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Dianna Russini Returning To ESPN On November 14

“Russini figures to pick up right where she left off from last season’s coverage.”

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Courtesy: ESPN

NFL fans wondering when ESPN’s Dianna Russini would return to her coverage of the league got an answer over the weekend. Russini has been on maternity leave since the summer but is back on the NFL beat starting on Nov. 14.

Russini and her husband celebrated the birth of their first child this year, and she has been documenting the journey on her Substack, The Diary of NFL Insider Dianna Russini.

Russini broke the news on the site and revealed some wise words her friend and fellow ESPN reporter, Jeff Darlington, told her.

“Someone in the business texted me when Michael was about 7 weeks old,” Russini wrote. “Saying, ‘You ever coming back to work or you just milking this thing?’ The anxiety started to creep in. I texted Jeff [Darlington] that maybe I made a mistake taking my full paid maternity leave. My head was telling me at the time my reputation as a hard-working reporter was tarnishing by the day. Jeff responded immediately from a plane as he headed home from a game: ‘The sh*t I did at work yesterday is 1,000 times less important to the world than the shit you did with Michael yesterday. Stop.’ I smiled. He was right. So after three months of recovering from labor, raising my baby, learning all about motherhood, I’m so excited to share that I am returning to television on November 14.”

Russini figures to pick up right where she left off from last season’s coverage. She is a regular contributor to Sunday NFL Countdown, Fantasy Football Now, SportsCenter, Get Up, and ESPN Radio.

The reporter also signed a fresh contract with ESPN while on maternity leave.

“It’s such a special time to be covering the NFL,” Russini said in a press release. “There’s no better place to be doing it than at ESPN. I’m thrilled to be part of such a talented team—and I’m excited about the years to come.”

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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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