Clay Crumbles One Last Time

The Red Sox were pounded by the Orioles last night, 11-6 in Baltimore.

Amalie Benjamin has Clay Buchholz headed for AA after his latest poor outing. Jeff Horrigan has Buchholz collapsing again in embarrassing fashion, resulting in his demotion. Joe McDonald asserts that someday, this season will all be just a blur for Buchholz. Jeff Goldberg says that with the Red Sox in a playoff race, at some point reality had to trump potential when it came to Buchholz. Bill Ballou says that because of the way Buchholz handled the demotion, there may be hope for him yet.

Tony Massarotti examines whether the Red Sox can rebuild Buchholz down in the minors. Nick Cafardo has Julio Lugo suffering a setback in his attempt to return from his quad injury, with Jed Lowrie playing so well in Lugo’s absence, Cafardo wonders if we’ve seen the last of Lugo in a Red Sox uniform. The Herald also has a quick note about how Lugo reinjured his left quadriceps running sprints yesterday.

Ron Chimelis says that the Red Sox hopes for the post season rest with Josh Beckett. Rob Bradford agrees that Beckett’s health is a must for the Red Sox. Massarotti says Beckett will throw a side session tomorrow after feeling numbness and tingling in his arm earlier this week.

Joe Haggerty has pitching prospect Daniel Bard making progress in his second year in the organization. Buddy Thomas examines the AL MVP race. Jim Donaldson looks at how Carl Yastrzemski almost single-handedly revived baseball in Boston back in 1967. Alex Speier wonders if we’ll ever see a player spend his entire 20+ year career with the Red Sox again, as Yaz did.

Benjamin’s notebook has Francona believing that Beckett will be ready to go on Tuesday. Horrigan’s notebook examines whether Francona ruined the season of Orioles closer George Sherrill by using him for two innings in the All Star game. McDonald’s notebook also says that Beckett could be back in time for the Yankees series next week. Goldberg’s notebook has Tim Wakefield able to throw without pain yesterday. Ballou’s notebook has Beckett ready to start throwing again.

Patriots

Over on Patriots Daily, we’ve got the debut of a new column, The Turning Point, by Tyler Carter.

Mark Farinella looks at the mutual admiration society between veteran safeties John Lynch and Rodney Harrison. Douglas Flynn has Lynch learning the Patriot way in his first camp with New England. Rich Garven has the Patriots putting twin terrors in the secondary with the teaming of Lynch and Harrison. Eric McHugh has Lynch talking about the first time he saw Tom Brady and how far the QB has come since then.

Michael Vega has tight end David Thomas hoping to stay healthy and productive this season. Karen Guregian says that the Patriots run defense needs to hold its ground, or it will be a target of opponents all season long. David Brown has Ellis Hobbs not wishing to look back at the Super Bowl, but instead to remain focus on the present and future. Shalise Manza Young has rookie cornerback Jonathan Wilhite putting his time on the sidelines while he was injured to good use.

Steve Buckley has Bill Belichick not wishing to talk about the possibility of the NFL expanding the schedule to 17 or 18 games. With Matt Light still out with an injury, Young has a look at Wesley Britt, who has been playing in Light’s spot this preseason with the all-important job of keeping the QB healthy. McHugh has a look at Asante Samuel returning to Foxboro tomorrow night. Guregian has more on the Samuel visit.

The Globe notebook looks at Brady’s return to practice, without any wrap on his foot. Guregian’s notebook says that we might see Lynch and Harrison on the field together at times this season. Farinella
s notebook
has Belichick seeing value in preseason games and not wishing to lose those with an expanded schedule. Flynn’s notebook has the Patriots looking forward to seeing Samuel tomorrow night. Garven’s notebook says that Ellis Hobbs may just stick to cornerback this season and not do kick returns in addition. Brown’s notebook has more reaction from the Patriots on seeing Samuel tomorrow night.

Misc

Bob Ryan has Lisa Leslie shooting for her fourth gold medal as the Queen mother of women’s basketball. Marc J. Spears has Kobe Bryant leading a mens basketball team that is looking unstoppable right now.

Mark Blaudschun has junior cornerback Mark Maglio, a walk-on who is Boston College’s version of “Rudy,” being rewarded with a scholarship. Steve Conroy has linebacker Mark Herzlich compiling a pretty good resume for the NFL. Eric Avidon says that defense looks to be the stronger unit for BC this season.

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Who Are These Guys? – Douglas Flynn

Douglas Flynn is an interesting guy, one with a background you might not see in many sports writers out there.

He grew up in Massachusetts, and then went to Brown University, earning an honors degree in History as well as a second degree in Afro-American Studies. He then accepted a fellowship at Ohio State in a doctoral program in military history. He gave that a year before decided he had enough of school.

Coming back to New England, he wasn’t sure what he actually wanted to do, so he started working in sports information at Brown, then stringing for a number of papers. His first full time sports reporting job with with the Daily Transcript in Dedham, where eventually served as sports editor.

He moved to the Metrowest Daily News in 2000, where he was put on the Bruins beat. This is probably where you might’ve first come across his work, and even now you might think of him as a “hockey guy.” While on the Bruins beat the paper was purchased by the Boston Herald, and Flynn wrote the Bruins Insider blog and Sunday NHL notes for the Herald, while remaining on beat coverage for the MWDN.

Once the paper was sold again, this time to Gatehouse media, and at the same time, Albert Breer left the Patriots beat to go to the Dallas Morning News. This allowed Flynn to move over to the Patriots beat. He says:

“As much as I love hockey and enjoyed my time covering the B’s (which I still get to do, though not as much with the Pats now my primary focus), I’m even more passionate about football. I actually only started following hockey (other than the B’s) as a kid when the NFL went on strike and I needed to fill the void (still miss those days of the battle of Alberta, Philly and Hartford in the long sweatpants and the Caps led by Randolph’s own Rod Langway). Still, getting to cover the Pats has kind of allowed me to come full circle back to my first love.”

Flynn followed some big names on the Pats beat at the MWDN, including Tom E. Curran, Mike Reiss and Breer, and hopes that he’s been able to learn from each one of them. He notes that his own style is “to focus primarily on the game itself and not get too embroiled in the soap opera storylines that seem to get so much attention in Foxboro, but hopefully still manage to entertain with some unique story angles, insight and humor.”

Some recent examples of his work include A job for the fearless – a look at the job of the gunner on special teams and Proven draft strategy – examining the draft philosophy of Scott Pioli.

Flynn still covers the Bruins when the Patriots season is over, and also writes about baseball on occasion.

Outside of print work, Flynn has done quite a bit of radio work, co-hosting the Inside Hockey Show on 1510 (and later XM Radio) with James Murphy for two years before turning his focus to football last year. He’s done some TV guest spots on CN8’s SportsPulse and NECN’s Sports LateNight and other radio spots both locally and in other markets discussing the Bruins and Patriots.

Quick Wednesday AM

Scott Benson wants your opinion on which veteran free agent quarterback the Patriots should’ve added this offseason over on Patriots Daily.

Get the rest of the Patriots coverage this morning at PatriotsLinks.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka was his usual self last night, which means the Red Sox won. Dice-K improved to 15-2 on the season in the 7-2 Boston win over the Orioles. Check the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

I’ll be back later on with another edition of “Who Are These Guys?”

 

Tuesday Quick Hits

The ever-expanding empire of WEEI is on the move again, this time to Maine. From the Portland Press Herald:

The owners of WJJB, a Portland sports talk radio station known as the Big Jab, will begin simulcasting Boston sports talk station WEEI in southern Maine on Sept. 1.

WJJB’s owner, Atlantic Coast Radio, has finalized a contract to simulcast WEEI through 2013, said Jon Van Hoogenstyn, general manager of WJJB. Jim Rushton, vice president of sales for Entercom New England, confirmed that the contract had been finalized. Entercom owns WEEI.

Rushton said the announcement of the contract is very different than the announcement made last summer, when Nassau Broadcasting declared its intent to simulcast WEEI in Portland.

At that time, Entercom and Nassau had signed a letter of intent, said Rushton, but the contract was not finalized and the simulcasting never happened. But Entercom and WJJB have a signed contract.

WEEI will be heard in southern Maine at two dial positions, said Van Hoogenstyn. One is 95.5 FM, currently the FM home of WJJB. The other is 95.9 FM, currently a hip hop station owned by Atlantic Coast Radio, WRED. Van Hoogenstyn said the hip hop station will go off the air.

Mad Dog To SIRIUS XM Radio

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, the former star of the Mike and the Mad Dog show on WFAN in New York has signed a five year deal with SIRIUS XM radio to headline his own branded sports talk channel.

SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144 will relaunch as Mad Dog Radio. Russo will host the channel’s anchor program, “The Mad Dog Sports Show,” live from SIRIUS’ New York studios every weekday afternoon from 2:00 to 7:00pm ET. The exclusive show will begin airing daily on SIRIUS channel 123 and XM channel 144 on Monday, September 15.

NFL Network to Give Sharpe a Shot

If you loved Shannon Sterling Sharpe’s insightful commentary during Sunday night’s Patriots/Bucs preseason game, you’re going to love his expanded role during this Sunday’s Bills/Colts game on NFLN, as Sharpe will step into the play-by-play role. He will be joined in the booth by the equally brilliant Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders, who will be counted on to bring some sanity to the booth.

Fouts Returns to CBS

Dan Fouts, NFL Hall of Famer and former All-Pro quarterback with the San Diego Chargers, will be returning to CBS Sports as an analyst for THE NFL ON CBS. The announcement was made today by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports.

Fouts will call selected games throughout the 2008 NFL ON CBS schedule, as well as selected games for CBS Sports’ SEC ON CBS broadcasts and CBS College Sports Network’s college football coverage.

Fouts returns to the network he called home from 1988 to 1993. From 1997 to 2008 he was at ABC working on College football broadcasts and spending two years on Monday Night Football.

Lester’s The Stopper Once Again

Jon Lester came up big once again last night, as the lefty went seven innings, giving up just one run to improve to 12-4 on the season. Jason Bay hit a pair of home runs to lead the offense, and Jonathan Papelbon went four outs to pick up his 33rd save in the 6-3 Red Sox win over Baltimore.

Jeff Horrigan has Lester enhancing his status as a stopper, as his numbers following a Red Sox loss are eye-popping this season. Amalie Benjamin has an unexpected punch of offense from Jason Varitek providing a boost as well. Joe McDonald has three homers and Lester on the mound proving to be the recipe for a win last night. Jeff Goldberg has Jason Bay looking like Manny Ramirez at the plate last night. Bill Ballou has more on Bay looking like the Manny of old last night.

Tony Massarotti says that these Red Sox are still pretty much a mystery, as we still can’t tell if they have anything in common with their immediate ancestors. Nick Cafardo has Lester and David Ortiz stepping up their games for a playoff run. Lenny Megliola says that Kevin Youkilis has been the Red Sox MVP this season.

Massarotti has John Farrell and Terry Francona talking about the struggles of Josh Beckett, who they still insist is the ace of their staff. Garry Brown says that Joe Madden of Tampa Bay is a manager with guts. Rob Bradford talks to Kevin Millar about Manny Ramirez, and the former Red Sox says that the club had to be proactive in confronting Manny in the past.

Tuned in to WEEI last night for a few minutes in the car, and was relieved to know that Mike Adams is still talking about Manny. It’s good to know you can always count on certain things, like death and taxes. I’m glad he’s not like, obsessed, or anything.

Horrigan’s notebook has Jason Bay adjusting back to his normal swing after trying too hard to take aim at the Green Monster at Fenway. Benjamin’s notebook has Youkilis and Sean Casey talking about the difficulty of starting a double play from first base. McDonald’s notebook has more on Lester as the stopper. Goldberg’s notebook has the Red Sox placing a call to the Shelton team that is representing New England in the Little League World Series. Ballou’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka looking to add to his Cy Young credentials with tonight’s start.

Patriots

Mark Farinella remembers James Busch Orthwein, who in many ways, saved the Patriots franchise and allowed it to become what it is today under Robert Kraft.

Christopher L. Gasper says there is no reason to panic regarding the Patriots play in the preseason, as there are many reasons why they’re looking the way they are at the moment. Douglas Flynn agrees that there is no real cause for panic here. In looking back at the game, John Tomase says that there was certainly more bad than good that came out of Sunday night’s game. Robert Lee says that after these two preseason games, the Patriots are still far from a Super team. Glen Farley says that while the losses are bad, the offense is even worse at this point.

Ian Clark says that Tom Brady is proving how valuable he is to the team by not playing. Rich Garven has Brady just trying to get healthy before the season begins. Glen Farley says that a backup plan is desperately needed. Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots will only go as far as Brady’s health can take them.

Gasper’s notebook has Brady unsure if he’ll be ready to play on Friday night, and says that Brandon Meriweather should be 100% by the season opener. Tomase’s notebook has Brady characterizing the injury as “entirely different” from the one that hobbled him in the Super Bowl.

Misc

Kevin Paul Dupont has the agent for Bruins prospect Carl Soderberg and the club far apart in contract talks with camp set to begin in a month.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at BC defensive tackle B.J. Raji, who sat out last year getting his studies in order. The year off has actually boosted his standing among NFL scouts. Steve Conroy has Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski not too concerned about his struggling offense as the season opener approaches.

John Powers says that China will likely end the Olympics with the most Gold medals, and will look to sustain that dominance. Bob Ryan has a look at Tom McCarthy, a Boston area native who has been on the ground floor of every major development in basketball, baseball, and tennis in China. 

 

Pats, Sox Flop on Sunday

So, the punter looked ok, huh?

Yesterday was a forgettable day in Boston sports, with the Red Sox getting bombed by the Blue Jays at Fenway and the Patriots getting thrashed by the Buccaneers in a preseason game in Tampa.

There’s plenty of media news going on this morning, David Scott checks in with Monday Morning Media Matters with a look at the latest WEEI.com news. The site has roped former Deadspin.com editor Will Leitch into doing a twice-a-month column for the site. He also reports on the other new hires the station has lined up, and has them vigorously defending their hiring of Ron Borges.

One thing that should be cleared up involved contributing basketball writer Jeff Goodman: He is not leaving FOXSports.com to join the Boston-based site, he actually just signed a two-year deal to remain with FOX, but is also able to contribute to WEEI in a secondary capacity. Goodman feels that the Entercom site is a great way to increase his local visibility, and will be filing a weekly hoops column for the site.

WEEI.com has done a “soft launch” of their new look today, site editor Rob Bradford explains how he got lured over to the dotcom side of things by the radio station. There are a number of other news stories from the contributors this morning, and I’ll work them into the morning links…

Yesterday Scott also looked at the Globe’s hiring of Adam Kilgore to back up Amalie Benjamin on the Red Sox beat.

Patriots (27-10 preseason loss in Tampa)

Over on Patriots Daily, Chris Warner examines the damage, and manages to extract five positives from last night’s ugliness.

Christopher Price checks in with his popular 10 Things We Learned Last Night column following the debacle in Tampa. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots ship taking on water in Tampa. John Tomase says that last night’s game illustrated an undeniable truth: without Tom Brady, the Pats aren’t that good. Robert Lee notes that without Brady, it wasn’t pretty last night.

Mike Reiss says that the best chance the Patriots will have this season is by keeping Brady healthy. Perhaps by sitting him out in these preseason games, thats exactly what they’re trying to do. Ron Borges says that the Patriots defense has a long way to go, but fortunately, there are three weeks to go in the preseason. Ian Clark agrees that as bad at the quarterbacks were for the Patriots, the main problems last night were on defense. Michael Felger makes the predictable “basement” jokes about writing for a web site, and goes on to analyze how much trouble the Patriots are in without a legit backup for Tom Brady. Lee Diekemper notes that new Patriot John Lynch is still a big hit in Tampa.

Check out all of yesterday’s Patriots stories with The Sunday Links feature by Scott Benson over on PatriotsDaily.com

I’ve got the fantasy football blues

Gasper’s notebook has Brandon Meriweather leaving the game with a leg injury on the first series, and not returning. Tomase’s notebook has Bill Belichick unwilling to shed any light on Brady’s absence. (note to the Herald editors – Meriweather isn’t a rookie anymore, the subheading “Rook doesn’t return” doesn’t fit.) Lee’s notebook has the Tampa QB’s picking apart the Patriots patchwork secondary all night long.

Red Sox (15-4 loss at Fenway to the Blue Jays)

Amalie Benjamin has the Sox let down by a disappointing performance from their ace, who only lasted 2 1/3 innings before being pulled. Joe Haggerty has the Blue Jays embarrassing the Red Sox at Fenway. Jeff Horrigan says that yesterday was a day that the Red Sox would like to purge instantly from their collective memory. Paul Kenyon says that it wasn’t just the loss, it was how they lost that was disturbing for the Red Sox. Dom Amore has Beckett and Sox enduring a frustrating afternoon at Fenway. Bob Stern has more on what could’ve been the worst outing of Beckett’s career. Ron Chimelis has another view on a bad day at the ballpark. Dave Nordman wonders what’s wrong with Beckett.

Barbara Matson has Beckett facing the music and taking the blame for the loss. Steven Krasner says that not being able to get the right snap on his pitches did in Beckett yesterday. Maureen Mullen says that this start was all the more disappointing given Beckett’s performance the last time out. Steve Buckley has Jason Varitek’s struggles at the plate continuing.

Alex Speier looks at Jason Bay’s journey from tossed around prospect to big market star. On his blog, Hacks with Hags, Haggerty has The Best of Pedroia, where Red Sox teammates recount the funniest things they’ve heard the All Star second baseman say and do. Krasner has the role for Kevin Cash changing with Tim Wakefield on the DL.

Mike McMahon has old school and new school meeting up yesterday with Dick Williams and Terry Francona comparing notes. Buckley says that the Hall of Fame hasn’t mellowed Williams one bit. Krasner has more on the Sox honoring Williams yesterday.

Pink Hat Hell has the latest scathing recap of Sox Appeal.

Benjamin’s notebook has Clay Buchholz getting some work in relief yesterday. Stern’s notebook has Buchholz saying that he felt good about his stint yesterday. Horrigan’s notebook has Buchholz glad to get the work between starts. The ProJo notebook has more on Clay’s outing. Amore’s notebook also looks at Buchholz and Williams. Chimelis’ notebook says that Wakefield’s return to the rotation is still up in the air. Nordman’s notebook says that the Sox will be patient with Wake.

Olympic-themed Friday Megalinks

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog with your megalinks on this Friday. With the Olympics in full swing, the Games will be a major theme for the links and the Weekend Viewing Picks. Without further delay, let’s get to your viewing picks.

Weekend Viewing Picks

The Olympics head into its second weekend of action with Michael Phelps going for a potential record of gold medals. On Friday in primetime on NBC, he’ll swim in the 200 meter individual medley for his 7th gold medal in these games. And if he wins tonight, all Phelps will have to do is help his USA teammates swim for the 4 x 100 meter medley relay for his 8th gold medal. NBC’s primetime coverage on Friday begins at 8 p.m. On Saturday night, coverage begins at 7:30 and Sunday, it begins at 7 p.m. You can see the entire TV and online listings over at NBCOlympics.com.

Baseball continues as the pennant races kick into high gear. The Red Sox host Toronto in a weekend series at Fenway. NESN has tonight’s and Saturday’s game at 7 p.m. Sunday’s game starts at 1:35 p.m.

Fox will have three American League games on Saturday, the Angels at Cleveland, Chicago White Sox at Oakland and Seattle at Minnesota, all starting at 3:55 p.m. The regional splits and announcing assignments can be see over here. WGN has the Cubs at Florida both on Saturday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). TBS’ Sunday baseball game has the Milwaukee Brewers taking on the Dodgers at 4 p.m. And ESPN’s Sunday night game pits the Phillies at San Diego at 8 p.m.

Exhibition football continues this weekend with the NFL Network picking up the Patriots visiting Tampa Bay, Sunday night at 8. WBZ-TV, Channel 4 will simulcast the game in the Boston market only.

Other games on TV this weekend has Fox has the Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans tonight at 8. NFL Network carries Brett Favre’s first game as a Jet live as his new team takes on Washington at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The PGA Tour’s final regular season stop before the exciting FedEx Cup playoffs (sarcasm dripping here) is the Wyndham Championship. CBS has weekend coverage beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday.

The LPGA heads north for the Canadian Open. Golf Channel has tape delayed coverage at 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

NASCAR is in Michigan for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. ESPN2 has the Carfax 250 race, Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ESPN has the 3M Performance 400, Sunday at 2.

And the US Open Series continues with the ATP Tour’s Legg Mason Classic championship match on ESPN2 this Sunday at 5 p.m.

The full listings can be seen at USA Today.

Let’s get to your links.

National

Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today, he says NBC finally has gotten its primetime coverage of the Olympics right with plenty of live coverage.

Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily/Journal talks with NBC Olympics producer David Neal about his impressions of the Games to date.

The Sports Media Watch blog finds the reviews for the Tiki Barber and Jenna Wolfe-led Olympic Update on MSNBC are not very kind. And the SMW says NBC will not air Michael Phelps’ quest for a possible 8th gold medal live on the West Coast despite rumors to the contrary.

Joseph De Avila of the Wall Street Journal talks with the President and CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media which is the most successful of all of the four major sports new media ventures.

It may be summertime, but it’s never too early to think about hockey. Maury Brown in the Biz of Hockey looks at the release of the NHL national TV schedules in the US and Canada.

Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog catches up with Bill Pidto who left ESPN in June after 15 years at the network.

East and Mid-Atlantic

I’ll start this region with Bruce Allen who has his thoughts on noted plagiarist Ron Borges joining WEEI.com. The move is one of the strangest I’ve ever seen.

David Scott goes more in-depth into this crazy move and he has inexplicable reaction from WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan. David first explores the decision by Tony Massarotti to leave the Boston Herald for a role at the Boston Globe’s website.

Joanna Weiss of the Boston Globe says a budding US vs. China rivalry is helping NBC’s Olympic ratings.

Marc Blaudschun of the Globe talks with NBC’s Bob Neumeier who’s in Communist China for the Olympics and he also takes a shot at former employer WEEI.

Now to Neil Best of Newsday who is most likely basking in the glow of seeing a story he broke back in June come to fruition. In today’s newspaper, Neil writes about the end of WFAN’s two decade pairing of Mike & the Mad Dog, with Chris Russo leaving the station yesterday. Neil goes over the history of the show which began in 1989. And here are some memorable moments from the show. Jim Baumbach of Newsday says WFAN will not be the same without Russo. Also from Newsday, Katie Strang says Russo’s departure has polarized listeners.

And Neil has a story totally unrelated to Mike & the Mad Dog. He says the Olympics are an event that has esssentially become group viewing.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that it’s now Mike without the Mad Dog on WFAN.

Over to the New York Post where Phil Mushnick says for better or worse, Mike & the Mad Dog made radio history. Eric Lenkowitz says WFAN and Chris Russo decided to part ways even though he had a year left on his contract. Mushnick feels sponsors are wearing the viewers out.

Justin Terranova from the Post talks with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about Brett Favre’s adjustment with the Jets. And Justin has five questions for ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla about the US men’s Olympic basketball team.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman looks into the breakup of Mike & the Mad Dog. Raissman also talks about the rumored move by Chris Russo to Sirius Satellite Radio.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette also discusses Russo’s leaving WFAN and Ken also gives props to Neil Best.

Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says the split of Mike & the Mad Dog will draw attention from all over. And Ken talks with ESPN Radio’s Freddie Coleman who was a big fan of Mike & the Mad Dog.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the Philly-based Comcast is kicking off Big Ten Network programming as of today.

Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says NBC is keeping things moving during its primetime coverage of the Olympics.

South

Doug Nye of The State in South Carolina talks about high school football getting more exposure on TV and radio.

One of the bigger stories to break yesterday along with Mike & the Mad Dog splitting up, the moves at the Boston Globe’s sports department and Ron Borges signing with WEEI.com, was CBS signing the longest college sports agreement in history, by agreeing to pick up SEC football and basketball for 15 years beginning next season. Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us what this new deal means for college football fans and college sports in general.

Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando Sentinel says the SEC stands to make a lot of money from this new deal with CBS. Jeremy Fowler of the Sentinel says the SEC also wants to finish deals with ESPN and Raycom within the next two weeks.

Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says the CBS/SEC deal runs through 2023.

David Brandt of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger says both CBS and the SEC have reasons to crow.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the Olympics are striking gold with viewers.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says Oklahoma City is ranked 7th of all markets watching the Olympics. Mel lists the top ten markets watching the Olympics. Mel says these Olympics have become the multimedia Games. Among Mel’s sports media notes is CBS’ Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman calling Oklahoma University’s football season opener on pay per view. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.

Midwest

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says compelling stories are helping to drive the ratings for the Olympics.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Michael Phelps’ drive for 8 gold medals has become must see TV.

Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press feels it’s about time that Comcast has brought the Big Ten Network into the fold.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes about Michael Wilbon’s singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Wrigley Field this week and the issues it has raised. Teddy lists his five weekend viewing picks.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily News talks with sports radio talk show host Dan McNeil.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says college football fans in Minnesota won’t be able to see the Golden Gophers as the Big Ten Network remains off Charter Communications.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a former sports radio host will continue his wrongful termination suit despite having a judge rule against him this week.

West

Moving to the Western part of the country where many are angry over the fact that NBC is delaying the Olympics in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says NBC should stop using the “live” graphic during the Olympics when airing its primetime coverage in the West.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says despite the tape delay, San Diegans are watching the Olympics.

John Maffei in the North County Times writes that West Coast viewers are being cheated by the taped delayed airings of the Olympics.

The Ventura County’s Jim Carlisle says no matter if the Olympics are live or on tape, West Coast viewers are watching.

Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times writes that NBC is restricting its primetime Olympics coverage to beach volleyball, gymnastics and swimming with some diving thrown in.

Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News talks with NBC Olympics volleyball announcer Paul Sunderland. Tom has a bunch of media notes on the Olympics, baseball and other sports. And Tom says ;NBC will recap the women’s gymnastics all-around competition in the 8:00 hour of tonight’s primetime coverage as it ended at 1 a.m. today while many of you were asleep.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail gives his medals to CBC’s Olympic announcers. And Houston says the new TSN2 will be a boon to tennis and hockey fans.

Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star scolds CBC for leaving the Cuba-Canada baseball to go to water polo. And Zelkovich praises CBC primetime host Ron MacLean.

There you have it, your supersized Friday megalinks. Have a good weekend.