First Call: Penn State to be featured on HBO’s ’24/7′; Antonio Brown speaks | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

First Call: Penn State to be featured on HBO’s ’24/7′; Antonio Brown speaks

Tim Benz
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AP
Penn State coach James Franklin reacts at the end of a 17-10 win over Pitt on Sept. 14, 2019, at Beaver Stadium.

In this week’s final “First Call,” the Penn State “24/7” details are emerging. A remarkable college football trick play. An NFL head coach bails on a news conference. Injuries are mounting in Cleveland. And Antonio Brown finally speaks.

But not for long.


Happy Valley ‘Hard Knocks’

It’s true. There will be a Penn State football version of “Hard Knocks.”

Knock on wood if you’re with me.

Hey, how come no one is knocking on anything in Oakland?

There had been rumors for a few months that there would be a college version of the popular HBO “behind the scenes” football show. We’ve long heard the Nittany Lions were a candidate to be on it.

Turns out that’s true. But not exclusively. They will be one of four teams featured over four weeks, instead of one team being followed for five or six weeks.

The other teams sharing the spotlight on HBO’s “24/7 College Football” will be Arizona State, Washington State and Florida.

Awful Announcing reported that each program will be filmed for a week leading up to a game and that each episode will air the Wednesday after the game.

The week in State College will occur for Episode 2. That airs 10 p.m. Oct. 9. It’ll chronicle the week leading up to Purdue at Penn State on Oct. 5.

My word. A full week for James Franklin to preen for the HBO crew? He’ll make Jon Gruden look downright camera shy.

I bet he’s already working on his ability to count backward by threes.


Paging ‘Mr. Big Chest’

Antonio Brown finally spoke to the media Thursday.

The interview session lasted four questions.

Four whole questions. Did “Ronald” get to answer any of them? Or did A.B. answer them all by himself?

Wow. I’ll give Bill Belichick credit. He’s even getting Antonio Brown to talk like a New England Patriot.

Eh, who are we kidding? That won’t last.

Maybe that interview was so brief because the Patriots were aware of the latest allegations against Brown that would end up being revealed later in the evening.

Sports Illustrated reports that that a woman who accused Brown of sexual misconduct is also accusing him of sending intimidating text messages.


Browns Band-Aids

As we told you Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns were already entering Sunday night’s game against the Rams banged up.

Well, Cleveland’s injury list expanded Thursday. And most of the problems are in the secondary.

Cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams popped up on the injury report. They have hamstring injuries.

Safety Morgan Burnett’s quad is bothering him. And Damarious Randall’s concussion is keeping him out of practice.

I know. An injury for Burnett. I’ll give you a minute to contain your shock.

On offense, David Njoku (wrist/concussion) and Chris Hubbard (foot) were listed Wednesday.


Sound familiar?

Ron Rivera got so tired of injury questions about his quarterback Thursday, he stomped out of a news conference.

The Carolina Panthers coach is clearly uptight about Cam Newton’s injured foot.

So just don’t ask him about it, OK? Just ask him about the Arizona Cardinals.

That was eerily reminiscent of the Bill Cowher-John Shumway exchange back in 2004.

Remember that one? Shumway of KDKA was pressing Cowher about Ben Roethlisberger’s injured thumb.

And Cowher busted out his famous “Let it go, John. Let it go.”

At least Bill didn’t walk out like Rivera. Maybe he would’ve if it was me asking instead of John.


Too much Tulane

We have an early candidate for college football ending of the year.

Tulane ran a fake kneel down during a 31-31 tie.

That set up this insane game-winning touchdown.

Somewhere, Houston and former West Virginia boss Dana Holgorsen is pulling out every remaining hair on his head after allowing that one.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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