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Jay Bilas: I Only Listen To Criticism If It’s Reasonable

“He told Nolan that he accepts that if he will listen to compliments, he has to do the same when someone has something less than flattering to say about his opinion.”

Ricky Keeler

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Any analyst in the sports industry can sometimes get a text or a call from a player or coach to talk out why they disagreed with something said on air. For ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, that was the case for him back in February when he criticized Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim for comments made about Jalen Johnson leaving Duke during the season to get ready for the NBA Draft. 

“That guy was hurting them so they actually are much better now without him,” Boeheim said at the time on his local radio show. “He was just doing some things and keeping other people from playing that are good.”

Bilas was all over ESPN to voice his disagreement and displeasure with the comments.

This week, on the Sports? With Katie Nolan podcast, Bilas talked about how he deals with criticism of his comments when it comes from other coaches, including Boeheim (who recruited him back in high school). He said that he learned a great trick from CBS’s Bill Raftery.

“I always use a line that Bill Raftery used years ago when someone would complain, he would say ‘I must have missed all your thank you notes for the good stuff’ and he would just diffuse everything.”

For Bilas, he is never worried about getting criticism. He told Nolan that he accepts that if he will listen to compliments, he has to do the same when someone has something less than flattering to say about his opinion. He says the key is knowing that not every critique is right and you don’t always have to think your critic is right.

“What I try to do is the first question I ask myself was the criticism right and was it reasonable? If it is right, I need to act on it. If it is reasonable, I need to consider it. If it is unreasonable and wrong, I dismiss it and I don’t worry about it,” Bilas said.

Nolan complimented Bilas, saying that she appreciates that he doesn’t rely on hot takes to create content. Bilas explained that his goal is to be fair and honest. Relying on bluster to create content is not something he ever wants to feel like he has to do.

“I don’t need to rave about something because I am going to have the opportunity to talk about something similar tomorrow or the next day. We get a lot of reps at our job.”

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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