Friday Megalinks Posted During the Day … What A Concept!!

Ken from Fang’s Bites with the Friday megalinks. With my laptop back and my internet back in order at work, I can actually post the Friday megalinks at a decent hour. So let’s get cracking without any delay.

As usual, we begin with the Weekend Viewing Picks.

The NFL is now in the final stretch. The Patriots are still out west and they’ll take on the Oakland Raiders on WBZ and WPRI, Sunday at 4:15 p.m. Kevin Harlan and the World’s Worst NFL Analyst Rich Gannon will have the call. In primetime, you have the feuding Dallas Cowboys hosting the Giants on 7NBC and NBC10 at 8:15. Check out the entire Sunday viewing schedule in the NFL Viewing Picks.

The Celtics are home tonight hosting the New Orleans Hornets. Because the game is being picked up by ESPN, the start time for the game at the Garden will be at 8:05 p.m. However, you don’t have to be subjected to ESPN’s call as Comcast SportsNet with the venerable Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn will be sitting courtside for the game.

The Bruins are on the road taking on Ilya Kovalchuk and the Atlanta Thrashers tonight at 7:30. And then tomorrow, the teams turnaround and play at the Garden at 7 p.m. NESN has Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley and Naoko Funayama calling the action for both games.

This weekend marks the season premiere of college basketball on CBS, but without Billy Packer for the first time since 1981. Clark Kellogg will be on the case as the #1 analyst working the Indiana-Kentucky game Saturday at 4 p.m. As for the New England teams, UMass takes on Kansas on ESPN at 2 p.m. on Saturday. URI hosts Central Connecticut State on Cox 3 in Providence. Check out the national TV schedule in the College Basketball Viewing Picks.

After the NFL and college basketball, the pickings are slim. Starting with boxing, HBO will re-air the pummeling of Oscar De La Hoya at the hands of Manny Pacquaio on Saturday along with a new fight involving Wladimir Klitschko defending his IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight title against Hasim Rahman at 4:45 p.m.

Versus has a Saturday night boxing event involving James Toney and Tony Thompson fighting for the vacant IBA heavyweight title at 9, then Showtime will carry two fights live from Atlantic City starting at 11 p.m.

There is some college football on Saturday and that will involve the smaller divisions as the Division II championship game takes place on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. and the Football Championship Subdivision semifinal on ESPN at 4. That will be followed by the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN at 8 p.m.

Following the Heisman Trophy, ESPN will show a documentary on the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts featuring some new footage. From what I’ve been told, it’s very good so TiVo, DVR, videotape (if you still have a VCR), find a way to keep it for prosperity.

Spike has the UFC Ultimate Fighter finals from Las Vegas Saturday night at 9 p.m.

ESPN2 will have the NCAA men’s Division I soccer championship Sunday at 1 p.m.

And NBC will show the Ironman Triathlon at 2 p.m. Saturday and also show the Merrill Lynch Shootout, Greg Norman’s tournament, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Now let’s do your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with TNT’s Marv Albert about some of the acting roles he’s tackled over the years.

Christopher Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media is amazed at the love for Screamin’ Gus Johnson.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant about his new Nike shoe line. And Darren says Atlanta Falcon QB and BC alum Matt Ryan is the NFL’s Most Valuable Player based on his impact on fan interest in the city.

Joe Favorito says Los Angeles Clipper Baron Davis is a player the fans can get behind.

Puck The Media has a guest column outlining the reasons why people don’t watch hockey.

The Big Lead has an interview with Sports Illustated MMA and tennis writer Jon Wertheim.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe speaks with ESPN’s NBA analyst Hubie Brown who call the Celtics-Hornets game tonight, plus Nancy breaks news that NESN will cease production of the “Globe 10.0″ program at the end of the year.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Oscar De La Hoya has held his own in drawing Pay Per View buys for his fights.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post hates the replay rule in the NFL.

Justin Terranova of the Post has quotage from NBC’s Cris Collinsworth on this Sunday night’s Giants-Cowboys game. And Justin has five questions for CBS/CBS College Sports basketball analyst and ex-UMass coach Steve Lappas.

David Hinckley of the New York Daily News reviews ESPN’s documentary on the 1958 NFL Championship Game.

Newsday’s Neil Best recaps the Phillies’ Cole Hamels calling the Mets “choke artists” during a WFAN interview on Thursday. Neil also has a column on ESPN’s Dick Vitale who’s trying to rest his voice after throat surgery late last year. Neil has a bit more from Dickie V. in his blog. In addition, Neil has NBC’s John Madden waxing poetic about the Texas Stadium press box bathrooms.

Laura Nachman says ESPN’s Mike Tirico will broadcast his radio show from Philadelphia on Monday. Of course, Mike is calling the Browns-Eagles game, Monday night.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun looks at ESPN’s documentary on the NFL’s Greatest Game Ever Played.

South

Doug Nye of The State writes that TV is not to blame for poor attendance at the University of South Carolina basketball games.

Dave Darling in the Orlando Sentinel has a short news and notes column today. In fact, it’s very short.

Jerry Greene of the Sentinel says Orlando residents like watching football and nothing else.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning dissects Joe Buck’s and Troy Aikman’s comments in the last moments of the Cowboys-Steelers game.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks into HBO’s documentary into the integration of Southern college football during the 1960′s.

Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman also looks at ESPN’s documentary on the 1958 NFL Championship Game. Mel says the local regional sports networks like having control of the NBA digital rights. And Mel has his weekly news and notes.

Midwest

Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News says CBS/FSN’s Tim Brando has done his homework to call this Sunday’s Wright State-Wake Forest game.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel enjoyed watching ESPN’s documentary on the 1958 NFL Championship Game.

Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune gives Chicagoans some weekend viewing picks.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says ESPN’s Greatest Game documentary lives up to the title.

Do you want another media column on ESPN’s documentary? Of course you do. Here’s Paul Christian’s review in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin.

Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star notes that this is the 10th anniversary of the yellow “1st and 10 line” on football broadcasts. And Pete looks into the technology that goes behind superimposing the line on your TV.

West

Scott Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News feels radio is sometimes better than TV in bringing the action to the fans at home.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune is puzzled over a local sports talk radio host who was fired only to return to his job less than a week later.

John Maffei of the North County Times is also puzzled over the story.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says 50 years later, the 1958 NFL Championship is still the Greatest Game Ever.

To Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times who looks at this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” piece on USC coach Pete Carroll’s efforts to curb gang violence.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reviews HBO’s documentary on college football. And he expands further into his review in his Farther Off the Wall blog. Tom also has a story on the Lakers leaving its long time radio flagship station. Tom has some media news and notes in his blog. Tom reports that the Dodgers are taking Charlie Steiner off its TV broadcasts and devoting him full-time to radio meaning that there’s a rare baseball broadcast opening for the 2009 season. Finally, Tom hopes that the Sports Museum of Los Angeles won’t have the same fate that has befallen the Sports Museum of America in New York.

John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News also devotes his column to ESPN’s documentary on the 1958 NFL Championship Game.

Gary Washburn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer likes the competition that Comcast SportsNet Northwest is bringing to FSN Northwest.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that TSN2 is close to a carriage deal in the metro Toronto area.

But Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says a deal is not coming fast enough for Raptors fans.

That’s it. Have a good weekend. I’ll be back next week.

About Ken Fang

A former award-winning radio reporter, Ken Fang lives in Rhode Island and blogs at Fang's Bites and Fang's Bites at BSMW. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to sports media, he is addicted to The Amazing Race and Mad Men.

  • Rick Mc

    Read Frederick Exley’s “A Fan’s Notes” for another view of the 1958 NFL Championship Game. An amazing story.

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