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Peter King: NFL Hopes Peer Pressure Gets Players Vaccinated

All NFL teams have had at least 60% of their players fully or partially vaccinated.

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Brittany Hosea-Small | Reuters

The gloves have come off for the NFL, and NBC Sports’ “Football Morning in America” columnist Peter King has the inside scoop on how people surrounding the league feel. Last week, the NFL announced strict policies enforced if a team has a COVID-19 outbreak amongst unvaccinated players. 

The big word that stood out was “forfeit.” The league moved heaven and earth to fit in every game throughout the 2020 17-week schedule, but they won’t be jumping through those hoops in 2021. In the event of an outbreak that disrupts play, neither team is paid. On top of that, the team at fault will forfeit, not receive the loss for draft purposes, and have to refill the NFL coffers with the television money lost from the cancellation.

Powers that be in the league have essentially mandated the vaccine without saying it’s mandated. Agents Drew Rosenhaus and David Canter are caught between a rock and a hard place.

“I have players adamant they won’t get the vaccine,” Rosenhaus told Peter King. “They just don’t want to be told what to do. I think there will be players who decide they don’t want to play because of this issue.”

Canter says players on the margins don’t have much choice at all.

“If you’re on the street, and unless you were really good last year but got injured, you will not get signed by an NFL team,” Canter said to King. “GMs are already losing their minds over the vaccine, and they’re not going to take [marginal] players who won’t get the shot.”

Peter King reported that nine teams crossed the 90% vaccination rate mark, and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero updated that mark on Monday. According to Pelissero, All teams are over the 60% threshold, 83.6% of players have received at least one shot, and 10 clubs now have 90% or more of their players vaccinated.

King says the NFL is hopeful that the “second-class citizen” feel of being unvaccinated with more workplace restrictions helps push every team closer to a high vaccination rate. Check out his entire FMIA column here as NFL Training Camps open up across the country.

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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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NSMA Announces Finalists for Awards, Hall of Fame

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Jordan Bondurant

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The National Sports Media Association revealed its finalists for its national sportscaster of the year and national sportswriter of the year, and there are plenty of heavy hitters in the industry up for consideration for the NSMA awards.

Among the nominees for National Sportscaster of the Year include Al Michaels, Ian Eagle, Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Kevin Harlan, and Mike Tirico. The full list includes Adam Amin, Jason Benetti, Joe Davis, and Mina Kimes.

For National Sportswriter of the Year, Adrian Wojnarowski, Ken Rosenthal, Nicole Auerbach, Pete Thamel, Pat Forde and Tom Verducci are among the biggest names. Candace Buckner, Katie Strang, Marc Spears and Wright Thomson round out the list of nominees.

The NMSA also revealed its finalists for the sportscaster and sportswriter Hall of Fame. James Brown, Joe Buck, Lee Corso and Tim McCarver are part of the sportscaster list, while Bill Plaschke and Ray Didinger appear among the names for the sportswriter hall of fame.

Final voting for the statewide and national awards, as well as for the Hall of Fame, will take place throughout this month, and the winners and inductees will be announced on January 9.

Winners and Hall of Famers will be honored at the NSMA Awards Weekend & National Convention held in Winston-Salem, N.C. June 24-26.

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