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SiriusXM, Chris Russo Podcast Chronicles NCAA Tournament in 1970s and ’80s

The first of five episodes in the weekly series will focus on the 1979 national championship featuring Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

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With March Madness on the horizon, SiriusXM is giving listeners a chance to learn about the rich history of the NCAA Tournament.

The streaming radio giant is teaming up with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo to present an original podcast series called Digging Up The Past, and the first of five episodes in the weekly series will focus on the 1979 national championship. The debut episode is now available on the SiriusXM app.

In the Tournament final, Magic Johnson and Michigan State faced off against Larry Bird and Indiana State. That game, according to Sirius, remains the most-watched NCAA Tournament broadcast of all time.

Sirius says future episodes in the series will have Russo interviewing guests about the expanding TV coverage on CBS that eventually led to the Tournament becoming the television juggernaut it is today. Russo also plans to talk about the rise of the Big East Conference and the classic national title games of the 1980s, in addition to the sports’s great coaches who participated.

Among the coaches featured in the series will be Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun, Larry Brown of Kansas, and Seton Hall’s P.J. Carlesimo. Players interviewed include Indiana’s Keith Smart, Glen Rice of Michigan, Kansas’s Danny Manning, Ed Pinckney of Villanova, and NC State’s Dereck Whittenberg. Broadcasters Bill Raftery and Billy Packer will also be guests on the podcast.

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Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO

“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

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Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).

DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.

Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

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Pat McAfee Didn’t Know He Was Wrestling a Steer on College GameDay

“Showed up there, no clue, I thought I was watching their team practice, their team wasn’t practicing.”

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College GameDay was in Big Sky Country over the weekend, and co-host Pat McAfee had a pretty memorable trip.

During one of the segments on the show, McAfee ended up wrestling a steer in front of the Montana State rodeo team.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Monday, Pat said he learned what he was going to be doing, including the technique to bring the 500-pound animal to the ground, right when he got there.

“I had no idea I was doing this 45 minutes ago – no clue,” McAfee said. “Showed up there, no clue, I thought I was watching their team practice, their team wasn’t practicing. They just put that together for me.”

Pat, who often says with his rise to fame as a media personality that he has the “Dumbest life,” said right before the steer was released he had a moment.

“At that moment, I’m going eye to eye with this steer – why am I doing this? Actually, why am I doing it?” he said.

McAfee, who does his show from his studio in Indianapolis, added that even when he arrived in Montana for production meetings on Friday that he didn’t know he would be meeting up with the rodeo team for a segment. He said the Montana State rodeo team’s facility was probably a 40-minute drive from the GameDay set.

“I had no idea I was going out there either,” he said. “Drive out there, I’m like ‘Holy f–k what am I doing?'”

Still, Pat expressed his gratitude for the hospitality he was shown and that he got a small taste of the rodeo and ranching life.

“I have the utmost respect for those cowboys out there,” he said. “Legit.”

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Jeff Passan Now Breaking News On Instagram After Noting Twitter Instability

Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”.

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ESPN MLB reporter Jeff Passan has begun pushing some of his breaking news stories on his Instagram in addition to his Twitter account after noting the social media platform’s instability.

In a tweet on Saturday, November 12th, Passan shared that the Houston Astros and reliever Rafael Montero had agreed to a new contract, with details on his Instagram page. In a follow up message, Passan said “I have no idea if Twitter is going to be around today, tomorrow, next week, next year” and said he wanted fans to have a “break-glass-in-case-of-emergency-plan”, should the worst happen on Twitter.

Many accused Passan of grandstanding, and “virtue signaling” for “boycotting” a platform now owned by Elon Musk. There have been unsubstantiated reports of Twitter’s volatility under Musk’s ownership.

Last week, though, Passan continued posting breaking news to his Instagram account.

Passan appears to be the first ESPN news breaker to make a shift, however slight, to an alternate platform from Twitter.

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