The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.
We are back on the air with sports! It was a long time coming – from our last football broadcast on November 20 until our next, January 2, there was a total of 43 days in between. The good news is we now have a winter schedule planned. The bad news is – it won’t quite look the same.
As I write this, we will have broadcast three Lafayette games with 12 more to follow. We have a great relationship with the Lafayette athletic department as well as a contractual obligation to televise a specific number of Lafayette football and basketball games. The Patriot League basketball season consists of games played exclusively on Saturday and Sunday. Two teams play each other back-to-back and home and away each Saturday and Sunday. We televise the women on one day and the men on the other.
This will create some disappointment for our high school fans. There are going to be fewer high school games and fewer wrestling matches. So, before you ask, I thought I would explain.
Our company has accepted the responsibility to keep their employees as safe as possible and we are certainly grateful for that. I know our fans are used to us being able to do two events on any given day or night. Covid mitigation regulations will not allow that to happen. In order to strictly adhere to the social distancing and mask requirements, we must use our two production trucks at a single event. This keeps our crew at the venue properly separated and as safe as possible. However, it also does not allow us to do two separate events.
It also requires a separate crew back at the studio because that is where the announcers are located. I’m sure you have noted that many of the networks do not have their announcers at the venue. Some won’t allow it; others feel it is the safest approach.
So, with the Lafayette schedule filling almost every Saturday and Sunday until at least February 21, our local high school schedule will be limited to three events (basketball and/or wrestling) per week, where we normally would do five or more, on average.
Much like all of you, we would love to get back to bringing you all the games we have in the past. And we are sure that day will come again. But, for right now, it is imperative that you stay safe and we stay safe.
Rest assured, we miss seeing you, talking with you, interviewing players and coaches, being with ADs and fellow media personnel, and soaking up as many events as possible. We WILL do that again.
I anticipated you would wonder about our schedule, so I hope this gave you some insight before you asked.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- The Patriot League will play a football season. The first game is scheduled for March 13 and the schedule will conclude on April 17 with a championship game. The League will be divided into two divisions of three teams each (North – Holy Cross, Fordham, and Colgate; South – Lafayette, Lehigh, and Bucknell). Each team will play their two division opponents and two from the other division for a total of four games. So… there will be a Lafayette-Lehigh game in the spring!!
- Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie and head coach Doug Pederson met this past week and just when everyone thought both would go back to work, it appears that they may not be on the same page. The Eagles have plenty of personnel problems, the most glaring being at quarterback. There will also be a total revamping of the coaching staff. Lurie and Pederson will meet again this week in Florida and Pederson’s vision for the future needs to agree more with Lurie’s or the Eagles will be looking for a new coach.
- Tampa Bay had not won a playoff game since 2002. That year they won the Super Bowl. Their quarterback is Tom Brady and, if memory serves me, he’s won Super Bowls before. Could it be?
- No matter whether you were rooting for the Bucs or the Washington Football Team on Saturday night, you had to love the performance of Taylor Heinicke, who made just his second NFL start ever. He threw for 306 yards, a touchdown, and rushed for a touchdown, while being in pain most of the game. He even had a chance to win the game at the end. A true underdog story – and who doesn’t like those?
- High school basketball returns this week. On Friday night, RCN-TV will bring the Parkland at Central game to you LIVE at 7:00pm. We were originally scheduled to do Freedom at Northampton, but the Bethlehem schools did not fulfill their mandated 10 pre-season practices so the game was postponed.
Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 3-3; OVERALL- 165-94-1 – 64%)