The Baylor Bears are the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Champions. And with just three seniors on their roster, CBS announcer Jim Nantz was limited with who he could give his tie to.
Following the uninspiring title game, Twitter wanted to know who Nantz selected for the honor, but the CBS announcer kept his tie. Not because there wasn’t a worthy recipient, and not because of COVID-19 protocols, but because he hasn’t given his tie to a championship player since 2016! As reported by Kyle Koster of The Big Lead, Nantz recently joined Robbie Hummel and Jeff Goodman on The Field of 68 podcast, where he told the hosts he ended the gesture five years ago.
“It became like, who would want Jim’s sweaty tie? Well, first off, I don’t sweat when I’m calling games,” Nantz said. “I don’t sweat through a tie. It was meant to be a quiet gesture that no one would know about. But once it got hijacked, I thought, you know what? I’m not going to put that burden on anyone where a media guy’s going to come up and make fun of it and belittle the kid and take that moment away from him. So I opted not to do it anymore.”
Nantz previously explained the reasoning behind giving his tie away, originally meant to be a private gesture and a way to honor a player he thought was inspiring throughout March Madness.
Nantz blaming critics as the reason why he no longer gives a college athlete his tie was an odd play. Naturally, when the gesture was no longer private, it was made fun of. Despite coming from a genuine place, a 60-year-old announcer assuming a college athlete wants his used tie will always be viewed as egotistical.
By ending the tradition in 2016, it means Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono was the last player to receive a tie from Nantz as he stopped the gesture almost immediately after it became public knowledge. But if he was doing it for a decade without anyone knowing, it’s certainly possible that Nantz has since selected another keepsake to give an inspiring player after the championship game, it just might be a while before we find out about it.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
FOX Will Use Chris Fallica On Belmont Stakes Coverage
“While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.”
The Bear will be more than just a college football presence when he moves to FOX. Chris Fallica wrapped his final duties for ESPN last week and is now headed to a new network and will tackle some new responsibilities.
Fallica’s new role at FOX will involve plenty of sports gambling content. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reports that content will include horse racing.
“One Fox Sports source said look for him to appear on the Belmont Stakes coverage,” Deitsch wrote in his weekly media column.
Starting in 2023, horse racing’s Triple Crown will not be seen all in one place. While the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby remain at NBC, The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX as part of the network’s deal with the New York Racing Association.
How the network intends to use Chris Fallica on the broadcast is not clear. Given that he is coming to the network to contribute to gambling conversations, it is likely he would either be making picks or at least reviewing odds right up to the start of the race.
NBCUniversal CEO Expects Disney To Buy Company’s Hulu Stake
“Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal.”
The Walt Disney Company owns 67% of Hulu. The other 33% is owned by NBCUniversal. The latter company doesn’t expect that to be the case forever.
“It’s worth a lot of money,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said at an investor conference earlier this week, “and I think there’s no indication that anything else is going to happen than Disney writing us a big check.”
Hulu is primarily a platform for movies and television shows. It is a major part of Disney’s deal with the NHL though. The streaming giant is part of the package of 103 games that are exclusive to ESPN and ABC. Hulu is also a live TV provider for many. The company’s Hulu Plus Live TV package had over 4 million subscribers as of the summer of 2022.
Shell noted that live sports coverage is helping make the stake in Hulu a luxury for NBCUniversal. He credits sports and content migrated from Hulu as the reason Peacock has grown to 18 million paid subscriptions since September.
Deadline reports that if Disney does want to acquire NBCUniversal’s stake in Hulu, “the price could fluctuate but will be in the tens of billions of dollars.”
Greg Olsen Believes He and Kevin Burkhardt Can Handle Games ‘On Any Stage’
“Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
“If you’re asking me, I think Kevin and I have shown that we can handle a game on any stage – on any day. We just did it on Thanksgiving. We’ll do it again around Christmas. And obviously throughout the [NFL] Playoffs,” said Olsen. “So whatever decision they make. Obviously, the bosses get paid a lot to make hard decisions. You have to obviously do what your bosses decide. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
“But as of now, I anticipate Kevin and I, the two of us, with Erin and Tom down on the sidelines, the four of us, broadcasting the Super Bowl in February in Arizona. Until I’m told otherwise, that’s how we’re proceeding.”
Olsen also told FOS he has negotiated a new contract with FOX Sports, but declined to share details. He is slated to be replaced on the top broadcast crew once Tom Brady ends his playing career. Brady will then begin a 10-year, $375 million contract to serve as the network’s top NFL game analyst and brand ambassador.