One of the busiest, if not the busiest play-by-play broadcaster in the industry is Kenny Albert. Whether it is calling a NHL national game for Turner Sports, a Knicks game on MSG, a Rangers game on 98.7 ESPN Radio in New York, an NFL game on FOX during the season, or calling hockey during the Winter Olympics, Albert’s voice is one viewers and listeners hear very often.
Albert was a guest on the most recent episode of Drinks With Binks Podcast with Julie Stewart-Binks on the FUBO Sports Network. For him, the key to being able to pull off the crazy schedule he sometimes has is to be organized. However, even he occasionally feels like he’s in different places at the same time:
“Sometimes, I feel like I am in two places at once. Sometimes, it is hard to keep track of what studio you are in, what hotel room number you are supposed to go to, but to me the key is to be organized,” Albert told Binks. “When I have a number of games coming up in different sports, I’ll start preparing early on. I was in a hotel room a couple of weeks ago. I had four folders in front of me. One was for a Turner hockey game, one was for a Knicks game. I had one for men’s hockey and one was for women’s hockey.
“I’ve had some instances in the past in October especially. Four to five years ago, I would have football on the weekends, a couple of hockey games during the week, maybe a basketball game, and baseball playoffs I worked on several occasions for FOX. There were four sports in the span of eight to nine days. To me, those are the most fun times. I do get a lot of work done in airplanes, in hotel rooms, in taxis, in Ubers. It’s actually not as hard as you might think as far as preparing and getting the work done. To me, the key is organization and preparation.”
As for how Albert prepares for a NFL broadcast, he told Stewart-Binks how much time goes into preparing for a broadcast during the season:
“The process to prepare for an NFL game for a broadcaster is probably about 30 or 40 hours throughout the week leading up to that game,” Albert explained. “It starts on Monday morning and it’s a lot of reading, preparing charts, going through statistics and articles. Of course, I’m including the time we spend on Friday and Saturday with the teams. During football season, I always say besides eating, sleeping, and spending time with your family, for those four months, any free moment I feel you spend preparing for that game.
“With football, you might have two teams in Week 16 that you haven’t seen all year and you have to play catch-up because you know the fans of those teams know everything there is to know about the players, the coaches, the season they’ve gone through. You really have to study their entire season… You do take a bit of a collective deep breath when the season comes to an end, even though it’s so much fun and there’s nothing we’d rather be doing. Once that four-month block of time comes to an end, you do feel like you get a little bit of your life back, but again, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
While it can take Albert time to prepare for a NFL game, he said that for him, calling hockey games is comparable to riding a bike:
“It’s so much different than the other sports. In hockey, for example, I’m around the Rangers all the time,” said Albert. “I do work national games but teams play three to four games a week, you go to the morning skates, you watch the prior games. To me, calling hockey is like riding a bike. I can probably wake up in the middle of the night, not even look at the rosters, and do a hockey game if I had to.”
If you want to read more on Albert’s illustrious career, check out the interview that Derek Futterman did with him for Barrett Sports Media in January.
Peter King: ‘Tom Brady Needs To Study Cris Collinsworth’
“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”
Peter King dedicated a not-insignificant portion of his “Football Morning in America” column this week to advice for Tom Brady. FOX announced last week that the Buccaneers’ quarterback will become the network’s lead NFL analyst upon his retirement.
Brady’s decision and his reported salary have been the source of much speculation and prediction amongst his soon-to-be colleagues.
King is optimistic that Tom Brady will be entertaining and informative when he makes his FOX debut. He did offer the GOAT a little bit of advice about what he should be doing in the months leading up to calling it quits on his playing days and starting his new career.
“I think what I’d do if I were Brady is study Cris Collinsworth—and honest to goodness, I don’t say that because I work for NBC,” he wrote. “I say it because Collinsworth knows how to talk X’s-and-O’s conversationally, he’s an easy listen, and he can criticize when the time comes.”
Interestingly, last week, Collinsworth says he hears from most former players that are getting ready to make the jump to broadcasting. He was surprised he never heard from Tom Brady before FOX announced their deal.
King had two other suggestions. The first was that Brady watch multiple games from start to finish so that he can hear what the give-and-take between a broadcaster and analyst sounds like. The other is that he has to commit to being interesting and not censoring himself. King has faith that Brady will be able to do that.
“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is. On that LeBron James show last year, Brady said, ‘Ninety percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like conflict, so in the end I always just try to play it super-flat.’ That has to end once he’s on TV if he wants to be any good.”
Nick Wright Critical Of ABC Crew As Giannis Antetokounmpo Struggles In Game 7
“He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo started hot in Game 7 on Sunday. By the time the game ended though, the Boston Celtics were on their way to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the defending champions were headed back to Milwaukee.
The Celtics’ defense gave the Milwaukee Bucks fits in the second half. The ABC broadcast put a special spotlight on Antetokounmpo, who got multiple drives to the basket that he could not finish.
“The best has got to show up when the best is needed, and Giannis has been disappointing,” said Mark Jackson over a package of highlights of Giannis missing shots. “As great of a player as he is, given credit to the Celtics’ defense, but he has struggled offensively time and time again.”
Nick Wright of FS1 noticed and he didn’t appreciate it. He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.
Mike Been, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy were not particularly hard on Giannis. The trio made the typical comments we hear when things aren’t going a great player’s way.
Wright did not harp on the issue beyond the single tweet. The outcome was not in doubt as the clock winded down. He gave credit to the Celtics rather than tweet about the Bucks or Giannis.
Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is A Better Advertising Investment Than Sports
“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys.”
Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The storylines, the outcomes of matches, all of it is predetermined. But in the eyes of WWE, that’s what makes their product so different, and better than traditional sports.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told Deadline that when it comes to pitching advertisers, sports entertainment allows room for a range of different approaches to make something work.
“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys,” she said. “We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.”
McMahon added that WWE has a much easier process in dealing with sponsors. Everything is handled in-house.
“We own all of the IP,” she said. “When brands deal with us, they just deal with us. We create something together.”
WWE is coming off a positive Q1 earnings report, which had the company up 27% in total revenue. Its two weekly primetime shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, continue to do well in ratings, and all special and pay-per-view events, in addition to its streaming platform WWE Network, are all housed on Peacock.