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Carroll’s Column: 44th Annual Sports Emmy Awards

44th Annual Sports Emmy Awards - Image Credit: Sports Emmy Awards/Twitter

NEW YORK — This time of the year marks award season for many as the most famous names within the television and entertainment industry hear their name called on the microphone. And the Sports Emmy goes to… 

The movers and shakers of the television industry came out last Monday to the Frederick P. Rose Hall at Columbus Circle for the 44th annual Sports Emmy Awards.  

Queens was well-represented at the ceremony as three broadcasters who grew up in the world’s borough–Whitestone’s Mike Tirico, Corona’s Kenny Smith, and Forest Hills’ Ian Eagle, were all nominated for Emmys.  

Mike Tirico – Image Credit: Twitter/The Montaug Group

Mike Tirico was named outstanding studio host, while Kenny Smith, who was in town to promote his new book about the people who have inspired him in his life, “Talk of Champions” (Dutton), as well as to attend the Sports Emmys, won an Emmy for being part of the “Inside the NBA” studio team.

It was hard to hear the winners in the press area at Rose Hall. I ran into Ian Eagle outside of the theater where the ceremony was taking place and I asked him if he won the Emmy for play-by-play announcing. “No, I was beaten by Mike Breen from Westchester!” he said with a smile. He laughed when I asked him if he would consider taking a page out of recent national politics and demand a recount. “No, that won’t be necessary. There is always next year!” he chuckled.     

NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” analyst Cris Collinsworth, who has won more than his share of Emmys, came up short this year as well. Collinsworth told me before the ceremonies he was excited at the prospect of returning to New York for the first time in years to call both a Jets and Giants home game this fall.

Aaron Rodgers in Jets Mini Camp – Image Credit: New York Jets/NFL

Collinsworth was an All-Pro receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals; hosted a talk show on Cincinnati’s 50,000-watt radio station, WLW, and still lives in the “Queen City.” For years, the Bengals were an NFL also-ran. Since they drafted Joe Burrow to be their quarterback, they have become an elite NFL team. I asked him if he is worried about being called “a homer” in social media, and even traditional sports media, when he calls a Bengals game. “Absolutely, it is a concern. The funny part is I take a lot of heat in Cincinnati because many Bengals fans think I am rooting against them!”

Bryant Gumbel received the Sports Emmy for Lifetime Achievement. Gumbel has worn a lot of hats in his broadcasting career including anchoring NBC’s “Today,” and doing NFL play-by-play.

Bryant Gumble honored in 2023 Sports Emmys – Image Credit: Sports Emmys/Twitter

Since 1995 he hosted the investigative sports journalism series on HBO, “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” One of the longtime correspondents on the show is Douglaston native Mary Carillo. 

It is no secret cable television networks have cut back on anything resembling erudite sports journalism. ESPN got rid of longtime Sunday morning staples as “The Sports Reporters” and “Outside the Lines,” while HBO recently canceled Astoria native Bob Costas’s monthly show, “On the Record.” This is a very unfortunate and shortsighted trend which needs to be reversed.

Diana Flores – Star of Mexican Women’s Flag Football Viral Commercial during Super Bowl LVII

An unexpected presenter at the Sports Emmys was Diana Flores who starred in my favorite ad from last February’s Super Bowl. Flores, who is a star player in Mexican women’s flag football, had to dodge a phalanx of individuals who were attempting to grab one of the two red flags near her hips. “It took five days to film the commercial. I did all my own stunts,” she told me. 

Women’s flag football has received a lot of financial and promotional support from the National Football League. The Jets have been highly active organizing leagues in Long Island and New Jersey. The NFL has advocated for women’s flag football to be an Olympic sport. 

38 At The Garden wins Emmy for Best Sports Short Documentary

“38 at the Garden,” which recalled Jeremy Lin’s spectacular debut with the Knicks in February 2012, won the Emmy for best sports short documentary. It airs on the Max streaming service. 

New Media Homes for Rachel Nichols and Rich Eisen

A pair of veteran sports journalists who attended the Sports Emmy Awards, Rachel Nichols and Rich Eisen, have new media homes. Nichols has a new Thursday night interview program on Showtime called “Headliners.” Eisen is still the signature voice of the NFL Network, but he has moved his daily streaming program, “The Rich Eisen Show,” from Peacock to the Roku Channel.

Mets 2023 Hall of Fame Ceremony this Saturday June 3rd at Citi Field

The Mets will hold their 2023 Hall of Fame ceremony this Saturday, June 3, before their game with the Toronto Blue Jays. The inductees include former players Howard Johnson and Al Leiter; legendary PR maven Jay Horwitz, and two longtime team broadcasters and Queens natives: Bayside’s Howie Rose and Flushing’s Gary Cohen.

Max Scherzer Records First Career Win At Coors Field

Max Scherzer – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer finally won his first game ever at Denver’s Coors Field Friday night as his team defeated the Rockies by a score of 5-2. Witty veteran NY Post Mets beat writer Mike Puma asked Mets manager Buck Showalter his thoughts about Scherzer joining “The Mile High Club,” a pop culture term which has nothing to do with the Mile High City, Denver. Showalter has a good sense of humor as well, deadpanned, “I bet you have been thinking about that one for a while!” “It is going to be my lead,” Puma replied. “I am not surprised!” Buck retorted.

NCIS Hawaii Update on CBS

Now that “NCIS Los Angeles” has wrapped up its run on CBS, the pride of St. Albans, James Todd Smith, better known to most as LL Cool J, will be crossing the Pacific this fall to make frequent appearances on “NCIS Hawaii.”

Tony Awards on CBS – Sunday June 11th

Tony Awards – Image Credit: Twitter/TheTonyAwards

CBS will be able to televise the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11, despite the strike by the Writers Guild of America. The strikers realize the Tony Awards helps playwrights, who are members of their east coast branch. A cancellation of the show, which celebrates the best in New York theater, would be counterproductive. The show will go on in an unscripted format. In exchange, the Writers Guild of America will refrain from picketing outside the ceremonies which are taking place in Washington Heights. 

CMA Fest: Fifty Years of Fan Fair – Available July 5th on Hulu 

Every June, country music fans visit the genre’s capital, Nashville, for Fan Fair which is the chance for them to meet their favorite stars. The Country Music Association has been running Fan Fair for 50 years. Hulu will debut a documentary, “CMA Fest: Fifty Years of Fan Fair” on July 5 which will feature interviews with country’s biggest stars including Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Brooks & Dunn, Keith Urban, and Carrie Underwood. 

Somber and Unpleasant Six-Part Documentary Series on Hulu

Hulu is now showing a more somber six-part documentary series, “Hitler: The Lost Tapes of the Third Reich.” The documentary shows rarely seen footage of Nazi Germany, as well as interviews which were conducted in the 1970s with surviving associates of the Fuhrer by historian John Toland. These tapes were kept in vaults in the Library of Congress for over 40 years. It is not pleasant, but it is important viewing. Sadly, there are plenty of parallels with what we are seeing in our country today.

You can read more of Lloyd Carroll’s columns posted weekly on The Queens Chronicle.

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