ESPN icons and real-life Statler and Waldorf embodiments Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser spoke at length on Pardon The Interruption on Monday about Green Bay Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s late-night SportsCenter appearance.
Rodgers joined the program in a taped interview — later shown to be warranted — to give his well wishes to longtime anchor Kenny Mayne, who was anchoring his final show at the network. The Packer quarterback has been a fashionable topic of conversation at ESPN as pundits posit whether or not he will remain with the only team he has called home. Wilbon, a notorious Chicago Bear fan, did not mince words when discussing his feelings on the ongoing coverage of the saga.
“I know everybody at this network has to fawn all over this story every minute of every day, I’m not going to because there wasn’t enough there,” he said of the previous night’s Rodgers-Mayne visit.
Kornheiser also lamented the lack of substance, calling Rodgers “vague and mysterious” for his answers about the situation. The quarterback spoke of his love for seemingly everyone in the organization all the way to the neighboring dairy farms, but notably omitted some executives in his praise. Kornheiser said how much he loves personnel sagas and that he laments the Dak Prescott contract negotiations came to a close, citing his similar feelings on the matter to that of another popular ESPN program.
“Like First Take, I could talk about him for 20 minutes every single day,” Kornheiser said, while wishing Rodgers would own up to his NBA-like star power and say what he wants to say. “What I want is a declaration of this is exactly what I feel and this is what I am going to do. Rodgers has leverage; he’s (like) an NBA player.”
Amazon Eyeing Troy Aikman For Thursday Night Football
McCarthy’s source describes Michaels and Aikman as Amazon’s “TNF dream team.”
If Amazon gets its way, Troy Aikman and Al Michaels will be in the booth for Thursday Night Football next season. The digital giant is set to take over exclusive broadcast rights to the property next season.
Amazon’s interest in Al Michaels has been known for some time. Michael McCarthy first reported that the company wants to hire Aikman on Tuesday.
Troy Aikman has been Joe Buck’s partner on FOX since 2002. They have been heard on FOX’s America’s Game of the Week package as well as Thursday Night Football. They have also called six Super Bowls together.
McCarthy’s source describes Michaels and Aikman as Amazon’s “TNF dream team.” In order to make it happen, Amazon may have to lure Aikman away from FOX.
A FOX rep told McCarthy that the network does not comment on “the status of talent contracts.”
The New York Post reports that Michaels is a virtual lock to end up at Amazon. Before the news about Troy Aikman came out, the paper speculated that Cris Collinsworth and Drew Brees are possible candidates to join him.
ABC Scores Biggest College Football Weekend Since 2016
“The triple-header started with Michigan’s win over Penn State, which is the most-watched noon game of the season for ABC.”
Executives at ABC and ESPN are loving their networks’ performance with college football fans this season. What they saw on Saturday must have them jumping for joy. ABC didn’t just have its most-watched Saturday of the season, it had attracted more viewers than any college football weekend since 2016.
The triple-header started with Michigan’s win over Penn State, which is the most-watched noon game of the season for ABC. With an average of more than 5.9 million viewers, it was the most-watched game of the day, peaking at 8.7 million.
Ohio State’s demolition of Purdue picked up more than 4.7 million viewers. It is the network’s most-watched game in the 3:30 window since week 1.
With Notre Dame’s win at Virginia averaging over 3.3 million viewers, the entire triple-header averaged 4.7 million viewers. That is double-digit year-over-year growth compared to both 2020 and 2019 and the best viewership for an ABC triple header since rivalry week of 2016.
Michelle Beadle: I’ve Been Giving Opinions To Walls For 800 Days
“After my last gig I had one rule and that was do what I want with people that I like, no more jerks.”
Former ESPN personality Michelle Beadle is back and she wants everyone to know it on her new podcast, What Did I Miss? with Michelle Beadle. The first episode dropped this week, and Beadle talked about what she was up to while she was away.
“I have missed a lot, I have kinda been sitting back for 800 days giving my opinions to walls because my friends don’t care about sports and neither does my family. Nobody really cared what I had to say so in between knitting and buying toilet paper I was just mumbling a lot of opinions to the ether,” said Beadle on her time away from sports media.
Michelle Beadle talked about her move to The Athletic, saying “I ended up at The Athletic because when I think of serious journalism I think of The Athletic and myself. To me it was just a match made in heaven. After my last gig I had one rule and that was do what I want with people that I like, no more jerks.”
One of the many things that Beadle discussed had started since she has been away is the alternate Manningcast Monday Night Football telecast, which she had some high praise for.
She also went on to talk about her unread text messages that she has on her phone, and one of them was from her former colleague at ESPN Bob Ley.
“People from the outside think that Bob Ley is someone who is super serious because he is one of the pillars of SportsCenter. While we worked together on SportsNation I would just tell stories and crack jokes to everyone in the newsroom and all of the sudden Bob Ley who I also thought was super serious joined in on the jokes. I just loved Bob so much.”
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