Kirk Herbstreit will pull off quite a juggling act each week during the upcoming football season.
First, he’ll call Amazon’s Thursday Night Football with Al Michaels. The following Saturday morning, Herbstreit will be on site for ESPN College GameDay. Then from there, it’s off to the Saturday night college football game he’ll call with Chris Fowler.
How Herbstreit will handle that workload is one of the biggest questions surrounding taking on the Thursday Night Football gig. Some might question whether or not a broadcaster known for college football should be calling NFL games. But Herbstreit is undoubtedly a professional and should do good work, even if he’s cramming a lot of it into three days each week.
This should probably be prefaced by baseball, hockey, and basketball broadcasters who have to call multiple games a week, many of them in different cities, scoffing at the notion that Herbstreit is taking on a massive workload.
Yet Herbstreit acknowledged during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show (via Awful Announcing) that he doesn’t know how his new work schedule will affect the routine he’s developed in his years of doing College GameDay and calling college football games for ESPN/ABC.
“The one thing I’m anxious about is getting into a routine,” he said. “I’ve just had my same routine and I’ve known what Sunday looks like, I’ve known what Mondays look like. I’ve just known it and now it’s all gonna change.
“I’ve written it down, I’ve looked at a calendar, I’ve done that several times trying to look at my Sunday. Sunday for me has always been a veg day. Just unplug. Get home at usually two in the morning and I haven’t slept. Sunday, I’m just kind of like half-awake, half-asleep, watching a game, hanging out with my wife and my kids. And now, it can’t be.”
Anyone who’s changed jobs or taken on more work, disrupting a comfortable — or reliable — routine can likely relate to Herbstreit’s anxiety over the situation. Perhaps he’ll benefit from football, pro and college, having the longest offseasons of the major sports. So he’ll certainly have time to prepare and train himself for a new schedule, rather than just jump right in.
But as Herbstreit said himself, it’s one thing to look at a calendar or schedule and think about how it will go versus actually doing the work and everything involved like watching tape, studying rosters, making calls, travel, meeting with coaches and players, etc. For some, reality can become an adjustment, one that takes weeks or months to settle into.
At least Herbstreit will be very well paid for changing his life to accommodate his new job. According to reports, he’ll earn $10 million per season from Amazon, in addition to his ESPN salary that will apparently put his total package in the same financial neighborhood as Troy Aikman and Tony Romo. He’ll just have to work more for that money.
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Stephen A. Smith Slams Washington Post For Jerry Jones Reporting
“But you’re going to bring up a photo of him when he was 14, 15 years old? 65 or 66 years ago? This is where cancel culture gets into the mix.”
After reporting from The Washington Post revealed a photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones standing on the steps of North Little Rock High School as six black students attempted to integrate in 1957, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith has slammed the outlet’s reporting and defended Jones on First Take Monday.
“I’m pretty pissed off,” said Smith. “I’m pissed off but not for reasons that people would think. I am very, very fond of Jerry Jones, and I’m not hiding that from anybody. Is his record perfect? No, but I’m pissed off because he doesn’t deserve what just happened. He doesn’t deserve it. One report, our report, said he was 14 years old. Another report said he was 15 years old. At minimum that’s 65 years ago.
“You’re going to bring up a picture of Jerry Jones standing at this protest — no question — what was happening is not something that anybody — as a black person — should be appreciative about. You had six students trying to desegregate the school,” Smith said before stating that racism is still “alive and well’ in America, noting black men especially face it daily.
“But you’re going to bring up a photo of him when he was 14, 15 years old? 65 or 66 years ago? This is where cancel culture gets into the mix. You’re making an attempt to eradicate him, what he stands for and all he has done.”
Smith continued by saying he doesn’t have a problem with the photo, and Jones’ youth changes the potential for outrage, noting if he was 30 or 35 rather than a teenager, that would be a bigger indicator of his character.
Gus Johnson: ‘Nobody Ever Told Me I Was Doing It Wrong’
“I just want to delight in the excellence of these young men and women that I have the chance to call because I know it’s so important to them because it’s important to me.”
While fans get to hear Gus Johnson call big college football and college basketball games and get to see his reactions to memorable moments, he unfortunately never gets to see his own reaction, but he just enjoys being a part of sports, such as when he called Michigan-Ohio State for FOX this past Saturday.
Johnson was a guest on The Rich Eisen Show last week and he said while calling a game, he never wants to be too controversial and he appreciates that people choose to watch him during their times of relaxation.
“They say you never see yourself, you only see a reflection. You’ve never seen your face. You’ve only seen a reflection of your face as a human being. I can’t see myself. I would love to see myself during those moments because I sometimes don’t really understand the reaction. To me, I’m just watching the game, I’m a fan. I’m a journalist and I take that seriously, but more than anything, I’m just a fan of sports. Thank God for sports.
“People for the last almost 30 years have allowed me to come into their homes during their times of relaxation, rest, to spend time with their families. That’s important to me. When I call the game, I don’t want to be too controversial. I’m not trying to be 60 Minutes. I just want to delight in the excellence of these young men and women that I have the chance to call because I know it’s so important to them because it’s important to me. It connects you to great moments in your life and in your mind.”
Before he got to FOX, Johnson was at CBS Sports from 1995-2011 calling some memorable NCAA Tournament games and NFL games that went down to the wire. In an era where criticism can be found easily, Johnson told Eisen that he never received criticism about his broadcast style from any of his bosses:
“Nobody ever told me that I was doing it wrong. That’s one thing I loved about the CBS experience. At CBS Sports, we had different kind of broadcasters. Our leader back then and still is Jim Nantz. He had his own style. We had Verne Lundquist, we had Dick Enberg there during that time. Don Criqui was there during that time. Not one time did anybody ever tell me that I wasn’t doing it right. Nobody ever said ‘Gus, don’t do it that way’. I would get negative criticism when the Internet started, but not from my bosses.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Scott Hanson Clarifies NFL RedZone Missteps During Raiders/Seahawks
Hanson believed in the moment that CBS was airing the overtime period to a national audience. But due to NFL broadcasting rules, the game was only available on select stations.
NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson ruffled feathers for many football fans Sunday when he told viewers to switch from the channel to their local CBS affiliates to see the conclusion of the Las Vegas Raiders and Seattle Seahawks game.
Unfortunately, for both viewers and Hanson, the game was only being shown in a small portion of the country, with the rest of the nation’s CBS affiliates already airing 60 Minutes. The game was also available to NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers.
Hanson took to Twitter Sunday evening to explain what happened on the air and to apologize for the miscalculation.
Hanson believed in the moment that CBS was airing the overtime period to a national audience. But due to NFL broadcasting rules, the game was only available to stations in the Las Vegas, Fresno, Sacramento, Reno, Eugene, Portland, Boise, Seattle, and Spokane markets on the west coast. Additionally, the game was available in Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, and Charlotte.
He apologized for the mistake and said he would have more details at a later date.