Saturday, January 31, 2009

NBC Sets Super Bowl Ad Record

From NBC Sports, we get news that their Super Bowl coverage is now sold out, a very impressive feat considering the state of our economy these days!

NBC SELLS OUT SUPER BOWL & SETS NEW RECORD

All-Time Super Bowl Record $206 Million in Advertising Revenue

Also Sets New Full-Day Super Bowl Revenue Mark of $261 Million


TAMPA - January 31, 2009 - Super Bowl XLIII on NBC is sold out. NBC has sold all game advertising for tomorrow's broadcast of Super Bowl XLIII and set a Super Bowl record of $206 million in advertising revenue, NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker announced today. NBC's $261 million in revenue for the full Super Bowl day, especially impressive in the current economic downturn, also sets a new Super Bowl milestone.

"These advertising milestones show the power of the NFL brand and the strength of the Super Bowl as a TV property in this economic climate," said Zucker. "The Super Bowl has become one of our country's biggest holidays, a uniquely American day, and advertisers recognized the value in being a part of it, as their commercials are nearly as big a part of the day as the football itself. This is an extraordinary story for NBC against the backdrop of this economy."

"The plan to aggressively sell the majority of our advertising early in the process at the record unit price of $3 million showed tremendous foresight," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. "To finish selling out the Super Bowl in these last two weeks, in this economy and at record levels, is a testament to the dogged determination of Seth Winter [SVP, Sales & Marketing, NBC Sports]."

A total of 32 advertisers have taken time in Super Bowl XLIII across a broad spectrum of categories.

Fans of the advertisements featured in this Sunday's Super Bowl will be able to view those ads almost immediately after they air, on popular websites NBC.com, Hulu.com and Superbowl.com. In addition, users will be able to post their favorite ads on a blog or webpage through both the NBC.com and Hulu.com widget applications. Hulu will allow users to vote on their favorite ad, with the winner announced on Tuesday.

The Crowe's Nest Super Bowl XLIII Prediction



We've saved our thoughts for Super Bowl XLIII between the Cardinals and Steelers until now. It's a little more than 24 hours before the game as we put this together and we're feeling good about our prediction. So, read along and send us your thoughts right here as to your predictions for the "Big Game." Thanks to everyone for voting on the poll too!

It would be easy to pick the Steelers. It would be easy to say that the Steelers defense is just too tough for the Cardinals offensive line to handle. It would be easy to say that the Cardinals won't be able to run the ball and that they will limit Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner in the passing game. It would be easy to say that Willie Parker will grind it out and that Ben Rothliesberger will make just enough big plays for the Steelers to win.

Yes, it would be easy to do all that. But I won't!

Here's the thing that I keep coming back to with this game. Yes, the Steelers have a great defense, but they don't fare as well when facing an offense that can spread it out like the Cardinals can. Just check back to how the Patriots have always been able to move the ball against them. Same for the Colts. When teams have three and four, sometimes five options against the Steelers, it limits the blitzing abilities. Warner's faced the blitz before, just one game ago against the Eagles and handled it just fine in the first, second and fourth quarters. He'll be able to get the ball out of there against a secondary for Pittsburgh that does not match up well when pressed.

Arizona will throw it up to Fitzgerald, there's no question about that. More importantly is how effective can Anquan Boldin, Steve Breaston and the combination of Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower be when called upon in a big spot during a crucial spot. I think they'll be alright.

As for the Steelers, yes, they will put up some points in this one. But as we know, Big Ben has always been good for a couple of turnovers a game. Arizona's +9 in the turnover battle in three postseason games. The Steelers are +9 for the season. The Cards will force just enough turnovers to keep this one close in the fouth quarter.

I think this one comes down to the final seconds. No, wait, I think it comes down to overtime as the Super Bowl goes to an extra session for the first time in history. Neil Rackers ends it with a 47-yard field goal midway through as the Cardinals end the 61-year championship drought.

Arizona 37 Pittsburgh 34 (OT)

Let the game begin!

Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee

Congratulations to the 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductees -

Bob Hayes - Wide Receiver
Randall McDaniel - Guard
Bruce Smith - Defensive End
Derrick Thomas - Linebacker
Ralph Wilson - Owner
Rod Woodson - Cornerback/Safety

Woodson and Smith make it on their first time on the ballot. NFL.com has the full details.

I'm still surprised that Cris Carter didn't make it, but he will. Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue also gets snubbed.

Ironically enough, the Bills are playing in the Hall of Fame Game against the Titans this August.

Congrats to all!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Captain is Back! Veritek signs with the Red Sox



The saga and drama is finally over and Jason Veritek is back with the Boston Red Sox. I'm sure it's not exactly what he wanted, but Tek gets a one-year, $5 million deal with Boston. There's also a club option for 2010 at $5 million and a player option at $3 million. Tek can also get another $2 million with incentives.

The Boston Globe breaks it down for us. But the bottom line is this Sox fans - the Captain is back and your team is better than it was yesterday.

Let spring training begin! And yes, we can hope he kicks A-Rod's ass once again!



Enjoy!

Friday Feel-Good: "Bad for Me"

I told you the Friday Feel-Good might be bad for you and yes, I delivered. It's Danielle Peck's "Bad for Me" video. Yes, you can thank me later!



Enjoy!

Super Bowl XLIII Commercials You'll See Sunday

As we've been doing this week, we continue to give you a sneak peek at what commercials you'll see on Super Bowl Sunday. Thanks to Ad Week, who always do a great job in getting the ads ahead of time.

"Career Builder.com - Tips"



"Cars.com - David Abernathy"



"Coca Cola - Avatar"

"Coca Cola - Heist"



"Coca Cola - Mean Troy (preview)"



"Go Daddy - Enhanced (with Danica Patrick)"



"H&R Block - preview"



"Pedigree - Crazy Pets"



"Pepsi-Max - I'm Good"



"SoBe Lifewater - Lizard Lake (with Matt Light, Ray Lewis, Justin Tuck)"



Enjoy!

Super Bowl XLIII Prop Bets You'll Want to See!



OK, the "Big Game" is two days away and I know, you're itching to make those bets with your "friends." So, we here at "The Crowe's Nest" will give you a few to take a look at and increase your funds in this money-crunching economy. Thanks to Bodog for the props!

National Anthem - Jennifer Hudson
It's set at 1:54.
Winner: Take the over! She's done in the past including the Democratic National Convention and it's gone over before. It will again!

What Song will Bruce Springsteen sing to begin his Halftime Show at the Super Bowl?
Born in the USA 2/1
Glory Days 2/1
The Rising 4/1
Born to Run 5/1
The Wrestler 5/1
Radio Nowhere 8/1
I'm on Fire 12/1
Winner: I'm going with Glory Days with Born to Run a close second.

What Song will Bruce Springsteen sing to End his Halftime Show at the Super Bowl?
Born in the USA 2/1
Born to Run 3/2
Glory Days 4/1
The Rising 4/1
The Wrestler 5/1
Radio Nowhere 8/1
I'm on Fire 12/1
Winner: None of these, I'm going with My Lucky Day, which is the anthem for the playoffs.

Who will the MVP of the Game thank first?
God 1/1
Teammates 2/1
Family 4/1
Coach 7/1
Doesn't thank anyone 3/1
Winner: It'll be Kurt Warner, so it'll be God!

I'll have some more for you later!

Wells talks Torre and A-Rod

Courtesy of ESPN, we get a little advice from David Wells for Joe Torre and Alex Rodriguez after the release of Torre's new book, "The Yankee Years." Wells is never afraid to speak his mind as he's already put out a book of his own, one which Torre criticized him for when they were with the Yankees.

Here's the clip from ESPN -



Boy, I surely do miss talking to Boomer every week as we did back on the Score! Those were great days!

Coming up later today, we'll have some Super Bowl prop bets you'll surely want to look into, plus the Friday Feel-Good that may be too bad to be good for you!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

NBA All-Star Reserves



Here are your NBA All-Star reserves for February 15th's All-Star Game in Phoenix,as announced on TNT Thursday night -

Eastern Conference reserves
Chris Bosh - Toronto
Devin Harris - New Jersey
Danny Granger - Indiana
Joe Johnson - Atlanta
Rashard Lewis - Orlando
Jameer Nelson - Orlando
Paul Pierce - Boston

Western Conference reserves
Chauncey Billups - Denver
Pau Gasol - LA Lakers
Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas
Shaquille O'Neal - Phoenix
Tony Parker - San Antonio
Brandon Roy - Portland
David West - New Orleans

They join the starters that have already been voted in by the fans -

Eastern Conference
G Dwayne Wade, MIA
G Allen Iverson, DET
F Dwight Howard, ORL
F LeBron James, CLE
C Kevin Garnett, BOS

Western Conference
G Chris Paul, NO
G Kobe Bryant, LAL
F Tim Duncan, SA
F Amare Stoudemire, PHO
C Yao Ming, HOU

So, no Ray Allen or Rajon Rondo from Boston or Carmelo Anthony from Denver. That's a shame as all three were deserving.

Jags has a gig! He's a Buc!



The Jeff Jagodzinski Watch is over! Yes, your former Boston College head coach is now gainfully employed in the place he wanted to be: the NFL.

Jags is hired today by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will be the new offensive coordinator on the staff of new head coach Raheem Morris.

Good for Jags, who forced his way out of BC by interviewing with the Jets against his athletic director's wishes (so silly!) and getting a buyout of his $1.3 million a year deal at the Heights.

Torre to talk "Yankee Years" on Letterman Wednesday



From CBS, we get word today that current Dodgers and former Yankees manager Joe Torre will talk about his new book "The Yankee Years" on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Wednesday. It's a must see, or at least a must DVR! Here's the full release from CBS -

JOE TORRE TO VISIT CBS's "LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN," WEDNESDAY, FEB. 4

NEW YORK, Jan. 29
– Former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre talks about his controversial new book on his years with the team when he visits the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Wednesday, Feb. 4 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Torre's much-talked about new tome, The Yankee Years, co-written with Sports Illustrated writer Tom Verducci and in bookstores Feb. 3, chronicles his 12 years leading the Bronx Bombers. Torre, who is now the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be making his seventh appearance on the CBS late night broadcast. The LATE SHOW is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Maria Pope, Jude Brennan and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.


We'll have the complete rundown with clips next week.

Afternoon update - Holmes sold drugs, Feds have more on Bonds, Letterman out of IRL

A few tidbits to get you through the afternoon -

* - Santonio Holmes of the Steelers admits he used to sell drugs as a kid. (Fox Sports)

* - The NY Times says the feds have urine samples that link Barry Bonds to steroid use. No, really, c'mon, he used steroids? What's next, there's no Easter Bunny?!

* - SI.com's Jim Trotter has the 49ers hiring former Pats coach Jimmy Raye as their new offensive coordinator. Scratch another gig off the Jeff Jagodzinski list.

* - The Bobby Rahal/David Letterman team is out of IRL racing for 2009 after not getting a sponsor. (Fox Sports)

* - Check out Bob Ekstrom's latest entry up on the Boston Sports Media website with his update on all things New England sports in the blogosphere! And yes, thanks Bob for including us this week. We appreciate it greatly!

Enjoy!

Steelers to win Super Bowl XLIII says Madden 09

If you believe that video games can imitate real life, then bet heavily on the Steelers this Sunday! EA Sports and Madden 09 have crowned the Pittsburgh Steelers as World Champions, topping the Arizona Cardinals 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIII.

Here's the trailer for the game from EA Sports -



For the full game, click on to the EA Sports website.

Enjoy!

Herm Edwards to ESPN

My man Herm Edwards is headed to Bristol! Yes, he's the latest head coach to go back to tv as the World Wide Leader adds him as a studio analyst. Great news for all of us as Herm can break it down and have some emotion and passion behind him. Right now, he takes the place of Floyd Reese, who just left for the Patriots but he could also be taking Emmitt Smith's gig as Smith's deal is up after two years.

Here's the press release from ESPN -

Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards is joining ESPN as a NFL studio analyst. Edwards will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter, ESPNEWS and other programs throughout the year in addition to contributing analysis on ESPN Radio and other platforms. He is scheduled to start in mid February.

A head coach for the last eight NFL seasons, Edwards coached the New York Jets from 2001-05 and most recently the Chiefs (2006-08). He led his teams to four playoff appearances, including 2004 when his Jets squad finished with a 10-6 regular season record and advanced to the AFC Divisional Playoffs. Edwards, who also guided the Chiefs to a Wild Card berth in 2006, is one of only four NFL coaches to lead two different teams to the playoffs in his first season as head coach with those teams.

“Herm is well-liked and highly respected throughout the league, and his insights and opinions as a former coach will make a tremendous addition to our year-round NFL coverage,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production.

Edwards, who worked a brief stint at ESPN during the 2008 NFL offseason as a guest analyst, added: "I'm excited about the opportunity to join the ESPN team and offer my insight as a former player and head coach. I'm going to be truthful with my opinions on all the issues that take place on and off the field of play."

Edwards, who is represented by Octagon, joined the NFL coaching ranks as a scout with the Chiefs in 1990. He was with the club for four seasons (1992-95) as a defensive backs coach and in his final year as a member of the pro personnel department before joining Tony Dungy’s staff in Tampa Bay. A native of Seaside, Calif., he served as the Bucs assistant head coach and defensive backs coach from 1996-2000.

Edwards played defensive back for 10 NFL seasons (1977-86), mostly for the Philadelphia Eagles where he recorded 33 career interceptions. He was a member of the Eagles’ Super Bowl team in 1980 and is also known for recovering the fumble by Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcik on one of the most unusual plays in NFL history, dubbed “The Miracle at the Meadowlands.”

More on NBC's Super Bowl XLIII Pregame Coverage




The never ending hype for Super Bowl XLIII continue and yes, that means more from the NBC crew on what they'll do for their coverage on Sunday. Here's some more details on the pregame coverage from the Peacock, including confirmation of Bill Belichick and "The Rock" Dwayne Johnson's involvement -

NBC'S SUPER BOWL XLIII PREGAME SHOW PRESENTS A FULL DAY OF SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT

In-Depth Features, Interviews & Analysis Of Super Bowl XLIII; Exclusive Sit-Downs With Obama & Springsteen; Celebrity Appearances From Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Kevin James, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien; Performances From Faith Hill, Journey, John Legend Highlight NBC's Super Bowl Pregame Show

Today's Al Roker to Host "Super Suite"

Jennifer Hudson to Sing National Anthem

TAMPA -- January 29, 2009 -- The lead up to the Super Bowl, a full day of football combined with music, comedy and entertainment, along with exclusive interviews with President Barack Obama from the White House and Bruce Springsteen, kicks off on NBC at Noon ET with NBC's Super Bowl XLIII Pregame Show. NBC's pregame coverage will be filled with expert analysis, interviews, features on the participants and an insider's look at the biggest day in sports. The NBC crew will rotate from sets at the NFL Experience, NFL Tailgate and from the "Pirate Ship" inside the stadium, with live reports from team hotels and locker rooms. The "Super Suite," hosted by "Today's" Al Roker, will be celebrity central. Jennifer Hudson will sing the national anthem as the final act before kickoff.

"The Super Bowl is much more than a game, it's become one of our country's biggest holidays," said Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Universal Sports & Olympics. "It's a day when families and friends gather together to celebrate a uniquely American day and we've put together a full day of football and entertainment that we believe has something for everyone, whether you're an avid fan or someone who watches only on this day."

NBC's pregame coverage is hosted by Bob Costas, joined by co-hosts Cris Collinsworth, Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick; analysts Jerome Bettis and Tiki Barber; and reporter Peter King. Joining the regular "Football Night in America" crew are Super Bowl winning coaches Tony Dungy and Mike Holmgren, along with Matt Millen and Rodney Harrison. The "Sunday Night Football" team of Al Michaels, John Madden, Andrea Kremer, Alex Flanagan and Bob Neumeier will contribute reports and analysis.

9 A.M. ET "TODAY" KICKS OFF NBC'S COVERAGE: During "Today's" special two-hour Super Bowl program, beginning at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT, Meredith Viera, Al Roker and Ann Curry will give viewers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the sights, sounds, parties and food of the big game as well as the preparations that go into Super Sunday. They will also explore the city of Tampa and experience the local Super Bowl fever. Tiki Barber will get a VIP tour of the stadium from his twin brother Ronde, who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NOON ET "ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL": Bob Costas will kick off NBC's pregame coverage live at Noon ET from the "Pirate Ship" leading into a comprehensive look back at the 2008 NFL season featuring the best of NFL Films cinematography and exclusive audio from players and coaches.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF: NBC News' Matt Lauer will sit down with President Barack Obama for a live interview from the White House during NBC's Super Bowl Pregame Show.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Bruce Springsteen, who will be performing at halftime of Super Bowl XLIII, will be the subject of an exclusive sit-down during pregame with Bob Costas. Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, a native of the Jersey shore, is contributing an essay on his idol Springsteen in the pregame show.

COVER ME: Among the features in the Super Bowl XLIII pregame show are segments on the Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald; features on Mike Tomlin, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, beloved defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers; analysis of each team with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who analyzed game film with Collinsworth; and a look at what the players experience during Super Bowl week. Rodney Harrison will analyze how to defend the seemingly unstoppable Fitzgerald.

"LITTLE BIG SHOW": Olbermann and Patrick, who together redefined sports highlights, will break down the best highlights from the AFC and NFC this season.

BACK STAGE PASS: NBC will follow the Cardinals and Steelers throughout the lead up to the game, from the team hotels, to the team buses, to the first-ever Super Bowl pregame reports from the locker rooms, to the teams' sidelines. Patrick, Olbermann, Bettis, Barber, Kremer, Flanagan and Neumeier will shadow the AFC and NFC champs.

ROKER TO HOST SUPER SUITE: "Today's" Al Roker will host NBC's pregame coverage from the "NBC Super Suite" from the NFL Experience in Tampa. The Super Suite will be celebrity central during NBC's pregame show with appearances and segments scheduled from among others Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Kevin James, Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Hayden Panettiere and Rainn Wilson.

TOP CHEF: Tom Colicchio from Bravo's Top Chef, will join Tiki Barber and Jerome Bettis in judging a "Cook-Off" between previous "Top Chef" contestants exploring the cuisines of Arizona and Pittsburgh.

GATORADE SHOWER: CNBC's sports business reporter Darren Rovell will take a look at Gatorade and its iconic presence in the Super Bowl, which most believe started with Harry Carson's Gatorade shower of his coach Bill Parcells in 1986 but actually originated with the Chicago Bears.

MUSICAL PERFORMANCES: NBC's pregame show will feature live performances from rock stars Journey and John Legend. Faith Hill will perform a special Super Bowl version of her weekly "Sunday Night Football" theme song "Waiting All Day for Sunday Night." Hill also will sing America the Beautiful prior to Jennifer Hudson singing the anthem.

"LET THE SUNSHINE IN": The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore will provide updates on the weather from Tampa throughout the pregame.

Matt Light in tights for Super Bowl ad

Cheer up Patriots fans, your Patriots will be at Super Bowl XLIII. Well, at least one of them. Matt Light will be part of the parade of commercial ads that we'll all be rating throughout the day. Light will join Ray Lewis and Justin Tuck for the all new SoBe Life Water commercial. And guess what? It'll be in 3-D! Check out the behind the scenes look at making it -



And now, here's the ad, in 2-D form -



Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NBC previews Super Bowl XLIII with Maden and Michaels

Today, we get the Michaels and Madden look at Super Bowl XLIII from the men themselves, Al Michaels and John Madden who will call the Cards/Steelers game Sunday on NBC. Dick Ebersol and Fred Gaudelli, Chairman of NBC Sports and Game Producer respectively also chime in with their opinions on the game and the week -

NEW YORK - Jan. 28, 2009- NBC Sports' coverage of the Super Bowl begins at Noon ET, Sunday, Feb. 1. Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa will mark the 16th broadcast by NBC, equaling CBS for the most Super Bowls broadcast by any network and its first since 1998, Super Bowl XXXII. In that Super Bowl played in San Diego, John Elway finally broke through for his first Super Bowl championship, as the Denver Broncos defeated Brett Favre and the defending champion Green Bay Packers, 31-24.

MICHAELS ON THE EXCITEMENT OF THE SUPER BOWL: "Now that we're on site it's a different feeling then when you're sitting at home prior to coming down here. There is great anticipation about this game, and there's mystery. I think it's going to be really exciting. It's building and you can feel it and I'm delighted to be working my third Super Bowl with John and we just want one thing – Double Overtime."

MADDEN ON HANDLING PRESSURE OF SUPER BOWL WEEK: "I'm impressed how both these teams are handling media day. It's the first test they'll have to face down here. There are two important things you have to remember about the Super Bowl. When you win your championship game, it's not the end. You haven't done anything yet. It's not to get to the Super Bowl; it's to win the Super Bowl, and I think both teams understand that. The other thing is, don't take these things as distractions. Just enjoy it. You're going to look back on your life and say, 'that was the best time of my life.' If it's going to be a highlight, act like it and enjoy it. These teams are handling it that way, and the teams that enjoy this usually win."

GAUDELLI ON THE SUPER BOWL: "There is no greater opportunity in sports than to put the Super Bowl on your network for hundreds of millions of people. There are just some tremendous stories in this game, and interesting matchups on both sides of the ball. We wish the game was tomorrow because we are ready to go."

EBERSOL ON NBC RETURNING TO DO A SUPER BOWL: "This is the first Super Bowl NBC has had in 11 years. In the five years that preceded our last Super Bowl in San Diego in 1998, we had four Super Bowls in six seasons, the greatest bounty that anyone had ever had. It teaches you humility in this business when you hit a home run like that and you think it's going to stay forever but it goes away. So my joy is high in having another Super Bowl and most importantly going into the Super Bowl with Al, and John and Freddy and Drew Esocoff, the best team to do football, I believe, in my lifetime."

ON AL AND JOHN CALLING ANOTHER SUPER BOWL TOGETHER:
MICHAELS:
"I'd like to be back in three, six, nine, 12, 15 years. You can't do enough of these. This is the essence of why any of us get into this business, and God-willing everyone stays healthy there is more to come." MADDEN: "It doesn't get any better than this, these are always the biggest years you do when you end up with a Super Bowl. This has been a very special year
working with Al. This is our third one, and a fourth sounds pretty good."

MICHAELS ON HIS GAME PREPARATION: "John and I like to follow the saying 'let the game come to you.' We're going to go into this game with about eight million things to talk about, but we're not going to start by talking about them, we'll let the game develop, see where the stories are, and then get into them."

EBERSOL ON THE DIFFERENCE OF TELEVISING A SUPER BOWL TODAY: "For starters, I expect this Super Bowl experience, which so far has been perfect, will continue that way. This is the first time that we have been involved doing regular season football as a playoff caliber production every week with the size and scope of what goes into a Sunday Night game. It's the closest thing to a big playoff game or a Super Bowl. I feel like we do it every week at a high level. I think that we are better prepared for it and the experience that John and Al bring certifies that."

EBERSOL ON THE EFFECT THE ECONOMY HAD ON THE SUPER BOWL:
"We had one incredible lucky break against what has been a very slipping economy. Our sales department sold more Super Bowl inventory before the beginning of September than anyone had in history. On September 5, they announced they were 85% sold. I'm not going to tell you it hasn't been a tough slog to this point since then, but as we sit here this afternoon they're down to the last four spots left in the game and they have not crashed price in any way shape or form. A dozen of those spots in the game were priced and accepted at $3 million and all the other spots are in the high $2 millions, so we're pretty happy with that situation."

"I won't sit and tickle you and try to tell you it's the same for the pregame side, because historically that is sold in the last couple of months before the game and we had a tough time, but we're selling quite a bit this week. It won't be a record-setter, but I think the game, in terms of gross dollars in because of the high price of so much of the inventory that's already been sold, will set a record."

MICHAELS ON FINDING NEW ANGLES: "What we might try to do here is find a little different twist. Everybody is going to know the stories but maybe we can find a little different angle that very few people know about or have heard about or come in a side door when we address that. I'm not talking about ignoring these stories. I'm talking about trying to illuminate them in a different manner than you might work just a regular season game."

EBERSOL ON THE EXPANSION OF THE PREGAME SHOW: "I'm still looking for people right now as we get to this point in the conversation. We were catching up with ourselves today, and we have not announced all of them but at this moment between the pre-show and the game we have twenty-one people and I want twenty-two so we can fill two complete teams. John and Coach Holmgren and Coach Dungy will all have to play; they won't be able to be on the sidelines. One of the things that's a challenge when you do a whole afternoon, as we're about to do with our pregame, is to be interesting all the way through. What Sam Flood and Michael Weisman have laid out for Sunday afternoon is indeed incredibly interesting, and they have some very interesting fellows to talk us through this stuff. To have Mike Holmgren and Tony (Dungy) fresh out of the game, one three years removed from the Super Bowl and the other two years removed, they have a lot they can help enlighten the audience about how the Super Bowl is different from other games in terms of the way the guys prepare. Mike Holmgren is unbelievably excited about doing this. I guess he has never really put this out there but has harbored for a long time this desire to try the television thing. This is his grand experiment and he's going to have a good time doing it."

GAUDELLI ON CONTROVERSIAL PLAYS: "The great thing about this game is Mike Pereira is in the stadium; he's a phone call away. We have communication from our announce booth directly to him as well. Under no circumstances will any play go unexplained on television by Al and John on Sunday. In terms of looks, obviously on a regular Sunday night game we have a good deal of equipment. We've amplified that for this game. We have a really solid plan for how the game gets covered and to make sure that controversial plays was he touched, was his foot in or out of bounds – the additional cameras are placed so we would have defining looks at plays like that."

EBERSOL ON THE PRESSURE TO DELIVER RATINGS: "I don't know if this is a secret or not but if it is I'm going to put it out there. The Super Bowl is the last remaining event in all of American television that does not guarantee a rating. I think the largest reason for that is that it's been more than two decades that the Super Bowl rating has varied more than three rating points between a forty and a forty-three. Al reminded me of that fact as I was exhibiting some concern. This was before the conference championship games were being played, and I won't go into detail but things were looking a little shaky, and he recalled that immediately from memory. I went and looked at it and it is unbelievable. I did know the fact, though, that the Super Bowl rating has never been guaranteed. I'm very comfortable with the fact that this game will be a 40
rating or somewhat above that."

NBC's Super Bowl by the numbers

From NBC Sports, a numerical look at Super Bowl XLIII -

NBC's Super Bowl XLIII Technical By The Numbers

450 More than 450 people will be part of the NBC production, technical,
administrative and support crews

93 Microphones (including 12 on-field parabolic microphones)

52 High Definition Cameras (2 SD Cameras for Game Clock and Play Clock)

50 Miles of Camera and Microphone cable

45 Vehicles (control trucks, mobile units, office trailers, Horse Trailer)

24 Digital Video Replay Sources

22 Hard Cameras (including 2 Super Slo-Mo's and three "X-Mo's)

20 Hand-held Cameras (including two SteadyCams)

10 NEP Supershooter Trailers in the TV Compound

8 Digital Post-Production Facility (5 Avid Suites, 3 Final Cut Pro Suites)

5 Robotic Cameras (including two fixed on the Field Goal posts)

2 RF Hand-held cameras

1 "Cable-Cam" camera suspended above the playing field

1 Hard Camera for scenic views of Tampa Bay

Smackdown SPOILERS!



Here are the next two week's worth of Smackdown episodes from the WWE. Thanks to Pro Wrestling Insider for the spoilers. We get more Elimination Chamber participants plus someone turns on Edge (no, it's not Matt Hardy).

January 30th:
* - Matt Hardy comes out to cut his promo on why he turned on Jeff Hardy.
* - R-Truth defeated Brian kendrick.
* - MVP beat Chavo Guerrero.
* - Umaga topped Jimmy Wang Yang.
* - Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Undertaker defeated Mark Henry.
* - Big Show let's Edge know he is looking to win the WWE Title.
* - Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Big Show defeated Festus.
* - Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Triple H defeated Great Khali and Vladimir Kozlov in a three-way match.


February 6th:
* - Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Vladimir Kozlov won a battle royal.
* - Matt Hardy squashes Hurricane Helms after they argue on why Matt turned on Jeff Hardy.
* - MVP defeated Shelton Benjamin in non-title match.
* - Miz, John Morrison & The Brian Kendrick defeated Primo, Carlito & R-Truth.
* - Michelle McCool defeated Eve Torres.
* - Umaga destroyed Kung Fu Naki.
* - Triple H & Undertaker defeated Edge & Big Show after Show turned on Edge.

No Jeff Hardy on either show so I would guess that they would insert a "satellite" interview or pre-produced feature with Jeff.

Enjoy!

The PETA ad NBC rejected for the Super Bowl

You've heard about! You've read about it! Well, now see it for yourself! It's the Super Bowl ad for this Sunday's game that NBC rejected. For good reason! Check it out from PETA and You Tube -



Priceless!

We'll be giving you some more looks at the commercials as we go throughout the week.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Martina McBride - "Soundcheck"



For all you Martina McBride fans out there (and you know who you are!), we have news that she's taking part in this month's edition of "Soundcheck" presented by Unilever and Walmart. Martina puts together an entertaining set including her songs "How I Feel," "This One’s for the Girls," "Wrong Again," "I Love You" and "Independence Day."

Here's a clip from this month's original live music series, "Soundcheck" -





Martina McBride exclusive on Soundcheck
by soundcheck2008

For more -



Also, coming soon to "Soundcheck" is one of my favs, "The Fray."

Stay tuned and enjoy!

Pats hire Floyd Reese, promote Caserio

Who will replace Scott Pioli in Foxboro? Well, one part of that answer is Floyd Reese who has been hired as a senior football advisor. The other is Nick Caserio, who has been given the daily operations duties of the personnel department. So, it looks like Reese does contracts and business while Caserio makes player moves with Belichick.



The Boston Globe has a rundown of today's conference call with the Patriots and Mr. Reese, formerly the general manager with the Titans and most recently at ESPN as an analyst.

NBA on TNT: All-Star reserves on tap Thursday

From TNT Sports -

TNT NBA Thursday Continues with Exclusive Announcement of 2009 NBA All-Star Reserves

Doubleheader follows featuring Cavaliers/Magic and Spurs/Suns


TNT NBA Thursday will have the exclusive announcement of the 2009 NBA All-Star reserves on Thurs., January 29 during a special one hour edition of NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com beginning at 7 p.m. ET with Ernie Johnson (host), Kenny Smith (analyst), Chris Webber (analyst) and Gary Payton (analyst). TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2009 All-Star Game from Phoenix, AZ will air on Sun., February 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Following the pre-game show, TNT NBA Thursday will continue with an exciting doubleheader. The first game will feature a battle of Eastern Conference All-Star starters when LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers take on Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic at 8 p.m. ET. Marv Albert (play-by-play) will be courtside to call the action alongside Reggie Miller (analyst) and Mike Fratello (analyst) with David Aldridge reporting. The second game will feature two starters for the Western Conference All-Star squad when Amar’e Stoudemire and the Phoenix Suns host Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs at 10:30 p.m. ET. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Doug Collins (analyst) will be courtside with Craig Sager reporting. The night will conclude with the Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai with Johnson (host), Smith (analyst), Webber (analyst) and Payton (analyst).

Exclusive content, analysis from TNT announcers and replays of Inside the NBA are available on TNT OverTime on NBA.com. The broadband channel gives fans the inside scoop on players, coaches and storylines taking place around the league seven days a week. Check out the NBA on TNT pages on MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/nbaontnt) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com) to see the latest NBA on TNT schedule, news updates and special features from TNT announcers.

TNT NBA THURSDAY SCHEDULE:
Thu., January 29

7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Kenny Smith (analyst), Chris Webber (analyst) and Gary Payton (analyst).

8 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)

10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Phoenix Suns
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Craig Sager

Post-game Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Ernie Johnson (host), Kenny Smith (analyst), Chris Webber (analyst) and Gary Payton (analyst).

TNT NBA THURSDAY UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Thu., February 5


8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com

8:15 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers @ Boston Celtics
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

10:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks @ Utah Jazz
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and Cheryl Miller (reporter)

Post-game Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Cowher and Dierdorf break down Super Bowl XLIII



Just because CBS Sports is not broadcasting the Super Bowl this Sunday doesn't mean we don't get some keen insight into the game from their NFL crew. Today, we get Bill Cowher and Dan Dierdorf, with ties to the Steelers and Cardinals and their thoughts Super Bowl XLIII -

AUDIBLES WITH CBS SPORTS’ BILL COWHER AND DAN DIERDORF ABOUT SUPER BOWL XLIII

CBS Sports’ NFL TODAY studio analyst and former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bill Cowher, and NFL ON CBS game analyst and former Hall of Fame offensive lineman for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dan Dierdorf, give their thoughts on Super Bowl XLIII.

BILL COWHER

Keys to Super Bowl XLIII: The key to any game is the turnover situation. Kurt Warner has proven throughout the playoffs that he’s not only played productive football, but he’s played smart football. The Cardinals have run the ball enough to make the play-action work, and a big key from Arizona’s standpoint will be not to turn it over against the best pressure defense in the National Football League.

On having quarterbacks on each side that have both won Super Bowls: Playing in your first Super Bowl is quite an experience. The fact that Ben Roethlisberger was just there three years ago, I would be surprised if he didn’t play well. Throughout this year Ben has proven what type of quarterback he is particularly in the fourth quarter. That is what has been most impressive. The fact that both Kurt Warner and Ben have played in the Super Bowl before will lend itself to both of them not letting the stage get too big.

On Arizona Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt: I’m happy for Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm, Kevin Spencer, Mike Miller, all of those guys. What Kenny has done is turn around a culture in that city and with that football team. The run they have made is nothing less than spectacular. Certainly you would like that to culminate with a victory. Without a doubt he has changed the whole persona of the Arizona Cardinals franchise and its history with this year.

On Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin: Mike Tomlin has come in and put his blueprints on this team. Certainly with Dick LeBeau and the same staff that was there three years ago in that Super Bowl, one can argue that Dick’s defense this year is one of the greatest defenses of all time. When you look at the starters on this football team, I believe 15 of them were there three years ago. So there is a lot of experience. The experience factor will be big. Mike has been to one Super Bowl as an assistant. That will help him tremendously.

On experience: From a player’s standpoint, the experience goes to Pittsburgh. But from a coach’s standpoint, there is a lot of experience on both sides of the ball. I couldn’t be happier for both staffs.

DAN DIERDORF

On Cardinals making Super Bowl: I’m thrilled and delighted. You don’t want to be a part of that graphic that is put up when someone talks about how long it’s been since a certain team has or hasn’t won a playoff game, or how long it’s been since they’ve had a playoff game at home. This current edition of the Cardinals team has removed the Cardinals from that list. Now the list just got a little smaller and for that I’m grateful. I’m proud and happy for them since it’s the only team I played for during my 13-year career in the NFL. Even though it was here in St. Louis and now they’re in Arizona, it’s still the same organization. I played for the Bidwill family, have known them all of my adult life and am very proud of them.

Keys to Super Bowl XLIII: The Cardinals are decided underdogs in this game on so many different levels. It’s going to be harder for them because it’s their first time in the Super Bowl. Granted Kurt Warner has been there before, but the vast majority of these guys haven’t. They can’t act like tourists in New York City staring up at all of the tall skyscrapers. They can’t get caught looking up because the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be looking down. The Steelers are going to have their eyes fixed on what they have to do to win this game.

On Expectations: The Steelers went to training camp fully expecting to be where they are. I don’t know that anyone went to training camp for the Cardinals expecting to go to the Super Bowl. There is a big psychological difference there. Hopefully the leadership they get from Kurt Warner and Ken Whisenhunt, and members of his coaching staff, who have been to and played in Super Bowls both as players and coaches, like Russ Grimm, will be able to pass that experience along to the rest of the team and they will take their cue.

On Super Bowl XLIII: The rule of thumb that I’ve always found in my career is that whenever a really good offense meets a really good defense, more often than not it’s the defense that usually wins. It just seems to work out that way. There is so much riding on Kurt Warner’s ability to engineer a passing game. That is the only way for the Cardinals to be successful against Pittsburgh. The Cardinals are not capable of running the ball for 200 yards against the Steelers. Despite Edgerrin James’ recent success, they are a passing team. They have to throw the ball, and throw it well if they are going to win. I’m not sure they can do that against this Steelers defense. It’s going to have to come down to Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. Somebody is going to have to repeatedly make big, big, highlight film-kind of plays against the Steelers for the Cardinals to win.

On Steelers’ defense: They are so good. Their pressure is extraordinary but their coverage is excellent as well. They are good at all three levels defensively. They have outstanding play at the line. They’re strong on the corners. They’re strong at the safety with Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu, and of course the Dick LeBeau factor. They are fun to watch defensively.

On Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger: Ben Roethlisberger is looking for redemption in this game. I doubt there is another player in this world wearing a Super Bowl ring that looks at it quite the way Ben Roethlisberger looks at his. He was so disappointed in his performance in winning Super Bowl XL. He is seeking redemption in this game and will be a man on a mission.

"Today" at Super Bowl XLIII




Here are some notes on what the gang from the "Today Show" will be doing this Sunday for their pregame coverage at Super Bowl XLIII. Thanks to NBC for the details -

'TODAY' GOES TO THE SUPER BOWL

The "Today" Show Will Broadcast a Special Two-Hour Program Live From Buccaneer Cove in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Super Bowl Sunday

Matt Lauer Sits Down With President Barack Obama Live During NBC's Super Bowl Pre-Game

"Today" Kicks Off Its Super Bowl Coverage Thursday, January 29 with Al Roker Live from Tampa



New York - January 27, 2009 - America's first family is traveling to Tampa to experience America's signature sporting event, the Super Bowl. In a special edition of "Today" on Super Bowl Sunday, February 1, Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Ann Curry will broadcast live from the famed Buccaneer Cove at Raymond James Stadium, and Matt Lauer will broadcast live from the White House lawn. As previously announced, Lauer will be in our nation's capital for his exclusive sit down interview with President Barack Obama, which will air live during NBC's Super Bowl Pre-Game. More of Lauer's interview will air Monday, February 2 on "Today," with Lauer live from Washington.

During "Today's" special two-hour Super Bowl program, beginning at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT, Meredith, Al and Ann will give viewers a rare behind-the-scenes look the sights, sounds, parties and food of the big game as well as the preparations that go into Super Sunday. They will also explore the city of Tampa, and experience the local Super Bowl fever. And, NBC's Tiki Barber will get a VIP tour of the stadium from his twin brother and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Ronde Barber.

"Today" kicks-off its Super Bowl coverage with Al Roker broadcasting live from historic Ybor City, Tampa's Latin Quarter, Thursday, January 29. Meredith Vieira will join him Friday, January 30 to broadcast live from the NFL Experience, the pro football interactive fan festival set up at the stadium. For a special Saturday edition of "Today," January 31, Al Roker will be joined by NBC News' Jenna Wolfe live from Universal Studios in Orlando with Lester Holt
live from Studio 1A in New York. The festivities in Tampa will continue though Monday, February 2, with a split edition of "Today" as Meredith and Al recap the big game from Tampa, and Matt and Ann broadcast live from New York.

MLB Network: Casey at the mic & Joba joins 'em in studio

A couple of MLB Network notes today as the Sean Casey analyst deal is made officially as well as news that Joba Chamberlain will be on "Hot Stove" tonight. Here are the full details -

MLB NETWORK ADDS SEAN CASEY TO ON-AIR TALENT LINEUP

Three-Time All-Star Joins Versatile Roster as Studio Analyst


SECAUCUS, N.J. – MLB Network today announced that Sean Casey, who announced his retirement from baseball today after a 12-year Major League Baseball career, has joined its roster of on-air talent. Casey will join the cast of MLB Tonight, the live, nightly studio show that will be the signature program of the new network, and Hot Stove, a live, nightly off-season studio show, joining Barry Larkin, Al Leiter, Joe Magrane, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams as a studio analyst. All of the on-air personalities will appear on both shows, as well as other programming across MLB Network, which launched on January 1, 2009, in approximately 50 million homes as the largest network debut in cable history.

“Sean’s reputation within baseball as one of the most likable players in the game will help him transition easily into an on-air role,” said Tony Petitti, President and Chief Executive Officer of MLB Network. “We have no doubt he’ll be able to jump right in and add to the great chemistry we’ve already developed with our studio team.”

“I really don’t feel like I’m retiring, I just feel like I’m moving on to the next stage of my career,” said Casey. “Joining MLB Network is allowing me to do the two things that are most important to me, and that’s staying in baseball while getting to spend more time with my family.”

A three-time National League All-Star as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, Casey batted .302 with 130 home runs and 735 RBI in his career. He played for the Cleveland Indians (1997), the Reds (1998-2005), the Pittsburgh Pirates (2006), the Detroit Tigers (2006-07) and the Boston Red Sox (2008) and finished among the N.L.’s top 10 hitters three times in his career while batting over .300 in six seasons. In 2004, the University of Richmond graduate was the recipient of the Ernie Lombardi Award as the Reds’ Most Valuable Player. After being dealt from the Pirates to the Tigers at the trade deadline in 2006, Casey helped lead the team to its first American League pennant in 22 years. He was the Tigers’ top hitter in the postseason, going 16-for-37 overall – a batting average of .432 – and he starred in the 2006 World Series, going 9-for-17 (.529) with a pair of home runs and five RBI in his first Fall Classic. Known as “The Mayor” for being one of baseball’s most outgoing and likeable players, Casey was voted “the friendliest player in baseball” by fellow players in a Sports Illustrated poll in May 2007.

MLB Tonight will air live beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET until the final MLB game of the night ends between Monday and Saturday, and will be based out of MLB Network’s headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. The program will feature live look-ins of games in progress, updates, highlights, reporting and analysis. Hot Stove airs during the off-season at 7:00 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and features news, reports, and analysis of the moves clubs are making and planning in preparation for the upcoming season.

MLB Network launched in approximately 50 million cable and satellite homes on January 1, 2009 as the largest debut in cable television history, exceeding any other cable television launch by approximately 20 million. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans. For more information, go to mlbnetwork.com.

YANKEES PITCHER JOBA CHAMBERLAIN INTERVIEWED ON TONIGHT’S HOT STOVE

Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain stopped by MLB Network studios today for an interview that will air on tonight’s Hot Stove, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. Interviewed by Matt Vasgersian and Al Leiter in Studio 42, Chamberlain discussed his thoughts on the upcoming season, Andy Pettitte returning to the team, CC Sabathia joining the team, and being part of the farewell to Yankee Stadium.

Highlights of the interview include:

ON BEING IN THE STARTING ROTATION THIS YEAR:

“It’s just nice to know what I’m going to do the entire year. For me, mentally it’s calming. You know, every fifth day I know what I’m going to do.”

ON ANDY PETTITTE RETURNING TO THE YANKEES:

“I think it brings a staple back to this uniform. I think he’s going to help the younger guys out a lot and he’s going to win you games.”

ON NEW TEAMMATE CC SABATHIA:

“I got the opportunity to meet CC right after he signed. It was great, just to be there, just to socialize with him. He’s more than the uniform. He’s a fun guy to talk with; I think he’s going to fit in great. You know, playing against us, I think his ERA was like negative 2, it’s nice to have him on our side.”

ON COMPARING JOE GIRARDI AND JOE TORRE AS MANAGERS:

“Joe Girardi is a younger guy, he likes to lift weights. He makes us feel like wimps lifting dumbbells, but he’s fun. Torre was a little more relaxed, more laid back. It’s just different.”

ON WHAT HE’S LEARNED FROM MARIANO RIVERA:

“I think, just to pay attention. When you’re out in the bullpen for most of the game, you do kind of weird things like how many pieces of gum you can fit in your mouth and stuff, but there’s a time you got to lock down and focus. I have ADD so it’s important to keep that focus for when it’s time to get out there.”

ON THE FINAL GAME AT YANKEE STADIUM:

“The tradition and the legacy that everybody’s left in the stadium, not only baseball but football and boxing, a lot’s happened there. Knowing the guys who put the uniform on before, you get chills. It’s nice to put the uniform on and know that 50-60 years people know that you did it well and you did it right. I cleaned out my locker and I took my cleats; I know that sounds kind of weird, but I thought about framing them, actually I was looking at them the other day. I also took my uniform, but nothing else, really.”

Super Bowl XLIII Entertainment Notes

Just in case you're wondering who's doing what this Sunday at Super Bowl XLIII, we'll break it down for you -

Pre Show Party Outside the Stadium
Journey and John Legend

"America the Beautiful"
Faith Hill

"National Anthem"
Jennifer Hudson

Halftime Show
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Coin toss:
Roger Craig (Super Bowl XXIII, 1989), John Elway (Super Bowl XXXIII, 1999) and Lynn Swann (Super Bowl XIII, 1979)

Home team:
Arizona Cardinals

Visiting team:
Pittsburgh Steelers

Back with more later!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Matt Lauer gets sit down with President Obama for Super Bowl Sunday

Yes, President Barack Obama will be part of NBC's pregame coverage for Super Bowl XLIII. "Today" show host Matt Lauer gets the sit down with the new President. Here's the full release from NBC -

NBC NEWS' MATT LAUER SITS DOWN WITH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA LIVE DURING NBC'S SUPER BOWL PREGAME

The Interview Will Air Live From The White House Sunday, February 1 During NBC's Super Bowl Pregame - More of the Interview Will Air Monday, February 2 on NBC News' "Today"

NEW YORK – January 26, 2009 - - NBC News' Matt Lauer will sit down with President Barack Obama for a live interview during NBC's Super Bowl Pregame Show. The interview will be the President's first television interview from the White House since his inauguration. The live interview will air Sunday, February 1 during NBC's Super Bowl Pregame. More of the interview will air Monday, February 2 on NBC News' "Today."

NBC Sports' coverage of the Super Bowl begins at Noon ET, Sunday, February 1.

Verducci talks Torre book on MLB Network



From the MLB Network, we get news that Tom Verducci will be a guest tonight on Hot Stove to talk about "The Yankee Years" and Joe Torre. Verducci was on WFAN this afternoon with Mike Francesca as well. You can listen to that on WFAN's website.

MLB NETWORK INSIDER TOM VERDUCCI ON TONIGHT’S HOT STOVE TO DISCUSS HIS NEW BOOK WITH JOE TORRE

Former Yankees Pitcher and Broadcaster Jim Kaat Also Appears In-Studio


MLB Network insider and Sports Illustrated Senior Writer Tom Verducci will discuss recent reports surrounding his upcoming book, co-authored with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, called “The Yankee Years” on tonight’s Hot Stove, beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET. Matt Vasgersian will interview Verducci about the book, and later in the show former Yankees pitcher and broadcaster Jim Kaat will be on hand to offer his take on the situation.

An excerpt from “The Yankee Years” was released this afternoon and can be viewed here.

Tony Dungy on Letterman!



Tony Dungy's staying up late! Yes, he's going onto the "Late Show with David Letterman" this Thursday. Here's the release from CBS -

THIS JUST IN…from CBS Entertainment

RETIRING INDIANAPOLIS COLTS COACH TONY DUNGY TO VISIT CBS's "LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN," THURSDAY, JAN. 29


NEW YORK, Jan. 26 — Tony Dungy, who recently retired from football as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, talks about his decision to leave the game when he visits the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Thursday, Jan. 29 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. His retirement comes after 31 years in the NFL, first as a player and later as a coach. Dungy led the Colts for seven seasons and helped take them to victory in Super Bowl XLI, becoming the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl. The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Maria Pope, Jude Brennan and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.

Don't forget that Joe Torre also visits the Late Show next Tuesday too to hype his new book, "The Yankee Years."

CBS tees off its golf season

The official release from CBS Sports to start you putting and driving for your golf season. It's my official goal to finally get back on the links this summer! Anyway, enought about me and more about the pro's on the links -

CBS SPORTS TEES OFF 59th YEAR BROADCASTING GOLF WITH MOST EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE IN NETWORK TELEVISION HISTORY

JIM NANTZ AND NICK FALDO ANCHOR CBS SPORTS’ GOLF COVERGE

CBS SPORTS’ 2009 PGA TOUR TEES OFF IN ARIZONA AT “FBR OPEN” THIS WEEKEND

The Masters Makes 54th Consecutive Appearance on CBS; Network Broadcasts 19th Consecutive PGA Championship



CBS Sports begins its 59th year broadcasting golf in 2009, continuing to offer viewers the most comprehensive lineup in the history of network television. CBS Sports will broadcast 25 golf tournaments, totaling more than 150 hours, including the Mastersâ, PGA Championship, 20 PGA TOUR events, two LPGA TOUR events and one Champions Tour event. CBS Sports tees off the 2009 season at the FBR Open on Saturday, Jan. 31 and Sunday, Feb. 1 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET, both days), live from TPC of Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Jim Nantz, now in his 24th year overall covering golf for CBS Sports, serves as anchor for the Networks’ golf coverage. Nick Faldo, winner of six majors and more than 40 tournaments worldwide, returns for his third year as lead analyst alongside Nantz in the 18th tower. Nantz and Faldo are complemented by CBS Sports’ award-winning golf announce team of Peter Oosterhuis, Gary McCord, David Feherty, Peter Kostis, Ian Baker-Finch, Bobby Clampett, Bill Macatee and Verne Lundquist.

In 2009, CBS Sports will broadcast all 20 PGA TOUR events in HDTV. CBS Sports will continue to broadcast the Masters and the PGA Championship in HDTV. The 2000 Masters was the first golf tournament presented live in HDTV on network television.

Highlights of the 2009 schedule:

20 PGA TOUR events: FBR Open, Buick Invitational, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Northern Trust Open, Verizon Heritage, Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Wachovia Championship, Valero Texas Open (formally AT&T Classic), HP Byron Nelson Championship, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the Memorial Tournament Presented by Morgan Stanley, Stanford St. Jude Championship, Travelers Championship, AT&T National, John Deere Classic, RBC Canadian Open, Buick Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Wyndham Championship and The Barclays.

The Masters, the most renowned golf tournament and the longest-running sports event on CBS Sports will be showcased for the 54th consecutive year from Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Coverage includes a pair of 15-minute highlight shows recounting early-round action on Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10 (11:35-11:50 PM, ET, both nights). Live coverage of the third round will be broadcast on Saturday, April 11 (3:30-7:00 PM, ET) and live 18-hole final-round coverage will be presented on Sunday, April 12 (2:00-7:00 PM, ET).

The 91st PGA Championship, the season’s final major which annually hosts the strongest field in championship golf, will be broadcast by CBS Sports for the 19th consecutive year. Coverage begins with highlights of early-round action on Thursday, Aug. 13 and Friday, Aug. 14 (12:37-1:07 AM, ET, both nights). Live, 18-hole coverage of the third and final rounds will be broadcast on Saturday, Aug. 15 and Sunday, Aug. 16 (2:00-7:00 PM, ET, both days) from Hazletine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.

The final round of the LPGA’s first major of the year, the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship will be broadcast on CBS Sports on Sunday, April 5 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET). The LPGA Ginn Open will be broadcast on Saturday, April 18 (1:30-3:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, April 19 (1:00-3:00 PM, ET). The Champions Tour will be featured on Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26 (1:00-3:00 PM, ET, both days) with the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf at Savannah Harbor Golf Resort in Savannah, Ga.

CBS Sports also will broadcast three PGA TOUR Specials and two PGA of America Specials and a PGA Championship Preview Show in addition to other golf specials throughout the year.

The complete CBS Sports 2009 golf broadcast schedule follows.

2009 CBS GOLF SCHEDULE
Jan. 31 (3:00-6:00PM) FBR Open TPC of Scottsdale
Feb. 1 (3:00-6:30PM) Scottsdale, AZ

Feb. 7 (3:00-6:00 PM) Buick Invitational Torrey Pines Golf Course
Feb. 8 (3:00-6:30PM) South Course, La Jolla, CA

Feb. 14 (3:00-6:00PM) AT&T Pebble Beach Pebble Beach Golf Links
Feb. 15 (3:00-6:30PM) National Pro-Am Spyglass Hill Golf Club
Feb. 21 (3:00-6:00PM) Northern Trust Open Riviera CC
Feb. 22 (3:00-6:30PM) Pacific Palisades, CA

Apr. 5 (3:00-6:00PM) LPGA Kraft Nabisco Mission Hills CC in Rancho Mirage, CA.

Apr. 9 (11:35-11:50PM) The MastersÃ’ Augusta National Golf Club
Apr. 10 (11:35-11:50PM) Augusta, GA.
Apr. 11 (3:30-7:00PM)
Apr. 12 (2:00-7:00PM)

Apr. 18 (1:30-3:00PM) LPGA Ginn Open Reunion Resort and Club
Apr. 19 (1:00-3:00PM) Reunion, FL.

Apr. 18 (3:00-6:00PM) Verizon Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links
Apr. 19 (3:00-6:00PM) Hilton Head Island, SC.

Apr. 25 (1:00-3:00PM) Liberty Mutual Legends Savannah Harbor Golf Resort
Apr. 26 (1:00-3:00PM) of Golf (Champions Tour) Savannah, GA

Apr. 25 (3:00-6:00PM) Zurich Classic TPC of Louisiana
Apr. 26 (3:00-6:00PM) of New Orleans Avondale, LA

May 2 (3:00-6:00PM) Wachovia Championship Quail Hollow Country Club
May 3 (3:00-6:00PM) Charlotte, NC

May 16 (3:00-6:00PM) Valero Texas Open LaCantera Golf Club
May 17 (3:00-6:00PM) (was AT&T Classic) San Antonio, TX

May 23 (3:00-6:00PM) HP Byron Nelson TPC Las Colinas
May 24 (3:00-6:00PM) Championship San Antonio, TX

May 30 (3:00-6:00PM) Crowne Plaza Invitational Colonial Country Club
May 31 (3:00-6:00PM) at Colonial Ft. Worth, TX

June 6 (3:00-6:00PM) The Memorial Tournament Muirfield Village Golf Club
June 7 (2:30-6:00PM) Presented by Morgan Stanley in Dublin, OH

June 13 (3:00-6:00PM) Stanford St. Jude TPC Southwind
June 14 (3:00-6:00PM) Championship Memphis, TN

June 27 (3:00-6:00PM) Travelers Tournament Players Club
June 28 (3:00-6:00PM) Championship at River Highlands in Cromwell, CT

July 4 (3:00-6:00PM) AT&T National Congressional Country Club
July 5 (3:00-6:30PM) Bethesda, MD

July 11 (3:00-6:00PM) John Deere Classic TPC at Deere Run
July 12 (3:00-6:00PM) Silvis, IL


July 25 (3:00-6:00PM) RBC Canadian Open Glenn Abbey Golf Club
July 26 (3:00-6:00PM) Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Aug. 1 (3:00-6:00PM) Buick Open Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club
Aug. 2 (3:00-6:00PM) Grand Blanc, MI

Aug. 8 (1:00-6:00PM) WGC-Bridgestone Firestone Country Club
Aug. 9 (1:00-6:00PM) Invitational Akron, OH

Aug. 13 (12:37-1:07AM) PGA Championship Hazletine National Golf Club
Aug. 14 (12:37-1:07AM) Chaska, MN
Aug. 15 (2:00-7:00PM)
Aug. 16 (2:00-7:00PM)

Aug. 22 (2:00-5:00PM) Wyndham Championship Sedgefield Country Club
Aug .23 (2:00-5:00PM) Greensboro, NC

Aug. 29 (3:00-6:00PM) The Barclays Liberty National Golf Club
Aug. 30 (2:00-6:00PM) Jersey City, NJ

Rodney Harrison added to NBC's Super Bowl XLIII coverage



From NBC Sports, we get news today that Rodney Harrison of the Patriots will be on the NBC pregame coverage of Sunday's Super Bowl XLIII between the Cardinals and Steelers. Here's the full release from NBC, who should be announcing officially later this week that Pat head coach Bill Belichick will also be on the pregame as well. Rodney's been very good on the NFL Network recently.

TWO-TIME SUPER BOWL CHAMPION RODNEY HARRISON JOINS NBC SPORTS SUPER BOWL XLIII COVERAGE


TAMPA - January 26, 2009 -
Rodney Harrison, who earned two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots, will join NBC's Super Bowl XLIII Pregame Show it was announced today. In a 15-year-career, Harrison has made three Pro Bowl appearances and is the only player in NFL history with both 30 career sacks and 30 career interceptions.

NBC's Super Bowl XLIII Pregame Show kicks off at Noon ET and will be led by its "Football Night in America" studio team of Bob Costas (host), Cris Collinsworth (co-host), Keith Olbermann (co-host), Dan Patrick (co-host), Jerome Bettis (analyst), Tiki Barber (analyst) and Peter King (reporter). Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren and Matt Millen were also recently announced as contributors.

In addition to his two Super Bowl rings, Harrison was part of perhaps the most famous play in Super Bowl history, attempting to defend David Tyree's miracle reception in last year's Super Bowl XLII. During NBC's pregame coverage, Harrison will discuss his role in Super Bowl lore as part of a feature on the Tyree catch.

Prior to joining the Patriots, Harrison played nine seasons with the San Diego Chargers. In his rookie season, the Chargers made the Super Bowl but lost to the San Francisco 49ers. The hard-hitting safety has seven interceptions in 13 career NFL playoff games. Harrison's 2008 season was cut short due to injury.

Off the field, Harrison's Patriots' teammates honored him with the 2006 Ed Block Courage award for the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. In 2005, he participated in an officiating internship at NFL Europe's training camp in Tampa, Fla., to learn more about the responsibilities of an NFL referee in anticipation of a potential post-football career. Harrison is an avid Madden football player, often competing anonymously against fans online.

"Trust Me" tonight on TNT

It's the series premiere of TNT's "Trust Me" tonight at 10pm with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanaugh. We reviewed the first two episodes last month, so take a look if you missed it. I think it's going to be a hit!

Here's a sneak peek too from my friends at TNT -



Plus, here's a little synopsis from TNT as well -

Before & After” – Premieres Monday, Jan. 26, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Rothman, Greene & Mohr art director Mason McGuire and copywriter Conner are called back to Chicago from a business trip in Los Angeles to rush a new campaign into production. The product they are selling is a new cell phone, and their quick-tempered boss, Stu, is determined to present a campaign that will blow the client’s socks off. But when fate steps in, Mason and Conner find themselves competing with other creative groups within the agency for dibs on the account. Complicating their creative flow is the fact that Stu’s boss, Tony Mink, has chosen to promote Mason, which doesn’t sit well with Conner. Meanwhile, new girl on the block Sarah Krajicek-Hunter, an award-winning copywriter who was supposed to be partnered with Stu, feels adrift without the office she was promised or an assignment worthy of her talents.

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Royal Rumble WWE PPV Results

From Detroit, Michigan on Sunday, we give you the results from the 22nd Royal Rumble -

* - Jack Swagger retains the ECW Championship by pinning Matt Hardy.

* - Melina is your new Women's Champion after beating Beth Phoenix.

* - John Cena remains your World Champion by topping JBL. Shawn Michaels superkicks JBL AND John Cena, but leaves the ring after putting JBL on top of Cena. Cena wins after an F'U to JBL.

* - Edge wins the WWE Title for the 7th time when Matt Hardy turns on Jeff Hardy and nails him with a stiff chair shot to let Edge win the NO DQ Title match.

* - Randy Orton is your Royal Rumble winner for 2009. Your final four were Legacy (Orton, Ted Dibiase, JR and Cody Runnels) and Triple H. Predictably, Triple H eliminated Dibiase and Runnels and then Orton comes from behind to put Triple H over the top rope. Now the fun begins with Mr. McMahon on Monday Night RAW tomorrow night.

Not bad on our predictions as we predicted Randy Orton, John Cena, Jack Swagger and Melina (albeit by DQ) as winners before the PPV.

Best match of the night by far was Edge vs. Jeff Hardy with the heel turn by Matt Hardy. We did get RVD coming back for one night in the Royal Rumble in his home state of Michigan, but no Christian yet. We'll have to wait for that one.

Enjoy!

Say it ain't so Joe! Torre's book reveals rift with Yankees



So, maybe things weren't so rosy in New York for former Yankees skipper Joe Torre. In his new book, "The Yankee Years," the current Dodgers manager tells all about his rift with the team, including general manager Brian Cashman and The Boss, George Steinbrenner and other behind the scenes looks like how teammates called Alex Rodriguez "A-Fraud."

Classic.

ESPN's Buster Olney has more as does the NY Post.

Torre is schedule to be on "The Late Show with David Letterman" on Tuesday, February 3rd. That's must see TV!

Veritek and Casey futures plus Canseco back in the ring with Danny Partridge

A couple of Red Sox notes to send your way on this very chilly (5 degrees!) here in Rhode Island.

* - The Boston Globe's Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox and Jason Veritek could be closer to a two-year deal now that a new formal offer is in the hands of Scott Boras.

* - Sean Casey is retiring and headed to the MLB Network, says Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.

And, just in case you were wondering, Jose Canseco and Danny Bonaduce fought to a draw in their three round fight Saturday night in Pennsylvania. The two are already talking rematch!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Royal Rumble Preview

It's year 22 for the Royal Rumble and Sunday night in Detroit, the Road to Wrestemania begins for the WWE. Since it's one of four major WWE PPV's of the year, we'll give you our detailed preview for each match.

WWE Women's Title Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Melina
Beth keeps the title as Melina wins on DQ as Rosa Mendez tries to interfere in the match when Santino Marella sends her in to help. It doesn't work but Beth keeps the title and it sets up a nice little feud between Beth and Rosa with Santino caught in the comedic middle.
Winner: Melina by DQ

ECW Title Match: Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy
Unfortunately, they not going to drop the title again after just two weeks. Besides, Matt Hardy is about to go full boar into the Jeff Hardy/Edge/Christian storyline on Smackdown leading to a great feud and more TLC matches!
Winner: Jack Swagger - ECW Champion

WWE Title Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Edge
I know that everyone is calling for an Edge win, but if that were to happen, that would be the third straight PPV that the WWE title has changed hands. I don't think that's going to happen. I do think we get a screwjob finish but with Jeff keeping the title. We could get a Christian return and a Matt run-in for the save here. Remember, when it all goes wrong for someone, they are due a positive. Here's Jeff's positive: he keeps the championship.
Winner: Jeff Hardy - WWE Champion

World Title Match: John Cena vs. JBL
The only question is does Shawn Michaels interfere to win the title for JBL or interfere to screw him out of the title. I'm banking on the screwjob to JBL that will result in more drama in the Royal Rumble. Now, we'll have JBL vs. HBK feud to continue and what's next for Cena? Stay tuned.
Winner: John Cena - World Champion

The Royal Rumble Match
Who gets the #1 spot - it's either Randy Orton or Triple H as Vince McMahon and/or Vickie Guerrerro get their revenge on them by making their Royal Rumble match a marathon. I think that since HBK cost JBL the World Title, JBL tries to use HBK to win the rumble and orders him into the match with the provision that if he wins it, he has to hand it over the championship match rights to JBL. In the end, it won't matter as Michaels won't win it. Randy Orton wins it with Vince McMahon's wrath waiting for him the next night at RAW. Orton may win the right to face a champion at Wrestelmania, but will he keep it?
Winner: Randy Orton

I know what you're saying - no title changes. Yet, with enough controversy in both matches, it sets up nicely for multiple entries into the Elimination Chamber Matches set for No Way Out. How's Jeff Hardy, Edge, Christian, Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov for the WWE Title and John Cena, JBL, HBK, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton for the World Championship? Should be fun!

Send in your predictions to "The Crowe's Nest" right here and we'll try to post some on Sunday before the PPV.

Enjoy!

Happy Anniversary Hulk-a-mania!

Can it really be 25 years since Hulk-a-mania really got its start? January 23, 1984 was the night that Hulk Hogan beat the Iron Sheik in Madison Square Garden to win the WWF (now WWE) Championship and the golden age of Hulk Hogan began its run with Vince McMahon. Take a look back at the match that started it all, courtesy of the WWE and You Tube -



Happy Anniversary Hulk!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Feel-Good: Herm Edwards and Ranting NFL style

In honor of Herm Edwards, who today was fired after three seasons in Kansas City, we give you the best coaching rants in the NFL as part of today's "Friday Feel-Good."

But first, we'll go behind the mic with Herm, including the infamous "play to win the game" presser -



"NFL Coaching Rants"



Enjoy!

Perfect marriage in Kansas City

OK, Kansas City Chiefs fans, you can start smiling again! The Herm Edwards is over and let the Mike Shanahan era begin!

That's right, Scott Pioli did the deed today by sending my man Herm packing and is in discussion to bring Shanahan in. It's the perfect marriage as Shanahan is still the 2nd best coach in the league (next to Bill Belichick of course!) and now he has a top personnel guy to give him the groceries he'll need to win.

Somewhere in Southern New England, Johnny "Sun Chips" is smiling. You deserve it my friend!