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NFL Network's Chris Rose during the intro to this morning’s “Free Agent Frenzy” special issued an apology after several expletives were aired during a segment on the net last night. Viewers could hear expletives during a segment with former Patriots VP/Player Personnel Scott Pioli, who was being asked "about the Patriots' philosophy for accumulating draft picks." Rose said, “We want to offer an apology. Last night during some live programming we accidentally aired an expletive. It will not happen again so our sincerest apology to Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots, the Patriots family, Robert Kraft and his entire family. A classy organization out there. Once again, it’s not who we are, it’s not what we do and it will not happen again” (“Free Agent Frenzy,” NFL Network, 3/13). In Boston, Greg Bedard noted the expletives came when an analyst's microphone "was left on -- likely that of Warren Sapp." While Pioli was talking, a voice sounding like Sapp's said, "It's the same (expletive) spew that we had Mike Lombardi do. The (expletive) Bill Belichick (expletive) angle" (BOSTON.com, 3/12). AWFUL ANNOUNCING's Ben Koo noted the audio is "a bit hard to make out and you can't definitively say it is Sapp" (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 3/12).
TWITTER REAX: SI.com's Richard Deitsch tweeted, "Whatever show Warren Sapp is hosting on the NFL Network during Scott Pioli interviews is the one I want to watch." CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman" Exec Producer & Writer Eric Stangel joked, "I actually think along with the SAP button, they should have a SAPP button. Would make things more interesting." SB Nation's Dan Kadar opined, "The best apology from NFL Network would be keeping Warren Sapp off the air."
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick had 971 million impressions on Twitter in the eight days from "when she became the first woman to capture a Sprint Cup pole position to the first to lead the Daytona 500,” according to data from sponsorship research firm Repucom cited by Nate Ryan of USA TODAY. By comparison, last year's Daytona 500 pole winner Carl Edwards 15 million impressions "during the same timeframe last year, and Patrick had 19 million in the two months entering her Daytona 500 debut last season.” Repucom also estimated that Patrick’s primary sponsor Go Daddy “received 1,203 seconds of on-screen branding during the Daytona 500" that was equivalent to $2.9M in media value. Go Daddy during Patrick's last full season in the Izod IndyCar Series in ‘11 had 5,637 seconds of screen time but nearly half the media value ($1.5M) "because NASCAR's ratings and reach dwarf rival racing series.” Patrick also moved up “29 spots after Daytona in the Davie-Brown Index," which quantifies brand clout and marketability of celebrities. As the “highest-ranked NASCAR driver, Patrick (who is 453rd) is on par with George Clooney and Justin Timberlake in endorsement potential and ranks in the top 6% of all celebs in influence” (USA TODAY, 3/13).