“Matsuyama is Japan’s first Masters champion!” was the call from Jim Nantz as Hideki Matsuyama made his final putt to win the 2021 Masters. It was fine, but predictable and left Bill Simmons wanting more.
As first noted by Stephen Douglas of The Big Lead, during Simmons’ Masters wrap-up podcast, he told The Ringer’s Kevin Clark how disappointed he was in the bland call from Nantz. Simmons believed Nantz was scared to go outside the box in celebrating Matsuyama’s victory amid the racial divide seen throughout the country, citing cancel culture as the reason.
“We were hoping for one of his classic pre-baked one-liners when Matsuyama won The Masters. I think he was scared off. He felt nervous to me the last twenty minutes.” Simmons said before pointing to cancel culture as the culprit. “I don’t think Nantz wanted to go near anything. He kept kind of throwing it to Faldo and then when Matsuyama hit the first of all, he missed the par putt, he had the little two-footer coming back, he made it. He wins. And Nantz basically said, Hideki Matsuyama, the first Japanese golfer to win The Masters. I’ve never heard him put less thought, energy, creativity, anything into one of his calls and it was a scared Jim Nantz, let’s be honest.”
Expectedly, Clark asked Simmons if he had an idea of what Nantz should have said as Matsuyama secured the green jacket.
“So I had it. I had the savvy one,” Simmons answered. “Heat of the Moment, which was a song that won like five Grammys by a band called Asia in the 80’s. I think Nantz could have gone stealth and done, It was the heat of the moment, Hideki Matsui is our Masters champion. Something like that and then it just would have been really underground. Nobody really would have gotten it. But he just played it chalk. You know what? You just signed a new contract Jim Nantz. We don’t want a scared Jim Nantz. Come up with some sort of line. Anything? Disappointing.”
That’s not a typo, Simmons said former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui instead of Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama. So while Simmons was offering his better idea for Nantz after saying the CBS broadcaster was scared of being canceled, he made an egregious mistake that would have negatively headlined media outlets everywhere.
But assuming Nantz would have avoided that colossal blunder, Simmons is correct, no one would have gotten his Heat of the Moment reference. I certainly wouldn’t have. So was his idea even a better, more creative and momentous call for Nantz? A song reference that no one really understood the connection to. That’s some deep thinking from Simmons.
It wouldn’t have been the first song reference for Nantz, having previously quoted Bette Midler’s The Rose after Justin Rose won his first ever PGA Tour event in 2010. But Nantz wasn’t cryptic with that song reference, reciting a full verse. If Nantz left the audience wanting more on Sunday, I don’t think Simmons Heat of the Moment idea would have been a solve.
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.
NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin Launching Podcast with Dale Earnhardt Jr & Dirty Mo Media
“New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Dirty Mo Media has announced a podcast deal with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.
Hamlin will host Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin on a weekly basis during the NASCAR season. The Actions Detrimental branding is verbiage used by NASCAR for fines assessed to drivers for their disparaging comments about the sport. Known as one of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin has been fined several times under the “actions detrimental to stock car racing” statutes.
New episodes will be published each Monday during the NASCAR season with previews and reviews of races, with the goal of inviting guests and interacting with fans playing a future role in the series.
Denny Hamlin jokingly thanked Dirty Mo Media for the “opportunity and the fat check” the company wrote for him to host the podcast in a Twitter announcement.
The 42-year-old Hamlin has won 48 races during his 18-year NASCAR Cup Series career. In addition to serving as a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he co-owns 23XI Racing with basketball legend Michael Jordan.
The podcast is the latest in an expansion of content produced by the Mooresville, North Carolina-based digital outlet. After beginning with The Dale Jr. Download, the company has grown to include other podcasts like Door, Bumper, Clear, and Speed Street, as well as video projects like The Next Level.
Barstool Sports CEO: Golf Likely Next Step For Company’s Live Broadcasts
“I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love.”
Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini recently did a wide-ranging interview with AdAge.com about the future of the digital sports outlet’s television aspirations, and she said sports they’re familiar with will take priority.
“”We want sports that appeal to a broad audience. We’re kind of tickled to be able to broadcast things in the first place. So I think we‘ll start with the biggest sports that we know and love, whether it’s basketball and football,” Nardini said. “You could definitely see that extended to golf, that would probably be the next place that we’ll play.”
The questions about Barstool’s future aspirations come after the company’s successful first broadcast of the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl. Barstool says the broadcast received nearly 1 million views, peaking at 130,000 concurrent viewers. The outlet also broadcasted the Barstool Sports Invitational that featured Akron, Mississippi State, Toledo, and UAB in November.
Nardini added that the company is interested live televised sports for a few reasons.
“We’re owned by a sports betting company and the more we think about building our sports platform, there’s obviously a huge opportunity for us to convey a whole bunch of offerings to our audience, but certainly betting will be one of them…I think that live sports on television is the last man standing where it’s all anyone tunes in for.”
Fanatics to Open First Sportsbook Inside FedEx Field
“The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium.”
Sports licensing giant Fanatics will soon be launching its long-anticipated sportsbook.
The company will open up a physical sportsbook location in Maryland at FedEx Field on January 20. Fanatics has also been granted a license to operate in Massachusetts, tethered to Plainridge Park Casino.
The location at the home of the Washington Commanders will make it the first sportsbook to open inside an NFL stadium. Bettors in the DMV will now be able to place wagers at all their local teams’ venues, as William Hill has an on-site location at Capital One Arena – home of the Capitals and Wizards – and BetMGM has a space at Nationals Park in D.C.
Despite having a physical location at FedEx Field, bettors in Maryland will not be able to place mobile wagers through a Fanatics Sportsbook app.
According to Front Office Sports, Fanatics hopes to have the sportsbook up and running in some fashion in all states where legal by September.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.