It’s a doubleheader week for CBS – but they’ll be working a bit shorthanded as nearly half of their games scheduled to be telecast will be blacked out locally due to low ticket sales (and no, the Buccaneers are playing in Denver, so that’s not one of the games). More info as you read on…
CBS: The New England Patriots are just .500 in Miami in the Bill Belichick era. So expect Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf to call a competitive game between the Pats and the Dolphins. Up in Detroit, the Lions host their second straight AFC opponent in a row (which means the Lions have two CBS games back-to-back), as they look to take their aggression from that turkey of a call during that Thanksgiving game with the Houston Texans out on the Indianapolis Colts. Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will work this game. As for those aforementioned Texans, they’re on the road in Tennessee for a division showdown with the Titans that will be called by Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots. And our first blackout victim of this weekend is the Bills, who have most recently had a couple of games blacked out in Buffalo last December – including a game against the Denver Broncos, featuring one Tim Tebow, in a game in which he threw a career-high three interceptions (or half his pick output for the entire year). As of Saturday morning, still no word of what game the Buffalo CBS affiliate will air in place of the Bills’ contest with the Jacksonville Jaguars (the first of four straight weeks of AFC East opponents for the Jags) but if their neighbors to the east, Rochester and Syracuse, are going with the Patriots/Dolphins tilt, I would expect Buffalo to do so, as well. For those in the Binghamton, Elmira and Watertown areas of New York State, as well as Orlando and the “Panhandle” area, Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein have been assigned to your game.
FOX: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman return to Lambeau Field for the 103rd meeting between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. I guess I should note here that Fox has protected all three of the New York Giants’ games over the next three weeks – so I think I have a good idea of where their A-team will be turning up for the rest of the month. (The Giants play the Redskins on Monday night.) There’s another division faceoff on the Fox menu as the St. Louis Rams look to avenge their tie against the San Francisco 49ers – or is it, the 49ers look to avenge their tie against the Rams? Anyway, Kenny Albert, Daryl “Moose” Johnston and Tony Siragusa will work the game in St. Louis. As for the duo that worked that tie game a few weeks ago, Chris Myers and Tim Ryan, they’ll be in Soldier Field, as the Chicago Bears host the Seattle Seahawks, in a battle of two teams that are virtually undefeated at home; unfortunately for the Seahawks, they’ll be without their “12th man.” Also, we send our wishes to Brian Billick, who was a late scratch for last week’s Falcons/Buccaneers game due to a back issue, one that he vowed would not impede his ability to analyze future games. And with that, we now wish good luck to him and Thom Brennaman, as they now have to work a contest between the Arizona Cardinals and the New York Jets, a couple of reeling franchises of late. But perhaps not as pathetic as the Carolina Panthers and the Kansas City Chiefs, who will also be squaring off against each other, and Ron Pitts and Mike Martz interpreting game action to viewers. Remarkably, the 1-10 Chiefs have continued to have their home games sell out, thus their games airing locally. Sadly, the same cannot be said about teams with substantially better records…
CBS: There are three games in CBS’ late game window, and two of the them will be blacked out locally. First, the Oakland Raiders will snap their consecutive home sellout streak with a game against the Cleveland Browns; for those in the Chico and Fresno areas of California as well as western Nevada and northern Ohio able to view the game, you will hear Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker with the play-by-play. Meanwhile, the San Diego Chargers will suffer their third straight blackout this season as their game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a team that’s no stranger to local blackouts, also fell short of a sellout. The great Marv Albert and Rich Gannon will be working this game, one that will be shown only in most of Ohio, central Kentucky, southeast Indiana, Bakersfield ans Santa Barbara, CA, and Yuma, AZ. In lieu of their home team, both the Oakland and San Diego areas will be switched to the second contest in three weeks betweem the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, which will be worked by CBS’ A-team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.
FOX: For the first and only time all season, Peyton Manning will get some Fox time. All four of the Denver Broncos’ games against NFC South teams have been evenly distributed: a road game vs. the Falcons on ESPN, a home game vs. the Saints on NBC, and a road game vs. the Panthers on CBS. So finally, for the first time in almost exactly two years since Buck and Aikman called a Cowboys/Colts contest in Week 13 of 2010, Manning will be in action in a game on Fox, and Dick Stockton and John Lynch will be calling it. This week, the Broncos host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lynch actually played for both teams, though many (myself included) tend to forget about the final four seasons with the Broncos that rounded out his fifteen-year career; he’ll more than likely enter the Hall of Fame as a Buccaneer. The Los Angeles market was initially given this game, but opted for 49ers/Rams. Interestingly, they weren’t given the Vikings/Packers game by default; it’ll be the first time since Week 3 that Buck/Brennaman and Aikman will not be working a game that will be shown in the No. 2 market.
For those wondering, this will be the first time in two years that there were three blackouts in a single weekend.
Information from the506.com was used in this post.