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Joe Buck on Moving to ESPN: ‘This Bus Was Coming Along One Time’

Buck revealed that he will start at ESPN on May 1 which, as he put it, means he’s technically unemployed for the next seven weeks.

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The past week in sports media has essentially been Joe Buck Week and, really, what a seven days it has been.

Going into last weekend, news of Buck leaving Fox for ESPN and Monday Night Football dropped. On Wednesday, ESPN officially announced Buck and Troy Aikman as its new MNF broadcast team. Hours later, Buck was eliminated and revealed on The Masked Singer, which turned out to be a bizarre farewell to his tenure at Fox.

In another example of timing so perfect that it almost seems orchestrated, Buck’s weekly podcast with Oliver Hudson, Daddy Issues, posted its regular Thursday episode and the broadcaster was ready to talk about the whirlwind events of the past week and the absurdity of how events played out.

Buck revealed that he will start at ESPN on May 1 which, as he put it, means he’s technically unemployed for the next seven weeks.

“After 27 years at Fox, my goodbye on-air, on the network, is me singing dressed as a ram,” said Buck. “As the Masked Singer, as a larger-than-life Roman soldier guy.

“It only proves how fast the deal with ESPN happened… that was shot the week after the NFC championship game, which happened to be in L.A. I mean, it couldn’t have worked out any better. And I had no idea that was going to be my last moments at Fox. But those are my last moments at Fox.”

According to Buck, his wife, ESPN reporter Michelle Beisner, “got into a wee bit of trouble” by revealing the move to ESPN on Instagram before any official announcement had been made and some people who probably needed to be notified had received word. (Although the New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand may have broken the news first.)

Buck then recounted the machinations involved in getting out of the final year of his Fox contract to sign with ESPN. Much of this has already been reported, but it’s still intriguing to hear Buck’s perspective on this and his gratitude for network executives letting him out of his deal for a “quality of life” move that would be really beneficial to his family.

“I think what Fox realized… they didn’t want me to go, they have a Super Bowl this year, they have a Super Bowl in two more years, so they have two of the next three Super Bowls,” said Buck. “I’ve done it, so they have experience with me and I was signed through this year knowing that the Super Bowl was there.

“So Fox had to be really… for lack of a better word, kind and let me out of the deal because this bus was coming along one time. And if I didn’t get on it, I may never get on it.”

Buck went on to explain that the original plan was for Aikman to at least do half a season with him at Fox, while he also called Thursday Night Football on Amazon, followed by the postseason and Super Bowl. But those negotiations broke down, giving ESPN the opportunity to swoop in and sign him.

Then ESPN asked Aikman if he thought Buck might be willing to come with him, and that started the sequence of events leading to one of the biggest moves sports media has seen in recent memory, changing NFL broadcast coverage for two networks. Buck met with Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks and president of production Brad Zager and worked the situation out to everyone’s satisfaction.

The entire podcast is worth listening to, which includes Buck hinting that he knows what Fox will do to replace him. And he indicates pretty strongly that the network will make the internal moves of moving Kevin Burkhardt up to the No. 1 NFL play-by-play position and Joe Davis to lead voice of MLB and World Series broadcasts.

Daddy Issues is available on the show’s website, iHeartRadio, and your podcast app of choice including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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Pedro Martinez TV Career Only Thing He ‘Never Imagined’

“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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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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