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#pounditSaturday, May 28, 2022

Media

Former Pro Bowler rips Drew Brees for ‘crying out for attention’

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 was not as much of an instant television success as many anticipated he would be last season, and one former Pro Bowler who played against him is not surprised.

Brees worked as a studio analyst for NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” last year, but he is not expected to continue in that role. Former Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington discussed Brees’ future during a recent episode of his FOX Sports Radio show “2 Pros and a Cup of Joe,” which he co-hosts with Brady Quinn. Arrington ripped Brees for what Arrington perceives as a big ego.

“He’s just not as popular as he thinks he is,” Arrington said, via Patrick Magee of NOLA.com. “He’s not as loved as he thinks he is and he acts out when it doesn’t go the way he would like for it go. He’s reaching out and he’s crying out for attention.”

Arrington was referring specifically to a tweet where Brees hinted at a potential NFL comeback. He also said he is not closing the door on returning to NBC, despite a report that the network does not want him back. Some people feel the tweet was Brees’ way of trying to control the narrative around his disappointing TV debut.

Quinn agreed with Arrington.

“He’s not really wanted by NBC. He’s not really wanted by the Saints,” Quinn said. “Maybe he will end up with FOX, but that’s a tough pill to swallow if you’re a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”

Brees has been mentioned as a possible candidate for FOX’s No. 2 NFL analyst job.

The situation with Brees is a reminder that not every star quarterback can be Tony Romo as an analyst. There is still time for Brees to find the right TV role and grow into it, but he is not off to the best start.

Pat McAfee reportedly being considered for big role on Amazon

Pat McAfee celebrating

Apr 3, 2022; Arlington, TX, USA; Pat McAfee celebrates during WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Pat McAfee is a growing personality in the sports media world, and he may be about to get much bigger, according to a new report.

McAfee is being considered by Amazon to host a “ManningCast”-style simulcast of “Thursday Night Football,” according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. It is unclear whether McAfee will have the time to add that sort of broadcast to his list of ventures, but it is the sort of offer he would be interested in.

Reports last month indicated that Amazon was interested in giving McAfee a role on its broadcasts, though nothing was determined at that point. A McAfeecast would allow the former punter to broadcast without traveling, and would not require him to work with the more traditional booth of Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit.

McAfee has had a full array of work since retiring from the NFL in 2017. At the moment, he’s best known for hosting “The Pat McAfee Show” daily on Sirius XM, where he has made it a habit of getting interesting scoops from well-known guests.

Fellow ex-QB competing with Drew Brees for FOX analyst job?

Drew Brees in a suit

Nov 25, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees waves to fans on the sidelines before the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Buffalo Bills at the Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees has been mentioned as a potential candidate for a big NFL broadcasting job that recently opened up, but he may have some competition from another former quarterback.

FOX has yet to name a No. 2 broadcast team for NFL games. Kevin Burkhardt was moved to the No. 1 play-by-play role after Joe Buck and Troy Aikman left for ESPN, and Greg Olsen is expected to join him. According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Mark Sanchez is among those receiving consideration for FOX’s second team.

Joe Davis will likely be the play-by-play announcer on FOX’s No. 2 team, but there have been a few candidates mentioned for the color commentator job. Brees is one of them. He is still technically under contract with NBC, but there have been reports that the network does not want him back. Brees recently hinted at a potential NFL return, though that may be farfetched for the 43-year-old.

Sanchez left ESPN for a job at FOX last year, and Marchand says producers were impressive with the former New York Jets quarterback. FOX’s No. 2 analyst job is significant, as it comes with the network’s second-best regular season game every week and some playoff games. Sanchez would certainly love to be given a shot.

What happened to Magic Johnson on ESPN’s ‘NBA Countdown’

Magic Johnson looking on

Mar 23, 2018; Omaha, NE, USA; NBA former player Magic Johnson watches during the first half between the Clemson Tigers and the Kansas Jayhawks in the semifinals of the Midwest regional of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at CenturyLink Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN announced last October that its revamped “NBA Countdown” show would feature Magic Johnson, but the Hall of Famer has not been seen alongside Stephen A. Smith and company since March. That was his only appearance, and it will be his last this season.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported on Wednesday that Johnson will not appear on “NBA Countdown” for the remainder of the playoffs. Dave Roberts, the head of NBA and studio production for ESPN, said Johnson has had “unexpected” obligations arise.

“There have been unexpected scheduling conflicts as Magic continues to expand his business commitments,” Roberts said in a statement. “While our new ‘NBA Countdown’ team has been exceptional this season, we have a great relationship with Magic and the door is always open to work together.”

In a press release on Oct. 5, ESPN announced that Mike Greenberg would host “NBA Countdown” alongside analysts Smith, Michael Wilbon and Jalen Rose. The network boasted about the addition of Johnson to the program and said he would “frequently appear as an analyst and will join the team for marquee events throughout the regular season, NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals.” Apparently not.

Marchand reports that Johnson would be amendable to working with ESPN again, so it sounds like the relationship between him and the network is fine. Perhaps he did have other obligations, though it seems unlikely that they would limit him to just a single “NBA Countdown” appearance.

Magic is known for speaking his mind, especially about his former team. Regular ESPN appearances from him would have been entertaining, at the very least.

Al Michaels will still have big role with NBC’s NFL coverage

Al Michaels on the field

Aug 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Network television commentator Al Michaels before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Al Michaels has accepted a new job as the play-by-play voice of Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” this upcoming season, but that does not mean the broadcasting legend is finished at NBC.

NBC announced on Tuesday that Michaels will move to an emeritus role with the network. He will call one NFL playoff game for “Sunday Night Football” in 2022 while also appearing on Olympic coverage.

There will be three NFL playoff games broadcast on NBC in total. The network’s new top NFL duo of Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth will call one while Michaels and another analyst will call the other.

Many people were disappointed that Michaels landed with Amazon rather than a network TV station. Though, the 77-year-old is reportedly getting a massive raise at his new job.

Michaels has one of the most recognizable voices in sports broadcasting history. Keeping him in an emeritus role is smart business for NBC.

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.