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Chris Berman: NFL Primetime ‘High On My Professional Tombstone’

“I talked to Jimmy Pitaro 3-4 years ago. I said if you could convince the league to bring it back, I’ll come back.”

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From 1987-2005, football fans had to run to their television sets every Sunday night during the season to catch Chris Berman host NFL Primetime on ESPN to find out what the results were of the other games that Sunday and in its early stages, it was an important show to the football community.

Berman was a guest on The Adam Schein Podcast this week and he said that he learned very quickly how important NFL Primetime was to people in the game including the late legendary head coach Don Shula.

“We realized that we had a connection to the football community…I very quickly learned that the highest ups in the community, meaning an owners meeting in 1988, Don Shula came over and he said Chris, I use your show sometimes to get a look at some other teams…I’m learning this as we are going on and I realize not I’m important, it’s important.”

Even though NFL Primetime can’t exist on cable TV anymore due to NBC having the rights to Sunday Night Football and having the Football Night In America pregame show, Berman did say he told ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro that if NFL Primetime could come back in some way, he would come back.

“I am thrilled we are still doing it today. We can’t do it on regular TV. NBC owns the rights back when they got the rights to Sunday Night Football. The fact that on ESPN+ is the only place it could live.

“I talked to Jimmy Pitaro 3-4 years ago. I said if you could convince the league to bring it back, I’ll come back. We got Tommy [Tom Jackson] to come back the first year and Booger [Booger McFarland] is Tommy 2.0. Booger’s great. We have fun.

“Back then, if we needed 7 minutes for Seattle-Arizona, we could. The rules — I don’t know why — we can’t go over 3 minutes. I love doing it every Sunday, I’m glad people like watching it.” 

At the same time, Berman did say he was “pissed” when he found out at the time that NFL Primetime was over.

“Pissed. It’s the favorite thing that I do. I’ve had some other moments, but if you asked me what’s the most fun I’ve had on a consistent basis…As far as going to work on a regular basis, NFL Primetime, that would be high on my professional tombstone I would think.”

In addition to NFL Primetime, Berman is also well-known for making predictions on Friday nights on SportsCenter as the Swami before the days where sports gambling was legal like it is now in some states. He told Schein that nobody told him he couldn’t do something with that segment, but he would never tell somebody to take the points.

“I never said even ’til I got done in 2016 doing it, take the points. We never put the point spread up. Every score was always at least a field goal off of the spread. I left no doubt. I would use words like much closer than expected or an upset or this could be ugly. I would never put 50-10, but 30-13, just so the teams wouldn’t get completely pissed at me if I picked them to lose in a blowout. It was subtle, it was quietly accepted because I never crossed those lines.

“Nobody said ‘Can’t do this’. It was fun. If it was two defensive teams, I’d put up 3-2 sometimes. We aren’t over-undering this. We are just having a good time.” 

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Dan Le Batard: Our Show Would Have Two Times More Listeners if the Panthers Lost the Stanley Cup Final

“I believe it is something that the rest of North America feels whenever someone other than your fanbase is celebrating anything.”

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Dan Le Batard

After losing three consecutive matchups to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final, the Florida Panthers hoisted the Stanley Cup following a Game 7 victory. The Panthers officially secured the first championship in the history of the organization, a means of celebration throughout South Florida and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region. Dan Le Batard, however, understands that it may not be the case beyond the geographic locale. The program received a message from a user on X who stated that it sucked to see Le Batard and the cast of the show happy.

Le Batard has been discussing the Stanley Cup Final over the last several weeks on his program, which has included several storylines germane to the show itself. Greg Cote, show contributor and columnist for the Miami Herald, wrote a column earlier in the month classifying Oilers star forward Connor McDavid as an overrated player. Although McDavid and the Oilers were unable to defeat the Panthers, he became the second skater in NHL history to lose the Stanley Cup Final but still win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is given to the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a whole.

“I believe it is something that the rest of North America feels whenever someone other than your fanbase is celebrating anything,” Le Batard said. “The internet is a wildly divided place. I don’t believe that people are happy for each other on the internet, and I believe that more people would be listening to this show by double today if the Panthers had lost; that that would attract more people in today’s North America than happiness.”

Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, the co-host of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, expressed that the only people who are happy for fans of the Panthers are those of the rival Tampa Bay Lightning. In fact, the organization shared a message of congratulations for the Panthers on social media Monday night.

“I don’t believe that the fans of Tampa Bay were actually happy for Florida,” Le Batard responded. “That is simply the organization of Tampa trying to be magnanimous. I don’t believe there is anybody in hockey today anywhere outside of a 50-mile radius of here that’s happy for the sport of hockey today because of what happened last night.”

Several members of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz shared their experiences watching the game on social media as the team claimed victory and was awarded the Stanley Cup. Meadowlark Media producer Roy Bellamy recorded a segment for The Hockey Show inside of Amerant Bank Arena as the team was celebrating on the ice. During Tuesday’s edition of the show, Cote took a victory lap in Miami, presumably for being exonerated after his opinion on McDavid gained national attention and was being considered a potential jinx.

Cote revealed that he is going to post a column on Tuesday about the last couple of weeks, including the drama surrounding his McDavid take. Weiner believed that Cote should not write another column, instead using his original writing as his final word on the topic. While Cote acknowledged that it essentially could be what he ends up writing on Tuesday, the column following a Stanley Cup victory needed to be celebratory and recognizing the achievement.

“You were wrong,” Le Batard said. “You’re the best kind of right, which is you’re wrong.”

“No, no, I disagree,” Cote replied.

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Dan Dakich: ‘Stephen A. Smith is a Race-Baiter, That’s All He Has’

“Stephen A. Smith is the Joe Biden of television.”

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Screengrab from Don't @ Me with Dan Dakich on OutKick
Screengrab: Don't @ Me on OutKick.com

Dan Dakich had a strong reaction to something Stephen A. Smith said recently on First Take. Smith and Doug Gottlieb had a war of words after Smith said black head coaches had contacted him complaining about LeBron James doing a podcast with JJ Redick while his black head coach, Darvin Ham, was on the hot seat.

Smith had said, “Black coaches called a Black commentator to complain about a Black superstar doing a podcast while his Black head coach was on the hot seat before he ultimately lost the damn job. What does that have to do with white folks? Some things are none of your damn business.”

During his Don’t @ Me show on OutKick.com, Dakich did not hold back on his opinion of Smith and what he said.

“Stephen A. Smith told white people, ‘Stay out of it, it’s black people’s business,’ with regard to Darvin Ham being on the hot seat and black coaches allegedly texting and getting ahold of Smith,” Dakich said. “I say ‘allegedly’ because he is clearly a liar. All you gotta do is follow Jason Whitlock and Stephen A. Smith’s bulls**t basketball career and you know Stephen A. Smith is the Joe Biden of television, but he alleges that coaches, black coaches, are mad that a white guy, JJ Redick is doing a podcast with a black guy, LeBron James.

“It upset coaches, black coaches, because their black brother, Darvin Ham was on the hot seat. Well, that’s fine, I get it. And if it happened, so what? They’re upset. Hey, go over in the corner and be upset. But Stephen A. Smith is now taking it to another level. Stephen A. Smith is now saying, ‘Hey man, it’s a black thing. He was upset because Doug Gottlieb on FOX called him a race-baiter. Well, Stephen A. Smith is a race baiter that’s all he has. He has nothing else. He has shown he knows nothing about basketball by being on NBA Countdown, absolutely no personality for a real show. Sure, he’s fine on his yelling and screaming show where he can dominate a guest, act like he knows something, talk over people, but he knows zip.

Dakich talked about having Smith on his Indianapolis radio show once and said he cut him off and ended the interview early.

“He was just yelling and screaming and talking. I get it, that’s his schtick and he’s gonna make a lot of money. But the whole idea of ‘White folk stay out of this’ is complete bulls**t. Then Stephen A. Smith, you stay your ass out of Caitlin Clark, and all of your African American colleagues, stay your ass outta little white girl stuff. Imagine how that would go over if somebody said it. ‘Hey Stephen stay your ass outta hockey, stay your ass outta anything where white people are involved. Stay your ass outta most things.’

“How about, white people stay your ass outta listening to Stephen A. Smith and paying attention to Stephen A. Smith. I put a ban on Stephen A. Smith, but this really pissed me off. Because I can’t stand racism. I just can’t stand it. And I think all of the people like Stephen A. Smith are deep down incredibly racist.”

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Isis ‘Ice’ Young Earns Expanded Role with Yahoo Sports

“Ice will now serve as a Yahoo Sports host & analyst covering men’s and women’s basketball. She will also host our NBA Draft live show.”

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Logo for the NBA Draft and a graphic for Isis Young's expanded role with Yahoo Sports
Graphic Courtesy: Yahoo Sports

Yahoo Sports announced some additions to its team around NCAA Tournament time for men’s and women’s basketball. At the time, Yahoo added NBA player Danny Green, three-time NCAA Final Four participant Ros Gold-Onwude as well as three-time NCAA Tournament participant Isis ‘Ice’ Young as analysts. Young has now earned a more expanded role with the company.

Yahoo Sports president Ryan Spoon posted the announcement on his LinkedIn saying, “Ahead of tomorrow’s NBA Draft, we are thrilled to welcome Isis ‘Ice’ Young to an expanded role at Yahoo Sports. Ice will now serve as a Yahoo Sports host & analyst covering men’s and women’s basketball. She will also host our NBA Draft live show.”

Young spent three years at Syracuse along with stops at Florida, Fordham and Siena. In her graduate year at Siena, she led the MAAC in scoring at 18.8 points per game. She also played pro basketball in Greece and has worked with the Connecticut Sun’s broadcasting team as a color commentator.

Young previously worked as a reporter, analyst and sideline reporter for the ACC Network, and was an on-screen producer for the Women’s Sports Update show about women’s sports at Syracuse.

Young comes from an extremely athletic family. Her mom played field hockey in college, her brother plays professional soccer in Germany, and her sister played college soccer.

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