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Preview: Jim Williams Examiner Columns - PLUS +

Jim Williams Examiner Columns - PLUS +



You can find my columns here and plenty more. I will give you some inside and extra information that we just did not have room for in the newspaper. But please check out my columns in The Washington and Baltimore Examiner Newspapers. On radio you c



Updated: 2014-10-02T22:08:51.222-07:00

 



Is Michael Vick in trouble? ESPN show could prove a problem.

2007-05-27T09:23:23.256-07:00

(image)

Bob Ley and the Outside the Lines crew have linked Michael Vick to dog
fighting.

Here is an excerpt from today's show:
Focus on Dog Fighting;

Informant Claims Michael Vick is Involved

ESPN's Outside the Lines examined illegal dog fighting on today's
9:30 a.m. ET program. In the piece, reporter Kelly Naqi spoke to a
confidential police informant who has helped investigators make dozens
of arrests. He told Naqi that the year before Atlanta Falcons
quarterback Michael Vick entered the NFL (2001), one of his dogs fought
one of Vick's dogs, and that Vick is involved in dog fighting.

David Hunt, a dog fighting investigator whose congressional testimony
last May helped make dog fighting a federal felony, said of the
informant: "He's extremely reliable. Information that he's provided me
has resulted in the arrest of several individuals over the past few
years, numerous search warrants, as well as convictions."

From today's Outside the Lines in ESPN:

KELLY NAQI: "How many professional athletes are involved in dog
fighting?"

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT: "All around the country, just to give a rough
estimate, 20 or 30… Football players are basically, you know, in it."

KN: "Who?"

CI: "Michael, I've seen Vick in there." 

KN: "You've seen Michael Vick at dog fights?" 

CI: "We have beat him back in 2000, yes." 

KN: "What was Michael's involvement at this dogfight?" 
CI: "Michael was not in the pit, okay? Michael's thing was he came
with all of the money… He was betting with everybody. I would say at
the fight, there was maybe 20 people there. He was betting on his
animal."

KN: "So then what happened after that?"

CI: "Then you turn the dogs loose and the dogs lock up. I think the
fight went 40-something minutes and then it was over with."

KN: "Who won?"

CI: "I won."

KN: "How deep into dog fighting is Michael Vick?"

CI: "He's a pit bull fighter, it's not about how deep you are, if
you're this deep or you're that deep. He's a pit bull fighter."

KN: "What does that mean?"

CI: "He likes to fight dogs." 

KN: "What's his reputation?"

CI: "He brings a good dog and he's going to bet and he's going to
bring a nice sum of cash."

CI: "He's one of the ones that they call the big boys. That's who
bets a large dollar. And they have the money to bet large money. As
I'm talking about large money, 30 to 40 thousand, even higher. He's
one of the heavyweights." 

KN: "Michael Vick is?"

CI: "He's one of the heavyweights, yes."

KN: "How do you know that?"

CI: "Because I've seen it. "


From Jim Williams sent via T-Mobile Blackberry




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2007-04-27T04:43:35.270-07:00

Former Hoya Williams at home on NBA TV
By – Jim Williams
The Examiner

PREVIEW OF SATURDAY'S COLUMN

Former Georgetown great Jerome Williams has found a home on NBA TV as color analyst for the NBA Playoffs.

Williams is a natural and a great addition to an already strong cast of analysts.

He loves his role and gets to join another former Georgetown great Patrick Ewing on the NBA TV playoffs coverage. I spoke to him this week about the playoffs and also the success of his Alma matter.

Williams on how the inside game has changed. ‘The battle of the big men in the NBA is gone at least for the moment. We have a far more wide open game where we see power forwards playing in the center role. The Mavs Dirk Nowitzki is a prime example of that change in roles. The other big thing we are seeing in the playoffs is the stars coming to play, look at what the Baltimore-Washington duo of Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson did to steal game one for the Nuggets over the Spurs, having the stars show brightly in the playoffs is what makes the NBA so great at this time of year.’

Williams on his participation in ‘Basketball without boarders:’ ‘I have been all over the world and it is amazing where you find kids playing. I saw young kids in Africa playing on the hard ground and playing with the same love and knowledge of the game as you would see on any play ground here in the US. It was very exciting.’

Williams on the return of Georgetown to a national power: ‘the most fun I had watching the Hoyas this year was sitting next to Patrick Ewing, I can tell you it was a real joy seeing those kids playing so well and bringing Georgetown back to a national power. It was almost as much fun listening to Patrick the parent cheering on his son that was special.’

Williams is a great addition to an already star studded cast making NBA TV must see TV for pro hoop fans from now till a champion is crowned. The channel can be seen on Comcast and Cox digital cable.

NBA TV will present NBA Vault: The Playoffs, an hour-long special that will look at many of the greatest postseason plays and moments in NBA history on Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m.

Hosted by Rick Kamla, this ultimate highlight show will introduce Top 10 lists in categories such as Playoff Upsets, Dunks, Buzzer Beaters and Blocks as well as the Top 10 playoff moments by players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

Here is a preview of the Buzzer Beaters segment:

http://boss.streamos.com/wmedia/nba/nbae_rough/buzzer_beaters_rough.asx



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2007-04-27T04:14:54.507-07:00

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Sports
The NFL draft: One big non-event

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Apr 27, 2007 3:00 AM (3 hrs ago)
Current rank: #5 of 5,961
BALTIMORE - For 28 years, ESPN has made the NFL draft an event. It’s hard to believe that a glorified roll call has morphed into the unofficial start to the NFL season.

The ratings for the show have never been better. It is ESPN’s highest-rated non-play-by-play sport. Yes, there are trades and interesting roster moves, but a show that lasts 18 hours over the course of two days still boils down to a team handing a card to a league official who then makes an announcement.

Somehow, this has become must-see TV. This weekend, ESPN will have their A-team on hand once again with the two most recognizable draft fixtures: host Chris Berman and Mel Kiper Jr. The network will also debut the new Monday Night Football booth trio of Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser and newcomer Ron Jaworski, who will be on hand to add their takes on the draft.

While ESPN put the NFL draft on the map, it is the NFL Network that is gaining fans each year by offering a very compelling alternative for viewers. On Saturday, the network will air “Setting Sail with Joe Thomas.” While most elite prospects will be in New York awaiting their name to be called, Thomas, the heralded offensive lineman from Wisconsin, will spend Saturday fishing on a lake in that state. NFL Network will have the only camera on the boat to document Thomas’ reaction when he is selected.

The NFL Network will also air various features this weekend:

• Will Ferrell and Ryan Kalil — A comedic feature with actor Ferrell and Southern Cal prospect Kalil. Ferrell plays “Chuck Berry,” a USC “auxiliary strength and conditioning coach,” who helps Kalil prepare for the 2007 draft using his own unique and unconventional methods. Also contributing in the feature are USC coach Pete Carroll and former USC quarterback Matt Leinart.

• “FanCam” — NFL Network will have a confessional booth for fans in attendance to analyze the picks made by their favorite team. The most compelling “confessions” may be used during the telecast.

ESPN and the NFL Network will have all the angles covered. And locally on the radio, SIRIUS NFL Radio, ESPN and Fox Sports Radio will offer wall-to-wall coverage of the biggest non-event in sports.

Contact Jim Williams at jwilliamsexaminer@gmail.com.
Examiner



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2007-04-19T05:44:55.553-07:00

We are all part of Hokie Nation
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Apr 19, 2007 3:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 10 of 5,749

WASHINGTON - I have done nearly 20 events at Virginia Tech over the years. The campus, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, has always been one of my favorite places to do a telecast. What happened this week at Virginia Tech was such a mind-numbing tragedy that it made news worldwide and the entire college world became part of Hokie Nation.

The maroon and orange colors of Virginia Tech have been seen in newspapers from Washington, D.C. to Sydney and the pain was honest and palpable. But at the same time, so was the sense of community.

The enthusiasm, passion and tradition of college athletics make covering college sports far more appealing to many broadcasters than doing the pros. I have covered Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Playoffs and the Stanley Cup — but there is nothing like college sports.

Walking a college campus is something sports broadcasters all love to do when on site for a game. I know that CBS’ Verne Lundquist likes to jog around campus early in the morning and talk to students.

You can find ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein at the campus book store looking for something special to add to her vast collection of college items.

Students love to talk sports and are passionate about their schools. Being on campus at places like Virginia Tech has made ESPN College GameDay’s remote broadcasts popular not only to the fans, but even to the broadcasters, like Lee Corso, who enjoy feeding off the crowd.

I spoke to a number of college sports broadcasters this week and they all felt the pain of Hokie Nation.

They know that as horrific a story this is, that Virginia Tech — with its wonderful sense of community — will survive this terrible tragedy.

It will take time and they will need our help, but in time Hokie Nation will fill up Lane Stadium this fall and cheer on coach Frank Beamer and the football team.

Until then, let’s take a moment to think about Hokie Nation.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Examiner



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2007-04-18T07:45:14.063-07:00

NBA commissioner David Stern had plenty to talk about with the playoffs beginning tomorrow.

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Apr 18, 2007 3:00 AM (7 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 16 of 5,608
BALTIMORE - On the eve of the NBA playoffs, commissioner David Stern was excited about such an open field with so many teams claiming a real chance to win the title. But with a global product that is exceeded only by soccer and a television concept that has been adopted by the NHL, Major League Baseball and, yes, even the NFL have learned something from Stern.

So while playoffs are on his mind, I could not help but explore a few other topics when I spoke to Stern on a conference call from his New York office last week.

Stern on other leagues using his concept for their new TV deals: “We felt that moving the majority of our games to cable made the most sense for us in the long run and would give our fans options they would not have anywhere else. Our partners, Turner Sports and ESPN/ABC/Disney, along with NBATV — the first league-owned, 24/7/365 channel dedicated to NBA programming — has given our fans a chance to see every player and every team in our league over the course of a season.

“The result has been an educated group of fans who not only know our star players, but they know our teams. I think that the NHL and more recently MLB understand that our template works well, and we are flattered that they followed our plan. We also think that the NFL saw how NBATV became a destination not only for our fans, but for many of our players.

“We televised more than 80 regular-season games this year and games from the European leagues, giving our fans a peek at some future stars. It is exactly what the NFL Network is doing successfully with their channel.”

Stern on the NBA going global: “When we took the original Dream Team to the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, our true goal was to expand the NBA brand. We now have more than 20 percent of our players coming from other countries. NBATV is seen in nearly 100 counties worldwide, and the game on a world scale has never been healthier. Our stars are the world's stars, and you can see NBA gear on kids from China to Africa. I think we are on the right global path.”

There’s plenty of playoff action this weekend, starting this weekend with Comcast SportsNet following the Wizards. ESPN and TNT also will have a full slate of games also. And all playoff games can be head on SIRIUS.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. E-mail him at jwilliamsexaminer@gmail.com.
Examiner



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2007-04-12T10:28:07.692-07:00

What would Jackie do?
By – Jim Williams
The Examiner

This week as ESPN gets ready to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier as part of the Sunday Night Baseball at 8pm when San Diego travels up the freeway to face the Dodgers.

ESPN baseball analyst Dusty Baker who is building a new home in the Bay Area took time to talk to me about the three people who taught him the most about Jackie Robinson.

His father who taught him the importance Robinson's dedication to education, Jim Gilliam gave him the Dodgers view of Robinson and how he gained the respect of his teammates and lastly the doctorate he got from his time as a teammate of Hank Aaron in Atlanta.

The phrase that Baker said was the most often used by all who taught him about Robinson was, ‘What would Jackie do?’

Baker on his learning about Jackie Robinson: ‘It began with my father and growing up in Southern California my dad was my baseball coach and he taught me not only what a great athlete Jackie was but more importantly his dedication to doing the right thing, education and always being the better person. When I got to the Dodgers Jim Gilliam took my education of Jackie to another level talking about how Jackie gained the respect of his teammates. After a while many players would not stay in hotels that would not give Jackie equal treatment.’

Dusty on being a teammate of Hank Aaron during the race to break Babe Ruth’s record of 714 homerun’s: ‘Hank took abuse that ranged from taunting to death threats and he always talked about how Jackie handled things. Hank showed me the activist side of Jackie, the man who fought for civil rights and we often met with and talked to Andrew Young, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, and Jesse Jackson. Hank gave me a master level course in Jackie Robinson and a first hand view into black history.’

Dusty on what the players of today need to know: ‘The biggest thing is history. Know about those who came before you. Not just Jackie but Roberto Clemente and now the great Asian players the more we know about all of them the better we will understand the true history of baseball.’



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2007-04-13T05:08:25.659-07:00

The Stanley Cup Playoffs Cherry Style
By – Jim Williams
The Examiner
Friday April 13,2007

The Caps are not in the playoffs but Washington is still a great hockey town and NHL fans will have plenty to watch starting tonight.

This week the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup begins and Washington hockey fans are in for a real treat. NBC has decided to add legendary CBC hockey broadcaster Don Cherry to their roster of broadcasters and that is great news.

I spoke to the legend via conference call from Toronto on a number of subjects.
Cherry on who he likes in this years playoffs :

"I think the semifinals, it will be San Jose and Anaheim. I really think that could happen. I like Anaheim for a lot of reasons. I like Selanne. But the reason I like Anaheim is that Giguere has been there before; he's the MVP. In the east, I like Ottawa. If Ottawa doesn't do something this year, there's going to be a lot of guys paying the price, I tell you that. They just cannot choke again. Anaheim and Ottawa."

Cherry on what it will take for NHL ratings in the US to get a boost:

‘You need consistent playoff appearances from Chicago, Boston, LA, Philadelphia, Detroit and the New York area teams. This season you will have all three New York area teams in the playoffs as well as Detroit and that should help but until we see Chicago, LA, and Boston back in that mix you can forget big ratings in the states.’

VERSUS will offer hockey fans first round double headers starting every night this week beginning with the pre game show at 6:30pm with all the games being done in HD and NBC will start their coverage this weekend NBC's playoff coverage begins Saturday at 3 p.m. With Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Ottawa Senators. Sunday at 1 p.m Detroit the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, host the Calgary Flames. Also, both NBC and VERSUS will offer puck heads plenty of pre game and post game extra’s on their websites.



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2007-04-12T05:14:34.434-07:00

The Stanley Cup Playoffs Cherry Style
By – Jim Williams
The Examiner

The Caps are not in the playoffs but Washington is still a great hockey town fans will have plenty to watch starting tonight.

This week the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup begins and Washington hockey fans are in for a real treat. NBC has decided to add legendary CBC hockey broadcaster Don Cherry to their roster of broadcasters and that is great news.

I spoke to the legend via conference call from Toronto on a number of subjects.
Cherry on who he likes in this years playoffs :

"I think the semifinals, it will be San Jose and Anaheim. I really think that could happen. I like Anaheim for a lot of reasons. I like Selanne. But the reason I like Anaheim is that Giguere has been there before; he's the MVP. In the east, I like Ottawa. If Ottawa doesn't do something this year, there's going to be a lot of guys paying the price, I tell you that. They just cannot choke again. Anaheim and Ottawa."

Cherry on what it will take for NHL ratings in the US to get a boost:

‘You need consistent playoff appearances from Chicago, Boston, LA, Philadelphia, Detroit and the New York area teams. This season you will have all three New York area teams in the playoffs as well as Detroit and that should help but until we see Chicago, LA, and Boston back in that mix you can forget big ratings in the states.’

VERSUS will offer hockey fans first round double headers starting every night this week beginning with the pre game show at 6:30pm with all the games being done in HD and NBC will start their coverage this weekend NBC's playoff coverage begins Saturday at 3 p.m. With Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Ottawa Senators, and the Atlanta Thrashers. Sunday at 1 p.m Detroit the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, host the Calgary Flames. Also, both NBC and VERSUS will offer puck heads plenty of pre game and post game extra’s on their websites.

The Sunday Night Baseball Game of The Week on ESPN 8pm this week will feature a tribute to the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. There will plenty of good features and special guests so it is well worth the look.



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2007-04-06T05:12:34.827-07:00

MLS-Beckham-ESPN the Perfect Storm
By – Jim Williams
The Examiner
April 6, 2007

This weekend the MLS will open the season when DC United takes on Colorado at 3:30pm this Saturday on ABC but that is just the start what might be the leagues biggest season.

This is the first year that ESPN sports has total control of all MLS telecasts and on July 24th David Beckham will be playing his first game as a member of the LA Galaxy.

According ESPN Scott Guglielmino, Vice President, Programming the network is sold out in advertising for the entire 2007 season. That is something the network can say for only a handful of its properties.

Beckham will bring a large number of casual fans a very large female audience ages between 12 to 30 that will likely be watching their soccer game ever and certainly their first MLS telecast.

So can the network hold this audience and expand on it.

Well Dave O’Brian the lead play by play man feels that things look good for the league and soccer in general.

‘My daughters like tens of thousands of young women play soccer and they have posters all over their rooms of David Beckham. He is a world wide star and we are about to experience what people all over world know and that is David Beckham transcends sports and goes right to rock star status,’ said O’Brian.

‘Our plan is to make sure we give fans a very up close look at all the players in the league thus using the Beckham effect to develop other MLS players into household names and marketable stars,’ stated Tim Scanlan,Senior Coordinating Producer, Remote Production for the network.’

Beginning this season, ESPN will debut MLS Primetime Thursday on ESPN2 – an exclusive weekly primetime window for Major League Soccer telecasts. The new series, presented in high definition, will further show the network’s commitment to soccer that will include more SportsCenter.

The 2006 FIFA World Cup coverage which was just nominated for a 2007 Emmy Award in the ‘Live Special’ category and I asked O’Brian who took a great deal of flack from the hard core soccer fans about his play by play style if the nomination was vindication for him.

‘I think it shows that our goal of brining soccer to all fans was accomplished. I really feel that if this sport is to grow to the status that I believe it can fans want to hear familiar voices doing the games. The same voices they hear on baseball, football and other big events,’ said O’Brian.



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2007-04-06T04:37:07.332-07:00

Ripken finally comes to TV on TBS
By: Jim Williams
The Examiner
April 5, 2007

As I reported prior to the first of the year Orioles great and Hall of Fame, class of 2007 member Cal Ripken, Jr will be joining the new Turner Sports baseball broadcast team signing a long term deal with the network today.

For five years ESPN, FOX, COMCAST and MASN have all been courting Ripken but the right fit did not come about until Turner Sports made him what he called the ‘The perfect fit.’

Ripken will be joined at Turner by fellow new Hall of Fame member Tony Gwynn.

The duo will be part of the brand new Turner Sports Major League Baseball coverage team for the National and American League Divisional Series as well as the National League Championship Series. They will also work together on the networks Hall of Fame Selection Show July 1st.

I asked Cal if the real reason he took the Turner job was to improve the quality of his legendary pick up basketball games. “Well I have spoken to Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson and Kenny Smith and they are in so yes it is a perk of the job.’

‘All kidding aside Turner Sports gave me a wonderful chance to be an in studio analyst with a pro like Erie Johnson, Jr, talking baseball and the schedule allows me to continue to be with my family and to oversea my business interests. But I am really looking forward to this new challenge, being a part of Turner Sports during baseball’s jewel events is very exciting and a real thrill, something I can’t wait to be a part for many years to come.”

Ripken will join Ernie Johnson, J.r. as part of a brand new studio pre game show that will patterned after the very successful and popular NBA show. There is a chance that he may do some selected telecast as a game analyst but his main role will be in the studio.

Gwynn becomes the lead analyst with Chip Carey on the TBS game telecasts. The network will be adding other broadcasters to their roster later in the season.

In 2008 TBS will be home to The Sunday Afternoon Game of Week that will see the Super Station drop the Braves to do a complete 26 week package of national telecasts featuring a mixture of the all teams in Major League Baseball.

The team of Ripken and Jonson will handle the pre game studio show but Gwynn who is the head baseball coach at San Diego State is un sure about doing a full season of games and has adopted a wait and see attitude. He did do a full slate of games for ESPN before taking the college coaching job.



KASTEN HAS BIG BROADCASTING PLANS STARTING TODAY

2007-04-02T05:25:45.919-07:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Apr 2, 2007 3:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 7 of 20,153
WASHINGTON - It is always a treat talking to Stan Kasten — always up beat, positive and willing to talk about anything Nationals related.

I spoke to him about the state of the team’s broadcasting efforts for the 2007 season and beyond.

» Kasten on his first full year in charge of all things Nationals: “The Lerner family and I wanted our fans to be able to enjoy every Nationals game on TV, radio and at the ball park and we were able to do that this season. We will broadcast all 162 games in Washington on MASN with exception of one FOX telecast. We have a good signal on WTWP 1500 AM and 107.7 FM so our fans can catch the games on radio as well throughout the mid Atlantic region.”

» Kasten on the upgrades for 2007: “Our partners at MASN have provided us with one of the best broadcasting teams in the business with the talented Bob Carpenter handling the play by play, Debbi Taylor, who served as field producer to the great baseball insider Peter Gammons, has established herself as an accomplished in-game reporter and will add so much to our telecasts. Then there is my good friend Don Sutton, I am telling you that fans will find what a great teacher he is. I mean there is not a game that goes by that I don’t learn something that I did not know about pitching from watching Don do a telecast. I am also excited to have Johnny Holiday and Ray Knight doing our pre and post game shows. MASN has made the shows both comprehensive and interactive so our fans will have unprecedented coverage in 2007.”

» Kasten on the radio side: “First of all we had hoped to have the games in Spanish this year and we were close to pulling it off — but we just came up a bit short. I know that next year we will make that happen. We have a large Hispanic following in the Washington area and we will make broadcasting the games in Spanish a priority for next season. We are back on WTWP with Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler who do such a great job and they have built a wonderful fan base. We have added a new post game call-in show after most games if you a have question you can ask the guys. It is just another small step in giving our fans the best access to us as possible.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Examiner



Bonnie Bernstein's new quest

2007-03-30T08:24:20.085-07:00

Bonnie Bernstein’s new quest
By: Jim Williams
The Examiner
Friday March 30,2007

Anyone who knows or for that matter has ever seen ESPN reporter extraordinaire Bonnie Bernstein knows that she is the picture of health.

A proud University of Maryland grad and former college gymnast Bernstein is about as active as person can be with her regular workout regimen and her obsession with a healthy life style.

So you could say that the most surprised person on the planet to find out that she had a life threatening medical problem was indeed Bonnie Bernstein.

Bernstein on how she found out: “I was working the Texas-Oklahoma football game and the broadcast crew had planned our exit from the Cotton Bowl to catch our flight at the airport in Dallas. I was running across the Texas State Fair midway and my legs hurt and I was short of breath. Once we made it to the plane the entire flight back to New York my legs hurt and the next day I saw my doctor. After having an Ultrasound done I found out that I had blood clots in my leg and a CT scan revealed the clots had also entered my lungs. I checked into the hospital immediately. I was lucky I could have died but fortunately the doctors caught my Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) before the blood clots got to my heart.”

Many people know DVT as the condition that caused the death of NBC newsman David Bloom.

Now Bonnie Bernstein and Melanie Bloom are working hard so that people know that this condition claims the lives of more people each year in the US than either AIDS or Breast Cancer.

Who is at Risk?

The fact is that DVT can occur in almost anyone. Some risk factors or triggering events to discuss with your doctor include, Cancer, Certain heart or respiratory diseases, Prior DVT, Advanced age, Use of birth control pills, and Obesity to name a few.

Bernstein on what she has learned: “I know that you can help yourself by exercising, walking, climbing stairs, simple things like stretching if set in your office chair all day. People need to talk to their doctors about this condition and to take the time learn if you are a candidate. Finding out ahead of time could as it did in my case save your life.”

For more information on DVT check out the web site at www.preventdvt.org

Meanwhile we look forward to seeing Bernstein on ESPN both on the set and on sidelines for a very long time.



A guide to Madness

2007-03-15T12:12:55.144-07:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Mar 15, 2007 3:00 AM (12 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 6 of 19,230
WASHINGTON - How big is March Madness? The FBI estimates office pools in the United States this year will produce over $2.5 billion — more than will be legally wagered in Las Vegas.

Most of those pools will range from the $5-20 bracket buy-in and rest assured Washington-area workers will be doing their best to win their office pools.
If you are lucky enough to be … sick … today and have time in front of the tube, CBS 9 will have coverage locally beginning with Maryland-Davidson from Buffalo called by Kevin Harlan and Bob Wenzel.

Stuck and need some last-second help with that bracket? There are plenty of places to find help but checkout the usual Web sites: ESPN, CSTV, CBS.Sportsline. And there is always the local picks offered at www.thiswebsitestinks.com where brackets of The Tony Kornheiser Show’s guests are posted.

How to maximize the Madness: You can follow all of the games outside this market (no local teams) via the Internet at www.cbs.sportsline.com or www.ncaasports.com. Both sites will offer free live video of the games as well as pre- and post-game information.

SIRIUS satellite radio will have will have all 64 games covered so you won’t miss a moment of the action. All Maryland games, starting with Thursday’s 12:20 p.m. tip against Davidson, will be on WMAL-AM 630. Georgetown will be on WTEM-AM 980 and Virginia and Virginia Tech will be on WTNT-AM 570 and WTEM, respectively. George Washington’s games can be heard on WTWP-AM 1500.

As usual, WTEM will have wall-to-wall coverage of the tournament so check its Web site for the complete list of coverage.

If you are lucky enough to be … sick … today and have time in front of the tube, CBS 9 will have coverage locally beginning with Maryland-Davidson from Buffalo called by Kevin Harlan and Bob Wenzel.

Georgetown-Belmont will get underway from Winston-Salem, N.C. at 2:45 p.m. with Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas calling the action.

George Washington-Vanderbilt will get underway from Sacramento at 4:55 p.m. (EST) with James Brown and Len Elmore doing the honors.

On Friday, Virginia and Albany will meet in Columbus at 12:15 p.m. with Tim Brando and Mike Gminski on the call. That duo will also work Virginia Tech and Illinois from Columbus beginning at 7:10 p.m.

And that’s not all … Let’s not forget defending NCAA Women’s National Champion Maryland as it attempts look to defend the crown. The Terps will face Harvard in Hartford, Conn., on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN. The George Washington women get started on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in Dallas against Boise State, also on ESPN.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Examiner



MLS and Bundesliga partner up

2007-03-14T12:22:34.643-07:00

Part one of a three part series with
Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert
Jim Williams, The Examiner
Mar 14, 2007 3:00 AM (12 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 5 of 21,099
WASHINGTON - Major League Soccer and the Bundesliga — Germany’s top soccer league — have entered into a historic partnership that could have a major impact on soccer’s growth in the United States and Germany.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert unveiled an agreement between the leagues to share experience, expertise, and best practices. MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis and Bundesliga Executive Board Member Tom Bender also participated in Tuesday’s announcement in Miami at the SPORTELAmerica 2007 convention, which features the growing technology surrounding the coverage of sports.

Gazidis and Bender laid the groundwork for the new relationship two weeks ago in New York.

“This relationship marks an important step forward for Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “We are all aware that this age of globalization means new challenges for soccer, the most global sport. We are proud to enter this mutually beneficial relationship with the Bundesliga, one of the world’s most well-run and most successful soccer leagues.”

In an exclusive phone conversation from Miami, the head of Germany’s top soccer league spoke to me about why he wanted to work with the MLS.

“We initiated discussions with Major League Soccer because of the impressive progress it has made since its inception in 1996,” Seifert said. “We look forward to learning from MLS, an exemplary organization and a modern league with an eye on the future. Likewise, we are proud to contribute to the continued rise of soccer in the United States.”

Seifert on new media: “Establishing the Bundesliga brand in the U.S. is very important to us and we feel that broadcasting our games on GolTV is a great start. The network airs the games both in English and Spanish accomplishing our goal to market our product to a new fan base as well as the rapidly growing and very loyal Hispanic fans of soccer in the U.S.”

Seifert on the relationship with MLS: “We believe that the MLS is following a great plan for soccer-only stadiums; it is a plan that has served us well and we have an average of 39,000 fans per game, the largest average attendance in Europe. We both agree on a salary cap and that you can have a world-class league without having owners that overpay for players.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Examiner



Big Names Making Local Calls

2007-03-08T05:19:32.690-08:00

Big names making local calls

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Mar 8, 2007 3:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 21,204 articles
WASHINGTON - In Major League Baseball and other professional sports, economics have changed. Broadcasters used to scratch and claw to get to the network level, but the trend has reversed. Many quality personalities now feel it’s better to be a local broadcaster who mixes in a few network games. Full time network jobs have been cut and are no longer as attractive as they once were.

FOX’s lead announcer, Joe Buck, still calls Cardinals home games. ESPN’s Jon Miller handles the Giants radio and TV broadcasts and Dave O’Brien is now doing Red Sox radio along with ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball.

Locally, MASN and CSN are perfect examples of regional cable networks that want top talent. Meanwhile, top name announcers are seeking a combination of stability and a steady paycheck over the glitz of being a network broadcaster.

The MASN crew of Gary Thorne, Bob Carpenter, Jim Palmer, Don Sutton and Buck Martinez all has big-time network experience. But each saw broadcasting for a quality regional sports outfit as more attractive than battling the network wars.

MASN and CSN are in the minority when it comes to seeking out network-quality broadcasters. The vast majority is willing to hire younger, cheaper talent and pair it with a popular former player. For them it is a matter of economics over quality.

» Carpenter on his second year with the Nationals: “This is a first class organization with great fans and a wonderful future. I love working in the most powerful city in the world and as far as I am concerned I want to keep doing baseball in D.C. with Don Sutton for the rest of my career.”

» Thorne on his new home: “The funny thing was that while I wanted to be the voice of a local team I wasn’t actually looking. Then MASN called and the more I thought about it the more it made sense to me. I love Baltimore; I have worked with Jim Palmer, Buck Martinez and Rick Dempsey before and we are all friends so that makes things easy. As for my ESPN work, well, I will do 20 events this season for them and they are great but I am now the TV voice of the Orioles and I want to be a part of this Hall of Fame broadcast team for a very long time.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Examiner



March Madness, Part I, ready for prime time

2007-03-06T12:34:53.570-08:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Mar 6, 2007 3:00 AM (12 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 16,854 articles
BALTIMORE - Conference play is just a tune-up for the real March Madness that starts next week, but league tournaments are still crucial to Big Dance seeding and to the bubble teams that need help to reach the NCAAs.

In total this week, college basketball fans can see 50-plus games, and starting Wednesday through the weekend, ESPN will feature college hoops 12 hours a day.

The Big East Conference starts its all-day basketball smorgasbord from Madison Square Garden Wednesday at noon, with all games being aired on ESPN and capped off by the prime-time Saturday night conference title game.

Thursday, the ACC takes center stage, tipping off at noon, with CW54 (WNUV) being the home for all the action. The championship game is on Sunday.

In an interseting plot twist Sinclair Broadcasting(parent copmany of FOX 45 & CW54) is in a battle with Comcast over fees they feel the cable company should be paying the Hunt Valley based broadcaster. A March 9th deadline could cause problems for Maryland hoop fans if Friday both FOX 45 and CW54 are pulled off cable. We will keep you posted.

The other major conferences, the PAC 10 starts on Comcast SportsNet on Wednesday, and the Big Ten begins on Thursday on ESPN. Fans of the SEC and Big 12 will be unable to see any early-round games. But fans can see their games online by checking your favorite team's Web site or with SIRIUS satellite radio.

Local lacrosse fans will have a chance to catch today’s Johns Hopkins-UMBC game live at 7 p.m. if you need a break from the hoops-fest on MASN.

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network’s spring training baseball package this week features the Nationals vs. Astros Thursday at 1 p.m., with Bob Carpenter, Don Sutton and in-game reporter Debbi Taylor. On Friday at 1, we get our first look at the Orioles’ broadcast team. Gary Thorne, Jim Palmer and Amber Theoharis make their debut when MASN carries the Orioles vs. Nationals from Fort Lauderdale.

“I can't wait to get going and the chance to be part of the new Orioles broadcast team,” Thorne told me. “Jim Palmer, Buck Martinez, Jim Hunter and Amber Theoharis are all great people, and I think fans will see that we enjoy doing O's baseball. We have some of the best broadcasters in the business working for MASN, so let’s get started already.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. E-mail him at jwilliamsexaminer@gmail.com.
Examiner



George Michael Was One of a Kind

2007-03-02T10:15:44.297-08:00

By: Jim WilliamsThe ExaminerSaturday March 3, 2007Let me say this as strongly as possible, there is nobody better than George Michael. He is the best and by miles. Last night was Michael's last newscast as we have reported earlier he was leaving NBC4 passing up a five year $5 million dollar deal because it would mean more layoffs for not only his staff but others in the news department. So rather than take the cash, Michael passed on the money so that at least 20 people at NBC4 could keep their jobs. In a day when local sports anchors are interchangeable and act like ESPN SportsCenter knockoff’s George Michael was the gold standard.In an age where scores and headlines are known well before the 6pm and 11pm newscasts Michael offered sports in an entertaining style that is neither as easy as it looks nor something that is seen on a local basis anywhere these days.People no longer watch the local news for sports and the new stars are the weathermen, sports anchors get three minutes and have to rush their sportscasts so that there can be one last sign off weather report. But for 27 years George Michael demanded and got four minutes of air time and some times more. He will no longer be part of NBC4’s newscasts, he will be still doing his weekly Redskins Shows but the nightly interactions between anchor Jim Vance and Michael are classic, funny but most of all are real.George Michael was sportscaster who was an entertainer and who understood the medium of television better than almost any sports anchor in the country. Michael’s old competition Warner Wolf and Len Berman were pretty good as well but he was always just a bit better. He presented highlights in a way that commands that you watch them, complete with music and sound effects they were compelling viewing and something you could only see on a George Michael sportscast.We have heard the stories of countless members of the ESPN staff saying that Michael did SportsCenter before they did SportsCenter. That George Michael’s Sports Machine which will go dark on March 25th was the gold standard for interview and highlights shows.As someone who has been part of the business I stole ideas from George Michael because if you’re going to steal – steal from the best.So like Johnny Carson the King of local TV sports is leaving the air on NBC4 but he will be back.The good news is that Michael is staying in the Washington area he will land somewhere. There are discussions going on now between MASN and Michael which makes perfect sense for both parties. He knows this area so well and is just as comfortable talking to Cal Ripken as he is Joe Gibbs. It would be a chance for the young network to have credibility while allowing Michael to continue to do the interview shows that were so successful that they created spin offs like PTI.We have learned that Michael will also be joining DirecTV along with FOX Sports NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip. They will work together on a series of races doing the brand new “Hot Pass,” where they will cover drivers during the races and I am sure that they will do more NASCAR features as well down the line.The nightly sports newscast will never be the same but we have not seen the last of George Michael, he shall return and my guess is it will be soon. One last thing and that is NBC4 should do the right thing and make Lindsay Czarniak, the Sports Director. The market can stand the bold move of having a woman as the lead sportscaster.[...]



Orioles and Nationals to telecast all 162 games

2007-03-02T04:21:07.855-08:00

By: Jim Williams
The Examiner
Friday March 2, 2007

The Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals will telecast all 162 games for the first time in history this season as they make their debut on MASN.

As for over the air coverage the Orioles will have a package of 25 games "MASN on WJZ" that will include opening day April 9th against the Tigers and all games on WJZ will also be seen on either MASN or MASN2.

In Washington the Nationals will have 30 games as part of “MASN on MY 20.”

Those games will be weekend games and the telecast will be Saturday April 7th from RFK at 7pm against the D'Backs.(Those games will also be seen throughout the mid Atlantic on either MASN or MASN2).

There will be a FOX game against the Rockies on July 21st at RFK a 4pm start.

Both teams will have total equality for the first time throughout the entire mid Atlantic region as both the Orioles and Nationals will be seen from Pennsylvania to North Carolina as part of the over 300 games offered by MASN and MASN2.

The Orioles and Nationals will each have 99 games on MASN and if you are in Baltimore it is Comcast channel 62 and Baltimore County channel 64. MASN2 will show 63 Orioles telecasts while the Nationals will be on 62 times. MASN2 will be seen in both Baltimore City and County on Comcast channel 17 and on DirecTV channel 671. MASN2 on Comcast channel 17 will only be on for the pre game, game and post game and then it will return C-SPAN2 programming. You can always check the web site at www.masn.tv for channel listings on all cable companies.

In the DC area MASN is on Channel 42 and MASN2 will be seen on channel 79 where they will air the pre game, game and post game and then return to there normal C-SPAN2 schedule. Since C-SPAN is an important channel in Washington Comcast has opened digital channel 104 as a full time second C-SPAN2 outlet so Senators won’t miss their votes.

I know you have your calculators out and say it still does not add up. Well there will be some nights when the Orioles will play a home game and the Nationals will be on the west coast or vice versa so on those nights MASN will have a double header.

Baseball gets started this weekend on Saturday at 1pm with the Nationals and the Orioles playing in Viera and the game will be on MASN with the Nationals announce team of Bob Carpenter, Don Sutton and in game reporter Debbi Taylor handling the honors.

The first Orioles Spring Training game with Gary Thorne, Jim Palmer and Amber Theoharis will be seen next Friday at 1pm when the same two teams face off from Ft. Lauderdale.

Gary Thorne will be a busy man this spring as he will do 7 Orioles games and five ESPN Spring Training games.

Before all 162 regular season games...

As we have reported last week there will be O’s Xtra before and after every game with Jim Hunter, Tom Davis and Rick Dempsey. The Nationals will have Johnny Holiday and Ray Knight handling their pre and post game as part of Nats Xtra.



Dickie V talks Terps, Hoyas

2007-02-27T04:30:38.267-08:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Feb 27, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 6 of 16,095 articles
WASHINGTON - This time of year, you rarely find ESPN basketball analyst Dick Vitale at his home in Sarasota, Fla. Normally he is on the road, but I got lucky when I called the Vitale estate Monday and he was in the mood to talk about his favorite subject: college basketball.

He will help call the Duke-Maryland game on ESPN Wednesday night and had just gotten off the phone with Terps head coach Gary Williams.

“You know, I told Gary that according to the Vitale Bald Dome Index, Maryland is a NCAA Tournament team,” Vitale said. “The win over North Carolina was huge and Gary has his team playing well and Maryland is peaking at just the right time.”

» Vitale on the best team in the area: “It is Georgetown. They are back, baby. John Thompson III has that team playing as well as anyone in the country now. They play tough Big East defense and they have one of the best frontcourts in college basketball. Hey, they were the only team in the NCAA Tournament last year that gave Florida any trouble. The Hoyas are a legit title contender.”

» Vitale on expanding the NCAA Tournament beyond 65 teams: “I am against it. This is the perfect number, and after what George Mason did last year you can bet there will be more mid-majors in the field this year and that is a great thing for college basketball. There will be plenty of big conference coaches complaining on the Monday after Selection Sunday that they were wrongly left out. But the conference tournaments are their play-in games. If you are a bubble team you know you have to impress the NCAA. Do it in your conference tournament.”

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.
Examiner



MASN’s new lineup has name value

2007-02-24T09:06:21.132-08:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Feb 24, 2007 3:00 AM (9 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 20,550 articles
WASHINGTON - The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has crafted a roster of recognizable talent to cover Nationals and Orioles baseball starting March 3.

As we told you well in advance of the formal announcement, Bob Carpenter is back for a second season and will be joined by a new analyst: Hall of Fame pitcher and former TBS analyst Don Sutton. In game reporter Debbi Taylor will join the crew.

Johnny Holiday, longtime voice of the Maryland Terrapins, will host “Nats Xtra” along with ex-major leaguer Oriole Ray Knight, the 1986 World Series MVP for the Mets.

The Orioles TV crew has added play-by-play man Garry Thorne, ESPN’s voice on NHL hockey, MLB Baseball and college football. He will join Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, Buck Martinez and field reporter Amber Theoharis on all Baltimore telecasts. Jim Hunter fill in when Thorne has an ESPN conflict.

Hunter will join former Oriole Rick Dempsey on “O’s Xtra.” Thankfully, Tom Davis returns to local air to serve in a co-host capacity. Many O’s fans will recall Davis was a part of the Home Team Sports network’s coverage of Orioles baseball.

There is a drawback: MASN will not offer HD telecasts this season due in large part to channel capacity of the cable systems. The goal is for HD to come in 2008 for all Orioles and Nationals home telecasts. Let’s hope so.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

COACH POTATO'S BEST BETS…

» Georgetown hosts Pitt on Saturday at 2 p.m. on CBS. Sunday’s big game is Maryland hosting North Carolina at 5:30 p.m. on CSN.

» Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson on Golf Channel Friday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 10 a.m. NBC picks up the action at 2 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday.

» NASCAR has the Truck Series on SPEED Friday at 9 p.m. On Saturday ESPN2 has the Busch Series race at 7 p.m. On Sunday at 3 p.m. FOX features the Auto Club 500 from Fontana.

» NFL Network has the scouting combine daily in primetime through Wednesday.
Examiner



MASN Offers an All Star Talent list O's and Nat's Baseball

2007-02-23T04:00:16.588-08:00

By: Jim Williams
The Examiner

The Mid Atlantic Sports Network has put together an impressive roster of talent that will be covering Nationals and Orioles baseball starting March 3rd at 1pm.

The Orioles TV crew will be Garry Thorne long time ESPN voice on NHL hockey, MLB Baseball and college football. He will join Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, Buck Martinez and field reporter Amber Theoharis on all Baltimore telecasts. Jim Hunter will be part of the TV and radio team, Thorne is the lead play by play man with Hunter taking the lead when Thorne has a conflict with an ESPN event.

Hunter will join former Oriole Rick Dempsey for O’s Xtra. Tom Davis will serve in a co host capacity and many O’s fans will recall that Davis was a part of the HTS coverage of Orioles baseball.

On the Nationals side we will see Bob Carpenter returning for his second season with the team and he will be joined in the booth by another Hall of Fame pitcher, former TBS broadcaster Don Sutton. They will welcome field reporter Debbi Taylor who joins the crew from Sun Sports in Florida.

Nationals pre and post game Xtra will be hosted by long time University of Maryland football and basketball voice and beloved broadcaster Johnny Holliday. Holliday will be joined in studio by former major league player and manager Ray Knight the 1986 World Series MVP. He also is a former ESPN broadcaster now part of the MASN team.

This is an impressive roster of broadcast talent that MASN has put together and using both local and nationally known talent. Also the addition of in game reporters will add to the storylines that can be developed and is a very ambitious move by the young network.

Baseball fans throughout the mid Atlantic should be very pleased with the talent choices and it is clearly a major league staff at both ends of I-95.

One interesting sidebar to this is that Johnny Holliday was the Washington Senators pre and post game radio host back in the last two years of their existence. So it is nice to have him back in the rotation.

Finally MASN will not be doing any of the over 300 games in HD. This is due in large part to the lack of cable channel HD capacity at this point and there is hope that they can do all Orioles and Nationals games in HD for the 2008 season.

--



Radio world ready to first pitch

2007-02-21T04:37:55.284-08:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Feb 21, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 3 of 15,066 articles
BALTIMORE - WHFS-FM, the new flagship radio station of the Orioles, has announced its spring training schedule, with a total of 12 games to air starting on March 1 when Baltimore faces the Florida Marlins at 1 p.m.

The Orioles broadcast crew of Jim Hunter, Fred Manfra and Joe Angel will handle all 12 spring training games, plus the entire 162 regular season games. All games will be in FM stereo, and there will be plenty of new, interactive communications between the dugout and the booth.

How many MASNs?

Recently, I have received a lot of questions about the number of Mid-Atlantic Sports Networks — MASN and MASN2.

There is only one MASN. Each cable company that carries the new home of the Orioles and the Nationals will offer an overflow channel when both teams play at the same time.

That channel could be a shopping channel all day long, and when the Orioles are on channel 62 and 64 in the city or the county, then channel 75, for instance, would carry the Nationals. Once the game is over, regular programming resumes.

MASN2 is simply an overflow channel so that both games can be seen in all markets in the mid-Atlantic region. That’s more than 300 games for fans to follow on the network.

Let the kvetching begin …

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Tony Kornheiser returned to radio on WTWP 1500-AM and 107.7 FM, which was great news to his many fans in the Washington/Baltimore area. The show airs from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and repeats from 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. to cover the entire morning shift.

Tony, funny as always, thanked many of his former WTEM gang. He and his new gang hit the ground running.

He is joined by Nigel, Jean McManus, Joe Barber, David Aldridge, Brennan Haselton and an ensemble company of stars, sidekicks and provocateurs still being assembled. The show is produced by Marc Sterne, a former WTEM staffer and a talented broadcaster in his own right.

With TK back, all seems right with the world.

WHFS-FM’s Orioles spring training lineup

March 1 1:05 p.m. vs. Florida Marlins

March 4 1:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets

March 10 1:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals

March 11 1:05 p.m. vs. Boston Red Sox

March 17 1:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets

March 18 1:05 p.m. vs. Boston Red Sox

March 20 7:10 p.m. vs. New York Mets

March 24 1:05 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

March 25 1:05 p.m. vs. St. Louis Cardinals

March 29 4:05 p.m. vs. Washington Nationals (in Columbus, Ohio)

March 30 2:05 p.m. vs. Washington Nationals (in Norfolk, Va.)

March 31 1:05 p.m. vs. Washington Nationals (at RFK Stadium)

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. E-mail him at jwilliamsexaminer@gmail.com.
Examiner



Two Big Events, One Big Weekend

2007-02-16T04:30:40.352-08:00

By: Jim Williams
The Examiner

The Daytona 500 and the NBA All Star Game dominate a big sports weekend with plenty of action.

SPEED, ESPN and FOX5/FOX 45 are your locations for all things Daytona. The twin 125 races that will make up the rest of the field behind pole sitters and Yates Ford teammates David Gilliland and Ricky Rudd will be run Thursday at 2pm on SPEED. Also on SPEED Friday at 8pm live NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series from Daytona.

Saturday ESPN returns to NASCAR after a seven year absence as “The Duce,” becomes the official home of the Busch Series at 1pm the ORBITZ 300 can be seen on ESPN2.

Sunday afternoon at 1pm on FOX it will be “The Great American Race,” the Daytona 500 live. All the NASCAR and Busch races will be presented in HD.

Special additions to NASCAR will see DirecTV offering “Hot Pass,” a chance to watch every NASCAR Race from the view of five different drivers. They will have their own announce crews and total coverage including the ability to listen live the driver-crew chief channel. Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, and Tony Stewart will be this week’s group of drivers to choose from and Eric Shanks the EVP of Entertainment for DirecTV told me that “This is the most ambitious project that we have ever undertaken. We have some of the top announcers and producers working as part of our production team covering the five drivers that we will choose each race.”

SIRIUS Satellite Radio will offer up to ten driver’s audio channels each NASCAR race for fans. Check the site to find out each weeks list and vote for a fan favorite to be added each week.

NBA All Star Weekend in Vegas Baby…

ESPN will televise the 2007 McDonald’s NBA All-Star Celebrity Game Presented by 2K Sports Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas featuring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx, Grammy Award-winning recording artist Nelly, Desperate Housewives star James Denton, New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush, actor and executive producer David Arquette. Then at 9pm on TNT is the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam.

Saturday Night on TNT at 8:30pm is one of the best nights of basketball fun with the Three Point Shootout featuring the Wiz All Star Gilbert Arenas taking on defending champ Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki.

Also airing on TNT as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night will be the Sprite Slam Dunk, Skills Challenge and Haier Shooting Stars. Then on Sunday Wizards All Stars Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Coach Eddie Jordan will be part of the 56th NBA All-Star Game at 8:30 p.m. on TNT.



MASN ready to play ball with Nats, Orioles

2007-02-09T04:45:16.679-08:00

Jim Williams, The Examiner
Feb 10, 2007 3:00 AM (7 hrs ago)
Current rank: # 2 of 17,559 articles
WASHINGTON - We have about a week until pitchers and catchers report to camp and MASN has released its schedule for both the Orioles and Nationals Spring Training telecasts.

Since both Orioles and Nationals are partners in the network, viewers can expect a great deal of access not available before.

The Nats-Orioles tilt on March 3 marks the first of over 300 baseball telecasts MASN will have in 2007. The Nationals broadcast crew of Bob Carpenter and newly-signed Don Sutton will call the game.

“I can’t wait to get to Spring Training,” Carpenter said. “As for being the broadcast team that does the first telecast of the network in Baltimore it will be an honor and I know that while O’s fans will cheer for their team I hope that since we are all part of the family that they will also tune in to watch Don and me from time to time.”

MASN will debut its new pre-game and post-game shows — “O’s Xtra” and “Nats Xtra” — for three of the last games in March. These 30-minute programs will showcase Nationals and Orioles news, analysis, highlights, and interviews.

We do know Jim Palmer will return to the Orioles broadcast team, giving MASN the distinction of being the only regional cable network to have two Hall-of-Fame pitchers in their broadcast stable. The rest of Baltimore’s broadcast team is not set. Expect an announcement on that soon, perhaps next week. It seems the network is deciding whether it wants separate TV and radio teams like a few years ago.

Jim Hunter, Fred Manfra and Joe Angel will continue to call the O’s games WTEM in Washington.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

TELEVISION RIGHTS

Here are the list of Nationals preseason games on MASN:

» Saturday, March 3, 1:05 p.m. —

Orioles @ Nationals, Viera, Fla.

» Thursday, March 8, 1:05 p.m. —

Astros @ Nationals, Viera, Fla.

» Friday, March 9, 1:05 p.m. — Nationals @ Orioles, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

» Monday, March 12, 1:05 p.m. — Mets @ Nationals, Viera, Fla.

» Wednesday, March 21, 7:05 p.m. — Braves @ Nationals, Viera, Fla.

» Tuesday, March 27, 7:05 p.m. — Mets @ Nationals, Viera, Fla. **

» Friday, March 30, 2:05 p.m. —

Nationals @ Orioles, Norfolk, Va.

» Saturday, March 31, 1:05 p.m. — Orioles @ Nationals, RFK Stadium **

Orioles preseason games on MASN:

» Saturday, March 3, 1:05 p.m. —

Orioles @ Nationals, Viera, Fla.

» Friday, March 9, 1:05 p.m. — Nationals @ Orioles, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

» Sunday, March 18, 1:05 p.m. — Red Sox @ Orioles, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

» Saturday, March 24, 1:05 p.m. — Dodgers @ Orioles, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

» Wednesady, March 28, 1:05 p.m. — Cardinals @ Orioles, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. **

» Friday, March 30, 2:05 p.m. — Nationals @ Orioles, Norfolk, Va.

» Saturday, March 31, 1:05 p.m. — Orioles @ Nationals, RFK Stadium **

**Denotes games featuring the new MASN pre- and post-game shows, O’s Xtra and Nats Xtra
Examiner



MASN announces plans for spring training telecasts

2007-02-07T04:39:46.525-08:00

Jim Williams, The ExaminerFeb 9, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago)Current rank: # 3 of 14,205 articlesBALTIMORE - With just about a week until pitchers and catchers report to camp, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network has released its schedule for both the Orioles and Nationals’ spring training telecasts.“MASN is offering unmatched access to the Nationals and Orioles this year, starting with an unprecedented 11 spring training games on television,” MASN spokesman Todd Webster said. “MASN is bringing fans inside the game with complete baseball coverage all season long.”Since both Orioles and Nationals are partners in the network, viewers can expect a great deal of access they have not seen before, with field reporters and in-game comments from managers.The first game on the schedule will be the O’s and the Nationals from Viera, Fla., on March 3 at 1 p.m. It will mark the first of more than 300 MASN baseball telecasts for 2007. The game will feature the Nationals broadcast crew of Bob Carpenter and the newly signed Don Sutton, the Hall of Fame pitcher and former TBS broadcaster.“I can’t wait to get to spring training,” Carpenter said. “Working with Don is going to be a real honor and a treat. As for being the broadcast team that does the first telecast of the network in Baltimore, it will be an honor.”The new home of the Orioles and Nationals will have solid cable coverage throughout the entire mid-Atlantic area and, of course, DirecTV fans will have access to the games.MASN will debut its new pre-game and post-game shows, “O’s Xtra” and “Nats Xtra” for three of the last games in March. These 30-minute programs will showcase Nationals and Orioles news, analysis, highlights and interviews. The details of these shows will be released in the next few weeks as contracts are signed.While the Baltimore broadcast team is not yet set (expect an announcement on that as soon as next week), this much is certain: Jim Palmer will return, giving MASN the distinction of being the only regional cable network to have two Hall of Fame pitchers in their broadcast stable. Jim Hunter, Fred Manfra and Joe Angel will continue to call O’s games on their new flagship station, WHFS-FM 105.7.Television rightsMASN’s spring training telecast schedule:Nationals preseason games on MASN» March 3, 1:05 p.m. — Orioles at Nationals, Viera, Fla.» March 8, 1:05 p.m. — Astros at Nationals, Viera» March 9, 1:05 p.m. — Nationals at Orioles, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.» March 12, 1:05 p.m. — Mets at Nationals, Viera» March 21, 7:05 p.m. — Braves at Nationals, Viera» March 27, 7:05 p.m. — Mets at Nationals, Viera» March 30, 2:05 p.m. — Nationals at Orioles, Norfolk, Va.» March 31, 1:05 p.m. — Orioles at Nationals, Washington, D.C.*Orioles preseason games on MASN» March 3, 1:05 p.m. — Orioles at Nationals, Viera, Fla.» March 9, 1:05 p.m. — Nationals at Orioles, Fort Lauderdale» March 18, 1:05 p.m. — Red Sox at Orioles, Fort Lauderdale» March 24, 1:05 p.m. — Dodgers at Orioles, Fort Lauderdale» March 28, 1:05 p.m. — Cardinals at Orioles, Fort Lauderdale*» March 30, 2:05 p.m. — Nationals at Orioles, Norfolk, Va.» March 31, 1:05 p.m. — Orioles at Nationals, Washington, D.C.*Denotes games featuring new MASN pre- and post-game shows.Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.Examiner[...]