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PointsBet Hires Teddy Greenstein Away From Chicago Tribune

“That would seem to indicate that PointsBet is planting its flag in the media world.”

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Teddy Greenstein is leaving the Chicago Tribune behind. He announced on Friday that he is taking a new job with PointsBet. He immediately jumped into promotion mode on Twitter.

Greenstein made his name as a college football columnist. He covered both the Big Ten and Notre Dame for the paper. That makes his exit somewhat inconveniently timed, as the Big Ten football season finally kicks off this weekend.

More interesting than his former employer is what Greenstein says his role will be at PointsBet. “I’m so fired up to write/edit content and appear on air to talk sports/handicapping and spread PB’s good name,” he writes in the second Tweet of a five-part thread. That would seem to indicate that PointsBet is planting its flag in the media world.

NBC and the Australian sports book recently signed a $500 million deal making PointsBet the network’s official gambling partner. That likely answers the question of what Greenstein meant when he said he would be appearing on air.

“With their substantial catalog of sporting events, NBC Sports will provide PointsBet with year-round multi-platform media and marketing opportunities. The partnership encompasses all NBC Sports brands, including NBCSN, regional sports networks, the Golf Channel as well as their digital platforms,” Brandon Contes wrote in August.

As for what Greenstein will be writing and editing, that is still a question. It is possible that PointsBet will produce all gambling content that appears on any NBC Sports website. Until anything is confirmed or clarified though, there will be speculation about whether or not PointsBet will launch a full media operation.

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Ian Rapoport: ‘I Would Be Surprised’ If a Thursday Night Game Gets Flexed

“I think basically is the kind of thing where, like, they want it available, but it’s only going to be used if they have literally no other choice.”

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Is all of the consternation and hand-wringing about flex scheduling much ado about nothing? Ian Rapoport was on with Pat McAfee Tuesday and said despite the NFL owners voting to bring flex scheduling to Thursday Night Football, it isn’t the weekly threat some are making it out to be.

“I would say this from what I know of this, I would still be surprised if any game was flexible,” the NFL Network insider said. “I would be surprised if any game was flexed because they don’t want to use it.”

Flex scheduling in Sunday Night Football is used to create the best matchups in the league’s marquee window. With the option coming to Mondays and Thursdays this season, Rapoport says the bar for justifying moving not just kickoff times, but days, is going to be high.

Thursday Night Football has the most restrictions. The league will have to announce any moves almost a month ahead of when the game actually kicks off. When McAfee pointed to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ visit to New England in Week 14 as a prime candidate to be flexed out of Thursday night, Rapoport outlined a very specific scenario where he could see it happening.

“It’s not going to be like, ‘Well, we have a little bit better game, so maybe we’ll do that,’” he said. “It’s going to be like, ‘Okay, we have Mason Rudolph starting versus Bailey Zappe. Like, no one will watch this. We have to move.’ That’s to me, that’s under the circumstances that you’d see a flex.”

Last season, the matchups for Thursday Night Football were especially bad in some weeks. Al Michaels even made reference to it on the air during games. Having flex scheduling could help to avoid that, but Rapoport says the option is about protecting Amazon in the event circumstances around a game change drastically, not simply placating critics.

“I think basically is the kind of thing where, like, they want it available, but it’s only going to be used if they have literally no other choice.”

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Hall of Fame Baseball Writer Rick Hummel Dies at Age 77

“Hummel is best known for his work covering the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”

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Rick Hummel has passed away after a brief illness. The legendary baseball journalist was 77 years old.

Hummel is best known for his work covering the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His death comes in the first season after announcing his retirement.

Covering the team was something of a dream come true for the St. Louis native. He reported on three World Series wins and seven National League pennants. He was recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.

The 2022 season was Hummel’s last of a 51-year run covering the team for the Post-Dispatch. It wasn’t the end of his career though. He went to Jupiter, FL in February to cover spring training as a free lance writer for a number of different outlets.

Rick Hummel will certainly be missed by his friends and loved ones. He will also be missed by the Cardinals community, who already mourned the loss of Mike Shannon earlier this month.

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Pablo Torre Explains Goals of Future Meadowlark Media Project

“I want to take the position of also being able to zoom way in and way out and engage with the news cycle, but not be beholden to it.”

Ricky Keeler

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While we know that Pablo Torre is going to have a new show with Meadowlark Media in the future, he hasn’t exactly been specific as to what it will be. We continue to look for bits and pieces from Torre about his show that will begin sometime before the NFL season begins. 

Torre was a guest on The Rights To Ricky Sanchez: The Sixers Podcast with Spike Eskin and Michael Levin (around the 22 minute mark) and he said that he is at Meadowlark to follow his curiosities and he thinks back to the story he wrote for ESPN The Magazine in 2015 about the 76ers and trust the process serves as a guide to him.

I have things I am obsessed with that I want to explain to people, and I believe there are stories in sports and in the national cultural conversation that either could use a little more smarts or a little more humor and I want to figure out how I can be the place where you find smart and funny when it comes to storytelling in sports in a narratively informed way. I’m being very vague about it, but the magazine sensibility of that process story is something that serves as a North Star in my brain.

“How do I tell a story that people from afar are maybe somewhat familiar with, but can get under the hood of to articulate and reveal and report some things that serve as something close to a definitive treatment to it?”

One thing that Torre thinks is a big opportunity in the media landscape is that there is an open lane to tell sports stories in the audio format. 

“There’s a lot of narrative series, some of which are excellent, but in terms of an always-on show where someone’s job is to follow a curiosity down the rabbit hole and/or tell a story/interviewing a person as a way of explaining something larger. I want to bring a viewpoint that because sports is so much about living or dying with these games as we have been, I want to take the position of also being able to zoom way in and way out and engage with the news cycle, but not be beholden to it.”

Torre isn’t going to be able to cover everything in sports, but he said that he wants to take a complicated story and make it simpler for the listeners.

“My goal is not that I’m going to cover everything, but I’m going to give you stories of a different genre, stories that explain and go deeper. I want to make this fun, but also premised on contextualizing complicated stories in a simpler way.”

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