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#pounditSaturday, June 25, 2022

Media

Sage Steele reportedly bloodied by errant shot at PGA Championship

Sage Steele at the ESPYs

Jul 11, 2017; Marina del Rey, CA, USA; Tamika Catchings (left), Sage Steele (center) and Karl-Anthony Towns pose during the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year Awards at the Ritz-Carlton. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Rahm caught a big break on one of his tee shots during the opening round of the PGA Championship on Thursday, but the lucky bounce unfortunately came at the expense of ESPN anchor Sage Steele.

Golf reporter Geoff Shackelford was standing behind Rahm on the third tee at Southern Hills Country Club when Rahm pulled his drive way left. The shot was bad enough that Rahm yelled “fore left!” and pointed his club in that direction. However, the ball landed in the middle of the fairway after it struck Steele, who was covering the major for “SportsCenter.”

The ESPN broadcast made no mention of Steele being hit by the drive, but one eyewitness told Shackelford that he or she “saw (Steele) on the ground, holding her nose, mouth or chin area.” The witness said Steele’s face was “covered in blood.” Medical personnel were called over to tend to Steele.

ESPN has not formally commented on the incident. Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post was told by sources that Steele walked off the course under her own power. She has since traveled home to Connecticut and is not expected to be part of the PGA Championship coverage for the remainder of the weekend.

Steele has been with ESPN since 2007. She recently filed a lawsuit against the company but has continued to work there.

FOX reportedly decides on Tom Brady’s broadcast stand-in

Tom Brady puts up his hand

Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady will take on the role of lead NFL analyst for FOX Sports once he retires. Until then, a former Pro Bowler will handle those duties.

FOX has agreed to a deal with longtime Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen to serve as lead analyst until Brady retires, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Olsen will be paired with lead play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt, and the two will also call the Super Bowl together next February.

Olsen always seemed to be the favorite for the role. He and Burkhardt were paired together as the No. 2 broadcast team for FOX last season and received positive reviews. In fact, Olsen was reportedly given a long look for the full-time No. 1 role before FOX agreed to its deal with Brady.

Olsen’s promotion opens up a spot on FOX’s No. 2 team, at least temporarily. There will be plenty of speculation linking another high profile ex-player with that role, in all likelihood.

Report: Dan Orlovsky lands significant new position at ESPN

Dan Orlovsky on set

Dan Orlovsky has gained popularity at ESPN with his no-nonsense NFL analysis over the past several years, and he will have another platform to deliver it this upcoming season.

Orlovsky will join ESPN’s No. 2 NFL TV booth alongside Steve Levy and Louis Riddick, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports. The trio is set to call some “Monday Night Football” doubleheaders this season and then five games per season beginning in 2023.

Riddick and Levy also recently signed contract extensions with ESPN, according to Marchand.

Orlovsky is essentially replacing Brian Griese, who served as an analyst on ESPN’s top “Monday Night Football” broadcast team last season. The network has since hired Joe Buck and Troy Aikman away from FOX, and they will serve as the No. 1 duo.

Marchand reports that Orlovsky was also pursued by FOX before signing his extension with ESPN. He will continue to appear on “NFL Live,” “First Take” and “Get Up, while also calling some college football games.

Orlovsky should do well as an analyst during NFL broadcasts. Though some may think he is overcritical at times, the former quarterback is very opinionated and knowledgeable about the game.

Troy Aikman reveals hardest part of leaving FOX for ESPN

Troy Aikman talking

Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Aikman signed a massive contract this offseason to become the lead analyst for “Monday Night Football,” and he was undoubtedly thrilled to have Joe Buck come with him. However, the Hall of Famer says there was one co-worker in particular who was difficult to leave.

ESPN on Monday formally introduced Aikman and Buck as its new broadcasting duo for NFL games. Aikman called the opportunity “really special,” but he spoke about how difficult it was to say goodbye to his FOX family. The phone call he dreaded most was the one he made to Erin Andrews.

“The toughest call I had to make was to Erin Andrews, to tell her I’ve leaving,” Aikman said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “She’s like a sister to both of us.”

Aikman was hired at FOX in 2001. Andrews became the NFL sideline reporter for the Network in 2014, so she worked with Aikman and Buck for many years. Andrews opened up about how close she is with Buck and Aikman while discussing their move to ESPN recently.

Lisa Salters will remain the sideline reporter for “Monday Night Football,” so she will now work closely with Buck and Aikman. Andrews is staying at FOX, at least for now.

Barstool Sports founder makes incredible offer to Patrick Beverley

Patrick Beverley reacts to a play

Nov 13, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Patrick Beverley (22) enters a game against Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter at Staples Center. The Clippers won 129-102. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Beverley received a lot of attention on Monday for his harsh criticism of Chris Paul, and one of the most successful people in the media world loved every second of it.

While serving as a guest analyst on ESPN’s “Get Up,” Beverley unloaded on Paul for being a poor defender (video here). He also said CP3 should have been benched in the Phoenix Suns’ embarrassing Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was mesmerized by Beverley’s commentary. He offered to write the veteran guard a “blank check” to do a podcast with Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy also expressed his admiration for Beverley on Twitter.

Beverley is obviously not a fan of Paul. The 33-year-old also seems like a guy who is destined to work in sports media before or after he retires from playing. Barstool would offer Beverley a great platform to speak his mind, so we would not be surprised if he considers the offer.

Sean Payton reportedly lands TV job

Sean Payton on the sideline

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton looks on during the second half against Jacksonville Jaguars at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Payton has been exploring jobs in the media since he stepped down as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, and it sounds like he now has a deal in place for one.

Payton has accepted a job with FOX for the 2022 season, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. He will work as a studio analyst and likely fill as part of the “FOX NFL Sunday” crew when Jimmy Johnson is out.

Payton was also pursued by Amazon.

The assumption is that Payton probably signed a one-year pact with FOX. Many people believe the 58-year-old is merely taking a year off from coaching and will want to return next season. A recent report claimed a Saints rival is planning to make a run at Payton next year.

Ex-Pro Bowler to keep seat warm for Tom Brady at FOX?

Tom Brady after a game

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady will play at least one more season in the NFL before he begins working at FOX, which means the network still needs an analyst for top games in 2022. A favorite has reportedly emerged for the job.

Greg Olsen has begun discussions with FOX to become the network’s top analyst next season, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. The two sides have not agreed to a deal but Olsen is considered the most likely candidate for the position.

FOX has already named Kevin Burkhardt as its replacement for Joe Buck, who left for ESPN along with longtime partner Troy Aikman. Brady will eventually serve as the No. 1 analyst for FOX, but that will not be for at least another year. No one would be shocked if Brady played in the NFL beyond next season, either.

Olsen joined FOX as a full-time broadcaster last season. He seemed like the logical choice to replace Aikman before Brady came along. He could still boost his resume by taking the job in the short term, though another former NFL star has unexpectedly become a broadcasting free agent.

Drew Brees makes surprising move with his TV career

Drew Brees smiling at practice

Aug 23, 2018; Costa Mesa, CA, USA: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts during joint practice against the Los Angeles Chargers at the Jack. R. Hammett Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees began working for NBC after he retired from the NFL, but the former New Orleans Saints star is already moving on to different things.

Brees will not return to NBC as an analyst next season, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Brees believed he would eventually become a game analyst when he took the job, but Cris Collinsworth is not going anywhere. Collinsworth will call games alongside Mike Tirico in 2022 now that Al Michaels has left for Amazon.

Brees worked primarily as a studio analyst with “Football Night in America” in his lone season at NBC. Network executives were not all that impressed and have “soured on Brees’ potential,” Marchand says. The decision to part ways was mutual.

A recent report claimed Brees is a candidate to become FOX’s top game analyst now that Troy Aikman and Joe Buck have left for ESPN. That plan seemingly hit a snag when Tom Brady agreed to a massive contract with FOX. However, Brady is playing at least one more season. That means FOX still needs another game analyst in the meantime.

Greg Olsen is the favorite to become FOX’s No. 1 analyst in 2022 alongside Kevin Burkhardt. That could open up a spot with the network for Brees, though it is unclear what would happen once Brady enters the mix.

Longtime Patriots broadcaster Gino Cappelletti dies — dead at 89

Geno Cappelletti during an interview

The New England Patriots lost one of the most recognizable figures in their franchise’s history this week, as Gino Cappelletti has died.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that Cappelletti has died at age 89. The former wide receiver and placekicker played for the then-Boston Patriots from the franchise’s inaugural season in 1960 through 1970. He was only the second player in the Patriots Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1992.

Fans in New England both young and old are very familiar with Cappelletti. After he retired from playing, he spent his first stint in broadcasting from 1972-1978. He then served as the Patriots’ special teams coach from 1979-1981 before returning as a radio broadcaster for the team in 1988. Cappelletti announced his retirement from broadcasting in 2012.

Cappelletti called Patriots games on the radio alongside play-by-play announcer Gil Santos for 28 seasons. They worked an NFL record six Super Bowls together. Santos and Cappelletti were considered by many to be the voices of the original Bill Belichick-Tom Brady dynasty.

Report: FOX pursued Tom Brady in response to Troy Aikman comments

Troy Aikman in a suit

Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL Half of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady’s new relationship with FOX as the network’s future lead NFL analyst had been a long time in the making, according to a new report. Beyond that, it came about through what Troy Aikman himself did during the NFL postseason.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal broke down the circumstances of the Brady deal on the “Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast,” and suggested it went all the way back to the playoffs and some comments Aikman made at the time.

“When Troy Aikman wanted to get out of his contract, and started talking with Amazon, and started talking with ESPN, and made it public — he would answer any question that was sent his way — it irritated the folks at Fox,” Ourand said, via Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post. “As soon as he started to make those entreaties, it wasn’t just that Tom Brady was on a list. They started talking to him. Tom Brady was deciding between going back and playing football, or going to Fox. And he ended up going to play football. We both thought at that time that his negotiations with Fox had been tabled to next offseason, or whenever he retires. At no point did we think those negotiations were continuing to go along to where they would announce it on Tuesday.”

In January, Aikman publicly admitted that he was interested in working for Amazon in addition to his FOX duties. This evidently did not go over well with FOX’s hierarchy, and Aikman’s move to ESPN was announced a month later.

Money was clearly not a factor for FOX based on what they are reportedly paying Brady. Aikman seemingly wanted a big payday, so FOX decided to put their money elsewhere.