Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

NBC takes a skate in the park

PITTSBURGH - FILE: TV commentator Mike Milbury works

(Credit: Getty/Bruce Bennett)

As every patriotic citizen surely knows by now, Sunday is “Hockey Day in America.’’ (Memo to Congress: Isn’t it about time we finally declare it a national holiday?)

But this third annual edition of NBC’s celebration of the sport comes with a new twist:

The network’s studio crew – which includes former part-time Newsday sports reporter Liam McHugh and former full-time Newsday sports...

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ESPN boss' take on 'First Take'

ESPN president John Skipper.

(Credit: AP, 2010)

ESPN produces thousands of hours of programming across many channels, but nothing seems to get critics quite as worked up as "First Take," a debate show on ESPN2 on which Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith yell at each other about Tim Tebow, LeBron James and whatever other sports celebrities might goose the ratings.

The show recently came under fire for some racially inflammatory...

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Kate Upton fails to bundle up

Model Kate Upton attends DIRECTV's Sixth Annual Celebrity

(Credit: Getty Images)

Supermodels always insist their jobs are more difficult and less glamorous than they appear, but when Kate Upton said it this time, she could back it up.

“It takes a certain person to be able to feel comfortable in front of a camera, especially in a vulnerable state such as freezing in Antarctica,’’ she said by phone on a publicity tour for her second Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover.

Fair...

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More Mets on SNY

The SNY broadcast team (l-r): Ron Darling, coordinating

(Credit: David Pokress)

Strip away the non-essentials and let’s face it: SNY exists to carry Mets games. Thus it makes sense to squeeze every possible ounce of programming out of them.

Voila: The network this season will add “Mets First Pitch’’ at 6 p.m. for 7 o’clock games, a half-hour before the traditional 6:30 pregame show.

(The debate program “Wheelhouse’’ will be cancelled effective April 1.)

Like...

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Did Fox score with Gus Johnson?

Fox Sports broadcaster Gus Johnson.

(Credit: Fox Sports)

In soccer terms, Real Madrid versus Manchester United speaks for itself, but Wednesday’s Champions League match came with an added layer of fascination for fans in the United States.

It was the world soccer debut of Gus Johnson, the latest Great American Hope for a play-by-play voice of the sport in this country.

How did it go? Pretty well, considering his lack of experience and the...

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So what exactly did Mike Francesa say about Nemo Thursday?

Sisters Andrea, 5, and Emma Cordulack, 3, of

(Credit: Faye Murman)

For those of you who heard and/or read Mike Francesa’s Monday show opening on WFAN, here is a transcript of his original comments regarding the coming snowstorm from the open to his Thursday show:

“Getting ready for some snow here, but not like it is in New England, where they are expecting this Nemo monster storm to deliver, you know, 2 ½ feet of snow. But we’re looking at 3-to-6 inches over...

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Mike Francesa finds Nemo criticism all wet

Mike Francesa said on the air that his

(Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

Mike Francesa opened his Monday WFAN show taking issue with a story in Sunday’s Daily News about Mike seeming to downplay the coming snowstorm during his show Thursday.

(WFAN teammates Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton took joking on-air pokes at Mike about his original comments on both their Friday and Monday morning shows.)

So what exactly did Francesa say Monday? That’s what I’m here...

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Kate Upton on 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover

This is the cover of the 2013 Sports

(Credit: Sports Illustrated/Derek Kettela)

Kate Upton is heating things up in one of the world's coldest locations.

Sports Illustrated released its 2013 Swimsuit Edition cover Friday, and for the second year in a row, the 20-year-old supermodel will grace the front of the magazine.

The cover, which was shot in Antarctica, features a topless Upton wearing just a white winter jacket. The words "Polar Bare" are inset in...

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Gehrig flick takes left turn

An undated photo Yankees legend Lou Gehrig.

(Credit: Bettman Archive)

If, like me, you have an interest in sports movies and too much time on your hands, I highly recommend a piece at baseballresearcher.blogspot.com that reconsiders the belief that in “The Pride of the Yankees’’ Gary Cooper’s image was flipped to make him look like a plausibly lefty Lou Gehrig.

I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say Baseball Hall of Fame senior curator Tom Shieber...

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MSG analysts network

From left, MSG Network's Knicks post-game show with

(Credit: MSG)

Before this season, Alan Hahn and Wally Szczerbiak knew each other primarily as sportswriter and subject. But the MSG studio analysts have become fast friends – helped by a regular carpool to the Garden for most Knicks games.

Hahn, who lives in Holbrook, and Szczerbiak, who lives in Cold Spring Harbor, meet at a mutually convenient park and ride and alternate driving in from there, taking...

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