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Skip Bayless: I’m Married to My Job, Everything Else is Second

“I live for this. It’s my whole life. It’s my calling. It’s not a job; it’s my passion.”

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Yes, it seems like everybody has a podcast. But someone who’s on television and is paid to share (shout) his or her opinions almost certainly has an audio program in a medium that continues to grow. The cup can’t runneth over.

That includes Skip Bayless, who already has two-and-a-half hours of airtime Monday through Friday (totally 12.5 hours per week) on FS1 with Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. That seems like plenty of Skip. Even he would presumably think so. But no!

Bayless recently launched The Skip Bayless Show, which provides an additional platform for punditry, another hour each week in which he can unleash his takes on the sports populace. With the NFL playoffs taking almost all of the sports spotlight right now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Bayless has put his focus there in the three shows so far.

But he also adds a personal touch, something there probably isn’t time for on Undisputed (though that show has plenty of time). In the latest episode, for instance, Bayless discussed how Tom Brady has influenced his life professionally and personally, which might make the quarterback’s retirement a bit more impactful for him.

However, Bayless also provided a glimpse at his personal ethic and how he balances work with his life. As it turns out, that work-life balance may not be balanced at all with an admission that he chose not to have children because of his devotion to his career.

“I am obsessed to this moment with what I am doing right here, right now with you,” said an emotional Bayless (via The Big Lead). “I live for this. It’s my whole life. It’s my calling. It’s not a job; it’s my passion. It’s what I was born to do and what I want to continue to do as long as my personal situation will allow it.”

Bayless went on to share that his refusal to have children cost him a marriage and another long-term relationship. But he knew that working nights and weekends “obsessively” to cover sports thoroughly would make him “a horrible father.” He was up front with his current wife when they began dating and she accepted that.

It would be easy to mock Bayless for taking himself so seriously that he avoided what many might consider a normal life, maybe even the ideal. But whether you like Bayless or not, it can’t be denied that he’s successful. Very successful. According to the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand, Bayless agreed to a four-year, $32 million contract with Fox Sports last year.

Would he have achieved that kind of financial reward by trying to have a family, what many might consider a normal life? Maybe. But maybe it would’ve been more difficult and as Bayless feared, perhaps there would’ve been repercussions.

All of this seems a bit sad and Bayless’s emotion appears to show that this has not been an easy choice for him. Whether or not you admire him for his success likely depends on what you value most in life.

Sports TV News

Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Sports TV News

Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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