It’s Friday and we have plenty of media links to give you. But before we get to the links, let’s go over the sporting weekend.
Weekend Viewing Picks
The weekend will be dominated by the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Game 5 of the NBA Finals and Interleague play in Major League Baseball.
NBC will have full 18 hole coverage of the 3rd and 4th rounds on Saturday and Father’s Day Sunday. Coverage will last until 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 p.m. Sunday. It marks the first time that the U.S. Open has been scheduled to go into primetime. It marks the first tournament for Tiger Woods since The Masters and Phil Mickelson who grew up near Torrey Pines will also be a factor. Last year’s champion, Angel Cabrera will be back as well.
The Celtics can close out their 17th championship on Sunday when Game 5 of the NBA Finals takes place. After Thursday’s night impressive comeback, the C’s lead the series, 3-1 and can take home the Lawrence O’Brien trophy with a win on Sunday. Game 5 tips off after 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
Baseball goes into its second phase of Interleague play this weekend, whether you like it or not. Fox and ESPN are all over it this weekend. Fox has the Red Sox at Cincinnati in a re-match of the 1975 World Series, the Dodgers will travel to Detroit and the lone National League series will pit Philadelphia against St. Louis. All games start at 3:55 p.m. WGN has Colorado facing the White Sox, Saturday at 7 p.m. and the Cubs traveling to Toronto, Sunday at 1 p.m. TBS will carry the Red Sox at Cincinnati, Sunday at 1 p.m. and the ESPN Sunday night game will have the Braves taking on the Anaheim Angels.
Euro 2008 continues this weekend as round robin play wraps up before the knockout round begins. ESPN2 will have two games Saturday, Sweden vs. Spain at 11:50 a.m. and defending champion Greece taking on Russia at 2:50 p.m. On Sunday, ESPN2 has co-host Switzerland taking on Portugal and the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo at 2:50 and at the same time, ESPN Classic carries Turkey vs. Czech Republic.
The College World Series begins in its traditional home of Omaha, NE this weekend. The ESPN family of networks will be all over the tournament. There will be a day-night doubleheader on both Saturday and Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m.
NASCAR heads to Michigan for the Lifelock 400 this Sunday. TNT has the race Sunday at 2 p.m.
Without golf, CBS will have the NCAA Division I outdoor track & field championships live from Des Moines, IA, Saturday at 4 p.m.
And Mixed Martial Arts fans can watch Elite XC on Showtime, Saturday night at 10.
The full schedule can be seen at USA Today.
Now, let’s get to your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks about Bill Walton of ESPN/ABC returning to work last night after suffering a back injury in February.
Also from USA Today, Christine Brennan writes that the Olympics that Jim McKay covered in the 1960′s and 1970′s are much different than the Olympics of today.
Now, let’s do your regional links.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch has a look at the newly revamped digital Sporting News.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe says the U.S. Open will be in prime position to be viewed this Father’s Day weekend.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes that Jim McKay was too classy for today’s sports media.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says ESPN/ABC’s Jeff Van Gundy has blinders on when it comes to the Tim Donaghy betting scandal.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reviewed Game 6 of the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals and concludes that the game was poorly officiated.
Newsday’s Neil Best says SNY covers the Mets fairly and quietly. And in his blog, Neil expands on the column. Neil hopes that Texas Rangers outfielder Milton Bradley doesn’t go up to the SNY booth and confront Mets announcer Gary Cohen. On Wednesday, Bradley tried to confront Kansas City Royals announcer Ryan Lefebvre for comments he made about the outfielder.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says Jeff Van Gundy is trying to distance himself from Tim Donaghy’s comments.
From the Akron Beacon Journal, George M. Thomas is happy to have Bill Walton back on TV.
David Mayo of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press doesn’t like the in-game coaches interviews during the NBA Finals. And Michael Zuidema of the Press writes that a local minor league baseball announcer gets an All Star Game assignment.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN will put out all of the stops for Brett Favre’s retirement ceremony at Lambeau Field on September 8.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Blackhawks are about to bring back long-time announcer Pat Foley to their airwaves.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune talks about the U.S. Open going primetime.
Paul Christian from the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says the U.S. Open will make for some interesting primetime drama.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail suggests that two proposed all-sports cable channels should be approved despite their similar mission statements.
Crash Cameron of the Edmonton Sun feels CBC is out of tune for not renewing the rights to the 40 year old Hockey Night in Canada theme and allowing CTV to buy it for TSN’s hockey telecasts.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News writes that Brigham Young football will get at least one national appearance this season.
John Maffei of the North County Times says participants in the U.S. Open will become primetime players this weekend.
Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Times says the U.S. Open could pull some big ratings this weekend.
Larry Stewart of the Los Angeles Times writes that Jeff Van Gundy has become a star doing TV work for ESPN/ABC. In the Sound and Vision column, Stewart writes that Father’s Day viewing will consist of the U.S. Open followed by the NBA Finals.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Lakers radio voice Spero Dedes has a fan in fellow Fordham University alumnus Mike Breen of ESPN/ABC. And Hoffarth has his extensive media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says the U.S. Open is making for must-see TV.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wonders why FSN Florida isn’t picking up two Marlins road games over the next five days.
On this Father’s Day weekend, Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel looks at some father-son broadcasting combos. Although fails to mention one famous combination in the northeast, Marv Albert and Kenny Albert.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron tells us that Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton was pursued three times by the Yankees until John Sterling took the job.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the U.S. Open in primetime would be made perfect if Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson were dueling down the back nine.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says the U.S. Open will a great event for primetime. In his weekly notebook, Mel tells us that a local sports radio station will be getting a stronger signal. And the U.S. Open is among Mel’s weekend viewing picks.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has the best way to view the U.S. Open if you’re at Torrey Pines this weekend.
Joe Favorito talks about beach tennis gaining popularity.
Awful Announcing has the video where Mike Breen wasn’t ready for Stuart Scott’s toss during the Game 4 postgame at the NBA Finals last night.
Apparently, Jeff Van Gundy declared the NBA Finals at 2-2 in the 1st quarter! The Big Lead has the video.
Michael David Smith of the AOL Fanhouse blog has Triumph the Insult Comic Dog going over the line at the Belmont Stakes.
The Crowe’s Nest has the video of Jonathan Papelbon vowing to Comcast SportsNet New England that the feud between the Red Sox and Rays will continue this season.
That will do it for now.