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Charles Barkley: I Was Offered Monday Night Football Gig

“We have no idea when Barkley was offered a Monday Night Football opportunity, or how serious the idea was.”

Brandon Contes

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Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tony Romo, these are names we’ve heard as potential analysts for Monday Night Football in recent years. And they make sense, because they played in the NFL, they’re experts in the sport. Charles Barkley on Monday Night Football? That doesn’t make sense.

Barkley is synonymous with the NBA. He was a hall-of-fame player and now he’s a hall-of-fame analyst. His analysis is a stretch for the NCAA Tournament, but at least it’s basketball, a sport he knows. 

Joining Hank Azaria’s The Jim Brockmire Podcast as part of Meadowlark Media, Barkley casually mentioned he was once offered the Monday Night Football gig. It came up during an attempt to disparage people’s incessant need to use Twitter as a way of commenting on everything. Recognizing his lane, the hall-of-fame power forward said he knew he wasn’t a fit for the job and didn’t want to pretend to be an expert the way people on Twitter do. 

“These guys…they feel the need to comment on everything that’s happening in the world,” Barkley said of the Twittersphere. “I only comment on basketball. Like, they offered me Monday Night Football, I said, I like football, but I ain’t going to be one of these jackasses to get on TV and act like he knows about football.” 

We have no idea when Barkley was offered a Monday Night Football opportunity, or how serious the idea was. But if the offer was indeed made, it likely came before Monday Night Football’s failed experiment with an analyst who was put on TV to act like he knows about football in Dennis Miller. Miller was hired for Monday Night Football in June 2000, around the same time Barkley joined TNT. 

Are we sure the basketball analyst didn’t just overhear someone from ESPN say they’re looking for football’s version of Charles Barkley?  Magnetizing, brash, polarizing, funny, Barkley has plenty of characteristics ESPN would look for in an NFL analyst, except for his lack of football expertise. But it’s fair to assume ESPN could have been in search of the football version of Charles Barkley.

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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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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