Sports TV for an hour and no Browns highlights

Your lone necessary highlight from yesterday

We all know yesterday’s game was kind of boring as far as NFL football games go. Maybe it was the weather, but regardless, there was basically a lone highlight in the game as the Browns punted nine straight times during the 7-6 victory over the Chargers. Even still, I was riding my exercise bike this morning on a pretty nasty, wet day outside, and flipping around between ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, and NFL Network, I didn’t see Trent Richardson’s 26-yard scamper even once. Maybe they showed it somewhere and I just missed it in my flipping, but I was also looking at those ubiquitous scrolling timelines that tell you what highlights are on the way, and I never saw it there either.

This isn’t a complaint about ESPN or NFL Network, specifically. I could lobby a lot of complaints about them in general,1 but I am not critical of them here. The Browns game was decidedly boring yesterday even if I’m elated that the team came out with the victory. I expect Browns fans and media to talk about how much tougher the Browns were mentally than the Norv Turner / Phillip Rivers-led team from San Diego. While Brandon Weeden was content to throw the ball away and just not turn the ball over, Rivers was screeching like a banshee and tossing could-be arm punts into the air.2 I don’t expect the national coverage to care much about it. Those are “deep cuts” in the wider NFL world. That doesn’t mean there isn’t demand for it in Cleveland.

As I said, this isn’t a complaint about ESPN or NFL Network. Rather, I’m wondering if there is a media gap large enough to be filled by someone like STO or Fox Sports Ohio. Even if there isn’t enough for a daily show, I wonder if one of those channels shouldn’t schedule a Monday Morning QB type NFL show centered around the Bengals and Browns, especially as those teams fight for national NFL relevance. I don’t know if it is even possible with TV rights and NFL rules, but I’ll ask it out loud anyway.

Is it possible? Does it make business sense? I have no idea. What I do know is that I would have been tuned in this morning for some deeper analysis of what happened yesterday in the Browns game even as it was one of the more boring Browns games, probably since the 6-3 wind-ruined Buffalo victory from a few years back.

So, what do you think? Is there enough demand for it or are we too far gone in the on-demand world of highlights on for it to even matter?

  1. I might start by saying that the NFL Network needs to start over completely with NFL AM, their morning show. It is abysmal. []
  2. Whoever came up with the term “arm punts” deserves many many awards. []

  • dan

    I blame NBC, actually. The sports world doesn’t need more shows focused on one or two teams. What it needs is what NFL Prime Time used to be, a Sunday night highlight show that spent 4 minutes on every game. When NBC bought Sunday Night Football it purchased exclusive rights to have such a show, killing Prime Time, then instead of a highlight show decided to broadcast the awful Football Night in America, which basically previews the evening game with highlights from the bigger games. The lack of a real, NFL-wife highlight show (the NFL Network’s is jabbering) is a real problem for the league. Local shows aren’t the solution because they don’t help Bucs fans in New York, Packers fans in Oklahoma, or Browns fans in California, and it’s the diversity f fandom that made the league so popular.

  • mgbode

    a Browns, Bengals, Steelers (sadly, for parts of Ohio), Lions (NW Ohio) highlight and preview shows I think would all have a good place on an Ohio sports network.

    but, if they don’t exist, then it is likely the NFL blocks such shows, which is sad if they do.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Why not complain? I think you have every right to do so. NFL Network has a two hour show in “NFL AM” and all it does is recap the games from Sunday. The Browns game had 1 or 2 highlights shown. I think it was just the T-Rich touchdown, and that was it. Would people not enjoy seeing the strip and recovery? Did Weeden not pick up consecutive 3rd and longs with a great roll-out to his right and an accurate throw in awful conditions? Yes, there were tons of bad/sloppy plays, but ESPN and the NFL have no interest in showing the Browns, and that sucks. I’m complaining.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    This is why I actually love NFL Network – they spend a solid 4-6 minutes on each game typically. (And why I’m surprised Craig didn’t see it this AM, I definitely saw last night.)

    It’s actually why I enjoy NFL Network and basically never watch ESPN or the like anymore. Cleveland – and really, anything not on the coasts or perhaps in Texas – don’t exist. It’s all LA, NY, Bos, Tex, Fla.

  • Have you watched their morning show NFL AM? It is what I’m exposed to most and I’m not impressed.

  • Henry Brown

    Maybe I’m not understanding correctly, but STO has Browns shows on almost every night during football season.

  • Hopwin

    Sure ESPN ignored Cleveland but did you see that story about the Yankees and Red Sox move to quilted TP for the next baseball season? Hard-hitting stuff there.

  • Clearly there’s no gap to be filled, as people have been whining about Cleveland’s national sports coverage forever.

  • That Guard assisted run was fantastic! Compared to all the highlights I saw from the games this last week-end (and thursday), it was tops! I was watching last night around 12 central, and NFL network gave the game about 5 seconds short of the time it took for Dion to say “Good win Cleveland”. It is infuriating… While they talk about Cam Newton endlessly, media goes with the popular teams everytime.. (“Oh no! The Eagles are doing poorly! Everyone talk about it!”)

  • im grateful for a lack of national reporting especially after a win. (for now.) you can be sure that any and all national analysts will lecture cleve fandom on what a great job shurmur is doing here and the importance of continuity.

    as to the business prop, i was thinking the exact same thing this morning. couldnt someone make some money with a monday-morning-live-stream-able-blog-cast? i checked WEOL this morning and i have to think such a spot would to better than the review of lorain city parks and infrastructure budgets (which was this morning’s subject). not knowing anything about broadcasting costs, but i should think a small radio station could be ‘rented out’ inexpensively enough where ad-revenue could cover the cost and then some.. (totally spitballing here.)

    i just know that i pulled up kiley/booms this morning and couldnt get past thirty seconds of their bickering. it’s like being invited to a dinner party and the host/hostess hate each other… it’s not fun, pretty much uncomfortable for all, and you just want to leave.

  • Steve

    Yeah it sucks, but the shows have to do what is in their best interest. Neither the Browns nor a 7-6 game is going to a popular draw, and especially so when you put the two together. It’s not like TV stations are ignoring the Browns to stick it to us, they’re doing so because it’s in the interest of better ratings, and I can’t fault them for that.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Unfortunately that doesn’t do much for those of us living outside of OH.

  • Harv 21

    Craig, this sounds like the nobody loves Cleveland stuff. We can’t expect a network to sell ads by pointing out the significance of a 12-yard swing pass from our 6 yard line on a drive that results in no points but eats valuable clock in a low-scoring game between two of the worst teams in the league. We start winning and we’ll get lots of attention.

    Here’s what I do to satisfy my post-game analysis jones: listen to the low-brow Cleveland post-game radio shows while I’m doing my Sunday evening things, try not to slit wrists at most of the stuff coming from blowhard hosts and stupid callers, check the DVR for maybe what I missed the first time to make sure i’m not crazy. We don’t need validation from national media. If the stuff coming from the mouths of the network game broadcasters who have familiarized themeselves for a few days before the game is pretty shallow and worthless, how much more so a national show.

  • Stinkfist

    I live in Indiana and get some Chicago channels, They have their own nightly recap show on CSN Chicago for the Cubs Sox Bulls Blackhawks Bears (and occasionally some college sports in the area). The The point is, they have Bears highlights and analysis, so I find it unlikely the NFL blocks it. Why would they? Its more exposure of their league.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    No – I usually see the night stuff (and late night), no time in the mornings. I’m just surprised they don’t show similar stuff in the AM as they do at night.

  • Actually NBC’s Sunday night football highlighted the Browns 3 times to my surprise: T-Rich’s run was in the opening segment best of 7, highlights of the game were also shown in some depth and T-Rich’s run was again shown in the closing segments of the show. Not bad for a slopfest, how much can you show in a game with only 3 scores from both teams? Not surprised it’s not highlight driven ESPN material.

  • Nope. I acknowledge that they can’t go in-depth on it. I just don’t think it’s unreasonable to see the 26 yard run once in an hour of sports highlights the day after the game is all. Never saw it on the reel of things to come, let alone the actual clip. I watched for an hour between fours sports channels.

  • dan

    The NFL Network show does spend time on each game, but the announcers spend so much time during the highlights yelling over each other and trying to be funny that it doesn’t really feel like a highlight show to me.

    I do really like Mariucci’s analysis, though.

  • DontbringLBJback

    Oh contrare, VP! I live in VA, and I get STO and Fox News Ohio on DirecTV. Couldn’t live without it.

  • MrCleaveland

    You’re absolutely right. And I love the hourly segments on Derek Jeter’s ankle and the frequent updates on Joba’s off-season weight fluctuations.

  • mgbode

    well then, you are probably dying of anticipation of the A-Rod trade watch.

  • Josh G

    I agree, it is good to see this article because as I ate breakfast this morning i watched NFL AM with the glimmer of hope of seeing our one highlight and what slim analysis they would have. Instead, over the next two hours what I got was a review from almost every other game and half of the time dedicated to whether it is Sanchez’s or Ryan’s fault that the Jets are the greatest abomination in football history. I do understand though, how could this debate not take eight different segments when they had to voice about two different points!

  • NoVA Buckeye

    “We’d like to interrupt the Cleveland highlights special for this important announcement: Tim Tebow saw a cloud.” -Sportscenter