The life of a broadcaster is busy enough already. Imagine adding classes at Harvard to the schedule! That is what Gus Johnson did this year while calling college football and basketball for FOX and the network wants to take people inside that experience.
Back to School with Gus Johnson is a one hour special documenting Johnson trying to balance the two demanding realities. It will air on February 18 on FOX.
“I was nervous about letting people into my life, but I thought if I could show kids through my journey that education is cool, it was worth it,” Gus Johnson said in a press release. “I think this is a really good story and hope that it inspires. I also hope fans enjoy watching some fantastic folks at a great school, and get new insights into sports as well as the pursuit of lifelong learning.”
Johnson was recruited to be a part of Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative in 2022. His classmates in the year-long program included business and social leaders from around the world. During that time, not only did he call college football and basketball for FOX. Johnson also called some NBA Playoff games for TNT.
University of Michigan football coach, Jim Harbaugh and Harvard basketball coach, Tommy Amaker both appear in the film as do other stars from the sports world.
“FOX Sports is honored to shine a spotlight on Gus Johnson’s story from becoming one of the most iconic voices in all of sports to his truly inspirational new journey through academia,” Charlie Dixon, Executive Vice President & Head of Content for FOX Sports, added. “Gus is a one-of-a-kind talent, and we couldn’t be more excited to give audiences a special look into his illustrious career and the impactful work he is doing at Harvard.”
Back to School with Gus Johnson is a collaboration between FOX and Coaches+ Media. It will air on February 18 ahead of a Michigan State vs. Michigan basketball game, where Johnson will the call the action.
JJ Redick: Being Pro-Player Is Not a Bias
“I want to support all players. I’m a fan of basketball.”
JJ Redick has been a rising star since arriving at ESPN, whether it’s been debating with Stephen A Smith on First Take or being a color commentator on NBA games. Redick does view himself as being pro-player from his 16-year career in the league, but he does not view that as a negative.
“I don’t look at being pro player as some sort of bias,” he said this week on the Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson & Darius Miles podcast. “I do think there are narratives, not just on First Take, about Lebron, Kevin [Durant], Steph [Curry] that I think are stupid. I think there are bad narratives.”
JJ Redick did mention that last year he felt he had to cross the pro-player threshold when he talked about the situation in New Orleans where CJ McCollum hadn’t heard from Zion Williamson after McCollum was traded to New Orleans. He didn’t feel bad about anything he said for two different reasons.
“One, I said everything I said on camera to Zion personally because I was his teammate. Two, some of that stuff was about the sanctity of the team.
“I had to go talk about Kyrie/KD/Nets. Some of that is uncomfortable to talk about because I want to be pro-player. I want to support all players. I’m a fan of basketball. But, sometimes you f up the sanctity of your team, we need to have a discussion about that.”
Back in September, JJ Redick signed a three-year deal with ESPN and for a player who didn’t think he would ever work in media, he is happy to be doing what he is doing now.
“Last year I looked at as like a test run. What do I like to do, what things are important to me, what do I want to do? For me, it’s calling games and First Take. I like battling with Stephen A. I like doing that stuff.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Shannon Sharpe: ‘I Take Full Accountability’ For Altercation With Memphis Grizzlies
“I was wrong. I should have lowered the temperature in the arena, instead, I turned the temperature up and I let it get out of hand.”
On Saturday morning, many of us woke up to the news that Shannon Sharpe had gotten into an altercation with members of the Memphis Grizzlies and their families before halftime during the previous night’s loss in Los Angeles. It was a strange scene that saw the Undisputed host jawing back and forth with Dillon Brooks, Steven Adams, and Ja Morant’s father.
For the second time this month, Undisputed opened with one of its hosts addressing a controversy he was in the middle of. Sharpe apologized to a number of people, saying that he takes ” full responsibility for what transpired”.
“It does not matter what Dillon Brooks said or how many times he said it,” Shannon Sharpe said Monday morning on FS1. “Me being the responsible person, me having the platform that I have and having so many people look up to me, I was wrong. I should have lowered the temperature in the arena, instead, I turned the temperature up and I let it get out of hand.”
At one point Friday night, Crypto.com Arena security had to take Sharpe off of the floor. The Pro Football Hall of Famer was in the tunnel as the staff tried to calm him down.
Shannon Sharpe mentioned several people by name in his apology. Ja and Tee Morant, Dillon Brooks, and Lebron James were among those mentioned. So were the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, and everyone at FOX, who Sharpe regretted were forced to answer for his behavior.
“I’m never gonna be too big to say I’m sorry. I’m never gonna be too big to say I’m wrong. And in that situation, I was absolutely wrong.”
Greg Olsen Wins Universal Praise From Sports Media Colleagues
“Greg Olsen has plenty of fans amongst his sports media colleagues and they were vocal on social media on Sunday.”
Usually, if a game analyst ends up trending on Twitter, it is because people are picking his work apart. Fans of Greg Olsen may have had their hearts skip a beat on Sunday when they saw his name, but clicking on the trending topic showed that the former tight end was drawing near universal praise for his work alongside Kevin Burkhardt in San Francisco.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated led the praise by echoing an observation plenty have made during the season.
Breer was not alone though. Greg Olsen has plenty of fans amongst his sports media colleagues and they were vocal on social media on Sunday.
FOX signed Tom Brady to a $375 million contract before the 2022 season kicked off. The plan is for him to join Kevin Burkhardt in the network’s top NFL booth when he retires. What that mans for Greg Olsen remains unclear.
No matter what his future holds, Olsen will get the chance to call a Super Bowl. He and Burkhardt will call Super Bowl LVII next month. FOX has said that Tom Brady is not part of its coverage plans for the game.