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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.”

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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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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool

“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.

No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.

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