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Greg McElroy Recruited to ESPN by Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler Over Beers

“I love football strategy. I love football theory and not having that in my life would be insanely difficult. I’m so grateful for ESPN.”

Ricky Keeler

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Greg McElroy
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While ESPN College Football analyst Greg McElroy was a senior at Alabama in 2010, he was a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which goes to the top senior scholar-athlete in football. Even though McElroy did not win the award, it ended up leading him closer to the career he has now.

McElroy was a guest on the Gramlich & Mac Lain podcast and said that after not winning the award, he was at an happy hour event after the gala, had a beer, and ended up meeting some notable ESPN personalities who asked him to talk about Auburn before the national title game that year. 

“Those that were also at the bar were Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Lee Fitting and Michael Fountain were also there. After a couple of beers, we were sitting there and saying you just played a good game against Auburn, why don’t you come to Phoenix and talk about it? A first-hand perspective of competing against Auburn.”

“It went really well. They said you were very prepared, we really enjoyed your takes, everything you said about Auburn and we think our viewers gained something from this. Would this be something that you would consider coming and doing now? I said no, I really need to scratch the NFL itch.”

McElroy played for only 3 seasons in the NFL with the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals. While his career didn’t last long, ESPN kept asking him every year about when he was ready to join the network. Then, while he was in Cincinnati, the SEC Network was about launch and that’s when McElroy decided to become an analyst:

“After year 3, they said we are about to launch the SEC Network, do you want to be a part of that? I had just torn my PCL. I was under contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. I knew that I could grind out maybe 2-3 more years, but I’d be better off going and pursuing something I knew I could hopefully do for 30 years. It was a difficult decision to leave the game at that point, but I knew I still had a piece of the game with me in going back to the level of football I aligned with the most.”

For McElroy, he is just happy to have some form of football in his life. He did think he would miss being a quarterback, but he has a home to talk about the strategy of the game.

“I love football strategy. I love football theory and not having that in my life would be insanely difficult. I’m so grateful for ESPN.”

Even though McElroy would have loved to have defeated Auburn in the Iron Bowl, it ended up launching the former Crimson Tide QB into a successful career as an analyst. 

Sports TV News

ESPN Reportedly To Lose Big Ten Media Rights For the First Time in 40 Years

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Jordan Bondurant

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BIG TEN, CBS, NBC, FOX SPORTS

After several months, it appears the Big Ten is nearing the finish line on a new media rights deal. And despite still reportedly being in negotiations with the conference, ESPN is looking set to lose out on media rights.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS and NBC are the frontrunners to join with FOX.

The idea is that FOX would have its marquee game kick off at noon, with CBS airing a game at 3:30. NBC reportedly will air games in primetime.

Ourand reported his sources told him ESPN’s deal to keep the Big Ten was not as strong as the one offered by the other two networks.

It would mark the first time in four decades that ESPN didn’t have some involvement in Big Ten sports. But Ourand indicates the worldwide leader could pivot into bundling Big 12 and Pac-12 rights as an alternative. Additionally the network would then pursue keeping its deals with NCAA for championship coverage as well as being the home for the College Football Playoff.

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Sports TV News

Pat McAfee: Deals With Amazon/ESPN Fell Short Because The Show Comes First

“Energy, time, anything away from this show… we got a lot going on. This is my number one focus and it should remain as such…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Last week, it was announced that Pat McAfee would be hosting his own version of the popular Manning Cast only for college football games.

McAfee, co-host AJ Hawk, and the rest of his cast and crew from The Pat McAfee Show will host an alternate feed for six college football games this season.

McAfee was rumored to be in talks with Amazon about potentially hosting an alternate broadcast for its Thursday NFL games, and the former Colts punter had also reportedly talking with ESPN about potentially being featured on College GameDay.

McAfee said to Andrew Marchand of The New York Post that ultimately the Amazon and GameDay deals didn’t come to fruition because it just didn’t make sense.

“I’ve had great conversations with both companies, we just weren’t able to get to a point where ‘the ask’ and ‘the business’ were where it needed to be to get a deal done on both fronts,” McAfee said.

McAfee on his show on Monday elaborated a bit further, trying to put to bed that he was being courted for Thursday Night Football.

“I’m not 100 percent sure if that’s what we were talking about, by the way,” he said. “I was never really approached for anything for Thursday Night Football. That was never really anything.”

Pat read from the full response to Marchand’s questions, posted under the Post story which appeared on the paper’s site Monday. He reiterated that his daily show and the small business he built around his show, take precedent over anything else.

“Energy, time, anything away from this show, this operation, this crew; we got families being built, we got houses being bought, we got 12 employees, we got a lot going on,” he said. “So this is my number one focus and it should remain as such because I have a brain, and also I care a lot about this operation. I love it, actually.”

Still, McAfee made it clear that just because no deal was signed with ESPN and Amazon for 2022 means the ship has sailed permanently. He’s keeping his doors open.

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Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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