Audio: WFAN's Paul Dottino Rips Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid And His "Rice Krispie Offensive Line"

WFAN’s Giants reporter Paul Dottino took the opportunity to slam Eagles coach Andy Reid for proclaiming Michael Vick is still his quarterback, despite his poor play thus far. “How stupid can Andy Reid possibly be?” He also said vick has no chance to succeed “behind a Rice Krispie offensive line.” WFAN is the flagship radio station of the New York Giants.

When you’re the flagship station of the New York Giants, you certainly want to build up excitement for upcoming broadcasts, specifically games where division rivals are involved.

And when you’re covering the Giants for said flagship station, you certainly want to let listeners know just how much of a chance the team has at winning games against division rivals – even if you have to take potshots at the opponent’s expense.

Paul Dottino, WFAN/New York’s Giants beat reporter, was particularly animated on Saturday morning when previewing Sunday night’s game between the Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.

At one point, Dottino pointed out the Eagles’ struggles at offensive line, noting that the substitute for the injured Jason Kelce, Dallas Reynolds, “a four-year practice squad player, is Michael Vick’s center. That is not a good thing if you’re Philly… If I’m [Giants defensive coordinator] Perry Fewell, I’m dialing up all kinds of blitz packages, and I’m going real hard after Michael Vick… The Giants should have a feast on him tomorrow.”

It was at that point that WFAN host Richard Neer mentioned that Eagles coach Andy Reid gave Vick, who after just three games has six interceptions, five fumbles (three of them lost) and had been sacked nine times (five alone in their recent loss to Arizona), assurance that he’s “my number one quarterback.”

“And this comes up after they just signed [Vick] to a huge contract,” Dottino pointed out. “How stupid can Andy Reid possibly be? You know, he’s feeling the heat from [team owner Jeffrey] Lurie, who says an 8-8 season’s not gonna be good enough, so he comes around and blows the heat on his quarterback, when he knows his quarterback is playing behind a Rice Krispie offensive line.

“I mean, think about that,” Dottino continued. “How dumb can Andy Reid possibly be? He’s made a very foolish mistake, and if Vick tries to do too much against the Giants tomorrow, he’s gonna wind up paying for it.”

Boy. Not since Mike Francesa unloading on the Jets on a day ending in “Y” have I heard a WFAN personality rant about a team on the air like that. And consider the significance of a reporter covering the Giants going off on the head coach of a Giants rival on the Giants’ flagship radio station.

It’s bold for Dottino to look at the big picture and come to the conclusion that Reid is transferring pressure from team ownership to his injury-prone quarterback – and as a result, label Reid a jerk and a pompous ass – which, ironically, is what fellow WFAN host Joe Benigno labeled Dottino after he predicted that Benigno’s Jets won’t make the playoffs this season.

So if you’re watching the game on Sunday night, and you hear “snap,” “crackle” or “pop,” that might not be Michael Vick’s ribs.

Warren Sapp Bankruptcy Case Closed

Financially frozen former football player Warren Sapp was likely happy to know that he’s been relieved from his Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. Yet he’s still responsible to pay up for nearly $1 million in alimony, child support, and tax debts.

I’m sure some of you regular Rantz readers were anxiously awaiting my next post on a subject that I’ve happened to write plenty about: Warren Sapp. You were probably anticipating my take on Sapp offhandedly calling Bears wideout Brandon Marshall a “retard” during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” or perhaps Marshall’s priceless video responses to Sapp, or Marshall’s subsequent attempt at burying the hatchet with Sapp.

With Sapp’s vast history of saying stupid things, this brouhaha, to me, was not news.

Yet overshadowed by Sapp’s involvement in “TardGate” was a favorable update on Sapp’s financial situation.

You may recall Sapp filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy this past spring. On Monday – just as the fallout from “TardGate” was emerging – Sapp was discharged from his bankruptcy case by a federal judge. That means he is officially off the hook for a large amount of debt – that is, the lion skin rug, the twenty dozen pairs of Size 15 Air Jordans, and other impulse purchases made during and after his NFL career. No word if the condo he’s living in (that’s pending foreclosure) will be exempt from these debts.

However, Sapp is still responsible for his debts related to alimony and child support, as well as all tax debts, which combined, approach close to $900,000, according to his bankruptcy filing.

Sapp must thank his lucky stars that he’s still on the NFL Network payroll, despite what was reported nearly six months ago. Sales for his new autobiography, “Sapp Attack,” aren’t necessarily setting the bookshelves on fire. A little after a month following its release, the tome currently sits at No. 54,190 on Amazon.com’s Best Sellers list in the “books” category. Yikes.

And in case you’re wondering, no, “Sapp Attack” never even sniffed the New York Times’ reputable Best Sellers list.

Maybe Warren Sapp needs to work on a follow-up book. Perhaps “Judge Sapp” can start moonlighting as a divorce detective.

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 4

Last year, the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers combined for 76 points in the season kickoff game. Now, a ticked-off Packers squad could send the Saints to an 0-4 start in what could easily be the most-watched game this weekend.

Nantz embraces the Broncos, while Buck crossed Bays. And will a dire prediction about one team from one of their own former players come true this weekend? It’s a Fox doubleheader weekend.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Every single one of the three early window matchups that the Eyeball Network will be broadcasting is a divisional tilt. First, we find Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf in Buffalo – why this crew after Spero Dedes was assigned to cover Bills games the previous two weeks? Probably because they’re playing the New England Patriots, who are currently on a two-game losing streak. You may recall last season, both teams combined for 65 points in Orchard Park, with the Patriots on the short end of the stick. Bill “Tickle Me Replacement Ref” Belichick can’t afford to drop another one here: in the Tom Brady era, no Patriots team has ever lost three games in the month of September – and yes, this includes the 2008 season where Matt Cassel relieved Brady midway through the first game of the year, and the 2001 season where the Week 2 game was redirected to after New Year’s Day following the September 11th attacks; the Patriots won that rescheduled game and so had it been played on its original date, they’d be 2-2 in September of that month. Next, we head to Houston, where the undefeated Texans host the Tennessee Titans, with Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts on the play-by-play. And the San Diego Chargers square off against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead (Surprised This Hasn’t Been Replaced By A Corporate Sponsor Yet) Stadium, where Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will be situated for the game.

FOX: The New York Jets are featured on Fox for the first time this season as the San Francisco 49ers travel to New Jersey – but apparently, it won’t be a Joe Buck game since it is not yet “Tebow Time” for Gang Green. Still, it’s always fun when Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa get the call: they called Fox’s only Jets game from last season, their Christmas Eve contest against the crosstown New York Giants (you may recall the other NFC visitor that year, the Dallas Cowboys, opened up the season on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football”). The next Jets game scheduled for Fox is against the Arizona Cardinals in December – and provided they’re still as competitive as they are at the moment, that could be a Buck game, Tebow Time or not. Meanwhile, the remainder of Fox’s early games will consist of divisional matchups: there’s the Detroit Lions hosting the Minnesota Vikings, with Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick in the booth; the Carolina Panthers claw their way to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons, which will be handled by Dick Stockton and John Lynch; and Ron Pitts and Mike Martz will work the Seattle Seahawks/St. Louis Rams game from Missouri.

LATE GAMES

CBS: If you read this space last week, you’ll know that it’s been a very long time since Jim Nantz called a game involving Peyton Manning. And while his drought ended in Week 3, the result was a loss to the Houston Texans. Perhaps Nantz, along with Phil Simms, are hoping for a different result for the Denver Broncos as they host the Oakland Raiders. Let’s hope he’s not in the midst of a jinx similar to the one he had with Tim Tebow late last season. Also, the undefeated Arizona Cardinals are looking for a fish fry to go with a 4-0 start as they entertain the Miami Dolphins, and Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker plan on entertaining the viewers with their play-by-play. And for a change, Marv Albert won’t be calling a game at the same time his brother Kenny is: he and Rich Gannon will be in Jacksonville as the Jaguars get into a dogfight with the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s noteworthy that all three Florida NFL franchises will be active in the late game window this week – but the CBS games will be televised in their territories as planned…

FOX: That’s right, once again, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with their new 85% sellout threshold, still were not able to sell enough tickets to avert a blackout in the Tampa area. I bet Captain Fear was crying when he heard the news. Local fans who weren’t fired up enough to watch the Bucs vs. Cam Newton and the Panthers in the season opener – a game they won – apparently don’t care less about RGIII, either. It’ll be the Washington Redskins vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Chris Myers and Tim Ryan calling the game for those in areas except Tampa. The good news is the Buccaneers don’t have to worry about a game being blacked out next week – it’s their bye week. But they return with two more home games at Raymond James Stadium, with less than appetizing opponents in the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints, the latter of which could still be winless by then. And that leads us to the marquee matchup of Week 4, which finds the Saints, still with a semi-skeleton crew coaching staff as Sean Payton and others are currently serving suspensions, playing the Green Bay Packers, fresh off their loss to the Seattle Seahawks in a game that ended with the controversial touchdown that all but led to the league striking a new deal with the original referee staff. It will be a Lambeau Field full of pissed off Packers fans and players. Adding Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to the formula could lead to ratings gold. And if the Saints are indeed defrocked on the frozen tundra, the prediction by former Saints safety and current NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper that the team would go 0-4 in September will come into full fruition. And should the game get out of hand early, I’d browse NFLN just to see if Sharper comments about it on the “NFL GameDay Scoreboard” show. That is, unless he isn’t doing appearances with The Amazing Kreskin by then.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.

Will Bobby Valentine Return To ESPN?

While Bobby Valentine insists that the Red Sox may bring him back next year, despite the team logging one of its worst records in club history, he really should return to broadcasting, if not at ESPN, then perhaps at MLB Network.

“People say crazy things/Just ’cause I said it, don’t mean that I meant it/Just ’cause you heard it.”

These lyrics from an Adele song could also pass off as thoughts from one Bobby Valentine over the last month or so.

Best known as the manager of the Texas Rangers in the late ’80s and early ’90s as well as the New York Mets over the turn of the century, he was hired by ESPN as a baseball analyst in 2003 shortly after he parted ways with the Amazin’s. He took a five-year hiatus from broadcasting – and American living – as he managed the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team in Japan, and despite a Japan Series championship, his tenure there didn’t end well. Even as he returned to the Worldwide Leader in 2009, his name was linked to as many as eight baseball managerial jobs over the ensuing three years. This as he was part of a new three-man booth that replaced the longtime duo of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan on “Sunday Night Baseball.”

In the fall of 2011, he was hired as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox in a two-year deal. And based on his team’s performance this season, it’s widely speculated that he won’t even survive to manage next season.

His September 5 appearance on Boston’s popular sports radio station WEEI didn’t seem to help matters. At that point, the Red Sox were 63-74, and Valentine, during his weekly segment on “The Big Show,” was asked by Glenn Ordway if he had “checked out” as playoff qualification seemed nowhere in sight.

“If I were there right now, I’d punch you right in the mouth,” a fiery Bobby V responded. “What an embarrassing thing to say.”

I should mention that he punctuated the request to “punch” Ordway “in the mouth” with a “ha ha.” Apparently, many people missed that, and he had to actually clarify that his threat was actually a joke – hence, the “ha ha.”

“People say crazy things. Just ’cause I said it, don’t mean that I meant it. Just ’cause you heard it.”

The Red Sox would win just a quarter of their games over the next three weeks (6-18) leading up to the Fenway Park season finale on this Wednesday night. So far, Valentine had only won 34 of 81 games at the Green Monster, as his club now has to battle the monster that is the AL East cellar and win games against the Orioles and Yankees in their ballparks.

And the only history that he’s made as far as stats are concerned was setting the team record for most ejections in a season, with six. That came exactly one week after his tomfoolery of a threat to a radio host.

Before the Fenway finale, Valentine was asked about his chances of returning in 2013.

“There hasn’t been any dialogue… Which makes me think I’m coming back. I don’t know.”

For someone who seemed pessimistic about his future with the Red Sox, he sure sounded downright optimistic when he said this about the struggles and issues that impeded the team’s playoff chances this year: “All those variables are things I feel I’m prepared to handle. When I come back next year, I think I’m prepared to handle them. Hopefully, we’ll have better results.”

Let me repeat: “When I come back next year…”

The Red Sox are in the midst of their first losing season in fifteen years, and are on the precipice of losing 90 or more games for the first time in nearly a half-century – this on what was supposed to be a festive 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. If a losing record wasn’t bad enough, 2012 had been marred by the deaths of “the voice of Fenway Park,” Carl Beane, and former Red Sox infielder, manager and broadcaster Johnny Pesky. Even David Ortiz was involved in what could have been a devastating traffic accident (he’s okay).

Yet when it came to managing the 2012 Red Sox, Valentine acknowledged: “There’s not much I would have done differently.”

Let’s just assume for argument’s sake that the Red Sox gave Bobby V the ax. Once again, he’d be looking for work – but will he even entertain the thought of working for another baseball club after such an execrable season in Boston?

Or will he making a third go-round at ESPN? That’s provided they’ve got room for him. While they could likely accommodate him to rejoin their dozen resident baseball analysts, Bobby V might consider that a step down from his previous position at the Worldwide Leader. And I don’t think that Terry Francona is going to approve of Bobby Valentine replacing him in two jobs in as many years.

Then again, he still has his verified Twitter account, still reflecting his association with ESPN. Granted, he hasn’t used it since last August – nor has he worked for ESPN since last fall – but it’s there.

Of course, there are other sports broadcasting outlets that might be vying for his services, as well, such as MLB Network.

Bobby Valentine’s managing days may be coming to an end – but with an unmatched personality that transcends from the dugout to the studio, something tells me he has yet to “check out” of broadcasting anytime soon.

No matter how much he insists he’ll be back with the Red Sox next season.

Just ’cause he said it, doesn’t mean that he means it.

The Sharper Image: Darren Predicted Saints 0-4 Start On NFL Network

As Sean Payton and others serve suspensions related to Bountygate, interim head coach Aaron Kromer and the New Orleans Saints have started the 2012 season with an 0-3 record – which is not too far off from an 0-4 prediction by NFL Network analyst – and former Saints safety – Darren Sharper.

Are you surprised that the New Orleans Saints lost a game that they led by as much as 18 points to the Kansas City Chiefs?

Are you surprised that they are now 0-3, on the precipice of starting the season 0-4?

Former Saints safety Darren Sharper likely isn’t surprised.

In fact, he said as much on NFL Network not too long ago.

On a 2012 NFL season preview special which aired on September 4, Sharper predicted that his former team would start 0-4. I could not find a video of this segment via NFL.com’s library of NFL Network videos – but there’s confirmation here – as well as Sharper’s own Twitter account. “Relax,” he wrote to his Saints followers hours after his prognostication, “IT’S JUST TV, MAN! You know the Saints [are] not going 0-4!”

Judging on how the season has started for the team under interim head coach Aaron Kromer, maybe he’d like to have that one back.

After the Saints lost their first game of the season, a home loss to the Washington Redskins under rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, Sharper argued that the team would be the “2011 playoff team most likely to start 0-2.” He added that the game against the Panthers would be “close”. The Panthers beat the Saints by eight points.

Then on last Monday’s edition of “NFL Total Access,” Sharper was among a four-man panel batting around a few topics, including: “Will the Saints rebound from an 0-2 start?”

“That next game against the Kansas City Chiefs: don’t look at it as an easy game,” Sharper warned Brian Billick. “We’ve seen this Chiefs team knock off the Green Bay Packers last [year, handing them their first loss after a 14-0 start]. So they can step to that level and play up.”

“You think [the Saints will] be 0-3, don’t you?,” Andrew Siciliano asked Sharper.

After letting out a deep sigh, Sharper clarified: “I don’t want to say it, but I think it could be leading that way, because you talk about the percentages, giving you that percent of just having a chance. They lose this game and go 0-3, that 11% chance of makign the playoffs at 0-2 goes to 3%. Now if you want to walk around with 3% chance in your pocket, I’ll let you have that. I want the other percent.”

Sharper also doubled down on his prediction that the Chiefs would upset the Saints on this past Wednesday’s “Total Access” (no video of that exists on NFL.com, either).

The result: in Week 3 at the Superdome, the Saints, who at one point led the Chiefs 24-6, let Matt Cassel and his crew score 21 unanswered points (including a safety for sacking Drew Brees in his own end zone), capped off by a game-winning field goal in overtime. The aforementioned Brees was ineffective down the stretch, with his final six passes of the game thrown for incompletions.

Sharper, who appeared on “NFL GameDay Highlights” this afternoon, made no mention of his prediction of a winless September for the Saints. Instead, Waddle and Paul Burmeister forced Sharper’s hand – specifically, Sharper shakily raising his hand when Burmeister asked, “Did anybody here predict the Chiefs to win?”

“I’m not proud to predict this against a community and a city that I love,” Sharper admitted. He explained that the team is suffering from “hangover” after the Bountygate business in the offseason. Furthermore, he considered himself “confused” watching a Saints defense that has already allowed 100 points in its first three games of the season. “I don’t see the same type of passion in the defensive effort that I’ve seen in the past on the same team.” (No bounties?)

Watch the video below:

Sharper also took the opportunity to take his former team to task for languishing in the absence of head coach Sean Payton, currently serving a one-year suspension for his role in Bountygate.

“It’s not New Orleans Saints football,” said Sharper, parroting a point from fellow analyst Tom Waddle. “It’s allowing teams to finish you off. This team in the past, Coach Peyton – I know he’s not there now,  but since he started coaching there – always finished teams when they had a lead on them. And that lets you know that this team, it seems like they got that, that ‘woe is me’ attitude, where they’re starting to feel bad for themselves. And that’s coming out of playing tough, hard-nosed football.”

There was also no immediate reaction from Sharper of his 0-4 prediction on Twitter after the game, but there were plenty of Saints fans who remembered his prediction – which has a chance to come to complete fruition next week when the Saints travel to Green Bay, where the Packers own a 9-2 all-time record against New Orleans at Lambeau Field.

At that point, NFLN might just need to make room for Darren Sharper on the weekly “Bold Predictions” segment on “GameDay Morning.”

Philly AM Station Raptured By Family Radio

WPEN-AM in Philadelphia, the one-time “950 ESPN,” has been sold by Greater Media to Family Stations, Inc. Greater Media’s sports radio format will now exclusively be heard on sister station WPEN-FM, “97.5 The Fanatic,” which celebrates its fourth anniversary next month.

Once upon a time, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that they would be relocating from the market’s established sports radio station, WIP (610 AM/94.1 FM) to rival WPEN-FM (97.5 The Fanatic), with games simulcast on WPEN-AM 950, which was station owner Greater Media’s original frequency on the Philly radio dial for sports talk until they flipped 97.5 to “Philly’s first FM sports station” in the fall of 2009. This move came roughly one month after the 76ers abruptly shifted from WIP-AM/FM to WPEN-AM/FM as their flagship, effective with broadcasts of their 2012 postseason run. Up until then, WIP-AM/FM held the monopoly on radio play-by-play rights (sister station WPHT-AM is also the Phillies flagship). So the field is now split between Greater Media and CBS Radio, owner of WIP/WPHT.

And very soon, the programming between the AM and FM sides of both WIP and WPEN will be radically different. We already know that WIP-AM is going to become a 24/7 outlet for the new CBS Sports Radio network on January 2 of next year.

Now comes word that WPEN-AM, the one-time flagship station of the Phillies, has been sold to Family Stations, Inc. for an undisclosed price. For years, Family Radio had been heard in Philly via Camden-licensed WKDN-FM 106.9, but was sold earlier this year to Merlin Media. The sale of this station plus another in Washington, D.C. may have been brought on by the negative publicity Family Radio president Harold Camping received in 2011, when he predicted not one, but two raptures – May 21 and October 21 – that never came into fruition. (And for what it’s worth, the date of Family Radio’s acquisition of WPEN-AM is September 21.)

While Greater Media had planned to simulcast Flyers and Sixers games on both 950 AM and 97.5 FM, it would have been ideal for both frequencies to air both teams’ games in the event of a conflict (though upon the announcement of their new deal with Greater Media, the Flyers announced that some overflow games would be heard on sister station WMMR/93.3 FM). But with the NHL currently in lockout mode, thus no Flyers/Sixers conflicts to be concerned about, Greater Media likely decided that now would be the best time to unload AM 950. And at a time where the AM band is all but being phased out in favor of FM and smartphones, you’ll want to unload those AM sticks as soon as someone has a reasonable offer.

It’s likely that once the NHL lockout ends, Flyers games will be heard on WMMR by default, should a Sixers game be played at the same time (and heard on WPEN-FM – which would become simply WPEN once Family Radio receives a new callsign for AM 950).

But whither WFME in New York? The frequency, at 94.7 FM – which at one point Family Radio applied for the status of its license to be changed from its current non-commercial status to commercial – once rumored to be purchased by ESPN (which eventually turned out to be 98.7 FM in an LMA deal with Emmis Communications)? Does Family Radio’s buying back into the Philadelphia market mean Harold Camping’s got his groove back?

Well, the deal was made exactly three months before the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar

Regional Roundup: NFL Week 3

Look familiar? It’s Peyton Manning with his old team, the Indianapolis Colts, in what would be his final regular season game with the team. It was also the last game that Jim Nantz called with Manning in it. And now, Nantz’s 20 1/2-month wait is over, as he’ll call this weekend’s Broncos/Texans matchup.

Jim Nantz is so excited because, after a lengthy delay – plus a couple of nationally televised primetime games to start the Broncos’ season – he’ll be reunited with Peyton Manning – and we’ll bet it’ll sound so good. And this week, Nantz’s network, CBS, has the doubleheader.

EARLY GAMES

CBS: Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf will be at the Superdome in what should be a super pasting of the Kansas City Chiefs at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, despite their 0-2 record (and former Saints safety Darren Sharper predicted this summer on NFL Network that the Saints, whose coach is serving a suspension this year, would start 0-4… we’re holding you at your word, Darren). This game will be seen in over half of the country, mostly the midwest, as well as Los Angeles, Denver, and for some reason, Austin, TX. And it would have also been seen in San Diego but circumstances surrounding that game has led to the league moving things around a bit (more on that later in, aptly enough, the “late games” section). Meanwhile, the one and only Marv Albert will be calling another Jets contest, as he and Rich Gannon will set sail to Sun Life Stadium for a divisional joust between the Dolphins and the New York Jets, a game that staved off a blackout in the South Florida area. And there will be another divisional showdown in Indianapolis, as rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Colts play Blaine Gabbert (who’s expected to start despite an injury) and the Jacksonville Jaguars; Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker will have that game covered. Another rookie quarterback. Robert Griffin III. will be making his debut on CBS, as his Washington Redskins will face the Cincinnati Bengals. Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots will call that one from the Nation’s Capital. And Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein will be calling a Bills game for the second week in a row; this time, it’s Buffalo vs. the Cleveland Browns, or as I like to call it, the eerie Erie bowl.

FOX: And for the second week in a row, Joe Buck will be calling a Buccaneers road game at the site of an NFC East team’s stadium. Last week, there was that stunning come-from-behind New York Giants victory over the Pewter Pirates; this week, the Dallas Cowboys will seek redemption for a putrid output in Seattle. as always, former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman accompanies Buck with the play-by-play. At the same time, Fox’s B-team of Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa will be in Minneapolis, as the 2-0 San Francisco 49ers will look to make it 3-0 when they meet the Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhile, Dick Stockton and John Lynch will handle the St. Louis Rams/Chicago Bears game from Soldier Field. (If you take a look at the FOX Week 3 coverage map on the506.com, the coverage area for this game sticks out like a puzzle piece.) And the Tennessee Titans will try and pick up the pieces as they are off to an 0-2 start, and hosting the Detroit Lions with their high-powered offense may not be the best elixir – but Ron Pitts and Mike Martz are up for calling the game, anyway.

LATE GAMES

CBS: The last time Jim Nantz called a game involving Peyton Manning was the final week of the regular season in 2010, as his old team, the Colts, played the Titans to the tune of a 23-20 victory (they would be eliminated by the Jets in the first round of the playoffs in an NBC game). The last time Jim Nantz called a game in Denver was during last season’s playoffs, as the Broncos eliminated the Pittsburgh Steelers with an overtime victory behind Tim Tebow. Fast forward to Week 3 in 2012: Nantz, along with Phil Simms, will once again be in the booth for a game with Manning under center for his new team, the Broncos, as they host the Houston Texans. As for the aforementioned Steelers, they’re in the “black hole” squaring off with the Oakland Raiders, in a game that will be called by Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, a game for which a blackout was looming, but the Raiders sold enough tickets for the game to be televised in Northern California – in fact, it will be televised in the entire state of California. That’s because…

FOX: The San Diego Chargers, which needed an extension to sell out its home opener last weekend, were not so lucky to pull it off a second week in a row, for their next game against the Atlanta Falcons. This despite a dominant effort in a win against the Titans, and the fact that they’re one of six undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. In fact, a reported 9,200 tickets were unsold when the deadline passed. That’s a lot – especially when you consider a 2-0 team can’t sell enough tickets for their games. Maybe Los Angeles might have more luck selling out games if the Chargers moved there? Anyway, as a result of the blackout, San Diego viewers lose a game in what would have been a doubleheader on CBS (local affiliate KFMB): the previously scheduled FOX late game becomes an early game in 49ers/Vikings, which means the early game on CBS, Chiefs/Saints, won’t air there; as previously mentioned, San Diego’s late game will be Steelers/Raiders on CBS. In other words, San Diego will be able to watch action from all of the California NFL franchises but their own. As for those that will be able to watch the game at home – mostly in the South, as well as Indianapolis and Kansas City – you’ll be hearing the voices of Chris Myers and Tim Ryan. And of course, there’s the Philadelphia Eagles, who will be participating in their second straight “bird bowl,” as they flock to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals; Thom Brenneman and Brian Billick will call that one. One backstory to this matchup: Kevin Kolb, who had been the Eagles’ starting quarterback but relegated to backup duty upon Michael Vick’s resurgence, joined the Cardinals and at the start of this season, was named backup to John Skelton, who was injured in Week 1; Kolb led the Cardinals to a win in that game as well as the following one in New England – which makes them another of the six last undefeateds in the NFL. While the Eagles might be the better team on paper, I’m sure Kolb would like to remind his former team what he can do.

Information from the506.com was used in this post.