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Steve Levy Has No Issue With ESPN Or The Manningcast

“Levy noted that the path that lead him, Griese, and Riddick to don these headsets also helped them cultivate “ego-free” personalities on the air.”

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Courtesy: ESPN


ESPN’s Monday Night Football is enjoying a nice start to the 2021 season, and their “Ego-free” broadcast team is fitting in nicely as the group gets comfortable in year two.

The Big Lead went in-depth with play-by-play man Steve Levy on why the three-man booth of Levy, Brian Griese, and Louis Riddick is working so well. For Levy, it’s been a process of making sure he doesn’t only pursue perfection.

“What I took away from the first season is I was trying to be first on everything. Like, as soon as it went into the receiver’s hands, I was trying to have that name correct and the yard line correct and the yardage correct on every single play,” Levy said to The Big Lead. “And quite frankly, I watched a lot of the other top broadcasters, and on a two-yard gain, they’re never giving you that. They just don’t. And so I was making myself nuts.”

Levy noted that the path that led him, Griese, and Riddick to don these headsets also helped them cultivate “ego-free” personalities on the air.

“Last season, we just wanted to sort of steady the ship, right? The Monday Night Football franchise, there’s been so much talk about the booth and I never understood that. I mean, it’s about the game, what’s going on. That was our first collective goal,” Levy told The Big Lead. “In-house we discussed, ‘Okay, let’s get the attention off of us. Let’s get it on the game where it belongs.’ I felt like we did that. Now the next piece of that is, let’s go be great at it.”

That team-first mentality is a big reason why we haven’t heard much fuss out of Levy, Griese, or Riddick over the addition of Peyton and Eli Manning as viewing options.

“I mean, it’s Peyton and Eli Manning. I get it. You want to talk about star-studded careers, all-time greats, one Hall of Famer and one future Hall of Famer, I’m not surprised,” he said. “Everything the Mannings touch turns to gold. We sort of knew this was coming, and I’ve always been considered a company man and a team guy, and I feel pretty lucky to be on their team. We’re all part of the ESPN family, you know? The ratings are really good collectively from Monday Night Football overall. That’s good for everyone concerned.”

Check out the complete profile of Levy and Monday Night Football right here.

Sports TV News

Bob Iger Reportedly Wants To Buy Phoenix Suns

“Forbes currently values the Suns at $1.8 billion.”

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ABC/Disney

Should the NBA’s Phoenix Suns come up for sale, it appears there’s at least one person potentially interested in buying them. That is former Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The team’s current majority owner, Robert Sarver, is being investigated by the league based on a detailed ESPN report that alleges Sarver created a toxic working environment within the franchise. The report cites incidents where Sarver exhibited racist or misogynistic behavior.

The league investigation is being spearheaded by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Like former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was eventually banned for life from the league after video showing him using racist language surfaced, Sarver could be forced to sell his ownership stake.

Forbes currently values the Suns at $1.8 billion.

Media reports say what makes Iger an appealing candidate is his connection to the commissioner and the commissioner’s office while with Disney, which owns ESPN and ABC. Both television brands are NBA broadcast rights holders.

The franchise’s current co-owners can turn down any potential buyer, and the league does have a formal sale process. So, it’s likely the team would sell for north of $2 billion if it hit the open market. That would likely require Iger to bring in ownership partners to make the sale happen.

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Sports TV News

Colin Cowherd Lets Listeners Decide If He Ever Talks About Baker Mayfield Again

“I am no longer captivated by Baker Mayfield topics.”

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Colin Cowherd has been a critic of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield ever since he was drafted in 2018, but Cowherd may be out of the Baker Mayfield business going forward.

The Fox Sports host put up a video on Twitter about his feelings on Mayfield, and gave his fans of the show a rare opportunity to control some content that he talks about on the show.

“I was watching Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson play on Sunday Night, and Lamar had four picks, and still won, I thought he was fascinating. Didn’t play well but I thought he was fascinating, and I thought, Baker is easily the second most interesting quarterback in this game,” said Cowherd. “He is 28-28 as a starter, I was clearly right about the argument, I am no longer captivated by Baker Mayfield topics.”

That led to Cowherd putting up a Twitter poll and leaving the decision about how to proceed in the listeners’ hands.

“People ask me why I still talk about Baker, and I thought you know what, you are right. That is why I am going to let you decide whether or not I talk about Baker ever again. At 8:30 Pacific I am putting up a poll on Twitter which will decide whether or not I talk about Baker going forward.”

Cowherd then said that if the poll says that he should stop talking about Mayfield, that he will be done regardless of the circumstances.

“If he goes on a 5 game win streak, he gets to the playoffs, the AFC Championship, the Super Bowl, I won’t be talking about him, you can’t have it both ways.”

The results of the poll showed that the fans no longer wanted Cowherd to talk about Mayfield, a result which seemed to be the obvious choice considering how often his name comes out of Cowherds mouth.

It remains to be seen whether or not Cowherd will honor this going forward. If the Browns were to make the Super Bowl I find it extremely hard to believe that it won’t be a topic on his show, but it will be good to hear no repetitive Baker Mayfield talk for at least a little while from him.

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Sports TV News

An NBA Manningcast With JJ Reddick & Draymond Green?

“I would be honored to sit in a room with a GOAT like yourself and talk basketball.”

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With the overwhelming success that the Manningcast has been for Monday Night Football, other leagues and networks are looking to replicate ESPN’s and the Manning Brothers’ formula.

There may be some willing hosts for an NBA version of the show in JJ Redick and Draymond Green. Redick joined Green’s new podcast The Draymond Green Show on The Volume to talk about a potential partnership between the two in the future.

“I know you got a lot of basketball left in you, but a lot of people have said to me you and Draymond need to do a version of the Manning brothers Monday Night Football when Draymond is retired. Just keep that in mind when you retire in 5 or 6 years,” said Redick to Green.

Before answering, Draymond Green noted that he had recently been a guest on the Manningcast. Not only did he like the experience, he said it is now his favorite way to watch Monday Night Football.

Green liked the idea of teaming with Redick. He said that the duo play very different styles of basketball. That would give the listeners two very different perspectives on the game.

“I would be honored to sit in a room with a GOAT like yourself and talk basketball,” Green added. Redick ended the conversation about a potential alternate NBA feed by saying “We’ll make it happen.”

This would not be something new for the NBA to do. They are already trying out the idea of an alternate cast of NBA broadcasts with Jamal Crawford and Quentin Richardson on NBA League Pass.

As Redick stated, it may be a while until we see Draymond Green retire from his playing career in the NBA, but when he does I am sure that he will be a hot commodity in the sports media world.

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