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GMFB Hosts Disagree On NFL Re-Opening Team Facilities

“Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson says teams should begin preparations for the season in some fashion as soon as possible, while Peter Schrager contends that in the interest of fairness, the NFL should wait until all 32 teams can participate at the same level before activities resume.”

Jacob Conley

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The NFL announced that teams can reopen their training facilities beginning Tuesday May 19 as long as they meet state and local guidelines.  The analysts of the NFL Network’s popular morning show, Good Morning Football, are glad to have football back in some capacity, but some worry it could also create inequities between the teams. 

Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson says teams should begin preparations for the season in some fashion as soon as possible, while Peter Schrager contends that in the interest of fairness, the NFL should wait until all 32 teams can participate at the same level before activities resume.

“We got to do what we got to do,” Burleson said. “It (opening) allows us as fans something to talk about. Media personalities can report from the facilities and be able to talk to players.”

Burleson admits that the NFL reopening facilities will be more difficult than the NBA doing the same. Burleson then refers to a conversation he had with his brother Kevin Burleson, who is the player development coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I know it’s a little bit of a different dynamic,” Burleson said of comparing the two leagues. “But Kevin says they are going to try to have one-on-one sessions between a player and a couch for an hour. That’s two people on the court at the same time and the next player comes in. It’s a lot easier in the NBA because you only have 12 to 15 guys. In the NFL there are 53 guys just on the roster, not counting the free agents who come in this time of year and then the practice squad. The NBA is trying any way it can just to get people in the building. As long as we (the NFL) can just get people in the building, it is such a good sign that things are headed in the right direction.”

While Schrager agrees that opening NFL facilities is a positive he worries that will create inequities between teams that can meet and those who can’t.

“I think about the inequality of it though,” he argues. “A team in New Jersey can’t get into their facility while a team in Denver might be able to. Are we throwing that (fairness) out the window just to, as Nate said, get bodies in the building?”

Kyle Brandt, co-host of Good Morning Football, agrees with Burleson’s view.

“I’ll take the custodial staff in the building to clean the floors,” he said. “It’s baby steps at this point.”

Brandt also encourages viewers to read Peter King’s Football Morning in America column where he interviews new Carolina Panthers’ head coach Matt Rhule. When asked how he is getting through the current situation, Rhule replied, “We just got to figure it out, bro.”

“He (Rhule) has two new coordinators and a quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater who hasn’t even met his receivers,” Brandt said. “He has to address his team through a six minute video on his IPhone. That’s the world we are living in. They have to play Brady and Gronk in the Bucs’ home opener with all these unknowns. I understand trying to be fair and equal to all 32 teams, but some teams like the Panthers need every advantage they can get whether it’s just doing pushups or having lunch together. Football, God willing, is coming and any (practice) availability whatsoever you have to give them.”

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Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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