People & Personalities: Tirico To Call First NHL Game Later This Month
Mike Tirico will call the Feb. 20 Blackhawks-Red Wings game on NBCSN, marking the first time in his career that he will call an NHL game. Tirico since joining NBC in ’16 has been a part of several NHL events, including the ’19 NHL All-Star Game, the ’19 Winter Classic in South Bend and Game One of the Capitals-Golden Knights Stanley Cup Final last season. Eddie Olczyk will join Tirico in the booth for the game, while Brian Boucher will provide inside-the-glass analysis (Ian Thomas, THE DAILY). Tirico said that he has "received some pointers" from fellow announcers Mike Emrick and Kenny Albert (AP, 2/7). In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote, "The obvious question is how has this not happened before?" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 2/7).
WOODSON LEAVING ESPN: In Detroit, Kirkland Crawford notes Charles Woodson posted on Instagram Thursday that his tenure at ESPN has "come to a close" after three seasons. Woodson had been a co-host of the net's "Sunday NFL Countdown" pregame show (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/8). In N.Y., Andrew Marchand, who broke the news, writes Woodson "never really took off on the show" (NYPOST.com, 2/7). In Boston, Chad Finn adds Woodson "never made much of an impact" on the show. The program "would be better off if it doesn’t fill Woodson’s spot" and gives analyst Randy Moss "more room to roam" (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/8).
HEADED TO COURT? In Indianapolis, Jim Ayello notes racing analyst and former F1 driver Derek Daly filed a $25M defamation lawsuit Thursday against Indy-based WISH-TV, "claiming the station inaccurately reported his connection to the use of a racial slur." WISH last August fired Daly after it had "determined he was the source of the racial slur that led to the retirement" of long-time Colts radio broadcaster Bob Lamey. Daly is "seeking punitive damages on top" of the $25M after WISH made “statements which they knew, or should have known, were false and defamatory” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 2/8).
AMERICAN EAGLE: On Long Island, Neil Best notes Ian Eagle "will be honored by the YES Network and Nets" during the Feb. 21 matchup against the Trail Blazers for 25 years of calling the team's games. Eagle said, "I turn 50 on Saturday (Feb. 9), so literally half my life has been spent doing this job. That’s very difficult for me to wrap my brain around, when you start thinking of it in those terms" (NEWSDAY, 2/8).