The NFL is slowly but surely embracing legalized sports betting, but one of its most prominent voices isn’t too excited about the league getting cozy with the vice. NBC’s Tony Dungy discussed the leagues relationship to sports betting on an open media call this week.
The NFL has now created relationships with seven sportsbook operators, including FanDuel, DraftKings, Fox Bet, BetMGM, Caesars Entertainment, PointsBet, and WynnBet.
“I don’t know why the NFL changed its stance. My objection is just personal. I don’t think we should encourage people who are watching the NFL to gamble. Especially young people,” Dungy said.
The seven new business partnerships will be a boon for the league as it recovers from the pandemic losses of 2020. Despite playing a full schedule of games, attendance restrictions hamstrung the league throughout the country last season.
“I’ve got boys,” Dungy continued. “I want them to enjoy the game for what it is … It’s a great game. And I know people gamble. I know it’s legal. I just don’t want to see the NFL promoting it. That’s just my personal opinion. I know a lot of people don’t agree with that.”
Dungy’s NBC teammate, Mike Tirico, agreed that the league and media partners need to be careful around the newly-accepted vice.
“The fact that it’s now legalized may legitimize the process a little bit,” Tirico said. “But I do think it can have an influence on younger fans. We need to be wise to that in general.”
Dungy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2016 and has worked on NBC’s Football Night In America since 2009. The wildly popular pregame show has positioned Dungy as a conscious of sorts for the league. Although, that consciousness isn’t enough to stop the tidal wave of sports betting money coming the NFL’s way.
Reporter Kim Jones Leaving NFL Network, Fellow Media Tweet Support
“I’m healthy, happy, grateful, and – as always, optimistic.”
Reporter Kim Jones announced on Friday that she is leaving NFL Network after a 10-year stint. Further details haven’t yet been announced or revealed, but this news coming in the final Friday of January would appear to indicate that this is a contractual matter.
Jones joined NFL Network in 2012 after seven years as a reporter for YES Network (and reserve commentator for New York Yankees radio broadcasts on WCBS). Prior to that, she covered the New York Giants and was a national NFL columnist for the Star-Ledger. She’s also a fill-in host at WFAN.
The reporter made her own headlines in November 2018 when she suffered a significant heart injury while covering a Washington Football Team practice. Shortly before she was to go on the air, Jones tripped and felt a burning sensation in her neck.
“I walked outside and I tripped,” Jones told NBC’s TODAY show in Feb. 2019. “Immediately, I knew something was wrong, but then I knew it was something serious because this is something I’d never experienced before. So I went back into the room, I sat down, and from that point on I was in and out of consciousness.”
Washington employees called an ambulance and Jones was rushed to a hospital where she underwent emergency surgery to repair an aortic dissection. (More specifically, Jones suffered a tear in an artery that carries blood from the heart.)
“The layers of the aorta in my body had split,” Jones explained. “That leaves the aorta in danger of rupturing. If that happens, I’m not here.”
No word yet on what’s next for the longtime reporter. In response to her tweet announcing her departure from NFL Network, many of Jones’s colleagues at NFL Media and elsewhere expressed their support and encouragement.
Mark Schwarz Retiring After 32 Years at ESPN
“He was versatile, and in many ways, set a very high standard for reporters at ESPN.”
Monday (Jan. 31) will be Mark Schwarz’s last day with ESPN. The network’s longest-tenured reporter is retiring after 32 years on the job.
Schwarz’s career with ESPN began in 1990 and he has covered just about everything in the wide world of sports.
Most recently, he has been seen doing the “SC Report” segment on the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter. Topics have included Novak Djokovic’s bid to play in the Australian Open and the activism of Boston Celtics player Enes Freedom.
Schwarz seems to still be at the top of his game, so why call it a career now?
“I very much knew when I signed my last deal back in December of 2018 it would be my final deal,” Schwarz told ESPN’s Andy Hall. “And I have thoroughly enjoyed all 32 years that I’ve had.
“Using a sports cliché – I’ve put it all out on the field. I have plenty more to give, and I’m a young guy in good health, but there’s a lot more in my life that I’m looking to do right now, and I just want to enjoy the freedom that retirement offers.”
Throughout his entire career, Schwarz has been one of the best reporters in sports media.
“Schwarz brought a sense of storytelling and hard news reporting,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production & Executive Editor. “He was versatile, and in many ways, set a very high standard for reporters at ESPN.”
In a profession that can include tough questions and awkward situations, Schwarz never backed down to get the story.
“One of the things that I think has characterized my run is that I have been a bit of an outlier in terms of my willingness to get the story even if it creates friction with players, organizations, media relations people,” he said. “I’m not as worried about their feelings as getting the viewer the actual truth of what’s going on.”
In an era that seems to be run by social media, Schwarz has somehow avoided using Twitter and other digital outlets.
“I realize that most people are on Twitter because they’re trying to extend their brand, and I feel that my brand kind of stood for itself,” he said. “I didn’t need to explain it. If you saw my work, you got it. Me being on Twitter doesn’t really serve me at all.”
After all these years, Schwarz rides into the sunset with nothing but good feelings towards his longtime company.
“It’s just so great in a business like this where there’s so much turmoil and so much turnover, to have been given the opportunity to put together this type of run with this company is extraordinary,” he said. “And I’m grateful and honored to have done it.”
NBC Takes Premier League Show To Super Bowl Week
“During Super Bowl week, February 8-13, it will be presented from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with Arlo White hosting along with Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, and Tim Howard.”
NBC Sports will be broadcasting their new Premier League studio show between February 8-20.
During Super Bowl week, February 8-13, it will be presented from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles with Arlo White hosting along with Robbie Earle, Robbie Mustoe, and Tim Howard. This is the second time the Premier League studio show will visit the Super Bowl, the first being in 2015 for Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona.
The next weekend, February 19-20, Arlo White will go across the pond to the Sky Sports studios in the U.K. and host again but this time with Lee Dixon and Graeme Le Saux.
From February 2-20, Rebecca Lowe will daytime host throughout the 2022 Winter Games. Also during this time, NBC Sports International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Connecticut. will be utilizing all studios for Winter Games coverage.
This will be NBC Sports’ second trip to Los Angeles for the Premier League this season. During October, the Premier League Mornings Live fan festival was run in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – home to two Olympic Games (1932 and 1984) and two Super Bowls (I and VII).
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