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No Active Players On The ManningCast Again This Week

“That marks back-to-back Manningcasts without an active NFL player.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: ESPN

Another week, another Manningcast without an active NFL player. Omaha Productions revealed the latest guest lineup for the Week 11 broadcast. The guests for this clash between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants are Bill Parcells, Kevin Hart, Condoleeza Rice, and Julian Edelman.

That marks back-to-back Manningcasts without an active NFL player. Edelman is the closest of the bunch to his playing days, having just retired from the New England Patriots in the offseason. It will be intriguing to watch Edelman commentate as his old quarterback, Tom Brady, plays out the fourth quarter against New York.

Condoleeza Rice may seem like a curious choice for a football broadcast, but she is an avid fan of the game. The former U.S. secretary of state called the NFL commissioner role her dream job and was even mentioned briefly by Adam Schefter as a Cleveland Browns head coaching candidate a few years ago.

Alas, there hasn’t been an active player on the Manningcast in weeks now after Travis Kelce, Russell Wilson, Rob Gronkowski, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady, and Josh Allen all lost following their appearances. Allen’s stumble came out of nowhere after his Bills were heavy favorites in a 9-6 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“If somebody at ESPN said, ‘well the Madden curse, players kept doing it no matter what.’ I said, ‘That’s because they were getting paid.’ If you get paid, you don’t care about a curse. Last time I checked, we are not paying anyone to come on the show. Obviously, I hope it is not true. Right now, it is what it is,” Manning said on the Steam Room podcast.

The rough part about this dilemma is that to stomp out any thinking around a curse, another NFL player has to come on first. All of this could wash away if an active player joins the brothers over the next couple of weeks. Until then, who knows what other Cleveland Browns head coaching candidate will join the show.

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Michael Smith Joining Amazon Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football Studio Coverage

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

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Michael Smith is joining Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football coverage, he tells USA Today.

“It’s a full-circle moment. It’s back to my roots in many respects. I always wanted to be a part of a national telecast … and here I am,” said Smith.

He will work as a “news analyst” for the streaming platform’s studio show, a role he similarly held for ESPN‘s NFL Sunday Countdown. Former Countdown producer Amina Hussein is the head of on-air sports talent development for Prime.

Smith becomes the latest of a growing cast Prime Video has assembled for Thursday Night Football coverage. Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit will work in the broadcast booth, Kaylee Hartung will work the sidelines, Charissa Thompson will anchor the studio show with Tony Gonzalez, Richard Sherman, Aqib Talib, and Andrew Whitworth, and Taylor Rooks will work as a feature reporter. Dude Perfect, a comedy group famous for social media “trick shot videos”, will reportedly offer a Manningcast-style alternate broadcast.

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Report: ESPN Declines Final Offer From Big Ten

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference.

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What came as speculation Monday night is now being reported as fact: ESPN is out of the Big Ten media rights negotiations.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports ESPN declined a seven-year, $380 million per year offer from the Big Ten to remain a media partner of the conference. ESPN has owned, at least a portion, of Big Ten football and basketball rights for 40 years.

The Big Ten is expected to announce a partnership with Fox, CBS, and NBC that will see three conference games air on network television each Saturday. Fox will air the Big Ten during their Big Noon Kickoff timeslot, CBS will replace the SEC with the Big Ten at 3:30 eastern, and NBC will feature a Big Ten game in primetime.

Several reports put the Big Ten’s latest television rights deal at or exceeding $1 billion per year. CBS is expected to pay roughly $350 million for the Big Ten package.

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Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The 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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