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Marriotti Joins SF Examiner

Jason Barrett

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Jay Mariotti, one of America’s foremost sports columnists and commentators, is joining The San Francisco Examiner as sports director and columnist.

Mariotti is best known for his work at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he spent 16 years as the city’s dominant sports columnist, and an eight-year run as a regular panelist on ESPN’s debate show, “Around The Horn.”

“In a city that lives and breathes sports, we are honored to have one of the best sports writers in the nation bringing his talents to The City to cover our local teams as well as the broader sports world for the Examiner,” said Glenn Zuehls, Examiner publisher.

“I am thrilled to develop premier content in a city overflowing with powerful sports stories while designing and planning a 21st-century presentation,” Mariotti said.

Marriotti’s first column will appear in late March.

Credit to the SF Examiner who first published this story

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Paul Finebaum: ‘I’ve Been Accused Of Giving Up Objectivity For Nick Saban’

“I’ve been a flag waiver for Nick Saban since the day he got there.”

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People not from the state of Alabama may not realize that there was a time when there was no more vocal critic of the football team than Paul Finebaum. On Monday morning, he told Cole Cubelic of JOX 94.5 in Birmingham that his perspective began to change in January 2007.

“I’ve been a flag waiver for Nick Saban since the day he got there,” Finebaum admitted.

To be fair to Finebaum, Saban and the Crimson Tide have won five national championships and eight SEC championships since his arrival. It has been way easier to wave the flag than find fault.

Paul Finebaum says that some people don’t see it as that simple though and he has had to learn to accept some criticism.

“I’ve been accused of losing all my objectivity and focus to support Saban,” he said. “I believe in that because I believe he has completely transformed that school into what it is today.”

Acknowledging that Saban has been a game changer not just for Alabama football, but for the university itself, doesn’t mean that Paul Finebaum never has anything critical to say about the coach and his team. In fact, he told Cubelic that he was really put off by the way Saban campaigned for Alabama to be included in the upcoming College Football Playoff.

“For a coach of Nick Saban’s intellect to go on national television and use the point spread as a reason for entrance, when he was a big favorite in the two games he lost, he was an overwhelming favorite at Texas, the game where he needed a last-second field goal, and probably was the game that cost him the birth in a TCU head-to-head comparison.”

Saban appeared on multiple television shows and halftime shows stating that if you put Alabama up against any of the other teams in consideration for the final two spots, they would be the favorites. Finebaum thought it was a step too far.

“I want to make it clear,” he said. “I understand Nick Saban standing up for his program. I’ve hear people say ‘well, every coach would do that’. Well, you know what? I didn’t see Ryan Day doing that. I didn’t see Josh Heupel doing that. I saw Nick Saban doing that and I think that is what was so startling to me.”

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Al Dukes: There’s No Point in Listening to NFL Radio Pregame Shows

“The Giants must have nine people doing the pregame show…and all they’re doing is telling what’s sponsored by what.”

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Al Dukes

Sports radio broadcasts are known for being sponsor-heavy, and that point was driven home to WFAN’s Al Dukes while listening to NFL radio broadcasts Sunday.

“There’s no point to listen to — on the radio — the football pregame show is a conduit for commercial, commercial, commercial,” Dukes said during Al & Jerry’s Postgame Podcast. “I had the Giants one on the other day, and I know the Giants — we just put it on our air but the Giants pay us and the Giants sell the commercials, sell the sponsorships.”

“It’s the same way we pay the Yankees,” Jerry Recco replied. “It’s why the weather is sponsored, the on-deck circle is sponsored, the microphone is sponsored. We gotta make our money back.”

“The Giants must have nine people doing the pregame show…and all they’re doing is telling what’s sponsored by what. It’s hard,” Dukes added.

Recco then pointed out he hosted the Giants pregame show in 2004, and the hardest part of the job was ensuring he got in all of the sponsorship mentions and reads, noting the content came secondary to the advertisements.

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Dan Patrick: CFP Committee Missed ‘Monster Game’ With Ohio St vs Michigan

“Maybe I’m being a little too snarky with this,” Dan Patrick added, “but it is a TV show that they’re producing.”

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College football voters have long been accused of making decisions based on what is best for television. It has been true ever since there has been a formal national championship game. 2022 is no exception, although according to Dan Patrick, the people making the decisions on the College Football Playoff field should be chided for not considering the TV implications of their matchups.

“It’s a TV show and that’s what I always wonder,” he said Monday on his FOX Sports Radio show. “Ohio State and Michigan, and you had that in the final four? Look, TCU might be a sacrificial lamb, but that’s okay. You would have a monster game with Ohio State and Michigan.”

America has already seen Ohio State play Michigan once this season. It could have been the opinion of the committee that given that the first game was not close, there would not be any excitement for a rematch. However, to Patrick’s point, the first matchup drew 17 million viewers less than two weeks ago.

“Maybe I’m being a little too snarky with this,” Dan Patrick added, “but it is a TV show that they’re producing.”

CBS Sports analyst Rick Neuheisal, who was Patrick’s guest for the segment agreed. He called out the absurdity of CFP Committee Chairman Boo Corrigan saying that the TV implications of potential matchups were never considered when the final poll was put together.

“To say, as Boo Corrigan did to Rece Davis, that that never came up that it would be an Ohio State, Michigan rematch, that no one acknowledged the elephant in the room? That must be a very small room, if no one said it in the room. Because it was said elsewhere, I gaurantee.”

The College Football Playoff saw a re-match just last year when Georgia defeated Alabama in the National Championship Game just over one month after the Crimson Tide defeated the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. The perception among many, though, is that the committee tries to avoid rematches in the semi-final round.

Michigan will play TCU in the Fiesta Bowl this year with Ohio State facing Georgia in the Peach Bowl. Both semi-final games will air on ESPN on New Year’s Eve.

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