Sports media beat: Kenny Albert’s grueling schedule during NHL playoffs; Netflix and sports; more Bill Simmons

Spanning the globe to give you the constant variety of sports media.


Richard Sandomir of the New York Times on Kenny Albert’s exhausting broadcast schedule during the NHL playoffs.

When Kenny Albert discusses the travel schedule behind his calling 27 N.H.L. playoff games since April 15, he is matter-of-fact, not boastful. His itineraries are as familiar to him as goaltenders’ saves.

First, there were 11 games in 11 days (including two Fox Sports 1 baseball broadcasts). After four days off, there was a stretch of 13 games in 14 days.

Heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Rangers and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, Albert will have experienced a fairly light load, by his standards: five games in eight days.

“Amazingly, I feel pretty good,” Albert, 47, said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Tampa, Fla., before the Lightning beat the Rangers, 6-5, in overtime. “I’m really lucky with my voice. Last year, I spoke with a couple of throat doctors who gave me advice about what to get over the counter at the pharmacy. I kept Hall’s in business the last couple of playoffs.”

His workload is especially large because, in addition to calling games forNBC’s broadcast and cable networks, he is also the local radio voice of the Rangers. He will follow the Rangers as long as they stay in the playoffs.

Will Leitch for Sports on Earth details why ESPN will miss Bill Simmons.

And now Simmons is gone, and you can’t help but worry. Not to get all Mad Men on you, but the whole Bristol/Grantland dynamic feels a lot like McCann Erickson and Sterling Cooper: The tiny boutique producing high quality, small-scale work suddenly looks, to the massive behemoth who owns it, as a wild-card it needs to get under more control. It’s no wonder that many in Bristol were supposedly “cheering” when Simmons got the ax last week; they saw a rogue employee attempting to challenge the Borg. But for those who worked with him at Grantland — for those he protected from the Borg’s influence — he was the perfect boss.

Peter Kafka of Recode reports Neflix doesn’t appear as if it will get into sports–for now.

Sarandos: I will never say never, but I would say that where we sit today, I don’t think the on-demand to sports is enough of an addition to the value proposition to chase. I think the leagues have tremendous leverage in those deals, so it’s not like we’re going to get in and de-leverage the leagues. We’re going to go in and overpay like everyone else does, so it doesn’t get me that excited. Not to say that it wouldn’t someday, down the road, make sense. Today, I think there’s lots of growth in what we’re doing.

Dan Levy of Awful Announcing writes about an issue involving plagiarism for a Runner’s World columnist.

Remy’s column, which we highlighted at the time here, stole the work of “The Evster” a columnist for Philadephia-centric blog The 700 Level, who had written a mock screed against running you can read here. It was clearly a work of satire, which made it even more curious when Remy took the work in a further attempt at satire and repackaged it on Remy’s World.

Pro tip: when you are trying to create a work of satire, copying and pasting previously written satirical work isn’t the best way to do that. It’s plagiarism. It’s theft.

The Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer, writing for APSE’s site, gets insights from NFL reporters on covering the recent draft.

5. What would you like to see more of/less of?

Zrebiec: I’m a sucker for human interest stories. I always enjoy reading those about some of the top prospects before the draft. I love seeing stories that chronicle the path to the draft for certain players. I always enjoy the local angles. As far as what I’d like to see less of, I find most of the reports about who is visiting here or there and who is meeting with whom at the combine to be completely pointless. One, when it’s all said and done, teams probably see and talk to over a 100 prospects either at the combine, the various all-star games, pro days, in-house visits, etc. These meetings just don’t mean a whole lot. Some teams even bring guys in as a smokescreen, even if they have no intention of drafting that player. I know news is news, and if you hear that a player is in for a visit, it’s harmless to report it. But there probably should be some perspective and context added, too.

Somers: I’d probably like to see more analysis of past drafts. How have the “experts” done over the years? How have teams done over the past five years or so? There is too much immediate analysis on this year’s draft picks. Then again, people can’t get enough of it and those stories tend to generate thousands of page views.

Goessling: I’d probably like to see the pro days covered in a little more subdued fashion; especially for quarterbacks, they’ve become such a production that it’s hard to separate on-field results from hype. The Vikings’ distaste for pro days probably helped with (drafting) Teddy Bridgewater last year; they didn’t base a big part of their evaluation on the pro day, because of how leery they are of them. I think the media could probably move in the same direction.

A reader writes into the Cleveland Plain-Dealer asking for more high school coverage.

I would much rather read about high school sports than to have little more than the Cavaliers, the disappointing Indian, and the horrendous Browns filling the sports pages of my daily newspaper. Please continue to give us meaningful high school results. A once-a-week summary for many sports is perfectly fine. Area and statewide track and field leaders on Saturdays; statewide football results on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; statewide softball results as the games occur (you don’t need inning-by-inning summaries, and teams W-L records can be shown, say, once a week). I hope you will consider devoting more time to the high schools, less time to the pampered, grossly overpaid professionals.


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