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Meet 'Chris Jessie', Football Web Celeb

Mack Brown
Mack Brown

At around 9pm ET Thursday, Holiday Bowl referees ruled that a person on the Texas sideline touched a ball in play, which allowed Arizona State to score its first touchdown and momentarily swing momentum in the game.

After ESPN showed the offender's face more than 25 times in five minutes, sideline reporter Lisa Salters confirmed that his name was "Chris," though players on the team didn't want to give his last name. A couple minutes later, it became clear that this guy's name was Chris Jessie -- and he was Texas coach Mack Brown's stepson.

By the time of this writing, "Chris Jessie" had 2,260 Google hits.

Things should slow down for Jessie, now that Texas easily beat the Sun Devils -- and he didn't turn into the Steve Bartman of the entire state of Texas. But it's amazing how fast a name gets out there and becomes part of the permanent record on the Internet.

What makes things funny is that people think they can stop this information train. Mack Brown himself, during a halftime interview, refused to acknowledge that the person in question was his stepson, and although he admitted as much after the game, the postgame story on his Web site has an Associated Press article that entirely omits the story that made the game so intriguing.

No Wikipedia entry for Chris Jessie yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's one by the end of the day.

Watching The Same Football Game -- 'Twice'

So of course once I comment that NBC is leading the way in the early polling for Saturday night's Patriots-Giants game viewership, someone -- I suspect with inside interest -- either (allegedly) rigs the poll or (again, allegedly) tells people to vote for CBS.

Within one hour, there's a 17 percent swing -- which would have required a sudden 4 to 1 voting for CBS -- and CBS is now leading the poll. But we suspect NBC might still win the day when the ratings come in -- and it has nothing to do with this writer being an employee of NBC Universal. It has everything to do with what some of my readers wrote in.

Dave Madison in Kent, Wash., writes: "I'll be watching on NBC (from Seattle) mainly because my OTA HD signal from the NBC affilliate here is better than the CBS OTA HD signal."

Many other readers backed up that opinion, though we're not sure about reader Tim Calvin: "Maybe I am nuts, but I truly think the Sunday night game looks better than CBS on Sunday afternoon."

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com