Tom Jones' 2 cents

Tom Jones has his opinions.

NFL Network coming to Bright House

nfl.

The NFL and Time Warner, which handles negotiations for Bright House, reached a deal Friday after what was, essentially, a nine-year standoff since the network first launched in 2003.

The network will appear on digital channel 183 and in HD on 1145 and there will be no extra charge to Bright House subscribers, according to Bright House spokesman Joe Durkin.

The NFL Network is a 24-hour station run by the NFL and dedicated to the NFL. While it shows replays of games, as well as highlight, analysis and pre- and post-game shows, the biggest thing fans care about are games.

The network is carrying an expanded set of games this season, 13 primetime regular-season games on Thursday nights. Arena games, college bowl games and the NFL Combine also are televised by the NFL Network.

All Bright House subscribers should have the NFL Network in time for next live game — Thursday’s broadcast between the Ravens and Browns. …

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Fact or fiction

Today, we play a little Fact or Fiction revolving around the latest news from the world of sports.

joyce.The Rays will make the playoffs.
FICTION
What a roller-coaster the Rays put us on. When their pitchers throw peas and someone jumps out of a phone booth with a cape and a big hit to become a late-inning hero, it feels like they're going to win the World Series. When the offense can't scratch out a run (or a hit), it feels like they'll never win again.

Am I confident this team will miss the postseason? No. Doubting this team after all it has done the past four seasons makes no sense, but I do know this: Despite all the good things they've done this season, the Rays would not make the playoffs if they started today. The lack of a consistent offense, a bunch of red-hot teams surrounding them in the playoff pack and a menacing schedule (four games left against the Orioles, three against the Yankees and four at Chicago against the always-pesky White Sox) will be too much for the Rays. …

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Shooting from the lip/Sept. 4th edition

Looking back at a weekend of televised sports ...

pennstate.Best coverage
For all the criticism -- some of it fair, some of it not -- ESPN takes for being a self-promoting network more interested in the bottom line than doing a proper job, there are times the network's work is so solid that it deserves the highest of praise. There are times when ESPN truly is TV’s "World Wide Leader of Sports,'' a self-proclaimed title that the rest of us must acknowledge as true.

Such a time came this weekend.

After doing mediocre work when the Penn State child sex-abuse scandal broke in November, ESPN has since set out to own the story, and it did so as the Nittany Lions returned to the field Saturday. Reporter Tom Rinaldi showed that substance really does mean more than style. He proved that he has put in long hours gaining the trust of not only Penn State's new football leaders, such as coach Bill O'Brien, but Penn State's old leaders, such as Joe Paterno's son, Jay, an assistant on his late father's staff. …

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