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Desmond Howard: I Had More To Say About Player Opt Outs Than College GameDay Would Allow

“If you watch the segment, I even mentioned that you guys are running right through that red light and I am sitting here playing by the rules.”

Ricky Keeler

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MLive.com

Before the New Year’s Day bowl games began, the main topic of conversation on College Gameday that had the sports world buzzing was the idea of players opting out of bowl games. The comments made by Kirk Herbstreit, David Pollack, and Desmond Howard were met with many criticisms to the point where Herbstreit had to go to social media to clarify some of his comments. Here is the full segment in case you missed it: 

Howard appeared on Keyshawn, J-Will, and Max (hosted by Alan Hahn and Harry Douglas on Monday) towards the end of Monday’s show (around the 30 minute mark). The former Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP mentioned that he had much more to say during that segment, but due to time constraints from producers, he wasn’t able to give a good portion of his take.

“If you watch the segment, I had a lot to say but I didn’t say it because as you guys know, we have producers and the producers are in our ears and I made the comment on-air that I am playing by the rules of the producer who is telling us to wrap-wrap-wrap but they kept going meaning Kirk, David, and Rece Davis because he just wanted to get further explanations of things that were being said. I had a lot more to say because I have strong opinions about this. If you watch the segment, I even mentioned that you guys are running right through that red light and I am sitting here playing by the rules.”

During the segment on KJZ, Howard wanted to make his opinion very clear to the point that it extended into the final commercial break of the show as he talked about what he hears from people he talks to in college football about the competitive spirit or lack thereof from some players.

“When you look at these kids nowadays and it’s not just the opting out, let’s go back to the transfer portal,” Howard said. “Those of us who do this for a living, we talk to coaches, you talk to coordinators, you talk to people in the program. They like to talk about how some of these kids, not all of them. The competitive spirit for some of these kids isn’t as strong and that’s why you see the transfer portal is now the cup runneth over so to speak.

“It’s crazy the amount of kids in the transfer portal because kids who don’t want to compete, they kind of feel entitled whether they were told this during the recruiting process or not that they were going to be starters…They don’t seem to want to stay there and compete, they jump ship a lot. The competitive spirit doesn’t seem to be there based on the people who are involved with these programs and the conversations we are having with some of them. That kind of trickles down to the bowls.”

As a former player, Howard says he is an advocate for players and he likes the fact that players can make their own decisions whether people agree with them or not because he hates they are being exploited.

“I understand why some players opt out. Do I agree with it every time? No I don’t always agree with it because I don’t think it’s great for the sport in certain circumstances. It just sets a bad precedent moving forward for a lot of these bowl games.”

Yes, College Gameday has a lot of stories and topics to get into in a three-hour span before games begin, but with the comments that were being made from the panel, you wonder if maybe they should have re-visited the player opt-out topic in another segment to allow more time to clarify statements. Still, at least Howard got the chance to say what he wanted to say on a different ESPN show. 

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Bob Costas Gets Choked Up While Telling a Vin Scully Story

“Just the pure love and connection was so touching,” Costas said.

Jordan Bondurant

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Bob Costas

The sports world was saddened to learn of broadcasting legend Vin Scully’s passing on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, tributes across sports media to the Dodgers icon came pouring in. Some could only hold in their emotions to the news but so well.

Bob Costas appeared on High Heat on MLB Network to remember his friend, and when talking about a particular memory that stood out in his mind, Costas got choked up.

The memory was from November 2016 when Scully received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then President Barack Obama. Costas said Scully invited him and his wife Jill to attend the ceremony at the White House.

After the ceremony, and following an interview for CBS Sunday Morning, Costas said something wonderful happened.

“When Vin Scully walked back out of the Rose Garden and back into the White House, the conductor of the Marine Corps Band spots him and immediately he cues the band to play Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Costas said. “But then he hands Vin the baton and Vin steps up on the podium and he’s at least figuratively conducting the Marine Corps Band.”

Costas said Scully’s wife, Sandy, photographed the moment, and then Costas started tearing up.

“Just the pure love and connection was so touching,” Costas said.

In the moment, Costas caught himself and tried to regain his composure.

“I can’t believe I’m choking up,” he said. “You’re not supposed to do that. Be professional, Bob.”

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Joe Buck Says He Tried to Convince Vin Scully to Call Part of the World Series on FOX

“If I could somehow… pay homage to somebody who’s that great and let them take my spot, man that would’ve been in the weirdest way one of the highlights of my career,” he said.

Jordan Bondurant

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Vin Scully

Vin Scully is widely regarded as one of the greatest broadcasters ever and for good reason.

Even in his later years, Scully still knew how to captivate an audience while riding solo in the broadcast booth.

Joe Buck, remembering Scully in an interview on the Sports Media podcast with Richard Deitsch, said he did his darndest to try and get Vin in the booth during the World Series one more time.

“I tried to go through intermediaries to get him to do it,” Buck said. “I said we’ll make it as easy as possible.”

But Buck said it was likely the fact that Scully didn’t want to be a distraction and work with people he’s unfamiliar with that it never happened.

“You’re coming into a completely foreign situation, and now somebody’s talking in your ear, you have no idea who the hell that is, you’re working with a director you’ve never worked with, and you’re working with an analyst you’ve never worked with and what have you,” Buck said. “But just his voice and that cadence and that rhythm and that ability to just weave stories in and whatever would’ve been so great.”

Had the moment happened, Buck said there would’ve been zero chance he’d have stayed in the booth with Scully.

“I would’ve been in the lunchroom watching it,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been hovering. I would have been gone.”

Buck, like so many others in sports media, had a unique relationship with Scully. Buck said he felt like giving Vin one more chance to be on the microphone for a World Series game was the best thing he could’ve done to recognize an icon.

“If I could somehow, because I saw it in my own home, pay homage to somebody who’s that great and let them take my spot, man that would’ve been in the weirdest way one of the highlights of my career,” he said.

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ESPN Will Honor Vin Scully By Airing Iconic 1988 World Series Game 1 Tonight

ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series as a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scull

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Vin Scully

ESPN will air an encore presentation of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series as a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully. The network will air the game tonight, August 3 at 8pm ET on ESPN2.

The 1988 World Series was between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics. Scully was on the call for the classic game which is notable for an injured Kirk Gibson coming off the bench and hitting a walk-off home run.

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