Fox to air four U.S. Open golf rounds in prime-time

The U.S. Open men’s golf championships will have four nights of East Coast prime-time coverage as Fox Sports takes over coverage of the U.S. Golf Association championships starting in 2015.
The U.S. Open will be held in Washington state from June 18-21. Fox Sports 1 will have eight hours of afternoon and early prime coverage (12-8 p.m.) for the first two rounds, and Fox will have three hours of additional evening coverage. Fox has exclusive third- and fourth-round coverage from 2-10 p.m.
Fox Sports can be viewed on WNYW-5 in New York, WXXA-23 in Albany and WOLF-56 in Northeast Pennsylvania.

The USGA schedule on Fox:
U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (The Olympic Club, San Francisco)
Tuesday, May 5: Second round, quarterfinals, 7-9:30 p.m. (FS1)
Wednesday, May 6: Semifinals, championship match, 7-9:30 p.m. (FS1)

U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon, Ore.)
Tuesday, May 12: Second round, quarterfinals, 7-9:30 p.m. (FS1)
Wednesday, May 13: Semifinals, championship match, 7-9:30 p.m. (FS1)

U.S. Open (Chambers Bay, University Place, Wash.)
Thursday, June 18: First round, Noon-8 p.m. (FS1); 8-11 p.m. (Fox)
Friday, June 19: Second round, Noon-8 p.m. (FS1); 8-11 p.m. (Fox)
Saturday, June 20: Third round, 2-10 p.m. (Fox)
Sunday, June 21: Final round, 2-10:30 p.m. (Fox)
Monday, June 22: Playoff, if necessary, noon-4 p.m. (Fox)

U.S. Senior Open (Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento, Calif.)
Thursday, June 25: First round, 2-7 p.m. (FS1)
Friday, June 26: Second round, 2-7 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, June 27: Third round, 2-7 p.m. (Fox)
Sunday, June 28: Final round, 2-7 p.m. (Fox)

U.S. Women’s Open (Lancaster Country Club, Lancaster, Pa.)
Thursday, July 9: First round, 2-7 p.m. (FS1)
Friday, July 10: Second round, 2-7 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, July 11: Third round, 2:30-6:30 p.m. (Fox)
Sunday, July 12: Final round, 2:30-6:30 p.m. (Fox)

U.S. Junior Amateur (Colleton River Plantation Club, Dye Course, Bluffton, S.C.)
Friday, July 24: Semifinals, 2-4 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, July 25: Championship match, 2-4 p.m. (FS1)

U.S. Women’s Amateur (Portland Golf Club, Portland, Ore.)
Wednesday, Aug. 12: First round, 4-7 p.m. (FS1)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Second, third rounds, 4-7 p.m. (FS1)
Friday, Aug. 14: Quarterfinals, 4-7 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Semifinals, 4-7 p.m. (FS1)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Championship match, 4-7 p.m. (FS1)

U.S. Amateur (Olympia Fields Country Club, Olympia Fields, Ill.)
Wednesday, Aug. 19: First round, 3-6 p.m. (FS1)
Thursday, Aug. 20: Second round, 3-6 p.m. (FS1)
Friday, Aug. 21: Quarterfinals, 3-6 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, Aug. 22: Semifinals, 3-6 p.m. (Fox)
Sunday, Aug. 23: Championship match, 3-6 p.m. (Fox)

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Super Bowl: Michaels, Collinsworth talk about broadcasting the Big Game

By Ken McMillan
Times Herald-Record

The Super Bowl is traditionally the most-watched television program of the year, and NBC Sports will utilize tremendous resources.
There are 500 employees on site, 12 mobile units, 100 microphones, 46 cameras and 33 miles of cable. The telecast will cover 10 hours, from pre-game to post-game.
But a football game is still a football game – even if it’s for the NFL championship – so Al Michaels says he’s not going to let all the extra bells and whistles get in the way.
“We don’t allow it,’’ said Michaels, who is calling his ninth Super Bowl. “We’ve been together for a long time with Fred (Gaudelli) and with Drew (Esocoff), and it’s almost as if there’s a lot of stuff between us that goes unspoken. We just know what the other guy is thinking, where he wants to go. And Fred is terrific at the technology – it’s so much greater than it’s been – but you don’t want the technology to overwhelm the game. I mean, you want it to enhance the game.
“You could do the game with 500 cameras, but you don’t need that many. Our guys have them set up that they’re not going to miss anything. You don’t let technology … take you beyond where you should.’’
Michaels has been a prime-time announcer for the NFL for 29 seasons, so moments as large as the Super Bowl or an Olympic Games are not overwhelming. The real trick is to appeal to an audience that is made up of football enthusiasts and casual viewers.
“I think on Sunday Night Football, our whole crew treats every game as a mini-Super Bowl,’’ Michaels said. “And the difference in the real Super Bowl is that you have so many more fans watching. And not only do you have the people who love football all the time and would watch most Sunday night games as a good part of your audience, but a lot of people who maybe only watch one game a year or only watch a couple of games a year, and are not very well-versed in certain stories. So the trick is to not insult the intelligence of the avid fan, but to bring into, as we like to say in the big tent that we like to make Sunday Night Football: come one, come all, to bring those people in, and make them enjoy the game to an extent that we can help them and understand something a little better or have something humorous or do a human interest story about a player, a coach, an owner, or what have you.
“So often what we’ll do, without necessarily saying the exact words, is kind of lay it out there along the lines of, hey, we know if you follow the sport you know this, but some of you may not. But this is fun, this is interesting, this is relevant. So we want to bring you in there. And that would be about the major difference in terms of doing a regular-season game and a Super Bowl game.’’
Analyst Cris Collinsworth played in a Super Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals, and will be calling his third championship. He said playing in and broadcasting the biggest game of the year is equally as exciting.
“As far as the emotions, I think they’re pretty similar for me, really,’’ he said. “There comes a moment during the game where you forget you’re doing the Super Bowl and you start doing the game or playing the game or whatever. And I always think that you can almost tell which team it happens to first when you’re watching in the game. Somebody is settling in. Somebody is locked in. And it starts to look like their offense.
“Because anybody that tells you that they go into a Super Bowl game or a broadcast or anything else and it’s just another game, I don’t know that I fully believe in that because this is unique, this is different. You’d love to have your best day, but you also realize that you could drop the winning Super Bowl touchdown pass, that you could say something that you’d like to forget the rest of your life and half the world is watching it. So there’s really no way to take away what it is. But I think we all live in our lives for great moments, for those moments that you’ll remember for a lifetime. And we’re all thrilled to be here and have a chance to be part of this.’’

kmcmillan@th-record.com
Twitter: @KenMcMillanTHR

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Super Bowl: NBC analysts examine QBs, RBs

The Super Bowl will feature great matchups of quarterbacks and running backs, said NBC Sports analysts Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy.
The Seattle Seahawks feature quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. The New England Patriots counter with quarterback Tom Brady and running back LeGarrette Blount. Wilson and Brady have both won Super Bowls.
“When I look at the quarterbacks, they’re very similar in terms of their leadership and the way they carry themselves and the respect they have from their players,’’ Harrison said. “Tom is more of a pocket passer. Russell is a guy that can kind of do the read option, and he’s shown even with the mental toughness after throwing four interceptions to be able to hang in the pocket and make some beautiful throws toward the latter part of the game to get them in this game shows his mental toughness and his skill set. But the thing that I love about both these quarterbacks is the way they carry themselves and they always deflect attention off themselves and they make it about the team. It’s not about them.’’
“I think it’s a beautiful match up,’’ Dungy said. “Different physical characteristics, but I would use two words to characterize both quarterbacks, poised and clutch. They both play with tremendous poise, and they both make big plays in the fourth quarter when their team needs it, and that’s what you want from the quarterback.’’
Lynch and Blount are physical and powerful, Dungy said.
“If they turn these guys loose you’re not going to have defensive backs that want to tackle either one of these guys,’’ Dungy said.
Asked if this could be one of the best running back matchups in Super Bowl history, Harrison downplayed that, only because Blount hasn’t been as consistent as Lynch.
“I don’t think it would be fair to Marshawn Lynch to even compare other running backs with him,’’ Harrison said. “LeGarrette had a tremendous (AFC championship) game, but he has to be able to come back and repeat it on the biggest stage. He went through a lot, and he should be really proud after the charges and getting dismissed from the team in Pittsburgh to come in and being fortunate enough to get on a great team in the Patriots and now he has an opportunity. But he has to be able to do it on the big stage. That is how you make your name.’’

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Australian Open tennis finals: When, where to watch

Now that we’re here at the nitty gritty part of the Australian Open tennis championships, here’s where you can watch the finals action.
During the Friday overnight – specifically at 3 a.m. Saturday – the women’s final between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova can be seen on ESPN. The match will be replayed at 9 a.m. on ESPN2, and 8 p.m. on Tennis Channel.
During the Saturday overnight – specifically at 3 a.m. Sunday – the men’s final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic can be seen on ESPN. The match will be replayed at 9 a.m. on ESPN2, and Tennis Channel will show it Sunday at 8 p.m. and midnight.

Tennis Channel will present the men’s doubles final live Saturday at 5:30 a.m. That match will be shown during highlights coverage at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Tennis Channel will televise the mixed doubles final live Saturday night at midnight.

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Mets have 21 spring training TV games, 15 on radio

Though no official announcement has been made, it looks like the Mets will have 11 spring training games on SportsNet New York (SNY) and four on WPIX-11. All afternoon telecasts, except the first two, will be replayed later in the evening on SNY. MLB Network will have one live telecast and five tape-delayed.
The Mets have announced 15 exhibition games will be broadcast on WOR (710-AM). Howie Rose and Josh Lewin return as broadcasters, and a new pre- and post-game host will be announced soon.
March
Wed. 4 – at Atlanta, 1 p.m. (WOR); Thur. 5 – at Washington, 5 p.m. (WOR); Fri. 6 – Detroit, 1 p.m. (SNY, WOR); Sat. 7 – Atlanta, 1 p.m. (WPIX); Sun. 8 – Boston, 1 p.m. (WPIX, WOR); Mon. 9 – Miami, 1 p.m. (SNY); Thur. 12 – Washington, 1 p.m. (SNY); Fri. 13 – Atlanta, 1 p.m. (SNY); Sat. 14 – Washington, 1 p.m. (WPIX, WOR); Sun. 15 – at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m. (WOR); Mon. 16 – at Boston, 1 p.m. (WOR); Tues. 17 – Miami, 1 p.m. (SNY); Thur. 19 – Houston, 1 p.m. (SNY); at St. Louis, 1 p.m. (MLB); Fri. 20 – St. Louis, 1 p.m. (SNY); Sat. 21 – at Detroit, 1 p.m (WOR); Sun. 22 – Yankees, 1 p.m. (SNY, WOR); Mon. 23 – at Miami, 1 p.m. (WOR); Tues. 24 – Houston, 1 p.m. (SNY); Wed. 25 – atYankees, 1 p.m. (WOR); Thur. 26 – at Washington, 5 p.m. (WOR; MLB delay to 7 p.m.); Fri. 27 – at St. Louis (MLB, delay to Sat. 3 a.m.); Sat. 28 – Washington, 1 p.m. (WPIX); Sun. 29 – at St. Louis, 1 p.m. (WOR; plus MLB, Mon. 6 a.m.); Mon. 30 – Miami, 1 p.m. (SNY)
April
Wed. 1 – St. Louis, 1 p.m. (SNY); Thur. 2 – at St. Louis (MLB, delay to Fri. 6 a.m.); Fri. 3 – at Texas, 8 p.m. (WOR); Sat. 4 – at Texas, 2 p.m. (WOR; plus MLB delay to midnight)

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Local broadcasters offer their Super Bowl picks

For several years, I have solicited the Super Bowl predictions from broadcasters we have seen and heard from in the Hudson Valley. My thanks goes out to everyone who has participated, so here goes:

Gary Apple, SNY SportsNight host
Seattle 24-21. Seattle’s defense has the chance to go down as amongst the best in NFL history, and I believe that defense will dictate the outcome of the game. Pete Carroll is a master motivator, winning titles at both USC and with the Seahawks and he will mastermind back-to-back Super Bowl victories. Of course all could change if Richard Sherman misses the game for the birth of his child, but in lieu of that I like Seattle.

Jason Barrett, former WEOK/WALL talk show host; program director of 95.7 The Game in San Francisco
Seattle 27-17. I can’t see Russell Wilson having another poor game so I expect him to play smart mistake-free football. We also have seen the Patriots struggle vs. the Giants in their previous two Super Bowl trips due to not being able to handle physically tough defenses and that’s exactly what Seattle brings to the table. I see the Seahawks winning led by a strong running game from Marshawn Lynch and a strong defense which limits Tom Brady and New England’s passing attack. Even if the Pats deflate 11 footballs it won’t be enough.

Bruce Beck, WNBC-4 sports anchor
Seattle 28-24. I can’t see Russell Wilson throwing four picks again and having another bad game. The Seahawks defense will force at least two turnovers. Brady, Belichick and Carroll are all looking to solidify their legacy. It should be a tremendous game.

Geoff Brault, Marist basketball and football radio announcer, WGNY talk show host
Seattle 24-21. I think this is one of the most-balanced Super Bowl matchups in recent memory. A lot of people think the Seahawks are too simplistic on offense but when you look at their zone-read runs and whatnot, a lot of it is very interesting. They, like the Patriots, really maximize the potential of their personnel. I’m a big fan of Richard Sherman and the Seattle secondary and I think they’ll come up with a big play in a big spot.

Ed Coleman, WFAN host, reporter
New England 27-24. Both sets of cornerbacks are outstanding but edge to Pats. There is only one island – it’s called Revis – and he and Browner can better contain Baldwin, Lockette than Sherman and Maxwell can handle small but quick Amendola, Edelamn, LaFell. The Pats have had a lot of success with Revis alone on the No. 2 receiver and doubling the No. 1 receiver, and if they single both, they have an extra man for Beast Mode Lynch or a spy on Russell Wilson.
There is only one Marshawn Lynch, but LeGarrette Blount has done a reasonable impersonation of him since walking out on the Steelers.
Mistakes always a key. Pats had NFL low 13 turnovers, Seahawks right behind at 14. Pats led the AFC with a plus-12 turnover differential. Must turn red zone mistakes into TD as opposed to FG like Green Bay.
Can’t wait for Gronkowski-Chancellor collisions in the secondary. Pats must protect Brady in pocket. Seattle will limit Gronk but Brady must find him occasionally to move chains.
I’m a Boston Native. Seattle a great team capable of repeat, but thankful Pats not playing Giants again!!

Kevin Connors, ESPN anchor and host; former RNN sports anchor; fill-in Marist basketball announcer; former Army football sideline reporter
Seattle 26-21. I find myself wondering if I DARE pick against Tom Brady? As a Bills fan I should know better. The Brady/Belichick combo has kicked our heads in for 13 seasons – and it feels like longer. I’ve never seen a better QB than Brady – and giving Belichick two weeks to game plan is almost unfair. That said, I think this Seahawks defense is elite. And I think karma (and fully inflated footballs) do New England in.

Charlie Cornacchio, former Cablevision 6 and Sports1 sports anchor
Seattle, 27-17.
Aside from DeflateGate (which I think the NFL concocted to give this game the drama it lacks), this game really has no compelling aspect. A returning champ against a franchise with the most AFC championships since gas was $1.40 a gallon in 2002 – even the East Coast vs. West Coast thing is just a “thing.” There’s no underdog and no element of surprise this year. Face it, if Seattle wins, will you be surprised? If New England wins, will you be surprised? Exactly.
If defense wins championships then I go with Seattle. But if you like symmetry, then I still go with Seattle. Consider this: Every two-to-four years passes before we get a Super Bowl repeat, except for the eight-year drought back in the 80s, before the 49ers picked the pattern back up and won it in ‘89 and ’90. But then the pattern resumed to every two-to-four years before another repeat. Well now, we are in another eight-year drought since New England won back to backs in 2003 and 2004. Seattle winning it last year sets up the pattern for another back to back. Ah, symmetry!

Dean Darling, Army football analyst, Marist/MAAC basketball play-by-play
Seattle 20-17. Low-scoring game, two great defenses. Think kickers and special teams will be big in this game.

Charles Davis, New Paltz grad, Fox Sports football analyst, NFL Network analyst
Seattle 27-24. When a game like this appears to be even, I lean toward the better defense, and in this case, I believe Seattle’s is better overall. Both do a great job taking the ball away (New England is plus-12, and Seattle is plus-10 in turnover margin), and Seattle’s pass rush has really amped up over the last seven weeks.
Seattle QB Russell Wilson cannot afford to get off to the slow starts that have plagued him his last three starts (obviously the slowest being vs. Green Bay in the NFC title game). If he does, New England has the capability of seizing total control of the game.
Against the odds, I like the Seahawks to repeat, and continue to totally reshape the NFL legacy of their head coach, Pete Carroll. And, for those who thought, and continue to think he’s simply a “rah, rah, Joe College” style of guy? You don’t know him or his methods at all.

Rich DeMarco, Army football, basketball, baseball announcer
Seattle 22-13. Like the great defenses of the Steelers, Bears, Giants, Ravens and Buccaneers, the Seahawks belong in that category, and when those defenses get to the Super Bowl, they rarely – if ever – lose the game. While I expect this game to be quite competitive, the Seahawks will make more defensive plays in the end.

Steve Eggink, Marist basketball announcer
Seattle 24-13. I’m a big Seahawk fan being from the Northwest, growing up in Eugene, Oregon. I have been through many down years so it’s great to see them back on top!

Mike Ferraro, former Marist basketball, football announcer
New England 20-17. I think these are very evenly matched and talented teams, and I believe this is going to be a great game. I’ve been really impressed with the Patriots’ schemes and uses of their personnel. I think coach Belichick and coach McDaniels will be able to score enough points with their creativity to win.

Eric Frede, former Cable 6 sports anchor and Marist basketball announcer; SNY UConn women’s basketball announcer; freelance play-by-play
New England 24-20. On paper: Seahawks win. But with an “Us-against-the-world’’ mentality and a hint of desperation for Belichick and Brady because of a long Super Bowl drought, the Patriots ride emotion to victory.

Jack George, WPDH/Mix 97.7 radio disc jockey; past Time Warner sports
New England 31-17. The Seahawks got lucky two weeks ago against Green Bay with the comeback. It will not happen again.

Kevin Halpenny, WDLC football announcer, former WGNY talk show host
New England 30-27. Two real good defenses should lend itself to a low scoring game, right? Not here. The Patriots get one more field goal than Seattle to win their fourth title. I see New England getting out to a lead early, weathering the storm of a fierce Seattle comeback, and then Tom Brady tells the haters to take a hike with a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.

Howard Herman, former Army basketball announcer
New England 31-24. All of this controversy regarding DeflateGate will do nothing but give Bill Belichick the ammo to play it that everyone hates the Patriots. Besides, if the Seahawks can’t stop the Brady-to-Gronkowski tandem, Seattle won’t win. Seahawks don’t have enough offense, in my opinion. And as a native Pittsburgher and a Steelers fan, I am not a Patriot toadie.

Marisa Jacques, Time Warner Cable sports anchor
Seattle 35-21. Their defense is fantastic, even if Richard Sherman isn’t 100 percent. Offensively, they’ve gotten better throughout the season. Marshawn Lynch is going to let his play answer the questions. Speaking of questions, while the talk has been all about under-inflated footballs in New England, the Seahawks have been able to just focus on the game and their game plan. Regardless, all this talk about deflated footballs has been a distraction for the Patriots.

Seth Leavitt, Time Warner News sports anchor/reporter
New England 31-27. I feel that New England is motivated to prove it can win a clean game, and get Tom Brady his fourth Super Bowl title. Although Seattle has the best defense in the league, the Patriots are the most well-rounded team – and that will be the difference.

Lindsay (Liquori) Quackenbush, former Cable 6 sports anchor; Florida TV sports anchor
Seattle, 20-17. The Seahawks defense will have a big impact on Brady, Gronk and Blount. The X-factor will be Richard Sherman’s arm injury, and if he is playing at 100 percent. Russell Wilson needs to step up his game from the NFC Championship.

Otis Livingston, WCBS-2 sports anchor
Seattle. I think Super Bowl 49 is gonna be a tight, hotly contested game. I think in the end Seattle will win its second straight title. Russell Wilson will out-duel Tom Brady, thanks to the Seattle defense.

Marc Malusis, CBS Sports Radio host, SNY contributor
New England 17-13.

Tony Morino, former Cable 6 sports anchor, Army football and basketball announcer
Seattle 38-17. I believe the NFC is a better conference than the AFC and that factors into my prediction. Seattle hasn’t played its best game of the playoffs and yet still find itself in the Super Bowl. If they needed a team to bring out the best in them, New England can do that for anyone. The Patriots’ defense has been doing it with smoke and mirrors all season. The fog clears on Super Bowl Sunday.

Sweeny Murti, WFAN Yankees reporter, talk-show host
Seattle 23-13. I like a close game most of the way, dominated by the defenses for the most part. Some big plays by the quarterbacks and a bunch of field goals accounting for the scoring until Marshawn Lynch wears down the Pats late for a game-clinching drive.

Bill Rogan, Denver talk show host; former Army basketball, football announcer; former Hudson Valley Renegades announcer
New England 31-20. The Patriots defense is better than it has been in recent seasons and I think Belichick will be able to stymie the Seahawks offense. I believe the Pats run wild on the Seahawks, which will open up the passing game. Gronkowski is going to have a big game. The last Super Bowl he was in against the Giants, he was hobbled by an injured ankle. He’ll be ready for Seattle. (By the way, bad uniform matchup. The Seahawks uniforms are atrocious, an eyesore. The Pats unis are average at best … their old uniforms were classic. Miss those.)

Rick Schultz, former Army basketball, football, hockey announcer; former Hudson Valley Renegades announcer
New England 27-17. As solid and mature as Russell Wilson has been, in an evenly-split matchup I’ll still take the more experienced team.

Dave Sims, Westwood One NFL announcer, former WFAN host
Seattle, 30-28.

Chris Spatola, CBS Sports Network basketball announcer, West Point grad
New England 24-17. Belichick, with two weeks to prepare … are you serious?! It’s a lock. No coach in professional sports I have more respect for than Belichick, and no competitor in professional sports I have more respect for than Tom Brady. That said, I love when championships are decided by clearly the two best teams. Should be great!

J.W. Stewart, NBC Hartford sports anchor, former ESPNews and Sports1 anchor
New England 23-17 in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history. Brady to Gronk will be the winning play. I think the Pats need to run the ball with LeGarrette Blount to win. Tough task for the Pats’ defense, trying to stop Russell Wilson AND Marshawn Lynch. But I believe Belichick and Brady will find a way.

Keith Strudler, WGNY sports talk show host, Marist communications professor
New England, 31-24. I’m still convinced that the Packers won the NFC Championship, so my picks are probably meaningless. … I secretly am hoping for a Seattle blowout since that’s the best chance for Marshawn Lynch to grab his crotch. And more than anything, I’d just like to see if the league would hand out its first eight-figure fine.

Brandon Tierney, CBS Sports Net host; St. John’s basketball analyst; Marist grad
New England, 31-20. They remain the most well-rounded team in football and can beat Seattle in more ways than Seattle can beat them. Legacies are at stage, and following all of the noise with DeflateGate, the Pats transfer that energy into a positive. Pats, going away.

John Tobin, former WPDH-FM morning show host
Seattle, 27-14. Seattle D-line wins the day. They fire out of their stances like rocket ships blasting off. They’ll be too much to handle. Brady will be frustrated just like Manning last year. He’ll be dumping off by the second quarter.
Since SpyGate in 2007, in the games where Brady was sent packing, the PATS have averaged 16 points per game.
I was in the tiny minority last year who predicted Seattle by two scores or better.
People get caught up in QB-hype all the time. Brady is a big time folder if it gets rough out there … and I expect it to.

Chris Watson, Time Warner sports anchor
Seattle 28-17. Defense wins championships. I didn’t think that was the case until I saw what they did to the Broncos last year. Can’t go against them again this year.

Rick Zolzer, long-time Hudson Valley sports host, announcer
New England 23-21. It is a matter of which team has less players I don’t like: Seattle has Lynch and Sherman; New England has Bella-grump. Therefore, the Pats are my team (this week only).

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On Sunday, mun2 becomes NBC Universo, ahead of Super Bowl

The mun2 network, geared toward a Latin audience in the United States, will be re-branded as NBC Universo on Sunday, just in time for a Spanish-language Super Bowl broadcast.
NBC Universo will continue to air England’s Premier League soccer matches, as well as some other NBC Sports products.
Mun2 and NBC Universo can be found on the following cable and satellite channels:
Time Warner Cable – 898
Cablevision – 197, 1074
Verizon FiOS – 275, 1643
DirecTV – 410
DISH Network – 269, 838

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NBA League Pass is free this week

NBA League Pass is free for digital cable subscribers from Monday, Jan. 19, through Sunday, Jan. 25. All NBA games not found on national channels are available, with the exception of Knicks and Nets games within the local blackout market.
The offer is available for Time Warner, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS customers, plus Cox and Comcast.
The free preview is part of a mid-season discount package offer.
The games should be on the NBA League Pass standard definition channels, although I am not sure if they will appear on the high definition channels (NHL and MLB free previews in recent years have only appeared on standard).

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Tennis: ESPN announcers predict 2015 season

With the Australian Open championships getting started on Sunday, the ESPN tennis announce team came up with its list of what to expect in 2015.

Cliff Drysdale:
- Look for another first-time Major winner among the men: Kei Nishikori or Grigor Dimitrov.
- Victoria Azarenka’s comeback includes a Major title.
- An American woman will be the finalist in one of the slams. Guaranteed!
- Novak Djokovic continues to dominate.
- Andy Murray is no longer a member of the “Big Four.”

Chris Evert:
- An American woman will reach the semifinals of a Major.
- Grigor Dimitrov will win a Major.
- So will Stan Wawrinka.
- Serena Williams is still the best…will win two Majors.
- Look for Belinda Bencic to have a big year!

Mary Joe Fernandez
- Changing the trend, the sport will get younger.
- I see an American woman (or women!) in the semis of a Major.
- It’ll be No. 10 in Paris for Rafa Nadal.
- Victoria Azarenka comes back in a big way.

Brad Gilbert:
- On the men’s side, I would love to see somebody born in the 1990s win a slam. Among the ladies, look for a young player to break through – Madison Keys, Sloane Stevens or Genie Bouchard.
- Considering Rafa has won nine in Paris, I’d say somebody else is overdue. If it’s not Rafa it’s probably Novak.
- But look for Rafa to make a strong comeback … better chance than Azarenka.
- I want to see Madison Keys finish the year in the top 10.
- The sport has gotten older but that may be ready to change. That’s the great thing about tennis…the veterans find out how to keep relevant. But also, eventually, there’s always an infusion of youth. We just haven’t had a lot of it lately on the men’s side.
- It’s not a lot to ask for, but how about an American man making the quarterfinals of a slam in 2015? And one of them finishing in the top 12.

Patrick McEnroe
- It’s a “put up or shut up” year for Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov. If they are going to be legitimate contenders, the time is now.
- That said, I think Nishikori will win a Major.
- With the women, it’s “same old, same old” … Serena and everyone else. Will anyone threaten her when she plays her best?
- That said, there absolutely will be a first-time Major champion. Could be Caroline Wozniacki in Australia or Simona Halep at the French. There’s many candidates, but who is going to step up?
- You read it here: an American woman will reach the final four of a Major.
- It’s going to be a very exciting year in the ATP because there are teenagers who could make some noise – Nick Krygios (19), American Jared Donaldson (18), Borna Coric (18) and Alexander Zverev of Germany (17).
- We’ll say it again … this is Roger Federer’s last year to win a Major.
- Novak Djokovic will be No. 1 again.
- Andy Murray’s days as a consistent contender at the Majors are over.

Pam Shriver:
- Agnieszka Radwanska will win a major.
- Serena will win one major.
- Venus will get to the finals of Wimbledon.
- Ivan Lendl will coach a top player again, perhaps a woman.
- Novak Djokovic will win Roland Garros.
- Robin Soderling will announce a comeback.
- No American man will win a major.

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This day in sports broadcasting history: Jan. 3

Famed sportscaster Marty Glickman died at age 83, in 2001. Glickman was the voice of the New York Knicks (21 seasons), New York Giants (23 seasons) and Jew York Jets (11 seasons), plus some New York Rangers games. He was the first TV announcer for the New York Nets of the ABA. He did pre- and post-game shows for the Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers for 22 years. He broadcast countless college basketball games and high school sports for local television, including WPIX in New York. He called NFL games for NBC in September 1988 on a fill-in basis.
Here is an interview conducted with Marty Glickman for the series “The Great Depression.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BpERC8rrmI

 

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    Ken McMillan

    Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for most of the past 28 years. He reports on college sports, including Army and Marist College. He also writes on TV/radio sports ... Read Full
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