For Hackenberg, another chance

Hack’s back, or at least he’s getting another shot, and he could be playing football on TV by mid-February if things go well.

Former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg was selected in the second round of the inaugural quarterback draft conducted by the Alliance of American Football.

NFL Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner was the on-air analyst for the QB-specific draft. The AAF, a spring league set to start play the week after the Super Bowl in February 2019, will have games airing on CBS Sports Network.

After his standout college career, Hackenberg headed to the NFL and was initially drafted by the New York Jets. He never played in a regular season game. He was traded last year to the Oakland Raiders, cut and then signed briefly by the Philadelphia Eagles and then Cincinnati Bengals before being cut by them as well.

Hackenberg was picked by the AAF’s Memphis Express, a team that will be coached by Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary.

Still the QB draft means Hackenberg will have plenty of competition. Other Memphis selections were: Troy Cook (Tennessee-Martin), first round. Brandon Silvers (Troy), third round. and Zach Mettenberger (LSU), fourth round.

Bogey business

Kudos to Sports Business Journal for doing what it does best and better than any other outlet, reporting on the business of sports.

In the aftermath of the pay-per-view golf match between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods on the day after Thanksgiving, all media outlets dutifully reported that Mickelson won after seven extra holes, that he earned $9 million and that technical glitches in the event that cost $19.95 prompted the producers to offer the event to free.

Turner Sports reported 750,000 unique viewers watched the match online at B/R Live, but the glitch and resulting freebie offer cost the company $10 million, according the Sports Business Journal.

That was interesting and sounded catastrophic, but Turner Sports officials told SBJ they remain committed to the pay-per-view approach for what it deems worthy events.

Rovell relocates

Longtime ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell has left the all-sports network and joined the gambling-focused Action Network as a senior executive producer.

He’ll report on gaming news, which will be a growing industry across the country and in Pennsylvania as legal sports gambling continues to grow. He will also do a lot to promote his work and the network itself.

Rovell’s nearly 2 million Twitter followers give him a big reach, he knows the power and value of finding niche or specialty on which to focus his energy, and he’s not afraid to personalize what he does and promote himself.

Tuner tidbits

n Tonight’s Chargers-Steelers game was set for an afternoon kickoff at the start of the season but was “flexed” into a “Sunday Night Football” matchup because of the success of the two teams so far this season. Kickoff will be at 8:20 p.m.

n NFL ratings and viewership are up across all networks this season. Those late afternoon Sunday games typically draw around 15 million viewers while “Sunday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football” generally rank as the top programs on broadcast and cable TV, respectively. A stronger-than-usual schedule for “Thursday Night Football” has bolstered ratings and viewership for those games as well.

Sampsell can be reached at