COVID-19 has hit the sports media world’s biggest star. Stephen A Smith tweeted out this morning ahead of ESPN’s First Take that he had an announcement for the viewers at home.
This tweet was a little misleading, as the tone of this tweet would seem like he had some positive information for the viewers this morning. The actual news was quite the opposite, as Stephen A told the viewers of First Take that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
“I’ve tested positive for COVID-19, I have the coronavirus. I learned this over the weekend,” said Smith on First Take.
Smith said that he started experiencing mild symptoms after he returned from Los Angeles, and was running a fever on Thursday evening. He was absent from the show on Monday due to his COVID diagnosis but clarified that his absence from the show on Thursday and Friday of last week was due to an endoscopy and was not COVID-19 related.
“Thank God I was vaccinated,” Smith said. “Thank God I got the Pfizer vaccine, two shots a few months ago,” said Smith. He added that he was feeling fine and had only mild symptoms from the virus.
Smith said that he will not be on the show for the rest of the week and will be ready to go for the new year next month.
To nobody’s surprise, Smith also took this opportunity to immediately lead into discussing Kyrie Irving returning to the Brooklyn Nets for road games. First Take host Molly Qerim posed the question to Stephen A. if it was the right move for the Nets to bring Kyrie Irving back to the team.
“I think that it is a horrible move. I think that it’s a disgraceful move. The Nets ownership is incredibly disappointing and I think that the league should intervene,” said Smith.
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.