People & Personalities: NBC's Top Horse Racing Analysts Ready For Double Duty
In Albany, Pete Dougherty notes two significant horse races "on tracks separated by nearly 3,000 miles take place this weekend," and NBC's Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey "are going to see both -- in person." Their itinerary "calls for the two men to be picked up by a car service early Saturday evening," after the running of the $1.25M Travers at Saratoga Race Course. They will be driven to Philadelphia and "fly Sunday morning to San Diego, where Moss' wife will pick them up and drive them" to Del Mar racetrack for the $1M Pacific Classic later in the day. NBC Sports Coordinating Producer Rob Hyland: "They are our two premier analysts on the sport, so why not have them at the premier races of the summer at both Saratoga on Saturday and Del Mar on Sunday?" (Albany TIMES UNION, 8/22).
DA COACH CONTROVERSY? Rush Limbaugh on Thursday's edition of his radio show suggested that ESPN's Mike Ditka "will be suspended from his job as an ESPN analyst after remarks he made about the push to have" the Redskins change their nickname. In Philadelphia, John Smallwood writes it "wasn't merely that Ditka expressed his opinion that the team not change its name," but the fact he "went on to say that any people whose opinions differed from his are 'politically correct idiots in America.'" ESPN "is in a tough spot if it simply tries to ignore what Ditka said and go on with business as usual" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 8/22).
EVEN STEVEN: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes SNY's Steve Gelbs, the "heir apparent to Fox-bound Kevin Burkhardt as SNY’s Mets games rover, has been both relaxed and useful." During the recent Mets-A's series, he reported that because O.co Coliseum "doubles as the Raiders’ field, the pitching mound sits on a large, haul-away pallet." Mushnick: "Neat" (N.Y. POST, 8/22).
TRANSACTIONS: CBS Sports Group announced that former NFLers London Fletcher and Fred Smoot have been named studio analysts for CBS Sports Network's "That Other Pregame Show" (TOPS) alongside former Women's Professional Football QB Anita Marks. They join returning panelists Adam Schein, Amy Trask and Brandon Tierney (CBS Sports Group)....SEC Network named former Univ. of Georgia QB David Greene "Film Room" host, which will see him interview a different SEC football coach each week to "break down game footage" (AJC.com, 8/21)....Former San Antonio-based KENS-CBS traffic reporter Megan Alexander "will be part of CBS' highly hyped 'Thursday Night Football,' which debuts" on Sept. 11 (MYSANANTONIO.com, 8/21)....Tennis Channel named tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands an analyst for the U.S. Open during the tournament's opening three days. Mattek-Sands, who is injured and not playing in the event, will appear on the net's set on the second level of Arthur Ashe Stadium (Tennis Channel).