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Hall Of Fame Announces Ford C. Frick Award Finalists

“The winner of the Ford C. Frick Award will be announced Dec. 9, and honored during Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown next July 24.”

Brandon Contes

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The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced their finalists for the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award. Given each year to a broadcaster for “major contributions to baseball,” the eight Ford C. Frick Award finalists are: Buddy Blattner, Joe Buck, Dave Campbell, Dizzy Dean, Don Drysdale, Ernesto Jerez, Al Michaels, and Dan Shulman.

  • Blattner – 26 seasons as a broadcaster, beginning while he was a player in the 1940s. Became widely known for his work alongside Dizzy Dean on national games for ABC and CBS from 1953-59.
  • Buck – 36 years behind the mic in Major League Baseball and still going strong. Buck has spent the last quarter-century with FOX, calling 19 World Series. Earlier this year, Buck was announced as the Pete Rozelle Award recipient, earning him a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His father Jack Buck was the 1987 Frick winner. 
  • Campbell – Began his broadcast tenure in 1978, a few years after retiring from his playing career. Campbell worked as an announcer for the Giants, Padres and Rockies, also spending nearly two decades with ESPN.
  • Dean – A Hall of Fame pitching career preceded his 24 years as a broadcaster. Dean’s candid opinions and wit helped him become a popular personality behind the mic, notably spending 11 years with CBS for their Game of the Week telecast. 
  • Drysdale – Elected to Cooperstown in 1984 with 209 wins as a starting pitcher, his 23-year broadcasting career began in 1970. Drysdale called games for the Expos, Rangers, Angels, White Sox, and Dodgers, including six years alongside arguably the best broadcaster in baseball history, Vin Scully. 
  • Jerez – 26 years as a broadcaster and counting. Jerez joined ESPN Deportes in 1995 where he continues to call Sunday Night Baseball games for The Worldwide Leader.
  • Michaels – Prior to winning the Pete Rozelle Award in 2013, Michaels spent a quarter-century as a baseball broadcaster from 1971-1995. Michaels called seven World Series during his career for ABC, also serving as an announcer for the Reds and Giants.
  • Shulman – His impressive tenure as a Major League Baseball announcer included work for his hometown Blue Jays from 1995-2001, rejoining their coverage in 2016. Shulman also spent more than two decades with ESPN and served as the voice of Sunday Night Baseball from 2011-2017. 

The winner of the Ford C. Frick Award will be announced Dec. 9, and honored during Hall of Fame Weekend in Cooperstown next July 24. Ken Harrelson, the 2020 Frick winner will also be honored during next summer’s Hall of Fame weekend after this year’s ceremonies were canceled because of COVID-19.

Sports TV News

Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”

Jordan Bondurant

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In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.

This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.

Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.

Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”

Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.

“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”

In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”

McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.

“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Considers Launching Streaming Service

“It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.”

Jordan Bondurant

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All Elite Wrestling is looking into launching its own streaming service.

According to reporting from Bloomberg, a source “familiar with management’s thinking” said AEW is looking to strike a deal with broadcast partner Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since launching in 2019, AEW now puts on two weekly shows on Warner channels TBS and TNT and airs two shows on YouTube.

Last year AEW acquired Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of that deal, AEW took ownership of RoH’s extensive content library Honor Club. So much like WWE did with WWE Network when it launched in 2014, AEW could launch its streaming service and have all of Ring of Honor’s content in a one-stop shop.

It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.

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NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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