Ok, time for the Friday megalinks. I had to eat dinner before doing these because they always take so long for me to compile.
Let’s start as always with your Weekend Viewing Picks.
Week 1 of the NFL really begins in earnest on Sunday with 13 games including NBC’s Chicago at Indianapolis in primetime. CBS has regional action while Fox has a doubleheader. To see the full schedule plus links to coverage maps, DirecTV and Sirius Satellite Radio channel assignments, you can go here.
There is plenty of college football action on Saturday highlighted by Miami (FL) heading to the Swamp to face Florida on ESPN at 8 p.m. You can check out the TV schedule for college football here.
Tropical Storm Hanna is wreaking havoc on the sports schedule. It could force cancellation of the US Open men’s semifinals and women’s final on Saturday. If it goes off as scheduled, CBS will begin its coverage of the men’s semis at 11 a.m. tomorrow and the women’s final at 8 p.m. Then on Sunday, USA has the women’s doubles final at 1 p.m. and CBS carries the men’s final at 4 p.m. However, if the rain comes and it forces a change in schedule, then either USA or ESPN will pick up coverage on Sunday and CBS would air the men’s final on Monday.
NASCAR has moved its Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races to Sunday and the ESPN family of networks will air them both. The Sprint Cup Series Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway will be on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. Then on Sunday night, the Emerson Radio 250 will be on ESPN2 at 7.
Over to baseball, Fox Sports has coverage of three games including the Phillies at the Mets in a National League showdown. Fox’s regional splits and announcing assignments can be seen here. WGN has the Angels-White Sox Saturday night at 7 and the Cubs at Cincinnati, Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. TBS has the final game of the Angels-White Sox series, Sunday at 2 p.m. ESPN’s Sunday night game is Phillies–Mets.
Boxing fans can watch HBO’s Boxing After Dark on Saturday which has a bout for the vacant IBO Lightweight Title between Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. Coverage begins at 10:15 p.m. both on the East and West coasts.
The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup has the BMW Championship in St. Louis. NBC has second and third round coverage Saturday at noon, then on Sunday, NBC signs on at 2 p.m.
The Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix starts at 7:30 Sunday morning on Speed.
Now let’s do your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about Fox NFL rookie analyst Brian Billick’s approach to game preparation.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has his Media Power Rankings for September.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell finds out why DirecTV has a blimp. Darren says now that Cincinnati’s Chad Johnson has legally changed his name to Chad Ocho Cinco, you can now buy his jersey with his new name. Darren talks with NFL Commish Roger Goodell about the NFL and the NFL Network. And Darren talks with Patriots QB Tom Brady about keeping injuries secret.
The Sports Media Watch says moving the NFL season opener up an hour earlier to accomodate the Republican National Convention hurt NBC’s ratings.
But Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says even with the lower ratings for the NFL kickoff compared to last year, NBC still won Thursday night’s ratings.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that ESPN Axis, the rotating replays used during Euro 2008 will be utilized this season on Monday Night Football.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel says ESPN brings some familiar faces back to Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown.
Christopher Bryne of the Eye on Sports Media blog wonders what happened to Bob Trumpy on Westwood One Radio’s coverage of the NFL.
Jonathan Landreth of the Hollywood Reporter says a staggering 4.7 billion people watched the Communist China Olympics.
Bob Mantz has part 2 of his interview with former Florida State Cowgirl Jenn Sterger.
Maury Brown’s Biz of Baseball blog notices that MLB.com and Lucasfilm have teamed up once again.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch looks at WEEI.com forging ahead and a wrap-up of the Gordon Edes/Boston Globe divorce.
Liz Robbins and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Tropical Storm Hanna could wreak havoc for CBS at the US Open this weekend.
Marcus Henry of Newsday recaps Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s debut on Sirius Satellite Radio on Thursday.
Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees missing the playoffs would be a big blow to the YES Network.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post woke up on the wrong side of bed today.
Justin Terranova of the Post talks with CBS analysts Dan Marino and Phil Simms about Brett Favre’s debut with the Jets this Sunday. And in the New York Post’s TV Sports blog, Justin says Fox 5 in New York begins a “Beat the Pros” segment this week.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has a look at the college football TV schedule for the Capital Region.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette writes in his blog about NASCAR changing its schedule this weekend.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun talks about a third sports radio station debuting in town on Monday.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret Morning News says there are good things and bad things about the WAC’s new deal with ESPN.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with long-time sports talk show host Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton who’s most likely leaving the market after 21 years. And Jay wonders why the local CBS affiliate chose to air Chiefs-Patriots instead of Jets-Dolphins.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that San Diego will miss Hamilton.
In the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes that NBC’s Al Michaels is hoping for an overtime Super Bowl as he gets to call the game in February.
To the Los Angeles Times where Steve Springer tells us that NBC’s Andrea Kremer is adding blogging to her duties as sideline reporter on Sunday Night Football.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth says NBC’s Al Michaels and John Madden are hopeful that the City of Angels will get an NFL franchise in their lifetime. Tom has a bunch of media extras in his Farther Off the Wall blog (and it’s one of the reasons why he’s one of my favorite writers to link to). First, Tom has the SoCal schedule of NFL TV games. Next, Tom has comments from various Fox and CBS NFL analysts. Tom then looks at Sports USA Radio Network’s NFL and college football schedules. This link focuses on college football on TV. Tom goes back to the NFL in this next link. Finally, Tom then moves to other sports in some more sports media notes. How did Tom not get carpal tunnel with all this typing?
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal likes ESPN’s shifting focus of Monday Night Football back to the game.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says NFL TV ratings leader Fox Sports is not making too many changes to its lineup.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks to various NFL TV analysts about Brett Favre. Bob talks with NBC’s Al Michaels and John Madden about Brett Favre.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says the NFL is putting Sunday Night Football online for free while MLB continues it pay per view model.
Chicago Tribune Olympics writer Philip Hersh looked at NBC’s coverage of the Olympics opening ceremonies almost a month after he covered it and liked what he saw.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin has a primer for readers on the NFL on TV this season.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Bulletin talks about a local sports radio talk show host return to the airwaves on Monday.
Jeffrey Flanagan from the Kansas City Star says former Chiefs QB Len Dawson is celebrating 40 years on the air.
Doug Nye of The State talks about a new DVD commemorating Yankee Stadium’s last year.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says NFL analysts feel the Dolphins are greatly improved this season.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel looks at the changes in the NFL TV rosters.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram talks with Fox’s Troy Aikman about Cowboys QB Tony Romo.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron writes about Chris Berman returning to SportsCenter on Sundays.
In the Oklahoman, Mel Bracht says Monday Night Football is throwing the guests overboard and focusing on the game. What a concept. Mel adds that Oklahoma State’s season opener last week topped the ratings in Oklahoma City. In his media notes, Mel says former Oklahoma University coach Barry Switzer returns to Fox for his Grumpy Old Coaches segment with Jimmy Johnson on Fox NFL Sunday. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail likes TSN’s addition of former Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella to its NHL roster of analysts. And William has comments from NFL TV analysts previewing the new season.
Bev Wake of the Vancouver Sun says the internet has become a source for watching the Paralympic Games from Communist China.
Here’s TSN’s official announcement of John Tortorella and former NBC analyst Ray Ferraro joining the network for its NHL coverage.
There you have it. Your Friday megalinks, finally.