Feel like the media slam your team? You are not alone

ON MEDIA

November 14, 2008|By RAY FRAGER | RAY FRAGER,ray.frager@baltsun.com

Putting out this week's sports media notes while wondering whether the president-elect has a spot in his administration called "Guy Who Sits on the Couch Watching TV While Eating Cheez-Its":

* If you listen to much sports talk - not recommended unless you have ample caffeine - you probably have heard much of the same from callers offering only slight variation on the theme: The national media disrespect/ignore/downgrade the Ravens.

I was glad to hear Bruce Cunningham tell a caller to his show on 105.7 The Fan this week that fans from around the country say much the same thing about their teams, too.

However, along those lines, some people no doubt will see a slight by CBS' assignment of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf to Sunday's Ravens-New York Giants game, which, by the way, is going out to 48 percent of the country. The network's No. 1 team, Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, is calling the late doubleheader game between the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

During CBS' The NFL Today on Sunday (noon, chs. 13, 9), the Ravens' Joe Flacco will be featured in a piece along with the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan on the two rookie quarterbacks making big impacts.

* As the college basketball season begins, ESPN knows what you want: more Bob Knight.

The former (for now) coach is getting a bigger role with the network. Starting Jan. 15, Knight will join Brent Musburger for weekly Thursday night games and also will be an analyst on other games, partnered with Dan Shulman. In addition, Knight becomes part of the traveling Saturday College GameDay crew along with Rece Davis, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Andy Katz. And look for Knight once a week on SportsCenter in January and February.

Whew. That's a lot of sweaters.

Knight, now a part of the media he loves so much, has already proven capable of sparking ESPN's shows, though sometimes he gets treated with too much deference. I look forward to hearing him fully engaged in a discussion when, say, the capable Bilas disagrees with him.

* MASN's extensive college basketball schedule - at 201 live and taped games, it's the largest in the country for a regional sports network, the MASN folks say - begins with tonight's Mount St. Mary's at Loyola game at 7. MASN will carry eight Mount games, five each featuring Loyola and UMBC, three with Towson and two with Navy.

Comcast SportsNet's college basketball programming kicks in next week and includes previews of regional teams during SportsNite telecasts.

* The Fighting Ungers - brothers Andrew and Marc - are moving from WNST (1570 AM) to Fox Sports 1370 with a show that will run from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday and Friday and Saturday 9 to 10 a.m. They are no relation to former NHL ironman Garry Unger or Felix Unger, roommate of sportswriter Oscar Madison.

* The MLB Network, which launches next year, has made two good hires for its studio analyst spots - Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds. Both have proven more than capable of commenting about the majors with insight, bite and humor.

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