TV Highlights, Lowlights From NFL Week 1: TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. The first NFL Sunday is in the books, and it was a good one on the field. 

It was also a good one for CBS, Fox and NBC, who had to adjust to major COVID-19 protocols. You saw broadcast partners divided in the booth by plexiglass, you saw Erin Andrews do her sideline reports from the first row in the SuperDome and you saw camera shots that featured empty stands, which is still jarring to see.

However, most of the announcers that I heard Sunday did their jobs well and presented the action as normal as possible. There was only one negative that stood out to me. I'll kick off this list of random thoughts about TV highs and lows from the first week of the NFL season with that issue:

• The NFL needs to fix the fake crowd noise problem. The league, not the networks, is controlling the piped-in noise. CBS and Fox have nothing to do with the fake sound we heard Sunday. It was annoying in a lot of the games, but it really became a problem in the Bucs-Saints game.

We should not have trouble hearing Joe Buck, who had to yell despite being in an empty building.

The other issue is that the fake noise would get piped in a second or two after a play was dead, making you think there was a flag on the play.

The timing was off several times. I also heard from people on Twitter that the Panthers played fake cheering after they LOST to the Raiders.

The NFL needs to clean this up before Week 2.

• Dear Fox, please move down that dot that indicates which team has the ball on your score bug. Like many people said on Twitter, it looked like the score was: Bucs negative-7, Saints 14.

• It was kind of fitting that Dick Stockton, filling in on Bears-Lions because Kenny Albert has to quarantine for a little bit after calling NHL playoff games in Canada, called Detroit running back D'Andre Swift a linebacker on Swift's surreal game-losing drop.

• Tony Romo sounded as good as ever calling Dolphins-Patriots.

• Kevin Kugler, who is calling games this year for Fox because the network had to sideline Thom Brennaman for his anti-LGBTQ "joke" during a baseball broadcast, was very solid during the little bit of Cardinals-Niners I heard. 

• The CBS Sports Network pregame show, That Other Pregame Show, featuring Adam Schein, Kyle Long, Amy Trask, Jonathan Jones and London Fletcher is a light, fun, enjoyable watch if you want a pregame show at 8 a.m.

• There are A LOT of pregame shows and they all seem the same these days and they are all too long and they've all gone overboard with fantasy coverage. However, there is still something comforting about flipping on Fox before the games begin and seeing Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Jimmy Johnson (who is doing the show remotely this season from Florida).

Speaking of Long, people seemed to enjoy this tweet I sent Sunday, which is 100% accurate.

2. Matt Patricia is 9-23-1 as Lions head coach, but after his team's embarrassing loss to the Bears on Sunday, he told reporters he's a good coach because Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson in the 2015 Super Bowl. Alllllrighty then.

3. If you missed it late Saturday night, Mike Breen blew a call on a three-point attempt, calling it good when it wasn't even close, and his partner, Jeff Van Gundy, let him have it, and it was very funny.

4. Jeopardy! released this promo for the show's new season which begins Monday night, and it was great to see Alex Trebek looking so good.

5. This week's SI Media Podcast features an interview with New York Post sports media columnist Andrew Marchand. We covered several NFL and college football media storylines for the upcoming seasons, including whether Tony Romo has more pressure on him after signing a monster contract, ESPN's new Monday Night Football booth, Fox shaking up its NFL crews, College GameDay going on the road but without fans and Fox's college football problem. We also touched on Thom Brennaman, Trey Wingo, Alex Rodriguez and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

6. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I watched American Pie 2 over the weekend. Eugene Levy's performance in this scene is one of the greatest in the history of modern American film.

7. SPORTS VIDEO OF THE DAY: This was the best play in all of sports for the entire weekend.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram