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Posts Tagged ‘John Feinstein’

Blog Publishes Longhorn Network ESPN Contract

The Midnight Yell submitted an Open Records Request in July to acquire the television contract between ESPN and the University of Texas that outlines the content requirements and revenue sharing of the Longhorn Network. It recently received a redacted version of the contract, and helpfully outlined the most interesting and pertinent aspects to the deal. They include:

* The network has to show one live football game per year (This year it will be the first home game of the year against Rice) but both Texas and ESPN have a “mutual desire” to show no less than two live football games a year going forward.

* Texas can’t contribute to any future Big 12 channel.

* And the real kicker, which we reported earlier but without the specific language:. Texas can fire any ESPN commentator on the Longhorn Network who says anything negative about the program. Journalistic integrity, exit stage left.


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Eric Mangini Joining ESPN as an NFL Analyst

Phil Mushnick of The New York Post reports that former New York Jets and Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst. Mangini, known for his bubbly personality and Hall of Fame resume, will be right at home alongside Mike Ditka and Ron Jawor…wait, what? The guy who skulked along the sidelines and never smiled? Who reportedly ratted out his former boss (Bill Belichick) as the source for SpyGate? Who was fired by the Browns and the Jets and once fined a player $1700 for drinking a $3 bottle of water out of the hotel minibar ? A guy who never played a down in the NFL? That guy is going to be entertaining us with insight?

Can’t wait for the first colleague to kiss his butt and call him “Man-genius.” My money’s on Chris Berman.

Video: Bobby Valentine Apologizes for Saying 'Fagged Out' During HR Derby

ESPN baseball commentator Bobby Valentine apologized for mispeaking during last night’s Home Run Derby, after Valentine — in trying to describe participants who swing at too many offerings too quickly — said they become “fagged out.”

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated asked Valentine to explain the statement, and he did via a released statement through ESPN PR, saying “I meant to say fatigued and it came out wrong. I’m truly sorry for my mistake.”

Seems like a logical explanation. No need to write a story that groups him with DeSean Jackson, Joakim Noah and Kobe Bryant.

(H/T to Awful Announcing)

T.O. Pitches Sitcom Based on Himself

Terrell Owens can reasonably be described as many things, including: a talented, future Hall of Fame wide receiver with a penchant for throwing his quarterbacks under the bus and destroying team chemistry. But wherever you stand on T.O. — and yes, he has his supporters — you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks he’s funny. Except, naturally enough, for Owens himself, who reportedly pitched a sitcom based on his life to NBC.

“It’s loosely based on my life and my career. I have four kids by three different moms,” Owens. told The Daily. “It will showcase my skills as an actor, which is something I want to do after football.”

In 8 & 1 – a play on T.O.’s number 81 – Owens would play an NFL star named Terrell O’Neal nearing the end of his career who lives with his mother, his best friend, two baby mamas, and four kids.

And where did this hilarious conceit come from? Why, from that knee-slapping 2006 incident in which Owens overdosed while a member of the Cowboys.

“Terrell had an incident when he was in Dallas when he had that accidental overdose and mixed painkillers with supplements,” said Courtney Parker, a former writer for “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” who’s a longtime T.O. pal and the creator of the new show. “The crazier that T.O. would be on the field, the smaller the Terrell we all knew and love became. If you knew him, you’d understand the personality he invented was for football. I thought the tension would be an interesting show.”

It will probably be as interesting as Owens’s reality shows, which no one watched.

Watson Proves a Ratings Winner

So the computer is kicking butt and taking names (Toronto????) in Jeopardy. But the real winner is the show itself, which is averaging its best ratings in four years.

Monday’s show “averaged an 8.7 household rating Monday in the metered markets, according to Nielsen, its best since an 8.8 on Feb. 13, 2007.”

That figure is well above the previous week’s average of 6.8 as well as a 6.4 for the week of Jan. 30 and a 6.5 for the week preceding that one.

Last season, Jeopardy averaged a 7.0 during the February ratings period.

The computer wins again, (except in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, which saw a massive decrease in viewership).

Regardless, IBM must be happy. Monday and Tuesday’s shows were essentially half competition, half infomercial.

ESPN's John Walsh Holds First Of Regular Chats With Network's Editorial Decision Makers

It’s already in progress, but is hosting a chat with John Walsh, executive vice president and executive editor of ESPN.

According to the chat description,this is the first of regular chats with the editorial decision-makers at the network, and coincides with the introduction of formalized Editorial Guidelines for Standards and Practices at ESPN.

The chatters, who have have likely been chomping at the bit to communicate directly with ESPN management, aren’t shying away from Walsh.

Timothy Jones (Chicago, IL)

While I appreciate the unique knowledge that a former professional athlete can bring to a discussion, I feel ESPN has gone a little overboard in this respect. Is there an equal desire/commitment to nurturing true journalists? Read more