I haven’t done a thoughts column in quite some time. And to boot, I’m doing this on the iPad. Not that you should care, but this will cause me to pause and think which is dangerous. Anyway, I’ll do this in bullet form.
Thanks for your indulgence.
- The Penn State media coverage has not been over the top as I had feared when the story went national. There has been great reporting from the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the Daily Collegian, the New York Times and NBC News. Bob Costas’ interview of Jerry Sandusky was excellent. In contrast, CBS’ overhyped 24 second interview of Mike McQuery gave us nothing. Not Armen Keteyian’s fault for the overhype, but we expected more. This story will not be going away any time soon. It will be interesting to see how the national outlets handle it as it moves into months and maybe even years.
- In my native area of New England, the big news is twofold, Don Orsillo staying as NESN Red Sox voice through 2015. He had been pursued by both Turner Sports and MLB Network. To be honest, I was convinced he would take the Turner job to be their main voice for Sunday Afternoon Baseball and the MLB Postseason on TBS, but on Wednesday, the news leaked that he would stay in New England to continue to be teamed with Jerry Remy, a pairing that dates back to 2001. Orsillo will continue to call the MLB Postseason for TBS. Sometimes, the best move is the one you don’t make.
- The other news from New England also involves NESN and the third member of the Red Sox team, Heidi Watney. It was reported that she’ll join Time Warner Cable to be the sideline reporter for the Los Angeles Lakers starting in the 2012-13 season. Heidi had been with NESN since 2008 and became popular with many male fans. Women were another story as she was polarizing. I was under the impression from several sources that the 2011 season would the last for Heidi at NESN. A native of California, Heidi returns to the West Coast. I thought she did a good job on NESN. She will be missed.
The attention now turns to who will replace Heidi for 2012. One good candidate would be Boston native Jen Royle who has been cooling her heels in Baltimore for CBS Radio and has covered the Orioles the last two seasons on both MASN and 105.7 The Fan. Jen did a successful weekend guest spot on WEEI last month and has made it no secret that she yearns to return to Boston. A perfect way to bring her back would be as Heidi’s replacement on NESN or as a host on WEEI. Let’s get this done.
- I thought Fox did a decent job in its UFC debut last Saturday. Curt Menefee is a competent host and got the job done as pre and post fight host. UFC President Dana White was ok as an analyst, but the man who impressed me was Brock Lesnar who showed no fear challenging his boss on the set. While the UFC Heavyweight fight lasted just over a minute, it was better than having five rounds of boring action with the crowd booing. Fox’s production was good. UFC announcers Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan were on top of everything although Rogan seemed to be high on something as he was yelling more than normal. I expect bigger and better things from Fox in the next UFC event in January.
- I watched Wednesday’s New Jersey Devils-Buffalo Sabres game on Versus. Dave Strader and Ed Olzyck did their usual bang-up job. However, Pierre McGuire needs a muzzle. He talks too much and continues to be abrasive during interviews. I would prefer Darren Pang or even Mike Milbury as the ice level analyst, anyone but Pierre McGuire. NBC Sports is doing a disservice to hockey fans by continuing to use this butcher on the air.
And that’s going to do it for now. Enjoy your Thursday.