The decision should have been an easy one to make. The choice was clear-cut.
CBS is now scheduled to air the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game at 1 p.m. Sunday. With the New York Jets not playing until 4:15 against the New England Patriots, it should have been a no-brainer for WRGB (Ch. 6) to show the Bills-Jaguars.
On Wednesday, however, WRGB general manager Bob Furlong made a curious decision. He said the
station would carry the Indianapolis Colts-Minnesota Vikings game at 1, not the Bills-Jaguars.
On Thursday, no doubt prompted by phone calls and e-mails from understandably outraged Bills fans, Furlong changed his mind.
I don’t understand why Furlong would want to run the risk of angering Bills fans in the Capital Region. How many Colts and Vikings followers are there in the area? If there are more than a few (a neighbor of mine is a Vikings fan), I would be shocked.
That’s why the comment Furlong made in an e-mail Wednesday night indicated that he was out of touch with his audience.
“I made the call, whether you agree with it or not, to carry the Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings,” Furlong said. “It’s never an easy decision, but I have to look out for all football fans in the Capital Region. It’s early in the season, and the Bills will be at the top of my list when the opportunity arises to air a game. Thank you.”
What Capital Region was he talking about? Indianapolis? St. Paul? Certainly not Albany.
But you must give Furlong credit for changing his mind, even if he made light of the subject.
“This is a retraction of [Wednesday’s] e-mail,” Furlong said. “Fred Lass, CBS6’s chief engineer and huge Bills fan, who was born and raised in Niagara Falls, was in my office late yesterday crying,” Furlong said. “I and CBS cannot stand to see a grown man cry. So, CBS6 is going to carry the Bills game on Sunday instead of the Indianapolis game. Please thank CBS for agreeing to make this last-minute change, and if you see Fred on Sunday, high-five him.”
The station never revealed how many phone calls and e-mails it received protesting the original decision not to carry the Bills, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was well over 100.
Now, there are going to be times when the Bills and Jets are playing at the same time on CBS, and then Furlong will have to make a decision that will please one fan base and not the other. But when you have an easy call to make and you muff it, you end up embarrassing your station and yourself.
Next time Furlong has an easy choice to make on what NFL games WRGB will show, I’m confident he won’t make the same mistake.
TWO BROADCAST TEAMS
Union College will use two sets of announcing teams for its football broadcasts on WRUC-FM (89.7), starting tonight at 7, when the Dutchmen visit Springfield.
The road games will be called by Frank Rossi, Carm Audino and Tom Santa Barbara. The home games will be handled by Alex Audino and Zack Antilety.
“Frank has done a fantastic job in broadcasting the games, and now he is working to train students to broadcast the contests on our student station, WRUC-FM,” Union sports information director Eric McDowell wrote in an e-mail. “Frank will continue to call the road games this season, and students will gain experience broadcasting our home games.”
RPI kicks off its season today at 1 p.m. at Endicott. Kurt Stutt will call the action.
Here are the college football and NFL games that will be televised over the next week. Announcers, in order of play-by-play, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses.
Fox (WXXA Ch. 23 and WXXA HD) — N.Y. Giants at St. Louis, 1 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver).
CBS (WRGB Ch. 6 and WRGB HD) — Buffalo at Jacksonville, 1 p.m. (Gus Johnson/Steve Tasker); New England at N.Y. Jets, 4:15 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).
NBC (WNYT Ch. 13 and WNYT HD) — Pittsburgh at Cleveland, 8:15 p.m. (Al
Michaels/John Madden/Andrea Kremer).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Philadelphia at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser).
ESPN and ESPN HD — California at Maryland, noon (Dave Pasch/Andre Ware);
Oregon at Purdue, 3:30 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Bob Griese and Paul Maguire/Stacey Dales); Oklahoma at Washington, 7:45 p.m. (Mike Patrick/Todd Blackledge/Holly Rowe).
ESPN2 and ESPN HD — Florida Atlantic at Michigan State, noon (Pam Ward/Ray Bentley); Auburn at Mississippi State,
7 p.m. (Mark Jones/Bob Davie); Wisconsin at Fresno State, 10:30 p.m. (Joe Tessitore/Rod Gilmore).
ESPNU — Navy at Duke, noon (Dave Armstrong/Larry Coker); Chattanooga at Florida State, 3:45 p.m. (Doug Bell/Charles Arbuckle); Virginia at Connecticut, 7:30 p.m. (Clay Matvick/David Diaz-Infante/Melissa Knowles); North Carolina A&T at Norfolk State (same-day tape), 10:30 p.m. (Dwayne Ballen/Eddie Robinson Jr.).
MY4 (WNYA) — Alabama-Birmingham at Tennessee, 12:30 p.m. (Dave Neal/Dave Archer/Dave Baker).
Time Warner Cable (Ch. 3) — Furman at Colgate, 1 p.m. (Bob McElligott/Dale Drypolcher/Danny Liedka).
ABC (WTEN Ch. 10 and WTEN HD) — Penn State at Syracuse, 3:30 p.m. (Bob Wischusen/Brock Huard); Ohio State at Southern California, 8 p.m. (Brent Musburger/Kirk Herbstreit/Lisa Salters and Erin Andrews).
CBS — Georgia at South Carolina, 3:30 p.m. (Verne Lundquist/Gary Danielson/Tracy Wolfson).
NBC — Michigan at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (Tom Hammond/Pat Haden/Alex Flanagan).
Versus — UCLA at Brigham Young, 3:30 p.m. (Joe Beninati/Glenn Parker/Tim Neverett).
CBS College Sports — Air Force vs. Houston, 3:30 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Aaron Taylor); Arizona at New Mexico, 8 p.m. (Tom Hart/Trev Alberts).
MSG Plus — Southern Heritage Classic: Jackson State vs.Tennessee State, 7 p.m. (announcers TBA).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Kansas State at Louisville, 8 p.m. (Rece Davis/Lou Holtz and Mark May).
ESPNU — Arkansas Pine-Bluff at Alcorn State, 7:30 p.m. (Charlie Neal/Jay Walker).
CBS College Sports — Michigan Tech at Northern Michigan, 8 p.m. (Tom Hart/
ESPN and ESPN HD — West Virginia at Colorado, 8:30 p.m. (Chris Fowler/Craig James and Jesse Palmer/Erin Andrews).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Baylor at Connecticut, 7 p.m. (Sean McDonough/Chris Spielman/Rob Stone).
Saint rose on tw-3
TW-3 will televise The College of Saint Rose women’s soccer game against Franklin Pierce at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
In addition, TW-3 will air two Golden Knights men’s and women’s basketball double-headers. Those games are against Bentley Dec. 8, and Le Moyne Feb. 10.