Weekend Watch – Labor Day Edition

The Deion Branch saga is due to be resolved in some form or fashion this afternoon. Ron Borges sneered in the Globe today that Branch had received an offer, and followup reports indicate that the Jets and Seahawks are vying for the services of the holdout wideout. The Patriots Game Day blog weighs in on Borges’ take from this morning and the latest news. Keep checking back all weekend for further updates and commentary. ProFootballTalk.com has been keeping up with the updates throughout this morning. Throughout the weekend, check in at the Patriots Daily Links page for stories and coverage of the team, which includes scheduled roster cuts this weekend.

FSN is planning another Patriots-oriented show to dovetail with the New England Tailgate show. This from their announcement this week:

Boston Herald football writer and ESPN Radio Boston host Michael Felger is in the locker room every day and this season he will expand his role on FSN with his very own 4 Downs with Felger 30-minute show every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Ever the contrarian, Felger's opinions will be regularly challenged by the equally opinionated Boston Globe football writer Ron Borges, three-time NFL Pro-Bowler and former New England Patriot Russ Francis, and Sports Illustrated's football writer Don Banks.

The Red Sox have to be glad August is over, but it remains to be seen if September is any kinder. Keep up with the Red Sox/Blue Jays weekend series on the Red Sox Daily Links page.

With the US Open a Labor Day weekend tradition in New York, get the coverage from the event on the New York Sports Pages.

For your weekend reading, here is our weekly roundup of sports media columns from around the nation:

New England

David Scott passes along some Steve Burton follies, Ron Borges and Michael Holley getting in the rotation at CN8 and some more thoughts from Howard Bryant. He reminds us to check back over the weekend for a Deutsche Bank gallery update and reminds us that the Boston Sports Review cover jinx is alive and well. Susan Bickelhaupt profiles Pat O’Brien, who is back with CBS Sports, hosting the nightly “US Open Late Night Show” from Flushing Meadows. Curiously no mention of O’Brien’s voice mail conversation in which he asks a woman for a threesome and drugs from last year which still surfaces on morning radio shows on almost a weekly basis. John Molori’s Media Blitz talked with Gary Tanguay about the Patriots pre and post game shows on WBCN. Tanguay feels that their programming can challenge WEEI’s revamped Sunday lineup. John Howell talks with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit about broadcasts getting longer with more commercials and games getting shorter thanks to rule changes. Bill Doyle talks to Bob Fouracre, ready to start his 37th season calling Holy Cross Football. Andrew Neff looks at high school football dominating the radio waves in the state of Maine.

New York

Richard Sandomir looks at the new instant replay at the US Open and notes that the hard part for the player is going to be knowing which calls to challenge. Sandomir also looks at FOX jumping into College Football with both feet, getting four-fifths of the Bowl Championship Series. Phil Mushnick complains about sporting events – this time Andre Agassi’s matches in the US Open – which are scheduled too late at night for New Yorkers (or anyone on the East Coast) to be able to watch them all the way through. Andrew Marchand reports on a minor shake-up at ESPN-1050 am. In Marchand’s Memo of the Week, he calls upon Suzyn Waldman to step up her analysis and presence in the Yankees radio booth. Bob Raissman says that instant replay in sports, especially tennis, takes away from the momentum and drama of the event. Jane McManus says that the US Open Instant replay is pretty impressive, though not perfect just yet.

Other Eastern Columns

Aaron Bracy talks to Tony Kornheiser about Monday Night Football. The Washington Post columnist admits that the gig isn’t his dream job, and that this might even be his only season in booth for the games. An interesting part of the column is Kornheiser admitting that he is thin-skinned and takes criticism hard, so when a Post colleague was harsh about this performance a couple of weeks ago, Kornheiser struck back, calling the critic a “two-bit weasel slug” – though he says he was trying to be funny. Bracy’s Blog adds in a few tidbits from the US Open. Laura Nachman looks at some major changes in the sports lineup for Philly’s CN8 lineup. Bob Smizik looks at radio options for Steelers fans looking for information and discussion on the Super Bowl Champions. Chris Zelkovich knocks CBS and TSN for not properly informing viewers that last Sunday’s golf was on tape delay.

Jim Williams gives us Ten reasons why Baltimore sports fans should care about the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. Michael Hiestand looks at FOX bringing in longtime Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez as an analyst for the BCS title game. Michael McCarthy looks at the pitfalls of the multi-media age, some of which Tony Kornheiser has already experienced. Kornheiser’s partner at the Post and on Pardon the Interruption on ESPN had this to say about critics:

"There are always jerks in features and news sections insulting sportswriters and I, for one, come out swinging. Way too many of them think they're superior in talent when they're not." These jealous colleagues, he added, "make far, far, far less money in a lot of cases and hate that."

Earlier in the week, McCarthy also looked at why Agassi is still must-see TV.

South

Jim Sarni has former Celtics, Jets and Dolphins play-by-play man Howard David hosting The Gameday Insiders weekends on WFTL (850-AM). Sarni has a ton of other information in his column, including the lyrics to NBC’s Sunday Night Football opening song – which was written by Pink. Dave Darling has more from Herbstreit about rule changes in college football this season. Barry Horn looks at the plethora of Cowboys from the 90′s who are now the broadcasters of the 00′s. David Barron gets the college football season off to the proper start by relating a story from the (brief) college football career of Houston TV anchor Ron Stone. He then has a quick overview of the local and national coverage.

Mid-America

Ed Sherman has more on college football shortening the length of games, not by subtracting commercials, but by taking away 10-15 plays per game. Dan Caesar looks at ESPN and NBC battling it out to see which has the better and more desirable prime-time NFL slot. Bob Wolfley has Cris Collinsworth questioning Brett Favre’s decision to come back to the Packers this season. He feels he should’ve tried to go somewhere where there might be a better chance to win, because if Green Bay struggles this season, the pressure is going to be on to play Aaron Rodgers and develop him for the future. Judd Zulgad looks at Chad Hartman deciding to give up his job as Timberwolves play-by-play man in order to remain as a talk show host on KFAN.

West Coast

Joe Davidson critiques the coverage of the Bay Area media outlets this week in the wake of the news that Don Nelson was returning to coach the Warriors. Larry Stewart reports that FOX could have Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw as one of its tandems for a BCS Bowl game. He also examines the “shorter games” issue in college football this season. Tom Hoffarth looks at High School football getting national air time on ESPN and FSN – an idea that some are uncomfortable with. John Maffei talks to Bill Werndl, the San Diego radio host who has has been working as a spotter for college and professional football games since 1973, and last year marked 20 years with ESPN. Michael Lev looks at ABC’s Saturday Night Football – the network’s college replacement for the Monday NFL game. The college game has the advantage of flexible scheduling, something they never enjoyed with the NFL. Jay Posner looks at San Diego fans missing out on San Diego State football because of the spat between Cox Cable and CSTV. Cox is in the position of power here, because they know they won’t lose subscribers as long as they have the Padres games. Jim Carlisle reports on KVTA (1520 AM)’s revamped “Prep ‘N’ Pro Sports Show.

%d bloggers like this: