Capital Region fans of the New York Giants won’t be the only ones rooting for Big Blue to beat the Green Bay Packers in Sunday’s NFC championship game.
The area’s sports directors will be watching with great interest, too. A Giants victory could mean a trip to Phoenix to cover Super Bowl XLII.
The Giants, who have a large local following, hold their summer training camp at the University at Albany, and there is daily coverage provided by the area television stations.
The last time the Giants reached the Super Bowl, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7 Jan. 28, 2001, three of the area stations — WRGB (Ch. 6), WTEN
(Ch. 10) and WNYT (Ch. 13) — traveled to Tampa, Fla., to cover the story. WXXA (Ch. 23) didn’t go, and Capital News 9 was still over a year away from going on the air.
New York is a favorite of several sports directors, but much has changed since 2001.
WNYT’s Rodger Wyland, whose station televises Giants preseason games and produces a half-hour pregame show leading into those contests, said if the Giants win, he may go to Phoenix, but not for as many days as he was in Tampa. The tough economic times, plus the labor unrest at the station, are playing roles in that.
“Last time, we were there all week,” Wyland said. “We left on a Saturday, and we came back the following Monday. We did ‘Big Board Sports’ live from Legends Field [the New York Yankees’ spring training home]. But the climate now, it’s tough.”
WXXA’s Rich Becker, whose network, Fox, will be televising the Super Bowl, is not only rooting for the Giants. He is a New England Patriots fan, too, and will be pulling for them. The Patriots host the San Diego Chargers at 3 p.m. Sunday on CBS.
“You always want to root for the home team,” Becker said. “You absolutely want the Giants to win because they train here.”
WTEN’s Brian Sinkoff is having some trouble rooting for the Giants. He grew up in the Washington, D.C., area and is a Redskins fan. His family, in fact, has four season tickets to the Redskins.
“Rooting for the Giants isn’t really in my vocabulary,” Sinkoff said. “However, I would love to see them get to the Super Bowl from a professional standpoint. I’ve covered a lot of big events over the years, but I’ve never been to the
Super Bowl. Covering the game would probably be a lot more fun than watching it, since the ‘big game’ usually turns into a big blowout or a big snoozefest.”
WRGB’s Doug Sherman is realistic. He is picking Green Bay to win.
“We were just having discussions about what we’ll do if the Giants win,” Sherman said. “But it’s all up in the air.”
Capital News 9’s Joe Calderone said his station will probably use feeds from its sister station in New York City, NY1.
Temperatures are expected to be in the single digits when the Giants and Packers kick off at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised by Fox.
During a conference call Wednesday, Fox analyst Troy Aikman, who will be in the booth along with play-by-play man Joe Buck, believes the weather will play a role in the game.
“It’s going to be a factor for both teams, but it will impact the Giants the most,” Aikman said.”Eli [Manning] has acknowledged that the weather is a factor, and it will be interesting how the wind is on Sunday at Lambeau Field. If it is blowing, it will be a factor for Brett [Favre] to some degree as well. We just tend to see Favre play better in those conditions for the most part. He has a much longer track record of having done so.”
Time Warner Sports hockey analyst and former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute forward Kevin Broad has to do a better job with his research.
During the second intermission of TW-3’s Cornell-RPI broadcast last Friday, Broad blamed Cornell’s sluggish play in the first period was due to having 28 days off.
“Usually, Ivy League schools will take some extra time off, maybe study a little bit harder, just giving their players an opportunity to focus on their grades,” Broad said.
Only one problem: Cornell wasn’t coming off a 28-day layoff. The Big Red had played Niagara in two games the previous weekend, and played a tournament in Florida the weekend before that.
This was only Broad’s second broadcast, and he can be excused for a rookie mistake.
Broad and John Hennessy will call tonight’s Union-RPI game from Houston Field House at 7 p.m.
TW-3 will televise a Siena basketball double-header Monday from the Times Union Center. The women will play Niagara at 4 p.m., and the men face Canisius at 6:30 p.m. TW-3 will also have another Siena men’s game, when the Saints travel to Loyola for a
7 p.m. Thursday. TW-1 will have the Siena women at Marist at 7:30 p.m. Friday. . . .
It will be a busy week for TW-3. It will have a Saint Rose basketball twin bill Tuesday at Le Moyne starting at 5:30 p.m. On Wednesday, TW-3 has the Maine-UAlbany men’s basketball game at 7 p.m. Two nights later, TW-3 has coverage of the Union-St. Lawrence men’s hockey game at 7 p.m. . . .
ESPNU’s lacrosse coverage starts Feb. 23, when UAlbany visits defending national champion Johns Hopkins. Game time is noon.
More from The Daily Gazette: