Ken from Fang’s Bites with another edition of the megalinks and time to go over the Weekend Viewing Picks.

Both the NBA and NHL postseason take precedence over the weekend. The NBA begins the playoffs on Saturday and Sunday. The NHL which began on Wednesday goes into games two and three in its first round series this weekend.

In the NBA, the Celtics start things off on Saturday at 12:30 with Game 1 against the Bulls at the Garden. Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn have the call on Comcast SportsNet. Then three more games follow on Saturday. On Sunday, there will be four more playoff games.

In the NHL, the Bruins hope to extend their 1-0 lead over Montreal. The game is at 8 on NESN.

For baseball, the Red Sox host Baltimore at Fenway and it will be on NESN Plus. Check NESN.com for the channel on your local cable or satellite provider.

NASCAR is in Arizona for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 and Fox has it at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Versus has the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

The PGA Tour heads to South Carolina for the Verizon Heritage. Golf Channel and CBS share weekend coverage starting at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

And there’s the Family Circle Cup women’s tennis tournament which ESPN2 carries at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The entire weekend viewing picks can be seen here.

Now to the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at John Madden’s legacy. Michael says now that Madden is gone, Cris Collinsworth takes over his spot on Sunday Night Football.

Mike Lopresti of the Gannett News Service says Madden was the voice of the NFL.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King writes that no one can match Madden’s impact on the NFL.

Cynthia Littleton of Variety says NBC Sports fought hard to keep Madden from retiring.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says John Madden was the most effective endorser of all sports announcers. Darren has some classic Madden commercials. Darren has a breakdown of Madden’s various commercial endorsements. Darren says Madden’s retirement has a big effect on impressionist Frank Caliendo.

Dan Patrick talked with Caliendo on his radio show on Friday. And Dan also talked with Madden’s Sunday Night Football partner, Al Michaels.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported earlier this week that Adam Schefter, banished from the air, but still under contract to NFL Network will join ESPN when he becomes available just before the regular season gets underway.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says Collinsworth move to the Sunday Night Football means there’s an opening at the NFL Network for Thursday Night Football.

Mike writes that the Comcast regional sports networks are off to a fast start in their coverage of the NHL Playoffs.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media also looks at the good ratings for the NHL Playoffs.

Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter says DirecTV is expanding NBA TV’s reach on the satellite service.

The Sports Media Watch says the NBA on ABC had a ratings increase for the second year in a row.

John Eggerton from Broadcasting & Cable says Comcast fired a major salvo during its FCC trial against the NFL Network. John writes that Comcast’s chairman testified as the trial wrapped up on Friday.

Daisy Whitney of TV Week would like to sign up for MLB.TV’s online pay per view service, but finds that her home team is blacked out due to silly rules.

Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball looks at a new MLB iPhone and iPod Touch application.

The Big Lead speculated about it earlier this week and found out it was indeed true that Stephen A “is for Angry” Smith is leaving ESPN.

Awful Announcing has the video of Canadian broadcaster Roger Millions swearing live on Rogers Sportsnet. Oops.

Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media catches up with CBS Sports golf analyst Bobby Clampett.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Michael Vega of the Boston Globe writes about John Madden’s retirement.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says Mike Gorman is not happy about not being able to call Celtics playoff games beyond the first round this season.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Madden’s decision to retire.

Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News says Madden’s retirement is not easy to take.

Newsday’s Neil Best opines that the new Yankee Stadium is not TV friendly. Neil also has a story on Madden’s plans to retire. Neil talks with ESPN MLB analyst Steve Phillips who’s not interested in being a GM again. Neil spoke with Fox MLB analyst Tim McCarver about the old baseball stadia in New York.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says all Madden cared about was money. Nice, Phil. Mushnick also goes after SNY’s Keith Hernandez.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says it was John Madden’s decision to leave instead of waiting to be pushed out.

Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News was not surprised to learn of Madden’s retirement.

Laura Nachman talks to a friend of Harry Kalas who will sing at his memorial on Saturday.

The Baltimore Sun’s Ray Frager also writes about John Madden’s farewell to broadcasting.

South

Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer looks at why Fox Sports Carolinas is not airing the Hurricanes-Devils series in HD. Roger then has an update on the issue.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says Madden’s retirement forced some shuffling at NBC and the NFL Network.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel lists the top 10 sporting events he’s watched as he says farewell in his last column.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Madden left broadcasting on his own terms.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ reaction to Madden’s retirement.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says not everyone agrees on how the Rockets will fare in the NBA Playoffs.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says it’s an end of an era with Madden’s departure from the broadcast booth. Mel has local and national reaction to Madden’s retirement. Mel has his usual news and notes.

Midwest

Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News says Reds viewers and listeners had to endure various glitches this week.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids Press writes that the Big Ten Network is working on expanding its programming.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel goes inside the massive Masters ratings swing last Easter Sunday.

Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman says the 49ers and Raiders can be partly held responsible for John Madden’s retirement. Ed writes that the Chicago Ritz Carlton hotel will also miss Madden. Ed has some sports business and media news and notes.

Bob Verdi of the Chicago Herald says baseball announcers can become your friends.

Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes about Madden’s retirement. Judd says Madden’s retirement caught many by surprise.

Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says Madden was very unique.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also writes about Madden’s retirement. Dan says Blues fans are stuck watching their series against Vancouver in standard definition.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News scolds local sportscasters for being cheerleaders.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune has an extensive story on Madden’s retirement.

John Maffei of the North County Times says it was the travel that got to Madden. John adds that one-fourth of the San Diego Chargers schedule is in primetime.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says John Madden became an NFL legend after entering the broadcast booth. Jim writes that the late Harry Kalas was in the same class as Dodgers announcer Vin Scully. Jim writes that David Wells has the potential to be MLB’s version of Charles Barkley.

Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times has lots of reaction to Madden’s retirement.

Jon Weisman of the Times talks about an unauthorized biography of Vin Scully that will be published in May.

Jon got his information from the Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth who got his information about the book’s publication from my interview with author Curt Smith.

Tom has a story on Madden’s decision to retire. Tom has some sympathy for Frank Caliendo who will probably have to retire his Madden impression. Tom has more on Madden’s retirement in his extensive news and notes. Tom has a few more things in his blog as he reviews the week in sports. Tom also previews his Sunday profile of new Dodgers TV voice Eric Collins.

Can Inman of the San Jose Mercury News talks about Madden’s departure from broadcasting.

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle wishes he had more warning about Madden’s retirement.

David White of the Chronicle says Madden has ruled out being a consultant to Al Davis.

Canada

The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says Madden knew when it was time to leave. Chris wonders when Rogers Cable and TSN will resolve their dispute over TSN2.

And that does it. Enjoy your weekend.

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