ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Clark have built a strong working relationship over their time working together at ESPN, but it wasn’t all lollipops and rainbows during the first few interactions between the two.
Clark appeared on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast this week to discuss his career with NFL players Taylor Lewan and Will Compton. Clark described one of his first times meeting Smith.
“Stephen A. was talking about how athletes want his job, and they don’t have degrees,” Clark said on the show. The LSU mass communications graduate was eager to use his schooling at ESPN and teach his new co-worker a lesson.
“I can do your job, I do have a degree, and my hairline ain’t pushed back,” Clark recalled saying on First Take. Smith was off the day Clark filled in, but he heard all about the exchange and was ready to respond. Smith returned to First Take the following day and hammered Clark for his comments, concluding with, “as for anything else, Ryan Clark knows what he can kiss.”
Clark took those comments as fighting words from the highest-paid media personality at ESPN.
“Oh, Stephen A. Smith wants to fight me? I’m gonna whip him. Straight up,” Clark told a First Take producer at the time. “All the other stuff was cool, but the man’s gonna tell me to kiss his A-S-S? That means he wants to fight me.”
The bout never happened at the Bristol, Conn. campus, and the two have fostered a cordial working relationship after Smith apologized to Clark for the comments.
“Sometimes you gotta let people know that you’re a little thrown off if you are a little thrown off,” Clark said. “Because it helps you help them, to not do anything that’s gonna get them in a fight with you.”
With Max Kellerman possibly on the way out of the First Take set, maybe Clark will be a more frequent adversary for Smith on the debate desk.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.