Sports TV News
Rece Davis Ready For GameDay
A decade before Rece Davis began breaking down late-night highlights on ESPN’s SportsCenter in the mid-1990s, he was energizing the Muscle Shoals boys’ basketball team.
Davis wasn’t the fastest guard or tallest player, but those who knew him say few gave more effort. And of course, no one could quite recap a game like the aspiring broadcaster.
After a big road win, Davis would emulate the style of legendary SEC hoops analyst Joe Dean as he highlighted some of the Trojans’ top moments from their most recent victory.
“Coming back from away games some teams like to sing after a victory, some teams just sit back there and talk,” said Davis’ former high school teammate Anthony Reid. “But Rece kind of did a play-by-play of that night’s game.
“Or on the way to the game he might give us a play-by-play of how it was going to come down to a last-second shot.'”
Those days of entertaining teammates on lengthy bus rides helped pay off for Davis, now a 21-year ESPN veteran embarking on his latest challenge as the new host of ESPN’s College GameDay, which airs Saturdays at 8 a.m. CT. His first broadcast will be live from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas, alongside analysts Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard and David Pollack.
“The show and the people on the show have established so much credibility that what their opinions are about the issues of the day matter,” Davis recently told AL.com. “Chris [Fowler] did such an extraordinary job hosting the show for 25 years and overseeing it’s growth, that it is gratifying to take over for him and you’re pleased and proud to be a part of it.”
With Davis’ new role, ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas, who has spent the last decade working with him on the basketball edition of College GameDay, says the longtime host is finally getting “the notoriety and the acclaim that he should have been getting all along.”
Comparing Davis to a great point guard, Bilas says Davis is “selfless on air” and his ability to keep a show moving, while bringing out the best in the analysts he works with makes him unique.
Eleven hours before his alma mater kicks off its 2015 season at the AT&T Stadium on Saturday, Rece Davis will make his College GameDay debut in front of a live audience at Fort Worth’s Sundance Square and with college football fans from all over the country watching from home.
“I’m as interested as everybody else is to kind of see his signature on the show,” said Kirk Herbstreit, who is entering his 20th season as an analyst for the popular pregame show.
GameDay analyst Lee Corso, 80, who is the only remaining ESPN personality who has been on the show since it first aired in 1987, is also looking forward to working with Davis.
“He’s perfect,” Corso said.
To read the full story visit AL.com where it was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.”
The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.
This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.
Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.
As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on NBC Sports Northwest for the last two years.
Sports TV News
Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica To Make FOX TV Debut on Belmont Coverage
“Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
As the college football season was winding down, fans found out one of the foundational members of the College Gameday staff would be leaving ESPN. Chris “The Bear” Fallica left the network and has been working for FOX since the new year. This weekend during the network’s coverage of The Belmont Stakes, he will finally make his TV debut for his employers.
“It’s been great. This will be my first TV appearance, so I’m excited,” Fallica said in an interview with FOXSports.com. “But we’ve been cranking out content on the digital side since January, and I’m very happy with how the USFL picks have been going (4-0 last week for those of you counting at home). Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
Fallica, who worked for ESPN for nearly three decades, is going to be a major presence in FOX’s gambling content both on air and online. Making picks is nothing new. He had been doing it on College GameDay for years prior to his exit.
In addition to making football picks, horse racing is going to be a major part of what The Bear does for FOX. While this will be his TV debut on FOX, Fallica put the spotlight on one of his colleagues.
“It was a great decision to bring Tom [Durkin] back for this call. His voice is synonymous with the sport for a generation of racing fans, so it will be a treat to hear him call a race again.”
Durbin is coming out of retirement to call the race. This is the first year that the Belmont is airing on FOX as part of a rights deal with the New York Racing Association.
Sports TV News
FOX Reportedly Considering Replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff
“Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.”
It looks like changes are coming to FOX’s college football coverage. Andrew Marchand reports that the network is considering replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff.
Bush and the network reportedly argued over money before the 2022 season. FOX kicked the tires on multiple options, including Desmond Howard and Robert Griffin III of ESPN. Eventually, it decided to bring Bush back on a one year deal. With that deal set to expire and the two sides again at an impasse, FOX is eyeing other options.
Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.
If Ingram does join the show, he would be the first analyst from outside of the conferences FOX carries. Ingram played his college football at Alabama. He has since amassed more than 8000 yards over 13 seasons in the NFL.
FOX declined to comment on the report. Marchand reports that with no deal finalized, there is an outside shot that Ingram returns to the NFL, Bush returns to FOX and there is no change at all. That, however, is considered a long shot.