Behind the Broadcast: NFL RedZone host loves his job

Saturday, September 14, 2013
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NFL fans probably want Scott Hanson’s job. I know I want it.

Hanson may be the most envied sportscaster in the country. For 17 weeks during the NFL season, he gets to sit in the NFL Network studio in Los Angeles and watch every Sunday afternoon game.

Hanson, a 1993 Syracuse University graduate, is in his fifth year as host of the NFL Network’s NFL RedZone. It’s Hanson’s job to guide fans through all of the games, and he is quite good at it.

Most of the country had the opportunity to watch NFL RedZone since its inception in 2009. It was a year ago when the NFL and Time Warner Cable finally reached a deal to place NFL Network and NFL RedZone on the system. Many Capital Region TWC subscribers finally got to see what NFL RedZone was all about.

The first time I watched it, I was hooked. I didn’t bother watching the games on FOX and CBS. It was non-stop NFL coverage. No commercials.

“The old cliche is sitting in your family room is the best seat in the house,” Hanson said during an interview Thursday. “Well, if that’s true, then I have the best seat in the universe because I sit in my ‘family room’ with 12 monitors going constantly for seven hours of commercial-free football.

“Hosting NFL RedZone is awesome. There’s really nothing like it in sports television, I don’t think. Constant action [and] no commercials for the most exciting sport and most popular sport in the country. What’s not to like?”

It would seem the most difficult part of the job for Hanson is trying to make sure there is a seamless transition going from game to game, or whether there will be two, three or four games on the screen.

“It’s a little bit like coach-to-quarterback communication in an NFL game,” Hanson said. “My producer is the coach, and I’m the quarterback. My producer will get in my ear and say something to the effect of, ‘We’re watching the Cowboys game. It’s third-and-10. If they don’t get the first down, we’ll step away from there because they’re going to punt. If they get the first down, we’ll stay with Dallas. If they don’t get the first down, we might go to Atlanta because they just got in the red zone, or the Packers are coming out of commercial break and they’re first-and-goal at the five.

“[The producer] might call three plays in my ear, and based upon what actually happens in the games, I have to go out and execute the game plan. It’s wild behind the scenes to try and walk the tightrope.”

The one drawback to not having commercials is that Hanson is limited in the number of breaks he can take.

“That is the number one question I get in my life,” Hanson said. “I can take one two-minute break in seven hours. That’s all I get. But, depending on the action, I might not take that break. I might not be allowed to take that break. Last week, I didn’t take a break. I went seven hours straight through.

“There are some 25, 30 people that do some function on the show. It’s kind of a badge of honor — who went to the bathroom? Who didn’t go to the bathroom? Who lasted the longest? We laugh about it.”

New radio home for Yankees

The New York Yankees are changing radio stations in New York City.

WFAN-AM (660) and WFAN-FM (101.9) will be taking over the broadcasting rights starting next season, the Yankees announced Wednesday. The Yankees have been on WCBS-AM (880). Both stations are owned by CBS Radio.

That means the New York Mets, which have been a fixture on WFAN, will be looking for a new home.

I don’t see this deal affecting things in the Capital Region. ESPN Radio 104.5 The Team (WTMM-FM) has been the home of the Yankees, and should continue in that role next season.

Football TV schedule

Here are the NFL and college games that will be on TV over the next week. Announcers, in order of play-by-play, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses. Announcing teams are subject to change.

NFL

Sunday

FOX23 (WXXA) — Carolina at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (Dick Stockton/Ronde Barber/Kris Budden).

CBS6 (WRGB) — San Diego at Philadelphia, 1 p.m. (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf); Denver at N.Y. Giants, 4:25 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).

NBC13 (WNYT) — San Francisco at Seattle, 8:30 p.m. (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya).

DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket — Washington at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver); Minnesota at Chicago, 1 p.m. (Thom Brennaman/Brian Billick/Laura Okmin); Dallas at Kansas City,

1 p.m. (Chris Myers/Tim Ryan/Jennifer Hale); St. Louis at Atlanta, 1 p.m. (Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa); Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (Marv Albert/Rich Gannon); Tennessee at Houston, 1 p.m. (Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots);

Miami at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. (Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts); New Orleans at Tampa Bay, 4:05 p.m. (Kevin Burkhardt/John Lynch/Erin Andrews); Detroit at Arizona, 4:05 p.m. (Sam Rosen/Heath Evans/Molly McGrath); Jacksonville at Oakland, 4:25 p.m. (Spero Dedes/Steve Tasker).

Monday

ESPN — Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden/Lisa Salters).

Thursday

NFL Network — Kansas City at Philadelphia, 8:25 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan).

College football

Today

ABC10 (WTEN) — UCLA at Nebraska, noon (Sean McDonough/Chris Spielman/Shannon Spake); Tennessee at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. (Mike Patrick/Ed Cunningham/Jeannine Edwards); Notre Dame at Purdue, 8 p.m. (Brent Musburger/Kirk Herbstreit/Heather Cox).

ESPN — Louisville at Kentucky, noon (Beth Mowins/Joey Galloway/Paul Car­caterra); Nevada at Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (Bob Wischusen/Rod Gilmore/Quint Kessenich); Vanderbilt at South Carolina,

7 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Todd Blackledge/Holly Rowe); Wisconsin at Arizona State, 10:30 p.m. (Dave Pasch/Brian Griese/Tom Luginbill).

ESPN2 — Tulsa at Oklahoma, noon (Dave Flemming/Ray Bentley/Lewis Johnson); Mississippi State at Auburn, 7 p.m. (Mark Jones/Brock Huard/Maria Taylor).

ESPNU — Bowling Green at Indiana, noon (Tom Hart/John Congemi); Georgia Tech at Duke, 3:30 p.m. (Anish Shroff/Kelly Stouffer); Kent State at LSU, 7 p.m. (Clay Matvick/Matt Stinchcomb/Dawn Davenport).

FS1 — Virginia Tech at East Carolina, noon (Adam Alexander/Chris Simms); Iowa at Iowa State, 6 p.m. (Justin Kutcher/James Bates/Brady Poppinga); Oregon State at Utah, 10 p.m. (Craig Bolerjack/Joey Harrington/Ryan Nece).

MSG — Southern Mississippi at Arkansas, noon (Dave Neal/Andre Ware/Cara Capuano).

BTN — Akron at Michigan, noon (Kevin Kugler/Chuck Long/Lisa Byington); Central Florida at Penn State, 6 p.m. (Matt Devlin/Glen Mason); Western Illinois at Northwestern, 9 p.m. (Chris Denari/Jon Jansen).

MY4 (WNYA) — New Mexico at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. (Steve Martin/Dave Archer/Rachel Baribeau).

MSG Plus — Louisiana-Monroe at Wake Forest, 12:30 p.m. (Wes Durham/Brian Stann/Jenn Hildreth); Lamar at Oklahoma State, 7:30 p.m. (Ron Thulin/Dave Lapham/Jim Knox).

ESPN3 — Eastern Michigan at Rutgers, 1 p.m. (Trey Bender/John Gregory/Angela Mallen); Fordham at Temple, 1 p.m. (Dave Popkin/Ken Dunek); Stony Brook at Buffalo, 3:30 p.m. (Michael Reghi/Forrest Connoly); Wagner at Syracuse, 4 p.m. (Shawn Kenney/John Bunting/Cat Whitehill); Alabama State at Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 5 p.m. (John Sadak/David Diaz-Infante) (game will be seen on tape delay on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.); Richmond at Gardner Webb, 6 p.m.; Northwestern State at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (Dave Weekley/Rocky Boiman/Rontina McCann); Eastern Washington at Toledo, 7 p.m. (Jim Barbar/Corey Chavous); Florida Atlantic at South Florida, 7 p.m. (Drew Fellios/Al Groh/Tiffany Greene); Nicholls State at Louisiana-Lafayette, 7 p.m. (Roy Philpott/Stan Lewter); Morgan State at Liberty,

7 p.m.; Maryland at Connecticut, 7:30 p.m. (Bob Picozzi/KC Keeler/John Brickley); Western Kentucky at South Alabama, 7:30 p.m. (Brock Bowling/Warrick Dunn); Princeton at Mansfield, 7:30 p.m.; Weber State at Utah State, 8 p.m. (Joel Meyers/Kevin O’Connell).

CBS6 — Alabama at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m. (Verne Lundquist/Gary Danielson/Tracy Wolfson).

MSG Plus 2 (TWC-1554) — Ball State at North Texas, 3:30 p.m. (Mark Followill/Brian Baldinger/J.C. Pearson).

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 50 — Rhode Island at UAlbany, 7 p.m. (Joe Beninati/Andy Gresh).

Pac-12 — Boston College at Southern California, 3 p.m. (Ted Robinson/Glenn Parker/Drea Avent); Southern Utah at Washington State, 6:30 p.m. (Kevin Calabro/Yogi Roth/Jill Savage); Texas-San Antonio at Arizona, 10:30 p.m. (Roxy Bernstein/Anthony Herron).

FOX23 — Ohio State at California, 7 p.m. (Gus Johnson/Charles Davis/Kristina Pink).

CBSSN — Stanford at Army, noon (Ben Holden/Tom Bradley/John Feinstein and Kristine Leahy); Delaware at Navy,

3:30 p.m. (Brad Johansen/Randy Cross/Sheehan Stanwick-Burch); Kansas at Rice, 7:30 p.m. (Dave Ryan/Adam Archuleta/Evan Washburn).

ESPNEWS — Marshall at Ohio, 8 p.m. (Eamon McAnaney/Anthony Becht).

FOX College Sports Pacific — Montana at North Dakota, 7 p.m.

Thursday

ESPN — Clemson at N.C. State, 7:30 p.m. (Rece Davis/Jesse Palmer and David Pollack/Samantha Ponder).

ESPNU — Texas Southern at Jackson State, 7:30 p.m. (Mark Neely/Jay Walker).

CBSSN — West Alabama at Florida Tech, 8 p.m. (Brent Stover/Corey Chavous/Lisa Byington).

Friday

ESPN — Boise State at Fresno State, 9 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Danny Kanell/Allison Williams).

 

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