Is Tom Brady of the New England Patriots the greatest quarterback in NFL history?
Ask CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, and they will say that Brady is the greatest.
Brady and the Patriots will face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on CBS6 (WRGB) and CBS6 HD. The winner earns a trip to Super Bowl XLVII. Nantz and Simms will call the game.
“It’s always, in any sport, difficult to compare different players from different eras and generations,” Nantz said during a Wednesday conference call. “All I can tell you is that before our very eyes, [Brady] is shattering so many of the records. One year, he steps up and throws 50 touchdown passes and sets the mark. His touchdown-to-interception ratio now is so ridiculously great that we’re almost numb to it.
“Last weekend, we were on hand to see him pass [Joe] Montana for most wins in postseason play. So here he is, trying to go to the Super Bowl in his sixth year out of 13 in the league. If he’s not the greatest quarterback of all time, I have a hard time finding you one who was greater. I think there were a lot of guys that are on an equal plane, but I think Brady, just numbers alone, wins alone, the most important category of all, is the best. He certainly presents a pretty strong argument.”
Simms, who guided the New York Giants to a Super Bowl title, knows there will always be arguments as to who is the greatest of all time.
“It’s not like baseball,” Simms said. “In baseball, you can look at numbers of pitchers, and you can determine certain things. It’s harder in football because there are so many more elements to it. You can be a great player, but if you have a bad coach, you’re not going to be a great player then, and we’re not going to give you credit for it.
“What we maybe undersell with Tom Brady is his determination and his leadership. The word leadership is thrown out there way too easy. But he does set a tone for the team. He drives. He holds people accountable.”
The NFC championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons is on FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have the call.
Both games will be on the radio via Dial Global. They will be on FOX Sports 980 (WOFX-AM) and WENT-AM (1340) and WENT-FM (105.1).
NHL STARTS TODAY
After a long lockout, the 48-game NHL regular season gets underway today at 3 p.m. NBC Sports will televise the Los Angeles Kings’ Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony. After that, Capital Region viewers will see the Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers on NBC13 (WNYT) and NBC13 HD.
There will be two other games on TV tonight. MSG and MSG HD have the New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, and MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD carry the New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders. Both games start at 7.
On Sunday, NBC13 and NBC13 HD televise the Flyers at Buffalo Sabres at 12:30 p.m. MSG and MSG HD have the Rangers hosting the Penguins at 7 p.m. NBC Sports Network and NBCSN HD begin their season with Chicago at Phoenix at 10 p.m.
NBCSN was hit hard by the lockout. The network scrambled to fill the programming voids. It managed to get some college basketball and college hockey games on.
“It was frustrating,” NBC Sports Group executive produce Sam Flood said during a Wednesday conference call. “We all wanted to be doing hockey.”
Flood talked about how the network will handle the lockout talk.
“Our job is not to talk about the lockout itself,” Flood said. “Our job is to talk about how it impacted various teams. How the time away from the game has impacted players. The guys that went to Europe, what advantage do they have versus the guys who didn’t play in
Europe? We are here to watch hockey games, but the lockout’s impact on the on-ice product is critical, and we have to explain it.”
Good news for Capital Region Rangers fans. None of their games on MSG will be blacked out, even if the Sabres are home. In the past, games of the Rangers, Devils and Islanders had to be blacked out if the Sabres were home on the sane day.
The Devils’ and Islanders’ games will continued to be blacked out when the Sabres are home.
NEW TWC SHOWS
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel debuted two new programs Thursday.
The shows are “New York State High School Basketball Weekly” and the “New York State College Hockey Report.”
The basketball show will be hosted by Mark Larson and will be aired Thursdays at 9 p.m., with re-airs at 4 p.m. on Fridays. The program features high school basketball highlights from across the state, including Sections II, III, IV, V and VI. The highlights are followed by a feature called “Take Five,” where a player is asked a series of questions that range from “What is your favorite playing memory” to “Who is your greatest influence.” The show closes with “Play of the Week.”
The hockey show will follow at 9:30 p.m. (re-airs at 4:30 p.m. Fridays) and will be hosted by YNN sports director Marisa Jacques. The program features college hockey news and scores, in-studio guest analysts, interviews of coaches and players and game highlights.
The hockey show expands on what TWC-Albany did the last three seasons with the “Capital Region College Hockey Report.”
Monday’s radio coverage of the Cincinnati-Syracuse men’s college basketball game at 3:30 p.m. will be on WOFX instead of the Orange’s normal home, WGY-AM (810) and WGY-FM (103.1). . . .
Dan Parkhurst and Ken Hodge will call the Dartmouth-Union ECAC Hockey game on NBCSN Feb. 1 at Messa Rink. . . .
ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Stuart Scott announced Monday that he is battling cancer for the third time.