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Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk Talk Challenge Of Calling Games In NHL Bubble

“Olczyk cited the duo’s fourteen year history together. He said that no matter what, he trusts Emrick’s call just as he has in the past.”

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The entire NHL on NBC crew was on a conference call on Friday morning to talk about the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars. Like the rest of the playoffs, the games will be played inside of the NHL bubble, with all action shifting to Edmonton for the Finals.

Play-by-play man Doc Emrick and analyst Eddie Olczyk were asked how long distance was effecting their usual chemistry. Olczyk is in Canada, while Emrick is calling games from his home in Michigan.

“We enjoy one another’s company so much, whether it winds up being a couple thousand miles apart or whether it’s on the air and in two separate boxes at the start of a show, it makes it just a part of a good life for me; I will tell you that,” Emrick answered.

He noted that there are times that the two will end up talking over each other, but each does his best to give the other enough space to avoid those hiccups.

Emrick was asked on the call about technical improvements that were made to limit the delay between the live action and what he sees on his screen at home. He said that he was never aware of a delay and deferred to producer Sam Flood.

“It was two tin cans, we stretched the string between it, and that sped up the process,” Flood joked. “Alexander Graham Bell was an analyst for us and helped us through, and Mr. Bell said if you go a shorter distance, which is from where you are outside Detroit to Edmonton, the sound and pictures will travel quicker, and that’s what we did and miraculously it worked. So the shorter distance sped us up.”

In reality, originally, what Emrick saw at home was being sent to him from the control room in Stamford, Connecticut after NBC received the video from its truck in either Toronto or Edmonton. In later rounds, Emrick’s feed came directly from the truck on location.

Olczyk cited the duo’s fourteen year history together. He said that no matter what, he trusts Emrick’s call just as he has in the past.

“I think it is obviously a unique dynamic, but when you’re working with the best, you follow Doc’s lead as Pierre and Bouch and I have done and will continue to do. There is a cadence that we understand, and I remember for the first time when I sat in that chair after the great John Davidson left for St. Louis to become team president of the St. Louis Blues some 14 plus years ago, and our leader Sam Flood, I remember him vividly saying, you know, late in a game, ‘Okay, guys, this is Doc time, and that’s when you pick your spots and you get in and you get out and you give Doc an opportunity to take a breath and we’d go from there.’”

He added that any praise that he and Emrick have received for covering games in the bubble is really praise for the entire NBC team.

“The team and the teamwork is second to none, and those are things that are going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about compared to a normal situation. But as we’ve all said, what the hell is normal in 2020, and we will figure it out because we’re working for and with the best, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow night.”

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Stephen A. Smith: You Can’t Just ‘Go Out There Running Your Mouth’ About Serious Topics

Smith’s comments came after being asked why he had remained silent on the accusations against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey.

Jordan Bondurant

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Stephen A. Smith
Courtesy: Stacy Revere, Getty Images

Stephen A. Smith clapped back towards those who have been critical of the First Take panelist and podcast host for his silence on the ongoing Josh Giddey situation.

Giddey, a 21-year-old guard from Australia, is being investigated by the NBA after allegations on social media surfaced that he was having an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl.

On The Stephen A. Smith Show on Monday, Smith was annoyed with people who just want him to skewer Giddey based on the limited information available.

“Y’all are getting on my last damn nerves. Could you try to be responsible? Could you try?” he asked. “That’s all I’m asking. What you want Stephen A. to say?”

Stephen A. Smith pointed out that there are a lot of unknowns with this case right now. All that people have to go off of currently are social media posts. He said throwing around accusations without proof or supporting facts is a good way to get slapped with a lawsuit.

“You know why Stephen A. hasn’t said anything? Because you could get sued, idiots!” he said. “You don’t just go out there running your damn mouth over something this serious.”

Smith concluded by saying until there’s more information available and signs that something wrong has taken place, he’s going to stay out of it. It’s hard to offer a reaction when you don’t know how deep the accusations run.

“If I had a clue, I would have spoken on it, but I don’t and it’s why I haven’t said anything,” he said. “My advice to you all is to shut the hell up and do the same.”

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Pat McAfee: SI Scandal ‘Raises a Real Thought That This Is What the Future Could Look Like’

“Let’s say that a company like Sports Illustrated was like, ‘You know what we have no money to start up a content creation website. Boom, we just need to get fake people to do this.'”

Jordan Bondurant

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Pat McAfee
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Pat McAfee is fascinated by the ongoing saga with Sports Illustrated.

SI came under fire on Monday after a Futurism article came out claiming that the legacy sports media outlet published AI-generated content on its website and published the content under bylines of fake authors.

McAfee talked about the story initially on his show Monday. But on Tuesday, after reading the statement from The Arena Group, Pat McAfee said the story is both bizarre and a potential look ahead to what the media space could be like.

“To be completely candid, the reason why I enjoyed it so much is just because this raises a real thought that this is what the future could look like,” McAfee said. “We’re not saying this happened, but for the sake of it this is how we took the news that we learned yesterday. Let’s say that a company like Sports Illustrated was like, ‘You know what we have no money to start up a content creation website. Boom, we just need to get fake people to do this.’ Like I think that was what was so awesome yesterday in my mind.”

McAfee continued to ponder how wild it was to think that entire news outlets could potentially have content completely generated by AI.

“It is f–king insane to think that that’s gonna be the possibility of what the future looks like,” he said. “And we said it yesterday, but we need to enjoy these times, boys, because these things are taking our jobs. And they’re gonna be so much better than us. So much better.”

Pat McAfee added that with the way the media landscape is changing, it’s hard to tell if AI hasn’t already infiltrated the space. He gave one example of some sites and platforms offering readers the chance to read a condensed version of an article.

“Who’s picking the condensed version of what the article is, because I see some condensed articles on Twitter or X, and they’re taking some quotes that I don’t think are necessarily as accurate as the article that I’m reading,” McAfee said. “So who’s summarizing it? Who’s doing that, AI?”

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NASCAR President on Next TV Deal: We Will Have One, Maybe Two, New Partners

Both Amazon Prime Video and TNT have been rumored as potential new partners for the motorsports series.

Jordan Bondurant

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NASCAR is celebrating all of its champions this week in Nashville, and while many anticipated the sport’s organizing body would have news about its new media rights deal, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps in a Monday webinar alluded to the fact that details could be available before the end of the year. What is known is that FOX and NBC will continue to be the main two carriers of the Cup Series from 2025 onward.

What’s also known is that NASCAR has been shopping around a smaller package of races to tech giant Amazon and to Warner Bros. Discovery for the purpose of airing on TNT. Whether one or both of those companies signs on the dotted line remains to be seen, but Phelps hinted that it’s possible both could split a 10-race slate.

“We are going to have an additional partner and we may have two additional partners,” Phelps told NBC Sports. “That’s kind of where we’re trying to figure out in these last few weeks — what that’s going to look like, but we already know we’re going to have more partners.”

Adding a streaming partner would be new territory for NASCAR, but Phelps recognizes that it’s a resource available to try and tap into. Still, linear TV remains the main focus in terms of guaranteeing maximum visibility for events.

“No one has any idea what’s going to happen with streaming and what’s going to happen with cable. We do know that broadcast television is going to be around for the foreseeable future at 125 million homes. That’s not going to change,” Phelps said.

“What we do know is that the cable universe has declined,” he added. “So what does that look like in two years, five years, seven years? Don’t know, but we better make sure that we have distribution points that will allow us to be successful moving forward, to have as many eyeballs as we can, while not insignificant, also getting paid. The revenue is significant that comes from these media rights or from these media partners.”

The current TV rights deal with FOX and NBC is set to expire at the end of the 2024 season and worth an estimated $820 million a year. With the rising costs for teams to participate and be competitive in the sport, Phelps said the most logical way to help bring about some financial relief to teams is by generating more TV money.

NASCAR will already enter 2025 with at least one new TV partner, as earlier in the fall it was announced that The CW would become the exclusive TV home for the Xfinity Series. The Craftsman Truck Series airs exclusively on FS1.

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