This year, former NHL veteran Ryan Callahan joined ESPN in its return to hockey coverage after being an analyst for NHL Network and NBC Sports for the last couple of years and he is enjoying every second of it.
Callahan was a guest on The Block Party with Seth Kushner podcast and discussed his time at ESPN so far. While he feels he still has some things to improve on as an analyst, it hasn’t taken away from the experience so far.
“I’m enjoying it… Getting into TV, I didn’t know what to expect, right?” Callahan said. “I loved doing it. I liked it. Then, obviously when ESPN called, it’s the Worldwide Leader In Sports, it doesn’t get any better than that. Even when I’m on-air and I hear the NHL entry music, it gives me goosebumps a little bit. It’s a great network. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it. I’ve had the chance to do some in-games this year, which has been a lot of fun.
“I’m learning as I go. There’s things I obviously can improve on, but I like talking hockey. I feel like I know the game and no better way to do that than at ESPN.”
At ESPN, there is one thing Callahan has heard from people at the network that they want him to do. However, at the same time, they want him to stick to being himself.
“Kind of go do your own thing. Obviously, they’ll throw you suggestions here and there of things on how to present it better, how to get your point across a little bit better,” said Callahan. “For the most part, they let you go out there and run. The biggest thing is state your opinion. People are tuning in to hear what you have to say, not what they want to hear or somebody else’s opinion. I just go out there and call it how I see it really and I’ve enjoyed doing it.”
While Callahan knows there will be times on-air that he will mess up, he is not shy being in front of a camera from his days as a captain and assistant captain in the NHL and it allows him to not put too much pressure on himself.
“I think the biggest thing is I don’t put too much pressure on it. There’s going to be times where I mess things up, there’s going to be times where I say things I maybe shouldn’t have said or whatever,” Callahan said.
“I just don’t put pressure on it. I go out there and enjoy myself. Obviously, playing all the years I played and being in front of the camera, being captain of the Rangers, assistant captain of the Lightning, I wasn’t shy to interviews or cameras. That part of it didn’t bother me at all.”
NFL Explains How World Cup Effected 2022 Schedule
“We didn’t strategically deploy any of our games to either go really strong or go a little less strong, because we knew there was going to be soccer that day.”
This will be the first year that the World Cup will be contested during the NFL season. It isn’t a challenge professional football is used to in America. That is why Mike North, the NFL’s vice president of broadcast scheduling, told Richard Deitsch that it was important to do some homework.
“Very early in the process we got with our broadcast partner at Fox and we knew that there weren’t going to be any windows where Fox was not going to be able to broadcast an NFL game,” he said.
The real effect had to do with the NFL’s international schedule. Five games will be played outside of the United States borders this season. North said he wanted to understand the potential schedule for the World Cup so he could create the best atmosphere for the international contests.
“I’m not sure we’re doing the right thing for the fan in Germany if we’re playing in Bayern Munich’s stadium while the German national team is playing a World Cup game; I’m not sure we are doing the right thing for our fans in Mexico if we were playing a game in Mexico on a day when the Mexican national team was playing. So we were certainly aware of the World Cup schedule and worked very closely with our friends at Fox to make sure we were aligned on how we were going to approach it.”
North said that he wasn’t worried about football beating fútbol. He just wanted to understand what he was putting his teams up against.
“We didn’t back out of any of our windows. We didn’t strategically deploy any of our games to either go really strong or go a little less strong, because we knew there was going to be soccer that day.”
FIFA moved the World Cup to the final two months of the year in 2022. To play the games any earlier would have meant players would have been dealing with extreme heat in Qatar.
The first match will be played on November 21. The final is scheduled for December 18. That overlaps with weeks 11 through 16 of the NFL season.
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.