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Will Cain Says Last 6 Months Influenced Decision To Leave ESPN

“As two hosts who have been at times criticized by their audience for not sticking to sports, Cowherd and Cain offered their beliefs on how to navigate the inclusion of political and social issues.”

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A news commentator, turned sports host, and back to news as the political conversation continues to become more prevalent, Will Cain has had an interesting media career. Cain joined FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd over the weekend to discuss a variety of topics including why he recently left ESPN for FOX News. 

Cain told Cowherd sports has always been a core part of his life and when he joined ESPN in 2015, he didn’t want to be part of the political conversation anymore. 

“It didn’t feel productive, it didn’t feel important, it didn’t feel like I had a place in that conversation,” Cain explained on The Herd-Saturday Special podcast. But five years later, at a time where there is so much heightened political division in the country, Cain now believes he has something important to contribute to the conversation. 

Cain said he was very happy at ESPN, hosting his daily show on their national radio network, while also regularly contributing to First Take. As ESPN’s primary conservative voice, Cain’s opinions were of the minority on the more leftist network, but he doesn’t believe his voice is the minority across the country.

“The direction of the country over the last six months…it really impacted my decision on what I want to be talking about every day,” Cain told Cowherd. And that decision was ultimately to leave ESPN and join FOX & Friends Weekend.

‘Stick to sports’ is a frequently debated theme in sports radio, but in recent months it’s becoming more difficult to separate sports from political or social issues. As two hosts who have been at times criticized by their audience for not sticking to sports, Cowherd and Cain offered their beliefs on how to navigate the inclusion of political and social issues. 

When organizing his show, Cowherd said he considers sports the freeway, but he occasionally takes the exit ramp to discuss political issues. If he exits, his goal is to always get back on the freeway as soon as possible. Cain acknowledged an understanding that his audience was tuning in for sports first, but when he did veer, he wasn’t going to aggressively return to the “freeway” as Cowherd described it. 

“Let me be honest with you about my biases, my beliefs,” Cain said of his approach to discussing political or social issues on sports radio. “I don’t want to hide them from you and in response I want to hear yours…the biggest mistake we can make is to box people out – tell them ‘you’re wrong, you’re racist, you don’t belong in the conversation.’ That’s not what I wanted to do, I want to be honest about who I was and invite everybody else to tell me how I was wrong.” 

The two media stars also had an interesting take on social media, which they agree is not real life, but it still has an outside influence on real life. Cain noted the majority of TV and radio shows organize their programming based on what’s trending on Twitter.

“Twitter has this outside influence on institutional media, and then it clearly can influence the radical fringes,” Cain said. “Now what we see is those radical fringes are influencing real life, by taking to the street and creating chaos.”

Cowherd added that a lot of the protesting in the streets was caused by the abnormally high unemployment rates, stemming from the global pandemic. But Cowherd painted a cheerier picture for our country’s outlook after calling it the strangest year of his life.

“I’m proud of my neighbors,” Cowherd said. “I think we’ve overcome a lot this year and I think brighter days ahead.” 

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Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State

“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”

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Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.

He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”

He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”

It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.

The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.

Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.

The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.

Others used the feud to create comedy.

Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.

The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.

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Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM

“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”

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A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.

“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”

The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.

The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports. 

“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts.  “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team.  They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.” 

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Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool

“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

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Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.

Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.

“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”

Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.

No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.

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