Things a Jersey Guy noticed this week:
Are you ready for more football exposure? The question is almost rhetorical.
Besides, CBS and the National Football League apparently think so, which settles the issue.
The announcement this week that CBS would be adding Thursday Night NFL football next season with lead broadcasters Jim Nantz and Phil Simms anchoring the program means that we will have major network programming on Sunday afternoon, Sunday Night, Monday Night, and Thursday Night NFL football.
This is an upgrade from the NFL Network Thursday night package and means more exposure.
Adding college football Saturday, Thursday and more and more regularly Friday Nights means that only Tuesday and Wednesday are relatively football free.
Is this a good thing? If you listen to the NFL Players, almost none who will endorse Thursday night football for any reason, more is not better.
If you listen to CBS and the NFL?
“Anytime you have an opportunity to program more NFL football–especially when it is prime time, when it’s on a highly viewed night like Thursday night–is something that would be attractive to any television network,” Chairman of CBS Sports Sean McManus told USA Today.
Let’s see. Training camp starts in July, pre-season games are in August, the regular season goes from September through December, the playoffs (with more teams being added) arrive in January, the Super Bowl and NFL Combine are February fixtures, the NFL draft has been pushed back to May and is spread over three days.
Football runs the show. It brings in the most money, draws the most viewers. They can hold a Super Bowl in the Jersey Swamps in the middle of the winter and get away with warmer weather that week than they had in Atlanta and Dallas.
It is only coincidence that once the game was over, the weather turned frigid and the snows and rain and ice came to New York and Jersey.
Just how powerful is NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that he can make a deal with nature for good weather?
Olympics have arrived. OK. Time for women’s figure skating and the bobsled competition–how can you not cheer for the Jamaican Bobsled team- and maybe the medal round of Olympic hockey.
Mother Russia, harsh winters? Well, Sochi is the heart of the Russian Riviera, which is the equivalent of having the summer games in Monte Carlo, I guess.
And oh yes, the dreaded threat of a terrorist attack is another event that hopefully will remain only that.
In any case, America’s two weeks every four year interest in Olympic sports will be on display.
The Russians budgeted 12 billion for the Olympic Games–have spent $51 billion so far and some of the rooms are still not ready?
She is probably a long shot to win a medal, but American figure skater Gracie Gold could be the next media and public darling in ice skating in the mold of Michelle Kwan, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill. She’s only 18, which means her Olympic future is still developing, but watch NBC to give Gold plenty of face time in the next few weeks.
With football chatter now muted for at least a few weeks (other than The Combine hoopla) college basketball will gear up where the term “teams on the bubble” will be revived. Amazingly, a team like North Carolina is closer to that status than the mortal lock status usually reserved for the Tar Heels.
College football recruiting note: Texas, with new coach Charlie Strong had the No. 15 ranked class in the country, Penn State with new coach James Franklin had the No.24 ranked class. Want to take odds on who will be more successful in the long run. We think it might be Penn State, which still has to deal with NCAA sanctions coming from the Jerry Sandusky case.
Texas is not afraid to spend money. Strong has a 10 man staff, each getting a 3-year contract, which is above the norm of 1 and 2 year deals assistants generally get.
I was looking forward to watching Lindsey Vonn ski in the Olympics and watch crowd shots of Vonn’s boy friend, Tiger Woods, cheer her on.
Oops. Vonn is staying in the United States as she recovers from a knee injury and Tiger is going low key, hanging out at home in Florida as he prepares for the PGA tour swing through the state at the end of the month and into March.
It’s official. Baseball season is here. The Arizona Diamondbacks opened spring training with pitchers and catchers reporting for duty in Arizona.
How good is the Yankee pitching staff. Free agent Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, signed a 7-year 155 million dollar contract and he is No. 3 in the rotation?
Bad news for BC and the ACC if it holds up: FSU QB and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston said that he wants to play two more years of college football. Winston is going for an FSU double this spring, helping the Seminole baseball team win a national championship.
Just an observation but the old Big East (American Athletic Conference) looks better than the New Big East. The AAC four quality teams in Cincinnati, Louisville, UConn and Memphis, while the Big East appears to have little beyond Creighton and Villanova…Big East and Big Ten are working on a crossover game package which would set up a Big Ten-Big East rivalry each year.
Watching UConn play its conference tournament games in Memphis will be as strange as well as watching Creighton and Xavier play a Big East tournament game at Madison Square Garden in New York.
More bowl games are being added to the schedule, which now is at 39. But give the American Conference credit for signing deals to play bowl games in the Bahamas, Boca Raton and Miami Beach, Fla. The American will be part of the group of 5 conferences left out of the guaranteed slot the Football Championship Series pact. Teams from the American, Conference USA, the MAC, the Sun Belt and the Mountain West will fill the slots for those games.
There are far too many bowl games, but at least those sites will provide a nice place for players to spend a few days after the rigors of the regular season.
Alex Rodriguez settled with major league baseball and will set out next season. Can’t wait for spring training 2015 to watch A-Rod’s comeback efforts.