Local NFL Sports Media

Hard Knocks and reality

Watching the first episode of this year’s GooseHard Knocks — which, like just about everything HBO does, was extremely well-produced — I was reminded of conversations I had with The Sun‘s Ravens reporters about the initial year of the series, set at Ravens training camp. They said many Ravens very much played to the cameras, acting in ways that could be quite different from their normal demeanors. In particular, one veteran — who usually was at best indifferent and otherwise disdainful when it came to rookies — acted far more concerned about a first-year player than he did in previous camps without HBO’s presence.

That’s not saying any of the Bengals are “acting.” But I’m just sayin’.

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NFL works of Art

Baltimore-centric note: I happened to catch a few minutes of the Scott and Anita chat-fest from 105.7 the Fan via MASN today. A caller made an interesting point in light of how Rod Woodson’s championing Art Modell’s Hall of Fame candidacy was roundly booed at the ceremony in Canton Saturday.

The caller noted how Steelers iconic owner Art Rooney was voted into the Hall in 1964, when his team’s history was mostly one of failure. Scott Garceau agreed with the caller, though the host didn’t elaborate on how Rooney obviously was voted into the Hall — and rightly so — for playing a key role from the NFL’s earliest days. It could be noted, however, that at the point Rooney was elected, his teams had posted seven winning seasons out of 31 and been in one playoff game. On the other hand, Modell’s Cleveland teams made 15 playoff appearances in 35 years, including one NFL championship, and his Ravens won a Super Bowl.

Yes, the Steelers went on to become an NFL powerhouse, but that didn’t happen until after Rooney had made the Hall. The point is to compare the relative merits of two owners at the point of election. One was beloved and a rock upon which the league was built, but also the owner of a franchise known for its futility on the field. The other helped launch the league into the modern television age that made everyone richer and pro football even more popular while also fielding teams that had long runs of success. Of course, Modell’s resume comes with the stain of his move from Cleveland to Baltimore. The booing in Canton tells you that stain has yet to fade.

Then again, Al Davis, an original AFL mover and shaker — and quite literally a mover — made it into the Hall in the ’90s.

All of which might have bogged down the talk show a bit.

SportsCenter In L.A.- From ESPN

SMJ’s Ray Frager forwarded me an e-mail sent to him from ESPN in response to my post earlier this week questioning ESPN’s decision to produce the late night SportsCenter from Los Angeles.

Here is ESPN’s response:

Why was the decision made to open a west coast facility?
· To increase production capacity as ESPN continues to grow
· The opportunity to produce the 1am SportsCenter at 10pm on the west coast so that employees who comprise this team do not have to regularly work into the early morning
· To have a visible presence on the west coast in the heart of an entertainment capital – geograhic diversity makes us better
· To have additional access to sports and entertainment celebrities – we are literally in Staples Center parking lot

I understand that the move to the west coast was not going to translate into a totally different looking 1am/10pm SportsCenter.  The brand is the brand.  I still question whether it was a wise move.  At least right now.  But as they say…it’s not my money.

Thanks to ESPN…and Ray for sending over the information.  It is appreciated!

What They’re Saying- January 30th, 2009

Here we go on our weekly Friday look at what some of the sports media columnists from across the country are writing today…

So there’s a championship game of some sort this Sunday?  Hmmm…

Dave Darling at the Orlando Sentinel uses his favorite “Madden Libs”.

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle reviews NFL Films latest chapter in its Super Bowl America’s Game series…

Bob Raissman at the NY Daily News looks at how NBC plans to use all their on-air talent this Sunday…

Phil Mushnick at the NY Post is not falling for the Super Bowl hype, instead giving Gotham another angle on Joe Torre’s book…Also at the Post, Justin Terranova talks SB43 with Warren Sapp…and has 5 questions for Ian Eagle.

More on the NBC pre-game show from the LA Daily NewsTom Hoffarth

And Tom Scheibe at the LA Times…

And Dan Ceasar at the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  He also has talks about the loss of a local voice

Michael Hiestand at USA Today talks with NBC’s Chris Collinsworth…

More NBC from Mel Bracht at the Oklahoman.  Mel also has his weekly local media notes

Doug Nye at the State gives us his favorite Super Bowl memories…

Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald has his take on the ever expanding Super Bowl pre-game shows…

Scott D. Pearce at the Salt Lake City Desert News gives us his reasons for watching the big game…

John Maffei at the North County Times has words from Al Michaels and John Madden…

More on the NBC marathon by Jay Posner at the San Diego Union Tribune

and Marc Katz at the Dayton Daily News

Kudos to Ray Frager at the Baltimore Sun for not falling into the Super Bowl media hype.  He keeps it local.

And to Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who leads with Brewers radio news…

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star talks about the economic difficulties facing ESPN…

AFC Divisional Playoffs- Baltimore Ravens vs. Tennessee Titans

Here is a preview of this weekend’s AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Tennessee Titans, through the local media covering both teams:

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Let’s head to the Mid-Atlantic region of the country and examine the local media contingent that covers the Baltimore Ravens

Newspaper- One of the most underrated mid-sized newspapers in the Country is the Baltimore Sun. It has a long tradition of having a comprehensive sports section. The online version of the paper has a page dedicated to the Ravens. The paper’s various beat writers also maintain the Ravens Insider Blog. Baltimore has its own weekly sports newspaper, the Press Box.

Sports Radio- WBAL serves as the home of the Ravens Radio Network. To talk Ravens, tune into sports talker WJFK.

Television- Among the television stations on the Baltimore beat include WBAL, WBFF, WJZ and WMAR.

Blogs- Check out Ravens News, Ravens Gab, Baltimore Beatdown, and Ravens 24-7 for independent coverage of the team.

TENNESEE TITANS

Let’s head to Nashville and take a look at the local media that covers the Tennessee Titans

Newspaper- The Tennessean is the major metropolitan newspaper covering the Titans. Like other papers its size, The Tennessean has a comprehensive sports section, including special overage of the Titans. Beat writers Jim Wyatt and Gary Estwick keep readers up to date on the paper’s Titans blog.

Sports Radio- There is a website devoted entirely to the Titans Radio Network. Mike Keith provides play-by-play while Frank Wycheck handles analysis. You can get more Titans talk on WGFX and WNFN.

Television- The television outlets covering the team include WKRN, WSMV, WTVF, and WZTV.

Blogs- Check out Music City Miracles, Titans Nation, Go Titans, and Total Titans for some independent Tennessee coverage.

NFL Local Sports Media- Washington Redskins

Let’s head inside the beltway to look at the local media contingent that covers the Washington Redskins

Newspaper- Washington DC is a two newspaper town, both of which have major influence. The Washington Post has a clean, well organized look. Its online sports section follows suit, including special coverage of the ‘Skins. The Post understands, and blends well, the use of old and new media to report on the club. Jason La Caforna takes charge of the paper’s Redskins Insider blog. And with this roster of columnists and other bloggers, it is a must stop for all Redskins fans.

The Washington Times has a mush more contemporary look which, at time, includes fonts which are pretty challenging to read. The same goes for its sports section, which attempts to cram all the information on one page. Its dedicated coverage of the ‘Skins is similar to the Post in that it works in multimedia and other Web 2.0 elements. The beat reporting staff also maintains the paper’s Redskins 360 blog.

Sports Radio- The Redskins Radio Network has the team covered on game day. Larry Michael provides play-by-play. He’s joined by Hall of Famers Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen. You can talk Redskins over at sports radio WTEM.

Television- WJLA, WRC, WTTG, and WUSA are television resources for the Redskins.

Blogs-  Check out Hogs HavenThe Hogs.net, The Curly R, and Riggo’s Rag, for independent blog coverage of the team.

We know there are many more places to get news on the ‘Skins.  Let us know what you think about our list and add others in the comments section.

NFL Local Sports Media- Arizona Cardinals

Let’s head to the southwest and examine the local media group that covers the Arizona Cardinals

Newspaper-  The Arizona Republic is the largest newspaper in the region.  It’s online newspaper looks like Web-Alpha, really disappointing.  Its sports section is the same, no personality.  The paper is part of AZCentral.com, which does do a good job using newspaper content on its sports section.  They have special content dedicated to the Cardinals.  Beat writer Kent Sommers does maintain his own blog for the paper.

Sports Radio- KTAR-AM & FM serve as the flagship in the Cardinals Radio Network.  Dave Pasch returns on play-by-play, along with Rob Wolfley on commentary.  KTAR and KGME are also places to talk Cardinals football.

Television- KNXV, KPHO, KPNX, and KSAZ are the television outlets in Phoenix that follow the Cardinals.

Blogs-  For independent blog coverage, check out The Cardinals Report, Raising Zona, AZ Sports Hub, and Cardinals Locker.

Please comment on the local Cardinals coverage and add your other favorite sites for all to check out.