Saturday, October 31, 2009

NFL Week 8 Predictions

For your week 8 enjoyment, here are the fateful TCN NFL predictions. Follow them at your own risk.

Cowboys 27 Seahawks 20
Can you say Romo-to-Austin for a couple of TD's?!

Ravens 23 Broncos 20
Say goodbye to being undefeated Denver, even though they are the third best team when coming off a bye.

Lions 20 Rams 17
This one could get entertaining as neither defense can stop anyone.

Giants 17 Eagles
The sudden slumber of the Giants continues, yet they still sneak away with the victory.

Bills 23 Texans 21
How on Earth can I predict that the Bills get back to .500? Just a hunch I guess.

Titans 30 Jaguars 26
Finally, the victory has come back to Jeff Fisher's team!

Chargers 31 Raiders 13
San Diego feasts again on its hapless AFC West compatriot.

Packers 31 Vikings 28
The number of Brett Favre Mentions should number somewhere around 2,430.

Cardinals 35 Panthers 17
The Cards feast again on the Panthers, just like last season's NFC Play-offs.

Saints 35 Falcons 31
This has the makings of one of the best MNF games of the season. This one could rival Jets/Dolphins going back-and-forth.

Enjoy!

Happy Halloween!

In honor of Halloween, we give you a couple of the WWE Halloween videos, including a sexy Stephanie McMahon as a witch with Eric Bishoff and the gang!

Smackdown Halloween Party


Cyber Sunday



Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

GLEE! set to sing National Anthem at World Series

Attention GLEE! fans. Set your DVR's for Saturday night's World Series game 3.



Enjoy!

FOX World Series Ratings

From Fox Sports -

WORLD SERIES GAME 2 DOMINATES PRIME TIME

Audience is +48% Better Than Game 2 ’08; Rating +44%

Biggest Year-to-Year Gains for Any World Series Game in 19 Years!


The 2009 WORLD SERIES is dominating prime time and posting significant gains over last year. Game 2 between the Phillies and Yankees averaged 11.7/19 household rating/share and 18.9 million viewers last night on FOX according to “fast national” ratings issued by Nielsen Media Research. The 11.7 rating represents a huge +44% gain over last year’s 8.1/13 for Game 2 of Phillies-Rays, while the 18.9 million viewers is a +48% increase over Game 2 ’08. Both percentage increases are the biggest year-to-year gains for any World Series game in 19 years (Game 4 of the 1990 Reds-A’s World Series -- +46% rating, +52% audience -- over Game 4 ‘89).

Last night’s contest is the highest-rated and most-watched Game 2 since 2004 (15.9/24, 25.5 mill.).

The Primetime portion of the game also averaged an 11.7/19 (19.0 mill.) from 8:00-11:00 PM ET, making last night the highest-rated and most-watched Thursday night on any network since the BCS Championship Game in January. The game earned a 5.7 in prime time among Adults 18-49, FOX’s best Thursday night in over seven months. Game 2 easily controlled a night of tough competition. The prime-time 5.7 (the entire game drew a 5.8 adults 18-49) beat second-place ABC by +50% for the night (3.8).

PHILADELPHIA again topped all markets with a 42.5/57, a +38% gain over last year's 30.7/44 for Game 2 of the Phillies-Rays WS. NEW YORK tallied a 29.8/44, the second-best Yankee Game Two of the last ten years, beating 2003, 2001, and 1999 (the 2000 Subway Series was of course stronger, 42.1/56). A solid outing from former Red Sox superstar Pedro Martinez juiced ratings in Boston (15.7/26) and Providence (15.6/25), and those markets were up +15% and +24% respectively over their Game 1 ratings.

2009 World Series Summary

The first two games of the 2009 World Series earned 11.8/19 household rating/share, and has averaged 19.2 million viewers, a +37% gain over last year in rating (vs. 8.6/14) and a +40% increase in viewership (vs. 13.8 mill.). By both measures this is the best start to a World Series since 2004, when the Red Sox were looking to snap an 86-year World Championship drought. Among Adults 18-49, the Series is up +39% (6.1 vs. 4.4) and is also pacing at a five-year high. If we compare the World Series to top-rated season-to-date prime-time shows, the Fall Classic would rank No. 2 in households (behind NCIS) and No. 4 in A18-49.

Pedro dealed but Yankees deal Phillies first loss

It was vintage Pedro Martinez last night at Yankee Stadium, but a pair of solo home runs by Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui did him in as the Yankees draw even in the World Series with a 3-1 win in game 2 last night.

Here are the highlights, courtesy of FOX, ESPN and MLB.



Game 3 in Philly Saturday night. It's expected to be near 70 degrees. Imagine that for Halloween night!

The Wiggles!

It's the one day off from work until next year and this is where I'll be today with my lovely wife Laura and daughter Abbie! We're off to see The Wiggles at the Ryan Center down at URI! We'll be sure to post lots of pictures on Abbie's site later today!



What a way to start off the Halloween weekend, right!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Heisman Trophy Odds

From our friends at Playblackjack.com, we get the latest Heisman Trophy Odds. My guess is that Tim Tebow puts up a late charge. I absolutely love the speed and quickness of Clemson's CJ Spiller. He's going to be a difference-maker on Sundays next Fall.

Heisman Candidate Odds
(all are bet $100 to win "amount")

Mark Ingram (RB) Alabama +300
Jimmy Clausen (QB) Notre Dame +400
Tim Tebow (QB) Florida +500
Colt McCoy (QB) Texas +600
Kellen Moore (QB) Boise State +1000
Case Keenum (QB) Houston +1500
C.J.Spiller (RB) Clemson +2000
Jacquizz Rodgers (RB) Oregon State +2500
Noel Devine (RB) West Virginia +3000
Dan LeFevour (QB) Central Michigan +3500
Jordan Shipley (WR) Texas +4000
Golden Tate (WR) Notre Dame +4500
Ndamukong Suh (DT) Nebraska +5000
Ryan Matthews (RB) Fresno State +7500

* The Heisman Winner will be graded when the winner is announced December 12th 2009.

NFL on FOX sets record

Even more good news for FOX!

NFL ON FOX SETS DOUBLEHEADER AUDIENCE RECORD

FOX Sports kicked off an extraordinary week on Sunday (10/25) with the most-watched NFL Doubleheader in FOX history. Sunday's WEEK 7 twin-bill averaged a remarkable 14.1/29 and 23.5 million viewers, which sets a new audience record. FOX's previous high of 22.9 million was set on 11/12/95 (led by a 49ers/Cowboys national game). Sunday's 14.1/29 average rating makes this FOX's third highest-rated NFL doubleheader ever.

Sunday's Doubleheader was kick-started by a record-setting (rating & viewership) 11.4/25 (18.5 million viewers) regional window in which most markets saw Vikings-Steelers. The national game, led by Atlanta-Dallas, earned a 16.8/32 (28.4 mill.), the highest NFL rating on any network this season and FOX's most-watched Sunday NFL game in 13 years. Season-to-date, FOX continues to experience its strongest start ever, up +14% over last year in rating (11.4/24 vs. 10.0/21) and +18% on average audience (18.8 mill. vs. 15.9).

Game 1 of World Series nets increase for FOX

Good news for FOX!

WORLD SERIES GAME 1 +29% OVER ‘08

Second Highest Game 1 of Decade


Game 1 of the 2009 WORLD SERIES averaged 11.9/19 (19.5 million viewers) last night (10/28) on FOX according to “fast national” ratings issued this morning by Nielsen Media Research.

Last night’s 11.9/19 for Game 1 of Phillies-Yankees is a +29% gain over last year’s 9.2/15 for Game 1 of Phillies-Rays. It’s also the second-best World Series Game 1 of the decade (2001-09), trailing only 2004’s 13.7/25 (Red Sox-Cardinals) and it’s FOX’s best rating for a non-decisive World Series game since Game 3 in 2004 (15.7/24).

The prime-time portion of Game 1 averaged 12.0/19 (19.7 mill.) from 8:00-11:00 PM ET, making it the highest-rated and most-watched single night of prime-time this season on any network, as well as the top Wednesday night on any network since FOX’s American Idol finale in May. WS Game 1 dominated the night’s Primetime battle by every meaningful standard. Game 1’s 6.3 rating among Adults 18-49 nearly matched the combined delivery of ABC (2.5), CBS (2.1), and NBC (2.1), who totaled 6.7 rating points. Among Adults 18-49, last night is the season’s second highest-rated night on any network, trailing only FOX on Monday, Sept. 21 (HOUSE premiere).

Viewing grew steadily throughout prime time, peaking at a 13.0/21 from 10:30-11:00 PM ET. Viewing fell slightly after 11:00 PM, dropping to a 12.1/21 as the Phillies extended their lead from 2-0 to 6-0 (final score was 6-1). Despite the Phils pulling away, the post-11:00 PM rating of 12.1/21 is still +2% better than the entire game rating, an indication that FOX is holding more audience through the final out because postseason games are starting earlier than ever before.

- PHILADELPHIA topped all markets with a stellar 44.5/59, a +25% gain over their Game 1 rating a year ago (35.7/53). NEW YORK notched a 29.7/43, which beats all six games of the last Yankees World Series in 2003, as well as Games 1 through 6 of the 2001 World Series. Cleveland, another market of note given that both starting pitchers are former Indians, earned a 12.0/18, up +71% over last year's 7.0/12 for Game 1. Although the "Amtrak Series" pits northeastern cities whose ballparks are barely 100 miles apart, Game 1 rated well on the west coast. Last night's game averaged a 10.8 in Pacific Time Zone markets, the best Game 1 on the west coast since 2004 and even better than Game 1 of the 2001 Series (9.9), which included the Arizona Diamondbacks.

SEC on CBS: Florida vs. Georgia!

From CBS Sports -

“THE SEC ON CBS” NO. 1 FLORIDA VS. GEORGIA ON SATURDAY, OCT. 31

AUDIBLES with CBS Sports’ Lead College Football Analyst Gary Danielson


CBS Sports’ national coverage of the SEC “Game of the Week” continues on Saturday, Oct. 31 (3:30 PM, ET), with *No. 1-ranked Florida taking on SEC Eastern Division foe Georgia.

The CBS Television Network's lead college football announce team of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson call the action live from Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Tracy Wolfson serves as lead reporter. Craig Silver, the Network’s coordinating producer of college football, produces and Steve Milton directs. CBS Sports’ broadcast of Florida-Georgia also will be broadcast in high definition.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game studio show, starts the day on CBS Sports (3:00 PM, ET) with host Tim Brando, along with analysts Spencer Tillman and Tony Barnhart. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY will keep viewers updated on all the games throughout the afternoon with scores and highlights. Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

CBS College Sports Network’s SEC TAILGATE show is live from Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in prior to the game. This week’s show is broadcast from the grass area between P lots off of North Georgia Street. Former University of Florida quarterback Danny Weurffel and former University of Georgia kicker and College Football Hall of Fame member Kevin Butler join CBS College Sports Network as guest analysts. Veteran SEC announcer Dave Baker hosts SEC TAILGATE, and is joined by CBSSports.com’s Lauren Shehadi and CBSSports.com senior college football writer Dennis Dodd. Sam Ryan anchors coverage from New York with former Tennessee Head Coach Phillip Fulmer and Brian Jones serving as analysts.

The Florida-Georgia game will be streamed live and free of charge on CBSSports.com. Each week CBS Sports’ “SEC Game of the Week” is available exclusively on CBSSports.com and also can be accessed through a link on the websites of all CBS affiliates.

After CBS Sports’ live SEC game coverage each Saturday throughout the season, CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK takes over with SEC POSTGAME SHOW (7:00-PM, ET), providing a recap of all the news, scores and highlights from around the SEC. Ryan serves as host along with Jones and Fulmer, Stephan Van Engen produces.

*AP Poll as of 10/26/09

AUDIBLES with CBS Sports’ Lead College Football Analyst Gary Danielson

(On Heisman Race):
It’s still Tim Tebow’s Heisman to lose. He is in the driver’s seat. Of course he has to do something, but he is going to get the visibility to do it. Anybody who votes for the Heisman before Championship Saturday is over, with Tebow, Mark Ingram and Colt McCoy potentially playing in their championship on December 5th, their votes really shouldn’t count. You have to see what they are going to do in the Championship games before you vote this year.

(On Florida): Teams have forced Florida away from their first option and what they like to do, running the ball inside with those really fast backs and then throwing the short passes to (Aaron) Hernandez and (Riley) Cooper. People are taking the first option away and forcing Florida to do something else. So far they have been making enough mistakes to keep people in the game. But, if Florida doesn’t turn the ball over inside the 20-yard line twice versus Tennessee, three times versus Mississippi State and four times against Arkansas, they would have blown all three of those teams out. So Florida is not quite as good as last year, but not as bad as what everybody thinks.

(On Tim Tebow): Tim is not playing like he played two years ago. First of all they don’t have the necessity for him to do that because they have a much better defense than in his Heisman Trophy year. They are managing him a little more, making sure that he is available to do different things. He also doesn’t have the fire power that turns a 10-yard pass into an 80-yard gain, because Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin aren’t there to turn simple plays into touchdowns. They have to earn every yard.

(On Georgia): If you were to summarize Georgia in one word you might use the word transition. They are really hurt from who they lost off last year’s team. In this conference, if you don’t have the playmakers with experience going against all the great defensives players you are flat-out going to struggle. And that is Georgia. With Knowshon Moreno, Mohamed Massaquoi and Matthew Stafford all drafted, Georgia is just searching for experience at key spots and coming up empty. It is really affecting their team.

NESN "benches" Andy Brickley

Great idea by NESN for the Bruins game this Saturday!

On Saturday, October 31st at 1:00 PM NESN Bruins color analyst Andy Brickley is getting benched…

NESN is moving Brickley to ice-level and positioning him between the Bruins and Oilers benches for the entire game to give him a different perspective while his broadcast partner Jack Edwards will call the game from his customary location in The Fred Cusick broadcast booth on the 9th level of TD Garden.

“Hockey is a game that is played with incredible passion and emotion,” said Joel Feld, NESN executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “By positioning Andy between the benches he will be able to provide a different perspective to Bruins fans watching at home.”

NFL Week 8 on CBS & Boomer's Scariest Things

Before we get to what's going on over at CBS Sports and the NFL Today this Sunday for week 8, we get a sneak peek at Boomer Esiason's Scariest Things in the NFL.

“THE NFL TODAY’S” BOOMER ESIASON TREATS VIEWERS TO HIS “SCARIEST THINGS IN THE NFL” FOR WEEK 8 ON SUNDAY, NOV. 1

THE NFL ON CBS, home of Super Bowl XLIV and broadcasting its Golden Anniversary 50th year of the NFL, continues its 2009 NFL season on Sunday, Nov. 1 (1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY (12:00 Noon-1:00 PM, ET).

This week THE NFL TODAY’s Boomer Esiason treats viewers to his list of “Scariest Things in the NFL,” which includes facing Indianapolis’s Peyton Manning to going one-on-one in the open field against Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Charlie Bloom produces.

James Brown hosts THE NFL TODAY along with analysts Dan Marino, Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher, NFL TODAY “General Manager” Charley Casserly, as well as Lesley Visser and Sam Ryan reporting.

THE NFL ON CBS: WEEK 8 (SUNDAY, NOV. 1)

AUDIBLES WITH LEAD “NFL ON CBS” ANALYST PHIL SIMMS AND “NFL TODAY” ANALYST BILL COWHER


The CBS Television Network, home of Super Bowl XLIV, continues its Golden Anniversary 50th year broadcasting the NFL with THE NFL ON CBS on Sunday, Nov. 1 (1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY, the Network’s one-hour studio show (12:00 NOON-1:00 PM, ET), live from THE NFL TODAY studio in New York City.

THE NFL ON CBS lead announce team of Jim Nantz, who this year is marking his 25th with CBS Sports, and Phil Simms call the action from the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets game live from Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Lance Barrow is the coordinating producer and lead game producer and Mike Arnold is the lead game director.

Throughout the 2009 season, THE NFL ON CBS will broadcast all of its games each week in HDTV, the highest definition television format – 1080i lines of picture resolution – along with 5.1 digital audio.

BILL COWHER

(On 4-3 teams; N.Y. Jets and Houston):
When you look at the 4-3 teams that are hovering, in particular the Jets and Houston, this is a pivotal week. For the Jets, it’s a divisional game being played at home, and is a game that they have to win. Houston is a team that needs to make the next step. To get a win on the road against a Buffalo team that has won ugly the past couple of weeks would be a big statement game. Houston is a team that has the best receiver in football (Andre Johnson). They may have the best tight end in football in Owen Daniels with the start he’s off to, one of the top returners in Jacoby Jones, and they have a quarterback (Matt Schaub) right now who’s playing as well as anybody in the League. They have offensive firepower, and Mario Williams and group of linebackers give them playmakers on defense. But they have to be able to win and put together streaks of games. Houston is a team that has flashed, but they have to show an ability to be more consistent week-in and week-out.

(On pivotal games for 3-3 teams; Baltimore and San Diego): San Diego has to show that their performance last week against Kansas City wasn’t just an anomaly. They have to show that they are more consistent. They have a chance to do that at home against Oakland this week. For Baltimore, this is a very pivotal game. You can’t lose four in a row. That could be a hole too big to dig out of in that division. And, they’re playing against a quality team in Denver. Denver may be playing against the best defense they’ve played against, on the road.

(On Denver-Baltimore): Denver is a team that it seems has been having to prove the critics every week. People are still questioning the validity of their 6-0 record. There are going to be a lot more answers coming out of this game, Denver at Baltimore, than there will be questions. This game may answer a lot of questions about both teams when all is said and done – the validity of Denver’s record, and Baltimore’s ability to have a strong performance against a quality team.

PHIL SIMMS

(On Miami vs. N.Y. Jets):
The thing about the Jets and the Dolphins, there’s always been a rivalry but it’s really stepping up. Rex Ryan is making sure to step it up at a faster pace than these rivalries are used to. It makes for good preparation during the week. It’s getting close to desperation game time for the Miami Dolphins. One, because of the number of losses, if they did lose; and two, because it’s a division game. This time of year it’s getting to that stage of the season where if you lose, it’s hard to make it back up with the season almost half over.

(On Miami’s Chad Henne): The big thing with Chad Henne is that many people don’t even recognize his name. I have been impressed with him. He’s played very well. He’s very talented, and he absolutely has a chance to be in the same class as Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. But you can’t tell anybody that because he’s just not a big enough name. He wasn’t ballyhooed on draft day. He probably deserved to be a first round draft pick, but was not.

(On Jets’ Rookie Shonn Greene): I liked Shonn Greene a lot coming out of college, and I thought that when the Jets moved up in the draft to get him it was a great move on their part. I think there were quite a few NFL teams that were sitting back and shaking their heads because they were mad they didn’t make the move to go up and get Shonn Greene.

(On Brett Favre and Minnesota at Green Bay): I think Brett Favre will get a great reception in Green Bay. But between the players and the coaches of the organization, there’s extra. I don’t want to say motivation, but there comes a time when you just say okay we’ve had enough. And that’s why I think Green Bay will find a way to win the game.

TRIP IN THE NFL ON CBS WAY BACK MACHINE…

In commemoration of THE NFL ON CBS celebrating its 50th year broadcasting the NFL, footage from historic highlights will be featured during each game. Included among the clips this week during the Cleveland-Chicago game will be highlights of Walter Payton breaking Jim Brown’s all-time rushing record on October 6, 1984 against New Orleans, honoring the 10th anniversary of Payton’s death.

Following are THE NFL ON CBS assignments for Week 8, Week 9 and Week 10 (subject to change).

WEEK 8 – Nov. 1
1:00 PM, ET starts:
●Miami @ N.Y.Jets
Jim Nantz/Phil Simms

●Denver @ Baltimore
Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf

●Cleveland @ Chicago
Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots

●Houston @ Buffalo
Ian Eagle/Rich Gannon

4:00 PM, ET starts:
●Oakland @ San Diego
Dick Enberg/Dan Fouts

●Jacksonville @ Tennessee
Gus Johnson/Steve Tasker

WEEK 9 – Nov. 8 – CBS DOUBLEHEADER
1:00 PM, ET starts:
●Miami @ New England
Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf

●Baltimore @ Cincinnati
Dick Enberg/Dan Fouts

●Houston @ Indianapolis
Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots

●Kansas City @ Jacksonville
Bill Macatee/Steve Beuerlein

4:15 PM, ET starts:
●San Diego @ N.Y. Giants
Jim Nantz/Phil Simms

●Tennessee @ San Francisco
Ian Eagle/Rich Gannon

WEEK 10 – Nov. 15
1:00 PM, ET starts:
●Denver @ Washington
Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf

●Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh
Jim Nantz/Phil Simms

●Buffalo @ Tennessee Ian
Eagle/Rich Gannon

●Jacksonville @ N.Y. Jets
Dick Enberg/Dan Fouts

4:00 PM, ET starts:
●Kansas City @ Oakland
Gus Johnson/Steve Tasker

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hulk Hogan TNA Wrestling Press Conference

Here it is in living color! It's Hulk Hogan and Eric Bishoff joining forces with TNA Wrestling!



Let the fun and games begin, brotha!

John Legend, Jaz Z and Alicia Keys to perform at Game 2 of the World Series

Some celebrity news for game 2 Thursday night at the World Series in NY:



Jay Z was supposed to perform at game 1 but MLB let him out after he couldn't get out of his concert in Ohio.

Chad Ochocinco on Late Show with David Letterman

From CBS -

CINCINNATI BENGALS WIDE RECEIVER CHAD OCHOCINCO TO PRESENT THE TOP TEN LIST ON CBS's "LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN," THURSDAY, OCT. 29

NEW YORK, Oct. 28
– Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will present the Top Ten List on the LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN, Thursday, Oct. 29 (11:35 PM-12:37 AM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Ochocinco's memoir, Ocho Cinco: What Football and Life Have Thrown My Way, which he co-wrote with sports writer Jason Cole, was released Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Also visiting the LATE SHOW on Thursday, Oct. 29 are actor Tom Hanks and alternative music stars Weezer, who will be performing the first of two consecutive nights on the broadcast. The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN is a production of Worldwide Pants Incorporated. Barbara Gaines, Matt Roberts, Jude Brennan, Maria Pope and Rob Burnett are the executive producers.

Notre Dame hits prime-time on NBC

From NBC Sports -

IN THE SPIRIT OF ROCKNE, NOTRE DAME HOSTS WASHINGTON STATE IN SAN ANTONIO, TX THIS SATURDAY IN FIRST-EVER PRIMETIME GAME ON NBC

“I have not seen a better all around receiver this year than Tate. - Haden

NEW YORK - October 28, 2009
- In the spirit of legendary Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne, the #23 (BCS) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-2) will host the Washington State Cougars (1-6) in a primetime off-site home game in San Antonio, Texas this Saturday on NBC Sports. Rockne pioneered traveling the team around the country to establish intersectional rivalries. This marks the first time in the 19-year history of the Notre Dame-NBC relationship that NBC will broadcast a game in primetime.

Coverage begins at 7:30 pm ET from the Alamodome with Tom Hammond handling play-by-play duties, Pat Haden providing analysis and Alex Flanagan reporting from the sidelines.

HADEN ON THE MATCHUP: "The Irish take their show on the road this week to San Antonio to meet the Cougars of Washington State. Knute Rockne would be proud! The Irish have BCS bowl game hopes and their offense, led by Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, remains very dynamic. I have not seen a better all around receiver this year than Tate. He is awesome, both before the catch getting open, and even more so after the catch where he is so difficult to tackle. He is fun to watch but difficult to defend."

NOTRE DAME'S OFF-SITE LEGACY: Rockne, the legendary Irish coach who accumulated an .881 winning percentage (105-12-5) during a 13-year tenure at Notre Dame (1918-30), was the first football coach to take his team all over the country and initiate intersectional rivalries. Saturday's game is the first in a series of Notre Dame off-site home games scheduled over the next seven seasons. Army is scheduled for next year on November 20 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y.

NOTRE DAME PRESIDENT FATHER JOHN I. JENKINS ON OFF-SITE GAMES: "We have scheduled teams who want to play us at offsite venues because it's as great for their program as for ours. The off-site games provide an opportunity to have a primetime game broadcast by NBC."

NOTRE DAME-WASHINGTON STATE MATCHUP: Notre Dame and Washington State have met just once before on September 6, 2003 when Notre Dame won 29-26 in overtime at home. Notre Dame is coming off a 20-16 win against Boston College at South Bend. Irish WR Golden Tate caught 11 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The win snapped a six-game losing streak to the Eagles and moved Notre Dame to No. 23 in the latest BCS standings. The Irish have played in six consecutive games decided by seven points or less, the most in the FBS. Washington State lost, 49-17, to Cal last weekend dropping its record to 1-6.

NOTRE DAME RATINGS UP 24 PERCENT: Through the first five broadcasts of the season Notre Dame viewership on NBC Sports has jumped 24 percent compared to the first five broadcasts from last year (4.2 million vs. 3.4 million).

The Oct. 17 USC-Notre Dame game on NBC Sports drew 6.5 million viewers, the most for a Notre Dame game on NBC since September 9, 2006 when the Penn St.-Notre Dame game drew 6.9 million viewers.

NOTRE DAME ON NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSports.com will once again offer a live post-game webcast, which will originate from the Alamodome and extend the NBC Sports television broadcasts by providing an unprecedented depth of Notre Dame coverage including live coverage of Coach Charlie Weis' press conference.

NOTRE DAME ON NBC SPORTS MOBILE: Notre Dame fans can get news and scores right on their cell phones with the NBC Sports Mobile Web site or the all-new NBC Sports iPhone app. Fans can also sign-up for exclusive text alerts with scoring updates and daily news. To find out how, users can just text the word ND to 51515 or visit http://mobile.nbcsports.com.

NOTRE DAME CENTRAL APP: iPhone and iPod touch can also get LIVE mobile access to every NBC Sports broadcast of Notre Dame football games when they download the newly launched Notre Dame Central app on iTunes. Users can access live scores, stats, video highlights & archives, and much more. To find out how, text IRISH to 51515 or visit the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch, or at www.itunes.com/appstore.

Remaining Notre Dame on NBC Schedule
(all games broadcast in HD):
Date Opponent Time (all times ET)
Nov. 7 Navy 2:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 21 Connecticut 2:30 p.m. ET

NOTRE DAME ON NBC: In June of 2008, the University of Notre Dame and NBC Sports announced a new five-year agreement under which NBC will televise Irish home football games through 2015, which will mark the 25th year of the partnership. The extension provides NBC rights to eight Notre Dame home games from 2011-15, seven games at Notre Dame Stadium and an additional eighth off-site home game airing in primetime each year. The landmark relationship began in 1991.

Opening Night Hit for NBA on TNT

From TNT Sports -

NBA Opening Night is Turner’s Most-Watched Regular Season Doubleheader since 1996 and its Most-Watched Opening Night in 26 Years of NBA Coverage

NBA.com Sees Huge Growth in Total Video Streams, Page Views and Unique Users


On the heels of the most-watched NBA regular season in Turner Broadcasting’s 26 years of airing NBA basketball, TNT tipped off the 2009-10 season with its most-watched doubleheader since Feb. 2, 1996 with nearly 3.7 million total viewers. The previous record is held by a doubleheader featuring the Suns @ Cavaliers and Bulls @ Lakers. In addition, the doubleheader ranks as Turner’s most-watched opening night in its 26 years of airing NBA basketball. TNT, which has enjoyed back-to-back years of ratings increases for its regular season and NBA Playoffs, last night earned a 2.3 U.S. household rating for its exclusive doubleheader of the Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers and L.A. Clippers @ L.A. Lakers.

In addition, TNT had double-digit growth over last year’s doubleheader of Cavaliers/Celtics and Trail Blazers/Lakers in total viewers, up +43% (3,676,000 vs. 2,579,000 in 2008) and households, up +40% (2,685,000 vs. 1,914,000). Key demos saw tremendous increases, including:

· A18-34: +35% 1,299,000 vs. 961,000

· A18-49: +35% 2,170,000 vs. 1,608,000

· A25-54: +39% 1,905,000 vs. 1,374,000

· M18-34: +38% 975,000 vs. 707,000

· M18-49: +37% 1,562,000 vs. 1,143,000

· M25-54: +40% 1,358,000 vs. 969,000


The Celtics/Cavaliers game delivered a 2.6 U.S. household rating, 4,021,000 total viewers and 2,977,000 households. The match-up earned a 20.0 rating in the Cleveland market and an 8.3 rating in the Boston market.

The Clippers/Lakers game delivered a 2.1 U.S. household rating, 3,358,000 total viewers and 2,415,000 households. The match-up earned a 6.2 rating in the Los Angeles market.

NBA.com, which is jointly managed by Turner Sports and the NBA, also saw tremendous online growth for NBA Opening Night, including:

A 121% increase in total video streams.
A 25% increase in total page views.
A 21% increase in unique users.

NBA on TNT Premiere Week presented by AutoTrader.com continues on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. (ET) with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Chicago Bulls. The second game will feature the Portland Trail Blazers hosting the Denver Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai will wrap up the night’s action following the doubleheader.

TNT Source: Television data based on Nielsen Media Research, Live + Same Day data. NBA Regular Season Opening Night games only, 11/04/1994 through 10/27/09

NBA.com Source: Omniture

FOX Sports Notes for Brett Favre and NFL Week 8

From Fox Sports -

All Eyes Descend on Green Bay for Epic Battle: Favre’s Highly Anticipated Return to Lambeau Sunday Only on FOX

Isolated ‘Favre-Cam’ Follows Every Move of No. 4’s Return to Frozen Tundra

Streaming Video Available on FOXSports.com & NFL.com

Aikman on Rodgers Playing Against the Legend He Replaced: “I Can’t Even Imagine What That’s Like”

Bradshaw Sits Down with Favre for Candid Interview on Emotional Return

VIKINGS/PACKERS PREPARE FOR THE FAVRE BOWL IN LAMBEAU
– The 2009 NFL on FOX campaign rolls into Week 8 on Sunday, Nov. 1 with doubleheader coverage of six exciting matchups—each presented in crystal clear HD. Emotions are expected to be high at 4:15 PM ET, as Brett Favre makes his return to Lambeau Field, leading the Vikings against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver call the action from Green Bay. Also featured at 4:15, Larry Fitzgerald and the NFC Champion Cardinals host the Panthers. The early games are highlighted by an NFC East clash. At 1:00 PM ET, seven hours before the Phillies and Yankees meet in Philly for Game 4 of the World Series, Eli Manning and the Giants enter Lincoln Financial Field to take on Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. In Dallas, Tony Romo and the Cowboys look to keep their offense on track as they host the Seahawks. 49ers coach Mike Singletary entrusts his offense in the hands of former No. 1 pick Alex Smith as they go on the road to face Peyton Manning and the red-hot Colts.

Coverage begins at 12:00 PM ET with America’s most-watched pregame show, FOX NFL SUNDAY. Terry Bradshaw and Curt Menefee co-host the Emmy Award-winning program and are joined by analysts Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson. The crew is joined by NFL Insider Jay Glazer who presents the latest league news and scoops in the FOX NFL SUNDAY studio and comedic prognosticator Frank Caliendo contributes his weekly “Frank’s Picks” segment.

In this week’s show, Bradshaw, an outspoken critic on the way Favre handled the off-season and his ultimately signing with the Vikings, sits down with the legendary quarterback to discuss his mindset and emotions upon his returning to Lambeau Field in a rival’s uniform. Also, Long finds out what the Packers can do to prevent Vikings DE Jared Allen from causing as much damage as he did in their earlier matchup.

For instant updates during the week and games from the entire NFL on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NFLONFOX. Fans can gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports and www.myspace.com/foxsports.

FAVRE-CAM LETS FANS FOLLOW EVERY MOVE NO. 4 MAKES ON FOXSPORTS.COM & NFL.COM -- With all the hype surrounding Brett Favre’s return to the place he called home for so many years, it’s fair to assume fans attending the game will have their eyes glued on him from the moment he runs out of the visitor’s locker room and takes the field for warm ups to the last second of this highly anticipated ‘homecoming.’ FOX Sports gives fans watching at home the same opportunity. A camera stationed high on the 50-yard line will be isolated on Favre from the second he takes the field against his former team until the moment he runs back into the locker room. A constant video stream of this select angle is available to fans by logging on FOXSports.com and NFL.com.

HALL OF FAME QB AIKMAN PREVIEWS EPIC SHOWDOWN IN GREEN BAY -- In the most anticipated matchup on any network this season, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre leads Minnesota into his former home, Lambeau Field, as the Vikings take on quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL on FOX lead analyst Troy Aikman shared his thoughts below. Aikman, along with play-by-play broadcaster Thom Brennaman and sideline reporter Pam Oliver call all the action LIVE this Sunday, Nov. 1 (1:15 PM PT/ 4:15 PM ET LIVE) on FOX.

AIKMAN ON FAVRE’S PERFORMANCE THIS SEASON, AT THE AGE OF 40 -- “The thing that is most impressive is not that he’s played at such a high level, it's that he’s been able to come back week after week and continue to play. We tend to take it for granted with him now because he hasn’t missed a game. We have to remind ourselves that he’s 40 years old! When I retired at age 34, it was hard to come back after a physical game during my last season and be prepared the following week to play physically. You’re just so sore and it started taking longer and longer to recover. Now he’s six years older than what I was and yet he’s still coming back and is able to play and fight through a lot of things. To me, that’s the most impressive part.”

AIKMAN ON MINNESOTA SUSTAINING THEIR SUCCESS THUS FAR -- “They have so many great pieces in place. The important thing for them is staying healthy. Minnesota went Pittsburgh and could’ve won. They went toe-to-toe with them and beat a good Baltimore team. They’ve played some good teams and have found ways to win.”

AIKMAN ON AARON RODGERS FILLING FAVRE’S SHOES IN GREEN BAY -- “The most comparable situation to what Aaron is going through would be Steve Young’s start in San Francisco. He was replacing Joe Montana yet Joe was still playing. That’s the hard part. It was going to be hard for anybody if Brett had just retired and you’re going to be compared to him. But then to be compared to him while the guy is still playing and playing at a high level, I can’t even imagine what that would be like. I’ve been very impressed with how Rodgers has handled it. I’ve been impressed both publicly as well as privately. I have the opportunity to visit with these guys privately and I will tell you that he’s been as classy in my conversations with him as he has been publicly. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy for that entire organization or Aaron. I think Aaron has handled it unbelievably well. Fortunately for him, he’s played well.”

AIKMAN ON FAVRE SETTING FOOT IN LAMBEAU AS A VISITOR -- “The first time these two teams played he talked about how nervous he was. I’m sure that experience was very emotional but different because of where that game was played. This will bring about a different set of emotions. On the other side, I think there will be a level of comfort for him because it is a place he is so familiar with. Granted he’ll be playing against his former team but he’s done that. The strange thing will be that he’s going to be dressing in the visitors’ locker room. My guess is that, he’ll without even thinking about it, walk into the Packers’ locker room because that’s what he did for all of those years. It’ll be different for him viewing the game from a different sideline than he stood on for all of those years. I think it will be a much more emotional experience for him than anything he experienced on Monday night in Minneapolis.”

1pm starts
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (45% of nation)
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston & Tony Siragusa
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, PA

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Birmingham, Boston, Charlotte, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Norfolk, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, Raleigh, Richmond, Tampa, Washington, West Palm Beach

San Francisco 49ers at Indianapolis Colts (29% of nation)
Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan & Laura Okmin
Lucas Oil Stadium – Indianapolis, IN

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (17% of nation)
Dick Stockton, Charles Davis & Nichelle Turner
Dallas Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, TX

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Albuquerque, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle, Tulsa

St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions (2% of nation)
Ron Pitts & John Lynch
Ford Field – Detroit, MI

MARKETS INCLUDE:
St. Louis

4:15pm starts
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (91% of nation)
Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman & Pam Oliver
Lambeau Field – Green Bay, WI

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Fort Myers, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Richmond, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach

Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (6% of nation)
Chris Myers, Brian Billick & Jamie Maggio
University of Phoenix Stadium - Glendale,AZ

MARKETS INCLUDE:
Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Phoenix, Raleigh

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mayne Street is back! Season 3 Premiere

The always entertaining Kenny Mayne is back for season 3 of his webisodic feature "Mayne Street" on ESPN.com.

In the season premiere, we get a "secret" and a special guest spot from Bill Simmons. Take a look!



It's good to have Mr.Mayne back!

Hulk Hogan and Eric Bishoff join TNA Wrestling

The Band is back together again folks!



TNA Wrestling now has Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in their stable. Hogan's role will be, of course, on camera and in the ring. Bischoff will start off camera as his entertainment company, Bischoff-Hervey (yes, Jason Hervey from "The Wonder Years" - they've done many shows including the Scott Baio reality show and Hogan's Celebrity Wrestling), will help out TNA on Spike TV while also generating original content for Spike TV.

One of the ideas on the table is a Hogan/Ric Flair reality series.

Here's the full release from TNA Wrestling.com:

HULK HOGAN JOINS TNA WRESTLING

Legendary Wrestler and Pop Culture Icon Returns To The Ring With Fast-Rising Wrestling Organization


“Hulkamania” is back! The biggest name in professional wrestling history, Hulk Hogan, is joining Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (TNA), the fastest rising wrestling organization in the world and home to one of cable television’s highest rated shows for young men, TNA iMPACT! The announcement was made today by TNA Wrestling in conjunction with Spike TV at a press conference held in New York City.

“Hulk Hogan is one of the world’s top pop culture icons and the biggest superstar in the history of professional wrestling. We are truly excited to welcome him into the TNA family,” said Dixie Carter, President of TNA Wrestling. “Our goal is to become the world’s biggest professional wrestling company. Hulk defines professional wrestling and we look forward to partnering with him in a variety of ways as we continue to grow TNA globally.”

“I’m thrilled to be jumping back into the world of professional wrestling,” said Hogan. “My fans have been asking me to return to the business for many years on a full time basis, but the timing or the opportunity has never been right until now. TNA Wrestling is a great company with an already excellent fan base, business and broadcast partner. I firmly believe now is the time for some change at TNA as they are positioned to jump to the next level in their development and I’m here to work with Dixie to help make that a reality.”

Through Hogan’s partnership with Bischoff Hervey Entertainment Television, the deal with TNA was negotiated by longtime Hogan colleague Eric Bischoff. Additionally, BHE TV has inked a first-look deal with TNA and will be working with the organization to develop new programming extensions of the TNA brand.

“Hulk Hogan adds yet another level of star power that positions TNA iMPACT as Spike TV’s version of ‘Must-See TV’ on Thursday nights,” said Kevin Kay, president of Spike.

Hogan most recently penned an autobiography with Mark Dagostino, “My Life Outside The Ring” with St. Martin’s Press.

Sunday Night Football Ratings

From NBC Sports -

NBC SPORTS SCORES WITH SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Through 7 Weeks SNF No. 1 Primetime Show in Key Demos; No. 2 in Viewers and Household Rating

Cards-Giants Game #1 Primetime Show of Week in Key Demos Facing ALCS Competition; up 50% Over Last Year's Week 7

NEW YORK - October 27, 2009 -
NBC's "Sunday Night Football" was the No. 1 broadcast on Sunday night and the No. 1 primetime show of the week in the key advertising demos, including Adults 18-49 for the seventh consecutive week (excluding NFL overruns) despite extraordinary competition that included Fox's coverage of the Yankees-Angeles deciding ALCS Game 6.

Additionally, "Sunday Night Football" also ranked No.1 among all primetime telecasts this week in adults 25-54 (tie) and all key adult-male demographics men 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. "Sunday Night Football" was also the No. 1 program of the week on the broadcast networks among teens 12-17.

SNF DOMINATES PRIMETIME THROUGH 7 WEEKS: Since the beginning of the football season (9/10/09-10/25/09) "Sunday Night Football" ranks as the top program in all of primetime television in the key advertising demos including Adults 18-49 (7.6), Adults 18-34 (6.7), Adults 25-54 (8.2), Men 18-49 (10.5), Men 18-34 (9.0) and Men 25-54 (11.3). For the season, SNF ranks No. 2 among viewers with 19.1 million trailing only NCIS (19.5 million) and ranks No. 2 in household rating with an 11.6 (NCIS, 11.9).

BEST START IN "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" HISTORY: Through seven weeks "Sunday Night Football" is off to its best start since NBC acquired the NFL's premier primetime package in 2006 (SNF, 2006-Present, MNF, 1970-2005). Below is the SNF viewership through seven weeks from 2006-2009:

2009: 19.1 million
2008: 15.9 million, up 20%
2007: 16.1 million, up 19%
2006: 17.2 million, up 11%

STRONG SUNDAY VS. TOUGH BASEBALL COMPETITION: Facing the Angels-Yankees deciding ALCS Game 6, Sunday Night's Cardinals-Giants game pulled in 15.0 million viewers (from 8:31-11:42 p.m. ET) up 50 percent from Week 7 in 2008 (Seahawks-Bucs, 10.0 million) when SNF also faced a deciding ALCS game, and only three percent off from the Angels-Yankees Game 6 (15.5 million).

This is also the closest that SNF has come to an ALCS deciding game in the three years going head-to-head. In 2008, ALCS Game 7, Red Sox-Rays was 34 percent higher than the Seahawks-Bucs SNF game (13.4 million vs. 10.0 million). In 2007 the ALCS Game 7, Indians-Red Sox was 44 percent higher than the Steelers-Broncos SNF game (19.2 million vs. 13.3 million).

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL CLOSES GAP VS. ALCS DECIDING GAMES:
2009: SNF (Cards-Giants) 15.0 million
ALCS (Angels-Yankees) 15.5 million (up 3 percent)
2008: SNF (Seahawks-Bucs) 10.0 million
ALCS (Red Sox-Rays) 13.4 million (up 34 percent)
2007: SNF (Steelers-Broncos) 13.3 million
ALCS (Indians-Red Sox) 19.2 million (up 44 percent)

This is the second straight week that SNF went head-to-head against baseball playoffs. Last week's Bears-Falcons game was 264 percent higher than that of the Dodgers-Phillies NLCS Game 3 playoff game on TBS (18.2 million vs. 5.0 million). In the Los Angeles market, "Sunday Night Football" beat the NLCS game featuring the hometown Dodgers by 15 percent (8.4 vs. 7.3).

MLB Network debuts Studio 42's Special on Earthquake World Series

From MLB Network -

MLB NETWORK TO DEBUT STUDIO 42 WITH BOB COSTAS: THE EARTHQUAKE WORLD SERIES & MLB PRODUCTIONS’ TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY: THE 1984 SAN DIEGO PADRES

Programs Take an In-Depth Look at Important Moments and Characters in MLB Postseason History

Secaucus, N.J., October 27, 2009
– MLB Network will debut Studio 42 with Bob Costas: The Earthquake World Series and MLB Productions’ Triumph and Tragedy: The 1984 San Diego Padres on Friday, October 30. At 9:00 p.m. ET, Costas interviews current NBC sportscaster Al Michaels about Game Three of the 1989 World Series with the Oakland Athletics at San Francisco Giants that was interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989. Michaels, who was calling the game for ABC Sports, famously interrupted an on-air highlight reel to tell the audience that an earthquake was happening. Power was lost in Candlestick Park and Game Three was postponed for ten days until October 27. In addition to Michaels, the piece includes interviews with Michaels’ former ABC Sports colleague Tim McCarver, who was in the broadcast booth with Michaels when the earthquake began, former Oakland manager Tony La Russa and former San Francisco first baseman Will Clark.

Highlights of the interview with Michaels include:

"I knew it was an earthquake within two or three seconds, maybe less. I remember hearing what sounded like bats being pounded on the floor of the upper deck, which was just above the booth. This was probably the eighth or ninth earthquake I had felt but the biggest one by far. People are always talking in California about "the big one." I thought this might be "the big one".

"I knew I was the only guy covering this earthquake live from San Francisco. There was a lot of misinformation floating around so I knew at that moment in time the only things I was going to talk about were the things I could actually see on television."

"There wasn't any real sense of tension or nervousness in the stadium because there was enough natural light. If this had taken place after dark and had the lights gone out, we would have had a whole other situation. There was also a little sense of security in that you had 50,000 people gathering so everyone was in the same boat. So right after it had taken place, you had people almost saying "Wow, isn't that something. Here we are at the World Series and what a story we have to tell."

MLB Productions’ “Triumph and Tragedy: The 1984 San Diego Padres” is the premiere episode of a new MLB Network series that looks at the ups and downs of some of the most notable players and teams in baseball history. Narrated by MLB Network studio host and former Padres television announcer Matt Vasgersian, the documentary looks at the National League champion 1984 Padres, whose lineup was filled with unique characters and storylines—a team that came together to win the first National League Pennant in Padres history, only to have its players go down very different roads in the future. The team featured three future Hall of Famers: right fielder Tony Gwynn, pitcher Goose Gossage and manager Dick Williams. The roster also included star players who faced personal struggles, including second baseman Alan Wiggins, who left baseball in 1987 and died from complications related to AIDS in 1991 at age 32; pitcher and Padres all-time wins leader Eric Show, who died of a drug overdose at age 37; and pitcher Dave Dravecky, who lost his pitching arm and shoulder to cancer and now serves as a motivational speaker. The episode includes stories and interviews – some being told for the first time on television - with Gwynn, Gossage, Williams, Dravecky, current Padres broadcasters Jerry Coleman and Ted Leitner, and former 1984 Padres second baseman Tim Flannery, third baseman Kurt Bevacqua, first baseman Steve Garvey, shortstop Garry Templeton, catcher Bruce Bochy and pitcher Craig Lefferts. Triumph and Tragedy: The 1984 San Diego Padres will air on October 30 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Highlights of the episode include:

“When I think about the things that happened during that time and after that time, there was triumph that was born of tragedy, and I think all of us on that club would agree.” – Dave Dravecky

“Great moments and sad moments. It’s never perfect and never works the way you want it. I guess the ‘84 Padres are a microcosm of what life is really all about.” – Jerry Coleman

Falcons/Cowboys scores big for FOX

From FOX Sports -

FALCONS-COWBOYS POWERS NFL ON FOX TO BIGGEST AUDIENCE IN 13 YEARS

Powered by a three-game schedule featuring Falcons-Cowboys and a huge Vikings-Steelers lead-in, Sunday's NFL on FOX national game (10/25) averaged a tremendous 16.8/32 (28.4 million viewers) and set many impressive benchmarks:

FOX's most-watched NFL Sunday telecast since 11/10/96 (Cowboys-49ers, 29.7 million)
FOX's highest-rated NFL regular season broadcast since 12/3/06 (Cowboys-Giants)
The highest-rated and most-watched Sunday NFL telecast on any network since 12/9/07 (Patriots-Steelers on CBS)
The highest-rated telecast on any network since the Academy Awards back in February (20.6/31, 36.3 mill)

Sunday's national NFL game, along with THE OT post-game show (9.0/15 -15.1 mill), the ALCS pregame show (8.4/14 - 13.7 mill), and ALCS Game 6 (9.3/15 - 15.5 mill) powered FOX to a first place finish for the night (10.6/17 - 17.8 million viewers), and ranks as FOX's highest-rated and most-watched Sunday since Super Bowl XLII (02/03/08). Among Adults 18-49, FOX's 6.2 average rating was also the network's best Sunday in 20 months.

Through three broadcasts, FOX's national NFL game is averaging a 14.9/29 (25.2 million viewers), up +10% in rating and +15% in audience compared to the first three national games a year ago (13.6/27, 22.0 mill), +13% better than CBS's national NFL game (13.2/26, 21.8 mill), +28% better than Sunday Night Football on NBC (11.6/19 , 19.1 mill), and currently ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched program in television across all key male and adult demos including M18-34 (11.6), M18-49 (13.3), M25-54 (15.3), and A18-49 (9.8).

Monday, October 26, 2009

ARGH!

I can't believe it's taken me until 10pm to do posting tonight, but thanks to the &&*^%*%%%&*& people at my internet provider, who shall remain nameless at this point, the clueless people have left me in the dark.

But then again, one should be hung up on twice and transfered to Arizona while trying to report an issue, right?!

Anyway, I digress!

Celtics/Cavs tip off TNT double-dip

From TNT Sports -

The 2009-10 NBA Season Tips Off on TNT with a Doubleheader and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Championship Ring Ceremony

Season Starts on Oct. 27th with Celtics @ Cavaliers followed by Clippers @ Lakers and Continues on Oct. 29th with Spurs @ Bulls followed by Nuggets @ Trail Blazers


Turner Broadcasting tips off its 26th year of NBA coverage on TNT, the exclusive home of Thursday night NBA doubleheaders, with NBA on TNT Premiere Week presented by AutoTrader.com featuring two nights of doubleheaders beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 27. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com, a special one-hour preview show, will get underway at 7 p.m. (ET) featuring studio host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber. Once the pre-game show concludes, the Boston Celtics will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Cheryl Miller (reporter) will call the action. The newest member of the Turner Sports family, three-time NBA Champion and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale will join Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber during halftime of Celtics @ Cavaliers. McHale will join NBA TV’s acclaimed Fan Night on Tuesday nights alongside Johnson and Webber and will also make select appearances on TNT throughout the season.

Following the first game, the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers will receive their championship rings during a pre-game ceremony before taking on their cross-town rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Complementary coverage of both the ring ceremony and the Clippers @ Lakers game will be available on TNT OverTime Extra on NBA.com. Marv Albert will be alongside Mike Fratello (analyst) and Reggie Miller (analyst) courtside with Craig Sager reporting. TNT’s Emmy® Award-winning studio show, Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai will air directly following the conclusion of the second game with Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber.

NBA on TNT Premiere Week presented by AutoTrader.com continues on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. (ET) with an exclusive doubleheader featuring the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Chicago Bulls. Calling the action will be Harlan (play-by-play), Collins (analyst) with Cheryl Miller (reporter). The second game will feature the Portland Trail Blazers hosting the Denver Nuggets at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Albert will handle the play-by-play duties with analysts Fratello and Reggie Miller while Sager will report courtside. Inside the NBA will wrap up the night’s action with Johnson, Barkley, McHale and Smith.

TNT will once again provide complementary online coverage on the network’s redesigned broadband channel, TNT OverTime on NBA.com. TNT OverTime Extra, an interactive application that will be available for select games, beginning with the Clippers @ Lakers on Tuesday, Oct. 27, will feature enhanced live complementary video streams that will provide users with an HD-quality experience as well as DVR functionality and alternate camera angles. Fans will also be able to vote on the players that they want the cameras to follow in select games, check stats and chat with other fans from around the country. TNT OverTime on NBA.com will once again provide exclusive free replays of Inside the NBA, as well as special online features and reports from the network’s analysts.

NBA ON TNT NBA SCHEDULE:
Tue., October 27
7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Kenny Smith (analyst) and Chris Webber (analyst)

7:30 p.m. Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Cheryl Miller (reporter)

10:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers @ Los Angeles Lakers
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst), and Craig Sager (reporter)

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

TNT NBA THURSDAY UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Thu., October 29
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst)

8:15 p.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Chicago Bulls
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Cheryl Miller (reporter)

10:30 p.m. Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst), and Craig Sager (reporter)

Post-game Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst)

MLB Network World Series Programming

From MLB Network -

MLB NETWORK TO HOST MLB TONIGHT: WORLD SERIES EDITION LIVE ON-FIELD BEFORE AND AFTER EACH WORLD SERIES GAME

MLB Network’s Bob Costas and Past World Series Champions Barry Larkin & Al Leiter Among Talent On-Site

Coverage to Include Batting Practice, Game Previews, Analysis and Pregame & Postgame Press Conferences

Secaucus, N.J., October 26, 2009
– MLB Network today announced that hosts Matt Vasgersian and Greg Amsinger will anchor its World Series game day coverage with analysts Barry Larkin, Al Leiter, Harold Reynolds and Mitch Williams and reporting from MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Tom Verducci, Trenni Kusnierek and Matt Yallof. MLB Tonight: World Series Edition will air live from each ballpark at 5:30 p.m. ET for two hours before each game, including interviews, coverage of batting practice and previews of each game. Immediately following each game, MLB Tonight: World Series Edition will return for live, on-field highlights and analysis. MLB Network is airing 100 hours of live coverage throughout the 2009 MLB postseason.

On off-days during the World Series, MLB Network will air Path to the Championship live with Victor Rojas, Joe Magrane, Billy Ripken and former Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Dan Plesac recapping the previous games and previewing the upcoming matchups from Studio 3 in Secaucus, New Jersey. MLB Tonight: World Series Edition and Path to the Championship are presented by Motorola.

MLB Network’s group of analysts have a wealth of postseason experience with Larkin (1990 World Champion Cincinnati Reds), Leiter (1993 World Champion Toronto Blue Jays, 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins), Magrane (1997 National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals) and Williams (1993 National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies).

“Throughout the League Division Series and League Championship Series, we’ve made it a priority to be the fans’ destination before and after each game,” said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti. “We have a great matchup between the Phillies and the Yankees and our on-air team is ready to give the in-depth analysis fans are looking for.”

From October 26 through November, MLB Network will air episodes of All-Time Games featuring some of the great World Series matchups, including the Detroit Tigers clinching victory against the San Diego Padres in Game Five of the 1984 World Series; Hall of Famer Don Larsen’s perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series; Sandy Koufax’s three-hit shutout for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Minnesota Twins in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series; and the entire 1969 World Series between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets.

CBS College Football News

From CBS Sports -

CBS Sports has announced its college football game for Saturday, Nov. 7 (3:30-7:00 PM, ET) will feature *No. 9-ranked LSU at *No. 2-ranked Alabama. Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson will call the contest, along with reporter Tracy Wolfson. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY kicks off the day (3:00 PM, ET) with host Tim Brando and analyst Spencer Tillman. The game will be available in high definition.

*AP Poll as of 10/26/09

ACTRESS SELA WARD AND SEC DIRECTOR OF OFFICIATING ROGERS REDDING THIS WEEK ON “THE TONY BARNHART SHOW” ON CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK

Barnhart to Examine the “State of the Irish”


CBS COLLEGE SPORTS NETWORK’s THE TONY BARNHART SHOW, a new weekly one-hour primetime college football talk show, features actress and former Alabama Cheerleader Sela Ward, currently starting in the movie The Stepfather and the Southeastern Conference Director of Officiating Rogers Redding on Tuesday, Oct. 27 (9:00 PM, ET).

“Mr. College Football” Tony Barnhart hosts the show along with Brian Jones. The hard-hitting program will debate and analyze the hot topics and issues facing college football both on and off-the-field. This week Barnhart and Jones look at the state of Notre Dame Football. CBS College Sports Network analyst and former Notre Dame offensive lineman, Aaron Taylor, joins the discussion examining if the Irish are for real or just lucky.

Throughout the season Barnhart will invite a variety of high-profile guests from the college football community, including coaches, administrators, writers, broadcasters and former players to the program. The distinguished guests will offer in-depth, lively, opinionated, topical discussions on the world of college football.

The TONY BARNHART SHOW will air each Tuesday throughout the college football season at 9:00 PM, ET. Mike Aresco serves as Executive Producer. Tyler Hale and Stefan Van Engen produce.

FOX Sports Preview Phillies/Yankees

From FOX Sports -

GOREN, BUCK, McCARVER & GUILLEN PREVIEW YANKEES/PHILLIES WORLD SERIES MATCH UP -- MLB on FOX's Emmy Award-winning broadcast team of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were joined by FOX Sports President Ed Goren and special pre and postgame guest analyst Ozzie Guillen on a conference call to answer questions and offer previews of this year’s World Series matchup.

Ozzie Guillen on expanding replay in baseball: “I was pushing for the home run replays because it was something we needed. I think we have to trust the umpires. We cannot make this game a computer game. We have people out there that have jobs and no matter what the call is, we have to respect that. Sometimes that’s good for baseball. Sometimes that makes people talk about baseball. Fans disagree and the manager goes out and has an argument. That’s been a part of the game for so many years. Some people like it and some people don’t, but I don’t think we change anything right now because we made changes last year. I don’t think it is necessary every year to put in rules because of the umpires. Right now I think it’s too early put in more replay. I think it’s too soon right now.”

Joe Buck on calling his 12th World Series tying him with Vin Scully and Curt Gowdy for most by a play-by-play announcer: “I don’t say this to try and be funny but I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I happened to work for the same people since I started as a 24-year-old. I’m lucky and I don’t consider myself in that category with those two guys. Those two guys are the standard by which all others are measured. I’m certainly not in that category just because I’ve had some longevity. I’ve just been the lucky guy and longevity doesn’t equal greatness and in my mind greatness is the other two guys and certainly continues with Vin Scully to this day. I’m not even in that same sentence. I just feel fortunate to be able to call my 12th.”

As he prepares to call his 20th World Series, Tim McCarver on the differences between calling a World Series game and playing in one: “It’s a lot tougher to announce a World Series than it is to play in one. I think Ozzie will find that out. Playing in it you can do something about it. From a preparation standpoint, you have to plan for far greater things that can happen to 25 different players and a manager. Your reactions are different because you are reacting from the standpoint of professional broadcaster as opposed to reacting from a player’s standpoint.”

Ozzie Guillen on concern over his use of language: “I don’t really curse and say bad things when I’m not with my team. I’m going to talk about my team. I’m going to talk about baseball. Don’t worry, I’m not going to curse. I only curse when Chicago media is around me.”

Ed Goren on national appeal of Phillies/Yankees: “I love the Phillies storylines. I hope it works out where it’s Pedro Martinez coming back to the Bronx and if there’s an athlete in baseball who I really love to see on the big stage and get more exposure it’s Ryan Howard. He seems to be a great kid and a heck of a ball player. I don’t think there will be a negative affect on our ratings with the two East Coast teams. In fact, during Turner’s NLCS coverage, there were actually more viewers in Philadelphia watching that series, even though it’s a smaller market, than were watching in Los Angeles. On top of everything else you have a team looking to win back-to-back World Series....We just came off of a great ALCS. If we get the caliber of games in the World Series that we got for the ALCS, we don’t have to worry about the ratings. We don’t have to worry about anything.”

Ozzie Guillen on Pedro Martinez’s season: “We tried Pedro a little bit at the White Sox to see what he had. Whenever you have the caliber of pitcher of Pedro, you’re always going to be in the game. As long as he throws strikes and throws the ball where he wants to, he’s always going to have a chance. I feel very, very excited about Pedro. I know he went through a lot of difficulties. He went to the workouts to show people he can still pitch. He pitched really well and a lot of people did not believe in him. He went back to the Dominican Republic and continued to do the rehab assignments, continued to work hard and I think that gave him what he wanted. He wanted the opportunity to be what he is right now and one thing it says is when you work hard, it will pay off.”

Joe Buck on criticism from fans that they are bias against one team or another: “We get excited when good plays happen and get critical when bad plays happen. It doesn’t matter which team we’re getting excited about and it doesn’t matter which team we are getting critical of. I think any fan that is living and dying with every pitch is an easily explained phenomenon. They want the voices they hear to think and act like they do. I think it’s only human nature. When they don’t hear that or they don’t hear their local announcers who do the games for them during the course of the summer and they’re hearing it from someone who has a different point of view, I think their radar goes up and it’s like, ‘clearly this guy is against my team.’ I can tell you, I don’t think like that.”

ALCS GAME 6 HIGHLIGHTS

Game 6 of the 2009 AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES averaged a 9.3/15 (15.5 million viewers) last night on FOX according to fast national ratings issued by Nielsen Media Research. Last night’s 9.3/15 is +37% better than FOX’s last LCS Game 6, a 6.8/13 for Indians-Red Sox in 2007. It’s also FOX’s most-watched LCS game, excluding Game Sevens, in five years, dating to Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS (25.1 mill. for the “bloody sock” game, BOS-NYY). Although complete prime-time averages won’t be available until tomorrow, it’s clear that FOX will easily win the night in prime-time and last night projects to be FOX’s highest-rated Sunday night since Super Bowl XLII in February of 2008.

Last night’s game peaked in the closing moments at a 10.2/22 (11.8 mill.). The post-11 PM ET portion of the game averaged a 9.5 rating, while the pre-11pm portion averaged a 9.3. This year’s earlier LCS start times allowed FOX to hold more of the audience through the final out. Across the five prime-time ALCS games, FOX’s post-11 PM ET rating was +12% higher than the pre-11pm rating (7.5 vs. 6.7). Last year that difference was just +2%.

New York topped all markets for Game 6 with a 26.4/40. Philadelphia was next with a very impressive 20.6/31. Los Angeles posted a series-high 15.5/27. Last night's schedule pitted the Yankees and the football Giants against each other in New York, and ALCS Game 6 drew a 26.4/40 in New York, while the Cardinals-Giants game on SNF earned a 9.3/14.

2009 ALCS ON FOX HIGHLIGHTS

The complete 2009 ALCS averaged a 6.5/12 (10.3 mill.), a huge +35% improvement over last year’s 4.8/8 for the NLCS on FOX (five games).

Thanks in part to the strength of the ALCS, FOX now ranks No. 1 season-to-date in prime-time among Adults 18-49. This is the first time since 2004 that FOX has topped the season-to-date A18-49 ranking during fourth quarter. The ALCS powered FOX to some of its most-watched nights of prime time in many months. Looking at the five prime-time games, Game 1 gave FOX its best Friday night in ten months, Game 2 the best Saturday night in ten months, Game 4 the best Tuesday night in three months, Game 5 the best Thursday night in seven months, and Game 6 projects as FOX’s best Sunday night in 20 months.

PHILLIES & YANKEES CLASH IN 2009 WORLD SERIES ON FOX

Game One Begins Wednesday Night from Yankee Stadium

Charismatic & Entertaining 2005 World Champion Manager Ozzie Guillen Joins Coverage as Pre & Postgame Analyst

Veteran Analyst Tim McCarver Calls an Unmatched 20th World Series;

Joe Buck Ties Curt Gowdy & Vin Scully for Record 12th World Series Play-by-Play Assignment

New York, N.Y.
-- The stage is set. FOX Sports’ exclusive coverage of Major League Baseball’s 105th World Series begins Wednesday, Oct. 28 (7:30 PM ET), with Game 1 between the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies and the American League Champion New York Yankees live from Yankee Stadium in New York. Play-by-play announcer Joe Buck and analyst Tim McCarver, MLB on FOX’s Emmy Award-winning lead broadcast team, call the action with MLB on FOX Insider Ken Rosenthal serving as in-game reporter for the series.

Coverage each night begins with the MLB on FOX pregame show hosted by Chris Rose live from New York and Philadelphia. Rose is joined by analysts Eric Karros, Mark Grace and special guest analyst for the 2009 Fall Classic, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. In addition to Guillen’s role on FOX Sports, he also provides exclusive analysis and content for FOXSports.com and appears on FOX Sports En EspaƱol World Series coverage.

The 2009 World Series marks McCarver’s 20th behind the microphone, adding to his record-setting achievement. His first assignment was the 1985 “Show Me Series” between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals. Buck calls his 12th World Series (all on FOX and with McCarver) and with that ties Vin Scully and Curt Gowdy for most World Series called by a play-by-play announcer. Rosenthal works his fourth World Series assignment for FOX Sports.

To bring viewers the sights and sounds of the Fall Classic, over 20 cameras and 80 microphones will be positioned throughout both Yankee Stadium and Citizens Bank Ballpark. Players, managers and umpires are scheduled to be miked for behind-the-scenes audio as well as in-game interviews with managers and coaches throughout the series.

New for the 2009 postseason, FOX Sports and TrackMan Baseball™ teamed up to introduce FOXTrax+, a set of exciting new graphics and information based on actual measurements of the baseball’s flight. FOXTrax+ utilizes a military-grade 3D Doppler radar that tracks the ball’s movement from the moment it leaves the pitcher’s hand all the way to the catcher’s glove – or in the case of a hit – until it hits the ground or is caught by a fielder. FOXTrax+ adds a new element to help viewers understand and appreciate the amazing athletic ability, reflexes, and power of the players.

FOX Sports’ social media campaign continues full force throughout the 2009 World Series. Fans can get behind-the-scenes photos, commentary and observations from Guillen, Grace, Karros, Rose, Buck, McCarver and Rosenthal before and during each World Series game broadcast. For instant updates, follow MLB on FOX on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MLBONFOX. Fans can also gain more access to exclusive FOX Sports content by logging on to www.facebook.com/foxsports and www.myspace.com/foxsports.

105th WORLD SERIES ON FOX BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Oct. 28 GAME 1 Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 7:30 PM

Thursday, Oct. 29 GAME 2 Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 7:30 PM

Saturday, Oct. 31 GAME 3 Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA 7:30 PM

Sunday, Nov. 1 GAME 4 Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA 8:00 PM

*Monday, Nov. 2 GAME 5 Citizens Bank Ballpark, Philadelphia, PA 7:30 PM

*Wednesday, Nov. 4 GAME 6 Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 7:30 PM

*Thursday, Nov. 5 GAME 7 Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY 7:30 PM

* If necessary

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NFL Pregame Notes from FOX and CBS

If you missed the NFL pregames on Sunday, here's what you missed from FOX and CBS Sports.

NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE,

BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 7 ON OCTOBER 25

►“SEC ON CBS’s” RATINGS ROLL WITH TIDE OVER TENNESSEE


CBS Sports’ coverage of the SEC ON CBS on Saturday, Oct. 24, which saw No. 1 Alabama defeating Tennessee, 12-10, earned an overnight household rating/share of 3.7/8, up 9% from last year’s 3.4/8 (No. 9 Georgia vs. No. 11 LSU).

►THE NFL TODAY’S JAMES BROWN INTERVIEW WITH NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL VIA SATELLITE FROM LONDON

(On whether NFL is looking to add more games played in London and other cities)

Commissioner Goodell:
The success we've had here in the U.K. over the last three years, if it continues to grow and we continue to build a bigger fan base, I think if we can continue that, we will look to add multiple games here. Again, we're just feeding the demand for our sport. We would love to be able to see multiple games in this market.

(On whether NFL is looking specifically to put a franchise in London and how soon that might be)

Commissioner Goodell:
I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves there, as far as getting a franchise here. If we can continue to be successful with every step, if we do play multiple games here in London and they continue to build on the success we already have and our fan base grows, yes, it's realistic to think that could happen someday. But it's down the road.

(On whether NFL will be back in Los Angeles; and whether it would be expansion or relocation)

Commissioner Goodell:
Well, we do think that the developments in California were positive this week. We're grateful for the leadership there, particularly the Governor who did sign that bill. But the reality is there's a lot more work to be done. It's clear a stadium can get built now and get over the hurdles of environmental and other challenges. But we really have to figure out how to finance it. And that’s the big challenge right now. It would probably be an $800 million stadium. That is going to be a real challenge for us. We'll do one step at a time. This is a positive development. Hopefully someday we'll be able to get back to Los Angeles because we know we have millions of fans in Southern California

(On potential League action against Oakland Head Coach Tom Cable despite being absolved of criminal charges)

Commissioner Goodell
: We’ve been monitoring it the whole way. This has been a criminal matter and the DA says they're not going to pursue it any further at this stage. We will look into that decision. We will follow up on it. And, if any action is necessary, we will take that.

(On what the NFL would do if a team experienced a major flu outbreak on game day)

Commissioner Goodell:
We've been working on this for a long time with our competition committee and our medical consultants. The reality of it is, we do everything we can for the health and safety of our players, but there could be a competitive issue if something like the swine flu struck a team, and a number of players were unavailable. If more than six players were unavailable at any given time, we do have a procedure in place to allow them to sign players on short notice and bring them up with their practice squad or sign them from the street. I think there are procedures in place should that happen. Our most important issue is to make sure it doesn't happen. We've had some concerns with a couple of players' health…but the reality is we've been able to contain it effectively with good medical help and that's our hope.

►More with Commissioner Goodell during an in-game interview in London with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms

Nantz:
Do you see having multiple games (in London) next year?

Commissioner Goodell: Yes I do. It’s possible that we extend the series to two games for 2010.

►QUICK HITS

(On Washington Head Coach Jim Zorn)

BILL COWHER:
The head coach is the face of the team. He's out there to give directions and answers. Three weeks ago when Sherman Lewis was brought in, it began the undermining of Jim Zorn as head coach and offensive coordinator. When he was faced this past week with the stripping of the play calling, he had two choices: No. 1 you say no, and that could lead to his firing; or No. 2 you can say, if that’s part of the contract and they can do that, you accept it, you leave the room and endorse it. He didn't do either. And in doing so, he lost his dignity and he lost his credibility. To me, he lost his ability to be a head coach and lead this football team. He's nothing more than a figure head right now.

BOOMER ESIASON: If I were a player under those circumstances, he has just been marginalized by the ownership and general manager of that team.

SHANNON SHARPE: There's enough blame to go around, but let's start at the top with the owner Daniel Snyder because he thinks you can win the Super Bowl by spending the most money on the first day of free agency. And that has never worked. Then you have Vinny Cerrato. He has a situation where he has a radio show. I don't think a Player Personnel or General Manager should talk about the inner workings of what’s happening in the organization. Maybe Jim Zorn is in over his head, but when you hire the offensive coordinator before you hire the head coach, there’s the problem right there. You don’t go to the grocery store, put the stuff in the basket and then start marking your list down. You get the list first. Then you go shopping. They hired the offensive coordinator first, then hired the coach. That’s wrong.

►“INSIDE THE NFL” WITH CHARLEY CASSERLY

(On Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford needing surgery)

CASSERLY:
In my opinion, get the surgery now. It’s a five-month rehab that will put you healthy one month before the draft; no complications in the surgery. I think he’ll still be a high number one pick in next year’s draft.

Johnson on Washington’s Problems: Zorn is Being Made the Scapegoat

Bradshaw on the Cowboys: Where’s the Offense?

Strahan’s Game Plan for Steelers: Forget Peterson. Make Favre Lose the Game

Long: Few Offenses Depend on QB as Much as Steelers Depend on Roethlisberger


Co-host Terry Bradshaw on Titans coach Jeff Fisher wearing Peyton Manning jersey at a charity event last weekend: “I have a big problem with it. If you are a player in that locker room and the coach is separating himself from you, he’s basically turned around and told the players ‘you’re the losers.’ I’m disappointed in Fisher.”

Analyst Jimmy Johnson on the situation in Washington with head coach Jim Zorn: “He is the head coach and he is responsible but let’s be very clear - He is being made a scapegoat. There are some other problems in Washington besides Jim Zorn. This is his first and probably his last big pay day. If he walks, he walks away from $4 million.”

Analyst Michael Strahan on the way the Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has handled the problems with his team: “I feel as a man and as a leader, Daniel Snyder has to treat people better than he has, especially in public. No one is going to respect you or your team and your players aren’t going to respect you. You’re not going to win handling your business like that.”

Analyst Jimmy Johnson on the Falcons/Cowboys clash today in Dallas: “Don’t be mislead by the Falcons 4-1 record. If the Cowboys don’t play sloppy, can protect the football and control the clock, they will control the game. Atlanta has had a tough time stopping anybody.”

Co-host Terry Bradshaw on the lack of big plays from the Cowboys this season: “Where’s the offense? Where’s the excitement? I’d like to see more attacks down the field. I don’t know if Jason Garrett has pulled away from that to give Romo more confidence but as a viewer, I’ve lost interest.”

Analysts Michael Strahan and Howie Long and Co-host Terry Bradshaw preview the Vikings @ Steelers matchup:

Strahan on Steelers plan of attack:
“This is a defensive game. If I were Mike Tomlin, this is how I would approach the game. Forget about Adrian Peterson. Adrian is going to get his yards, there’s nothing you can do. He’s going to get his yards, let him have his yards. Make Brett Favre lose this game. Attack Favre, put pressure on Favre and see how he handles it because a lot of teams have tried to load up against the running game which has freed up Brett Favre. Do the opposite and I guarantee it’ll work.”

Long on Favre’s impact in Minnesota: “I don’t think anyone could’ve envisioned Brett Favre being as good in Minnesota as he’s been to this point in the season. There’s no questions he’s had a huge impact on the football team from a leadership standpoint and more importantly, the football team believes that they can win a championship with him at quarterback.”

Long on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: “I think you’d be hard-pressed with the exception of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees to find a quarterback whose offense is more dependent on his performance than Ben Roethlisberger right now.”

Bradshaw: “Jared Allen will never get face to face with a quarterback that’s actually going to be bigger than he is and I’m talking about Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger has two Super Bowls and Favre has one. Brett’s on the road and this is a huge game for the Vikings because honestly, if they in fact beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh I’m going to jump all in with Minnesota because that is a major accomplishment.”

Analyst Jimmy Johnson on teams running up the score: “The New England Patriots have been accused several times of running up the score in 2007. Last Sunday Tom Brady set a new record with five TD passes in the second quarter. Patriots beat Tennessee 59-0. You ask, ‘why weren’t the substitutes in earlier?’ Every NFL player has incentives for every statistic imaginable from touchdowns to sacks to amount of playing time. You put a good player on the bench and he doesn’t make his extra money, you’ll have one very unhappy employee. As a coach, I never wanted my players to ever get into a bad habit of going half-speed. Coaches can’t stand sloppy play. Once against the Bears with the playoffs wrapped up and a comfortable lead, I substituted for Emmitt Smith with Curvin Richards, his backup. Curvin fumbled and Chicago scored. Curvin fumbled again and Chicago scored again. I cut Curvin as soon as we got in the locker room. We didn’t turn the ball over again until Leon Lett’s famous fumble in the Super Bowl so it made a point. I’ve been criticized for running up the score. One year at the University of Miami, [former Notre Dame head coach] Ara Parseghian criticized me for blocking a punt against Notre Dame in the 4th quarter and going up 58-7. I only had 10 players on the field, they were substitutes and half of them didn’t know what they were doing. Deep down I loved that we won by 50 points. We paid Notre Dame back for all those years that the Irish beat up on those cupcake teams that had no chance to win against them. Believe me, players and coaches love being on the plus side of a blowout. There is pride and bragging rights involved. If you don’t agree you’re saying the NFL should have a mercy rule like they have in tee ball for six-year-olds. I don’t want that, the fans done want that either.”

Jets win big - Leon Washington out for year with broken leg

It's the classic good news, bad news day for the NY Jets.

On the positive sides, the Jets break their three game losing streak with a 38-0 rout of the Raiders. On the downside, they've lost RB Leon Washington for the season with a broken leg. The bone actually broke through the skin so he'll have to stay in Oakland to have the surgery done to make sure there is no infection.

Picking up the slack without Washington was Thomas Jones and rookie Shonn Greene, who ran up the Raiders for 16-121, 1 TD and 19-144, 2 TD's respectively.

Here are the high and low's from Oakland, courtesy of CBS and NFL.com.

Next up - Miami next Sunday at 1pm in the Meadowlands.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

WWE Bragging Rights PPV Predictions

Lots of intrigue and different directions to go to for this month's PPV offering from the WWE. It's Bragging Rights and it's RAW vs. Smackdown on many fronts, which I'm sure will lead to a few Survivor Series matches in November between the two brands.

But, for now, we try to tell you what's going to happen Sunday night. And on a side note, we send along our best to Jim Ross, who'll miss the PPV after his latest setback of Bells Palsy. Good luck and a speedy recovery JR!

Now, on to the predictions!

Raw vs. Smackdown Divas Match: TEAM RAW - Melina, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN - Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix and Natalya
Does it really matter who wins this one? No, not really. Plus, where it Mickie James in all this? No where and that's a shame. I'll give the continued push to Miss Melina and let the flashes begin!
Winner: TEAM RAW

Non-Title IC Champ vs. US Champ Match: The Miz vs. John Morrison
I love the push of the Miz. He's got the charisma to pull of the "I'm better than everyone else" routine and he's got some in-ring skills to boot. This one should be a good one. I'll give it to Mr. Morrison, but hopefully, this feud continues into Survivor Series and beyond because both are good enough to pull off a few twists to keep in interesting.
Winner: John Morrison

World Title Match: The Undertaker vs. CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Rey Mysterio
Does it really make any sense to make The Undertaker a one-month champ? No, not really. But, I could see Batista making a heel turn to take the next stab at UT for the next feud though.
Winner: The Undertaker

John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match
- No DQ's or Countout's; If Cena loses, he must leave RAW; If Orton loses, he gets no more rematches against Cena

It's time for Randy Orton to move on for a new victim. Why send off your top talent and worker in John Cena to a show that most people can't see on Friday night's thanks to no one gets My Network TV! OK, I feel better after that rant!
Winner: John Cena

Seven-on-Seven Match: TEAM RAW - DX (Co-Captains), The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry vs. TEAM SMACKDOWN Chris Jericho (Captain), Kane, Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd
I'm going to call this one the coming out party for Cody Rhodes as he steals the show and makes the difference for TEAM RAW. I'd love to see more tag matches between Legacy and The Hart Dynasty. Maybe we'll see that as part of a Survivor Series Original Four-on-Four Match.
Winner: TEAM RAW

The latest on Jim Ross

Good 'ol JR, Jim Ross from the WWE, has the latest on his health and challenge from the recent attack of Bells Palsy. It's from his own blog. We continue to wish JR a speedy recovery and hope to see him soon on WWE TV. Looks like we'll be getting lots of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler on the Bragging Rights PPV Sunday night.

Here's the statement from JR's blog:

"Hope everyone's having a great Saturday. As I write this on my trusty Blackberry, I am on an Oklahoma team bus in route from KC to Lawrence and will be on the Sooner sideline later today for an important Big 12 Conference football game. Yep, my neurologist cleared my travel because the flight was only 40 minutes and I'm drive home after the game w/ friends. Here's the latest. I had a MRI Friday on my brain and inner ear and will get the result, hopefully, Monday afternoon. Hopefully, that will be good news. I'm thinking it will. My right eye is problematic but we have the meds in place to protect my cornea due to the dryness issues. My vision is blurred in the right eye but I'm optimistic it will improve. Senstive hearing on certain tones remain as are frequent migrain-like headaches but I'm dealing w/ it. No worries. The right side of my face isn't sagging as bad as my two previous bouts of Bells palsy. Still, my "leading man" status is in jeopardy. :)

The doctors won't and can't provide me a timeline as to when I will return but, without fail, I will return at some point "Sooner" than later. And w/ more P&V than ever! Certainly not pleased to be missing WWE Bragging Rights Sunday on PPV but will watch it from home in Norman. That way I can "second guess" w/ the best of 'em and "knock" the announcers. Those were jokes. The show has many unknown entities and had my curiousity aroused especially the young talents that might step up and the 60 Minute Ironman match. If Miz vs Morrison kickoff the show, they have a huge op to make ev everyone else "follow this." I'll be watching lots of wrestling over the next few weeks plus some overdue viewing of some DVD's and books I want to read. Got some great text messages Friday night from Steve Austin w/ some hilarous albeit timely advice. Thanks again for all the well wishes and especially the prayers from around the world. Business in our on line store has even picked up! :)

God Bless you all. Boomer Sooner!

J.R."