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Chris Fowler: ‘I Didn’t Enjoy Last Bama vs Georgia Championship’

“I had the flu. I felt worse and worse through the day. I got a bug and had a sore throat and headache, fever, chills and all that.”

Will Dundon

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Chris Fowler is one of the busiest men on the planet right now.  He’s in the midst of an 11-day stretch in which he will have called a College Football Playoff semifinal game in Miami, an epic Rose Bowl between Ohio State and Utah, an NFL Week 18 finale between the Chiefs and Broncos, and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Then he’ll jump right into preparation for the Australian Open.

Fowler told The Big Lead that no matter how tired or jet lagged he is, watching Alabama and Georgia play for the national championship will be a much more pleasant experience in 2022 than it was in 2018 when the two teams met in Atlanta.

I had the flu. I felt worse and worse through the day. I got a bug and had a sore throat and headache, fever, chills and all that. It got worse during the game, to be honest with you. What I remember about that is when Alabama’s kicker missed a field goal to win it. You set it all up. Here’s the story. Alabama is going to come from behind to win it and break Georgia’s heart. He misses the kick so the game goes to overtime.

“I remember thinking ‘uh-oh, my fuel tank is empty.‘ Mentally and physically I somehow have to keep going now. Adrenaline gets you through it but overtime is a very unique thing in college football, especially if a championship is on the line. It could be a once-in-a-career thing and it can literally end on any play. It requires another level of focus and concentration.”

The game ended when Tua Tagovailoa found Devonta Smith in the endzone on a 2nd and 26 to give Bama a 26-23 victory. It was a moment that has been shown over and over again and held up as one of the signature moments of the College Football Playoff era. Fowler wishes he could have taken it all in that way.

“If I have a regret about that championship game, it’s that I wasn’t able to enjoy it. Honestly, it should be pure enjoyment. When you’re lucky enough to have that assignment, you hope to have your fastball, have relaxed intensity. [Laughs] And I just couldn’t get there. There was just no way, I felt so sick I wasn’t enjoying it. I plan to enjoy every play of it Monday night.”

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3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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