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News and Notes by Rudy Martzke (Aug 24-27, 2023 edition)


Prime Video’s Al Michaels, calling  early on in preseason game, very enthusiastically and in an effusively manner on Philadelphia’s big opening play and ensuing TD drive. Michaels hasn’t lost his step.

Even with Hall of Famer Fred Gaudelli returning to NBC Sports, Prime Video has not missed a beat with production. Replays are crisp and sharp and snaps aren’t tight. Perfect shot on snaps.

Best interview: Prime Video’s Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit with Eagle future Hall of Famer center  Jason Kelce discussing Prime Video’s upcoming documentary, “Kelce” and Kelce sharing story of sibling rivalry when younger brother (Travis) got the upper hand.

Prime Video’s first half of the preseason game between Eagles/Colts displayed the great chemistry between Michaels & Herbstreit. The two never stepped over each other & Al’s setups for Kirk scored. None fell flat. The Pat McAfee cameo at the end of the half had Al chuckling.

Best quip: Prime Video Al Michaels, after Kaylee Hartung reported Colts center Danny Pinter taken to the locker room via cart is “questionable”,  Michaels, “I say he’s out!  The only player I’ve ever seen carted off and return is Aaron Rodgers.”

Prime Video’s Al Michaels not shying away when production gave viewers a shot of Eagles rookie DT Jalen Carter out of Georgia. Michaels discussed the off season issues and his tremendous drop in the NFL draft.

Top info: Prime Video’s Al Michaels telling viewers the NFL is experimenting with a 6th Official practice mechanics as the umpire is the referee in the 4th Quarter. Michaels explains the mic doesn’t have to be open and thus we don’t hear it.

Funniest line: Prime Video’s Al Michaels commenting the mic on the Official not able to be heard then is told about the practice mechanics. Michaels then jokes, “My apologies to audio and anyone else that may have been offended by that.”

Class act: Prime Video’s Al Michaels always thanking the “guys in the truck” as a game closes out. Michaels gave a shoutout to Emmy-award winner, Lead Game Producer Mark Teitelman (T-Man) & Emmy Award Lead Game Director, Pierre Moossa. These guys make it happen. Phenomenal combo.

Iron Man Award: Legendary broadcaster Patrick Williams will call his 320th consecutive Boaz High School football game tonight on FM 93:5 WBSA as the Voice of the Pirates.

Saturday, Williams will be on the PA for Jax State/UTEP Saturday.

CBS Sports seasoned Andrew Catalon is setting Matt Ryan to excel. Catalon asking Ryan, “What can the Panthers expect from new Head Coach Frank Reich?”  Catalon reminding viewers Ryan and Reich worked together in Indianapolis last season. Ryan is having a good first half debut.

Best move: CBS Sports teaming Matt Ryan with Andrew Catalon. Catalon is making Ryan transition from the field to the booth seamless. Ryan is taking advantage of every opportunity teed up for him.

Strongest comment: Fox Sports  Brando declaring, “Probably the worst thing Nebraska ever did was really run Frank Solich out of there too soon. His was a 9-1 Coach there and a descendant of Tom Osborne.”

Top observation: Fox Sports Spencer Tillman noting the struggles of the shade and adjusting to the light in the end zone on last possession of 1st half by San Diego State.

Top Stat: NBC's Maria Taylor points out that it will be difficult for Navy to get back in the game unless they begin passing, something they did only once in the first Half.

Top Point: NBC's Jason Garrett points out that the biggest problem running the triple option is the risk of fumbling when you have a bad pitch.

Top Point: NBC's Noah Eagle points out that Notre Dame's ability to run the ball provides a great advantage in allowing them to control the TOP, run out the clock, and keep their opponents from having the ball.

Oops Award: After returning from commercial break headed into UTEP's first possession, CBS Sports Rich Waltz said "We've focused on Jackson State." UTEP is playing Jacksonville State.

Top Analysis: CBS Sports Rich Waltz said "(Jacksonville State) may be outsized, but it's clear no one is going to out-hit them."

Top interview: CBS Sports Rich Waltz said that when they interviewed Jacksonville State HC Rich Rodriguez, Rodriguez said the biggest disadvantage JSU will have this season is catching up to other teams size wise. The graphics showed that JSU is roughly 40 lbs less than UTEP.

Top Stat: CBS Sports Amanda Guerra said the fans on the sideline don't help too much with cooling off the players, as illustrated by the field temp at kickoff was 130 degrees.

Top Point: CBS Sports Rich Waltz says UTEP's offensive innovations came because they struggled with a regular offense, so they decided to instead do a 2-minute offense drill the entire time.

Top comparison: CBS Sports Aaron Taylor called JSU's Offensive Lineman Treylen Brown "The junkyard dog. He's always on the heels of those across from him and finding ways to come out on top."

Hustle Award: Broadcaster Andrew Catalon, who called Lions/Panthers Friday night for CBS, called the matinee final preseason game Saturday afternoon between Bills/Bears.

Top info: NBC Sports NASCAR pit reporter Dave Burns showing from the pit box at Daytona that Toyota has set up a special pit box for people in wheelchairs. Computers, TV’s, AC, and snacks were provided.

Top stat: SEC Network's Taylor Zarzour, after Jayden McGowan's 97-yard kickoff return for a Vanderbilt touchdown vs. Hawaii, notes that it's the Commodores' 1st kickoff return for a TD in 9 years.

Funniest line: CBS' Randy Cross, after Carter Blackburn mentioned an upcoming FG attempt, said "I sure hope (Buchanan) can make it out there. He still looks out of breath from the kickoff return."

Best sports crossover: CBS Sports Carter Blackburn, "After the shot putt pass on 1st Down let's see what scheme OC David Yost comes up with.”

Best irony: CBS Sports Carter Blackburn, while calling FIU/La Tech, "By now you know this is college football Week 0. We're still a week away from the big time."

Funniest line: ESPN's Rene Ingoglia, during the IMG/St. Joseph's Prep HSFB game, "These guys are lucky. I played in the day and age where you were lucky to see your name in the paper the next day. There was no tv."

Top observation: Fox Sports Spencer Tillman telling viewers on an impending Ohio on-side kick that all the players on the Aztec team has a love towel ("sweat towel”) to keep their hands dry in case emergencies such as an on-side kick.

Best exchange: Fox Sports Tim Brando to longtime colleague Spencer Tillman stating, “This was a wonderful way to open our season. Our 9th season together here (FOX Sports) & 25th overall (CBS Sports). Tillman joyfully notes, “It’s like yesterday’s wine. It get better with time.”

Funniest line: With procedure penalties moving Vanderbilt closer to an end zone bordering a construction area at FirstBank Stadium, SEC Network's Taylor Zarzour says, "They're gonna have to switch from helmets to hard hats if they keep going closer to that construction site."

Class act: Inside College Football crew of Brent Stover. Kevin Carter, & Danny Kanell telling viewers Houston Nutt has stepped away from broadcasting & each reminisced about his time at CBS. Stover shared Coach Nutts’ unforgettable line of “fitting the ball threw the tight winda”

Pro Football Weekly begins its 37th straight year on television this week. Pat Boyle hosts with insightful analysts Dave Wannstedt, Dan Hampton, and the return of “The Czar of Pro Football Weekly,” Hub Arkush.

Top analysis: Fox Sports Greg Olsen outlines that the top signing for the Houston Texans this offseason was Dalton Shultz because he was Dak Prescott's security blanket and because he knows how to extend the play.

Top Interview: Fox Sports Tom Rinaldi says the main reason Derek Carr came to New Orleans is because he wanted to show he is the QB now that Dennis Allen had drafted and hoped he would be.

Top Call: Fox Sports Kevin Burkhardt, "What year is this? Jimmy Graham, after a year out of football, with the miraculous catch. Plays like this deserve to make the team"

Top observation: Fox Sports Greg Olsen says that to him the Jacksonville Jaguars are the AFC team to watch because out of all of last years playoff teams, they return virtually everyone and have the easiest schedule.

Funniest exchange: Fox Sports Kevin Burkhardt as Texans K Ka'imi Fairbairn is setting up for a FG, “Last year his season was 29 of 31. It’s amazing! It’s an easy one for him!” Olsen, “Lets hope you don’t put announcers jinx on him!” Burkhardt retorts, “It’s preseason so who cares”

Best Quip: Fox Sports Kevin Burkhardt, “We have only 30 minutes left to play, which means we're only 30 minutes from the real season.”

AL.com has a new doc on “The Shula Years,” as part of its monthly series, “Iron Docs.” It chronicles the Mike Shula years and former Alabama HC Mike Price hired by Alabama as HC but never coached for the program. Phenomenal work by Ben Flanagan and Laura Goldman.

Top Observation: Fox Sports Dean Blandino explains that this preseason the NFL has had referee crews practice for unusual situations by having the alternate official become the official in the 4th and having the crews operate with only 6 members instead of 7.

source http://eyeonskyandairsports.blogspot.com/2023/08/news-and-notes-by-rudy-martzke-aug-24.html


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