.

During his life before cable, Bob spent seven seasons as a reporter and producer of "Preps Plus: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Show."

And the joke is, Bob has a golf shirt from all four Milwaukee television stations. Sad, but true: Bob has had sports and news anchor/reporter/producer stints at WTMJ, WISN, WDJT and WITI.

His first duty out of college (UW-Oshkosh) was radio and TV work in Eau Claire. Bob spent nearly a decade at WEAU-TV as a sports director and reporter.

You may have heard Bob's pipes around town as well. He has done play-by-play for the Milwaukee Mustangs, Milwaukee Iron, and UW-Milwaukee men's and women's basketball. Bob was the public address announcer for five seasons for both the Marquette men and women's basketball squads. This season, you can catch the starting lineups of the UW-Milwaukee Panther men's games with Bob behind the mic.

A Brookfield Central graduate, Bob's love and passion for sports began at an early age, when paper football leagues, and Wiffle Ball All Star Games were all the rage in the neighborhood.