Networks will limit cameras in green room to create more suspense during NFL Draft

Nobody likes spoilers. ESPN and NFL Network understand this.

So for the first night of next week’s NFL Draft, in an effort to make their draft coverage more suspenseful, both networks reportedly won’t be showing shots of players talking on the phone shortly before their name is ultimately read by Roger Goodell. According to SI’s Richard Deitsch, on-air personalities are still free to make predictions, however.

Previously, any suspense leading up to a pick evaporated once cameras showed prospects coyly speaking into their phones in the green room or their homes before Goodell had a chance to officially announce their name. It has always been the downside to the extensive coverage networks provide for the draft. LB has voiced this complaint in the past. Finally, something is being done about it. The decision comes after both networks met with the league Wednesday to discuss ways to deal with the problem.

This should be a move welcomed by anybody who enjoys all things compelling. After all, the NFL Draft is a television event more than it is a sporting event. Hopefully well-informed reporters like Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen will also have the decency to bite their tongues.

Aside from the few no-brainer selections, it’s going to be fun not knowing what to expect at each pick. For once it will happen other than when the Raiders are on the clock.

H/T Shutdown Corner
Photo credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Warren Sapp ‘likely’ done at NFL Network, report says

Already filing for bankruptcy last week, Warren Sapp could be facing additional problems in his future.

The Boston Globe reports Sapp’s stint as an analyst with NFL Network is “likely over.” This comes in the wake of Sapp’s controversial accusation last month that Jeremy Shockey was the whistle blower in the Saints’ bounty scandal. The network reprimanded Sapp, saying he is an “analyst, not a reporter,” but did not fire him. However, Sapp hasn’t appeared on the network since that week.

According to Sapp’s bankruptcy paperwork, he makes roughly $540,000 per year for his NFL Network gig. The Globe’s report cites a source that says his contract is not expected to be renewed when it expires in August. Pro Football Talk confirms that Sapp will be “benched” until his deal is up.

We’ve been vocal in the past about our belief that Sapp should have been dismissed from the network for his reckless handling of the serious allegations he leveled against Shockey. It appeared he was just going to get away with a slap on the wrist. Now it looks as if his contract simply won’t be picked up, as a consequence. Better late than never.

Photo credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Jonathan Vilma and Peter King are beefing on Twitter

Jonathan Vilma and Peter King traded a few shots over Twitter Tuesday after King pointed out that the Saints were signing linebackers to prepare for potential bounty suspensions. The Sports Illustrated NFL writer singled out Vilma with this tweet:

King sent the message shortly after the Saints signed linebacker David Hawthorne. Vilma played dumb, responding to King “that u know how to type peoples names??” Vilma then called King a blogger, saying he was doing “reckless journalism.”

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Jeremy Lin had lunch with fired ESPN headline writer and ‘it went incredible’

Jeremy Lin had lunch Tuesday with the editor who was fired for writing a racially offensive headline following a Knicks loss last month. Lin said at the time he hoped the use of the phrase “chink in the armor” wasn’t intentional and that he hoped to learn to forgive. Apparently that was the case.

Newsday reports that a member of Lin’s family contacted Anthony Federico more than a month ago but they were unable to set up a meeting until now because of the point guard’s busy schedule. They finally met for lunch at a Manhattan restaurant Tuesday and Federico, who was apologetic following his egregious error, said “it went incredible.”

“The fact that he took the time to meet with me in his insanely busy schedule . . . He’s just a wonderful, humble person,” Federico told Newsday. “He didn’t have to do that, especially after everything had kind of died down for the most part.

“We talked more about matters of faith [and] reconciliation. We talked about our shared Christian values and what we’re both trying do with this situation . . . We didn’t talk about the headline for more than three minutes.”

Federico was feeling terribly for his error but probably feels much better now that he’s met with Lin. That’s also extremely thoughtful of Lin to arrange the meeting. As Federico said, Lin is very humble, and definitely a caring person.

Warren Sapp reprimanded by NFL Network: ‘He’s an analyst, not a reporter’

Warren Sapp created quite the buzz when he threw Jeremy Shockey under the bus and accused him of being a snitch in the NFL’s investigation of the Saints’ infamous bounty program. However, Sapp, who works for NFL Network, has been admonished by his bosses for making the allegation without going through the proper channels, as NFL Network Senior Vice President of Programming and Production Mark Quenzel explained to Pro Football Talk in a statement:

“We have discussed it with Warren and stressed that he is an analyst and not a reporter for NFL Network. In the future, if he comes across something he thinks is news he will let his producers know and before it is reported or Tweeted, that content will be subject to the same verification procedure that our reporters follow.”

Earlier this week Sapp tweeted and later repeated on air that Shockey was the whistle blower for the Saints’ bounty system. Shockey profusely refuted the claims, even showing a text from Saints coach Sean Payton that he thought exonerated him. Sapp hasn’t revealed his source.

We thought what Sapp did to Shockey was pretty reckless and was a fireable offense. Obviously Sapp losing his job is not going to happen now. Hopefully he’s learned that somebody with his stature and position can’t throw damaging accusations around so loosely without being entirely certain.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire

Vin Scully not calling games east of Arizona

Longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully is scaling back his broadcasting schedule and won’t call games east of Arizona this season, the team’s broadcasting schedule shows.

Scully is 84 and has called Dodgers games for 62 seasons (!!!). He pared down his traveling schedule the past few seasons by not calling games east of Colorado, but now it looks like he will no longer be making the trip for Rockies games.

Luckily the Dodgers play in the NL West and many of their games are nearby Los Angeles, so he can still do Giants, Padres, and Diamondbacks games.

Even though Scully is older and not as sharp as he used to be, most fans would agree it’s more enjoyable to hear him calling games than anyone else, so we’ll take whatever he can give us.

Adam Schefter forced to end radio interview early because his phone was blowing up with scoops

The beginning of free agency is one of the busiest times of year for NFL reporters, so it’s understandable why ESPN’s Adam Schefter was unable to complete a radio interview Wednesday. Schefter was trying to talk NFL news, rumors, scoops with ESPN Radio Chicago’s Waddle & Silvy Show, but about a minute into the interview, his phone was buzzing with scoops, so he had to end the interview early. You can hear how it all went down in the video below via Awful Announcing:

What was funny is the way he was introduced by one of the hosts. “Adam Schefter’s got some time for us …” the host began. Turns out, Schefter didn’t.

Radio is a dynamic medium so you always have to be on your toes if you’re a host or producer, and this is a perfect example why. This also gives you an idea what it’s like to be a prominent NFL reporter. They probably can’t go five minutes without being bothered by an email, phone call, or text message. Though it looks like a glorious life, this is the downside.

via SI Hot Clicks