Holy Harassment: Pastor Of Dallas Church Where Tim Tebow Will Be Appearing Demands Retraction From NBC Sports Blogger







Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church, where Jets quarterback Tim Tebow will be speaking in April, demanded a retraction from an NBC Sports blogger.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, the pastor of First Baptist Church, where Jets quarterback Tim Tebow will be speaking in April, demanded a retraction from an NBC Sports blogger.

It looks as if Tim Tebow will be making an annual ritual of speaking at a Dallas-area church every spring.

Last year, it was at the Celebration Church, where his Easter Sunday appearance drew up to 20,000 followers. Roughly a week after that gig was announced, Tebow, who had previously led the Denver Broncos to a miracle playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers – but would be vanquished by the New England Patriots the following week – was traded to the New York Jets, where he would spend most of the 2012 season on the bench.

Now, after the start of the 2013 Lenten season – in which Tebow could again be traded, perhaps to the Jacksonville Jaguars – the First Baptist Church in Dallas has announced that the nomad first-cum-second-string quarterback will be appearing at their house of worship on Sunday, April 28, a mere four weeks after Easter.

As you would expect, the usual news sources reported this – including NBC Sports, though not by way of their “Pro Football Talk” unit (at least, not yet). No, there was an item about Tebow’s appearance at First Baptist Church posted on the section of NBC Sports’ website dubbed “Off The Bench,” a collection of odd and weird sports stories usually written by Rick Chandler.

“It seems that lately Tim Tebow has been making more speaking appearances in church than he has quarterback appearances in NFL games,” starts Chandler’s piece, which was originally titled, “Tim Tebow to speak at virulently anti-gay, anti-Semitic Dallas megachurch,” and also referred to the church’s lead pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress, as “a virulently anti-gay and anti-Semitic evangelical Christian.”

Chandler’s item went on to cite examples of the pastor’s being “anti-gay” and “anti-Semitic,” quoting a passage from a Huffington Post item, which itself cited stories about Jeffress from the ThinkProgress website, as well as The Christian Post. “Is Tebow’s appearance at First Baptist Church an ipso facto endorsement of Jeffress’ views?,” Chandler questioned, before writing his belief that Tebow likely “saw the word ‘megachurch’ and got excited about speaking to a lot of like-minded people, and just forgot to do his due diligence on the guy in charge.”

Since that piece was published, Jeffress went after its author and his employer for failing to due its due diligence on him.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the pastor told Fox News, denouncing Chandler’s depiction of the church as “anti-gay” and “anti-Semitic” in his post. “We are a very pro-Israel church. To say that Jesus Christ is the only way for a person to be saved is not anti-Semitic.

“I would like NBC Sports to acknowledge that they made an error in their reporting and relied on secondary sources instead of doing their own reporting and fact-finding like any credible news organization ought to,” Jeffress added.

Since then, Chandler has updated his description of Jeffress as “a controversial evangelical Christian who has made quite a name for himself by referring to other religions as ‘heretical’, and that re-electing Obama would lead to the ‘rise of the anti-Christ’.” Also, while the title of the item was updated to refer only to a “controversial Dallas megachurch,” the references to “anti-gay” and “anti-Semitic” remain in the post’s URL.

Meanwhile, both the “anti-gay” and “anti-Semitic” labels given to Jeffress remain on the Huffington Post item that Chandler originally cited as the source for his story – and continues to be linked in Chandler’s post.

“This is another example of gross inaccuracies supported by the liberal press with no resemblance to truth whatsoever,” the pastor complained. “This is part of not just a liberal agenda, but sloppy journalism.”

Jeffress also suspects that it’s part of a vast “Jet-wing” conspiracy.

“This is another way to try to attack [Tim Tebow] for his Christian beliefs,” Jeffress contended. “Most discerning people realize this was an ambush, not of us so much, but of Tim Tebow and the beliefs we hold dear.

“I think the long knives have been out for Tim for some time.”

Earlier this week, Chandler also authored an item about “sports-related Twitter reaction” to the resignation of Pope Benedict, which was titled, “Pope Tebow I?”

Also, just hours before his Tebow/First Baptist Church item, Chandler penned a post about the Minnesota Twins’ single-A franchise, the Fort Myers Miracle, announcing a “Marco Rubio Water Bottle Giveaway” promotion, tying in a moment from the Florida Governor’s Republican response to President Obama’s recent State of the Union address, in which he quickly reached for and sipped from a water bottle at one point.

Concludes Chandler’s piece: “May I also suggest a dunking booth?”

Rick Chandler. A pawn of the liberal media? Nah.

UPDATE, 2.21.13: Tebow has canceled his scheduled appearance at First Baptist Church. No word if they’re negotiating with Greg McElroy to give the sermon at the April 28th mass.

Concussions, Linsanity And Tebowmania: Sports Media Journalists Look Back At 2012

In this scene from SNY’s “The Year In Review” of 2012, Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman takes the Post’s Phil Mushnick to school.

Christmas time means it’s almost the end of the year – and that means many year-end specials.

The regional sports network SNY has once again assembled a “Year In Sports” special for 2012, consisting in discussions of the biggest topics in the sports world not only in New York City, but nationally as well.

The local sports media panel consisted of Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post, and Neil Best of New York Newsday, all of whom appeared on the 2011 edition of “The Year In Sports.” This year, the trio is joined by their counterpart from The New York Times, Ken Belson.

One of the topics discussed during the national window was the phenomenon that was Linsanity, when Jeremy Lin had led the Knicks for a remarkable stretch. He currently plays for the Houston Rockets – but the show’s moderator, Chris Carlin, asked if Linsanity would have even reached such heights if, say, Lin had never played in New York at all.

“Not one fan needed the media to tell you that that guy did something special to that team,” Mushnick contested. “No one had to read a paper, turn on the radio, watch TV, other than the [Knicks] game.”

“The beauty of the Linsanity story,” according to Best, “compared to Tebow, he actually did do something.”

In the same segment the brief Linsanity period in New York was discussed, the seemingly outgoing Tebowmania period in New York was also touched on.

“Jeremy Lin kind of came and went,” said Best. “The staying power of this Tebow story is amazing.”

“It’s driven by the media,” remarked Raissman on the media’s fixation with the Jets’ backup quarterback. “He’s not dressing, and they’re writing stories about him.”

Raissman also argued – as he has in past Daily News columns – that networks that covered Jets games this season showed more shots of Tebow on the sidelines than Jets players that are actually playing.

“We have to give this guy credit for the way he has handled this,” Best said, “because with this ridiculous spotlight on him, he has not wavered, not complained; he’s been accessible with the media.”

(By the way, not too long after the special was recorded, Tebow did kinda complain a bit.)

Also discussed by the New York sports media writers was the surreal year R.A. Dickey had for the New York Mets. “He’s a genuine character,” opined Belson. “He’ll stand at his locker and talk to you forever… You can’t help but like the guy.”

That did not seem to be the case when during the Mets’ Christmas party, he discussed his contract situation at length. “This guy was asked a question, and he gives what he always gives, an honest answer,” said Raissman. “It’s interesting to watch… the guy go from hero to bum.”

(Since the taping of the special, the Cy Young award winner has gone from New York to Toronto.)

The foursome also talked about the swift resolution of the Bernie Madoff situation involving the Mets; the future of the Yankees franchise if the team’s YES Network is sold to Fox magnate Rupert Murdoch (Raissman: “You look at everything Fox has gotten into and owns the majorityship: they’re not there to be sitting in the back of the bus; they’ll be driving the bus”); and the media’s role in the fate of the New York City Marathon after Hurricane Sandy crippled the city – and not one of them mentioned Mike Francesa – at least not in that discussion.

The locals were asked about the possibility of Francesa and his old WFAN on-air buddy, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, reuniting on the radio.

“I’m sure there’s a shot, but no,” answered Mushnick. “They’d be killing each other.”

Best affirmed that the two “do not hate each other,” they just “got sick of each other professionally.”

“Why pay them both the kind of money they’re making,” asked Raissman. “You think Francesa’s gonna give Dog part of his salary? The Pope would never do that… He’s doing his own thing with his ratings; [WFAN] don’t have to pay two guys.”

Best pointed out that Francesa could be retiring in 2014; Raissman suspects it’s a contract negotiation.

Best: “I think he’s serious about maybe walking away in 2014.”

Raissman: “Yeah, right… You’ll have to carry him out of that studio.”

The national panel consisted of Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, both making return appearances this year; plus panel newcomers Rachel Cohen from the Associated Press, and the Wall Street Journal’s Matthew Futterman. The latter had a strong opinion on the impact of concussions in the NFL.

“It’s the old journalism adage, you have to follow the money. This is cigarettes, this is asbestos, this is another big liability case, and how do those cases end? Usually, they end in really big settlements. And at some point, the NFL is probably, I think, going to have to write a very large check to a lot of people, and I don’t think it’s gonna be five years. If you let this thing drag out for five years, it’s going to be a big mistake.”

Deitsch argued that only something “catastrophic” such as “deaths on the field” would negatively impact the league. “It is a violent game; I think people have accepted that.”

When the current NHL lockout and whether or not it could be a death knell to the hockey league was brought up, after Carlin pointed out “ratings have gone down continually” before the lockout, Deitsch chimed in with: “Chris, there’s nothing more I love than hunting and fishing shows on the NBC Sports Network.” (NBCSN would be airing NHL games right about now, had there been no lockout.) Deitsch believes that viewership and attendance levels will be retained, but at “a far lower base than the NFL and the NBA,” it will take between two and four years.”

“The fans might forgive once,” Cohen argued, “I don’t know if they’ll forgive twice.”

Ourand suggested that the league consider contration in order to survive. “There’s value to having teams… in Florida and… in Phoenix,” Futterman replied, “but if you’re going to do that, you have to figure out a way to support them, because those teams can’t seem to support themselves.”

As was the case with the New York sports media panel, the red meat that is Tim Tebow was also thrown out to the national sports media panel.

Ourand: “He is such a fascinating character nationally, and polarizing. People just want to know what’s happening with him.”

Carlin: “Why is he so fascinating, especially this year when he hasn’t been on the field?”

Deitsch: “Well, he’s fascinating for [ESPN boss] John Skipper because no network has ridden Tebow harder than ESPN.”

And with social media playing a huge role in the Olympics – for viewers as a complaining device, mostly – Twitter’s existence vis a vis sports events was also discussed.

“Twitter is a game changer,” Deitsch said. “It’s become the water cooler conversation for sports fans… The fact is, we now live in a universe where the second screen is how we watch TV: first screen, we look at TV; second screen, we want to be social with our friends and family, and Twitter is among the best social emdia services you can have for sports.”

“It feels like the event’s over, and you gotta keep looking at your computer, and looking at your iPhone,” Futterman said, adding that “it can be a little frustrating” and “distracting” to the sports fan.

It can also be distracting for athletes, in a way. “Every time you put an athlete on Twitter, you give him another excuse not to grant you an interview,” Futterman argued. “And that’s my real problem with it… I think we empower it sometimes too much, in the sense that — I don’t need to talk to you, just follow my Twitter feed.”

Warned Ourand: “You do have to worry much more about what you put out there and what you tweet… But it’s changed the way people watch sports, period.”

Ourand also commented on the changing landscape of college sports, predicting that there will be “more realignment” in college football to the tune of “four 16-team conferences.”

Quoth Deitsch: “Money is driving this ship.”

Cohen: “It’s very obvious, they’re following the money.”

Futterman joked that eventually in college football, there will be “two conferences: one would be ESPN, and the other is Fox.” Yet he added: “They [schools] need the money. They gotta get it from somewhere, and TV seems to be the place where they’re going to get it.”

Members of both panels were asked to choose what they thought was their biggest stories or personalities of 2012, and what they think will be the biggest story in 2013 – but I won’t spoil it for you. (Okay, I’ll share one: Ourand says he’s looking forward to the launch of the new Fox Sports One cable network. “It’s the latest potential competitor to ESPN, and I’m dying to see what it looks like.”)

Catch the “Geico SportsNite: 2012: The Year In Sports” special when it re-airs for the remainder of the year on SNY. The special will be rebroadcast on SNY at the following dates and times: Thursday, December 20, 2 PM; Sunday, December 23, 3 PM; Wednesday, December 26, 7:30 PM; Saturday, December 29, 9 PM; and Tuesday, January 1, 2013 (New Year’s Day) at 12 Noon (all times Eastern).

Taken Aback: Liam Neeson Falls Flat In ESPN Interview

Actor Liam Neeson appeared on ESPN to promote his new movie, and was immediately interrogated by anchor Mike Hill about whether or not he thinks Tim Tebow should be the Jets’ starting quarterback. At one point, Neeson didn’t realize he was live, and uttered, “Oh, shit.” As one NFL Network personality noted: “That train wreck could have been prevented.”

When he was nine years old, Liam Neeson took up boxing. He discovered acting a few years later, and the rest is history. But Neeson is quite the boxing enthusiast. In fact, there’s a video on ESPN’s website in which he discusses his experiences with the sport for five minutes.

Compare that to his appearance on “SportsCenter” on Wednesday night. To suggest it was an awkward exchange would be an understatement.

Here’s where the network went wrong: the very first question Mike Hill threw Neeson’s way was not about boxing, but football – specifically, New York Jets football (they used the fact that Neeson resides in New York City as an excuse to ask him his thoughts on the Jets being blown out at home by the 49ers). After mumbling a request to “start again,” Neeson asks Hill, “Are we live?” Upon Hill’s confirmation, Neeson replies, “Oh, shit…”

Technically, he was honest – the Jets did play like crap on Sunday.

“I’ll be very honest with you,” Neeson continued. “It’s only the second football game I’ve ever been at in my life, I still don’t understand the rules… But on Sunday, yes, I know the Jets got trounced, but it is great to just celebrate great athleticism.”

“Speaking of athleticism,” said Hill moving on to the next question – and you can imagine what the subject matter of the next question would be – “they brought in Tim Tebow, a very athletic player… Should Rex Ryan, in your opinion, make that move to Tim Tebow?”

This is exactly what Dan Patrick and Doug Gottlieb were talking about the other day: ESPN is manufacturing the sports news cycle by putting actors on the spot for their comments on whether or not Tebow should be the Jets’ starting quarterback, when Neeson’s mostly on ESPN to promote his new movie, “Taken 2” (which, believe it or not, is being released by 20th Century Fox; I thought the studio behind the film would be Disney, which is ESPN’s parent company).

Mind you, ESPN is putting actors on the spot who are not very skilled in the NFL for their thoughts on one of the most polarizing NFL players in the league today.

“You see, you’re speaking ancient Arabic to me,” Neeson confirmed. “I swear to you. I just don’t understand the game.”

It isn’t until two minutes into the segment that Hill finally decides, “So, let’s talk a little boxing.”

Again, back to that example that Gottlieb used on “The Dan Patrick Show” regarding ESPN’s Tebow edict: “I would just, I would jokingly throw it into a segment… ‘I gotta find… fifteen seconds here to talk about Tebow. All right, let’s move on to Major League Baseball.’”

You’d think ESPN would have pre-screened him before wheeling him out on “SportsCenter.” Shouldn’t he have been told in advance that they were going to spring a Tebow question on him?

Brian Webber, co-host of NFL Network’s “NFL AM” morning show, attempted to defend Neeson being asked about Tebow and the Jets by ESPN, and his appearing on “SportsCenter” as a whole: “The assumption of many business leaders is that hardcore fans are already invested in sports shows, so the goal is to engage ‘casual fans’. A chat with a movie star is the way to potentially get that done. Where things went terribly wrong was perhaps not having a chat before, to feel out if Neeson knew anything about sports. Then the host has to ad-lib something comparing the pressure of acting to sports, etc.

“I’ve been in situations in the past where I was told to ask an entertainer promoting a project what I felt was an inane question. When we went live, I simply changed to something I thought had a chance of making a segment work. That train wreck could have been prevented. If you’re going to bomb on the air – and we all do it more than we’d like to – it’s better to bomb by yourself or at least on your own terms.”

While I suspect (as does Webber) that ESPN didn’t approach Neeson before his “SportsCenter” appearance, there is no word on whether or not that indeed took place.

But this is exactly what happens when you expect anybody and everybody to have an opinion on Tim Tebow – just because your news cycle relies heavily on Tim Tebow.

As Liam Neeson’s character in “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” once said: “Your focus determines your reality.”

Right now, Tim Tebow would be ESPN’s Honey Boo Boo to Liam Neeson’s Qui-Gon Jinn.

Erin Andrews "Exhausted" With Tebowmania: "ESPN's Really Fascinated By Him"

Erin Andrews tells Rich Eisen she's "exhausted" with all of the coverage Jets second-string quarterback Tim Tebow has been receiving. "ESPN's really fascinated by him," says the former ESPN personality, now working with Fox Sports. Watch Andrews on the debut of "Fox College Saturday" this weekend.

Calling out ESPN for way too much Tebow Time? That’s fightin’ words.

Especially when they come from a former employee.

That would be Erin Andrews, who left the Worldwide Leader after nine years for greener pastures at Fox Sports. She was the inaugural guest on the new season of “The Rich Eisen Podcast“, and among many of the subjects during her conversation with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen – himself a one-time ESPN personality, for about as long as Andrews – the world-famous second-string quarterback Tim Tebow came up.

“ESPN’s really fascinated by him,” Andrews said. “I think the cameras are always on him, aren’t they? It’s like, Tebow holds the door open for someone — ‘BREAKING NEWS: Holds The Door Open For An Old Woman’.”

Andrews questioned how worthy Tebow is of all the coverage he’s receiving, when the fact of the matter is, he’s the second-string quarterback on a team where both he and primary quarterback Mark Sanchez failed to find the end zone in the preseason. “How much impact is he really gonna have?,” she asked. “If it’s not the last name on the back of the jersey, would we care anywhere else? I’m just confu — I don’t know… He’s a backup quarterback. I just don’t understand.”

“It’s exhausting,” she continued. “And I know we’re supposed to love it in the media, but after awhile, it’s just like, ‘Okay, can you just play without all the hype, and this drama around him, and you know, what’s Tebow doing today’ — just go play the game. I get a little exhausted with it.”

She did say that she was “proud” to have covered Tebow’s college days at her alma mater, Florida. Despite that, “what else is there about Tebow that we need to know about?”

“You tell me,” Eisen countered. “You’re the Gator.”

Eisen admitted that while NFL Network has “our fixation” with Tebow, “we didn’t send our signature show there. Like, they sent “SportsCenter” to Cortland, New York” [site of Jets training camp].

Meanwhile, Andrews did have nice things to say about her former ESPN colleague Chris Fowler – in fact, she enjoyed working with him on “College Gameday” so much, she says, that it was “really hard” to make the decision to leave for Fox. “He’s insane good,” Andrews raved. “I don’t think the guy gets enough credit.”

Eisen himself must miss the Worldwide Leader. He admitted to Andrews that around six months into his NFL Network tenure, he once came back from a commercial break on “NFL Total Access” by telling viewers, “Welcome back to ‘SportsCenter’.”

If you want to hear Andrews’ appearance on the podcast – and we know you’ll want to do that now that it has to do with Tim Tebow – click here. The Andrews interview begins at around 17:00; the Tebow talk starts at around the 25:00 mark.

And be sure to watch the video version of this podcast Thursday on NFL Network.

Sports Media Tweethearts To Tie The Knot

This weekend, ESPN sports business reporter Kristi Dosh was engaged to college football journalist and Southern sports radio figure Chadd Scott. (Photo of the engagement "reenactment" via Dosh's Twitter.)

A huge round of congratulations are in order for ESPN sports business journalist Kristi Dosh and college football blogger and Jacksonville sports radio PD Chadd Scott, who have been dating for two years. Scott popped the question on Friday night and the two are now making wedding plans.

It’s a sports media match made in the Twitterverse.

“Almost two years ago, Chadd and I met on Twitter… and last night, we got engaged!”, Dosh announced Saturday morning – of course, via Twitter.

The “college football power couple” has already agreed not to walk down the aisle in the fall, when the season is in full swing. Meanwhile, the bride is contemplating a Memorial Day weekend wedding.

Dosh and Scott are likely the first couple in the sports media/journalism business to have befriended each other through social networking; this observation from Leslie Anne Wade, a longtime public relations executive with CBS Sports, who currently runs an independent firm.

And while social media had a hand in leading Scott to his soulmate, it also presented some dire results for him: Last spring, he was dismissed from his sports update gig at Cumulus’ WCNN/”680 The Fan” after expressing his disdain for Delta Airlines following a rough flight with the air carrier – an air carrier that just happened to be a major sponsor on the station. Previously, Scott had toiled at Atlanta’s “Fan” rival, Lincoln Financial Media’s WQXI/”790 The Zone”, as well as nationally syndicated radio programs hosted by ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd and, if you can believe it, conservative talk radio host Michael Savage. Currently, Scott is the assistant program director at WJXL/”1010XL” in Jacksonville, and also maintains the station’s website. And he does appear on their airwaves from time to time.

Here’s some trivia about our Twitter lovebirds: The first retweet of Scott on Dosh’s Twitter feed goes all the way back to October 2010, according to Topsy. And wouldn’t you know it, it involved the one and only Tim Tebow. “What do Gator fans think about this?”, Dosh asked her followers as she retweeted a link to an article that Scott had forwarded from ChuckOliver.net, where he maintains “college football’s most dangerous blog”, wondering whether or not the selfishness of Tebow, then a starting quarterback at Florida, was hurting the Gators and helping their SEC rivals, the South Carolina Gamecocks.

And with ESPN being the network for all things Tebow these days, you just know they’re going to play up this angle in announcing their employee’s nuptials. Before joining ESPN, Dosh, who is also a lawyer, started the BusinessOfCollegeSports.com website. And she’ll be adding “author” to her credentials, with two books scheduled to be released next year.

We here at SportsRantz, one of the fastest-growing sports blogging websites, couldn’t be happier for our two peers, and wish them well as they embark in holy matrimony.

And by the way, the groom has already let it be known that nobody will be live-tweeting their wedding ceremony.

ESPN's Doing Their Own Version Of Jets "Hard Knocks," Says Rex Ryan To ESPN Radio

Jets head coach Rex Ryan, perhaps perturbed with ESPN's extensive training camp coverage of the team, including the day their shirtless backup quarterback Tim Tebow ran in the rain, called out the network for doing their own version of "Hard Knocks" - on, of all places, an ESPN Radio station in New York.

Rex Ryan must be a Media Rantz reader.

Otherwise, why else would the head coach of the New York Jets appear on the flagship station of Gang Green and express his shock that one cable network has been decked out at training camp since it opened – and it’s not HBO.

Yep, it’s ESPN – otherwise known as the worldwide leader in Jets content.

And, oh yeah, the Jets’ flagship station just happens to be run by ESPN – which kinda makes this revelation of Rex’s somewhat awkward.

During a regular segment on the ESPN 98.7/New York midday show co-hosted by Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco, Ryan was asked about the “media contention” surrounding the team. “Everybody’s been following this team around,” said Smith, after noting that his co-host and himself along with “SportsCenter” was among said “media contention.” He also let it be known that in the days leading up to a preseason tilt with the crosstown rival New York Giants on Saturday, “they’re the reigning defending Super Bowl champions, yet we find ourselves here talking about you guys, and specifically, Tim Tebow.”

Well, you can’t blame Stephen A. for telling the truth.

It’s one thing for ESPN’s radio outlet in New York to be all Jets, all the time – they’re about to embark on their dozenth season as the radio home of the Jets.

But when a national television network in ESPN starts spending a little too much time at Jets training camp, it can be a little too much – and Rex realizes this.

“I know we did ‘Hard Knocks’ before,” Ryan recalled, as the Jets were featured on HBO’s training camp reality series in 2010. Then he added: “This is like the ESPN version of it or something.”

He was speaking, of course, of the Worldwide Leader’s extensive training camp coverage for a .500 team.

“It is surprising,” the coach admitted. “There’s no doubt we’re just, you know, a team that’s… coming off last year’s 8-8 record, but… we do have some personalities here. Obviously, people, you know, want to see Tim Tebow, they want to see Mark Sanchez, and, you know, Darrelle Revis, whoever… That comes with the territory.

“Certainly, I think, in some ways, the more success you have, the better this thing is for you, from the standpoint [that] it’s not new to you; that, you know, the cameras are around, we’ve had different things, and sometimes, they get you ready, because once you get going, if you’re playing well, you’re in playoff runs and all that stuff, the media comes, you know… it’s twice as much coverage. But, again, we’ve got a long way to go before we get to that point.”

Not in ESPN’s eyes, you do, Rex. In fact, even if you throw in NFL Network’s Jets coverage, even with a regular segment on their new morning show called “Our Daily Tebow,” when stacked up against each other, ESPN looks like it’s got “twice as much coverage” of Gang Green as NFL Network does.

Just how overboard does ESPN go with Tebow? On Tuesday, his 25th birthday, “SportsCenter” spent virtually the entire morning fawning over the birthday boy. I’m not kidding. I mean, over on NFL Network, “NFL AM” mentioned it as part of the “Daily Tebow” bit, but that led into a debate about the Jets and Tebow employing the “wildcat” formation. And that was it. Brian Webber and Eric Davis were not sporting party hats, and Nicole Zaloumis was not singing “Happy Birthday To You” a la Marilyn Monroe to the camera. NFL Network had a meaningful discussion about Tebow and the Wildcat offense, with a passing mention of his birthday. Think about that the next time you think NFLN might be spending a little too much time talking about the Jets or the Broncos or the Eagles – because they don’t treat the viewers like they’re stupid.

Speaking of stupid, back to Stephen A. Smith and his chat with Rex Ryan, whose Jets team is preparing for the annual traditional New York/new York (in New Jersey) preseason game, trying hard to pretend Sal Paolantonio and his cronies aren’t in existence.

“You know, we’re just going out there and trying to get better as a football team each day, and, you know, whether it’s twenty people in the media, or how many people it is… really isn’t the issue for us. We’re just trying to get better each day.”

At the same time, ESPN gets worse each day – and the regular season hasn’t even started yet.

But who thought that a viewpoint from this humble blogger some two weeks ago would be validated by the head coach of the Jets himself – and on an ESPN platform, no less.

In a way, it’s like he gave the Worldwide Leader the bird.

Tebow Talk Could Be A Boon For Boomer On A National Level

Boomer Esiason generated a lot of buzz by suggesting on his radio show that the Jets should cut quarterback Tim Tebow. But could these choice words be mere chum before the announcement that the radio show could go national via CBS Sports Radio next year?

Boomer Esiason knows what he’s doing.

He knew that he would have the hot sports opinion of the day when he said that Tim Tebow’s presence on the New York Jets’ roster is not “benefitting” the team and that he would cut the backup quarterback.

It’s not that I don’t think his opinion is genuine – he’s played more snaps of professional football than I have, so he certainly knows what he’s talking about.

But consider the source of the “cut Tebow” comments: his daily radio show on WFAN in New York, “Boomer & Carton.”

With CBS Sports in the process of piecing together a 24/7 sports radio network, slowly but surely, each piece of the puzzle is being uncovered. Doug Gottlieb, who is in the process of relocating from Bristol to Baja California, has been tapped as the host of the 3-6 PM time slot. And while this has not yet been confirmed, it’s all but a lock that the overnight shift will be handled by Nanci Donnellan, best known as “The Fabulous Sports Babe.” She had been heard across the country via ESPN Radio in the 1990’s, and until recently had been laying low from the radio to fight breast cancer. On the recently launched 98.7 The Fan in Tampa, Donnellan, who resides in the Tampa Bay area, currently does a local overnight show on the station – but even observers as far away as Boston are getting ready for the Babe to be heard on the national airwaves once again.

Anyhow, there is a very good chance that “Boomer & Carton” could be announced as the national morning drive show on CBSSR. In anticipation of that, wouldn’t you want to get the show’s branding out there on a national level before announcing it’ll be part of the new CBSSR?

And what better way to generate buzz about your show than a polarizing viewpoint on a polarizing quarterback?

Even when President Obama went on the radio in Columbus last week and shared an educated take on the Jets’ quarterback situation, it made national news.

The buzz about Boomer’s bid to bump Tebow from Gang Green reminds me of a similar scenario from just a few months ago – it’s not involving sports radio, but regular talk radio. Remember the comments Geraldo Rivera made on Fox News insisting that the death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin may have been the result of him wearing a hoodie on the night he was fatally shot?

Coincidentally, Rivera, who for years hosted the popular television talk show “Geraldo,” had just started hosting a daily radio show on WABC in New York. And wouldn’t you know it, months later, the station’s parent company announced that he would be hosting a syndicated radio show based at WABC.

I see history repeating itself: a well-known public figure hosting a local radio show based in New York, making a comment generating much mileage in the media and the Internet, and said local radio show later becomes a national radio show.

(Remember, Geraldo did not make that comment on his radio show – so it’s not like I’m comparing Trayvon to Tebowmania here.)

So, America: if you were as amazed by former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason insisting that current Jets quarterback Tim Tebow should be given the heave-ho, you probably haven’t heard the last of him.

If the Jets miss the playoffs and Boomer delivers an “I told you so” rant about Tebow, you might see media outlets cite the brand new CBS Sports Radio network as the source.

And wouldn’t that be a spiffy way to get your new product on the map.

(Suggested reading: My post from July 1 speculating Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason’s WFAN morning show would be carried nationally via CBS Sports Radio in January.)