The Media Learning Curve: May 15-22

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An incredibily unproductive week of inhaling the freshness of media news and exhaling the carbon dioxide of warmed-over cliches used to express the delight of so much NFL media news in one week in May that basketball, baseball and hockey had to step aside for some of it.

In this last week before summer ’09 begins, we can turn off the tanning light knowing that:

== Rick Reillyseems to be stealing from himself, or maybe he’s just freshening things up from a 2003 column for SI (now that it’s 2009 and he’s at ESPN … aw, the beauty of a google search and the SI.com vault) (linked here)?

== Linda Cohn has a fan club, and we’re not in it? (linked here)

== Is the prerequisite for being involved in the new Michael Irvin reality show having an ability to barf? (linked here)

== Jon Gruden was the best person ESPN could find for “Monday Night Football”? (linked here) Even Joe Theismann wonders if he’ll stay longer than two years (linked here). Peter King writes that Gruden has really rocked the boat at the NFL Net for bailing out on ‘em (linked here). Others have found that Gruden’s a bit of a hyprocrite when it comes to his love for ESPN (linked here). And happy trails to Tony Kornheiser , who says it was the plane travel, but then admits, he wants to go out with Madden and Favre (linked here). Is he the last of the sportswriters-turned-analysts (linked here)?

== Fox (linked here) and CBS (linked here) are digging in for two more years of NFL games, meaning more of Howie Long and less of Thurston Long … yet, are we better off for this?.

== A new Fox sitcom with Michael Strahan either sounds awesome (linked here) or like the worst show ever (linked here).

== Fox also has talked MLB (or visa versa) into an earlier start for the World Series (linked here). Maybe it can do something to help local broadcasters when they want to air a game opposite of the network on a Saturday afternoon (linked here)

== Shaquille O’Neal didn’t get enough broadcast journalism training at LSU, so he’s trying to find an excuse to go to Syracuse (linked here).

== Virtually, ESPN is bringing NBA players into their studio (linked here)

== Internet response to “Kobe Doin’ Work,” which debuted on ESPN and ESPN2 last Saturday (linked here) included this on TheBigLead.com from someone named “mrejr8234″:

“I actually recorded it but then i realized that spike (lee) … sucks and he is supposedly a knicks fan who is trying to do anything to remain relevant so i deleted it. seriously of all the direxctors, actors and producers in l.a. none of them could have made this “documentary”? they had to bring in spike lee because???? why? a 2 hour doc on marbury would have been more entertaining on so many different levels. we know that kobe’s teammates and opponents dont like him so why would we care to see him fake it like they do?”

== Steven Cohen saying he was … sorry? Damn (linked here)

== NBC ABC better make sure Rachel Alexandra runs in the Preakness (linked here)

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== Girls kicking each other under the guise of MMA will be prime network fodder someday soon (linked here)

== Jim Rome goes with smacktalk against horses (linked here)

== George Brett could have his own HBO sports-talk show (linked here) But, of course, he ended up apologizing (linked here), but not for the pants he was wearing while golfing.

== ESPN, moving forward (linked here), includes a show with Colin Cowherd, thankfully (linked here).

== An L.A. hockey audience (distracted by a Laker game) won’t necessarily boost ratings for NBC (linked here)

== Looks as if we should have been paying closer attention to the Golf Channel’s “Big Break” episodes (linked here)?

== Keith Olbermann doesn’t misremember when Vin Scully told him he considered becoming the New York Yankees’ broadcaster in 1964 (linked here)

== We didn’t let the 70th anniversary of the first televised baseball game go by unnoticed (linked here).

== Brooks Melchior is rethinking his future as the SportsbyBrooks guy (linked here).

AND FINALLY:

== From the season-finale of “Saturday Night Live,” a sketch that could have been funnier spoofing the fact TNT has those pop-up promos coming on the screen at every moment — but then, who doesn’t?

Ernie Johnson Jr. would never be that mean to just walk away, right? Not after we read more about him in this Atlanta Journal-Constitution feature (linked here) which has a strange L.A. angle to it.

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