Week 11 NFL Announcing: The Silence Surrounding Bob Costas

↵Jay Culter, Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo have all decided to snub Bob Costas and NBC for sit-down interviews in advance of this weekend's Sunday Night Football game against the Eagles. Smith told reporters, "it's kind of time for us to play football." Costas told NBC's Chicago affiliate WMAQ: ↵

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↵⇥"In this particular case, I certainly don't take it personally. It's obvious that they have decided that there is nothing that they can add to it. What else can they say? The team has been playing poorly. Cutler had an especially bad game last time out. There isn't that much more that can be said about that, so they've decided that anything that they say just adds to the noise and they'll just [go] out there and play on Sunday and let that be their answer. So, I understand. I don't have any particular problem with it." ↵
↵Costas is rightfully taking the high road. I'm sure NBC can figure out a way to produce the story without, "we need to figure out a way to get better," or "once I stop throwing it to the other team, I think we can win games." It's not like Costas really asks any tough questions anyway. Remember, earlier in the season he asked Tony Romo: "Hey if you're a young, single guy, and the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys – if you're not going to enjoy that, what will you ever enjoy?" ↵

↵Yeah ... I can totally see how Costas would grill the Bears after questions like that in his repertoire. Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander cautions Cutler to make nice with the media, especially in Chicago, in an overt 'don't stonewall us or we'll chew you up and spit you out' warning. ↵

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↵⇥If the Bears lose to the Eagles Sunday and Cutler plays badly, things might get downright nasty. ↵⇥

↵⇥I remember when Iowa State coach Tim Floyd replaced Phil Jackson as coach of the Bulls in 1999. Floyd thought he was starting his dream job, but he had no idea what he was getting into. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Nor did Lou Piniella know what he was getting into with the Cubs. ↵⇥

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↵⇥And I guarantee you Cutler had no clue about the Bears. Colorado, this ain't. ↵⇥

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↵Telander really takes Cutler apart in his column, and this was on the heels of the quarterback snubbing a national guy, not a local writer. Here's hoping that if Costas sits down with oft-embattled Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, he asks McNabb for some advice to help Cutler deal with a difficult media corps. If Cutler thinks he has it bad after 10 weeks, he really should listen to what McNabb has been through. ↵

↵CBS ↵
↵CBS has the three best games of the week, and they lead both the early slot and the late slot with marquee match-ups, giving fans a great doubleheader this weekend. ↵

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↵First, in the early slot, most of the country will see Indianapolis at Baltimore which is great not only for historical sense – one might suggest the Colts-Ravens and Ravens-Browns rivalries should be far more heated than any media manufactured ones, at least for the fans – but also great for the fact that the game means so much. Indy looks to continue their run to an undefeated season, while Baltimore has two teams to catch in its own division and could use a win to strengthen its position for a wild card spot. ↵

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↵The other CBS early games are Pittsburgh at Kansas City with Ian Eagle and Rich Gannon, Cleveland at Detroit in the worst game in the history of scheduling (I think that's the third time this year we've had the worst game ever and they keep getting worse) with Don Criqui and Randy Cross and Buffalo at Jacksonville with Bill Macatee and Steve Beuerlein. ↵

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↵The late timeslot has two headlining games for CBS with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms calling Jets at Patriots, while Dick Enberg and Dan Fouts get San Diego at Denver. Also in the late slot is Cincinnati at Oakland with Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots. ↵

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↵FOX
↵FOX doesn't have any games of huge national interest but does offer a slate of games that look really good – and important – on paper. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman get Washington at Dallas, which could have huge implications in the NFC East should the Redskins pull the upset. Kenny, Moose and Goose get Atlanta at the Giants where both teams sit at a disappointing 5-4 and really need a win to stay in the race for the playoffs. ↵

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↵Seattle is at Minnesota with Dick Stockton and Charles Davis on the call, while Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan call New Orleans at Tampa Bay as that two-team struggle for home field starts to take shape. Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick get San Francisco at Green Bay in another game with potential playoff implications down the line, while Ron Pitts and John Lynch get Arizona at St. Louis in FOX's only late game. ↵

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↵National Games
↵If NBC has a sense of humor, Costas will conduct interviews with actual bears this weekend. Seriously, NBC, get that done. I don't even want credit for the idea. I just want to see Bob Costas at the Lincoln Park Zoo interviewing live bears. ↵

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↵There is a game to play as well, as NBC's Sunday Night Football with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth features teams in Philadelphia and Chicago that really need to right their respective ships. On Monday, what last week's game lacked in offense, this week's could make up for in droves, as Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden get Tennessee at Houston. ↵

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↵Map links and announce crew pairings courtesy of The 506. ↵

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↵And in honor what Bob Costas will be getting from the Bears this weekend: ↵

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↵ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵⇥ ↵ ↵
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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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