Watchdog

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

NFL wild-card games threatened with blackouts

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up

(Credit: Getty Images)

The NFL has become increasingly concerned about its customers choosing the comforts of their homes and high-def TVs over fighting traffic, paying big bucks, braving the elements and dealing with loutish fans to see games in person.

That is why the league has worked hard to improve the in-stadium experience, including the additions of vast video boards and frequent replays.

The trend...

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Jets, Giants to play simultaneously for fourth time in five seasons

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, right,

(Credit: AP)

The Jets and Giants went a quarter of a century, from 1984 to 2009, without playing at the same time in the regular season – other than against each other. But Sunday they will do so for the fourth time in five seasons.

It occurred twice in 2009, the first time to avoid a conflict for Jets fans observing Yom Kippur, the second to avoid having the Giants visit the Eagles too close to the start...

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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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Mike Mayock tries to keep it (relatively) simple

NFL Network announcers Alex Flanagan, Mike Mayock and

(Credit: NFL Network)

Mike Mayock makes no apologies for being a football nerd, but there are times his technical knowledge has caused him only to confuse casual fans who turn to him for analysis on the NFL Network’s Thursday night games.

Three years into his term, though, his boss believes he has had a “breakthrough year’’ in addressing that concern.

“He took the constructive feedback over the last couple...

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