Steelers Own Brady, Patriots

Let’s just say that you know things didn’t go well yesterday when Mike Reiss is writing columns questioning whether Bill Belichick has lost his fastball.

From a media-watch perspective, the thing that annoyed me so much about yesterday was how for many, the pregame analysis seemed to end at “Brady plays well against Pittsburgh.” If there was further analysis, it seemed to be about Bill Belichick’s record coming off the bye week.

A few expressed concern over the Patriots ability to cover Mike Wallace. Turns out, that was among the least of their problems yesterday. The Patriots simply got dominated, and hardly anyone in the media seemed to see it coming.  (Mike Reiss does deserve credit in this area, as he picked the Steelers to win, and their ability to keep the Patriots defense on the field and to slow down the Patriots offense.)

But for most, especially nationally, and locally particularly on the radio, there was no sense that the Steelers could win this one. I expressed my annoyance at the Brady owns Pittsburgh storyline last week, but in hindsight, probably should’ve had more to say on the topic. It seemed pretty clear to me, from afar, that the Steelers were going be fired up for this one. Comments coming from their locker room from the likes of Ryan Clark seemed to confirm that. I didn’t see how the Patriots would stop a wide-open offense. I guess I should start making my gut instincts more public week-to-week, if only to get on the record, and have more of a leg to stand on when being critical of pregame analysis.

Let’s run down some links from this morning:

Ten Things We Learned Sunday: Patriots secondary is now a primary concern – Christopher Price looks at what to take away from this game.

This road loss shows they can only go so far – Greg A Bedard says that this team has a fatal flaw – talent.

Downright offensive – Mark Farinella has the Patriots totally out-executed and outclassed yesterday.

Steelers feast on weak Patriots secondary – Tom E Curran has the Steelers happy to talk about their gameplan and what they did to burn the Patriots defense all afternoon. (Good stuff)

Patriots’ offense strikes no fear – Karen Guregian has the Steelers confirming that the “Brady owns LeBeau” talk fired them up.

Maybe the Pats are setting them up for the kill – Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots were clearly just lulling the Steelers into a major case of overconfidence for the next time they play them.

Kevin Faulk takes big role in 2011 debut – Ian Rapoport has the veteran back returning to action yesterday, a theme shared in the Globe notebook by Shalise Manza Young and Monique Walker and in the Patriots Journal.

Why Dale Sveum is a candidate to manage the Red Sox – Alex Speier looks at the former third-base coach for the Red Sox.

Mackanin gets first interview – Peter Abraham has Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin the first candidate to be interviewed.

 

Back With The Friday Megalinks

Due to a crazy schedule for most of this week and then having a medical procedure done yesterday, I have not been able to blog like I’ve wanted to. Links have been scarce, but I’m available to do them now and hopefully, won’t be interrupted.

Your Weekend Viewing Picks have your sports and entertainment programming for Halloween weekend. Let’s get to the links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that Tim McCarver has been broadcasting for a very long time and reports that Ron Franklin makes a return to the broadcast booth next week.

Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that if the NBA loses an entire season, corporate partners Time Warner and Disney would take some hits in the short term, but see moderate profits in the long term.

Philiana Ng of the Reporter says Game 6 of the World Series dominated the primetime ratings on Thursday.

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says DirecTV is crying foul to the FCC about Fox’s ad in their carriage dispute over several networks including FX, 19 Fox Sports Net affiliates, Fox Soccer and Speed.

George Winslow of B&C notes that NASCAR.com has developed the first app for Google TV.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says MSG Varsity will stream high school games for co-owned Cablevision subscribers.

Mike says last week’s bidding for US World Cup media rights doesn’t help FIFA’s corrupt reputation.

ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute delves into ESPN’s role in the college sports realignment game.

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writes in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center that baseball’s problems are magnified when a historic moment as in last night’s World Series Game 6 comes so late for East Coast viewers.

Awful Announcing gives praise to Joe Buck for his plagiarized call of David Freese’s walk off home run in last night’s Game 6 World Series.

Deadspin’s AJ Daulerio exchanged e-mails with Buck on his call.

Glenn Davis of SportsGrid notes that a Dallas TV station jumped the gun in saying the Texas Rangers won the World Series last night.

Sports Video Group reports that CTV/TSN has won the Canadian rights to the FIFA World Cups from 2015 through 2022.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell explains why we’re suddenly closer to an NBA deal and a complete 82 game season.

Sports Media Watch writes about the World Series Game 6 ratings.

Dave Kohl in the Broadcast Booth looks at the reporting on Dan Wheldon’s death.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe looks at the World Series ratings vs.the NFL this season.

Bill Doyle from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks with Fox 25’s Kristine Leahy.

Newsday’s Neil Best looks at MLB Network’s latest Bob Costas special with Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.

Neil says ESPN2’s SportsNation will do an ode to LIVE with Regis and Kelly on Monday.

Over to the New York Post where Phil Mushnick is again filled with hatred.

Justin Terranova of the Post has 5 questions for Sirius XM MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Duquette.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Fox finally got a ratings payoff for the World Series.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com has the latest on the Baltimore-Washington, DC sports media.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner interviews the host of Bloomberg’s weekly “Sportfolio” program.

South

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder gets the opportunity to talk about his former team twice a week on local sports radio.

Barry Horn at the Dallas Morning News writes that Game 6 of the World Series is now the most watched baseball game in the history of the Metroplex.

David Barron in the Houston Chronicle says the Texans continue to top the local TV ratings.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes ESPNU will air a basketball fundraiser for the Joplin, MO tornado victims.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with local website owners who want businesses to help ensure the Bengals won’t be blocked out in the local market.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that viewers are the losers in the DirecTV/Fox carriage dispute.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tells us that Week 7’s Vikings-Packers game was the most watched TV program of last week, topping all network programming.

Bob notes that Milwaukee and surrounding towns are part of a rare TV marketplace where a significant amount of viewers still don’t have cable or satellite.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business notes that classic Bulls games will be aired on Comcast SportsNet during the winter.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar writes that Fox has hit the megaload with a long World Series.

West

John Maffei of the North County Times writes that last week’s brawl with Arizona gave UCLA some TV time, but for the wrong reasons.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star says Christmas doesn’t need NBA games.

Jim notes that ESPN took a big hit when it lost the World Cup bidding to Fox.

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News talks with ESPN’s College GameDay’s Lee Corso.

Tom talks with SoCal broadcaster Steve Physioc.

Tom says people are confused over the battlelines in the DirecTV/Fox carriage dispute.

Tom talks with Dan Patrick about the #occupygameday movement.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that CTV/TSN has wrested the World Cup rights away from CBC.

Sports Media Musings: ESPN Original Programming Wins, Media Scolds NESN, CSNNE’s Farm System, Quick Musings

Praising Rage Against The Machine

ESPN gets criticized with great regularity. Much of the scrutiny is deserved. Segments like, “Who’s Now” on SportsCenter” feel forced. I shake my head when Skip Bayless argues Aaron Hernandez’s fried chicken entrée could be a harbinger of trouble ahead for the Patriots. Lastly, Herman Edwards‘ rants lay somewhere between Al Pacino’s cathartic “6 Inches Speech” and Keanu Reeves trite, “Pain Heels and glory lasts forever” pep talk.

With all that laid across the kitchen table, the maligned four-letter network’s documentary efforts are commendable. Since the inception of 30 For 30, ESPN has shown (with its Eff-you $$$) they are capable of getting out of the way and letting accomplished directors spawn great documentaries. I’m not saying this based off the screening of “Unguarded” I attended on Wednesday. Films like “The Two Escobars”, “Four Days In October”, “June 17, 1994″,  and “Jordan Rides the Bus” were all exceptional efforts.

(*Note – ESPN discontinued the 30 For 30 branding for reasons that still seem unclear, at least to me. The subsequent films such as “The Fab Five” and “Unguarded” are being produced by the same creative team.)

During the premiere Jonathan Hock, director of “Unguarded”, took time to praise ESPN executives John Walsh and John Skipper citing, “They supported a project that in the past may have not received blessing.”

Another innovative project from the “WorldWide Leader” reached a different milestone this week. Pardon the Interruption had its 10-year anniversary being on the air. The show was appropriately lauded by WEEI’s Mike Mutnansky during last Friday’s “Mut & Merloni” broadcast. PTI created a myriad of terrible step-children (I-Max, First Take), but also served as the paradigm for “talking head” sports shows I generally enjoy (Sports Tonight).

Here is a 11 minute video of the great opens over the years between hosts Mike Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. Watch it, enjoy it, and keep avoiding that stuff called, ‘work.’

Quick Musings, Links

(Because, at age 25, I’ve gotten soft)

1.) Many have expressed disagreement with my opinion on NESN not covering Theo Epstein’s exile to the Second City. I expressed my point further in the comments section of the piece. If you don’t agree, no biggie. We’re not going to keep things copacetic with every column, after all, it’s the Internet!

Kirk Minihane, from WEEI.com, expressed similar distaste from the coverage oversight.

 And speaking of embarrassing, if NESN want to at least pretend to be a network with a sliver of credibility, you have to show Theo’s press conference. I think we all could have lived without the 14th straight showing of “NESN Daily.” You either cover all Boston sports, or you are a shill for Larry, John Henry, Linda Pizzuti and the Red Sox. I think we already have our answer.

Michael Holley called it ‘shameful’..

@MichaelSHolley How is NESN not showing the Theo press conference? And Comcast is? #shameful#doyouwannawin

I’m not saying this validates my overall stance. (If I agreed with media-types like Minihane and Holley all the time then I wouldn’t be here.) But I just want to point out that I’m not the only ‘hater’ out there in terms of this issue.

2.) CSNNE.com’s affiliation with WickedGoodSports.com leaves something to be desired. I get the comedic aura trying to be evoked, but I’d rather the site take itself less flippantly. I like the concept: Major Outlet (CSNNE) espousing Rogue Entity (Wicked Good Sports).

However, I’d tweak the content of Wicked Good Sports. There’s an opportunity to report and ruminate on topics that Deadspin and The Big Lead touches on. I think that’d be cooler than barely cracking a smile at B+ Photo-Shop projects that my college roommate used to do in order to kill time.

3.) Speaking of Deadspin, Joe Buck vs. Jack Buck is equivalent to Theo Epstein vs. Ben Cherington. Creepy.

4.) Not you too, Ron. Bruce Allen hit this topic earlier in the week: The media did some quick math and realized Tom Brady is 6-1 as a starter against the Steelers. I always thought we could count on Ron Borges for “proper perspective”, but even he feels Sunday is a lock. Regardless, I liked the column.

5.) At CSNNE’s “Hockey Night” Monday, Shawn Thorton said he hopes to retire a Bruin. I noted Tony Amonte was in attendance, and asked if he saw a future as a personality in the media, “I’m not doing all this for nothing,” Thorton swiftly replied.

Thorton is good on CSNNE’s new hockey show, “Sticks & Stones”, and his appearances on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” morning radio program. He is affable and seems primed to join at least one form of medium when his playing days are over. I think Amonte, Thorton, and Mike Felger sparring in pre/post-game settings would bolster CSNNE’s hockey coverage.

Additionally, CSNNE seems to have another prospect waiting in the wings with former Boston Celtic, Brian Scalabrine. Scal is already making brief appearances on Sports Tonight and as a color analyst with sage, Mike Gorman, at Connecticut Sun games. Like the aforementioned hockey trio I just mentioned — Donny Marshall, Scalabrine, and Gary Tanguay would be a solid core debating Celtic news and games.

6.) Good Grantland Range — Really enjoyed Rembert Browne’s piece on MTV’s old Rock N’ Jock productions. Fun stuff, highly recommend it if you grew up during that time frame.

7.) Bad Grantland Range Molly Lambert dissects fluff magazines. Umm, don’t kill me for this, but I liked the piece. Then again, I understand this is probably to far outside the realm of the average consumer reading Grantland. And I don’t doubt (or blame) that it will likely get skewered here.