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Chris Berman & Trey Wingo Thought The NFL Draft Would Fail In Primetime

“I was like this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I can’t believe they are going to try to compete against primetime television.”

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Over the years at ESPN, Chris Berman has had the opportunity to cover numerous events in many different sports. So, which event for him was the toughest to cover?

He recently revealed on the Trey Wingo Presents: Half-Forgotten History podcast with that the toughest event to cover was the NFL Draft, which he hosted for ESPN from 1985-2016. However, it’s not the actual event itself that was the toughest, but the prep for the event.

“It’s the 3 weeks leading up to it where I don’t follow college football,” Boomer said. “Saturday is a prep day for us. I am aware of who won and lost games. I couldn’t tell you this guy is the best or second-best center.”

Berman gave a lot of credit to the GMs who would help him in his prep by giving some insight as to what they were thinking. He knew that despite not having a lot of prep time, that wasn’t an excuse to ace covering the event: 

“It reminded me of why I never went to grad school. It’s a course you have to ace and you are doing it the last 3 weeks. If you talk to these GMs in March, their grades are completely different on April 15. I didn’t do that knowing I wasted everyone’s time. I got to ace this test and I’ve done none of the work, but I can’t get a B on it. That sounds like grad school to me.”

Both Berman and Wingo reflected on when the NFL Draft first moved to primetime in 2010 and they were not sure it was going to work, but the NFL proved them both wrong: 

“I’ll give the NFL credit on this. I thought it was a dumb idea,” said Wingo. “I was like this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I can’t believe they are going to try to compete against primetime television. This is going to be a disaster. It turned out to be the exact opposite and a massive home run.” 

“I don’t know if I thought it would be a massive disaster, but I went oh, really pushing the envelope. I still wondered if we are just going to make the first round and just do that and celebrate it like it’s the coronation of Queen Elizabeth III,” said Berman. “But, it worked.” 

This podcast is a good trip down memory lane of past NFL Drafts from two men who were hosts of the event. Berman knew in his early years of hosting the NFL Draft that there was major potential for it to grow into the spectacle it is now.

“This was an oasis from Groundhog Day until the beginning of August. All football fans gathered with us and I felt an obligation, as did all of our folks behind the scenes, we are sponsoring/hosting a gathering place for football fans in America in April and it’s pretty cool.”

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Peter King: ‘Tom Brady Needs To Study Cris Collinsworth’

“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”

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Peter King dedicated a not-insignificant portion of his “Football Morning in America” column this week to advice for Tom Brady. FOX announced last week that the Buccaneers’ quarterback will become the network’s lead NFL analyst upon his retirement.

Brady’s decision and his reported salary have been the source of much speculation and prediction amongst his soon-to-be colleagues.

King is optimistic that Tom Brady will be entertaining and informative when he makes his FOX debut. He did offer the GOAT a little bit of advice about what he should be doing in the months leading up to calling it quits on his playing days and starting his new career.

“I think what I’d do if I were Brady is study Cris Collinsworth—and honest to goodness, I don’t say that because I work for NBC,” he wrote. “I say it because Collinsworth knows how to talk X’s-and-O’s conversationally, he’s an easy listen, and he can criticize when the time comes.”

Interestingly, last week, Collinsworth says he hears from most former players that are getting ready to make the jump to broadcasting. He was surprised he never heard from Tom Brady before FOX announced their deal.

King had two other suggestions. The first was that Brady watch multiple games from start to finish so that he can hear what the give-and-take between a broadcaster and analyst sounds like. The other is that he has to commit to being interesting and not censoring himself. King has faith that Brady will be able to do that.

“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is. On that LeBron James show last year, Brady said, ‘Ninety percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like conflict, so in the end I always just try to play it super-flat.’ That has to end once he’s on TV if he wants to be any good.”

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Nick Wright Critical Of ABC Crew As Giannis Antetokounmpo Struggles In Game 7

“He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.”

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Giannis Antetokounmpo started hot in Game 7 on Sunday. By the time the game ended though, the Boston Celtics were on their way to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the defending champions were headed back to Milwaukee.

The Celtics’ defense gave the Milwaukee Bucks fits in the second half. The ABC broadcast put a special spotlight on Antetokounmpo, who got multiple drives to the basket that he could not finish.

“The best has got to show up when the best is needed, and Giannis has been disappointing,” said Mark Jackson over a package of highlights of Giannis missing shots. “As great of a player as he is, given credit to the Celtics’ defense, but he has struggled offensively time and time again.”

Nick Wright of FS1 noticed and he didn’t appreciate it. He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.

Mike Been, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy were not particularly hard on Giannis. The trio made the typical comments we hear when things aren’t going a great player’s way.

Wright did not harp on the issue beyond the single tweet. The outcome was not in doubt as the clock winded down. He gave credit to the Celtics rather than tweet about the Bucks or Giannis.

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Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is A Better Advertising Investment Than Sports

“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys.”

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Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The storylines, the outcomes of matches, all of it is predetermined. But in the eyes of WWE, that’s what makes their product so different, and better than traditional sports.

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told Deadline that when it comes to pitching advertisers, sports entertainment allows room for a range of different approaches to make something work.

“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys,” she said. “We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.”

McMahon added that WWE has a much easier process in dealing with sponsors. Everything is handled in-house.

“We own all of the IP,” she said. “When brands deal with us, they just deal with us. We create something together.”

WWE is coming off a positive Q1 earnings report, which had the company up 27% in total revenue. Its two weekly primetime shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, continue to do well in ratings, and all special and pay-per-view events, in addition to its streaming platform WWE Network, are all housed on Peacock.

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