Ken from Fang’s Bites with the Friday megalinks. I can’t finish them in one sitting so I’ll give you the second half tonight. Let’s start with the first part without further delay.
Weekend Viewing Picks
College basketball takes the lead for the weekend now that Tiger Woods is out of the Match Play Championship. CBS carries a tripleheader on Saturday and Sunday. ESPN’s Dan Shulman and Bob Knight head out west to call the UCLA-Cal game, Saturday night at 9. I have the complete national and regional TV schedule in the College Basketball Viewing Picks.
The Celtics play at the Garden on Sunday and host the Detroit Pistons as part of a national doubleheader. WCVB/WMUR/ABC6 have the game starting at 1. The second game of ABC’s doubleheader has the Lakers heading to Phoenix at 3:30 p.m.
The Bruins play a Saturday matinee against the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin. NESN has the game starting at 1.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series is in Las Vegas and Fox has coverage Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The network hopes that weather does not affect the race just as it has in the first two stops.
HBO’s World Championship Boxing has two fights at 10 p.m. Saturday, the WBA Featherweight title bout between champion Chris John and Rocky Juarez and a lightweight fight as well.
And there’s the Match Play Championship, sans Tiger Woods. Golf Channel has the quarterfinals Saturday morning at 10 ET, then NBC picks up the semifinals a few hours later at 2 p.m. and the finals on Sunday at 2 p.m.
The Weekend Viewing Picks has the sports and primetime schedules for Saturday and Sunday.
Now to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones about a new show he’s hosting for the Travel Channel.
The Big Lead interviews Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz about the demise of the Rocky Mountain News and other subjects.
I have a column at Digital Sports Daily about NBC’s dashed hopes for the Match Play Championship after Tiger Woods’ loss on Thursday.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell likes the new Dick’s Sporting Goods ad featuring the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins. Darren advises us not to look for General Motors’ executives at the Final Four in Detroit in April. Darren says the Mantle family bought the Mick’s infamous “F-bomb” ball. Darren reports that the NBA is adding some $200 million to its credit facility just in case. Darren says Nike Golf is carrying on as if Tiger Woods never lost this week. Darren says Citigroup will continue with its naming rights deal for the new Mets stadium. And Darren tells us that Bank of America still plans to spend money on sports sponsorships this year.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine says Tiger’s return on Wednesday set a ratings record for the Golf Channel.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott emerges from book writing hiberation to surface with a one-time column reacting to Chad Finn’s column on WEEI and the retirement of long-time WCVB weatherman Dick Albert.
The Boston Globe’s Nancy Marrapese-Burrell writes about ESPN890 which canceled its local morning show earlier this month.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette discusses Comcast SportsNet’s Celtics 6th Star Award.
The Sox & Dawgs blog wishes the Connecticut legislature would leave the Jim Calhoun issue alone.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the Golf Channel set a ratings record with Tiger Woods’ return on Wednesday. Richard says Barney Frank is attacking Citigroup’s stadium naming rights deal with the Mets.
Newsday’s Neil Best says SNY’s Ron Darling is happy to be behind the mike for Mets games. In his blog, Neil mentions Cablevision’s plans to charge for Newsday’s web content. Neil says MLB Network will carry Yankees and Mets Spring Training games that won’t be picked by YES or SNY. Neil writes that HBO is putting together a quality crew to call Monday’s tennis event at Madison Square Garden. Neil reviews the first episode of Charles Barkley’s reality show on the Golf Channel.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick feels MLB Players Association head Donald Fehr has hid his head in the sand for too long on steroids.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says the Big East Conference will stream the first round of its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments online for free. Ken says Universal Sports will stream the U.S. Curling Olympic trials.
Laura Nachman says Comcast in Philly will have extensive coverage of the high school basketball championships.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says more guests and fewer callers would be better for sports talk radio. Ray enjoyed the Mel Kiper, Jr.-Todd McShay verbal fisticuffs on ESPN.
Jim Williams of the DC Examiner says NASCAR takes over Las Vegas this weekend.
Doug Nye in The State says South Carolina’s win over Kentucky this week had the announcers impressed.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson does not like the interactive part of ESPN’s Tuesday night college basketball broadcasts.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel looks at Golf Channel’s new reality show featuring Charles Barkley.
Jerry Greene of the Sentinel talks with a Central Florida sports management professor on what the future holds for spectator sports in a bad economy.
To Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram who says Tiger Woods’ return was all too short.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has highlights of an interview with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones conducted by a sports anchor who regularly bashes him. Barry has a look at the sports radio ratings in Big D.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron talks with HBO’s Jim Lampley who’s back in town for a championship boxing match.
The Daily Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht says Thunder TV analyst Grant Long is doing quite well in his role. Mel writes the Thunder are underperforming in the ratings for Fox Sports Oklahoma and KSBI. And Mel says a local TV sports anchor returns to work after suffering a severe head injury.
That’s going to do it for Part I. I’ll have Part II sometime around mid-evening.