Hello. Memorial Day Weekend here in the US and it means that warm weather is finally coming. Here in New England, 90 degree temps are expected and it nice to see. Also, it means summer movies and we’ll keep an eye on them here in the blog. But, we’ll always keep an eye on what the sports media is doing.
One other thing, I hope Shandi Finnessey will be on Quiznation this weekend on GSN. I have to admit after seeing her for the first time while flipping channels, I’m a bit smitten. Hey, she’s in Los Angeles, I’m in RI. Stranger things have happened, but I know the reality. We’ll continue our efforts to make her and Shana Hiatt the Next Big Star.
Ok, enough silliness, on to the links.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy is a bit late to the party, but he has praise for ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber. This blog was all over it from her first column, but better late than never. McCarthy also has some notes on Jose Canseco pitching a reality show and the emergence of Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream sports media. Again, McCarthy is a bit late to the party on MMA, but with UFC on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, there’s an increased focus on the sport.
Dave Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch says the Boston Globe is running a double standard criticizing Boston talk station, WRKO for trying to bring in embattled Don Imus producer Bernard McGuirk to audition (WRKO eventually backed down and scrapped the audition before it started), but keeping silent on the Ron Borges affair. Scott also has praise for Globe columnist Bob Ryan who has started a blog. To be honest, for Ryan who’s one of the best writers in the country, I say welcome to the blogosphere, Bob. Nice to have you join us.
Susan Bickelhaupt of the Globe has another story about NBC cutting off last week’s Ottawa-Buffalo game, but she defends the Peacock. She says it’s a matter of ratings and the numbers do show that the pre-race show got more viewers than the game, but it’s the principle. If it were an NFL or Notre Dame college football game, you had better believe there would be no cutting away.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times also writes about MMA’s growing popularity.
New York Post curmudgeon Phil Mushnick has some criticisms for ESPN’s Joe Morgan. I have to say I agree with them. Morgan is not a very good analyst and his constant harping on how the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds were the best team of all time grates on me. Then again, Morgan must feel he knows everything because his manager Sparky Anderson knew everything. Now I totally respect Sparky as the man won three championships in two different leagues, but Joe can only go so far. Besides, I have always respected Walpole Joe Morgan, former manager of the Red Sox, much more than ESPN’s Joe Morgan. ESPN’s Joe Morgan is not worthy of any links.
Do you care that the former “Bachelor” Jesse Palmer has retired from the CFL for a television career? Me neither.
Bob Raissman says the YES Network was unsurprisingly quiet on the Jason Giambi affair and also criticizes Peter Gammons for questioning the validity of the New York Daily News report that the “Geeambeeno” (as John Sterling calls him) failed a drug test.
Neil Best of New York Newsday looks at former New York Giant Phillipi Sparks whose daughter, Jordin won American Idol this week.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune looks at a new documentary on minor leaguers trying to make it to the Show and the Big Ten Network making ESPN’s Dave Revsine or “The Rever” it’s first on-camera hire.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks to former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy about widening the court in the NBA. I’m sure team owners would just love to lose those courtside seats in which they overcharge fans by the thousands of dollars.
Continuing to talk NBA here, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ratings for the early games of the NBA Conference Finals have not caught fire nor will they.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the Stanley Cup Finals getting top notch coverage from both Versus and NBC. Now if NBC would find a way not to shuttle overtime games to Versus.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune has his take on the NBC switch from the hockey game to the Preakness.
Do you notice how much this move by NBC has given the NHL some actual juice going into Monday’s Game 1? I do hope the NHL can capture this momentum, but knowing Commissioner Gary Bettman, he’ll probably lock out the players and delay the start of the season. He’s such an incompetent.
Greg Johnson of the LA Times talks about how hockey is struggling to find an audience in US.
Also from the Times, Larry Stewart says Versus has a negative connotation among hockey fans. And in his notebook column, Stewart says ESPN and the Tennis Channel will have plenty of coverage from the French Open which begins Sunday. He also mentions Ninja Warrior on G4!!!