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Even Stephen A. Smith is getting tired of Skip Bayless

Stephen A. Smith Skip Bayless

This tweet sent by Adam Schefter on Friday was so funny and unexpected, I had to double-check to make sure it wasn’t sent by “Adarn Schefter,” the Twitter impostor.

According to Schefter, fellow ESPN employee Stephen A. Smith walked into the green room at the network on Friday and shared how he needs a break from his “First Take” co-host Skip Bayless:

We feel you Stephen A., we feel you. It isn’t easy “embracing debate” and going toe-to-toe with that doofus every single day. I can’t imagine anyone taking it for a few minutes, let a lone a few days, months or even a few years.

Brent Musburger moves to SEC Network; Chris Fowler or Rece Davis may replace him

Brent MusburgerIt’s the end of an era for college football fans. Brent Musburger will no longer be calling the national championship game for ABC/ESPN.

The network announced on Wednesday that Musburger will no longer be calling ABC’s “Saturday Night Football” package or the national championship game. Instead, Musburger will team with Jesse Palmer as the lead announcers for the new SEC Network, which launches in August.

Musburger’s first assignment will be calling the Texas A&M-South Carolina game on Aug. 28.

Musburger is turning 75 in May, so he told SI’s Richard Deitsch that he understands why he’s being reassigned. He appreciates that he has a three-year deal at his age.

Though Brent will be working the SEC for college football, he says he will stick with calling the Big 12 for college basketball because he is so familiar with it.

Since Musburger, who received some heat for the whole Katherine Webb thing last year, is no longer doing the national championship game, you’re probably wondering who will replace him. ABC/ESPN has not announced it yet, but Musburger told Deitsch it will either be Chris Fowler or Rece Davis replacing him.

This is a sad day. Musburger is definitely getting up there, but I still loved hearing him on big college football games and will miss not having him broadcast the national championship game.

Rick Reilly giving up ESPN column, will only do TV

Rick ReillyVeteran sportswriter Rick Reilly has decided to give up his column on ESPN.com and will focus solely on TV work, ESPN announced on Wednesday.

Reilly, 56, has been with ESPN since 2008. He came to the network after 23 years with Sports Illustrated, where he carved out a home as the back-page columnist.

“I’ve been writing sports for a living, non-stop, since I was 20,” said Reilly. “I figured out recently that I’ve published over two million words, all on sports. I’m ready to try something new.”

The ESPN article on the matter says Reilly will write books, screenplays and travel the world, in addition to his TV duties for “SportsCenter,” “Sunday NFL Countdown” and “Monday Night Countdown.”

You can’t help but wonder if some of the constant criticism Reilly faced impacted his decision. Many websites criticized him for “plagiarizing” his past columns, indicating that Reilly may have been writing so long that it was difficult to find new, original material. Reilly also got into trouble for supposedly misquoting his father-in-law in a story about the Redskins nickname.

Michelle Beadle had doubts at NBC, thought about quitting TV

Michelle Beadle

Michelle Beadle left ESPN two years ago for what she thought would be greener pastures at NBC. She was wrong. Beadle expected her move to NBC to catapult her career to the next level. Instead, she ended up clashing with NBC Sports Network’s “Crossover” co-host Dave Dave Briggs and dreading going to work.

Earlier this week, Beadle told the NY Post that her time at NBC made her contemplate quitting television.

“It was the lowest for me,” she said. “I think being somewhat of a workaholic — and it’s not healthy by any stretch — but I think you place your self-worth on your career, and as far as I was concerned, my career was crap. I started to doubt myself, whether I even wanted to do TV, I thought about quitting. I found myself in a position where I was working for people I didn’t want to work for and I didn’t know how to get out of it. So, it was just bad, a bad overall feeling.”

Fortunately, Beadle left ESPN on good terms and was given a chance to return to her old job as co-host of “SportsNation.” She said she had envisioned her work with NBCSN being just as enjoyable but was misled.

“It was the way everything was handled, the way the show was put together from the beginning, it was not what I was told was going to happen,” she explained. I didn’t like my job anymore, and it was not fun having to go to work and pretend. … It was just a bad fit all around. That’s all I can say without getting into too much trouble.”

Beadle is now back with “SportsNation” and soaking up every minute of her new/old job one clever pirate joke at a time. She’s a perfect example of why it’s always best to not burn bridges when leaving an occupation.

Bob Costas supposedly got pink eye from Botox gone wrong; NBC denies

Bob Costas pink eye glasses

As if the story of Bob Costas’ pink eye during the Sochi Games weren’t already juicy enough, now there’s a rumor that will blow everything away.

The New York Post’s Page Six reports that a source told them Costas got pink eye from a botched pre-Olympics Botox injection.

Costas is one of the top broadcasters for NBC and was expected to serve as the network’s studio host during the Games’ two-week run, but his reign was marred by a case of pink eye. Costas was forced to wear glasses throughout his entire time in Sochi because of his eye infection. He was even sidelined for six days after the pink eye spread to his right eye.

Page Six’s source not only says the infection was contracted during a botched Botox injection, but they added that it wasn’t Costas’ first time receiving Botox. However, NBC Sports vehemently denied the rumor.

“This has zero truth to this. Zero,” an NBC spokesperson told Page Six.

Page Six is known for embellishing stories — they are the kings of turning a public appearance by two people into a dating rumor — so we are always leery of their reports. We’ll just share that we’re keeping our eye on this one.

H/T Jimmy Traina

Ken Griffey Jr. apologizes to Linda Cohn, says he was sick

Ken Griffey JrKen Griffey Jr. apologized to Linda Cohn both privately over the phone and publicly over social media for his unfriendly behavior during an interview Wednesday.

Griffey was doing interviews on behalf of Upper Deck, but his Q&A session with Cohn did not go well. He hardly gave answers and was overall very difficult. Junior says that’s because he was sick.

“I want to apologize to Linda for the way things went today,” Griffey wrote on Instagram. “I was in the middle of a cough attack and felt a little ill and didn’t want to walk off the set. Linda has always been professional to me and my family . I’m sorry, Junior @espn @sportcenter @lindacohn”

Cohn also tweeted to say she received an apology from Griffey and accepted it.

I don’t know if I believe that Junior really was sick, but at least he apologized. Still, nothing will ever really explain why the heck he acted like he did in that interview. He soooo did not want to be there.

Michelle Beadle returns to ESPN ‘SportsNation’ with great pirate quote

Michelle Beadle pirate

Michelle Beadle returned to ESPN show “SportsNation” on Monday after a two-year absence, and she came back with her typical flare.

Beadle left ESPN for NBC Sports two years ago and served in a variety of roles. She worked on “Access Hollywood,” hosted “The Crossover” on NBC Sports Network, and did a number of other things for the network, such as interviews and reporting for other sporting events. But things didn’t go as well as she’d hoped, and now she’s back with ESPN.

“I’ve missed the everyday fun of this show and this group so when given the chance to reunite, I got here as fast as I could,” said Beadle in a quote released by ESPN. “For two years, I’ve kept my pirate costume hanging in my closet. It was starting to collect dust. Returning to SportsNation is my destiny.”

Beadle originally co-hosted “SportsNation” with Colin Cowherd and helped the program build its popularity and following. She will join current hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley on the show.

Her return to the show was highlighted by a video of her taking a two-year absence to play minor league baseball for the Birmingham Barons a la Michael Jordan.

Michelle Beadle Returns from ESPN Dev on Vimeo.