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Super_Bowl_XLVIII_logoFox’s Super Bowl game telecast began with Troy Aikman contradicting Joe Buck about the reason for the game’s early safety, and Fox stubbornly sticking to its short-sighted approach of not displaying graphics for either team’s starting lineup.

Fortunately, Fox improved from there, serving up a telecast that was generally solid, despite the lopsided score, but clearly short of exceptional. Aikman offered a bunch of cogent points but delivered several head-scratching moments, too.

The good: Aikman correctly predicted before the game that Seattle’s Percy Harvin would be a factor; adeptly explained what Seattle was doing to frustrate Peyton Manning; noted that Denver’s receivers often couldn’t get into their routes because of the Seattle pass rush and tight coverage; and weaved in useful information gleaned from pre-game meetings, such as Seattle’s Earl Thomas questioning Manning’s arm strength.

He spotted nuances, including the fact Seattle safety Kam Chancellor was downfield on his interception against Manning but is usually lined up near the line of scrimmage. He noted Denver didn’t throw a pass against Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman until more than 31 minutes had elapsed. He bemoaned in the fourth quarter: “I don’t know what Denver’s doing — they’re playing so soft” in coverage.

But Aikman, either confused or not particularly skilled at math, asserted that Denver needed “four touchdowns and three three-point conversions” to rally from a 29-0 deficit. Buck either didn’t hear that or understandably didn’t want to embarrass Aikman by correcting him, even though Aikman earlier disputed Buck’s assertion that noise contributed to the first-quarter safety.

Aikman probably overstated matters in claiming this loss would not affect “one thing” about how Manning is remembered. It will to many people, Troy. Also, Aikman curiously spoke of Sherman possibly needing six months to recover without knowing his specific injury.

Because the Super Bowl audience is comprised of millions who don’t have football Ph.Ds, Aikman should have explained his reference to “natural rubbing action” on a passing play. And Aikman continues to irk grammar teachers everywhere by repeatedly saying “many a times.” (Troy, it’s many a time or many times.)

Fox’s production was exemplary, including a terrific slow motion replay of the shock on Manning’s face when the first snap of the game sailed over his head for a safety.

Read more at the Miami Herald where this story was originally published.

Sports Talk, heard on radio stations across South Carolina since 1984, will no longer be broadcast in Columbia by news and talk station WVOC-FM 100.1. The final show on WVOC was Friday.

The statewide sports call-in program, which runs weeknights 6 p.m.-8 p.m. with long-time anchor Phil Kornblut and co-hosts Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes, is now seeking a replacement outlet in Columbia, a Sports Talk spokesman said Friday.

“We’ve enjoyed our relationship over the years with Clear Channel (Communications, owners of WVOC),” said Scott Brandon, director of operations for the Sports Talk Radio Network, a division of Learfield News. “Now we look forward to moving on and doing bigger and better things.”
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mike FrancesaWho knew there were so many different ways to dress up as Mike Francesa?

Men wore gray wigs and circular sunglasses. They carried Diet Coke. Many had stethoscopes around their necks to mimic a headset. Some dressed in sweaters; others wore button-down shirts. The most dedicated of the bunch even dyed their hair gray for the day.

When 23-year-old friends Michael Leboff and Ron Haraka came up with the idea of “FrancesaCon” — a gathering of Francesa fans bar-hopping in Manhattan — they wondered if anyone would come.
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nevada-wolfpackThe Nevada athletics department, and its multimedia rights holder, Wolf Pack Sports Properties, announced today a two-year extension with Lotus Radio Corp. to carry Wolf Pack sports and related programming through the 2015-16 season.

This renewal includes Wolf Pack coverage on six Lotus stations and marks the continuation of a broadcast relationship that has spanned more than a decade. It calls for ESPN Radio 94.5 FM (KUUB) to remain the flagship station for Nevada football, men’s basketball and the Wolf Pack Coaches Show.

The deal also signifies the start of a new radio home for Wolf Pack women’s basketball and baseball games, which will now be carried on NBC Sports Radio 1060 AM (KFOY). That switch begins Saturday with the Wolf Pack’s game at Air Force as Don Marchand will have the call beginning with the Bud Light Tip-Off Show at 11:45 a.m.
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Hamilton-LeeSan Diego’s Mighty 1090 is making another change to its morning lineup.

Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, a staple of the station, is being replaced in the 6-9 a.m. weekday slot on Monday by Dan Sileo.

Representatives from the station say Hacksaw will remain with the station in some capacity, although they are not sure exactly what at this time. They hope to have an announcement within the next couple weeks.

Sileo, a 20-year radio veteran, comes to San Diego after stints in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Tampa, Los Angeles and Miami.

Read more at U-T San Diego where this story was originally published.

Uecker-Bob2Bob Uecker said Thursday that he plans to curtail his travel schedule in 2014, a first for the Brewers’ beloved radio broadcaster.

And as usual, he had a really good explanation.

“I saw [Brewers manager Ron] Roenicke at the ‘On Deck’ deal Sunday,” Uecker said, “and I told him I’d like to take one more shot at becoming active during those games I’m not going to broadcast.”

He delivered the line with his trademark deadpan before a chuckle escaped.
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JennyDellNESNNESN has confirmed that uber-popular Red Sox sideline reporter Jenny Dell has been reassigned and the station is actively looking for her replacement for the 2014 baseball season. The move comes just weeks after Dell and Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks went public with their romantic relationship.

“NESN has an active search for a Red Sox sideline reporter,” station spokesman Gary Roy said in response to an inquiry from the Track. “Jenny Dell, a multi-talented on-air personality, is anchoring ‘NESN Sports Today’ and handling other assignments for NESN.”

The move comes just days after NESN announced that Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy, whose son is charged with the murder of his girlfriend and the mother of his child, would return to the booth for the upcoming season.

Dell and Middlebrooks, who have been dating for nearly a year, began appearing together in public last fall after the Sox won the World Series. On New Year’s Eve Middlebrooks texted his 143,000 followers a pic of him with his arm around Dell and the message: “Happy New Year from us to you! Here’s to a great 2014!”

We’re told that the decision to reassign Jenny was mutual and that she will be staying at the station, at least for now. More in tomorrow’s Inside Track.

Read more at the Boston Herald where this story was originally published.

ScullyLegendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully doesn’t typically make road trips east of the Mississippi. But apparently Australia doesn’t qualify, so the 86-year-old play-by-play man will open the season in Sydney for the Dodgers’ opening series against the Diamondbacks.

The Los Angeles Times has more. The games will mark the regular-season debut of the Dodgers’ new television partnership:

“They asked me to go because they’re the first games to be broadcast by Time Warner,” Scully told the Times. “So I said, `Sure, I’ll go.’”

The 2014 season will mark Scully’s 65th year behind the microphone. He’ll start it with a whirlwind trip to another hemisphere and back to L.A. in time to call the Dodgers’ exhibition Freeway Series games against the Angels on March 27 and 28.

“I do love it,” he said, “so I’ll give it a shot.”

Read more at USA Today where this story was originally published.

Slaten“Never” apparently lasts 5½ months, at least by one definition.

Kevin Slaten, the longtime rabble-rousing St. Louis radio sports-talk show host who vowed that he would not work in St. Louis radio again after being dumped in mid-August for the second time in nine months, is heading back to the local airwaves.

Slaten is to be in the 3-6 p.m. slot at KFNS (590 AM) beginning Monday. It will be his fourth stint at the station, from which he most recently was dropped in Nov. 2012 by previous management. He later landed at WGNU (920) but again was booted — this time last August after just seven shows — in fallout from colleague Jack Clark’s allegations that former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols used steroids.

Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where this story was originally published.

Chuck MrazChuck Mraz, the play-by-play announcer for Morehead State football and men’s basketball, is celebrating his 25th year as the “Voice of the Eagles.”

The MSU athletic department will recognize Mraz’s accomplishments publicly with a pre-game recognition before the men’s game versus Jacksonville State Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.

“I really enjoy interacting with our athletic administrators, coaches, student-athletes and fans,” Mraz said. “I get a real kick out of when a young kid comes up and wants to talk about a game because that is the future of our fandom here at MSU.”
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