With the NFL announcing it is pushing back the start of late-afternoon doubleheader games by 10 minutes this year, the BOSTON GLOBE's Chad Finn writes, "Perhaps someone can find a few football-indifferent fans of '60 Minutes' or 'The Simpsons' with a grievance, but otherwise it’s hard to believe there will be much disagreement." The change "may cause Sunday night programming to start later, but for football fans, the tradeoff is well worth it," as the later start times "mean it is far less likely that viewers will miss out on the final minutes of an exciting early game on Fox or CBS" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/29). The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes, "If the late games go over into the lucrative prime-time viewing hour, garnering higher ratings, that’s something the NFL will just have to accept (cough)" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/29). SportsNet N.Y.'s Jonas Schwartz said, "A network TV decision actually helps fans. ... Look at that, we don't have to stay up later and it makes things better. Who would have thought?” (“Daily News Live,” SportsNet N.Y., 6/28). ESPN's Michael Wilbon: “Is ’60 Minutes’ ever going to appear? They just keep pushing it and pushing it” (“PTI,” ESPN, 6/28).
INTERESTING DILEMMA: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes while the loss of Yankees Ps Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia earlier this week to the DL "is serious business, it makes the Yankees a more intriguing, compelling property." Once the Yankees "got in a groove, their season was becoming all too predictable," and now "it’s not." There are "pitching questions," and the "possibility of seeing young guys taking advantage of an opportunity and trying to make it with the most storied franchise in sports." Raissman: "This is a baseball mystery worth watching" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/29).
HAPPY ACCIDENT? In L.A., Tom Hoffarth reports U.S. Olympic hopeful sprinters Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh may have to compete in a match race to qualify for the London Games after the two finished in a dead heat during time trials last Saturday. Officials "want that to happen Sunday, a day after the two finish their competition in the 200 meters qualifying and finals." Bob Kersee, the coach for both runners, is "lobbying to have it take place Tuesday." Hoffarth: "Imagine the possibilities for an NBC reality show-like sendoff Sunday." Olympic Gold Medal-winning U.S. sprinter Maurice Greene said earlier this week, "You tell me, NBC couldn't sell that to all its sponsors and put on a 30-minute show about it? ... Tell NBC to give them $2 million and have a runoff" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 6/29).