Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: A heck of a phone call for ESPN to miss

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 6, 2008 - 6:51 PM

As ESPN replayed the message Brett Favre left for Chris Mortensen after news of the quarterback's retirement broke Tuesday morning, one thought came to mind.

How on earth did the ESPN reporter miss that call? These were the only public comments from the Packers' star Tuesday, and Mortensen had to get them off the voice mail on his cell phone.

Bill Hofheimer, a member of ESPN's communications department, explained that Mortensen was unable to answer because he was on ESPN's "First Take" discussing the Favre situation.

"Brett left him a three-minute voice mail," Hofheimer said. "He was clear that what he was saying could be used for attribution. Brett wanted to get it out there in terms of the reasons why he was retiring. People were talking about the implications of [the Packers not pursuing receiver Randy] Moss, and he wanted to be clear about why he was retiring."

Mortensen wasn't the only national reporter who missed Favre's call. Peter King of Sports Illustrated also found he had a voice mail from the future Hall of Fame quarterback. But King didn't fail to pick up because he was on television or radio ... he was in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on a seven-day USO trip with NFL players.

Don't bet on it

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he'd be "shocked" if Favre ended up in the television booth analyzing NFL games but added "he'd be great at it." It's not certain the latter part of McCarthy's statement would be true.

Just because an athlete is a good quote doesn't mean he will make a smooth transition into the media world. This has been proven time and time again. (On the flip side, former Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman was a boring quote in his playing days but is now a top-notch analyst.)

In Favre's case he often provided great quotes but had a tendency to ramble on and in doing so provided a great nugget or two. Analysts, at least good ones, are able to keep it succinct. It's highly doubtful Favre would be able to do so.

Political pressure

Comcast and the Big Ten Network continue to negotiate, but it's unclear if the sides are close to reaching a deal. Rep. Sheldon Johnson, DFL-St. Paul, recently introduced a bill that would lead to binding arbitration if Comcast and the BTN can't settle.

Comcast and BTN are not interested in seeing government get involved in what they consider a private business matter, but Johnson clearly wants results and said the bill could move forward next session if something doesn't get done.

"This was introduced by me as kind of a wake-up call to Comcast and the Big Ten that they need to get their act together and get this issue solved with respect to Gophers and Big Ten programming," Johnson said. "I don't see the bill necessarily passing this year, but we're going to hold it in committee as a way to send a signal that the expectation is that they are to go about their business and ensure citizens have an opportunity to watch our university teams."

With the Big Ten basketball season winding down -- the network will carry nine games from the women's conference tournament and three from the men's -- Comcast might not have much incentive to strike a deal until next football season.

Different approach

KFAN midday talkers Paul Allen and Jeff Dubay will take their act to the television airwaves Saturday.

FSN North is planning to use the pair to host its doubleheader coverage of the Gophers men's hockey game against Minnesota Duluth and the Timberwolves-Clippers matchup. Allen and Dubay will be on from Mariucci Arena at 6 p.m., an hour before the Gophers' faceoff, and eventually will end up back at the FSN studios for the remainder of the night.

Jeff Byle, executive producer at FSN North, promises this won't be a "typical pregame" and said Telly Hughes will be at the NBA City restaurant in Target Center throughout the evening to interact with patrons.

"What we're going to do is explore a little different way of presenting the evening than we have in the past," said Byle, adding there is "no commitment" to pair Allen and Dubay on FSN beyond Saturday.

Judd Zulgad • jzulgad@startribune.com

  • related content

  • What we're watching

    Thursday March 6, 2008

    A sampling of Minneapolis and St. Paul Nielsen ratings for March 1-2:

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close