PTI - Trying to stay in the limelight
One of the newer additions to the programming schedule on Setanta NASN recently, has been the NFL Network. Apart from being a vehicle to give Rich Eisen a job (why would be the topic of another whole editorial), this NFL-produced channel is certainly different to say the least.

Apart from over-doing the information bar at the bottom of the screen (I mean, how many times do you want to know that the Tennessee Titans have signed an unknown guard from Texas Tech A&M State?), they do only seem to have one type of co-presenter alongside Mr.Eisen. And by this I mean, the "pro footballer at the end of his career who wants a job in the media" character.

Just look at the players they have as their "special guests" or "joining them from the team complex". All NFL veteran types approaching the end of their playing days, who may or may not have a lot of money left at this stage, and hence see a "job on the telly" as their next official line of work. They love the sound of their own voices more than they love the sound of the crowd.

Warren Sapp, Ricky Proehl, Joey Galloway and Michael Strahan have all appeared recently, obviously assuming that a seat alongside Chris Berman is next on their horizon. Isn't it funny how many of these players didn't have a minute of time for some members of the press earlier in their careers, but now have changed their colours quicker than Arsenal did for their final season at Highbury?

We don't get to see some of the other parts of NFL Network here in the UK, but the bits we do see are pretty canned television and very bland. No-one is going to dare say something extravagant for fear of blowing their future career prospects, and seeing how the NFL have clamped down on smiling in the endzone, they are hardly likely to allow anything too risque on their own channel.

Other matters
Nice to see NASN are also now showing some NFL Europe coverage thanks also to NFL Network. So alas no Nick Halling on the commentary and more "wannabe commentators" taking time out from their regular jobs. But can someone please tell NASN that their trailers for the league happen to feature the Barcelona Dragons and the Scottish Claymores. Who don't exist anymore.

Still no new team and huge big money contract for Lavar Arrington. Seeing how NFL teams take care of their own in free agency, and any really decent talent gets snapped up within the first 24 hours, doesn't this tell you something about Arrington's profile around the NFL? Like that he's arrogant, self-centered, freelances and no-one wants him?

Another week, another mock draft from Mel Kiper. So far, he's had the Houston Texans taking Reggie Bush, Matt Leinhart, Vince Young and trading out of the pick. All so he can claim on draft day that "I called that selection". Mel - get a life.

You've been great - enjoy the Human League.

Paul Stewart, April 2006.