Watchdog

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

Greg LeMond recalls slaying the Badger

ESPN’s 30-for-30 returns Tuesday with “Slaying the Badger,’’ which focuses on Greg LeMond – who is back to being officially the only American to win the Tour de France – and his 1980s friend/teammate/rival Bernard Hinault.

The film, based on the book of that name by Richard Moore, reveals time has not healed old wounds for LeMond and his wife, Kathy.

This might be the best thing about...

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Erin Andrews goes pro

Sports reporter Erin Andrews attends The 2014 ESPYS

(Credit: Getty)

Erin Andrews has a knack for finding her name in the news, even when she merely is an innocent bystander.

Her 2014 began with an infamous sideline interview of the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman.

Then just within the past week or so came news she would replace Pam Oliver as Fox’s top NFL sideline reporter, she interviewed Adam Wainwright after his controversial comments about grooving an...

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Fox's Time Warner bid takes aim at ESPN

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2012 file

(Credit: AP)

The bombshell this week that Fox offered $80 billion to buy Time Warner – an offer Time Warner promptly rejected – has implications throughout the media industry.

But regardless of the other elements of the proposal, one of the biggest motivations for Fox surely is adding to its sports portfolio, and finding a short-cut to an elusive ambition: providing serious competition for ESPN.

With...

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TV networks still like Yankees

American League All-Star Derek Jeter of the Yankees

(Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr)

The Yankees have been ratings catnip for national TV networks for decades and this season is no exception – with Derek Jeter’s farewell tour as a bonus.

How will that play out over the weeks and months to come?

ESPN has used three of its maximum six Sunday night slots on the Yankees, with Aug. 3 against the Red Sox on the schedule and two yet-to-be-announced games likely to follow by...

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World Cup scores for ESPN

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, FIFA President Sepp

(Credit: AP)

ESPN executives promised before the World Cup the network’s enthusiasm would not be diminished by the fact Fox will take over for 2018 and ’22. They delivered.

The Worldwide Leader did an excellent job with the worldwide spectacle, and blessed with a favorable time zone, exciting games and an intriguing American team, the ratings were strong – both on ESPN and Univision, the Spanish-language...

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Drake denies fickle finger of fandom

FILE - In a Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(Credit: AP)

The rapper Drake, who will host the ESPYS Wednesday night, has a reputation for, um, fluid fan affiliation – one to which he took exception Friday on a conference call with reporters.

Asked whether Cleveland might be his new favorite sports city, he said, “First of all, I'd like to say that despite what everyone on the Internet thinks, I do not team-jump. In the past, I've always supported...

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Open season on Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods removes his cap after finishing the

(Credit: AP)

In case you were wondering, yes, ESPN has taken note of the fact Eldrick Woods of Jupiter Island, Fla., has entered the British Open.

The network’s ESPN3 online service will offer a live feed of Tiger’s entire round each day of the tournament. The question is whether he will be playing for two days or four.

ESPN hopes it’s the latter, but on a media conference call its analysts – notably...

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Stuart Scott broke ESPN mold

ESPN's new "SportsCenter" set in Bristol, Conn., on

(Credit: Newsday/Neil Best)

Stuart Scott shook up the “SportsCenter’’ anchoring model when he arrived at ESPN in 1993 - initially at brand new ESPN2 - taking risks that not everyone embraced but that have paid off in a long, high-profile career.

But he said the idea never was to be different for the sake of being different.

“I followed what had already been established here, and that is be yourself,’’ he said recently...

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Don La Greca plans to 'embrace the madness' with Game 1 call

Don La Greca has had many opportunities to call Rangers games before, and even has worked NHL playoff games. But Wednesday night is nothing short of a “dream come true.’’

With Doc Emrick missing Game 1 of the Cup Final because of a death in his family, Kenny Albert will fill in for him on NBC, which in turn moves La Greca into Albert’s play-by-play spot on ESPN New York radio.

“I was...

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Kings' PA announcer used to shoot T-shirts at Islanders fans

Dave Joseph grew up in northern Michigan as a Blackhawks fan and now is the Kings’ public address announcer, but in between he had a brief-but-memorable association with another NHL team:

He is a former Islanders T-shirt cannon shooter.

This was during his days working part-time in sales for the Islanders when he was a Hofstra student and a defenseman on the school's club hockey team,...

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