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Greg Hardy Story Sets Off National Experts

Jason Barrett

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Temporary refuge from Greg Hardy talk on Sunday came during – of all places – NBC’s broadcast of the Cowboys-Eagles game. At least it did until halftime.

As expected in the wake of published photos of Hardy’s handy work against a woman back in North Carolina, he was the topic de jour in every network’s Sunday NFL studio from coast to coast.

But just before the game, analyst Cris Collinsworth excused himself and play-by-play voice Al Michaels from the chorus, saying they were at AT&T Stadium to call a football game.

Collinsworth is going to take lots of heat for his pronouncement but what exactly else was he supposed to say? After Michaels and Michele Tafoya gave the Joe Friday facts, Collinsworth offered this:

“We’re going to call the game,” he told what will surely be the largest national television audience of the week. “We’re going to do our job. We are as uncomfortable as anybody is with what we saw in those pictures and what we know of this court case… We’ll call the game. We may do a little commentary at some point but we’ll let it go at that.”

That point came after a 7-7 first half in which defensive end Hardy was a bit player.

Collinsworth expressed contempt for Hardy’s actions by imploring the NFL Players Association to cut his likes loose.

“We want to make sure the NFL and its players stand for something better than what Greg Hardy was a part of,” he said.

— By the way, NBC made sure it had a camera focused on Hardy all game. Ditto for Dez Bryant, who made the catch of the game in answering Matt Cassel’s “Hail Mary” pass.

— During NBC’s pre-game, Bob Costas cut the NFL slack in the Hardy affair, pointing out that commissioner Roger Goodell tried to impose a 10-game suspension that was cut to four games by an arbitrator. He called Hardy “a bad guy who happens to be a good football player.”

— In the CBS studio, Boomer Esiason was harshest of all. “(Hardy) should be in jail,” he proclaimed.

In the NFL Network studio, Brian Billick who, as a coach, won a Super Bowl with Ray Lewis as his defensive leader for the Baltimore Ravens, pointed a finger at Jerry Jones: “To me, what the Cowboys are doing is reprehensible. I think Jerry Jones is rendering his head coach absolutely useless.”

And finally, CBS’ Tony Gonzalez: “Because this whole situation from top to bottom, DeMaurice (Smith, the NFLPA boss), the Cowboys organization, everything has been handled poorly. It’s not good for the NFL. It’s not good for the fans and it’s not good for anybody.”

— Early tweet of the game, courtesy of @netw3rk, who appears to be a New Yorker with 80,000 followers: “Jason Garrett looks like if Duke from GI Joe was going through a mid-life crisis.”

— Prophetic tweet of the game from Will Cain in the fourth quarter: “I feel the pain coming.”

Credit to the Dallas Morning News who originally published this article

Sports TV News

Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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Sports TV News

Tim Brando Believes Executives Look For Familiarity, Not Great Voices For Announcers

“Executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio. As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tim Brando has seen the broadcasting industry has evolved in a lot of ways through the years, but one thing that’s remained constant is how infrequently some of the announcing gigs with major networks open up to younger voices.

That’s mainly because you have veteran talent already occupying those positions with no plans for the immediate future to step aside.

On a recent edition of The Sports Talkers Podcast, FOX Sports broadcaster and host Tim Brando spoke to Stephen Strom about the reality that many broadcasters face.

“Yeah there are a lot more jobs, but there are fewer great jobs,” Brando said. “A lot of guys are getting jobs, but it’s like a dead end.”

But in terms of hiring younger talent for network jobs, he thinks it’s become more about adding faces to broadcast booths rather than voices.

“There’s a tendency I think now in our business to hire more visible and perhaps more popular talent because they’ve been in the studio,” he said. “But they’re not ready to be in the booth. Not everybody can do both well.”

Tim added that there’s a nuance to calling play-by-play versus working studio coverage. Brando said that perhaps it has a lot more to do with young broadcasters bypassing getting their start in radio and going right into TV.

“It seems to me that in some circles anyway in our business, executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio,” he said. “As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Brando did mention some of the younger voices at FOX who have risen to the bigger opportunities in the booth, and how they ultimately worked their way up. He said he’s had the chance to offer advice to a few of them and act as a mentor in a way, because that’s how it was for him breaking into the industry.

“I believe in pouring into the young broadcasters out there, I really do,” he said. “Because Curt Gowdy poured into me. I think there’s a responsibility and a level of accountability for the generation before to help those that are coming up that you really respect.”

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Sports TV News

MLB Network Airing 38 Hours of Winter Meetings Coverage

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jordan Bondurant

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The annual winter meetings for MLB are set to take place in-person for the first time since 2019 next week, and MLB Network is ready to bring viewers all the coverage possible from San Diego.

The network is devoting 38 hours of live programming on-site, with shows like MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, High Heat, MLB Now and Intentional Talk emanating from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fans tuning in to MLB Network can expect to see Greg Amsinger, Fran Charles, Brian Kenny, Stephen Nelson, Alanna Rizzo, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Lauren Shehadi and Matt Vasgersian hosting their respective shows throughout the week. Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Cameron Maybin, Kevin Millar, Dan O’Dowd, Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds will contribute coverage as analysts.

MLB Network will also carry coverage of the inaugural draft lottery from the winter meetings on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m.

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