Watchdog

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

Jeff Van Gundy responds to report ESPN yanked him from Knicks game

ESPN NBA analyst and former Knicks coach Jeff

(Credit: AP, 2012)

USA Today reported last week that ESPN and Jeff Van Gundy agreed it would be best if he did not call the Dec. 11 Bulls-Knicks game after his name surfaced as a potential replacement for Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

Van Gundy was asked about the report on a conference call Thursday promoting the slate of Christmas Day games next week. Here is what he said:

"That sort of got ramped...

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NFL uses flex to maintain flexbility

Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) makes

(Credit: AP)

The NFL’s decision to flex the Dec. 22 Ravens-Patriots game out of prime time for Eagles-Bears initially caused much head-scratching, until Sports Business Journal reported it was driven by an arcane TV contract provision.

It turns out the gap between games taken from CBS and Fox for prime time windows in any given season may not exceed three. If Ravens-Patriots had remained at night, CBS’s...

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Curt Schilling joins ESPN's Sunday night booth

CURT SCHILLING Year on ballot: 2nd Pros -

(Credit: AP)

It would have surprised no one during Curt Schilling’s playing career to learn someday the quotable pitcher would be a TV analyst, but Schilling said he never thought about that – or any other post-playing task – before retiring.

Now he will assume one of the most visible positions in baseball media, succeeding Orel Hershiser alongside Dan Shulman and John Kurk on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.’’...

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'Youngstown Boys' recalls black eye for Buckeyes

MAURICE CLARETT Prison Sentence: 7 1/2 years (Served

(Credit: AP)

ESPN, which has made a recent habit of following its Heisman Trophy show with high-quality documentaries that focus on college football, will do so again Saturday, this time with “Youngstown Boys.’’

The two-hour program primarily recalls the rapid rise and fall of running back Maurice Clarett, who as a freshman in 2002 led Ohio State to a national championship.

The film’s subplot is...

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Mike Francesa, Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton top Talkers' sports talk rankings

WFAN afternoon radio host Mike Francesa at the

(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

Keith Olbermann has been doing verbal battle via Twitter and ESPN with WFAN’s Mike Francesa, Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason, putting the FAN’s morning and afternoon shows on the same side of an argument for once.

One, big happy family? Um, no. But it’s been good, clean fun watching media egos mix it up for our amusement, with Olbermann playing his familiar role as button-pusher.

Among...

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Mike Francesa vs. Keith Olbermann

WFAN afternoon radio host Mike Francesa at the

(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

The Keith Olbermann vs. WFAN show host media battle continued later this week. First, there was Olberman v. Boomer & Carton.

Now, Mike Francesa is all up in the mix. Watch the back-and-forth in the two clips embedded below.

 

 

(Newsday's app users can watch at youtube.com/watch?v=aOlwzu7WX30 [Francesa] and youtube.com/watch?v=_gKDgRohxaY [Olbermann])...

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Keith Olbermann vs. Craig Carton & Boomer Esiason

Craig Carton shows his muscle at shortstop as

(Credit: John Meore)

ESPN's Keith Olberman and WFAN's Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason had an exchange of words through their respective TV and radio shows.

Below you'll find the back and forth.

Keith Olbermann vs. WFAN's Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason

 

Carton and Boomer respond:

(Newsday's app users can see here: http://bit.ly/16K4XkO (Olbermann) and http://bit.ly/1bavhGm...

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Bernard King is star of 'Bernie and Ernie' film

Knicks' Bernard King shooting a basket good for

(Credit: Newsday/Paul J. Bereswill)

ESPN wraps up its latest “30 for 30’’ slate Tuesday with “Bernie and Ernie,’’ a film about Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld, guys from Brooklyn and Queens who transformed Tennessee basketball in the 1970s, reunited as Knicks in the 1980s and remain friends in the 2010s.

Their unlikely bond forms the spine of the documentary, but its most arresting moments are King’s recollections of his emotionally...

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Special addition to SNY team: Mike Westhoff

Tim Tebow talks with special teams coordinator Mike

(Credit: Getty Images)

One negative of the Jets’ surprising start is that it has put a damper on SNY analyst Ray Lucas’ colorful postgame emoting, which late last season was becoming more entertaining than the games themselves.

But that is not the only reason the postgame show has taken on a different tone this season. With Adam Schein and his, um, distinctive voice having left for CBS Sports Network, SNY has used...

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Jimmy Connors gave them what they wanted

Jimmy Connors is seen during the French Open

(Credit: AP, 1979)

Tuesday’s ESPN “30 for 30” entry, “This is What They Want,’’ about Jimmy Connors and the 1991 U.S. Open, isn’t among the best in the series, in part because of some odd selections for talking heads with no direct connection to the story.

But it is worth watching, if only to observe Connors still being his irascible, unrepentant self, and to listen to the brothers McEnroe talk about him.

One...

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