In what was not a shock to anyone, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not at mandatory minicamp on Tuesday as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday. It has been a while since anyone has heard from Rodgers, but the last one who did was former ESPN personality Kenny Mayne.
Rodgers, who is a good friend of Mayne’s, appeared on the ESPN legend’s last SportsCenter a couple weeks back. On this week’s episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast, Mayne talked about the now famous interview.
“It was a weird position to be in and then you add in the weight of the ESPN bosses, ‘hey we know it is your last day, but can you get some f**n Aaron Rodgers questions for us to run them on SportsCenter?'” Mayne joked. “I sent him a note. I said we are not planning anything, just be prepared for everything. I’m not going to screw him over when he’s doing me a nicety of that’s a pretty big name to get on your final show. Aaron didn’t complain afterwards. He wrote something funny. He wasn’t offended and I think he wants to answer some things seriously. We kind of did it all in my opinion. I did what I wanted to do. It was my last show. He said what he said. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I have no idea.”
During the conversation with Schefter, Mayne said that he has no idea what’s really going on with Rodgers and has never asked him about it privately nor did he know anything other than rumors when the news Rodgers reportedly wanted out was reported the night of the NFL Draft. He knew that regardless of what he asked, he wouldn’t get Rodgers to tell him everything.
“I told people before and after I can be as straight as can be, I can be as silly as can be, somewhere in between, which I probably was. He’s going to answer how he wants to answer. No one can beat the information out of anyone. I can’t make Aaron tell me precisely what he’s thinking and what he’s exactly going to do and how he thinks it is going to turn out. He was kind of just doing the long, philosophical answer of people vs. institutions and I tend to agree with his point.”
Of course, what might be more famous than Rodgers’ thoughts on his current situation in that interview was the final question Mayne asked where he joked about getting into cryptocurrency. Schefter said it might have been “the single-greatest last question that I’ve heard asked of anybody ever.”
Mayne did not prepare the quarterback for the joke either and mentioned how he was doing it more to help him than for the actual show itself:
“I daydreamed about that a day or two before,” Mayne said. “I knew that it would be a funny way to end it, but I didn’t write it down and I almost forgot to do it. All of those interviews, there were no scripts or prompters. I knew ahead of time ‘hey I want to hit these four things and you see where the interview goes. At the very end, it hit me to do that thing. As he is wrapping up, I pretend like we’re done. I referenced the last time I interviewed him and did the big joke at the end. He didn’t know it was coming for sure. That was a genuine reaction. I was doing it more for him than the room. I didn’t think they would run it out. They were like we had to run this.”
While Mayne said some people can criticize him for not addressing the trade request enough, he did the interview the way he wanted to do it and for someone’s final show in a great career, that’s all a person could ask for.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage
“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”
The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.
Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.
“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.
Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.
How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.
NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake
“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”
The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.
“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”
Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.
Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.
Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”
Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’
“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”
Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.