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Carroll’s Column: 45th Annual Sports Emmy Awards

Image Credit: Getty Images

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 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences held its 45th annual Sports Emmy Awards at Frederick P. Rose Hall last Tuesday. As per custom, the movers and shakers in sports broadcasting were in attendance.      

James Brown, the longtime host of CBS’s pro football studio show, “The NFL Today,” received the highest honor the NATAS bestows, its Lifetime Achievement Award. Brown was inducted by his old boss, recently retired CBS Sports CEO Sean McManus, who compared him to his dad, legendary broadcaster Jim McKay.     

sports-45th-nominations-article-image

Image Credit: The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS)

I spoke with Brown’s colleague, former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, about the dismissal of both Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms from the “NFL Today.” The story transcended the sports world as it was mentioned by Colin Jost on a recent “Weekend Update” segment of “Saturday Night Live.”    

“I’m here to represent Boomer and Phil. I had to frequently let veteran players go, and replace them with younger talent, when I was coaching. It is the same story in television,” Cowher said candidly.    

Fox Sports’ Gregg Olsen won the Emmy for best game analyst. He will be dropped to Fox’s second NFL broadcasting team because of the arrival of Tom Brady. He chuckled when I told him at least he didn’t have to sit through a Netflix roast.    

Greg Olsen

Image Credit: Getty Images

NBA and New York Knicks voice Mike Breen won the Emmy for best play-by-play announcer as Mike Tirico and Ian Eagle, Bayside High and Forest Hills High School alumni respectively, divided the Queens vote.     

Pedro Martínez chimes in about Edwin Díaz’s recent struggles 

Former Met and Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martínez, who is now a TBS baseball studio analyst, was a presenter at the Emmys. When he saw me, the conversation immediately turned to the current state of the Mets, and the struggles of closer Edwin “Sugar” Díaz.    

Edwin Díaz has a 5.40 ERA this season – Image Credit: Simon Lindenblatt/Latino Sports

“I am in constant communication with Sugar. He is physically fine, but he is worried about putting the same pressure on his legs after his injury at the World Baseball Classic last year. It is like the hesitancy of a hitter who has been beaned by a fastball. It will be in the back of his mind when he steps the next time into the batter’s box.”     

“There is also a memory muscle issue. In 2022, he could pinpoint his pitches without thinking. After missing a year, it takes time to find the proper grip and release points again. Mets management and fans need to be patient,” he advised. 

Martínez has a theory for the rash of serious arm injuries occurring to younger pitchers. “Their tendon muscles are not fully developed at the age they are asked to throw pitches which require spin and maximum velocity. That can only lead to trouble,” he warned.      

Pedro Martínez during 2022 Mets Old-Timers Day – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

I asked Pedro if the Mets have a prayer this season. “There is always a prayer!” he laughed, sounding as skeptical as any Mets fan these days. 

The Boone and Mendoza Connection

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he speaks at least every other day with his former bench coach, current Mets manager Carlos Mendoza, when I asked him if they were in communication at his pregame press conference last Monday. He understandably did not reveal the content of their conversations, but reaffirmed his belief Mendoza will do an excellent job despite the Mets’ disastrous May. My guess is Mendoza blew off some steam to him about his underachieving ballclub.       

Front Office Sports names Citi Field one of the ten best stadiums/arenas in the nation 

Yes, the Mets may not play baseball very well, but the team’s management and fans can take pride that the digital trade publication, Front Office Sports, named Citi Field as one of the ten best stadiums/arenas in the country.

Stadium/Citi Field

Outside of Citi Field – Image Credit: Henry Ordosgoitia (Henry O.)/Latino Sports

They cited its terrific cuisine options and overall ambience in determining that list. They did not rank the top ten.      

Ian and Noah Eagle at the 2024 Sports Emmy Awards 

Even though Ian Eagle did not win an Emmy on Tuesday night, his son, Noah, did win the Emmy for Best Emerging Talent for his work on Nickelodeon’ NFL telecasts and Notre Dame football on NBC.      

“When I was young my dad took me to his old Forest Hills neighborhood. These days, I am more familiar with Astoria because my former college roommate lives there,” Noah, who grew up in New Jersey, told me.       

The only Grand Slam tennis event NBC has the rights to, the French Open, will have a Queens feel to it, as Noah Eagle will be handling play-by-play duties at Roland Garros, and Douglaston natives John McEnroe and Mary Carillo will be overseeing the color analyst roles.    

Kid Mero hosts the 2024 Sports Emmy Awards

Kid Mero, who was formerly half of the comedy team of Desus & Mero who had a long-running program on Showtime, hosted the 2024 Sports Emmy Awards. He humorously pointed out how sports gambling has changed since he was a boy in the Bronx. “Back in the day, you had to worry about someone breaking your fingers. Now you must worry about the “1099″ you are going to receive!”      

Mattel signs deal with Professional Women’s Hockey League

The success of women’s sports has not gone unnoticed by the marketing folks at Mattel. They have signed a licensing agreement with the Professional Women’s Hockey League to develop a line of Barbie-themed PWHL jerseys and t-shirts. It is to be seen whether similar deals will be struck with the WNBA and National Women’s Soccer League.   

Josef Newgarden wins Indy 500, goes back-to-back

Josef Newgarden overtook Mexico’s Patricio “Pato” O’Ward in the final lap to win his second consecutive Indy 500 race.

Josef Newgarden

Image Credit: Indy Car Series

Newgarden became the first driver to win the Indy 500 in back-to-back years since the charismatic Brazilian, Helio Castroneves, accomplished the feat in 2000 and 2001. Castroneves is still racing as he finished 20th in this year’s field. O’Ward was visibly upset as he dropped an f-bomb in his post-race interview with NBC Sports. In a world where professional athletes are trained to put on a brave face no matter the disappointment, O’Ward’s genuine reaction did not offend.     

Governors Cup at Governors Island this coming weekend  

Local soccer players and fans will be flocking to Governors Island this weekend for the Governors Cup, which is sponsored by NYC Footy, the largest amateur soccer league in the United States. One of NYC Footy’s founders is Ridgewood resident Gerardo Cueva, who has helped create 17 leagues in Queens to meet the needs of players of all ages and skill levels. Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club, and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Gotham FC, are sponsors of the Governors Cup. There will be plenty of entertainment and food options at the Governors Cup, in addition to soccer.

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

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