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Jesse Palmer: I Don’t Know What My Media Career Is If I Wasn’t a Giant

“I got super lucky getting drafted to this media market where we had a huge media presence in our locker room at all times, tons of personalities in our locker room.”

Ricky Keeler

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Jesse Palmer has been at ESPN for 14 years and has both analyzed college football games in the broadcast booth or in the studio. Before he joined ESPN, Palmer was playing quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL, wondering what his future would be. 

Palmer was a guest on the Soup With Coop podcast and he said to Cooper Manning that he did reach out to other people about when he should take the next step from the playing field to the TV booth: 

“My whole plan was to play 15 years in the NFL and just have that type of career. I talked to Troy Aikman, Jason Garrett, and some other guys that had started playing QB and had gone into TV a little bit about hey, when should you leave?”

“In 2007, when I signed with ESPN, I came to that fork in the road where I was offered a job. I called some NFL games for FOX at the end of the 2006 season, I got offered by FOX and ESPN, one for pro, one for college. I was playing in the CFL at the time and was having so much fun. I thought, do I really want to walk away from the game now?”

While Palmer got some good advice, he also knew that as a player, he had to take the opportunity to join TV whenever he could because it might not necessarily be there later on: 

“The advice I was getting from everybody was just play as long as you can, TV will always be there. The reality for us as players I think is every year Brett Favre is going to retire, Drew Brees is soon going to retire. If Drew Brees says I want to do TV, I would kind of like a seat, guess who is going to get the seat? There’s a Heisman Trophy winner that’s going to retire every year.”

“There are a limited amount of seats and I just felt like hey, I should capitalize on this opportunity, give it a honest shot. Worked at ESPN, did that for a year, loved it. I still felt attached to the game that I love. Really, the rest is history. It’s crazy. It’s been 14 years at ESPN now. The time has flown.”

Manning did ask Palmer if he was a backup quarterback in a market other than for the New York Giants (drafted in the 4th Round in 2001), did he think he would have the chance at the many media opportunities he has now whether it’s been being on The Bachelor or hosting shows on Food Network: 

I almost got drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs twice before the Giants picked me. Often times I wonder what would have happened. I got super lucky getting drafted to this media market where we had a huge media presence in our locker room at all times, tons of personalities in our locker room. Lot of guys that ended up being on TV from those Giants teams. In this city, I was able to tap into a lot of passions now with food…College is something we have control over, you can pick where you want to go. The NFL Draft, you have zero control over.”

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV

“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Jordan Bondurant

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The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.

Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.

But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.

It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.

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Sports Online

ESPN Hands Out 6 New Contracts To Investigative Journalists

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN is solidifying its lineup of investigative journalists. The network announced on Wednesday the hiring of two newcomers as well as contract extensions for four others.

Xuan Thai and Sara Coello are the two newcomers to The Worldwide Leader, starting their jobs in January.

Thai previously worked at NBC News and MSNBC. Most recently, she was the deputy bureau chief of the south region at NBC.

Coello has made her way to ESPN after stops at The Charlotte Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Alyssa Roenigk, Tisha Thompson, Sam Borden and Tom Junod are the four others who received contract extensions.

Roenigk is the most senior of the group, with 2023 being her 21st year at ESPN. She’s been an editor, sideline reporter, studio host and writer in that stretch of two decades.

Thompson and Borden both started at ESPN in 2017. Thompson has covered stories including the ongoing government investigation of Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and investigated sexual assault allegations within the U.S. Snowboard team.

Borden has appeared regularly on various ESPN platforms like the ESPN Daily podcast and Outside the Lines. He’s a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award winner for an NFL Countdown piece called “This Big Mo Show.”

Junod has been at ESPN since 2019. His previous stops include GQ, Esquire, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Additionally, a contract extension for veteran feature producer Scott Harves was announced by the network.

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Sports Media Reacts To Tom Brady Retiring

“Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.”

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Things seem a little more final this time. Tom Brady says he will not return to the field. The GOAT announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a video posted to social media.

While it is still unclear what happens next, plenty of people in the sports media had opinions to share. Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.

There were other reactions as well. It is well-known that Tom Brady has a ten-year contract worth $375 million waiting for him at FOX. That means plenty of people in the sports media have questions about what today’s announcement means for Greg Olsen.

Olsen has won plenty of acclaim as the analyst in the network’s top NFL booth. Brady’s deal includes him taking over that spot, so several personalities and writers used the day to publicly question the logic in that decision.

There was a third reaction too. Twitter was made for two things: reacting to breaking news and making jokes. Tom Brady announcing his retirement gave some members of the sports media the chance to do both.

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