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Mike Florio Tried to Scare NBC Away From Partnering With Pro Football Talk

“You just got to talk about whatever comes out, and you have to sound like you know what you are talking about.”

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Over the last 20 years, Mike Florio has gone from a lawyer in West Virginia to being the founder of Pro Football Talk and being one of the top NFL insiders in the business. Now, he is also an author, as his book Playmakers: How the NFL Really Works (And Doesn’t) was released recently.

Florio was a guest on The Adam Schein Podcast this week to talk about the book, his career, and some of the trades that happened in the NFL involving Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz. He mentioned that when he was doing radio spots in the early years of Pro Football Talk, it helped him become better as a lawyer as well:

“I started doing radio spots very early on,” said Florio. “I love doing radio spots because I looked at it this way. It was a way to market the business without it being an obvious advertisement. I didn’t have to pay for it. All I had to do was talk about football for 15 minutes and whoever happened to listen to it, here is the name of the website 4-5 times and maybe they go check it out.

“I was practicing law at the time and you have to talk on your feet on a regular basis when you do that. One thing I learned is that all the radio I was doing was actually making me better in court because you learn how to get comfortable operating with no net whatsoever, no notes, you just got to talk about whatever comes out, and you have to sound like you know what you are talking about.”

Once Dan Patrick left ESPN, Florio was a guest on his show. However in July 2010, he got an unexpected offer from the show. He thought he would just be a guest as the fill-in host when Patrick took a week off, but it ended up being a new opportunity for him.

“It was 2010. I was already with NBC, but I wasn’t a regular weekly member and didn’t know where this all was going to go,” Florio recalled. “Dan’s people called me in July 2010 and said Dan’s off next week, can you come on the show? I was like sure, whoever the replacement host is, just have him call me.

“They were like no, no, you’re the host. Time out. It’s one thing to talk for 10 minutes; for 3 hours, there’s no way, no how I can do that, but I did it. I was over-prepared for it. I had way too many notes and I was scared to death. I had no idea what a hard break was.”

Florio went on to explain that he ended up taking a hard break a minute earlier than he was supposed to. He ended up learning from it and is now one of the hosts of Pro Football Talk Live with Chris Simms and he’s part of the NBC Football Night In America crew every Sunday night during the season. 

Before Florio was on TV, NBC Sports tried to make a pitch for ProFootballTalk to be a part of NBCSports.com in 2009 and while Florio tried to scare them away in a parallel to a Seinfeld episode. However, it ended up becoming a key part of the website:

“When NBC, which was woefully behind its competitors on the dot com side, they didn’t have much of a presence on NBCSports.com. It was run by people who had Olympics background and didn’t care about football, baseball, basketball, etc. Rick Cordella, who is now the Chief Revenue Officer of Peacock, he was in charge of NBCSports.com and he called me in January 2009 and he made the pitch about how he wants to partner with PFT. I tried to scare him away. I didn’t want to do it.”

While Florio was afraid to do it, he said it was the best professional move that he ever made to join the NBC Sports family. 

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Alex Cohen, Voice of the Iowa Cubs, to Make Major League PBP Debut This Weekend

“Thrilled to be on the call for a pair of Cubs games starting this weekend!”

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Photo Courtesy: Alex Cohen on LinkedIn

Alex Cohen, who has been the voice of the Iowa Cubs for the last seven seasons, is getting called up to the big leagues. For the first time ever, Cohen will call Major League Baseball when he fills in for Jon Sciambi on Marquee Sports Network this Sunday. He has also been told he will have a second game on July 19.

“Thrilled to be on the call for a pair of Cubs games starting this weekend!” Cohen posted on his X account. “So appreciative of Marquee Sports Network and the Iowa Cubs for the opportunity. Will wax poetically about it all later, but until then…Thank you all and can’t wait for Sunday in St. Louis and Friday at Wrigley!”

Cohen was named Ballpark Digest’s 2023 Broadcaster of the Year award. He calls all 150 home and road games for the Cubs Triple-A affiliate on AM 940 in Des Moines and does select games on TV as well. Cohen has previously done some Cubs Spring Training games on Marquee as well as 670 The Score.

Cohen also does work for Iowa State and handles many of their broadcasts on ESPN+. In addition to working with Marquee he has also done work for the Big Ten Network.

Cohen is a 2011 graduate of Indiana University who served as the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Rookie Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He then headed to manage broadcasting and media relations for the Bowling Green Hot Rods, the Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

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FOX Sports Sets NFL Announcing Teams for 2024

Tom Brady will make his regular season debut with Burkhardt when FOX Sports airs the Dallas Cowboys-Cleveland Browns game on September 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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During this NFL offseason, most of the broadcaster talk has been centered around the arrival of Tom Brady as part of the No. 1 team on FOX Sports with Kevin Burkhardt. Recently it was revealed that Greg Olsen, who had been working with Burkhardt, would be paired with Joe Davis for the upcoming season. Now, based on a report from Andrew Marchand, we know who the rest of the teams will be.

Davis had been working with Daryl Johnston, however ‘Moose’ is now going to be paired with Kevin Kugler. Kugler had previously worked with former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez, but Sanchez will now be the analyst for Adam Amin.

That means Mark Schlereth will have a new partner as he had been working with Amin. Schlereth will now work with veteran play-by-play announcer Chris Myers. The only team that will stay intact from last season is the pairing of longtime FOX Sports NFL announcer Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma.

Tom Brady will make his regular season debut with Burkhardt when FOX Sports airs the Dallas Cowboys-Cleveland Browns game on September 8 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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NBC Sports Announces Open Championship Coverage Plans

Luke Donald, former World No. 1 and current captain for the European Ryder Cup team, joins Dan Hicks as an analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Open Championship.

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From July 18-21, the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, Scotland will receive extensive live coverage from NBC Sports, Peacock, and USA Network.

Throughout the course of the tournament, NBC Sports will offer over 50 hours of live coverage from Thursday to Sunday, with a total of more than 200 hours from Royal Troon including featured groups, featured holes, and Golf Central Live from The Open studio coverage.

Luke Donald, former World No. 1 and current captain for the European Ryder Cup team, joins Dan Hicks as an analyst for NBC Sports’ coverage of the Open Championship. This will be his second time serving as an analyst with NBC Sports, after previously debuting at the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches and the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year.

The upcoming tournament will be Mike Tirico’s 26th time broadcasting the Open Championship, and his fourth time at Royal Troon. He first broadcasted the event at this location back in 1997 when Justin Leonard was crowned champion.

The play-by-play pairings for the tournament in addition to Hicks and Donald will be Tirico with Brad Faxon, Terry Gannon and Paul McGinley along with Steve Sands and Notah Begay III.

John Wood, Smylie Kaufman, Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay and Curt Byrum will serve as on-course reporters and Cara Banks will handle player interviews.

NBC Sports will enhance their extensive coverage of the Open Championship with live broadcasts of selected groups on Peacock, featuring two morning and two afternoon groups each day. Peacock will also provide a dedicated feed for the iconic par-3 ‘Postage Stamp’ 8th hole throughout the tournament.

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