Welcome to the 21th installment of a weekly mailbag that I will be writing about the world of sports media (and anything else you want to chime in on). Please email me any questions you have to Jimmy.Traina@si.com or send them via Twitter.
Do you like the new side by side NFL MNF schedule with ESPN & ABC? Im not a fan. On Mondays fans want a national game without having to navigate between 2 networks. My idea would be a 6pm & 9pm doubleheader. ABC has a tradition with 9pm games. Can this work? Or is 6pm too early?— Eric Larson (@sportsblog2) September 19, 2023
I didn't think I would like the staggered Monday Night Football doubleheader, but I did. I do think you have to have two TVs to enjoy it, though. I’m on the East Coast, so it was nice not to have to stay awake until 1 a.m. for a game that would’ve kicked off at 10 p.m. It also helped that Saints-Panthers wasn’t exactly full of excitement. It was actually beneficial to have another option Monday night. If we can manage to watch eight games at 1 p.m. on Sundays and four games at 4:30 p.m. on Sundays, we can easily manage to watch two games Monday. When it comes to the NFL, my philosophy is the more the merrier.
ESPN/ABC will have another staggered doubleheader this week with Eagles-Bucs airing on ABC at 7:15 p.m. ET and Rams-Bengals airing on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. ET.
There won’t be another MNF doubleheader until Week 14, but those games won’t be staggered. Packers-Giants and Titans-Dolphins will both kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET. I think I preferred the staggered stars, but I’ll reserve judgment until it actually happens.
Is there anything you regret not asking a guest, or a subject you regret staying away from on the pod?— RyRy76 (@RyanMichael2244) September 19, 2023
Great question. This is a crappy answer, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything. There have definitely been two or three times when I was done taping a podcast where I kicked myself for not asking something, but I can’t remember the specific instances. My biggest regret is usually not asking questions in a more concise manner.
With Colorado State-Colorado getting huge viewership with a 10pm start, is ESPN going to re-consider going back to having a 7pm game and a 10pm game in some of those weeks?— Olympic superfan (@Quaker2001) September 19, 2023
The only thing Colorado State–Colorado generating 9.3 million viewers for a 10 p.m. ET kickoff will do is make ESPN air as many Colorado games, in any time slot, as possible.
Is local sports talk radio dead or does ESPN just have no idea how to do sports talk in New York?— Matt (@Mchuck16) September 19, 2023
Is espn ny waving the towel or are they ahead of the curve?— x- Suffering JIM (@JIMfan523) September 19, 2023
For those around the country who don't know, ESPN Radio in New York will no longer air on an FM station. The station will continue on the AM dial and through ESPN’s app. I do not think local sports talk is dead at all. I think ESPN’s problem with its New York radio station is that it never went full local. It always aired ESPN’s national shows, and people in New York just aren’t interested in national shows. I also don’t think ESPN is waving the towel. It isn’t going out of business. It just won’t be on the FM dial. In this day and age, when young people don’t listen to the radio and everybody streams, losing the FM signal isn’t a catastrophe.
Any regrets about your NFL teams wins totals? For example, do you still like the Giants at over 7 1/2?— Joe Simpson (@MistUncle) September 20, 2023
I said a few times on SI Media With Jimmy Traina that I loved the over on the Giants’ season win total of 7.5, so I thank Joe for listening. I have absolutely no regrets about the wager. They’re 1–1 after two games. There’s no need to panic.
Email questions ...
Jimmy, you’re the only one who gets me so I have many questions but feel free to ignore any and all. I know you loved the NYG over 7.5 wins (as did I) so I am wondering if you’re still as confident based on the first two weeks. Their schedule gets BRUTAL coming up. Where do you stand on some sportsbooks refunding bets and others not? E.g., when Rodgers went down. Thoughts on what seems to be all Twitter/TikTok clips these days with obnoxious, unnecessary subtitles and/or dubbed over with robo narrators? Cue ‘old man yells at cloud’ meme —Chris Psilas aka @p_silly goshdarn (X)
Again, thanks to Chris for listening to my podcast and checking in on my Giants wager. I used to be very against the idea of sportsbooks refunding bets, but I’ve done a 180. The reason books will do this is simple: It’s customer service. It’s a perk. It’s a way to keep clients happy. So from that standpoint, I get it. DraftKings ended up crediting bettors who had any Aaron Rodgers wagers in Week 1 when he ended up getting injured after four plays. It was a nice gesture that made DraftKings users think favorably of the service, so I get it.
Is this ticker at the bottom of RedZone new this year or did I miss it all last year? They must learn that there is a time and a place and the other networks have most of this info already, why duplicate the work? Why are they sharing inactives for games that have hit halftime? It was not good and their cropping was off during Seattle/Detroit game. Don’t ruin the best thing on Sundays! —Allen, Plano, Texas
I haven’t watched NFL RedZone this season because I’m locked into NFL Sunday Ticket, but Allen brings up something important here. I wish all networks would stop with the bottom line tickers. They are no longer useful or relevant anymore since everyone gets all their information from their phones.
But bottom line tickers are never going away because they aren't there to provide you with information. They are there for networks to make money. They sell ads on the ticker and they promote their shows on the ticker. And networks aren't giving up anything that can make them money.
There were two Monday night games, but Fox did not have a 4 p.m. game on Sunday? Supposed to be Rams-49ers, but at least in our area DirecTV had NHRA drag racing instead of football in that window. Why would Fox not carry that game nationally? —Michael McQueen
Last Sunday was a CBS doubleheader week, meaning CBS aired national games at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. That means Fox aired only one game in your local market. In Week 1, both Fox and CBS aired doubleheaders. The only weeks where both networks have doubleheaders is Week 1 and Week 18. Every other week, just one of the networks airs a doubleheader.
Hey Jimmy, read your piece about the curiousness of ESPN’s lead team not calling the CU game even though Herbstreit was on-site. I am guessing someone has let you know about this already, but just in case no one has, Fowler is a CU grad. potentially ESPN does not want any bias in their announcing team? Not to imply Fowler would not be a total pro, but still, just the potential. at least a better argument than the weakness of what you stated was the reason. Have a good day. —Ed
Actually, Chris Fowler being a Colorado grad made ESPN’s decision to not have him and Kirk Herbstreit call any Buffaloes games yet even more curious. Sources have told me Fowler’s connection to Colorado is not a concern at all for ESPN.
Instagram questions ...
How do we submit an amazing podcast review other than Apple? —@drew_nature_dogs
Unfortunately, you can’t leave a review on Spotify, but you can rate SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Spotify’s mobile app.
Other than Mike Francesa, who is your dream cohost with Mad Dog for drive-time radio? —@mjacobson86
I would never want Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to have another partner. He had gold with Mike Francesa for 19 years. That can never be recreated, so there’s no point in even trying. He’s been around too long to have another partner. What makes Russo so great is that he’s one of the few radio hosts who is great solo.
When is Andrew Marchand’s next visit? —@hunt.erslaptop
Marchand was last a guest on SI Media With Jimmy Traina on July 13, so he's due for a visit some time in the next few weeks.
Need some bingeworthy shows (potential criteria, 30 minutes, true crime is possible). By the way, such an awesome podcast. —@cradding
Appreciate the kind words for the podcast. The best thing I’ve watched recently is SmartLess: On the Road on HBO, which is a six-episode video version of the podcast hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. If you haven’t watched The Bear, on FX/Hulu, there have been two seasons so far, so that’s an easy one to jump in to. And even though it’s not a series, I strongly recommend watch BS High, the documentary about the Bishop Sycamore high school football scandal that you can find on HBO.