June 11, 1997. Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls. Michael Jordan is battling symptoms of the flu, and, despite pleas from his team and family, decides to play the game anyway. Playing 44 minutes, Jordan put up a performance for the ages, scoring 38 points on five assists and three steals. In the contest notoriously referred to as the “Flu Game,” the Chicago Bulls took a three-to-two series lead over the Utah Jazz, and would go on to win the NBA Finals two nights later at home, giving Jordan his fifth of six N.B.A. championships.
September 30, 2021. Tampa, Fla. Prior to the immensely-promoted matchup between Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots, parallels could undeniably be drawn between this event and what occurred over two decades ago. A seven-time Super Bowl champion and arguably the greatest quarterback in National Football League History, Brady will return to the place where it all started Sunday night. At practice in Tampa, Brady spoke to reporters and, like Jordan that night in 1997, sounded hoarse and under-the-weather, likely blaring alarms in the minds of both sports media outlets and football fans.
On Friday morning, “Toucher and Rich” on 98.5 The Sports Hub spoke about Brady’s demeanor, and what his illness could mean for this game, which is expected to draw a record-breaking viewing audience across multiple platforms.
“Tom Brady yesterday obviously sounded like crap,” said Rich Shertenlieb, co-host of the Boston morning drive program. “Even if he tested positive [for COVID-19], the NFL would, in no way shape or form let that go public. They’ve got too much riding on this game. The amount of money, the amount of advertisers, the amount of viewers they know they’re going to be getting on Sunday night. I do believe in shenanigans and I think they would keep that away.”
The 44-year-old quarterback is vaccinated against COVID-19; however, there remains a risk of breakthrough cases as new variants of the novel coronavirus, most notably the Delta variant, spread throughout the United States.
Aside from record-setting levels of viewership, the world of sports betting is also thriving in the days leading up to the primetime matchup.
“[The game is] already on pace for record-setting betts,” said Shertenlieb. “You take a look at how much money Vegas is bringing in, and it’s absolutely absurd. There was a report yesterday that [this game has had] 25% more bets than any other game.”
Earlier in the show, co-host Fred Toucher said, “Part of what makes sports fun is the suspension of reality.” As sports fans and citizens alike strive for some sense of normalcy after a difficult last year-and-a-half, not seeing Brady play in a matchup that has been hyped up for weeks on end, including the creation of a poignant trailer to Adele’s pop ballad “Hello,” would unequivocally be a major letdown. Sunday Night Football on NBC will be simulcast to Peacock and Universo, with pregame coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ahead of the 8:20 p.m. kickoff. In a press release, NBC called the matchup “one of the most anticipated regular-season games in NFL history.”
David Feherty Launches Weekly SiriusXM Show
“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind.”
SiriusXM announced today that David Feherty, who has been entertaining golf audiences with his witty perspective on the game for more than two decades, is joining SiriusXM to launch a new weekly show.
Feherty will team up with fellow former pro and SiriusXM host John Maginnes for Feherty and Maginnes. The show will be on Monday evenings on the SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel.
They will preview the new show this Wednesday at 5pm. The show officially starts in its new time slot on January 3rd, as the PGA TOUR season picks up steam with the Hawaii tournaments.
“I can’t wait to work with John Maginnes,” said Feherty. “He is one of my favorite people and SiriusXM will be a really fun platform for us. The over/under on both of us getting canceled is about six weeks!”
The format will include long form interviews with personalities from the world of golf with storytelling to the listeners coming from the golf expertise of Feherty and Maginnes, who both had playing careers on the PGA Tour.
“David’s unique blend of wit and golf wisdom, and his experience from a lifetime in the game, really make him one of a kind,” said Scott Greenstein, SiriusXM’s President and Chief Content Officer. “SiriusXM is the perfect platform for his many great stories and the insightful and revealing conversations he’ll have with his guests. We are thrilled to pair him up with John and bring together two terrific personalities who will deliver an entertaining, must-listen show for our listeners.”
Feherty spent time following his playing career at CBS and NBC as well as his own show on the Golf Channel.
Industry Analyst Predicts Crypto Will Surpass Gambling In Sports World
Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year.
Industry insiders have believed for quite a while that sports betting was the future for sponsorship and advertisement revenue, but it appears that there is a new venture on the rise that is quickly surpassing it.
Crypto.com made a huge statement in purchasing the Staples Center in what will be known as Crypto.com Arena come Christmas Day.
SponsorUnited Founder and President Bob Lynch believes that there is no doubt that Crypto and Blockchain will far exceed sports betting as the premiere revenue money maker for the sports industry over the next decade.
“They’re essentially buying equity,” which would be particularly valuable in an industry that is still widely doubted, Lynch said on Crypto.com’s purchase of the arena. “The Lakers and Clippers have global exposure, media value and mentions that give instant brand legitimacy with top-of-mind awareness through national/global TV exposure,”
Crypto has already started to push its way into major advertisements for key events in the world of sports. Cryptocurrency exchange FTX purchased an ad in this upcoming Super Bowl, and already has the backing of the biggest star in professional football. Tom Brady has an equity stake in the company.
Industry sources believe that crypto could grow into a $100 million dollar industry for sports television within the next year. It seems that the possibilities are endless for crypto within the sports landscape. While sports gambling certainly isn’t going away from the public eye, it could be overtaken by crypto in terms of ad spending and sponsorship visibility very soon.
Colin Cowherd: Lincoln Riley At USC Is Good For Networks
“Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches.”
Colin Cowherd is a self-professed college football fan. When the sport is interesting, he talks about it. The sport may never be more interesting than when the coaching carousel is spinning.
On Mondy’s edition of The Herd on FS1 and FOX Sports Radio, Cowherd dove in on USC’s hire of Lincoln Riley. He says that it is good for college football that Riley left Oklahoma for Los Angeles.
“My phone blew up yesterday, not only because people know I’m kind of a USC honk, but network people,” Cowherd said. “They’re like ‘do you understand how big this is for networks?’”.
Colin Cowherd pointed out that when USC is a contender, LA watches. He noted that when USC lost to Texas in the 2006 Rose Bowl, ABC scored a 22.5 rating in the city.
“The networks want USC to be good. You know why? Because New York, DC, and Boston have never watched college football. Chicago does and LA does. So the Big Ten being good is good for college football TV ratings. But LA doesn’t watch college football anymore. They will now.”
As for the hard times USC has fallen on and been stuck in mostly since Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL, Cowherd is not particularly worried. He pointed out that Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, and Notre Dame were all down before they hired the right coach. Programs at the blue blood level in the sport have a way of bouncing back quickly.
Network executives are hoping Cowherd’s assessment is correct. USC is the only brand on the West Coast capable of resonating on a national level.
The Los Angeles sports landscape has changed though. When USC was a celebrity program under Pete Carroll, the city did not have an NFL team. Now it has two. The Dodgers were not annual contenders in Major League Baseball. The Lakers had stars, but the Clippers didn’t. Now both do.
Does LA love college football enough for the Trojans to turn some heads in the city with the most stars in the sports world?
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