Friday, September 8, 2006

Fox is Gambling On New Pregame Show

The NBC Sunday night game causes a big shakeup in the football television world.  People from ESPN/ABC, Fox and CBS were taken away from their cushy spots to take on more lucrative cushy spots.

The "NFL on FOX" has been the most popular pregame show....but now gets a new look.  Gone is James Brown, who was the straight man to the trio of goofy football lovers - Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmie Johnson.  In his place is Joe Buck....who also is the #1 play-by-play man for Fox's NFL coverage.  So, that means that wherever Buck is, the rest of the gang will be. 

This Sunday, they will be in Jacksonville as the Jags host the Cowboys.  After that, it is on to Philly in Week 2 and Seattle in Week 3. 

I'm not sure I really like this.  Buck will be calling the action for the top Fox game that Sunday [along with Troy Aikman], in which he really needs to be prepared since more people are watching that than anything.  Plus, he's got to get his hosting gig down pat with Terry, Howie and Jimmie.....and anyone who's watched the show knows that one big aspect of that job is reeling the guys in when they get off task. 

Oh, and don't forget his little MLB job with Fox....where he gets to call something called the World Series with Tim McCarver.  When that happens [which is a month into the season], Curt Menefee will host the show [he's also slated to host the halftime and postgame show].

Other Fox matchups??   The #2 team is Dick Stockton, Darryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa in Detroit this weekend.  There is Ron Pitts and Terry Donohue in Cleveland;  Matt Vasgersian and JC Pearson [Jay Glazer will be their sideline reporter] in Carolina; Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan in Green Bay;  and Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger [Chris Myers on the sideline] in Houston.   Also, Josh Lewin and Bill Mass will be in Arizona. 

By the way, word is that Frank Caliendo will be back...but Jillian Barberie won't. 

CBS'S "THE NFL TODAY":  James Brown left Fox for the CBS job, returning him to his home in the 1980s and early 1990s.  He will join Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpeand Boomer Esiason for the net's pregame show.  Charley Casserly joins them as an NFL "insider".  They will be on a new state-of-the-art set equipped with HDTV cameras. 

CBS's announcing teams are Jim Nantz and Phil Simms [they'll be in New England on Sunday], Gus Johnson and Randy Cross [Kansas City], Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf [St Louis], Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon [Tampa Bay] and Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots [Tennessee].  Bill Macatee and Richard Baldinger will be used when CBS needs them. 

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