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James Andrew Miller Believes Matthew Berry Didn’t Leave ESPN Over Money

“Were there a couple of things thru the years that Matthew wanted to do that Matthew didn’t get to do? Absolutely,” said Miller. “But he stayed. He understands that. He’s a practicing adult. He knows that he’s not going to win or get everything he wants.”

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On Monday, ESPN Fantasy Football analyst Matthew Berry announced this would be his last week with the network. While his next stop is still unknown, James Andrew Miller believes Berry’s decision wasn’t over financials.

Miller, author of the “ESPN book” Those Guys Have All the Fun, appeared on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina, and amongst their topics was Berry and his sudden departure from the company.

“I’ve heard it from two sources that ESPN, not surprisingly, tried to keep him,” said Miller.

Miller went on to get to the idea that he didn’t think Berry’s decision was based on dollars and cents. “I think that eventually Matthew is going to talk for himself about why de decided to leave, but he’s never been somebody who has just made decisions based on dollars… I think he’s probably trying to couch this in a way that’s better for him at this stage in his career”.

Traina followed up with Miller asking then if the decision might be more based on Berry being “unhappy” or the analyst just “wanted a change”.

“I have not spoken to him since the announcement just in full disclosure,” Miller began, “but I actually think it’s because he wants a change.

“Were there a couple of things thru the years that Matthew wanted to do that Matthew didn’t get to do? Absolutely,” said Miller. “But he stayed. He understands that. He’s a practicing adult. He knows that he’s not going to win or get everything he wants.”

Miller also said that Berry was wanted and appreciated by ESPN so it’s a factor in determining why he left the network.

“I think that, by and large, that ESPN certainly appreciated him. And his life there was far from miserable. You can tell that because he was there for 15 years. Maybe he’s frustrated with certain things there. But if I had to guess, it’s more about new horizons and new platforms and wherever he goes he’s going to bring a lot of value”.

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Mike Tirico, Greg Olsen, Kate Scott and Brock Huard Added as Voices to Madden NFL 25

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Graphic for the Madden 25 video game from EA Sports with Christian McCaffry on the cover
Graphic Courtesy: EA Sports

Video game and football fans are counting down the days until the August 16 release of the new Madden 25 video game from EA. The date, along with the news that San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey would don the cover was released last week. Today, the EA Sports team posted a blog with several pieces of new information about the game. Included in that was news that Mike Tirico, Greg Olsen, Kate Scott and Brock Huard will be new voices heard on the game.

Those names will join incumbents Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis and form two additional broadcast teams. Tirico and Olsen, the former NFL TE who now works for FOX Sports and recently took home the Sports Emmy Award for top Event Analyst, will be one team. Scott and Huard will make up the other team. Scott is the current television play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia 76ers who has called preseason NFL games and was also part of Learfield’s College Football Saturday Night . In 2016, she made history, becoming the first woman to call an NFL game on radio and the first woman to call a football game on the Pac-12 Network.

The EA team said, “These new teams are here to refresh your Madden NFL experience and bring it to life with over 42,000 fresh recordings at launch, with multiple in-season updates to keep it fresh.”

The makers of Madden 25 say they have upgraded the look, feel and sound of the game. They explain it by saying, “Dive deeper than ever into the NFL game day experience with an immersive feature set that brings players closer to NFL action than ever before across game modes; from realistic Franchise changes to two brand new commentary crews, you’ll feel so close to the gridiron you can almost smell the all-new 3D turf.” 

EA also said it has added crowd audio from the 2023 NFL season’s Monday Night Football games and NFL Films, “so it doesn’t just feel like realistic crowd noise–it is real crowd noise.” They said the on-field sound effects have been increased and refreshed and now include over 500 samples.

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Cam Newton: How Can We Get Other Minority Broadcasters to Skip the Line, Too?

What type of media training did Tony Romo have before he just popped up and started commentating the game?

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Screengrab from 4th & 1 with Cam Newton
Screengrab: 4th & 1 with Cam Newton

Cam Newton is never one to shy away from controversy or a controversial topic. On his latest episode of his YouTube show 4th & 1, Newton tackled the topic of whether or not minorities are getting a fair share of certain broadcasting opportunities.

Newton and co-host Omari Collins brought up some of the contract numbers for certain top NFL and college football broadcasters. Newton said, “The truth is, when I see a guy like Tom Brady signs a 10-year contract worth $375 million dollars, Greg Olsen $3 million contract annually as a commentator, Tony Romo, 10 years $180 million, Troy Aikman, $18.5 million contract annually. And then you drop off to Ryan Clark with $2 million annually.” Newton said he is not saying any of them do not deserve the contracts they have been given.

He added, “I’m always gonna tell Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Greg Olsen, Troy Aikman, Matt Ryan to go get the bag. From one former player to another former player. I’m not hating on that. What I am doing is saying, how in the world are they the only ones that’s getting access to these types of contracts? Because somebody told me, they say, ‘Well, you don’t get these contracts because you’re not polished yet.’ What type of media training did Tony Romo have before he just popped up and started commentating the game? As the number one guy. And he does a damn good job. Tom Brady, same thing.”

Collins said, “They skipped the line of a lot of people.”

“That is my point,” Newton said. “How can we get other minorities to skip the line, too? Because we all know ball. We all can speak on our perspective of what we feel this place should be or analyze what the play was.”

Newton said he has tried to be his authentic self in his media endeavors and that he uses his platform to “deliver the truth, my way.”

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Tom Brady: ‘I’m Trying to Make Sure I Have the Right Tone’ as a Broadcaster

“Sometimes I get a little too serious because I see myself as ‘quarterback Tom Brady’ as opposed to ‘Let’s enjoy a great game of football Tom Brady.'”

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Tom Brady
Courtesy: Cliff Watts, Variety

On Wednesday night, seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady was honored by the New England Patriots with an induction ceremony at Gillette Stadium to celebrate being nominated into the team’s Hall of Fame. Patriots owner Robert Kraft surprised Brady by revealing that the team had also retired his No. 12 and thanked him for his contributions to the organizations over his 20 seasons with the organization. Brady will be joining the lead commentary booth for the NFL on FOX next season, commencing his work as an analyst alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi.

Brady recently joined the SI Media with Jimmy Traina podcast and discussed his approach to joining the FOX Sports broadcasting team this fall for NFL games. Before he retired from the NFL, Brady signed what was reported to be a 10-year, $375 million deal to call NFL games in the network’s lead broadcasting booth. FOX Sports is entering the second year of its new 11-year media rights agreement with the NFL, which will culminate in Super Bowl LIX on FOX from the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, La.

“I love having a microphone that’s going to reach 30 million people on Sundays a week, [and] I love being a part of the best broadcast in sports,” Brady said, “so I think for me it was a no-brainer, and if you want to have an impact on people and you want to [have] impact on a sport you love, then you’ve got to work toward that.”

Although Brady retired from the NFL after the 2022 season, he did not immediately join the lead broadcast team on FOX Sports. Instead, he decided to wait a year before beginning his role, a decision that allowed him more time to prepare and become familiar with the broadcasting craft.

“For me, it was the only way to do it,” Brady explained. “I realized that to come off a playing season and then to jump right into that, it’s a whole [other] discipline to learn, and I really wanted to take some time to watch, listen, learn, talk to people – people who I really see as the greatest at what they’ve done – and everyone really opened their arms to embrace me and phone calls, and there’s still more I’m going to make before the start of the season, and I’m just very grateful for all the people that kind of shared a lot of incredible nuggets [and] ways to succeed that I’ll be able to involve myself in as I go forward.”

Brady believes that deciphering the game within his analysis will be a straightforward process since it is similar to what he did as a quarterback on a daily basis. Additionally, he anticipates enjoying the preparation and learning more about the teams ahead of the broadcast. A part of his approach he foresees being important, however, is in continuing to make the game fun for consumers so they can enjoy the viewing experience as a whole.

“Sometimes I get a little too serious because I see myself as ‘quarterback Tom Brady’ as opposed to ‘Let’s enjoy a great game of football Tom Brady,’” Brady articulated. “Sometimes I become a little too critical, so I’m trying to make sure I have the right tone.”

Traina found Brady’s answer about being too critical at times and having a specific way in which he believes the game to be played as rather interesting. One of the common critiques Traina has towards broadcast analysts with the exception of Troy Aikman on ESPN is that they are sometimes afraid to criticize players and referees. Although announcers do not need to call a decision dumb, there are moments he has perceived things to be glossed over. Brady wants to impart his wisdom throughout the broadcast with his many years playing in the NFL and help other people achieve their goals.

“I think there’s a high expectation of how I expect the game to be played because I was there and I saw Coach Belichick and I saw Hall of Famers and I played with them and played against them and I played in big games, and there’s just a certain expectation that I see for really great performers, and I want to see these guys perform really well,” Brady said. “But part of the contribution to make is, ‘How do I help other people be successful as well?’”

Brady understands that there will be opinions about his broadcasting abilities from the consumption audience from the moment he starts on the air. Yet over his 28 years playing college and professional sports, he has developed a thick skin and has heard plenty of plaudits and disapproval towards other broadcast analysts. Brady is ultimately going to focus on evaluating his effort, preparation, intention and if he gave his best to his colleagues at FOX Sports and the audience.

“You may not like it – I understand, it’s okay – but I’m just giving you my commentating, my analysis, so it’s really, in the end, kind of like I played quarterback was about satisfying me,” Brady said. “I could have had a bad outcome, but if I thought the process was good, ‘Alright, let me just work on the process to get the outcome I want.’ If the outcome was great, it was, ‘What did I do right that enabled me to be prepared and be successful in the moment?’”

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