Back on a Monday as it’s a rather strange work week. 4th of July falls in the middle of the week. Some of you have the week off and I hope you have a good vacation. In any event, I will probably not have any entries on the holiday unless something breaks.
Let’s get to our links today. In USA Today, Michael Hiestand writes about this weekend’s NASCAR race at Daytona which will have limited commercial interruptions on TNT. Only local commercials will run on the race. TNT will break only during the cautions and for gearheads, that’s great news.
Hiestand also has news that this year’s Wimbledon will most likely be the last tennis tournament for the legendary Bud Collins on NBC. Bud has been one of the great ambassadors for tennis since the 1970′s on PBS, CBS and on NBC. He would do play-by-play for all three networks. He was at the mike when John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg staged their epic battles at Wimbledon in 1980 and 1981. His role, however, has been reduced since McEnroe entered the booth. Bud still writes for the Boston Globe and has covered the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics as well as tennis. He also writes extensively for the Globe’s Travel section. One of Bud’s trademarks is his loud pants. I had the opportunity to talk to Bud at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI and as one would expect, was a joy to interview. ESPN or CBS could definitely use someone like Bud for its coverage, not only a colorful personality, but also an excellent tennis historian.
In the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman in his expanded Sunday column says boxing charlatan Max Kellerman decided to turn to down, no, make that flat out refused to take “Boxing After Dark” assignments after HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg decided to retain Larry Merchant following some negative publicity over dropping Merchant. If jerkface Kellerman is replaced on “BAD”, then I can see HBO dropping him altogether because why would they need three analysts really doing the work of one man? Stay tuned.
The New York Post has the story of Cynthia Rodriguez, wife of Alex, sitting in the Yankee Stadium stands with a t-shirt saying, “Fuck You” on the back. Nice, Cynthia.
Also in the New York Post, Phil Mushnick says if Yankee observers are expecting a full-scale blowup by owner George Steinbrenner, you may have to wait. Mushnick writes it would have happened by now.
In the DC/Baltimore Examiner, Jim Williams says Maryland Men’s Basketball coach Gary Williams will be an analyst for Comcast SportsNet this weekend for the PGA Tour event at the Congressional Country Club.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders (as do I) why the WWE is erasing all mentions of the late Chris Benoit.
It seems as if I’m getting news on the Big Ten Network every day. Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that the channel will launch on August 30. In the Bucyrus (OH) Telegraph Forum, Ohio State fans are sounding off on whether they’ll get the channel or just suffer without it. Right now, DirecTV and 75 cable systems in the midwest have signed up to carry the channel, but the heavy hitters, Comcast and Time Warner cable are holding out.
Next week, the Home Run Derby on ESPN will be known as the “State Farm Home Run Derby“.
BREAKING NEWS – I guess the word is coming out that NBC has fired Bud Collins. I mentioned up top that Bud was leaving, but this is more serious. Bud confirmed that he was fired on June 22 (!) to South Florida Sun-Sentinel tennis writer Charles Bricker.
In the Cape Cod Times, Walter Bingham complains about the inequity of coverage in the U.S. Men’s Open and the U.S. Women’s Open on NBC/ESPN.
Mark Purdy lists the Top 25 Most Powerful People in Sports in the Bay Area. That includes Ted Griggs, vice president and interim general manager of Fox Sports Net Bay Area.
Mark Cardillo in the Connecticut Post lists his favorite MLB broadcast teams.
This article on FSN Northwest says the channel has carved out a niche for sports fans.
In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar says the Cardinals’ recent slump has caused a drop in the ratings for TV partners FSN Midwest and KSDK.
The Dallas News’ Barry Horn rips the new NBA TV deal. Good.
When I restarted this blog back in May, one of my first posts was on the Rich Eisen/Suzy Shuster/Alycia Lane story in which Alycia e-mailed swimsuit pictures of herself to Rich. Eisen’s wife Suzy got hold of the pictures and sent a nasty note back to Alycia. Well, the story died down until the Philadelphia Weekly decided to get a rise out of everyone by posting this. Thanks, jerks. And you go over the entire PW archive of Alycia Lane stuff.
That’s it for now.