Again, the cerebral cortex is a bit on the overused side trying to crunch these facts, figures and fluffery from NBC and the NFL Network in how they’re covering the “Big Game” (that’s what they say on the commercials, right?) this weekend.
The smart size of our brain tells us that it’s a good thing NBC has the game coverage. They have the best broadcasting duo on the call — would be better if Cris Collinsworth was there instead of John Madden, but that’s coming in the years ahead — and aside from the gluttenous pregame show, we’re OK with working around it to see what else is on between daybreak and kickoff.
The dumb side of our brain tells us that … wait, the voices in our head are on a conference call. Maybe there’s going to be some layoffs in the coming weeks. Or they’ll ask us to work free for a week …
As we try to get our thoughts around more of what’s going on in the media world, before it all comes to a quiet four weeks in February, we offer up these links to those who still find the pursuit of media happiness to be just a click away:
== In addition to the NBC pregame show rundown in today’s column (linked here) — and please, at the very least Google the lyrics to “At The End Of The Day” from Les Mis before critiquing — there’s the rundown for ESPN and the NFL Network (linked here).
== A good trend: Fewer radio stations sent people to sit on “radio row” at the Super Bowl this year. A bad trend: Fewer radio stations sent people to sit on “radio row” at the Super Bowl this year. At least Jim Rome and Steve Mason were there to represent (linked here).
== Another Top 50 All-Time Sportscaster list, from Howard Cosell to …. Phyllis George? … to who’s the dude at No. 50? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose if most people don’t know him? (linked here).
== NBC’s Dick Ebersol has to answer, to the Detroit media, as to why he thought Matt Millen — the former president of the 0-16 Lions — would be good to add to the network Super Bowl pregame show (linked here). Millen was a no-show on Tuesday’s Media Day in Tampa.
== ESPN’s Chris Mortensen told the Raiders he was sorry for reporting they were for sale, when apparently they weren’t, and he just figured it out (linked here). And why wasn’t Mort part of this “insider” roundtable with Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer and Michael Silver on the NFL Net? (linked here)
== Mortensen also has a Q-and-A with ESPN.com’s and Pro Football Hall of Fame writer Len Pasquarelli (linked here), who had quintiple bypass surgery year ago, then contracted Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder that affects the nervous system.
== Bob Costas has groovy sun glasses (linked here)
== And the NFL Net’s Rich Eisen can never refer to Roger Goodell as “The Boss” again after this interview (linked here)
== A dude dressed in drag made Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day kind of a drag (linked here) Even a bigger drag was if you were trying to interview someone and ESPN’s Chris Berman decided he needed a quote more than you did (linked here).
== Why Berman won’t be asked by ESPN bosses to take a furlough, but others could be (linked here)
== Larry Fitzgerald Sr. seems like a good man. As a sportswriter … (linked here)
== Magic Johnson has the magic interviewing touch when it comes to Phil Jackson (linked here)
== CBS’ Jim Nantz doesn’t necessarily want the lead of his obit to include “helped change the overtime rule in the NFL,” but it could be on his resume (linked here)
== Remember the first and only female to broadcast an NFL game? It was Gayle Sierens, for NBC, in 1987, the last game of the season. The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir looks back at why she is still the only one to do it (linked here).
== Sandomir also tries to figure out how viewers are supposed to know about the Arizona Cardinals when Fox and CBS hardly showed them to the national audience before the playoffs began (linked here). Reminds us a lot of the disservice that ESPN and Fox did with the Tampa Bay Rays before they reached the ’08 World Series — and there were plenty of opportunites they missed in a 162-game regular season schedule.
== Why isn’t Petros Papadakis worthy of leading “Pros vs. Joes” any more? (linked here)
== FS West has bigger plans for the Angels this season (linked here). Think the Dodgers are watching?
== Jimmy Connors and Tennis Channel … a match made in TV land (linked here)
== The Clippers (and Charlotte Bobcats) are the worst local draws as far as local TV cable goes (linked here). At a 0.5 rating so far this season on FS West and Prime Ticket, they’re miles away from the Lakers (4.2 after 20 games on FS West).
== A guy at the Hockey News says something to the effect that NBC’s free lunch with the NHL is over. In fact, that’s his lead, a reference to what the league will tell the network when it comes time to renewing its over-the-air network TV deal after this season (linked here).
== And someone isn’t happy with the phrase “pansification” that NBC’s Mike Milbury likes to use (linked here)
== J.A. Adande, meed S.E. Cupp (linked here)
== Sean Salisbury , the former USC QB who disappeared from ESPN a while back, apparently has a new employer, on a Dallas radio station, with Newy Scruggs, the former KCOP Channel 13 sportscaster (linked here)
== John Updike (1932-2009) appreciated a good baseball story (linked here)
== Another ESPN (and Fox Sports) has-been, Rob Dibble, has talked someone into hiring him — the Washington Nationals, who had a spot open when Don Sutton wanted to be cut loose so he could return to Atlanta (linked here) and (linked here).
== The ESPN “Sunday Night” and Fox “Saturday Afternoon” MLB game of the week schedule, so far, doesn’t infringe too much on our beach days (linked here) This is a story with legs.
== Kobe Bryant is asking for $49.99 to get the “special” stuff on his blog (linked here)
== Wait, did Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner really ask that HBO be blocked at the team hotel, in case any unnecessary nudity corrupt his game prep? (linked here) And more Super Bowl related stuff from Onion Sports (linked here)
== And finally:
Back to CNBC’s Darren Rovell, who spotted a major U.S. newspaper forgetting the St. Louis Cardinals football team moved to Arizona about 21 years ago (linked here):