With the legendary Marv Albert no longer calling NBA games for TNT, that means there is an opening on the lead NBA broadcast crew for the 2021-22 season. One of the people that would be in line to take that position is Ian Eagle, who has called games at Turner Sports since 2010. He even was a sideline reporter for a game back in 1996.
This week, Eagle was on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina. Eagle was asked if the open position is one he wants. He admitted that he thinks about it, but isn’t jumping to any conclusions.
“I think the way these jobs work is they don’t come around all that often. When something opens up and you think you might be a good fit, of course it crosses your mind. But, you also recognize there’s other people that feel the same way,” Eagle told Traina. “With Turner, they’re in a really advantageous position. They have a lot of great broadcasters in their stable. How it all plays out, what the pairings look like, I’m not even sure they’re necessarily going to say this is our A crew, this is our B crew. My goal is to continue and keep working for them and do big NBA games when those are available to me.”
Of course, Eagle is known for being the play-by-play voice for the Brooklyn Nets and calling NFL games for CBS as the voice of the number two crew. If the lead TNT gig were to come up, Eagle looks at balancing all of those jobs as a “jigsaw puzzle”.
“How do you get the pieces to fit together especially when you are juggling a number of balls in the air? For me, I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I’ve had all these opportunities, but I’ve also been able to maintain them because I figure out how to make it work scheduling-wise and I don’t make it a problem for any of those companies. I try to make myself available.”
Eagle has always been grateful for the bosses that he has worked with that have allowed him to do so many things. He cited Michael McCarthy, the then President of MSG Network, being open to Eagle taking a week away from the Nets to call the NCAA Tournament in 1998 on CBS.
McCarthy gave him the green light. In fact, it was due to CBS having most of their announcers at the Winter Olympics and NBA All-Star weekend that Eagle was able to call a college basketball game in February of that year, which led to the opportunity.
“Relationships are really important and fostering them and maintaining them and not taking them for granted. I think for me on a personal level, that’s been a big part of success. It’s not ass kissing. It’s actually finding a commonality and a common bond and doing the work that’s required to maintain the relationship. Staying in touch and checking in and finding where that fine line is of feedback and input and developing a back-and-forth.
“I can’t tell you how many times in the course of my career somebody that was in a position to make a decision that would affect my life fortunately made the decision that benefitted me based on the fact that they trusted me or they believed in me or I had built enough equity in the relationship for them to believe in me. It does take an understanding boss somewhere along the line to see the big picture. Sometimes you do get a boss that doesn’t see it that way and you have to accept that too.”
The old saying in the sports media business is it’s not what you know, but who you know. Due to Eagle being able to maintain those relationships, he has been able to be a part of so many great sporting events.
NBC, Cris Collinsworth Working on Big Money Extension
NBC Sports is deep into negotiations to keep Cris Collinsworth at its lead Sunday Night Football analyst until 2025.
Cris Collinsworth has been with NBC in his most recent stint since 2006, and it doesn’t seem like he is going anywhere else in the near future. NBC Sports is deep into negotiations to keep him in place as the lead Sunday Night Football analyst until 2025, according to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post.
Collinsworth and NBC are discussing a contract in the $12.5 million per season range, according to sources close to Marchand.
With Amazon Prime Video set to take over the exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football next season, NBC’s plan is to pair Cris Collinsworth with Mike Tirico for Sunday Night Football to replace Al Michaels, who has been rumored to Amazon.
Michaels’s contract is set to expire after this year’s Super Bowl in his hometown of Los Angeles, and while Amazon has not yet finalized a deal for Michaels, it appears likely that he will be their guy on Thursday Night Football.
Michaels is also expected to be offered a reduced role back at NBC as well. He could work select games, including one postseason game for the network.
There were some rumors that Drew Brees would be joining Tirico next season for Sunday Night Football, but it appears that Cris Collinsworth isn’t moving aside though. That likely means Brees is staying in his role on Football Night in America as well as calling Notre Dame football.
The puzzle pieces seem to be fitting in for every network going forward. With Tirico and Collinsworth working Sunday Night Football, that allows Amazon to get their dream scenario of Al Michaels joined by Troy Aikman if that is what they want.
Tim Hill Opens Up About Firing From Cumulus, 107.5 The Game
“There was no conversation, and to me, that’s unacceptable when it comes to my personal medical choices.”
Back in October, Tim Hill the program director and morning host at Cumulus Media’s 107.5 The Game in Columbia, South Carolina was let go for not following the companies COVID-19 vaccine protocol.
Hill is now speaking out for the first time in more detail. He told Outkick about his firing from the company, as well as what he is up to now.
“Not only did I get fired from Cumulus for not following their COVID vaccine mandate, but I was fired with cause,” Tim Hill said. “So that meant no unemployment, no severance, nothing, zip, zilch.”
You won’t hear Tim Hill voicing any regrets. That doesn’t mean he was happy about his decision. He admitted that he was emotional upon receiving the news.
“Afterward, I sobbed in my garage where I had done my show the last 18 months,” he said. “In my garage, I just sobbed like a baby for 10-15 minutes. It just smashed me. I didn’t see that coming. I feel fortunate I wasn’t allowed to talk about it on the air because I never would’ve gotten through it.”
Although the Covid-19 vaccine has turned into a political debate, Tim Hill swears that this is not some sort of political stand. He says he is not the type to tell someone what to do with their body or how to run their business. It was a line that he didn’t feel he wanted to let the company cross with him.
“You can’t force others to make the personal medical decision you want them to make. I can read between the lines. I’m not a dummy. It was very clear what was going to be acceptable and what was not going to be acceptable. There was no conversation, and to me, that’s unacceptable when it comes to my personal medical choices.”
Hill has been working as a seasonal UPS driver since he was let go at Cumulus, but that is set to expire on January 15th after the holidays.
“My wife and I are raising three boys right now, and I wasn’t going to be able to look them in the eye if I was bullied into getting a vaccine that I did not agree with, did not feel ready for, wasn’t prepared to get, wasn’t going to choose voluntarily.”
Corby Davidson to Follow Through On Face Tattoo Bet
“Davidson argued that since Walker never replied to the initial Tweet he sent in which he bet he would get a new Star Wars tattoo on his forehead if Coach Riley moved schools, the bet had never been agreed to.”
Shockwaves were sent through the world of college football earlier this week, as Oklahoma Sooners Head Coach Lincoln Riley took the head coaching job at the University of Southern California. After leading the Sooners for the last five seasons, in which he worked with Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, and won four straight Big 12 championship games, Riley will serve as the 30th head coach in the history of the USC Trojans.
Yesterday in a galaxy not so far away, The Hardline on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket in Dallas reflected on a recent Twitter exchange between co-host Corby Davidson and on-air talent Ty Walker involving Lincoln Riley, and a prominent, out-of-this-world film series. The connection between the two topics by means of integrating social media into the show resulted in a compelling, entertaining exchange on the air.
“Barstool says, ‘LSU players and recruits are now following Lincoln Riley on Twitter,’ read Bob Sturm, co-host of the afternoon drive program, “and this was something Ty thought Corby needed to know about.
“I figured he would want any kind of Lincoln Riley breaking news,” Walker said, knowing Corby Davidson is a fan of the Oklahoma Sooners.
“Sent back to Mr. Ty from Mr. Corby — this is Friday afternoon at 4:55,” said Sturm. “‘Ty, you just lost to Texas. And I will bet you a new Star Wars tattoo on the forehead Lincoln [Riley] doesn’t move.’”
Following the confirmation from Davidson that he had indeed sent that Tweet, Sturm finished giving the context of the exchange to the listeners.
“One hour later with, I don’t think any further exchange, but I assume Corby put down his flask for long enough to be alone with his thoughts,” said Sturm. ‘Bets off the table.’ Multiple bets, or did you just forget the punctuation there?”
“I missed the little [apostrophe] mark there,” remarked Davidson.
Davidson argued that since Walker never replied to the initial Tweet he sent in which he bet he would get a new Star Wars tattoo on his forehead if Coach Riley moved schools, the bet had never been agreed to. He offered a hypothetical to get his point across to Sturm, Walker and those listening to the show.
“Right now, if I said I’ll bet you $100,000 that I do not get in a car crash on the way home, would you take that bet?,” said Corby Davidson. “If you don’t accept it, I’m going to assume you’re going to pay me $100,000 when I get home safely.”
“We have to spit and then shake on it,” replied Sturm.
“Right!,” said Davidson. “Ty never said ‘I’ll accept it,’ and then I was like, ‘Well, he’s out, so I’m out too. Bet’s off the table. Sorry.’”
Walker said the bet was made “with such conviction” that he did not feel the need to respond to Davidson to confirm he had accepted it, ostensibly missing out on an opportunity. Nonetheless, the guys made a compromise since Riley indeed left his job with the Oklahoma Sooners, something that will surely be talked about as the show continues this week.
“Could we settle on one of these Henna tattoos?” asked Sturm. “Get a little Ewok on your forehead for two weeks… Maybe Grogu, maybe Admiral Ackbar?”
“Well, I’m going to do it,” responded Corby Davidson after mulling the proposal over. “I think even though I feel like I still won the bet, I’m still going to do it for you guys. Would you take an earlobe tattoo of Grogu?”
“No doubt — that’s fair,” said Sturm.
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