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ESPN E60 Special, ‘Whitney’s Anthem,’ Remembers Iconic Super Bowl National Anthem

Houston’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” took place shortly after the United States launched Operation Desert Storm.

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It’s hard to believe, but singer Whitney Houston passed away a decade ago. And as the Super Bowl approaches at the end of the week, Houston’s performance of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV (finishing the 1990 NFL season) is regarded as one of the most iconic ever.

On Feb. 11, the 10-year anniversary of Houston’s death, ESPN plans to revisit the performance with a special E60 titled Whitney’s Anthem and take a deeper look at why that moment is still so iconic to this day.

ESPN released a trailer for the special on Monday:

Houston’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” took place shortly after the United States launched Operation Desert Storm and much like George W. Bush’s first pitch at Yankee Stadium in 2001 at the World Series, the Grammy winner captivated a nation and united a hurting and divided nation for a brief moment before the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants kicked off.

Those close to the singer, as well as those involved with the game or played in the game, and additional voices such as the NFL executive who nearly rejected Houston’s version of the National Anthem, will be featured in the 30-minute special. Among those interviewed include Al Michaels, Chris Berman, Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly, Ottis Anderson, Carl Banks, and Chris Connelly.

Hosted by Jeremy Schapp, the show is being produced by Russell Dinallo and Simon Baumgart. The E60 special will be accompanied by content across ESPN programming. Schapp will appear on the ESPN Daily podcast on Feb. 11, while ESPN.com will run a written piece on the episode. Outside the Lines and SportsCenter will also air clips from the show.

You can catch Whitney’s Anthem on Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. on ESPN and watch via streaming on ESPN+ and the ESPN app. The special will also air multiple times across ESPN networks.

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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USA Today

Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer

“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”

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According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.

Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.

The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.

The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options. 

NFL+ would make NFL Media more valuable. The league is trying to sell an equity stake in its linear TV and digital media properties. Amazon and Apple are considered the most likely to make a deal. 

A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.

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