Chernoff – The Confidential: Aug. 31, 2016

Report: Saints signing Paul Kruger
Paul Kruger ap_162425186893711-e1472646459791
Paul Kruger (AP Photo)

The Saints finished Tuesday with 74 players on their roster, but it looks like they’ll be topped up at 75 soon.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Saints will sign linebacker Paul Kruger. Kruger visited with the Saints on Tuesday after being released by the Browns and also drew interest from the Chiefs, although they’ll have to look elsewhere for help filling in for Justin Houston.

 

 

 

Chris Berman once again set to call late game of week 1 MNF doubleheader
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ESPN”s Chris Berman Berman (AP)

In news sure to be celebrated across the land, ESPN is once again handing play-by-play duties for the late Week 1 Monday Night Football game to Chris Berman, according to SI‘s Richard Deitsch.

Chris Berman, Steve Young and Lindsay Czarniak will broadcast the MNF @49ers@RamsNFL for ESPN on Sept. 12.

This will be the fifth year in a row ESPN has gifted us Berman for the late-night game, and at this point it seems apparent that, much like the Masters and the Home Run Derby, Berman’s going to do this as long as Berman wants to do this. He will be joined in the booth by Steve Young, who takes over from Trent Dilfer; that’s interesting in that Dilfer just re-upped with ESPN, and apparently maintaining his presence on this telecast wasn’t part of the deal.

 

Baseball dreams accelerate endorsement realities for Tebow
Tim Tebow (AP-File-Photo)
Tim Tebow (AP-File-Photo)

Tim Tebow claims that his desire to play baseball is “definitely not about money.” I wonder how much money he’d be making if it was about money.

As it stands, he’s making plenty of money as part of an effort that’s definitely not about money. Tebow has been selling signed baseballs and bats at $125 and $175 a pop, respectively. And now, ESPN co-worker Darren Rovell reports that Tebow has signed a multi-year deal with Adidas.

“Sources said there was always an active dialogue between Tebow and shoe and apparel companies,” Rovell writes. “His attempt to make it in baseball accelerated that timeline.”

In other words, Adidas and others had been talking to Tebow when he was a football player in permanent limbo. Once he became a budding baseball player, a deal got done. The first manifestation of it occurred on Tuesday, when Tebow became essentially an Adidas sandwich board, wearing the company’s gear from head to toe.

But Tebow’s baseball excursion definitely isn’t about money.

 

Twitter will stream its first college football game when the season kicks off Thursday

Twitter IconUtah State will take on Weber State live, and you can watch it for free

Twitter is entering the streaming game and will begin offering college football contests as soon as Thursday.

According to the Mountain West Conference, Twitter will broadcast the Utah State-Weber State game via free live stream on Thursday. It will be one of two games streamed by the social media service this week as Abilene Christian-Air Force will also be offered on Saturday.

Though Facebook is still seen as the king of social media, Twitter has become the destination of choice for fans to share immediate reactions during live events, both sporting and otherwise.

It is for this reason that Twitter is now signing deals to stream live sports directly via over-the-top broadcasts. Twitter will stream a package of 10 NFL games this fall on Thursdays as well as one MLB and NHL game per week during those respective sports’ regular seasons.

Utah State-Weber State will be simulcast via the Mountain West Network online. The Twitter broadcast will be free for all users and does not require a subscription.

 

Craig Sager to undergo third bone marrow transplant

Craig Sager (AP)TNT’s Craig Sager, the most recognizable sideline reporter in the NBA and arguably across all professional sports, on Wednesday will undergo his third bone marrow transplant.

The transplant will be his third in as many years after first being diagnosed with leukemia in 2014. His son, Craig Sager II, announced the news Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

Thanks to an anonymous donor, tmrw my Dad will enter an unimaginable milestone w/ his 3rd bone marrow/stem cell transplant in a 3year span

— Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) August 30, 2016

Sager’s first transplant came thanks to his son back in 2014, but the disease returned in March of 2015. He then received a second bone marrow transplant, and in March of 2016, it was revealed that he was no longer in remission.

 

TV Ratings: MTV VMAs Drop Again, Draw 6.5 Million Viewers Across Nets

mtv-failThe flagship show for the cable network sees streaming spike but a 34 percent drop from 2015.

The MTV Video Music Awards saw another year of diminished audience returns on Sunday night. Across 11 Viacom networks, the premiere telecast brought in 6.5 million viewers.

Compared to last year’s show, which pulled a similar move by casting a wide net across the cable entertainment suite, the VMAs are down by more than 4 million viewers (a 34 percent drop). All told, the 2015 show grossed just shy of 10 million viewers across all of the networks.

With headlining performances by Beyonce, Rihanna and Britney Spears, this year’s VMAs mark a low for ratings on the main network, as well. Last year it brought 5 million viewers, falling from 8.3 million in 2014.

The network was quick to point to more promising streaming data on Monday morning. A network release touted a 70 percent increase (62.8 million video starts) in streams from VMA day in 2015. Facebook streaming was up 938 percent.

 

Mike Tyson accused of stealing ice cream treat at U.S. Open
mike-tyson_0 (AP Photo)
Mike Tyson (AP Photo)

Mike Tyson was in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium this week to take in some opening-round action at the U.S. Open. And as “Iron Mike” is wont to do from time to time, his antics duringhis appearance invited some semblance of controversy.

According to eyewitness accounts, Tyson snagged an ice cream treat out of a freezer at a Ben and Jerry’s kiosk and walked away without paying for it.

“I was like, ‘Are you serious? Am I imagining this? (Tyson) was like, ‘I feel like having an ice cream’ and he just took it,” said an unidentified worker, via the New York Post. “What are you going to do, fight him? He’s Mike Tyson.”

The former heavyweight champ’s ice cream treat of choice apparently was a “Half Baked” ice cream bar.

A female employee working the stand reportedly yelled, “Excuse me, are you going to pay for that.” An eyewitness states Tyson ignored her and kept on his way to take in Novak Djokovic’s first-round victory over Jerzy Janowicz.

When said employee asked a higher-up about the incident, the supervisor said, “Oh, it’s Mike Tyson, let it go,” according to a witness.

Tyson’s publicist has since downplayed the incident, saying all the hullabaloo can be chalked up to some confusion on Tyson’s part.

“There was a misunderstanding,” Joann Mignano said. “Mike got the ice cream and was going to have the host pay for it as he was running around with his family. He was being pulled in a lot of directions as his daughter, Milan, is a rising tennis star and huge fan of the sport…. His host, David Slade (USTA National Manager), got the money from Mike and has made sure the bill has been taken care of.”

In other words, all’s well that ends well. Tyson got his ice cream bar and the stand got their money. And really, Mike Tyson stealing an ice cream bar at the U.S. Open is a quintessential Tyson tale and deserves inclusion in the expansive pantheon of bizarre Mike Tyson stories.

Remember if you have a story for the confidential email me at Matt@680thefan.com or tweet me @realmattlanta.

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