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Bill Walton Says He Doesn’t Sleep After Bad Broadcasts

“If I can only figure out what I’m doing as a ‘professional,’ I would feel a lot better about myself”

Ricky Keeler

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Watching Bill Walton analyze a college basketball game on ESPN reminds me of the Forest Gump quote: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” With Walton, you get a mix of basketball knowledge, entertainment, and everything in between. 

Recently, Walton did an interview with Christopher Kamrani of The Athletic (subscription required). Walton revealed that after games in which he feels he did not have a good broadcast, he has a tough time sleeping.

“If I can only figure out what I’m doing as a ‘professional,’ I would feel a lot better about myself…This business is very much like being a player, but it’s very much like being a college student in that you study all the time and you have oral examinations on a very regular basis that you have to score near-perfect on if you want to keep going. But like when you’re a player, you make mistakes, which I did a lot tonight, and I won’t sleep tonight. “ 

Later in the article, Kamrani told Walton how people tend to view a game (usually the Pac-12) that he calls with Dave Pasch on Twitter. He guessed that “40 percent love him, 40 percent despise him, and 20 percent have no idea what the hell he’s talking about.” 

“I try to do my best,” Walton responds. “I work very hard and try to make it an interesting, fun, entertaining show. When I fail, I try to make necessary and proper adjustments. I am who I am.”

One thing is for certain, listeners of a Walton broadcast get the real him for every game and that’s all a person should ask for. You may never know what he is going to say, but the unpredictability just might be the best part. 

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Sports TV News

Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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