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Ariel Helwani: I Have No Relationship With Dana White

“The bad blood goes back to 2016 when White banned Ariel Helwani from covering UFC events because he reported news about Brock Lesnar’s return that the promotion didn’t want made public.”

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ESPN has made a major financial investment in covering the UFC. It cannot be happy to hear that the promotion’s boss and the network’s top reporter have no relationship, but that is the case according to Ariel Helwani.

Dana White doesn’t seem to have any moral dilemmas about making Helwani’s life difficult. The two have been in multiple public spats with Ariel Helwani at one point telling Sarah Spain that all he wants is the ability to do his job without White “messing with” his career. He went so far as to say that “the fans are smart. They see what’s messed up” about the situation.

Helwani was a guest on the most recent episode of Oral Sessions with Reneé Paquette on Colin Cowherd’s The Volume network. When Paquette asked about how Helwani and White interact, the reporter said that they don’t and added that it wasn’t always that way.

“It was once supremely close and good and healthy and the kind of relationship that any journalist would want to have with arguably the most powerful person in the sport,” he said. “Now, I don’t interact with him, we don’t text, we don’t talk on the phone, and what I have often said to people is that it doesn’t necessarily bother me. Of course I would love to have a great relationship with him, but I will say if he doesn’t want to talk to me, if he doesn’t want to do interviews, text, all that stuff, I can live with that.”

The bad blood goes back to 2016 when White banned Ariel Helwani from covering UFC events because he reported news about Brock Lesnar’s return that the promotion didn’t want made public. Despite White’s absurd reaction, Helwani says he ended up being the one to try and make peace.

“I vividly remember where I was sort of, not asked, but nudged to reach out via text to try to get the lines of communication open, but I never got a reply. So, you know I can make a very strong case that the olive branch should be reached out to me. You know, I’m not worth hundreds of millions of dollars. He is. I have lost money as a result of some decisions that he has made.”

Dana White rarely says Ariel Helwani’s name. Helwani isn’t the only member of the media White has been confrontational with. He said recently on an episode of Colin Cowherd’s podcast that while he has respect for the job, he will not put up with members of the media being unprofessional.

The UFC is a different world from the rest of pro sports and this is the perfect proof. The promotion’s boss considers his most important media partner’s top reporter a problem for trying to report on the sport.

Sports Online

Mike Francesa: 2 Week Break Before Super Bowl Leads to Media Interview Each Other

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Mike Francesa

Many in the sports media and general media world have converged in Phoenix this week for the Super Bowl, but Mike Francesa isn’t the biggest fan of the build-up to the game.

The Phoenix Convention Center is playing host to this year’s radio row, where many of the storylines leading into the big game are dissected six times over the course of a day.

On his BetRivers podcast, Francesa said he’s never been the biggest fan of Super Bowl week and even taking two weeks between the conference title games.

“I’ve never liked these two weeks up to the Super Bowl,” Francesa said on The Mike Francesa Podcast. “I’ve never liked this week with all the hype and nonsense.”

Francesa added that at this point, all the storylines for both teams competing have been played out.

“People don’t know what to say anymore. It’s like they’re interviewing each other,” he said. “Nobody has anything to say or knows what to say.”

Still, Francesa finished his point by saying there’s an overflow of coverage leading up to the Super Bowl.

“It’s one game and you’re spending two weeks analyzing one game, and it’s just too much,” he said. “But there’s no way around it. That’s the way it works.”

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Sports Online

More Media Credentials Issued For Super Bowl LVII Than Ever Before

More than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.

Jordan Bondurant

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Almost three years removed from the COVID-19 pandemic completely shutting down the world, the Super Bowl host city is now bustling with media once again covering the NFL’s championship game.

According to Front Office Sports, more than 6,000 media members from over 24 countries have received credentials to cover Super Bowl LVII on Sunday. That figure is up 13% from last year. In 2021, during the peak of the pandemic, only 2,400 media members were allowed to cover the game in Tampa.

A number at or above 6,000 would mean a return of the number of media members covering the game back to pre-pandemic levels.

This year’s Super Bowl is airing on FOX.

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Sports Online

Bomani Jones: Chris Canty Made Me Rethink How I Look At This Job

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job.”

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The Right Time with Bomani Jones has been one of ESPN’s most successful podcasts recently. Part of the appeal is that the conversations can go anywhere. Jones and his guests talk plenty about sports, but they will venture into pop culture, current events, and more. When it is “Foxworth Friday”, there is a good chance that the show will give some insight on other ESPN personalities.

On the most recent edition of The Right Time, Bomani Jones and Domonique Foxworth discussed how hard it can be to come up with a unique view on a topic every single time you are asked to talk about it. When Foxworth said that ESPN Radio’s Chris Canty makes it a little easier for him to be entertaining in those moments, Jones added to the praise.

He discussed a conversation he and Canty had at a Halloween party hosted by FOX’s Nick Wright.

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job,” Jones said. “Chris was like ‘Hey man’. You know, he’s got a Super Bowl ring, but he’s like ‘I didn’t get a gold jacket. I wasn’t great at that. But this? I have a chance to be great at something else.’”

Bomani Jones was impressed by that attitude. He admitted that it was eye-opening.

“That really made me look back at how I do my job and was like ‘Yo, I need to be looking at this in a very similar way.’”

Foxworth agreed. He said that it isn’t hard to believe that Chris Canty wants to be great on TV and radio. It is easy to see when he is making an effort to get better.

“He works at it and he doesn’t rely on just one move,” Foxworth said. “Using the basketball analogy, he’s adding new stuff to his game.”

Chris Canty clearly has fans in Bristol. ESPN keeps finding ways to use him across multiple platforms. In addition to his daily ESPN Radio show with Chris Carlin, he also makes regular appearances on Get Up with Mike Greenberg.

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