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Ryan Clark Was Ready To Fight Stephen A. Smith On First Take

“The bout never happened at the Bristol, Conn. campus, and the two have fostered a cordial working relationship after Smith apologized to Clark for the comments.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Getty Images

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Clark have built a strong working relationship over their time working together at ESPN, but it wasn’t all lollipops and rainbows during the first few interactions between the two.

Clark appeared on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast this week to discuss his career with NFL players Taylor Lewan and Will Compton. Clark described one of his first times meeting Smith.

“Stephen A. was talking about how athletes want his job, and they don’t have degrees,” Clark said on the show. The LSU mass communications graduate was eager to use his schooling at ESPN and teach his new co-worker a lesson. 

“I can do your job, I do have a degree, and my hairline ain’t pushed back,” Clark recalled saying on First Take. Smith was off the day Clark filled in, but he heard all about the exchange and was ready to respond. Smith returned to First Take the following day and hammered Clark for his comments, concluding with, “as for anything else, Ryan Clark knows what he can kiss.”

Clark took those comments as fighting words from the highest-paid media personality at ESPN.

“Oh, Stephen A. Smith wants to fight me? I’m gonna whip him. Straight up,” Clark told a First Take producer at the time. “All the other stuff was cool, but the man’s gonna tell me to kiss his A-S-S? That means he wants to fight me.”

The bout never happened at the Bristol, Conn. campus, and the two have fostered a cordial working relationship after Smith apologized to Clark for the comments.

“Sometimes you gotta let people know that you’re a little thrown off if you are a little thrown off,” Clark said. “Because it helps you help them, to not do anything that’s gonna get them in a fight with you.”

With Max Kellerman possibly on the way out of the First Take set, maybe Clark will be a more frequent adversary for Smith on the debate desk.

Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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Sports TV News

FOX Scores Most-Watched PAC-12 Championship Game Ever

Jordan Bondurant

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Friday night’s Pac-12 championship game between Utah and USC drew the largest audience in the game’s history, according to FOX.

Over 6.2 million tuned in to watch the Utes dominate the Trojans 47-24 and dash USC’s hopes at making the College Football Playoff.

The network said viewership was up 45% compared to the 2021 title game, which aired on ABC and also featured Utah. The Utes won the conference crown in convincing fashion that year too, posting a 38-10 victory over Oregon.

The Pac-12 will be without USC and UCLA as member schools following the 2023 season. The Trojans and the Bruins will join the Big Ten in 2024.

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