For the last decade, Mike Pereira has served as the top NFL rules analyst on FOX Sports. He’s great at it, to such an extent that other networks felt obligated to follow suit and hire rules analysts of their own.
But part of the reason Pereira has been successful as the FOX rules analyst is because he spent 14 years as an NFL official prior to taking up a career in broadcasting. It’s probably fair to say Pereira wouldn’t be a great NFL rules expert had he never officiated in the league, making it odd that FOX once attempted to add Pereira’s analysis to their MLB coverage.
Joining midday hosts Greg Papa and John Lund on KNBR in the Bay Area, Pereira said that a few years into his tenure with FOX, they had the idea of using him as rules analyst for their MLB broadcast, but it was nixed by Joe Torre. The plan was to send Pereira to school, let him train as an umpire and come back as the rules expert for both the MLB and NFL coverage on FOX.
But that alludes to the idea that FOX believes Pereira’s a talented NFL rules analyst based on his general judgement ability, and not his football expertise. If that’s the case, why stop at baseball? Why not make Pereira a FOX analyst on The Masked Singer or Hell’s Kitchen?
Ultimately, Pereira believed Torre’s decision to nix the idea of using him as baseball’s rules analyst was a good one. “He was right,” Pereira said on KNBR. “If I was a baseball umpire and here’s a football official that said I disagree with this call, I wouldn’t have had the credibility whatsoever with the umpires.”
As the MLB chief baseball officer, Torre was probably more against Pereira filling the role for FOX than he was with the specific idea of having a rules expert on the broadcast. Surely there are retired umpires who would be interested in the job. But according to Pereira, FOX had trouble finding an ump willing to forgo their league benefits.
“We did interview some umpires, retired umpires to see if they were interested or if they’d be any good,” Pereira said. “And we found a couple that seemed to be pretty good but to be truthful they have a great disability program with MLB and they were told that they would lose their disability if they were paid by Fox to be a rules expert. So we never found one.”
Personally, I’m not sure how necessary a baseball rules expert is. NFL rules are very complex whereas the baseball rulebook is much less convoluted. In baseball, replay is mostly used to look at a “bang bang play” such as a close call at first base. But most of those are judgement or timing calls that can be better determined with replay, rarely does an MLB broadcast booth need clarification or explanation from a deemed rules expert.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Good Karma Brands Expands Two ESPN Wisconsin Shows to 1430 ESPN
“We are excited to integrate ESPN Wisconsin programming into our lineup with the launch of 1430 ESPN,” said Ryan Gabel, GM
Four days after flipping WBEV1430 to sports, Good Karma Brands is adding two programs, Wilde and Tausch and Scalzo and Brust, to it’s Beaver Dam, Wisconsin station 1430 ESPN. Both shows currently air in Madison and Milwaukee, are coming to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.
Wilde and Ausch airs 9a – Noon while Scalzo and Brust broadcasts from 4p-6p.
“We are excited to integrate ESPN Wisconsin programming into our lineup with the launch of 1430 ESPN,” said Ryan Gabel, GM. “Every morning, fans in Dodge County will hear from Packers Hall-of-Famer Mark Tauscher and award-winning Packers reporter Jason Wilde. In the afternoon, they can tune into former Wisconsin Badger basketball star Ben Brust and longtime ESPN Radio host Greg Scalzo. The versatility and analysis from each of the shows will make 1430 ESPN a one-stop sports station for our listeners.”
The new line-up in Beaver Dam starts August 22.
Pat McAfee: ‘Hard to Believe, But Tom Brady on The Masked Singer Makes Sense’
“He’s gonna have a goat head on him obviously.”
The absence of Tom Brady from training camp has had people buzzing this entire week. Most of the mainstream media speculation has centered on his health and what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are capable of without their quarterback.
That was until Friday when an internet theory that Tom Brady was fulfilling an obligation to FOX to appear on The Masked Singer started gaining steam. The theory has been fleshed out on reddit and shared by Kendall Valenzuela on The Fantasy Life Twitter account.
Pat McAfee took notice and talked about the theory on his show Friday afternoon. He noted that the details of Brady’s absence from Bucs’ camp work. He had a specific date he had to leave and was not able to tell the team when he would be back.
“What is something that has a beginning date that was planned, but doesn’t have an end date?” McAfee asked rhetorically.
The next season of The Masked Singer, a reality competition featuring celebrities in disguised competing in a karaoke contest, is set to debut in a month. McAfee says it isn’t hard to guess how FOX would dress Tom Brady if he were participating.
“He’s gonna have a goat head on him obviously.”
Part of the theory details the business relationship between FOX and Brady. When his playing career is over, the quarterback will start a ten-year contract with FOX that will see him in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt for the top NFL game on the network each week and have him serve as an ambassador for the network. The deal pays Brady $375 million and many believe this is the first of his duties under the terms of the contract.
“That seems, like, not possible, but maybe,” McAfee said. He noted that whether it was negotiations or a demand, FOX telling Tom Brady that they need him for The Masked Singer in the middle of the NFL preseason is hard to imagine.
“Fox has literally survived off the NFL, so I would love to hear the conversation between FOX and Tom Brady going ‘We’re paying you $375 million at some point, right? You’re gonna do The Masked Singer in the middle of training camp.’ That’s what would have had to have happened, right, for that to take place?”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers expect Tom Brady back in time to start the regular season. FOX has not said whether or not it has given Brady a date that it expects him in the broadcast booth.
Tim Allen Joins 97.3 The Game
It took Tim Allen just over 24 hours to find a new job after being laid off by 1250 The Fan‘s during Audacy’s round of cuts.
Allen tweeted he’s joining iHeartMedia’s 97.3 The Game to continue his long running Milwaukee Brewers postgame shows. Allen worked for 1250 The Fan for 17 years before being cut Tuesday.
97.3 The Game announced this news this morning during The Steve Czaban Show.
“It has been a crazy few days. I will just say that,” Allen said during his appearance. “Change is something that people handle a little bit differently and, man, what a run. It really was…I’m excited for this change.”
Bill Schmid noted how influential Allen was in starting his career. Schmid also said when he got the news of Allen’s departure from 1250 The Fan, he sent a text to his boss that just said “Tim Allen” and Allen’s phone number.