Let’s do it again, this time with Favre-Cam. Yes, Fox will have a camera dedicated to catching Brett Favre every minute, all game long on Sunday.
The first time the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers met this season was on a Monday night and was pumped up (as if it needed to be) by the effective hype of ESPN and its cast of thousands. It was, of course, a hit with viewers.
This time the game is on Sunday afternoon, on Fox and it’s in Green Bay. So there’s a little less manufactured hype (well, except for the Favre-Cam) but even more emotions.
Enough that Fox prevailed on the NFL to move the game from its early spot to the 1:15 p.m. time frame, taking the national spotlight from the Giants and Eagles.
Terry Bradshaw will have a taped pregame interview with Favre, and we wouldn’t normally hype this except Bradshaw was particularly critical of Favre’s preseason equivocations about if and where he might play this season.
“I’m tired of it,” Bradshaw said on the season’s opening weekend after Favre had come out of retirement (again) to sign with the Vikings. “I wish it would go away. . . . I’ll be glad when he’s retired and moved on because I’m really fed up with him.”
This shows the pull of television, that Favre is sitting down with Bradshaw.
Oh, and, before the game in Minnesota, Bradshaw said, “I just don’t understand Brett Favre. Once I said he was the best quarterback I’ve ever seen and I still believe that. He told us he was retired not once, but twice. It might have been three or four times. I lost count. . . . Why does it bother me so much? Because I watched him cry and say he had no more to give us and I believed him.”
It’s possible the pregame will be better than the game. But will anybody cry?
Another big NBA voice
Kevin McHale, the former Celtics star and former Minnesota Timberwolves general manager and coach, has joined NBA-TV and TNT.
McHale modestly says he doesn’t want to “mess up” the chemistry of the TNT crew of host Ernie Johnson and analysts Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith or step on the toes of Chris Webber and company on NBA-TV.
One thing McHale gets is that Johnson will make him a better on-air personality.
“Ernie has a great sense of timing,” McHale said. “He’s got a really good sense of rhythm.” McHale said before getting the job he did a mock show with Johnson, an audition exercise that showed McHale what makes a good sports studio show. “Ernie made it very easy, real fun.”
So far, so Yankees
While the Dodgers might have been the more desirable New York Yankees opponent in the World Series, early ratings for Fox are good for the Phillies and Yankees. Game 1, won by Philadelphia on Wednesday night, got an average of 19.5 million viewers, a 29% increase over last year’s Game 1 between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.
The World Series game won the evening’s prime-time battle as well. So Fox is probably relieved the Yankees won’t be swept.
According to the rankings numbers, West Coast viewers didn’t shun the so-called “Amtrak Series” either. The 10.8 rating in Pacific time zone markets was the best Game 1 in the area since 2004. So we are more open-minded out here.
Would East Coast viewers have been so eager to watch the Angels and Dodgers?
Good on Friday
The season-ending WTA Sony Ericsson Championships from Doha, Qatar, are on the Tennis Channel at 7 a.m. Serena and Venus Williams both qualified and when top-ranked Dinara Safina withdrew from the event, it meant that Serena will end the season ranked No. 1. The Clippers (at Utah) on Prime Ticket is at 6; Dallas at Lakers on FS West and ESPN at 7:30.
Good on Saturday
Highlight of the non-local college football schedule would be Texas at Oklahoma State at 5 p.m. on ESPN2, but that’s right up against USC at Oregon at 5 on Channel 7. Were USC to win and Texas to be upset, a national title might suddenly be in reach again for the Trojans.
Good on Sunday
The New York City marathon is live on Universal Sports at 6 a.m. with a two-hour wrap-up show on Channel 4 at 11 a.m. If you’re more into NFL marathons, there’s the New York Giants at Philadelphia (Channel 11) then Oakland at San Diego (Channel 2) and Minnesota at Green Bay (Channel 11) at 1:15. And at 2 on ESPN 2, the Galaxy and Chivas USA meet in an MLS playoff game. For TV multi-taskers, FS West, starting at 5:30, has 8 1/2 hours of Lakers: the “Lakers Live” pregame show, the Lakers-Hawks game, the “Lakers Live” postgame show, a replay of the 1972 Lakers-Knicks Game 5 finals and a rebroadcast of the Lakers-Hawks and postgame show. Must. Put. Down. Remote.