Time for some overdue sports radio thoughts. I apologize for the inconsistency in posting. I’ve been sick since last week and its hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s no fun not having a voice and certainly not good to feel wrecked every time I awake. I hope to get better soon, but this bug continues to linger.
But you visit to to get the latest news and some occasional reviews and thoughts so let’s provide some now while I can. As usual, they come in bullet form.
- With ESPN reportedly close to wrapping up a long term contract with the BCS for the new college football playoff that begins in 2014, it’s amazing to think how much money is being paid for the contract. Sports Business Journal reports that ESPN would give the BCS $500 million annually over a 12 year span for not just two semifinal games and the championship, but for three “contract” bowls that would include the Rose, Sugar (originally the new “Champions Bowl”) and Orange Bowls.
Not only does this keep the college football postseason in ESPN’s possession once the BCS system is done next year, but it also continues ESPN’s tight Kung-Fu grip on college football.
Now, the other networks including CBS and Fox do have rights to BCS conferences, but they have to deal with ESPN as a partner (Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC). There isn’t much that ESPN doesn’t have its hands on and if it doesn’t want to keep rights to a league, it won’t. But until the day occurs when ESPN will let a conference slip to another network (ahem, Big East), ESPN is going to have a major say in college football for a long time to come.
- It’s really strange when WFAN’s Mike Francesa can be a Voice of Reason, but in the case of ESPN’s Rick Reilly, Mikey was dead on. After the Monday Night Football game on ESPN between Kansas City and Pittsburgh, Reilly was seen on camera instructing postgame host Stuart Scott to give him credit for allegedly breaking the news of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder injury on Twitter. However, as pointed out rather deftly by Deadspin’s Tim Burke, it had already been reported by his ESPN colleague, Adam Schefter, and as Francesa said, it was quite apparent to anyone watching ESPN that Big Ben was hurt.
Ever since Reilly went to ESPN, he has become a small fish in a very big lake. When he was at Sports Illustrated, he was a big fish in a small pond, so he was very noticeable. In fact, when he was at SI, one could surmise that he was the star of the magazine, writing the Point After on the back page.
But after being lured to ESPN for a lot of money, Reilly hasn’t found a signature role to stand out. His pieces on SportsCenter have been rather forgettable. ESPN has tried to employ him as an essayist at The Open Championship and major tennis events rather unsuccessfully. Do you remember his show “Homecoming” which ran for about twenty minutes? Of course you don’t.
I don’t know when Reilly’s contract with ESPN expires, it’s really not my concern, but when it does, the Powers That Be should ask for some of their money back because Reilly has been mailing it in for the past few years.
- You may not be familiar with the name of Dino Costa, but subscribers to SiriusXM are. Dino is the nighttime host on Mad Dog Radio. His Twitter feed is an interesting follow. And while I may disagree with some of his tweets, Costa is quite entertaining. And his radio show is a very good listen. If you have the opportunity to listen to him, by all means do so. Costa will tell you that he’s a good listen, but that’s fine.
Last week, Dino called into his boss’ show, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, as the two have been feuding on-air, to tell him he (Russo) is a has-been. Mad Dog Radio’s Steve Torre tries to play peacemaker in this clip.
There are two trains of thought. Either this is real and the two are at war, or it’s another stunt that Mad Dog is attempting to pull off, but I don’t think Costa would fool his listeners and play them. In any event, Costa is quite good and if you have SiriusXM, give the man a try if you haven’t already.
- CBS has created a mash-up of Queen’s iconic “We Will Rock You” with the network’s NFL theme “Posthumus Zone” and it’s pretty good. Queen’s Brian May teamed up with Helmut VonLichten to form a re-mix. It will be CBS’ theme for Super Bowl XLVII in February. I didn’t know what to think when I saw the press release on Tuesday, but after giving a listen to the mash-up, I found that I liked it. Good job, CBS.
- Saw “Skyfall” over the weekend and loved it. As a James Bond fan, I loved the dark feel to this chapter. Daniel Craig has made Bond into his own and you can see he’s more comfortable in the role. Dame Judy Dench as “M” is tremendous. Javier Bardem was great as the villain and it will be nice to see Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris in future Bond films. There were some nice nods to the past while bringing the movie into the 21st Century. Great direction from Sam Mendes. Can’t wait for Bond 24.
And we’re done.