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Brian Custer: ESPN Knows I’m Not Giving Up Showtime Boxing Gig

“I told them that’s non-negotiable. I’m under contract there and I plan to be there for as long as they want me.”

Ricky Keeler

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Earlier this month, it was announced that former FS1 announcer and current Showtime Boxing host Brian Custer would be joining the ESPN family as an anchor on SportsCenter.  Custer will also be on the call for college basketball and football games on the network.

This week, Custer was on The Adam Schein Podcast to talk about his latest career news. Custer and Schein used to work together at SNY so they were able to look back at their days doing Jets Postgame Live together in 2006. 

Schein tells Custer during the interview that it has been “a real treat” hearing him do play-by-play on FS1. In the past, Schein usually associated Custer with doing studio shows because of how natural he was when he hosted The Wheelhouse, Jets Postgame Live, and SportsNite. For Custer, part of being seen only as a studio host led him to wanting to go to a different direction that gave him more of an opportunity to do other things.

“I’ve always prided myself with being a five-tool player,” Custer said. “I never wanted to be pigeon-holed into one thing.”

While Custer is heading over to ESPN, he is not leaving his job at Showtime and he never intended to.

“I told them that’s non-negotiable. I’m under contract there and I plan to be there for as long as they want me. I feel like we are the preeminent leader when it comes to the sport of boxing and there’s nobody better at what we do. There was no way I was going to give that up.

“I think ESPN realized how passionate I was about it. They understood me doing my podcast and that I will always interview fighters. They knew I was really passionate about it and there was no way I was going to give that up. 

Schein mentions that when the two of them met at SNY, he thought Custer would be a great SportsCenter anchor and Custer explained what the honor of eventually hosting the iconic show means to him.

“WAs a kid, I envisioned myself doing SportsCenter. They say timing is everything. When they called, the timing was right and there was no way I could pass it up. The offer was too good and the opportunity more than anything was too great.” 

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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