Gammons Returns, Midweek Media

Some quick media links for a Wednesday:

Peter Gammons returned to ESPN last night, and also had a very moving column on the ESPN website, thanking everyone for their support and describing what he’s been through the last few months. Gammons says:

What I endured is trivial compared to 9/11 victims or the suffering of heroes like John McCain, but to get back to the point where Austin Kearns mattered was my return from what was a kind of life-and-death matter. Just to be able to type Kearns' name makes me one of the luckiest people on earth.

Welcome back, Mr. Gammons.

If I can be critical of ESPN.com for a moment…that column should be free for anyone to read, not put in the “Insider” category.

Edit: The column does appear to be free to all…though some people have emailed that they can’t get the whole column…perhaps my criticism was a bit hasty.

There has been some buzz generated by an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune yesterday, in which Padres GM Kevin Towers talks about the trade that brought Doug Mirabelli back to the Red Sox. It seems that neither Towers nor the Padres players miss Mirabelli very much. Today, writer Tim Sullivan follows up with the Red Sox backup catcher to get his side of things. Mirabelli says he was trying to be funny with his initial comments.

You might have heard Dale and Holley talking about an article in which former Patriot Cedric Cobbs said that Patriots players live in fear of Bill Belichick. Cobbs is now with the Broncos, who coincidentally are coming to town this Sunday. The article was reprinted in the San Jose Mercury News, but the original is by Frank Schwab and is on the website of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Question – What exactly has Cedric Cobbs done in the NFL to be able to say anything like this? Michael Holley suggested on the WEEI airwaves today that Cobbs liked to do a little “smoking” in college, and perhaps in his time with the Patriots as well.

Tom Verducci’s Sports Illustrated article on Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod Agonistes is well worth a read.

Here’s a few Sports Media Columns from the first half of this week:

Richard Sandomir says that the NFL Network has overvalued itself. Bob Raissman weighs in on Joe Buck and Troy Aikman’s comments about Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, who appeared in a promo during the Giants/Eagles game on FOX Sunday. Neil Best examines how FOX and ESPN will handle the issue of having both the Mets and the Yankees in the playoffs and having home field advantage, which could create scheduling issues. He also monitored a Giants message board during their rollercoaster ride on Sunday.

Michael Hiestand looks at the return of Peter Gammons to the ESPN airwaves. He also looks at some national NFL TV numbers. Aaron Bracy has a number of observations from the NFL broadcasts on his blog. Robert Weintraub on Slate.com looks at why NBC’s new Football Night in America is not filling the shoes of ESPN’s old Primetime highlight show.

David Barron says that if you think that NBC’s Sunday Night Football looks and feels an awful lot like ABC’s Monday Night Football from last season, there’s a reason, and it goes beyond Al Michaels and John Madden. Barry Horn talked to both Michael and Madden prior to the Cowboys-Redskins games this past Sunday night. Dan Caesar reports that Cardinals fans could be facing a cut in free over-the-air broadcast games next season.

Some quick Local Weekend TV Ratings numbers:

These are averages for the entire program, unless noted otherwise.

Red Sox/Yankees Saturday on Fox25: 6.4 rating, 18% share.

(I haven’t yet been able to track down the other weekend games.)

Miami/Buffalo Early game on CBS4: 6.3 rating, 17% share.

Patriots/Jets on CBS4: 25.4 rating, 50% share.

CBS Post Game: 28.6 rating, 49% share (only 15 minutes)

5th Quarter on TV38: 2.8 rating, 5% share. (peaked at 4.0 rating and 7% share after CBS Postgame signed off.)

Washington/Dallas on 7NBC did a 8.9 rating, 15% share, with an 8.5 rating among Men 25-54.

Ratings = each point equals just under 24,000 households.

Share is the % of households in the market tuned to that program. So 50% of the households in the Boston market (with televisions on) were watching the Patriots during that time slot on Sunday afternoon.

Get your local sports links on the Red Sox Daily Links page and the Patriots Daily Links page.

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