There is no question about coming to David Feherty’s defense, on things he says, things he does, things that others think he’s doing. I shared a banana split with him once at Bob’s Big Boy near the old “Tonight Show” location. I ran into him at an airport once in San Francisco during a massive flight delay and shared french fries with him.
We are intimate in that way.
But what appears to be happening now with his apparent abrupt departure from CBS’ PGA Tour coverage is that another network — NBC — has come calling.
He’s been wooed again.
Neither side wants to discuss a report this came down late Monday in the Sports Business Daily about why contract talks for a renewal seem to have broke off so fast. They’ve said his appearance last week at The Barclays in New Jersey was it for the network.
CBS says simply “No comment.” Feherty hasn’t responded to texts or cell phone calls on this end.
There is no question that the 57-year-old has become one of TV’s most distinct voices, not just on golf, but, as his “Feherty” Golf Channel series has proven, on life in general. He’s been part of CBS’ golf package the last 19 years, and, according to an early report by Golf.com, he may not even be aware of why he’s out. Others in Dallas, where Feherty lives, are also left to speculation. CBS has no more events this season. NBC has the last four, starting with the Deutsche Bank in Boston this weekend. That’s followed by the BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Ill., and then the Tour Championship in Atlanta to end the FedEx Cup schedule. NBC also has the The President’s Cup in Korea in early October.
Simple logic from sources in the golf business and TV world is that as much as Feherty is beloved at CBS, the tidy NBC-Golf Channel package is where his future will be.
NBC is also covering the Ryder Cup, the 2016 Olympics and the British Open starting in 2017.
But for now, the more simple question: Is Feherty OK leaving CBS behind?
Matt Leinart actually played football, and that’s way cooler than fantasy football. Says Fox.
This isn’t where Matt Leinart wanted to start audibilizing.
The Manhattan Beach waiter asked for his order. He kept it simple: Oatmeal with brown sugar. No bananas. No raisins. No milk. And a large cup of coffee. Plenty of refills.
More than 10 years removed from a 2004 Heisman Trophy season, three seasons past his last NFL snap, and the former USC quarterback doesn’t need a menu, just a new playbook.
As a studio analyst for Fox Sports’ college football coverage, starting with this opening weekend, Leinart is immersed in the college game more than he has in the last decade, also co-hosting a Sirius XM radio show and flying up to San Francisco for weekly appearances on the Pac-12 Network.
Photo: Fox Sports
All of the sudden, he’s a go-to guy when people want hot takes about what’s going in Trojan Nation with coach Steve Sarkisian under heavy media scrutiny.
Who knows this Hollywood Two-Minute Drill better than Leinart? As 32-year-old explains in a Q-and-A how he sees the upcoming season for USC, UCLA and his ballroom dancing legacy, he speaks specifically about how and why he wanted to get into broadcasting:
Q: When we talked near the end of last season – the 10th anniversary of the famous “Bush Push” USC-Notre Dame game — you said you were plugged in more to what was happening the NFL rather than the college game, even as Fox was using you more and more on college football studio events. How have you recalibrated to make college football more front and center in your world now that you’ve got this new weekend job with Fox Sports?
A: Over the last couple of years, this (broadcasting career) has formed and I knew once I retired, if I was going to do, it would focus on college. I feel it’s more relevant to me. I love the game. The NFL was much easier to talk about back then since I had just been there (he retired in 2012 after seven seasons). But there’s something special to me about the college game. Last year was an opportunity to get my feet wet, to see if I’m any good at it, and it ended up being awesome. I had a blast. This year, I’m fortunate to be put in a situation where I’m moving up. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m fired up about this. I’m so much more knowledgeable about how all this works.
Q: Where do find yourself getting most of your information about the college game now – TV, newspapers, magazines, personal contacts?
A: It’s everything. The thing now I’m learning is going straight to the sources. I probably struggled with that last year. I’ve got good relationship with coaches that I’ve known forever, so now I need to build my Rolodex and track them down and build relationships. I find articles, watch shows, pick my colleague’s brains all the time. I’ll gather different perspectives, then form my own thoughts. The last months I’ve scoured every article I can find. We also have great researchers at Fox who help. They have a lot of unique information. It feels like I’m doing homework again, except it’s all just football. Continue reading →
If you’ve not got around to locating “The League of Outsider Baseball” by Gary Joseph Cieradkowski, which we still consider the pick of the bunch from last April’s annual baseball book reviews, please do that. Then remind yourself to go to his Infinite Baseball Card website where he continues to post new biographies, the latest on Jake Atz, Red Solomon and Sammy T. Hughes (above).
Last month, Ciederadkowski was awarded the Tony Salin Award from the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary and wrote: “As far as I know there’s no higher recognition a baseball historian, writer or artist can receive than the Salin Award, and I am extremely humbled and proud of this achievement. I’ll post a picture of the award and a bit more about the 2015 ceremony in the near future, so stay tuned.”
For those who watched Sunday’s Dodgers-Cubs game on ESPN from Dodger Stadium and may not have been aware: Yes, that was Jessica Mendoza in the booth, the former U.S. Olympic gold medal softball player out of Stanford and Camarillo High, current mother of two living in Moorpark, and making some history.
Let’s backtrack for those who are a bit late to the party: ESPN has never put a female analyst in the “Sunday Night Baseball” booth before. They’ve been covering the MLB for 35 years.
The spot became open to sit next to play-by-play man Dan Schulman and former Major League Baseball All-Star John Kruk when Curt Schilling, another ex-MLB star pitcher, was suspended for the week by the network for posting a tweet that they deemed inappropriate.Continue reading →
COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 1: UCLA vs. VIRGINIA Details/TV: At the Rose Bowl, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., Channel 11
Cody Kessler. (Winslow Townson/Getty Images North America)
USC vs. ARKANSAS STATE Details/TV: At the Coliseum, Saturday at 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network:
For starters, this L.A.-based opening doubleheader may not set the rest of the college football nation into a frenzy as much as Jim Harbaugh’s khaki-optional debut with Michigan at the home of Pac-12 contender Utah (Thursday, 4 p.m., FS1), Texas’ visit to Notre Dame (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 4) or Wisconsin getting cheesy with Alabama in Arlington, Tex., for the only matchup of ranked teams (Saturday, 5 p.m., Channel 7). Both USC and UCLA have debuted into the Top 15 of most pre-season polls by having, on paper, formidable branding, a nice color scheme and a roster built to entertain. Yet, do Trojans fans even know the nickname for this Arkansas State team from the Sun Belt Conference that presumably will arrive via swamp buggy in time for the kickoff on a channel that still not everyone has? Do they care? The Red Wolves — there you go — are a 31-point underdog according to early Vegas calculations, and the game has an over/under of 69.5 points. Meaning a 50-19 USC decision is how it should play out. It’s just a matter of how much QB Cody Kessler is given an opportunity to tie his single-game school record with 7 TD passes and take some heat off coach Steve Sarkisian. Earlier in the day, we get to compare the heat index in Pasadena to what kind of warmth Josh Rosen will generate as Jim Mora’s new quarterback. Brady Quinn, the former Notre Dame QB who’ll call this TV game, said he expects Virginia defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta to “pressure the crap” out of Rosen “because that’s been his blueprint – he likes to see how a new quarterback takes a hit and stays in the pocket.” The visiting ‘Hoos (as they are called), 5-7 a year ago, nearly upset the then-No. 7 Bruins in the 2014 opener. UCLA squeezed out a 28-20 win thanks to its defense. UCLA, ranked No. 7 to start 2014, squeezed out a 28-20 win at Virginia in last year’s opener thanks to the defense.
But, hey, it’s early. That’s about the best thing we can saw at this point about Week 1.