Watchdog

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

Truth better than fiction for Seahawks

Actress Jennifer Garner takes a photo as actors

(Credit: AP / Matt Slocum)

Like most sports flicks, “Draft Day’’ has its share of realism issues. But as the film’s April opening has approached some matters beyond its control cropped up, such as the matter of the No. 1 overall selection.

In the movie, whose story centers on the 2014 NFL Draft, the Seahawks own that dubious distinction. Oops. In the real world, the Seahawks will pick dead last.

But with the cooperation...

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Some 'Draft Day' thoughts after watching the sneak preview

A sign advertising the movie "Draft Day", starring

(Credit: Newsday/Nick Klopsis)

The real Cleveland Browns might want to take a page from Kevin Costner and company in “Draft Day”.

A quick plot summary: “Draft Day”, directed by Ivan Reitman, takes us inside the hours leading up to and during the would-be 2014 NFL draft as fictional Browns general manager Sonny Weaver Jr. (Costner) tries to improve his struggling team while also trying to balance various personal issues....

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NFL still mulling Thursday night offers

The NFL Network will now be carried by

(Credit: AP)

The NFL continues to mull offers from a gaggle of media entities for a piece of its 13-game Thursday night package, but no deal appears imminent - at least not during Super Bowl week.

Brian Rolapp, the league's executive vice president for media, discussed the situation in broad terms Thursday after a news conference to announce a new video service called "NFL Now" that is launching this summer.

The...

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NFL announces new video service, 'NFL Now'

Eli Manning says his job lately has been

The NFL announced Thursday a new personalized video service called "NFL Now" that someone younger than me should explain to you, but I will try below.

The service, which launches this summer, was announced at a lunch-time news conference attended by numerous high-ranking NFL officials - including commissioner Roger Goodell - and current and former players. So it must have been important.

It...

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Giants VP Pat Hanlon will work for NFL Network at Rock

Tom Coughlin, left, talks to Pat Hanlon, vice

(Credit: AP)

And now, for something completely different . . . Pat Hanlon, the Giants' senior VP of communications, will join the NFL Network for its coverage of Super Bowl Media Day Tuesday.

The network said the following about Mr. Hanlon:

He "will provide analysis and insight into what the PR staffs, coaches and players from both the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos are facing from a media perspective...

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Giants, Jets are second-rate on TV

Quarterback Eli Manning of the Giants looks over

(Credit: Getty Images)

New York usually trails smaller, less cosmopolitan markets when it comes to sports ratings, especially for football, and 2013 was no exception.

Average local ratings for both the Giants and Jets dropped for a second consecutive season as the Super Bowl co-hosts finished 30th and 31st in that category among the 32 NFL teams, according to Sports Business Daily.

Giants games averaged 15.3...

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ESPN experts whiff on picks

The Amazing Kreskin

(Credit: The Amazing Kreskin (Getty Images))

First, full disclosure: I predicted the Titans would beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl XLVIII in Newsday’s preview section, which is why my lovely and talented wife does not permit me to bet real money on sports events.

The good news is I was not alone in whiffing dramatically on my preseason picks for the ever-wacky NFL.

Before the season ESPN sent a chart showing predictions for 35 of...

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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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