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Big Ten Network Names Award For Lisa Byington

“The award recipient earns a one-week professional immersion at the Big Ten Network studios in Chicago.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: Lisa Byington

Lisa Byington is breaking new broadcasting ground in more ways than one lately. The newly installed Milwaukee Bucks TV play-by-play voice became the first woman to call NBA games full time upon the hiring. Now, she has an award named after her.

Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren announced The Lisa Byington Award, which will be given to aspiring female broadcasters working on Big Ten Student U. Byington graduated from Northwestern in 1997 as a two-sport athlete in basketball and soccer. She joined the Big Ten Network in 2007 and became the first female play-by-play broadcaster for Big Ten football in 2017 and the first female play-by-play voice for an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game in 2021.

“We are incredibly grateful for all that Lisa has given us at the Big Ten Conference and through the Big Ten Network,” Warren said. “She is a pioneer in the field of sports broadcasting and a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work, passion, and dedication. Lisa has inspired countless young women, and it is our hope this award will serve as a stepping stone for the next generation of talented broadcasters.”

The award recipient earns a one-week professional immersion at the Big Ten Network studios in Chicago and has a chance to spruce up their broadcast reel with on-site producers and talent.

“Since day one at the Big Ten Network, Lisa’s work as a broadcaster and an ambassador for the Big Ten Conference has been outstanding,” said Big Ten Network President François McGillicuddy. “Along with her accomplishments and the relationships developed over nearly 15 years, this award will ensure Lisa’s impact is felt at our network and across the industry for years to come.”

Byington and the Bucks open their season on Tuesday, Oct. 19, against the Brooklyn Nets.

“I’m a broadcaster and I make my living on saying words, and I’m a little speechless right now,” Byington said. “It starts with small beginnings, and it starts with people believing in you and giving you opportunities. This award means the world and I look forward to meeting with the recipient each year and getting to know her.”

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Sports TV News

Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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