A heck of a phone call for ESPN to miss

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

Chris Mortensen was on the air when Packers quarterback Brett Favre called to provide reasons behind his decision to retire.

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

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Cleveland 26 FINAL
Atlanta 24
Tennessee 24 FINAL
Philadelphia 43
Detroit 9 FINAL
New England 34
Green Bay 24 FINAL
Minnesota 21
Jacksonville 3 FINAL
Indianapolis 23
Cincinnati 22 FINAL
Houston 13
Tampa Bay 13 FINAL
Chicago 21
Arizona 3 FINAL
Seattle 19
St. Louis 24 FINAL
San Diego 27
Miami 36 FINAL
Denver 39
Washington 13 FINAL
San Francisco 17
Dallas 31 FINAL
NY Giants 28
NY Jets 11/24/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Baltimore 11/24/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
LA Clippers 91 FINAL
Memphis 107
Portland 94 FINAL
Boston 88
Charlotte 93 FINAL
Miami 94
Golden State 91 FINAL
Oklahoma City 86
Denver 101 FINAL
LA Lakers 94
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Montreal 0 FINAL
NY Rangers 5
Arizona 1 FINAL
Anaheim 2
Chicago 1 FINAL
Vancouver 4
Coll of Charleston 61 FINAL
George Mason 60
Massachusetts 75 FINAL
Florida State 69
Youngstown St 76 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 67
Wofford 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 53
Ark-Pine Bluff 43 FINAL
Central Mich 75
Southern Ill 67 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Drexel 61 FINAL
Cornell 59
American Univ 51 FINAL
Morehead State 46
CS-Northridge 88 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 94
Bethune-Cookman 65 FINAL
Central Conn St 60
Columbia 54 FINAL
Lehigh 44
Texas A&M 64 FINAL
New Mexico 51
TX A&M-CC 62 FINAL
Saint Louis 56
Merchant Marine 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 89
South Dakota 72 FINAL
Fairfield 80
Longwood 48 FINAL
Eastern Mich 79
Providence 75 FINAL
Notre Dame 74
Jackson State 50 FINAL
UAB 58
Coppin State 54 FINAL
Denver 80
Northwestern St 68 FINAL
Oklahoma 90
Catawba 52 FINAL
Radford 88
Newman 57 FINAL
Wichita State 105
Yale 66 FINAL
Kent State 59
St Katherine 49 FINAL
UC Riverside 102
NC Central 45 FINAL
Creighton 65
South Florida 65 FINAL
NC State 68
USC 61 FINAL
Penn State 63
Nichols College 70 FINAL
Holy Cross 101
Dayton 65 FINAL
Boston College 53
Wagner 71 FINAL
Hofstra 93
Towson 79 FINAL
Monmouth 75
NC A&T 50 FINAL
Bradley 58
Eastern Ill 49 FINAL
Cincinnati 54
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Georgia 74
Presbyterian 48 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 76
St Francis-NY 73 FINAL
Rutgers 76
UMKC 55 FINAL
Samford 64
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Navy 70
USC Upstate 69 FINAL
UCF 76
UMass Lowell 64 FINAL
Fordham 57
Montana State 28 FINAL
Kentucky 86
Iona 78 FINAL
North Texas 58
Gardner-Webb 67 FINAL
Seton Hall 85
Akron 68 FINAL
South Carolina 63
Hood College 51 FINAL
Howard 78
Sacred Heart 48 FINAL
Ohio State 106
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Vanderbilt 78
Connecticut 68 FINAL
West Virginia 78
Delaware 52 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 70
Mercer 62 FINAL
Colorado State 75
SD Christian 60 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 82
Northern Ariz 74 FINAL
Ole Miss 80
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Northeastern 65
Pacific 69 FINAL
Washington 76
Miami-Florida 77 FINAL
Charlotte 58
UC Irvine 69 FINAL
St Marys-CA 72
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Long Beach State 63 FINAL
UCLA 77
Montana 66 FINAL
Seattle 62
Char Southern 9 FINAL
(8) Georgia 55
South Alabama 12 FINAL
So Carolina 37
Rutgers 3 FINAL
(10) Michigan State 45
(22) Minnesota 28 FINAL
Nebraska 24
Northwestern 38 FINAL
Purdue 14
(19) Marshall 23 FINAL
UAB 18
Kansas 7 FINAL
(20) Oklahoma 44
Indiana 27 FINAL
(7) Ohio State 42
Penn State 14 FINAL
Illinois 16
(16) Eastern Ky 3 FINAL
Florida 52
TX-San Antonio 7 FINAL
Western Ky 45
SMU 7 FINAL
UCF 53
Tulsa 28 FINAL
Houston 38
Virginia Tech 3 FINAL
Wake Forest 6
Washington St 31 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 52
Louisiana Tech 27 FINAL
Old Dominion 30
Western Mich 32 FINAL
Central Mich 20
New Mexico 20 FINAL
(21) Colorado State 58
Eastern Mich 30 FINAL
Ball State 45
Appalachian St 35 FINAL
Louisiana 16
(12) Arizona 42 FINAL
Utah 10
FIU 14 FINAL
North Texas 17
(18) Ole Miss 0 FINAL
Arkansas 30
(24) Louisville 31 FINAL
Notre Dame 28
Maryland 23 FINAL
Michigan 16
Texas Tech 34 FINAL
Iowa State 31
(14) Wisconsin 26 FINAL
Iowa 24
Syracuse 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
Boston College 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 20
Georgia State 0 FINAL
(23) Clemson 28
Tulane 6 FINAL
East Carolina 34
Stanford 38 FINAL
California 17
Western Carolina 14 FINAL
(2) Alabama 48
ULM 30 FINAL
New Mexico St 17
So Florida 20 FINAL
Memphis 31
Colorado 10 FINAL
(3) Oregon 44
Fla Atlantic 34 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 35
Samford 7 FINAL
(15) Auburn 31
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Virginia 30
Vanderbilt 0 FINAL
(4) Miss State 51
(17) Missouri 29 FINAL
Tennessee 21
Oklahoma State 28 FINAL
(5) Baylor 49
USC 20 FINAL
(9) UCLA 38
Cincinnati 41 FINAL
Connecticut 0
(25) Boise State 63 FINAL
Wyoming 14
Oregon State 13 FINAL
Washington 37
Fresno State 40 FINAL
Nevada 20
UNLV 35 FINAL
Hawaii 37
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Miami-Ohio
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Texas A&M
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Texas
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Western Mich
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Iowa
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(19) Marshall
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SMU
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Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
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Massachusetts
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Eastern Mich
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(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
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(12) Arizona
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(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
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Virginia Tech
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Tulsa
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Fla Atlantic
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(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
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Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
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Boston College
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Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
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Georgia State
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Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
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Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
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USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
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Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
New England 2 FINAL
Red Bull New York 1
Seattle 0 FINAL
Los Angeles 1
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 FINAL
Calgary 43
Alabama 58 FINAL
Temple 51
Massachusetts 46 FINAL
Florida State 74
Creighton 60 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 96
Bryant 79 FINAL
Boston College 90
Robert Morris 84 FINAL
UMBC 60
Sacred Heart 59 FINAL
Maine 58
Virginia Tech 72 FINAL
Providence 69
Coll of Charleston 61 FINAL
George Mason 71
Hartford 59 FINAL
Lafayette 74
William & Mary 80 FINAL
High Point 87
Western Ill 88 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 90
Pittsburgh 64 FINAL
James Madison 80
Toledo 48 FINAL
(24) Purdue 66
Western Mich 47 FINAL
Michigan 74
Cleveland State 73 FINAL
FIU 65
San Diego State 38 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 89
Mount St Marys 62 FINAL
Davidson 67
IUPUI 45 FINAL
(15) Michigan State 64
Illinois State 49 FINAL
Colorado State 70
Incarnate Word 49 FINAL
Indiana 85
Cincinnati 54 FINAL
Iowa State 85
Furman 69 FINAL
Clemson 79
VA Commonwealth 86 FINAL
Ohio State 96
Marquette 51 FINAL
(7) Duke 83
Bethune-Cookman 42 FINAL
East Carolina 71
Coppin State 54 FINAL
Wake Forest 65
(24) Georgia 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 57
Ball State 56 FINAL
(12) Louisville 69
Auburn 51 FINAL
Virginia 66
Utah 43 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 66
Minnesota 68 FINAL
Memphis 62
Georgetown 42 FINAL
Kansas 55
Northwestern St 30 FINAL
Arkansas 78
TX-San Antonio 72 FINAL
Lamar 40
Southern Miss 55 FINAL
McNeese State 57
Air Force 51 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 86
IUPU-Ft Wayne 73 FINAL
USC Upstate 85
Morgan State 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 65
Western Ky 77 FINAL
Miss State 88
Southern U 42 FINAL
Illinois 62
Eastern Illinois 59 FINAL
North Texas 57
Alabama State 61 FINAL
South Alabama 64
Wisconsin 77 FINAL
Drake 89
Seattle 61 FINAL
Montana State 74
UC Santa Barbara 49 FINAL
Northern Ariz 67
Hofstra 64 FINAL
Norfolk State 47
Iona 49 FINAL
Pacific 64
Middle Tennessee 71 FINAL
Ole Miss 65
Portland 67 FINAL
Cal Poly 76
(10) Texas 75 FINAL
UCLA 65
Fresno State 50 FINAL
USC 68
Ave Maria 54 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 102
Holy Cross 29 FINAL
(3) Notre Dame 104
Chicago State 40 FINAL
Oakland 66
(11) North Carolina 76 FINAL
Oregon 59
Harvard 87 FINAL
Quinnipiac 83
Princeton 63 FINAL
American Univ 56
Missouri 70 FINAL
(14) California 82
Yale 51 FINAL
Washington 81
UNLV 10:59 PM
Hawaii

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