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Skip Bayless: I’m Married to My Job, Everything Else is Second

“I live for this. It’s my whole life. It’s my calling. It’s not a job; it’s my passion.”

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Yes, it seems like everybody has a podcast. But someone who’s on television and is paid to share (shout) his or her opinions almost certainly has an audio program in a medium that continues to grow. The cup can’t runneth over.

That includes Skip Bayless, who already has two-and-a-half hours of airtime Monday through Friday (totally 12.5 hours per week) on FS1 with Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. That seems like plenty of Skip. Even he would presumably think so. But no!

Bayless recently launched The Skip Bayless Show, which provides an additional platform for punditry, another hour each week in which he can unleash his takes on the sports populace. With the NFL playoffs taking almost all of the sports spotlight right now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Bayless has put his focus there in the three shows so far.

But he also adds a personal touch, something there probably isn’t time for on Undisputed (though that show has plenty of time). In the latest episode, for instance, Bayless discussed how Tom Brady has influenced his life professionally and personally, which might make the quarterback’s retirement a bit more impactful for him.

However, Bayless also provided a glimpse at his personal ethic and how he balances work with his life. As it turns out, that work-life balance may not be balanced at all with an admission that he chose not to have children because of his devotion to his career.

“I am obsessed to this moment with what I am doing right here, right now with you,” said an emotional Bayless (via The Big Lead). “I live for this. It’s my whole life. It’s my calling. It’s not a job; it’s my passion. It’s what I was born to do and what I want to continue to do as long as my personal situation will allow it.”

Bayless went on to share that his refusal to have children cost him a marriage and another long-term relationship. But he knew that working nights and weekends “obsessively” to cover sports thoroughly would make him “a horrible father.” He was up front with his current wife when they began dating and she accepted that.

It would be easy to mock Bayless for taking himself so seriously that he avoided what many might consider a normal life, maybe even the ideal. But whether you like Bayless or not, it can’t be denied that he’s successful. Very successful. According to the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand, Bayless agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract with Fox Sports last year.

Would he have achieved that kind of financial reward by trying to have a family, what many might consider a normal life? Maybe. But maybe it would’ve been more difficult and as Bayless feared, perhaps there would’ve been repercussions.

All of this seems a bit sad and Bayless’s emotion appears to show that this has not been an easy choice for him. Whether or not you admire him for his success likely depends on what you value most in life.

Sports TV News

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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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Sports TV News

Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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