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Bob Costas: ‘All Football Broadcasters Have To Understand Basics Of Concussions’

“In fact, they even have a course, which you can take online, that gives you at least a rudimentary grasp of what the issue is.”

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Bob Costas

Concussions and their lingering effects have been part of the conversation around football for years. Fans know more about the risk of head trauma in the sport than ever before. Richard Deitsch of The Athletic recently asked Bob Costas how fans should expect broadcast booths to cover those issues when they become relevant in a game.

Costas noted that there is so much NFL-related programming on TV now that is it hard to keep up with everything that is or isn’t said about the issue. He even admits that he did not see the Thursday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals where quarterback Tua Tagvailoa is widely believed to have suffered a second concussion within five days. Still, he offered some general thoughts.

“All announcers who cover football, be it college or pro, ought to be aware at least in broad terms of the nature of concussions, how they present themselves, what the early signs are that a layperson can observe in real-time, even before a neurologist gets to examine somebody. Then they need to be aware of what the specifics are from the NFL as the case may be. They don’t have to editorialize about it, but they need to be able to recognize it and, to some extent, contextualize it if it becomes appropriate.”

The policies that the NFL has in place around concussions are far from perfect. Still, Bob Costas notes that the league’s standards for what is acceptable have changed. Fans know it and broadcasters have to take that fact into account.

“It wasn’t very long ago that players would argue with their coaches or the trainer or the medical staff out of taking them out of the game. That just can’t happen anymore,” he said. “So that general awareness is not really even taking a position. It’s just being aware of what the presently understood facts of the matter are. Everyone who broadcasts games should at least have a baseline understanding of that. They should familiarize themselves with what Chris Nowinski of the Concussion Legacy Foundation put out there. In fact, they even have a course, which you can take online, that gives you at least a rudimentary grasp of what the issue is.”

He added that he was never his willingness to address issues of CTE on NFL broadcasts was a problem for NBC. He tried to address the issue with some regularity, but was respectful of the limitations his position presented.

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PGA Championship Final Round on CBS Averages 4.9 Million Viewers; Up 10% Over Last Year

The final hour of the broadcast, from 6:15 p.m.-7:14 p.m. ET averaged 7.764 million viewers.

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Phot of a flag with the logo of the 2024 PGA Championship and a CBS Sports logo.
Photo: CBS Sports

The television ratings for the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship have come out and saw a 10% increase over last year’s event. The final round averaged 4.958 million viewers according to information provided by CBS.

Xander Schauffele won his first major championship by one stroke over Bryson DeChambeau and as he did, the broadcast peaked with 8.421 million viewers tuning in to see an exciting finish with a solid leaderboard. The final hour of the broadcast, from 6:15 p.m.-7:14 p.m. ET averaged 7.764 million viewers.

Not only did the linear broadcast find success, the stream on Paramount+ was the most-streamed PGA Championship with double-digit year-over-year growth in households, minutes and average minute audience.

Additionally, ESPN averaged 1.6 million viewers for second round coverage on Friday, which was an 18% increase over 2023. The broadcast peaked with 2 million viewers. Friday was the day No. 1 player in the world Scottie Scheffler was arrested making his way into the golf course.

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Ryan Leaf: Jay Glazer ‘Is a Fraud When it Comes to Anything Mental Health or Wellness Related’

“Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

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Photos of Ryan Leaf and Jay Glazer
Leaf Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle Glazer Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports

Swimmer Michael Phelps was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend and as he has done before, he talked candidly about the challenges he has had with his mental health and his bouts with depression. He spoke with Kristen Welker and talked about FOX Sports football insider Jay Glazer being his “mental health buddy.” This brought quite the response from former Chargers quarterback and current football analyst Ryan Leaf.

“Jay Glazer and I, we’re both mental health buddies,” Phelps said. “We both struggle, and when we’re both having our bad days, we go through similar ups and downs. And we do similar things when we’re down, if that makes sense. We both had this conversation the other day because when it happens to me, I reach out to him. When it happens to him, he reaches out to me. I have a couple of friendships like that where we’ve kind of been really able to form a bond.”

In response to a social media post about the interview, Leaf held nothing back as he posted his thoughts about Glazer.

“Glazer is a fraud when it comes to anything mental health or wellness related,” Leaf wrote. “He uses it for his benefit and really isn’t invested in any of it unless it benefits him and his brand. Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Leaf has been vocal as well about his struggles with depression, addiction and a suicide attempt. Leaf also spent 32 months in prison when he violated the terms of his probation by breaking into a home to steal prescription drugs.

Back in 2018, a story from the New York Post talked about Leaf and Glazer working together on Glazer’s ‘Merging Vets and Players’ (MVP) initiative.

Glazer, who was recently married and has been on his honeymoon, posted on his X account in response to Phelps’ interview, “Brother, I am so honored to walk this walk with you!!! We save each other my dude!”

Glazer has not yet commented on the post from Leaf. Should he respond, we will update this story.

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‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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NFL Total Access

‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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