It’s March Madness and you know what that means: Brackets. No, not that one. I’m talking about the one that means you made it in the sports media world: The Spun’s annual Most Annoying People In Sports Media bracket.
The number one seeds are about as predictable as your Duke bracket this year, as Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd and Jim Rome are the juggernauts this season. Meanwhile, last year’s winner Jemele Hill is out of the running since she departed ESPN and is a contributor for The Atlantic, no longer focusing on sports. She beat Stephen A. Smith for the title of most annoying.
The 2019 bracket features a few interesting matchups to get the field of 64 going.
4. Bill Walton vs. 13. Gus Johnson
This rematch is likely the most energetic face-off in the opening round, Walton made it to the final four in 2018 after beginning his run with a 63 percent win over Johnson. Gus may have cooled the jets over the years, but this battle of college sports commentators could be a close one yet again.
2. Dick Vitale vs. 15. The Spun
The Spun may be putting themselves in Cinderella’s slipper with this one. Last year The Spun was bounced by Paul Finebaum in the field of 64. This year they’ll look for redemption against the mighty Dickie V.
4. Dave Portnoy vs. 13. Deadspin
This one is going to be ugly. This match would be high on an old Attitude Era WWF Raw card for the Hardcore Championship with steel chairs and metal trash cans thrown about. Portnoy may walk out with this one, but not without Deadspin getting in as many licks as they can.
8. Stugotz vs. 9. Sarah Spain
The true definition of a 50/50 game between eight and nine seeds. Both have their own No. 1 podcasts on the Le Batard and Friends Network, but who will advance in the battle of annoyance?
3. Dan Le Batard vs. 14. Terry Bradshaw
Speaking of Le Batard, he gets a high seed but could be in for an upset with resident Mike Tomlin hater Terry Bradshaw looking to make a run at the title. Le Batard didn’t make it out of round two in 2018 while Bradshaw had an uphill battle against Clay Travis that wasn’t close. With both men looking for redemption, this could be the bracketbuster where the winner could make a deep run.
8. Tony Romo vs. 9. Joe Buck
Finally we have a battle of commentators from Fox and CBS’s number one teams. Romo was a 14 seed last year and was eliminated by Vitale with ease. Meanwhile Buck drops from a four seed to nine after losing a close one to Phil Simms in 2018. Meanwhile, Simms is somehwere laughing maniacally as he repeatedly votes for Romo.
Stephen A. Smith is arguably the front runner, he’s had quite the season at being emphatically wrong on a number of topics such as how an injured Hunter Henry was a big success for the Los Angeles Chargers, or Dwayne Haskins’ scrambling ability, and goodness knows what else. But you never know, 2018 saw Chris Broussard (10), Bill Walton (12) and Keith Olbermann (11) make it to the Elite Eight.
Online Sports Betting Not Happening In Maryland In 2022
“Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl.”
Online sports betting in Maryland appears to have no shot of happening this year due mainly to the fact that the state’s oversight committee on sports wagering is hung up on how to bring women and minority-owned businesses into the fold.
The Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Committee (SWARC) is currently awaiting results of a disparity study by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
Some state regulators had expressed optimism at one point that online sports betting in Maryland would go live by the end of this year or in time for next year’s Super Bowl. But given where SWARC is, the whole process is being held up to the point that it’ll likely be later in 2023 before residents can use their phones to place bets.
It’s been just over a year since Governor Larry Hogan signed legislation that legalized sports betting in the state. Since then, five casinos in the state have opened retail sportsbooks.
The casinos have handled more than $132 million in bets since December. $26.9 million in wagers were placed in April alone.
Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State
“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”
Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.
He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”
He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”
It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.
The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.
Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.
The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.
Others used the feud to create comedy.
Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.
The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.
Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM
“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”
A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.
“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”
The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.
The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports.
“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts. “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team. They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.”