Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Notes from CBS



From CBS Sports -

"PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM: SUPER BOWL EDITION” HIGHLIGHTS

ALL-TIME SUPER BOWL TEAM TO BE UNVEILED ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, FEB. 7 ON CBS SPORTS


CBS Sports lead NFL analyst, New York Giants Super Bowl XXI MVP and 15-year NFL veteran Phil Simms, along with his play-by-play partner, Jim Nantz will unveil the PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM: SUPER BOWL EDITION on Sunday, Feb.7 (1:00-2:00 PM, ET), prior to THE SUPER BOWL TODAY on the CBS Television Network.

Hosted from Miami, Fla., home of Super Bowl XLIV, this year's All-Iron Team highlights the All-Time Super Bowl Team. These men make up Simms’ All-Time Super Bowl team that best represent the qualities of Iron Men and have defined their roles in their teams winning a championship.

Traveling all over the world from Hawaii to Ireland, the PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM includes the first broadcast interview in 20 years with Jake Scott, a safety from the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins team and Super Bowl VII MVP, who now lives a simple life in Hawaii. The show also looks at a day-in-the-life of Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who is currently serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

In addition, the one-hour special also includes an in-depth look at legendary defensive guru Buddy Ryan, architect of the famed “46-Defense” which led the Chicago Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX and father of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

The All-Iron Team consists of six Hall of Famers, 37 combined Super Bowl wins, 46 combined Super Bowl appearances, seven combined Super Bowl MVP Awardees and four combined NFL MVPs.

CBS Sports showcases all 12 All-Iron players, coaches and owner with their game highlights and up close and personal profiles, both on and off-the-field.

The All-Iron Team trophy is an old fashion cast “iron” signifying Simms’ obsession with ironing. According to Simms’ mom, Barbara, "As a child Phil even ironed his football and baseball uniforms." To this day, he is still committed to his creases.

CBS SPORTS’ BOOMER ESIASON DOES DOUBLE DUTY IN SOUTH FLORIDA AT SUPER BOWL XLIV

Esiason to Serve in Studio as Analyst on CBS Television Network’s Pre-Game Show, THE SUPER BOWL TODAY, then in Booth as Game Analyst with Call of Westwood One’s Broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV


CBS Sports’ Boomer Esiason will play two positions for the CBS Television Network and Westwood One’s broadcasts of Super Bowl XLIV live from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. on Sunday, Feb. 7.

Esiason will join James Brown, Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher in anchoring the CBS Television Network’s pre-game show, THE SUPER BOWL TODAY (2:00-6:00 PM, ET), in previewing the game with news, features, highlights and analysis, as well as all the excitement leading up to Super Bowl XLIV.

Immediately following CBS Sports’ SUPER BOWL KICKOFF SHOW (6:00-6:25 PM, ET), Esiason will make his way up to the Westwood One broadcast booth to join play-by-play announcer Marv Albert, along with Mark Malone and James Lofton as sideline reporters, to call the game on radio.

Esiason also pulled double duty for both CBS Sports and Westwood One for Super Bowl XXXVIII (Houston) and Super Bowl XLI (Miami). This year marks his 10th year broadcasting the Super Bowl on Westwood One and his fourth as part of CBS Sports’ Super Bowl coverage.

HIGH-SPEED CAMERAS AND HIGH-TECH GRAPHICS HIGHLIGHT CBS SPORTS’ TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES FOR SUPER BOWL XLIV COVERAGE

When CBS Sports presents Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, Feb. 7 (6:00 PM, ET) from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla. live on the CBS Television Network, highlighted among the technological advances that will be incorporated during its coverage are high-speed cameras and informative high-tech graphics displays. Super Bowl Sunday also features the CBS Television Network’s biggest one day of programming in high definition television format.

►HIGH-SPEED CAMERAS

THE SUPER BOWL ON CBS
will feature six high-speed cameras, known as SuperVision, that will be in hard and hand-held configurations located on the field, in the stands and on sideline carts. Each camera will have the ability to shoot 300-500 frames per second (normal cameras shoot 60 fps) in 1080i high definition format. These Vision Research Phantom V-640 cameras are supplied by Inertia Unlimited and are particularly used in determining questionable calls on the field (ie. fumbles, receptions, out-of-bounds, etc.) from all different angles.

►HIGH-TECH GRAPHICS

In addition to the regular first down line, available on CBS Sports’ primary cameras throughout the 2009 NFL season, five other cameras will be calibrated with the first down line by SportsVision including Skycam and endzone cameras. As was done during the regular-season, EyeVision will be utilized as a multi-dimensional tool for Phil Simms’ analysis. Given the situation of a field goal or an extra-point conversion that passes above the goal posts, virtual extensions of the goal posts can be added to determine the flight path of the ball and whether the kick was good or not. Hyper Zoom, provided by ORAD, will allow CBS Sports’ coverage to zoom into any video utilizing high resolution. And, the launch of a new animation package for new elements for transitions, roll outs and open animation will be integrated to upgrade existing graphic elements.

►SAP (Secondary Audio Programming)

CBS Sports will broadcast the Super Bowl in SAP. Armando Quintero and Benny Ricardo will call the action for the Network’s SAP broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV.

►HIGH DEFINITION TELEVISION

CBS Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl XLIV will be the Network’s biggest one day of programming in high definition television format as SUPER BOWL XLIV (6:28 PM, ET, kickoff), the pre-game show, THE SUPER BOWL TODAY (2:00 PM, ET), and the halftime show, as well as all it’s ancillary pre-game programming including THE ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL (12:00 Noon, ET) and PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM: SUPER BOWL EDITION (1:00 PM, ET), will be broadcast in HDTV. CBS Sports' Super Bowl XLIV HDTV broadcasts will feature the highest definition television format – 1080i lines of picture resolution – and 5.1 digital surround sound.

Herschel Walker Wins MMA Debut!



If you missed it last night, here's Herschel Walker's win at Strikeforce.



Thanks to Showtime, YouTube and the AP for the video.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blast from the Past - "Love Monkey"



Truly, a very underrated show that never got a second season! "Love Monkey" from CBS/VH1 with Tom Cavanagh, Judy Greer, Ivana Milicevic and Jason Priestley.



Such a shame it didn't last! Thanks to Viddler.com for the video!

WWE Royal Rumble PPV Predictions!



The second best WWE PPV of the year comes to us Sunday from Atlanta. Yes, it's Royal Rumble time. Will Triple H win the Rumble just like his previous win in Hotlanta? Or will fellow DX'er Shawn Michaels get his wish and move on to face the The Undertaker at Wrestlemania?

Let's find out in our incredulious TCN predictions!

The Undertaker vs. Rey Mysterio for the World Title
Why this isn't a Triple Threat match with Batista involved, I have no clue. It would be easy to go with the underdog and let the Undertake move on to face Shawn Michaels in round 2 at Wrestlemania. But, what fun would that be? Let's keep the title on the deadman, but let Mysterio, Batista AND Michaels join him in the Elimination Chamber next month for the title!
Winner: The Undertaker

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title
Is anyone really buying Sheamus as a true WWE Champion? Not really! I mean, seriously, he's just holding the belt until the next true champion comes along. Guess what Sheamus, the clock is striking midnight tonight!
Winner: New WWE Champion Randy Orton

Christian vs. Ezekiel Jackson for the ECW Title
I WANT the WWE to move Christian to RAW or Smackdown. The only way that happens is with a loss of the ECW title. It WILL happen. Just not tonight as Christian really is the ONLY reason to watch ECW right now. Yet, come draft time, Christian will be moving on folks.
Winner: Christian

Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James for the WWE Women's Title
Plain and simple, it's time for Mickie to win the title or get out of the WWE after being humiliated with the "Piggie James" storyline for weeks.
Winner: New Women's Champion Mickie James

30-Man Royal Rumble
This one is truly WIDE OPEN! Will it be HBK with his wish to face The Undertaker? Triple H is fixed on main eventing Wrestlemania this year. Can John Cena continue to win until he regains the title? Or will it be someone from out of the blue? I'm calling for a swerve here. It's time for Legacy and their troubles to come centerstage. And what better way than cashing in on the biggest event of the year than with the man with the million dollars? It's time to shine Ted DiBiase to step to the forefront and face Randy Orton for the title.
Winner: Ted DiBiase

Will it happen, probably not. But, let's think about an Elimination Chamber next month of Orton, DiBiase, Triple H, John Cena and Cody Rhodes. Very intriguing, indeed!

Nantz and Faldo on Tiger Woods



From CBS Sports -

OPENING REMARKS ON TIGER WOODS FROM CBS SPORTS’ JIM NANTZ AND SIR NICK FALDO AS CBS SPORTS TEES OFF 2010 GOLF COVERAGE

Jim Nantz, now in his 25th year covering golf at CBS, serves as anchor of CBS Sports’ golf coverage. Sir Nick Faldo, winner of six majors and more than 40 tournaments worldwide serves as lead analyst alongside Nantz in the 18th tower.

Following are Nantz and Faldo comments from today’s broadcast as CBS Sports third-round coverage began at the PGA TOUR’s FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN from La Jolla, Calif.

Jim Nantz: Of course everyone knows one player not here this week, on an indefinite leave of absence is Tiger Woods. That’s no news to anyone, but when he comes back that’s really just a random guess. I am not sure he even knows. I believe he’ll be back for Augusta but we shall see. But once Tiger does return what do you believe it will be like for him?

Sir Nick Faldo: I think very much a difference…what will he be? The most powerful thing Tiger had was his presence, wasn’t it? When he stood on that tee --we used that term “two up” –- he was way more than two up. You look at his lead into win ratio it was outrageous. He had that magnetism using the power from the crowd, from the television, to elevate his game and he must have felt so good that he had the game of golf literally in the palm of his hands. And with all of that, you’ve got to have great self-esteem for that all to happen. Now, when Tiger heads to his tee, wherever that is – maybe in 2010 – he’s going into a totally different environment now. He doesn’t know what to expect he doesn’t know how people are going to react. He knows how the media world has reacted to him. He knows how the business world has reacted to him. This is a man – he’s the number one gossip in the world and he’s a very sensitive man. He’s very sensitive to even just criticism. No, more than criticism, even just comments. I think this is going to play a very important factor for him because he now has to get back on the golf course and be comfortable with himself with so much going on. He needs to get back on the golf course. This is where his whole career has been created. I think the important thing is can he get out there? When can he get out there? He may have to change team Tiger a little bit to get out there. So for me, he has an awful lot to get through. But the priority as a golfer, chasing Jack Nicklaus’ record, is to get back out there as soon as he can so he can get comfortable in this environment. And then can he have the same self-esteem as before?

Nantz: With all those things now changing, do you think when he does return and given time will he be the same player that he was in the past? Will he win as frequently?

Faldo: That is very difficult. But he has to. But after what has gone on, I feel he has to come back and be a winner again. Then it would probably be a greater comeback then winning here (Torrey Pines) on a broken leg. That’s the most important thing. That’s his life. Golf is his life. It’s almost like he’s starting again as a kid. As we have always said, let your golf club do the talking. Go out there and win and everything will take care of itself.

Obama sits in on Duke/Georgetown

See, the Prez isn't just getting into college football, he's into a little college basketball too!

We get this from today's Duke/Georgetown game on CBS -

President Obama joined CBS Sports’ Verne Lundquist and Clark Kellogg during CBS Sports’ broadcast of Duke-Georgetown on Saturday, Jan. 30. The President put on the headset and helped breakdown the game and provide commentary. Below are excerpts from the broadcast:

President Obama on CBS Sports’ lead college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg:

Nobody can keep up with Clark. He’s the best color man in college basketball. That’s what I am talking about.

President Obama on his next career:

After retirement I am coming after your job Clark. I am just letting you know. You either have three more years or seven, I am not sure which. But you need to plan accordingly because I am going to do some play-by-play.

Here's the video from CBS and BusterSports on YouTube...



Nice to see he's got nothing better to do with his time these days!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Feel Good - Steamy Screen Stars!

After a brief absence, it's the return of the TCN's Friday Feel Good. And if this doesn't make you feel good on a cold, wintry night, nothing will!

Nicole Kidman



Scarlett Johannson



Siena Miller



Thanks to our friends at My Modern Metropolis.

WTF: Obama to take on BCS

OK, I guess when you can't fix the economy, job situation, healthcare or much of anything else, you turn to sports.

Apparently, the Obama administration is looking at the legality of the Bowl Championsip Series in college football. Seriously? Seriously!

Here's the story from SI.com.

A memo to the White House: stick to fixing the country first before spending one second dabbling into sports.

Randy Orton meet TMZ

WWE wrestler Randy Orton faces the TMZ cameras when asked about the trouble fellow wrestlers Chris Jericho and Gregory Helms got into the other night with the law.











He's such a cool customer!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Carrie Underwood to sing Super Bowl XLIV National Anthem



It's official - the sexy, sulty Carrie Underwood will be in Miami to sing the National Anthem before the Colts/Saints Super Bowl XLIV.

Queen Latifah will sing America the Beautiful while The Who have halftime duties.

Duke/Georgetown hoop it up on CBS



From CBS Sports -

DUKE-GEORGETOWN HIGHLIGHT CBS SPORTS’ COLLEGE BASKETBALL LINE-UP ON SATURDAY, JAN. 30 AND SUNDAY, JAN. 31

CBS Sports’college basketball schedule continues on Saturday, Jan. 30 (1:00-3:00 PM, ET) with national coverage of *No. 8-ranked Duke taking on No. 7-ranked Georgetown. On Sunday, Jan. 31 coverage features regional action as Minnesota plays *No. 20-ranked Ohio State and Florida battles *No. 14-ranked Tennessee.

Verne Lundquist joins CBS Sports’ lead college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg to call the action from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. for the Duke-Georgetown game. Bob Dekas, CBS Sports’ coordinating producer for college basketball, produces and Suzanne Smith directs.

Sunday, Kevin Harlan is joined courtside by both Bill Raftery and Kellogg at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio for the Minnesota-Ohio State contest. Vic Frank produces and Mark Grant directs. For the Florida-Tennessee match-up Gus Johnson and Greg Anthony handle the call from Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.

AT THE HALF, CBS Sports’ halftime studio show, hosted by Ian Eagle 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 Jim Cornell directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.

*AP Poll as of 1/25/10

Shaun White on "60 Minutes"

From CBS -

GOLD MEDALIST SNOWBOARDER SHAUN WHITE, PREPARING FOR THE VANCOUVER OLYMPICS, TELLS “60 MINUTES” IT’S SOMETIMES LONELY AT THE TOP

Snowboarding champion Shaun White acknowledges how lonely it can be when you’re the best in a 60 MINUTES profile before he competes for more gold in the Winter Olympics next month. The 23-year-old Olympian spent time with Bob Simon – including a moment hanging over the correspondent’s head – for the profile to be broadcast Sunday, Jan. 31 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT).

Simon’s report traces the life of the flame-haired snowboarder, from his infancy when he needed heart surgery, to his boyhood skateboarding collision that nearly ended his career to the lofty heights he currently occupies as snowboarding’s grand trickster and richest endorser. He’s gotten so good, so successful, he realizes it’s hard to really be a part of the snowboarding fraternity anymore. His competitors have said he’s off on his own doing his own thing apart from them.

“I definitely found it a bit lonely sometimes,” he tells Simon. “I don’t think you can have really good friends that you go and compete…with…beat them at the hill…I totally understand [his competitors’ attitude about him],” he says. “If you and I were competing on the hill I don’t think I’d want to hang out with you afterward while you’re shining your medal…that would be a bummer,” says White. Watch an excerpt.

The segment contains lots of footage of White at work, including him practicing his tricks at his own private half pipe in Colorado’s backcountry. Viewers will learn how White got started on a snowboard, what his predictions are for his upcoming Olympic performance and get a look at his ride when he takes Simon out on the road for a short but fast spin in his Lamborghini.

White likes the view from the top; he’s gotten comfortable there – like when he was able to fly over Simon’s head on cue. “There’s just this amazing moment when you’re not going up anymore, but you’re not coming down…you’re just flying. Yeah, it’s just the best feeling,” he tells Simon.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CBS hits the links - 2010 PGA Tour



From CBS Sports -

CBS SPORTS TEES OFF 60th YEAR BROADCASTING GOLF WITH MOST EXTENSIVE SCHEDULE IN NETWORK TELEVISION HISTORY

JIM NANTZ AND SIR NICK FALDO ANCHOR CBS SPORTS’ GOLF COVERGE

CBS SPORTS’ 2010 PGA TOUR SCHEDULE BEGINS THIS WEEKEND IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AT “FARMERS INSURANCE OPEN” IN SAN DIEGO


CBS Sports begins its 60th year broadcasting golf in 2010, continuing to offer viewers the most comprehensive lineup in the history of network television. CBS Sports will broadcast 23 golf tournaments, totaling more than 140 hours, including the Mastersâ, PGA Championship, 19 PGA TOUR events, one LPGA TOUR event and one CHAMPIONS TOUR event. CBS Sports tees off the 2010 season at the Farmers Insurance Open on Saturday, Jan. 30 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, Jan. 31 (3:00-6:30 PM, ET), live from the South Course at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, Calif.

Jim Nantz, now in his 25th year overall covering golf for CBS Sports, serves as anchor for the Networks’ golf coverage. Sir Nick Faldo, winner of six majors and more than 40 tournaments worldwide, returns for his fourth year as lead analyst alongside Nantz in the 18th tower. Nantz and Faldo are complemented by CBS Sports’ award-winning golf announce team of Ian Baker-Finch, Gary McCord, David Feherty, Peter Kostis, Bill Macatee, Verne Lundquist, Peter Oosterhuis and Bobby Clampett.

In 2010, CBS Sports will broadcast all 19 PGA TOUR events in HDTV. CBS Sports will continue to broadcast the Masters and the PGA Championship in HDTV. The 2000 Masters was the first golf tournament presented live in HDTV on network television.

Highlights of the 2010 schedule:

19 PGA TOUR events: Farmers Insurance Open, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Verizon Heritage, Zurich Classic of New Orleans, Quail Hollow Championship, Valero Texas Open, HP Byron Nelson Championship, Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the Memorial Tournament presented by Morgan Stanley, St. Jude Classic, Travelers Championship, AT&T National, John Deere Classic, RBC Canadian Open, The Greenbrier Classic, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Wyndham Championship and The Barclays.

The Masters, the most renowned golf tournament and the longest-running sports event on CBS Sports will be showcased for the 55th consecutive year from Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Coverage includes a pair of 15-minute highlight shows recounting early-round action on Thursday, April 8 and Friday, April 9 (11:35-11:50 PM, ET, both nights). Live coverage of the third round will be broadcast on Saturday, April 10 (3:30-7:00 PM, ET) and live 18-hole final-round coverage will be presented on Sunday, April 11 (2:00-7:00 PM, ET).

The 92nd PGA Championship, the season’s final major which annually hosts the strongest field in championship golf, will be broadcast by CBS Sports for the 20th consecutive year. Coverage begins with highlights of early-round action on Thursday, Aug. 12 and Friday, Aug. 13 (12:37-1:07 AM, ET, both nights). Live, 18-hole coverage of the third and final rounds will be broadcast on Saturday, Aug. 14 and Sunday, Aug. 15 (2:00-7:00 PM, ET, both days) from The Straits Course at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisc.

The final round of the LPGA’s first major of the year, the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship will be broadcast on CBS Sports on Sunday, April 4 (3:00-6:00 PM, ET). The Champions TOUR will be featured on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 (1:00-3:00 PM, ET, both days) with the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf at Savannah Harbor Golf Resort in Savannah, Ga.

CBS Sports also will broadcast three PGA TOUR Specials and two PGA of America Specials and a PGA Championship Preview Show in addition to other golf specials throughout the year. Once again, CBS Sports will present “Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta” on Sunday, April 11 (1:00-2:00 PM, ET).

NESN - Beanpot Time!



From NESN -

NESN’S COVERAGE OF THE 58TH ANNUAL BEANPOT HOCKEY TOURNAMENT BEGINS ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1st AT 5 PM

BOSTON, MA
–For the 8th consecutive year, NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, will deliver live and exclusive high definition coverage of the 58th annual Beanpot Hockey Tournament presented by SBLI beginning on Monday, February 1st. The first game pits Boston College against Harvard at 5:00 PM followed by Boston University battling Northeastern University at 8:00 PM from the TD Garden. NESN’s coverage of the Beanpot championship game on Monday, February 8th will begin with Prelude to A Championship, a live, half-hour pre-game show starting at 7:30 PM.

Tom Caron and Andy Brickley will call all three games with Bob Beers, Craig Janney and Brendan Walsh teaming up to host Prelude to a Championship and intermission coverage from NESN’s TD Garden studio. Kathryn Tappen will serve as the rink-side reporter contributing pre-game, intermission and post-game interviews.

“The Beanpot is the middle pillar of NESN’s 27 game college hockey schedule, sandwiched between Frozen Fenway in January and the Hockey East Championships in March,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “We are fortunate to have 4 schools in Boston, including the past two NCAA champions, who annually put on a must-see event for college hockey fans everywhere.”

The championship game will also be available to 4.5 million homes in Canada on TSN2, which will rebroadcast the game in HD at 6:00 PM on February 9.

CBS plans for Super Bowl XLIV



From CBS Sports -

CBS SPORTS TO BROADCAST SUPER BOWL XLIV LIVE ON FEBRUARY 7

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms Call Super Bowl XLIV

CBS News’ Katie Couric to Contribute to THE SUPER BOWL TODAY

PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM: SUPER BOWL EDITION Highlights

All-Time Super Bowl Team by Traveling from Hawaii to Ireland

CBS’s New Reality Series, UNDERCOVER BOSS, Premieres Following Super Bowl XLIV


CBS Sports culminates its coverage of the 2009-10 NFL season with SUPER BOWL XLIV on Sunday, Feb. 7 (6:28 PM, ET kick-off) from Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Fla., live on the CBS Television Network. CBS Sports last broadcast the Super Bowl in 2007 when the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-17. Super Bowl XLIV will be the Network’s 17th Super Bowl broadcast overall.

CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call the action, marking the second time in his illustrious 25-year CBS Sports broadcasting career that Nantz calls play-by-play for the Super Bowl. Nantz called his first Super Bowl in 2007 and hosted the Network’s Super Bowl pre-game show, THE SUPER BOWL TODAY, in 2001 and 2004. Simms provides analysis for his sixth Super Bowl, the fourth for CBS Sports. Nantz and Simms are joined on the broadcast by NFL ON CBS analysts Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots serving as sideline reporters. Super Bowl XLIV is produced by Lance Barrow, Coordinating Producer, THE NFL ON CBS, and directed by Mike Arnold.

CBS Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl XLIV begins with THE SUPER BOWL TODAY, the Network’s pre-game studio show (2:00-6:00 PM, ET) with host James Brown along with analysts Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher, as well as NFL Insider Charley Casserly, reporters Lesley Visser, Sam Ryan, Tasker, Wilcots and contributor Dick Enberg.

CBS News anchor of THE CBS EVENING NEWS, Katie Couric, serves as a special contributor and will provide a special report during the pre-game show.

Following is a preliminary schedule of pre-game programming on CBS (all times Eastern):

12:00 NOON, ET: ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL – Celebrating its 40th anniversary as the longest-running and most honored (28 Emmy Awards) annual sports special, ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL, re-lives the 2009 NFL season. Culled by NFL Films producers from more than 1.7 million feet of game footage to 980 feet, the one-hour special also includes audio from more than 400 hours captured from 133 exclusive coach and player on-field wirings. Original orchestral music, including a 60-person choir, was used in producing the show. ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL debuted following the 1969 season,

1:00 PM, ET: PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM: SUPER BOWL EDITION—CBS Sports’ lead NFL analyst and former N.Y. Giants Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms, and his broadcast partner, Jim Nantz, host the eighth edition of his All-Iron Team. This year these men make up Simms’ All-Time Super Bowl team that best represent the qualities of Iron Men and have defined their roles in their teams winning a championship. Traveling all over the world from Hawaii to Ireland, the PHIL SIMMS ALL-IRON TEAM includes the first broadcast interview in 20 years with Jake Scott, a safety from the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins team and Super Bowl VII MVP, who now lives a simple life in Hawaii; and looks at a day-in-the-life of Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who is currently serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Also included in the show is an in-depth look at legendary defensive guru Buddy Ryan, architect of the famed “46-Defense” which led the Chicago Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX and father of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The All-Iron Team consists of six Hall of Famers, 37 combined Super Bowl wins, 46 combined Super Bowl appearances, seven combined Super Bowl MVP Awardees and four combined NFL MVPs. [The All-Iron Trophy is an old fashioned iron emblematic of Simms’ obsession with ironing. According to his mother, as a child Phil pressed his football and baseball uniforms, and to this day remains committed to creases.]

2:00 PM, ET: THE SUPER BOWL TODAY—James Brown, Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher anchor the Network’s pre-game show live from Sun Life Stadium in Miami previewing all the football and excitement leading up to Super Bowl XLIV. Reporters Lesley Visser, Sam Ryan, along with Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots, as well as contributor Dick Enberg, will cover the pre-game activities. Other special contributors include CBS News’ anchor of THE CBS EVENING NEWS Katie Couric.

Sponsors of the pre-game show include: Ritz (2:00-3:00 PM, ET); Doritos (3:00-3:30 PM, ET); Monster.com (3:30-4:00 PM, ET); Pizza Hut (4:00-5:00 PM, ET); Callaway (5:00-5:30 PM, ET) and Vizio (5:30-6:00 PM, ET).

6:00 PM, ET: SUPER BOWL ON CBS KICK-OFF SHOW

The SUPER BOWL ON CBS Kick-Off Show will be sponsored by Hyundai.

6:28 PM, ET: SUPER BOWL XLIV – Kick-off of Super Bowl XLIV live from Miami on the CBS Television Network.

Immediately following “The Intel SUPER BOWL TODAY Post Game Show,” CBS premieres its new reality series UNDERCOVER BOSS.

UNDERCOVER BOSS—CBS’s new reality series that follows high level corporate executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their own companies. Each week, a different executive will leave the comfort of their corner office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their corporation. While working alongside their employees, they will learn about themselves, the effects their decisions have on others, where the problems lie within their organization, the perception of their company and discover the unsung heroes of their work force. The post-Super Bowl XLIV premiere episode on February 7 features Larry O’Donnell, C.O.O. of Waste Management.

Stern on NBA TV for Arenas/Crittenton suspensions

From NBA TV -

NBA Commissioner David Stern Joins NBA TV for Exclusive Interview

NBA Commissioner David Stern was interviewed by NBA TV host Matt Winer in an exclusive television interview following the suspensions of Wizards players Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton.


Stern on whether he was more concerned with the violation of DC law or NBA policy.

Stern on whether he was more concerned with the violation of DC law or NBA policy 1.27.10 from Turner Sports on Vimeo.



The full interview is available on NBA.com

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2010/01/27/20100127_STERN_INT.nba

Matt Winer: “How did you arrive at the suspension for the rest of the season for (Gilbert) Arenas and (Javaris) Crittenton’s punishment?”

David Stern: “I just do what I do, which is consider the facts here, which is they had an argument, they followed through on that argument, each appearing with a weapon in an NBA locker room. That violates our collective bargaining agreement. They’d been warned about that at the beginning of each season in writing and with a visit from team security to team meetings. I decided that it just can’t be tolerated and each of them was suspended for the rest of the year.”

Winer: “Which was more significant in your mind? The violation of (Washington) DC law or NBA policy?”

Stern: “NBA policy. It’s not that the other isn’t significant, but it doesn’t concern me at the moment. At the moment, what I was dealing with was players who violated a specific prohibition agreed to by their union and the NBA that there will not be guns in any NBA facilities. They violated that, put themselves in potential danger and they put their teammates in potential danger. It’s nothing that we’re going to tolerate.”

Winer: “Shortly after the incident became public, you expressed some concern that Gilbert Arenas didn’t grasp the gravity of his actions. After meeting with both players this week, how convinced are you now that they both understand the severity of their mistake?”

Stern: “I believe that they are sincere in their contrition and their determination to make sure that their example is used in a positive way to teach lessons about this. I wouldn’t have done what I did here, I would’ve done more if I didn’t believe their contrition and their sincerity.”

Winer: “You touched on this a little bit with regard to policy versus statute in Washington DC, but Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, Arenas pleaded guilty to a felony. Why the same punishment for both players?”

Stern: “It turns out actually that Gilbert is being penalized 50 games and Javaris is being penalized 38 games. Their penalty is not the same.”

Winer: “Are there conditions for their return? Will they have to clear some sort of hurdle to return or do you anticipate both players will be active next season?”

Stern: “I have imposed no conditions. The only thing I did was suspend them for the remainder of this season and the rest will play out.”

Winer: “Based on your conversations with Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton, is it your understanding that there won’t be an appeal in terms of the player’s union?”

Stern: “I don’t have any understanding. Although I did agree with Billy Hunter that we will sit down and talk about, even apart from collective bargaining, how we can deliver the message even stronger than we do today that guns will not be tolerated in NBA facilities. It’s not just about what goes on in the facilities, what my concern as I look back at this incident, is that press coverage would suggest that this represents our players. And I know, because I’ve been involved with our players for years, that this doesn’t represent the over 430 players who do extraordinary things, not only on the court, but off the court, with the most recent example of their humanitarian efforts with regards to Haiti. I’m hoping that this will be put behind us and we’ll move on, (that) Javaris and Gilbert will move on and the union will move on. We’ll go about having what is a very successful season with exciting teams and exciting young stars.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TNT unveils NBA All-Star Reserves Thursday



From TNT Sports -

TNT NBA Thursday Continues with Exclusive Announcement of 2010 NBA All-Star Reserves

Doubleheader follows featuring Celtics @ Magic and Mavericks @ Suns


TNT will have the exclusive announcement of the 2010 NBA All-Star reserves on Thursday, Jan. 28 during a special one hour edition of NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) with Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Kenny Smith (analyst) and Chris Webber (analyst). TNT’s exclusive coverage of the 2010 All-Star Game from Dallas, TX will air on Sun., February 14 at 8:30 p.m. (ET).

Following the pre-game show, the network will present an exclusive doubleheader. The first game will feature Eastern Conference All-Star starter Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic hosting Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics at 8 p.m. (ET). Marv Albert (play-by-play) will call the game alongside Reggie Miller (analyst) with Craig Sager reporting. In the second game of the night, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks will visit Western Conference All-Star starter Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns at 10:30 p.m. (ET). Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Doug Collins (analyst) will be courtside with Cheryl Miller reporting. The Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai with Johnson, Barkley, Smith and Webber will recap the games.

This week, TNT will announce the nominees for its ‘TNT All-Decade Presented by esurance: Buzzer Beaters: Regular Season’ category. Fans can visit NBA.com’s ‘TNT All-Decade Presented by esurance’ 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. ‘TNT All-Decade’ 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, Jan. 28
7 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst), Kenny Smith (analyst) and Chris Webber (analyst)

8 p.m. Boston Celtics @ Orlando Magic
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

10:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks @ Phoenix Suns
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Cheryl Miller (reporter)

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

NBA ON TNT UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Thursday, Feb. 4
8 p.m. NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com
Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst)

8:15 p.m. Miami Heat @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Announcers: Marv Albert (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst), Reggie Miller (analyst) and Craig Sager (reporter)

10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trail Blazers
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter)

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

NESN has plenty of Red Sox Spring Training



From NESN -

NESN EXPANDS 2010 SPRING TRAINING COVERAGE WITH 15 HOURS OF RED SOX SPRING BREAK LIVE HOSTED BY TOM CARON AND PETER GAMMONS

Network’s 2010 Spring Training Game Schedule to Feature 9 Games

BOSTON
– NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, will expand its Red Sox spring training coverage this year with 15 hours of live programming beginning with an evening edition of Red Sox Spring Break LIVE on February 18, 2010 at 7:00 PM. Hosted by NESN’s Tom Caron and Peter Gammons, Red Sox Spring Break LIVE will coincide with the team’s on-field workouts, originating from the team’s training complex in Fort Myers, Florida. Each show will feature exclusive interviews with Red Sox players and management and expert commentary from NESN analysts and special guests.

“We are committed to bringing our fans the most comprehensive coverage of the Red Sox in 2010 both on the network and at NESN.com starting with day one of spring training,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “With the addition of Peter Gammons to our team and by adding three more hours of live television coverage from Fort Myers in February, we plan to give fans even more of an opportunity to experience spring training live as it happens.”

Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 2010 Schedule

Thursday, February 18
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Replay 10:30 – 11:30 PM

Saturday, February 20
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 9:00 AM - NOON
Replay 2:00 – 4:00 PM

Sunday, February 21
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 10:00 AM - NOON
Replay 3:00 – 5:00 PM

Wednesday, February 24
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 10:00 AM - NOON
Replay 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Replay 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Friday, February 26
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Replay 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Saturday, February 27
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 9:00 AM - NOON
Replay 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Sunday, February 28
Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 10:00 AM - NOON
Replay 1:00 – 3:00 PM


NESN’s nine (9) game spring training broadcast schedule will kick off on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 6:00 PM when the Red Sox host Boston College. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will team up for their tenth season together in the NESN broadcast booth with Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney joining them for her third season with the network.

NESN’s 2010 Spring Training Game Broadcast Schedule

Wednesday, March 3
Boston College at Fort Myers
6:00 PM

Sunday, March 7
Baltimore at Sarasota
1:00 PM

Saturday, March 13
Pittsburgh at Fort Myers
1:00 PM

Sunday, March 14
Minnesota at Hammond Stadium
1:00 PM

Wednesday, March 17
New York Mets at Fort Myers
1:00 PM

Saturday, March 20
Baltimore at Fort Myers
1:00 PM

Sunday, March 21
Houston at Fort Myers
1:00 PM

Sunday March 28
Minnesota at Fort Myers
1:00 PM

Monday, March 29
Tampa Bay at Fort Myers
7:00 PM

Monday, January 25, 2010

FOX NFC Championship Ratings Best in 30 Years!



From Fox Sports -

FOX SPORTS CAPS OFF RECORD-SETTING NFL SEASON WITH MOST-WATCHED CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IN ALMOST 30 YEARS

58 Million Viewers Tune In To See Unforgettable Vikings/Saints Epic Overtime Thriller; Second Only To Cowboys/49ers “The Catch” Classic in 1982

Contest Posts +40% Gain Over Last Year’s Eagles/Cardinals NFC Title Tilt

New Orleans Delivers Highest Local Rating for a Postseason NFL Game Ever


Yesterday’s epic 2010 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME on FOX between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings delivered an extraordinary 30.6/45 household rating/share and averaged over 57.9 million viewers, according to fast national figures released by Nielsen Media Research. The overtime battle not only produced the biggest audience ever for an NFC Championship Game on FOX, it is also the second largest audience for any conference championship game, trailing only the 1982 Cowboys-49ers (Montana-to-Clark “The Catch”) NFC Championship Game (68.7 million viewers on CBS). Excluding Super Bowl broadcasts, last night’s average audience of 57.9 million ascends the 2010 NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME to television’s most-watched program since the 1998 “Seinfeld” series finale (76.3 million viewers). It also ranks as the eighth most-watched show in the history of FOX, trailing only the network’s five Super Bowls and two Super Bowl postgame shows.

Last night’s fast national rating of 30.6/45 is a +40% gain over last year’s 21.9/41 for Eagles-Cardinals in the early window and the highest rating for a conference championship game in 14 years (33.3/58 – Packers/Cowboys in 1996.) Ratings climbed to Super Bowl-like levels as the game progressed toward overtime, peaking at an astounding 34.4/48 rating and 65.2 million viewers from 9:30 – 10:00 PM ET.

New Orleans delivered a 63.2/82 last night, the highest local rating for a postseason NFL game ever, beating the home market rating of every team that has ever played in a Super Bowl. Viewing in New Orleans peaked at a 67.4/86 at 10:15 PM as Garrett Hartley drilled a 40-yard field goal to send the Saints to their first-ever Super Bowl.

Minneapolis posted a 58.7/80 last night, which is in its own right the third highest local rating ever for an NFC playoff game on FOX, trailing only New Orleans for yesterday’s game and Milwaukee in the 1997 Championship Game. Milwaukee was yesterday's No. 3 market at a 47.4/64 as Packer fans tuned-in in droves to watch Brett Favre's championship bid.

The 2010 NFC PLAYOFFS go down in the record books as FOX’s most-watched ever. FOX’s four NFC Playoff games averaged 40.2 million viewers, besting the previous mark of 37.3 million set in 1995. Not only is this FOX’s largest NFC Playoff viewership ever, it is the best for the NFC Playoffs on either FOX or CBS since Nielsen introduced the people meter during the 1987-88 season. This year’s four NFC Playoff games averaged a 22.4/38 household rating/share, a +24% gain over last year’s 18.1/33 and FOX’s best since 1997 (23.7/48).

AFC Championship Ratings Highest in 24 Years for CBS



From CBS Sports -

“THE NFL ON CBS’S COVERAGE OF AFC CHAMPIONSHIP IS MOST WATCHED IN 24 YEARS

CBS SPORTS’ COVERAGE OF 2010 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP AVERAGES 46.9 MILLION VIEWERS


CBS Sports’ coverage of the 2010 AFC CHAMPIONSHIP game featuring the Indianapolis Colts defeating the New York Jets on Sunday, Jan. 24 (3:06-6:13 PM, ET) was seen by an average of 46.9 million viewers (Persons 2+), which is the highest number of viewers in 24 years dating back to Jan. 12, 1986 for New England vs. Miami on NBC (47.5 million viewers).

The AFC CHAMPIONSHIP game earned a fast-national average household rating/share of 26.3/47, up 2% from the comparable early window in 2008 and up 20% from last year’s late window.

The AFC CHAMPIONSHIP game rating peaked at a 29.6/50 with an average of 54.0 million viewers from 5:30-6:00 PM, ET.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jordin Sparks - National Anthem AFC Championship Game



Here's Jordin Sparks with the National Anthem before the Jets/Colts AFC Championship Game Sunday in Indianapolis.



Thanks to CBS and Yahoo for the video! Kris Allen has the NFC honors from New Orleans.

Conference Championships On Tap

Just about 20 minutes away to the start of the AFC/NFC Championships!

Who ya got?

I've got Jets vs. Saints in Super Bowl XLIV!

Abbie's Day at Pawsox Hot Stove!

Check out my little girl's fun-filled day at the Pawtucket Red Sox Hot Stove Event on Saturday!

It's on her website!




Season opens for the Pawsox April 8th vs. Rochester!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prince's Fight Song for the Vikings!



The Purple One has chimed in on Sunday's NFC Championship Game!

Take a listen...



I've got the Saints! Read our intrepid TCN predictions right here!

The Final "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien"



If you missed it last night, here's the final "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," courtesy of NBC and Hulu!

It's classic stuff as Tom Hanks and Steve Correll (with an NBC employee exit interview) send "CoCo" off after his abrupt seven-month stint at the "Tonight Show" got cut off by NBC. And in true Conan form, there's a fitting send-off with Will Ferrell joining the Tonight Show Band, as well as ZZ Top and Conan on his "axe" in doing "Freebird" to close out the show.



So, with $45 million in his pocket, Conan moves on to the next gig! Fly, Freebird, Fly!

Brad Penny & Karina Smirnoff

Yes, Red Sox Nation, there is life after Boston. Just check out Brad Penny on the beach with his hottie honey Karina Smirnoff!



Thanks to TMZ for the pic!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Rock & The Coach back together again!



Dwayne Johnson (a/k/a "The Rock) meets up with old WWE mate Jonathan "The Coach" Coachmen.



Classic!

WWE RAW Upcoming Hosts



Now this is a lineup! The upcoming guest hosts for WWE Monday Night RAW:

James Roday and Dule Hill - January 25th

William Shatner - February 1st
Carl Edwards - February 8th
Jerry Springer - February 15th
Cheech and Chong - March 1st
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin - March 15th

NBC flexes Penguins/Capitals for February 7

From NBC Sports -

ALEX OVECHKIN AND THE CAPITALS VS. SIDNEY CROSBY AND THE PENGUINS FLEXED AS NBC SPORTS' FEB. 7 “GAME OF THE WEEK”

Next Three “Game of the Week” Telecasts Set

NEW YORK (January 21, 2010)
- The Sunday, Feb. 7, Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals game has been flexed as NBC Sports’ “Game of the Week” and will be played at Verizon Center at the special time of Noon ET, the National Hockey League and NBC Sports announced today. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin last spring delighted the sports world with a memorable seven-game playoff series, including both superstars recording a hat trick in Game 2, that elevated what had been a rivalry between individuals into what many are calling the NHL's best current team rivalry.

Last night at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, the Capitals defeated the Penguins, 6-3, in the first meeting between the two teams of the season. Ovechkin scored two goals, while Crosby had one.

The Capitals, who have won eight of their last nine games, sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. The Penguins have won five of their last nine games and reside in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

ADDITIONAL “GAME OF THE WEEK” MATCHUPS

This Sunday, the Penguins travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers at 12:30p.m. ET on NBC. This Keystone State rivalry has reached the boiling point after the Penguins eliminated the Flyers from the playoffs in two hard-fought series each of the past two seasons.

Sunday, Jan. 31, features a rematch of the last two Stanley Cup Finals when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Penguins in Pittsburgh. Another great NHL rivalry was forged when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup last spring in seven games to dethrone the Red Wings, who had won in six games the previous season against the Penguins. Jan. 31 marks the first meeting between Pittsburgh and Detroit this season.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

At least 13 days prior to the scheduled game, one game is selected for broadcast on NBC. All NBC games will be broadcast on Sundays and all games will be presented in HD. Games not flexed to NBC will be available to the teams’ regional carriers and remain at the originally announced start time.

TNT talks NBA All-Stars

From TNT Sports -

TNT NBA Studio Analysts React to 2010 NBA All-Star Starters

TNT’s Inside the NBA studio team of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber give their thoughts on the 2010 NBA All-Star Starters and their picks for the All-Star Reserves. The NBA All-Star Reserves will be announced exclusively on TNT on Thursday, Jan. 28 in a one hour pre-game show beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

NBA ALL-STAR CLIPS OF THE DAY

Webber, Smith and Barkley give their picks for the NBA All-Star Eastern Conference Reserves

EJ, Kenny, CWebb and Charles pick their Eastern Conference All-Star reserves 1.21.10 from Turner Sports on Vimeo.



Webber, Smith and Barkley give their picks for the NBA All-Star Western Conference Reserves

EJ, Kenny, Charles and CWebb pick their Western Conference All-Star reserves 1.21.10 from Turner Sports on Vimeo.



Eastern Conference All-Star Starters

F – Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)

F – LeBron James – (Cleveland Cavaliers)

C – Dwight Howard – (Orlando Magic)

G – Dwyane Wade – (Miami Heat)

G – Allen Iverson – (Philadelphia 76ers)


All-Star starter and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard joined the studio crew via satellite

Howard on what he’s looking forward to most with All-Star Weekend: “I’m looking forward to interacting with the fans and having fun. Being around the guys is a great experience. As a player, you look forward to going every year.”

Howard on the Magic having a ‘hangover’ from their 2009 Finals appearance: “I don’t think that a lot of us have gotten over the fact that we lost in the Finals. Getting to the Finals is one thing but then playing and losing takes a lot out of you mentally and physically. A lot of the guys are still thinking about losing in the Finals. It was a tough experience for myself and it took me a while to recover from playing in the Finals.”

Howard on if he is going to start demanding the ball more: “I need to (start demanding the ball). I need to but I’m all about team. I just want what’s best for the team. I need to demand the ball more, that’s what I need to do. I want to win so badly. Whatever it takes to take for us to get to the next level, I’ll do that.”

Smith on Allen Iverson’s NBA All-Star selection: “I agree that the fans should have a vote. I think one of the biggest compliments (as a player) is to have the fans recognize what you do as a player. But the greatest compliment of all is when your peers vote for you. To me, that the NBA doesn’t allow it’s players to have a vote in the All-Star process, is a bigger travesty than the fans (getting to vote). The coaches and fans vote but game recognizes game. I think the players should have a vote. If you want the fans to vote, they should be voting for the wild card, for the guys that they want to see in after the players and coaches have voted.”

Barkley on Allen Iverson starting in the All-Star Game: “I think (Allen Iverson) should decline to play in the game. In fairness, Allen started in the West (Conference with Memphis) and now starts in the East (Conference with Philadelphia). That’s not fair. If he was still having a great individual year, that would be totally different. The Sixers have not played well and he has not played well.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed All-Star starter and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James prior to the game


James on playing against Lakers guard Kobe Bryant: “It’s great (to play against Bryant). (We’re) two of the best competitors in the game today and one thing we try to do is lead our teams to victory every day no matter what the stakes are. No matter who we are going against, no matter if it’s on TNT or anywhere else. We just try to win ballgames and that’s why I love going against him.”

James on not participating in the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk: “I think the NBA has already picked the four guys that they want to be in it. I know my teammate had a great idea but we’ll see how far that’ll go.”

Sager: “How Shaq wanted to (have a charity dunk contest and) give money to Haiti? Do you think that could happen?”

James: “(Shaq) is my guy. He’s great when it comes to having great marketing plans.”

Western Conference All-Star Starters

F – Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets)

F – Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)

C – Amar’e Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns)

G – Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)

G – Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns)

Smith on Rockets guard Aaron Brooks: “(The Rockets) are not the team (that they are) without Aaron Brooks. If Aaron Brooks get hurt, they can’t contend. He is the glue that makes it happen.”

Smith on New York Knicks center David Lee: “(David Lee) deserves to be a center (on the All-Star team). He is the second best center in the East (Conference) this year.”

Webber on Atlanta Hawks reserve guard Jamal Crawford being a crucial piece to his team: “I think (Jamal Crawford) is the spark on the (Hawks) this year. (He’s made some) game-winning shots. I think the whole team has changed because now you have someone that comes off the bench. When you look at their big games against the Lakers or other teams and Joe (Johnson) hasn’t been able to get it off in the first half. Who do they go to? He’s the savior of this team.”

Smith: “Is he the coffee or is he the sugar? Is he the sweetener to the coffee that was already there? To me, he’s the thing that makes it taste good. But he’s not the coffee…Joe Johnson is the coffee.”

Barkley on why he believes Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace should make the NBA All-Star team: “I would be very disappointed if Gerald Wallace didn’t make it. He’s the reason, no offense to Stephen Jackson, that Charlotte has got the best record since the New Year started.”

Smith on why he believes Celtics guard Rajon Rondo should be an All-Star in the East: “If (Celtics guard Rajon) Rondo doesn’t make it for the first time I would be disappointed because he’s shown he’s more than the glue to the Boston Celtics or just an admirable player.”

Smith on why Rockets guard Aaron Brooks needs to be an All-Star in the West: “Aaron Brooks deserves it. He’s created enough excitement to be on the team with his play, game winnings shots and big games. In terms of explosion in games that they’ve needed 40 points or 30 points, he’s been the guy who has exploded and pushed himself to be an All-Star.”

NFL Ratings from FOX

From Fox Sports -

SAINTS/CARDINALS & VIKINGS/COWBOYS DIVSIONAL CONTESTS POWER RATINGS ON FOX

Sunday’s Early Game on FOX Out-Rates Late Window for First Time in Four Years

2010 NFC Playoffs Post Largest Average Audience Ever on FOX


The dominating performances by the Vikings and Saints helped propel NFL on FOX’s Divisional playoff weekend to impressive ratings and viewership heights.

The weekend was highlighted by an enormous 22.0/44 (37.7 million viewers) for FOX's Sunday playoff broadcast between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings at 1:00 PM. Sunday's rating is +18% better than last year's 18.7/38 (Eagles-Giants) in the same window and marks the first time in four years that the early Sunday Divisional contest earned a higher rating than the game in the advantageous late window (20.1/35, Jets-Chargers.) Sunday’s rating is also the highest for a 1:00 PM Divisional on FOX since 1996's 25.4/48 for Eagles-Cowboys.

Minneapolis led all markets on Sunday with a sensational 48.4/82, followed by New Orleans (41.4/61). Dallas placed third averaging a 40.4/71.

On Saturday, the Cardinals and Saints squared-off at the Superdome and earned a 16.1/32 (27.9 mill.) for their Divisional playoff on FOX. Despite the one-sided victory by the Saints, Saturday’s game was up +17% over last year's 13.8/23 (23.8 mill) on FOX for Cardinals-Panthers in primetime and up +5% over last year's comparable 15.4/29 (25.4 mill) on CBS (Ravens-Titans.)

New Orleans led all markets Saturday with a sensational 57.2/79, the highest local rating ever for a divisional playoff on FOX. Looking ahead to this weekend, New Orleans has a chance to post the highest local rating ever for an NFC Championship Game. The current record is a 59.5 in Milwaukee in 1997.

Through the Divisional round, the 2010 NFC on FOX PLAYOFFS are the most-watched in the network’s history. The three games to date have averaged a 19.2/36 and 33.3 million viewers, the largest average viewership ever on FOX and the largest for either the NFC or AFC Playoffs since FOX became an NFL broadcaster. The +14% ratings gain over last year's 16.8/30 and is FOX's best playoff average in six years (19.7/37 in 2004.)

Smokin' Hot Shania!

Fresh from Shania Twain's new website, we get these smokin' hot pictures of the sexy songstress!











Oh my! Can't wait for more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

AFC/NFC Championship Game Predictions

And then there were four! After three drama-less wins by the top seed, we finally got a riveting upset in the final match-up of the Divisional Round last Sunday as the fifth seeded Jets took out the second ranked Chargers in San Diego. So, what we’re left with is the top two seeds in the NFC battling in the Bayou as the Saints host the Vikings. Meanwhile in the AFC, it’s a tasty treat as the Colts try to take out the Jets, the team they essentially let into the playoffs by taking out their starters with a lead in the second half against NY in week 16, only to see the Jets beat Indy, 29-15.

So, who will be left standing to make it to Miami and Super Bowl XLIV? Let’s go straight to the predictions!

AFC Championship Game: Jets at Colts (Sunday 3pm)

This will be the first time in NFL history that two rookie head coaches will meet each other in a Conference Championship Game (Rex Ryan vs. Jim Caldwell). NY’s won five in a row on the road and with a win, makes it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1968. RB Shonn Greene rolled through his first two playoff games to the tune of 263 yards on the ground. While the Jets (11-7) are #1 on the ground (172 yards per game), the Colts (15-2) rule the air (282 yards per game) with the second ranked passing attack. Indy’s won the last seven of 10 in the series while NY has won both postseason games including a victory in Super Bowl III. The ultimate question is which defense will get the most pressure on the opposing quarterback as the vet Peyton Manning takes on the rook Mark Sanchez.

Jets Player to watch: TE Dustin Keller

Colts Player to watch: WR Pierre Garcon

Prediction: Jets 21 Colts 17


NFC Championship Game: Vikings at Saints (Sunday 6:40pm)

Arguably, the two top teams in the league duke it out in the Dome in New Orleans. The Vikings (13-4) have owned the Saints (14-3) in winning seven of the past eight games in the series. Against common opponents (Carolina, Detroit, NY Giants and St.Louis), both teams have gone 4-1. It’s only the fifth time in NFL history that the top two scoring teams in the league have met in the Conference Championship Game (Saints 510 points). At 40 years old, Brett Favre is the oldest QB to start a Conference Championship Game. The Vikings are the only team in NFL history with six players with more than 40 receptions.

Vikings Player to watch: TE Visanthe Shiancoe

Saints Player to watch: WR Robert Meachem

Prediction: Saints 35 Vikings 31

Super Bowl XLIV: Jets vs. Saints in Miami February 7!

TCN interview with Frank Supovitz from "Full Contact" on TruTV



As you the fans of "The Crowe's Nest" know by now, I'm a huge fan of TruTv's new show "NFL Full Contact" coming in February (Februay 8th at 10pm to be exact). If you didn't catch my sneak peek preview, here it is for you.

Thanks to our friends at Turner Broadcasting, TCN was able to do an email interview with one of the stars of "Full Contact," Frank Supovitz, “The Boss” and VP of Events for the NFL.

Here's our full interview:

TCN: What was your most difficult event to stage for the NFL?
FS: The most challenging event I’ve managed at the NFL was the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund Telethon on Monday Night Football in 2005. Right after finishing the 2005 NFL Kickoff concert in Los Angeles, I grabbed the red eye back to New York, where we had only 10 days to organize, manage and promote the event, and none of us had ever produced a telethon.

TCN: Everyone thinks things just come together, how much advance planning goes into your events?
FS: Usually planning for an event like the NFL Draft begins immediately after the previous year’s event has ended. Kickoff takes about 8 months, beginning right after the Super Bowl champion is determined [since we now stage Kickoff in the home of the Super Bowl winner]. Super Bowl is actually on a 4-year planning cycle. While we’re days away from Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida, we are already deep into planning for the 2011 game in North Texas, the 2012 event in Indianapolis, and the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans. Work will begin on the 2014 Super Bowl this May, when the game is awarded.

TCN: What's your most enjoyable event that you've put on for the NFL?
FS: The most rewarding event that many of us have worked on was the Reopening of Superdome in 2006, a year after the telethon held on Monday Night Football to raise funds for the relief efforts in New Orleans. With thousands of Louisianans packing the plaza around the building to enjoy a Goo Goo Dolls concert, a banner raising ceremony, and U2 and Green Day on the field before the game, it is a turning point moment in the city’s revitalization that I still hear people talk about today when I’m in New Orleans.

TCN: Was there ever an idea that you just thought wouldn't work, but in the end, turned out great?
FS: If there are ideas we think won’t work, we don’t generally act on them. The key is coming up with ideas that will work, and will be great.

TCN: What's your biggest fear, or is there any, in putting in an event on?
FS: I don’t generally feel fear at events. We work hard at being prepared; I’d be more scared if we didn’t. That said, making sure that a Super Bowl halftime show is fully set up in 6 minutes, and is gone before the players return is about as scary a proposition as I can think of.

TCN: What upcoming event are you looking forward to the most?
FS: I always look forward to the next ones on the list. Which in this case, are Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.

TCN: What's one thing that's happened to you putting on these events that would just make people say - "No way - that didn't happen!" ?
FS: Watch NFL Full Contact on truTV and you’ll see.

Thanks to Frank for the interview and to Heather at Turner Broacasting PR for making this happen for us.

Remember, the premiere of "Full Contact" is February 8th at 10pm on TruTV!

FOX Previews Conference Championships

From Fox Sports -

Saints/Vikings Clash in New Orleans for the NFC Title Sunday Night on FOX

FOX NFL SUNDAY Pregame Live from Louisiana Superdome: Coverage at 6:00 PM ET

Aikman: Vikings Will Have to Battle Superdome and the Saints on Sunday

Strahan: Jets Can Win If They Execute What They Do Best

THE NFL ON FOX PRESENTS FIRST-EVER NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME FROM NEW ORLEANS:
A trip to Super Bowl XLIV is on the line on Sunday, Jan. 24 (6:00 PM ET) as the Saints and the Louisiana Superdome host their first ever NFC Championship Game. Drew Brees & Co. face as tough a matchup as the NFC can offer when Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and the Vikings come to town. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver & Chris Myers call this high-octane battle for the NFC title in the Bayou.

Coverage begins at 6:00 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 live at the Louisiana Superdome. The crew is joined by NFL Insider Jay Glazer who presents the latest league news and scoops and comedic prognosticator Frank Caliendo contributes his conference championship “Frank’s Picks” segment. In this week’s Championship edition, Oliver sits down with Brett Favre to reflect on his improbable season. Johnson chats with New Orleans offensive weapons Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and Marques Colston. Strahan dissects the Vikings defense and how they match up with the Saints while Long looks at the Saints defense and if they can stop the Vikings offense. NFL on FOX’s John Lynch reports from Indianapolis with interviews and reaction from the AFC Championship Game between the Colts and Jets.

Sunday, Jan. 24, 2010 - 6:30pm
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Announcer Joe Buck
Analyst Troy Aikman
Sideline Reporter Pam Oliver
Sideline Reporter Chris Myers

AIKMAN: VIKINGS GET A TASTE OF THEIR OWN MEDICINE AND WILL HAVE TO BATTLE THE SUPERDOME NOISE EARLY
– NFL on FOX lead analyst Troy Aikman says the Superdome gives the Saints a certain edge this Sunday. “Part of playing on the road is mental,” said Aikman. “The Saints definitely have an advantage. Every single play becomes magnified and it can make you feel as though things are worse than they are. If you are playing at home and you don’t convert on a third down, you think ‘well, we’ll get the ball back.’ When you’re playing on the road in a big game and you get stopped on third down, the crowd goes bananas and it just feels like it’s worse than it really is. I think it’s a huge factor that the Vikings really have to block out, especially early in game. At some point, it doesn’t matter how loud it gets, if you can’t hear, you can’t hear. People assume the defense will have an advantage because Minnesota has to use a silent count but I think it is an equally big advantage for New Orleans offensively.”

STRAHAN ON JETS/COLTS: EVERYONE IS BEATABLE IF YOU EXECUTE WELL – FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Michael Strahan knows a little something about beating the odds and defeating a heavily favored team. Strahan looks at what has to happen for the Jets’ journey to continue to Super Bowl XLIV: “There’s no trick to winning. Once they kick the ball off, it’s football. Everybody is beatable. They’ve played Indianapolis already and they’ve seen Peyton Manning. The Jets do a great job of disguising their defense and sending blitzes. In order to throw Peyton off you have to throw him off his rhythm. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible. You aren’t going to out-smart Peyton Manning, he’s a four-time MVP and he knows every situation out there. The Jets’ defense has to do what their players are comfortable with and execute well for the best chance of winning.”

AIKMAN ON CHAN GAILEY HIRING IN BUFFALO – “From a personnel standpoint, the Buffalo Bills are built for defense. If they can continue to dominate like they were able to do defensively then Chan Gailey will put together a good running game. If you believe that running the football and playing good defense, as we see now with the New York Jets, can win you a title, then I think it was a good hire.”

Hope for Haiti Telethon Friday

In case you haven't heard, George Clooney hosts the "Hope for Haiti" Telethon Friday from 8pm-10pm on over 32 Networks and stations around the country, including MLB Network and CW (CW 28's my employer for my day gig). Here's the details on what should be a great event to raise a lot of money to help the victims of the earthquakes in Haiti.

“HOPE FOR HAITI NOW: A GLOBAL BENEFIT FOR EARTHQUAKE RELIEF” ADDS NEW MUSICAL PERFORMANCES AND CELEBRITY PARTICIPANTS TO SUPERSTAR LINEUP

Beyoncé to Perform in London

Madonna in New York City

Haitian Artist Emeline Michel in Los Angeles


Participants to include President Bill Clinton, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Chris Rock,
Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Julia Roberts,
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman,
Robert Pattinson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Will Smith with Muhammad Ali,

and More Than One Hundred of the Biggest Names in Film, Television, and Music

“Hope for Haiti Now” to Begin Accepting Donations via Online, Phone, Text and Mail
at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT on Friday, January 22

Music Performances Available for Pre-Order Exclusively on iTunes

NEW YORK, NY; LOS ANGELES, CA; and LONDON, ENGLAND (JANUARY 21, 2010)
– “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief,” today announced the addition of new musical artists and celebrity participants to its lineup. “Hope for Haiti Now” will air on Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 p.m. CT

Newly added performers Beyoncé in London, Madonna in New York City, and Haitian artist Emeline Michel in Los Angeles will join the previously announced lineup: Wyclef Jean, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, and Sting in New York City; Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and a group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock, and Sheryl Crow in Los Angeles; and Coldplay, and a group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z, and Rihanna in London.

In addition to musical performances, Wyclef Jean in New York City, George Clooney in Los Angeles, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper reporting from Haiti, “Hope for Haiti Now” will feature President Bill Clinton, Ben Stiller, Brad Pitt, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Jon Stewart, Julia Roberts, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Will Smith with Muhammad Ali, and more than one hundred of the biggest names in film, television, and music.

“Hope for Haiti Now” will begin accepting donations at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT on Friday, January 22 via the following methods:

• Online: www.hopeforhaitinow.org

• Phone: 877-99-HAITI

• Text: Text “GIVE” to 50555

• Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation,

1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017


Music performances from "Hope for Haiti Now" will be available for purchase and download on the iTunes® Store. Beginning on Friday, iTunes customers will be able to exclusively pre-order both the "Hope for Haiti Now" full performance album ($7.99) and the full two-hour video telecast ($1.99). Pre-orders will be delivered in the days following the telethon. Individual audio performances will also be available for purchase and download for $.99 cents each in the days following the telethon. Apple, the record labels and the artists will donate their share of the proceeds to Haiti relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities.

“Hope for Haiti Now” performances will also be available for purchase on AmazonMP3 and Rhapsody, with distribution provided by INgrooves. Proceeds from those purchases will also benefit Haiti relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities.

“Hope for Haiti Now,” will benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, the Red Cross, UNICEF, United Nations World Food Programme, Yele Haiti Foundation, and the newly formed Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation. Proceeds from “Hope for Haiti Now” will be split among each organization’s individual funds for Haiti earthquake relief. With the exception of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, each partner organization was selected for its history of operation and collaboration within the NGO community in Haiti.

“Hope for Haiti Now” will air across ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, CMT, PBS, TNT, Showtime, COMEDY CENTRAL, Bravo, E! Entertainment, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, CENTRIC, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, EPIX, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health, Planet Green, CNN en Español, HBO Latino, and Canadian networks including CBC Television, CTV, Global Television, and MuchMusic. The event will be live streamed online globally across sites including YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, Fancast, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, Bing.com, BET.com, CNN.com, MTV.com, VH1.com, and Rhapsody and on mobile via Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and FloTV. "Hope for Haiti Now" will also air internationally on BET International, CNN International, National Geographic, and MTV Networks International, which is available in 640 million homes worldwide. “Hope for Haiti Now” will be available non-exclusively to all terrestrial radio stations around the globe and SIRIUS XM Radio as a one time only radio broadcast via the MTV Radio Network and Westwood One.

"Hope for Haiti Now" is produced by Joel Gallen and Tenth Planet Productions, in collaboration with Viacom’s MTV Networks and George Clooney.

Nascar on FOX Preview

From FOX Sports -

NASCAR ON FOX BROADCASTERS “EXCITED” & “THRILLED” ABOUT ‘BACK-TO-BASICS’ RACING

New York, NY – In its continuing effort to get “back to basics,” NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France today announced significant rules changes that will greatly impact NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing this season.

In addition to adopting earlier and consistent start times, which were announced late last year, NASCAR will “relax some on-track rules, putting racing back in drivers’ hands in 2010.” The on-track changes announced today include: Bump-drafting rules will be eliminated at superspeedways (Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway) and teams will use bigger restrictor plates at Daytona, giving drivers more horsepower. NASCAR also announced a significant change to Sprint Cup Series cars, including replacing the rear wing with a more traditional spoiler.

NASCAR on FOX broadcasters are looking forward changes for 2010:

Race Announcer, Mike Joy:


“I am really encouraged by NASCAR's relaxing of the bump-drafting rules, and it will lead to a really exciting Daytona 500. The strategy of drafting may change dramatically, as two cars bump drafting together can often be faster than the long freight-train drafts that we are used to seeing.”

Race Analyst, Larry McReynolds:

“NASCAR has put racing back in the hands of the drivers and that is a positive change. I’ve said all along, you can’t tell these drivers how to drive. NASCAR is not making decisions solely on its own, and that’s very important. They’re talking to drivers, teams, owners and getting their opinions and they’re listening to the fans. I really like the things NASCAR is doing and I am excited for 2010!”

Prerace & Race Analyst, Darrell Waltrip:

“When I heard NASCAR talk about losing the wing and going back to the traditional spoiler that we’ve all looked at for 50 years, I was thrilled! Losing the wing will give cars that conventional stock car look. And a bigger restrictor plate will make racing better and drivers happier. It’s a change that a fan won’t see or feel, but the driver will. It will give them so much more throttle response. It’s like swapping a four cylinder engine for a V8.”

Waltrip on the Yellow Line Rule Staying Put (For Now): “I understand the concern about eliminating the yellow line completely, but I’d be in favor of the boundary rule being waived for the final lap. Drivers will give it everything they have and we’ll all get to see more exciting finishes. Regan Smith would have won Talladega and Carl Edwards would have won Talladega last year, if we didn’t have the yellow line rule on the last lap. I’m glad NASCAR will continue to look at it for the future.”

Hoops-mania on CBS this Saturday - Texas/UConn!

From CBS Sports -

CBS SPORTS’ COLLEGE BASKETBALL TRIPLEHEADER FEATURES FIVE OF NATION’S BEST HIGHLIGHTED BY NO. 1-RANKED TEXAS VS. NO. 21-RANKED CONNECTICUT ON SATURDAY, JAN. 23

CBS Sports’ college basketball schedule continues with a tripleheader on Saturday, Jan 23 (12:00 NOON-6:00 PM, ET) featuring five of the nation’s top 25 teams. Regional coverage of *No. 7-ranked Michigan State taking on Minnesota and Mississippi State playing Alabama (12:00 NOON) tips off the day. More regional action follows as *No. 25-ranked Ohio State battles *No. 12-ranked West Virginia and Oregon State plays California (2:00 PM, ET). National coverage of *No. 1-ranked Texas against *No. 21-ranked Connecticut concludes the day (4:00 PM, ET)

Gus Johnson and analyst Greg Anthony will be on hand at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn. to handle the call for Michigan State-Minnesota. Steve Scheer produces and Andy Goldberg directs.

Craig Bolerjack and Dan Bonner are courtside for Mississippi State-Alabama from Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Vic Frank produces and Mark Grant directs.

Kevin Harlan and Bill Raftery handle the call from WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, W.V. for Ohio State-West Virginia. Ken Mack produces and Jim Cornell directs.

Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel handle the call for Oregon State-California from Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. Ross Schneiderman produces and Suzanne Smith directs.

Verne Lundquist joins CBS Sports’ lead college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg to call the action from Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. 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.

In addition, Michigan State-Minnesota, Mississippi State-Alabama and Ohio State-West Virginia will be streamed lived on CBSSports.com

*Coaches Poll as of 1/18/10