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Viewers Call Out ESPN For How MNF Crew Talked About Ben Roethlisberger

“Many viewers did not respond well to the comments and believed Roethlisberger was being wrongly admired.”

Will Dundon

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Last night Ben Roethlisberger played what is assumed to be his final game in Heinz Field.  Roethlisberger walked out of the tunnel to a special ovation, heard the roar of the crowd when he kneeled in victory formation, and had an emotional post-game interview.

Everyone was praising Big Ben and his legendary career including the Monday Night Football Broadcast crew.

A part of Roethlisberger’s legacy that was not touched on specifically were the sexual assault allegations made against him earlier in his career.

Roethlisberger was accused once in 2008 and again in 2010 of raping women.  The first was settled out of court in 2012 and the criminal charges were not pursued in 2010 due to the Baldwin County district attorney claiming at the time they “don’t have enough evidence to prosecute.”  He was however, suspended by the NFL for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

These allegations, although never charged, became a major part of the Steelers QB’s reputation in the minds of many.  Due to multiple Super Bowls and the continued winning of the franchise others seem to overlook them.  As Roethlisberger aged, his image also changed along with fans’ opinions of him.  He grew into the living legend type role as he remained in the league even in his older age.

Every now and then opposing fans or markets will bring up these accusations.  700 WLW, a sports radio station in Cincinnati, once ran a “Big Ben warning” for women in 2016.

During the MNF broadcast, as the announcers were praising the quarterback, the allegations seemed to be the elephant in the room.  While it may have been uncomfortable to mention, Brian Griese did say this, “Ben was immature at times,” said Brian Griese during the broadcast. “He made mistakes. And this fan base loves him and will always support him.”

Many viewers did not respond well to the comments and believed Roethlisberger was being wrongly admired. They were upset that he seemed to be being treated like a hero while they believed he should be looked at in less appreciation.

While it should again be noted that he was never charged with any crimes, these allegations are in fact something that will always be attached to the legacy of the Steelers’ QB.

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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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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