In addition to today’s media column (linked here), these notes would help make anyone go cold turkey on Thanksgiving:
==Both Dick Vitale and Billy Packer will be honored this weekend in Kansas City, Mo., at the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (linked here) for their contributions as broadcasters. Vitale, inducted as a contributor to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September, said on an ESPN conference call this week that he still has a strict program that limits how much he can talk as he tries to rest his vocal cords. He had throat surgery a year ago and missed two months of the season.
“Little things like that are going to help me prolong my career, because, I’m going to be honest with you, without it I probably would feel like my life is over,” the 69-year-old said. “I really mean it. I’m a gym rat. I love being around kids. I love being around the environment of the college game. If that’s taken from me, I really believe the party’s over. It’s done. I know I’m in the last chapter. I know time is running out. But I want to enjoy it as much as I can.” Packer, 68, retired in April from CBS after 28 seasons as its main college basketball analyst but has yet to announce what he intends to do with his career from this point forward.
== John Lynch, who officially announced his retirement from the NFL after 15 seasons earlier this week, jumps right in as an NFL analyst by joining Chris Rose on Fox’s regional coverage of the Minnesota-Jacksonville game that goes to just six percent of the country. Lynch will do games for the rest of the season, the network said.
== Next up on HBO’s “Real Sports” (Tuesday, 10 p.m.): Host Bryant Gumbel interviews incarcerated former Olympic sprinter Tim Montgomery. He was sentenced in October to five years in jail for herion charges, making it an 8 1/2-year time because of bank fraud on top of that.
==NBC has the last round of the LPGA’s ADT Championship — noteworthy because it’s supposed to be the farewell event for Annika Sorenstam — on Sunday at noon, where eight players from the 32-player field competing at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Dan Hicks will host NBC’s coverage, with Dottie Pepper, Gary Koch, Jane Crafter and Kay Cockerill.
==Versus will provide the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup championship (linked here) to a U.S. audience with its coverage from Montreal on Sunday (3 p.m. kickoff). Versus will pick up the coverage by TSN, the CFL’s exclusive broadcaster for the first time, when Montreal faces Calgary, called by Chris Cuthbert and Glen Suitor.
==NBC reports that, going into its final Notre Dame home football game coverage of the year, the ratings for its Irish games has been 2.3, a 15 percent increase over 2007 (when the team finished with a school-worst eight losses). Notre Dame (6-4) is already bowl eligible before it takes on Syracuse, then heads to the Coliseum to face USC on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
==Winter X Games 13, set for Jan. 22-25 in Aspen and Snowmass, Colo., will add a women’s skiing slopestyle event as well as snowmobile best trick. There are 15 hours of live programming on ESPN and ABC.
== Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant, Lennox Lewis and Harold Lederman will call HBO’s coverage of Ricky Hatton vs. Paul Malignaggi and James Kirkland vs. Brian Vera (Saturday, 7 p.m., live) from Las Vegas.
==FS Prime Ticket announced it will carry two CIF-Southern Section football playoff games — Friday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Dec. 5 — before airing the Pac-5 championship game from Anaheim Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 13. Game times and team match-ups will be announced approximately one week prior to each game. Chris McGee, John Jackson, Dain Blanton and Jackie Pickering will provide the commentary, with Lindsay Soto on pre- and post-game. For the third year in a row, FS Prime Ticket will also follow up at Home Depot Center in Carson for the CIF State championships starting on Friday, Dec. 19.
AND THE CLOSING ARGUMENT:
From The Onion Sports (story linked here):
November 20, 2008
BCS Picture Made Clearer By Pretending Certain Teams Don’t Exist
NEW YORK–Faced with ongoing criticism of what many believe is a flawed system, representatives from the Bowl Championship Series assured college football fans Wednesday that the NCAA football title picture becomes much less complicated when one simply pretends certain teams do not exist.
Yes, Boise State and Utah are undefeated, but if there are no such teams as Boise State and Utah, considering them for a national title shot becomes a nonissue,” said David Frohnmayer, chair of the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, who acknowledged that many BCS voters already used a limited version of the technique.
“Furthermore, if the University of Oklahoma is able to beat Texas Tech this Saturday, we are fully prepared to act as if there is no such institution as the University of Oklahoma, since if there were it would confuse the entire picture unnecessarily. And, as always, no matter what happens with the rest of USC’s season, we will pretend that any team that comes between them and a BCS bid is imaginary.”
Concluded Frohnmayer, “The BCS works.”