I’m going to post some press releases, do some work, then do the links. Let’s get to the releases.
Starting with ESPN, it says the ratings for Monday Night Football were good to win the night.
Monday Night Football Wins the Night in Key Male Demos among All Networks
Cardinals-49ers Game Earns 9.6 Rating and 13.1 Million ViewersLast night’s Monday Night Football game – the San Francisco 49ers’ 24-9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals – earned a 9.6 rating, representing an average of 9,529,000 households (13,077,000 viewers – P2+). As it has each week this season, MNF led all the night’s programs (broadcast or cable) in all key male demos, as well as people 18-34. ESPN was also the top network for the night in these categories and in people 18-49. The telecast was the 10th most-viewed cable program of the year in both households and viewers.For 2009, ESPN’s MNF telecasts represent cable’s 14 biggest audiences among households and viewers (and 15 of the top 16 among households). Through 14 weeks (15 games) of the NFL season, ESPN’s MNF is averaging a 10.4 rating and 10,322,000 households (14,382,000 P2+), up 17 percent, 19 percent and 20 percent, respectively, from last season.ESPN.COMESPN.com had 63.2 million page views to NFL content accessed via computers and mobile devices for Monday thru Tuesday at noon — up 12 percent from the comparable time period last year. Specifically, page views for the NFL section on computers and mobile were up 17 percent from last year. Additionally, ESPN.com streamed 2.2 million NFL related videos, up 22 percent from last year.NEXT WEEK ON MNFNext week’s ESPN MNF game on Dec. 21 features an NFC East matchup when Eli Manning and the New York Giants travel to the nation’s capital to face Jason Campbell and the Washington Redskins at 8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN’s game around the game coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. with NFL Live and continues throughout the afternoon.
Yesterday, NFL Network held a conference call to discuss the two big games it will carry this week.
Excerpts from NFL Network’s Conference Call for “Undefeated Week” Featuring Colts-Jaguars on Thursday and Cowboys-Saints SaturdayNFL Network’s Thursday Night Football features the NFL’s two undefeated teams this week with the 13-0 Indianapolis Colts facing the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, December 17, followed by a special Saturday edition with the Cowboys vs. the undefeated New Orleans Saints on December 19. Both games start at 8:00 PM ET and are called by Bob Papa and Matt Millen.Thursday Night Kickoff, NFL Network’s pregame show airing two hours prior to Colts-Jaguars at 6 PM ET and three hours prior to Cowboys-Saints at 5 PM ET, is hosted by Rich Eisen alongside analysts Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and Deion Sanders.Below are quotes from a conference call featuring Marshall Faulk and NFL GameDay Morning analyst Michael Irvin previewing both games:“No doubt. I put them ahead of the Miami Dolphins because of the criteria in which it takes in order to do it in today’s game. So yes, without a doubt they would be considered the greatest team.” – Faulk on if either the Saints or the Colts go undefeated, if they would be the greatest team of all-time“With the situation being what it is, if you go through this league undefeated with the talent and the coaching that’s in the league right now, you’re the greatest team ever. That’s why you go for it, to be the greatest team ever.” – Irvin on if an undefeated season by the Saints or Colts would make them the greatest team of all time“I honestly believe that you have to get lucky and have [Drew] Brees or Peyton [Manning] just totally off their game.” – Faulk on what it takes to beat the Saints and the Colts“You would expect a team to say, ‘we won a lot of games, kind of expect a little bit of patting on the back.’ You don’t see any of that with the Indianapolis Colts, because Peyton Manning, he has his hand on the team’s pulse and he’s pushing it forward all the time.” – Irvin on QB Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts“He would not be out worked and he would not be out prepared. You would just physically have to beat him and when you look at the Colts, that’s the kind of team that you have to physically beat up to win.” – Faulk on QB Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts“You have to understand this is a very key component to both of these teams who are undefeated. There is no resting the passing game and expecting to come back the same. There’s too much time required. We can’t go out and say, ‘let’s run routes and not run full speed,’ because it takes away from what you’re doing…You have to hold onto that edge, that passing edge, because both of these teams throw the ball a lot, and that’s going to require timing.” – Irvin on the disadvantage of resting players“I’ll give all three of them back. It’s perfection. I don’t know how you cannot – being the best that season, is a great, great thing to accomplish.” – Irvin on giving up three Super Bowl rings for a perfect season“As a Saints fan, I sold popcorn just to be in the Superdome so I could watch the game.” – Faulk, a New Orleans native, on being a popcorn vendor in the Superdome as a kid“You are watching everything in front of them sort of crumble in December with two games and two losses; games that they should have won.” – Faulk on the Dallas Cowboys“You out-gained (the Chargers) and win the turnover battle, but you lose the game. It’s unbelievable that they are finding ways to lose. They need this game way more than the New Orleans Saints do.” – Faulk on the Dallas Cowboys“He will have two rings and Tom [Brady] will have three, but he will have the perfect season and to me that gives him the odds on everybody and he deserves it. He’s one of the greatest quarterbacks.” – Irvin on Colts QB Peyton Manning and how he compares to Patriots QB Tom Brady“You can line these two teams up against any other team in the NFL, and they will be favored and they will win.” – Faulk on the Saints and the Colts being the two best teams in the NFL“I’m proud of what this team has done. The people in New Orleans have been waiting so long to be a winner and this seems like the year.” – Faulk on the New Orleans Saints“He’s tough, he runs hard and he can get those short yards just like he can get the huge gains. What I like even more so is how they are using him in the passing game. I believe that he’s a much better receiver than what they thought.” – Faulk on Titans RB Chris Johnson“He stays patient, particularly down the field, right behind his blockers. That’s a rare quality, because usually when you are that fast, you want your speed to get you out of everything and you don’t have that kind of patience, but he has patience.” – Irvin on Titans RB Chris Johnson***NFL Network’s schedule next week features a special Christmas edition of Thursday Night Football on December 25 when the Chargers visit the Titans on December 25 at 7:00 PM ET.
Now to quotage of The Coaches Show.
Quotable from Week 14 Edition of The Coaches Show on NFL Network(Airs Mondays at 6:30 PM ET with replays at 8:30 and 10:00 PM ET)
Quotes from Steve Mariucci’s 1-on-1 interview with Hall of Famer and Former Raiders Head Coach John Madden:
“I would play him and I think if Peyton Manning had his choice, he would want to play. Because they will have a bye, Peyton wouldn’t play for a month and that’s just ridiculous. I also believe this – whatever the coach and the organization wants to do, they should do because they earned that right by getting their team [to the playoffs]. But, if you’re not going to play players, announce it just like you would in an injury report.” – JOHN MADDEN on if the Colts should play Peyton Manning for the remainder of the regular season“Don’t worry about the horse being blind, just load the wagon. I heard that somewhere and it makes sense: we’re ready, we’ve practiced and we’ve gone over everything. Quit thinking and go out there and play.” – JOHN MADDEN on a phrase that he used to motivate his team before games
“It’s for the best offensive line. It’s one part of the sport that is truly a team – five guys working together.” – JOHN MADDEN on his new Most Valuable Protectors Award
“I’m going to vote for Pat Morris’ Vikings offensive line.” – STEVE MARIUCCI’S choice for the AwardQuick quotes from Monday night’s show:
“He’s declared that he’s outside of the team. Any time a player does that, you have to remove him from the locker room and the sideline and keep him away from what you’re trying to accomplish as a football team. It’s eleven guys out there, not ten plus one… They have done everything they could to teach him what they are about and he’s not taking it. He hasn’t accepted it and there’s no contrition on his part at all – move on.” – MIKE MARTZ on Patriots LB Adalius Thomas“For Bill to defend a player, I like that. Bill doesn’t go out on a limb for an individual very often but Chris Gamble was out of line.” – STEVE MARIUCCI on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s response to Panthers CB Chris Gamble’s comments about WR Randy Moss“You want to be physically healthy going in to the playoffs but you want to be mentally healthy too. You want to feel good about what you have done so it feels like you’re on a roll.” – STEVE MARIUCCI whether the Colts should play for a perfect season“It shouldn’t be different than the Colts’ situation but it feels different, it looks different, it is different. There’s so much excitement down in New Orleans – they’re riding this wave right now and they don’t want it to stop. Going into the playoffs after winning them all is really what they intend to do.” – STEVE MARIUCCI on the Saints“Everybody shares in the blame but as the head coach, you’ve got to accept that responsibility. However, blame is something that you deal with in the off-season behind closed doors. Right now the biggest concern for Mike is ‘how do we fix this?’” – MIKE MARTZ on Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers’ losing record“As Bill Walsh would tell me, ‘you’ve got to keep doing what you’re doing but do it better.’ Heck, this recipe got them a Super Bowl win last year.” – STEVE MARIUCCI on the Steelers*** Video clips from Week 14 are available on NFL.com. These videos include:- Steve Mariucci interviews Hall of Famer and former Raiders head coach John Madden- Mike Martz and Steve Mariucci talk about Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his defense of WR Randy Moss- http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-the-coaches/09000d5d814f99ba/The-Coaches-Belichick-defends-Moss- Adalius Thomas’ comments after being sent home by head coach Bill Belichick- And many more Week 14 game highlights and postgame video only on NFL.com.6:30-7:00 & 8:30-9:00 PM ET Monday: The Coaches Show (HD)Host: Charles Davis Analysts: Mike Martz and Steve MariucciThe Coaches Show takes an inside look at the previous Sunday’s games, analyzing the big plays and tough decisions made by NFL head coaches on the sidelines in a 30-minute, roundtable program (Replays at 8:30 and 10:00 PM ET Mondays).
And that finishes this post.