Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

T-U 2

Article excerpt

NFL IS BACK, AND THE FANS KNOW IT

Last Sunday's Hall of Fame preseason game on NBC showed that fans had been waiting to see an NFL game, even if it was one of the meaningless preseason contests.

When NBC's ratings came in the following day, it showed that the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals was the most-watched NFL preseason game in nine years, and that it finished as the No. 1 program of the week in all the key adult and male demographics.

The game, in which the Cowboys defeated the Bengals 16-7, drew 11.4 million viewers, the most for a Hall of Fame Game since Aug. 9, 1999. it was also the most-watched NFL preseason game since Aug. 27, 2001, when an Oakland-Dallas game attracted 11.5 million viewers.

This year's game was up 44 percent from last year's Hall of Fame game between Buffalo and Tennessee (7.9 million).

STUDY: UMPIRES MISSED 20 PERCENT OF CALLS

Sunday's "Outside the Lines" on ESPN revealed the results of a study of umpire calls made in 184 major league baseball games in a two-week period between June 29 and July 11. The show concluded that MLB umpires missed 20 percent of the close calls they made.

The show identified 230 close calls - an average of 1.3 per game - that were close enough to warrant a replay review.

Of those, there were 47 missed calls over the two week period.

Each close call - safe or out, fair or foul - was analyzed at live speed and in slow motion.

Of all those calls, 66 percent were clearly correct, 14 percent were inconclusive and therefore unlikely to have been overturned on replay review, and 20 percent showed the umpires got it wrong.

Fifty-three percent of the Hall of Famers that Outside the Lines surveyed within the last month said they were in favor of expanded replay review, even before first base umpire Jim Joyce's "safe" call cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game this year.

Not surprisingly, Major League Baseball declined comment on the subject.

2 CENTS

Don't get suckered into thinking gloom and doom for the Jaguars because they dropped their preseason game in Philadelphia. …

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