ESPN To Carry Arena Bowl XXVIII Live This Weekend

Courtesy:  Arena Football League

Courtesy: Arena Football League

The Arena Football League will wrap up its 2015 season this weekend.

The AFL’s 2015 season comes to a close this weekend as the Jacksonville Sharks take on the San Jose Sabercats in Arena Bowl XXVIII. ESPN will have full coverage of the annual AFL title game. It will air this Saturday, August 29th at 7pm on ESPN.

San Jose dominated the AFL this season, finishing the season with a record of 17-1-0 while Sharks had a harder road to run. The Sharks finished the season second in the American Conference’s South Division with a record of 10-8-0. That was also good enough to put the Sharks in third overall in the American conference behind the Philadelphia Soul (15-3-0) and the Orlando Predators (12-6-0). Its rough road aside, Jacksonville still looks to be a valid challenger to the Sabercats. QB Tommy Grady finished the season third in passing in the league, throwing for 4,660 yards and going 402 of 597 passes with only 11 INTs. Derrick Ross led the league in rushing, compiling a total of 586 yards and 33 TDs while San Jose’s Erik Meyer finished a distant ninth just ahead of Orlando’s Bran Thompkins with 142 yards and 6 TDs. Jacksonville also led the league in receiving (Anothony Jones–2,087 yards, 38 TDs) and Sacks (Joe Sykes–18.5 sacks, 117 yards). the Sabercats on the other hand far outperformed the Sharks in tackles, INTs, and kicking on both sides of the ball. So this weekend’s AFL title game is apt to be an evenly matched game.

Coverage of this weekend’s season-ending title game is scheduled to begin at 7pm ET on ESPN. More information on the AFL and ESPN’s coverage of the AFL is available online now at:

Website: http://www.arenafootball.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AFLarenaball

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football Returns This Week

Courtesy: ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Football is back! And so is ESPN’s weekly NFL broadcast Monday Night Football.

ESPN kicks off another season of Monday Night Football this Thursday, August 20th for a special edition of MNF as the Bills and new head coach Rex Ryan head to Cleveland to take on the Browns. Mike Tirico and John Gruden will be in the booth for the call. They will be joined by Lisa Salters for additional commentary. Thursday’s game is scheduled for an 8pm ET start. It will be simulcast on television and online via ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and WatchESPN.

On Monday, August 24th, MNF returns to its normal time with coverage of the Bengals and Bills in Tampa Bay. This game will be the first time that rookie quarterback Jameis Winston will get to put his talents on display against Andy Dalton and the rejuvinated Bengals. This game will also be simulcast on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and WatchESPN.

Both this Thursday’s game and next Monday’s game will be preceded by one-hour editions of Monday Night Countdown at 7pm ET on ESPN. Suzy Kolber will anchor Thursday’s edition of Monday Night Countdown. She will be joined at the desk by analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Jackson, as well as insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. Chris Berman will helm next Monday’s edition of Monday Night Countdown. He will be joined by the Monday Night Countdown broadcast team, too.

Along with the coverage noted above, ESPN will also provide on-site coverage from a number of other pre-season games. Britt McHenry will be on-site for the matchup of the Lions and Redskins. Sal Paolantonio will be on hand in the city of brotherly love as the Eagle host the Ravens. Ed Werder will be live from New Orleans as the Saints host the Patriots, and Shelley Smith will have all of the latest news live from San Francisco as the 49ers host the Cowboys.

ESPN’s regular season MNF schedule kicks off Monday, September 14th with an NFC double header. All of the latest MNF news and headlines are available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

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ESPN Radio Releases Early Broadcast Schedule For 2015 – 2016 NFL Regular Season

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPN Radio

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Radio

There’s more good news for all of the football fans and fanatics out there. The worldwide leader in sports has released the first group of Sunday afternoon NFL games to be covered by ESPN Radio this season.

ESPN Radio will kick off its thirteenth season of NFL coverage fittingly on Sunday, September 13th with a doubleheader broadcast. It kicks off with an AFC matchup between the Colts and Bills in Buffalo at 1pm ET. New Bills coach Rex Ryan looks to open his first season at the helm in Buffalo with a win over the Colts, who finished the 2014 – 2015 season atop the AFC South at 11 – 5. The Bills on the other hand finished the 2014 – 2015 season second in the AFC North at 9 – 7. At 4pm ET, the Ravens face off against the Broncos in the “Mile High City” in another AFC matchup. Denver finished the 2014 – 2015 season atop the AFC West standings with a 12 – 4 record while Baltimore closed out its 2014 – 2015 season third in the AFC North with a 10 – 6 record. Julio Jones leads the Atlanta Falcons into New York to take on Odell Beckham, Jr. and the New York Giants on Sunday, September 20th. And in Week Three, ESPN Radio will carry coverage of the Eagles at Jets. These are just some of the games that ESPN Radio will carry during the 2014 – 2015 NFL regular season. The current slate of games scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN Radio are listed below. The remainder of the season’s games that ESPN Radio will carry will be announed at later dates. Each week’s broadcast will be preceded by a one-hour pre-game show throughout the season.

ESPN Radio’s current broadcast schedule for the 2015 – 2016 NFL Regular season is listed below.

Date              Time (ET)     Game
Sun, Sep 13  1 p.m.           Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills
4 p.m.          Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos

Sun, Sep 20   1 p.m.          Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants

Sun, Sep 27   1 p.m.          Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets

Sun, Oct 4      1 p.m.         Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

Sun, Oct 11    1 p.m.         Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals

 

Mark Kestecher, Bill Rosinski, and Ryan Ruocco will share play-by-play duties throughout the season. They will be joined by analysts Herm Edwards, Shaun O’Hara, and Bill Polian throughout the season. More information on ESPN’s NFL coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/NFL

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN’s 2015 College Football Playoff: Top 25 Premieres October 20th

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 2015 – 2016 NCAA college football season is less than a month away. As anticipation builds for the new season so do the discussions on who will take the title this year. Knowing that said discussions have already begun, ESPN announced this week the return of its College Football Playoff: Top 25 broadcast.

ESPN’s 2015 College Football: Top 25 will debut on Tuesday, October 20th. It is one of two broadcasts leading up to the NCAA’s first official ranking announcement on Tuesday, November 3rd. Rece Davis will host the half-hour debate program. He will be joined by analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway, Danny Kanell, and David Pollack. The program will run each week through Sunday December 6th, rounding out the last full week of the regular season. Army and Navy face off Saturday, December 12th, but are the only two teams that play that day, making Week 14 the last full official week of the regular season.

On Tuesday, November 17th, ESPN will air live a special edition of 2015 College Football Playoff: Top 25. It will come live from the State Farm Champions Classic basketball event at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The weekly announcement will be made at 9:30pm ET between the evening’s two games–Kansas vs. Michigan State, Kentucky vs. Duke.

The December 6th edition of College Football Playoff: Top 25 will be a four-hour edition. During this broadcast, Davis and company will announce the Semifinal pairings for this year’s NCAA Division I college football playoffs. They will also announce the six bowl games scheduled for New Year’s Day, and the Top 25 rankings. It all kicks off at noon eastern time on ESPN. The complete broadcast schedule for ESPN’s 2015 College Football Playoff: Top 25 is listed below.

Date Time (all times ET) Network
Tue, Oct. 20 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Oct. 27 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov. 3 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov. 10 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov. 17 9:30 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Nov. 24 7 p.m. ESPN
Tue, Dec. 1 7 p.m. ESPN
Sun, Dec. 6 Noon ESPN

More information on ESPN’s college football coverage is available online now at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/ncf/index

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Heads To The Show Me State For Upcoming SNB, MNB Broadcasts

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell heads to Kansas City this weekend for a matchup between the red hot Royals and their American league foes, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Sunday’s broadcast will be the closer in the four-game series between the AL opponents. No information is available as of yet in regards to who will start for either team in Sunday’s game. Currently the Royals sit atop the American League standings at 67 – 44 on the season. Kansas City has gone 6 – 4 in its last ten games and is riding the wave of a four-game win streak with its latest win coming this past Monday, August 10th, against Detroit. The Angels sit fifth overall in the American League and second in the AL West, just one game back from the division-leading Astros. The Angels are 23 – 29 on the road, which does not bode well for the Halos as they roll into Kansas City beginning this Thursday. Kansas City is 38 – 18 at home so far this season. And being that the Angels have been slumping lately (they are 4 – 6 in their last ten games with their most recent loss coming at the hands of the Chicago White Sox 8 – 2), the team will have plenty to play for in its upcoming series against the Royals.

Dan Shulman will have the call for Sunday’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk for additional commentary. Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game news and all of the latest headlines from around the league. Sunday’s broadcast will be preceded as with every week by Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet. Adnan Virk will anchor Sunday night’s broadcast. He will be joined at the desk by analyst Aaron Boone, ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian, and on-site reporter Nicole Briscoe. Coverage begins at 7pm ET and will be simulcast on television and online via ESPN and WatchESPN. Coverage of Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell will be simulcast on television, radio, and online via ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, and WatchESPN beginning at 8pm ET.

Sunday night’s AL matchup between the Royals and Angels will be followed up Monday night by a National League showdown between the Giants and Cardinals on ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball presented by USAA. No information has been provided as of yet in regards to who will start the game for either team. The Cardinals sit atop the MLB standings right now with a 71 – 40 record so far on the season. The red birds also lead the NL standings and NL Central. San Francisco currently sits second in the NL West, two and a half games back from the division-leading Dodgers. Monday’s game is the opener in a three-game series between the teams.

Dave Fleming will have the call for Monday night’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Aaron Boone and Dallas Braden. Monday’s game will be simulcast on television and online via ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and WatchESPN. Coverage kicks off at 8pm ET. More information on ESPN’s MLB coverage is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Iger: “We Are Honored To Call Him A Disney Legend”–TWDC CEO Speaks On Giffords’ Passing

Courtesy:  The Walt Disney Company

Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

The football world lost one of its most beloved names today.
NFL great Frank Gifford passed away today. Gifford, a former member of the New York Giants and one of the most respected and talented announcers in NFL history, died this morning. Reports state that the NFL Hall of Famer died of natural causes. He was 84-years old. As a former broadcaster for ABC Sports’ NFL coverage, Gifford became part of one of the greatest commentary teams in NFL history. That team consisted of himself, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. In response to Gifford’s passing Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company released a statement today speaking on Gifford’s legacy and his passing. The following is Iger’s statement.

“Frank Gifford was an exceptional man who will be missed by everyone who had the joy of seeing his talent on the field, the pleasure of watching his broadcasts, or the honor of knowing him. His many achievements were defined by a quiet dignity and a personal grace that is seldom seen in any arena; he truly embodied the very best of us. Frank’s contributions to ABC Sports and our company are immeasurable. We are honored to call him a Disney Legend and I am very fortunate to have called him a dear friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”

More information on this story is available online along with all of the latest NFL headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NFLonESPN

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ESPN Networks To Carry Full Coverage Of This Weekend’s Dodgers-Pirates Series

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The ESPN family of networks has a special treat for baseball fans this weekend. It will bring full coverage of the Dodgers and Pirates this weekend in the teams’ weekend-spanning three-game series.

ESPN and family of networks will bring baseball fans full coverage of this weekend’s three-game series between the Dodgers and Pirates. It all kicks off tonight at 7pm ET on ESPN and WatchESPN with coverage presented by Taco Bell. Gerrit Cole is expected to get the start for the Pirates in tonight’s game while Clayton Kershaw will get the start for the Dodgers. Cole’s last start was this past Saturday against the Pirates’ NL Central foes, the Cincinnati Reds. Cincinnati got the win in that game, defeating Pittsburgh 4 – 3 with Cole taking the loss. Cole pitched five innings in that game, throwing a total of ninety-eighty pitches, sixty-six of which were strikes for a roughly sixty-eight percent strike rate. Speaking of strikes, Cole struck out five of twenty-three batters that he faced. He allowed four hits, two runs, two earned runs, one home run and walked two.

Clayton Kershaw last took the mound last Saturday against the Angels. The Dodgers got the 3 – 1 win in that game with Kershaw being credited with the win. Kershaw pitched one hundred fifteen pitches over eight innings in the game, seventy-seven of which were strikes. That’s a roughly sixty-seven percent strike rate. Of the twenty-six batters that Kershaw faced, he struck out seven, allowing only two hits, no runs and no earned runs among them. He walked only one.

Coming into tonight’s series’ opener, Los Angeles sits third in the National League standings behind the Cardinals and Pirates three games ahead of the Giants in the NL West. So this game and the pair to follow will be crucial for both teams as the race for the post season heats up. The Dodgers are currently 62 – 46 on the season, and 6 – 4 in their last ten games with two of those last ten being wins for the team. Tonight’s series opener will be especially interesting because both the Dodgers and Pirates have proven to be better at home than on the road. As a matter of fact, the teams’ home records are nearly identical with Pittsburgh currently going 36 – 18 at home so far this season and the Dodgers going 37 – 18 at home so far this season. Both teams’ road records are equally unstable. Pittsburgh has accrued a 26 – 26 road record while Los Angeles has gone 25 – 28 on the road so far this season.

Dan Shulman will have the call for tonight’s game. He will be joined in the booth by analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk. Reporter Buster Olney will also be on hand for all of the latest in-game reports and news from around the league.

The ESPN networks’ coverage of the series between the Pirates and Dodgers continues Saturday afternoon on ESPN Radio as Matt Latos and Francisco Liriano take to the mound for the Dodgers and Pirates respectively. John Sciambi will have the call for that game. He will be joined by analyst Chris Singleton. Coverage for Saturday night’s game is scheduled for a 3pm ET start.

This weekend’s coverage of the Dodgers and Pirates is rounded out Sunday night on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell and Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet. Karl Ravech will anchor Sunday night’s edition of Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown presented by Chevrolet, which begins at 7pm ET. He will be joined at the desk by Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian, and reporter Nicole Briscoe. Those that won’t be near a TV can catch Sunday Night Countdown on ESPN Radio, hosted by Jon Sciambi. It will also be simulcast online on WatchESPN and on ESPN Deportes for MLB’s Spanish-speaking audiences. Dan Shulman will have the call on Sunday Night Baseball presented by Taco Bell. That broadcast is scheduled for an 8pm ET start. Shulman will be joined in the booth once again by his SNB cohorts Curt Schilling and John Kruk and on the field by reporter Buster Olney. Charlie Morton is expected to get the start for Pittsburgh and Alex Wood for Los Angeles.

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of this weekend’s series between the Pirates and Dodgers is available online now along with all of the latest MLB headlines at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mlb

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNBaseballTonight

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.