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Kirk Herbstreit Open To Giving Up College Football For NFL

“College football remains Herbstreit’s first love. He made that very clear.”

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When the subject of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler becoming the new voices of Monday Night Football on ESPN was first raised, the College GameDay star made it clear that he was not interested in giving up his role as ESPN’s lead college football analyst. Now his tune has changed a bit.

Herbstreit spoke with The Big Lead this week and said that his early season experiences with Monday Night Football left him open to leaving the college game behind to cover the NFL should the opportunity ever present itself again.

“I had an absolute ball calling that game [Steelers-Giants] and it made me reflect a little bit differently toward my future and what I might want to do down the road,” Herbstreit told Brian Giuffra. “Like I said, I hope to always do college football. But if NFL would be in my future, I’m a lot more open to that thought than I was maybe prior to that experience.”

College football remains Herbstreit’s first love. He made that very clear. His family has deep ties to the sport. In addition to being a starting quarterback at Ohio State himself, his father played football there as well and was a team captain, and Herbstreit’s sons play for Dabo Swinney at Clemson.

He also said that he knows his name has become so synonymous with ESPN’s coverage of the sport, that he wondered how he might be received on an NFL broadcast.

“I have to be honest, I was just a little bit, not intimidated, I was just a little bit curious as to how they would handle Chris and Kirk coming in from college to do a Monday night game and they could not have been any more gracious,” He said of the NFL players and coaches. “That part kind of excited me, that they were pumped that we were there to do their game.”

ESPN certainly does not seem to have the future for Monday Night Football set in stone. Steve Levy is calling games this season alongside analysts Brian Griese and Louis Riddick, but ending up with that team after striking out with multiple major names, feels like a band-aid.

It’s not impossible to think Herbstreit could be in ESPN’s future plans for Monday Night Football. It may not be in the company’s best interest though.

Between ABC and the ESPN networks, the company already carries more college football than anyone else. Plus, it just paid $2 billion to take over the primary broadcast rights for the SEC in 2023. Add to that the fact that College GameDay is firmly entrenched as the sport’s go-to pregame show for most fans, and becomes very hard to see the network being willing to give up the credibility and caché Herbstreit brings to its coverage of college football.

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Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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