As we speed into the Fall season (it begins on Monday), this is our last official Megalink session of the Summer. Yes, our mindset of Summer is gone, but officially, Fall begins on Monday. We have a lot of good links for you today so let’s get cracking, but first, we have our Weekend Viewing Picks.
The Ryder Cup dominates both ESPN and NBC this weekend. ESPN is providing coverage today through 6 p.m. Then NBC takes over the coverage from the Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville with the Foursome and Fourball matches on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Then the individual match play begins Sunday at noon. The US hopes to break the European three match winning streak. In addition to NBC’s coverage, ESPN will have extensive coverage of the Ryder Cup with live SportsCenters from Valhalla at midnight on ESPN2. Live streaming coverage can also be seen at Ryder Cup Live. You can also see Friend of Fang’s Bites, Beau “The guy I ripped last October” Estes, doing the highlights for Ryder Cup Live throughout the weekend.
The NFL is in Week 3 and CBS has the doubleheader for the second consecutive week. The highlight of the afternoon will be Pittsburgh at Philadelphia at 4:15 p.m. Fox has regional coverage including a game which really should have a national showcase, New Orleans at Denver at 4:05 p.m. NBC’s Sunday Night Football has the game of the day with a battle of undefeated teams, Dallas at Green Bay. The entire viewing schedule with announcing assignments, coverage maps, DirecTV and Sirius Satellite Radio channel assignments can be seen in the NFL Viewing Picks.
For college football, ESPN’s College Gameday will be live from Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium at 10 a.m. Notre Dame-Michigan State on ABC and Florida-Tennessee on CBS highlight the viewing at 3:30 p.m. Then in primetime, ESPN has LSU-Auburn at 7:45 p.m. and ABC returns with Georgia-Arizona State at 8 p.m. The full national TV schedule along with Big Ten Network, ABC and ESPN coverage maps is in the College Football Viewing Picks.
The baseball playoff picture may get a bit clearer this weekend. With the Chicago Cubs just two games away from clinching the NL Central and the Mets battling the Phillies in the NL East, Fox has coverage of three games on Saturday. Cards-Cubs will be the feature game, going to most of the country. Again, the network has some funky announcing teams for Saturday. The regional splits and announcing assignments are here.
WGN has the White Sox hoping to get closer to the AL Central crown against Kansas City on Saturday at 7 p.m. And the following day, if the Cubs haven’t clinched the NL Central, WGN hopes to have the celebration during its coverage of the Cards-Cubs at 2 p.m.
Also on Sunday, TBS has the Red Sox at Toronto at 1 p.m. Before that, TBS has a special edition of MLB on Deck at 12:30 p.m. as Ernie Johnson, Jr., Cal Ripken, Jr., Dennis Eckersley, Jr., and Harold Reynolds, Jr. all preview the upcoming playoffs.
Then ESPN will conclude its Sunday Night Baseball coverage for 2008 with the final game ever at Yankee Stadium. ESPN2 will have pregame ceremonies starting at 7 p.m., then turn it over to ESPN at 8. The game between the Orioles and Yankees will be secondary. Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford are expected to visit the booth with Jon Miller and Joe “I’m the Greatest” Morgan. First pitch is scheduled around 9:05 p.m. I can already hear the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick complaining.
NASCAR has the Camping World RV 400 on ABC at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Did you know that the Davis Cup is in the semifinal round and the US has a chance to advance to the finals against Spain? You do now and Versus has same day coverage at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
And Fox Sports brings the AVP tour to its airwaves for the very first time. It will carry the women’s championship of the Manhattan Beach Open and hopes to have Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in the match. Depending on the NFL game in your area, you can see the match Sunday at either 2:30 or 4:30 p.m.
Now let’s get to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about future Hall of Fame Braves pitcher John Smoltz joining TBS for the MLB playoffs.
The always lovely Daryn Kagan has the story of a man who’s walking every round of the PGA Tour this season despite a serious physical challenge.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media says he’s happy to see Dave Rowe back in the broadcast booth after getting a new lease on life.
Maury Brown in the Biz of Baseball recaps an interview that MLB El Presidente del Mundo Bud Selig did with Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable says subscribers to AT&T and Verizon Wireless can watch the Ryder Cup on their cell phones.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe discusses NBC’s coverage of the Ryder Cup from Valhalla.
The Sox & Dawgs blog has the news of WEEI somehow winning a prestigious Marconi Award. Prestigious and WEEI do not mix.
The great Neil Best of Newsday talks about ESPN preparing to give Yankee Stadium a proper sendoff. Neil also has a story on baseball home run ball hog Zack Hample who has yet to meet a microphone he doesn’t like. In his blog, Neil wonders if WFAN’s Boomer Esiason took a shot at former co-worker Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.
Speaking of Russo, the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick bashes both him and his former partner Mike Francesa.
Over to the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman says Yankee Stadium owes a lot to Boss George Steinbrenner.
This is the first time for Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News in the Friday megalinks. He writes that Matthew Barnaby will replace Barry Melrose as the NHL analyst for ESPN.
To the Baltimore Sun where Ray Frager writes about the Ryder Cup and Johnny Miller’s thoughts about the US’ chances this weekend.
From the DC/Baltimore Examiner, Jim Williams writes that NBC’s Johnny Miller is never afraid to speak his mind.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times has his sports viewing best bets for the weekend.
Bob Diddlebock of the Denver Examiner says it should be no surprise that the local CBS affiliate has chosen to blow away “Face the Nation” for a local NFL pregame show.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News writes that UCLA fans spent last Saturday ripping Versus.
John Maffei in the North County Times says the San Diego Chargers are primetime players this season.
In the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes about the Ryder Cup coverage on ESPN and NBC.
Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times wonders what Howard Cosell would think of Monday Night Football today.
Tom Hoffarth in today’s Los Angeles Daily News catches up with ESPN’s Linda Cohn whose new book chronicles her rise at the Worldwide Leader and her divorce from her husband. In his blog, Tom has some more notes on Linda. And Tom has some extensive media notes as well.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News has his Morning Buzz On the Air column.
Gary Washburn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the city’s losing teams are taking a toll on the local sports radio talk shows.
Doug Nye of The State goes over his ten favorite baseball movies. That might be an idea for Videos of the Week!
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says ESPN’s Monday Night Football could use some further tweaking.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes that ESPN’s coverage of this weekend’s Ryder Cup completes the Al Michaels for Oswald the Rabbit trade.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron says the area’s sports reporters were pressed into news duty for Hurricane Ike coverage.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says hard work paid off for the new TV broadcast team for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Mel has a preview of the Ryder Cup. You can look at Mel’s media notes. And the Ryder Cup is among Mel’s weekend viewing picks.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has NBC’s John Madden singing the praises of Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press wonders if Sarah Palin can make the transition from sports anchor to politics, who else from the sports TV world can make the transition.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says the swap of White Sox radio and TV analysts for next season does not come without some risk.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin tells us that there will be plenty of Ryder Cup coverage on your TV this weekend.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel will be all over ESPN’s multiple platforms on Tuesday. And Dan has the St. Louis Blues’ TV schedule.
That will do it.