Unscripted: Dan Patrick Mocks ESPN Management

Yesterday I reported that ESPN management attempted to script questions that ESPN radio hosts asked Those Guys Have All The Fun co-author Jim Miller during three interviews about the ESPN-centric book on Tuesday.

Former longtime ESPN on-air talents Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen talked about the unprecedented practice on Patrick’s nationally syndicated FOX Sports Radio and Direct TV show on Friday.

Dan Patrick: “Did you see the report from Sports by Brooks that the mothership (ESPN) had the (ESPN book) author (Jim Miller) on and they had scripted questions to ask him?

Rich Eisen: “No. No! On which show?

Patrick: “Mike & Mike and ..

Eisen:  “The magical van peezy (Scott Van Pelt)? I heard he had a very good interview with him.

Patrick:  “They had recommended questions for the author. How silly is that?!

Eisen: “When he goes on next week with (Bill) Simmons I imagine that won’t be happening.”

Patrick: “Simmons wants to be anti-ESPN while being all things ESPN. … From what I’m told, there were suggested questions that you may want to ..

Eisen: “The horse is out of the barn with that book.

Patrick: “I know, it’s silly.

Eisen: “700 pages worth!

Patrick: “I know, it is silly. That’s what Sports by Brooks is reporting and this is dead solid here.

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Eisen Contract Up August 1, New Deal Unsigned

NFL Network lead host Rich Eisen guested on the Dan Patrick Show this morning and was asked about my report yesterday that he was “fearful” for his job after the NFL recently hired former ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro. (Shapiro was in part responsible for ESPN not renewing Eisen’s contract in 2003 - leading to his departure from the network.)

Rich Eisen appeared on the Dan Patrick Show to talk about Mark Shapiro joining NFL Network

Audio of Eisen’s remarks and a transcript of his comments are below.
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Sources: NFL Net Changes Leave Eisen “Fearful”

Today the NFL confirmed my Wednesday report that the league had hired Jay Glazer and Daryl Johnston as analysts for NFL Network studio shows.

Rich Eisen and Mark Shapiro

Additionally, the league confirmed another of my earlier reports this week - per John Ourand of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL - that it is now employing former ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro as a “consultant” for NFL Network game broadcasts and studio shows.

The latter piece of news probably didn’t make NFL Network studio host Rich Eisen’s day. Read more…

Ochocinco Scoops NFL Press On Brady’s ‘Injury’

Yawn, another sleepy Satu–WE INTERRUPT THIS POST FOR AN IMPORTANT DREAMBOAT ALERT. Tom Brady has a sore shoulder! Stop the presses. Sound the alarum bells. All hands on deck: Mortensen! Schefter! Hell, get Peter Gammons in here! Someone fire up the ESPN overkill machine! Go! Go! Go! (!!!) Doesn’t Haynesworth know we’ve got a redemption/comeback storyline that needs to be beaten into the ground all season?  EVERYBODY PANIC!

Ochocinco Brady

(Behold the awesome power of MS Paint.)

Given the Patriots’ secretive nature about injuries and the media’s ability to work itself into a lather at the drop of a hat, it’s hard to know the extent of the injury. Thankfully, one man had the balls and the Rolodex big enough to cut the crap and get to the bottom of things: Investigative Reporter Chad Ochocinco!

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Speed Read: Turkoglu Is Magic Man For Orlando

Even with the Orlando Magic leading the Boston Celtics by 17 midway through the fourth quarter in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal, you may have had an uneasy feeling in your stomach that it was a big set-up to a massive, heartbreaking, Stan Van Gundy-firing collapse. Of course Boston was going to make a run - especially with Dwight Howard sitting with five fouls. The only question was how badly would the Magic collapse.

Dwight Howard

After all, they had blown a 14-point lead in Game 5 of the series, and almost let a 28-point cushion slip away in Game 1, so why not save the “best” for last? And sure enough, after Ray Allen hit a three-pointer with 4:12 to play, the Celtics had cut the lead to 12 and were poised to make something happen. So, of course, there was only one man the Magic could turn to in their hour of need.

Hedo Turkoglu eating pizza

That’s right, Mr. Pizza Man himself, Hedo Turkoglu. Maybe the grease on his fingers from his pregame meal of pizza put extra spin on the ball, but he was out of his mind in Game 7, especially when the Magic needed him most. He responded to Allen’s three-pointer with one of his own, and then hit a fallaway jumper on the next possession to get the lead back to 17. Maybe he’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and pizza is his spinach?

After that, it was time for the Celtics to pull Allen and Paul Pierce for a final round of applause, and bring in the scrubs. (Otherwise known as “Gabe Pruitt Time!”) As for the Magic, they haven’t been this far since the Shaq and Penny days, so you can excuse the people of Orlando if they don’t exactly act like they’ve been there before.

So the NBA didn’t get the Cavaliers vs. Celtics match-up they were craving, but their consolation prize is nice: the most dominant big man in the game (Dwight Howard) vs. the most dominant anything in the game (LeBron James). As for Bron-Bron and the Cavaliers, you can see that they were clearly concerned about who they would play:

Let’s see Van Gundy draw up a defense for that.

As the NBA’s reigning champs were dethroned, the current NFL champs get ready to enjoy one of their spoils on Thursday: the traditional meeting with the President in front of the White House. But NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison won’t be joining them. No, he doesn’t have a pressing personal emergency, and it’s not a political protest. His reason is a little more complex than that:

“This is how I feel — if you want to see the Pittsburgh Steelers, invite us when we don’t win the Super Bowl. As far as I’m concerned, he [Obama] would’ve invited Arizona if they had won,” said Harrison.

So let me get this straight: Harrison is upset because he thinks that Barack Obama is playing favorites and only inviting the Steelers because they won the Super Bowl and not because he’s their biggest fan? Apparently he didn’t see the bitchin’ helmet tattoo that the President got before the playoffs, or the new paint modifications he made to Air Force One once he took office:

Modifications to Air Force One

Finally, the Stanley Cup playoffs started their conference finals on Sunday, and the Detroit Red Wings gave the upstart Chicago Blackhawks a welcome to big time hockey with a 5-2 thumping in Game 1 of their series. But the big story was almost something far darker, as the Blackhawks’ Adam Burish narrowly escaped a Richard Zednik/Clint Malarchuk moment when his neck was clipped by the skate of teammate Ben Eager.

Unlike the other two players, Burish only received a minor nick that didn’t require stitches. Still, he knows how lucky he was:

“I don’t know how my head was still connected there,” Burish said. “I saw his skate. It was like he did a figure skating move. He lifted his skate up and I just watched it go over my neck.”

If only they made some sort of device that could protect hockey players in case a blade happens to catch them in the neck. A “neck protector,” if you will. But I guess that’s just crazy talk.

  • THE STATE says South Carolina baseball player Casey Rihn allegedly learned the hard way why you don’t keep hitting the back of a police car with your hands when you are walking around drunk at 2 a.m.: you can wind up arrested after the cop in your car turns your face into Hamburger Helper on the ground.
  • Casey Rihn before and after

  • I guess that Usain Bolt’s OK after the foot surgery following his car crash: The AP says that in his first meet back in Manchester, England, he set the world record in the 150 meters at 14.35. Yeah, he even has the world record for a race no one runs now.
  • Walls? After you’ve been through the kind of hell Josh Hamilton has, walls are nothing. Actually, the DALLAS MORNING NEWS says that the wall was a pretty decent adversary for the Rangers’ outfielder, as he suffered a mild groin strain while making a game-saving catch against the Angels.
  • Dear Bruno Junqueira: Thanks for qualifying our car for the Indianapolis 500 - we really appreciate it. But we hope you don’t mind that we’re pulling you from the ride and replacing you with Alex Tagliani. It’s nothing personal - it’s just that he’s our main driver and all, and he failed to qualify. Best, Conquest Racing. P.S. Please return your driving suit to us by 5 p.m. or you lose the deposit.
  • Manchester United wrapped up the English Premier League crown this weekend, but the biggest story might be the plight of former soccer heavyweights Newcastle United. As the TELEGRAPH reports, their 1-0 loss to Fulham puts them on the edge of relegation to soccer’s minor leagues, as they need a win in their final game to stay in the EPL.
  • NFL fans who don’t get the NFL Network might finally be in luck: SI’s Peter King says that the league is closing in on a deal with Comcast to make the network available on the regular digital cable package. Finally, I won’t have to pay a premium for my daily dose of Rich Eisen.
  • TROY NUNES IS AN ABSOLUTE MAGICIAN sat down with new Syracuse football coach Doug Marrone for an interview, but not during breakfast if their arteries know what’s good for them. After all, Marrone claims that he once ate “42 pancakes with two sticks of butter…or a stick and half of butter…no, two sticks of butter and a thing and a half of maple syrup. I take pride in what I can eat.”
  • As if the Colorado Rockies didn’t have enough problems with the Pittsburgh Pirates taking two of three against them over the weekend, BUGS & CRANKS says that they even had to dodge bats kicked at them by the umps.
  • It was apparently “Dress Like A Banana Day” in San Francisco for the Giants’ game against the Mets, but THE SPORTS HERNIA says that Jon Miller was the only person in the ESPN broadcast booth to get the memo:
  • Jon Miller

  • What’s more American than baseball? The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER has an answer: beer and baseball. Since a local ordinance was changed allowing them to sell beer on Sundays, the minor league Charlotte Knights have seen attendance for Sunday home games go up by 30 percent.

NBA Finals: Who ya got?

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The NFL Draft Rumor Snack Bag: Who’s Going #2?

Here’s a taste of the NFL draft rumor, innuendo, and other glorious nonsense (including, occasionally, fact-based content) for your consideration just before the NFL Draft starts around 4 pm ET:

John Elway

(What happened with John Elway won’t happen with Matthew Stafford, thanks to his bank-busting deal with the Detroit Lions to go #1 overall)

Who else might be on the move, including a number you usually don’t hear about on draft day? Read on!

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Alycia Lane Could Be Back On The Air With WWE

The HUFFINGTON POST picks up word from the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS that former news anchor Alycia Lane may be back in front of the cameras again - for the WWE.

Alycia Lane Vince McMahon

Lane and Philly radio jock Chris Booker were seen together in the Wachovia Center crowd during Monday night’s ‘WWE Raw’. The next day, Booker said on his show that Vince McMahon had offered Alycia an on-camera job with his wrestling outfit. A WWE spokesman said he couldn’t confirm the offer.

Rich Eisen Alycia Lane

Alycia’s adventures outside the anchor’s chair already make an interesting story line. The ex-anchor had reportedly sent bikini photos of herself to NFL Network host Rich Eisen. And in December, Alycia supposedly brawled with New York City police, eventually punching a female cop.

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Eisen-Flirting, Cop-Slugging Philly TV Anchor Fired

HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS interrupts our regularly scheduled post with this breaking news: Philadelphia TV anchor Alycia Lane has been fired:

Rich Eisen Alycia Lane

The brunette-beauty broadcaster is best known for two things: Sending snapshots of her bikini-filling form to NFL Network mouthpiece Rich Eisen; And punching up a New York City policewoman.

A statement by KYW-TV general manager Michael Colleran says that the station doesn’t believe Lane will be found guilty of any NYC shenanigans, but they don’t need her kind of actions on their action news team:

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Blog-O-Rama: Eisen-Loving Anchor Punches Cop

• HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS scores a knockout, as the female Philly anchor who was once caught flirting with Rich Eisen has been found fighting with the fuzz:

Rich Eisen Alycia Lane

• 100% INJURY RATE isn’t buying what MMA fighters are selling in their foreign-made commercials.• DEUCE OF DAVENPORT isn’t taking the bait, as they don’t want to get reeled into playing fantasy fishing.

• YOU BEEN BLINDED gets in the holiday spirit by offering this classic one-on-one encounter between His Airness and jolly ol’ St. Nick:

• WITH LEATHER can’t wait to see some good football in Miami for once - in a flag-football game featuring Dan Marino.• PYLE OF LIST wants your votes in electing members to their Sports Movie Hall of Fame.

Rich Eisen Isnt The Poopy Pants That He Seems To Be

RICH EISEN NOT THE POOPY PANTS WE THOUGHT HE WAS: Ryan Hudson of REAL CLEAR SPORTS has a funny from Rich Eisen of NFL Network (and Perfect 10 boxing fame!).

Rich Eisen Perfect 10 Model Boxing

Eisen’s on-air highlighting of a Ben Roethlisberger TD pass to Najeh Davenport during Pats-Steelers: “and then Roethlisberger dumps one to Davenport for the score.

Ben Roethlisberger

Hudson: “Seemingly innocent…until you remember that Davenport once defecated in a women’s hamper: ‘A woman sleeping in the room, Mary McCarthy, told police she was startled by a strange sound and saw Davenport squatting in her closet. Davenport then allegedly defecated in a laundry basket, McCarthy told detectives.’