Chicago Sun-Times

NFL Matchup in jeopardy

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When I went to the NFL Films headquarters in January, I was surprised that the respected NFL Matchup show had a presence there, despite being broadcast on ESPN.

But as NFL Films president Steve Sabol explained to me, "The common thing is football.

"It's all football, and whether it's on ESPN or the NFL Network, or Fox... My allegiance is to the game itself."

But as Sports Illustrated reported earlier today, the long-running NFL Matchup show needs help from ESPN. The NFL won't seek sponsors for the 2010 season, which means it's now up to ESPN to take over the show.

It would be a travesty if that doesn't happen because the NFL Matchup show is refreshingly different from so much of everything else on television. Executive producer Greg Cosell and analysts Ron Jaworski, Sal Paolantonio and Merrill Hoge base their opinions on film study. I saw the process in person, when I went to NFL Films to review the Bears' 2009 season.

For about 90 minutes, I watched Jaworski and Cosell study the championship games, and they highlighted several key match-ups. They projected several keys to the game, which actually proved significant.

There's obviously a lot of NFL programming, but I've always enjoyed the Matchup show because it's not just a bunch of talking heads. Hopefully, we'll all be enjoying it for seasons to come.

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3 Comments

Sean, I'm 100% with you on NFL Matchup, its a great show and I like their breakdown and the fact its based on actual game time film. I hope ESPN backs them and keeps them on the air.

As far as Steve Sabol, I'm a huge fan of his and his fathers work over the years on NFL films. I can sit there and watch them classic NFL films from the 60's & 70's for hours. The Sabol's, along with the rest of the NFL films crew, are a big reason why the game has gained so much popularity over the years. I hope they keep up their great work for years to come GO BEARS!!

I never comment on here, but read just about everyday. I had to chime in on this one. This is the best football show on TV! I love watching it and come away having learned something after every episode. I usually stay up til 3AM to watch it on Saturday nights. Is there anything we can do?

Say it aint so! Great show stuck in horrible time slots. ESPN please keep this show and move it to a better time! I agree Brice, best football show on tv!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on May 17, 2010 3:35 PM.

SI's King down on the Bears was the previous entry in this blog.

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