Let’s do some linkage while I can. Again, I’ve been away from the computer for most of the morning. Too busy.
Right after the end of the final Monday Night Football game of 2012 featuring Jon Gruden at the mic, reports surfaced that this ESPN analyst was a candidate for several potential coaching jobs including one in St. Louis. Michael Hiestand of USA Today says ESPN is trying to squash those rumors saying Gruden is committed to remaining at the network. In October, Gruden signed a new five year contract giving ESPN exclusivity and first right of refusal to any coaching offer. The next contract takes effect next year so if he takes an offer now, he would not fall under any penalty. We’ll see what happens here.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has a take on Dana Jacobsen leaving ESPN First Take and why Skip Bayless seems to be taking more of a role on the show.
The great Jon Bois at SB Nation has the 25 Greatest Sportscasting Moments of 2011.
Bob’s Blitz asks who has the worst voice in sports broadcasting?
Sam Schechner and Christopher S. Stewart from the Wall Street Journal look at why cable programmers try to bundle less popular channels with their heavy hitters and how it leads to big disputes.
The WSJ’s Gabriele Marcotti explains why the English Premier League chooses to play so many games between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The mysterious Nikki Finke from Deadline tells us what to expect from the new NBC Sports Network in 2012.
Barry Petchesky at Deadspin notes that ESPN omitted the hockey players who died from its year-end remembrances.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says Cincinnati Bengals fans are responding to the call to avoid a 7th blackout this season.
Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute wonders if ESPN can serve the female sports fan.
Glenn Davis from SportsGrid has the video of Betty White’s open for the final Monday Night Football game of the season.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports notes that the NBA is back in a big way.
The Voice of America’s Tala Hadavi talks with ESPN’s Arash Markazi about beating cancer not just once, but twice.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if a new and untested ice bath machine might have hurt an NBA player’s chances to return to his team.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the NBA’s big ratings for its return on Christmas Day.
Evan Weiner of the New Jersey Newsroom says the NBA picture is not as rosy as Communist Sympathizer David Stern would have you believe.
Randy Ludlow of the Columbus Dispatch has ESPN accusing Ohio State of trying to hide the truth in a case being heard in the Ohio Supreme Court.
Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times has a feature inexplicably praising the Perpetually Angry Doug Gottlieb of ESPN Radio.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has a look at the biggest sports media stories in Canada and the US in 2011.
I’ll end there for now. I hope to bring you more links later.