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Thursday, August 07, 2021

cheesin' it
Yep, the dust is settling on the improbable trade of Brett Favre from the Packers to the Jets.

Make no mistake, this is a disaster in the making. Favre goes from Green Bay to Gang Green, and he’ll wish he had stayed retired after a season’s dose of New York NFL scrutiny. The Jets get rough treatment from fans and media even when things are going well. If Favre’s emotional state was questionable enough for the Packers to ship him out, he won’t bear up under the constant stream of criticism he’ll get in the Big Apple. When the knives come out, he’ll know what it’s like to be in a real football fishbowl — not the idolation-based coverage that was the norm in Wisconsin, but the attack mentality that nation’s biggest media market doles out with aplomb.

And the knives will certainly come out, because there’s no reason to think that Favre’s new team will do anything but tank. Despite the offseason additions made along with this QB rebooting, there’s little indication that they’re going to gel. For Favre specifically, he’s going from home games on grass to turf; a wholly different scheme to learn; and he ain’t getting any younger.

I don’t know that I’m relishing seeing the coming meltdown up close, as the two local NFL teams get super-saturated coverage hereabouts. But I’m sure it’ll be memorable.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/07/2021 09:01:34 PM
Category: Football
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Sunday, August 03, 2021

stealth league
A sure sign that I’m preoccupied of late: I didn’t know, until an hour before kickoff, that the first National Football League preseason game — the Hall of Fame Game between Washington and Indianapolis — was tonight and on TV.

My sports fanaticism is definitely at a low ebb.

That preoccupation has a scatterbrained quality to it as well: I knew it was Hall of Fame Induction weekend, so naturally the Game was in the offing; and it’s always televised. I simply didn’t make that connection. Maybe also figured it might be played on a Monday instead of Sunday.

But I’m watching it now. A definite safe harbor as far as TV entertainment is concerned. Nice to have the play-by-play and color droning on, along with periodic highlights.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/03/2021 09:03:12 PM
Category: Football
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Friday, July 25, 2021

A big reason why I like football is because of the inherent gameplay flexibility it offers. The rules are the rules, but within them you can cook up any number of different formations, limited only by their effectiveness at actually moving the ball. It’s actually pretty unique among sports.

I only wish I had a better understanding of gridiron mechanics, so I could fully appreciate the innovation behind the A-11 offense, a hybrid of the spread option, West Coast offense and the run-and-shoot in which all eleven players are (technically) eligible receivers. Because, even though it’s strictly high-school level for now, it’s likely to spread up the football ecosystem soon enough:

The base offense is one in which a center and two tight ends surround the football, three receivers are split right, three more split left and two quarterbacks stand behind in a shotgun, one of whom has to be at least 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage…

Yes, per the rules of the game, only five players are eligible to catch a pass during a particular play and seven players have to set up on the line of scrimmage. But in the minds of [developers and coaches] Bryan and Humphries, you can develop an infinite number of plays with an infinite number of formations.

Talk about confusing a defense.

Apparently, it’s already crept into college games. Will it eventually make an appearance on Sundays, during National Football League games? It’ll be jarring to see two QBs line up on the field.

Actually, for all the talk about how much the A-11 will transform the game, I have a feeling defenses will come around to countering it. In particular, the NFL has proven to be killing field for gimmicky systems that otherwise thrive on the college/high school level. Prime example is the run-and-shoot, which enjoyed a heyday in the ’80s and ’90s but eventually was neutralized by superior defensive speed in the pros; it effectively became the “chuck-and-duck”.

In any case, news of the A-11 should gladden David Letterman. He has a running joke about introducing a new rule into football where you can put two quarterbacks on the field at the same time — although the rest of that joke is that they also get two balls as well. I’m thinking there’s not much chance of seeing that innovation in the game anytime soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/25/2008 08:19:56 AM
Category: Creative, Football
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Thursday, July 17, 2021

fav-ruh
No, I’m not interested in Brett Favre’s un-retirement circus. (Well, maybe a little.)

But others are, and the worldwide leader in sports is responding to a ridiculous extent:

All I know is that when ESPN starts running a crawl line at the bottom of the screen with a category that says just FAVRE, right there alongside the NL, AL, NBA, NHL and NFL, it would seem we reached some sort of new milestone in terms of the definition of saturation coverage.

From this, I guess you could say Favre is in a league of his own, or even a league unto himself…

Good thing I never watch ESPN/ESPN2 during the football offseason. If I wanted to live in Green Bay USA, I’d move there instead of getting a cable-fed simulation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/17/2008 01:35:32 PM
Category: Football, TV
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Sunday, July 13, 2021

hello again
Plenty of NFL drama this offseason with Brett Favre’s big flip-flop on his retirement and the turmoil it’s causing for Green Bay.

The Packers can’t say they didn’t see this coming. In addition to the weeks of behind-the-scenes wrangling between the ex-player and the team, Favre’s tongue-in-cheek cameo in a weeks-old T-Mobile ad provided weird foreshadowing:

In the ad, people are saying “Hello” rather than “Goodbye” [in an otherwise farewell-appropriate situations], and most notably, Brett Favre is seen saying, “After 17 seasons, it’s time for me to say ‘Hello.’”

As flaky as the Big Cheese QB has been regarding his career future over the past couple of years, I wouldn’t be surprised if his work in that commercial triggered him to make this comeback.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/13/2008 09:29:18 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Football
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Thursday, May 29, 2021

blow
Looks like next season’s NHL Winter Classic has been confirmed: Both TSN in Canada and the Chicago Sun-Times are reporting that Chicago will host the January 2009 outdoor National Hockey League matchup, with the Blackhawks hosting the Red Wings.

The specific venue isn’t clear yet, with Chi-town’s major-league baseball and football stadiums capable of being iced over. The media outlets say Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, will be the site. However, I’ll point to last month’s announcement of a cross-marketing agreement between the Blackhawks and White Sox as a potential clue that U.S. Cellular Field will get to be the host facility. (That’s a cue to the pundits to discard the football-hockey comparisons used last time around in Buffalo, and to cook up some fitting pine tar quips.)

Doesn’t make much difference to me which Chicago ballpark gets the game, as I’m bummed that logistical problems killed a Rangers-Bruins Winter Classic in what would have been the last sporting even in old Yankee Stadium. But the early verdict on Wrigley, for one, suggests some potential issues:

Think of all the small ez-out parking lots that will be filled with mounds of plowed snow. The lack of parking is not so much an issue when it is 80 degrees out and you can walk blocks, even a mile or two. More importantly, the plumbing and facilities are suspect. That place is falling apart. Regardless, I’ll be there.

I don’t know enough about Chicago to judge whether the area surrounding U.S. Cellular (the former New Comiskey Park) is better-equipped for unfamiliar wintertime parking. Soldier Field, naturally, is well-situated for snow days during Bears season. I’m sure (or, at least, I hope) they’ll work all that out by January.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/29/2008 11:30:54 AM
Category: Baseball, Football, Hockey
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Tuesday, May 27, 2021

Um, yeah. I think the pairing of Dan Marino and Larry the Cable Guy represents the nadir of the already bottom-of-the-barrel-scraping NutriSystem testimonial TV commercial.

The most confusing thing? I can’t figure out which guy’s supposed to be lending cache to the other. Maybe it’s the “Git-R-Done” hack who’s supplying the star power, since “Dan M” leads an anonymous existence in NutriSystem’s eyes.

(Via Y! Sports’ Shutdown Corner)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/27/2008 07:45:53 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, Football
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Monday, May 19, 2021

legal target
Seems like the National Football League has become an irresistible object of scrutiny for lawmakers across North America. Not only is the Spygate inquiry doggedly continuing, in the face of common sense, but now the Canadian Parliament is about to consider a bill that would pre-emptively prevent an NFL franchise from invading the Great White North.

Nothing like attracting cross-border governmental attention. And that’s over relatively small-potato side issues. Just wait until the looming lockout season of 2011 rolls around.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/19/2008 09:41:26 PM
Category: Football, Politics
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Saturday, April 26, 2021

less blow
So today at around 1PM, I flipped the TV channel to ESPN, fully expecting to see the first round of this year’s NFL Draft in full swing. I haven’t been particularly interested in the lead-up, but I wanted to get a token fix of Mel Kiper et al.

But, shocker of shockers — no draft coverage. Because there was no draft, because unlike years past, the league and the networks decided to slightly streamline football’s most overhyped offseason event:

- The draft will start at [3PM Eastern] Saturday, three hours later than had been the case, but only Rounds 1 and 2 will be held that day. The third round has been moved to Sunday.

- Teams will be allowed 10 minutes to make a selection in the first round instead of 15, and the time between second-round picks will be seven minutes instead of 10.

- Sunday’s portion of the draft will start an hour earlier [10AM Eastern] and teams will have five minutes between picks in Rounds 3-7.

The later start time Saturday is beneficial for ESPN and the NFL Network because viewership grows throughout the day. But the reduction in time between picks is going to be interesting.

The quicker pace between selections has greater impact than just television coverage and ad sales, of course. Teams do jockey for trades during that between-selection time, even if it is for slot-swaps to move up in a round. Potentially, that means a reduction in horsetrading, even if it is only for trivial fourth-round positioning.

Still, as much as I ignored the draft for the past couple of years, I do feel a void. It was a reliable background noise if I chose to tune in. Today’s mid-afternoon start didn’t work for me at all; as a result, I’ve peeked in for maybe five total minutes of coverage. I doubt I’ll catch much more tomorrow.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/26/2008 07:25:15 PM
Category: Football, TV
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Monday, April 07, 2021

angling for outdoorsicing it
Here’s an interesting Chicago sports alliance: The MLB White Sox and NHL Blackhawks will be cross-promoting each other in their barns during 2008-2009, with offers including ticket sales and other baseball/hockey merchandising.

What makes this especially noteworthy is the speculation around Chicago hosting a future outdoor National Hockey League game, ala the 2008 Winter Classic in Buffalo. This development could be seen as the initial groundwork leading to U.S. Cellular Field (nee New Comiskey Park) being the site of an outdoor ‘Hawks game in a couple of years.

While Soldier Field might seem like the most iconic choice for an ice-over, I said before that a baseball-stadium option might have more of an inside track in Chi-town:

[Blackhawks president John] McDonough, of course, just landed in Blackhawkland after a lengthy executive career with the Chicago Cubs. So I guess it’s natural that he’d tap the two area baseball stadiums as first choice, because they and their overseers are known quanitities to McDonough.

Networking overrides all. The other advantage is the avoidance of potential conflicts with any Bears playoff dates.

Does this mean Chicago will get its Winter Classic (rightly renamed “Windy City Classic”) in the 2008-09 NHL season? I doubt it. The New York option, with the opportunity to stage an outdoor game in Yankee Stadium just before its demolition, is too sweet for the league to pass up. But I’m sure something could be set up for the ‘Hawks to take their turn in 2009-2010.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/07/2021 02:00:01 PM
Category: Baseball, Football, Hockey
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Sunday, March 23, 2021

Developed as an accidental side-effect to a cardiovascular/blood pressure treatment, Viagra debuted 10 years ago this week, forever changing the prospects of limp-dickedness:

Since Viagra went on the market it has been used by 35 million men around the globe, and it took impotence off the taboo list, making it infinitely easier to treat.

Urologists’ waiting rooms became busier as news got round that the condition, which was rechristened with a new, scientific name — erectile dysfunction, or ED — could be treated with a triangular blue pill.

Personally, this decade-long journey has meant that I now can’t remember what National Football League game broadcasts were like before the torrent of penis-pill TV ads started dominating commercial breaks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/23/2008 09:26:12 PM
Category: Football, Science, Society
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Wednesday, February 13, 2021

The Blackhawks may be the next National Hockey League team to host an outdoor game, and that’s just one of the ideas in store for an iced-over Soldier Field:

[Park District Supt. Timothy] Mitchell said the district would like the hockey plan to include a college contest and a way to allow people to use the rink for pleasure skating in a week-long event.

“We think there would be a great interest in citizens skating inside Soldier Field between the colonnades,” said Mitchell.

A practical Windy City winter wonderland. Hopefully the Bears will cooperate by tanking their season and avoiding the NFL playoffs.

Interesting reaction from the Blackhawks’ new brass:

But Blackhawks president John McDonough said discussions about Soldier Field have “been informal on a what-if basis,” adding, “I have friends at all of the venues: Wrigley, U.S. Cellular. I think they’d all like to take a run at it.”

McDonough, of course, just landed in Blackhawkland after a lengthy executive career with the Chicago Cubs. So I guess it’s natural that he’d tap the two area baseball stadiums as first choice, because they and their overseers are known quanitities to McDonough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 02/13/2008 11:17:14 PM
Category: Baseball, Football, Hockey
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Friday, February 08, 2021

avoiding the tank
If you’re tired of seeing teams dog in it Week 17 of the National Football League season because they’ve already locked in their postseason berth, then you’ll like this: the league is considering changing the playoff structure to make it more record-based:

[NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell wants to make it so that in the first round of the playoffs, division winners wouldn’t automatically have a home game. If they played a wildcard team that had a better record, the wild card team would get the game in their own crib.

The idea is that it gives teams more incentive to play hard throughout the end of the regular season, so we don’t end up seeing something like a Charlie Batch vs. Jim Sorgi matchup in Week 17.

This deemphasizes the significance of winning a division, making that crown nothing more than a playoff ticket. I suppose there are scenarios where a division winner would still make it into the postseason despite having a poorer record than another conference team, which would preserve some importance for the division win.

Normally I’m not in favor of the disregard for divisional alignments, but I admit this is a good idea. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s better for fans to watch a “real” matchup late in the season instead of a backups bowl. You could argue that it robs the No. 3 division winner of a functional bye for its starters, but those are the breaks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/08/2021 05:42:52 PM
Category: Football
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Sunday, February 03, 2021

sup
The dearth of creative impulse that went into the headline of this post should tell you how little regard I’m giving today’s Super Bowl clash.

And yet, I will be watching the game, set to kick off in a bit more than an hour. Go figure.

It’s not like this is the first time I’ve felt underwhelmed by the NFL’s championship spectacle; I’ve experienced this feeling for the past five or so Super Bowls. If I had to define it, I’d have to agree generally with Deadspin’s Will Leitch on how the overload of hype has taken a lot of the charge out of the game. But it’s not like anyone has a gun to my head — if I’m really so put off, I could just opt to ignore the game altogether.

But I’m not. I’ll be heading to a Super Bowl party shortly, and while it’ll be intimate, it’ll be Giants territory. I’m not going to join in the fervor, because I’m not a Giants fan. I’m not a Patriots fan either, but I guess the prospect of the historical 19-0 run prompts me to root for New England. And while I’ll be shocked if the Pats don’t seal the deal, the Giants have already defied paper odds by making it this far, so who knows what the final tally will be.

Anyway. Enough of the game itself. It’s hardly the focus of this Super-sized secular holiday, right? The TV commercial front has been (from my perspective, which I admit hasn’t been especially attentive to the pre-hype from that corner) uncharacteristically subdued, despite a new-record $2.7 million pricetag for the 30-second spot. But in other Super Bowl-related economic viewpoints:

- The overall money picture for Super Sunday impacts sales of television sets, furniture, and even snack foods.

- And on the heels of an unusually weak holiday season to wind up 2007, retailers are counting on those same football-generated sales to offset earlier shortfalls.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/03/2021 05:17:59 PM
Category: Football
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Thursday, January 31, 2021

in at the win
Chaz over at Dustbury got a real kick out of the pre-Super Sunday existence of an Amazon.com pre-order page for “19-0: The Historic Championship Season of New England’s Unbeatable Patriots (Paperback)”. So much so that he took a screenshot for posterity.

Not only should he update that screenshot to include the new Tom Brady cover on display, he may also want to snap a jpg of the companion “New York Giants: 2008 Super Bowl Champions [ILLUSTRATED] (Hardcover)”.

Yes, only one set of prospective memorabilia collectors will get their money’s worth. Take into account the money-hole that such pieces of publishing kitsch are, and interpret that previous sentence either way.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 01/31/2008 10:40:59 PM
Category: Football, Publishing
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Tuesday, January 22, 2021

kiss-kiss
Of late, there seems to be a marked uptick in media complaints about the standings system used in the National Hockey League. I guess it’s because parity holds sway on the eve of the All-Star break, meaning most teams are crowing about being .500 in terms of points, even though that’s thanks to a surplus of one-point decisions.

And even though those one-pointers are no longer considered ties, I like the way Washington City Paper sums up its whine in the headline “No More Kissing Your Sister”.

Mainly because that time-honored folksy descriptor for the less-than-satisfying feeling from tying a college football game reminds me of Lee Corso’s expansion on the subject:

“Let me tell you something — if a tie is like kissing your sister, then a loss is like kissing your brother!”

So maybe the NHL should adopt that as the official league response to all those complainers…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/22/2008 10:40:08 PM
Category: Football, Hockey
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Sunday, December 30, 2020

fade to orange
Since this likely will be the last time I get to post this vintage Tampa Bay Bucs creamsicle-orange uniform photo of Vinny Testaverde, I’m going take it. Because today’s otherwise meaningless season finale between the Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers at Tampa marked the quarterback’s official retirement from the NFL after 21 years.

It’s too bad the only signifier for it was Carolina sending Vinny in for the final kneel-down to end the game. Given that the site was the same city where he began his career in 1987, I was hoping for something more. If not actual game action for Vinny, then the Bucs should have hauled out some vintage Florida orange, Bucco Bruce-emblazoned uniforms to wear in honor of the occasion.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 12/30/2007 10:52:05 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Football
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Saturday, December 29, 2020

buff impact
Until the novelty of playing hockey in a football bowl wears out, it appears the National Hockey League and its teams will have some economic impact numbers to throw around when pitching future Winter Classics:

With four days to go before the puck drops on the outdoor hockey rink in Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Buffalo Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the New Year’s Day event will generate more than $5 million in direct revenues.

“Our projections tend to be conservative, but based on local hotel reservations, this is going to be a very significant event for Buffalo-area hotels and restaurants,” said the CVB’s Doug Sitler.

If those estimates hold, the Jan. 1 NHL event will top the $4.2 million in spending tied to the multiday slate of NCAA basketball tournament games played in HSBC Arena last March.

Five million bucks is not super-huge when it comes to dedicated major-league sporting events. In comparison, the last Super Bowl was hyped to have generated $298 million for South Florida; even if, as contended, that figure is somewhat inflated, it still points to an entirely different magnitude of dollar volume.

But then, no one is touting the Winter Classic as Super Bowl-caliber. It’s a regular-season game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres that otherwise wouldn’t be worthy of special notice. The venue and date makes it special, and so it’s attracting more visitors and discretionary spending to the Buffalo area. That’s all it needs to do to help the league get exposure.

As long as the NHL restricts these bowl games to once per year, they’ll achieve their purpose, and everyone will be happy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/29/2007 06:19:15 PM
Category: Football, Hockey, SportsBiz
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Friday, December 07, 2021

patriot games
As loathe as I am to employ a decidedly overused phrase, I just have to as I ask this:

Is the New England Patriots’ pursuit of a perfect season creating the perfect storm for the National Football League in its efforts to force cable providers to add the NFL Network to their primary tier channel lineups?

That’s the emerging conspiracy theory, thanks to the Patriots’ two recent squeaker wins and the end-of-year NFL schedule:

No, the league isn’t raiding its rainy-day fund to take the Patriots to run the table, a bet that is increasingly popular in Vegas. But a lot is riding on whether the Patriots are unbeaten going into the Dec. 29 game against the New York Giants.

The NFL wants it to be must-see TV, but to see it you must watch the league’s own NFL Network. It’s one of eight games the league kept for itself this year, and one which some 70 million households won’t be able to see because of a bitter dispute the NFL is having with cable companies.

The more valuable the game, the more leverage the NFL figures it will have to force cable operators to carry the network on the lucrative basic cable tier. By far the most valuable game left this year will almost surely be Pats/Giants.

Take away the historic angle and it becomes a meaningless game between two teams most likely resting their stars for the playoffs. Make it mean something big and the NFL has a golden opportunity to force the hands of the cable companies.

The stakes are huge. If the NFL signs up all the major cable companies, it could be looking at revenues perhaps as high as $1 billion a year just for the network itself.

I guess the thinking here is that football fans will turn their wrath upon Comcast and Time Warner if the crowning of a 16-0 Patriots team is blacked out in most of the country. If enough cable customers wind up switching to satellite or other TV providers immediately afterward, it’ll be a strong sign that spurning the NFL comes at a cost. Presumably, watching New England go 15-1 won’t ignite the same passions.

Toss into this the flextime factor that NBC’s Sunday Night Football has in its hip pocket. NBC doesn’t get dibs to that final Pats game of the year — but they certainly are in a position to build the frenzy on a national level. Check out their options for the two weeks before season’s end:

- Week 15. NBC has Washington at Giants. Both might be in the playoff hunt. If not, since CBS protected Jaguars-Steelers, NBC might take CBS’ New York Jets at Pats — if the perfect season is still in play.

- Week 16. NBC’s Tampa Bay at San Francisco will likely be dropped from NBC. Best games, not protected: Fox’s Redskins at Vikings and Giants at Bills or CBS’ Miami at New England.

If New England is still undefeated by that point, you’d better believe NBC will help out the league by maximizing the exposure for those two games. It might be putting itself in position for retaliation by the cable providers down the road, but since the Patriots are already drawing monstrous ratings by virtue of the perfect-season dynamic, NBC’s short-term smart-money move is obvious.

Is it an active conspiracy by the league to pave the way to perfection? Extremely doubtful. But who doesn’t enjoy a whiff of scandal in the midst of a potentially historic season?

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/07/2021 08:35:16 PM
Category: Football, SportsBiz, TV
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Monday, November 19, 2021

flex in flux
So yeah, I watched the Patriots pummel Buffalo 56-10 last night. Most of it, anyway.

And I wondered: Is this sort of game, whose lopsidedness you could see coming a mile away, really in the spirit of what the NFL’s flex-scheduling television formula was supposed to achieve (New England’s march toward an undefeated season notwithstanding)?

Call me crazy, but I thought the intent of flexible broadcasts was to showcase relevant/competitive matchups in primetime, thus avoiding late-season Sunday Night Football yawners between teams with a combined three wins.

Instead, it seems NBC is putting the premium on the probability of a scorefest — one-sided or not. At least that’s how I’m reading the likely flex invocations for the remainder of the season (I’ve removed the referenced team records, since they were two weeks old as of this writing):

- Week 13. NBC has Cincinnati at Pittsburgh. Not bad. Jacksonville at Indianapolis, seems better — but CBS has that protected. Fox put dibs on New York Giants at Chicago. Meaning, NBC might lobby for Fox’s Detroit at Minnesota. The best matchup — Green Bay at Dallas — will air on a Thursday in only about 35 million households on the NFL Network, which wants you to complain to your cable operator if you don’t get it.

- Week 14. CBS wisely protected Pittsburgh at New England, while Fox put a moat around Giants-Eagles. NBC, slated for Colts-Ravens, might have wanted Fox’s Cowboys-Lions — but Dallas, with six primetime games scheduled, is off the board.

- Week 15. NBC has Washington at Giants. Both might be in the playoff hunt. If not, since CBS protected Jaguars-Steelers, NBC might take CBS’ New York Jets at Pats — if the perfect season is still in play.

- Week 16. NBC’s Tampa Bay at San Francisco will likely be dropped from NBC. Best games, not protected: Fox’s Redskins at Vikings and Giants at Bills or CBS’ Miami at New England.

- Week 17. To help NBC get a finale with playoff implications, Fox and CBS can’t protect any games in Week 17. Best bets to be moved to NBC, which now has Kansas City at Jets: Fox’s Lions at Packers or CBS’ Titans at Colts. And only about one-third of U.S. households could watch the Pats nail a perfect season in their finale against the Giants — it’s on the NFL Network on Saturday.

To me, NBC is functioning on the premise that offensive fireworks trumps competitive balance or jockeying in the standings, at least when it comes to ratings. More people will tune in for touchdown after touchdown, regardless of the context. In that sense, SNF is using the flex rule to devolve into college football-like appeal.

All of which only encourages me to tune out. Frankly, by the end of the afternoon action, I’m pretty much football-saturated anyway, so I’m not complaining.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/19/2007 10:50:27 PM
Category: Football
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Sunday, August 12, 2021

the originalthe copycat
So, that cute little promo commercial NBC Sports was running tonight during their NFL preseason Sunday Night Football broadcast? Where Peyton Manning and Reggie Bush were checked into the same hotel, and they both wound up ordering prank room-service orders to each others’ rooms?

Yeah, it looked a little something like this NHL promo from last season:

The Alex Ovechkin-Sidney Crosby sequence wasn’t as extensive, either in length or comedic value. Still, it obviously came first.

As it happens, both spots were produced by NBC Sports. So I guess the network’s creative department ripped itself off. Not sure if the hockey folks should be offended or flattered.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/12/2021 11:23:36 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Football, Hockey, TV
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