Noah Eagle will call Nets’ games this season, The Post has learned.
Eagle’s father, Ian, has had a legendary run on Nets’ games. This will be his 30th year on the team’s broadcasts.
The numbers: With Ian and Ryan Ruocco still handling the bulk of the action, Noah is expected to call 10 games, give or take. His Nets debut is scheduled for Saturday night, Dec. 2, in Brooklyn, when the Magic visit Barclays.
That will be after Noah’s Big Ten Saturday night schedule on NBC ends. Noah is also calling the Super Bowl for Nickelodeon as part of their SpongeBob Slime Time alternate cast.
The résumé: Noah, 25, spent the last four years as the Clippers’ play-by-player on radio after graduating from Syracuse. He also has called Summer League for Turner and Jr. NBA for Fox. Before being hired full-time to call college football for NBC, he did 3-on-3 Olympic basketball for the network. He previously called college basketball and football for Fox Sports.
March Madness: There is an argument to make that the Nets on YES has been the strongest broadcast in regional sports for decades.
The majority of Noah’s games are expected to come during March Madness. The reason? Ian Eagle will become the new lead voice of CBS’s Men’s Final Four coverage, while Ruocco is ESPN’s lead play-by-player on the Women’s Final Four.
Now, their third team play-by-player does prime time college football on Saturday nights for NBC in the fall. Noah has done well on his NBC games, beginning with filling in for an under-the-weather Jac Collinsworth on the opening Notre Dame telecast.
Bird family: The move is reminiscent of the top families in sportscasting. Joe Buck once followed his father Jack into the St. Louis Cardinals’ booth, while Kenny Albert has called the Rangers and Knicks, like his legendary father, Marv. There are other examples. Now, Noah falls in line with his father, who is entering his 29th year on TV (which was preceded by a season on Nets radio.)
Idea: The idea to turn to Noah was that of Jared Boshnack, YES’s vice president of production. Besides lead network play-by-players, like Eagle, Ruocco and Albert, YES has a history of producing star broadcasters. The list includes Mark Jackson, Michelle Beadle, Richard Jefferson, Sarah Kustok, Michael Grady and Greg Anthony to name a few. Under YES’s president of programming, John Filippelli, and longtime Nets TV producer Frank DiGraci, the Nets have been a TV dynasty.
One big way you can tell Amazon Prime Video’s “Thursday Night Football” is off to a successful start — it was not a big deal that the streamer had the game this season. Not being the story is a good story for Amazon as it heads into negotiations for rights for NBA games. It also had a streaming record of 15.1 million viewers for its first game between the Eagles and Vikings, according to Nielsen. …
The McCourtys were outstanding doing a quarter together on Westwood One’s “Thursday Night Football” game between the Vikings and Eagles. Teamed with the aforementioned Ian Eagle, Jason McCourty, in his second year on radio, analyzed the first quarter. Then Devin McCourty, who, as a radio rookie, observed for the first 15 minutes, joined for the second quarter. At halftime, Jason left the Philadelphia booth as he had to be up for the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” Devin did his first solo analysis job in the second half. The McCourtys are kind of in a sweet spot in terms of sports media career development. They had successful enough playing careers to get some pretty sweet TV gigs (Devin with NBC, Jason with NFLN and CBS), but they are also learning the trade in a way that should set them up for success. Calling radio is so valuable because it really teaches you how to get in and out quickly as an analyst. Both were pretty seamless on Thursday. … Update: Last week, we mentioned that Mina Kimes was rumored to have had an offer from NFL Network before she re-signed with ESPN. That has now been confirmed. I believe she could have made more from NFL Network, but decided to stay at ESPN, where she is in the $2 million per year neighborhood. … The new “Monday Night Football” “B” team of Chris Fowler, Louis Riddick Jr. and Dan Orlovsky will make its debut on Saints vs. Panthers at 7:15 p.m. tonight. Fowler replaced Steve Levy as the lead play-by-player, while Riddick and Orlovsky return on the second team. …
Colleague Ryan Glasspiegel had an idea for Apple TV+’s MLB package that is currently on Friday nights — move it to the afternoon. It would then be an exclusive game, which could give it appeal to the betting crowd and to the work-from-home set. The Cubs are the only team that often play at home on Friday afternoons.
The idea is to create exclusive windows. This is why the Peacock Sunday morning package is more appealing than Apple’s. While national regular season baseball doesn’t fully resonate — the same matchup often is played three straight days, neutering its specialness — Peacock has an hour-and-a-half of exclusivity. It makes it more of a thing, though we doubt that many folks are watching either Apple or Peacock’s MLB games. Neither reveal numbers.
Everything is national
There is no longer anything that is a local game, be it a small high school broadcast or college or the Super Bowl. Every game is national. What brought this to mind is that a week ago, SEC Network play-by-player Pete Sousa went viral for mentioning how University of Kentucky running back Ray Davis went from being a foster child to being wanted in the transfer portal.
“There is Ray Davis. Fifty-one yards on that drive alone, running and receiving. He’s a guy transferring over from Vanderbilt,” Sousa said. “Nine months ago, when he jumped in the portal, everybody wanted him. Eleven years ago, as a foster kid, really nobody wanted him. And now, here he is. Found some love, found football and he has had an amazing journey.”
As I mentioned on my podcast with John Ourand, the context and intention are quickly lost when a clip gets posted to social media. Sousa’s intentions were not bad, even if his phrasing was stilted. As for context, Sousa is a local anchor in Waco, where he has done many uplifting stories on foster children.
The larger point is not about Sousa. It is that every game is national, which the SEC Network is technically. But how many people were watching Kentucky-Eastern Kentucky? Sousa had to apologize for his comments, which were not mean-spirited, but a little tactless.
So every broadcaster, no matter if he or she is calling a high school game that tens of people are listening to or a college one with thousands or an NFL one with millions is on the national stage. Just like in the Sousa case, someone can just upload a snippet to social media with a scandalous tweet, writing, “INSANE” in the Sousa case.
The result is a clip of the battle of Kentucky is now viewed on a national scale. At times, this can be great, highlighting something most would have missed. Other times, like the Sousa scenario, it would have been better if we all didn’t know about some slightly off words.
Papa Clicker, our book reviewer and my father, Herb Marchand, writes that Gary Myers’ “Once A Giant ( A Story of Victory, Tragedy, and Life After Football)” is more than a typical football book. It is a story of the 1986 champion New York Giants and what happened to the players after that wonderful season, highlighting their highs and lows, including injuries, financial problems and addictions. Myers goes into their difficulties, but also explains how their comradeship has helped overcome problems, leading to more triumphs. Myers receives 4.45 out of 5 clickers.