Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
For those among you who receive the premium channel Epix, worth watching is the premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday of a documentary called "Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football."
By the high standards of 21st century sports documentaries on ESPN, HBO and elsewhere, this is a relatively modest work, although much of the archival footage is cool to see.
However, for the investment of an hour, it serves a valuable purpose in recounting a tale most sports fans do not know exists. It is about the four players - two for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams, two for the AAFC's Cleveland Browns - who broke pro football's color barrier a year before a certain Brooklyn Dodger did so in baseball to much wider acclaim and historical import.
Their names were Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley and Bill Willis, and they deserve to be remembered.
ESPN announced a collaboration between espnW and ESPN Radio Tuesday night called "espnW Presents: The State of the NFL on ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com."
The show, which can be heard on ESPN New York from 9 to 11 p.m., will be co-hosted by Jemele Hill and Cari Champion and feature a discussion involving espnW's Jane McManus, Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain about the Ray Rice episode and other...Read more »
Derek Jeter will appear for the 71st and final time on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball’’ this weekend – more than any other player and 13 ahead of second-place . . . Alex Rodriguez!
Alas, the Yankees’ opponent is the Orioles. It would have been more historically appropriate for his final appearance to be against the Red Sox, the Yankees' most common Sunday night matchup for many years.
Jeter...Read more »
I ran into Gary Bettman Thursday at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit, whereupon I naturally asked him about the fact two of the four major North American pro sports leagues soon will be run by alumni of Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Bettman, the NHL commissioner, graduated from the relatively small school in 1974 and Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner-elect, in '80.
"There...Read more »
The venerable “Inside the NFL’’ on Showtime has a different look for this season, including a new night (Tuesday), a new host (Greg Gumbel) and new cast members (Boomer Esiason, Ed Reed).
But all of that is trumped by this: Among the new analysts will be Brandon Marshall, who happens also to be an active player as a receiver for the Bears.
The team approved of the plan, which most weeks...Read more »
NFL games on Thursdays are nothing new, but putting them on a major broadcast network is – and that’s exactly what the league will do early this season on CBS.
Might that dilute NBC’s Sunday night and ESPN’s Monday night packages, or is there no end to fans’ appetites?
I asked the lead voice of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,’’ the most-viewed prime time show in America three years running.
“I’m...Read more »
There are no changes this season in the lead NFL booths at CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN, but both CBS and Fox have new No. 2s.
Fox has elevated Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch, part of a meteoric rise for Burkhardt that will see him depart as SNY’s Mets reporter later this month.
CBS moved up Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts to succeed Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf after Dierdorf retired from the network....Read more »
Dick Enberg, who has been summoned to call one last U.S. Open match for CBS Sunday, rarely works on national television anymore, which leads many sports fans to assume he has retired.
“Oh, I get that all the time,’’ he said. “People say, ‘Hey, what are you doing now that you’re retired?’ I say, ‘Well, let’s start with 140 games a season.’’’
Enberg, who turns 80 in January, has been the...Read more »
With FXX’s 12-day, 552-episode marathon of “The Simpsons’’ winding down at last, soon it will be time to eat, sleep and reconnect with family members.
First, this observation: Until the network strung together the entire quarter century, I did not fully appreciate the depth of sports-themed shows in the archives.
ESPN.com once did a list of the best 100 sports moments on the show...Read more »
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Dwight Gooden, the last professional athlete I followed as an unabashed fan before I turned into a crusty, cynical old sportswriter, turns 50 this autumn. Fifty! Say it ain’t so, Doc.
Anyway, on at 9:30 p.m. Monday SNY will get a jump on the retrospectives surrounding that milestone – as well as the 30th anniversary of his first Mets season – when...Read more »