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Suzy Kolber: ‘The Draft is Too Important To Ask Generic Questions’

“That moment is captured forever. It’s the once-in-a-lifetime they just found out they’ve been drafted into the NFL.”

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When you watch the NFL Draft on Thursday night (particularly on ESPN/ABC), you will almost certainly become nostalgic thinking about events from years past. Some of the most prominent memories from past drafts have come during the interviews the draftees do after their name is called. Since 2004, the person who has been doing those interviews for ESPN is Suzy Kolber. 

On the latest episode of the Sports Media With Richard Deitsch podcast, Kolber talked about how she prepares for her job at the NFL Draft. It starts with the Senior Bowl, which she DVRs while covering the Pro Bowl in some years. Then, she usually would go to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine and that’s when she gets to know everything about the potential prospects: 

“That’s just a great opportunity to start hearing the names, seeing the faces, learn the pronunciations, get some of the background. Our friends at NFL Network do such a spectacular job of laying all that groundwork out,” Kolber said. “I am the biggest fan. I am watching that from start to finish.”

On the night before the draft, Suzy Kolber says she makes sure to get to know the players as much as she can and asks them if something is too sensitive for her to ask on stage.

“The night before the draft, these guys are usually assembled at something or they are at their team hotel. That’s my opportunity to get as much 1-on-1 time with as many of those guys as possible so that when they have their biggest moment of their life, I’m not a stranger. I’m a familiar face. We’ve already talked about something we might want to cover. Maybe it’s something sensitive like a parent who has passed or a grandparent who has passed to make sure they are okay with that, how are we going to cover it. Maybe dig a little more into some of the nitty-gritty so that brief interview on the stage is as personal as possible. That’s the ultimate goal.” 

Kolber does not want to conduct a generic interview with a player. The moment is too big for the player and his family. 

“That moment is captured forever. It’s the once-in-a-lifetime they just found out they’ve been drafted into the NFL. The emotions are so high, so that’s why to me, the value is make it as personal as possible. It would be easy to just be generic, but this is one of my absolute favorite events and favorite things I do just because it’s so life-changing and it makes it more fun for me to know the backstory, then the emotion means so much more.” 

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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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