Dick Stockton admits there are moments he’d like to take back from every broadcast. Sunday’s Eagles game was no exception.
Stockton, the veteran NFL play-by-play announcer in his 26th season with Fox Sports, struggled at times with small mistakes like the incorrect pronunciation of players’ names (“Alshon Jefferies," “Zach Entz," “Miles Saunders”) during the Eagles’ 22-14 win over the Chicago Bears.
Though Stockton didn’t approach Jason Witten levels of embarrassment, his repeated flubs became a sore spot among fans and sports media pundits, who took to social media to complain about the veteran broadcaster.
Despite the mistakes, Stockton told The Inquirer that the broadcast in its entirety was “spot on,” and that viewers knew exactly what was going on at any given moment.
“The average viewer watches the game and in a three-hour telecast may hear things that aren’t right. They know overall whether the game was covered properly,” Stockton said. “There are others who sit and wait for moments and pounce. It’s a different audience.”
“It was covered well. I saw the tape. If you list the errors you have to list the rest. No context,” Stockton added. “I know critics exist. My work is basically the same as it’s always been. You can check it out. Fox knows that. Nothing else matters. The rest is irrelevant."
94.1 WIP morning show host Angelo Cataldi, who ripped Stockton last week, took the opportunity Monday to bash the broadcaster’s missteps.
“I think it was a stink bomb! I think it was amateur hour on Fox!” Cataldi said.
The Eagles have a bye this week. On Nov. 17, they’ll take on the New England Patriots at 4:25 p.m. on CBS, which will almost undoubtedly be called by the network’s top crew — Jim Nantz and Tony Romo.
Where is Cris Carter?
The Hall of Famer and onetime Eagles wide receiver hasn’t appeared on his FS1 show First Things First since Wednesday. On Monday morning, former defensive lineman turned TV analyst Chris Canty filled in, with no mention of the host’s absence.
There are multiple reports about what’s going on behind-the-scenes. The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel reported that Carter has been suspended pending an unspecified investigation, while Front Office Sports’ Mike McCarthy wrote that “one high-placed source” said Carter is upset he has been excluded from Fox’s Thursday Night Football pregame coverage, which in recent weeks has featured new NFL analyst Rob Gronkowski.
While Carter still appears in the show’s title credits and on the Fox Sports’ website, the former NFL star has removed all references of FS1 and his show from his Twitter bio.
Fox Sports did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Carter could not be reached, though he did post a cryptic bible verse on Twitter early Monday morning.
Carter has cohosted First Things First alongside Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe since September 2017. Prior to joining FS1, Carter was a prominent NFL analyst for ESPN whom the network declined to bring back ahead of the 2016 season.
• During the Los Angeles Chargers’ unexpected win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, CBS broadcasters Jim Nantz and Tony Romo did a little experimenting by taking their broadcast out of the booth and down to the sidelines. The move was given little fanfare and only lasted part of the third quarter, but it’s rare for a major NFL broadcast crew to call a game from the sidelines.
“To our knowledge, this has never been done before,” Nantz said during the broadcast, noting that announcers sit courtside to call basketball games and right off the green during golf matches.
So why this week? According to a source, Dignity Health Sports Park is an intimate stadium that enabled the production team to try something different. And it didn’t even require a clunky go-cart with a crane.
• As GridironStuds CEO Chad Wilson pointed out on Twitter over the weekend, the 1977 into for CBS’s long-running pregame show NFL Today seems like an advertisement for an entirely different game.
• No, Hall of Fame running back and NFL Network analyst LaDainian Tomlinson isn’t opening up his own steakhouse. A commercial filmed to appear like a local business spot appeared Sunday, featuring Tomlinson advertising a new restaurant, but it’s really just a promotion to sell a new line of Arby’s steak sandwiches.
Fans in New York City can check out what Tomlinson’s “restaurant” looks like on Thursday at Arby’s 8th Avenue location from 11:30 a.m. to close.