The rumors started in May. Today, rumors became reality. FOX has officially announced that Johnathan Vilma is joining the network as an NFL game analyst.
“His proven talent on TV and passion for the game of football make him the perfect choice to join our FOX NFL team this fall,” FOX Sports’s Executive Producer and Executive Vice President and Head of Production and Operations Brad Zager said in a press release.
Vilma has spent the last four years covering college football for ESPN and ABC. He was a studio analyst during that time. Last season he was partnered with Kevin Neghandi and Jim Mora Jr. and appeared at halftime and in postgame segments on ABC.
The three time Pro Bowler will be in the booth this season. FOX did not announce what play-by-player Vilma will be paired with, but the retired linebacker says that he is up for the challenge.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the studio, but calling games is a much different animal and a challenge I wanted to undertake at FOX Sports,” he said. “My goal is to show fans the nuances of what makes players and coaches great; to entertain and inform viewers about the game I love. I’m excited to provide insight and have fun while doing so.”
FOX did not mention whether or not it would utilize Vilma on any of its studio programming. In addition to his college football coverage, ESPN also utilized Vilma as a commenter on Get Up! and First Take.
Mina Kimes Begins Maternity Leave, Receives Video Montage
This video was filled with messages of encouragement and inspiration for Kimes.
Mina Kimes, who recently agreed to a new contract with ESPN, begins her maternity leave on Tuesday as she prepares to welcome a newborn into the world. The beloved National Football League commentator received a sendoff on Monday’s edition of NFL Live in the form of a montage featuring her colleagues Laura Rutledge, Dan Orlovsky, Marcus Spears, Field Yates and Ryan Clark. This video was filled with messages of encouragement and inspiration for Kimes, who began to visibly tear up at the end as she prepares for her new journey.
Kimes shared a recording of the montage on X, formerly known as Twitter, with a caption conveying the love she has for her television family. She looks forward to seeing them soon when she returns from her maternity leave. Rutledge went on maternity leave herself earlier this year and was surprised with a farewell message prior to her exit.
The news of Kimes’ pregnancy was formally shared through social media where she revealed that she brought a “date” with her to the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. Those on social media noticed a baby bump, eliciting congratulatory comments filled with excitement and euphoria.
Kimes first joined ESPN in 2014 to contribute to its magazine after time as a business writer and investigative reporter. The Yale University graduate became more involved with television and digital efforts through her years at the company and was officially named as an NFL analyst in 2020. She regularly appears on Get Up, First Take, Around the Horn and SportsCenter in addition to her regular slot on NFL Live. Kimes also has experience on audio platforms as the former co-host of The Morning Roast national weekend show on ESPN Radio. Kimes also contributes to Meadowlark Media by appearing on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz once per week.
Pat McAfee: My Show ‘Being in the Middle’ of College Football Feud ‘is so Dumb’
“I f***ing love Ryan Day. I love the fact that he was like, ‘I will hit an old man. I do not care.’”
When ESPN brought The Pat McAfee Show onto the network, it was done to appeal to a younger audience, but it was also done, at least in part, because McAfee makes news. The show proved again on Saturday night that it has a way of finding itself in the middle of football conversations.
On Friday’s show, producer Ty Schmit interviewed former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz. Schmit, who has been asked by McAfee many times to do his Holtz impersonation on the show, talked to the former coach in full character. Not only was he doing a Holtz impersonation, he was also wearing a full costume, which included a prosthetic face.
During the segment, the real Holtz, a former ESPN analyst, said that Ohio State has a history of being too soft under head coach Ryan Day and that is how they have lost the games they have. He predicted that would be the reason Notre Dame would win on Saturday night.’
Following Ohio State’s last second victory, Day addressed the former Notre Dame coach saying “I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now. What he said about our team, what he said about our team, I cannot believe.”
McAfee admitted that he immediately started texting friends associated with Ohio State.
“I texted everybody I know from Ohio State,” he said on his show Monday. “I was like, I f***ing love Ryan Day. I love the fact that he was like, ‘I will hit an old man. I do not care. What this guy said is out of pocket.’”
McAfee added that the real Lou Holtz, who is 86, joked about having dementia and not really knowing what he was saying. He added that he wonders if Day knows that Holtz made his comments to another man who was in a Lou Holtz costume.
“Us being in the middle of that whole thing is so dumb,” he said.
Schmit admitted that it was hard to believe the moment is real.
“I was laughing until I thought I was going to pass out on Saturday night,” he said.
ESPN Reportedly Leaving Seaport Studios in New York, Possible Move in LA too
“The South Street Seaport studios have been open since 2018. It is currently home to Get Up, First Take, Around the Horn, and NBA Countdown.”
ESPN is making some changes in New York. Puck News reports that the famous Seaport Studio will be empty soon as the network relocates its New York City operations to Hudson Square.
The South Street Seaport studios have been open since 2018. It is currently home to Get Up, First Take, Around the Horn, and NBA Countdown. In the past, it hosted High Noon and Sunday NFL Countdown as well.
The Walt Disney Company owns the property where the new studios will be housed. Puck reports the relocation is likely to happen “no later than fiscal 2025.”
The Puck report also states that ESPN could be on the move in Los Angeles too. On the West Coast, the network currently is housed in LA Live, outside of Crypto.com Arena. No details were offered on those plans.