NFL TV experience still doesn’t compare to being at a game

I took the family to a Bears game a few weeks ago. I froze despite wearing long underwear; I had limited perspective with seats in the endzone; and somebody forgot to put the chocolate in the hot chocolate I ordered at the concession stand.

And I loved being there.

There has been some concern of late that the TV production quality for NFL games is so superior that people will choose the comforts of their couch over popping for those high-priced tickets. None other than commish Roger Goodell said: “One of our biggest challenges is the fan experience at home. HD is only going to get better.”

ESPN’s Outside the Lines dedicated Sunday’s show to the issue with a report from Darren Rovell. ESPN.com’s Rick Reilly gave more reasons to skip the drive to the stadium. He writes:

7) The yellow first down line.

8)

Continue Reading

Wilbon on why he still writes: It’s who I am; does columns for ESPNChicago.com

Part 3 of my Q/A with Michael Wilbon:

Michael Wilbon was at Soldier Field to write a column off the Bears-Houston game last Sunday. And he plans to be at San Francisco to do the same drill for the Bears-49ers game Monday.

Why?

I am not alone in asking this question. Wilbon already has a packed schedule with two shows at ESPN: Pardon The Interruption and NBA Countdown. And he has various other duties, projects and speaking engagements that keep him plenty busy.

Wilbon earns crazy money, as in excess of seven figures annually. He isn’t grinding out 80 or so columns per year for the money. Knock a couple zeros off of Wilbon’s contract, and that’s what a sportswriter earns.

And Wilbon isn’t even writing for ESPN’s biggest online platform. Most of his columns run at ESPNChicago.com. Hence, his … Continue Reading

Mariotti reappears with Bears column on Chicago site

If several Chicago-area athletes, coaches and owners woke up with a headache Monday (Jerry Reinsdorf probably had a migraine), here’s the reason: Jay Mariotti is back.

Well, sort of.

The former Chicago Sun-Times columnist reappeared in ChicagoSide, a relatively new site launched by Jonathan Eig. He weighed in from California on the Bears-Packers game.

It was typical Jay. He even professed to want to be positive, but that other Jay (Cutler) spoiled the mood.

Preparing for this article last week, I was hoping the Bears would beat the Packers and allow me to share in some rare warm-and-fuzzy glow. But in my 17 years as a Sun-Times sports columnist, topicality and necessity forced me into the corners of harsh reality way too often. This column is no different. I’ll be accused of Mariotti negativity, and some people will complain just

Continue Reading