Nice to have a weekend free of Paris Hilton news. And as I was ramping up for the finale of The Sopranos, I stayed away from the computer for the most part. One place I do endorse is Wright’s Farm in northern Rhode Island. Great all you can eat chicken as well as pasta, french fries and salad. Went there with a bunch of friends Saturday night and the eating was excellent. Totally enjoyed the evening.
And I left my radio on WEEI-FM so I had to listen to John Dennis of Dennis & Callahan scream about The Sopranos finale. I don’t need to hear yelling at 6 a.m. so I turned the station to WBRU and thankfully, there was music and no talk of the finale. And when I last tuned to the station before I came to work, I heard Dennis talking about the show. Come on, guy, four hours talking about a TV show is a bit much.
Ok, let’s do the weekend sports links first, then we’ll move onto the links about The Sopranos.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand has a few bits and pieces today. His most noticeable story was on ESPN having people vote for various athletes. Hiestand writes:
The point, says (ESPN senior coordinating producer Glenn) Jacobs, is to select 32 famous active athletes, seed them and put them in tournament-like brackets. Each day, one will be eliminated — based on verdicts from ESPN judges and viewer voting online and via text messages — in head-to-head matchups. The last one left will be deemed the “Ultimate Sports Star.”
This sounds like more Arrogant ESPN to me. Will anyone care? And Hiestand notes that HBO’s Larry Merchant has signed a new deal, but won’t be working every big fight for the network. Charlatan Max Kellerman will work in his place on some fights and those telecasts will be ones to miss.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times notices that teams and stadium owners have been moving press boxes to locations where reporters can barely see the action. A lot of that has been for financial reasons.
From his Sunday column, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that the search for Don Imus’ successor has been a failure and CBS Radio should bite the bullet and invite him back. No.
In his blog in Newsday, Neil Best has his take on The Sopranos finale.
John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant discusses ESPN’s attempt to save the UConn-Tennessee women’s college basketball series. The two schools had been playing every year since 1995, but for some unknown reason, Tennessee ended the series last week.
You knew when the Big Ten announced plans for a cable channel of its own, other conferences would follow suit. Now comes word that the SEC is making plans for its own channel.
Steve Simmons of the Edmonton Sun wonders why the ratings for sporting events other than the NFL are going down.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has one more story on the NHL ratings.
Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News says the NBA is not burning up TV sets in his city.
Brian Vanochten of the Grand Rapids Press has his take on the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp which takes place this month.
Now your Sopranos links. They’re pretty brutal for the most part.
Linda Stasi of the New York Post gave the finale three out of four stars, but calls the last scene, “disappointing”.
The New York Daily News’ David Bianculli says he could be angrier at the finale, but isn’t. Nonetheless, he’s still disappointed.
In the Boston Herald, Mark Perigard calls the last episode “the worst series finale ever.” Get a life, Mark.
But the crosstown Globe’s Matthew Gilbert says the finale was thought provoking.
Members of the cast were at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida watching the final episode.
While other cast members were at the HBO HQ’s in New York where TV Guide caught up with them.
Robert Bianco of USA Today says series Executive Producer David Chase ended the show his way.
And that’s it for now.