- Joe Haggerty – Rask gives a crystal ball glimpse into B’s future: http://tinyurl.com/ben4vh #
- Yahoo! – The 50 Worst Announcers in Sports: http://tinyurl.com/cmvats #
- Peter May (yes, that Peter May) on Brian Scalabrine: http://tinyurl.com/dzwdxo #
- Red Sox, Varitek, Reach Two Year Deal: http://tinyurl.com/c45uyg #
- Wall Street Journal – John Madden’s Missed Tackles: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123327023742830737.html #
- Bill Simmons ESPN.com Chat at Noon: http://tinyurl.com/d8voow #
- Chad Finn Chat on Boston.com at Noon: http://tinyurl.com/cntdtq #
- Chris Price looks at whether the Patriots should’ve drafted Troy Polamalu over Ty Warren in 2003: http://tinyurl.com/dklb2y #
- The top 50 network TV sports announcers of all time: http://tinyurl.com/akqryg #
Ken from Fang’s Bites giving you a whole slew of links for Super Bowl weekend.
Because I was traveling around Southern New England this morning (and believe me, it wasn’t for pleasure), I could not get an early start on the Megalinks. Hopefully, this pattern can change and I can get them up earlier, but right now, I’m stuck in this rut.
I’ll get to the links and there are a lot of them devoted to what? The Super Bowl of course. But before I start linking you across the country, let’s do the Weekend Viewing Picks.
The big event this weekend is the Big Game, Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, FL pitting the AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers against the NFC Champion Arizona (Don’t Call Us the St. Louis) Cardinals. NBC is using Sunday as a promotional platform for the NBC Universal family, this being the first time since 1998 that the Peacock network has aired the Super Bowl. You’ll see ties to NBC News, NBC Entertainment, NBC Universal and its cable networks throughout the day. It’ll be quite sickening. NBC starts its day with a “special” edition of Today starting at 9 a.m., Meet The Press at 11 a.m., the NFL Films-produced “Road to the Super Bowl” at noon, then a record 5 hour pregame show at 1 p.m. By the time the game starts at 6:18 on 7NBC and NBC10, you may already be worn out.
If you don’t want to watch NBC’s promotional parade, ESPN and the NFL Network have their Super Bowl pregame shows starting at 10 and 11 a.m. respectively.
The Super Bowl Viewing and Listening Picks have my recommendations for Sunday including the Westwood One Radio announcing team for the Big Game and Sirius XM channel assignments for its multiple feeds from the US and abroad.
There are other sports going on this weekend.
The Celtics coming off a nice win in Detroit on Friday host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Garden at 1 p.m. Sunday. Mike Gorman, Tommy Heinsohn and Greg Dickerson will be on hand to call the action on Comcast SportsNet.
The Bruins try to shake off a bad loss to New Jersey on Thursday by taking on two Original Six teams over the weekend. First, the B’s host the Rangers at the Garden, Saturday at 1 p.m. Then on Sunday, Boston heads across the border to Montreal to take on the Canadiens at 2 p.m.
The first Grand Slam tennis tournament concludes in Melbourne, Australia with the women’s final between Dinara Safina and Serena Williams early Saturday morning at 3:30 on ESPN2. The men’s final with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal squaring off takes place Sunday morning at 3:30 also on ESPN2. Both finals will be replayed at 9 a.m. on their respective days on ESPN2.
The PGA Tour is already into its fourth tournament of the year as the FBR Phoenix Open will be shown on both Golf Channel and CBS during the weekend. Golf Channel starts its coverage at 1 p.m. while CBS picks up the tournament at 3 p.m.
The Weekend Viewing Picks have your sports and entertainment viewing recommendations.
And there’s the College Basketball Viewing Picks as the conferences go into their last month of regular season play.
Now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NBC’s Cris Collinsworth who comes full circle with this Super Bowl.
Bruce Horovitz of USA Today says marketers are feeling pressure to deliver on their Super Bowl ads.
Laura Petrecca of USA Today says the Super Bowl will be a testing ground for 3-D ads.
Also from USA Today, Michael McCarthy and Skip Wood write that the party mood for this year’s Super Bowl is subdued.
Aaron Kuriloff from Bloomberg says Playboy is one of the many companies which canceled parties at the Super Bowl.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell who will be part of NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show writes about Gatorade’s silly “G” ad camapign. Darren says this year’s Milk Super Bowl ad doesn’t make much sense. Darren writes about a late addition to the Super Bowl ad lineup. And Darren says one of the big stories is the falling ticket prices for the Super Bowl as well as Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium.
Bill Griffith of Sports Illustrated says fans are probably more familiar with NBC’s Al Michaels and John Madden than the players on the field.
Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal writes that Madden has lost a bit off his fast ball.
Jeff Bercovici from Conde Nast’s Portfolio.com feels it’s time for Madden to retire.
However, Jeff Tanklefsky of Broadcasting & Cable loves hearing Madden.
Michael Malone of B&C reports the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate will not air the post-Super Bowl episode of “The Office” until after midnight to cover the postgame aftermath.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter says fans can go to NBC.com or Hulu.com to catch any Super Bowl ads they may have missed.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine talks with an ad agency official about what works in a Super Bowl commercial and what doesn’t.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life says despite the economy, people are still expected to watch the Super Bowl in droves.
Deadspin has a story about an incident involving two stations on Radio Row at the Super Bowl.
Now to a non-Super Bowl link, the Big Lead which has been coming through with the big name interviews, has another one with outgoing ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Scheiber.
The Sports Media Watch says the ratings for the first two weeks of the NBA on ABC are even with last year’s.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The Boston Globe’s Michael Vega says the Patriots’ Rodney Harrison has a TV career in waiting if he wants when he finally hangs up his spikes.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir writes about the NFL athletes who have become successful commercial pitchmen.
Stuart Elliot of the Times says this year’s batch of Super Bowl ads are upbeat, but also sympathetic toward the viewer.
Joe Lapointe of the Times writes that Bruce Springsteen promises a 12 minute party during his halftime set at Super Bowl XLIII.
Newsday’s Neil Best has your Super Bowl viewing guide. Neil has some interesting figures regarding the Super Bowl. Neil had a brief chat with Sid Rosenberg who was on the Imus in the Morning show this week.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says with a cast of eleven, NBC may need more than five hours for its pregame show.
Once again, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post makes no sense.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show will be longer than the actual game.
Ken McMillan from the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record writes that Sam Ryan is the lone sports reporter left standing at WCBS-TV.
Laura Nachman writes that Philly sportscaster Jade McCarthy will give news anchoring a try.
Kim Leonard of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says several media companies have rented multiple production trucks from a Western Pennsylvania outfit.
The Baltimore Sun’s Ray Frager talks with talk show host Steve Davis who has laid off from WBAL this week. Ray has Nestor Apricio’s version of what happened between he and a Dallas radio talk show host on Radio Row at the Super Bowl.
Jim Williams of the DC Examiner says there are a lot of good things to watch leading up to the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh News & Observer reports that the ratings for the Carolina Hurricanes have declined from last year.
Doug Nye of The State offers his favorite Super Bowl memories.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the network Super Bowl pregame shows have really expanded this year.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel wants to play Madden Libs with you.
Jerry Greene of the Sentinel writes that there’s always room for radio at the Super Bowl.
Tony Fabrizio of the Tampa Tribune goes behind the scenes with NBC as it set up for the Big Game at Raymond James Stadium. You can take a look at the pictures that accompany Tony’s story. The Tribune also has a look at Radio Row.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks at NBC’s production of the Super Bowl by the numbers.
Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that a diehard Cowboys fan gets his own Super Bowl ad this Sunday.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says former Bengals and current NFL TV analysts Boomer Esiason and Cris Collinsworth still can’t get over the pain of losing Super Bowl XXIII.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News feels Emmit Smith’s time on ESPN is about to end. Barry had a gut feeling regarding the incident involving two sports radio stations on Radio Row at the Super Bowl.
Rick Armon of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that the Pro Football Hall of Fame is advertising locally during the Super Bowl.
Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News feels there are plenty of reasons to watch NBC on Sunday.
Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids Press has some do’s and don’ts for your Super Bowl viewing party.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Brewers are on a fast track to replace announcer Jim Powell who left to call the Braves.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald hopes John Madden sticks around for a while.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin is amazed at how National Signing Day has become a big TV event.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feels NBC’s five hour pregame show is overkill. Dan remembers a St. Louis sportscaster who passed away last week.
Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star writes about former Chiefs coach Herman Edwards joining ESPN.
Scott D. Pierce in the Deseret (UT) News writes that Super Bowl Sunday is a holiday for everyone.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says Super Bowl Sunday is more like a marathon for NBC.
The North County Times’ John Maffei says a lot has changed since Al Michaels and John Madden first started calling Super Bowls on TV.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that not even ESPN is not immune from the recession.
John Scheibe of the Los Angeles Times tells us that the Super Bowl is more than a game to NBC. Writing in the Times’ Fabulous Forum blog, Lisa Guerrero says Joe Torre’s book was a topic of conversation during Super Bowl Week.
Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News feels NBC’s five hour pregame show is an exercise in excess. Tom has more on the Super Bowl in his extensive media notes. Tom says there’s another Top 50 Sports Announcer list. And Tom reviews the week in blogging.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News writes that NBC is waging an all-out blitz for the Super Bowl.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail has Don Cherry respecting the gay community.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says Raptors fans are angry being caught in the middle of a dispute between TSN and Rogers Cable.
And that’s going to end the Megalinks. Thanks for reading.
Our long national nightmare is over. But a whole new one might be beginning. Scott Boras mouthpiece Jon Heyman was the first to report that Jason Varitek and the Red Sox have agreed on a two year deal. Tony Massarotti has confirmed it, but calls it one year with an option.
So while this will finally end the speculation about whether Varitek will be back with the Red Sox, if he performs at a level below what he did last year, it could be a recurring nightmare for Red Sox fans.
It was amusing this afternoon to read the news online, while listening to Glenn Ordway on WEEI talking about what his “moles” were saying about the 8:30am deadline and then have someone whisper the news to Ordway, causing him to have to change course right in the middle of his “mole” discussion. A few awkward pauses while Ordway read for himself, and then a “just as we were saying” pronouncement.
And in other news: Manny finally gets a contract offer
Trailing 2-0 in the third period, the Bruins scored three goals to pull ahead of the New Jersey Devils, 3-2, only to see the Devils tie the game with under two minutes to play and then score again in OT to beat the Bruins 4-3 at the Garden.
Mike Loftus says that the Bruins aren’t impressed by the comeback they started but didn’t finish. Kevin Paul Dupont thinks last night’s game was particularly ugly, but typical of the Devils’ style. Rich Thompson has Claude Julien saying that the Devils created their own luck last night. Joe Haggerty has more on the Devils win.
Stephen Harris says that this one was likely a playoff preview for the two clubs. Glen Farley has a look at Devils defenseman Mike Mottau, an Avon native. Barbara Matson has Phil Kessel jumping right back into action last night. Tony Lee has Kessel glad to be back.
The saga of the captain drones on and on and on and on…Tony Massarotti has Jason Varitek prepared to sit out or retire rather than accept the insulting $5 million offer from the Red Sox. Sean McAdam says that this whole thing should’ve just ended a long time ago. Daniel Barbarisi says that even if Varitek rejects the offer today, this whole thing still might not be over. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox don’t have the next Varitek in their system, catcher being the one spot that they haven’t been able to develop in the minors. Dan Lamothe looks at the sad story of Varitek and Manny Ramirez this winter.
Bella English reports on Lucky and the Celtics parting ways.
Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics are full of respect for the Detroit Pistons, even though the latter have struggled to assimilate Allen Iverson into their system. Jeff Howe has more on the Pistons’ struggles. Lenny Megliola takes a peek at a busy week ahead for the Celtics.
Mark Murphy looks at Paul Pierce being named an Eastern Conference reserve on the All Star team. Spears has Pierce the only Celtics named as an All Star reserve, disappointing the team very much. Robert Lee has more on Pierce’s appointment to the squad. Scott Souza has more on Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo being left off the All Star team. Jessica Camerato looks at a miscast All Star roster.
Dan Duggan wonders if the Spandex sleeves worn by Ray Allen and Eddie House have contributed to their hot shooting.
Check out PatriotsLinks.com for Super Bowl and Patriots stories.
Glen Farley looks at Gil Santos finally getting to sleep in after 38 years of doing morning sports at WBZ-Radio.
Michael Vega looks at Rodney Harrison’s role on NBC this week, and his future in the media.
Bill Griffith has a Super Bowl media column for SI.com.
- ESPN Super Bowl Predictions: http://tinyurl.com/b5xnwt #
- The Patriots Might Want To Protest That 1963 AFL Title Game Loss: http://tinyurl.com/bqeggh #
- Lucky the Leprechaun and the Celtics Part Ways: http://tinyurl.com/dbtrum #
- Albert Breer on Thomas Dimitroff: http://tinyurl.com/dgevrv #
- Former Globe Sports Media Writer Bill Griffith Emerges at SI.com: http://tinyurl.com/ch8jcx #
- Tony Massarotti Hates The Patriots. What Else Is New? http://tinyurl.com/bgf7xj #
- Michael Felger’s Mailbag is uh, interesting: http://tinyurl.com/cmumew #
We’re quickly approaching Super Bowl Sunday and that means the first anniversary of The Catch.
They said it would go away, the pain of that play and a few like it – the Manning scramble, Meriweather’s dropped pick, Samuel’s misplayed pick – during the drive that tripped up the greatest season in pro sports history. They said a year of perspective would drop this down the totem pole of devastating losses. Well, I’m here to tell you it didn’t. Not for me. It still sits on the top of a dark list that includes Bucky Dent, Billy Buckner, Ben Dreith, and that winged keel that helped Australia pry the America’s Cup away from my native Newport back in 1983.
Sunday will bring with it a little bad feeling, but not just for me. OT says the Pats didn’t belong here, and if you think otherwise you may be hallucinating or just plain demented. On SI’s The Bonus, Joe Posnanski is strug-ga-ling too as his beloved Bruce Springsteen sells out by playing at this year’s halftime program. NBC’s Overheard in Tampa sets the talent lineup that will make your Super Bowl viewing experience a symphony of commentary and insight . . . or a cacophony of fingernails and blackboards. Thanks For Playing offers some tips on scoring a free meal and some pocket change this Sunday evening. OT’s Trash Talk serves up an interesting menu. And, in case you missed it, The Crowe’s Nest brings you the PETA commercial you won’t be seeing. I wonder if Gisele is free for a salad one day next week.
Onto the game. Forget about in the trenches or on the sidelines. ESPN is battling this one out on NFL Nation Blog. SI’s Super Blog expects good things to come in IIIs this Sunday, and has Cardinals receivers exposing the fraud of the 40-yard dash.
SI’s Inside The NFL says nothing did more for the Cardinals’ success this year than the pine splinters collecting in Edgerrin James’ butt. Hey, remember Monty Beisel? Reiss’s Pieces does, and you’ll be happy to know that the Cardinals LB doesn’t regret his one season in New England. Awkward is the silence as he waits for someone, anyone, in these parts to reciprocate.
Would you kick a supermodel out for eating crackers in the pool? Allright then, how about if she fed them to you? Well, Shutdown Corner wouldn’t either, but he thinks Dan Shaughnessy just might, this after catching Gisele hand-feeding Tom Brady. ESPN’s AFC East Blog has Matt Cassel coming a long way since those Dave’s Plumping Supply days.
Cleveland Browns Beat is ripped that Belichick beat them to the punch with Floyd Reece. I guess we know who’ll be getting a call next January. After all, someone has to preside over the cabal of ex-Pats coaches already assembled in Cleveland. The Patriot Act updates us on more Pats coaching moves.
The Bear Cave nominates Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Capitals as the game of the year. On Frozen Blog marvels at Tuesday night’s playoff atmosphere and laments their beloved Capitals’ misalignment in the land of the ice and snow.
Kathryn Tappen is glad to see a trio of B’s seamlessly transitioning out of the infirmary to kick off the season’s second half. And Pucks With Haggs has Phil Kessel making his return tonight against the Devils. Naoko Funayama got a glimpse into the B’s this past All-Star weekend that most of us don’t see.
Well, this is more like it. The C’s are sitting on a nine-game win streak since that Twelve Days of Christmas debacle. The latest came with last night’s 19-point win over Sacramento, quashing CelticsBlog‘s fears over a trap game. In the Paint offers some obervations from TD Banknorth after the win.
Loy’s Place calls in the math teacher to go over the splits in this three-in-one season. Lex Nihil Novi attributes the splits to the Green seeing purple. Mid-terms are out on Celtics 24/7 and I have to wonder, what’s up with that Eddie House grade?
Paulflannery raves about House and his treys, and that was before last night’s incredible 8-of-9 shooting beyond the arc. Fernsten’s Follies has Ray Allen playing the best basketball of his career. Perk Is A Beast has a two-parter on the best bargain in the NBA, and their guy gets the nod. Red’s Army is stumping for Rondo’s All-Star candidacy, while Where’s Trags? tells you how you can send Brian Scalabrine to Phoenix. Celtics Blog has House waiting by the phone for a call of his own.
Celtics 17 wrestles with the issue of who is the best in today’s NBA.
Did you get stood up in the virtual waiting room? Clubhouse Insider has the scoop on raffles for those hard-to-get tix. Hey, it may not be the fan-friendliest, but The Bottom Line is reporting that Fenway gets this year’s nod as the hitter-friendliest, even over Coors Field. Red Sox Monster has the new Sox cap driving one fan to a life of crime.
Fire Brand of the American League is reviewing Mike Lowell’s projections for 2009 and pronouncing him not yet dead, but 16 homers will only keep our minds off Teixeira until early June. The Bradford Files has Lowell taking his cuts on the tee, but missing them with the WBC. Touching All The Bases longs for something more than Lowell and sees it in Big Donkey.
Not content with his concurrent roles as a big-league pitcher, blogger, and talk show host, Curt Schilling is playing Sox GM on 38 Pitches and his subject is, of course, Jason Varitek. Cole Wright says there’s a mutual dependency between the two parties. Mazz isn’t sure who the Captain is more frustrated with at this point, but it’s time to take the deal. Better Red Than Dead looks at minor league options behind the plate. Boston Sports Blog says enough already with the Tek talk.
Toeing The Rubber is loving the drama Tom Verducci manufactures with his Joe Torre page-turner. Bronx Banter serves up an interesting Clemens pre-game ritual detailed by Torre. Aren’t there any jobs ole Roger would do for himself? My friend Lisa on Subway Squawkers gave me a heads-up on an interesting excerpt on the Times’ Bats blog where Mo Rivera is tossed under the bus for starting the 2004 ALCS meltdown. That was right before she tossed St.Joe under a bus of her own for a litany of sins against the Empire.
That will close out a busy week around The Hub. Join us back here next Thursday as we dispel the fable of a Second Steelers Dynasty. Which reminds me, has anyone seen John Molori since his last blog entry?