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Scott Shapiro Sees Bright Multiplatform Future for FOX Sports Radio

“We want people who do their homework, who come on the air, tell great stories, make the audience think and react and really make people smarter while entertaining them.”

Derek Futterman

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For the last eight years, Scott Shapiro has worked as the vice president of FOX Sports Radio and has been an eminent voice regarding programming acquisitions and decisions to help grow the network’s audience and reach. Last month, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of FOX Sports Radio and podcasts – the national radio network operated and distributed by Premiere Networks, which is owned by iHeartMedia.

The promotion is meaningful for Shapiro as he steps into a new leadership role, underscoring the company’s trust in his ability to lead them into the next generation of audio production and distribution amid changes in media production and consumption.

“The most important thing is being in a place and working with people that support you and that get the business,” Shapiro said. “I’m really in that situation here and I feel very fortunate, and quite honestly I feel fortunate every day. These are people who are trailblazers in the industry – and by the industry I mean audio; I don’t just mean radio.”

Having a focus on maintaining a lineup to inform and entertain audiences is what keeps Shapiro motivated to work each day – and it is an aspect of his managerial style that he brought to the network from his formative days. During his first year as vice president of FOX Sports Radio, Shapiro worked with FOX Sports television to close a deal in which Colin Cowherd and his show, The Herd, would be simulcast. Additionally, Cowherd joined the cast of FOX NFL Kickoff which he co-hosted with Charissa Thompson prior to the NFL on FOX on Sundays.

Cowherd had previously been with ESPN for over a decade and his addition to FOX Sports Radio enhanced an already-deep lineup of programming that featured Dan Patrick, Jay Mohr, and Rich Eisen. Cowherd’s show alone nearly reached 20 million people across multiple platforms of dissemination in its first month on the air and following its first year, signed its 100th affiliate station and was the number one sports podcast from iHeartRadio.

“I really believe from the time that Colin joined us – that right there swung the balance in our favor in terms of having what we consider the best sports talk lineup in the nation – and we’ve made many moves since then,” Shapiro said. “…Getting Colin was massive – and more than anything else – it showed that we were serious about growing this business and there was support up and down the company for being able to go out and get a show like The Herd and to get a talent like Colin.”

Since then, FOX Sports Radio has continued to evaluate its product and executed transactions focused towards its goal of informing and entertaining listeners. Whether it has been the addition of talent including Clay Travis, Doug Gottlieb, Chris Broussard and Rob Parker or the expansion of the platform’s digital presence, Shapiro has been pivotal in helping oversee and monitor key performance indicators to guide future growth.

“We’ve been allocated the proper resources to grow and really compete,” Shapiro expressed. “As a result of the investment in the product, we’ve really been able to stand out. I love the growth that we’ve had as a network over all of these years.”

Broadcasting at a national scale was nothing new to Shapiro. Before joining FOX Sports Radio in 2015, Shapiro served as the program director of ESPN Radio where he managed shows including Mike & Mike, SVP & Russillo, and the aforementioned Herd. Moreover, he helped broker cross-platform initiatives including remote broadcasts, book tours, and the creation of digitally-focused content.

“We don’t take lightly that there’s a national audience and there’s a lot of people who listen,” Shapiro said. “We look at that as something that holds us accountable but something that’s exciting…. We want as big of an audience as possible and that motivates you to really give your best.”

Shapiro would not have made the move from ESPN Radio to FOX Sports Radio had it not been for the expertise of Executive Vice President of Programming at iHeartMedia Don Martin. During his job interview, Martin told Shapiro of the family atmosphere fostered at iHeartMedia and how he would be treated. Upon joining the company, Shapiro recognized that Martin meant every word of what he had expressed.

Today, Shapiro estimates he and Martin converse at least six to seven times per day in discussions geared towards developing strategy to ensure the company and the brand continues to flourish.

“He’s accessible, he’s transparent, he loves the company, and more than anything he loves the people,” Shapiro said of Martin. “We think very much alike where in big decisions, we always end up on the same page. We’re able to talk things through and more than anything else, we’re great to help really set the tone for what’s already a great network and fueling the growth to continue [being a] great network.”

Similarly, President of Premiere Networks Julie Talbott has impacted Shapiro’s time with the company, garnering an expectation of collaboration and leadership extending throughout the entity. Both Talbott and Martin are experienced professionals in the audio industry and working with them on a daily basis has helped round Shapiro into the executive he is today.

“These are folks who really care about their people,” Shapiro said. “They’re fair, they’re honest, they’re incredibly respected through the industry and even more so they’re respected by the people that work with them closest. That’s how you know when you have good people and smart people – that they’re not only respected outside the walls, but they’re respected even more from the people who work with them every day.”

FOX Sports Radio, like all other sports media outlets, have competitors in the format and hypothesize methods that will ensure their survival within a crowded and ostensibly congested media landscape. Shapiro is cognizant of just how valuable gaining shares of individuals’ time is, especially within an era of steadily rising levels of information engagement and, sometimes, its accompanying rise in stress.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association found that 26% of respondents expect to feel higher levels of stress this year than last – and sports represent a form of entertainment which can assist in easing often-associated feelings of tension and anxiety.

“We want our folks to go deeper on the bigger storylines of the day and really bring a unique vantage point that you’re not going to get anywhere else,” Shapiro said. “Ideally, we don’t want just cookie-cutter material that’s regurgitated. We want people who do their homework, who come on the air, tell great stories, make the audience think and react and really make people smarter while entertaining them.”

Featuring established, respected professionals in the industry in the on-air lineup such as Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, and Doug Gottlieb bring a level of ethos and trust to programming that differentiates FOX Sports Radio from some of its competitors. According to Shapiro, they possess a certain “mind-share” with the audience in which consumers are interested in hearing what the talent have to say pertaining to events in sports, compelling them to listen to the program.

“When big things happen in sports – whether it’s on the field; a transaction; rumors; storylines – we want listeners to immediately think, ‘What does Colin Cowherd — what does Dan Patrick — what do they think about this?,’” Shapiro said. “Fortunately when you have big names in the industry, there’s folks who have listened to them for years. There’s folks who have tuned in to them to find out their opinions on big topics. Having big names and great performers on the air is important because ultimately there’s so many options for any consumer to find opinions.”

Newer programming, such as Covino and Rich which was added in late-September 2022 in the 5:00-7:00 PM EST time slot after previous stints airing on SiriusXM, SNY, and ESPN, has created new voices around the network’s enduring programs. Steve Covino and Rich Davis had joined FOX Sports Radio in September 2021 to contribute to its weekend football coverage and continue to host the Covino & Rich podcast available with a subscription on Patreon.

Adding a dynamic program in which the hosts interact and candidly express themselves fosters a sense of relatability between the show and its fans, and implementing pop culture into the discussion brings added entertainment value.

“They’re not necessarily journalists who are jaded and have opinions and just do hot takes,” Shapiro said. “They do have a ton of opinions, but their focus of the sports world is… really [through] every person who’s out there.”

In addition to having increased oversight on FOX Sports Radio, Shapiro also figures to be critical in continuing to build and maintain the network’s original podcast offerings. Over the years, the network has launched original podcasts with a range of different focuses in the world of sports, including I Want Your Flex; Straight Fire with Jason McIntyre and Unbreakable with Jay Glazer.

“Podcasting has exploded,” Shapiro affirmed. “It is a very cluttered marketplace, so we put the same standards on original podcasts as we do on original radio shows. We want great, compelling content; we want topics and ideas that aren’t already out there; we want different viewpoints. We really think [that] with the right hosts [and] with the right production, [we can] make compelling content [and] people will find us if the product is good enough and unique enough.”

FOX Sports Radio also offers on-demand versions of its radio programs presented as podcasts to allow consumers to catch up on anything they were unable to hear live on the air. The on-demand radio shows tend to draw the largest audiences, an occurrence that can be attributed to the draw of the on-air lineup and unparalleled content that has come to be expected from them on a daily basis. The Herd with Colin Cowherd podcast is a “behemoth,” per Shapiro, because of Cowherd’s personality and the sheer length and time of his radio show.

“Very few people will be able to listen to even an hour of his three live hours per day, let alone listen to all three hours at all,” Shapiro said. “….There’s no better compliment to The Herd brand and to Colin than people wanting to see and wanting to hear what they missed.”

In order to guide his team to success, Shapiro reviews data compiled through quantitative modalities – such as traditional Nielsen ratings, total podcast downloads and metrics on social media. At the same time, he looks at the quantitative aspects of these data, aiming to identify the determinants behind the numbers to effectively accentuate programming and sustain aggregated growth.

“If we were to solely look at terrestrial ratings, we’d be making a mistake because there are some shows that perform far better as podcasts than they might in the terrestrial radio ratings,” Shapiro said. “As long as we can properly sell and monetize the ratings across all platforms, then we’re doing well.”

In the end, FOX Sports Radio is intent on expanding its audience while promoting cross-platform listening, meaning that it will attempt to, for example, draw podcast consumers to listen to the radio show; or radio show listeners to its social media handles. Accessibility and widespread distribution is fundamental over any sequence of targeted audience expansion and subsequent retention.

Without it, a preponderance of listeners will look elsewhere for content and the paucity of those who can find the show may not be inclined to stick around when part of a smaller community. That has not been an issue for iHeartMedia and FOX Sports Radio, as it has observed growth on multiple platforms of dissemination with various types of programming thanks to its steadfast audience and means of promotion.

“The audio industry is a great place to be because if you’re a content creator, there are so many people yearning to listen to great content,” Shapiro explained. “It’s incredibly exciting that there’s so many people out there. It’s a growing industry when you look at all of audio and that’s what iHeart has done so well with. They’re going to reach listeners wherever they are.”

The issue is in the lack of a key performance indicator which accumulates metrics across different avenues of consumption that can be utilized in determining a company’s position in the marketplace. Although sports radio can distinguish itself through the style of programming and connection created between its host and the listeners, it competes with sports-focused podcasts, television programming, live games, social media content and digital communities – not to mention all of those platforms outside of the realm of sports.

The dearth of an effective paradigm is a matter of concern for Shapiro and other executives in sports radio that causes some levels of uncertainty regarding the accuracy and veracity of current methods of data analysis.

“The troublesome part is ‘How can we truly, properly measure and sell across all of these platforms?,’” Shapiro added. “We know more people are listening; there’s evidence that more people are listening than ever before but still – how can we have a universal ratings system where we can properly measure and then properly sell against all of those people who are listening to content?”

Shapiro began his career working at 790 The Zone in Atlanta, as producer of Mayhem in the AM, helping the show earn record-high ratings. Three years later in 2006, he made the move to producing on the national scale with ESPN Radio on Mike & Mike in the Morning, in which he continued increased ratings growth and coordinated remote broadcasts around the country from important landmarks and popular events.

Having worked on both the local and national scales of radio, he understands the limitations on topics each outlet can discuss due to how they would appeal to their respective audiences. Yet the goal is captivating and retaining listener interest, making the presentation of the content all the more essential – and it is a challenge that keeps Shapiro and his team motivated to put the extra effort in to ensure the brand is successful nationally.

“Whether we’re talking about your team or not, we want to make our topics relatable enough that it’s going to get any sports fans’ interest regardless if we’re talking about the team in your backyard or not,” Shapiro expressed. “That’s why it’s so important that we have incredible talent. We have great people behind the scenes to really elevate the content to make it interesting to all sports fans.”

In just over three months, Shapiro will attend the 2023 Barrett Sports Media Summit at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. While there, he will participate in a panel and looks forward to being present at a conference specially designed for those in sports media. He has been an event attendee several years in the past, including at last year’s summit held in New York City, and values the opportunity to interact with those directly invested in the industry.

“There’s so many conferences where it could be very [different] industries represented and it has to be so broad because there’s an elementary level of education on these topics,” he said. “With this, these are people who live and die with this industry. They have such a love for it and such a knowledge for it that you’re speaking to a very educated and motivated audience whenever you are at the Summit.”

Sometimes during his free time, Shapiro finds himself listening to sports radio simply because he enjoys the content and, as a result, occasionally finds himself working. Now following his promotion to senior vice president of FOX Sports Radio and Podcasts, Shapiro is eager to continue serving the audience, affiliate stations, clients and company employees within a changing, dynamic media environment.

“For folks that are interested in audio and in sports, I can’t think of a better career because you get to blend those interests together,” Shapiro said. “But like anything else, you really have to love what you do and give it your all – and when you do great things can happen.”

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BSM Writers

NBC Must Develop a Real No. 2 NFL Crew for Playoffs

Is the network’s only other option Jac Collinsworth and Jason Garrett?

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Several years ago, the NFL objected to NBC wanting to employ Mike Tirico as the lead play-by-play voice for its Thursday Night Football broadcasts. The league preferred Al Michaels because he was NBC’s No. 1 NFL play-by-play announcer and wanted the TNF telecasts to carry the same prestige as Sunday Night Football.

Following the network’s heavily-criticized broadcast of Saturday’s Wild Card playoff game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL may want to impose its authority again and insist that a top-tier broadcast team call the action of an important postseason game.

The consensus among fans and media watching Saturday’s broadcast was that Michaels and analyst Tony Dungy were surprisingly low-energy for an NFL playoff game, let alone one that became so exciting with Jacksonville rallying from a 27-0 deficit for a 31-30 victory on a last-second field goal.

Such a lackluster broadcast led to questions of whether or not Michaels was now past his prime after a season of calling subpar TNF games for Amazon and what initially appeared to be another snoozer when the Jaguars fell behind by 27 points. Pairing him with Dungy, who was a studio analyst all season, certainly didn’t help.

Dungy was as basic as a game analyst could be, typically narrating replays viewers could see for themselves while adding little insight. Worst of all, he demonstrated no enthusiasm for the action, leaving Michaels to fill most of the airtime. The veteran broadcaster showed that he can no longer carry a broadcast by himself. He needs the energy and back-and-forth that Cris Collinsworth or Kirk Herbstreit provide.

So how did NBC get here?

Most football fans know that the network’s top broadcast team is Tirico on play-by-play alongside analyst Cris Collinsworth. But they had their own assignment during Super Wild Card Weekend, calling Sunday night’s Ravens-Bengals match-up. With the postseason field expanding from 12 to 14 teams, resulting in six games being played on Wild Card weekend, NBC was awarded one of the additional playoff broadcasts.

Thus, another broadcast team was needed for that second Wild Card game. Fortunately, NBC had a renowned play-by-play man already in place. Michaels finished out his final season as SNF‘s lead voice by calling Super Bowl LVI, part of a powerful one-two combination for NBC Sports coming toward the end of its 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics coverage.

Ending his legendary career with a Super Bowl broadcast would’ve been a wonderful final note for Michaels. That appeared to be a natural path when Tirico moved from ESPN to NBC in 2016. Network executives admitted that a succession plan was in mind for Tirico to take over SNF eventually. At the time, Michaels also likely thought he would retire by then.

But when confronted with the possibility of retirement, Michaels realized he wasn’t interested. He was still enjoying broadcasting the NFL. His skills were still sharp. And perhaps most importantly, he was in demand. Amazon wanted Michaels as the lead voice for its Thursday Night Football broadcasts, bringing instant credibility to a streaming venture that drew some skepticism. ESPN considered him as its Monday Night Football play-by-play man.

As it turned out, ESPN made a bold move for MNF, swiping Fox’s No. 1 NFL crew of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. That left Amazon for Michaels, and the streaming giant paid him a commensurate salary with the top broadcasters in the industry as part of his three-year contract.

Yet Michaels wasn’t done with NBC either. After his agreement with Amazon became official, NBC announced that its relationship with Michaels would continue in an “emeritus” role allowing him to broadcast the network’s Olympics coverage and that additional Wild Card playoff telecast.

NBC can’t have been happy that most of the social media chatter afterward focused on the broadcast, rather than the game result. Especially when the discussion centered on how poorly Michaels and Dungy performed in what turned out to be a thrilling playoff game. That’s a pairing that the NFL probably doesn’t want to see again.

Michaels will likely call at least one more Wild Card playoff game for NBC since he intends to work on the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. He’s also under contract with Amazon for another two seasons unless he decides to retire before that deal expires. So perhaps the simple solution is keeping Dungy out of the broadcast booth and giving Michaels a better partner.

But can NBC drop in another analyst who hasn’t worked with Michaels all season? Anyone would arguably be an improvement over Dungy. Is it at all possible for Herbstreit to be hired on for a one-off playoff broadcast, thus ensuring that the broadcast team will have some on-air familiarity and chemistry?

Otherwise, NBC’s only other option may be its Notre Dame broadcast team of Jac Collinsworth and Jason Garrett. (The network tried that last season with Tirico and Drew Brees, only for Brees to wilt under the harsher NFL playoff spotlight.)

The pair also called USFL broadcasts for the network, so at least there would be familiarity rather than trying to figure each other out during a telecast. Yet Collinsworth and Garrett aren’t terribly popular with viewers. And as with Brees, that crew will face intense scrutiny with a larger playoff audience.

Unfortunately, NBC appears to be stuck here. Unless the new Big Ten broadcast team of Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge gets a shot. That might be the best option! Other than Notre Dame or USFL games, where are the other opportunities for NBC to develop a No. 2 NFL broadcast team? No one wants to put Al Michaels through Chris Simms in the broadcast booth, right?

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BSM Writers

Al Michaels Has Options But He Has To Make a Choice

“It does all of us in the sports industry well to remember 99% of our audience would gladly trade places with us.”

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I don’t ask much out of game announcers; get excited when appropriate, get the simple information correct, don’t get so caught up in your shtick you put yourself above the game. Al Michaels has been doing all those things well for the better part of half a century and few would argue that he’s not one of the best to ever do it. That doesn’t mean he can’t lose his fastball.

Before you read any longer, I am not here to say Al Michaels has lost his fastball. What I am here to say is Michaels has all too often this season seemed upset with and disinterested in the game he is calling. That isn’t entirely surprising when you consider some of the Thursday night action he called on Amazon Prime where the average margin of victory was almost nine points per game.

On top of that, the Amazon schedule had a dreadful two week stretch with Colts 12-9 win over the Broncos in Week Five and the Commanders 12-7 win over the Bears the next Thursday. It was in that Broncos-Colts game Michaels asked Herbstreit if a game “can be so bad it is good?” Herbstreit’s answer was “No”, by the way. It was the full 15 game schedule that Michaels told The Athletic’s media critic Richard Deitsch was like trying to sell a used car.

All of that is fine, the inaugural Amazon Prime season was not a smashing success. The streaming giant missed audience projections and will lose advertising revenue because of it. The lackluster schedule did not help that. But Michaels was given a second life; he was the NBC play-by-play announcer for the Saturday Night Wildcard Playoff game between the Chargers and Jaguars. It initially looked like Michaels might be the problem as five first half Jags turnovers had them in a 27-0 hole. But the home team staged a nearly unprecedented comeback for the win.

It was the performance by Michaels and, to a lesser degree, his analyst Tony Dungy that has led to criticism. Criticism might be too soft of a word, Michaels was roundly dragged for his lack of enthusiasm during the comeback and specifically on his call of the Jacksonville game winning field goal. The enthusiasm of the call of the game winner had a mid-3rd quarter of week four feel to it.

Me telling Al Michaels how to do play-by-play of an NFL game would be the equivalent of me telling a physicist how to split an atom. So, this isn’t just a Michaels criticism, few things bother me more than hearing a game announcer complain about the length or quality of a game as if he’d rather be anywhere else. It does all of us in the sports industry well to remember 99% of our audience would gladly trade places with us.

How many NFL viewers would sit in the seat Michaels, or any NFL announcer occupies, for free? They’d feel like they won the lottery if they also were getting the money those announcers are getting paid to be there. The guy that works a 12-hour Thursday construction shift just to get home and crack a beer for the NFL game probably doesn’t want to hear how tough that game is to announce.

On top of all of that, Michaels was given the gift of one of the wildest NFL Playoff comebacks you’ll ever see and, at times, sounded as if he was completely disinterested in being there. Pro tip: the best NFL announcer in those moments is Kevin Harlan (see: Miami at Baltimore from earlier this season. That has nothing to do with my lifelong Dolphins fandom). Michaels’ lack of enthusiasm was compounded by the exact opposite from Mike Tirico on the very same network for the Bengals-Ravens Wildcard game Sunday night. 

Tirico, like Michaels, has a sterling resume of play-by-play accomplishments. The difference is Tirico sounded like he was having the time of his life on Sunday night. 

To be fair, their two styles are different. Michaels has a very old school, Pat Summerall approach. Summerall, Vin Scully and Dick Enberg came along at a time when announcers were far more likely to let the pictures tell the story. More new school guys like Harlan and Tirico approach it differently.

Look, Al Michaels helped us believe in miracles. His place in the Sports Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame has long since been cemented. Being a hall of fame inductee doesn’t mean your style will forever be accepted by the masses. That leaves you with a few options; you can continue your style and accept or ignore the criticism or you can ride off into the sunset and enjoy the fruits of your decades of labor.

Al Michaels has what we all want; great options. He can choose any of them and be a winner in the game of life. It doesn’t matter if he enthusiastically embraces them, or not. 

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BSM Writers

Bernie Kosar Was the Victim of a Policy That Doesn’t Work Anymore

“The NFL has bigger fish to fry than Bernie Kosar. Hell, it has more pressing issues in Cleveland alone.”

Demetri Ravanos

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One week ago, Bernie Kosar lost his job on the Browns Radio Network for placing the first legal sports bet in the state of Ohio. Kosar, just like Jets coach Miles Austin weeks earlier and Calvin Ridley last year, violated a league policy that forbids team employees from placing a bet on any NFL game.

The integrity of the games still matters. The belief that what we are all seeing is being fairly contested is what gives those of us that like to have a little vested interest in the outcome the desire to lay our money down in the first place. I get the league’s discomfort with a coach on the staff of a team in the middle of the playoff hunt making bets. I get its fear of the message it sends to have players making bets.

Roger Goodell and the 32 team owners are well within their rights to object to men that can potentially control the outcome of a game or postseason seeding doing anything that even appears to jeopardize its fairness. Even perceived impropriety can compromise the league’s tremendous value.

But Bernie Kosar doesn’t have that kind of influence on the outcome of a game. He is just a broadcaster and not even a game analyst. He is part of studio coverage.

I am far from the first to point this out, but in 2023, the NFL has three official sports betting partners. Just last week, it approved the first ever in-stadium sportsbook, which Fanatics is set to open inside of FedEx Field. If the NFL is comfortable enough with the reality that its fans like to bet to make those things a reality, then Kosar losing his gig is absurd. It is the result of nothing other than “well, that’s the way we’ve always done it” thinking.

Maybe Kosar was terrible on the radio and the team was looking for a reason to move on. I don’t live in Cleveland and I am not a Browns fan, so I have no idea.

How many times have we heard that NFL owners hired Goodell to “protect the shield”? I’m not even really sure what it means or when it applies anymore. If I had a vested interest in the public perception of the league, I know that I would want someone to do the PR math on this situation.

Bernie Kosar isn’t an addict that can’t watch a game without the high of winning or the emotional distress of losing everything at stake, at least not as far as we know. This was a bet made through an advertising partner, to benefit charity. He even said on his podcast this week that the purpose of making the bet was to generate some money for former players in need of help.

This is like Disney threatening daycare centers with lawsuits for painting Mickey Mouse on a classroom wall. The NFL has bigger fish to fry than Bernie Kosar. Hell, it has more pressing issues in Cleveland alone.

Surely you have seen Garrett Bush’s impassioned rant on the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show about the obstacles facing Damar Hamlin because of how many hoops the NFL makes former players jump through in order to get some kind of pension.

On January 2, we were all united in our concern for a guy that hadn’t even completed his second full NFL season. We didn’t know if he was going to live, but if he did, we all knew that the NFL had done everything it needed to in order to protect itself from ever having to pay a dime for his medical care. Less than a week later, Bernie Kosar was fired for what amounted to a charity stunt that was meant to raise money and attention to very similar issues.

At both the league level and the team level, there was incompetence that lead to a man unnecessarily losing a gig and to the Browns and the NFL looking horribly out of touch with reality.

Are we acknowledging that people gamble or not? Are we acknowledging there are responsible ways to bet on football and are interested in generating revenue off of it or not? Because it doesn’t seem to me that the same league that just gave the thumbs up to open a sportsbook inside of a stadium is really that concerned with people that cannot affect the outcome of games betting on those games.

Has the NFL come out and said that it is going to cover every medical bill for everyone that has ever played the game? We know that this is a brutal game that leaves a physical and physiological impact on the men that played it. Why would we make it harder for someone that knows that pain to help others do something about it?

I feel awful for Bernie Kosar. Whether he needs the money or not, it is embarassing to be at the center of a controversy like this, particularly because in the NFL in 2023, there is no reason for a controversy like this to exist.

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