Sports

NFL on TV rules

August 5th, 2013 at 11:23 am by under Sports

With the start of the NFL season upon us, I thought an explanation of the rules governing broadcasting NFL games might be helpful. Hopefully, this will answer some of your questions about game assignments and the process used.

* The rules are crafted between the NFL and networks which carry the games (FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network). Local affiliates (i.e. WLUK-TV) have little control in the process – and are sometimes at the mercy of the decisions made on-the-fly by the network.

* Because we are the home market station for the Green Bay Packers, we are guaranteed to show all of the Packers games on Fox. This year we have ten of those (so far). If the Packers are the late game, such as in Week 1, if the early game is running long, we will cut away from it to show all of the Packers game – even if that means viewers miss a great ending.

* Starting last season, to help alleviate that problem, the NFL moved the kickoff time of the primary nationally-televised doubleheader game from 3:15 to 3:25pm.

* We air every NFL game we can. If we have a post-game show, it’s not replacing a game that’s available to us. As of now, we have five “Locker Room Live” post-games planned: Sept. 15 (Redskins), Sept. 22 (Cincinnati), Oct. 6 (Detroit), Nov. 10 (Philadelphia), and Nov. 28 (Detroit).

* Just because FOX has games in both the noon and 3:25pm slots does not mean we can air two games every week. The networks (generally) alternate doubleheader weeks. Sometimes we can air two, sometimes we can’t. FOX has at least one late game each week because of the west coast home NFC games in Arizona, Seattle and San Francisco, but that doesn’t mean we can always air them. It’s not our choice – it’s league & network rules. The upshot here: the on-air promos don’t necessarily translate to games on air for Fox 11.

* FOX assigns us the other games, based on regional interest or national importance. This means we usually get NFC North games. We can request a change, but the network doesn’t have to grant it. In Week 1, for example, we will likely show Minnesota vs. Detroit. Because it is two divisional teams, that’s unlikely to change. Each week, usually on Wednesday or Thursday, we post which game will have on our Facebook page.

* For non-prime-time games between teams in different conferences, the network of the visiting team gets the rights. That’s why Fox 11 will have the Packers at Cincinnati & Baltimore games, and CBS will have the Cleveland & Pittsburgh at Green Bay games.

* Even if it is a Fox doubleheader Sunday, Fox 11 can’t air a game at the same time as a Packers home game. This year, we do not “lose” the ability to air any games because of this rule. However, the same rule applies that on a CBS doubleheader week, WFRV can’t air a different game during a Packers home game on Fox 11. The only exception to this is Week 17, when both networks get two games because of playoff implications.

* Local fans are guaranteed to see all of the Packers games on local broadcast stations, even if they are on cable (ESPN or the NFL Network). Those networks put the games up for bids to the local stations for the right to air them. I don’t know which local station has the Nov. 4 game vs. Chicago, but it’s not Fox 11.

* The local stations have no control over the flexible scheduling. For the last seven weeks of the year, the NFL may decide to change games to give NBC a more attractive game in its Sunday night time slot. Games may also move between the early and late doubleheader slots. Thursday and Monday night games do not change.

* While there are few preseason games on network television, the rights to the majority of preseason games are sold by the teams to stations of their choosing. The rules described above generally don’t apply to the preseason.

Given all of that, here is the tentative schedule for the NFL on Fox 11. Remember, the assignments for the non-Packers games very possibly could change based on how the year develops – so please don’t call in December complaining we aren’t airing a specific game just because it’s on this list now. That said, we should have games in all of these timeslots.

If you have any questions, post them below!

Preseason
Friday, Aug. 16
7pm: Tampa Bay vs. New England

Sunday, Aug. 18
6pm: Indianapolis at New York Giants

Sunday, Aug. 25
3pm: New Orleans at Houston

Regular Season
Week 1 – Sept. 8
Noon: Minnesota at Detroit
3:25pm: Green Bay at San Francisco

Week 2  – Sept. 15
Noon: Washington at Green Bay

Week 3  – Sept. 22
Noon: Green Bay at Cincinnati

Week 4 – Sept. 29
Noon: Chicago at Detroit
3:25pm: Philadelphia at Denver

Week 5 – Oct. 6
Noon: Detroit at Green Bay

Week 6 – Oct. 13
Noon: Green Bay at Baltimore
3:25pm: New Orleans at New England

Week 7 – Oct. 20
Noon: Chicago at Washington

Week 8 – Oct. 27
Noon: Dallas at Detroit
3:25pm:  Washington at Denver

Week 9 – Nov. 3
Noon: Minnesota at Dallas

Week 10 – Nov. 10
Noon: Philadelphia at Green Bay

Week 11 – Nov. 17
Noon: Detroit at Pittsburgh
3:25pm: Minnesota at Seattle

Week 12 – Nov. 24
Noon: Minnesota at Green Bay
3:25pm: Dallas at New York Giants

Week 13
Thursday, Nov. 28
11:30am: Green Bay at Detroit
Sunday, Dec. 1
Noon: Chicago at Minnesota

Week 14 – Sunday, Dec. 8
Noon: Minnesota at Baltimore
3:25pm – Seattle at San Francisco

Week 15 – Sunday, Dec. 15
Noon: Chicago at Cleveland
3:25pm: Green Bay at Dallas

Week 16 – Sunday, Dec. 22
Noon: Chicago at Philadelphia

Week 17 – Sunday, Dec. 29
Noon: Green Bay at Chicago
3:25pm: To be determined


MLB on Fox 11 schedule announced

March 13th, 2013 at 7:36 am by under Sports

The Major League Baseball season is less than a month away – and that means that the MLB on FOX is close to returning, as well.

Game of the Week broadcasts begin Saturday, April 6. For much of the season, the games will be at 2:30pm Central. However, from May 25-July 13, the games will start at 6pm.

The Milwaukee Brewers are currently scheduled to be on Fox 11 six times. That could change as the season progresses.

May 4 – St. Louis Cardinals
June 10 – Philadelphia Phillies
June 29 – at Pittsburgh Pirates
July 6 – New York Mets
September 7 – at Chicago Cubs
September 14 – Cincinnati Reds

Fox 11 plans to put the listing of which game we have in the news ticker and on Facebook each week. We usually find out by Thursday which game we are airing that Saturday.

And, as always, Fox Sports has the All Star Game, which will be played July 16 at Citi Field in New York City. Fox will also carry one league championship series and the World Series.


Converted quarterback an option at tight end

February 23rd, 2013 at 9:07 am by under Sports

Stop me if this sounds familiar: a former quarterback finds a new position in the SEC and ends up an early round pick in the NFL. That could cover quite a few players, including recently Randall Cobb, Packers receiver and former University of Kentucky quarterback.

Green Bay has a decision to make with tight end Jermichael Finley, they could elect to let the talented pass-catcher walk with one season remaining on a two-year contract. If that happens, or if the Packers still feel they’re in the market for a similarly athletic tight end, Florida early-entrant Jordan Reed could be an intriguing choice.

Reed says he had a formal interview with the Packers, he met several coaches, and it went well. He was recruited to the Gators as a quarterback, but at 6’3, 243 pounds, make the switch to tight end.

What sets him apart from other tight ends?

I feel like I can bring a lot to the table. I feel like I’m athletic, can run good routes and create mismatches for the offense. I feel like I can play a lot of multiple positions on offense, whether it be the F position or even the Y. With some good coaching and time, I feel like I can be a good blocker as well. Also I’m athletic so I can play special teams and do whatever the team asks me to do.

What NFL player does he compare his own game to?

Definitely Aaron Hernandez, I’m the type of player he is. Very athletic, can create mismatches, run good routes and use my athleticism to my advantage.

Why did he leave college early for the NFL?

I was close to my dream, I felt like I could reach it right now. It’s been my dream since I was a young guy to be able to go to the NFL and play for a team, go to the Combine. I had the opportunity so I took it.

What does he think of the Packers?

They’re a great team, great organization, got a great quarterback, great coach, I’d love to play for the Packers and help them out.


Packers legacy Stills competitive with dad

February 22nd, 2013 at 1:08 pm by under Sports

Kenny Stills is not alone looking to be better than dad. In his case, however, that means trying to top former Packers and Badgers safety Ken Stills, who played in Green Bay from 1985 to 1989. The younger Stills is a wide receiver coming out of Oklahoma, projected to be a mid-round pick. Growing up, however, he dreamed of batting down passes like his dad, not reeling them in for scores.

On if he always wanted to be a receiver.
In high school, I wished I was a little bigger and had more size to play defense. I didn’t mind playing receiver and I love scoring touchdowns.

Why did he want to play defense?

Because my dad played safety in the NFL for 7 years. Just to be better than him, I was always competing with him. Playing safety and being a big hitter was something I always enjoyed and thought I could do.

What’s his relationship like with his dad?

Always him talking about his playing days, reminiscing. Now that I’m a receiver, me telling him he’d never be able to guard me. He’d always talk about his younger days, being able to cover me. We’ve always had a really good relationship and it’s always been really competitive.


Mid-to-late round offensive line options

February 22nd, 2013 at 8:31 am by under Sports

Packers left tackle Marshall Newhouse was a 5th round pick in 2010. Left guard TJ Lang lasted until the 4th in 2009. Ted Thompson’s shown he can find solid pieces for his offensive line late in the draft, and may look again to bolster his big guys in the 2013 draft. We caught up with several mid-round prospects the Packers may consider in the draft.

Ohio State tackle Reid Fragel (pictured right) is projected as a 5th round pick by NFLDraftScout.com. The Grosse Pointe Farms, MI native said he interviewed with the Packers at the combine, and has a particular Packer he likes watching.

What he thinks about the Packers having grown up and played in the Midwest.

I’ve always liked the Packers. I’ve never had a favorite team in particular, I guess you could say, growing up watching them play the Lions every year, we always had season tickets and I always enjoyed that game in particular.  Would love to play out there, have a lot of fun watching them. I like watching [Packers left guard] TJ Lang, especially, being a Detroit guy, fun team to watch for sure.

Has he ever met TJ Lang?

I’ve never spoke to him, but I’ve just watched him on TV, seen his comments online and stuff, pretty funny guy. Great player as well.

Illinois offensive lineman Hugh Thornton (pictured left) also has met with the Packers. He’s projected as a 5th-6th round pick by NFLDraftScout.com. Thornton made 10 starts at left tackle for the Illini his senior season, though has experience at guard as well.

Is versatility a prime quality he mentions to teams during interviews?

I’ve played right tackle, left tackle, right guard, left guard. I’ve excelled at all four of them, I think, in my career at Illinois. It’s definitely a selling point.

What sets him apart as a player?

I think I’m physical, I’m tough and I play to the whistle. I’m one of the guys that’s always looking to finish. Whether it’s the beginning of the play or the end of the play. I think if you ask the opponents I played in the Big Ten what kind of player I am, they’d say I’m tenacious and I’m tough.

What comes to mind when you think of the Packers?

Family. I don’t know a whole lot about them, but I know they’re publicly owned, and it’s a family. If you’re a Packer, you’re part of the Packer family. I think it’s a great organization.


Schneider talks Ted

February 21st, 2013 at 5:33 pm by under Sports

Probably the most entertaining coach/general manager of the NFL Combine on Thursday was Seahawks GM John Schneider. The De Pere native and former Packers exec covered a lot of ground, including talking about Ted Thompson, one of the key guys he learned from before taking over his own franchise.

On Thompson’s growing GM-tree, including Reggie McKenzie and John Dorsey:

Ted’s a great person, he’s a great teacher.  Great leader, extremely even-keeled.  I think he’s probably taught a lot of us to be even-keeled, humble and move forward every day.  He’s a great guy.

Schneider asked if he can go to Ted for advice.

Does he come to me for advice? {Laughter} Absolutely, I have a great relationship with Ted, we talk a lot.

Thompson and Schneider have different styles with the media, Schneider much more open

It’s him, it’s the person. He’s a very humble, quiet person.

When Schneider worked for Packers, was he concerned with keeping things close to the vest like Thompson tends to?

I think he’s very smart, very calculating. Knows what he wants to give and what he doesn’t.  I’m sure he’s just not just a guy that’s going to, you know … believe it or not, he’s very funny if you hang out with him.  I’ve seen him on TV and stuff, I think he’s way better at it, I think he’s gotten much better, much more comfortable.  It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, you know. It’s part of the job.


NFL Scouting Combine, Day One

February 21st, 2013 at 4:23 pm by under Sports

Good afternoon from what the tropical-out-of-town-media call ‘freezing’ Indianapolis. It’s in the 30s; but when it starts sleeting later, remember I jinxed it.

We’ll have lots of coverage here on fox11online.com and on air from the NFL Scouting Combine, wanted to get you some first impressions …

–Heard from two Badgers o-lineman today, Travis Frederick and Ricky Wagner. Frederick is projected as one of the top guard/centers, Wagner more of a mid-late round tackle. Frederick’s picture is to the right … he’s a natural on the mic, seems like a guy who could lead at center, a potential position of need for the Packers. Frederick wouldn’t give preference to any of the 32 teams; Wagner had no such problem: he’d love to be a Packer.

–Speaking of o-linemen the Packers may have their eye on, Alabama’s Barrett Jones was entertaining.  You may remember him from ‘shove-gate’ (his words) in the national championship game, where he and quarterback AJ McCarron got into a little pushing match after a disagreement. He’s entertaining, and has played just about every o-line position, a skill the Packers covet.

–Enjoyed hearing from Seahawks GM, former Packers exec John Schneider. Probably leader in the clubhouse for most entertaining NFL representative. Got people laughing talking about how his security people monitor prospects’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’m paraphrasing here, but he talked about last year seeing someone post a picture of them with drugs, Schneider saying that was something he didn’t think he could personally get away with.

–Also asked Schneider afterward about his relationship with Ted Thompson, if he can still go to Ted for advice. His response? “You mean does Ted come to me for advice?”

–As for the media experience, which I’m sure you care very, very slightly about … it’s interesting. Coaches are on a strict schedule to come to the podium, which is appreciated. Each of them I wanted to hear from today were there at the exact minute they were scheduled. Prospects just kind of show up. I can be sitting and writing my scripts, when over the PA you hear, ‘Offensive lineman Ricky Wagner is at table 2,’ and you go run to table 2 where he’s sitting. Hectic, but day one went well.

Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson speak tomorrow. Should be fun. More online later.

Justin


Protecting the Shield; Game Notes

October 7th, 2012 at 11:17 am by under Sports

After the last Packers road game, Ryan Pickett sighed in the locker room.  He talked about how the NFL wants players to uphold the NFL brand, ‘protect the shield,’ so to speak.  The officiating in Seattle didn’t, in his eyes, live up to the same standard.

Fast forward a couple weeks, officiating nonsense is behind us, and nice to see the Packers with a real shield protecting gesture.  A bunch of Green Bay players, including (only limited to the guys I saw while on the field) Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Tramon Williams, Ryan Taylor, Graham Harrell and Casey Hayward warmed up in shirts bearing the phrase “#ChuckStrong,” a nod to the Colts head coach recently diagnosed with leukemia.

A simple gesture, but it doesn’t take much.  Talk about athletes as role models all you want, but sending the message of, ‘hey, there are some things much bigger than winning.  Lots of things,’ that’s a good message to send.  Kudos to these guys for the subtle nod to an opposing head coach and his family going through, surely, a tough time.

Some notes before kickoff …

–Inactives for the Packers include James Starks.  The running back didn’t even appear on the injury report to end the week.  Perhaps it’s just bringing him along slowly … but so much for split carries.  It’s the Cedric Benson show for the time being.  Also, Mike McCarthy always says those final roster spots come down to special teams.  Maybe that’s where Starks needs to step his game up?

–Inactives for the Colts include two corners, Vontae Davis and Justin King.  Look for a pass-happy Packers team.  Active will be Dwight Freeney, who had two sacks (in limited playing time) in last year’s preseason game with the Packers.  At that time, he was going primarily against Chad Clifton.

–Talking to a Colts staffer, apparently Lucas Oil Stadium hosts several high school football games every Friday night.  That’s awesome.  Not talking bad about Lambeau or Camp Randall, the turf here won’t get torn up like a grass (or mostly grass) field would with multiple games per weekend.

Alright, getting ready for kickoff.  Should be fun.  Questions, comments, tweet me @Justin_Felder, and tune into the season’s first edition of Locker Room Live on FOX 11 after the game.


Home of the “12th Man”

September 24th, 2012 at 4:55 pm by under Sports

I like to see a good, random jersey.  There was someone wearing an Atlanta Falcon’s Brett Favre jersey when the Packers pulled up to their hotel yesterday, that was solid.  Walking around Seattle, you see a lot of #12s.  Maybe (probably?) more than any other number.  On the back, these jerseys usually say “FAN” or “MAN,” representing the Seahawks’ famed “12th Man” crowd.

The Seahawks are, like most teams, tougher at home than on the road.  This crowd, though, they take pride in their noise.  Players I talked to, like Randall Cobb, are expecting an SEC-like, Kansas City Chiefs-like, dome-like level of noise.

The “12th Man” does make a measurable impact.  The Seahawks’ record is better at home than on the road; though not dramatically in the last few seasons … but in fairness, they haven’t been one of the NFL’s top teams, so no piling up wins.  Interesting stat from the team’s game notes: since 2005, the Seahawks have forced opponents into more false start penalties, 112 of them, than any other stadium.  The 2nd-4th ranked teams in that stat are Minnesota, Detroit and St. Louis respectively — all domes.

To combat this (and, perhaps … though unlikely … bother the media), the Packers pumped artificial noise into practice for the first time since prepping for the Bengals in the preseason.  Bryan Bulaga says it’s helpful, but there’s no way to simulate what the stadium itself is going to be like.

Seahawks fans we’ve chatted with are pumped about this team.  They believe in their De Pere native general manager John Schneider and his Packers-like philosophy.  Expect an amped crowd Monday night.  This town believes beating the Packers will put the rest of the NFL on notice that the Seahawks, and their “12th Man”-advantage, are back.


Checking in from Seattle

September 23rd, 2012 at 6:29 pm by under Sports

First thing I can tell you about Seattle is that we share the same taste in music.  Everywhere we’ve been so far, they’re playing acoustic rock … Dave Matthews, that kind of thing.  They get me.

Touched down in the Emerald City this afternoon, Packers face the Seahawks Monday night.

Some thoughts …

–I know this is old news, but lots of Green and Gold around the city.  We walked around to shoot stand-ups for my story Sunday night on the FOX 11 Sports Edge, saw a lot of Packers gear.

–My story tonight is about the Packers preparing for former Badgers QB Russell Wilson.  It might be a case of ‘saying the right thing,’ but the defensive players I spoke to were adamant that Wilson’s height … or lack thereof, he’s 5’11, an inch shorter than Drew Brees … wasn’t an issue.

–Funny note that didn’t make my Wilson story: linebacker DJ Smith, who had height concerns of his own coming out of Appalachian State, told me he’s glad to see a fellow ‘under-sized’ guy have success.  He qualified, Wilson’s a QB, and he doesn’t like QBs.

–Packers arrived to a crowd of probably 50 Packers fans (and a host more onlookers who saw the crowd) … that’s Donald Driver (tan suit) and Greg Jennings (gray suit) in the picture to the left.

–My story tomorrow evening on FOX 11 News at Five, before the game, will be about dealing with the 12th Man, Seattle’s famed, noisy crowd.  Aaron Rodgers said this, along with Kansas City, are likely the loudest outdoor stadiums in the NFL.  Jennings has a pretty funny memory of his first Seattle road game memory, that’s in the story … so are Mike McCarthy and Bryan Bulaga talking about how crowd noise at practice helps get ready.

Stick with FOX11 and fox11online.com for coverage of the game.  If you’re watching and following along online, I’ll be tweeting from the press box, @Justin_Felder.  Send along your questions, comments, let’s have some fun.