Madden's take

ON MEDIA

Ravens `just so doggone emotional' in loss to Pats

Cruiser hits town

December 07, 2007

Presenting the debut tabloid edition of sports media notes while wondering when we're going to see the Bart Scott-tossed penalty flag show up on eBay:

With the Ravens playing on Sunday Night Football this weekend, NBC's John Madden was kind enough to answer a few questions.

On how the Ravens' tough loss Monday will affect the rest of their season: "Had they won, it would have energized them for the rest of the season. ... They'd still be on an emotional high. ... If they lose it, it's going to be tough."

On how they weren't necessarily wrong to talk about the officiating afterward: "That always happens in a close game. If it hadn't been for a play here and a play there, they'd have won."

On criticism that the team is undisciplined: "They're just so doggone emotional. ... If they had no discipline, how did they get the Patriots on the ropes? ... If a couple of plays go the other way, you have a parade for them."

On the matchup with the Indianapolis Colts: "The Colts are better than the Ravens, but knowing that doesn't mean you're going to lose. ... When you're not the better team, you have to ... be aggressive."

On the pressure on coach Brian Billick because of the disappointing season: "He was the coach who coached them a year ago who built up those expectations."

On whether Madden had ever blown kisses on the sideline as Billick did Monday: "I had other gestures."

While Madden was in this part of the country, he went to Washington yesterday to lobby Congress for increased funding for diabetes research. Madden's 6-year-old grandson has diabetes.

Nice scoop by Charley Casserly on The NFL Today on Sunday. He broke the news that Ravens quarterback Steve McNair was having season-ending shoulder surgery a day before the team announced it.

Very clever of ESPN to bring in comments from outside basketball on Wednesday night's SportsCenter segment on the 42-1 run by Texas Tech against Louisiana Tech. Baseball commentator Steve Phillips and Mr. Hockey Hair himself, Barry Melrose, got to weigh in.

Not as clever: that "Hot Seat" segment. It jumped the shark so long ago you can't even see the fin in the distance. Having Skip Bayless work himself into a lather while trying to get the eminently reasonable Mark May to do the same during a Heisman Trophy discussion doesn't create any heat, unless you count heartburn.

In its continuing campaign to get the NFL Network into more homes serviced by recalcitrant cable companies, the NFL touted the ratings for the Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers game, reporting a 14.6 coverage area rating, "the highest such rating on ad-supported cable since November 1993." A "coverage area rating" indicates the percentage watching among those who receive NFL Network. Given how the NFL keeps saying everyone is just dying to get its network, shouldn't the rating have been even higher?

Just when you think you might be wasting your time clicking around from one Web site to another, along comes a gem such as a YouTube clip brought to our attention by deuceofdaven port.com via si.com. It's a CBS interview from 1975, conducted by Phyllis George, in which she asks Roger Staubach about his strait-laced image. Staubach replies: "I enjoy sex just as much as Joe Namath - only it's with one girl. It's still fun." It's not clear exactly how the then-Dallas Cowboys quarterback compared notes with his swinging New York Jets counterpart.

ray.frager@baltsun.com

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