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ESPN Intervenes In Kirk Herbstreit, Dan Orlovsky Tiff Over Justin Fields

“ESPN declined to comment when Jackson reached out.”

Brandon Contes

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Kirk Herbstreit and Dan Orlovsky

Last week, ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky raised controversy after his comments on Justin Fields during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. One strong critic was Orlovsky’s ESPN colleague, College Gameday analyst Kirk Herbstreit. That caused the network to step in.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, ESPN addressed the issue with both analysts, but neither of them will be suspended for the incident. ESPN declined to comment when Jackson reached out. 

After Ohio State topped Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, the draft stock for Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields was rapidly rising. But in recent weeks, Fields dipped to the fourth or fifth best QB in the upcoming NFL draft, without much explanation. Joining Pat McAfee’s SiriusXM radio show earlier this week, Orlovsky was asked why Fields was sliding and the ESPN analyst pointed to doubts about his work ethic.

“I have heard that he is a last-guy-in, first-guy-out type of quarterback. Like, not the maniacal work ethic,” Orlovsky answered, prefacing it by noting the claim was not his opinion. “I’ve even heard it compared to Justin Herbert, where it was like, dude, when Justin Herbert showed up, he was like a psychopath when it came to working and get ready for the draft. Or even at school, like, ‘Give me more, I want to work non-stop.’ And I’ve heard that there are issues with Justin Fields’ work ethic.”

After receiving criticism for the report on Fields’ work ethic, Orlovsky went back and did “more digging.” “It sounds like Justin Fields’ work ethic is fantastic,” Orlovsky later said on Twitter, contradicting what he told McAfee just 24-hours earlier. 

But the reversal didn’t seem to help the situation as Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback himself, wasn’t satisfied with Orlovsky’s clarification. 

“Absolutely ridiculous,” Herbstreit wrote in response to Orlovsky’s clarification video. “Even if YOU aren’t saying it… to pass that along from ‘people in the know’ is reckless and absurd!! Embarrassing!!”

Orlovsky didn’t need to dig that hard to find a direct report on Fields’ dedication, which made his initial claim of questionable work ethic seem egregious. If an analyst is going to publicize a damaging claim on a player, due diligence should be prioritized.  

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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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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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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