In Jacksonville, Hays Carlyon notes Sunday’s 49ers-Jaguars game “hasn’t been mentioned in the sports sections” of the London Telegraph, London Daily Mail and London Times in the last two days, although there are a “handful of English journalists covering the Jaguars at Pennyhill Park.” U.K.-based Channel 4 TV producer Phil Spooner said, “The national papers, it’s soccer season and that dominates everything. It always does. Perhaps newspapers are a little slower than the rest” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 10/25). Also in Jacksonville, Gene Frenette wrote the “buzz” for Sunday’s game has “yet to hit with any force.” It is “not like you’d know by scanning the U.K. newspapers or television.” Even the NFL’s “all-powerful brand settles for leftovers when there’s English Premier League soccer drama to break down from all angles” (JACKSONVILLE.com, 10/24).
BOMBS AWAY: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday "for the third time in three years ... sure sounded like he dropped the N-word on an ESPN program." Raissman: "Once was enough, but doing it again, and again, is inviting trouble, not only for himself but for 'First Take,' a show that’s been under scrutiny at ESPN and criticized internally." Smith and Skip Bayless on "First Take" were debating when Smith "got riled up and said: 'That’s the way it goes. That’s all! N----, please. Please.'" Raissman writes the day "may come, sooner than you think, when Smith’s denials fall on deaf ears and the suits, who don’t seem to hear these N-bombs, decide to draw the line" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/25).
NOW YOU'RE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE: The NBA Kings on Thursday announced that they have "launched a Hindi-language version of the team website." The SACRAMENTO BEE reports the site "provides similar features to the regular team site, including player profiles, interviews, and game information." The effort is part of Kings Managing Partner Vivek Ranadive‘s "goal of making the Kings and NBA basketball a major attraction in India and in other Asian countries" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/25).