Sports TV News
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.”
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.”
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Sports TV News
Mike Breen: My Dream Was to Be a DJ at WPLJ
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’”
These days, WPLJ in New York City is a Christian station owned by the Educational Media Foundation. When Mike Breen was a kid in Yonkers though, it was one of the most influential rock stations in America and the man who is now known as the voice of the NBA wanted to be on the air there.
On the latest edition of Dan Le Batard’s South Beach Sessions podcast, Breen revealed that he always loved sports. His first introduction to broadcasting though came from a neighbor named Tony Minecola. He was a few years older than Breen and studying to be a radio broadcaster in college.
“He built a radio station in his basement and played disc jockey,” Breen told Le Batard. “’He had commercials, records, you know, everything. Like it was a real radio station, only it only went from one room to the next. That was what he was into, and that’s what he was going to college for. And we used to hang out in the basement all the time. And one day he says, ‘Hey, why don’t you come in? You want to you want to be the DJ for a little bit?’ And I’m like, okay, let me try it.’ And I fell in love with it.”
Mike Breen didn’t just fall in love with the idea of radio. He saw it as a viable career and knew exactly where he wanted it to take him.
“I enjoyed being on the air and talking. So my initial thought was, ‘I’m going to be a disc jockey.’ WPLJ was like the big rock station in New York back at that time, and I thought, ‘I’m going to be a DJ on WPLJ.’ That was my first goal.
Through the 70s and early 80s, WPLJ was an album rock station. Some of its most iconic on air personalities included Carol Miller, Pat St. John, Fr. Bill Ayers, and Mark Goodman, who was eventually one of MTV’s original VJs.
Breen said he loved the rock music of the time, especially Jethro Tull and Bruce Springsteen, but he realized that a broadcasting career could keep him close to sports too.
Obviously, he chose well. That is not to say that he couldn’t have been a great DJ if given the chance, but he went on to be the voice of the New York Knicks and has called more NBA Finals games than anyone else in history.
WPLJ was out of the rock business by 1983 when it became a pop station.
Sports TV News
New Episodes of Beyond Limits Coming to CBS Sports
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi.
CBS Sports is set to premiere new episodes of its franchise Beyond Limits, which celebrates athletes who go beyond the implicit boundaries of sports and society. Three half-hour episodes will be hosted by CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, and will also air on CBS’ linear channel and stream live on Paramount+.
The first episode of the season is titled “Who I Am,” and it will feature Byron Perkins, who is the first openly gay football player at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Perkins is a redshirt senior at Hampton University. The show will also discuss the relationship he has with his mother and how she has impacted him both as a person and an athlete.
Two more episodes will premiere throughout the season – one on making sports adaptable and accessible; and the other featuring athletes who have moved into executive roles. The latter show includes interviews with NBA Executive Vice President and Head of Basketball Operations, Joe Dumars; New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development, Swin Cash; and NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent.
The series, which first premiered in September 2021, is produced by the CBS Sports Race and Culture Unit, with senior producer Sarah M. Kazadi. Its first episode premieres on Sunday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m. EST/10:30 a.m. PST, and should provide fans with unique storytelling and spotlight into the journeys of various key figures in sports and media alike.
Sports TV News
ESPN Colleagues Pay Tribute to Neil Everett
“It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett.”
Neil Everett has become one of the faces of SportsCenter. After 23 years at ESPN, he announced that he is leaving the network.
Colleagues at the World Wide Leader took to Twitter to share their thoughts. It was universal praise from the people that knew and worked with Everett. Chief among them was his SportsCenter partner of fourteen years, Stan Verrett.
If Root Sports Northwest requires references, there are plenty ESPN colleagues past and present that were immediately ready to vouch for Neil Everett.
Everett was not laid off. He turned down a new contract that would have forced him to take a pay cut.
The Walt Disney Company is in the middle of layoffs effecting every division. CEO Bob Iger has tasked his leaders with reducing costs by $5.5 billion and cutting 7000 jobs.