Airwaves: Ex-NFL head official brings insight to Fox 

The lads at Fox Sports made a great move this week by adding retired NFL head official Mike Pereira to their NFL pregame show this fall. You must hand it to bossman David Hill and first lieutenant Ed Goren, they are always ahead of the curve, especially in their football coverage. Pereira is a very likeable fellow who has done a wonderful job over the last 13 years explaining to fans and viewers what goes on from an officiating standpoint.

For 12 years, he was the supervisor of NFL officiating and was always willing and able to offer his observations on big plays that occurred in a game. Last year was a transition year where he remained with the league as a consultant to make the shifting of power to his successor easier.

During this period, Pereira appeared on a weekly segment on the NFL Network to, as he said, “educate the fans and viewers” as to what takes place in the world of officiating. He obviously impressed the Fox brass, because now he will get his own segment each Sunday.

In addition to the TV gig for Fox, he will write a weekly column, blog on a daily basis, and make numerous weekly radio appearances. He lasted 12 years in a very difficult, thankless job and has emerged without too many scars. Congrats, Mike, and remember, the key to good TV is being yourself.

 

RADNICH’S APPEAL

Speaking of being himself, KNBR’s (680 AM) Gary Radnich was hilarious this past week when describing how two participants from last weekend’s Pride Parade approached him and commented: “You’re pretty good looking off the air.” As only the great one can do, Radnich and his sidekicks used this comment for seemingly 30 minutes to parlay it into great radio. It was priceless and I was laughing so hard I had to slow down on the freeway because I was so entrenched with the radio.

 

KING CALLS IT QUITS

Talk show host Larry King has decided to call it quits. The very experienced King has been in TV and radio for some 53 years. The 76-year-old friend of Al Davis has conducted some 50,000 interviews throughout his charmed career.

Although it has been mentioned here before, while doing the Raiders preseason games a few years back, Mr. King joined us in the booth for part of the third quarter. When getting up to leave, he thanked us and said to me on the air: “I like your exuberance young man.” What a thrill! Now let’s hope he liked me so much he will include me in his will.

 

Examining gambling and instant replay

 

What in the world is going on? First some 20 Sumo wrestlers are under the gun for supposedly gambling on baseball games and the world of soccer is looking at the idea of using replay to some degree. The Sumo situation is quite interesting because those guys are held to very high ethical standards. They are treated like royalty and are expected to tow the line.

Soccer is a very traditional sport that if replay were to enter the game; the backlash around the world could get out of hand. Since these are two very deep topics dear to my heart, I took the question to a group of judges who reside at that great palace of refreshment and sports knowledge in Walnut Creek, Mr. Lucky’s. When asked about the Sumo crisis and replay in soccer, here were the responses:

Gary the paver: “I used to play soccer as a kid and we didn’t need replay. After years of great steaks and sandwiches at Mr. Lucky’s, I am now more of a Sumo fan. Let ’em gamble.”

Pete the insurance man: “I am all for replay as long as I can insure it. Someone has to. I have already written four policies for some Sumo wrestlers. They have already paid their bills so I don’t care. Come to think of it, my Cal Bears need more size this year.”

Bob the golf pro: “Is soccer similar to golf? I know Arnold Palmer and he didn’t like soccer, so neither do I. In addition, I have never bet on a sporting event in my life, so the Sumo dudes need to be suspended.”
Tom the hotel king: “Soccer doesn’t need replay. It needs a 10-year contract with my Best Western Hotels. Last time a Sumo fellow stayed with us, he broke three beds and never paid for them. I hope they get nailed for gambling.”

Reggie the carpet captain: “I went to school with Norv Turner in Martinez and he played football and I was a star soccer player. My sport, soccer, needs replay. I hate Sumo wrestling because the last time I was in Japan I ran into one of them and he did not recognize me.”

Walt the local proprietor: “Anyone need another drink? Who is pitching for the A’s today? When do the Raiders start camp? Reggie are you picking up the tab?”

Ah, yes, wisdom like no other!

 

Who said it

 

Roger Goodell

“We need to protect the shield,” demanded the NFL commissioner while speaking at an NFL rookie symposium last week. Of course he was speaking of the NFL shield, not the one in Alameda, or was he? Bet a few people over on Harbor Bay Drive thought he was!

Keith Hernandez

“We need to get rid of four teams in major league baseball and get down to 26 teams. We have 50 too many pitchers in the majors,” suggested the former New York Met and current baseball broadcaster. When you think of it, he might be right. Chop a few teams and you also shorten the season. I loved him when he would guest appear on “Seinfeld”!
getty images file photo

 

One to watch

 

All-Stars Find out which Giants and A’s land in the Midsummer Classic as baseball announces the rosters for the All-Star Game today. TBS will broadcast the show at 9 a.m. Matt Winer will host the show, while Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken Jr. and David Wells will join him as analysts. Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson appear to be the Giants’ best bets for All-Star bids, while Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey are contenders for the A’s.

 

Sports by numbers

 

TV rating for U.S.-Ghana soccer game last weekend

8.2

More people watched U.S.-Ghana game than U.S.-England game two weeks ago

11%

Ratings increase for all of World Cup this year compared to 2006

48%

 

On Target

 

TNT has hired former Phoenix Suns general manager Steve Kerr as an analyst for next year. Prior to going to Phoenix, Kerr had worked at TNT so the adjustment will be a small one. He will be better this time around because of the acquired front-office knowledge he will bring with him. I enjoyed listening to Kerr before and undoubtedly will enjoy it more this time around.


Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at agigantino@sfexaminer.com.

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