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ESPN’s Malika Andrews Details Life Inside NBA Bubble

“Malika Andrews will be used across Disney platforms as the NBA works its way towards a restart. She will provide reports from inside the bubble for SportsCenter, Get Up!, and ABC’s Good Morning America.”

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Malika Andrews is one of ten people deemed “Group 1 Reporters” by the NBA. The ESPN reporter is already quarantined at her hotel at Walt Disney World. She spoke to Front Office Sports’s Michael McCarthy about the experience.

“I’m not going to lie. I was nervous. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. I have bouts with anxiety,” Andrews told McCarthy about first being presented the opportunity to cover the restart of the NBA season. “But first and foremost, I cover sports. I love journalism first. And sports journalism is what I do. This is an incredible journalistic opportunity. There are only 10 reporters and a handful of other folks who are going to be able to experience this and document it first-hand. It’s documenting history.”

She says that upon arrival at her hotel, she was greeted by the eerie sight of rides inside Disney World’s Magic Kingdom running with no one on them.

Malika Andrews will be used across Disney platforms as the NBA works its way towards a restart. She will provide reports from inside the bubble for SportsCenter, Get Up!, and ABC’s Good Morning America.

“I keep getting asked if I’m bored? The answer is absolutely not. There’s so much reporting to be done; my days are just packed,” Andrews said.

She is only allowed to travel between practice sites and her hotel. She must wear a mask and gloves outside of her room, and Andrews gets tested for Covid-19 daily. The league is also having her wear “a social distance monitor/buzzer that reminds wearers to stay socially distanced six feet apart. She also inputs her body temperature and pulse rates every day into an NBA medical app.”

Comparisons between the NBA bubble and prison make Andrews bristle. She admits that being cutoff from your social circle for three months is not ideal, but the bubble has very little in common with being locked in a prison cell.

“The food is pretty delicious. The league has been accommodating about getting gym equipment to my room. I don’t know what prison comes even close to having that sort of accommodations. Not just for players, but for the staff and media as well. So it’s a silly comparison to call it a prison.”

Andrews also doesn’t seem to be too worried about burning out on her surroundings. She told McCarthy that when the pandemic is over, she has made plans with her mother and sister to visit Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.

Sports TV News

Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handles Games ‘On Any Stage’

“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

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Greg Olsen

Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are on tap to call Super Bowl LVII in February, and Olsen told Front Office Sports he has the confidence to announce the game with no hesitations.

“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”

Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.

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Sports TV News

St. Louis Cardinals Announcer Dan McLaughlin Charged With Third DWI

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

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Dan McLaughlin

St. Louis Cardinals television play-by-play announcer Dan McLaughlin has been charged with DWI after being arrested on Sunday in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police received at least two phone calls from concerned drivers that a white BMW was driving erratically, with one caller saying it was driving into oncoming traffic.

It is the third time McLaughlin has been charged with DWI. He was charged with the offense twice within 13 months in 2010 and 2011.

Bally Sports Midwest and the released a joint statement Monday.

“We have been made aware that Dan McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated on Sunday night.. We are very disappointed to hear this, and are working to gather additional information before offering further comment.”

McLaughlin, 48, has served as the voice of the Cardinals for 24 years.

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Sports TV News

NFL Flex Scheduling Forces ESPN To Change Bowl Schedule

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL flex scheduling an upcoming Las Vegas Radiers game out of Sunday Night Football on December 18 has forced ESPN to make a slight adjustment with its college bowl season schedule. But the change was something the worldwide leader was prepared to make.

The Raiders were originally scheduled to play the New England Patriots in the primetime window a week before Christmas, but with both teams losing ground in terms of the AFC playoff picture, NBC opted to go with a different game that night instead. Now fans will be tuning in to see the rematch between the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders.

The shift out of the Sunday night window for the Raiders forced ESPN to swap kickoff times for the Las Vegas Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl the day before on December 17. Florida and Oregon State will play in Vegas at 2:30 p.m. eastern, with BYU and SMU facing off in Albuquerque at 7:30 p.m.

The switch allows workers at Allegiant Stadium in Vegas enough time to switch the venue over from college bowl game to Raiders home game.

“We are accustomed to flexibility and we anticipated having to maneuver our event schedules based on the possibility of the Raiders game being flexed,” said ESPN Events vice president Clint Overby.

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