Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog and here with your megalinks late once again, but late is better than never.
Of course, we have the Weekend Viewing Picks to start.
We go into the last weekend of the NFL regular season with the AFC East still up for grabs. The Patriots travel to Buffalo at 1 p.m. Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will have the call. If the Pats win, then it will be time to root for the Jets as they take on Miami at 4:15 p.m. Both games will be carried on WBZ and WPRI. This being Week 17, all blackout rules are thrown out so CBS and Fox have both doubleheaders. The very last game of the regular season, Sunday night’s Denver-San Diego game will decide the winner of the AFC West and the last playoff spot. 7NBC and NBC10 will have the game at 8:15 p.m. The entire viewing schedule plus distribution maps can be seen in the NFL Viewing Picks.
After winning 19 straight, the Celtics are now the owners of a two game losing streak, and they’ll try to break that in Sacramento on Sunday. Comcast SportsNet has the game at 9 on Sunday night.
The Bruins travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes. NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley will have the call of that game, Saturday night at 7. Then the B’s go to Atlanta for a game on Sunday against the Trashers and NESN will have that game as well at 5 p.m.
There are four college bowl games taking place this weekend, three on Saturday and on Sunday. ESPN will carry all of them. The Meineke Car Care Bowl kicks off the tripleheader on Saturday pitting West Virginia and North Carolina at 1 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., it’s the Champ Sports Bowl with Wisconsin battling Florida State, then in primetime at 8 p.m., it will be the Emerald Bowl as Miami (FL) takes on Cal. Then on Sunday, the Independence Bowl has Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech at 8:15 p.m.
Not much for college basketball this weekend as the holiday break takes hold. But CBS has West Virginia at Ohio State, Saturday at 4 p.m. You can take a gander at the national schedule in the College Basketball Viewing Picks.
Now onto the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand gives you a 2008 sports media quiz.
Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press looks at Chris Berman who enters his 30th year at ESPN.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the Detroit Lions with a chance to go 0-16 have plenty of merchandise to commemorate the possibility of a reverse perfect season. And Darren looks at the lengths one man went to buy the famous Honus Wagner baseball card.
Joe Favorito says the Portland Trail Blazers expanded on last year’s initial Hanukah night with success.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says the renewal of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry brought ABC some nice Christmas ratings. Alex adds that MLB Network continues to add to its on-air roster.
John Eggerton of B&C writes about the Christmas Day launch of the new Ski Channel which started airing on various cable systems and DirecTV.
Multichannel News has a video produced by R. Thomas Umsted which looks inside the launch of the MLB Network.
The Sports Media Watch says Celtics-Lakers was the second highest rated NBA regular season game of this decade. The SMW says ABC’s NBA doubleheader including Celtics-Lakers did well. SMW says after seven seasons of broadcasting the NBA, ESPN/ABC seems that its finally hitting its stride.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick rips poker on ESPN.
Justin Terranova of the Post talks with CBS’ Boomer Esiason about the Jets’ season finale against Miami. And Justin has five questions for Fox NFL Sunday’s Howie Long.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says while the media rips the Yankees for spending in a down economy, history shows that the spending doesn’t always lead to a championship.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the NFL is the 800 lbs. ratings gorilla. Neil has some numbers in his blog to back his column. Neil reviews the year in sports media. Neil also reviews the year’s most watched sporting events. Finally, Neil reviews his sports media predictions for this year.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times-Union writes that NBC is hoping for an assist from the weather for the NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
The Schenectady Gazette’s Ken Schott lists his top ten broadcast media stories of 2008.
Laura Nachman says a former CN8 host is moving over to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh News & Observer talks ACC hoops with ESPN analyst Jason Williams. Roger says the ACC is dealing in a position of weakness as it prepares to negotiate a new football TV contract.
Doug Nye of The State says the NFL’s Greatest Game Ever Played remains as important today as it was in 1958.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has the NFL explanation as to why Denver-San Diego was chosen as the Sunday night game instead of Dolphins-Jets.
Dave Darling from the Orlando Sentinel looks back at some of the best sports quotes of 2008.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram suggests some sports books to buy with your holiday bookstore gift card.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says local Cowboys fans will be able to watch their team in action this weekend without fear of blackout.
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News has some reaction to various sports media actions. In his blog, Barry catches up with Stars TV analyst Daryl Reaugh. Barry writes that ESPN NFL analyst Emmit Smith took the coin used in the last ever Texas Stadium coin flip. And Barry says ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley is blaming the Cowboys’ strength and conditioning coach for the team’s annual folds.
The Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht talks with ESPN/ABC college football analyst Craig James about his passion for ranching.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids Press has his highs and lows for sports TV in 2008.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also reviews the year in sports media.
I think two links in the Midwest are the fewest I’ve ever had out of a region (not counting Canada which is usually stuck on two every week).
From the Deseret News, Scott D. Pierce writes that replay impacted two area college basketball games over the past week.
Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic says Fox’s Jeanne Zelasko is applying for the Dodgers TV play-by-play gig.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the Chargers’ Philip Rivers is a good fit on TV.
The North County Times’ John Maffei says that Al Michaels is happy to have a “home game” this Sunday night.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says the TV ratings bear out that the Dallas Cowboys are truly America’s Team.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that snow at Wrigley Field would make for a perfect day for NBC for the NHL Winter Classic. Tom has a shortened version of his media notes, but lots of video. Tom asks why not Jeanne Zelasko for the Dodgers play-by-play gig. Finally, Tom reviews his week in blogging.
Gary Washburn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer previews the MLB Network launch.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star writes that TSN is providing plenty of coverage of the World Junior Hockey Championships from Ottawa.
Sheri Levine of the Canwest News Service says TSN will offer ten days of coverage from the event.
And that’s going to do it. Enjoy your weekend.