Media column version 01.30.15 — What are the odds NBC’s Al Michaels gets into compromising position with Super Bowl XLIX prop bets?

What will be in this week’s media column:

Already, some media TV types are expressing a disdain that deflated footballs are hijacking their Super Bowl conversations.

On Tuesday’s NFL Live ESPN studio show, Herm Edwards barked: “This is an embarrassment for the league. You’re talking 5,000 media members (the number of credentials issued by the NFL for this game). And we’re talking about a situation that happened about a football. We shouldn’t have to discuss this anymore.”

B7_iCpLCAAA5LeaESPN’s Tom Jackson added: “I am like the Patriots, I am tired of talking about it. I am through talking about it for the rest of the week.”

What if someone was putting money down that you would talk more about it all?

When NBC’s Al Michaels parked himself between Jimmy Kimmel and Edward Norton last Thursday and mentioned that he’d been given information that Vegas bookmaker had a unique prop bet, his eyes lit up a bit.

“There’s a proposition that asks how many times will Michaels and (Cris) Collinsworth say ‘deflated balls’,” Michaels mentioned. “The over and under is 2-and-a-half. Bet the over. We can control that.”

Or can he?

We’re going to look more into that proposition, and others, in this week’s column.

What else we wanted to get to:

== How about the odds that Michaels can make it to every media outlet in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl?

Before he paid his latest visit with the BS Report  — taped last Friday, released this last Monday, appearing above — he logged in a piece with NRP’s “Fresh AIr” (Dave Davies in for Terry Gross) and endured Q-and-As with and Rich Eisen‘s smarm-cast.

david-feherty-al-michaels_t620Back in July, in his Brentwood home backyard, he invited David Feherty over for a chat — and that finally that aired on the “Feherty” Golf Channel show this past Monday, too. The same day, Michaels was on live with ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, a day before he arrived on Dan Patrick’s show.

What did we miss?

By the way: If you’re not sure how to contact Michaels for your own private sit-down, dial some numbers on your telephone and follow this prompting:

== Michaels and Collinsworth were the clear-cut favorites on the final 2014 NFL announcer rankings. “Often times your fondness of an announcer boils down to whether you’d want to have a beer with them or not,” it stated. “Somehow in that environment, Michaels and Collinsworth still received almost 60% in ‘A’ votes … perhaps it’s fitting that Michaels and Collinsworth call another Super Bowl together this Sunday.”
In the same list, CBS’ No. 1 team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms landed at No. 10 (“Simms leads the world in giving his analysis of what just happened, then changing his mind once he sees the replay”), Fox’s No. 1 team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman coasted in at No. 6 (“Buck has won many of us former doubters over with his work that is more energetic and engaging”) and ESPN’s No. 1 team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden was at No. 5 (“I like that Gruden stays authentic to who he is”).
All of which begs the question: Who could be at numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 or 9? CBS’ Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts rank second. The rest you’ll have to look up.

== A profile on how Collinsworth preps for the Super Bowl is on the money, via the Wall Street Journal.

== More on the time and talent behind the NBC Super Bowl telecast, from USA Today.

== Need a live video stream of the game? Go here.

== The NFL Network’s Michael Irvin said it during the week-long buildup to the Super Bowl, about Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and his media interaction: “The more and more I look at him, the more and more I realize just how brilliant this guy is … Beast Mode understands the power and what he’s doing and he’s wearing the Beast Mode hat. That tells me you are using the media … He has figured it out.”

== Boycotting Skittles may be the thing to do, then. As if we ever ate the sugar-on-sugar candy anyway. Not everyone agrees that’s the best way to proactively reduce the effects of Lynch’s media manipulation, as the boycott organizer Ed Sherman writes. And now Whoopi Goldberg seems to endorse.

Radio-Boy== From Norman Chad’s “Couch Slouch 49th annual Super Bowl viewing guide” column this week: “Actually, most people outside of the Pacific Northwest don’t like the Seahawks and most people outside of New England don’t like the Patriots. Frankly, the game is unwatchable. So follow my lead — at your Super Bowl party — radio only!” That would be KFWB 980-AM in these parts, using the Westwood One feed of Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason. No Dan Fouts? (It’s also on KLSD-AM 1360 in San Diego, KTDD-AM 1350 in Riverside and KVEN-AM 1450 in Ventura)

== TV milestones since the NFL and CBS signed their first contract 50 years ago, as presented by And note the 1970 Monday Night Football intro, sponsored by Marboro smokes. (TNT once had NFL games? Goodness).

== ESPN would rather have you see Chris Paul facing a 7-10 split than the Kobe-less Lakers mucking about with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday morning. ESPN originally had the Lakers-Knicks contest on their to-do list but dumped it last week, subbing in “CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational” at 11 a.m., where Paul gets together with Nick Cannon, Chris Hardwick, Terrell Owens and some PBA Tour stars like Pete Weber for a two-hour charity event taped back on Jan. 8 at the AMF Bowl-O-Drome in Torrance.

== As for some major guard-changing at ESPN The Company: With Feb. 1 being the last day for beloved executive and network architect John Walsh, they’re also letting it known that Friday is the end for talent-seeker Al Jaffe after 28 years. It was his call to seek, find and hire ESPN notables as Linda Cohn, Rece Davis, Mike Greenberg, Suzy Kolber, Kenny Mayne, Robin Roberts, Stuart Scott and Mike Tirico.

vandykengoinghomev== Seven months after an ATV accident left six-time Olympic gold medalist and former Fox Sports Radio personalty Amy Van Dyken-Rouen paralyzed from the waist down, she is coming back to work for the first time, part of the Pac-12 Network’s broadcast of  Friday’s swim meet between Cal and USC at 2 p.m.
The former Colorado State and University of Arizona star started walking for the first time last September. Now she’s ready to roll back into a TV role.
“It makes you feel like a grown up again,” the 41-year-old Van Dyken told USA Today. “It really does. It kind of symbolizes the fact that I am doing really well, and it’s only seven months out. That’s a tribute to the people I work with on a daily basis, my husband, my friends. They’ve gotten me ready to go and do this.
“I feel really lucky. I feel like I’m a grown-up again. I say when I drive my car, I don’t feel paralyzed. When I get in the booth, I won’t feel paralyzed. I’ll get right back to feeling ‘normal,’ which is really all I’m aiming for right now.”
She also got a new home renovation covered by NBC’s “Today” show.
A video link to a piece on here that the Pac-12 will present on the telecast.

== Starting Feb. 7, DirecTV will raise its rates 5.7 percent as a result of sports channels with higher rights fees … This Washington Post story asks what we have been probing for  years: For providers and customers, the creeping prices amount to a test — at what point will viewers decide it isn’t worth paying for cable anymore?
Meanwhile, this SNL Kagan report proves that sports channels are the most expensive out there with an average cost of $1.03 each, but that range is as log as 4-5 cents for Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel to $6.04 for ESPN.

== And why wouldn’t Oscar de la Hoya want to launch his own TV network?

== The passing at 81 this week of legendary San Diego sportscaster Jerry Gross reminds us of the own words he once used to describe his carer: “My problem was I talked with my heart instead of my head.” Still, he was a man that Chick Hearn once described as ““the finest play-by-play basketball announcer I’ve ever heard in my life.”
The coincidence is that, also this week, Frank Sims, part of the Padres’ original radio team, died at age 91.

PGA TOUR ON CBS== The CBS’ coverage starting this week at the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., is minus Peter Ooosterhuis, who after 20 years with the network decided last week to retire from broadcasting.
“Golf has been a big part of my life ever since I was a little boy growing up in England and I thank CBS and Golf Channel for allowing me to continue in the sport after my playing days were over,” said Oosterhuis in a statement late last week. “I feel it is the right time to step away to focus on things in life that I have always wanted to do.”
Oosterhuis joined CBS Sports’ golf team full time in 1998, but had already been working for Golf Channel since 1995 when it launched, covering the first two events to ever air on the network. His 11 years on the PGA Tour came during a time when he was also on six European Ryder Cup teams.
CBS this week named Frank Nobilo as its new analyst on “select tournaments,” including the Masters and PGA Championship. The New Zealand native has been a Golf Channel analyst since he retired in 2002 and will continue in that role.

== A new book about the late Stuart Scott of ESPN, written with Larry Platt, is set for a March 10 release. The excerpt last week.

== The truth is, truTV has apparently ordered a pilot for a half-hour sit-com show with the working title of “Shaq Inq.,” based on the Shaquille O’Neal’s business life. Mike Tollin has signed on as the executive producer, working for Mandalay Sports Media. Shaq stars as himself, with those around him acting the fools, trying to juggle his schedule and angle for Shaq’s affection.

== Truth also is that ESPN should be pushing the College Football Playoff organizers to have the national semifinals on Saturday Jan. 2 instead of Friday, Dec. 31.

keep-calm-and-just-be-the-best-you-can-be-3== Piecing together information about who won what at last Monday’s 24th annual Southern California Sports Broadcasters awards: The Kings’ Bob Miller was voted best TV play-by-play, with partner Jim Fox as the best TV game analyst. UCLA’s Chris Roberts, retiring at the end of this basketball season, won for radio play-by-play as a nice sendoff. Radio talk-show host went to KSPN’s John Ireland. Fox Sports/Prime Ticket anchor Patrick O’Neal was named “TV pre/post game” winner. The Dodgers’ Rick Monday won best radio game analyst. The KNX-AM (1070) team was best sports anchor staff on radio, while the KCBS/KCAL team won for TV anchor staff. In the foreign-language department, the Dodgers’ Jaime Jarrin was best radio play-by-play while his son, Jorge Jarrin, was best TV play-by-play. Jose Mota (Angels TV) and Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers radio) were named best color analysts.
The Dodgers plan this season is to have father and son Jarrins work together on the Spanish-language radio booth for KTNQ-AM 1020. It means that Pepe Yniguez, who had been doing radio with Jaime Jarrin, will move over to TWC’s SportsNet Deportes channel to do play-by-play.

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