One of the new voices that you will hear as an analyst on FOX’s NFL coverage this season is former USC and eight-year NFL veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez will be the color commentator with Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Laura Okmin (sideline reporter) when their season begins with 49ers vs. Lions in Week 1.
On the latest episode of the Green Light with Chris Long podcast (52 minute mark), Sanchez was asked how about the opportunity to go from doing studio work with ESPN to now being a part of the game action for FOX. He said he was nervous, but became comfortable very quickly.
Even more interesting is that Sanchez revealed that he wasn’t exactly a broadcasting free agent when the opportunity to leave ESPN came his way. He had two years on his contract at Disney, but still auditioned for multiple networks.
“I auditioned for CBS, auditioned for FOX. Boom, negotiations started with FOX,” Sanchez told Long. “I called everybody at ESPN and said this is the direction I’m going and they were great. They wished me the best and I was very appreciative to them because I knew they had prepared me for this moment…This was the right move for me.”
To prepare for this season, Sanchez says he has been watching great color commentators past and present and trying to learn how their strengths could work within the context of his personality.
“Watching old Madden clips, watching old Gruden clips. Watching Phil Simms, Tony Romo. You pick little things that you love about each of them. At the end of the day, I got to be me. I got to have fun doing it…I’m a little self-deprecating. Hopefully I have good insight on something, but I want the game to be fun.”
The other part of preparation was that Sanchez had Kugler at his house this summer to talk about their expectations for each other and they watched a Jaguars-Jets preseason game that Kugler called with Mark Brunell in which Sanchez was playing QB for the Jets.
Sanchez knows the expectations that comes with this job and that he sometimes is going to have to call out a bad performance from a player and he hopes they don’t take it personally:
“I think there is a fine art to it. Some guys are better at it than others. At the end of the day, you really got to criticize the performance and not the person. Once you start getting into the person, that’s a little out of bounds. The other thing is I try not to take anything personally as a player. Hopefully, these guys do the same thing.”
In addition to calling NFL games, Sanchez will also be doing some studio work for FS1. It will be interesting to watch the next chapter of his career as he goes from quarterback to studio analyst to taking on a new challenge and calling games from the booth.
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.