WWE today announced that veteran announcer Mauro Ranallo will be the new voice of SmackDown beginning Thursday, January 7 when the show moves to its new home on USA Network at 8 pm ET. Ranallo brings nearly 30 years of broadcasting experience, and is currently the play-by-play announcer for Championship Boxing on Showtime and former lead announcer for the Strikeforce MMA promotion.
Earlier this year, Ranallo called the international feed for the historic Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. Ranallo is the only sports broadcaster to call every major combat sport on national television, including boxing, kickboxing and MMA, as well as helping to launch New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV.
Prior to joining Showtime, Ranallo was the voice of the Pride Fighting Championships, and spent six years in Toronto where he hosted Canada’s first TV show dedicated to MMA while also hosting a daily combat sports radio show.
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.
Robin Roberts: ‘I Am Going To Tell Peyton To Be Nicer To Eli On Manningcast’
“In addition to Roberts, Peyton and Eli Manning will welcome ESPN’s Randy Moss and UFC president Dana White to the Week 13 broadcast.”
One of the celebrity guests for the Week 13 Manningcast has been revealed. Monday on Good Morning America, Robin Roberts revealed that she will be a guest of the Manning brothers when her hometown team, the New Orleans Saints, take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Eli Manning joined Roberts to make the announcement. He told her to be prepared to make fun of some of her GMA co-hosts, because that is kind of par for the course with the Manning brothers.
“I am going to be on Team Eli,” she responded. “I’m gonna tell Peyton to knock it off. Be nice to your brother!”.
Eli Manning appreciated that Roberts recognized how hard the older Manning is on his little brother.
“Your Saints won a Super Bowl in 2010, and you know who they beat? My brother!” he said, promising that the topic will come up during the game, so he hopes that Roberts is ready to “come in hot.”
Robin Roberts is no stranger to the sports world. Prior to making the move to news, she was a part of ESPN’s SportsCenter lineup. She also played basketball in college at Southeastern Louisiana University, which Eli says he may have pictures of to share with the audience.
Roberts asked Eli how the brothers like having guests from outside of the football world on the Manningcast as opposed to current and former players and coaches.
The former Giants quarterback namedropped Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice and Snoop Dogg as celebrity guests that have been great on the show.
“Getting to hear their passion they had about the game growing up, their favorite teams, favorite players. Just like myself, I grew up a Saints fan like you. I remember all those players when I was 14, 15, 16 years old going to games and that is such a vivid memory for me and a time when the passion was so real. So it is fun to hear those people and those guests talk about that time and see that they are huge sports fans and huge football fans and they have their team and are loyal to their team.”
In addition to Roberts, Peyton and Eli Manning will welcome ESPN’s Randy Moss and UFC president Dana White to the Week 13 broadcast.
Sports Media Reacts to Adam Schefter Report on Deshaun Watson
Many pointed out the conundrum that Watson couldn’t show “signs of progress” if he hadn’t done anything wrong, which he has maintained throughout the entire ordeal.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson played his first NFL game in nearly two years Sunday, returning to action after an 11-game suspension for repeated sexual misconduct with more than two dozen Houston-area massage therapists. Sunday morning, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter released a story that, according to anonymous sources, Watson had showed “signs of progress” during his treatment program.
Many in sports media took issue with the fact that Schefter’s report was anonymously sourced, with many pointing out the fallacy that Watson couldn’t show “signs of progress” if he hadn’t done anything wrong, which he has maintained throughout the entire ordeal.
College GameDay Honors Chris “The Bear” Fallica Before Departure
“The growth and the development of this show and so many other projects behind the scenes, Chris, that’s really your legacy more than what you do on this set in my view.”
On Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, a short retrospective on Fallica’s time on GameDay was played before Fallica joined the show hosts who had a chance to quickly reminisce and send along their well wishes.
“This show’s gonna miss you, the network’s gonna miss you,” said Chris Fowler.
“Bear, man, you’ve been everything to all of us for so many years,” Kirk Herbstreit added. “We really appreciate everything you’ve done for us.”
“You’ve been a great help to me personally,” Desmond Howard said. “Your research is impeccable, I’m gonna miss you Bear.”
Fowler made it a point to note that The Bear’s reach at the worldwide leader didn’t just stay exclusively with GameDay.
“If you’ve enjoyed College GameDay or anything else at ESPN, you have to understand that way before this guy was on the air making picks, his contribution to the improvement, the growth and the development of this show and so many other projects behind the scenes, Chris, that’s really your legacy more than what you do on this set in my view,” Fowler said.
Pat McAfee, the newest addition to GameDay this season, said Fallica’s betting picks proved to be greatly successful for himself and those that work on his YouTube show.
“My office and I have always been a massive fan of yours,” McAfee said. “You’ve made us money, OK. In the highlight I saw Fowler say ‘Bear all we want is for you to make people money.’ We’re the people that you’ve made money for. So we appreciate the hell outta you, and your big brain is a weapon everywhere you go.”
Fallica and Herbstreit, who both started at ESPN in 1996, couldn’t help but share how Lee Corso was the one to give Fallica the bear moniker.
“He walked by us and goes to Chris, ‘Look at you. You’re eating again? You’re like a bear. All you do is you eat, you take a nap, and you take a…And you do it all over again!'” Herbstreit said.
Fallica is moving on to FOX, where he’ll presumably become a featured personality on their college football pregame show Big Noon Kickoff.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
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