Sources: NFL Net Changes Leave Eisen “Fearful”

Today the NFL confirmed my Wednesday report that the league had hired Jay Glazer and Daryl Johnston as analysts for NFL Network studio shows.

Rich Eisen and Mark Shapiro

Additionally, the league confirmed another of my earlier reports this week - per John Ourand of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL - that it is now employing former ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro as a “consultant” for NFL Network game broadcasts and studio shows.

The latter piece of news probably didn’t make NFL Network studio host Rich Eisen’s day. Read more…

Madden Does TV Right In ‘Turduckingham Palace’

After John Madden retired from calling games for Monday Night Football, it was generally assumed that he’d keep busy in the sports, because really, what the hell else is he going to do? Cooking shows?* And sure enough, he’s already made inroads with the commissioner’s office, but game days would still have to become a production and institution befitting an icon of the “new” NFL like Madden.

John Madden
(WANT. Well, except for Siragusa the Enormosaurus. That, DO NOT WANT.)

Sure enough, as you can see in the picture above, Madden is taking full advantage of DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket with a 9-screen masterpiece, all built around a 16′ x 9′ main screen and eight more 63-inch TVs. If you’re wondering how that compares to your home theater, Madden’s main television would qualify as a 221-incher. And the good news is that while Madden still keeps pretty exclusive company, he’s not keeping the setup all to himself.

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Merriman Tried To Tempt Tila With A Threesome

• Threesomes, nudity, threatening to have sex with others - this Shawne Merriman-Tila Tequila story just keeps getting better & better!

Shawne Merriman Tila Tequila

• But sleeping around isn’t always so much fun - especially when it’s leading to the divorce of Melanie Oudin’s parents.

• The Dallas Cowboys are the hottest ticket in the NFL this year. It’s so hot, it’ll burn a $800-per-game hole in your wallet.

Bode Miller wants to start his very own winery. Bottoms up!

• Ex-NFL lineman Orlando Brown breaks into his ex-wife’s house & trashes the place - but not before leaving a little present in her toilet.

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NFL Commish Goodell Gets A Special New Advisor

Scene: a lavish, stately office. Pictures of old players and other assorted football memorabilia adorn the walls and shelves. A sharply-dressed man sits at a chair near his desk, smiling.

Man: Hello, folks. Welcome to my office. I’m NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and I’d like to help you see what goes on in my day to day operations. I get a bad rap as a disciplinarian sometimes, but I don’t want some caricature to be the only side of myself that people get to see. So let me take you on a tour of my day to day business.

Roger Goodell in chair
(”This microphone? Pay it no mind. This is all normal.”)

As you’ll see, this is my office, and–ah! Here’s my favorite picture. This is Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch. One of the league’s very first superstars. Heck of a guy, too. (The phone rings.) Ah, my first phone call of the day. I’m sure it’s nothing; most of my calls actually are. Let me scoop that up. Yes, this is Mr. Goodell. Oh, hello. Yes, I’m just filming a documentary about a usual day, so I’m free for visitors. Okay, send him on in. Wait, Secretary, I forgot to ask–Secretary? Hello? I guess she hung up. Oh well, no matter. Let’s keep going.

Say, do you hear something rumbling? Read more…

Frank Caliendo’s 10-Year Vegas Deal. Very Funny

Is there a comedian alive who elicits a larger negative reaction than Frank Caliendo? From what I’ve seen of him he’s OK — although to be fair, I never sat through an entire episode of “Frank TV.” My friend Amazing Larry, however, swears that Rumsfeld used Caliendo DVDs to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He’ll fight anyone who brings up Caliendo’s name, and he will fight dirty.

Frank Caliendo John Madden Monte Carlo Vegas

Most of America agrees, it seems. With John Madden and George W. Bush having shuffled off into retirement, Caliendo’s two big go-to impressions have also vanished. So what’s a one-dimensional entertainer to do? Well, if you’re Carrot Top or Yakov Smirnoff, you sign a long-term contract with a large hotel-casino to be the house entertainment. Except that Carrot Top (The Luxor in Vegas) and Smirnoff (his own theater in Branson, Missouri) perform in relatively prestigous venues. Caliendo, meanwhile, is stuck in … Read more…

Jimmy Fallon Aces Tiger Woods In Wii Video Golf

When Tiger Woods accepted Jimmy Fallon’s PR stunt challenge to take him on at the “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10″ video game for the Wii, you can imagine that Woods was hardly sweating bullets. After all, it’s his game. And while I know that doesn’t mean that John Madden would be good at video game football or that Bill Laimbeer would excel at “Combat Basketball,” I feel pretty confident in Tiger Woods’ ability to play a video golf game. (Although I wouldn’t want to take on QB Eagles in Tecmo Super Bowl.)

Jimmy Fallon and Tiger Woods

But it turns out that Fallon has more talents than being the only person in America who laughs at Horatio Sanz: he’s also pretty decent at video games. So when the two played a match in Times Square yesterday over three holes at a virtual Bethpage Black course (with commentary by Scott Van Pelt and Kelly Tilghman, who avoided any impulse to offer to “lynch Tiger” on behalf of Fallon), Tiger was in for a surprise as he was summarily throttled by the “comedian“.

Video after the jump:

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UFC Has Competition With EA Sports MMA Game

What the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo is for fans of erotica, E3 is for hardcore gamers. Starting today in Los Angeles and going through Thursday, E3 is a virtual cornucopia of excess for the gaming world, with all of the big names making major announcements and rolling out new titles. (And with every company employing scads of scantily-clad “booth workers” to intice horny video game nerds, it’s a lot closer to an adult video convention than you would think.) And while the main headline so far has been the announcement of “Rock Band: Beatles” (complete with a virtual Yoko Ono shrieking at you during the Expert levels), there has also been plenty of news on the sports video gaming front.

EA Sports MMA

For example, GAMASUTRA says that EA Sports (the 700 lb. gorilla of sports video games) is readying an MMA video game for a 2010 release, as a competitor to the UFC-branded game series by THQ. Their press release on “EA Sports MMA” mentions that they plan on having “a vast array of top fighters and fighting styles from around the world,” which seems almost impossible without the UFC brand. They could include fighters like Fedor Emelianenko, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, but the names the casual fan knows will be tough to pull off since they are all part of the UFC banner.

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Week In Review: Harry Kalas, Mark Fidrych R.I.P.

• A sad way to start the baseball week: Phillies announcer Harry Kalas & former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych both pass away on the same day.

Harry Kalas Mark Fidrych

• But it was nice to see Brian Bosworth help save an Oklahoman’s life.

• Wedding bells have rung for a couple of tennis stars: Andy Roddick ties the knot with Brooklyn Decker, while Roger Federer marries his manager.

• Padres pitcher Heath Bell is p.o.’ed about ESPN’s overwhelming coverage of all things Yankees, Mets & Red Sox.

• That stinks: Dwight Howard has a passion for passing gas.

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Could John Madden Make a Return to the Raiders?

It’s easy for younger generations to forget that before football analyst John Madden was a video game legend and a bumbling, blustering self-parody on NFL broadcasts, he was a Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Oakland Raiders from 1969-78. Younger generations would also be forgiven for forgetting that the Raiders once contended for Super Bowl titles with some regularity. Recent quality of work aside, Madden is clearly a man who has forgotten more about professional football than most of us could ever hope to know.

John Madden Al Davis

That said, it was surprising to see speculation in today’s SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE suggesting that Madden, who just retired from the TV booth, could be returning to the team that made him famous, the Oakland Raiders, and his old boss, Al Davis.

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Erin Andrews To Be In Next EA Sports CFB Game

• The best reason to buy EA Sports’ next college football video game? The addition of the other EA: Erin Andrews.

Erin Andrews fullbody

John Madden lays down his last “BOOM!”, decides to call it quits.

• The NBA Playoff pairings are finally set. (All just a formality before the inevitable Kobe-LeBron finals?)

• Speaking of, the Celtics may have to spend their postseason without the services of Kevin Garnett.

Shaq’s Barber Shop is now open for business! First reluctant customer: Suns teammate Louis Amundson.

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