On the latest episode of his Wins & Losses podcast, Outkick The Coverage’s Clay Travis got the chance to interview former ESPN personality Will Cain as Cain gets set to begin his new role on FOX News this weekend. He will be one of the hosts on Fox & Friends Weekend from 6-10 AM ET.
Over the course of almost 90 minutes, Travis and Cain dove into Cain’s interesting career path, his time at ESPN, his takes on sports media, the latest news with the Big Ten and PAC-12 postponing football, and much more.
When Cain talked about his life experiences such as working on a ranch in Montana shortly after college, he discussed with Travis how he felt that life should be a challenge for people. “I think you should be put in uncomfortable situations,” he said.
When the two of them did get into sports, Cain did mention that with the latest postponements of fall football, he does not believe that we know the full effects that kind of a decision can have.
“I mean in terms of mental health, I mean in terms of the future prospect of these athletes careers. I mean in terms of the ability to have these spaces where we can unify together and have fun. I don’t think we fully know the cost of cancelling college football.”
Cain worked at ESPN beginning in March 2015. Once he got there, he told Travis that it was not hard for him to voice his opinions. He mentioned no one at ESPN ever told him what he could or couldn’t say and that they never made him feel unwanted.
“I came from politics. I was much more rough and tumble, I was maybe even naive that my point of view would be so out of the ordinary in sports,” Cain said. “If you share a point of view that the guardians of sports media don’t like, you are absolutely at risk of being branded a racist, you are at risk of being branded someone on the wrong side of history and immoral and you really should, in their estimation, have your platform taken away.”
Cain continued saying that a lack of diversity of opinion is not just an ESPN problem.
“I don’t think this is unique to ESPN. Over the last 6 months, this idea that you can only have one point of view has absolutely had rocket boosters on it. It didn’t ever manifest in ‘we don’t want Will on air.’ ESPN supported me, they wanted me. They wanted me to stay at ESPN when my contract was up and we were negotiating. The role of social critics, the role of blogs and critics, and the like-mindedness in media has really forced everything to become monolithically one point of view.”
While Cain’s viewpoints were different than many of his co-workers, he did tell Travis that most of his relationships with his co-workers were good and that the ones he had with people such as Stephen A. Smith, Tim Hasselbeck, Damien Woody, Marcus Spears, and Dan Orlovsky were some he wanted to maintain. He did also mention some employees at ESPN would agree privately with his viewpoints.
“I think that as the points of view have gotten more extreme in the media as a whole, I think more people are gravitating to my position when they seem grounded in reason and rationality. I am a little disappointed sometimes that they feel these ways privately, but don’t say it publicly. Sometimes, it can be even as innocuous as saying Will Cain is good or Will Cain is right can be controversial. I understand, it’s a very rational choice to make to be quiet.”
At the end of the interview, Cain mentioned advice he gave to somebody about the radio industry and how he does not let what other people say about him define him.
“I told them take what you say very seriously, but do not take yourself very seriously. I allowed people to say you are a racist to me on air. I required them to back it up and I sometimes got mad, but I usually got over it pretty quickly. I will let that person come back on my radio show. I know who I am and they don’t get to define it, I define who I am. I don’t hold really big grudges.”
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 RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Ray Didinger Subject of NFL Films Feature, Tells Angelo Cataldi He’s Stayed Busy in Retirement
Former 94WIP host and Philadelphia Daily News and NBC Sports Philadelphia writer Ray Didinger retired earlier this year, but he told Angelo Cataldi he’s remained busy even though he stepped away from his media career.
“It’s been busier than I thought,” Didinger said. “Just because of the way things have gone in the city. The Phillies going to the World Series, the Eagles are 10-1, I don’t think any of us thought it was going to be this kind of run. Consequently, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I had no idea everyone in the world has a podcast so I’ve been getting all those calls. My name and my phone number are on way too many rolodexes all around the country. When somebody says ‘Hey, let’s do a piece about Philly’, my phone rings. It’s been busy but it’s been good. It’s been great to see what this has meant to the city.”
Didinger hosted shows from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays for 94WIP. In total, he spent more than 50 years covering the NFL before retiring in May.
After Cataldi asked for Didinger’s opinion on the 2022 Eagles, he asked the now-retired reporter if he was still using his yellow notepad. Didinger admitted he does still use the notepad, and Cataldi chastised his former colleague after he said he would retire the notepad. Cataldi joked when he retires after the Eagles season concludes, he hopes to lose co-hosts Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes’ phone numbers.
Didinger will be the subject of an NFL Films feature about his longtime career covering the league. The program will air on FS1 on Friday at 12:30 AM.
Colin Dunlap: ‘Insane’ What Tom Rinaldi Has Done During Last Week
“He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
It was a banner week for FOX Sports during the Thanksgiving holiday, and no one got more work than the network’s Tom Rinaldi. 93.7 The Fan morning show host Colin Dunlap believes Rinaldi deserves props for his schedule.
“It’s insane what he’s done,” Dunlap said. “I wrote it down and I saw somebody tweet it. Listen to this schedule — and I don’t even know if it’s worth it — but listen to what Tom Rinaldi has done: Wednesday? Qatar. Thursday? Dallas for the Cowboys game. Friday? Back to the US-England match in Qatar. Saturday? In Columbus, Ohio for Michigan/Ohio State. Sunday? Kansas City for the NFL game.
“And then if you’ve gotta guess, he’s gonna be at the American game tomorrow so he’s travelling back to Qatar today. I don’t even travel back and forth to Baltimore like that. He’s going from Doha to Dallas and Kansas City to Doha and Columbus to Doha. Something’s up! There’s two Tom Rinaldi’s.”
Dunlap, co-host Chris Mack, and producer Adam Crowley then discussed whether FOX Sports was using Rinaldi enough. While noting that he’s travelling to all these locations, they believe he isn’t being utilized enough for the bigger stories he’s been known for.
They also joked about whether Rinaldi was flying back and forth on Rupert Murdoch’s private jet and whether or not that would make life easier.
Boomer & Gio: NFL RedZone Botched Transition From Seahawks/Raiders
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS!”
Josh Jacobs scored a tremendous 86-yard touchdown run in overtime as the Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Seattle Seahawks Sunday. Unfortunately, many didn’t get to see it live as NFL RedZone cut away from the game due to NFL broadcasting rules. WFAN morning show Boomer & Gio believe the coverage was botched by the channel and host Scott Hanson.
“The RedZone is who I have issue with,” Gregg Giannotti said. “Scott Hanson — who I have trusted for many years — tells me and the rest of the country to go over to your local CBS and watch the rest of this overtime. ‘International customers stay here. If you’re in America, go over to your local CBS.’ So I go over to my local CBS and there’s some guy wiping off dinosaur eggs with a brush.”
“I’m so confused with the TV rules — and I’ve been in it for 22 years. I’m just very confused,” Boomer Esiason added.
After a discussion about what the rules actually are for television broadcasters and the NFL, the show concluded NFL RedZone couldn’t air portions of just a single game that was still underway.
“If he would have told me ‘We’re taking this off, sorry, those are the rules’, I could have accepted that. He told me that it was on my local CBS,” Giannotti said.
Esiason asked for the show to get in touch with Mike North, the NFL’s Vice President of Broadcasting, joking that they needed to know who to blame for the blunder.
“Somebody dropped the ball over there, that’s for sure,” Giannotti concluded.