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Joe Buck: ‘I’m Proud Of Kevin Burkhardt & FOX’

“There have been times where they’ve had the game that involves one of the teams that we’re about to cover that next Monday night. So it’s imperative for me to watch as much as I can.”

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Now that he is calling Monday Night Football games, Joe Buck has more opportunities to see how other television crews around the league operate. He says that he has had the chance to watch a lot of FOX’s top games this season and to digest the first year of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen, who replaced him and Troy Aikman at that network.

“There have been times where they’ve had the game that involves one of the teams that we’re about to cover that next Monday night. So it’s imperative for me to watch as much as I can,” he told Richard Deitsch of The Athletic. “That’s kind of been the beauty of doing Monday night. Everything’s buttoned up except for your game. That’s a huge difference from doing Thursday night. When you’re doing Thursday night and you’re talking playoff picture, there’s a lot more undecided. You’ve got a lot of playoff implications and scenarios that have been eliminated by the time we go on the air on a Monday. So I watch them all the time, and I’m proud of them.”

Buck admitted that he doesn’t really know Greg Olsen, but that he and Kevin Burkhardt are good friends and talk often. He says he made time to help prepare Burkhardt for the work culture of America’s Game of the Week.

“At least from where I sit, me leaving Fox all ended on a great note. I think Fox got what they wanted, and ESPN got what they wanted. The trades that you make in sports, if they help both teams, then it’s a great trade.”

As much as Joe Buck wants FOX to succeed, he did say that last week was a good reminder of why going to ESPN was such an attractive proposition. Not only is he calling a single game each week, but he also isn’t working on major holidays.

“Come the holidays when I’m at home with my boys and they’re unwrapping presents and I’m watching Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen do a game on TV, part of me is like, ‘That was my former life.’ But the majority of me is like, ‘Man, this feels good that I get this time at home.’”

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Sports TV News

Peter King: Sean McVay Wants to be a Star, ‘Not Just Some Guy on TV’

“I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

Jordan Bondurant

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L.A. Rams head coach Sean McVay will remain at his post for the 2023-24 season. The team tweeted that news Friday afternoon, seeming to, at least for now, put the rumors of McVay leaving coaching for a TV job to rest.

ProFootballTalk’s Peter King wrote in Football Morning in America on Monday that McVay understands the kind of position on television he’s looking for may not necessarily be there for him.

“I don’t think that was the only thing about TV that appealed to him, but I don’t think McVay was interested in being Just a Guy on TV,” King wrote. “I do think he had some regret over not taking a two- or three-year hiatus last year and taking one of the big TV jobs. Amazon? Maybe FOX? But if he really wanted to jump after winning the Super Bowl, he would have.”

King noted that McVay has been told to “Do what makes you happy” by folks with the Rams. He also said he believes coaching is what Makes McVay happy. Especially with a chance to shake up his coaching staff and being involved in trying to bring the team back from a 5-12 season in their follow-up campaign to winning the Super Bowl.

“He wants to be challenged, and this staff wasn’t doing it,” King said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen may not have been what McVay wanted in an OC—a coach who would challenge him and bring new ideas to him—and that could be why he’s going back to the University of Kentucky as a coordinator.”

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Sports TV News

Lisa Salters Makes Monday Night Football History Completing 11th Season on Sideline

“Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Monday night’s Cowboys/Bucs wild card playoff game set a new milestone for ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters.

The network tweeted that Salters completed her 11th season in that role. That makes her the longest tenured reporter in Monday Night Football history.

Salters has been with ESPN for almost 23 years. She started as a general assignment reporter before moving to sideline reporting in 2006.

“When I first got the call to do Monday Night Football, I would have never thought that 10 years later I would still be doing it,” Salters said last year in a video reminiscing on ten years on Monday Night Football. “I was at home and I got a phone call from my boss Vince Doria and he said, ‘Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in being a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football‘, and I couldn’t believe what he just asked me.”

Salters is also featured on network coverage of the NBA, something she’s been doing since 2005.

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Sports TV News

No Conspiracy Behind ESPN Monday Night Playoff Game Selection

“The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN has only carried NFL playoff games on Monday night for two seasons but has been a part of wild card weekends dating back to the 2014-15 campaign.

With the exception of one season, a 4-seed versus 5-seed matchup has always been covered by the Monday Night Football broadcast team in that stretch of nine seasons. That continued with Cowboys/Bucs this year.

In 2021-22, with the NFL expanding the playoff field to seven teams, the first Monday night playoff game was played. The Rams cruised past the Cardinals 34-11.

Last week, the decision was the source of much speculation. TV executives shared a number of theories about why ESPN landed the game that had the most star power in the Super Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote that no speculation was necessary. The decision to continue with 4/5 games in the Monday night window came down to convenience. The new format, the games that have a likelihood of altering seeding for the divisional rounds have already been played.

The 4/5 games this weekend proved to be pretty entertaining. The Jaguars rallied from down 27 to beat the Chargers. Al Michaels and Tony Dungy were ripped on social media for how they called a particularly exhilarating game for NBC. So it turns out Joe Buck and Troy Aikman would’ve called either one of the weekend’s best games.

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