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1 posts from February 1, 2014

February 01, 2014

UM adds key recruit, reportedly loses one; Media column: Fox's plans for the Super Bowl, TV tidbits, radio news

7 p.m. update: There was mixed news for UM on the recruiting front this afternoon, just five days  before National Signing Day.

UM got a pleasant surprise when defensive tackle Michael Wyche, who dropped his oral commitment two days ago, announced he has changed his mind and will attend UM after all, beginning in May. Wyche initially was frustrated because of an ACC rule that requires junior college transfers to spend three consecutive semesters at the same junior college. Wyche, who has spent only two semesters at East Los Angeles Community College, unsuccessfully appealed that rule.

Wyche initially did not want to spend any more time at a junior college. After speaking to Al Golden on Friday, he now has opted to spend one more semester at his JC, thus meeting the ACC requirement. The SEC also has that rule, by the way.

UM people expect Wyche will contribute immediately at defensive tackle next season.

The bad news: St. Petersburg-based offensive tackle Reilly Gibbons is flipping from Miami to Stanford, according to scout.com. Gibbons was rated a three-star prospect by scout.com and a four-star prospect by rivals.com, which ranked him the 19th-best offensive tackle in the 2014 class and the 216th-best prospect overall.

UM still has two highly-regarded offensive tackles in this class in four-star KC McDermott (rated the No. 6 OT by rivals.com) and four-star Trevor Darling (rated the 15th-best). Both are already enrolled at Miami.

### Immokalee four-star cornerback JC Jackson, a UM priority, made an unexpected visit to UF today before returning home at night to meet with Golden. He's deciding between the Hurricanes and Gators.



Media musings on the Super Bowl:

### Fox will serve up something new (the first Super Bowl televised in Spanish, on Fox Deportes, supplementing the English telecast) and something unusual (a Super Bowl pre-game show originating from two states).

But the most intriguing part of Fox’s four-hour pregame show? For this viewer, it's Bill O’Reilly's interview with President Barack Obama, because we’re eager to see if O’Reilly treats Obama more respectfully than the last time they sat together for Super Bowl interview, in 2011.

That day, O’Reilly interrupted Obama 48 times in 15 minutes, or 3.2 per minute. It’s one thing to challenge the President; it’s another to not let him finish a thought. Sunday’s session, scheduled for 4:30 p.m., should be interesting television, at the very least.

### Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long will anchor the first hour of Fox’s pre-game show (2 to 3 p.m.) from Times Square, then drive to New Jersey and host the final two hours (4 to 6 p.m.) from MetLife Stadium, where Michael Strahan will join them.

So how will Fox handle the 3 to 4 p.m. hour without a host? By airing those often inane celebrity interviews (handled by Strahan and Charissa Thompson), taped features and musical acts.


A breakdown of what Fox has planned for its pre-game show: 

### The 2-3 p.m. hour: a look at some of the most memorable games in NFL history that were affected by weather; a feature on Broncos executive John Elway, reports on both teams, a story on the Seahawks' unsung heroes and Terry Bradshaw’s interview with Joe Namath.

### 3-4 p.m.: A tribute to legendary former broadcaster and player Pat Summerall, who died last year; features on Champ Bailey and Marshawn Lynch; a retrospective on some of the great football games in New York/New Jersey history; and Strahan's interview with singer Bruno Mars. Also, Jay Glazer returns to the site of the World Trade Center, where he lost one of his close friends in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

### 4-5 p.m.: The Obama interview, Randy Moss’ interview with Wes Welker, Jimmy Johnson's conversation with Pete Carroll; a look at the New York/New Jersey ties of Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi; and a performance from Phillip Phillips

### 5-5:30 p.m.: Erin Andrews' interview with Richard Sherman (their first since that much-discussed exchange after the NFC Championship); a feature on Russell Wilson; and Glazer's chat with John Fox.

### 5:30-6 p.m.: Bradshaw's interview with Peyton Manning, and the reading of the Declaration of Independence (which has become a Fox tradition in Super Bowl pregame shows).


Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will call their fourth Super Bowl together, with former NFL director of officiating Mike Pereira available to discuss confusing or controversial calls.

### Why did Fox prematurely leave Andrews’ postgame interview with Sherman after the NFC Championship?

“I thought it was compelling television, but it started crossing over a line I didn’t want to see it go,” Fox coordinator producer Richie Zyontz said on a conference call last week. “Erin Andrews handled it very well, but I said, ‘Let’s end this thing. It was starting to get a little dangerous for us.’”


### The parent company of WMEN-640 declared bankruptcy this week after numerous employees hadn't been paid for a few weeks. But the all-sports station will remain on the air, and none of the hosts have quit or been fired.

### Former UM defensive lineman Dan Sileo --- dropped by WQAM and WMEN last year --- has resurfaced as a morning drive host in San Diego.

### How did the Tony Dungy/Jonathan Martin interview happen? NBC tells us it reached out to the Martin camp after the story broke but didn't get a response for weeks.

A couple of weeks ago, the Martin camp reached out not to NBC officials, but to Dungy directly, telling him he would be interested in doing an interview with Dungy. That was relayed to NBC executives. So NBC never had the opportunity, or attempted to exert any influence, on the choice of the interviewer.

Dungy is a decent man, a pillar of integrity. But he’s not a journalist by trade and certainly not a seasoned interviewer. Dungy was remiss in not asking numerous questions that needed to be. Among them:

Who "maliciously” attacked Martin --– an allegation made by his attorney --– and why didn’t he report that to the team? Did Martin ever tell Richie Incognito to stop bullying him and if not, why not? Who on the Dolphins bullied him besides Incognito? What about allegations that he was required to pay for a trip to Las Vegas that he didn’t take?

Did Incognito require him to attend meetings in strip clubs? Did he send Incognito any vulgar text messages (Incognito’s attorney later said he did) and why did Martin do that? Why did Martin not tell the team about the bullying but apparently had no issue with his associates leaking details, including Incognito’s text messages, to the media?

Bob Costas would have asked more probing questions, but Martin only wanted Dungy, who seemed more like a father figure than a reporter.

The interview would have attracted more eyeballs if Martin had given it to Fox for the Super Bowl pre-game show. But that always seemed unlikely to happen, considering Fox had the initial exclusive with Incognito.

### The Pro Football Writers Association of America complained that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch arrived late to Media Day, left his designated area after six minutes, hid off to the side and refused to answer questions, then cursed during a live interview with NFL Network’s Deion Sanders.

Fact is, fans don’t care whether Lynch speaks or not. But ESPN’s Trent Dilfer went overboard by actually applauding his behavior.

### The NFL is reportedly close to awarding a Thursday night package to one of the major networks, with ABC/ESPN, NBC, CBS, Fox and Turner all having submitted bids. At least some of the games reportedly will be simulcast on NFL Network, which has carried Thursday games in recent years except for the season opener and the Thanksgiving game, which were broadcast by NBC. 

### For all of the mocking of the Pro Bowl, the game drew far more viewers nationally (11.4 million on NBC) that the Heat's national telecasts against the Spurs (3.5 million on ABC) or Thunder (1.8 on ESPN). The Michigan-Michigan State basketball game on ESPN also drew far more viewers (2.9) million than Heat-Thunder this week.

### Please check back Sunday morning for the Sunday buzz column... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz