Don’t shoot the messenger, but way past his expiration date Dan Dierdorf will be given the microphone by CBS for Sunday’s game at Cincinnati between the Patriots and Bengals. Every week Dierdorf comes up with comments you would expect from a half lit fan watching the game on the last stool on the left at the corner pub, but not from a highly paid professional announcer. Then again, perhaps that’s part of the issue; how else can you explain Dierdorf calling his long-time play-by-play partner, Greg Gumbel, “Bill” during a telecast? Or for example, suggesting a head coach tell his kickoff return man to return every single kick, even if it is eight or nine yards deep, every single time?
In a bit of a scheduling oddity this is only the second time this year that CBS is broadcasting a Patriots game – and unfortunately for Pats fans, Dierdorf is part of the television crew in both instances. CBS has the doubleheader this week and will send their top crew (Jim Nantz, Phil Simms) to their primary late afternoon game: Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys. Yes, I know; it’s absolutely shocking that the Peyton Manning Show is scheduled to be the main attraction by one of the football networks this week.
Interesting to note that FOX assigned their number four crew (Burkhart, Lynch) to a much better game than the one they gave their number three crew (Brennaman, Billick), but there is a method to the madness: the Philadelphia and New York markets dwarf those of Seattle and Indy.
It’s also very telling how immensely popular the Patriots are in the Boston area that WFXT Fox 25 refuses to go head-to-head with a Pats game – even if it means broadcasting a real dog (Panthers-Cardinals) rather than other options such as Saints-Bears or Lions-Packers. Meanwhile the rest of the New England FOX stations are opting to cater to New Yorkers and are airing the Giants game at the same time that the Patriots play.
The other news is that because of the baseball playoff schedule, the NFL game in Oakland has been pushed back from 1:00 pm west coast time to 8:30 pm (11:30 pm ET) so that the stadium crew can have enough time to transform from baseball to football. Due to the time change that game has been switched from CBS to the NFL Network.
Here is a look at each week five NFL game, the announcers, and the initial plan of television coverage. Local stations can request a different games, so there may be a few changes between now and Sunday.
CBS Early Games
New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals
Greg Gumbel, Dan Dierdorf
Available most everywhere except as noted below
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
Marv Albert, Rich Gannon
DC, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Florida (except Jacksonville-Orlando), Cleveland
Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans
Kevin Harlan, Solomon Wilcotts
Tennessee, Arkansas, western Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, most of California
Jacksonville Jaguars at St. Louis Rams
Bill McAtee, Steve Tasker
Southern Illinois, eastern Missouri, southern Georgia, Jacksonville, Orlando
Due to NFL broadcast rules there will be no early CBS game in New York City, Indianapolis, Chicago or Detroit
FOX Early Games
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Southern California, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Texas, eastern Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, most of Florida
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston
Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, most of Missouri, Chico CA (Aaron Rodgers’ hometown)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants
Thomm Brennaman, Brian Billick
New England (except eastern Mass.), New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, western Oklahoma
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts
Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch
Washington, Oregon, most of California, Idaho, most of Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Indiana, Kentucky, most of Ohio, West Virginia, Hawaii, Alaska, Houston
CBS Late Game
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys
Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Everywhere except Arizona, due to NFL broadcast rule
Fox Late Game
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals
Chris Myers, Tim Ryan
Arizona, Virginia, Nashville, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, St. Louis
Sunday Night Games
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers on NBC, 8:30 pm ET
Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders on NFLN, 11:30 pm ET
Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts
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