Erin Andrews "Exhausted" With Tebowmania: "ESPN's Really Fascinated By Him"

Erin Andrews tells Rich Eisen she's "exhausted" with all of the coverage Jets second-string quarterback Tim Tebow has been receiving. "ESPN's really fascinated by him," says the former ESPN personality, now working with Fox Sports. Watch Andrews on the debut of "Fox College Saturday" this weekend.

Calling out ESPN for way too much Tebow Time? That’s fightin’ words.

Especially when they come from a former employee.

That would be Erin Andrews, who left the Worldwide Leader after nine years for greener pastures at Fox Sports. She was the inaugural guest on the new season of “The Rich Eisen Podcast“, and among many of the subjects during her conversation with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen – himself a one-time ESPN personality, for about as long as Andrews – the world-famous second-string quarterback Tim Tebow came up.

“ESPN’s really fascinated by him,” Andrews said. “I think the cameras are always on him, aren’t they? It’s like, Tebow holds the door open for someone — ‘BREAKING NEWS: Holds The Door Open For An Old Woman’.”

Andrews questioned how worthy Tebow is of all the coverage he’s receiving, when the fact of the matter is, he’s the second-string quarterback on a team where both he and primary quarterback Mark Sanchez failed to find the end zone in the preseason. “How much impact is he really gonna have?,” she asked. “If it’s not the last name on the back of the jersey, would we care anywhere else? I’m just confu — I don’t know… He’s a backup quarterback. I just don’t understand.”

“It’s exhausting,” she continued. “And I know we’re supposed to love it in the media, but after awhile, it’s just like, ‘Okay, can you just play without all the hype, and this drama around him, and you know, what’s Tebow doing today’ — just go play the game. I get a little exhausted with it.”

She did say that she was “proud” to have covered Tebow’s college days at her alma mater, Florida. Despite that, “what else is there about Tebow that we need to know about?”

“You tell me,” Eisen countered. “You’re the Gator.”

Eisen admitted that while NFL Network has “our fixation” with Tebow, “we didn’t send our signature show there. Like, they sent “SportsCenter” to Cortland, New York” [site of Jets training camp].

Meanwhile, Andrews did have nice things to say about her former ESPN colleague Chris Fowler – in fact, she enjoyed working with him on “College Gameday” so much, she says, that it was “really hard” to make the decision to leave for Fox. “He’s insane good,” Andrews raved. “I don’t think the guy gets enough credit.”

Eisen himself must miss the Worldwide Leader. He admitted to Andrews that around six months into his NFL Network tenure, he once came back from a commercial break on “NFL Total Access” by telling viewers, “Welcome back to ‘SportsCenter’.”

If you want to hear Andrews’ appearance on the podcast – and we know you’ll want to do that now that it has to do with Tim Tebow – click here. The Andrews interview begins at around 17:00; the Tebow talk starts at around the 25:00 mark.

And be sure to watch the video version of this podcast Thursday on NFL Network.

Dan Patrick To NBC Sports Radio?

On the heels of CBS luring Jim Rome's radio show to their new sports radio network, launching full-time in January, it's only a matter of time before his peer, NBC television personality Dan Patrick, brings his own radio show to NBC Sports Radio.

Logic dictates that Dan Patrick’s syndicated radio show will eventually be making its way to NBC Sports Radio Network. Consider these facts:

Earlier this week, sources have reported that Jim Rome’s radio show would be moving to CBS Sports Radio next year.

Rome’s current deal with Clear Channel/Premiere Networks, which has been syndicating “The Jim Rome Show” to hundreds of radio stations since 1995 – mostly Fox Sports Radio stations – expires at the end of this year.

CBS Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup is scheduled to bow at the beginning of next year.

How convenient.

As you know, this past spring, Rome relocated his television post from ESPN, which aired the “Rome Is Burning” program (later retitled “Jim Rome Is Burning”), to CBS Sports Network, current home of the succinctly-titled “Rome” show. Which means that both of Rome’s daily programs will be under the CBS Sports umbrella once CBS Sports Radio fully launches on January 2 (its official launch, upon which they will offer hourly updates and commentaries, is Tuesday).

Now, let’s look at Dan Patrick, who, along with Rome, rounded out the top three of Talkers Magazine’s inaugural “Sports Talk Heavy Hundred” list this year – and with local New York host Mike Francesa topping that list, that means Rome and Patrick host the two most popular syndicated sports radio shows in the country.

Like Rome’s radio show, “The Dan Patrick Show” is heard on most Fox Sports Radio affiliates (the aforementioned Clear Channel distributes Fox Sports Radio). When it launched in the fall of 2007, the show was produced via Jimmy DeCastro’s The Content Factory, which owned the show’s rights; Clear Channel’s Premiere Networks handled sales and syndication. In the fall of 2009, DirecTV Sports Group took over as the show’s parent producer; a television simulcast of Patrick’s radio show had just started on DirecTV months earlier. Yet Premiere still acted as a sales and syndication liaison; in fact, last January, Premiere renewed its long-term agreement with DirecTV.

Like Rome, Patrick is a notable name that left ESPN. And like Rome, Patrick has a presence on television, having been on the NBC payroll since 2008.

So, you have CBS and NBC both starting up their brand new sports radio networks. CBS has all but secured their big-name television star for their radio side – so who’s to say NBC wouldn’t do the same at some point?

I would imagine NBC is chomping at the bit to bring Patrick into the NBC Sports Radio fold. It would likely be contingent on when Premiere’s long-term agreement with DirecTV expires.

For Clear Channel/Premiere to let Rome walk is one thing; for them to lose Patrick on top of that would be a one-two punch that might enable either CBS or NBC’s sports radio networks, if not both, not only to surpass Fox Sports Radio as far as popular talent on their rosters is concerned, but with both hosts possessing the two most popular syndicated sports radio programs, this could lead to more clearances for CBS and/or NBC – and, in turn, less for Fox.

More food for thought: Patrick’s NBC “Football Night In America” colleague Rodney Harrison will be hosting a weekly show, “Safety Blitz,” on NBC Sports Radio starting next weekend.

Give NBC Sports Radio credit for having some regularly scheduled shows right out of the gate when they also sign on the air Tuesday, but there is still no target date for a 24/7 NBCSRN launch. Perhaps that’ll be made known as soon as they’ve acquired syndication rights to Dan Patrick’s radio show?

If and when that happens, the battle between the two neophyte sports radio networks will really be, dare I say, en fuego.

Pro Football Talk Kicking Off On TV

NFL junkies who have ProFootballTalk.com bookmarked will want to save NBC Sports Network as a favorite channel on their remote: the network is debuting the television edition of the website, which will be hosted by "PFT" founder and editor Mike Florio and Erik Kuselias (pictured).

If you’re a regular visitor to the ProFootballTalk.com website, NBC Sports Network wants you as a regular viewer.

On Tuesday, September 4, the eve of the 2012 NFL season – and the day the NBC Sports Radio Network formally launches – NBCSN debuts “Pro Football Talk,” a video version of the popular NFL news website, which will be hosted by site founder Mike Florio, and co-hosted by Erik Kuselias, who hosts the program that follows “PFT,” “NBC Sports Talk,” at 6 PM ET.

For those of you in the lunchtime crowd that look forward to Florio’s buffet of football news, “PFT Live,” he will continue hosting that Internet-only program via ProFootballTalk.com.

The following is a portion of NBC Sports Group’s press release promoting “PFT’s” two-dimension conversion, if you will.

NEW YORK – August 29, 2012 – Mike Florio, who created the innovative, NFL-focused web destination ProFootballTalk.com and initially partnered with NBCSports.com in 2009, will extend the PFT brand to another NBC Sports Group platform when he hosts a daily weekday television program on NBC Sports Network beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4. The one-hour Pro Football Talk will air at 5 p.m. ET, every Monday through Friday, and will be co-hosted by Erik Kuselias, the host of NBC SportsTalk.

Pro Football Talk will feature concentrated NFL insight from Florio, who the New York Times said is “a leading source of information.” Florio and Kuselias will regularly welcome a roster of NBC Sports football commentators, including Rodney Harrison, Hines Ward, Doug Flutie, Ross Tucker, Amani Toomer, and Peter King, among others. In addition to deep diving on the most topical NFL stories of the day, Pro Football Talk will also touch on injuries, fantasy football and officiating.

“When we started the website, the goal was to create a place I’d want to visit as a football fan. That same objective applies to Pro Football Talk,” said Florio. “We wanted to make a show that I would spend time watching if I wasn’t involved in it. Of course, some may say they’d be more likely to watch this show if I actually wasn’t involved in it.”

Soon after entering into a mutually beneficial partnership with NBCSports.com in July 2009, Florio began contributing to NBC Sports’ television coverage. In addition to Pro Football Talk, he can be found on Football Night in America, on the Sunday Night Football post-game show, breaking down the NFL’s top stories of the day with Bob Costas, and on Notre Dame Football halftime segments.

“This was a natural decision for us since Mike is the consummate NFL insider and is familiar to our viewers from his work on Football Night in America, Sunday Night Football, NBC SportsTalk, Notre Dame halftime segments, NBCSports.com as well as his ultra-popular website,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBC Sports Network. “We look forward to him bringing his wealth of NFL information to NBC Sports Network viewers every weekday.”

In addition to Mike Florio’s expanded television presence, NBC Sports Digital has extended its ProFootballTalk on NBCSports.com agreement. ProFootballTalk.com, one of the web’s most trafficked, NFL-focused destinations, first joined forces with NBCSports.com in July 2009. Since that time, ProFootballTalk has become the keystone of “NBC Sports Talk,” the sport-specific news sections on NBCSports.com as well as the popular NBC Sports Talk app, which services mobile and tablet users. Florio will continue to host PFT Live, his daily web show on NBCSports.com.

NFL Network Will Be "First On The Field" Sundays With LaDainian Tomlinson In Tow

Meet the cast of NFL Network's new Sunday morning show "First On The Field": (l-r) Michael Lombardi, Melissa Stark, Sterling Sharpe and LaDainian Tomlinson. "First" will air Sundays at 7 AM ET before "GameDay Morning." (Photo credit: Stark's Twitter.)

Usually, when football fans think “first on the field,” they think of the title of a musical piece used by CBS for their NFL coverage.

Starting September 9, the phrase will be associated with another network.

“First On The Field” is the title of a new two-hour weekly program on NFL Network, airing Sunday mornings at 7 AM ET, and acting as somewhat of a pregame to the pregame, i.e. the established “NFL Gameday Morning” program that starts at 9 AM ET.

“First” will be hosted by Melissa Stark, who joined NFLN last year and filed various reports from NFL teams during football season. This new Sunday morning program suggests that she won’t be doing that, at least on Sundays. In fact, the network appears to be putting stock in her skills as a studio hostess, as her NFLN bio page, which is already updated with the “First On The Field” news, reads that “in addition to” that show, she is scheduled to host the network’s ‘season kickoff show” (which I’m assuming is next Wednesday), plus “Super Bowl, NFL Draft and other major programming.” As someone who has watched Stark over the years on “Monday Night Football,” I’m sure she’ll have no problems making a smooth transition from the sidelines to the studio – if, indeed, the plan is for her to exclusively be a studio host, and no more roaming the sidelines.

Joining Stark on “The Field” is Sterling Sharpe, an NFL Network veteran for the better half of the last decade (he had been part of NBC’s “Football Night In America” for its inaugural year and was replaced the following season by that thing called Tiki Barber). Also part of the cast is an NFLN neophyte who just recently hung up his cleats after accomplishing an 11-year career with 145 touchdowns and over 18,000 all-purpose yards: LaDainian Tomlinson. Resident NFLN reporter and analyst Michael Lombardi rounds out the “First On The Field” cast.

The show’s content will likely be an early-bird’s version of “GameDay Morning” – game previews, interviews, debates and discussions – albeit with less glitz, and likely no actual NFL players walking around their respective “fields” during those hours.

“First On The Field” is the second morning franchise to be launched by NFL Network this year: the daily “NFL AM” program actually celebrates its one-month anniversary later this week. (I would imagine starting in September, NFLN will begin carrying a “best-of” compilation of “NFL AM” on Saturday mornings.)

I’m sure people reading this are wondering about a longtime NFL Network studio host, Kara Henderson, who seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth right before this year’s NFL Draft. I couldn’t tell you, but I can confirm that her Twitter bio no longer reads “NFL Network Anchor/Reporter”. (Incidentally, not too long ago, a reader brought to my attention the fact that her profile was missing from the main talent page on NFLN’s website – i.e. no longer listed between Scott Hanson and Michael Irvin – yet her individual bio page remains on the website’s server, even after her NFLN association has been removed from her Twitter.)

At any rate, NFL Network has certainly expanded their hours of original content per year. “Gameday Morning” alone has expanded to a three-hour show in 2008 and again to its current four-hour format a year later. Last year, ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” expanded to three hours.

If Melissa, Mike, LT and S-Squared catch on with their efforts, “First On The Field” might be starting at 5 AM at some point.

I can’t wait to hear what their theme music will sound like… something like this, perhaps?

WFAN Alumni Will Head CBS Sports Radio Network

Longtime WFAN program director Eric Spitz has been tapped as the director of programming for the new CBS Sports Radio Network, which launches September 4. Under Spitz's watch, WFAN started its current morning show, "Boomer And Carton," which could be syndicated via the network upon its 24/7 launch in 2013.

In one week’s time, CBS Sports Radio Network will officially launch, albeit with limited content during the football season, and an ensuing 24/7 broadcast emerging on January 2 of next year.

Of course, before a sports radio network backed by the resources of CBS Sports can sign on, they have to appoint the right folks in upper management. And who better than someone who’s been, more or less, a part of the premier 24/7 sports radio station in the country.

When WFAN signed on for the first time twenty-five summers ago, Eric Spitz was the station’s desk assistant. Since then, he had made his way to the role of assistant program director. He departed in 2002 to head up the Metro Traffic/Shadow unit, which was overseen by Westwood One, thus remaining in the CBS family. (Of course, Westwood One is now Dial Global – and based on DG’s affiliation with a new national sports radio network powered by NBC, also set to bow next week, DG is obviously not associated with CBS.) Whether he was homesick or sportssick, Spitz returned to WFAN in 2005 to become the station’s program director, filling a vacancy made possible by Mark Chernoff, who had become WFAN’s director of operations. (Way to drop the “assistant” tag with a lateral traffic network gig.)

Once again, Eric Spitz will be leaving WFAN, and once again, it’s for a CBS entity – but it’ll have more to do with gridiron than gridlock. Spitz has been appointed director of programming at CBS Sports Radio. Among his duties will be programming, scheduling and talent development.

And when you read what Chernoff said back in 2004 about “Eric’s knowledge of the New York market,” and couple that with Boomer Esiason’s recent appointment as the senior NFL analyst of CBS Sports Radio, it may or may not mean all signs are pointing to the syndication of WFAN’s morning show, “Boomer & Carton,” when CBSSR goes 24/7 next year. This fall, Boomer will be recording one-minute commentaries that will be heard in morning drive on CBSSR stations – perhaps to whet listeners’ appetite for what to expect in January? By the way, other known figures who will be presenting sixty-second commentaries throughout the day include Doug Gottlieb, who’s got the afternoon drive spot on CBSSR.

As a WFAN employee, Spitz reported to Mark Chernoff. Now, Spitz will be reporting to the Mark Chernoff of CBS Sports Radio in Chris Oliviero, CBS Radio’s vice president of sports programming. Oliviero’s tenure at CBS Radio also started with a bright spot: he was an intern for Howard Stern’s old WXRK-based morning drive show. Following his graduation, he went on to toil as a producer at WFAN, and later, the former WNEW-FM during its “hot talk” days in the early 2000’s. In the latter part of the decade, he worked corporate positions and eventually made his way to the management tier at the company. Under his current position, Oliviero oversees the sports format airing on over a dozen CBS stations in local markets. I’m sure nobody had to twist his arm to take on similar responsibilities for the national sports network on top of it.

And while Chernoff himself won’t have an official title at CBSSR, his presence pretty much influenced its coming to fruition. “His continued guidance will be a huge advantage as we craft programming we are confident will be of great interest to our affiliates around the country,” Oliviero said of Chernoff, whom he dubbed “without a doubt, the most successful sports radio program director of all time.”

So with CBS Sports Radio’s updates and commentaries airing on upwards of 90 stations nationwide – and new upstart rival NBC Sports Radio touting a hundred stations of their own for their launch next week – time will tell if either or both of them will be around twenty-five years from now.

The games begin on September 4.

Chad Johnson Headbutt Scapegoat, Per Warren Sapp: "She Did It"

NFL Network analyst and author Warren Sapp claims that Evelyn Lozada was the one who headbutted her now ex-husband Chad Johnson during that infamous fight. "He's taking the rap for it," says Sapp, who added, "I am sorry this had to happen to him."

From the man who brought you “just found out who the snitch was” comes a new eyebrow-raising allegation.

Warren Sapp, promoting his memoir autobiography book about himself, “Sapp Attack,” hadn’t been having much luck lately with radio interviews promoting the vade mecum. But in print interviews, he appears to be doing well. In fact, he shows much character (even though you don’t actually hear his voice) in a chat with the weekly tabloid known as the Miami New Times, among whose columnists include Luther Campbell (yes, that one). Sapp’s rap with the magazine was done mostly to promote a “Sapp Attack” signing at a local bookstore.

When you read this piece, you’ll learn that Sapp is a Cowboys fan;he thinks the Dolphins are cursed; he says Tim Tebow is “not [good] at this level”; and he believes that Chad Johnson’s ex-wife headbutted him.

Wait, what?

That’s right. The NFL Network analyst who delivered an earth-shattering opinion on Bountygate is back with a crucial development in the bizarre Saturday night marital spat known as Headbuttgate.

Speaking to a Miami publication, of course, the Dolphins came up; and of course, given recent events, Chad Johnson’s name would be mentioned. The paper asked Sapp – who had his own reservations on his tenure with the Fish after watching his introductory press conference (“I thought to myself, ‘this isn’t good'”) – if the team “used the Evelyn Lozada fight” as means to cut him.

“Come on,” Sapp replied. “Tell me the first and last name of a brother who headbutted someone… When is the last time one of your homeboys called you and told you, ‘Let me tell you about this fight at the club last night where this guy and his girlfriend were walking by, and he turned around and headbutted the girl.’ Never… We don’t do that.

“He’s taking the rap for it,” Sapp implied of Johnson. “She did it.”

Did she? I mean, sure, it’s been a couple of weeks since that tiff between Chad Johnson (nee Ochocinco) and Evelyn Lozada (formerly Lozada-Johnson; she filed for divorce days after the altercation) took place, and there’s still no proof of whose skull landed a punch. But Sapp sounds so sure this is how it went down, he isn’t even dropping the “A” word – “allegedly” – into his thoughts.

It’s important to know that Warren was nowhere near Chad or Evelyn when their fight took place. Warren was back at home – probably that beachfront condo in Hollywood that’s about to be fumbled away to foreclosure watching the Panthers/Texans preseason game on TV that night.

When word of Johnson’s arrest came out, Sapp tweeted, “Chad did say it on “Hard Knocks” [that he was planning to get arrested].”

Doesn’t sound like someone who was a witness to the headbutting. Yet he contests that Evelyn “did it”.

“That’s a woman that is going to depend on her beauty for the rest of her life to open any door she wants to walk through, and she is going to do what to her forehead? I’m done.”

Actually, you should have been done after soliciting “the first and last name of a brother who headbutted someone.”

Submitted for your approval: Kiefer Sutherland. Three years ago, the star of “24” reportedly headbutted a fashion designer near the nightclub SubMercer in New York City. Okay, so he may not be a “brother,” but millions of people have heard of him.

And a year before the Kiefer kerfuffel, the late Amy Winehouse was said to have skullpunched a middle-aged man who was kindly attempting to hail a cab for her. As her famous song goes, she said, “no, no, no.” Now, Warren, here’s another celebrity on the giving end of a headbutting – and it’s a woman, which may support your claim that Johnson was the headbuttee on the night of August 11.

In fact, headbutting has become a worldwide phenomenon. Just a few months ago, a Labour Parliament member had delivered many punches with his head as well as his fists in a bar reserved for House of Commons members. Apparently, Eric Joyce was a bit incensed about the large number of “[expletive] Tories” congregating at the bar.

And of course, there’s Zinedine Zidane. Were you there on that July afternoon in Berlin when he did this to an Italian player, Warren? Well, were you?

You’d best hope Evelyn Lozada doesn’t get word of your allegation, Warren – of course, we first have to have evidence of who headbutted who, but if it’s confirmed that Chad Johnson was the headbutter, look out.

You think the thought of Jeremy Shockey serving Warren Sapp with a defamation of character lawsuit had QBKilla shaking in his size 15 Air Jordans.

Erin Andrews Gives Noted Fashion Critic Mike Missanelli The Business

Fox's Erin Andrews did a fan a favor and called into Mike Missanelli's radio show, and all she got was flak about what she was wearing on her very first Fox appearance at the 2012 All-Star Game.

When Erin Andrews left ESPN for Fox Sports, she wanted to expand her horizons beyond (mostly) college football.

Representing Fox, you can expect to hear more appearances from her on the radio – for example, she’s recently secured a weekly spot on WGFX/”104.5 The Zone’s” afternoon drive program.

Then there was Wednesday, when she made an impromptu appearance on Mike Missanelli’s afternoon show on WPEN/”97.5 The Fanatic” in Philadelphia. The premise of her call was part of a periodic “celebrity call-in contest” Missanelli does with his listeners: they coerce famous people (or acquaintainces of famous people) to get them to call the show; the person responsible for the most famous person to have graced the airwaves at the end of the show wins a prize.

So Andrews decided to check in for eight minutes. Among other things, she told of how it was “very hard” leaving ESPN, but the decision to join Fox was easy, what with hosting a weekly primetime college football show, in addition to “things like covering the NFL… and being able to cover the World Series.”

But it was her Fox debut at the All-Star Game that became the focus of the conversation – specifically, what she was wearing that night.

“I thought maybe the dress was a little bit much,” Missanelli said. “I thought it was too glam.”

“You’re such a big stylist over there,” Andrews responded. “Who have you dressed?”

This goes on for most of the latter part of the call. Listen to it below:

A partial transcript of the call is here (which is where I hang my hat tip for this item, by the way).

Missanelli apparently got so worked up about his confrontation with Andrews, that it bled into the next call, a scheduled interview with ESPN baseball reporter Jayson Stark. “Now, you’re not gonna ask me what I’m wearing, are you?”, Stark said. “Mike, what are you doing? Erin Andrews is one of the great people in our business.”

Missanelli claimed that the reason why he served Andrews questions about her All-Star Game attire was to back up his initial comments about her choice of clothing the day after the All-Star Game, and bring it up, lest listeners berate Missanelli for being a “big talker” and not saying it to her face (or, if you prefer, her ears).

In the end, Stark came to the consensus that “it was magical radio.”

Magical or downright uncomfortable? You be the judge.

Oh, and there was a chilling moment toward the end when Mike Missanelli flat out asked Erin Andrews, “Are you dating [Fox colleague] Troy Aikman?”

To which Andrews replied: “No, are you?”