With college football right around the corner, one program made the decision to cancel its entire season as UCONN shut down the program for the 2020 season due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Big Ten also made an announcement Wednesday as they unveiled their conference-only schedule, which is slated to begin on September 5.
All of this news comes days after PAC-12 players released a statement to The Players’ Tribune demanding safety precautions be put in place in addition to a 50/50 revenue split with the conference for the upcoming season. The Big Ten released their own statement on Wednesday:
During the first hour of The Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday, ESPN college football analyst Rod Gilmore joined the program. Gilmore, who is a Stanford alum, has been working at ESPN and ABC since 1996 and is one of the more familiar voices in the booth for PAC-12 games. You can catch the interview here at about the 20-minute mark.
Right at the beginning of the interview, Gilmore mentioned that he is worried about the start of the college football season, saying a bubble model, which has proven to be the most effective way to limit athletes exposure to the virus, is beyond what college football can do.
“I’m more worried today than I was yesterday. It just seems to fluctuate on a daily basis,” he said. “The events of the last few days are really unsettling. When you hear about a player at Indiana who has COVID-19 and winds up in the hospital, Rutgers shuts down, Northwestern shuts down…I am more worried today than I was a couple weeks ago. Add to the mix that the players have found their voice and they are weighing in with their concerns, which is perfectly legitimate. That was something conferences didn’t have to consider a couple of weeks ago.”
Gilmore, who has spoken with PAC-12 players about these issues, gave insight gave some insight into the players’ demands and their priorities.
“You have to step back and recognize we are in the midst of a sea change in college football, he told Finebaum. “The things that are concerning players just didn’t crop up this year….All these things have been percolating for quite a while. Then, we have 2020 where we have these incredible triggering events with George Floyd killing on video for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Social justice has become a very personal thing to a lot of players. They feel invested.
“You look at the PAC-12 players and their manifesto/list of demands. They included in there the reference to money and sharing the revenue but from talking to players the past few days, it seems clear their focus was really on health and safety, getting the testing right, and being able to make an impact socially. There’s a lot going on and a lot to unpack.”
During the interview, Gilmore said that university presidents and trustees should be worried about the optics of having a season just for financial reasons, noting that the desire to start a season can only take conferences so far.
“We may get a start, we may get teams that push ahead to start the season, but can we get through a season? I’m not optimistic right now at this moment.”
Of course, with all the conference schedules not having the same format, it also leads to the question that if one conference does not play, would the others follow suit? Gilmore would not be surprised if that did not happen:
While schedules are being released, there is still so much uncertainty surrounding college football in 2020. This interview between two prominent media members in college football highlights that.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at [email protected].
Carlo Jiménez To Be Named New Radio Voice of the Los Angeles Clippers
Jimenez follows in his predecessor Noah Eagle’s footsteps by being hired right out of college to become the Clippers radio voice.
According to sources, Carlo Jiménez will soon be named the new radio play-by-play voice of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Jiménez, 22, is a 2023 graduate from USC and a recipient of the Jim Nantz Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster. He replaces Noah Eagle, who moved to NBC Sports in a full-time capacity this summer.
Jiménez follows in Eagle’s footsteps being hired right out of college to become the Clippers radio voice. The rising broadcasting star is not only considered a strong game caller but he also possesses a strong social media presence, with over 64,000 followers on TikTok. Much of what he shares socially includes behind-the-scenes content of life as a sports broadcaster.
The young, talented new voice of the Clippers has experience calling USC football, baseball and women’s basketball, contributing his voice to broadcasts on the Pac-12+ Network. While at USC, Jiménez served as the sports director and play-by-play broadcaster for the school’s radio station KXSC.
Jiménez is of Mexican heritage. It is believed his hiring makes him the only Hispanic radio play-by-play voice on American broadcasts in the NBA.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Dan Le Batard Mourns Damian Lillard Trade, Calls Dan Patrick a ‘Dirty Trickster’
“I was not expecting for people to say this is a journalistic, objective guarantee.”
Following a blockbuster trade that sent All-NBA guard Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz mourned that the Miami Heat had lost the sweepstakes for the superstar player. For much of the summer, reports had indicated that the Heat were the frontrunners for Lillard, considering that he reportedly had the team at the top of his wish list upon requesting a trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. Broadcasting the show from Miami, Fla. and growing up just outside of the city, Dan Le Batard was crestfallen that a deal never came to fruition. Moreover, he now had to address his discourse over the last few months on the hit digital program where he adumbrated that the Heat would end up with the guard.
Le Batard had appeared on The Dan Patrick Show earlier in the week and began his appearance with praise of Patrick, who is retiring upon the completion of a new four-year contract. The former ESPN SportsCenter anchor has had a long and distinguished career in sports media, highlighted by his choosing to leave the “Worldwide Leader” and build his own platform from scratch. While Le Batard admires what Patrick did, he emitted a much different tone to begin his abbreviated appearance on Friday.
“You are a dirty trickster that now, I resent deeply,” Le Batard said to Patrick. “….For 20 years basically, Dan Patrick – maybe not 20, but 15 years – he calls me when a [Miami] Dolphins offensive line coach does cocaine off his desk and sends a romantic video to an exotic worker in Las Vegas; or some such Miami calamity to talk about the Dolphins, usually only something they’ve done wrong. I go and I make a bunch of people at ESPN mad by never asking permission to go on your show and just doing it anyway.”
As he continued his soliloquy, Le Batard said that Patrick invited him on the show last week to discuss the Dolphins, who are 3-0 and considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender by many football experts. The interview was proceeding well until Patrick concluded by asking an unrelated question about another Miami sports team, the Heat, and their pursuit of Lillard.
“Dan Patrick calls me and tricks me into talking about the Dolphins for a while,” Le Batard said. “Then at the end, what does he do? He asks the question that makes me publicly a larger fool [and] more wrong than I’ve ever been about anything in front of a worldwide, intergalactic audience.”
Le Batard answered the question by guaranteeing that Lillard was coming to Miami, something that is partially true, according to Patrick. It is just that he will be visiting the city as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks rather than playing for the reigning Eastern Conference champion Heat. The entire occurrence has left Le Batard and the cast of his show moribund enough to hold a eulogy for the anticipation they had for Lillard to play alongside South Beach.
“I was wearing an actual Heat mouthpiece as I did so,” Le Batard said of his comments. “I was not expecting for people to say this is a journalistic, objective guarantee. You could barely understand me; I was muffling it through an actual Miami Heat mouthpiece.”
“You used to be a journalist; now you’re an entertainer,” Patrick replied. “You’re an entertainer.”
Le Batard did acknowledge that he is indeed an entertainer on his program and has had discussions about the role of genuine journalism in today’s sports media coverage with the cast of his show, along with ESPN featured commentator Stephen A. Smith.
“[I am] a sanctimonious, self-important entertainer who gets things profoundly wrong in a way that echoes from sea to shining sea,” Le Batard asserted.
“That should be the name of your show,” Patrick replied. “It’s a little wordy, but that should be the name of your show from now on.”
“Because of you, it’s going to be the thing on my tombstone,” Le Batard said.
Boomer Esiason: ‘Don’t Know Why’ ESPN Reported Taylor Swift Would Be at ‘Sunday Night Football’
“I’m fascinated by the whole thing; you know that.”
Over the course of the week, several reports have stated that Grammy Award-winning music superstar Taylor Swift is expected to be on hand to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the New York Jets on Sunday Night Football at MetLife Stadium. Swift unexpectedly appeared at last week’s Chiefs home game from GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chicago Bears, and she was seen exiting the facility with star tight end Travis Kelce afterwards. In the ensuing weeks, there had been reports that she and Kelce were communicating and potentially exploring dating one another, noise that was only amplified after Sunday’s occurrence. Boomer & Gio have been on the case, discussing the topic several times this week.
WFAN morning co-host Boomer Esiason is infatuated by the situation, slipping in references to Swift songs throughout the week on the show. Conversely, his co-host, Gregg Giannotti, has had enough of the entire situation and wishes that everyone could just focus on football. Even so, NBC Sports is preparing a specialized broadcast open and will likely show her on camera, even though director Drew Esocoff would “bet the under” on doing so for a total of 22 times. Esiason, interested in the situation, decided to try to uncover information as to just what may be occurring at the stadium this weekend.
“There’s no official, ‘Taylor Swift is going to be at the game,’” Esiason revealed Friday morning on WFAN. “Everybody’s assuming, and I don’t know why ESPN went with this earlier in the week.”
Since reports of Swift’s attendance were released, ticket prices for the matchup have steeply risen with fans doing anything possible to get a glimpse of the superstar. While the logistics of such an appearance still seem to be in the process of being planned out, Esiason decided to try to figure out she could be sitting. Reviewing options from the visiting team suite to the New York Giants home suite, Giannotti interjected that the venue will find a place for her one way or another, even if it means displacing fans.
“They’ll definitely figure it out,” Esiason said. “Plus, obviously she just had her tour there, so they’re very tight with the stadium authority.”
Esiason’s daughter is a fan of the artist and has informed her father about the history behind her dating life. The information has led him to assert that her fans are happy that she is “actually dating a real man” this time around, with many “Swifties” hoping that it works out.
“I’m fascinated by the whole thing; you know that,” Esiason told Giannotti. “I don’t know why.”