Some Black Friday Sports Media Links

I hope you survived the Black Friday experience if you went out today. If you decided to shop online, better to do that than wait outside in the cold where the temperatures dropped below freezing overnight. No fun.

Anyway, I’ll provide the links. The Weekend Viewing Picks are here.

To the linkage.

National

At USA Today, Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether it’s appropriate to mention religion and faith in sports television.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that HBO will give viewers a 12 minute sneak peek on its new NHL-themed 24/7 series tonight.

Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has the picture of Thanksgiving Day in which a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader got the start of her 15 minutes.

Tom Lorenzo at SportsGrid has a funny vidcap of a kid fast asleep during the Miami-Dallas game. Too much turkey, I guess.

Joe Favorito says hockey hopes to fill a void left by the NBA.

Sports Media Watch has the ratings for all NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season.

SMW notes that ESPN’s Monday Night Football saw a ratings increase for Chiefs-Pats.

SMW says NBC’s Sunday Night Football suffered a rare ratings and viewership drop in Week 11.

And SMW writes that last week’s Thursday Night Football gave NFL Network some early Thanksgiving treats.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada to date.

The Awful Announcing staff lists the announcers it’s thankful for.

Overseas, BBC Sport, once a UK powerhouse, is now cutting back and it’s only doing half a schedule of one of its signature sports, Formula 1. It explains how it’s covering Formula 1 in 2012.

Owen Gibson of the London (UK) Guardian says BBC has won back the rights to the IAAF World Athletic Championships, an event it lost for the first time this year.

Former Comcast SportsNet anchor/reporter Jackie Pepper writes about a Kansas City Royals MLB.com beat reporter who received a life-saving transplant and then went to cover every single game this past season.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that NBC is looking to carve out a Thanksgiving niche for the NHL with a new Black Friday game.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post actually gives praise today! Stop the presses!

Justin Terranova of the Post has 5 questions for Sirius XM college football analyst Eddie George.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says ex-coaches don’t always make for the best broadcasters.

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun thoroughly enjoyed NFL Network’s coverage of last night’s 49ers-Ravens game.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with an NHL official about its new “Thanksgiving Showdown”.

South

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle waxes poetic about losing the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry.

Chris Baldwin at CultureMap Houston says ESPN reminded Texas A&M fans why the school’s rivalry with Texas is ending when it promoted the Longhorn Network.

Midwest

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Ndamukong Suh’s stomp on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith got plenty of play on Fox yesterday.

Paul Christian of the Rochester Post (MN) Bulletin also writes about the TV reaction to Suh’s stomp.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says embattled Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin might be returning next season after all despite two arrests for DWI.

West

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Brian T. Smith says the Utah Jazz’s glory days can be seen on TV as fill for the NBA Lockout.

John Maffei at the North County Times reports that the San Diego Padres still have yet to sign a TV deal for next season.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star notes that LSU is playing another big game today on CBS.

Bill Shaikin from the Los Angeles Times says Fox is asking a judge for the Dodgers to throw in the parking lots in the team’s sale price rather than try to boost it and block its bid for the team’s media rights.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at some of the most dubious moments in sports media this year.

Joshua Myers of the Seattle Times notes that NBC is tapping Sounders voice Arlo White to be its MLS announcer.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says a new TSN documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Argonauts winning the CFL Grey Cup shows how far the team has sunk.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog goes inside the numbers of TSN’s coverage of this Sunday’s Grey Cup.

After 31 Point Win, All Is Lost For Patriots

You really don’t need to watch the final six games of the season. It doesn’t matter what happens. The storylines will be the same. They are set in concrete, and nothing can change them.

It started yesterday, following the 34-3 win over the Chiefs.  It doesn’t mean anything! They beat an injury-riddled team with the worst quarterback in the league! Patriots have the worst defense in the league! When they face a real quarterback in the playoffs like Ben Roethlisberger, he’s going to carve them up and the season will be over!

Rinse, and repeat. All day, both stations.

You will get a version of that every week from here on out, as the Patriots schedule is (according to the media) nothing but cupcakes the rest of the way. Any win or good performance by the defense is completely meaningless. A loss, god forbid, will be the end of the world as we know it. (And they could well lose to the Eagles this weekend.)

Looking forward to the last six weeks of the season? Me too.

When looking at the Patriots defense, the only stat that matters to the media is yards allowed. In that category, the Patriots are last, giving up 404 yards per game. When it comes to points allowed, however, the Patriots are 10th in the NFL, giving up an average of 20.3 points per game, ahead of perceived stalwart defenses like the Jets, Lions, Giants, Bears and Cowboys. The Indianapolis Colts give up 30 points a game. If you look objectively (impossible for sports radio hosts to do) how can you possibly say that the Colts have a better defense than the Patriots? You can’t.

Bill Belichick on The Big Show yesterday talked about this. He acknowledged that everything (yards, points, red zone, etc) is important, but the most important defensive stat is points allowed.

I ask you to please keep that in mind the next time you hear Mike Mutnansky or Tony Massarotti screaming at you about “BIG PICTURE” and the Patriots having the worst defense in the NFL. I’m going to believe what Bill Belichick says over those jokers.

It’s report card day, so here are your weekly grades on the team’s performance:

Making The Grades – Chiefs at Patriots – Jeremy Gottlieb reminds us that Bill Belichick may not be so great at shopping for the groceries, but he sure can cook a great meal.

Patriots Report Card: Where running up the score is a must – Kirk Minihane can’t find “classy decisions” anywhere on the NFL tiebreaker charts.

Patriots Report Card – Ron Borges says that this was like Oklahoma scheduling Ball State.

Patriots Report Card: Rob Gronkowski Proves Yet Again He Is Top Tight End In NFL – Jeff Howe says it’s not the Patriots fault they were playing a lousy quarterback. They got the job done.

ESPNBoston – says that this won’t be remembered as Tom Brady’s finest game.

Patriots report card – Add your vote to the Boston.com report card.

40 lines on 20 issues – Tom E Curran weighs in on a number of Patriots items.

Rob Gronkowski Keeps on ‘Drilling for Oil’ and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts – Jeff Howe has 20 thoughts.

QB whisperer analyzes what ails Tom Brady – Karen Guregian has Tom Martinez suggesting that the Patriots QB is hurting.

New MLB contract limits big payday for top draft picks – Brian MacPherson looks at how the new MLB CBA could actually keep some talented players out of the game, citing a Red Sox prospect who chose baseball over football because of a signing bonus as an example. Gordon Edes notes though, that some of these compensation rules may benefit the Red Sox.

Where is the Red Sox’ next closer? – Rob Bradford looks at replacements for Jonathan Papelbon.

Don’t expect a slugfest between B’s, Sabres – Despite what you may have heard on the radio this morning, Joe Haggerty says not to expect fireworks tonight between the Bruins and Sabres.

Bruins say they’ll just be themselves – James Murphy says that the Bruins will be prepared if something does happen.

Jeff Green plans to remain with Green – Steve Bulpett has the restricted free again looking forward to returning to the Celtics whenever the lockout ends.

Where Are They Now – 1510 The Zone Personalities

With WEEI and 98.5 The SportsHub are battling out on a monthly basis in the ratings, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the first effort at competition for WEEI, the ill-fated 1510 The Zone (Now Revolution Boston) and where some of the personalities from that station are now.

1510 GM Mike Kellogg took heat for bringing in many unknown names, but as you can see below, several of these have gone onto national gigs at bigger outlets. There was no place for them at WEEI (with the competition from 98.5, they’ve got to be kicking themselves that they didn’t find a role for at least Russillo on their airwaves), but they managed to do pretty well for themselves elsewhere.

Here’s a look at some former 1510 personalities, followed by the show(s) they hosted on the station and what they’re doing now:

Ryen Russillo (Co-host The Morning Press Box, The Diehards)  – Co-host of The Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN Radio and he also appears on a number of other ESPN programs and platforms.

Jon Anik  (Co-host of The Diehards) – Hired recently by the UFC to host and do play-by-play duties for upcoming UFC® events to air on FX and FUEL TV. Anik had been working for ESPN on its MMA coverage and hosted MMA Live.

Kevin Winter (Co-host of The Morning Press Box, The Diehards) – Working for ESPN Radio in a number of roles – SportsCenter Anchor/ MLB, NBA, CFB Studio Host.

Holden Kushner (Co-host of The Morning Press Box)- Now co-host of The Mike Wise Show with Holden Kushner on  sports radio 106.7 FM The Fan in Washington D.C. (A CBS sister station to 98.5 The SportsHub.)

Anthony Pepe  (Co-host of The Diehards)-  President and CEO of Mouthpiece Radio.

Mike Winn -(Co-host of The Diehards)  General manager of WGAM sports radio 1250 and 900 in NH, an ESPN Radio affliate.

Dave Jageler (Co-host of The Eddie Andelman Show)- Radio voice of the Washington Nationals, he also makes frequent appearances on the Mid Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).

Eddie Andelman (Co-host of The Eddie Andelman Show) – Retired.

Sean McDonough – (Host, The McDonough Group) Play by play man for ESPN, McDonough’s star has been on the rise at the network, and this past season he was named announcer for the network’s Monday night package of MLB games.