Brett Favre

SNF Brings In Big Pre-Season Numbers Again For NBC

It didn’t hurt that Brett Favre was making his 2010 debut for the Vikings, nonetheless NBC saw another big ratings number for last night’s Sunday Night Football pre-season match-up between the Vikings and 49’ers.

NBC saw a 7.2 overnight rating, the best rating of a week two national pre-season game in five years, equaling Cowboys-Seahawks week two pre-season in 2005.

SNF was the ratings winner of the night, besting CBS’ programming in the same time slot.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 45- Bob Rathbun, Play-by-Play Announcer

Sports Media Weekly We are back at it for another edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

Ken Fang at Fang’s Bites and I begin the show talking about, what else, coverage of the return to the NFL by Brett Favre.  We stay with the NFL to talk about HBO’s Hard Knocks series and the negative reaction by NBC’s Tony Dungy.

Ken and I then get into a discussion about how some members of the media are more and more becoming part of the stories they cover.  Exhibit A is the recent dust-up between Jim Gray and U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin.  We also discuss the unprofessional act of two media members who sought out Tim Tebow’s autograph last weekend in Cincinnati and the firing of an Arkansas female sports radio reporter who was let go after appearing at a University of Arkansas football press conference wearing a Florida Gators’ hat.

Our guest for this week’s show is Bob Rathbun, play-by-play voice of SEC Football for FSN South, ACC Basketball on Raycom, and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks.  Bob talks about his career, the power of SEC Football, his time in the Detroit Tigers’ booth, and how he handles covering different sports.

Is The Minnesota Press Drinking the Kool-Aid?

I’ve always been a proponent of adapting the adage of Tip O’Neil when it comes to the media.  O’Neil believed “all politics is local”.   I belive that sometimes “the best media is local”.

You can find out so much more about a team or an athlete by taking time to read what the local journalists are writing.  Case in point is the Vikings signing of Brett Favre.

Take a look at the sports sections at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press.  Full blown coverage of the signing is not a surprise.  An event of this magnitude is expected to be huge in any media market.

Examining the columns, it appears the media in Minnesota is not yet asking the questions that many outside of the Twin Cities seem to be asking.  Never mind what the readers of these papers think.

I have hope that the Minnesota press will begin asking tough questions of the Vikings and Favre once the season gets underway.  But for one day, the media in the Land of 10,000 Lakes appears to have a little purple ink in its pens…

Manny and Brett and Kobe and Ron …

raynhomer If you were home in front of your TV as much as I was today (except for a break to play basketball and then negate my exercise by going to the supermarket and buying dark chocolate chunk gelato), you were thankful for the Manny Ramirez news.

That at least gave us three recurring stories, along with the latest on the Brett Favre saga and the Kobe Bryant-Ron Artest confrontation.

Now, I am not one of those who doesn’t understand the necessarily redundant nature of ESPN’s daytime programming. Most people aren’t watching for hours; they are catching chunks here and there while they go about their business. (more…)

Why Aren’t All NFL Studio Shows This Good?

So, I had a pretty heated discussion with a friend a couple weeks back about NFL studio shows. Yes, I’m the kind of person that can have heated arguments about a studio show. It’s my curse.

Anyway, I was doing a “links of the week” post on the other blog I write for (shameless plug), and came across this little gem. It’s a clip from the NBC postgame show after Brett Favre’s first NFL game, in which he came off the bench for Don Majkowski, throwing a long game-winning touchdown.  Here’s the video of NBC’s NFL Live postgame show featuring O.J. Simpson, Buddy Ryan, and Bob Costas and their interview of Favre:

Now, I watched this video with an eye toward the limitless amount of unintentional comedy in it.  The circa-1960 headset NBC was using? priceless. O.J. Simpson, here as always? amazing. Costas having to explain his pronunciation of Favre’s last name? I almost lost it.

But the best part? The awesome discussion between Ryan, Simpson, and Costas about the strategy of the prevent defense and how Brett read and reacted to the play. And then they brought in Favre and asked him relevant football questions to supplement what they were saying!

I mean, where was the constant, oh-we’re-just-regular-guys joking around? the hot girl doing weather reports? the fourth, fifth, and sixth studio analyst? How did they survive without bashing Terry Bradshaw’s inability to pick football games correctly? How did football fans live?

Seriously though, the argument me and my friend had over these studio shows is that some people don’t want to talk about football, they just want to watch the spectacle. They don’t want to know the difference between a Cover 2 and Cover 3. They don’t care about why a QB pump-fakes before  throwing a bomb to the outside. They just want to know the results, laugh along with some ex players, and watch Frank Caliendo do his John Madden impression just one more time. I don’t want to sound like a stuck up football fan, but I want to watch guys who have spent their life playing and learning the finer points of the game to talk about, you know, the finer points of the game.

Studio shows shouldn’t dumb down to the fans that don’t know anything about football, they should try to educate them. If they’re real fans, they’ll listen and learn like we all did. It’d be like if they decided they weren’t going to teach phonics in elementary school because little Timmy’s parents didn’t read to him when he was a kid and now he doesn’t know the difference between the letter P and G. It’s madness of the highest order.

Believe it or not, I don’t hate the shows as they are now, they’re still entertaining, but they could be so much better. The only studio shows that approach this level of quality are TNT’s Inside the NBA and ESPN’s Baseball Tonight when they used to have Harold Reynolds on.

So where do you stand on studio shows? Do you think they’re alright now or could they be better with less people and more discussion centered around the game?

ESPN Favre-Pas?

I’ve been a vocal critic of ESPN and their handling of certain stories, specifically, thier apparent fascination with some of them.  The Bret Favre story comes to mind

But is ESPN inadvertently casting judgement on future NFL Hall of Famer?

Here is a picture of Favre at last night’s ESPY’s…followed by the caption which accompanied it:










Wednesday, July 16, 2008- Los Angeles, Calif – Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre during the 2008 ESPY Awards (emphasis added)

I know that technically he is a former quarterback because he has not yet asked to be reinstated.  But with the WWL kissing his butt every step of his career, is this a slight, unconcious, indication on how the saga should play itself out?

Just wondering.

The Brett Favre Man Love Network

I just finished watching one of the most wasteful 2 hours of programming I have ever witnessed on ESPN. That’s saying a lot since the WWL has plenty in its arsenal of programming that bothers sports fans.

From 1pm to 3pm ET on March 4, 2008, ESPN produced a “SportsCenter Special” on the retirement of Brett Favre. That’s right, an entire 2 hours on the retirement of a football player.

If you did not hear the news and you tuned in at certain points of the telecast, you could have easily deduced that Favre had not retired but instead met his maker. Host Trey Wingo at times used the phrase “the memory of Brett Favre” in describing the program.

There is no doubt that Brett Favre has had a phenomenal career. His play over 17 seasons transcended the sport. His set countless records. He is a lock for the Hall Of Fame in five years.

But please ESPN, Brett Favre retired. That’s it. The report warranted “breaking news” status on the ESPN family of networks and should rightly dominate ‘SportsCenter” through tomorrow morning. But a two hour special. No way.

Could this level of swooning be a precept to Favre getting a call from Disney about joining the WWL cadre of NFL analysts? Hmm….