Peter King: Every Baseball Writer I Knew Was Divorced, So I Went to Football
“I just decided that even though my sporting preference was baseball, I decided to go into a more sane lifestyle job and they had an opening to cover the Bengals in 1984.”
Plenty of sports radio shows and podcasts have been wrapping up the 2021-22 NFL season since Super Bowl LVI ended with the Los Angeles Rams winning.
There may be no better guest to look back at the past season and look ahead to both the offseason and next season than NBC’s Peter King. The Football Night in America columnist was a guest on Sports Talk Chicago/WCKG with host Jon Zaghloul this week.
Naturally, since the show is based in Chicago, the two discussed the Bears hiring new coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles. But the Rams’ Super Bowl win and the Hall of Fame chances for Aaron Donald and Matthew Stafford were also part of the conversation.
But from a sports media standpoint, Zaghloul also asked King about his long career covering the NFL and how his sportswriting career began. It may surprise some to know that King didn’t intend to cover sports when he studied journalism and preferred to cover baseball as a sportswriter.
How King eventually took the football beat, rather than baseball, made for an amusing and enlightening story. As he explained to Zaghloul, football — in this case, covering the Bengals for the Cincinnati Enquirer — came down to what he could see was a better work/life balance situation.
“When I started at the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1980, I was the back-up beat writer on the Cincinnati Reds,” King explained. “And at the time, they had four daily writers — the Dayton Daily News, the Dayton Journal-Herald, the Cincinnati Post, and the Cincinnati Enquirer.”
“So I became friends with all those guys, and every one of them was divorced,” he continued. “I was married, we were planning a family, we were thinking about it, and I just said, OK, it’s one thing to be the back-up guy on a team and you go for one 10-day road trip a year. It’s another to be gone for half of seven months every year. So I just decided that even though my sporting preference was baseball, I decided to go into a more sane lifestyle job and they had an opening to cover the Bengals in 1984.”
No one would dispute that King made the correct decision, considering where his career has gone covering the NFL. Yet it’s sobering to hear that quality of life and the ability to build a family factored in so early on for him. Work/life balance is something so many struggle with to this day, regardless of profession. Several baseball writers may hear King’s remarks and nod knowingly, even if they love covering the sport.
The entire conversation between King and Zaghloul is worth listening to. King has so much to say on both the NFL, covering the sport (including some insight into the Hall of Fame voting process), and the journalism profession overall.
You can listen to the Sports Talk Chicago podcast at the show’s website or on apps including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave Portnoy: I Trust Penn Entertainment as Much as Ever
“Dave Portnoy is still an employee of Penn Entertainment. However, he has said publicly that he is unsure if the arrangement will continue after his contract expires in 2025.”
Dave Portnoy may have had some public disagreements with Penn Entertainment, but he says that he still trusts the company to run Barstool. He took to Twitter earlier this week to dispel the myth that he is in a feud with the company.
“By the way everything I say or do nowadays is construed as me having beef with @PENNEntertain I 100% do not. Most of my net worth is still tied to $penn. The corporate woke overlord narrative is bullshit. They woulda never bought us in 1st place if that was true. I trust them now as much as when they bought us.”
Portnoy has not been shy about criticizing the company’s decision to fire Ben Mintz after Mintz said the n-word while reading rap lyrics. Several supporters, including Dana White, noted that it is the kind of decision that only happens when corporations take over creative enterprises.
Earlier this week, Dave Portnoy announced that he had hired Ben Mintz as the first employee of Brick Watch Company. Mintz was emotional in making the announcement. The decision was not made to stick it to Penn Entertainment according to Portnoy.
Penn first acquired a stake in Barstool in 2020. It invested $163 million at that time for a 36% stake. Earlier this year, it completed its acquisition, investing an addition $388 million for the remaining 62% of the company.
Dave Portnoy is still an employee of Penn Entertainment. However, he has said publicly that he is unsure if the arrangement will continue after his contract expires in 2025.
Multiple State Regulators Push Back on Effort to Legalize Gambling on WWE
“In March, Alex Sherman of CNBC reported that WWE had meetings with regulators in Colorado and Michigan.”
Despite speculation over allowing sports bettors to wager on WWE, there doesn’t appear to be much support at the state level to add it to sportsbook offerings.
Earlier this year, WWE officials had discussions with accounting firm Ernst and Young to secure pre-determined match outcomes in order to allow betting on events. But many states where sports betting is legal have restrictions on wagering on scripted events.
In March, Alex Sherman of CNBC reported that WWE had meetings with regulators in Colorado and Michigan.
“The Colorado Division of Gaming is not currently and has not considered allowing sports betting wagers on WWE matches. By statute, wagers on events with fixed or predicted outcomes or purely by chance are strictly prohibited in Colorado; this includes wagers on the Academy Awards,” Shannon Gray of the Colorado Division of Gaming told Sports Betting Dime.
In Ohio, the same rules apply. The Ohio Casino Control Commission has not fielded any requests to add WWE. Officials in Kansas haven’t received requests either by their residents.
Elsewhere, Maryland sees keeping WWE out of betting offerings as a way to keep the integrity of legal sports betting.
“Maryland’s sports wagering law and regulations prohibit forms of wagering that are contrary to public interest or unfair to bettors,” Seth Elkin of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency added. “We’ve determined that it is unfair to bettors and therefore not in the public’s interest to accept wagers on sports entertainment events that have scripted or predetermined outcomes, like professional wrestling.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Former Twitter Sports Boss TJ Adeshola Joins Arctos Partners
“We’ve been fortunate to have TJ as an Operating Advisor for the past three years, and we are thrilled to have him play a larger role as an Operating Partner.”
Less than two months after TJ Adeshola announced his exit from Twitter, he has resurfaced. Arctos Partners, a firm that he had been advising, named Adeshola an operating partner on Thursday.
In the new role, Adeshola will be much more hands-on with the firm, a private investment company that focuses its investments in the sports world. The firm says it focuses on unlocking “non-obvious opportunities long before others have noticed the market need or opportunity”.
TJ Adeshola’s digital sports marketing expertise will certainly come in handy with that.
“We believe TJ is an innovator in emerging digital and sports media trends, and his wealth of knowledge is a tremendous resource for our Arctos Operating Platform, the value-added capabilities we provide to our franchise partners,” Arctos’s Jordan Solomon said in a press release. “We’ve been fortunate to have TJ as an Operating Advisor for the past three years, and we are thrilled to have him play a larger role as an Operating Partner.”
During his decade with Twitter, Adeshola served as the Head of U.S. Sports Partnerships. His title was Head of Global Content Partnerships at the time of his exit.
He is credited with securing broad strategic partnerships with the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and MLS as well as NASCAR, esports, college, and high school sports. He helped the platform grow the engagement and audience for those entities.
“I’m thrilled to expand my role with Arctos as an Operating Partner,” Adeshola added. “As the first investment firm to invest across multiple North American sports leagues, Arctos is an innovator and disruptor in the sports landscape. And true to form, the Arctos team recognizes the power of digital media as a tool for growth and an opportunity to drive value for its franchise partners.”