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Crawford and Couch to Call Browns’ Preseason Games

Brandon Contes

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Longtime Cleveland sports fan Jay Crawford will be in the broadcast booth alongside former quarterback Tim Couch calling Browns’ locally televised preseason games on WEWS News 5.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity to be a part of what I consider to be a real metamorphosis. I see this organization moving in the right direction,” Crawford said. “It’s a really fun time to be involved. I know as Browns fans we get excited every April and every preseason, but for the first time in a long time, this feels palpable. This feels real. I’m thrilled I’ll get an opportunity to connect with a fan base that is so hungry for a winner.”

Crawford, a “TV free agent” as his Twitter bio states, has thirty years of experience in the sports broadcast industry, was dismissed as part of ESPN’s layoffs nearly one year ago. The veteran broadcaster spent nine years as host of ESPN’s popular show Cold Pizza, which later changed to First Take. Prior to being let go by the network, Crawford anchored their 11am edition of SportsCenter.

Couch, the number one overall draft pick by the Browns in 1999, led the team to one playoff appearance, but his tenure was deemed disappointing overall. The quarterback was released by the Browns in 2004. Couch has broadcast experience, working for Fox Sports South and providing color analysis on the SEC Regional Network.

“I’m super excited about it,” he said. “I haven’t been back in Cleveland since I left there. It’s going to be nice to get back up there and be around the organization again.

The three locally televised Browns preseason games will be Week 1 against the Giants, Week 2 vs. the Bills and Week 4 in Detroit. Their third preseason game against the Super Bowl winning Philadelphia Eagles is a Fox national game.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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