Richard Sandomir of the NEW YORK TIMES has a bombshell today about Dan Patrick, reporting that the former ESPN SportsCenter anchor will be reunited with Keith Olbermann on NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.
Nice play by Dick Ebersol, especially when it comes to boosting Patrick’s profile, who is currently saddled with a syndicated radio show that has very little live clearance in major markets (save Los Angeles). This is the sort of thing that could really help his daily show take off.
Think about Jim Rome’s radio show before he became a stalwart on Fox Sports Net’s “The Last Word.” Besides his L.A. flagship, he was taking calls everyday from the likes of Lincoln, Nebraska, and Green Bay. The TV presence brought him more prestige and pushed him into the sports media mainstream- with the accompanying major market radio affiliates to follow. The NBC thing for Patrick may function similarly. We’ll see.
More details from SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY:
Ebersol said of the set-up of the show, which runs from 7:00-8:30pm ET, “Highlights that begin at 7:15 (ET) will be Dan and Keith. They’ll do the highlights straight through until about 8:00, with the exception of one segment that Cris and Bob will do somewhere around 7:30 or 7:40.” He added the mics for all members of the studio team, which also includes Tiki Barber, Jerome Bettis and Peter King, will be open, allowing them to comment when they feel like it.
In addition to “FNIA,” Patrick will also be part of the net’s Super Bowl coverage when it has TV rights, as well as a member of NBC’s Olympics coverage beginning with the 2010 Vancouver Games.
I’m sure Dan is broken up about missing out on Beijing. Aw, shucks!
I spent most of Sunday midday watching the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal match. The pair helped me get quite the workout on the treadmill at my gym, as I couldn’t bring myself to leave until the match’s conclusion (three hours later!).
I haven’t watched much tennis lately, so I was a little perplexed about who was calling the PBP of the Wimbledon men’s finals match. After I heard John McEnroe refer to his partner as “Ted” I then realized that former SF Giants announcer Ted Robinson was behind the mic.
Robinson, who is a longtime tennis guy as well, was serviceable in his role, but when Dick Enberg appeared for ESPN for some post-match analysis, it made me a little sad that he wasn’t still NBC’s main tennis voice. I remember Enberg’s Wimbledon call well for those Borg- and Connors-McEnroe epics. And from what I’ve heard from Enberg’s recent work, there’s no doubt that he could easily still be doing big events for NBC.
NBC drew a 4.6 rating for the match, which is the highest number in eight years for the broadcast. The figure is also up 44 percent from last year’s finals, which ironically featured the same combatants.
ESPN’s Bud Collins to Sports Biz Daily on Federer-Nadal: “I’ve covered 41 finals, including the classics of 1980 and 1981 with (Bjorn) Borg and (John) McEnroe, but this 4 hour, 48 minute final is No. 1.”
(NBC Wimbledon PBP not the same without Dickie E.)
Collins is another guy, like Enberg, who should’ve never been kicked to the curb. He was plenty lucid in his reportage on ESPN with Luke Jensen, who I also liked.
The NYT’s Sandomir also pins down Joe Buck on comments he made to ESPN Radio about not watching much baseball (among other things) and having to cram to get ready for his FOX games.
Sandomir wrote, “On Thursday, Buck said in an interview from his home in St. Louis that he was joking about his TV habits — even if neither the host nor the guest sounded amused. He was too flippant, he said. And so, a little verbal damage control.”
Safe to say Buck heard from Fox Sports TV management about his embarrassing comments made to ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd.
Also interesting to note that Sandomir made no mention of the only reason anyone is talking about the comments at all. If it wasn’t for Brian Powell at AWFUL ANNOUNCING posting about the on-air exchange, you can guarantee Buck would’ve been in the clear (I’m guessing Cowherd & Co. don’t look at it that way).
One person who today is probably disappointed with Buck’s backpedal is Kyle Nagel of the DAYTON DAILY NEWS, who columnized after Buck’s comments that the announcer was in the right.
Brewers broadcaster Jim Powell breaks down the C.C. Sabathia deal and the man behind it, Doug Melvin, better than anyone I’ve seen, heard or read.
Forest Griffin playing at the WSOP moments after his UFC win over Rampage Jackson:
The WASHINGTON POST has the sad news that Wizards Owner Abe Pollin is now confined to a wheelchair “because of progressive supranuclear palsy, a disorder of the brain that impairs movement and balance.”
The 84-year-old Pollin: “(It’s a) horrible disease. But I’m fighting it.”
How times have changed. Dara Torres, the 41-year-old Olympic swimmer who has qualified for the Olympics, gets grilled by, of all people, NBC’s Matt Lauer this morning: “Let me just be blunt: have you in the past or are you currently taking or using anything that is banned by your sport?”
Torres: “Absolutely not.”
Now, I wonder if Lauer would’ve asked that question if he didn’t already know of Torres’ previous, repeated denials.
Terry Foster of the DETROIT NEWS reports that the Lions’ consistent putridity has never deterred the team’s fans from showing up in droves at Ford Field.
But apparently the economy has, “The Lions are finding it more difficult to sell tickets. In this rough economy they cannot simply open the doors and fill Ford Field. They’ve hired people to sell suites and season-ticket packages. They’ve even gone to the unheard-of mini-season ticket plan to get more people into the stadium.”
In other news, there is a company named Saudi Binladen Group (for all your mass-murdering needs!).
The July 4 holiday edition of ESPN’s “Rome Is Burning” show was an all-SoCal affair that featured Jason Smith hosting, and Matt “Money” Smith and Mark Whicker as panelists. Case you don’t know those dude, here ya go:
Jason is the overnight host now on ESPN Radio. Previously, he was an update guy and later show host at Fox Sports Radio, so let that be an inspiration to all you sports radio score-readers.
Matt hosts a PM drive sports talk show on KLAC-AM in Los Angeles while also anchoring Lakers radio coverage on the station. He’s also the former music director at KROQ-FM in L.A. And Whicker is a longtime columnist for the OC Register who once took a gig at the neighboring SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE before pulling a RickMajerusBillyDonovan.
Whicker has this today on all-star starter Josh Hamilton:
“His day would begin at 8 and he’d do whatever we needed him to do,” Silver said. “If it was cleaning up the public restrooms, hauling out the garbage, he’d do that. Then he would help us with our program.
“He wasn’t getting paid anything. We knew some very generous people that arranged for him to get something to eat. “And if he did what he had to do, he’d earn the privilege of taking BP.” First, Hamilton would quote a Bible verse to Silver, who would then reward him with a bat.
Once small detail though, Youtube pulled down the video minutes after it was posted. Yet, the site leaves up videos like this (NSFW!). Yep, makes perfect sense.
I’m enjoying the public posturing by the women involved in the ARod love triangle. Madonna is riding the publicity for all its worth (as she tries to sell tickets for a tour), while wife Cynthia (and more specifically, her mother), is in full damage control mode when it comes to explaining her rendezvous with Lenny Kravitz.
Of course, every single thing you see said in the media by the principles going forward will be carefully choreographed by attorneys and handlers. So it’ll likely be a tuneout from here on.
More interesting is reportage like Jo Piazza’s in the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS today, who notes that ARod probably never would’ve been discovered with Madonna had he just stuck to coming in her backdoor.
The BOSTON HERALD reports Tom Brady’s 4th of July bash at his Boston abode featured valet parking.
Somehow Kevin Lowe has the Edmonton Oilers on the sports media radar screen in July, after calling Anaheim GM Brian Burke a “moron“ and insulting the entire city of Detroit. (”who would want to live there?“)
Jorge Sedano of WAXY-AM in Miami is live-blogging the first summer league game of Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley today in Orlando.
CHICAGO BULL’s Michael Cardosi thinks the Bulls should’ve waited for Rose’s knee tendinitis to calm down before he made his debut.
As you would expect, the attendance figures were dreadful for the PGA Tour’s AT&T National in DC over the weekend. Without Tiger Woods, the BALTIMORE SUN reports Saturday’s turnstile count was down 44 percent from the previous year’s attendance.
Those of you wondering about Tiger’s current condition? The WASHINGTON POST reports he’s having trouble going to the bathroom. If only ABC/ESPN, CBS and NBC could get its camera s trained on Tiger’s toilet!