In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes some people watching Saturday's Ohio State-Wisconsin Big Ten Championship game "were turned off when Fox announcer Gus Johnson playfully plugged" Dr Pepper during the game. The soda is the title sponsor of the CFP and has ads "all over college football," and Johnson plugged it "like a rash" while the playing field was being repaired in the fourth quarter." Johnson said the lone person repairing the Lucas Oil Stadium turf would “certainly deserve” said soda when he was done. It was a "tad clumsy and crass" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/5).
TWO THUMBS UP: ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY ranked ESPN's "30 for 30" podcast hosted by Jody Avirgan as its 5th best podcast of '17. EW's Maureen Lenker wrote the show "joined the podcast world this year and did not disappoint." It featured "in-depth storytelling on some of the most engrossing sports moments," and it "scores big with arm-chair referees and sports novices alike" (EW.com, 12/4).
ANSWERING THE CALL: WNBA Lynx G Lindsay Whalen "will join the Fox Sports North broadcast team as a second in-game analyst" for eight T'Wolves games this season. She will "make her season debut" tomorrow for T'Wolves-Clippers, working a total of three home games and five road games. Whalen joined FSN "for one Wolves’ broadcast last March" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 12/5).