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Mel Kiper Jr: I’m Still Enthusiastic About Mock Drafts

Kiper Jr. started doing work for ESPN in the 1980s, but he had to grind during the 1970s to get there. Also, some criticism was not precisely for his mock drafts, but that nobody would be interested in this type of content.

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The NFL Draft has been synonymous with Mel Kiper Jr., regardless of whether a fanbase agrees or disagrees with his mock draft. The ESPN analyst has been a part of the network coverage since the 1980s, where he provides insight on the nation’s potential draft picks. 

Ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft, Kiper Jr. spoke to the New York Postwhere one of the questions that he answered is over being the rockstar of NFL mock drafts. Kiper Jr. revealed that he enjoys the job now more than ever; the 60-year-old admits that it wasn’t a glamorous job when he started. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” Kiper Jr. said. “‘Why don’t you get a real job? Why would people want to watch that? Why would ESPN want to televise that? Why are you putting out books? Nobody cares about the draft.’ How many times did we hear that back in the ’70s and ’80s? To fight through all that negativity and still have resolve that you believe in what you’re doing and see where it is right now, every time I turn the computer on, you’ve got a million mock drafts, a million draft sites, a million articles about the draft. This was not the way it was in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.”

Mel Kiper Jr. started doing work for ESPN in the 1980s, but he had to grind during the 1970s to get there. Also, some criticism was not precisely for his mock drafts, but that nobody would be interested in this type of content. Fast forward to 2021, and the NFL Draft is an event that many fans are excited to see because of the hope that comes with it. 

Why is he still around?

“I think being enthusiastic about what I do. I’ve never lost the enthusiasm for what I do,” he answered when asked about the key to his longevity.

Now every network that covers the NFL has its mock draft expert who helps with draft coverage months in advance leading up to the big three-night event. 

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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