2013 NFL Schedule: The Primetime Games: Broncos, Falcons, 49ers, Giants, Patriots, Redskins Have Five Games Each







Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Here is the list of all the primetime games scheduled for the 2013 NFL season.

Commentary to follow… Actually, I’ll get the back-patting out of the way early: I called the Ravens/Broncos opener on September 5, and I called the Washington Redskins getting five primetime games this season, up from just one last year.

And here are the games:

Thursday, September 5 – Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, September 8 – New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 9 – Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins – 7:10 PM ET – ESPN

Monday, September 9 –  Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers – 10:20 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 12 – New York Jets @ New England Patriots – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 15 – San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 19 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 22 – Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 23 – Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 26 – San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 29 – New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcoms – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 30 – Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 3 – Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 6 – Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 7 – New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 10 – New York Giants @ Chicago Bears – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 13 – Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 14 – Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 17 – Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 20 – Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 21 – Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 24 – Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 27 – Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 28 – Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 31 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 3 – Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 4 – Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 7 – Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 10 – Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 11 – Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 14 –Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 17 – Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 18 – New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 21 – New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 24 – Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 25 – San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving) – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:20 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, December 1 – New York Giants @ Washington Redskins – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 2 – New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 5 – Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 8 – Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 9 – Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 12 – San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 15 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 16 – Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 22 – New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 23 – Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 29 – [Teams to be determined following Week 16] – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

TEAMS WITH FIVE PRIMETIME GAMES: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins.

TEAMS WITH FOUR PRIMETIME GAMES: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

TEAMS WITH THREE PRIMETIME GAMES: Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers.

TEAMS WITH TWO PRIMETIME GAMES: Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

TEAMS WITH ONE PRIMETIME GAME: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans.


OBSERVATIONS: So, let me get this straight: The Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl, yet the runner-up gets one more primetime game in the ensuing season than the World Champions? Explain that to me.

Also, explain to me how the NFL didn’t greenlight the Denver Broncos going to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. This was a given when the AFC opponents for the Cowboys were released at the top of the year. Or so I thought. Now, it’s going to be a chance to pass out with tryptophan in between another Packers/Lions matinee and the Ravens hosting another Thanksgiving night game, this time against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

I wonder if Peyton Manning not getting a Thanksgiving date with Tony Romo was a byproduct of the Broncos actually hosting the NFL kickoff game.

Predictably, the Eagles/Chiefs game with Andy Reid bringing a new squad into Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia is an NFL Network Thursday night affair.

Predictably, that’s the Chiefs’ lone primetime game. The Jaguars’ sole primetime tilt in 2013 is also on NFLN, as was the case last year. Ditto for the Browns and the Bills, who actually play each other on an NFLN game; the Bills and the Dolphins killed two birds with one Thursday night primetime stone last season.

Thr Dolphins improve from one primetime game last year to three this year. Same with the Vikings. The Colts go from one primetime game last season to four this season. And I’ve already told you about the Redskins’ maxing out at five games, up from one last year.

Further proof NBC loves the NFC East: The Cowboys and Giants open the “Sunday Night Football” 2013 campaign. The Cowboys will appear on “SNF” three times this year, as will the Giants. Two of the Redskins’ five night contests are on NBC; two of them will air on ESPN. Eagles? Nowhere to be found on NBC’s initial schedule. Of course, the latter half of the season allows flex scheduling, so if the Eagles are actually a good team, they’ll likely see more than just the two games (down from five last year() they’ve been scheduled this year. In other words: the Cowboys/Eagles game that was not flexed out late last season might be the last time in awhile you’ll hear Al Michaels working an Eagles game.

And for the first time in recent memory, there are no Saturday games scheduled. The Bay City Rollers will now have to find alternate ways to be preoccupied this year.

Joe Buck, Skip Bayless Get 2013 Sports Emmy Snubs







The nominations for the 34th Sports Emmy Awards are out, and it's not a misprint: Fox's Joe Buck, who won the award for Outstanding Play-By-Play Announcer last year, is nowhere to be found on the list this year.

The nominations for the 34th Sports Emmy Awards are out, and it’s not a misprint: Fox’s Joe Buck, who won the award for Outstanding Play-By-Play Announcer last year, is nowhere to be found on the list this year.

In addition to the annual “March madness” tradition that accompanies college basketball every year, so to is the version of “March madness” in sports media – of course, I’m talking about the release of the nominations for the Sports Emmy Awards.

The list of nominees for the 34th edition, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 7th at Frederick P. Rose Hall, was made public today by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

But there’s a couple of glaring omissions that may make some people, well, mad.

For instance, the nominees for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-By-Play was whittled down to four this year from five last year; the nominees were Marv Albert, Mike Emrick, Al Michaels, Jim Nantz, and the winner, Joe Buck. This year, Emrick, Michaels and Nantz get another nod, while Albert does not, and ABC/ESPN NBA announcer Mike Breen is nominated.

That has to be a mistake. After all, not only is Joe Buck one of the top sportscasters in the business today, but determination is his middle name. Who can forget last October, when he doubled up in San Francisco to work a New York Giants/49ers regular season NFL game, then take a trolley to AT&T Park to call Game 4 of the World Series between the San Francisco baseball Giants and the Detroit Tigers? You mean, that doesn’t even earn him an “Outstanding New Approaches [In] Sports Programming” nomination? What gives?

Meanwhile, there’s another name that didn’t carry over from the previous year’s nominations, and we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s not that much outcry over this one: Skip Bayless.

Yes, last year, Bayless was among seven people nominated for Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Analyst, along with Cris Collinsworth (also nominated for his analyst work on “Sunday Night Football”), Trent Dilfer, Kirk Herbstreit, Al Leiter, Harold Reynolds, and your winner, Charles Barkley.

This year, not only has the field in this category decreased by one yet again, but it looks way different: Joining Barkley and Reynolds this year will be Tony Dungy (NBC), Boomer Esiason (CBS) and Kurt Warner (NFL Network), along with Reynolds’ MLB Network colleague, Bill Ripken.

So no Skip Bayless Emmy nod this year. Bummer. I really thought his live-tweeting the Tim Tebow introductory press conference would have been sports broadcasting gold in the eyes of the Academy!

View the complete list of nominations here. Overall, NBC Sports Group leads all nominees with a whopping fifty-eight – including nine attached to NBC Sports Network, which has two figures (Bob Costas, Dan Patrick) aaccompanying CBS’ James Brown, NFLN’s Rich Eisen and Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson in the Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host category (last year, the field was the same, with the exception of Bryant Gumbel in lieu of Eisen; Costas won). The 2012 London Olympics buoyed NBC to the top of the nominees list. The perennial award nominations leader, ESPN, is second this year with 43.

And none, unfortunately, for Skip Bayless.

UPDATE: Fox Sports Vice President of Communications Dan Bell confirms my suspicion, saying: “Joe is happy for his colleagues who were nominated and wishes them all good luck.”

Go 46ers! Jefferson City, MO TV Station Blacks Out During Super Bowl Text Messages







A Missouri television station erroneously reported that the San Francisco 49ers won Super Bowl XLVII via text message. That was after they first reported that the Baltimore Ravens had beat the "46ers" to win the Super Bowl.

A Missouri television station erroneously reported that the San Francisco 49ers won Super Bowl XLVII via text message. That was after they first reported that the Baltimore Ravens had beat the “46ers” to win the Super Bowl.

It was a Super Bowl that was watched by a great amount of people, even with a half-hour delay due to a stadium blackout in New Orleans.

But when the final seconds ticked off in Super Bowl XLVII, a television station’s news department fumbled not once, but twice, in relaying the final score to viewers subscribed to their “Textcaster” feature.

Of course, the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.

But according to KMIZ/”ABC 17″ in Jefferson City, Missouri, the Ravens actually beat the “San Francisco 46ers.” (Did a few states secede during that blackout?)

Immediately, the people in charge of the text service corrected the information – or so they thought.

“Correction,” read the subsequent text message. “San Francisco 49ers win Super Bowl 34-31.”

Not only did KMIZ give the 49ers their name back, they also handed them the Lombardi Trophy.

Was Brian Billick minding their texts?

Finally, a third text message was sent, reading: “After a few mistakes on our part, it was the Ravens over the 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. Apologies.”

Okay – if they had simply corrected the name of the team from the “46ers” to the “49ers,” we’d give them the benefit of the doubt. But following up that error with another one is just downright sloppy texting.

And what if you were one of the few people in mid-Missouri who could not watch the big game, that actually depended on these text messages for information?

I reached out to News Press & Gazette Broadcasting, the company that owns KMIZ-TV, and a person named Justin would not comment beyond saying “it was a mistake from our news department.” He also could not confirm how many viewers, if any, unsubscribed from the station’s text message service as a result of their Super snafu over the weekend.

Hey, we’re human. We are all not immune from mistakes. Nobody’s perfect. I get that.

But needing to send three texts for a simple score of the most popular football game of the year?

I suppose sending those texts while driving would make matters worse.

Keith Olbermann Will Appear On MLB Network As Guest Host

‘Tis the season: Keith Olbermann will be doing vacation relief during Thanksgiving week, guest hosting the “Hot Stove” program alongside Brian Kenny on MLB Network.

Back on March 30, the day Keith Olbermann was dismissed from what appeared to be the umpteenth television job in his long and storied career – the Al Gore-backed Current TV network – I argued why it would not only be a good fit for the former ESPN and Fox Sports personality to land at MLB Network – but it’s one of the few places left where he has yet to burn bridges (or in the case of ESPN, “Napalm” them).

And the fact that he already maintains a blog on the Major League Baseball blog network – titled “Baseball Nerd” (which was the source of a juicy Yankees rumor during the past postseason) – it’s basically a match made in, well, baseball nerddom.

On Friday morning, the day after the announcements of the American and National Leagues’ Most Valuable Players, MLB Network announced that Olbermann will be a guest host of their midday “Hot Stove” program on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving. He will be joined by another former ESPN alum, Brian Kenny. “Hot Stove” is usually anchored by another ex-ESPN-er, Harold Reynolds, along with Matt Vasgersian, who had previously toiled at Fox Sports as well as NBC.

As many familiar with Olbermann’s career already know, he was relieved of his duties at all three of the aforementioned networks.

Before appearing on “Hot Stove” on Friday morning via telephone, he appeared on in-studio panel discussions as recent as this past Thursday on “Clubhouse Confidential,” hosted by the aforementioned Brian Kenny.

Only time will tell if this guest host stint on Thanksgiving week is a precursor of something bigger down the line.

It’s not necessarily a flat out hire of Keith Olbermann, as I had speculated back when he was fired from his recent television gig at Current TV.

But it’s a start.

Of course, the question is whether or not he’ll stay out of Tony Petitti’s hair.

"King" Eskin Returning To His Throne At WTXF/Fox 29

Longtime WIP/Philadelphia sports radio personality Howard Eskin is joining WTXF/Fox 29 as their new sports anchor in September, returning to the station after 21 years. Up until last year, he hosted a popular afternoon drive radio show.

Howard Eskin is proof that you can go home again.

No, he’s not returning to the afternoon drive time slot that he had held down on WIP-AM in Philadelphia for nearly a quarter-century.

He is, however, assuming a task at a familiar television station that he first held some twenty-five years ago.

It was on February 17, 1986, that WTAF/Channel 29 launched Philly’s first 10 PM television newscast. And Eskin had been hired away from his sports anchor position at KYW-TV, then an NBC affiliate, to join Channel 29 and become part of their original anchor team.

By the time he left in 1991, WTAF had become the Philadelphia affiliate of the upstart Fox network with the call letters WTXF. In 1992, he returned to KYW-TV, which would become a CBS owned-and-operated station in the fall of 1995, as a result of an ownership deal involving NBC and CBS, which had previously owned WCAU/Channel 10. Coincidentally, Eskin joined the newly-NBC-owned WCAU in 1996, where he has maintained a presence on local television ever since, notably on the Sunday night “Sports Final” program.

And starting Tuesday, September 4, roughly one year to the day he signed off from his daily sports radio gig (he has been hosting a Saturday morning show on WIP-AM/FM since then), Howard Eskin once again has a day job.

He will once again be the sports anchor at Channel 29 – known these days as “Fox 29” – for the station’s 5 PM and 6 PM newscasts, as well as the 10 PM newscast that he had been involved with for five years. Additionally, Eskin will also contribute to Fox 29’s daily morning show, “Good Day Philadelphia.”

Said the sports journalist and media figure referred to as “the king”: “I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my career, having had the opportunity to cover some of the most memorable games in Philadelphia. But there is nothing like getting a chance to return to Fox 29, where my heart has always been.

“It’s great to be back.”

It should be noted that of the four major stations in Philadelphia with news operations, Eskin has not worked for WPVI/Channel 6, the local ABC O&O whose newscasts have perennially dominated its rivals. And they’re still using the same ’70’s-era news theme, if you can believe it.

While Fox 29 may not unseat “6ABC Action News” overnight, they’ll certainly benefit from having a sports anchor on staff with years of experience and a history of breaking sports news.

There was also that time that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, upon his team’s toughness being questioned after a 3-9 start to their 2007 season, challenged Eskin to a fight.

If the folks that miss “the king” on the radio every afternoon start getting their daily Howard Eskin fix via television, Fox 29 could very well be challenging 6ABC to a fight.

NFL Network Breaks Heartbreaking Eagles News Twenty Minutes Too Late

The news of Eagles head coach Andy Reid's son Garrett found dead at age 29 at the team's training camp broke just before 10 AM ET on Sunday morning. NFL Network didn't break the news until 10:08 AM ET - a full fifteen minutes after anchor Jaime Maggio had tweeted the news on her personal Twitter account.

Once again, NFL Network drops the ball in breaking a major football story – at least on its air.

They strived to make up for it, but given the circumstances, there was just no excuse for this one.

On Sunday morning, Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman issued a statement informing that Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Eagles head coach Andy Reid, had been found dead hours earlier at the team’s training camp facility in Lehigh.

Here you have, straight from the source, a confirmed report of the tragic death of the son of the head coach of the Eagles. Multiple sources almost immediately tweeted news of Garrett’s death.

On TV, ESPN wasted no time presenting this breaking news story to viewers.

NFL Network, on the other hand? They were showing the tail end of “NFL Total Access” prerecorded from Saturday night. An interview with newly inducted Hall of Famer Curtis Martin had aired when news of Garrett Reid’s death broke.

When the clock struck 10 AM ET – still nothing on NFL Network. A rerun of the video version of “The Rich Eisen Podcast” ran as scheduled. Not even a “breaking news” item on the NFL ticker at the bottom of the screen. The top Eagles story at that point was the team signing a defensive end from the Arena Football League.

Yet it was only after the first commercial break on “Eisen” – at 10:08 AM ET – that anchor Jamie Maggio broke news of Garrett Reid’s death to viewers. After that brief update, it was back to “The Rich Eisen Podcast” and an interview with actor Dax Shepard.

I’m all for “better late than never,” but when you have explicit confirmation from the general manager of a football team – a highly credible source, mind you – of a stunning news item involving the team, it should not take twenty minutes to deliver news of such nature to viewers. Maggio was clearly situated at the NFLN newsroom moments before the news of Garrett’s death was made public.

And here’s a stunner: Maggio reported the news of Garrett’s passing on her own personal Twitter account fifteen minutes before she reported it on her own network. In fact, she had actually tweeted twice about the death within a single minute!

Something is not right here. How can the network operated by the National Football League hesitate to break a valid, authentic news story such as the death of Garrett Reid, fifteen to twenty minutes after the Eagles’ own general manager confirmed the news to the media? Is it that important to run a pre-recorded interview with the almighty Dax Shepard?

As I mentioned, this is not the first time NFL Network was tardy in reporting a breaking story on their air. Back in April, it took them a whole day to report about Saints general manager Mickey Loomis eavesdropping on play calls from opposing teams (Loomis claims he was listening to the radio calls of Saints games). A month prior to that, NFLN was late to the party in reporting that Peyton Manning would be released by the Indianapolis Colts.

In fairness to the league, there was an item on NFL.com originally posted at 9:21 AM ET, which at first mostly addressed Andy Reid’s absence from Eagles training camp. By the top of the hour, it had been transformed into an item on Garrett Reid’s death.

By the way, if you’re keeping score at home, it took NFL Network about twenty-five minutes (10:11 AM ET, to be precise) to include an item in their bottom-of-the-screen ticker on Garrett’s death: “HC Andy Reid absent from start of Eagles’ walkthrough practice at Lehigh University Sunday morning, Philadelphia Inquirer reports. GM Howie Roseman announces at press conference that Reid’s son, Garrett Reid, had been found dead in his room at Lehigh University. For the latest news and analysis, keep watching NFL Network and go to NFL.com.” By 10:21, the first item regarding Reid’s absence had been removed.

As the 10 AM ET hour progressed, NFLN started to devote more time to this breaking story. At 10:36 AM, they led out of the first segment of a “Sound FX” rerun with another live segment from the network’s newsroom, and Maggio speaking to NFL Network reporter Michael Lombardi. When NFLN returned from commercials at 10:42 AM, it was not back to “Sound FX,” but back to the newsroom, where Maggio welcomed in NFLN analyst Brian Baldinger, whom Maggio noted “is actually headed to Lehigh University on a redeye flight this evening.” (Baldinger also co-hosts the late-midday show alongside Harry Mayes on WPEN/”97.5 The Fanatic” in Philadelphia.) Following Baldinger’s phoner, Maggio read a team statement from the Eagles regarding Garrett’s passing. After that breaking news update, it was another commercial break followed by the “Sound FX” rerun in progress.

At the top of the 11 AM ET hour, NFLN led with another news update, and brought on Inquirer columnist Jeff McLane, who, as Maggio noted to viewers, was “one of the first to tweet about the news [and] notice that Andy Reid was not in attendance” at Eagles camp. It was an informative four-minute phone interview, with the key point being McLane “knew something was up” when he saw Eagles players in a prayer huddle. Following that update, they started their regularly scheduled program, “Top 100 Players Of 2012: 50-41” at five minutes past the hour. They also led off a commercial break at 11:32 AM with an update featuring a replay of Roseman’s comments from the press conference earlier.

At 12 Noon ET, Maggio anchored an update with another replay of Roseman, followed by the reading of a few tweets from Eagles players past and present, reacting to the news. At 12:07 PM, after the first segment of “Top 100 Players Of 2012: 40-31”, Maggio welcomed NFLN analyst Brian Billick, a classmate of Reid’s at Brigham Young University. Billick, who joined NFLN via video relay, spoke of his experiences as a head coach of training camp being “a 24/7 job,” forcing said coach to be away from his family. “And he had to be just elated to have Garrett… with him there in training camp,” said Billick. “To have Garrett there with him had to be a very special time, and makes this even that much more tragic.”

When you compare NFL Network’s coverage on this story to “SportsCenter’s” coverage over on ESPN, it was virtually no contest. There were news updates at the top and bottom of the hours, and Sage Steele asked ESPN NFL analyst Damien Woody how NFL teams cope with tragedies. Woody noted the tragic death of Patriots quarterbacks coach Dick Rehbein at age 45 due to a heart condition, as Woody was a member of that New England team. And at the top of the 11 AM ET hour, David Lloyd brought on Tim McManus, Eagles beat reporter for 97.5 The Fanatic – an ESPN Radio affiliate – though in fairness, he was also live at Roseman’s presser and broke the news of Garrett Reid’s death on Twitter at the first possible moment. Otherwise, ESPN spent a majority of the two-hour “SportsCenter” on Michael Phelps and the London Olympics, baseball highlights, and NFL Hall of Fame player inductions; plus, a live interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. live from Pocono Raceway (live in the 10 AM ET hour and replayed in the 11 AM ET hour; by the by, ESPN would be carrying that race), and presented a piece on amputee athlete Bree McMahon. Surprisingly, not a whole lot about Tim Tebow and the New York Jets this morning. But as I’ve long argued, when you’re a major sports network responsible for providing balanced coverage of several sports, what ESPN presented Sunday morning on “SportsCenter” should be the norm every single day of the week.

Despite being hindered by canned programming, albeit programming that was eventually broken into, NFL Network still provided comprehensive coverage of Garrett Reid’s death.

If only they could work on breaking the news to viewers sooner.

Dan Hicken Destroys Bob Costas: "12 O'Clock Means 12 O'Clock, Not 12:07"

Jacksonville sports anchor/director Dan Hicken laid into Bob Costas for NBC's coverage of the London Olympics running past midnight. But the plot thickens for Mr. Hicken as new developments suggest this was his second on-air outburst in a single day.

Dan Hicken is no chicken.

The sports director at NBC’s Jacksonville affiliate, WTLV, for over two decades, was feeling particularly antsy on Tuesday night as NBC’s coverage of the Olympics from London, albeit with the action shown on tape delay, ran a little long, and Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning on the East Coast.

So right after his sports update on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, Hicken seized the opportunity to blame Bob Costas, of all people, for the reason NBC’s Olympics coverage went into overtime. He could have pointed a finger at the sponsors having a hand in NBC’s commercial-laden coverage (which really wouldn’t make much sense since that’s business). He also could have tore into Ryan Seacrest just for the hell of it (which also wouldn’t make much sense since he’s not really as much of a nuisance on NBC’s Olympics coverage as one might have suspected). But instead, Hicken crushed Costas, the face of NBC’s Olympics coverage – and it made for some damn good television. His rant was so strong, it drew applause from colleagues off-camera, including what sounds like applause emanating from the anchor desk at the end.

More thoughts following the transcript of the video.

(Watch the high-quality version here.)


DONNA DEEGAN, FEMALE ANCHOR: Been watching the Olympics, Dan?

DAN HICKEN, SPORTS DIRECTOR: He did it to us again! He did it again! He does it every four years. Bob [Costas] doesn’t know that twelve o’clock means twelve o’clock. It doesn’t mean 12:02, it doesn’t mean 12:04, it certainly doesn’t mean 12:07. Bob, when it’s twelve o’clock, you say good night! You don’t care, ’cause you’re sleeping right now! And in the morning, you’ll wake up with your strawberries and cream at your five-star [hotel]! Bob, we’re here on the East Coast working hard for you, our NBC family, Bob!

[Off-camera applause from staffer]

DEEGAN: You tell him, Dan!

HICKEN: 12:07 does not work for us! I’m glad we had the little gymnast girls, I’m excited about it; I’m glad we got to interview Michael Phelps six times. But, Bob! Twelve o’clock – and it’s just starting! It’s just starting. You watch. Mark my words, Jacksonville. Tomorrow, it’ll be 12:09. 12:10, 12:11 – he starts to push it, that Bob does. I’m done.

[Off-camera applause]

HICKEN: I love him, though.


HICKEN: He’s a great broadcaster.

Lest anyone thought Dan Hicken was really pissed at Bob Costas. In fact, moments before his rant, he had actually given Costas accolades on his Twitter account. “Awesome dude,” Hicken tweeted. “In the late 80’s,” [Costas] sat down with me on a Sunday night and co-hosted my sportscast. Was so good. Really an honor.” This in response to an employee at an Alabama sports website who asked Hicken if, “as an NBC cohort,” he ever met Costas and “if so, did you refer to him as ‘Bobby’?” Indeed, Hicken was in rare form on his Twitter account on Wednesday morning – and we’ve got those tweets for you in a bit.

But first: Interesting that the female anchor of WTLV’s late news, Donna Deegan, was actually Hicken’s wife at one time. Prior to their divorce, Dan and Donna had bore children named Danielle and Drew – kinda like a Roger Clemens thing going on with the first-letter initial theme? And just to put that video in an even more uncomfortable perspective, Donna has since remarried, tying the knot ten years ago with Tim Deegan – who has only been WTLV’s chief meteorologist for about as long as Hicken has been the station’s sports director. Also, for some weird reason, Donna had still been going by the name “Donna Hicken” on the air up until about five years ago. Makes you wonder if Dan Hicken had planned his Costas manifesto with the anchors prior to going on the air, or if his ex-wife decided to set him off just for shits and giggles. Though it does appear the two appear to get along, even off the air.

Also, there’s an interesting comment posted on the original YouTube video, from a WTLV viewer claiming that Hicken’s meltdown on Tuesday night was, more or less, an encore performance. “I don’t think Dan’s rant was [about] the coverage going over time,” writes YouTube user “msinkification”. “If you had seen the news around 5-6, Dan went into a tirade directed toward the staff after it was mentioned that he was “training”… Anyways, his behavior earlier was somewhat worse than this. He got mad and said he didn’t know why the staff was laughing at him. He was very unprofessional and immature.

“I always respected Dan until that segment. Seeing it happen twice in one day? Not acceptable.”

The YouTube commenter also suggested that ever since Hicken’s ex left him for the station’s weather guy, “his behavior has always seemed more intense… It all seemed to be more like a daily soap opera being played out on the air. If the tensions are something personal, which I believe it is, someone needs to take some time off or move on.”

If anyone in the First Coast has any video or additional information on Hicken’s alleged outburst at 5 PM on Tuesday, let us know.

(Perhaps a Twitter beef with a local soccer star earlier that day led to this? Hmmm…)

Anyway, as promised, below are tweets from Dan Hicken’s Twitter account, mostly from Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. You can tell just based on a tweet from late Sunday night/early Monday morning that this thing was brewing. The last set of tweets is one from Wednesday night, addressing what the “over/under” is on Bob Costas’ sign-off that night, followed by a group of tweets from Thursday night. That’s weird, not a peep from his Twitter on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. Was he on the air that night? And could a suspension be on the way? We’ll let you know.