It’s a long weekend for many out there, and here in New England, the leaf peepers will be out in full force. Be prepared to drive 15mph through any scenic areas.

Football and the MLB playoffs dominate the airwaves this weekend, but the Bruins drop the puck to open the season tonight on NESN. It will be interesting to see what the viewership for the new-look club is like. For the rest of your sports viewing, the Globe has a pretty handy weekend sports guide which has almost all your basics covered. If you’re looking for what programs are available in HD, check the HD Sports Guide.

Here are your NFL coverage maps for the weekend: CBS Single Header, Fox Game 1 and Fox Game 2. (Pretty much just one game being seen nationally there.)

Peter King continues his streak of offering the worst fantasy football advice I’ve ever seen. He clearly doesn’t get the concept. Sorry Peter, I’m not going out and grabbing Bruce Gradkowski OR Damon Huard, even though they’re both very available. (Edit – As usual, I’m an idiot. I guess I have more problem with the ridiculous reasoning that King uses to make recommendations rather than the picks themselves.)

It’s not often that someone beats Mike Reiss to a Patriots story, but John Tomase did it this week with his report on Ellis Hobbs’ broken wrist. The Herald blog is overshadowed by the tremendous job that Reiss has done with his Reiss’ Pieces blog, but Tomase and Albert Breer do a pretty solid job themselves on The Point After.

Speaking of Patriots blogs, has a pretty good one themselves, Eye on Foxborough is written by Dan Lamothe and takes a lighter approach to coverage of the team, while still covering all the major stuff.

Our own BSMW football blog, Patriots Game Day will be updated over the weekend to give updates before and after the Miami game. You can check the newspaper and blog entries on the team on the Patriots Daily Links page.

For the view from South Florida this weekend, you can check coverage in the Miami Herald, in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and the Dolphins in Depth weblog.

This weekend on ESPN’s Outside the Lines Sunday Jeremy Schaap interviews Bill Buckner and Mookie Wilson about the 20th anniversary of the infamous play in the 1986 World Series game six.

Excerpts from the show:

“It just amazes me. I don’t quite get it… To me, that is part of sports, and it bothers me a little bit. I don’t think that is what sports is all about, and I don’t know if it is sending a good message to young players, you know, if you make a mistake that you are going to be criticized for 20 years.” — Bill Buckner, on the lasting image of his error 20 years later

“It baffles my mind that people want an autograph picture of that situation… I have taken a lot of heat with this thing, and I might as well get something out of it.” – Buckner, on fans paying for an autograph photo of the play

“I just think that I am a little bitter towards some of the things that have happened there. I think with the way I was treated there in the media, there is still just a little bitterness there.” – Buckner, talking about Boston

The show airs at 9:30 AM on Sunday.

Correction: The ratings numbers as reported on Tuesday need one adjustment. The rating for Sports Final was actually 3.0 – the number reported (5.9) was for the CBS4 news, which started at 11:30 – the time in which Sports Final normally airs.

Media Columns from Around the Country:

New England

John Howell has Dan Patrick talking about the steroid accusations that came from the Jason Grimsley confidential federal affidavit as revealed by the LA Times. Patrick was told three of the five names on the list back in June, including Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, but could not confirm his information, so never took it public. David Scott spent an evening at the BU College of Communication undergraduate class alongside ESPN ombudsman George Solomon. Speaking of Solomon, he had a column this week agreeing with viewers that the T.O. coverage from last week was just too much. Susan Bickelhaupt examines the challenges that broadcasters face in determining what information they can reveal ahead of time on the air after they meet with coaches and players prior to calling a game. John Molori’s Media Blitz has a source claiming that Red Sox announcer Jerry Trupiano knew all along that 2006 would be his last season with the club.

New York

Phil Mushnick notes that this year’s postseason baseball has seemed to bring out the worst in the announcers thus far, as several of them have said things that are just…stupid. (I’m really liking the Post’s new website, by the way.) Andrew Marchand has Five questions with Peter Gammons (and two more in the Post’s blog). Marchand’s Matchup of the Week looks forward to the time when we won’t have to suffer through having Chris Berman do play-by-play on postseason baseball. Richard Sandomir had a terrific piece yesterday on L.A. Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who remembers his days covering the Brooklyn Dodgers. Sandomir also has a piece on Tommy Lasorda and how the former Dodgers manager is being used a a baseball pitchman in a series of ads designed to encourage fans to watch the MLB playoffs even if their favorite team isn’t involved. Bob Raissman looks at Paul O’Neill crafting an excuse for the Yankees, perhaps without even realizing it, on the “Al Yankzeera’s postgame show” yesterday afternoon. Neil Best watches Joe Morgan as he goes through the preparation of analyzing both the Mets and Yankees games for ESPN earlier this week. He finds that Morgan is actually much more enthusiastic and passionate about the game than he comes across as on the air. Jane McManus looks at twin brothers Tom and Jerry Caraccioli (Tom used to work for the Red Sox) writing a book on the 1972 US Olympic Hockey team, which has been overshadowed by the 1980 edition, but was a story in their own right.


Aaron Bracy has ESPN’s Steve Phillips and Joe Morgan talking about the enigma that is Phillies outfielder Pat Burrell. He also looks at some Philadelphia sports radio ratings and has some reader feedback on his media blog. The Philly media is going to be focused on the return of Terrell Owens to the city this weekend, Laura Nachman has Jimmy Johnson saying that the Cowboys present more receiving threats other than Owens. Jim Williams has Capitals play-by-play man Joe Beninati eager for the new NHL season to start. He also reports on Cal Ripken Jr getting set to join the TBS broadcast crew for next season’s Sunday baseball game of the week. Michael Hiestand talks with
Frank Caliendo, who has been doing impersonations of other TV sports figures on the FOX NFL Pregame show. He also looks at the Sharpe brothers both not only making it in the NFL, but also making it as TV analysts.


Barry Jackson looks at a potential battle over broadcast rights to the Dolphins. He also looks at a few examples where it appears that local teams have tried to influence coverage of themselves. Jim Sarni looks at the aggressive coverage of the Panthers provided by WQAM, and has a number of ESPN related notes. David Barron reports on Paul Maguire returning to Texas to call the Texas/Oklahoma game Saturday with Brad Nessler and Bob Griese. He also looks at some of the inaccuracies of NBC’s Friday Night Lights program on his 4 DVRs, No Waiting weblog.


Judd Zulgad says the ESPN made a poor decision in putting Steve Stone on the radio broadcast of this week’s Twins/A’s series instead of front and center on the TV telecasts. He says Rick Sutcliffe wasn’t up to the task. Bob Wolfley looks at ESPN’s decision to bump the Wisconsin Badgers off ESPN to ESPN360. Earlier in the week he had numbers and reaction from the Packers appearance on Monday Night Football this week. Ed Sherman looks at the task that Dan Kelly has in following Pat Foley in the Blackhawks radio booth. Former Hawk Ed Olczyk will be working with Kelly in the booth. Jeffrey Flanagan reports on some changes in the Royals broadcasting teams.

West Coast

Larry Stewart notes that the Raiders, despite having a terrible season thus far, are still getting good ratings in the Los Angeles market. This despite the fact that it seems that LA is more of a Chargers town. Stewart also says that there are plenty of reasons to stay home and watch television this weekend. Michael Lev looks at the Ducks locking up analyst Brian Hayward to a new extension and also announcing that 10 of their games will be show in HDTV this season. John Maffei has Al Michaels glad to be in San Diego to call the Chargers/Steelers game this weekend. Jay Posner has more from Michaels on the game and his transition to NBC after so many years at ABC. Jim Carlisle examines the move by CBS to bring Nick Faldo aboard their golf coverage and jettison Lanny Wadkins. Joe Davidson looks at Barry Bonds continuing to shun the media and hand out updates on his own terms.