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Trent Dilfer Explains Broadcasting Influences

“Dilfer told Wingo that he was one of four people that helped to make him a better broadcaster.”

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You might remember Trent Dilfer as a Super Bowl winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, being the head coach of the Elite 11 program, and who is now the head coach for Lipscomb Academy in Tennessee. However, Dilfer was part of the NFL media from 2006-2017. To be fair, you probably remember that too.

Dilfer was Wingo’s guest on the latest episode of Trey Wingo Presents: Half-Forgotten History podcast. In addition to talking about his playing career, Dilfer mentioned how he met former ESPN analysts Trey Wingo and Mark “Stink” Schlereth (now at FOX). 

Jim Kelly and Dilfer met Wingo and Schlereth at a bar in Detroit during the week of Super Bowl 40 when Dilfer was working for NFL Network and one compliment Dilfer and Kelly gave changed the way Wingo viewed NFL Live, the show he had only started hosting for a couple of years at the time (began in 2003).

“NFL Live had started in 2003. We thought we were doing ok. You guys came up to Stink and I and you guys were like we love your show because you guys talk about football the way we as football players talk about football. For a guy who was a terrible football player, but always wanted to be a great football player, that was the best thing you could have ever said to me. It was the first time I realized man, we might be doing something good here,” said Wingo. 

Trent Dilfer told Wingo that he was one of four people that helped to make him a better broadcaster.

“I tell people all the time, I learned everything from Rich Eisen, you, and then admired Stink. Tried to copy Stink. I didn’t work a ton with Stink because we didn’t work a ton of shows together. Then, I would add Steve Levy to that too.

“Rich kind of taught me what it looked like because I was still playing. Rich was great because he was a truth-teller. Then, I spent hours upon hours with you and you corrected me all the time. You affirmed the things I did well and corrected the things I didn’t. Then, you would turn me over to Stink and be like watch how he does it because he is awesome at what he does.”

The one piece of advice that Levy gave Trent Dilfer ended up helping him improve as an analyst on TV.

“Levy told me go back home when you are done with TV and listen to yourself with your back turned to the TV and then watch yourself with the sound off…All of a sudden, I wasn’t running words together, my eyes weren’t looking all over the place, I wasn’t looking at the wrong camera, I was slower with my pace, doing the TV things. I tell people all the time I owe you guys so much.”

To this day, Dilfer still tells former football players that they should try to do television when their playing career ends.

“I have so many great relationships with the people at ESPN, it’s a great career. Players transition, they say should I go to TV? I say absolutely yes.”

Sports TV News

Erin Andrews, Charissa Thompson Admit They’ve Made Up Sideline Reports

“Former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler was the featured guest on the show, and at one point he was asked about questions reporters asked that annoyed him the most.”

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EXTRA

Being a sideline reporter or just reporting in general, particularly with poor-performing teams, can be a challenge.

Often, no matter how a reporter forms the question, a coach or player isn’t going to give the full in-depth answer the reporter was hoping for. But when the interviewee doesn’t give the answer a reporter wants to hear, that puts the reporter in a difficult situation. On the most recent edition of the podcast Calm Down with Erin and Charissa, sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson admitted they’ve had to make up reports based on the answers, or non-answers, they were given.

Former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler was the featured guest on the show, and at one point he was asked about questions reporters asked that annoyed him the most. He answered that often it was a question along the lines of “What happened” or “Why did you throw a pass there” on a particular play.

“Sometimes the receiver just fell down, but you can’t be like, ‘Hey, the receiver fell down,’” he said. “You can’t be like, ‘You know what, the O.C. called an awful play, and I just ran it.’…You can’t say those things.”

As the conversation continued, and Cutler talked about having his own conversations with coaches breaking down what happened on the field, that’s when Thompson made the admission.

At the time, she was a newer reporter and covered the Detroit Lions during the 2008 season, when the Lions went 0-16. When things were going tough, then-head coach Rod Marinelli would tell her things like, “That’s a great perfume you’re wearing,” when Thompson would ask about making adjustments at halftime.

“I was like ‘oh f**k, this isn’t gonna work,” she said. “I’m like, alright I’ve got to make up a report. I’m not kidding, I made up a report.”

Andrews added that she, too, had to do the same thing because “he was telling me all the wrong stuff.”

“You’re not going to say anything that’s going to put them in a bad spot,” Thompson said.

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Sports TV News

Mike Tirico To Return From Beijing To Host Super Bowl

“The plan is to have Tirico on location in Beijing for the first seven days of the Olympics. He’ll then fly to Los Angeles in time to host the network’s primetime coverage on Friday, February 11.”

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USA Today Sports

NBC Sports host Mike Tirico is going to log a metric ton of frequent flier miles at the beginning of February, as the network gears up to present two of the world’s biggest sporting events all within a span of a couple weeks.

The 2022 Winter Olympics are set to open on February 4. Given the time difference between the East Coast here in the U.S. and China’s capital city, American audiences will be seeing things unfold beginning February 3.

The plan is to have Tirico on location in Beijing for the first seven days of the Olympics. He’ll then fly to Los Angeles in time to host the network’s primetime coverage on Friday, February 11. Mike Tirico will be presenting from a special set located outside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where Super Bowl LVI will take place on Sunday, February 13.

He’ll host Olympic coverage on Saturday night and then host NBC’s five-hour Super Bowl pre-game coverage the next day. But he won’t be done when pre-game coverage is done, as he’ll then go back to the Olympic set to host the primetime show.

“It is a career highlight to host the biggest sports broadcast day any media company has ever undertaken,” Mike Tirico said in a statement. “The foundation of our Olympic and NFL productions are the incredible people behind the camera. It is their planning and excellence that make this possible.”

“Mike’s knowledge, preparation and ability to converse on anything from figure skating to football are second-to-none,” added NBC Olympics Production president and executive producer Molly Solomon. “We are counting down until it all begins next month.”

Thankfully, it doesn’t appear that Tirico will have to make a return flight to China for the final days of the Olympics. But the man will undoubtedly deserve a long break from TV hosting duties when all is said and done.

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Sports TV News

Joel Klatt: I ‘Should’ve Pushed Back’ On Kayvon Thibodeaux

“Klatt didn’t go into detail about why he chose to apologize the following day, but on Thursday he took to Twitter to acknowledge that he shouldn’t have let Thibodeaux’s comments about the University of Alabama go unchallenged.”

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Kayvon Thibodeaux will be one of the first three players off the board when the NFL Draft rolls around. In an interview with FOX’s Joel Klatt, Thibodeaux explained that it was thinking about life after football that lead him to choose the University of Oregon over the University of Alabama. He told Klatt that Oregon’s association with Nike made him feel like it was the smarter long-term choice.

Explaining his choice in that way is barely noteworthy, particularly in the age of Name, Image and Likeness deals for college athletes. It was Kayvon Thibodeaux’s further explaining why he did not want to go to the University of Alabama that drew the ire of some fans.

“For me, I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks. Now, do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard,” Thibodeaux said.

He would go on to say that he didn’t “know if my degree would mean anything” if he had chosen to play his college football in Tuscaloosa.

Klatt didn’t push back at all. In fact, he said that Kayvon Thibodeaux had “a great perspective” on his college decision.

That opened the floodgates of criticism for the FOX Sports college football analyst. Klatt didn’t go into detail about why he chose to apologize the following day, but on Thursday he took to Twitter to acknowledge that he shouldn’t have let Thibodeaux’s comments about the University of Alabama go unchallenged.

This seems like a non-issue at this point. Kayvon Thibodeaux is leaving college for the NFL, so aside from maybe hearing it from teammates that spent their college years in Alabama, he never has to worry about crossing paths with the school. Joel Klatt works for FOX, which does not have a rights deal with the SEC.

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