Donovan McNabb Wants The Overtime Rules Back The Way They Were

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Network analyst Donovan McNabb is calling for a carbon copy of the original overtime rules. As for ties, he would vow to "just play football" until somebody wins.

NFL Network analyst Donovan McNabb is calling for a carbon copy of the original overtime rules. As for ties, he would vow to “just play football” until somebody wins.

We all remember when Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a tie against the Cincinnati Bengals – and how he thought the game would continue after that one and only 15-minute overtime period.

Suddenly, the retired quarterback and now NFL Network analyst (who, by the way, you’ll be hearing a lot from on NBC Sports Radio – you’ve been warned) has become an expert on overtime in the NFL: he basically wants the overtime rules, which were modified to give the team losing the coin toss at least one possession for OT in the playoffs in 2010, and eventually the regular season as well, two years later, reinstated to its previous form.

This during a roundtable segment on Saturday’s “NFL Total Access” program on NFL Network, in which host Andrew Siciliano asked panelists which rule they would change if they were NFL commissioner for a day. Analyst Brian Baldinger made a case for simplifying “overlitigated” plays that may be ruled differently by officials, and guest analyst, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Dwight Freeney, wants an end to “cut blocks” from offensive linemen or tight ends.

But McNabb, well, he wants to go back to the future.

Transcript below:

DONOVAN McNABB: You know what? I know everyone will probably entertain themselves with mine. You know, and my Twitter followers, you’ll love this one, but I’m going to talk about the overtime rules. I’d rather — let’s get back to normal football, and if it goes to overtime, hey, first — first touchdown, first field goal wins, and the game is over. We all know, hey, if you score a touchdown, it’s over; if you kick a field goal, do you kick an onside kick, then it’s like, they have possession of the ball, game is [over]…

BRIAN BALDINGER: Do you play it all through the season, all the way until someone wins?

McNABB: Regular season — you know, you get into overtime in the regular season, you kick a field goal, the game is over.

ANDREW SICILIANO: I’ll ask: what about ties?

McNABB: [Laughter] Well, well, ties, hey, in the regular season, I was part of a tie —

SICILIANO: But, do you want to ban ties? I’d ban ties.

McNABB: You know what, let’s just play football. Let’s continue to play football. We have nowhere to go, the fans have nowhere to go, hey, let’s — whoever kicks a field goal or scores a touchdown, game is over.

BALDINGER: Injuries, injuries that happen in the second overtime?

McNABB: We’re, we are never, in the NFL, worried about injuries. We’re worried about ratings. And money. So it’s not that, how long it goes, and, you know, if somebody gets hurt — play till somebody wins.

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PA. NFL Network Viewers Denied Tebow Time

NFL Network viewers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh - including Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley - were not able to view Friday night's Jets/Bengals broadcast, forcing Rich Eisen to address the odd situation via Twitter.

It’s as if the Keystone Kops were controlling the cable operations in the Keystone State.

On Friday night, as the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals were preparing for their first preseason action of the year – and Tim Tebow’s all-important first official snaps in a Jet uniform – many viewers of NFL Network instead were greeted with a replay of Thursday night’s Ravens/Falcons preseason tilt.

Including, for some reason, viewers in the Philadelphia area.

“Someone want to explain to me why NFL Network has a replay of the Falcons/Ravens game on and [not] Jets/Bengals?”, asked Dan Rodgers of Lower Merion, PA, moments after the game had started.

And Berwyn resident Stephane Hardinger expressed outrage, demanding: “I MUST SEE TIMOTHY TEBOW PLAY.”

Philadelphia was not alone in their lack of Tebow Time, as it appears NFLN viewers in Pittsburgh were also affected – including one LaMarr Woodley, who has only been the outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last six years.

“What channel the Jets game on?,” he tweeted to his 133,000+ followers at around a quarter to 8 PM. Moments later, he would personally tweet NFL Network’s Twitter account seeking answers.

Even viewers from “the sticks of PA” chimed in expressing their incense of not being able to watch Tebow and Co.

In fact, viewers from Virginia to Indiana had been watching the replay of the Ravens’ 31-17 road rout of the Falcons instead of what would be the Bengals beating the Jets 17-6.

What went wrong?

No, not with Tim Tebow or Mark Sanchez, but with NFL Network’s apparent botching of this blackout in areas outside of New York – very far outside New York, it looks like.

Even though it’s only a preseason game, and despite the fact that the Jets were on the road in this preseason game, WCBS-TV, which carried the contest in New York, has requested the game be blacked out on NFLN in the greater New York metro.

Being situated in New York, I can confirm that I saw Ravens/Falcons on NFLN on Friday night. And when I flipped over during a commercial break on WCBS’ Jets/Bengals coverage to NFLN, for no particular reason, to watch day-old Ravens/Falcons footage, I saw Verizon FiOS insert a local ad break right in the middle of a drive.

I can understand if CBS asks for NFL Network – which was carrying WCBS’ feed of the game, thus may have lied within CBS’ request – to show alternate programming in New York so that more viewers would watch the Jets/Bengals game on WCBS’ air. (It’s moot, given that Time Warner and Cablevision, the two major cable companies in NYC, don’t even carry NFLN, but that’s beside the point.) As such, even viewers in Connecticut and New Jersey were affected by this blackout request. And so, NFLN, rather than just go dark for three hours, had beamed the Ravens/Falcons game to areas in New York City, as well as Connecticut and New Jersey.

Yet in NFLN’s infinite wisdom, this included South Jersey, which is Philadelphia Eagles territory. This caused a domino effect that spread to Philadelphia itself, and Pittsburgh, as well.

After about an hour of fielding Twitter complaints from several viewers – including the Super Bowl champion and one-time Pro Bowler LaMarr Woodley – NFL Network’s Rich Eisen was compelled to address the issue. “To the people of Pennsylvania, I have no earthly idea why you can’t see Jets/Bengals on @NFLNetwork,” he tweeted. The fact that the face of NFL Network had to tweet about this may be indicative of a veiled “mea culpa” on NFLN’s part for mishandling the blackout of Jets/Bengals in selected areas.

Just so I had all my bases covered, this morning, I spoke to Alicia, a representative from the service department at Comcast, the largest cable provider in Philadelphia, and she confirmed that, according to a colleague who was on duty Friday night, there were no issues central to Comcast with regards to blacking out NFLN or airing replacement programming, nor were there any customer complaints at that time.

Meanwhile, in an ironic twist, it appears viewers in Cincinnati – whose Bengals have been a repeated local television blackout victim during the regular season – were able to watch the WCBS-TV feed of Jets/Bengals on NFL Network on Friday night (that is, if they haven’t switched from Time Warner). Locally, Bengals preseason broadcasts are carried on WKRC-TV – and you’d have to wonder if there would have been similar issues, had NFLN opted for Brad Johansen’s call of the game. With Tim Tebow on the roster of the opposing team, probably not.

At any rate, NFL Network is scheduled to carry one more Jets preseason game this month, and it’s scheduled for next Saturday night against the crosstown rivals – and Super Bowl champions – the New York Giants. And it looks like for the second week in a row, NFLN will once again lean on the Jets’ local broadcast team. In fact, according to the schedules on both the Jets’ and Giants’ websites, it appears there’s not even going to be a Giants broadcasting crew handling the game on television. Yes, it’s considered a Jets home game, but did I mention the Giants just won the Super Bowl?

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to find out whether or not Philadelphia-area viewers will be complaining about how they’re watching a rebroadcast of Friday night’s Ravens/Lions game in lieu of Jets/Giants on Saturday night.

Likewise, we’ll also know if LaMarr Woodley – whose Steelers play both the Jets and Giants in the first half of their 2012-13 campaign – will miss out on viewing potential “game tape” as a result of another screwup at NFL Network.

He may have to go over to Culver City and punk someone.

The New NFL Blackout Rule: Thanks For Nothing? Bucs Buy In, Others Not So Much

Just because the NFL announced the opportunity for teams to scale back the sellout barometer and avoid TV blackouts, doesn't mean they're all in. Teams such as the Colts and Chargers decline the new 85% blackout rule, while the Jaguars mull doing the same. The Buccaneers, who had five home games blacked out in 2011, and the Bengals, with a half-dozen games not shown on local TV last year, are now on the clock.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last week, the NFL announced a modification to its long-standing blackout rule. Instead of a home game being blacked out if 100% of tickets for that game are not sold, the league allowed them to be shown in their local markets if only 85% of tickets are sold.

What sounded like an easy fix to a controversial rule at first will instead cause the same old headaches for long-suffering fans. That’s because teams whose games could be assisted by the new 85% sellout rule are instead choosing the status quo. The league is soliciting decisions from all 32 teams on which blackout threshold they will use – and they have until Sunday to make up their minds.

The Indianapolis Colts, who will be playing with first overall draft pick Andrew Luck under center, carry a 79-game home sellout streak into the 2012 season – and they plan to put it on the line as they opt not to scale back their sellout threshold. Miraculously, the team depending on folks like Dan Orlovsky and Curtis Painter at quarterback in relief of a post-op Peyton Manning still managed to sell out all of their games at Lucas Oil Field in 2011 (though the Fox affiliate in Fort Wayne had alternate plans for one week). There’s no telling if Luck will play good football or stink up the joint in his debut NFL season. But a high-ranking Colts executive pleaded that “we need people in the stadium” because “we’re a small-market team.” That executive was also of the opinion that most of the NFL teams will forego the 85% rule and depend on SRO’s to get games shown on local TV.

The San Diego Chargers are another team sticking with the old blackout policy. In 2011, the Bolts had two games blacked out, while just avoiding a third in their season finale at Qualcomm/Snapdragon Stadium. “This market has shown an ability to sell out games over the last ten years,” remarked team CEO/executive VP AG Spanos, who argued that the blackout policy, even with its new 85% option, is “not… flexible.”

As of Friday, we can add the Buffalo Bills, victims of three blackouts last year, to the mix. And Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping expressed intentions of standing pat with the old blackout rule; they managed to stave off blackouts in the 2011 season, including the season finale against the aforementioned Colts, who also sold out their home games this year, minus Manning.

The two teams to keep an eye on over the weekend are teams that had a combined eleven home games denied on local television due to poor ticket sales: The Cincinnati Bengals, despite qualifying for the playoffs last year, had six games blacked out. And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went the other direction in losing the last ten games of their season overall, had five games warrant blackouts due to empty seats at Raymond James Stadium.

It would make sense for the Bengals and Buccaneers to take advantage of the new 85% blackout rule, especially the latter, whose city is still smarting from the economic downturn of four years ago. But the Bucs report that the hiring of new head coach Greg Schiano is wooing fans back to the ticket window.

And in fact, shortly after this post went public, the Buccaneers did indeed announce that they will lower their blackout barometer to an 85% sellout. (h/t Kyle Mayer.) “We hope that this move, along with lower ticket prices… will lead to more televised Buccaneer home games this year,” said Bucs VP of business administration Brian Ford in a team release.

Meanwhile, the 85% blackout rule might be redundant for the Bengals due to the capacity of Paul Brown Stadium, which holds upwards of 65,000. One of the biggest critics of the original NFL blackout rule is Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D), who has called it “outdated” and “unnecessary.”

Actually, Senator, it’s unnecessary for a team to qualify for the playoffs in a season in which three quarters of its home games were blacked out during the regular season.

And if the teams most plagued by blackouts last year pass up on the opportunity to lower the blackout threshold, football fans will be wondering if this new 85% rule is unnecessary.

Hopefully, Tampa will Buc a trend.

Ochocinco Comes A-Knockin'

With flamboyant wide receiver Chad Ochocinco signing a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins, HBO is hoping he'll add some juice to the upcoming season of "Hard Knocks." It will be his second appearance on the program in three seasons. The Cincinnati Bengals were featured on the show in 2009.

Over the weekend, rumors began to circulate about wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who found himself a free agent after being cut by the New England Patriots following an unsuccessful season, ending up on yet another AFC East team, the Miami Dolphins.

The same Dolphins who conveniently just agreed to be featured on this season’s edition of “Hard Knocks.”

And late Monday night, both parties agreed on a one-year deal.

Even though his outrageous and unpredictable personality was bottled up for the most part in New England, and even though, production-wise, Ochocinco has yet to outperform the previous incarnation of himself – when he was playing under his given name, Chad Johnson – Ochocinco’s presence should add some much-needed sizzle to a “Hard Knocks” steak coming off of a very juicy Jets entree. (At least they decided not to settle on Jaguars steak tartar.)

And as a player, Ochocinco’s veteran presence should also make the team relevant. Just how irrelevant is the current Dolphins wide receiving corps? Monday night on “NFL Total Access,” Heath Evans referred to one of the team’s wideouts, Davone Bess, as “Devon Boss.” Ouch.

For Ochocinco, it means he will be making his second appearance on “Hard Knocks,” a production of HBO Sports and NFL Films. In 2009, the program featured the Cincinnati Bengals in what would be Ochocinco’s penultimate year with the team – he played for ten seasons with Cincinnati before signing with New England last year. The 2009 season was also the last of six seasons that he made the Pro Bowl. (To date, of course.)

While it may appear to be destiny (“It’s not destiny. It’s HBO.”) that brought Ochocinco and the Dolphins together, it does mean that the athlete, who grew up in the Miami neighborhood of Liberty City, will get an opportunity to play for the team he grew up rooting for. There’s also the possibility of Ochocinco “finishing his career in his home state,” as ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggested.

Wouldn’t that be a great ending to a colorful career? But it’s not an ending meant for HBO – more like NBC, ESPN, NFL Network, or any broadcasting entity that would benefit from his one-of-a-kind spunk. And they will line up in droves once Ochocinco calls it a career.

And so, a mere three weeks after Chad Ochocinco ties the knot with his fiance (the invite says “Chad Johnson,” but, you know), he will begin training camp with his third NFL team, the Miami Dolphins.

And with HBO’s cameras rolling film, that deal might be a match made in premium channel universe ratings heaven.

There Will Be No Tebow Time To Kickoff The 2012-13 Season On NBC

We won't know until April at the latest when the next installment of the budding rivalry between Tom Brady and Tim Tebow will take place. And while the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the Giants, there's still a good chance that they can open their season with the Broncos on NBC.

Regardless of the Broncos’ exit from the 2011-12 NFL playoffs, Tim Tebow has been a force to be reckoned with.

That was evident back in late December, when CBS and NBC fought tooth and nail (actually, “nail” may not be the best term to use when you’re writing about Tim Tebow) over who would air a regular season Broncos/Patriots matchup.

Even after the Patriots sent the Broncos packing in the playoffs, CBS expressed interest in having Tebow on their “NFL Today” pre-AFC Championship Game edition (he respectfully declined).

Then there’s the Super Bowl – and no, I’m not talking about the week leading up to it (though there is a mind-blowing update on that). How, you ask, could Tebow be a factor in the Super Bowl, which aired on NBC?

It has to do with who the eventual winner would be hosting on the Thursday following Labor Day – which will air on NBC.

And it’s all contingent on which team prevailed, based on their schedules.

On January 2, right after the conclusion of the regular season, the NFL released each team’s lists of opponents for the season ahead, home and away, based on records, but not the actual schedules – that will happen in April on a date to be determined.

Looking at the Broncos’ schedule, aside from the usual AFC West suspects, four of the other five teams they are scheduled to play on the road made the playoffs this year – Atlanta and Cincinnati, both Wild Card round exits, and both teams that just happened to play in this year’s AFC Championship Game, New England and Baltimore.

Indeed, the NFC division that Denver plays this year is the NFC South, including a home game against the Saints. Which means they would not play the Giants next year, especially on “kickoff” night, should the Giants win the Super Bowl – which they did.

So in order for NBC to start the 2012-13 season with some “Tebow Time,” they would have to be pulling for the Patriots to prevail – which they did not.

Granted, NBC might be happier that the Giants won: their home opponents for the 2012-13 season include New Orleans and Green Bay. Given how the Giants eliminated the Packers en route to their fourth Lombardi trophy, combined with the Saints traveling to Green Bay for the previous season’s Thursday night “kickoff” game, all signs point to the Packers opening the season in New Jersey on September 6.

But it will be a virtual lock that NBC ends up with at least one regular season Broncos game next season. The Broncos games that may likely be scheduled for primetime starts are home games against New Orleans and San Diego, as well as Pittsburgh, whom the Broncos eliminated in this year’s playoffs, and road contests at San Diego, Baltimore and New England.

You have to wonder if Robert Kraft is calling dibs on CBS’ behalf for the Patriots/Broncos game a second straight year.

But it would only be fair if the NFL scheduled that game on a Sunday night on NBC. Especially given CBS aired the previous two go-rounds, including a Saturday night playoff game.

It would only be fair if the Broncos’ third matchup with the Patriots in just the fifteenth game of the Tim Tebow era, was the marquee matinee for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” franchise for the 2012-13 season.

You would think CBS wouldn’t mind: with commitments to U.S. Open Tennis, FOX traditionally has a doubleheader in Week 1, anyway.

Perhaps the league can pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and schedule the game on ESPN or even their own NFL Network. But such a matchup with tremendous appeal is just too big for cable.

It’ll be interesting to learn where the Denver at New England game ends up in two months (or perhaps sooner; the league has been known to release schedule details for a handful of juicy matchups a few weeks prior to the release of the full schedule).

But make no mistake: NBC will get their share of Tebow Time yet.

Even if it doesn’t “kickoff” the new football season.

Just 212 days left.

Jinx Nantz? CBS' No. 1 NFL Booth Defies Tebow Time, Three Weeks In A Row

Since CBS battled NBC over the Broncos/Patriots game, Denver is now 0-3 - with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling all three of those games. Perhaps CBS should relegate them to the bathroom, like Mush from "A Bronx Tale."

Well, I hope CBS is satisfied with themselves.

This all started when CBS engaged in a fierce scrimmage with NBC over who would televise the Broncos/Patriots game back in Week 15. At that point, the Broncos were on a six-game winning streak, and Tim Tebow, supplanted as the Broncos’ starting quarterback after their bye week during Week 6, had been 7-1 as a starter.

Ever since then, all three Broncos games that had been shown on CBS were called by their number one announcing booth of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Broncos end the regular season on a three-game losing streak.

As are Jim Nantz and Phil Simms when it comes to “Tebow Time.”

Funny how karma works.

Let’s review: The Broncos were 1-4 B.C. (before changing starting quarterbacks). In the eight games that followed with Tebow under center, half of them were CBS games. You may recall that one of the originally scheduled CBS games went to FOX after NBC flexed Lions/Saints in Week 13. That would be followed by another FOX game in Week 14. The lone Broncos loss in that eight-game stretch was also a FOX game, Tebow’s second start of the season, in Detroit in Week 8. And there was the NFL Network primetime game in Week 11.

For CBS’ Broncos games in this stretch – all of which were Broncos road games in other AFC team cities, coincidentally – their announcers of choice were: Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots (Week 7 at Miami), Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf (Week 9 at Oakland), Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker (Week 10 at Kansas City) and Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts (Week 12 at San Diego).

With Tebowmania at an all-time high between the Week 13 and Week 14 games, at which point the NFL would decide which game in Week 15, if any, would be flexed into “Sunday Night Football.” NBC, for obvious reasons, had its eye on the Broncos/Patriots matchup. CBS, after realizing that they have been assigning only their second-tier and below announcing teams to Broncos games during the Tim Tebow era, tells NBC, not so fast. They suddenly realized that the Jets/Eagles game that they protected back in October – right around the time Tebow was named the Broncos’ starter – wasn’t as valuable as Broncos/Patriots. Heck, CBS now realized that any game in which the Broncos are playing is gold, period, due to the Tim Tebow factor.

The two networks tussled until one Wednesday afternoon, when NBC decides to pull out and go on with the originally scheduled Ravens/Chargers game that Sunday night on their air.

This is our chance, Nantz and Simms probably said to themselves. Seeing those wild Bronco game finishes take place with the other CBS announcing teams, they would be getting ready to call some “Tebow Time” magic of their own.

Much to CBS’ dismay, Tebowmania would peak after Week 14.

In Week 15, in Denver – on a game that would eventually not be seen on NBC, thanks to the strong-arming of CBS, backed by Patriots owner Robert Kraft – the Patriots would end Tebow and the Broncos’ winning streaks.

Things would get worse in Week 16, where Tebow would throw three interceptions en route to a 26-point defeat in Buffalo. That result, coupled with the Giants’ win over the Jets on Christmas Eve, enabled NBC to opt for Cowboys/Giants on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 17. Now, keep in in mind, NBC could have had any game they wanted, and CBS and FOX couldn’t fight NBC’s taking it. Meaning, they could have taken the Chiefs/Broncos game, which had playoff implications, but certainly not the “win and you’re in” aura that the Cowboys/Giants game possesses – with both teams tied at 8-7, the winner would take the NFC East division, and the loser would not qualify for the playoffs at all – NBC figures this matchup would give them a bigger ratings bonanza than Tim Tebow starring in a revival of “Pink Lady and Jeff.”

So despite the Broncos losing both of their last games on CBS – both called by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms – by a combined score of 81-37, and upon learning that the network would retain their regular season finale against the Chiefs in Week 17, they sent Nantz and Simms back to Denver, anyway.

Granted, CBS could have sent their top announcing duo to a host of other interesting games. Nantz and Simms were usually supplanted at games involving the Patriots, Jets or Steelers. The Patriots had actually came back from a 21-0 deficit against Buffalo and closed the game with 49 unanswered points. The Jets and Steelers were both involved in close games. Even the Titans/Texans matchup was tight. Instead, Nantz and Simms called what turned out to be the lowest-scoring game of the entire weekend, with just ten total points scored. Only one team, the Browns – who were playing the aforementioned Steelers – scored less points as a team.

And perhaps it was poetic justice that the Broncos would score the least points of the weekend.

Tim Tebow would finish the game with just 76 total yards. The Browns’ starting quarterback, Seneca Wallace, would muster nearly three times as many all-purpose yards (220) on this same weekend.

Maybe it was the appeal of the Chiefs’ starting quarterback, Kyle Orton – who was the Broncos’ starting quarterback at the start of the season – facing his former team and possibly eliminating them from playoff contention, that led to CBS deciding to plug Nantz and Simms in for that game. (Note that they did call a Broncos game this season, in Green Bay – but it was back in Week 4, when Orton’s tenure with Denver was still in effect.)

Or maybe it was because they were so determined to have a “Tebow Time” moment at their expense. Certainly, if the likes of Bill Macatee and Ian Eagle – with due respect – called such games on CBS’ air, Nantz was due, right?

And with a 7-3 score for most of the second half, clearly, the possibility of another episode of “Tebow Time” was on the horizon.

Alas, Denver’s four ensuing possessions since a third quarter field goal would end in punts; their final possession, with less than a minute remaining, would end with an interception.

Three straight games with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms behind the mic. Three straight losses.

Bill Macatee 1, Jim Nantz 0.

This is exactly what CBS gets for not letting NBC have the Broncos/Patriots game back in Week 15.

In three consecutive games with CBS’ top announcing team in place, the Broncos are 0-3, lose by a combined total of 50 points, and Tim Tebow, with just two interceptions coming into the big Week 15 showdown with Tom Brady and the Patriots that CBS fought like hell to keep off NBC’s air, tripled his pick total.

With all of these factors, I have come to the conclusion that Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are Tebowmania jinxes.

Granted, this is only after one whirlwind season. You can bet Nantz and Simms will likely be calling at least six Broncos games next season. Then and only then will their Tebow jinx truly be put to the test.

Until then, Jim and Phil are Tebow Time mushes.

Incidentally, despite the Broncos’ loss this week, they still clinched a playoff berth by virtue of the Chargers beating the Raiders. And they will host a playoff game next week against the Steelers. Usually, Wild Card Weekend consists of two Saturday games on NBC, and one game each on CBS and FOX. The early word is that the AFC game scheduled for Saturday is the Broncos/Steelers matchup, which means that it would indeed be shown on NBC. The other AFC Wild Card game has the Bengals traveling to Houston for the first playoff game in Texans franchise history, and from what I hear, that is scheduled for Sunday of Wild Card Weekend.

You might recall one of the key items behind CBS fighting NBC over the Broncos/Patriots game was due to their owned-and-operated stations in Denver and Boston.

And, big surprise, CBS also owns a television station in Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, on Sunday night, it was confirmed that the Texans/Bengals game would be played on Saturday at 4:30 PM ET – and the Broncos/Steelers game on Sunday at 4:30 PM ET.

I guess Sean McManus won’t be doing a lot of heavy lifting this week – but I wonder if Mark Lazarus will be lifting a “terrible towel” on Sunday. That is, if he had any intentions of letting Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth experience “Tebow Time,” for once, provided there is any left this season. CBS realizes that, if the Broncos might beat the Steelers, they’d get another Broncos playoff game the following week, right?

Looks like NBC will have to wait until next year for “Tebow Time” – perhaps on the opening Thursday night season “kickoff” game vs. the team that wins the Super Bowl – if not the Broncos themselves. Bank on it.

In the meantime, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will have another chance to prove if they are indeed not Tim Tebow kryptonite.

Remember: it ain’t over until Pink Lady sings.