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Ian Eagle: I’m Not Sure TNT Will Have A And B Crews For NBA

“If the lead TNT gig were to come up, Eagle looks at balancing all of those jobs as a “jigsaw puzzle”.

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With the legendary Marv Albert no longer calling NBA games for TNT, that means there is an opening on the lead NBA broadcast crew for the 2021-22 season. One of the people that would be in line to take that position is Ian Eagle, who has called games at Turner Sports since 2010. He even was a sideline reporter for a game back in 1996. 

This week, Eagle was on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina. Eagle was asked if the open position is one he wants. He admitted that he thinks about it, but isn’t jumping to any conclusions.

“I think the way these jobs work is they don’t come around all that often. When something opens up and you think you might be a good fit, of course it crosses your mind. But, you also recognize there’s other people that feel the same way,” Eagle told Traina. “With Turner, they’re in a really advantageous position. They have a lot of great broadcasters in their stable. How it all plays out, what the pairings look like, I’m not even sure they’re necessarily going to say this is our A crew, this is our B crew. My goal is to continue and keep working for them and do big NBA games when those are available to me.” 

Of course, Eagle is known for being the play-by-play voice for the Brooklyn Nets and calling NFL games for CBS as the voice of the number two crew. If the lead TNT gig were to come up, Eagle looks at balancing all of those jobs as a “jigsaw puzzle”.

“How do you get the pieces to fit together especially when you are juggling a number of balls in the air? For me, I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I’ve had all these opportunities, but I’ve also been able to maintain them because I figure out how to make it work scheduling-wise and I don’t make it a problem for any of those companies. I try to make myself available.”

Eagle has always been grateful for the bosses that he has worked with that have allowed him to do so many things. He cited Michael McCarthy, the then President of MSG Network, being open to Eagle taking a week away from the Nets to call the NCAA Tournament in 1998 on CBS. 

McCarthy gave him the green light. In fact, it was due to CBS having most of their announcers at the Winter Olympics and NBA All-Star weekend that Eagle was able to call a college basketball game in February of that year, which led to the opportunity.

“Relationships are really important and fostering them and maintaining them and not taking them for granted. I think for me on a personal level, that’s been a big part of success. It’s not ass kissing. It’s actually finding a commonality and a common bond and doing the work that’s required to maintain the relationship. Staying in touch and checking in and finding where that fine line is of feedback and input and developing a back-and-forth.

“I can’t tell you how many times in the course of my career somebody that was in a position to make a decision that would affect my life fortunately made the decision that benefitted me based on the fact that they trusted me or they believed in me or I had built enough equity in the relationship for them to believe in me. It does take an understanding boss somewhere along the line to see the big picture. Sometimes you do get a boss that doesn’t see it that way and you have to accept that too.”

The old saying in the sports media business is it’s not what you know, but who you know. Due to Eagle being able to maintain those relationships, he has been able to be a part of so many great sporting events. 

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Kirk Herbstriet Wants To Be Held To Same Standard For NFL As College Football

“Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.”

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The NFL schedule was released last week, and Thursday Night Football has a lot of interesting matchups for its first year on Amazon Prime. It is also a new broadcast booth with Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on the call. 

With Herbstreit now adding Thursday Night Football to College Gameday, he has already started preparing for the upcoming season. Herbstreit was on The Pat McAfee Show on Friday and he said he is already at Pro Football Focus in Cincinnati doing his research.

“I’m just trying to lay a foundation,” said Herbstreit. 

Herbstreit told McAfee that whenever anyone asks him to talk about a college team, he can quickly tell them what the DNA of that team is. Now he wants to bring that level of preparation to his NFL broadcasts. He will look at a different matchup every week this summer to get a more detailed idea of what each team is about: 

As for his connection with Al Michaels, Herbstreit mentioned he has gone out to dinner with him a couple of times and he wants to make going out to eat with his broadcast partner a frequent deal.

“Hung out with him 2-3 times. Had a chance just to get to know him. When you go into a new deal, I love like Wednesday night dinner, I want to make a staple and just hang out and get to know him and hopefully he will get to know me. When you do that, it allows you to have natural chemistry.”

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Andrew Mason To Succeed John Clayton At 104.3 The Fan

“Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.”

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John Clayton passed away earlier this year. That left 104.3 The Fan without a lead Broncos writer for the 2022 season. On Monday, the station announced that it had hired a successor in Andrew Mason.

Mason comes to The Fan from DNVR, a digital outlet where he provided written and audio content for the last three seasons.

“Mase’s work speaks for itself as one of the market’s most respected analysts when it comes to writing about and discussing the Broncos,” Raj Sharan, The Fan’s program director, said in a press release. “Replacing someone of the legendary stature of John Clayton was not something we took lightly, and we believe Mase is the perfect person to pick up that mantle and bring tremendous credibility and content to our rapidly growing digital platforms.”

Andrew Mason has a lot of credibility with Broncos fans. He has covered the team for 19 years. He has also written a book called Tales from the Denver Broncos Sideline.

The Fan won’t be his first foray into Denver radio either. Mason has previously been a host on Mile High Sports Radio and the defunct KDSP- AM.

“I’m thrilled to join The Fan team and add what I can to the efforts of building Denver’s premier online destination for Denver fans,” said Mason. “Being tasked with replacing a legend like John Clayton is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I’m honored The Fan has entrusted me with this opportunity.”

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Gregg Giannotti: ‘Drew Brees Isn’t Used To Not Succeeding’

“He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

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What does the future hold for Drew Brees? Andrew Marchand reports that he is set to leave NBC. Brees himself says nothing is decided yet.

On Monday morning, Boomer & Gio discussed why the former quarterback is in this position just one year after making his broadcasting debut. Gregg Giannotti noted that if Brees was brought to NBC with the idea that he would eventually be the top game analyst, the criticism he faced last year and the network’s decision to stick with Cris Collinsworth in the Sunday Night Football booth were likely unexpected blows to his ego.

“That’s a tough spot, man, for him,” Gio said. “The guy’s been beloved his whole career. He did go through a little bit of it when people were all over his ass for saying the wrong thing one time, but here he goes. He’s succeeded at everything he’s ever done and then he gets into the booth and they kick him out after one year. It’s a tough spot.”

Boomer Esiason added that the criticism Drew Brees received for his work in the broadcast booth did not apply to his work on Football Night in America or the Sunday Night Football halftime show.

“He was good in the studio,” Boomer Esiason said. “I saw him in the studio and I liked him.”

Brees prefers calling games to work in the studio. According to Marchand’s report, that is what is at the heart of his potential exit from NBC.

The color commentator role may come with more prestige, but it isn’t easy. Esiason has experience with both positions. He calls games on the radio for Westwood One and has been a staple of CBS’s The NFL Today since 2002.

“Some guys are not meant to be game analysts, that’s all.”

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