Let’s start by saying it’s already been a crazy start to Black Friday in Massachusetts. For some strange reason, the Wrentham Mall Outlets decided to open at 12:01 a.m. today and at 4 a.m., traffic was stalled on Route 495. Really. All of the lanes going both ways were stopped. Why? For a couple of years, I went when the stores opened at 6 a.m., but now with the stores opening earlier and earlier, I’ve decided going online is much easier and warmer. Why do this? Why go to the stores to look for that one laptop that was made in China and will probably be recalled within a month? Why?
Ok, forget Black Friday shopping and let’s go to the links for today.
We always start our Friday megalinks with Michael Hiestand of USA Today and today is no exception. He has an article today about ESPN360 offering a smörgåsbord (do you like the accents?) of events online. And here’s the sporting viewing menu from the Nation’s Newspaper.
Awful Announcing has the clip of Skip Bayless yelling at Steven A. Smith during ESPN’s SportsCenter this week. It has to be seen to be believed.
Let’s go East to West today.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe writes about the Patriots-Giants game on December 29 which could have the Pats playing for a 16-0 record, being aired on the NFL Network and not being available to a wide audience.
John Molori of the Boston Sports Media Watch talks with Bryant Gumbel about his work on the NFL Network and on HBO’s Real Sports.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post didn’t like the synergy of Fox promoting the Die Hard 4 DVD on its Fox NFL pregame show yesterday. This is nothing new, they’ve done this every week, promoting a movie release, DVD release or a video game release. Also from the New York Post, Justin Terranova has five questions for ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy. Terranova says next week’s Packers-Cowboys game will be the best game you won’t see as it will be on the NFL Network.
Neil Best of Newsday says the NHL Network is happy to be on cable, on a sports tier unlike the NFL Network. In his blog, Best says WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carlton were on the air today to apparently establish their authoritah. And Neil says even though there were three NFL blowouts yesterday, we still should be thankful for having football in the first place.
Laura Nachman talks with the NBC football crew about the Iggles.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says it’s hard to pick a side in the NFL Network vs. cable dispute.
Over to the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson writes about what else? The NFL Network not being made available to most of the country.
In the Orlando Sentinel, Dave Darling translates some of the backhanded compliments heard on sports broadcasts.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says it’s very fortunate for the NFL Network how its schedule worked out.
Up to the Chicago Tribune where Ed Sherman gives his weekend TV picks.
Joanne C. Gerstner of the Detroit News talks about FSN Detroit’s plans to cover the high school football championships this weekend.
Bob Wolfley in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel critiques Fox’s coverage of the Packers-Lions game yesterday.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that a change in the state high school championships is not only better for the schools, but also better for TV viewers.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says fans will want to listen to the BYU-Utah game rather than watch it on TV.
Zach West in the Daily Oklahoman writes that Oklahoma University hopes to continue its Spanish language football broadcasts. Also from the Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks to FSN Southwest’s Emily Jones who’s surprised at the expectation of OU fans.
The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jay Posner says the NFL Network’s lack of reach leaves fans in the lurch. And here’s Posner’s news and notes column. Posner gives a transcript of a mini-debate done by NBC’s John Madden and Tiki Barber about what was wrong with the Chargers. And here are the last weekend’s ratings for sports on TV in San Diego. I must say, San Diegans are so classy (no sarcasm, just an Anchorman reference).
The North County Times’ John Maffei says sports radio station XTRA needs XTRA power for its signal and shows.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star says don’t expect to see the NFL Network on Time Warner Cable anytime soon.
Christine Daniels of the Los Angeles Times has her weekly Sound and Vision column and she writes that the Lakers-Celti
cs game tonight will be delayed an hour on KCAL (why?).
The LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth has his annual Dubious Dozen media list for 2007.
William Houston in the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at the final broadcast of the CFL on CBC this Sunday. This Sunday’s Grey Cup marks the end of 55 years of the CFL on CBC Sports.
And Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says CBC will have plenty of cameras to cover the Grey Cup.
There you have it for now. I’m leaving early today so I’ll have a Friday update tonight. But before I leave, I’ll give you Primetime Viewing Picks and College Football Viewing Picks. NFL Viewing Picks, my NFL Picks for Week 12 and Weekend Viewing Picks will come up during the evening update.