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.

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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.

A Funny Thing Happened To Danny Rouhier On The Way To ESPN's "Outside The Lines"

 

 

 

 

 

 

After being turned down to appear on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" to discuss a possible name change for the Redskins, 106.7 The Fan's Danny Rouhier argued that the issue is media driven, and anyone opposed to a new name is "a racist" and "defends racism."

After being turned down to appear on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” to discuss a possible name change for the Redskins, 106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier argued that the issue is media driven, and anyone opposed to a new name is “a racist” and “defends racism.”

Danny Rouhier refers to himself as “a humorous DC sports fan.” While he’s one half of the midday show on Washington’s WJFK-FM/”106.7 The Fan,” he’s also been on the stand-up comedy circuit for quite some time. In fact, his Twitter handle is @FunnyDanny.

At the start of his Friday show, Rouhier informed listeners that he would be appearing on a panel on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” airing that afternoon, to talk about the possibility of the Washington Redskins adopting a new team name.

Halfway through the radio show, Rouhier revealed that he received an e-mail from ESPN telling him that they were canceling his appearance on the show, citing an abundance of participants on the panel; however, Rouhier claims that his replacement on the panel was a Redskins blogger.

Yet after finding himself on the “Outside” looking in, “Funny Danny” was singing a new tune about the Redskins name debate and it was no laughing matter.

“Is it a media driven debate? After my experience today, I now think 100 percent, unequivocally, yes it is,” Rouhier said. “They wanted me to be fodder and they were barking up the wrong tree.

“They are trying to create a situation where they can drive up all the support, all the members of the media can congratulate themselves on how enlightened they are, and how ‘We’re so forward thinking, we’re beating this white, stocky radio dumb idiot bully. We’re browbeating him into a corner. Look at how tough we are. We’re great. And when the evil billionaire won’t change the name, we’ll have righteousness on our side.’ That’s what they’re trying to create.”

Rouhier’s co-host – which is normally Holden Kushner but he was on vacation that week – sided with him.

“Whenever this thing airs, watch how it is portrayed,” the substitute co-host said. “These guys are not going on there to hold up the honor of the Washington Redskins franchise… They’re on there, so guys like Dave Zirin can yell at them… so they can be made out to be these guys that don’t get it.”

All bets are off on there being “a legitimate discussion” about this issue on “OTL.” But “it’s near impossible now,” Rouhier argued, “because of the shrill screamers that are dropping the ‘R’ word – and not the Redskins, I’m talking about ‘racism’ – on the rest of us, and feeling very empowered.

“I’m a Redskins fan, I like [the name], but can I understand the need to change it? Absolutely,” Rouhier added. “It’s a reasonable position. There are reasonable positions on both sides. The side that’s screaming the loudest now will tell you there is no possible argument… What’s happening right now… is, if you’re on the opposite side from us, you’re a racist, and you defend racism. Very, very convenient position to have.”

This all but guaranteed you’ll be seeing Rouhier on the Worldwide Leader anytime soon.

“People are capitalizing on this,” Rouhier said. “And I’m not ripping [OTL moderator] Bob Ley… I actually think he’s got integrity. His producers don’t… And if this means I’m never going on there, that’s what it means.”

Funny how that works – isn’t it, Danny?

Here’s more audio from Friday’s radio show discussing ESPN revoking Rouhier’s invite to appear on “Outside The Lines” – including how fellow 106.7 The Fan talent Chad Dukes reveals that he, too, was asked about appearing on ESPN.

Washington Anchor Suggests Redskins Scalp "Vulgar" Moniker: "The Name Sucks"

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this photo, Jim Vance's former WRC-TV colleague, Lindsay Czarniak, now with ESPN, proudly holds a shirt with the Redskins logo prior to a Redskins/Ravens exhibition game in 2008.

In this photo, Jim Vance’s former WRC-TV colleague, Lindsay Czarniak, now with ESPN, proudly holds a shirt with the Redskins logo prior to a Redskins/Ravens exhibition game in 2008.

On this Ash Wednesday, where Jesus-fearing Christians are implored to give up something for Lent, I bring you a longtime Washington, D.C. news anchor who wants the Redskins to give up something for good: their name.

It’s no secret that Jim Vance, the anchor at WRC-TV, whose career at the NBC-owned television station spans six decades, thinks that the name, which has been associated with the team for all but one season of its 81-year existence (they were founded as the Boston Braves in 1932, before renaming themselves the Redskins the next year, and relocating to Washington in 1937), should go the way of Iron Eyes Cody. At around this time last year, when the phenomenon known as “Linsanity” emerged – and a couple of unfortunate uses of the phrase “chink in the armor” occurred as a result – Vance, in an editorial on a WRC-TV newscast, reminded viewers that that phrase is no different from the word “Redskins,” which “from its inception and inclusion in our language… was meant to be an insult.”

This past weekend, roughly one month after the town’s mayor, Vincent Gray, went on record by saying the team should think about picking a new team name if they want to physically play their games in Washington, Vance once again took to the air and made an even stronger case, arguing that as he has become a fan of the Redskins, his hatred for “that, in my view, vulgar name” grew by leaps and bounds.

Vance says that the word “Redskin” is no different than the “pejoratives” one would use “if you really wanted to insult a black man and attack a Jew, an Irishman, and probably start a fight.” His connotation for the word is derived from old Westerns that he watched back in the day, where he “never, not once, ever, heard of a Redskin referred to, respectfully. A Redskin was always dirty… bloody… savage… inhuman.. unhuman. You name it.

“The name sucks,” Vance contended. “We need to get rid of it.”

And to his credit, Vance actually has a replacement name for the team: the Washington Warriors, using the name that once graced the modern-day 76ers of the NBA, which he watched during his childhood in his native Philadelphia.

“Sixty years later,” Vance said, “I would love to, once again, adore the Warriors.”

There’s just one problem: The logo that the Philadelphia Warriors used some sixty years ago consisted of – you guessed it – a smiling Indian dribbling a basketball.

I’m afraid I’m going to have to call an offsides penalty on Jim for this one.

Cowboys/Redskins An Early Favorite For "Sunday Night Football" In Week 17 (Update: It's Official)

The rematch of Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins’ Thanksgiving Day victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 could be flexed into primetime on NBC. It would be the second straight year that an NFC East showdown in the final week of the regular season would be rescheduled to “Sunday Night Football.”

It’s hard to believe just two more weeks of the NFL regular season remain.

And that means we draw ever closer to the inevitable – okay, besides going to the mall to return that unwanted sweater you got for Christmas. Week 17, which for the third season in a row under Commissioner Roger Goodell, will consist entirely of matchups between division rivals – with the one possessing the greatest impact on the playoff picture being flexed into primetime on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” In Week 17 in 2010, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams, and in the final week of the regular season last year, the New York Giants eliminated the Dallas Cowboys; both of these teams would win subsequent playoff games televised on NBC (the Seahawks in the Wild Card round, and the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI).

The divisions represented by these teams have a great shot at making their second appearance on “SNF” in Week 17 under the new format.

First, let’s eliminate the divisions where the leaders are so far ahead, it should not make much of a difference what they do in Week 17: AFC East (New England Patriots); AFC South (Houston Texans); AFC West (Denver Broncos); and NFC South (New Orleans Saints).

True, a first-round playoff bye may be on the line between the Patriots, Texans and Broncos, but consider this: the Patriots are hosting the Miami Dolphins, and they’ve been so dominant at home in primetime, and in primetime in general this season (need we remind you what they did in New Jersey on Thanksgiving night?) that the chances of the game being out of reach early are high. Also, the Texans hosted the Indianapolis Colts today for what will be a home-and-home over a 15-day period, and had the Colts upset the Texans in Houston, the Week 17 rematch might have been a shoo-in for primetime, but the Texans win pretty much puts a cushion betweem the two teams; of course, if the Colts find themselves in a “win and you’re in” scenario, it’s still possible that Andrew Luck might bring the Colts back to “SNF” for the first time in the post-Peyton Manning era. And as for Manning’s current team, the Broncos, well, they’re playing the Kansas City Chiefs, who are not only execrable this season, but are 0-3 on NBC in the Fred Gaudelli era. Nuff said.

The NFC North also appears to be all but conquered by the Green Bay Packers, but the team they face in Week 17 is the Minnesota Vikings – a team that’s nipping at the Packers’ heels in the division, and has a running back in Adrian Peterson who’s on pace to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards, and he needs just shy of 300 yards in two games to do it. But the Vikings’ next opponent, the Houston Texans, has a stingy run defense, so it’s too soon to determine what happens with the Packers/Vikings game until Peterson plays another sixty minutes. Remember, the league reconfigured the Week 17 Sunday night game to feature teams that are playing a game that will essentially name the winner of that division. Of course, when given the choice between watching a dynamic athlete break a record that has stood for nearly three decades, or a Rams/Seahawks game, I think the answer is easy. So based on the potential of history being made, with one of the biggest names in the game, I wouldn’t rule this one out yet, even if the Packers have long clinched the NFC North. Stay tuned.

So, we’re down to three divisions, and we’ll start with the AFC North. You have the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have made the fifth-most appearances on NBC since 2006 with fifteen, hosting the Cleveland Browns, and you have the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Baltimore Ravens, who have won six out of their nine appearances on NBC’s air. By the way, since 2006, Ohio has been 0-for-6 on NBC, including five Bengals games, two of them in the postseason. Realizing the Bengals’ dubious record on NBC, coupled with their penchant for having games blacked out due to low ticket sales, plus add to the mix the fact that they’re hosting the Ravens, who have abruptly switched offensive coordinators and have already lost their first game under their new one, the prospect of putting that game in primetime probably isn’t making the league and NBC suits’ mouths water. Nor is the possibility of a Steelers team playing the cellar-dwelling Browns. So in my view, you won’t be seeing the Steelers make their fourth “SNF” appearance of the season, nor a Ravens trifecta on NBC this year. But as always, I could be wrong.

Anyway, that leaves two divisions in the NFC where the top spot is up for grabs. First, the NFC West situation: the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks are fighting for first place. But keep in mind that the 49ers will be playing two Sunday night games in a row, including one that’s been flexed into primetime in Week 16 – and that game is in Seattle. Fast forward to Week 17, and you’ve got the Seahawks hosting the Rams, and the 49ers hosting the Cardinals. Given how bad the Cardinals have been since October (oh, they beat the Lions by four touchdowns after losing by nearly sixty points the previous week – big whoop), you can count out the latter matchup, and the possibility of a team appearing on “SNF” for three consecutive weeks. Which means that for the second time in three weeks, a Rams/Seahawks game in Seattle in Week 17 could be moved into primetime. The Rams, despite being a shade under .500, are amazingly undefeated (4-0-1) against opponents in the division. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are undefeated at home, and depending on how the 49ers fare in Centurylink Field on “SNF” in Week 16, the NFC West division may as well be decided in primetime that week.

And that leaves the NFC East, a division where three out of its four teams have made the most appearances on NBC since 2006 – most recently a matchup between two teams both under .500, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 17, both of these teams will be on the road: the Eagles at the New York Giants, and the Cowboys at the Washington Redskins. This division is literally a three-team race going down the stretch, but only one thing matters: the RG3 factor. Robert Griffin III is having an outstanding rookie campaign – yet he only has one primetime game to show for it (in Week 13 vs. the Giants on “Monday Night Football” on ESPN). Of course, there was the game on Thanksgiving Day that gave Griffin his first national exposure – in Jerry World, a game in which he led the Redskins to four touchdowns in the first half.

The Redskins, 2-0 in these games, currently share a lead in the NFC East. The Cowboys, well, they haven’t made the most appearances on “Sunday Night Football” for nothing (the Eagles/Cowboys tilt back in Week 13 was their twenty-first).

Regardless of the results of the Week 16 games between the Giants and the Ravens, the Cowboys and the Saints, and the Eagles and the Redskins, I am confident that the Cowboys/Redskins rematch in Week 17 will be flexed into primetime.

An equation of “America’s Team” and RG3 (provided he’s healthy) with the division on the line adds up to an enticing matchup.

So if you’re going to that game on December 30, I’d reschedule my plans for that evening if I were you.

UPDATE, 12.18.12: WIP Radio in Philadelphia reported today that the Cowboys/Redskins game on December 30 has been moved to a start time of… 4:25 PM. There’s nothing to back this up, I was just going by what I heard on the radio. Halfway to primetime. But it’s still a candidate to be moved to “Sunday Night Football”: based on how teams with their own playoff implications on the line perform in Week 16, the league will obviously move a game with “win or go home” potential into primetime. Or if the NFC East, NFC West and AFC North are suddenly all decided, and Adrian Peterson runs for over 150 yards against the Texans, the Vikings’ (regular?) season finale against the Packers could see itself being moved to NBC, as I speculated earlier – but of course, that’s a huge longshot as long as the NFC East, at the very least, has not been decided by Christmas.

So the Cowboys/Redskins game won’t be starting at 1 PM. That much, I was right about. And now the NFL is delaying the inevitable – which, by the way, will officially be announced on Monday.

UPDATE, 12.23.12, 11:39 PM ET: And now, it’s official: With the Redskins winning and the Cowboys and Giants losing, the rematch between the Redskins and the Cowboys in Week 17 will, as projected, be flexed into Sunday night on NBC. The news was announced during the Week 16 presentation of “Sunday Night Football.” This will be the first time since Week 7 in 2010 that the Redskins were featured on “Sunday Night Football.” Since that matchup with the Colts, there have been fifteen games on NBC (sixteen if you count the Super Bowl) in which there was at least one NFC East team – eight of them games between two NFC East teams. So it’s safe to say the Redskins are long overdue.

Redskins Flagship Hosts Suspended For Anti-Transgender Comments

Two sports radio hosts have been suspended for comments made about transgender basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig. The radio station, WTEM/”ESPN 980″, is owned by Daniel Snyder, who also owns the Washington Redskins.

The afternoon drive duo in Washington, D.C. known as “The Sports Reporters” are silent this week in the wake of a firestorm brewing from remarks that the hosts made on their program the previous week.

On the December 6 edition of the show, hosts Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin had made jarring comments mocking Gabrielle Ludwig, a 50-year-old women’s basketball player who is also a transgender; she had also played college basketball earlier in her life as Robert Ludwig.

The audio excerpt, posted by the gay-oriented sports website Outsports, presents Czaban and Pollin making jokes such as the Austin Powers line, “it’s a man, baby”, and using the pronouns “he/she” and “it” to describe Ludwig.

On Tuesday, the radio station that employs the men, WTEM, known on-air as “ESPN 980,” had suspended them for their remarks, which WTEM parent company Red Zebra Broadcasting believes “crossed the line… Such intolerance and insensitivity will never be tolerated by this company.”

The suspension is reported to be for just two days (Tuesday, December 11 and Wednesday, December 12).

In addition, ESPN added their own response, stressing that while the remarks of Czaban, who in the past was a popular personality on Fox Sports Radio, and Pollin are “completely against ESPN’s company culture and values… the two are not employees of ESPN and made the comments on an affiliated radio station that controls its own local content.”

As previously mentioned, “ESPN 980” is run by Red Zebra Broadcasting, which is owned by Daniel Snyder – who also owns a team you might have heard of called the Washington Redskins. WTEM, as well as a handful of suburban FM stations, serve as the Redskins’ flagship network.

Some may view this incident as a bit more serious than an episode from 2004, when Don and Mike, the afternoon drive show on the Redskins’ old flagship, WJFK-FM, uttered the word “bulls***” on the air twice. (WJFK is currently an all-sports station and thus a rival of WTEM.)

If you ask me, even more offensive than what Czaban and Pollin said about Ludwig is that they’re only going to be sidelined for two days, according to the station that gives them three hours a day to voice their opinions on sports.

Earlier this year, Scott Kaplan lost his morning radio gig at “XX 1090” in San Diego after going on a diatribe about a female personality on a regional sports network, the since-folded “The Mtn.”, being a “sasquatch of a woman” and less appealing than “Holly Rowe’s giant butt.” Kaplan has since started hosting a show for a video channel powered by a local newspaper.

Meanwhile, that joker Bruce Jacobs is still on the air in Albany after his nonsensical rant about the WNBA.

As for Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin, well, here’s the website for their show. Let me ask, when was the last time they updated this thing? The first picture you’re greeted with is one of Brooke Hundley, the ESPN producer made famous for her tryst with former ESPN analyst Steve Phillips – some four or five years ago. There’s also a photo of a supermodel with a reference to Terrell Owens, who is no longer active in the NFL. And when you finally get to a video commemorating the “30th anniversary of the Miracle at the Meadowlands,” that tells you that, yes, they have not updated their website since 2008 – or four years.

Yet they’ve managed to set back society forty years with their choice words about a transgender athlete.

Fred Gaudelli Justifies Keeping Underperforming Cowboys, Eagles On "Sunday Night Football"

“Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli defends NBC’s decision not to flex out the Eagles/Cowboys game, despite both teams’ sub-.500 records. The rivalry between the two teams factored into it, as well as the Cowboys’ vast fan base.

This is a rare week in the NFL where there is no action in the NFC East division until the final two games of the week.

And before the New York Giants square off against the Washington Redskins on Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

Yes, the Cowboys, losers of five of their last eight games, including their most recent one on Thanksgiving, and the Eagles, who haven’t won a game since Week 4.

To borrow an old NBC slogan: Must-see TV.

Or is it?

Right before Thanksgiving, NBC announced that they opted not to flex out this week’s Cowboys/Eagles game on “Sunday Night Football.” This even as the teams involved in the game aren’t necessarily having their best seasons on the field. The Cowboys are bad, but the Eagles are far worse.

One might think that keeping this game, a game with a double dog of a pair of teams, in primetime, would be like polishing dog excrement.

And so, it’s up to “Sunday Night Football” executive producer Fred Gaudelli to put some lipstick on this pig.

He appeared on Angelo Cataldi’s morning show on WIP-AM/FM in Philadelphia and explained why mass appeal still exists for a game between two teams that initially was good on paper, but as the month of December starts, there’s a good chance that either one might mail it in.

And as much as the people in Philly didn’t want to hear it, a lot of it had to do with their next opponent.

“The Dallas Cowboys are akin to the TV series ‘Dallas’,” Gaudelli argued. “There’s just drama swirling constantly, no matter what it is.”

And team owner Jerry Jones? “He’s J.R., for a fact.”

And just like the old CBS drama that starred the recently departed Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing, viewers tune into Cowboys broadcasts in droves, due to the team’s national following across the country, as well as sports fans that thrive to see the proverbial Ewings foiled at their game.

“As many people who want to see them win,” Gaudelli admitted, “there’s probably twice as many people who want to see them lose.”

But the Cowboys aren’t the only NFC East team that’s a force to be reckoned with on “Sunday Night Football.” With this weekend’s tilt, the Cowboys will be playing their 21st Sunday night game on NBC; this is without counting the Wednesday night kickoff game this year, or the Cowboys/Eagles game played on Christmas night (a Monday) in 2006, or any playoff telecasts on Wild Card Weekend. The New York Giants have the second most appearances on Sunday night with 19; again, this is without counting NBC games played on other nights (the Giants had two midweek kickoff games) or weekend playoff games. The Philadelphia Eagles are right behind the Giants with 17 Sunday nighters on NBC; again, this figure does not count wild card playoff games, nor the aforementioned Christmas (Monday) night game, nor the “SNF” broadcast that was moved to a Tuesday night in 2010 due to inclement weather in Philadelphia. And with the exception of playoff games or a Thursday night kickoff game against the Giants, the Washington Redskins bring up the rear in NFC East representations on Sunday nights with just eight appearances – and mind you, those are all in a five-year span: After two home games on NBC in a six-week period in 2010 – and the first, unflexable half of the season, at that – the Redskins have not played on NBC over the last two regular seasons. And like the 2008 season opener, six of those eight Redskins Sunday night games were against division rivals.

In fact, during the “SNF” era, including season kickoff games, this weekend brings the grand total of regular season NFC East division matchups on NBC to 24. While the Cowboys have played the Giants on NBC six times thus far (including a span of three regular season games in five weeks), NFL schedule makers kept NBC in mind in regards to the Cowboys’ rivalry with the Eagles. With the exception of the 2008 season, at least one Cowboys/Eagles game was scheduled on NBC (in 2009, they lucked out and got two, including a playoff game in Dallas).

So it’s no surprise that NBC decided to stand pat with the Cowboys/Eagles contest scheduled on the network this year. Said Fred Gaudelli: “We think it’s still one of the best rivalries in the NFL.”

Mind you, both teams come into this game with sub-.500 records – including a streak of seven losses and counting for the Eagles.

“People associate them with winning,” Gaudelli said. “And unfortunately for them, the wheels have kinda fallen off the wagon this year.”

He thinks that a combination of the turmoil surrounding the Eagles, especially their lame duck head coach Andy Reid – who’s about five more losses away from being a gold lamé head coach – and the aforementioned “drama” that always follows the Cowboys makes for “a matchup that people would want to see… in a different kind of way.”

Despite there being a few games between teams with records above .500 (Bears/Seahawks, Packers/Vikings, Broncos/Buccaneers, as well as Ravens/Steelers, who were just on NBC’s air earlier this month) that might better pique viewers’ interest – and ironically, it was a Bears/Seahawks game in Week 11 of 2007 that was the first-ever game to be flexed out of primetime – NBC decided that a game between two teams with a combined total of eight wins would have “the most national interest, even though (it was) not for the reasons we would have thought… back in April.”

Granted, there are three games this weekend which pits teams that have a lower amount of combined wins against each other – but Oakland vs. Cleveland or Buffalo vs. Jacksonville just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Dallas vs. Philadelphia.

Of course, if on this week, NBC was scheduled to air, say, Dallas vs. Oakland, there’s a possibility it would have been played earlier in the day, as opposed to under the lights, and in primetime.

As Gaudelli explained, if the Cowboys were facing “a team with a lesser pedigree, we’d probably move out of the game, but we didn’t think there was good enough reason to [use flex scheduling].”

This isn’t the first time Gaudelli, approaching a quarter-century of producing NFL broadcasts, including “Monday Night Football,” as well as games on the previous home of Sunday night football, ESPN, has sung the praises of the “ratings punch” that the Cowboys can provide. “John Madden used to have a saying, ‘When in doubt, the Cowboys’,” he said in 2010. “I think that still holds true.”

This year, “Sunday Night Football” has consistently finished each week as one of the top-rated, if not the top-rated, shows watched. The Week 3 Patriots/Ravens game outranked the annual Emmy Awards broadcast, and the Week 8 telecast of a Saints/Broncos tilt got a better rating than the final game of this year’s World Series.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily prove that the NFL can plunk a Kansas City Chiefs/New York Jets game on Sunday night and expect ratings magic. But if NBC gets an equally sizable viewership for this week’s Cowboys/Eagles game, despite the fact that both teams may likely miss the playoffs, it’s a testament not just to both teams’ national fan bases (moreso the Cowboys) but to the network’s decision making when it comes to flex scheduling. It’s not to say that upper echelon teams are immune to flex scheduling: believe it or not, the New England Patriots have had the most games (three) flexed out of “SNF”, mostly due to the underperformance of the opponent over the course of the season (e.g. last year’s Patriots/Colts matchup, which really lacked its juice with Peyton Manning being inactive) – and one of those games were in 2008, the year Tom Brady missed virtually the entire season; so yes, this had a little to do with the Patriots, as well.

The Cowboys’ star running back, Demarco Murray, could return after missing several weeks; while they’ve seen many defensive players land on injured reserve. On the other side of the field, the Eagles – well, they’re a mess: Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy have been ruled out, and DeSean Jackson was just added to the “I.R.” this week.

Obviously, Nick Foles, Bryce Brown and Jason Avant aren’t household names.

And this Sunday night, they’ll all have mere walk-on roles in a brand-new episode of “Dallas” on NBC.

With Jerry Jones as J.R. Ewing.

Of course, it’s a little too late now to find out if J.R. Ewing the owner would fire J.R. Ewing the general manager.

Jason Whitlock Rips "Right-Wing Idiots" After Rush Limbaugh Reads His Column

Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock appeared to be angry on Twitter when his article about a black quarterback “information bubble” was read by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show. “He doesn’t have football expertise,” Whitlock said of Limbaugh on radio today.

You may remember when Rush Limbaugh was part of ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” program for all of a month before leaving after his infamous comments regarding then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback (and current free agent) Donovan McNabb.

You may recall he attempted to purchase a portion of the St. Louis Rams.

In other words, he’s a football fan, just like you and me.

Which is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear Limbaugh rap about the NFL on his nationally-syndicated radio show, even during a busy election season.

On this particular day, Limbaugh decided to comment on a recent Jason Whitlock piece in which he described what he calls the black quarterback “information bubble.” Meaning quarterbacks such as Robert Griffin III, who’s impressing in his rookie season thus far, and Cam Newton, who’s been anything but in his sophomore year, “can do no wrong, and any criticism of them is rooted in racism.”

“What? W-w-what?,” responded Limbaugh. “There’s a bubble of media types that protects black quarterbacks? … Hmm! Who knew?”

The fact that Limbaugh was divulging a Jason Whitlock column on the air was enough to grind the author’s gears. The first thing he did is tweet out a link to an ESPN.com “Page 2” column that he wrote following the dismissal of his former Worldwide Leader colleague.

Then, he tweeted this: “Limbaugh talks race daily. He’s earned [hundreds] of millions doing it. [You] never hear right-wing idiots complaining Rush talks [too] much race. #think”

He again wondered about the lack of complaints about Limbaugh “talking race too much” on his show as he shared a link to the transcript of the portion of Limbaugh’s show in which he was “using my Cam column to talk race.”

I take it Whitlock is not very honored to have his works being read on a popular radio program. I’m sure he would, as long as it wasn’t one hosted by Limbaugh.

“He’s saying here,” Limbaugh commented, “that there’s a group of people in the media that… don’t want criticism/truth said about black quarterbacks because it’s racist and it’s unfair, so there’s a protective bubble around them that might result in them being overrated and certainly not being able to learn to deal with adversity. Because when helpful critique doesn’t happen because the person fears being called a racist and therefore shuts up, then there’s no progress.”

Meanwhile, Whitlock appeared on Mike Missanelli’s radio show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (click here for audio), and Whitlock explained that the “bubble” he writes of does not parallel Limbaugh’s McNabb comments nine years ago.

“Rush Limbaugh talked about… the sports media is desirous of Donovan McNabb having all the success. As a fan, did I want to see Donovan McNabb have some success? Yes. As a journalist? I could care less… I don’t think the sports media was bending over backwards hoping for Donovan McNabb to have some success… I thought [Rush] really, really overreached, and that format that he’s on TV, trying to blurt that out there, isn’t the proper place… And just to be quite honest, Rush Limbaugh is not qualified to make these comments, and it’s not because he’s white, it’s because he is in no way, in my opinion, trying to be thoughtful on these issues, if you just look at his track record, and I don’t think he’s given it a whole lot of thought… He doesn’t have football expertise… I’m sure he watches the NFL somewhat, but for the most part, he follows politics around the clock. It just wasn’t his place, and so, I didn’t have a problem with what ESPN did to him, and he’s certainly no victim because, you know, he makes a boatload of money talking about these issues and race.”

Whitlock mentioned the fact that Limbaugh “read my column today on his show, and talked about it extensively, and agreed with it, and tried to subtly use it as, ‘Hey, look, I was trying to say this in 2003, but…'” Yet Limbaugh didn’t even utter McNabb’s name during the segment in which he read Whitlock’s column.

But Jason Whitlock did give credit where it’s due. “I’m not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, and his perspective, but the guy is a great radio broadcaster, and he’s an entertainer and all that, but I don’t really respect his perspective… I’m not gonna – he has the right to talk about my column.”

And he looks forward to the day that “right-wing idiots” complain about Limbaugh reading a Whitlock piece.