This week, one NFL Network analyst was actually pining for her return – on the air.
On Wednesday’s edition of “NFL Total Access,” there was an “Instant Debate” segment, in which Andrew Siciliano and Lindsay Rhodes served a few pieces of raw football discussion meat to Darren Sharper and Heath Evans.
At the conclusion, Siciliano asked, “Who won?” Rhodes motioned at Sharper, and Siciliano lethargically voiced his agreement, citing Sharper’s ability to recall “memorable moments” from past games of teams that were discussed in the segment. Evans suggested that Sharper, who was in the midst of a victory dance, won by means of “liberal nonsense.”
“Let’s have a voting system here,” Evans cried.
As Siciliano threw it to a commercial break, you could hear Evans say: “This is ridiculous. Where’s Kara Henderson? I need her back.”
That line made Siciliano temporarily lose his concentration in teasing a segment about whether or not Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw will be as successful this week against the 49ers as he was last week against the Browns.
Then, you heard Rhodes say, “Things just got rough.” Siciliano countered with, “All right, you go to your corner.” It is unclear if Evans and Sharper were engaging in an altercation, playful or otherwise, or if the mere mention of Henderson’s name is now taboo on NFLN’s airwaves, since she’s no longer an employee.
Whatever it is, we wish there was five more seconds of video so we can figure out just what the heck happened.
You’ll see that closed captions are enabled on this clip – that’s because toward the end, Evans’ utterance of the name “Kara Henderson” turns into “Herb Anderson.”
Great. Something else Heath Evans can get angry about.Read More
Last month, former NFL Network personality Kara Henderson confirmed that she left the network “to get married and raise my boy.” In a subsequent tweet, she wrote: “Now more involved in NFL than ever. #GoRams”
We’re now able to decipher the hidden message behind that tweet.
Congratulations to Henderson, as it was publicly announced last Monday night during 101 ESPN Radio’s “The Jeff Fisher Show” that she is engaged to St. Louis Rams general manager Les Snead.
It was actually “Fisher Show” host Steve Savant that spilled the beans to listeners as he returned from a commercial break to introduce a “special guest.”
As you may recall, Henderson spontaneously disappeared from the NFLN airwaves this past spring. A couple of months ago, a commenter on this thread (which as of today is the third search result for “Kara Henderson” on Google) may have clued us in that she was tying the knot with Snead, the longtime Atlanta Falcons executive who joined the Rams this year, only for the commenter to walk back that speculation after admitting a misreading on his part.
On “The Jeff Fisher Show” (don’t let his absence in the video fool you; the crew likely chatted with him at the top of the program), Henderson joked with former Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams defensive tackle D’Marco Farr – also a veteran of sports radio in both markets – about being retired. “I’m like, if football players can retire in their 30′s, why not me?,” she said.
“Yes, but you’re retired in better health than most of us,” Farr replied.
Henderson countered, “Or so you think.”
It was at that point that Henderson’s fiance chimed in. “You have not seen the X-rays,” Snead joked. “Our trainer gave her a D-.”
Henderson also shed some light on her exit from broadcasting. “I quit my job for – at the time - the worst team in football [the Colts were actually one game worse last season]. But now, I think we can all see where this thing is going. It’s so much fun for me to be a part of it.”
It’s unclear exactly what position Henderson holds with the Rams organization, or if she just tags along with Snead from town to town, up and down the schedule. She was in tow for the Rams’ road opener at Detroit, and also tweeted from the Rams’ home opener against the Redskins the following week. She was ecstatic at Rams kicker Greg Zuerlien converting a 60-yard field goal in last week’s win over the Seahawks, and was excited about the team upending the Cardinals, handing them their first defeat of the season on Thursday night.
“You get to be a fan now,” Farr told Henderson.
“I’m so used to being a disinterested observer of football,” Henderson replied, noting she’s been at “so many games in my life” while an employee at NFLN.
“You’re emotionally invested now,” Savant said to Henderson.
“I think that’s fair to say,” she countered. “I now know what these guys go through, what everybody goes through in football. I’ve never had that experience before.”
Later, while noting Henderson and Snead are both in the football business, Farr asked: “Do you guys talk about anything else other than football?”
Snead: “Not much.”
Henderson: “I feel like I almost went to training camp to be the wife of a GM. I mean, we talk about pulling guards…”
Savant: “That’s very romantic, Kara.”
Farr: “You talk to your fiance about pulling guards and quarterbacks. That’s awesome. And she knows what she’s talking about!”
Snead: “She knows what she’s talking about, sometimes more than me.”
The timing of Henderson’s departure from NFL Network and Snead’s hiring by the Rams is coincidental. NFLN usually hires coaches and players when they’re not active in the league, but would there have been a conflict of interest if the fiancee of a general manager of an NFL team was employed by a broadcasting network operated by the league? If that’s the case – and if she was smitten by Snead by then – Henderson followed her heart, which is usually a good thing. And based on her language in the 101 ESPN Radio appearance, it sounds like she’s now an employee of the Rams.
As for a return to broadcasting… let’s just say Kara Henderson probably hasn’t ruled that out just yet.
In the words of another Les, this is Diamond Joe saying good day – and may the good news be yours!Read More
For the last six months, Media Rantz has been wondering the whereabouts of Kara Henderson, the NFL Network anchor/reporter who seemed to have spontaneously vanished from the airwaves. No explanation was ever given from NFLN on Henderson’s mysterious disappearance.
Early Sunday morning, Henderson was finally able to address her absence.
“For all those who have been kind enough to ask,” she tweeted, “[I] left TV to get married and raise my boy.
“There’s a catch,” she continued in a subsequent tweet, “[I'm] now more involved in [the] NFL than ever.” She punctuated that tweet with the hashtag #GoRams.
Her next tweet was a shot of Detroit, where Kara’s favorite team will be opening the Jeff Fisher era against the Lions.
While that mystery has finally been resolved, we’re still wondering why Henderson was mum on her absence from television. As I previously estimated, her last appearance on NFL Network was in early March. We’re now in early September, which makes it six months. Perhaps there was a six-month clause on her NFLN contract that forbid her to discuss why she wasn’t on the air?
And note where she says her leaving NFLN makes her “now more involved in NFL than ever.” I’m sure her heart was in the league during the nine years she’s been with the league-run network. Or maybe she was secretly incensed that they didn’t cover the Rams often, I don’t know.
The important thing is, there’s finally closure on this mystery.
Of course, the next mystery is which network she’ll join if and when she decides to return to broadcasting.
Or perhaps she’s content at being an off-the-air, stay-at-home mom. Apparently, that’s the vibe Sports Illustrated’s Peter King got when he wrote this cryptic blurb in his August 21 column: “Good to see you, Kara Henderson. Glad you’re so happy.”Read More
NFL Network viewers, get used to hearing the name Nicole Zaloumis – and seeing a great deal of her, as well.
Zaloumis, 32, will be joining the league-run network by way of Comcast SportsNet New England, where she has been hosting weekend editions of the channel’s “SportsNet Central” program. Prior to CSNNE, she had been working for two different Fox Sports properties: FSN Northwest (Seattle) from 2008 to 2010, followed by about a year at Big Ten Network. She moved on to Comcast in January 2011.
And before that, she had worked for another Comcast SportsNet outlet in the Bay Area, where she was born and raised, from 2006 to 2008. Previous sports broadcasting gigs include stops at the NBC affiliate in Medford, Oregon (her first such job), the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, and for the syndicated “George Michael Sports Machine” program. “Although brief, I worked in many different roles and refined my skills as a reporter there,” Zaloumis wrote on her Facebook page about her experience in 2004 working with the late George Michael. (Food for thought: Current ESPN personality Lindsay Czarniak is a protege of Michael; she had been a sports anchor for years at WRC-TV, the NBC owned-and-operated station in Washington, D.C. where “Sports Machine” was based.)
The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn, who had broken the news of Zaloumis’ CSNNE departure via Twitter on Thursday, elaborated on the transaction on Friday, describing her new job as “a high-profile gig as an anchor on the NFL Network.” Which basically means that Zaloumis will be NFLN’s new “it” girl.
We all remember who the network’s last “it” girl was. The question is, what’s the latest on Kara Henderson - and does the Zaloumis hire mean that Henderson’s tenure at NFLN is all but over?
At press time, Henderson’s still listed on NFLN’s website, and her Twitter account still lists NFLN as her employer. And just as was the case last month, Kara’s been mum on why she hasn’t been on the air for the last few months. Most of the tweets she sent for the month of June revolved around the NBA playoffs, mostly Game 2 of the NBA Finals which she attended in Oklahoma City last Thursday. She even bumped into Vikings running back Adrian Peterson at that game. “Knee injury? What knee injury,” she tweeted at him this week.
For the record (because we know you’re wondering), Zaloumis’ Twitter account is far less busy than Henderson’s, as Henderson has sent as many tweets this month (five) as Zaloumis has sent for the entire year. That could be due to the fact that Zaloumis is a tad preoccupied, what with raising a two-year-old son, and all.
And as this website points out, Zaloumis “is an avid red carpet aficionado.” So the move to Culver City should be a personal boon for her. Hey, you know how a lot of these cable networks are holding their own awards shows these days? (A trend that may have been sparked by ESPN’s ESPYs?) If NFL Network ever considers holding “The NFL Network Awards,” that just might rock her world.
Anyway, Nicole Zaloumis’ final day at Comcast SportsNet New England is scheduled for this weekend.
Incidentally, the person that she may be replacing in the anchor chair, Kara Henderson, began her television career at New England Sports Network, or NESN, which is a rival of CSNNE.
So Zaloumis could very well already be seated alongside Andrew Siciliano on “Total Access” by the Fourth of July.
In the meantime, Henderson’s Independence Day continues.Read More
[UPDATE, 9.9.12: Kara explains her absence from NFL Network - more here.]
Regular NFL Network viewers may have noticed that something was missing over the last several weeks – or, rather, someone.
The last time Kara Henderson appeared on NFLN was, I want to say, sometime between the scouting combine and the release of the 2012 NFL schedule. I’m not going to go crazy looking for the exact date, nor am I going to go to similar lengths to find out why she hasn’t been on NFLN’s air for a couple of months or so. But the point of this post is basically to draw attention to the fact that one of the network’s notable personalities has gone missing for an exorbitant amount of time, with no explanation – nor any hint from Henderson herself about her on-air absence to her thousands of Twitter followers. Other than an Easter shout-out to Warren Sapp and a Bubba Watson retweet, her account has been virtually silent since April 3.
You’d think it was her, and not Sapp, who was behind “Snitchgate” based on her not appearing on the network for a long time. (And I doubt she’s serving time for this unfortunate, but I’m sure unintended, slip of the tongue on the air last fall.)
She did break the Twitter ice last Sunday, playing a game of “Where am I?” with her followers. So she was in St. Louis taking in a Cardinals game. So it would appear that she’s not in harm’s way.
The other good news is, she still lists NFL Network as her employer on Twitter, so it’s a sure bet that she’ll return to the network – the question, of course, is when?
Understand that this is not a slight on the other “Total Access” crew members, especially her de facto substitute, Lindsay Rhodes, who is quite talented. In fact, during this period, she’s been pulling double duty co-anchoring “Total Access” on some nights, while hosting the annual “Top 100 Players” series.
Look, people are free to take vacations. In fact, Andrew Siciliano was out last week, with his RedZone Channel colleague, the honorable Scott Hanson, subbing for him. Andrew’s back this week. My point is, this is an unusually long vacation for someone who has been on the network quite often.
For the record, I have no details about the absence, nor am I asking for any. The fact that there are folks wondering why Kara’s been off the air is basically why this post exists. With all due respect, I’m personally not losing sleep at night over it; she can visit each and every baseball stadium and return when the NFL training camps open, if that’s what’s on her agenda. As a blogger, I’m just filling a void.
It’s just strange for a person to be missing for a great deal of time, with nobody addressing it.Read More