1. NFL Sunday Ticket has been with DirecTV since 1994. Andrew Siciliano has hosted DirecTV’s presentation of the Red Zone channel since 2009.
Both runs are over now. Google/YouTube will have full rights to NFL Sunday Ticket beginning next season, and a decision has been made to only continue with one version of Red Zone. NFL Network’s Scott Hanson hosts the Red Zone channel that goes to cable providers, and that’s the version that will be available on Google/YouTube.
“On Red Zone, we’re going to focus on the Red Zone produced by NFL Media,” Dhruv Prasad, the NFL senior vice president, media strategy & strategic investments, recently told Front Office Sports. “And that’s what will be available on YouTube.”
If you listen to the SI Media Podcast on a regular basis or if you’re a longtime reader of Traina Thoughts, you know that Red Zone isn’t my cup of tea. However, I’m in the minority of NFL fans. Red Zone is enormously popular and has changed the way a significant number of people watch football.
While the DirecTV version of Red Zone is going away, there hasn’t been an official word on whether Siciliano will be used on the edition that will be part of Google/YouTube.
When Siciliano signed off after his 18th season and 308th episode on Sunday, he gave a heartfelt message but did not say goodbye or address the status of his show.
Hanson closed out his show on Sunday by shouting out Siciliano and DirecTV.
Given Siciliano’s popularity and the lack of fanfare regarding his final episode, I wonder whether we’ll see him contribute to the new version of Red Zone in some way. Could we see a set up where he and Hanson split duties between the 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. games? Or maybe they rotate weeks? Neither of those scenarios would surprise me.
2. The Lions’ social media accounts went all-in Sunday night after Detroit beat Green Bay and kept the Packers and Aaron Rodgers out of the playoffs. They made sure to remind everyone that Rodgers had said some not-so-flattering things about Detroit during the season.
And they mocked media members who gave Detroit no chance to win in Lambeau.
3. Lions’ running back Jamaal Williams gave the most both-ends-of-the-spectrum postgame interview you’ll ever see after Detroit’s 20–16 win against Green Bay.
4. The Chiefs busted out the play of the season on Saturday against the Raiders.
Coach Andy Reid later explained that Christmas was the inspiration behind the play.
5. The Bengals made no secret about being upset that Roger Goodell and the NFL could've potentially screwed them over with a coin flip deciding home field for their playoff game had the Ravens beat them on Sunday. Since Cincinnati beat Baltimore, there will be no coin flip, but Bengals’ defensive back Eli Apple still made sure to troll the commissioner.
Earlier, running back Joe Mixon celebrated a touchdown by doing his own coin flip.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features a conversation with author and reporter Jim Miller. The bulk of the discussion is about ESPN’s coverage of Damar Hamlin’s injury on Monday Night Football and why the network deserves nothing but praise.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Google.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 45th birthday to Chad Johnson, who once gave us a valuable lesson on Hard Knocks.
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 Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.