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Tom Rinaldi: I Am Too Thin-Skinned For Social Media

“I know there is great value to it, especially in what we do. I know it is a way to connect with people and social media can do a lot of good, but that first sting when I wasn’t even trafficking it, it was so beyond the pale harsh that I didn’t want to traffic in that.”

Ricky Keeler

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It is Masters week and while Tom Rinaldi will not be covering The Masters this year since he is now at FOX Sports, the StuPodity podcast  gave him the opportunity to talk about it on one of this week’s episodes. 

At the beginning of the podcast, StuGotz and Mike Antoniou were talking about how Rinaldi has the ability to tell stories that make people feel emotional and sometimes make you want to shed a tear. Rinaldi gave the duo a good answer as to how in a divisive time, people want to be inspired and he hopes the stories he tells can help people as they look for positivity.

“I like to think there are more shades and colors on the palette than that,” Rinaldi said. “It really isn’t me. When you tell stories in sport where people are already invested, that’s the magic of it. We live in such a divisive time and the one institution which by design is meant to divide. Yet, the institution has found a way to unify, to call people together, to have people experience something communally. People want to be moved. They want to be inspired. They want to feel. If you are already invested, I don’t know if it’s that great a leap.

“Digitally, when you open your newsfeed these days, you aren’t seeing a lot of stories of greatness and striving and accomplishment. You see a lot of stories of strife, difficulty, of loss, and pain. Greatness, whether you assign it any value, is chronicled in the sports column. As a record of human achievement, I think that is pretty incredible.” 

Throughout the podcast, Rinaldi tells great stories of playing Augusta with a great friend and taking in the friend’s emotional experience or an embarrassing moment talking to the late Jerry Sloan, he also mentioned a sad, serious story about why people won’t get to see him on social media. 

It was back in 2012 when there was a 20-minute delay during the Wimbledon final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer. ESPN decided to air a 10-minute feature on Murray’s hometown in Dunblane, Scotland. Murray was in the school when an infamous mass shooting happened in 1996. They went back to the town to ask people what it would mean if Murray were to win Wimbledon. An ESPN colleague showed Rinaldi what people were saying about the company’s decision to air the feature.

“In defense of our former colleague, I don’t think he understood the context. The tweet was ‘the last thing I want to see on a Sunday morning is Tom Rinaldi talking about dead children’. Right then and there, I knew. I am too thin-skinned, I see it as too much of a time suck, but I never ever wavered. I know there is great value to it, especially in what we do. I know it is a way to connect with people and social media can do a lot of good, but that first sting when I wasn’t even trafficking it, it was so beyond the pale harsh that I didn’t want to traffic in that.”

Rinaldi was a part of College Gameday at ESPN for 17 years and he gets asked on occasion what that show is all about and he mentions the bond that Kirk Herbstreit and Coach Lee Corso have. 

“I was asked what College Gameday was and to me, I gave an easy answer. It is Herbie’s hand on Corso’s forearm. That’s the thing we all desperately hope our family might be. That we will look out for each other, love one another. Herbie’s ability to simultaneously acknowledge, support, laugh at, and love Lee through everything. It is the thing which is his signature.”

I don’t think you will cry during this podcast, unless it is tears of laughter hearing Rinaldi’s Masters style promotion of the podcast. However, it is good to know more about the man that brings the inspirational stories to our television or social media feeds and allows us to take it in.

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Bomani Jones: I’m Better At Talking About Political, Social Issues Than Most In Sports Media

“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry. Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James found himself in a few headlines last week when he questioned reporters for not asking him about the recent Washington Post story and photo surrounding Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and ESPN commentator Bomani Jones took the opportunity to discuss the revelation.

Jones was pictured as a 14 year old among a crowd during an early stage of integration of public schools in Arkansas during the civil rights movement.

LeBron pointed out that he would field questions when there’s a controversy surrounding a Black person and spoke about the situation with former Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving, but he found it curious that no one had asked his opinion on the Jerry Jones story. LeBron had long considered himself a Cowboys fan, but in recent years he’s stopped supporting the team over Jones’ mandate that Dallas players stand for the National Anthem.

On his ESPN podcast The Right Time, host Bomani Jones talked about LeBron and circled it around to how he and other ESPN personalities caught a ton of flack for speaking about political or societal issues that often don’t fall within the confines of sports.

Jones said that being able to talk about political and societal issues comes easier to him than it does to most members of the sports media.

“I personally am better at talking about those things than most people who work in this industry,” Jones said. “Like I feel like I can say that fairly and then it not really be an arrogant thing.”

Jones said it comes down to the fact that there’s a bias at play. Are people going to take offense to what you’re saying because they disagree, or are they going to like what you’re going to say because they agree?

“They’re reinforcing the fact that you’re reinforcing what it is that you want to hear,” Jones said. “But the truth is that most people are not qualified to talk about these things before the world, because talking about these things before the world is very, very difficult.”

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John Jastremski Fires Back After Craig Carton Criticism

“I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

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Earlier this week, WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton said John Jastremski — a former WFAN host now hosting a podcast for The Ringer — “shunned” his radio career advice.

During his New York New York podcast Thursday, Jastremski strongly condemned Carton’s remarks.

“I don’t like going here with this stuff, ’cause I know this plays right into what this guy likes to do,” Jastremski said. “This is his M.O. This is what he’s done his entire career. It’s what he’s done for his entire career and he’s had success doing it. He lives for this stuff. But it really set me off. It set me off because I gotta see it on Barrett Sports Media while I’m on vacation. Like I wanna be bothered with this shit, number one. Number two, it’s just tone-deaf, insulting, and flat-out rude every which way.

“Number one: going after people who work at McDonald’s? Who the hell are you to do that? Number two: You’re insulting a multi-billion dollar company where I work. I have a great job, a great platform, a great producer. I have two great jobs, I might add. And you’re insulting both of them. By the way, you’re on that network. Five days a week. And you’re insulting that network. How stupid are you? Taking shots at people of the network you’re on, I’m on. And I could tell you, it pays well. I do ok.

“As for career advice? Guess what? I listen to legends. Bill Simmons, you ever hear of him? Worth a lot more than you. Mike Francesa? My boy Adam Schein? I listen to those guys. I’m not listening to a crook. So you know what? Go take a f—ing hike. How about that.”

Calling Carton a crook harkens back to the WFAN afternoon host’s stint in federal prison for participating in a ponzi scheme that scammed investors out of $5.6 million that he in turn used to pay off gambling debts. Carton was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison before serving just over a year in prison before being released in 2020.

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The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz Moving To New Studio

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021.

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Dan Le Batard Show

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz is leaving its home at the Clevelander hotel on South Beach in Miami and moving into a new studio next year, according to a report from The Big Lead.

The show continued to be recorded inside the studio at the Clevelander after it departed ESPN Radio’s national lineup in 2021. It has remained the home for the show since Le Batard and John Skipper formed Meadowlark Media.

After a $50 million distribution deal with DraftKings was secured, the Meadowlark podcast network has grown in both reach and talent, allowing for an expanded studio space.

No immediate details were given on where the new studio space would be located.

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