Thursday, December 31, 2009

FOX Sports sits down with Urban Meyer at Sugar Bowl

From Fox Sports -

MYERS SITS DOWN FOR ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW WITH FLORIDA HEAD COACH URBAN MEYER – Before Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators take the field to battle the unbeaten Cincinnati Bearcats in the ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL this Thursday, Jan. 1, (8:00 PM ET) FOX Sports reporter Chris Myers will sit down with Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer. Earlier this month, Meyer announced his resignation due to health reasons but quickly changed his ‘resignation’ to a ‘leave of absence’ and expects to be on the Gators sideline when next season opens. But how will he do it? Myers will talk to Meyer about what went into Urban’s decision, his current health and what the head coach sees in the future for himself and the University of Florida football program. The one-on-one interview will be taped on Thursday and shown during FOX’s BUILT FORD TOUGH BCS pregame show.

FOXSPORTS.COM TO UNVEIL “STAR CAM” ON FLORIDA GATORS QB TIM TEBOW DURING ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL – The collegiate football career of perhaps the most celebrated athlete in college sports will come to an end this Thursday, Jan. 1 when Tim Tebow takes the field for the final time in his Florida Gators uniform when they take on the Cincinnati Bearcats in the ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL. In this highly anticipated, emotional farewell, FOXSports.com unveils it’s “Star Cam,” positioned high on the 50-yard line to be isolated on Tebow from the second he takes the field until the moment he runs into the locker room. A constant video stream of this select angle is available to fans by logging onto FOXSports.com or by clicking here: http://msn.foxsports.com/video/shows/Sugar-Bowl.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Friday Feel Good - Pre New Year's Edition

With kudos to my lovely wife, Laura for finding this one, here's some sexy, sexy Lindsay Lohan to ring in the New Year for ya. Call it a little early Friday Feel Good action for ya. Thanks to our friends at Muse and tspot.pl for the pics and video.





















Enjoy!

Jets/Bengals wraps up Sunday Night Football on NBC

From NBC Sports -

JETS CAN CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH WITH WIN AGAINST BENGALS ON "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"

"Whoever stops the run most effectively is going to win the game." - Football Night's Dungy

"These are really two defensively dominant football teams." - SNF's Collinsworth

NEW YORK - Dec. 30, 2009
- The host New York Jets can clinch an AFC Wild Card playoff berth with a win against the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals in the final game of the NFL's regular season on "NBC Sunday Night Football."

Coverage begins with "Football Night in America," Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside the stadium. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action from Giants Stadium.

Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host "Football Night" from NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Tiki Barber will report from Cowboys Stadium on the Cowboys-Eagles game.

COLLINSWORTH: "These are really two defensively dominant football teams."

DUNGY ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RUNNING GAME: "The game is going to hinge on run offense and run defense. Cedric Benson is having a great year. The Jets lead the league in rushing. Both teams will say they have to take away the run game and whoever stops the run most effectively is going to win the game."

COLLINSWORTH ON THE BENGALS DEFENSE: "Mike Zimmer and the job he's done in Cincinnati has been remarkable. You often think of Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco but that really has not been the "M.O." of the Bengals this year. It's defense, running the ball and winning close games."

DUNGY ON THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE TEAMS MAY MEET IN THE WILD CARD ROUND: "It's a very interesting situation. I had one of those in 2001. We (Tampa Bay) were playing Philadelphia and we knew we were going to play them again the next week in the playoffs. So how much do you show?"

JETS VS. BENGALS: The Jets lead the all-time series, 14-7, including a 44-17 victory over the Bengals in the 1982 playoffs. New York has won six of the last seven overall in the series plus the last seven at home. The Bengals last victory at New York came in 1981 when the Jets played at Shea Stadium.

JETS-BENGALS IN PRIMETIME: Since NBC acquired the NFL's premier primetime package in 2006, the Cincinnati Bengals have played only once and lost to Pittsburgh, 24-10, in 2007. The New York Jets are making their first-ever appearance on "NBC Sunday Night Football."

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: The NFL utilizes flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17. In those weeks, the schedule will list the games tentatively scheduled for Sunday night on NBC Sports. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the move may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.

"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" DOMINATES SUNDAY NIGHT: With two weeks remaining in the NFL season, "Sunday Night Football" has won 14 of 15 Sunday nights, already passing its total of Sunday night wins from 2008. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 and nine of 16 in 2006. Sunday Night had a bye in Week 8 due to game four of the World Series.

"Sunday Night Football" is also experiencing its best start since NBC acquired the NFL's premier primetime package in 2006 (SNF, 2006-Present, MNF, 1970-2005). Below is SNF viewership through 16 weeks:

2009: 19.6 million
2008: 16.7 million, up 17%
2007: 16.0 million, up 23%
2006: 17.7 million, up 11%

NBC & THE NFL: NBC's long history with the NFL dates back 70 years to 1939 when NBC became the first network to televise an NFL game - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbets Field to the approximately 1,000 sets then in New York. NBC first broadcast the NFL Championship Game in 1955. In 1964, NBC signed a five-year contract to televise the AFL. NBC was awarded the AFC package in 1970, an association that would continue through the 1997-98 season. NBC televised the first Super Bowl in 1967, the historic New York Jets' upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, and this past February broadcast Super Bowl XLIII, the most-watched program in television history.

NFL on CBS Week 17

From CBS Sports -

THE NFL ON CBS: WEEK 17 (SUNDAY, JAN. 3)

AUDIBLES WITH LEAD “NFL ON CBS” GAME ANALYST PHIL SIMMS AND “NFL TODAY” STUDIO 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, Jan. 3 (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 Baltimore Ravens-Oakland Raiders game live from Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. 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.

PHIL SIMMS

(On Baltimore):
Baltimore is as good as they were last year, and that’s the team that went to the AFC Championship game. They could be 12-3 as easy as they are 8-7. If you said to me the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl, I can’t say I’d be completely shocked if it happened. They are a dangerous team with a unique style, especially on defense. Of course, they have to win Sunday to get this thing going. If you think back to all their games: against New England; against Indianapolis, when they had about ten chances to beat them; an incredible loss to Pittsburgh, it keeps going and going. Of course they won some close ones too. I don’t discount any of these players, or these wild card teams, when they go to the playoffs.

(On New York Giants): To say the Giants need an overhaul is just not the truth. At the worst they need to be tweaked. But they definitely do not need an overhaul. They had injuries in key situations and spots this year that they did not overcome. Listen, the team did lose a little bit of its edge and not making the playoffs, that’s one way to get it back Any team that I’ve ever been around, played on, or covered, there is a group of five guys that kind of run the football team. And they run it with their work habits, the way they act, and maybe most importantly, with their play on the field. I don’t think at this time I can name five guys on the Giants who are those guys. Now I could be wrong. They might have five that are leading, but it’s not noticeable…I’m a pretty good fan and I couldn’t pick them out for you.

(On New York Jets): The Bengals and the Patriots will both rest players. That is going to give the Jets a good opportunity to take advantage, which they did last week, and win.

BILL COWHER

(On some teams that need Playoff help):
Houston, Denver and the Steelers have put themselves in a position where they need help. Unfortunately, the teams that they need help from don’t have the same amount at stake as they do. Consequently, their fate is in a team that really doesn’t have to win the game. I’m talking about the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots. They control the fate of a lot of people. As I used to always tell my teams, they earned that right. Just like the Indianapolis Colts earned the right to do whatever they needed to do to get themselves prepared for the playoffs. As a football team that needs help, when it’s all said and done, if you don’t get in, you reflect back on some of the games that you let get away; a missed opportunity here and there where you could have controlled your own fate.

(On Week 17 being so meaningful): It’s wonderful for a Week 17 to have as many playoff-implication games as we have, particularly in the AFC, and even still now in the NFC with a bye week riding on the final results. The NFL playoff system is as good as you’re going to have it. I’ve always said about the National Football League, as opposed to the other professional Leagues, you can play your way into the playoffs. In a lot of other Leagues you play your way out of the playoffs. That very clearly indicates to me that the NFL has the right amount of teams in the playoffs – not too many, not too few. Nothing is more evident than what we see in Week 17 with all the possible playoff implications that still exist.

Following are THE NFL ON CBS assignments for Week 17 (subject to change).

WEEK 17 – Jan. 3 – CBS DOUBLEHEADER
1:00 PM, ET starts:

●Pittsburgh @ Miami
Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf

●Indianapolis @ Buffalo
Bill Macatee/Steve Beuerlein

●New England @ Houston
Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots

●Jacksonville @ Cleveland
Gus Johnson/Steve Tasker

4:15 PM, ET starts:
●Kansas City @ Denver
Dick Enberg/Dan Fouts

●Baltimore @ Oakland
Jim Nantz/Phil Simms

●Tennessee @ Seattle
Ian Eagle/Rich Gannon

NCAA on CBS Saturday Doubleheader

From CBS Sports -

CBS SPORTS RINGS IN NEW YEAR WITH COLLEGE BASKETBALL DOUBLEHEADER ON SATURDAY, JAN. 2

CBS Sports’college basketball schedule continues with a doubleheader to ring in the New Year on Saturday, Jan. 2. Regional coverage tips off the day with *No. 22-ranked Gonzaga vs. Illinois and Arizona at UCLA (1:00 PM, ET). National coverage of Louisville taking on *No. 3-ranked Kentucky follows.

Don Criqui and analyst Bill Raftery call the action from the United Center in Chicago, Ill. for the Gonzaga-Illinois game. Sellers Shy produces and Mark Grant directs.

Spero Dedes and Greg Anthony are courtside at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. with the call for the Arizona-UCLA game. Steve Scheer produces and Andy Goldberg directs.

Verne Lundquist joins CBS Sports’ lead college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg to call the action from the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Bob Dekas, CBS Sports’ coordinating producer for college basketball, produces and Chris Svendsen directs.

AT THE HALF, CBS Sports’ halftime studio show, hosted by Tim Brando along with Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis, provides all the day’s news, scores and highlights live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

*Coaches Poll as of 12/28/09

Insdie the NFL Preview - Week 17

From CBS Sports / Showtime:

NEWS, NOTES AND QUOTES FROM WEEK 17 OF INSIDE THE NFL ON SHOWTIME®

Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Discusses Future of Wade Phillips and Collective Bargaining

NEW YORK (Dec. 30, 2009)—
Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, joins James Brown, Cris Collinsworth, Phil Simms and Warren Sapp this week on INSIDE THE NFL on Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME to discuss the coaching status of Wade Phillips and the collective bargaining agreement.

INSIDE THE NFL is being produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films with new episodes airing on SHOWTIME every Wednesday during the NFL season through February 10, 2010. Pete Radovich serves as coordinating producer. The executive producers are Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, and NFL Films President Steve Sabol.

Below are excerpts transcribed from this week’s episode:

(Jerry Jones on coaching status of Wade Phillips)

Cris Collinsworth:
You haven’t said Wade (Phillips) is coming back. As the decision maker of the Dallas Cowboys, is that a bit intentional to keep the pressure on this football team as they go into the playoffs?

Jerry Jones: There is no need to because this team is motivated without me having to say, ‘Well I say our coach is going to be back.’ What is the case, and they understand that, is that we are going to be a better football team if we don’t make a coaching change. If I look back over the last 10 years and I need to re-do the last 10 years in varying areas, I look at the revolving door we’ve had with coaches here and that takes its toll. That takes its toll on the top personnel you have, on the schemes you run, so continuity would be important to me. There is no doubt the Dallas Cowboys would be better off in years to come if we can keep Wade Phillips as head coach.

(On Indianapolis Colts taking out their starters)

Phil Simms:
I came down here today and I was ready to argue that the Colts did the right thing. That was my first thought, 14-0 they earned the right to do what they think was best for the football team. But as I watched that game, I changed my mind. I saw those players and I started thinking about what they have done over the years, what they have built. They can handle the pressure, the scrutiny that comes with being undefeated. And when I saw their faces on the sideline, I said, ‘Wow, I think they made a mistake.’ They should have gone for it.

Collinsworth: As a former player I was thinking I don’t know what I would have done on the sideline. I probably would have gone in the game. Really, I probably would have said, ‘I don’t care what you said’ …I would have said, ‘are you kidding me? We have a chance to be considered the greatest football team of all time.’ Think about what we do with the 1972 Miami Dolphins to this day. Every year we talk about them popping champagne. They are historically significant. The Indianapolis Colts because of the longer regular-season schedule, could have laid claim that they are the greatest football team of all-time. And all you have to do is let me finish a half. They only have to finish a half because they only have to play a quarter against Buffalo and win that game. Finish a half and we have the greatest team of all time.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NFL and BCS Bowls on FOX

FOX SPORTS NOTES, QUOTES & ANECDOTES

FOX’s Bowl Bash Kicks Off Jan. 1 with ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL; Slate includes AT&T COTTON BOWL, TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL and FEDEX ORANGE BOWL

NFC East Title and No. 2 Seed on the Line in NFL on FOX Week 17
Doubleheader Action

FOX SPORTS BOWL BASH STARTS NEW YEARS DAY WITH ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
– FOX Sports kicks off its 2010 BCS campaign in prime time on New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan. 1 (8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT) with the ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL live from the Louisiana Superdome where the Big East Champions and undefeated Cincinnati Bearcats face Tim Tebow and the defending National Champion Florida Gators. NFL on FOX analyst Brian Billick makes his BCS debut calling the action alongside his partner on Sunday’s and BCS on FOX lead play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman with Chris Myers reporting from the sidelines. From Cowboys Stadium on Saturday, Jan. 2, FOX Sports presents the AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC (2:00 PM ET/11:00 AM PT). Legendary broadcaster Pat Summerall calls the clash between Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Ole Miss Rebels, alongside former Dallas Cowboys fullback and NFL on FOX analyst Daryl Johnston with Krista Voda reporting from the sidelines. BCS Bowl action continues on Monday, Jan. 4 (7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT) with a battle of two undefeated teams in the 2010 TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL when the Mountain West Champion TCU Horned Frogs take on the WAC Champion Boise State Broncos led by head coach Chris Petersen. Sam Rosen and former USC All-American Tim Ryan call the action live from the University of Phoenix Stadium, with Chris Myers reporting from the sidelines. Last, but certainly not least, FOX Sports heads to Miami on Tuesday, Jan. 5 (7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT) for the 2010 FEDEX ORANGE BOWL when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets face the Iowa Hawkeyes. Veteran play-by-play man Dick Stockton and BCS on FOX analyst Charles Davis call the action live from Landshark Stadium. Laura Okmin and Chris Myers provide updates from the sidelines. Chris Rose hosts pre-and postgame coverage alongside National Championship-winning coach Jimmy Johnson and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George for the ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL, TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL and the FEDEX ORANGE BOWL.

2010 BCS & COTTON BOWL ON FOX SCHEDULE
BCS Studio
Host: Chris Rose
Analysts: Jimmy Johnson & Eddie George

Jan. 1 ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL 8:00 PM
Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Florida Gators
Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick & Chris Myers

Jan. 2 AT&T COTTON BOWL CLASSIC 2:00 PM
Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Ole Miss Rebels
Pat Summerall, Daryl Johnston & Krista Voda

Jan. 4 TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL 7:30 PM
TCU Horned Frogs vs. Boise State Broncos
Sam Rosen, Tim Ryan & Chris Myers

Jan. 5 FEDEX ORANGE BOWL 7:30 PM
Georgia Tech Yellow vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Dick Stockton, Charles Davis & Laura Okmin/Chris Myers

CHARLES DAVIS: DIFFERENCE IN SUGAR BOWL COMES DOWN TO FLORIDA’S D – BCS on FOX analyst Charles Davis dissects this Friday’s Sugar Bowl between the Cincinnati Bearcats and Florida Gators: “Cincinnati is an offensive driven team that replaced 10 starters on defense when the season began and played pretty well early. But in the last month of the season, everything became a track meet with a mentality of ‘the offense better win it.’ They do such a great job maximizing matchups on offense and getting the ball in the hands of playmakers like Isaiah Pead, and wideouts Armon Binns and Mardy Gilyard. For Florida, their defense is outstanding and that’s where I see the difference in this game. Guys like Carlos Dunlap rushing the passer with Jermaine Cunningham off the edge; they’re going to be tough to stop.”

NFL ON FOX WEEK 17: SEEDING IN NFC PLAYOFFS ON THE LINE – All six spots are filled in the NFC, but the schedule and seeding picture is still cloudy as the NFL on FOX wraps up its 16th regular season with an eight-game doubleheader on Sunday, Jan 3. Beginning with the 1:00 PM ET games, Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings look to secure the No. 2 seed and a first round bye when they host the Giants. In Charlotte, the No. 1 seeded Saints play a playoff tune-up against their NFC South rival Panthers. Falcons/Bucs, 49ers/Rams and Bears/Lions round out the early action. At 4:15 PM ET, the NFC East division title is on the line when Tony Romo and the Cowboys host Donovan McNabb and the Eagles. Philadelphia can clinch the No. 2 seed with a victory and Dallas secures a home playoff game with a win. In Arizona, Kurt Warner and the Cardinals can secure the No. 2 seed with a victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers coupled with Vikings and Eagles losses. Also, the Chargers host the Redskins.

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.

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.

1pm starts
New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings (63% of nation)
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston & Tony Siragusa
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome – Minneapolis, MN
MARKETS INCLUDE
: Albuquerque, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tulsa, Washington, West Palm Beach

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (14% of nation)
Thom Brennaman & Brian Billick
Bank of America Stadium – Charlotte, NC
MARKETS INCLUDE:
Austin, Birmingham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Bucs (7% of nation)
Dick Stockton, Charles Davis & Laura Okmin
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL
MARKETS INCLUDE
: Atlanta, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (5% of nation)
Matt Vasgersian & Ross Tucker
Edward Jones Dome – St. Louis, MO
MARKETS INCLUDE:
Sacramento, San Francisco

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (5% of nation) Chris Myers & Trent Green
Ford Field – Detroit, MI
MARKETS INCLUDE:
Chicago

4:15pm starts
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (79% of nation)
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman & Pam Oliver
Dallas Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, TX
MARKETS INCLUDE
: Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Birmingham, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Detroit, Fort Myers, Greensboro, Greenville, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Knoxville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence, Raleigh, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, St. Louis, Tampa, Tulsa, West Palm Beach

Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals (9% of nation)
Sam Rosen & Tim Ryan
University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, AZ
MARKETS INCLUDE:
Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix

Washington Redskins at San Diego Chargers (6% of nation)
Ron Pitts, John Lynch & Nischelle Turner
Qualcomm Stadium – San Diego, CA
MARKETS INCLUDE:
Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond, San Diego, Washington

LONG QUESTIONS WHO WILL RISE TO THE TOP OF THE NFC – Following the Vikings loss to the Bears on Monday night, the Saints backed into the No. 1 seed in the NFC but how the other five teams will rank comes down to Week 17. FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Howie Long looks at how the NFC playoff picture has been drastically changed in a few short weeks: “Four weeks ago, I thought there was only one team that had a shot of beating New Orleans in New Orleans, and that was Minnesota. Now, with both the Saints and Vikings struggling, you can make a case that Philadelphia and Dallas might be the best teams in the NFC. After watching the Packers beat the Seahawks Sunday, I came away totally impressed with Aaron Rodgers, who is looking every bit the part of a franchise quarterback. He's everything that coach Mike McCarthy and GM Ted Thompson thought he would be. But the best news for the Packers is they are getting their running game on track at the right time. Ryan Grant scored twice and missed 100 yards by only 3. He has become a force. It’s amazing how things have changed over the last few weeks.”

BILLICK ON CALDWELL’S DECISION: “WINNING A SUPER BOWL IS THE ONLY BAROMETER FOR COLTS” – “You can go around and around on both sides of whether Jim Caldwell’s decision to sit his starters was the right move,” said NFL on FOX analyst and Super Bowl-winning head coach Brian Billick. “If the Colts win the Super Bowl, it means absolutely nothing. If they stumble anywhere along the way and don’t win it all, this game will be looked upon as the reason. For the Colts right now, that’s the only barometer. At the very least this has caused a pause for a team that had a great deal of momentum and was feeling good about themselves. I know they’re going with the company line and the players are signing off on it but in that locker room there’s some question about whether they should have rested their starters. If nothing else it has created a distraction.”

MALARIA NO MORE ROUNDS OUT FOX SPORTS SUPPORTS’ YEARLY CHARITABLE CAMPAIGN – FOX Sports has selected Malaria No More as the official charity of the BCS on FOX games in this January 2010. Malaria No More provides simple nets to save lives in Africa by protecting those in danger of malarial mosquitoes that bite at night. FOX Sports taped a public service announcement to help raise awareness for the cause. The PSA features American Idol host Ryan Seacrest, BCS analyst and FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Jimmy Johnson, BCS on FOX host Chris Rose and BCS on FOX analyst Charles Davis. "FOX Sports Supports is a powerful partner, helping African families protect themselves from malaria,” said Scott Case, CEO of Malaria No More. “Offering up the tremendous platform of the Bowl Championship Series will help us reach a new audience, heighten awareness of malaria and get closer to our goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa.” Please visit www.MalariaNoMore.org for more information or www.foxsportssupports.com.

CBS goes bowling with Sun and Gator Bowls

From CBS Sports -

CBS SPORTS CONCLUDES 2009 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WITH BRUT SUN BOWL AND KONICA MINOLTA GATOR BOWL

Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden Coaches Final Game at Sun Bowl


CBS Sports’ 2009 coverage of college football concludes over New Year’s with two bowl games. On Thursday, Dec. 31 (2:00-6:00 PM, ET), Oklahoma faces *No. 21-ranked Stanford in the 76th annual BRUT SUN BOWL, live on the CBS Television Network. This marks the 42nd consecutive year CBS Sports will broadcast the match-up from El Paso, Texas.

Play-by-play announcer Craig Bolerjack and analyst Steve Beuerlein handle the call for Oklahoma-Stanford from Sun Bowl Stadium. Sam Ryan reports. Steve Scheer produces and Jim Cornell directs.

On New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 (1:00-5:00 PM, ET), CBS Sports broadcasts the KONICA MINOLTA GATOR BOWL for the fourth consecutive year as *No. 16-ranked West Virginia takes on Florida State. The Gator Bowl is the sixth-oldest college bowl game and was the first post-season bowl game to be televised nationally. CBS Sports broadcast the first-ever televised Gator Bowl on December 31, 1954.

CBS Sports’ lead college football announce team of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson call the action for West Virginia-Florida State from Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Tracy Wolfson serves as sideline reporter. Craig Silver, CBS Sports’ coordinating producer of college football, produces and Steve Milton directs the Network’s coverage.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game, halftime and post-game studio show, will be broadcast live from New York City on Friday, with host Tim Brando, and analysts Spencer Tillman and Tony Barnhart. Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

*BCS Poll as of 12/07/09

AUDIBLES with CBS Sports’ Lead College Football Analyst Gary Danielson

(On Secret to Coaching Longevity):
In the midst of this thing with Urban Meyer and his burnout, the contrast with Bobby Bowden hits home. What lesson do we learn from it and what would I take from it? If I was Urban Meyer what I would do before I came back is sit down with Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno and ask, ‘What’s the secret?’ You guys have been in the middle of college football for all these years; you still have so much joy and intensity for it. What am I not seeing? What Bobby brought was - yes he was intense, yes he built his team to compete at the highest level - but he always had an outside interest. Whether it was his golf or his speaking or his family vacations, he could get away from it. Same with Joe with the Library and raising money. These young coaches who have worked their way up need to find an alternative in their life besides family and football. When they are with football they think they miss their family. When they are with their family they think they miss football. They need something else.

New Year's Eve Double-Dip NBA on TNT

From TNT Sports -

The NBA on TNT Rings in the New Year with an Exclusive Doubleheader

Heat @ Spurs followed by 76ers @ Clippers


TNT counts down to 2010 during its TNT NBA Thursday on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, with an exclusive doubleheader beginning at 7 p.m. (ET). The first game will feature Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs hosting Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. Marv Albert (play-by-play) will call the game alongside Mike Fratello (analyst) with Craig Sager reporting. In the second game of the night, Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers will visit Baron Davis and the Los Angeles Clippers at 9:30 p.m. (ET). Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Reggie Miller (analyst) will be courtside with Cheryl Miller reporting. The Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai with Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst) will recap the games.

This week, TNT will announce the nominees for its ‘TNT All-Decade NBA: Buzzer Beaters’ category. Fans can visit NBA.com’s ‘TNT All-Decade NBA’ page (http://www.nba.com/alldecade/vote3/) to view clips of the previously announced nominees and cast a vote on who they think should win. The ‘TNT All-Decade NBA’ includes the top performances, games and moments throughout the 2000’s and winners will be announced in a special one-hour show airing during TNT’s exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. (ET).

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 Twitter (http://twitter.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:
Thursday, Dec. 31
7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst)

7:15 p.m. Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

9:30 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers @ Los Angeles Clippers
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Cheryl Miller (reporter)

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

NBA ON TNT UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Thursday, Jan. 14
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst)

8:15 p.m. Chicago Bulls @ Boston Celtics
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

10:30 p.m. Cleveland Cavaliers @ Utah Jazz
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)

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






-30-

Monday, December 28, 2009

Patriots 2010 opponents

Now, talk about your attractive schedule! The networks should just love the Patriots 2010 home slate, plus a road game in San Diego and a possible Thanksgiving Day match-up with the Lions.

Home
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Away
Buffalo
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Winter Classic comes to Fenway Park Friday

From NBC Sports -

FENWAY PARK HOSTS 2010 BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC ON NEW YEAR’S DAY ON NBC SPORTS

“It’s the toughest ticket to get that I have seen in all of my years in Boston.” – Boston native, NBC’s Milbury

“The buzz for it is like nothing I've seen.” – NBC’s Costas

“It’s an event. It’s much more than a game.” - NBC’s Flood

NEW YORK - Dec. 28, 2009
- Fenway Park will host the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the host Boston Bruins and visiting Philadelphia Flyers on New Year’s Day with broadcast coverage presented by NBC Sports beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Bob Costas will host NBC’s coverage from Boston, joined by Mike Milbury (studio analyst), Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst), Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter), Darren Pang (inside-the glass-reporter), and The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore (weatherman). NBC’s NHL coverage is produced by Sam Flood, a Boston native and the former captain of the Williams College hockey team.

This year’s Winter Classic marks the third outdoor NHL game played in the United States. Last year’s event at Wrigley Field between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings was the most-viewed NHL regular season game in almost 34 years. An average of more than 4.4 million Americans watched the Red Wings defeat the Blackhawks, 6-4, from Wrigley, a 17-percent increase over the inaugural Winter Classic (3.75 million) and the biggest regular-season audience since Feb. 23, 1975 (5.4 million, Philadelphia-New York Rangers on NBC), according to Nielsen Media Research.

COSTAS ON THE BUZZ AROUND THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC: “The buzz for it is like nothing I've seen.”

MILBURY, A BOSTON NATIVE, ON THE BUZZ IN BOSTON: “The energy has been building since the announcement. It’s the toughest ticket to get that I have seen in all of my years in Boston, including Bruins playoffs, Red Sox playoffs, Patriots championships and Celtics championships. This is an event. It’s going to be a spectacular event and I’m proud to even be a little bit a part of it.”

COSTAS ON THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC AS AN EVENT: “This really is an event. It attracts a lot of people who don’t necessarily follow hockey closely throughout the course of the year.”

EMRICK ON HOW PAST PLAYERS FEEL ABOUT THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC: “I spoke with Ryan Miller, the goalie from Buffalo just this past fall almost two years after the first Winter Classic. He still has a big smile on his face when he talks about it. And his team didn’t win! Ryan Whitney and Colby Armstrong, now former Penguins, were walking in with the bagpipes and the fire salutes and one tapped the other on the shoulder and said ‘Lifetime memory right here. Take it in.’”

COSTAS ON THE HISTORY OF THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC: “The first one turned out even better than we thought it would. It snowed in Buffalo and was a tremendous atmosphere with that snow globe affect on camera; Sidney Crosby wins it with the winning goal in a shootout. And then we go to Wrigley field last year and the rivalry between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings. And now we take it to Fenway Park.”

FLOOD ON PRODUCING OUTDOORS: “We almost have twice as much equipment as we have for a regular-season NHL game. We have an airplane, which is not normal for a hockey game. For the first game, it was one of those ground breaking moments in TV -- a replay from an airplane of a hockey game. It never happened before and can only be duplicated.”

MILBURY ON GROWING UP PLAYING OUTDOORS: “We lived on the ponds. The excitement was there because there was nobody to tell you where to go, where to line up. It was just mayhem. You played until you couldn’t play anymore and were frozen. You maybe brought an orange and broke it open and had that incredible smell of the fresh cold air.”

FLOOD ON THE WEATHER MAN: “It’s an event. It’s much more than a game. It’s the only hockey game in America or the world where you have a weather man working for you. Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel will be there. We’ve had a weather man at every game.”

MILBURY ON THE FREEDOM OF PLAYING OUTDOORS: “The players will be incredibly excited walking into that venue. The whole sense of playing outside is a sense of joy, pure freedom without any restrictions, no rules, no regulations. Just go beat around a puck and try to put it in between two old boots and have some fun.”

EMRICK ON THE PLAYERS: “You should’ve seen Brian Boucher this summer. He’s from Woonsocket, R.I. When he was at Fenway Park for the press conference, you could see in his eye he didn’t want to think anything ill of Ray Emory or anyone else. But he wants to play in this game for the Flyers. We were talking with Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, another New Englander who grew up spending a lot of summers at Fenway Park, and how he’s excited getting to coach a hockey game there. On skates and with this his stick raised to maximum heights, Zdeno Chara can get one third of the way up the Monster. Not bad.”

MILBURY ON FENWAY: “You walk into that place and it's a museum.”

COSTAS ON FENWAY PARK’S HISTORY: “All the history. The idea that someone sat there and watched Babe Ruth pitch or Ted Williams bat or Lefty Grove or Jimmy Fox plus all the visiting players through the years and the specific games and events. Fisk and Dent and the Impossible Dream and Yaz. The only thing missing is that when the Red Sox won the World Series in ’04 and ’07, they clinched in St. Louis and then in Colorado so they never had the chance to put the finishing touches on it at Fenway Park.”

COSTAS’ MOST VIVID MEMORY OF FENWAY PARK: “One that stands out the most was Carl Yastrzemski hitting a home run. It wasn’t that important in terms of the context of the game, but it was his last season in the major leagues. It had to be his second- or third-to-last home run in the big leagues. There was something about him that was so timeless. I was doing the game with Tony Kubek and called that home run hit by a guy the first time you saw when you were only 10 or 11 years old. That was pretty cool.”

FLOOD ON CAMERA PLACEMENT: “The camera baskets are designed for a baseball game, not a hockey game, so we spent a lot of time figuring out what the right angles were and what the right places were to put all of our cameras to make the game shine. We also shoot this bigger and wider than a normal game because its about the place as much as the game.”

MILBURY ON THE BRUINS-FLYERS: “Ultimately this game should be a really good hockey game between two teams that should be among the elite of the conference.”

MCGUIRE ON THE BRUINS-FLYERS: “This is going to be a ton of fun. It’s energy on both sides. It’s one team that is clearly desperate to get points in the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s another team that’s so proud, the Boston Bruins, and the internal leadership that they have with Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Mark Greci. There’s going to be villains on both sides. You’ve got Shawn Thorton with the Boston Bruins and you have Danny Carcillo on the Flyers. You are going to have Scott Hartnell and his wild hair flying all over the place. This game is going to be about energy.”

MILBURY ON THE RIVALRY BETWEEN BRUINS-FLYERS: “This rivalry goes back to the late 1960s, early 1970s and right through that decade in particular. It got its roots there. These were some of the nastiest battles that I’ve ever been involved with. Both teams, in their own way, have adapted to the new rules, but they listen to their fans and kept it constant. They want hard-nosed hockey. They want physical hockey. They want people to show up saying that we want to prove to you that we’re tough players and we’ve come to play every night.”

MCGUIRE ON THE PHYSICALITY OF BRUINS-FLYERS: “When you bring a player like Zdeno Chara into the mix, at 6-9 and a whole lot of nasty, and on the other team guys like Scotty Hartnell, Mike Richards and Danny Carcillo, who like to push back, that leads to a lot of physical altercations.”

EMRICK ON HIS HEALTH (HE MISSED LAST YEAR’S GAME WITH LARYNGITIS): “I started on the Vitamin C around Thanksgiving, as I was urged to do by a number of people. It’s worked out pretty well so far. It was quite disappointing to miss it last year.”

NBC tops all with Cowboys/Redskins

From NBC Sports -

“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” TOPS ALL SUNDAY NIGHT PROGRAMMING FOR 14th TIME IN 15 WEEKS

Cowboys Shutout of Redskins Is Top Rated Program on Sunday Night

Bengals-Jets Flex to SNF on Jan. 3

NEW YORK - Dec. 28, 2009
- Last night’s “NBC Sunday Night Football” was the No. 1 broadcast on Sunday night for the 14th time in 15 weeks with the Dallas Cowboys 17-0 win over the Washington Redskins. With just one week remaining in the NFL season, “Sunday Night Football” has exceeded its total of Sunday night wins from 2008. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 and nine of 16 in 2006.

Last night’s game drew an overnight rating of an 11.6 and a 19 share, 10 percent lower than last year’s Panthers-Giants overtime game in Week 16, but up 17 percent from the Week 16 game in 2007 (Redskins-Vikings, 9.9/17).

The rating peaked from 9-9:30 ET at a 12.6/21.

TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR SNF WEEK 16:
1. Dallas, 34.4/54
2. Richmond, 24.7/39
3. San Antonio, 24.6/37
4. Washington, D.C., 24.5/41
5. Austin, 23.9/39
6. Norfolk, 20.8/31
7. Albuquerque, 18.4/29
8. Las Vegas, 16.1/26
9. Tulsa, 15.0/21
10. Oklahoma City, 14.9/22

**Viewership numbers will be available when national ratings are released
tomorrow.**

BENGALS VS. JETS IN SNF FLEX: The National Football League yesterday announced that the Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets was selected to move to “Sunday Night Football” on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 3, as part of the NFL’s flexible scheduling.

The Jets (8-7), coming off a 29-15 victory over the previously unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, have won four of their last five games and control their playoff fate as they host the Cincinnati Bengals (10-5), champions of the AFC North.

The Jets are vying for an AFC Wild Card playoff berth and will automatically claim one with a win. The Bengals are vying with the New England Patriots for the No. 3 seed in the AFC.

Coverage begins with "Football Night in America," Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.

Jets/Bengals flexed to Sunday night Week 17

It'll be the Jets/Bengals in the primetime NBC spot for week 17. If the Jets win, they make the playoffs.

Also, Cowboys/Eagles moves to 4:15pm on FOX for the right to win the NFC East.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I'm now rooting for the Colts immediate ouster from the NFL Playoffs

Your team's undefeated, who cares.

Your team will get a first round bye for the playoffs, it's not enough rest.

Well, here's hoping the NFL karma comes right around to kick the Indianpolis Colts right in the ass and right out of the NFL playoffs when they play in the divisional playoffs on January 16-17.

The Colts went into today's game with the NY Jets 14-0 and were up in the game in the third quarter when they pulled QB Peyton Manning and most of his offensive starters (Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne in addition to Joseph Addai who was already out).

Shame on Colts. Apparently, you didn't tell your fans the game meant nothing to you. Believe me, they showed you what they thought when they booed Curtis Painter soundly.

The Jets outscored the Colts 19-0 since Peyton left the game.

By doing what they did, the Colts could change the course of who's in the AFC Playoffs, a possible undefeated season and worst yet, the integrity of the game.

I don't want to hear the gripes that the Colts are thinking of the bigger picture. You have a week off for the first round of the playoffs. That's enough rest!

If I were NFL Commish Roger Goodell, I would fine them $1 million and make them refund every dollar of the ticket money that the Colts fans paid to watch that, ahem, game.

It won't happen since Goodell is a mouth-piece for the owners, but it should. Players that aren't injured should play. You owe that much to the fans. You owe that much to the players. You owe that much to the sport.

Shame on you Indy. I know it's not Manning's decision or any other players, but unfortunately, they now have suffered because of their coach's and management's decision.

Urban Meyer: just go away!

OK, just one day after telling the world that he's resigning as head coach of the University of Florida head coach due to health issues, he tells us he's just taking a leave of absence now and will return to the Gator sidelines to coach the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati and the 2010 regular season.

All I can say is fraud.

Your wife told the Orlando Sentinel earlier in the day that there was no chance you would be coming back. Now, just hours later, you come back. Florida's offensive coordinator, Steve Adazzio gets to run practices and meetings.

Seriously! We gave you credit for picking family and health over prestige, fame and money. Well, shame on you Urban for going back on all that in the mere matter of a day.

Yes, everyone has a right to change their minds. But, don't give us a sob story on one day and then turn around say it's alright the next.

Here's more from ESPN.



Most will applaud him, I will not. I just hope his health holds up for his family to have him around for more than just the few spare hours away from football.

NFL Fox Sunday Pregame Notes - Week 16

From Fox Sports -

Johnson: Favre’s Infected With Superstar Disease;

Bradshaw: If Chuck Knoll Told Me To Sit, I Would Sit

Strahan: Favre Should Not Have Brought Up This Distraction

Glazer Reports Holmgren Will Start After The Season & Browns GM Candidates

Howie Long Unveils His Top 10 Most Underrated Hidden Gems


With news emerging of a rift between Vikings QB Brett Favre and head coach Brad Childress, co-host Bradshaw and analysts Johnson, Strahan and Long discuss which course of action should’ve been taken to avoid this controversy.

Johnson: “Brett Favre is infected, he’s infected with a disease, and a lot of superstars get this disease. They have so many accolades and are idolized, they start to think they are bigger than the team, are more important than any one individual, including the head coach. “

Bradshaw: “If Chuck Noll told me to sit on the bench I sat on the bench. Maybe that’s old school. Whatever he says, he’s the boss and I follow orders. I think the mistake Childress made was when he picked up Brett and drove him back to training camp he didn’t explain to him, ‘here’s the rules. I send a play in, you run it. You don’t come out of it.’ Lay it all out there so that when Brett goes out there and does these press conferences you then have a rebuttal. Your rebuttal is, ‘he knew the rules when he came in here.’ I understand Brett’s part but you have to respect your head coach. And listen, Chilly (Brad Childress), sit his butt down even if you have to throw him down. You have to send a message to the leader of the team. Forget the $12 million and all that you brought him in there for; sit him down, throw him down. I don’t care what you do, you have to be the leader and the coach of that team and he didn’t do it.”

Strahan: “I wonder if he was changing plays when they were winning. All of the sudden you’re losing, everybody has an issue and complaint. Childress didn’t address that problem after the game. Favre brought it up. Why do that? Why bring any distractions to a team that has lost two out of the last three, and lost to a Carolina team that everybody thought they were going to blow out?”

Long: “I’m not coming out of the game up 7-6 last week, after New Orleans has lost and the potential for home-field advantage is still there. I’m on Brett’s side on that one.”

NFL Insider Jay Glazer reports on what took place behind the scenes in Minnesota to diffuse the Favre/Childress situation: “There are some people in life who thrive on uncomfortable situations; Vikings DE Jared Allen is one of those guys. This past week in a team meeting Jared got up in front of everybody and said, ‘Brad, Brett, come on just hug it out. Hug it out, guys.’ Players said it was certainly met with a lukewarm reaction. Childress went along with it, opened his arms up as if to say lets bury this whole thing but Brett said, ‘no, we cant hug anything out until we win this thing.’ Clearly, they’re both trying to be politically correct. Leave it up to Jared Allen to just stir it up even more.”

Glazer on what did resolve the situation for both Brad and Brett: “Vikings team owner Zygi Wilf played a big role in resolving the issue. Zygi is hardly ever at the facility during the week, this week he made sure he stayed there, he huddled with both Brett and Childress and made sure that both of these investments can live with the other.”

Glazer on how bad was the initial battle between Favre and Childress was…“When Childress first heard about it, he was actually in the coaches’ locker room in his towel and summoned Brett to come there and just lambasted him sitting there in a towel. Everybody on the team said we can’t let this derail us from what we’re doing.”

Co-host Bradshaw and analysts Strahan, Long and Johnson broke down the AFC Wild Card race:

Strahan:
“I think Baltimore is in. I think they have a good chance to beat Pittsburgh today, then play an Oakland team that could possibly be ready to go home in the last game of the season. Then you have Denver, they Philadelphia today in a game I don’t think they should win. But in the last game of the season they play a Kansas City team that is ready to go home. I think Denver will limp in and Baltimore will get in.”

Bradshaw: “I see the Broncos getting in and Pittsburgh, I have my fingers crossed for them. I think they sweep and Pittsburgh can get in this thing.”

Johnson: “Denver and Baltimore will be the ones that get in.”

NFL Insider Jay Glazer reports that Mike Holmgren will wait until the season is over to start: “Mike Holmgren is not following what Bruce Allen did in Washington. In fact, Mike Holmgren is going to come in and his first day will basically be the Monday the day after the season ends. That’s when he’s planning to have his press conference. He doesn’t want to go the Bruce Allen route.”

Glazer reports possible GM candidates in Cleveland: “Right now the names I’m hearing are Randy Mueller who Holmgren is familiar with from Seattle, John Schneider who is right now with the Green Bay Packers who had also been with Holmgren in Seattle. Also, Tom Heckert who is the GM of the Philadelphia Eagles is a name I’m hearing. All of these candidates by the way are represented by Holmgren’s agent Bob Lamonte.

Glazer reports Browns head coach has a 50% chance at best of staying once Holmgren takes over: “As far as Eric Mangini, Holmgren has always contended that he doesn’t believe in the one and done for head coaches. However, people close to him tell me he views Mangini differently because of the way Mangini goes about his philosophy. I think Holmgren is looking for an offensive minded head coach and I’m being told at best, it’s 50/50 that Mangini comes back. I can’t see Mangini and Holmgren matching.”

Glazer reports Falcons sign GM Rich McKay to a 5-year extension: “Falcons GM Rich McKay has signed a 5-year extension, the team will announce it tomorrow.”

How important is Brian Westbrook for the Eagles?

Strahan:
“The Eagles have shown that they can win without them. Now having him is just a bonus. They shouldn’t put him in a position where he’s needs to go out and try to carry the offense. Do what they’ve been doing with him not being there and they’ll be successful.”

Who is the best team in the NFC?

Bradshaw:
“Saints even though they lost last week.”

Long: “I think if somebody can beat the Saints in New Orleans it’ll be Philadelphia.”

Who is the best team in the AFC?

Johnson:
“San Diego. My preseason Super Bowl picks were the Chargers and Philadelphia.”

Is Randy Moss a light bulb player?

Long:
“When the light bulb is on it’s pretty bright.”

With one more loss the Rams clinch the 1st pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Who should they take?

Johnson:
“As good as Chris Long has been playing the last five or six weeks, you put Ndamukong Suh in there at defensive tackle, Long will be even that much better. Where’s the franchise quarterback? Name one. It’s hard to get a great defensive lineman.”

Bradshaw: “Sam Bradford in Oklahoma has a bad shoulder, Colt McCoy in Texas we’re not sure about. I would take Suh.”

Howie Long’s Top Ten Most Underrated Hidden Gems

10. Clay Matthews (Packers), Brian Cushing (Texans), & Brian Orakpo (Redskins)

9. Pierre Garcon (Colts), Kenny Britt (Titans)

8. Brian Robison (Vikings)

7. Aubrayo Franklin (49ers)

6. Leon Hall (Bengals)

5. Curtis Lofton (Falcons)

4. Leonard Weaver (Eagles)

3. Calais Campbell (Cardinals)

2. Charlie Johnson (Colts)

1. Chad Greenway (Vikings)

NFL Today on CBS Pregame Notes - Week 16

From 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 16 ON DECEMBER 27

► QUICK HITS

(On Brett Favre-Brad Childress sideline discussion last week)

BILL COWHER:
You don't bench him, but you coach him. I think that's what Coach Childress has done. Clearly there was indication that there's frustration. Why? Two sub-par offensive performances on the road. He knows the history of Brett the last couple years in December and in January. The thing is right now, he's trying to get the edge back. The problem isn't Brett Favre. The problem right now is they've got to get that running game going and get Adrian Peterson back in the offense.

DAN MARINO: There's a reason why he's played 284 games in a row. He’s not going to want to come out of the game. If you have a quarterback that says he wants to come out of the game, he’s not good enough. The coach has to be smart enough to understand that. Yes, don't take too much away from Brett Favre as far as changing plays at the line of scrimmage. He’s a veteran guy. He's going to get you in the right play. And Brett's got to be smart enough to understand to get Adrian Peterson involved, because that's the guy that's going to take you to the Super Bowl and help you win it.

BOOMER ESIASON: There's no Emily Post rules of etiquette for sideline discussion between a coach and quarterback. I think this has been blown out of proportion simply because it's Brett Favre.

(On Tom Brady)

BOOMER:
I wouldn't be surprised if we find out he has a broken finger on his throwing hand. And I wouldn't be surprised to hear about some ribs that are banged up. He has not played his best football the last couple weeks.

(On New York Giants)

BOOMER:
We’re all in agreement that the New York Giants are not making the playoffs.

(On Albert Haynesworth)

BOOMER:
I saw it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears this week. Overweight, out of shape and overpaid – that's Albert Haynesworth. What he did this week was absolutely despicable. When you look at what he did, how much they paid him, the Washington Redskins have to be thinking twice about that trade.

(On whether Indianapolis goes undefeated, 19-0)

MARINO
: I say yes. You think about Peyton Manning, what he's done this year; MVP-type season. They have a good defense, a little underrated. They get after the quarterback. They play great defense. They're going to be playing at home in the dome. I know a lot of people are saying the San Diego Chargers are playing great. I believe at home with Peyton Manning, the way he's playing and their defense, they are going to go undefeated.

COWHER: They're going to go undefeated in the regular-season, but they've only beaten four teams with a winning record. When it's all said and done, when they go into the playoffs every team has a winning record. You look at Philip Rivers. He's 3-1 against the Indianapolis Colts. They've had a great regular-season, but I don't think they will make it 19-0.

►“INSIDE THE GAME” WITH CHARLEY CASSERLY

(On Chicago Bears)

CASSERLY:
The Bears think the world of Lovie Smith both as a person and a coach. However, they came into the season with high expectations. The season has been a major disappointment for them, especially the downward spiral that they've had in the last part of the season. When the season is over, they're going to have a major evaluation of the entire football program and organization. Look for this, major changes to occur. If Lovie Smith is replaced at head coach, one name I know they're not interested in is Mike Shanahan. One name I would expect to be on their list would be assistant head coach, former Bear, assistant head coach for the Minnesota Vikings and the defensive coordinator, Leslie Frazier.

(On Carolina bringing back Jake Delhomme)

CASSERLY:
They told me absolutely he'll be back next year. They still have confidence in him. And nothing has changed in their eyes about this confidence.

(On Indianapolis signing a third quarterback)

CASSERLY:
Yesterday they signed Drew Wiley from their practice squad and put him on their roster. That means they have three quarterbacks. That's a dead giveaway to me that Peyton Manning is going to be taking some bench time and rest in the last two games.

Food for thought...

A few things to ponder on this rainy and balmy Sunday heading into week 16 of the NFL season...

* - If you had Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers or Tom Brady to quarterback your team for one year only, 2010, who would it be?

* - If I were Jason Bay, I would've fired my agent by now.

* - I've been meaning to post this one for awhile. Is there another line-up change in Boston/Providence sports radio? Here's some more musings from our friends Bruce Allen and also Radio Insight.

* - Count me as one who will be glued to the TV for the NHL's Winter Classic at Fenway Park Friday!

* - Bret Hart coming back to the WWE is must-see TV.

* - Speaking of wrestling, the rumors of an NWO-style reunion with Hogan, Nash, Hall and X-Pac on January 4th are making the rounds.

* - Huge win for the Celtics Christmas Day at Orlando. As Magic Johnson put it best on ABC/ESPN - the Celtics have "it" - that Championship Mentality and handle adversity very well.

* - Jon Gruden at Florida would be intriguing.

* - Kudos to Urban Meyer for choosing health and family over prestige, money and fame.

* - Memo to Jed Hoyer - if I was offered Clay Buchholz, Jacboy Ellsbury and a high-priced prospect, I'd take it for Adrian Gonzalez.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Now this is how you promote a TV show!

Here's props to Fox Italy as they promote the premiere of "Glee" with a live performance at a local mall.



Classic and great marketing!

NFL Predictions Week 16

Just two more Sundays before the tournament begins!

Falcons 27 Bills 13

Bengals 41 Chiefs 20

Browns 20 Raiders 16

Packers 24 Seahawks 17

Dolphins 23 Texans 13

Steelers 17 Ravens 16

Giants 30 Panthers 27

Patriots 35 Jaguars 30

Saints 40 Bucs 10

Cardinals 27 Rams 13

49ers 30 Lions 9

Eagles 28 Broncos 24

Colts 16 Jets 13

Cowboys 35 Redskins 14

Bears 23 Vikings 20

BREAKING NEWS - Urban Meyer steps down at Florida

Breaking news from Gainesville tonight as the most successfull college coach of the decade, Urban Meyer is stepping down at the University of Florida due to health problems.

ESPN.com has the story of Meyer's decision just days before the Gators final game, the Sugar Bowl vs. Cincinnati, with QB Tim Tebow at the helm.

WKMG-TV out of Orlando reports that Meyer suffered a heart attack during the season but did not tell the team, nor miss a game or practice.

SI.com has more as does FoxSports.com.

Locally, Gainesville.com has the story as well as news on how the trip to the hospital after the SEC Championship Game scared Meyer.

GatorSports has some history on the cyst problem that Meyer has had that influenced this decision.

Chris Low of ESPN.com has some names to watch who could be in the mix to replace Meyer in Florida.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone out there!



Here's my little one this morning with the newest creative toy from Santa! It's a brand new easel complete with paints, chalk and markers!





Enjoy the day everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

NBA TV Honors Soldiers for the Holidays

From NBA TV -

NBA TV Presents Feature on America’s Wounded Soldiers

NBA TV Fan Night Crew Heads Courtside to Call Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks Game on Dec. 29

In honor of the holidays, NBA TV’s Jim Huber presented “The Men & Women of Wheels,” a feature on America’s wounded soldiers using basketball as a means of rehabilitation. The piece aired on NBA TV and can found on NBA.com at:

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2009/12/23/20091223_nbatv_wheelchairs.nba/?ls=iref:nbahpt2

The NBA TV Fan Night studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Kevin McHale and Chris Webber will announce its first game for the network when the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks meet at Philips Arena in Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. (ET). Johnson will call play-by-play with McHale and Webber providing analysis, and Craig Sager serving as the sideline reporter.

For this special Fan Night telecast, NBA TV has selected the matchup. All other Tuesday night NBA TV games are selected by fans through an online vote on NBA.com.

NBA TV host Rick Kamla and analyst Steve Smith will provide studio coverage throughout the night, including the AutoTrader.com Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m. (ET), T-Mobile Halftime Report and the NBA GameTime presented by Hyundai post-game show.

NBA TV tips off its Tuesday programming lineup at 5 p.m. (ET) with The Jump, an interactive show hosted by Kyle Montgomery alongside analysts Dennis Scott, Brent Barry and NBA.com blogger Sekou Smith. The show streams live on NBA.com each Tuesday at 1 p.m. (ET), prior to its re-airing on NBA TV.

At 6 p.m. (ET), NBA TV airs The Beat, the weekly show hosted by Marc Fein with David Aldridge, which covers news and storylines across the league with NBA reporters from across the country serving as weekly guests to talk about hot topics in the league.

In addition to the Fan Night game, NBA TV will also feature live games on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 8 p.m. (ET) with the Washington Wizards @ Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. (ET) with the San Antonio Spurs @ New York Knicks, Monday, Dec. 28 at 8 p.m. (ET) with the Washington Wizards @ Memphis Grizzlies and Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 9 p.m. (ET) with the Boston Celtics @ Phoenix Suns.

Every Saturday at 1 p.m. (ET), NBA TV features a Euroleague Game of the Week. This Saturday, Dec. 26, the game will feature a match-up between Olympiakos whose roster includes Josh Childress (Hawks), Von Wafer (Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Blazers, Rockets) and Linas Kleiza (Nuggets) against Lietuvos Rytas.

NFL Today on CBS Preview

From CBS Sports -

“THE NFL TODAY” FEATURES PITTSBURGH STEELERS FOR WEEK 16 ON SUNDAY, DEC. 27

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, Dec. 27(1:00-7:00 PM, ET) beginning with THE NFL TODAY (12:00 Noon-1:00 PM, ET).

This week THE NFL TODAY previews the Pittsburgh Steelers. Last year's Super Bowl Champions got off to a good start this season until they hit a five-game skid. Now they find themselves at 7-7 and fighting for a playoff spot to defend their championship. They hope last week's dramatic last-second finish defeating the Packers will give them momentum for their last two games. Deb Gelman produces.

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cowboys/Redskins on Sunday Night Football

From NBC Sports -

DALLAS COWBOYS CONTINUE PLAYOFF PUSH AGAINST WASHINGTON REDSKINS ON "SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"

"Cowboys, I got your message!" - Football Night's Tony Dungy

"The Cowboys look hot." - Collinsworth

NEW YORK - Dec. 23, 2009
- The Dallas Cowboys can clinch a playoff berth for the fourth time in the past seven years with a win over the Washington Redskins on "NBC Sunday Night Football" combined with a New York Giants loss or tie.

Coverage begins with "Football Night in America," Sunday at 7 p.m. ET with Bob Costas hosting live from inside the stadium. Al Michaels (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (analyst) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter) call the action from FedExField.

Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann will co-host "Football Night" from NBC's 30 Rockefeller Plaza studios joined by Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, two-time Super Bowl winner Rodney Harrison and Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Tiki Barber will report from Lincoln Financial Field on the Eagles-Broncos game.

DUNGY: "Cowboys, I got your message! Let me be clear, Dallas definitely has a chance this Sunday night against the Redskins."

COLLINSWORTH ON THE COWBOYS WEEK 15 WIN OVER THE SAINTS: "It was the first time in a long time that I had seen them really rise to the occasion. There was no doubt who outplayed who. It's not how you play early. It is how you play late and the Cowboys look hot."

COWBOYS VS. REDSKINS: In one of the NFL's most storied rivalries, the Cowboys (9-5) lead the all-time series, 58-39-2, including two postseason wins by the Redskins (4-10). The teams have split the season series in each of the past three years. Dallas won earlier this year, 7-6, at home in Week 11 by scoring the game's lone touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

COWBOYS-REDSKINS IN PRIMETIME: Since NBC acquired the NFL's premier primetime package in 2006, the Dallas Cowboys are 9-2, including 6-0 on the road, and the Washington Redskins are 2-3 on "Sunday Night Football."

Dallas' record includes a 33-31 loss to the New York Giants in Week 2 in a game that opened its new stadium and a 20-16 win at Philadelphia in Week 9. This is the first appearance on Sunday Night for the Redskins this season.

The Cowboys and Redskins have played twice on "NBC Sunday Night Football" with the Cowboys winning both contests -- 27-10 at home in 2006 and 14-10 on the road last year.

COWBOYS POSTSEASON SCENARIOS: The Cowboys clinch a playoff berth with a win AND a Giants loss or tie; OR, a tie AND a Giants loss. A win also keeps the Cowboys in the hunt to win the NFC East, which is led by the 10-4 Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys and Eagles play in Week 17 in Dallas.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING: The NFL utilizes flexible scheduling in Weeks 11-17. In those weeks, the schedule will list the games tentatively scheduled for Sunday night on NBC Sports. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game will be moved to an afternoon start time. Flexible scheduling will not be applied to games airing on Thursday, Saturday or Monday nights. A flexible scheduling move will be announced at least 12 days before the game. For Week 17, the move may be announced six days before the game. Flexible scheduling will ensure quality matchups on Sunday night in those weeks and give surprise teams a chance to play their way onto primetime.

"SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" DOMINATES SUNDAY NIGHT: With two weeks remaining in the NFL season, "Sunday Night Football" has won 13 of 14 Sunday nights, already equaling its total of Sunday night wins from 2008. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 and nine of 16 in 2006. Sunday Night had a bye in Week 8 due to game four of the World Series.

"Sunday Night Football" is also experiencing its best start since NBC acquired the NFL's premier primetime package in 2006 (SNF, 2006-Present, MNF, 1970-2005). Below is SNF viewership through 15 weeks:

2009: 19.6 million
2008: 16.6 million, up 18%
2007: 16.1 million, up 22%
2006: 17.4 million, up 12%

NBC & THE NFL: NBC's long history with the NFL dates back 70 years to 1939 when NBC became the first network to televise an NFL game - Philadelphia Eagles vs. Brooklyn Dodgers from Ebbets Field to the approximately 1,000 sets then in New York. NBC first broadcast the NFL Championship Game in 1955. In 1964, NBC signed a five-year contract to televise the AFL. NBC was awarded the AFC package in 1970, an association that would continue through the 1997-98 season. NBC televised the first Super Bowl in 1967, the historic New York Jets' upset of the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969, and this past February broadcast Super Bowl XLIII, the most-watched program in television history.

Big East Hoops for the Holiday Weekend on CBS

From CBS Sports -

CBS SPORTS’ COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCHEDULE FEATURES NO. 6-RANKED WEST VIRGINIA VS. SETON HALL ON SATURDAY, DEC. 26

CBS Sports’ college basketball schedule continues with a national broadcast on Saturday, Dec. 26 (3:30-6:00 PM, ET) as *No. 6-ranked West Virginia takes on Seton Hall.

Kevin Harlan and Bill Raftery call the action from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Bob Dekas, CBS Sports’ coordinating producer for college basketball, produces and Steve Milton directs.

AT THE HALF, CBS Sports’ halftime studio show, hosted by Sam Ryan along with Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis, provides all the day’s news, scores and highlights live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. Vin DeVito produces and Linda Malino directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

*AP Poll as of 12/21/09

Mike Tyson to host WWE RAW

From WWE.com, we get news that Mike Tyson will return to a WWE ring on January 11th to host Monday Night RAW. Here are the details from WWE.com -

Very familiar with being the center of attention inside the squared circle, Mike Tyson is ready to return to the ring. Unlike old times, however, the former heavyweight championship boxer will not be slipping on the gloves and delivering knockout punches (maybe). He will, on the other hand, be delegating responsibility to WWE Superstars as Monday Night Raw’s special guest host on Jan. 11 from Minneapolis.

The self-proclaimed “Baddest Man on the Planet” has never been one to hide his feelings or shy away from the spotlight. One of the most newsworthy and notorious sports celebrities in American history, Tyson will surely be prepared for all challenges on Raw.

This, nevertheless, will not be the first time “Iron Mike” has been seen in a WWE ring. Tyson served as a special outside enforcer at WrestleMania XIV for the WWE Championship Match between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Despite there being bad blood initially between The Texas Rattlesnake and the honorary DX member, Tyson, the boxing legend ultimately helped Austin capture the WWE Title when he jumped in to supply the quick three-count. (PHOTOS)

Tyson is featured in the Sony Pictures Classics documentary, TYSON, now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Other notable boxers to have hosted Raw include Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton.

Be sure to tune in to Raw for this extraordinary occasion on Jan. 11 at 9/8 CT. It will be a guaranteed knockout for the WWE Universe to see.

Remember when Mike Tyson met Stone Cold Steve Austin on RAW?



It's MUST-SEE TV again! Plus, don't forget, we expect Bret Hart to return just a week earlier on January 4th.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flexing some thoughts

OK, with only week 17 of the NFL schedule left to flex, here's the six games that stand out to me for the chance to land the coveted NBC primetime spot:

New England/Houston (1pm)

Cincinnati/NY Jets (1pm)

Pittsburgh/Miami (1pm)

NY Giants/Minnesota (1pm)

Philadelphia/Dallas (1pm)

Green Bay/Arizona (4:15pm)

We'll know Sunday night/Monday morning what games get flexed to 4:15pm and 8:20pm. Remember, we'll get two games at 4:15pm since both FOX and CBS get a doubleheader game on January 3rd.

NFL on CBS previews Week 16

From CBS Sports -

THE NFL ON CBS: WEEK 16 (SUNDAY, DEC. 27)

AUDIBLES WITH LEAD “NFL ON CBS” ANALYST PHIL SIMMS


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, Dec. 27 (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 Denver Broncos-Philadelphia Eagles game live from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa. 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.

PHIL SIMMS

(On Philadelphia):
The story out of Philadelphia is Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. McNabb has had periods this year where he’s been as good as any quarterback in the NFL, if not better. The one thing I’ve noticed about him so far is that he seems to be throwing the ball as well as I’ve ever seen him thrown it. But most of all, he seems quicker and is moving better than I’ve seen him in a few years. It seems like he’s decided he’s going to move around a little more than he has. And when he moves, he’s more dangerous than most quarterbacks who move because he can get the football down the field with such ease. And you know, I’m glad we don’t have to hear the same storyline about the Eagles that we hear every single year – McNabb needs weapons; he just doesn’t have enough weapons. That is over. He has as many weapons as anybody in the NFL. The Eagle receivers, the running backs, the play-calling, you can stack it up with anybody’s.

(On Denver): We have a true playoff game this week for so many reasons. I would think the Denver Broncos are going to approach this game like this is the season, right here. They have had some very emotional games this year where they’ve played extremely well. They do have, for a lack of a better term, a unique defense, that at times plays tremendous. Look what they did to the Giants a few weeks ago. They completely dominated them on both sides of the ball. Look what they did for periods of time against the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning. The Colts went a time where they couldn’t even get a first down. It was three downs and out, three downs and out. Denver was dominating the game for a long period. So that would be a big concern for the Philadelphia Eagles.

(On Tennessee’s momentum going into last two weeks of season): At this point, the Tennessee Titans have even more momentum than the San Diego Chargers. Just from the fact that they’re healthier and have the Chargers at their place on a short week. It’s a tremendous advantage. The Chargers are beat up. There are a lot of positives there for Tennessee coming into this game. They got back to running the football. It’s like when they went 0-6 they decided they we’re going to play Vince Young and, by gosh, go back to being what they were – very physical and running the football. It settled down their offense. It gets the ball to their best player on their football team in Chris Johnson. I hate to say it, but it has made their defense tougher. Because when you practice a run, your defense has to practice against it. Of course the biggest thing is they got key players back from injury. They’re a team that if they get in the playoffs, they can travel because of their defense and running game. Those are good things to take on the road in a playoff game. Vince Young is playing well, and they’re running it, but what has really driven this Tennessee offense over the top is the passing game to Chris Johnson. Every single week it’s just another game changing big play to Chris Johnson. It’ made Tennessee a force, no question.

Following are THE NFL ON CBS assignments for Week 16 (subject to change).

WEEK 16 – Dec. 27 – CBS DOUBLEHEADER
1:00 PM, ET starts:

●Baltimore @ Pittsburgh
Dick Enberg/Dan Fouts

●Buffalo @ Atlanta
Bill Macatee/Steve Beuerlein

●Houston @ Miami
Ian Eagle/Rich Gannon

●Jacksonville @ N. England
Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots

●Kansas City @ Cincinnati
Gus Johnson/Steve Tasker

●Oakland @ Cleveland
Don Criqui/Randy Cross

4:15 PM, ET starts:
●N.Y. Jets @ Indianapolis
Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf

●Denver @ Philadelphia
Jim Nantz/Phil Simms

Fox dominance continues for NFL

From Fox Sports -

EIGHT IS ENOUGH ALREADY

NFL ON FOX NATIONAL IS WEEK’S HIGHEST-RATED, MOST-WATCHED PROGRAM … AGAIN


Saturday night’s big snowstorm on the East Coast caused 1:00 PM games in Philadelphia (vs. SF) and Baltimore (vs. Chicago) to be rescheduled for 4:15 PM, reversing the NFL on FOX schedule from four games early and two games late to the opposite. The result was a solid 15.1/28 national household rating/share, with 25.8 million viewers on Sunday (12/20) for a four-game National Window. All markets eventually folded into the end of a thrilling Packers-Steelers game, and for the eighth time in as many tries, the NFL on FOX National Game was the highest-rated and most-watched program of the week in all of television.

The audience is +6% and rating +3% better, respectively, than last year’s comparable 24.4 million, 14.7/28 doubleheader on CBS. Besides its perch as television’s No. 1 show among key male and adult demos for the week, it was also No. 1 in women 18-34 and women 18-49. Sunday’s 15.1/28 marks the fifth time this year an NFL on FOX game exceeded a 15.0 rating nationally, which has never happened in 15 prior NFL on FOX seasons.

Through eight broadcasts the NFL on FOX National Game is averaging an impressive 15.5/29 and 26.2 million viewers, up +9% in rating over last year's 14.2/27 and +14% in audience (vs. 22.9 mill). It is also pacing +17% and +20% better, respectively, than CBS's National Game (13.2/25, 21.8 mill), +30% and +34% better, respectively, than NBC's Sunday Night Football (11.9/19, 19.6 mill) and ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched program in all of television across all key male and adult demos for the season

Monday, December 21, 2009

Johnny Damon hosts WWE RAW tonight!

Don't forget, former Red Sox and Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon hosts WWE Monday Night RAW tonight!



Secret Santas - step up Diva-time!

9/11 Hero wins big at PokerStars!

From Fox -

9/11 HERO WINS $1,000,000 ON POKERSTARS.NET MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE

Season Finale of Most Watched Poker TV Show In U.S. History Airs on Sunday Dec. 27 on FOX;

Last Chance For Viewers To Enter $100,000 Giveaway

LOS ANGELES, December 22
– The PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge, already the most- watched poker program in U.S. television history, concludes its groundbreaking first season with an edge-of-your seat, uplifting episode that must be seen to be believed.

In a decade defined by the tragedies of September 11, 2001, PokerStars.net ends the year -- and the decade -- with a story that will leave viewers not sure if they should cry or cheer or do both at the same time, as Mike Kosowski, a 21-year NYPD veteran, 9/11 first responder and American hero, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to defeat poker star Daniel Negreanu heads up and win $1,000,000. (See Mike’s story at: http://bit.ly/4uZeEB)

PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge airs on Sunday, December 27 after NFL on FOX coverage (check local listings).*

Detective Sergeant Mike Kosowski, whose story is chronicled in the book “Never Forget: The Oral History of September 11,” was one of the first NYPD officers on the scene that terrible morning, rushing into the World Trade Center to help evacuate people.

From there, getting pelted with glass and debris, he hustled to World Financial Center, in hopes of helping make sure that building was clear. Inside, he found eight people trapped. Determined to bring them to safety, Kosowski was leading the group through a back exit when an explosion rippled through the area, launching Kosowski 10 feet through the air. He slammed into a wall. Though adrenaline kept him from feeling the full force of the pain, that impact herniated three discs in his neck, two in his back and left him with pain in his legs.

Kosowski spent the rest of the day, and the better part of the next few months, searching the debris at Ground Zero and on the Staten Island landfills for human remains. He was given the Medal of Valor for his actions that day.

These searches induced serious asthma and the combination of the herniated discs and the asthma led Kosowski to retire in 2004, after 21 years on the force. Retired, in pain and bored back home in Staten Island, Kosowski started playing poker and quickly found a new passion. While watching the 2007 World Series of Poker on TV, Mike and his wife Fran first saw Negreanu play.

Mike turned to his wife and said: “I’m going to play him some day and I’m going to beat him.” Fran laughed. Two weeks later, Mike had a dream that he beat Negreanu one-on-one. When he told his wife the next morning, Fran laughed again, dismissing his nonsense.

But the dream would become a reality. This fall, Kosowski saw a commercial announcing that PokerStars.net and FOX Sports teamed up to create a show that will give one player a chance to play Daniel Negreanu heads up for $1,000,000. Kosowski logged on to PokerStars.net, played in a specially designated free tournament and overcame huge odds to finish in the top 10 of 10,000 entrants. He finished fourth.

Then another obstacle: the taping dates for the show are the weekend the Kosowskis were set to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Fran, who was laid off from her job in November, insisted he go to Los Angeles, even though producers told Mike he’d be an alternate and likely wouldn’t appear on the show.

Through a run of tremendous luck – none of the three contestants who played on the show before him that day were able to advance past the first round, giving Kosowski a shot to play on air, and great skill – Kosowski thoroughly outplayed both the contestants from his show and then the top winners from the series earlier episodes at two sit-n-go tables, the retired officer now had the chance of a lifetime. Kosowski took full advantage of the opportunity, earning his way into the one-on-one final and outplaying Negreanu, the four-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner.

But Mike Kosowski won’t be the only big winner on Dec. 27. All season long, PokerStars.net has given viewers at home a chance to get in on the action with a $100,000 giveaway. $80,000 has already been paid out to show viewers with another $20,000 still up for grabs. Tune into the show on Sunday, Dec. 27 to get the password and enter to win $20,000.

NBC Sunday NIght Football Delivers Again

From NBC Sports -

“SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” TOPS ALL SUNDAY NIGHT PROGRAMMING FOR 13th TIME IN 14 WEEKS

Panthers Upset Win Over Vikings Powers NBC to Another Sunday Night Ratings Win Tops Survivor-Samoa Finale on CBS by 69%

NEW YORK - Dec. 21, 2009 - Last night’s “NBC Sunday Night Football” was the No. 1 broadcast on Sunday night for the 13th time in 14 weeks with the Carolina Panthers 26-7 victory over Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. “SNF” was again the No. 1 show of the night in the metered markets (excludes overruns of NFL day games) on a night that faced the finale of Survivor: Samoa on CBS. Head-to-head “Sunday Night Football” out-rated Survivor by 69 percent (11.8 vs. 7.0 from 8:30-10:15 p.m. ET).

With two weeks remaining in the NFL season, “Sunday Night Football” has already equaled its total of Sunday night wins from 2008. Last season, SNF won 13 of 16 Sunday nights after winning 11 of 16 in 2007 and nine of 16 in 2006. Last night’s game drew an overnight rating of a 12.0 and a 19 share, 22 percent lower than last year’s Giants-Cowboys Week 15 game that stands as the second-highest SNF game in history (15.4/24) but is up eight percent from the Week 15 game in 2007 (Redskins-Giants, 11.1/17). The rating peaked from 10:30-11 p.m. ET at a 12.5/21.

TOP 10 METERED MARKETS FOR SNF WEEK 15:
1. Minneapolis, 42.1/60
2. Charlotte, 23.1/34
3. New Orleans, 19.2/27
4. Greensboro, 16.4/23
5. Milwaukee, 16.3/25
6. Nashville, 16.1/24
7. Norfolk, 15.7/23
8. San Diego, 15.1/25
T9. Kansas City, 14.6/22
T9. Oklahoma City, 14.6/22

**Viewership numbers will be available when national ratings are released tomorrow.**