Stadium Series is here.
The Chicago Blackhawks versus the Pittsburgh Penguins at the home of the Chicago Bears. It's a hockey game that's both local and national in it's magnitude. So it's fitting that we have two local Hawks icons involved in calling/previewing the game. Also, the NHL's primary broadcast partner, NBC, is parent company to the Blackhawks primary local broadcast partner, Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
It's the first outdoor NHL hockey game to be ever broadcast in prime time. So I enlisted the help of some Blackhawks and hockey experts to preview the Stadium Series. Throughout this preview, you'll be hearing from:
Blackhawks legend and NBC hockey Analyst Jeremy Roenick
, NBC NHL Analyst Mike Milbury, Scott King
, Contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal, RedEye Chicago
(Facebook Hawk Crazy)
Penguins star Sidney Crosby
, icon of the NHL and Team Canada, His Olympic teammate and Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp,
and Kevin Cross
Comcast SportsNet Chicago News Director...
Chicago Blackhawks icon Jeremy Roenick made a funny joke/reference while calling Team Canada's preliminary round victory Norway today. Roenick made an allusion to the 1977 film "Slap Shot" which is widely regarded as the most famous hockey film of all time. It's been 36 years since the movie was released, and we've had Hanson brothers inspired Halloween outfits and Chiefs jerseys at NHL arenas ever since.
People think Team Canada didn't live up to the hype today, the first day of men's hockey action. But that's only because Team USA was so utterly dominant
by comparison versus Slovakia.
So what did Jeremy Roenick say...
The top ten least favorite sportscasters list was so “discussion-provoking” that I decided to do a ten best sportscasters list. The one mistake I made on the worst list was not dividing it up into two parts: local sportscasters and national sportscasters.
There were too many omissions.
Even with this list now broken into two installments, there will still be plenty of omissions. So feel free to add in those who you believe were left out in the comments section. And of course, the sportscasters list is broken down as if it were a basketball team format. Basketball being the second best game ever invented.
No broadcast reporters who work for a network owned by a team or a league are eligible for this list, as those people are not journalists. You can’t be a journalist when you report on the very same entity that pays your salary. However, play-by-play and color analysts are eligible...
Every week, NBC
does this a lot too) mails out a press release that is essentially nothing else but “hey, we have a football game on this weekend!” Usually whenever I see these “hey, watch our football game!” emails I immediately hit the delete button. However, Chicago Bears
versus Pittsburgh Steelers is on Sunday Night Football this week.
Therefore, I actually looked through this product-promotion-disguised-as-news mass mailing to see if there’s anything you might care about. I found a few nuggets and tidbits worth sharing.
And don’t get me started about NBC and ESPN (or Comcast SportsNet or Fox Sports..okay pretty much everybody) with their self-congratulatory press releases about record ratings, or "winning the night." Bad as these are, by comparison, these mailings are an absolute joy compared to press releases on web site traffic statistics. Or the ticket sales press releases that teams send out.
Memo to teams, it's not our jobs to sell your tickets. Memo to media companies, why would we promote your site to send traffic away from own websites?
"WGAS Radio is on the air!"
Well, let’s move on to the Chicago Bears broadcast notes before I bore you to death...
30 Rock and the Black Rock are just a few blocks away from each other. However, my experiences at each of them were worlds apart.
I recently flew to New York City to attend NFL
Media Day. After my meetings, I stayed an extra day in Mid-Town Manhattan to turn my business trip into a vacation; at least for a day. So I took in the NBC
Studio Tour at 30 Rockefeller Plaza or “30 Rock.” I really loved that sitcom with Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. I think it’s one of the best written shows ever to grace network television’s airwaves. It’s also how I learned that the NBC Studio Tour existed.
However, I have to warn you now that the NBC Studio Tour is as awful and painful as 30 Rock was witty and enjoyable.
First, let’s back track to CBS.
This day was not just a highlight of the summer for me; it was a highlight of my sports media career. I had lunch with Dan Marino
and Dan Fouts. Shannon Sharpe
regaled me with some excellent insights about being on television and the career arc of Jay Cutler
(“There’s a reason he has a different offense, because he wasn’t playing well in the previous offense, but at some point in time, you need to see to say it’s not the coach, it’s you,” Sharpe said. Full interview here
gave me an exclusive on how he single-handedly saved “One Shining Moment”
(the March Madness highlight music video that culminates the Final Four on CBS). Greg Gumbel was rather candid about his days of youthful partying when he lived in Chicago.
And then there was Phil Simms
, who owned the room.
All of us reporters were mesmerized by his hilarious personality and football erudition. He also does a fantastic, dead-on impersonation of Bill Parcells. All in all, this was right up there with covering the 2010 Final Four and the 2012 Rose Bowl.
Then I took the NBC Studio Tour; which was right up there with setting up an online bill pay account and going to the Department of Motor Vehicles...
October 7th, 1777 is one of the most important dates in the history of Western Civilization.
That day ended the Battle of Saratoga; a victory for the American Colonies over General Burgoyne and the British Empire. This battle decisively turned the war in favor of the Americans, aided by the French, for good. From that day forward, Britain would inevitably lose the war.
Years from now, when assessing the history of broadcast television, we may deem August 17th, 2013 the Battle of Saratoga of sports media. Certainly for television sports media, as we’ll see both the launch of Fox Sports 1
and the beginning of NBC
Sports English Premier League coverage. The former is obviously the more important of the two events, so Fox Sports 1 is the American rebellion. The latter is less important, so NBC would be the French in this case.
However, I’ll explain later just how huge it is that NBC is bringing Premier League to the United
States. Obviously, ESPN
is Great Britain in this analogy. I guess CBS
would be the Hessians and Turner Sports the Native Americans in this conflict...
If you flipped on WMAQ Channel 5 today, you might have noticed Chicago Bears
QB Jay Cutler
appearing on the NBC
program “Access Hollywood Live.” Rightfully, or wrongfully, Jay Cutler has a public reputation for being surly, aloof, condescending and rude. These are all traits I actually find extremely admirable by the way. (Not being sarcastic) I actually hope to exhibit these four traits with more consistency in my interpersonal relations. In my writing, I think I've done more than enough of that already.
Cutler’s appearance today on Access Hollywood, alongside wife Kristin Cavallari
was partially to promote their Big ’80s party they’re throwing at Joe’s on Weed St. Thursday.
The charity event, and maybe today’s guest spot, will hopefully change Cutler’s public image from surly to cuddly. Maybe. Or maybe we don’t care about this morning's obvious Image CPR. Maybe we actually like him the way he is now.
Nevertheless, Kristin Cavallari presented a different side of “Cutty.”...
You could say the Chicago Blackhawks
receive some soft media
coverage in this town.
You’d be making a tremendous understatement.
Just last week I called out Comcast SportsNet Chicago
for their overt Blackhawks
cheerleading. The team does own 20% of CSN Chicago, so the network was in fact partially created so that the teams owning them (the Blackhawks
and White Sox
) could have editorial control over the game broadcasts. Therefore, you can understand why CSN Chicago acts as overt Blackhawks cheerleaders
. However, they still don’t go so far as to actually wear Hawks regalia during broadcasts.
The local ABC and NBC
affiliates do in fact go that far...
awhile ago to host The Crossover, a daily sports and entertainment show on NBC
Sports Network. The program, hosted solely by Michelle Beadle
(unlike Sports Nation on ESPN
in which she had a co-host) will go all in Stanley Cup Final content on Monday with a one-hour extended episode prior to game 3 between the Chicago Blackhawks
and Boston Bruins. It airs at 5 p.m. CDT.
There will also be special NHL
edition of the Michelle Beadle
talk show after the game). For whatever reason, game 3 tomorrow night will only be on NBC
Sports Network, not NBC
(game 2 was demoted to cable as well)...
With the Chicago Blackhawks
taking on the Boston Bruins in game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final tonight, a lot of people will be tweeting about it. Some will be hockey
mavens and NHL
experts. On the other side, you’ve got meathead bandwagon idiots who don’t even know what a power play is, believe "Chelsea Dagger"
is not Amstel Light commercial crapola and use the games as an excuse to get blasted.
These five Twitter
habits are a decent litmus test to see who's worth following and who isn't. Avoiding these habits doesn't mean you'll gain followers. (I'll probably anger some of you here and you'll defollow me for it).
These rules apply tonight to the Blackhawks
game, but also apply to every big sporting event. We’ll use the Stanley Cup as an example, but this knowledge carries over to tweeting all live sporting events...