Watchdog

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

Ratings three-peat for 'Sunday Night Football'

Al Michaels

(Credit: Al Michaels (Getty Images))

The fact this no longer qualifies as news is news itself: Until 2011-12, no sports program had ranked first in prime time ratings for a full TV season. Now NBC’s “Sunday Night Football’’ has done so three years in a row.

Better yet for the NFL (and NBC): The demographics show an enviably diverse audience, including young people and women represented in significant numbers.

According...

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Frank Caliendo does Jon Gruden's QB Camp

Frank Caliendo

(Credit: AP)

Outstanding. Simply outstanding work here by Frank Caliendo . . . and Jon Gruden.

No real need for any of my commentary on this genius piece of video from ESPN.

Just watch the video embedded below.

 

 

(Newsday's mobile users can click the link above to watch)...

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ESPN to broadcast NFL playoff game

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones makes a

(Credit: Getty)

ESPN will televise an NFL wild-card playoff game this coming season, the first postseason game in the league's modern era not to be shown nationally on a broadcast channel. The game will be simulcast on a broadcast outlet in the markets of the teams involved, the procedure followed for “Monday Night Football’’ on ESPN.

Sports Business Journal reported ESPN -- which already is paying the league...

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Kevin Costner likes to keep it real

Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Costner, 58, and wife

(Credit: Getty)

To say the NFL “cooperated’’ in the making of “Draft Day’’ would be an understatement.

The league’s presence in the film, which premieres April 11, is extraordinarily extensive, from the use of actual team names and logos to a fake 2014 draft filmed the same weekend as last year’s real one. Both starred Roger Goodell.

Had that not been the case, Kevin Costner would not be starring in...

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CBS eyes Thursday night lights

Eli Manning throws before a game against the

(Credit: AP)

No one outside Washington, D.C., is lobbied quite as heavily as Howard Katz, the NFL’s scheduling poobah, who frequently fields requests from sports TV executives who would very much like his best matchups on their networks.

Earlier this month I ran into Fox Sports boss Eric Shanks on his way to meeting with Mr. Katz. Thursday CBS Sports’ Sean McManus told me he has met with the big guy, too.

“We...

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Shaun O'Hara snaps up media roles

Shaun O'Hara is a hot name on the

Shaun O’Hara has not appeared in an NFL game since 2010, but the three-time Pro Bowl center and one-time Super Bowl champion for the Giants said he has not gotten playing entirely out of his system.

“I’ll always wake up in a three-point stance on Sunday mornings and say, ‘You know what? I miss playing. I would love to play,’’’ he said. “But physically, you just know that’s not what’s best.’’

O’Hara,...

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Did we mention Super Bowl Sunday was warm?

Sunbathing at Jones Beach. (June 24, 2013)

(Credit: Gaby Chiha)

So based on the weather forecast for Tuesday, today (Monday) is the 57th and final day on which the high temperature in East Rutherford, N.J., will not exceed the high of 54 degrees reached on Super Bowl Sunday.

It is an amazing streak that illustrates the glory and power of the NFL - which rolled the dice on a cold weather Super Bowl in what turned out to be a maddeningly cold, snowy winter...

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Super Bowl is the 'Super Bowl for women'

BEST: Cate Blanchett There were pales galore at

(Credit: Getty Images / Jason Merritt)

The Oscars often have been called “the Super Bowl for women,’’ at least in advertising terms, given the magnitude of the television audience and the fact it skews female.

But in recent years the NFL has not accepted that assertion without a fight, arguing that in fact the Super Bowl for women is . . . the Super Bowl.

The NFL said an average of 44.85 million women watched Super Bowl XLVIII...

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'Draft Day' used one of Bill Belichick's scouting ideas

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leaves

(Credit: AP)

Bill Belichick doesn't appear on camera in the upcoming movie "Draft Day," but it turns out he had quite the influence on one of the film's bigger scenes.

During a Super Bowl week press conference, Denis Leary (who plays fictional Cleveland Browns head coach Vince Penn in the movie) recalled a story from the film's production that involved the real-life New England Patriots head coach -- ...

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Bart Scott to join CBS' 'The NFL Today'

Bart Scott understands he may be cut by

(Credit: Getty Images, 2011)

CBS announced Monday that former Jets linebacker Bart Scott will join the revamped panel of analysts for its "The NFL Today" pregame show for the 2014 season.

Previously the network said Tony Gonzalez would join the show, while Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe left.

Scott and Gonzalez join the returning James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason.

Scott, who last played in 2012, drew...

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