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The Big Lead Names Maria Taylor Sports Media Personality Of 2021

The Big Lead has announced their picks for the sports media awards of the year.

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It was another big year in sports media, and The Big Lead staff has announced their picks for the sports media awards of the year.

The Sports Personality of the year went to NBC Sports’ Maria Taylor. Taylor was surrounded by controversy this whole year, but remained professional and on her game regardless. Taylor also made a move this year after 8 years at ESPN. She has been a part of Summer Olympics coverage as well as the host of Football Night in America, and will contribute heavily to this year’s Super Bowl coverage on the network. Taylor beat out Dan Le Batard, Stephen A. Smith, and Mike Greenberg for the award.

The best Radio Show of the year went to The Pat McAfee Show, beating out The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Tiki and Tierney, and The Dan Patrick Show. McAfee has really emerged this year as a staple in the sports radio world with his natural charisma and humor that turns any guest into an interesting listen.

The Biggest Sports Media Acquisition went to Peyton and Eli Manning for their role in the Manningcast, ESPN 2’ss alternate feed for Monday Night Football. The NFL and ESPN hit a gold mine this year with a new and interesting format to a familiar product. Many other networks and sports leagues will be trying to replicate their success for years to come. The Manning brothers beat out some other notable acquisitions for the award including Ariel Helwani, Drew Brees, and Maria Taylor.

Here is a list of the other awards that were given out throughout the year by The Big Lead.

Best Game Analyst: Jeff Van Gundy

Best Play-by-Play Announcer: Joe Buck

Newcomer of the Year: Aqib Talib

Sportswriter of the Year: Tyler Tynes

Best Podcast: Pardon My Take

Insider of the Year: Adam Schefter

Best Sports Media Reporter: Andrew Marchand

Most Versatile Sports Media Member: Mina Kimes

Sports Media Event of the Year: Dan Le Batard for “Freedumb”

Sports Book Author of the Year: Mirin Fader

Best Studio Show: NFL RedZone

Best Sports Television Series: Formula 1: Drive to Survive

Meme of the Year: Brooks Koepka vs. Bryson DeChambeau

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jackie MacMullan

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

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An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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