Watchdog

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

Is NFL overdoing it in prime time?

Al Michaels

(Credit: Al Michaels (Getty Images))

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...

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Matching wits: CBS' new No. 2 NFL team is Fouts, Eagle

DAN FOUTS (Inducted 1993) Team: Chargers (1973-83) Games:

(Credit: AP)

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....

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'Frustration' for Francesa facing Fox fix

Mike Francesa is shown in his home in

(Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

Here is a column I wrote for the Tuesday paper regarding the ongoing problems with Mike Francesa's two-month old Fox simulcast.

Francesa admitted to a "high level of frustration," reflecting similar sentiments from his fans, who have watched the show bounce around from Fox Sports 1 to Fox Sports 2 to nowhere thanks to assorted preemptions.

Several readers of mine have correctly pointed...

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Boomer Esiason apologizes for 'C-section' comment

WFAN radio personalities Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton

(Credit: Newsday / Alan Raia)

Boomer Esiason apologized - early and often - on his WFAN show Friday morning for comments he made two days earlier regarding Daniel Murphy's paternity leave from the Mets.

Esiason was not the only critic of paternity leave for ballplayers on sports talk radio - and among fans on social media - but nothing in the debate caused as much controversy as his suggestion that if it were him he would...

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Michael Kay rips Boomer Esiason re: Fathergate

a

(Credit: Getty Images)

Michael Kay weighed in on his ESPN New York Radio show Thursday afternoon on the matter of Daniel Murphy's two-game paternity leave, and about what other talk show hosts have said about it, especially on WFAN.

He called out Boomer Esiason by name.

There was much yelling involved.

Here ya go:

"I’d have to be an unbelievably narcissistic baboon to make my choice on somebody...

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RIP, Sandy Grossman

Condolences to the family and friends of Sandy Grossman, one of the most accomplished directors in sports TV history, who died of cancer this week at age 78.

Grossman directed numerous major events, including NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals, but he was best known as the director for the storied NFL team at CBS and Fox that featured Pat Summerall and John Madden.

Here is a statement...

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Day II of Fathergate for Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton

Radio hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, of

(Credit: Handout)

WFAN's morning duo of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton returned early Thursday to the subject of Daniel Murphy's two-game paternity leave from the Mets, addressing criticism of their initial take Wednesday from assorted corners of social media and beyond.

They did not back off their initial opinion that assuming no medical complications for the mother or baby, Murphy and other professional...

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Bill Raftery has been a Garden regular since 1955

Fox analyst Bill Raftery.

(Credit: Handout)

Bill Raftery is old enough to have played for LaSalle at the old Madison Square Garden on Eighth Avenue in the early 1960s, but his experience with college basketball in the building predates even that.

“The first time was Bill Russell [of San Francisco] playing against Tommy Heinsohn [of Holy Cross] in the [1955] Holiday Festival,’’ Raftery said Thursday as he prepared to work the NCAA East...

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Allie LaForce gets added respect because she played the game

Donald J. Trump, owner of the Miss Universe

(Credit: Miss Universe)

Allie LaForce was Miss Teen USA in 2005, but any notion players and coaches might have that she is just another pretty face as a sideline reporter quickly are dispelled when she starts talking basketball.

She played the game at the Division I level as a reserve at Ohio University during her freshman and sophomore years before transitioning into a media role as a junior.

“There are a...

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CBS NCAA director Suzanne Smith takes pride in being a rare woman in role

Inside Madison Square Garden for media availability prior

(Credit: Neil Best)

CBS’ Suzanne Smith has been working the NCAA Tournament for more than 30 years, including the past 20 as a director, and also is the only woman currently directing NFL games.

Does being one of the few women in her line of work mean something extra to her?

“Absolutely, I take pride in it,’’ she said Thursday as she prepared to direct the NCAA East Regional games at Madison Square Garden...

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