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Klatt Sells Big-12 During Fox Broadcasts

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Maybe it’s just good for business.

Or maybe it’s just because Joel Klatt walked on to the Colorado football team without the sniff of a scholarship that he sympathizes with his game’s latest underdog.

That would be the Big 12, the lone “Power Five” conference that again finds itself on the outside looking in at the playoffs as the season heads to the finish line.

Klatt, Fox’s rookie lead college football game analyst, has emerged as the squeakiest of all the network talking wheels when it comes to plugging the Big 12. He’s also not afraid to take shots at the SEC and Big Ten, which he’s said should be re-labeled the “Super Power Two.”

“I don’t view it as standing up for one particular conference,” Klatt said in a telephone interview this week. “Rather, it’s standing up for what I believe in. … I try not to get sucked into what I believe is the perception of the strength of the SEC.”

Coincidentally, Klatt has made the loudest of his comments on the subject on Fox networks while working Big 12 games. But that’s not to say it’s wrong. Nor is Klatt alone. ESPN college kingpin Kirk Herbstreit also has taken up for the Big 12 in the discussion of College Football Playoff rankings. The latest has undefeated Baylor ranked sixth and undefeated Oklahoma State eighth behind Alabama and Notre Dame, each with one loss. Then there is undefeated Iowa, the second Big Ten school ranked ahead of the best the Big 12 has to offer.

Note: ESPN, just as Fox does, pours millions of dollars annually into the Big 12 coffers for football rights. The difference is that ESPN does business with the entire Power Five as well as Notre Dame. Meanwhile Fox is confined to the 12s – Big and Pac.

But there’s more to bringing up Herbstreit’s name here. In Klatt, who this season replaced Charles Davis alongside lead play-by-play voice Gus Johnson, Fox appears to have a worthy rival for Herbstreit.

Klatt is as engaged as Herbstreit. He appears as savvy. And he is not afraid to throw around opinions.

Klatt, like Ohio State’s Herbstreit, played quarterback in what is now a power conference. But while Herbstreit, an Ohio “player of the year” as a high school senior, strolled onto the Big Ten campus in Columbus, Klatt was offered only small-college scholarships.

Instead, signed with the San Diego Padres, who selected him in the 11th round of the 2000 MLB draft. When that didn’t work out, he returned home to his home state and walked on at Colorado, then a Big 12 school. As a freshman in 2002, he attempted three passes. All fell incomplete in a 34-0 victory over Baylor.

He returned as a 22-year old sophomore the next season, became the starter and left two seasons later with 20 school quarterback records.

Undrafted by the NFL, Klatt unsuccessfully tried out for the New Orleans Saints and Detroit Lions before using his economics degree to get into real estate.

He tiptoed into broadcasting in 2006 when the regional Fox Sports Rocky Mountain invited him to work high school games. Two years later, he was summoned to the Fox Sports Southwest studios in Las Colinas to provide analysis in the Big 12 studio. Eventually, Fox moved him to Los Angeles to work national Big 12 and Pac 12 games on FX.

When Fox Sports 1 launched in 2013, Klatt was installed as one of the network’s studio analysts. This season, he moved from the studio to the booth.

Here’s Klatt on TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, whose terrible game at Oklahoma State last week on Fox may have cost him a Heisman Trophy: “If he had a different logo on the side of his helmet there would be a different perception. People have written him off. Meanwhile (LSU running back Leonard) Fournette is still in the race.” Fournette gained 31 yards on 19 carries against Alabama.

Here is how Klatt sized up schools like Baylor and Oklahoma State against the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame: “It’s been taboo to talk about the power of brands in college football, but brands matter. Why not say so?”

Klatt said he hopes to share similar thoughts for a long time.

“I hope I can do this for the next 30 years,” he said. “I really love it.”

Read more at the Dallas News where this article was originally published

Sports TV News

Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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