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.”