tom jones' two cents
• Fox has won the bidding for the U.S. television rights for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022. This is stunning news, considering ESPN was considered the front-runner to retain rights to the event.
• Sunday's Outside the Lines (10 a.m. on ESPN2) will feature Sarah Thomas, a candidate to become the first female game official in NFL history.
• This is hard to believe: ESPN's Pardon the Interruption turned 10 years old this week.
Three things that popped into my head
1. I never cared muchfor Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, left, because he always acted like the smartest guy in the room. Turns out, he just might be the smartest guy in the room.
2. After watching the Lightning hold the Islanders to 17 shots, Thursday night's backup goalie Dwayne Roloson must have thought, "Hey, where's that defense when I'm in net?"
3. How silly is this: After Tuesday night, the Lightning will have played only nine games and yet will have played the Panthers twice, the Islanders twice and the Sabres twice.
Play-by-play announcer Gene Deckerhoff has not missed a Florida State football game since becoming the radio voice of the Seminoles in 1979. He also has not missed a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game since becoming the radio voice of the team in 1989.
Those streaks will continue this weekend even though the two teams play less than 24 hours and more than an ocean apart.
Deckerhoff, 66, plans to call part of today's Florida State-Maryland game in Tallahassee and Sunday's Bucs-Bears game in London.
"This is definitely a first,'' he said. "I've had some adventures getting from one game to another, but this should be the most interesting and, by far, the longest trip.''
Deckerhoff hoped FSU would play at noon today, but because of the 3:30 p.m. start, he will call just the first half before starting his journey to England. It will be the first time in 396 Florida State football games that Deckerhoff will miss any action. Tom Block, who has worked as a sideline reporter and pregame show host on FSU radio broadcasts, will take over for Deckerhoff in the second half.
Deckerhoff will take a commuter plane from Tallahassee to Atlanta to catch a direct flight to London. He is scheduled to arrive in London around noon England time, or about six hours before kickoff.
"If it works out right with no delays or anything, I should get to the stadium earlier than I normally get to games in Tampa,'' Deckerhoff said, "so I should be more than on time.''
In 21 years of calling FSU and Bucs games on back-to-back days all over the country, Deckerhoff has never missed a Bucs game and has been late to only three. Twice he has missed the first few minutes of Bucs games at Green Bay because, Deckerhoff said, "Green Bay is the toughest place in the NFL to get to a game, especially on the day of a game.''
Two years ago, he missed the first half of a Bucs game at Washington because of mechanical problems with an airplane.
When the Bucs played in London in 2009, Deckerhoff caught a break because FSU had a Thursday night game, giving him two days to get to England. That's not the case this weekend.
"But I'm looking forward to it,'' Deckerhoff said. "It should be fun. Hopefully, there will be no problems getting away, and it will be a really fun trip if the Seminoles and Bucs can both win. That would make it a really memorable weekend.''