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Andres Cantor Used NHL to Warm Up for World Cup

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This week’s “Media Circus” column over at The Athletic features Richard Deitsch’s chat with one of the best known Spanish language broadcasters around. Andrés Cantor talks about being back on TV for Telemundo during the World Cup for the first time since 1998, how broadcasters have been treated in Russia, and how he lost 55 pounds.

The real attention grabber of the piece though comes when Deitsch asks Cantor about the goal Columbia scored against England in the round of 16.

Deitsch said he felt the call was on another level even for Cantor, who is known for his extravagant and drawn out goal calls.

You did. You heard it and sensed it correctly. As I am speaking to you, there had been 25 goals in the World Cup scored from the 85th minute on. If you looked at the clock, there had been five minutes added on and the corner kick (from Colombia) came off at I believe 93:20. So the way it was scored, the drama behind the elimination of Colombia which would have been a minute away and that it was against England, who had been one of the best teams defending against aerial play, it was just incredible. I let it all out because of the importance. I always say the goal call is punctuated and dictated by the importance of the goal. The sixth goal of a 5-0 match is a regular goal call, but a goal of the importance of the Colombia or the Argentina goal against Nigeria three minutes to the end I gave it all out. I called it with passion, with fervor, and all I had left in the tank. Then I thought: Now we go into overtime.

The two also talked about Cantor’s love of the NBA and how NBC/Universal used the NHL to get the Argentine some warmup reps before he was sent to Russia.

Deitsch: How much interest do you have in calling another sport?

Cantor: Telemundo had the NBA Spanish rights and I like the NBA very much. I was involved as the host of the broadcast. That was as close as I got to doing something with the NBA. I’m not sure it would translate. I am a soccer broadcaster. I would like to think I have the flexibility to do other sports, and I have called boxing and tennis for Univision back in the day. I can certainly do them, but soccer is my thing. As much as I would love to be around the NBA, tennis or boxing, I think there would be another role for me like host and leave the play-by-play to specialized talent.

Deitsch: I’d love to hear you call a game-winning basket by LeBron James to win the NBA Finals.

Cantor: Well in the prep to the World Cup, because we are owned by Comcast/NBC, I was invited to do the booth during an NHL game and I called a hockey goal the way I call a soccer goal. That got some attention.

The full interview is terrific and you can read it here!

Sports TV News

Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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