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Sage Steele: ESPN Vaccine Mandate ‘Sick And Scary’

“The network mandated that all on-site employees must get vaccinated by Sept. 30.”

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Courtesy: Nick Caito/ESPN Images

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Sage Steele is appearing on Uncut with Jay Cutler on Wednesday, Sept. 29, and discussed her thoughts on the ESPN COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The network mandated that all on-site employees must get vaccinated by Sept. 30. Steele discussed that issue and more topics surrounding her career with Cutler.

“I respect everyone’s decision; I really do,” Steele said on the podcast. “To mandate it is sick and scary to me in many ways, but I have a job. A job that I love, and frankly, a job that I need, but again I love it. I’m not surprised it got to this point, especially with a global company like that. It was actually emotional.”

Steele has been a mainstay on ESPN’s noon SportsCenter broadcast and has helped anchor the show when they take the program on the road.

Steele shared a similar reticence with ESPN sideline reporter Allison Williams, who refused to get the shot while she and her family try to have another child.

The SportsCenter anchor can sympathize with Williams and her commitment to having a family. Steele told Cutler she passed on her first ESPN opportunity in 2004 because she wanted to have more kids.

“I was scared at the time, but I had two kids, and I wanted a third,” Steele said to Cutler. “I was pregnant with my second kid, like really out here pregnant. So they brought me up here for an interview, and you know you do the whole, let’s do a little audition and roll highlights, oh wait, the tape stopped. You know, wink, wink, sorry we’re going to test you and see how you handle it, and I think if I hadn’t been like 10 months pregnant, I probably would’ve freaked out.”

Steele nailed the audition and got the offer, but it wasn’t quite what she was looking for. In the end, things all worked out with her and ESPN.

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David Letterman’s Questions For KD Set Up To Promote Netflix Show

Kevin Durant is reportedly going to be a guest on David Letterman’s Netflix show that is coming out soon.

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Yesterday the Brooklyn Nets had their Media Day, and David Letterman came to crash the party, asking KD some comedic questions.

He started by asking Durant why people call him ”KD”. Then he followed by asking what percent effort he would give next season. Lastly, asking if he could play for both the Knicks during his off days while also playing for the Nets.

Many were unsure why David Letterman was doing this, though some had the feeling that it was a gag and the two were planning on some sort of partnership in the future.

It was also in question for many, as KD didn’t seem to be responding in a comedic matter or laughing at all. Durant does have a history of issues with some media members in the past including Jay Williams and Brandon Tierney.

However it does seem that this was a promotional thing, as Kevin Durant is reportedly going to be a guest on David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. The fourth season of the show does not have a release date yet, but Ryan Ruocco reports that when it does drop, fans can watch the Late Night legend chat with KD.

We will see if that little interview has any part in the new show or if it was just to promote the their partnership, but it certainly made for a memorable Brooklyn Nets Media day.

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MaximBet Offers NIL Deal To All Female Colorado College Athletes

“The terms of the deal last for four months, a cash payment, plus, an invite to MaximBet Max-querade Party in Denver on Saturday, Oct. 30, and merchandise.”

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Courtesy: The Carousel Group

MaximBet is trying to make a big splash as they launch their mobile sportsbook in Colorado this week. The company is offering all female student-athletes at Division I, II, and III Colorado colleges and universities an NIL deal. They are compensating them with cash, invitations to parties, merchandise, and more.

The commitment is a first in the iGaming industry; no company has proposed an offer exclusively to women sports participants at all divisions. The terms of the deal last for four months, a cash payment, plus, an invite to the MaximBet Max-querade Party in Denver on Saturday, Oct. 30. 

“We are part of the Colorado community, and we want our users to know that we support the team and athletes in their backyards,” said Doug Terfehr, VP of Brand and Communications, MaximBet. “We hope as many qualified young women who love playing for their college or university take advantage of this offer and recognize that we support them in everything they do.”

To receive the party invite and get the cash payment, the athletes must follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and send a DM with interest on whatever social media platform she prefers. The process is that simple for any DI, DII, or DIII athlete to start capitalizing off of their likeness.

Members of the NIL team must also highlight the MaximBet brand in posts on their personal social media channels. The two female athletes that receive the highest engagement from their social media posts earn an additional four-figure bonus added to their cash payment.

The process is part of a long rollout plan from MaximBet, which is now live or planning to go live in six states: Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The brand is operated by the Carousel Group which entered into a licensing deal with Maxim to use the brand’s likeness for their sportsbook. 

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Dan Dakich Joins Outkick, Rips ESPN, Matt Jones

“When asked why he was drawn to Outkick, Dakich answered that he was interested in expanding his conversations.”

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Outkick is expanding its digital audio offerings. Dan Dakich was a guest on Monday’s edition of Outkick 360, and he announced that people will soon be able to hear him more on the network. His new show, Sack Up with Dan Dakich will start next month and air from 9-11 am Eastern on weekdays.

In a nod to the BSM Top 20, Jonathan Hutton introduced Dakich by saying “Number one and number two are together again. Pleased to announce that Dan Dakich joins the Outkick network starting next month.”

When asked why he was drawn to Outkick, Dakich answered that he was interested in expanding his conversations.

“I don’t mind talking politics. I don’t mind talking about things that maybe ESPN didn’t necessarily want me talking about. I’m not gonna do games at ESPN, and that was as much my choice as their choice. I was there for ten years, I got paid for all of my games. I got to pay for seven people’s college education off of it. I got to pay for people’s chemo treatments. I got to do a ton of stuff because of the money and that’s fine, but there’s a whole world out there that I want to have influence in.”

That was not the only time ESPN was mentioned during the appearance. He described his love for radio and audience feedback as similar to his love for coaching. Success is determined by results. He said that wasn’t always the case when calling college basketball games at ESPN and that was frustrating.

“I had everyone of my bosses at ESPN tell me ‘you are the best guy we have at ESPN, period.’ And I am like ‘Okay, then why am I not doing North Carolina/Duke’ or ‘Why am I getting bumped by Vitale and Bilas to do the Indiana/Purdue game? It’s a big game.’ It’s not a meritocracy and I like meritocracy.”

As for his exit, Dakich seems very much at peace with not being part of World Wide Leader anymore. He joked that the network hiring Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio was the last straw for him.

“Once ESPN hired him, I was good with not being there. I’ll tell you that right now. Once I saw that dumb ass got hired, I was cool.”

Dan Dakich did not address the future of his show on The Fan in Indianapolis. The new Outkick show will end an hour before his local show starts. It is reasonable to assume he would do both.

He promised that even when he veered into political or social discussions, “it’s gonna be all sports based. It’s gonna be a ton of gambling.”

BSM readers may remember that Tyler McComas profiled Dakich and his attempt to work off the money he lost betting on the NCAA Tournament by delivering food for DoorDash. Dakich told Outkick 360 that he only has one more week of driving before he is at his stopping point. He also revealed that it was losing $4000 on the first round of the tournament that started that journey.

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