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.

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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.”

"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.

Requiem For Linsanity

With reports surfacing that Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin could be joining the Houston Rockets, it means that he'll more than likely take "Linsanity" with him. Which means no more Lin puns, and most importantly, no more ignorant comments or headlines referring to his ethnicity.

Jeremy Lin, the sports media hardly knew ye.

For it was only February, when injuries to the Knicks team enabled you to display your basketball talent and spark the phenomenon known as Linsanity. And the sports media took notice.

Unfortunately, at the same time, a few individuals within the sports media couldn’t quite understand Linsanity for what it was.

Like Jason Whitlock.

You remember when, after that victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in which you scored a career-high 38 points in a game, the Fox Sports columnist tweeted that “some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight?”

Or the fine folks at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, who retracted one of the original ingredients in their “Linsanity” flavor – fortune cookie pieces?

Maybe the MSG Network cameraman who thought it was a good idea to show a fan sign superimposing your face over a fortune cookie at a Knicks game might owe you an apology?

And, of course, there’s ESPN. You remember, Jeremy, how after your first loss as a Knicks starter, multiple instances of the phrase “chink in the armor” began emanating from the Worldwide Leader’s many platforms? And a couple of ESPN employees in Anthony Federico, Spero Dedes – Knicks play-by-play man on New York’s ESPN Radio – and Max Bretos, who paid for their use of the phrase in regards to you with their jobs (or in the latter’s case, a good chunk of it)?

Of course you remember, Jeremy. “They’ve apologized and so from my end, I don’t care anymore. You have to learn to forgive, and I don’t even think that was intentional.” That was what you said in response to ESPN’s mishandling of Linsanity.

And now comes word that you’re leaving the Big Apple for the team that waived you right before the start of the previous strike-shortened, Linsanity-stricken season, the Houston Rockets.

And you know what? I don’t blame you.

I don’t think you’re hightailing it to Houston for the money (i.e. an offer sheet of $25 million over three years, with most of it in the final year, that the Knicks are not expected to match).

No, I think your decision to leave New York was made easier due to a few bad apples in the sports media, particularly ESPN.

See, Houston – or even Oakland, for that matter – is a smaller media market than New York. Hence, ESPN probably won’t be as captivated by Linsanity on the Houston Rockets as it used to be on the New York Knicks. So if you were to score 39 points or higher in a game for Houston, it’ll now be confined to a mere honorable mention on “SportsCenter,” as opposed to the previous fawning over your presence on the program during your Knicks tenure.

In other words, while you’ll continue your storied basketball career and keep writing new chapters for your amazing story, as long as you’re not in a Knicks, Lakers, Heat or Bulls uniform, you’re more or less off the radar.

But the good news is, there will be no more negative vibes coming out of the sports media to worry about.

Yes, Jeremy, I realize that the Asian-American Journalists Association created a list of “danger zones” for journalists to avoid in the wake of the “chink in the armor” episodes at ESPN and others. But it should have never come to that. Because a few individuals neglected to use common sense when reporting, discussing or tweeting about you, that put a damper on Linsanity far before your season-ending injury with roughly a quarter of the regular season remaining.

I understand why you’re leaving, Jeremy. But don’t take it personal, okay?

Meanwhile, there’s still a chance the Knicks might equal that offer sheet from the Rockets (all James Dolan has to do is crank up Cablevision subscribers’ bills a little bit – which would be similar to how Time Warner Cable agreed to crank up their own subscribers’ bills to keep MSG Network on the air at the height of Linsanity).

If you remain a member of the Knicks, Jeremy, Linsanity will live on.

But if you indeed end up heading for Houston, then Linsanity, as we know it, is dead.

Sure, you’ll be in a market where the worst offense in the local sports media is plagiarism – but most importantly, you’ll no longer need to answer to the Jason Whitlocks and the Anthony Federicos of the sports media.

I guess that was your plan all along.

The Lin giveth, the Lin taketh away.

ESPN's Top 5 Plagiarism Scandals

 

In the wake of Chris Broussard's recent plagiarism controversy, Media Rantz has compiled a list of the top 5 plagiarism incidents at ESPN. Woody Paige (photo credit: BrandonSneed.com) is on the list. Where does he rank? Read on and find out.

By now, you’re probably aware of a controversy involving ESPN’s NBA insider Chris Broussard. Tuesday evening was not a very good one for him. First, moments after Nets point guard Deron Williams tweeted that he has decided to remain with the franchise as it prepares to embark on its first season in Brooklyn, Broussard tweeted that per a “source: Deron Williams tells Nets he’s staying in Brooklyn.”

But wait, there’s more. Hours later, shooting guard Eric Gordon agreed to leave the Hornets and join the Suns. And in a trio of tweets announcing this, he appeared to have lifted quotes from an article posted by the Arizona Republic moments earlier. And to top it off, he prefaces Gordon’s quote, given to the Republic’s Paul Coro, with, “Gordon told me this.”

It was obvious that Broussard was more preoccupied on Tuesday night with packing for his Caribbean vacation than keeping his finger on the pulse of the NBA wire. And he was clearly befuddled by all of the negative feedback he received over the two-fer-Tuesday debacle that he sent a lovely message to any of the “haters” that happen to coexist amongst his nearly half-million Twitter follower total. “I got a life beyond the NBA,” he tweeted early this morning, adding: “While [you] wasting energy hating on me, I’m enjoying time with me family. [Me: An Irish family?] If I can’t relate to that, I feel sorry for [you].”

U mad, Chris?

Apparently, his flight must have been delayed because he parroted a scoop from ESPN colleague Marc Stein (with credit given) that guard Kyle Lowry would be traded from the Rockets to the Raptors.

As the Chris Broussard fiasco awaits its epilogue, now would be a great time to look back – in true ESPN fashion – at the top five plagiarism controversies involving the Worldwide Leader:

5. Sarah Phillips. This is the “pretty” and “quick witted” lady that ESPN hired and eventually appointed her as a featured writer at ESPN.com’s now-defunct “Page 2” section. ESPN would fire her within ninety minutes of this Deadspin expose being posted, with vivid details about several conspiracy theories regarding her – one of which was her hijacking the “NBA Memes” Facebook page. The creator of the page had invited Phillips to be a contributor, and eventually after concerns about content posted on it, added her as an administrator of the page – only to find out a few days later that he himself was removed as an administrator of his own page, which would serve as a precursor to a new page Phillips would be involved with. (You’ll be happy to know that, upon Phillips’ termination, the creator of the NBA Memes Facebook page has retained control of it once again.) While not necessarily an instance of lifting something from another journalist, Phillips’ takeover of a popular Facebook page with content similar to one she was maintaining is an extreme example of “lifting from a source.”

4. John Carroll. Just weeks after ESPN gave Phillips the boot, the Worldwide Leader experienced another credibility issue earlier this year, involving the former NCAA hoops head coach and NBA assistant head coach, who currently provides scouting reports for the NBA via the premium “Insider” section on ESPN.com. One day, when one die-hard Spurs fan perused a San Antonio Spurs message board (of which local sports radio host Mike Taylor is a member – actually, he had to sign up to tell somebody off) and then pulled up Carroll’s “Insider” column and experienced deja vu, he or she tipped someone off. It led to ESPN yanking Carroll’s allegedly-lifted “Insider” post “while we review the situation.” No word if Carroll had received any suspension, and I’d confirm if he was still writing for ESPN.com – but alas, I am not an “Insider.”

3. Woody Paige. The resident “Around The Horn” contributor has seen his own share of criticism – he and colleague Jay Crawford were named in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a makeup artist which was eventually dismissed – but he was put under scrutiny last June when Sports Business Journal reporter John Ourand called out Paige for alleged plagiarism at his day job with The Denver Post, accusing him of writing musings about the early history of ESPN “identical” to those that appeared in a piece on the same subject penned by Ourand in SBJ. “Hey [Woody], did you really talk to [broadcasting journalist] Paul Maxwell? Or did you lift that quote from SBJ,” asked Ourand in a public tweet. “Bad form not to list source.” The Post post was eventually updated to include attribution to SBJ as the source of a Maxwell quote. Paige was never reprimanded for initially stiffing Ourand in his piece, and remains on the ESPN payroll.

2. “ESPN.com Staff.” The victim this time around: ProFootballTalk.com. This incident happened in the fall of 2009, just months after PFT became a part of NBC Sports Group. In anticipation of an upcoming matchup between AFC East rivals New England and Miami, Joey Porter, who was a linebacker with the Dolphins at the time, had told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that he thinks Patriots quarterback Tom Brady goes by his own set of rules. PFT staffer Michael David Smith had posted an item about the exchange, which was retweeted by Eisen himself. “Several hours later,” recounted Gregg Rosenthal – who, ironically, is now a colleague of Eisen’s at NFL Network – “someone from ‘ESPN.com staff’ posted the first five paragraphs of the MDS story – word for freaking word.” In as much time as it took for ESPN to dismiss Sarah Phillips, the Worldwide Leader once again acted swiftly, replacing virtually the entire item, which had appeared on the ESPNBoston.com website, with a message “from the editors of ESPNBoston.com” informing of text previously existing in that space that “should have been attributed to ProFootballTalk.com.” (And if you access the link today, the post has been deleted altogether.) And while the offender was never identified, we can only wonder if he or she is currently toiling at another sports website, perhaps having learned their lesson and no longer reproducing another peer’s work. “Word. For freaking word.”

1. Will Selva. It’s quite ironic that the culprit at the top of our list of the worst ESPN plagiarists has shown having a hard time not to depend exclusively on him-“selva” for content. On December 26, 2010 – one day after the Heat torched the Lakers in their annual Christmas Day game – Orange County Register sports columnist Kevin Ding started his thoughts like this: “Christmas isn’t over yet, Lakers fans. The big game, it turns out, will be the game after the supposed Game Of The Year. In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.” Fast-forward to that very Tuesday night, December 28, 2010, when Selva, anchoring the 11 PM edition of ESPNews’ “Highlight Express,” led off with a recap of the Spurs’ home matchup with the Lakers, starting his thoughts like this: “Christmas isn’t over yet, Lakers fans. The big game, it turns out, will be the game after the supposed Game Of The Year. In San Antonio on Tuesday night, the Lakers will be out to give themselves and their fans the much-needed gift of hope.” Mind you, at this point, we were three full days away from the Christmas holiday. Usually, after December 26, the next time the public breaks out mass Christmas cliches is Thanksgiving, if not earlier. This certainly was no coincidence. Ding, who attended the Lakers/Spurs game in San Antonio – which the Lakers also lost, by the way – recalled heading back to his hotel room and experiencing a serious case of deja vu upon turning on ESPNews. “Imagine my shock when anchor Will Selva proceeded to use the first several paragraphs of my column looking forward to the game as his lead-in to the highlights,” wrote an obviously incensed Ding, after learning that he had become a victim of plagiarism, at the hands of an ESPN anchor who had previously worked at CNN – not to mention a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School Of Journalism, per his resume. According to the Register’s own account of this kerfuffel: “Selva said in a statement… that he copied some of what Ding wrote as he prepared his script but planned to write his own introduction to a highlights package. Instead, he read Ding’s words nearly verbatim.” Selva used an apology as a guise to explain himself: “In this case, I cut and pasted the story with every intention of writing my own. I simply forgot and I completely understand why this is a major problem. I sincerely apologize for my sloppiness, especially to Kevin Ding, viewers and colleagues.” He added in his statement: “I made a horrible mistake and I’m deeply sorry. I did not live up to my high standards or ESPN’s.” Selva was subsequently suspended from ESPN indefinitely. He remains at the Worldwide Leader – at least for now.

The Worldwide Lede Burier: ESPN Devotes Less Than A Minute To Jerry Sandusky Trial On "SportsCenter"

ESPN spent all of 45 seconds reporting on the Jerry Sandusky trial last week. Here's just a sample of what people on Twitter had to say about this development.

There are many things that last for about a minute. Writing a check. Riding the elevator. Marrying Kim Kardashian.

Okay, maybe that last one might be just a bit of an exaggeration. But I wish I was lying when I told you this: Thanks to Deadspin’s crack numbers staff (or is it a number of staffers on crack?), we know exactly how much time ESPN is devoting on “SportsCenter” to the trial of former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, which officially started on June 11, and could very well be finished by the end of the week.

For the week starting June 8 and ending June 14 – again, with the Sandusky trial starting right smack dab in the middle of that timeframe – a mere 45 seconds was spent informing “SportsCenter” viewers about the trial.

Or nearly double as much time as Armen Keteyian’s “exclusive” CBS interview of Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary. Remember that charade?

It’s pretty much a given that the NBA playoffs and finals are going to be ESPN’s bread and butter for the month of June. We know this. We also know that ESPN and ABC broadcasting these very NBA playoff and Finals games may have a little something to do with the exorbitant amount of time “SportsCenter” is devoting to the NBA. (Putting it in perspective: the ratio of NBA to NHL coverage on “SportsCenter” during that same period is 9:1; it bears noting since the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup during that week.)

As Deadspin’s Patrick Burns writes: “SportsCenter is supposed to be a news program. But when the Sandusky case is leading off primetime network news, and you are spending 15 minutes dissecting LeBron James’s ‘clutch factor,’ something has gone horribly wrong.” Burns also notes that the content of that 45-second “SportsCenter” report on the Sandusky trial was only that it “was set to begin… Beyond that? No live reports. No daily recap of the events from the trial. Nothing.”

A far cry from last November, when Joe Paterno was fired as Penn State’s head coach and riots broke out on PSU’s campus. ESPN knows that its main demographic would be more interested in news vans flipping over in Happy Valley than the depiction of graphic details of Sandusky’s many disgusting exploits at his trial. On that front, I can see why ESPN isn’t giving the trial wall-to-wall coverage.

But 45 seconds, with no updates whatsoever? That’s an aberration. Why even have the initial 45-second report that the trial “was set to begin” when you’re not going to follow through with daily updates  of the trial on “SportsCenter” in the first place?

In ESPN’s defense, they have been posting updates about the trial on their YouTube channel. But restricting coverage to their website is the equivalent of treating the story as a ninth-class citizen.

Does ESPN believe that those interested in the trial can get the information online, while they’d opt to hold roundtable discussions on whether LeBron James will finally win a championship on “SportsCenter”? I thought that’s what shows like “Around The Horn” was for.

At any rate, if you’re a genuine sports news program, you should deliver all the news, not just news that ESPN thinks its viewers would be interested in. Less than a minute of “SportsCenter” news on the Sandusky trial, before it even started, mind you, is a major dissservice on the Worldwide Leader’s part.

If I had my druthers, the sports news department over there would be shaken.

You know, like a snow globe.