1. I’m going to summarize this main element at the top instead of the bottom: A lot of people are watching the NFL this year. Always have, always. The league is in great shape when it comes to hearing and making money.
That said, there was some intrigue surrounding the Week 1 reviews for several reasons: 1) THE MANNINGS; 2) Would there be a hike in the odds this season now that we have a shot and the crowds are back? ; 3) How would the 4:25 pm game viewership be affected by the NFL giving Fox and CBS a double schedule and stacking the game with Packers-Saints against Browns-Chiefs?
Here’s how the numbers rocked for Monday night’s Ravens-Raiders game: 7.6 million people watched on ESPN; 6.9 million people watched on ABC; and 800,000 people watched Peyton and Eli Manning on ESPN2.
You would have thought, based on the reactions on social media, that 30 million people were watching the Manning Brothers, but as I always tell you, Twitter is not real life. However, that number of 800,000 is quite good considering that they did not present a traditional television broadcast and that the broadcast was meant to be an alternative experience. I would also expect that number to increase this week thanks to the Packers-Lions airing only on ESPN and ESPN2.
Sources tell me that ESPN was very happy with the number and the buzz around the broadcast.
The ratings news was good on other fronts for the NFL in Week 1.
CBS drew 19.5 million viewers for its 4:25 window which featured Browns-Chiefs and Dolphins-Patriots.
Fox drew 16.2 million viewers for its 4:25 window which featured an impossible-to-watch Packers-Saints and Broncos-Giants game.
That’s a total of 35.7 million people watching the NFL on Sunday afternoon.
The only bad news for the league came on Sunday night when the Bears-Rams game on NBC drew 17.6 million viewers, down 7% from last season.
After tweeting this last week …
… I received several responses from people telling me that the league wanted to host SoFi Stadium on Sunday night.
Like I said this week SI media podcast, no one in the world cares to see SoFi Stadium. Hopefully the networks can start to understand that the fans want the best games and nothing else.
2. In April, I wrote that Julian Edelman would become a big media star after retiring from the NFL. I feel even better about my prediction after seeing this fun segment of this week’s edition of Inside the NFL.
I don’t know if Julian was intentionally paying homage to Seinfeld with his “we had a pact”, a bit, but I sure hope he was.
3. Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright is 16-7 with a 2.88 ERA at 40 this season. He also showed last night that he is a good dancer.
4. Cardinals safety Budda Baker is 5 ’10 “and 194 pounds. Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan is 6′ 7” and 315 pounds. It happened on Sunday.
And most people thought Lewan giving up five sacks to Chandler Jones was the worst part of his day.
5. Here are the advertisers you’ll see on TNT’s NHL coverage this season. Big thumbs up to our old friend, social media legend and big SI media podcast invited Paul Bissonnette, who will be seen on television.
6. This week SI media podcast abandoned early. A brand new episode with Jimmy Kimmel, who is executive producer on the latest ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, Once upon a time in queens, is now available for your listening pleasure.
Jimmy’s Cousin Sal is also a producer on the documentary and joins the podcast to discuss the film’s best nostalgic moments, why they wanted to tell the 1986 Mets story, and which former players stood out for their performances on the series.
Kimmel also talks about his time on the Fox pre-game show on the NFL, how Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long hated him and almost got rejected. NFL on Fox. Other topics covered include why the 1980s were the best decade, what is the mindset of Kimmel doing a late night show in the age of streaming, the only guest he would like to have on his show, his reaction to going viral and what question he hates being asked.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher.
You can also watch the SI media podcast on Youtube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: There have been so many videos of Norm Macdonald shared on social media since the startling news of his death. That clip of Macdonald appearing on Conan O’Brien’s show with Courtney Thorne-Smith was legendary long before yesterday. The payoff at the end couldn’t be better.
Make sure you catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts and consult the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina the Apple, Spotify Where Stapler. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.