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Stephen A. Smith: People Never Give Pat McAfee Credit For The Work He Put In

“There’s a lot of people that wish they were Pat McAfee, and they wish that they were in your position.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Pat McAfee

There’s nothing but love between ESPN host Stephen A. Smith and media superstar Pat McAfee.

Stephen A. was a guest on The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday and opened up about how amazing he thought McAfee’s rise to prominence in the media space has been. Stephen A. also said there are plenty of McAfee haters out there who just don’t understand that Pat’s success didn’t happen by luck.

“It wasn’t me, but there’s a lot of people that’s jealous of Pat McAfee,” Smith said. “There’s a lot of people that wish they were Pat McAfee, and they wish that they were in your position. And you know what they pay attention to the opportunities that you get but not the work that you put in to get it.”

McAfee broke through with Barstool Sports initially after retiring from the NFL, then branched out and took his podcast to DAZN. Eventually the popularity of the podcast blossomed into a deal with FanDuel and SiriusXM. McAfee has since joined Stephen A. at ESPN as an analyst on College GameDay, even getting to host ManningCast-type alternate feeds for college football games.

Stephen A. gave McAfee his flowers for believing in himself and doing what others in media were afraid to do for themselves.

“As a guy who’s getting to know you better and better every day, what I love about you is that you’re a guy that takes chances on you,” Smith said. “You believe in you, and you’d be surprised how many of us, including the person you’re listening to right now, lacked the courage to do that over many years.”

Stephen A. has since had the chance to develop his own podcast independent of ESPN called K[no]w Mercy, and he told Pat that he served as a bit of inspiration to want to take on the project.

“People like you are what helped me say F this. I’m gonna bet on me, I believe in me,” he said. “So thank you.”

At the end of it, McAfee was incredibly flattered by Smith’s kind words.

“That was f–king very cool of you to say cause I have a lot of respect and appreciation for you, Pat said. “You can check the tape. We’ve always had it.”

“You’re a talent, Stephen A., and I’m happy that you’re gonna go experience what entrepreneurialism is like,” McAfee added. “Cause I think you’re gonna have smashing success.”

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Ian Rapoport: I Have Never Thought It is Me vs Adam Schefter

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows.”

Jordan Bondurant

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In terms of NFL insiders, Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are the two biggest names out there. And sometimes it can be a race between the two to get the biggest scoops first. Especially now with the NFL coaching carousel in full swing.

This week two teams hired new head coaches – the Broncos traded two first round picks to the Saints to acquire the rights to Sean Payton and the Texans signed DeMeco Ryans.

Rapoport tweeted that Denver had pursued Ryans up until the day they announced the trade for Payton.

Not even 15 minutes later, Schefter appeared to clarify the information out there with the two teams.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Thursday, Pat McAfee referred to the conflicting information as a “source off.”

Ian said he stood behind what he put out there.

“I know it’s fun to call it a source off or whatever, but for me I reported what I had based on the best information I can get – based on talking to many, many people throughout the course of the last month,” Rapoport said from the Senior Bowl. “And then whatever happens as a result of this I don’t really mind.”

In terms of any sort of rivalry between him and Schefter, Rapoport doesn’t view it as a head-to-head matchup.

“I don’t even think that, it’s just I report what I know, and he reports what he knows,” he said. “And everyone can sort of judge for themselves whichever way to go.”

McAfee gave kudos to Rapoport for his reporting on the Ryans situation. He also said it’s a good thing Rapoport doesn’t worry himself too much about what other insiders are doing.

“I think you should feel good about it, but I do like a good source off,” McAfee said. “And I appreciate the fact that you don’t view it as you versus Schefter. But you two are at the top of the game. So that’s a compliment more so than anything.”

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Sports TV News

AEW Considers Launching Streaming Service

“It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.”

Jordan Bondurant

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All Elite Wrestling is looking into launching its own streaming service.

According to reporting from Bloomberg, a source “familiar with management’s thinking” said AEW is looking to strike a deal with broadcast partner Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since launching in 2019, AEW now puts on two weekly shows on Warner channels TBS and TNT and airs two shows on YouTube.

Last year AEW acquired Ring of Honor from Sinclair Broadcast Group. As part of that deal, AEW took ownership of RoH’s extensive content library Honor Club. So much like WWE did with WWE Network when it launched in 2014, AEW could launch its streaming service and have all of Ring of Honor’s content in a one-stop shop.

It’s possible an AEW streaming service could be independent, but many are hopeful AEW’s offerings would be available on HBO Max or Discovery+ akin to how WWE Network is now available on Peacock.

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NBC Officially Unveils Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge as New Big Ten Booth

“With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

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It’s officially official: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge, and Kathryn Tappen will join the Big Ten on NBC booth when the network begins airing the conference’s football package in 2023.

NBC made the announcement Thursday, after weeks of speculation about the moves.

“We are excited to showcase Big Ten Saturday Night on the NBC Sports’ primetime marquee,” said NBC Sports Executive Producer Sam Flood. “When you hear Todd’s voice, you know it’s a big college football game. It has been that way for decades.

“Noah is one of the industry’s rising young play-by-play commentators, who has excelled calling numerous sports across multiple platforms for a wide range of audiences. We are thrilled to pair him in the booth with Todd.

“Kathryn has told the stories of so many memorable Notre Dame Football moments over the last decade in her on-field reporting and interviews,” Flood continued. “With their collective college football experience and great enthusiasm for the game, Todd, Noah and Kathryn join a production team that can’t wait to kick off the Big Ten season.”

Blackledge joins NBC after working as a college football analyst for the network for the past 17 seasons. Previously, he was the an analyst for CBS and ABC, making 2023 his 30th consecutive season covering college football as an analyst.

Eagle is the son of broadcasting legend Ian Eagle, and currently serves as the radio voice of the Los Angeles Clippers. He comes to NBC after calling college football games for FOX Sports in 2022.

Tappen has spent the past nine seasons working NBC’s college football coverage with Notre Dame. Eight of those nine seasons were spent as the network’s sideline reporter before anchoring the studio coverage from South Bend in 2022.

2023 will mark the beginning of a seven-year contract for NBC to air Big Ten football games in primetime. The move is one of the biggest notable expansions in the college football arena for the network since its partnership with Notre Dame began in 1991.

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