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Sage Steele: ESPN Vaccine Mandate ‘Sick And Scary’

“The network mandated that all on-site employees must get vaccinated by Sept. 30.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Nick Caito/ESPN Images

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele is appearing on Uncut with Jay Cutler on Wednesday, Sept. 29, and discussed her thoughts on the ESPN COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The network mandated that all on-site employees must get vaccinated by Sept. 30. Steele discussed that issue and more topics surrounding her career with Cutler.

“I respect everyone’s decision; I really do,” Steele said on the podcast. “To mandate it is sick and scary to me in many ways, but I have a job. A job that I love, and frankly, a job that I need, but again I love it. I’m not surprised it got to this point, especially with a global company like that. It was actually emotional.”

Steele has been a mainstay on ESPN’s noon SportsCenter broadcast and has helped anchor the show when they take the program on the road.

Steele shared a similar reticence with ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams, who refused to get the shot while she and her family try to have another child.

The SportsCenter anchor can sympathize with Williams and her commitment to having a family. Steele told Cutler she passed on her first ESPN opportunity in 2004 because she wanted to have more kids.

“I was scared at the time, but I had two kids, and I wanted a third,” Steele said to Cutler. “I was pregnant with my second kid, like really out here pregnant. So they brought me up here for an interview, and you know you do the whole, let’s do a little audition and roll highlights, oh wait, the tape stopped. You know, wink, wink, sorry we’re going to test you and see how you handle it, and I think if I hadn’t been like 10 months pregnant, I probably would’ve freaked out.”

Steele nailed the audition and got the offer, but it wasn’t quite what she was looking for. In the end, things all worked out with her and ESPN.

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Michael Kay: Vin Scully Was ‘A Gift From The Gods’

“No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

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As sports media figures continue to mourn the passing of Vin Scully, Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay penned a special op-ed to Scully in The New York Post.

Kay noted the sheer length of Scully’s career — pointing out he announced games for Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges just as he did for Clayton Kershaw — and how his style “transcended generations”.

“If you listen to how some called a game in the 50s, you can question if they would even be hired by today’s execs or, more importantly, accepted by today’s audience,” Kay said. “Scully was just as good and relevant in 2016 as he was in 1950. There is an incredible genius to that accomplishment.”

The two baseball broadcasters both graduated from Fordham University, which Kay said bonded them after they were introduced to one another in 1999 by Scully’s friend Keith Olbermann.

Kay also echoed a sentiment shared by many the day following Scully’s passing: that he was the greatest sports broadcaster of all time.

“In an era of hot takes where debate shows argue about the greatest this and the greatest that, there is no debate that Scully is simply the greatest sports broadcaster who ever lived,” Kay definitively said. “No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

He later added Scully’s ability “was a gift from the Gods. A lovely, soft, easy voice and a disarming manner that made him sound like a friend and not an authority figure giving you the score.”

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NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt Will Host Podcast With Omaha Productions

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

Jordan Bondurant

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You’ll soon be able to hear NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt on your favorite podcast platform.

Brandt, who co-hosts Good Morning Football, signed on with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions according to Adam Schefter.

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

“I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day,” said Brandt. “It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”

Caesars Sportsbook will be supply all betting lines for Brandt’s show. Caesars will also present Brandt’s weekly gambling segment Caesars Picks: This Time It’s Personal where Brandt will risk his own personal items around his basement when picking games based on Caesars Sportsbook spreads.

Brandt’s show joins a lineup of six other podcasts originally announced back in June.

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DirecTV Strikes Deal with Amazon to Carry Thursday Night Football in Bars and Restaurants

. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so.

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DirecTV Amazon

This season, Thursday Night Football moves over to Amazon’s streaming service for the first time. That might be good for consumers at home, but that left a drastic issue still with bars and restaurants carrying the games.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Amazon has agreed to allow DirecTV co carry its games to bars and restaurants. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so. Some establishments that have upgraded their equipment recently have run into issues syncing the video to go to different televisions from the stream.

DirecTV is also entering its last season with NFL Sunday Ticket.

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