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Booger McFarland Staying At ESPN But Doesn’t Know What’s Next

“Marchand wrote that he has been told ESPN has a “prominent studio role” in mind for Booger. The details are still yet to be worked out.”

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After two years of analyzing Monday Night Football games, Booger McFarland has been moved out of the booth by ESPN. Despite the network very publicly courting replacement candidates, he and play-by-play partner Joe Tessitore were informed last week that the network was moving in a different direction.

McFarland spoke to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post on Thursday and said that he can’t say for sure what his next assignment will be. He does know that he is staying with the network though.

“I have a couple of years left on my contract so I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “So I’m assuming that we get through this pandemic and everything that is going on with that, we will figure it out.”

Marchand wrote that he has been told ESPN has a “prominent studio role” in mind for Booger. The details are still yet to be worked out.

While it is likely that the role would be on one of ESPN’s NFL studio shows, a return to the college football world probably shouldn’t be ruled out. Prior to moving to Monday Night Football, McFarland was a studio analyst on the ESPN-owned SEC Network. He also made regular appearances on College Football Live and ESPN Radio.

As for his time in the Monday Night Football booth, McFarland says he wasn’t a fan of the hype around the debut of the new broadcast team in 2018. Producer Jay Rothman said McFarland would be “football’s Charles Barkley” while comparing play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and fellow analyst Jason Witten to a combination of Brent Musburger and Frank Sinatra and Captain America respectively.

“For me, I always try to approach things and I’ve always learned that the best approach is the humble approach,” McFarland said. “That is the way I go about things. Unfortunately, you can’t control what other people say.”

McFarland was not initially in the booth. During the 2018 season, he was on the sidelines in a mobile cart dubbed the “Boogermobile.” He told Marchand that it was a set up that made it hard to create a rapport with his new partners, because three people cannot develop chemistry or understand each other’s timing “with one of the people 75 yards away.”

While it’s clear he feels like some things were mishandled, McFarland does not have negative feelings about his Monday Night Football experience. The criticism was something he expected and he hopes whoever takes over the booth next season is ready for it.

“Obviously, it is one of the top jobs, if not the top job, in the industry. Overall, regardless of the outcome, it was a very good experience.”

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Peter King: ‘Tom Brady Needs To Study Cris Collinsworth’

“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”

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Peter King dedicated a not-insignificant portion of his “Football Morning in America” column this week to advice for Tom Brady. FOX announced last week that the Buccaneers’ quarterback will become the network’s lead NFL analyst upon his retirement.

Brady’s decision and his reported salary have been the source of much speculation and prediction amongst his soon-to-be colleagues.

King is optimistic that Tom Brady will be entertaining and informative when he makes his FOX debut. He did offer the GOAT a little bit of advice about what he should be doing in the months leading up to calling it quits on his playing days and starting his new career.

“I think what I’d do if I were Brady is study Cris Collinsworth—and honest to goodness, I don’t say that because I work for NBC,” he wrote. “I say it because Collinsworth knows how to talk X’s-and-O’s conversationally, he’s an easy listen, and he can criticize when the time comes.”

Interestingly, last week, Collinsworth says he hears from most former players that are getting ready to make the jump to broadcasting. He was surprised he never heard from Tom Brady before FOX announced their deal.

King had two other suggestions. The first was that Brady watch multiple games from start to finish so that he can hear what the give-and-take between a broadcaster and analyst sounds like. The other is that he has to commit to being interesting and not censoring himself. King has faith that Brady will be able to do that.

“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is. On that LeBron James show last year, Brady said, ‘Ninety percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like conflict, so in the end I always just try to play it super-flat.’ That has to end once he’s on TV if he wants to be any good.”

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Nick Wright Critical Of ABC Crew As Giannis Antetokounmpo Struggles In Game 7

“He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.”

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Giannis Antetokounmpo started hot in Game 7 on Sunday. By the time the game ended though, the Boston Celtics were on their way to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the defending champions were headed back to Milwaukee.

The Celtics’ defense gave the Milwaukee Bucks fits in the second half. The ABC broadcast put a special spotlight on Antetokounmpo, who got multiple drives to the basket that he could not finish.

“The best has got to show up when the best is needed, and Giannis has been disappointing,” said Mark Jackson over a package of highlights of Giannis missing shots. “As great of a player as he is, given credit to the Celtics’ defense, but he has struggled offensively time and time again.”

Nick Wright of FS1 noticed and he didn’t appreciate it. He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.

Mike Been, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy were not particularly hard on Giannis. The trio made the typical comments we hear when things aren’t going a great player’s way.

Wright did not harp on the issue beyond the single tweet. The outcome was not in doubt as the clock winded down. He gave credit to the Celtics rather than tweet about the Bucks or Giannis.

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Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is A Better Advertising Investment Than Sports

“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys.”

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Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The storylines, the outcomes of matches, all of it is predetermined. But in the eyes of WWE, that’s what makes their product so different, and better than traditional sports.

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told Deadline that when it comes to pitching advertisers, sports entertainment allows room for a range of different approaches to make something work.

“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys,” she said. “We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.”

McMahon added that WWE has a much easier process in dealing with sponsors. Everything is handled in-house.

“We own all of the IP,” she said. “When brands deal with us, they just deal with us. We create something together.”

WWE is coming off a positive Q1 earnings report, which had the company up 27% in total revenue. Its two weekly primetime shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, continue to do well in ratings, and all special and pay-per-view events, in addition to its streaming platform WWE Network, are all housed on Peacock.

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