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Marcus Spears: Arguing With Stephen A. Smith Like Arguing With Family

“Being on First Take with Stephen A just reminds me of what I did with my dad, uncles, family members, and best friends”

Ricky Keeler

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Marcus Spears has been one of the rising stars at ESPN since he joined the SEC Network in 2014. He has had the chance to not only talk football on First Take and Get Up, but other sports as well and he appreciates that ESPN has allowed him to talk about both football and basketball on some noteworthy shows. 

Spears was a guest on the latest episode of The Dave Pasch Podcast and he said that he is glad that he is not known as ESPN as just a guy who can talk about football.

“I do TV just like I did when I was talking to my dad and my uncles about football and basketball. I think that’s the one thing First Take and Get Up allowed me to do was to talk more than just football. I never wanted to be pigeonholed into not thinking that this is just a football guy and that’s the only thing he does.

“Football is my passion. It’s what I love,” Spears continued. “It’s something that I have my 10,000 hours in. I understand the game. I have a ton of respect for the game. I have a lot of relationships in the game. I played basketball growing up, was very highly-recruited, so I understand that game on some fairly high levels as well.” 

When Spears is on First Take with Stephen A Smith, he told Pasch it reminds him of the debates that he has had with his family in the past and those arguments helped prepare him for facing off with Smith about the hot topics in sports: 

“Being on First Take with Stephen A just reminds me of what I did with my dad, uncles, family members, and best friends. It’s a debate show like we like to call it because we are politically correct, but it’s really just an argument show. To get your opinion across, you argue. When I was arguing or debating with my uncles and with my dad, obviously they didn’t think I knew anything about what I was talking about, but it got me ready for that arena.

“I think it really starts with respect knowing that you are entering his domain. But, Stephen A knows that I’m not afraid to go toe-to-toe and touch every topic. When we disagree, we disagree.”

One of the reasons Spears respects Smith is that he enjoys the fact that Smith will defer to the athlete he is debating with for their knowledge rather than trying to prove he knows more about the game than they do: 

“If you watch Stephen A , he defers a lot to your expertise whether you are a former NBA or NFL player. I think he never tries to go toe-to-toe with football acumen when it comes from actual experience. He goes at it from a reporter standpoint and I say a lot of times, even from a fan standpoint because Stephen A, whether you love him or hate him, he does give a perspective of a sportswriter and also a fan. We can grill him about how bad the Knicks have been….Ultimately, when you watch when I’m on or Ryan Clark’s on or Dan Orlovsky, he defers to your football knowledge as a former player. That’s not a knock, but we respect him for that.” 

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Julian Edelman Considers Himself A Pioneer

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since his playing days with the New England Patriots ended after the 2020 season, Julian Edelman has kept himself busy with his role on Inside the NFL and now co-hosting the Games with Names podcast with comedian Sam Morril. So, what was Edelman looking for with his post-football endeavors?

Edelman was a guest on the most-recent episode of the Half-Forgotten History podcast with Trey Wingo and he said that the vibe that Inside The NFL has with Phil Simms, James Brown, Brandon Marshall, Michael Irvin, and Ray Lewis was something that he was looking for.

“With Inside the NFL, I have those guys and there’s a camaraderie. We get to have that breaking bread and just locker room kind of vibe. On the podcast, it’s the same thing.”

The MVP of Super Bowl XLIII mentioned that the key to doing the things he does now in his post-career came from the way him and his team were able to use social media to build his own brand and help ease the transition from a playing career to a member of the media.

“When I retired, I was fortunate enough to put a good team around me for all of my off-the-field things. We built a brand through social media. Kind of pioneers of this whole thing with social and e-commerce and millennial/Gen-Z things. It helped me land a role on Inside the NFL and go and have an ability to start a podcast, Games With Names. It’s been good and it honestly helps with the transition.”

Now that Edelman’s playing days are in the past, he said that he now has the opportunity to do things that he was always interested in since he was a kid, but did not have the time for and he is grateful for the opportunities that the NFL has allowed him to have.

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that. I am so grateful for football and for the game just because it has given me the opportunity to do things that are fun and amazing.”

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LaVar Arrington, ‘Up On Game Presents’ Forges Multiplatform Deal With John Brenkus, Brinx.TV

The two entities have created a show called The NIL House, which will feature Brenkus and Rob Vaka discussing the latest news, biggest stories, athletes, collectives, and celebrities in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

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Fox Sports Radio morning co-host LaVar Arrington has announced a multi-platform deal with creator and host of Sport Science John Brenkus and Brinx.TV.

The two entities have created a show called The NIL House, which will feature Brenkus and Rob Vaka discussing the latest news, biggest stories, athletes, collectives, and celebrities in the Name, Image, and Likeness space.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with a pioneer like John Brenkus and Brinx.TV,” said Arrington. “This relationship will dramatically expedite our slate of programming and positively impact the sports entertainment industry.”

“LaVar Arrington has dominated the world of sports on and off the field,” adds Brenkus. “By combining Up On Game and Brinx.TV’s distribution platforms, there really is no limit to our success.”

Up On Game Presents is the podcast platform Arrington curates, in conjunction with Fox Sports Radio. The Up On Game podcast features Arrington and former NFL Pro Bowl wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Plaxico Burress.

Brinx.TV was created in February of 2021 and allows subscribers the ability to watch live programming while also make purchases, bid in auctions, buy NFTs, and answer trivia questions.

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Amazon Under Fire For TNF Halftime Show’s Handling of Tua Injury

There was plenty of reaction to how Amazon covered the situation and lacked the awareness to acknowledge what transpired last Sunday.

Jordan Bondurant

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Tua

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa suffered a head injury in the 2nd quarter of Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The images of Tua’s injury and the reaction of his body to the injury shocked not only the other players and fans in the stadium, but also those watching the Thursday night game on Amazon Prime Video.

At halftime, Tony Gonzalez, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Richard Sherman all offered their reactions, with host Charissa Thompson providing an update from the team.

But noticeably absent in that discussion and reaction was the fact that Tua was playing in the game and suffered a head injury less than a week after he was believed to have suffered a concussion in Miami’s Week 3 game against the Buffalo Bills. Add in the fact that the NFL Players Association is also investigating whether league concussion protocols were followed, as Tua returned to that game and helped lead the Dolphins to a victory.

There was plenty of reaction to how Amazon covered the situation and lacked the awareness to acknowledge what transpired last Sunday.

The network did provide a deeper discussion during its postgame show and Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit addressed the issue in the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately it didn’t become a bigger discussion on the broadcast until social media became littered with negative reactions to the halftime show’s approach to discussing the various issues involving the Dolphins quarterback prior to his injury during Thursday night’s game.

With Amazon now in partnership with the NFL, it’ll be interesting to watch how the network handles future sensitive issues given what they experienced covering the Tua Tagovailoa story.

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