Good Morning
Good Morning

Football Nation tunes in again

The Baltimore Ravens and their former coach, Brian

The Baltimore Ravens and their former coach, Brian Billick, were featured on the first season of HBO's "Hard Knocks." (July 31, 2001) Credit: AP

Before we move on to Sunday’s conference finales – which will be the second- and third-most-watched American television shows of 2013 – let us pause to honor the massive audiences for last weekend’s divisional doozies.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, an estimated 40.8 million people and 24.0 percent of all U.S. households were tuned into the Ravens-Broncos game. At 4 p.m. Sunday, 43.2 million and 25.6 percent of homes watched Seahawks-Falcons.

That’s a lot.

Alas, there were announcing issues in both games. CBS’ Dan Dierdorf correctly was criticized for talking too much Saturday. More troubling was the performance Sunday by Fox’s Brian Billick, who offered some mighty odd analysis, including a suggestion the Seahawks kick a field goal trailing by six points in the final minute.

Billick’s timing was poor, given that he was trying to land an NFL coaching job at the time. But it will be interesting to see how it affects the possibility of Billick and Thom Brennaman supplanting the presumed No. 2 Fox team of Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa for good come September.

New York Sports