As expected, CBS added Bart Scott to its NFL Today panel this morning.
On the surface, it is a sound move. Scott shined as an analyst on That Other Pregame Show on CBS Sports Network. He seemed destined to get the promotion.
Yet is Scott a big enough name to lure viewers over to NFL Today? While he was a solid player for Baltimore and the New York Jets, he only played in one Pro Bowl during his 11-year career. He never played in a Super Bowl.
Consider the panel on Fox NFL Sunday: Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson. Three Hall of Famers and a two-time Super Bowl winning coach.
NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network also have a wealth of Hall of Famers and Super Bowl winners on their panels.
Now Scott’s new teammate, Boomer Esiason, … Continue Reading
For starters, let’s begin with the age-old concept of TV networks falling in love with the recently retired big star. They drool at the thought of the future Hall of Famer fresh off the field becoming part of their studio show, or as an analyst on games.
Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe once fell into that category. CBS was thrilled to be able to add them to NFL Today.
Now they are gone as of yesterday.
I bring this up to temper the anticipation about CBS jumping on the Tony Gonzalez train. The tight end was a popular star. He’s good looking and glib.
However, will he make a good analyst on NFL Today?
In an interview with USA Today, there was this passage from Gonzalez:
Gonzalez admitted he only recently felt comfortable with the idea of making
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The media circus that likely will surround Michael Sam is a big issue. It definitely will factor into some NFL team’s decision not to draft him.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News likened Sam’s situation to what the Jets experienced with Tim Tebow.
From the moment that more than 200 media members, including 30 television stations, covered Tim Tebow’s introductory press conference at the Jets’ indoor practice field in Florham Park two years ago, his presence became one colossal migraine for the organization. Tebowmania swallowed the Jets, the symbol of the circus that defined their season.
Although Jets players never truly blamed Tebow for his cult following, the daily storylines for a backup quarterback/personal punt protector became irritating to them. He simply wasn’t good enough to warrant all the attention. His teammates, frankly, were annoyed by incessant
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If you missed this documentary the first time, be sure to set your DVR. And if you did tune in, watch it again in light of the news involving Michael Sam.
Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET, NFL Network will re-air its A Football Life documentary on Jerry Smith. Sam should be sure to watch if he missed it the first time around. He would be heartened to hear how Smith’s sexual orientation wasn’t an issue for his Washington teammates. All that mattered was that he could play.
From NFL Network.
From 1965-77, Jerry Smith was a two-time Pro Bowl tight end for the Washington Redskins. At the time he retired, Smith held the record for the most touchdown receptions by a tight end in NFL history. Yet off the field, Smith lived with a personal secret he did … Continue Reading
As I said when Jason Collins came out last spring, it pains me that this is a story in 2014. By this time, I had hoped an athlete’s sexual orientation wouldn’t matter anymore.
You would have to be naive to think that there haven’t been gay athletes in the locker rooms in all sports for many years. The recent NFL Network A Football Life documentary on Jerry Smith showed that his Washington teammates were aware that he was gay. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that the guy could play.
Deion Sanders had this tweet last night:
From Bears tight end Martellus Bennett.
Yet in 2014, it still is a major story. As of last night, more than avid football fans know about Michael Sam.
Cyd Zeigler, writing for Outsports at SB Nation, served as an advisor to Sam’s representatives … Continue Reading
It is raining at Pebble Beach today, where Sean McManus is on hand for this week’s coverage of the AT&T Pro-Am. However, his mood couldn’t be brighter the day after CBS landed the NFL’s new eight-game package of Thursday night games.
Here’s my Q/A with the CBS Sports chairman on the deal:
What is your understanding about the quality of the eight Thursday games that will be on CBS?
I’ve been working with the NFL for 16 years, and they always figure out a way to give all the networks a number of high quality games. That’s why the ratings are increasing across the board. When the NFL (added Sunday night games on NBC), they understood the importance of getting off to a good start. They understand the importance of having good quality games to launch this schedule on Thursday … Continue Reading
In the process of working on a golf-related story on Jim Nantz, I talked to CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus. Last night, I realized there is a McManus quote about Nantz in the piece that gets to a big part of CBS’ new deal with the NFL for the new Thursday night package.
“If you turn on the TV and hear his voice, you know it is a big event if Jim Nantz is doing it.” McManus said.
Indeed, the $250 million or so for the package is nice, but the NFL sought more. It wants a big-game feel to these Thursday night games.
Not to knock Brad Nessler, the previous voice of Thursday night football on NFL Network, and one of the best in the business, but he doesn’t do Super Bowls. Analyst Mike Mayock never was a Super … Continue Reading
So what kind of games will CBS be getting with its new Thursday night package?
One thing is for sure, any Thursday night game featuring Jacksonville will be on NFL Network.
You would have to figure the A games definitely will be on CBS. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the NFL gave the network a significant upgrade over last year’s Thursday games on NFL Network. Probably not to the level of what NBC gets on Sunday night, but close to ESPN’s for Monday night.
After all, if you want to make Thursday night a big night for football, the match-ups need to be there.
The 2013 NFL Network package included possible CBS-caliber games:
San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (Week 15)
Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles (Week 3)
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins (Week 9)
Seattle Seahawks at … Continue Reading
Peyton Manning’s latest commercial for the Buick Verano takes on a different meaning after Sunday’s disaster.
His opening line: “As a quarterback, I know how it feels to be blindsided.” Right about that. Maybe things would have different if Manning had a Buick Verano blocking for him.
Below is an extended version about the making of the ad. Here’s a link to the ad itself.
Indeed, in light of Manning’s epic failure, it does your perspective a bit in watching on his ads. The Papa John’s guy couldn’t be pleased.
It will be interesting to see if Manning’s upcoming ads acknowledge that he is trying to bounce back from the humbling defeat.
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OK, perhaps it is a bit abrupt to write off Peyton Manning.
However, there’s little question that Russell Wilson will be the big winner of the Super Bowl–off the field that is. Here is a clip from his appearance with David Letterman last night.
Wilson is charismatic, well spoken, and now a Super Bowl winning QB.. American Family Insurance has to feel like it got on the ground floor with Wilson.
Other companies now will be swarming all over Wilson. And it is certain that a broadcast career awaits him when he retires, perhaps in 2030.
To the victors, go the endorsements.
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