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Greg Hardy Story Sets Off National Experts

Jason Barrett

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Temporary refuge from Greg Hardy talk on Sunday came during – of all places – NBC’s broadcast of the Cowboys-Eagles game. At least it did until halftime.

As expected in the wake of published photos of Hardy’s handy work against a woman back in North Carolina, he was the topic de jour in every network’s Sunday NFL studio from coast to coast.

But just before the game, analyst Cris Collinsworth excused himself and play-by-play voice Al Michaels from the chorus, saying they were at AT&T Stadium to call a football game.

Collinsworth is going to take lots of heat for his pronouncement but what exactly else was he supposed to say? After Michaels and Michele Tafoya gave the Joe Friday facts, Collinsworth offered this:

“We’re going to call the game,” he told what will surely be the largest national television audience of the week. “We’re going to do our job. We are as uncomfortable as anybody is with what we saw in those pictures and what we know of this court case… We’ll call the game. We may do a little commentary at some point but we’ll let it go at that.”

That point came after a 7-7 first half in which defensive end Hardy was a bit player.

Collinsworth expressed contempt for Hardy’s actions by imploring the NFL Players Association to cut his likes loose.

“We want to make sure the NFL and its players stand for something better than what Greg Hardy was a part of,” he said.

— By the way, NBC made sure it had a camera focused on Hardy all game. Ditto for Dez Bryant, who made the catch of the game in answering Matt Cassel’s “Hail Mary” pass.

— During NBC’s pre-game, Bob Costas cut the NFL slack in the Hardy affair, pointing out that commissioner Roger Goodell tried to impose a 10-game suspension that was cut to four games by an arbitrator. He called Hardy “a bad guy who happens to be a good football player.”

— In the CBS studio, Boomer Esiason was harshest of all. “(Hardy) should be in jail,” he proclaimed.

In the NFL Network studio, Brian Billick who, as a coach, won a Super Bowl with Ray Lewis as his defensive leader for the Baltimore Ravens, pointed a finger at Jerry Jones: “To me, what the Cowboys are doing is reprehensible. I think Jerry Jones is rendering his head coach absolutely useless.”

And finally, CBS’ Tony Gonzalez: “Because this whole situation from top to bottom, DeMaurice (Smith, the NFLPA boss), the Cowboys organization, everything has been handled poorly. It’s not good for the NFL. It’s not good for the fans and it’s not good for anybody.”

— Early tweet of the game, courtesy of @netw3rk, who appears to be a New Yorker with 80,000 followers: “Jason Garrett looks like if Duke from GI Joe was going through a mid-life crisis.”

— Prophetic tweet of the game from Will Cain in the fourth quarter: “I feel the pain coming.”

Credit to the Dallas Morning News who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Pat McAfee Says Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because His Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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