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Doris Burke: Nothing Means More Than Inspiring Other Women

“I know there are women who preceded me who carved a more difficult path than I did. It was their professionalism and their competence that allowed me the opportunities I had.”

Ricky Keeler

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When you think about who the most notable women in the sports media industry are, it does not take long for someone to mention NBA analyst Doris Burke. Burke has had an impact on so many women in the industry and she was the latest guest on the latest episode of Mike Greenberg’s podcast, I’m Interested

Towards the end of the interview, Greenberg asked Burke about the impact she has had on other women in the industry and how others look up to her. She gave some powerful words and talked about how she is excited for what women are currently doing in the industry: 

“I am so excited by the women I see because I know they are just going to go to higher and higher ground. I will tell you the truth. I did not enter this business. It was sort of a happy accident for me. I love the game of basketball. It has shaped my life since I was 7 years old…So much of my self-worth was wrapped up in could I be an All-Big East player. I have been fortunate in terms of timing. I am operating at a point in history where coverage of women’s sports was growing exponentially. If it’s not for the WNBA, I don’t get in front of those executives at MSG. I am the beneficiary of incredible divine providence and unbelievable timing.

“If somehow I have made the path easier for the women who come behind me, nothing I professionally have done would mean more to me. I know there are women who preceded me who carved a more difficult path than I did. It was their professionalism and their competence that allowed me the opportunities I had.”

During the interview, Burke mentioned how one of her favorite memories in her broadcasting career was being on the broadcast for the UCONN women’s 66-64 loss to Mississippi State in the 2017 Women’s Final Four that ended the Huskies’ 111-game win streak. While describing that moment, she takes the listener inside what she was feeling at the time as well as her notable reaction to the moment: 

“We were in Dallas, Texas. The building was packed. It’s funny because they put a spy camera towards the announce team. Pat Lowry was the coordinating producer. She called me the next morning and asked if I mind if they release the tape? I said hell no. That’s incredible footage of a very real raw reaction and I said please send it out because you are giving the viewer a glimpse into our world.

“That is the play-by-play’s moment. We were working as a threesome for the first time. Kara Lawson just joined our telecast. I wanted to make sure Dave O’Brien called it and to put some context on it.”

For every broadcaster or media member, it takes that big break for them to get on the national stage. For Burke, that also applies as she was able to work her first playoff game and got an email from a basketball Hall-Of Famer and current ESPN analyst: 

“My first playoff game only happens because they had been telling Tom Tolbert to get a password and he could never logistically work it out. ESPN’s first game was on a Saturday at noon in Toronto and Tom could not go. That was my first playoff game. I remember this distinctly. After that, I got an email from Bill Walton. It was substantial, but it said congratulations, it was absolutely fantastic, and I hope you get to work more games as an analyst. That was a big break for me.” 

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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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