Rece Davis’ Goal at ESPN Wasn’t To Host College GameDay
“I love Gameday and I think I have the best job in television, but Chris [Fowler] was hosting that show and I didn’t feel like I had to have that.”
Rece Davis has been at ESPN for over 25 years and has had the opportunity to cover a variety of sports over his great career. In recent years, the broadcaster who was born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has become the main voice on the network synonymous with hosting college football and college basketball for ESPN.
Davis was a guest on the Gramlich and Mac Lain podcast and he talked about what his goal always was in the industry. It wasn’t necessarily to be the host of College GameDay:
“My goal was always to have the most prominent position that I could in college football and college basketball. I’ve been asked many times if GameDay was my goal. It wasn’t. I love Gameday and I think I have the best job in television, but Chris [Fowler] was hosting that show and I didn’t feel like I had to have that.”
“I had what I considered to be as enjoyable a run as I could imagine in-studio for all those years, particularly (no disrespect to all of the other guys I worked with that are great) that decade-long run with Lou Holtz and Mark May. Mark and I were together for several years before Lou came and joined us . I cherished that time as well. It was time to make a change of some sort, whether it was into the booth or as it turned out to GameDay and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
In his early years at ESPN, Davis was hosting shows such as NBA 2Night and RPM2Night and he covered soccer and horse racing as well. While some of these sports weren’t Davis’s expertise, it did prepare him for the role that he is in now:
“I did soccer and horse racing, all things that were completely out of my wheelhouse and I think it helped me long-term to not only learn how to prepare things that you don’t know or don’t have any preconceived notions about, but it gives you some confidence to execute things that are outside your field of interest.”
Since becoming the host of College GameDay in 2015, Davis and the GameDay crew have tried to improve the broadcast more in terms of getting the crowd more involved in the show:
“I think the thing that hopefully we’ve gotten better at over the years is capturing what’s going on in the crowd rather than just using it as a backdrop. They are like another character on the show. That was probably the biggest adjustment,” said Davis.
Even though the atmosphere for GameDay can be electric, Davis mentioned one of the biggest challenges for the show is trying to highlight the games of the day and not just the game they are at:
“Finding the balance between capturing the essence and energy of where you are and not allowing Gameday to turn into a pregame show simply for that game is one of the things that’s a challenge every week. You want to give the venue its due, but it’s also the pregame show for the entire day in college football.”
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.
Dan Le Batard: ‘Does Sports Media Care if Interviews Are Done Well?’
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is.”
Mike Greenberg had praise for Jalen Rose this week. He said that no one but his ESPN colleague could have handled the interview with Ja Morant that has been airing on the network. Dan Le Batard has the exact opposite opinion of what he saw.
“What I saw was soft and didn’t seem to serve anybody except ESPN,” Le Batard said on his Thursday show. “This seems to be a lot of people around the economy of basketball and Ja Morant orchestrating an interview so Ja Morant can move onto the next stage of his branding.”
Whereas Greenberg thought the shared experience of an NBA career made Rose more likely to get answers from Morant, Le Batard said it created a problem. He accused Rose of letting Morant get away with using “talking points” in lieu of answering any actual questions about the string of erratic behavior and disturbing incidents the Memphis Grizzlies star has been involved with.
It wasn’t the only interview that Dan Le Batard pointed to. He noted that Pat McAfee’s interview with Aaron Rodgers may have drawn an audience of nearly half a million, but very little substance was offered.
“Does anybody in the audience, in sports fandom, or even, at this point, in sports media companies, care in a real and legitimate way whether the interview is done well or not?”
He added that the standard has changed for these interviews because the goal has changed. They are no longer about journalism as much as they are about branding, particularly in the case of ESPN’s exclusive interview with Ja Morant.
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is,” Le Batard concluded. “All you need, if you’re the media partner, is please get me the famous guy to sit down.”
Jomboy, Aaron Boone Partner For Weekly Podcast Appearance
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following.”
It isn’t unusual for a professional sports team to partner with a local radio station for weekly interviews with team personnel. Even though Jomboy Media is a digital outlet, it didn’t stop the company from inking a deal to have Yankees manager Aaron Boone on one of its signature podcasts.
In a move announced Thursday, Jomboy Media has signed a deal for Boone to appear on its popular Talkin’ Yanks podcast — hosted by founder Jimmy O’Brien and Jake Storiale — once a week throughout the baseball season.
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following,” Boone told The New York Post. “I think Jimmy and Jake are both really good guys. And they’re passionate about what they do, and they love the Yankees. And, sometimes they’re a little misguided and it’s my chance to set the record straight every now and then.”
Previously, Boone had a weekly spot on 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show, which reportedly paid him six figures.
“It’s going to be really fun and it kind of goes with the changing landscape of media,” O’Brien said. “The fact that two fans can create a show and in five years get to the point where they get to ask questions to the manager of the Yankees and bring whatever insight we can get out of that to our audience — it is pretty wild, a little surreal.”
Sports Media Reacts to Aaron Rodgers Telling Adam Schefter ‘Lose My Number’
“Here are some of the best responses from Schefter’s sports media colleagues to the tweet.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday and revealed that if he gets his way, his time with the Green Bay Packers is done. He intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023.
Rodgers told McAfee that the hang-up lies with Green Bay, which is trying to determine the appropriate compensation for trading for a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Rodgers also revealed that he had an interaction with ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. Schefter, who was obviously digging as much as he could to get the scoop on what was going on with Rodgers’ future, texted Rodgers trying to confirm the information he had.
“I didn’t respond to Dianna Russini I think her name is,” Rodgers said. “But I would say the same thing that I told Schefty. Lose my number. Nice try.”
Upon hearing Rodgers’ account, Schefter followed up with a screenshot of Rodgers responding exactly how he said, and that sent social media into a whirlwind.
Here are some of the best responses from Schefter’s sports media colleagues to the tweet:
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
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