Your Friday Megalinks, Part Deux

Ken from Fang’s Bites with Part 2 of the Friday Megalinks. I can also provide you with updates from the links that I had provided earlier.

But let’s pick up where we left off.

Midwest

Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News talks with Dayton native Jon Seibel who’s holding his own on ESPN Radio.

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that Fox NFL analysts Brian Billick and Jimmy Johnson don’t think it’s unrealistic for the Detroit Lions to go 0-16 this season.

And Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel say Billick and Johnson still like the Packers’ chances this season.

Shannon Ryan has the weekend viewing recommendations for Chicagoans in the Tribune.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says ESPN.com’s Mayne Street is one of the reasons why the internet is ruining the world. That’s a bit harsh. Perhaps Ted needs to get away from his computer and go to the Mosquito Coast.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says there’s a battle over the radio rights to the St. Louis University Billikens men’s basketball team.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News writes that fans can only watch BYU at Utah on the mtn. and nowhere else.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the world’s oldest goff tournament is breaking a new barrier, showing all four rounds on US cable TV. Jay also has the ratings from the San Diego market for last weekend.

John Maffei of the North County Times talks with CBS/CBS College Sports/Sports Radio USA college football/NFL analyst Dan Fouts about his multitasking this season.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star wonders if the BCS and the Rose Bowl could be cable exclusives come 2010.

The Los Angeles Times’ Diane Pucin says Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno is subtly using his own sports radio station to throw his team’s hat into the ring for free agent Manny Ramirez.

Over to the crosstown Los Angeles Daily News where Tom Hoffarth writes about LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks fans’ unhappiness over Fox Sports West’s excessive use of rinkside cameras during telecasts. Tom has extensive media notes including news about Hazel Mae joining the MLB Network. Tom says USC football voice Pete Arbogast managed to talk himself out of doing fill-in work for USC basketball. Good job, Pete. And Tom reviews the week in blogging.

John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers GM Scott McCloughan gave some cryptic answers when being interviewed this week.

Gary Washburn from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes that sports is getting less of a presence on local TV newscasts.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that the internet is adding a huge wrinkle in the sports broadcasting business.

The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says much of Ontario province won’t be able to watch the Raptors this Sunday thanks to a conflict between TSN and Rogers Cable.

Now to some more links.

National

A couple of things from The Big Lead. First, it reports that NBC Sports is expected to layoff employees at its website and the New York television office. And Yahoo! Sports has widened its lead over ESPN.com as far as hits and traffic are concerned.

Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media ran a semi-live blog from the Nashville Predators-Anaheim Ducks game.

Kevin Downey of Media Life Magazine says sports TV is no longer recession-proof.

Steve Lepore of Puck the Media has decided to make following Jack Edwards’ calls a regular feature and he has the video of Jack going over the top during Thursday’s Habs-Bruins game.

Daniel Frankel of Variety writes that the new Ski Channel launches on Christmas Day on two prominent services.

And that will do it. Enjoy your weekend.

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Your Friday Megalinks, Part I

Ken from Fang’s Bites and today, I’m giving you the megalinks in two parts today. Part I comes out now. Part II will come out tonight.

As usual, I give you the Weekend Viewing Picks.

The Celtics, fresh off their great win on Wednesday are back in action tonight and Saturday. Tonight at 7:30, the C’s take on Denver and on Saturday, it’ll be a quick trip to Milwaukee to face the Bucks at 8:30 p.m. Both games will be on Comcast SportsNet.

For the NFL, CBS has the doubleheader for the second consecutive week. In New England, WBZ and WPRI will carry the Baltimore-New York Football Giants game at 1. Then at 4:15 p.m., we’ll see San Diego at Pittsburgh. Fox 25 and 64 will show Chicago at Green Bay at 1. And on Sunday night, 7NBC and NBC 10 show another NFC East battle, this one pits the Cowboys at the Redskins. Sunday’s schedule is in the NFL Viewing Picks.

To the colleges, College Gameday will be live from Tallahassee, FL for the Hampton-Florida A&M game. And after that, there’s not much to showcase. In primetime on WCVB and ABC6, Boston College is at Florida State. Other local games include UMass at UNH on Comcast SportsNet at noon. CN8 has Harvard at Penn also at noon. National games of interest include Notre Dame at Navy (CBS, noon), Princeton at Yale (Versus, noon), Duke at Clemson (TV38 & CW28, noon), USC at Stanford (Versus, 7 p.m.), and Mississippi State at #1 Alabama (ESPN, 7:45 p.m.) The College Football Viewing Picks have the entire national coverage for Saturday.

The Bruins are in New York Saturday night to take on the Rangers at MSG. NESN has the game at 7.

For college basketball, ESPNU has a quadrupleheader on Sunday, Bradley at Florida at 2:15 p.m., my Rhode Island Rams at Duke at 4:30 p.m., LeMoyne at Syracuse at 6:30 p.m. and UMKC at Kansas at 8:30 p.m.

NASCAR’s final event of the season, provided that ABC doesn’t cut off the end of the race in favor of America’s Funniest Home Videos, is the Ford 400 at 3:45 p.m. Sunday.

HBO’s World Championship Boxing has Jermain Taylor taking on Jeff Lacy and you can see the replay of Joe Calzaghe’s win over Roy Jones, Jr. on the program that starts at 10:15 on Saturday night.

The Golf Channel has the Lorena Ochoa Invitational from Mexico over the weekend at 3:30 p.m.

And the ATP tennis tour finishes its season with the Masters Cup from Communist China. FSN has the semi-finals live on Saturday morning at 6:30 and again on tape at 1 p.m. The finals can be seen Sunday at 1 p.m.

Now let’s get to your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reviews the NFL TV partners’ rookie analysts, gimmicks and other features.

This comes from The Big Lead. It’s always sad to hear when brothers-in-blogging decide to stop posting and the excellent Fire Joe Morgan blog has done just that. Hopefully, the guys at FJM will reconsider and come back every once in a while.

Guest blogging for Darren Rovell, CNBC sports producer Tom Rotunno writes that Justin Timberlake becomes the first non-golfer to endorse Callaway Golf products.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the YES Network starts a series of sports business specials tonight.

Larry Barrett of Multichannel writes that ESPN scored with the finale of the World Series of Poker.

The great Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog looks at the migration of sports from network TV to cable.

Thanks to Awful Announcing, ESPN stopped a casting call for a commercial full of ethnic stereotypes.

Steve Lepore’s Puck the Media has part 2 of its NHL Tournament of Announcers. And Steve has video of the good Jack Edwards calling Wednesday’s Bruins-Chicago game. If you need a reminder of the bad Jack, Steve has the video of him calling the Stars-Bruins brawl from earlier this month.

The Sports Media Watch has some ratings news from this week. And the SMW looks at the NFL primetime ratings for Week 10.

East

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks with ESPN’s and my fellow Rhode Islander Doris Burke about her expanded role with the NBA.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes about the slew of no-shows shown during the Grizzlies-Knicks game.

Also from the Post, Justin Terranova has five questions for the new #1 CBS college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg. And Justin talks with MSG Network’s Mike Breen about the Knicks.

Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News says NFL fans in the surrounding areas of Boston and New York were shut out of last night’s Jets-Patriots game.

Newsday’s Neil Best says it might have been weird for both Giants and Jets fans to hear Giants voice Bob Papa call last night’s Jets-Pats game for the NFL Network. In his blog, Neil says SNY will replace studio analyst Lee Mazzilli with Bob Ojeda. Neil reviews the NFL Network telecast which technically was not up to par in my opinion. And Neil says WPIX added a “C” to Erik Boland’s name during the Giants pregame show.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union also provides a review of last night’s NFL Network (to which I agree 100 percent). Pete also lists his Top 10 NFL TV game analysts. In his column, Pete suggests that NBC’s John Madden is no longer ready for primetime.

Laura Nachman says legendary Philadelphia sportscaster Bill Campbell will be honored next week.

From the Baltimore Sun, Ray Frager tells readers not to feel slighted by the national media.

Jim Williams from the DC/Baltimore Examiner says Notre Dame-Navy headlines the college football action and college basketball begins on MASN tonight.

South

Doug Nye from The State says new coaching eras for both of the University of South Carolina’s basketball teams will on display this weekend.

Dave Darling in the Orlando Sentinel likes ESPN.com’s Mayne Street web series.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at a new book by former Cowboys defensive lineman Bob Lilly.

David Barron in the Houston Chronicle says the Astros will remain on their radio flagship station for the foreseeable future.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Mavericks analyst Bob Ortegel was dead on last night. And Barry interprets Fox Sports’ NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson’s answer.

From the Oklahoman, Mel Bracht reminds us not to call former media critic Bob Knight a member of the media now that he’s expanded his role at ESPN. Mel says Oklahomans won’t be watching high school football for the next few weeks. And Mel writes that Cox Communications will be showing MLB Network when it launches on New Year’s Day.

That concludes Part I of the Friday Megalinks. I’ll have Part II coming up this evening.

WEEI Commercial Free (for now)

If you’re listening to WEEI this afternoon, apparently there is a technical problem which does not allow them to play commercials at the moment.

They can still take phone calls from listeners.

The running joke from Glenn Ordway is that WEEI has turned into PBS and will be opening up the lines for donations soon.

Update: At 4:00pm, the commercials returned…

DIGG Experiment for Patriots Daily

Conducting a little experiment with Scott Benson’s afternoon post (Note The Absence Of A Fat Lady Singing) on Patriots Daily.

If you’re able to, could you take a moment go over here and go over here and Digg the post? Basically, you’re just recommending that others check it out.

I’m interested to see what impact this would have, if any on traffic levels over there.

Thanks for your help…

Asleep at the Switch?

A BSMW Messageboard reader found this sentence in the Red Sox notebook by Adam Kilgore and Nick Cafardo today about Red Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale’s interview with the Seattle Mariners:

If the Mariners choose Hale, he will join the Rangers’ Ron Washington as the only African-American major league managers.

Is this off the top of their head?

Dusty Baker, Cecil Cooper, Cito Gaston and Jerry Manuel are all waving hello.

OT Coin Flip Dooms Pats

Sometimes it really does just come down to the coin toss…

Was there any doubt that whoever won the coin toss in OT was going to get a field goal?

Still, what a game, though you could’ve been excused for tuning out in the first half.

The Jets ran out to a 24-6 lead and the Patriots looked bad. Matt Cassel led a TD drive just before the half to make it 24-13, and the Patriot defense tightened up a bit in the second half as Cassel led three more scoring drives (two TD’s, a field goal and a two-point conversion) to tie the game at 24. Brett Favre led the Jets on a TD drive, leaving just over a minute on the clock. Cassel then led one final drive, which ended with Randy Moss catching a touchdown with Ty Law draped all over him with :01 left on the clock.

The score was tied…then the Jets won the coin toss, marched down the field and kicked a field goal. An anti-climatic ending if there ever was one. All the more frustrating when you know that between this one and the Colts game, the Patriots could be 8-2 right now instead of 6-4 and in second place.

Head over to Patriots Daily for Chris Warner‘s game recap.

Christopher L. Gasper finds some positives for the Patriots, though they’ll have none of that talk. Karen Guregian has the Patriots falling after twice crawling back from the dead. Shalise Manza Young has the Jets taking control of the AFC East with the win. Mark Farinella has the Jets turning Matt Cassel’s finest night into a bitter disappointment. Dom Amore has the Jets outlasting the Patriots. David Brown sounds annoyed that he had to go to the stadium last night instead of watching Ugly Betty and ER. Andy Vogt has OT proving unkind to the Patriots. Dan Hickling has the Jets outlasting the Patriots. Jennifer Toland has Matt Cassel sparkling last night, but not getting a chance in OT.

Michael Felger has the good and the bad from a crushing loss. Mike Reiss says that there were three games in one last night. Christopher Price chalks up the 10 Things We Learned Last Night for the Metro. Glen Farley has the Patriots defense failing early and late last night. Eric McHugh has the Jets spoiling the Patriots party when it got to overtime. Lenny Megliola has a late miracle giving way to reality for the Patriots.

Bob Ryan says that this one was even better than the hype. Bill Burt claims that the Jets became a force with their win last night. Ron Borges says that the Jets victory was not a changing of the guard of the AFC East. Jim Donaldson has the Patriots defense folding in the final minutes of a big game yet again. Rich Garven says this one was an old-fashioned donnybrook.

Steve Buckley looks at a career night for Matt Cassel, who threw for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also running for 62 yards. Young has Cassel achieving an NFL first with the 400 passing yards and 60+ yards rushing – the first QB to do that since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger. Farinella looks at the dazzling numbers of Cassel not matching the final result.

Brian MacPherson has the Patriots learning from their mistakes. Lee says that late penalties on defense may have cost the Patriots the game. Donaldson has Randy Moss making the big catch when it counted. Weisberg has Jabar Gaffney shining in the shadows last night. Forsberg has a look at Jerod Mayo, who was the defensive star of the night with 20 tackles for the Patriots.

Chris Forsberg has Troy Brown bring honored at halftime last night. Borges says that Brown always believed in self, even when others didn’t. Robert Lee has the Patriots giving back to Brown after he gave them everything he had. Tim Weisberg has more on the fitting Foxboro send off for Brown. Hickling also reports on the Troy Brown halftime tribute.

Ryan also wants to know why Belichick hates those (naughty word) Jets so much.

Adam Kilgore talks to Ty Law about being beaten on the final play of regulation for the Moss TD. John Tomase has Law turning back the clock to 2001 with his performance. Lee has Law declaring that the Jets the team to beat now. Dan Duggan has Brett Favre leading the Jets on two late drives for the win. Donaldson has Favre impressed with Cassel and the Patriots comeback.

Donaldson also has the Jets getting the win they’ve long been waiting for against the Patriots. Lee has Eric Mangini insisting that the Jets did not let up in the second half. Farinella has the Jets acknowledging that they dodged a bullet last night.

Duggan has the best and worst from last night. Lee provides postgame analysis from all sides. Garven has facts and Figures.

Here are the notes from the NFL Network telecast.

Gasper’s notebook has Sammy Morris returning to field last night. Guregian’s notebook has Ty Warren sitting out last night’s game – a big loss for New England. Young’s notebook has Warren joining the ranks of injured Patriots. Farinella’s notebook has Brown enjoying life after football. Vogt’s notebook has more on Brown being honored at halftime.

Bruins

The Bruins were also in action last night, recording a 6-1 victory over arch-rival Montreal last night, snapping a 12 game regular season losing streak to the Canadiens.

Rich Thompson has the B’s moving into first place in the division with the win. Kevin Paul Dupont has the Bruins coming out strong on the second night of a back-to-back. Bud Barth has the Bruins coming up big in this early showdown. Mike Loftus has the Bruins’ depth carrying them to the win. Bob Stern has the Bruins getting the Montreal monkey off their backs.

Barbara Matson has the Bruins depth on display last night. Stephen Harris has brawler Milan Lucic enjoying himself last night. Joe Haggerty has more on the Bruins win.

Dupont’s notebook has the Jacob’s family shooting down the idea of Brian Burke coming to Boston. Thompson’s notebook has Marco Sturm figuring out this power play thing. Barth’s notebook has coach Julien defending his choice of P.J. Axelsson on the shootout in Chicago.

Celtics/Hawks = Record Ratings for CSN

From Comcast SportsNet:

The Boston Celtics are responding to the challenges of defending their 17th NBA Championship and Celtics fans responded in record numbers for Comcast SportsNet’s Celtics-Hawks telecast. The rematch of NBA first round playoff opponents was viewed by an estimated 245,000 households in New England. Specifically in the Boston television market, 163,000 households watched the game, a record 6.8 household rating.

Paul Pierce’s game winning basket was viewed by an estimated 364,000 households in New England when the audience peaked between 10:15 – 10:30 p.m. In Boston, 245,000 households viewed the game winner as the ratings peaked at a 10.2 household rating.

During the final 30 minutes of the Celtics-Hawks (10 – 10:30 p.m.) Comcast SportsNet’s telecast was the highest rated program on Boston TV averaging a 10.1 household rating. Comcast SportsNet outrated such programs as the Boston Bruins, House (Fox), CSN-NY (CBS) and Law & Order (NBC).

Comcast SportsNet’s previous regular season high rating was a 5.7 for the Celtics-Pistons telecast on March 5, 2008. The network has carried Celtics games for the past 28 seasons.

“The Celtics are white hot. Paul Pierce is playing at an MVP level and the team has responded to the challenges of being the defending champs. At this pace, Celtics fans are in for an exciting season,” said Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet executive vice president and general manager.