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Steve Springer ON THE MEDIA

Kremer gets more playing time with sideline blog

September 05, 2008|Steve Springer

Sideline reporters in the NFL are often good for two things: repeating cliches from coaches and delivering injury reports.

In other words, an intern with a tape recorder could produce the same results.

How many times have we heard, "Coach X says they've got to play better defense in the second half," or "Coach Y says the key to coming back is playing as a team."

Duh.

In all fairness, sideline reporters are limited by time and boundaries. They may be given 30 seconds on the air during a break in the action, and, with the exception of a few words with the coach at the half, are forbidden from speaking to team personnel or relaying conversations they overhear during the game.

NBC's Andrea Kremer is all too familiar with the limitations of the job.

"You are told they will be coming to you after the next play, a third and three," she said.

"All of a sudden, it's fourth and six, time for a punt and it's also time for a punt as far as my role is concerned.

"You have to work within the flow of the game, but it's frustrating. I remember one game where they went to me only three times in the entire second half. I called my friend Pam Oliver [another sideline reporter] and she said, 'What are you complaining about? I only got on twice.' "

But 26 years in the business has taught Kremer that creativity knows no bounds. So she has come up with an idea for this NFL season, which kicked off Thursday night, to expand the role of sideline reporter and make sure she leaves her work on the field rather than in her notebook.

Kremer, starting her third season on the sidelines for NBC after 17 years with ESPN, will become a roaming blogger, sending the information she can't get on camera to online audiences via NBCSports.com and NFL.com, adding another element to the live streaming of the games by both outlets. Kremer will dictate her comments to someone stationed in one of the network's trucks, who will, in turn, dispatch it onto the Internet. It's further recognition that many fans are no longer content with just watching a game on television. Their computers sit side by side with the TV, enabling them to make the experience interactive.

Much as newspapers, this one included, are augmenting their print content with added bonuses for the online generation, so too is television following the practice.

The online operation for "NBC Sunday Night Football" will include additional camera angles, in-game highlights, picture-in-picture technology and live statistics.

It's a fantasy come true for fantasy football players.

And a chance for sideline reporters to get off the sidelines and get more involved.

Old faces in new places

Spero Dedes, Marshall Faulk and Warren Sapp will all be taking on new roles with the start of the NFL season.

Dedes, the Lakers' radio play-by-play man, will host a two-hour NFL Network Sunday show, "NFL GameDay Morning," beginning at 7 a.m. Faulk and Sapp will join Dedes as analysts.

While Dedes welcomes the opportunity to expand his resume, the 29-year-old announcer, beginning his fourth season with the Lakers, stresses this is not an audition for a career shift.

"It's exactly the opposite," he said. "The Laker job is something I appreciate every day. It's what I want to do. I won't miss any Laker games because of this."

A common cause

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig will join athletes, actors and musicians on tonight's "Stand Up to Cancer" special, to be broadcast on ABC, NBC and CBS beginning at 8. Tom Lasorda and Don Newcombe will represent the Dodgers on the phone banks during the one-hour telethon.

On the tube

The first Sunday of the NFL kicks off at 10 a.m. with the New York Jets, led by Brett Favre, at Miami (CBS) and Tampa Bay at New Orleans (Fox). The second game of a Fox doubleheader is Dallas at Cleveland at 1:15. NBC has Chicago at Indianapolis at 5 p.m. ESPN opens the Monday night season with a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. It's Minnesota at Green Bay followed by Denver at Oakland. . . . The U.S. Open tennis championship on CBS concludes with the women's final Saturday (5 p.m.) and the men's final Sunday (1 p.m.)

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steve.springer@latimes.com

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