Even though we knew that Ernie Harwell’s passing was coming, it doesn’t make the sadness go away any quicker. For a man to be so beloved not only in his adopted hometown of Detroit, but around the country shows how well he was liked. Ernie told MLB Network’s Bob Costas in his last interview that he wasn’t bitter about the cancer that would eventually take him away from us, “I knew God was in charge and whatever happens, happens for the best. I really have a lot of serenity and great support from my wife family and friends. It’s been so far a fairly easy task to accept it.”
I still hearken back to the days when I was a kid and would listen to the radio to see what stations I could find. In fact, I mentioned this on Twitter on Saturday. During hot summer nights, I would listen to the Red Sox with Ned Martin and Jim Woods, then find the New York stations to listen to the Yankees broadcasts with Phil Rizzuto, Frank Messer and Bill White. If I couldn’t hear the Yankees, I’d go to the Mets to hear Lindsay Nelson, Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy call the games. Then I would hear the Orioles broadcasts on WBAL with Chuck Thompson and Bill O’Donnell. Sometimes, I could hear WSB and pick up the Braves broadcasts with Skip Caray, Pete Van Wieren, Ernie Johnson, Sr. (yes, EJ’s dad) and John Sterling. There would be nights I could hear the Cleveland Indians on 3WE and the Reds with Marty Brennaman on WLW. When the Phillies went to the old WCAU Radio, I could listen to Harry Kalas, Andy Musser, Richie Ashburn and Chris Wheeler rotate innings for the Philadelphia team.
On humid nights, signals from Chicago would come in strong and I could listen to Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall call the White Sox and Jack Brickhouse call the Cubs on WGN.
But the one constant that I could pick up was WJR out of Detroit, clear as a bell on 760 AM. And I would listen to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey call the games from Tiger Stadium. The press box was so close to the field, you could hear the ball hit the bat so clearly.
Ernie just had this manner of description that made the game come to life. He had a friendly voice and you felt he could be one of your neighbors. With the announcers calling every game on your radio, it was if they were part of your family. Familiar voices coming on the same time every night from the same station, it was no wonder that when Ernie was inexplicably fired by the Tigers and Bo Schembechler in particular in 1992, fans practically revolted. The wrong was righted a year later when Ernie returned, but Tigers fans never forgave Bo for the deed.
My love for baseball was enhanced by listening to games on the radio and hearing the great announcers boom into my room on the 50,000 watt stations from across the country. Their signal could reach 38 states and go into Canada.
There aren’t many of the old school baseball announcers left, those who have spent most of their careers with one team and have spanned multiple generations. Vin Scully of the Dodgers comes to mind and interestingly enough, Vin joined the Brooklyn Dodgers to replace Ernie who went to the New York Giants. There’s Marty Brennaman still calling games for the Reds on WLW. Dave Niehaus has been with the Seattle Mariners since their inception in 1976. Jerry Coleman is still with the San Diego Padres, however, he’s on a reduced schedule and only doing color analysis. Jerry Howarth of the Toronto Blue Jays like Niehaus has been with his team since 1976.
And in this century, we’ve lost Jack Buck, Chuck Thompson, Harry Kalas, Skip Caray and now, Ernie. Thank goodness, we still have some of their best calls immortalized on tape and Tigers fans can hear Ernie’s call of the 1984 World Series in perpetuity.
MLB.com has created a tribute page for Harwell that contains stories, tributes and videos.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal shares some of his thoughts on Ernie’s passing.
Vin Scully remembers Ernie as only he can.
MLB Network broke into regular programming to run this segment on Ernie.
Justice B. Hill at Real Clear Sports gives thanks to Ernie.
Michigan native Tim Cary says Ernie helped to fill his summers.
The Detroit News has statements from Tigers ownership and management on Ernie Harwell.
John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press says Tigers manager Jim Leyland was saddened to hear of Ernie’s death.
John has reaction from all over Michigan, the baseball community and beyond.
Rob Neyer of ESPN.com recalls his one encounter with Ernie.
I’m sure there will be more stories and tributes to Ernie on Wednesday. I’ll be sure to bring them to you.
One last note, MLB Network will re-air Bob Costas’ interview with Ernie Harwell conducted last November. It will be seen Wednesday at 4 p.m. East/1 p.m. West.
The highlights of the interview include the following:
ON HIS HEALTHBack in July, the doctors gave me six months to live, give or take a few months. I’m hoping to reach my birthday on January 25 but I’m pretty sure I won’t make the baseball season. But you never know as the Lord works wonders.I’m not overwhelmed by the circumstances. One of the doctors said, “If you were my father, I’d say, don’t do anything, just relax and wait for the inevitable.” But I had great peace about that and closure to it and I knew God was in charge and whatever happens, happens for the best. I really have a lot of serenity and great support from my wife family and friends. It’s been so far a fairly easy task to accept it.On Returning to Comerica Park on September 16That was a great event for me. First of all, I addressed the team, which was a real honor. Jim Leyland had the whole team around. And after a couple innings, they sent me out there with a microphone and I said a few words of farewell. It was very heartwarming for me to see the way people felt about me.The old voice hasn’t changed that much in 50 years and I thank mainly the genes, the good health the Lord gave me, and the fact I enjoyed the job so much. I never looked at it as work. It was something I got great pleasure out of; Getting to know the people in baseball, traveling with them, and being a part of that great Major League Baseball fraternity.ON SUPPORT FROM FANSI don’t think there’s any reason for this response except that I was the Tiger announcer. I showed up and did the best I could. I tried to be myself and my whole philosophy was the game was the main thing and don’t ever interfere with the game. People tune in to what the Tigers are doing. No matter whose doing the game, they’re going to tune in.ON BEING A LOCAL MLB ANNOUNCERI do feel like those people out there were my friends and I hope I was their friend. It is a unique association that you have with your listener. I really appreciate the fact that they’ve taken interest in me. I don’t know that I deserve that. All I tried to do was be myself. I wanted to broadcast the game that I thought I’d like to hear as a listener. I tried to give the score as often as I could. I let the play take over and fill in with anecdotes or historical information that maybe nobody else came up with. There were going to be some people who like you and some who don’t like you and you have to accept that when you start out.On moving from the segregated South to Brooklyn in 1948It was a little strange seeing a black man play against white competition. I accepted it and Jackie Robinson became a very good friend of mine. I played cards with him, played golf with him, rode the train with him. It’s the most exciting and most eventful thing that’s happened in sports history, the breaking of the color line by Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey.On leaving Baltimore IN 1960 and taking THE job WITH THE DETROIT TIGERSSo I made the jump and it was probably the best move I ever made because the people in Michigan have really been super. They’re great fans, it’s an original franchise, and they have a great passion for baseball.
RIP, Ernie. You will be missed.
I’ll give you some Sunday links now that I’ve finished my work for the day.
Tom Perrotta of the Wall Street Journal live blogged the French Open men’s final and also had some comments on NBC’s broadcast.
Newsday’s Neil Best celebrates his 5,000th blog post. Neil has a bit more on yesterday’s big story that the Yankees and Cablevision will stream games live into the New York market.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times also has more on the Yankees’ plans to stream games online.
Bob Raissman feels NBC’s Tiki Barber is the forgotten man on Football Night in America.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post takes Versus to task for delaying its NHL Stanley Cup Game 3 postgame show by 30 minutes (scroll to the bottom).
Dave Weekley of the Charleston (WV) Gazette says he’s getting into the habit of turning on the MLB Network.
Daryl Maxie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution chronicles the Atlanta Hall of Fame induction ceremonies which included Braves announcers Pete Van Wieren and the late Skip Caray.
Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times profiles CNN Headline News morning sports anchor Rafer Weigel who is following in his late dad’s footsteps.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that several Comcast SportsNet Chicago personalities took to the links.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says local ratings for Game 1 of the NBA Finals are down locally (scroll down).
Sean Keeler of the Des Moines Register writes that Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz will be featured on ESPN’s College Football Live when it rolls through the Hawkeye State later this week.
Artie Gigantino of the San Francisco Examiner writes that the NBA Finals should have plenty of intrigue for viewers.
The Honolulu Advertiser looks at ESPN’s Neil Everett Hawaiian ties.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals won Saturday night’s ratings for NBC, but will most likely be the lowest rated game of the series.
The Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions.
The Orbitcast blog says Derek Jeter will be interviewed by Cal Ripken on Sirius XM tomorrow.
Sox & Dawgs has the great video of Red Sox outfielders Mark Kotsay and Rocco Baldelli playing scissors, paper, rock today.
MASN says Orioles announcers Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez won regional Emmy Awards last night.
The PGA of America has signed a broadcast rights agreement for the PGA Championship and Senior PGA Championship in Japan.
Ok, that’s going to do it. I might be back later tonight with another post. Keep your RSS feeds refreshed and check on Twitter for updates.
Well, I’m still recovering from staying up late watching the Olympics coverage. With women’s gymnastics on tonight, expect another late night.
Let’s start with Newsday’s Neil Best who has a couple of stories in today’s edition of the newspaper. The first story has reaction from NBC’s Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines who called the thrilling men’s 4 x 100 meters swimming relay. Neil’s second story is on NBC’s internet coverage which is sans announcers, but has bloggers providing live commentary. And in his blog, Neil writes about the New York Jets bringing on Florida State University Cowgirl Jenn Sterger as their gameday host. Bloggers across the country seemed to be obsessed with Jenn, mostly in a negative way. She’s hot and she’s parlayed one cutaway TV shot on ABC into a career, but more power to her for being able to make money. If you so wish, you can visit her website.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman feels Bela Karolyi is a walking, talking conflict of interest commenting on gymnastics on NBC while his wife is coaching the US women’s team.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says NBC’s ratings for the Olympics have been nothing short of golden.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Rick and Dick Hoyt, the father and son team that have been seen in many a marathon and triathlon, have been signed to a shoe endorsement deal and I think everyone can agree they truly deserve it. Last year, HBO’s Real Sports profiled the pair in a very inspirational story. If you don’t know, Rick has cerebral palsy and his father Dick, pushes him in a wheelchair at road races all across the country.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says NBC’s softball voice Joe Castellano made his debut last night.
Ken McMillan from the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says Late Night with the Olympics has been quite entertaining.
James Hibberd from the Hollywood Reporter has NBC responding to some fakery accusations during the Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog gives Microsoft credit for its Silverlight technology which powers the NBCOlympics.com live video streams.
Anick Jesdanun of the Associated Press likes the online streaming of the Games, but it won’t replace TV.
The Sports Business Daily/Journal’s Olympic website reports that NBC is averaging a 17.0 rating for the Games through Sunday, a very good number in this day and age.
Mike Shields of Adweek says NBC and Yahoo are the clear leaders in online traffic for the Olympics.
Jerry Guo of Gadling has some ways to find the Olympics online if you can’t access NBCOlympics.com’s streams. I’m not endorsing this by the way.
NBC is taking preorders for the Olympics highlights DVD.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says the Olympics beat the Cowboys in the local ratings on Saturday.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald writes that NBC has been caught off guard as the Olympics are actually living up to the hype.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the NFL Network is going to pick up the reamaining exhibition game schedule of the New York Jets and ESPN has changed plans for the first Monday Night Football game at Green Bay.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports gives us the account of how he came to break the Brett Favre-to-the-Jets story.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star says the Monday Night Football crew might be finally getting the broadcast right.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says Time Warner Cable is not doing right by its customers by not adding the Big Ten Network to its lineup.
But Comcast customers aren’t going to have that problem as of August 15. Don Dodson of the Urbana/Champaign (IL) News-Gazette has the story.
Mike Nadel who wrote the anti-Erin Andrews column now comes back with a new story talking about the reaction.
And our last story has to do with a new show on Fine Living that will skewer Martha Stewart. Brook Barnes of the New York Times writes that Martha’s daughter, the always lovely Alexis and Jennifer Koppleman Hutt, the co-hosts of Whatever on Sirius Satellite Radio will do a MST3K-type snarky skewering of Martha’s old shows.
I’ll give you some links, but before I get into the linkage, I wanted give you my thoughts on the Olympics Opening Ceremonies and NBCOlympics.com.
First, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know I make references to China as Communist China. Being of Taiwanese descent, I’m not a supporter of the Communist government, especially of its poor human rights record, but I can also be fair when necessary. I have linked to stories about media censorship at the Olympics as you’re well aware if you visit here regularly.
As far as the Olympics Opening Ceremonies are concerned, it was the best I have seen. China was trying to prove several points. First and foremost, it’s arrived as a world economic power. That’s one of the points. Second, China was showing the contributions it has made to the world. Third, the ceremonies showed that China can use a lot of manpower to do anything. Fourth, the presence of the Army to raise the Chinese and Olympic flags was a show of intimidation. Finally, China was also saying to London, “Try and top this in 2012.” China definitely set the standard for Opening Ceremonies for several years to come.
As I mentioned in the megalinks yesterday, I was able to watch CBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremonies live through Justin.tv. The person who put that channel up most likely has been banned because I haven’t seen him again. Also, the International Olympic Committee has been trying to take down the channels to protect its TV partners who have paid lots of money to stream the Games. But if NBC wants to prevent this four years from now in London, it either can show the Opening Ceremonies live in the afternoon or stream them on NBCOlympics.com. It was nice to also see parts of the ceremonies again online in crystal clear high definition, but it would behoove NBC to put the event live on the internet in 2012. Vancouver in 2010 won’t be an issue since the next the winter games will be in a time zone that will be more friendly for NBC and CBC.
Last night, I was watching the men’s cycling road race on NBCOlympics.com. It took a while to get used to not hearing announcers and following the race through live blogging, but it was actually quite nice. NBC tapped into the world feed and just let the pictures run while every five minutes, the blog updated. It’s a nice feature, but I would prefer to hear some announcers.
This morning, I watched some of the equestrian, women’s basketball and volleyball. Quite impressed with the quality of the picture and blogging, but again, I would like to her some announcers, but I’m sure the cost is prohibitive for NBC.
Now to the linkage.
Newsday’s Neil Best gives Cablevision customers pointers on how to access NBCOlympics.com material. And Neil is not as angry as others who did not like NBC delaying the Opening Ceremnonies last night.
Neil linked to a New York Times story in his post, written by Brian Stelter which mentions people going to the internet to watch the Opening Ceremonies while NBC was in other programming on Friday.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says Beijing’s Opening Ceremonies set a ratings record for NBC.
James Hibbard of the Hollywood Reporter also writes about NBC’s record ratings for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies.
Barry Garron of the Hollywood Reporter was concerned about NBC’s lack of candor during the Opening Ceremonies.
Stephen Kaus of the Huffington Post is not a fan of NBC hoarding Olympic events for primetime.
Rafat Ali of Paidcontent.org agrees with me on missing the commentators on NBCOlympics.com, but he does like the four screen feed and I agree with that as well.
Chris Matyszczyk of CNET is bewildered by NBCOlympics.com’s uncensored live blogging.
Over to William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail who says CBC just narrowly averted disaster during the Opening Ceremonies.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty writes that local sports anchor Andrew Catalon had his Olympics debut today on MSNBC.
If you want to read up on the Olympics, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap lists the five best books on the Games for the Wall Street Journal.
Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News reviews WGRZ’s story about the University of Buffalo rejecting a 1958 bowl bid over racial prejudice.
The Green Bay Post-Gazette says the local CBS affiliate is looking into carrying as many New York Jets games as possible to give Packers fans their fill of Brett Favre.
MaryEllen Fillo of the Hartford Courant talks with Hannah Storm as she prepares for her ESPN debut on SportsCenter on Monday.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun likes DirecTV’s move to put MASN and MASN2 on consecutive channel locations.
Joe Guy Collier of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Lee Corso’s mascot head pick on College Gameday will now be sponsored. I’m sure the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick will complain about this.
Jeffrey Sheban of the Columbus Dispatch says the Big Ten Network is expected to pick up the Ohio State season opener. And Sheban writes that talks are continuing between BTN and Time Warner Cable, but once again, time is running out for the start of the season.
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press looks at the CBS Sports production crew who are working hard to put the PGA Championship on the air.
Missy Frederick of the Washington (DC) Business Journal says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic’s studio shows will have new looks starting tonight.
Clea Simon of the Boston Globe writes about the annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Telethon which takes place next week.
Greg Oliver of the Daily Journal of South Carolina will miss Skip Caray.
That will do it for now. I’ll be back tomorrow.
Let’s do a linkage for you. Again, I have to be at a jobsite early in the morning so the Friday megalinks will be up sometime in the afternoon. I don’t know when. Plus being at the jobsite throws a monkey wrench into my plans to find the Olympics Opening Ceremonies online. Oh well.
I went over to Justin.tv today where a bunch of people had been running NFL exhibition games tonight. One by one, the channels that had been running the Giants-Lions, Saints-Cardinals and Chiefs-Bears were shut down as the NFL came in to enforce its copyright rules. Also, one channel that was planning to run CBC’s Olympics coverage was also taken off the roster. One suggestion and let me say straight out that I don’t have a channel on Justin, if you’re going to run an NFL game or the Olympics, don’t come out and say it outright. If you do, the enforcement gods will strike your channel down. That is your Fang’s Bites tip of the night.
Let’s do some links.
Starting with Awful Announcing which has the video of the Ernie Johnson, Jr. tribute to Skip Caray during TNT’s coverage of the PGA Championship today.
Newsday’s Neil Best says for now, the Jets only have two nationally televised games this season. That’s likely to change.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union is watching both the Giants and Jets exhibition games and he prefers the production of the Jets game. Pete also notes that the NFL Network has already made a scheduling change to carry the Jets game live on August 16.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says that Brett Favre’s Jets jersey is selling extremely well at NFL.com. Darren says Sega’s new Beijing 2008 video game is going to cause a lot of thumb injuries.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter says NBC’s ratings for the Olympics depends on how well swimmer Michael Phelps does. And Paul writes that the online distrubution network for the Olympics will be the biggest in history.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has 8 ways you can follow the Olympics.
Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Daily/Journal wishes he can watch Olympic events online in Communist China.
John Dempsey of Variety has NBC crowing about reaching its $1 billion ad sales goal for the Olympics.
Marianne Paskowski of TV Week says Communist China is doing all it can to control coverage of the Olympics.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the BBC, CBC, NBC and TSN are all calling events off a monitor from their home studios for certain Olympic events.
Adam Turner of the Hydraopinion blog wishes Australian TV would take a cue from NBC in covering the Olympics.
Strange story and strange move. The Naples (FL) Daily News reports that Comcast is launching the Big Ten Network in Southwest Florida.
While the Big Ten Network picks up viewers in SEC country, George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal tells us that BTN can’t even come to an agreement with Time Warner Cable in its own territory.
Bruce Allen of the Boston Sports Media Watch says NESN is making a change in sideline reporters for Bruins hockey.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes that MLB is considering scrapping its antiquated TV blackout rules starting next season.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post tells us that MASN has renewed Nationals voice Bob Carpenter for one more year.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says MASN’s two channels are being moved to consecutive locations on DirecTV’s sports tier. MASN and MASN2 are currently located apart from each other on DirecTV.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel News reports that ESPN’s E:60 returns next week.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable writes that ESPN/ABC will keep the Indianapolis 500 plus four other races in the Indy Racing League through 2012 while Versus takes the rest.
That’s it. Good night.
Well, the sports week is ramping up as some Olympic action has already taken place with the US Women’s Soccer team already losing to Norway this morning.
And swimmer Amanda Beard has made waves with her new PETA anti-fur ad which was unveiled outside the Olympics athletes village today.
It’s going to be an interesting Olympics.
To your links.
Newsday’s Neil Best had a live chat this morning. Fang’s Bites had two questions answered at 11:00 and at 11:07.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says NBC is setting up its online headquarters for the Olympics in Studio 8H in New York, the same studio where Saturday Night Live is aired.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Speedo is offering swimmer Michael Phelps a big incentive if he ties Mark Spitz’s record of 7 gold medals in one Olympics. Darren says even though fireworks are a huge part of the Olympics Opening Ceremonies, the cost is surprisingly cheap. Finally, Darren says a dollar can actually go a long way in Communist China.
Vince Horiuchi of the Salt Lake Tribune talks about NBC’s tonnage of coverage for the Olympics.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald has his viewing guide for the Games.
Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star says NBC will have plenty of coverage from Communist China, but wonders if it will turn the other way when something negative happens.
Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News says sex is helping to sell the Games for NBC.
Zach Berman of the Washington Post profiles WRC-TV sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak who will host gymnastics for NBC Universal network Oxygen.
Dikky Sinn of the Associated Press says journalists have more concerns about press freedom after two Japanese reporters were beaten by police in western China.
Benjamin Romano of the Seattle Times looks at Microsoft Silverlight technology which will be used to stream the Olympics at NBC’s website.
MediaBistro says John McCain would delay his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention if the Washington Redskins-New York Giants NFL season opening game goes long on NBC.
Mekeisha Madden Toby of the Detroit News says the Lions and Screamin’ Gus Johnson make their debut on WWJ tomorrow.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Seattle Seahawks and former Packers coach Mike Holmgren has empathy for all parties in the Brett Favre situation.
Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham (AL) News wonders why ESPN hired former Alabama coach Dennis Franchione to do the Alabama-Clemson game on radio.
Jim Barker of the Alva (OK) Review-Courier/Newsgram thanks Harry and Skip Caray for giving him his love of baseball. Bill Tiller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says summers won’t be the same without Skip calling Braves games. Mike Burke of the Cumberland (MD) News-Times says Skip was the right man to call the Braves when they were a bad team. Mark Bowman of MLB.com has Caray’s partners Pete Van Wieren and Joe Simpson remembering Skip rather fondly.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that the Texas Rangers make their first appearance on national TV tonight.
Dan Lamothe of the Red Sox Monster blog looks at Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster shilling Bigelow Tea for Comcast SportsNet. I just shake my head.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball has some MLB Network news. And Maury in the Biz of Hockey says the NHL Network will commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Wayne Gretzky trade starting today.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says without Tiger Woods, the ratings for the Bridgestone Invtitational fell.
That’s all for now.
Now that I’ve had some sashimi for dinner and totally satisfied, it’s time for me to give you some linkage this Tuesday night.
Be prepared for an NSFW link, but that comes at the end of the post. Let’s do some regular sports media linkage now.
Awful Announcing says Turner Sports plans to pay tribute to the late Skip Caray on TNT, TBS and Peachtree TV over the next seven days.
John Donovan of Sports Illustrated pays tribute to Skip.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says while New York Football Giants voice Bob Papa is in Communist China calling Olympic boxing for NBC, Nets voice Chris Carrino will pinch hit in his place.
Eric Fisher and Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Daily/Sports Business Journal write that NBC expects that cycling, equestrian and wrestling to perform well in the online portion of its Olympics coverage.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine talks with a programming expert on NBC’s chances to win the ratings with the Olympics. Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life writes that global ad spending on the Games is up compared with four years ago.
Jeff Lee of the Canwest News Service says CBC’s Olympic feeds won’t be made available to Canada’s Olympic House as the Communist Chinese goverment has pulled the plug.
Access Hollywood Executive Producer Rob Silverstein is blogging about his visit to the Olympics in Communist China for TV Week.
Jonathan Zimmerman writing an Op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle suggests Americans boycott watching the Olympics.
The Kansas City Star’s Jeffrey Flanagan says the NFL Hall of Fame Game outrated the Royals on Sunday.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the Tigers are heating up the ratings for FSN despite the team’s struggles.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel News says the Mets have hit a ratings home run for SNY. Larry writes that Monday night’s loss to Texas was the highest rated Yankees game of the year on YES.
Ian R. Rapoport of the Birmingham (AL) News reports ESPN’s College Gameday show will be live in Atlanta, site of the Alabama-Clemson game on August 30.
Seth Emerson of The State says FSN South has reached an agreement with ISP Sports to show University of South Carolina sports on SportSouth.
ESPN Regional Television has announced the field for the 2008 Anaheim Classic, a Thanksgiving holiday college basketball tournament.
Ira Teinowitz of TV Week writes that more than 100 college coaches are urging the NCAA to ban alcohol advertisting during college sports broadcasts.
W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal reports that Fox Sports Radio launches a new fantasy football show featuring a former San Antonio sports radio program director as host.
DirecTV will offer four dedicated channels to the PGA Championship starting this Thursday.
Jeff Richgels of the Capital (WI) Times says ESPN will air the World Series of Poker Europe for the first time this year.
And now your NSFW link. The US TV networks have rejected an ad for Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession fragrance because it’s too racy. Any time I can link to an ad with a nekkid Eva Mendes, I’m going to take that opportunity. Click on “experience the uncensored tv commercial” and you’ll be all set.
That is all.
I’m dragging a bit today. I’m actually blogging from home today as I had to go to the doctor’s office to check on my ankle which I sprained about 12 days ago. I’ve chucked the crutches, but still need some physical therapy. Anyway, you don’t hear about me. You want links so let’s get to them.
Starting with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times, he says ESPN really didn’t provide much beef in its FavreCenter special on Monday.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN became FavreSPN on Monday.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call is sick of FavreSPN.
Neil Best of Newsday writes that the Dallas Cowboys are a natural subject for HBO’s Hard Knocks program and Neil gets a comment from Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones who even welcomes the attention throughout the regular season. In his blog, Neil tells us that WFAN and the New York Mets still have not hashed out a contract beyond this season. Neil says ESPN will become FavreSPN again at 2 p.m. ET. Finally, Neil has thoughts from “My Boys” Executive Producer Betsy Thomas about the current season of the series.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at the ratings from various weekend sporting events.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell assures fans that swimmer Michael Phelps will shave off his mustache before the Olympics begin. Phelps arrived in Communist China on Monday with facial hair, shocking many fans. And Darren shares his thoughts about two Olympic facilities, the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube.
Some Skip Caray-related stories from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Furman Bisher says the late Skip Caray defined baseball. Tim Tucker writes Caray died while feeding birds in his backyard, not while napping as originally reported. David O’Brien, traveling with the Braves, says players and broadcasters toasted Caray’s memory while in San Francisco. Carroll Rogers says the Braves broadcasting team had trouble saying goodbye to Skip last night.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union has ratings news from the YES Network.
Ray Frager from the Baltimore Sun enjoyed an exchange between MASN’s Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez during last night’s Orioles-Angels game.
Andy Tarnoff of OnMilwaukee.com talks with FSN Wisconsin host Craig Coshun.
Courtesy of Boston Sports Media Watch, Pink Hat Hell has a properly snarky review of the season premiere of NESN’s reality show abortion, Sox Appeal.
Deborah Crowe of the Los Angeles Business Journal says ESPN has purchased another website.
Spencer Hall of the Sporting News likes ESPN’s coverage of college football and I have to agree with him.
Bob Scott of the Lafayette (IN) Journal & Courier says the Big Ten Network will debut on Comcast in Indianapolis on August 15.
John Heuser of the Ann Arbor News says the University of Michigan will gain an additional $2 million a year with its new media rights deal with IMG.
I’ll end there for now.
Good Monday to you. If you’re back at work, I certainly hope your weekend went well. Let’s get to some links.
Continuing with one of the biggest non-stories since Katie Couric went to CBS, the Erin Andrews “controversy” that began with Mike Nadel’s column on Thursday is addressed again in Michael Hiestand’s column in USA Today.
David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch reviews the weekend in Boston sports and also has some programming news for 890 ESPN Radio.
Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the reaction of Skip Caray’s long-time broadcast partner Pete Van Wieren to his friend’s passing. Mark Bradley of the AJC says Skip did things his way. And we have reaction to Skip’s passing from former Brave Dale Murphy and other Atlanta personalities. MLB.com has a video obituary of Caray. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel says summers won’t be the same without Skip. And here’s Skip’s call when the Braves won the World Series in 1995. Finally, earlier this year, Skip, Van Wieren and their partner Ernie Johnson, Sr. were inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says the eventual demolition of Yankee Stadium is all due to money.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NBC is totally embracing the online experience for these Olympic Games.
Rick Kushman of the Sacramento Bee tells readers to get ready for an Olympics overload.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell is in Communist China to look at the business end of the Olympics. He first writes about some traditional medicines in China that aren’t available here in the States for a reason. And Darren has his Top 5 Olympic mascots.
Ken McMillan from the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says NBC has extended the time for the Olympics Opening Ceremonies by a half-hour. Why not show the thing live Friday morning and then show it again at night, instead of just delaying it? CBC is doing that exact thing on Friday. I don’t know.
Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant says NBC is really hyping the Opening Ceremonies.
Matea Gold from the Los Angeles Times talks with NBC Today Show Executive Producer Jim Bell who is in China for the Olympics and has experience in producing the Olympics as well.
The Today Show’s Matt Lauer will join Bob Costas as the co-host for the Opening Ceremonies.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says ESPN’s in-game interviews during Sunday Night Baseball are a genuine waste of time and I have to agree.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson writing today for Pro Football Weekly says new studio analyst Michael Strahan won’t be treated as a fifth wheel on Fox NFL Sunday.
The San Marcos (TX) Record says the NFL Network will be added to Grande Communications’ HD tier in time for exhibition season.
Daniel Kaplan and Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal write that 612 retired NFL players are suing the NFL Players Association for having Electronic Arts alter their images on the Madden video game so not to pay licensing fees.
John Ourand from the Sports Business Journal reports that the University of Michigan has sold its media rights including radio, website and coaches’ TV and radio shows to IMG College.
Jon Show of the SBJ tells us that the LPGA is trying to sell a $4 million per year sponsorship for an eight tournament series it is trying to get on network TV.
If you’re burned out on Brett Favre overload, then Awful Announcing suggests you avoid ESPN at 12:30 this afternnoon.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says Canadian sporting events should be produced by Canadian TV and not Americans.
Dusty Saunders from the Rocky Mountain News says one Denver sports radio station has to get its signal problems straightened out.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner lists his best and worst baseball announcing teams.
Linda Moss and Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News talk about GolTV and four local TV channels being dropped from Dish Network.
That’s all for now.
In a story that the USA Today Game On blog has just put online, it’s so sad to report that long-time Atlanta Braves announcer Skip Caray has died. Skip got a national following for doing Braves games on TBS and was well-liked by baseball fans all over.
His son, Chip who does games for TBS as well as calling the Braves on Peachtree TV, said the death came as a shock.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com also looks back at Caray’s career.
The Braves have released a statement tonight on Skip’s passing.
Carey, the son of legendary Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray, is survived by his wife, Paula, four children including Skip, and seven grandchildren.