SBD/September 6, 2013/NFL Season Preview

NFL Media Notes: Ray Lewis Brings Unique Perspective To New Analyst Role

Lewis alleges that last year's Super Bowl blackout was a conspiracy
THE MMQB's Don Banks wrote of new ESPN NFL analyst Ray Lewis, "I don’t really care what ESPN is paying the former Baltimore Ravens great this season to impart his wealth of football insights. I’m more interested in what ESPN is paying the person who’s paid to keep Lewis on point, because that’s the toughest job in television this year, bar none." Lewis has alleged the blackout during Super Bowl XLVII was a conspiracy, which "could be just the appetizer in the feast to come with Lewis’ new career as a TV analyst." Monday nights "may never be the same now that the future Hall of Fame linebacker has joined ESPN’s desk full of football experts" (MMQB.SI.com, 9/4).

PLAYING THROUGH THE PAIN: In Houston, David Barron noted FS Southwest reporter Patti Smith will "be playing hurt Monday night in San Diego as she helps host the network’s Texans pre- and postgame shows." Smith suffered a torn ACL in her left knee Aug. 24 in "an accident involving an equipment cart at Reliant Stadium." She worked during the Saints-Texans game the following day and "has continued on the job since the accident." Since post-surgical patients "face travel restrictions, she will not undergo surgery until next Thursday." Smith said that she "was riding on an equipment cart when a piece of gear on the back of the cart hit an awning on Budweiser Plaza at the stadium." Smith: "A pole hit the overhang, which flipped me off the cart. I did a flip in the air, landed on my head and suffered a torn ACL" (CHRON.com, 9/5).

SUPER-SIZE ME: In N.Y., David Hinckley reported WNYW-Fox sportscaster Russ Salzberg is scheduled to "launch a Super Bowl countdown show" on Friday. The weekly half-hour show will run from 10:30-11:00pm ET and is called "Super Football Friday." It will cover "the full gamut of Super Bowl prep, and give viewers plenty of time to digest it" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/5).

DA BEARS: ChicagoBears.com's "Training Camp Central" coverage was highlighted by 237 new pieces of content across its digital platforms from July 24-Aug. 18, including 104 videos that were viewed approximately 2 million times. The site saw a 17% increase in unique visitors compared to the same period in '12, as well as a 21% gain in page views (Bears).
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