Mandy Mitchell

The Mitchell Report: NFL ratings and a boring Champ

Posted November 10, 2013
Updated November 25, 2013

Thoughts on the sports world I can't share in a 5 minute sportscast. Some Triangle news. Some not.


NASCAR's Nightmare?

Jimmie Johnson has all but locked up another NASCAR championship with one week to go in the season. If he wins it will be his sixth Sprint Cup in the last eight years. You have to wonder at this point if the sport starts the year thinking "anyone but the 48".

I like Johnson. He's been a nice guy to deal with in many of the NASCAR events I've covered over the years, but the guy is simply boring. He's a little like Bill Belichick driving a car. Belichick can get away with his personality because he has players to make up for it. Jimmie is by himself, ready to give a cliche answer and move on to the next race like a machine.

That is a proven formula to win a lot of races, make a lot of money and win a bunch of titles, but he is far from beloved.

One Sprint Cup title for Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be so much better for the sport than 6 more for Johnson. It leaves me wondering if Johnson is putting together the least celebrated dynasty in the history of sports. I enjoyed when Brad Keselowski won it last year and drank just a little too much of his sponsor's product in victory lane. He showed some personality! We can all look forward to another corporate celebration out of the 48 team at Homestead.

NFL dominates

It is no secret that the NFL has been getting monster ratings for years. WRAL benefits from this on both CBS and FOX. People are watching and they are not going to stop watching. I, like many ratings geeks, was curious to see how the NFL would do this past Thursday up against two very good college football games. All were on cable, so it was a pretty fair game. The Redskins against the Vikings drew a 5.4 rating. That beat Oregon/Stanford which drew a 4.1 and killed Baylor/Oklahoma which drew a 1.5. I thought the Oregon game had a chance to win, given the mediocrity of the NFL game....nope. Just another reminder of the extreme popularity of this game. There isn't a sport that can touch it right now and I don't see a challenger any time soon.

Quick Hits

- Glad I didn't say too much about the Dolphins mess last week on the "Mitchell Report". I thought it was weird then, and it's only gotten progressively weirder . I am really not sure who is "wrong" here. It's just an overall sad story.

-Tim Tebow has hired an agent and apparently is looking into college TV jobs. I'm not sure how good he is going to be at this. Interested to see.

Worth Reading

Only one thing to pass on this week and it's so entertaining it can stand alone. You are not allowed to toss a football during a Chargers tailgate. Try it? Get fined .


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  • tlg0022 Nov 11, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Bitter much? I'm so sick of the weak argument about the Chase format as if Johnson somehow rigged the system. He has already surpassed Gordon in just about everything but wins and he should easily pass him before he hangs it up. You can't say if he wins 8 titles it isn't as impressive with the competition that the 48 faces year in and year out.

  • natsfan1965 Nov 11, 2013

    Johnson's titles are tainted by the Chase. Gordon would have won 3 of Johnson's 5 titles if the season long points system were still in use. That would tie him at 7 with Petty and Dale Sr. Even if Johnson gets more than 7 in this current format, the accomplishments of Petty and Dale Sr. would still in my opinion be the standard because it was done over the course of seasons, not over a short window at the same 10 tracks. Johnson is a very accomplished and all-time great driver. However' his number of Cups isn't as impressive as Petty, Gordon or Dale Sr.

  • BISHOP5 Nov 11, 2013

    View quoted thread

    The 'Skins may be "the second highest earning team in the league", as you say, but they're still 3-6 as we speak & going home for the holidays. The Vikings improved to 2-7 by beating the 'Skins. I don't care to see mediocre football & I'm not under contract as a fan....sorry!

  • LMF65 Nov 11, 2013

    Re: are not sure "who is wrong"? I think it might have been more appropriate to say who is "more wrong" as I can tell you at least one character is this tale that is definately wrong.

  • MsSnoCaps Nov 11, 2013

    I'm sorry if you thought Thursday night's NFL game between the Redskins & the Vikings was "mediocre". However the Redskins are the second highest earning team in the league, due to it's HUGE fan base. Just because these 2 teams aren't "winning", doesn't mean that no one wants to watch them. True fans stick with their team, even during bad times.

  • BISHOP5 Nov 11, 2013

    Jimmy Johnson - he gets #6 & has a shot at #3/#43 in terms of titles, has a shot at 100 wins before he retires. Boring or not, he knows how to win.

    Dolphin mess - figured there would be more to that story.

    Redskins/Vikings - that was probably a sympathy viewing by the fans. How else do you explain it? Given the way the Redskins are playing, they should ditch their name now & go incognito for the remainder of the season.

  • jerrylong2 Nov 11, 2013

    Winners admire winners. Losers hate winners.

  • paintcan Nov 11, 2013

    Enjoy your work Ms Mitchell. Best around.

  • ACC22 Nov 10, 2013

    Many it's Tim Tebow. How could he be anything short of the greatest of all time at anything he does?

  • FIFA Confederations Cup: Mexico v. Russia

    Saturday at 11:00 am on FOX50

  • Yachting: America’s Cup

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLS: New York FC v. New York Red Bulls

    Saturday at 1:30 pm on FOX50

  • US Track & Field Championships

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Anaheim at Boston

    Saturday at 7:00 pm on FOX50

  • NASL: RailHawks v. Indy Eleven

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • Yachting: America’s Cup

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • US Track & Field Championships

    Sunday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NBA: Draft Coverage

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Pittsburgh at St. Louis

    Saturday at 6:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Pittsburgh at St. Louis

    Sunday at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

MLB Scoreboard
American League
Chi White Sox010:10 PT11:10 MT12:10 CT1:10 ET13:10 ET17:10 GMT1:10 10:10 MST12:10 EST12:40 VEN21:10 UAE12:10 CT
Toronto011:05 PT12:05 MT1:05 CT2:05 ET14:05 ET18:05 GMT2:05 11:05 MST1:05 EST1:35 VEN22:05 UAE1:05 CT
Houston 12:35 PT1:35 MT2:35 CT3:35 ET15:35 ET19:35 GMT3:35 12:35 MST2:35 EST3:05 VEN23:35 UAE2:35 CT
Cleveland 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
LA Angels 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
NY Yankees 
Detroit 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
National League
St. Louis010:05 PT11:05 MT12:05 CT1:05 ET13:05 ET17:05 GMT1:05 10:05 MST12:05 EST12:35 VEN21:05 UAE12:05 CT
Pittsburgh011:10 PT12:10 MT1:10 CT2:10 ET14:10 ET18:10 GMT2:10 11:10 MST1:10 EST1:40 VEN22:10 UAE1:10 CT
Arizona 12:10 PT1:10 MT2:10 CT3:10 ET15:10 ET19:10 GMT3:10 12:10 MST2:10 EST2:40 VEN23:10 UAE2:10 CT
Chi Cubs 4:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
San Francisco 4:35 PT5:35 MT6:35 CT7:35 ET19:35 ET23:35 GMT7:35 4:35 MST6:35 EST7:05 VEN3:35 UAE (+1)6:35 CT
NY Mets 7:10 PT8:10 MT9:10 CT10:10 ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 MST9:10 EST9:40 VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 CT
LA Dodgers 
Minor League Baseball
International League
Buffalo 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET11:35 GMT
Pawtucket 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Lehigh Valley 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Toledo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Norfolk 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Indianapolis 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Charlotte 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
ATP Scoreboard
Thursday, Jun. 22
AEGON Championships (ATP)
Second Round
(4) M. Cilic6 6    
S. Kozlov0 4    
J. Thompson63 6 3   
S. Querrey77 3 6   
D. Medvedev6 6    
T. Kokkinakis2 2    
J. Chardy 
F. Lopez 
Gerry Weber Open (ATP)
Second Round
(3) K. Nishikori2     
K. Khachanov3     
M. Youzhny0 6 3   
A. Rublev6 3 6   
(6) L. Pouille78 4 3   
F. Mayer66 6 6   
(1) R. Federer5     
M. Zverev4     
WTA Scoreboard
Thursday, Jun. 22
AEGON Classic Birmingham (WTA)
Second Round
(2) E. Svitolina4 6 2   
C. Giorgi6 4 6   
(6) G. Muguruza6 6    
A. Riske1 4    
(5) K. Mladenovic6 1    
S. Zhang4 1    
(4) J. Konta 
C. Vandeweghe 
Mallorca Open (WTA)
Second Round
(2) A. Sevastova62 6 6   
V. Lepchenko77 1 3   
(6) R. Vinci6 5 6   
K. Flipkens4 7 2   
(7) A. Konjuh4     
V. Azarenka0     
(3) C. Garcia 
J. Cepelova