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Jason Whitlock: Shannon Sharpe More Authentic and Talented Than Stephen A. Smith

Whitlock argued Smith couldn’t compete with what Sharpe has built in his media career.

Jordan Bondurant

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A photo of Jason Whitlock
(Photo: The Blaze)

An interview between comedian Katt Williams and Shannon Sharpe became one of the top stories in entertainment last week, with the episode of the Club Shay Shay podcast generating more than 32 million views on YouTube since it premiered on Wednesday.

Over on The Blaze last week, host Jason Whitlock commented that Sharpe’s ability to conduct such an honest and free-flowing interview was impressive and something never seen before in terms of former athlete turned broadcaster.

“I haven’t seen any other professional athlete, including Charles Barkley, transition into this high level of a professional broadcaster as what I’m seeing from Shannon Sharpe,” Whitlock said on his show Fearless.

“This guy’s prepared. Again, most of these jocks show up and they just, ‘I’m just here to be a personality,'” he added. “No, this dude – either his staff or himself – he’s prepared. He knows all the scenes from the movies they were in. He’s read up on their background. They’ve put all this information in front of him. He asks good questions, they like him. He puts them at a comfort level, and he’ll go wherever they want to go.”

Whitlock continued that he wasn’t a fan of his work with Skip Bayless on FS1, and tipped his cap at what Shannon Sharpe has been able to accomplish with Club Shay Shay since he left the network last summer. He felt like Sharpe has even surpassed Stephen A. Smith in terms of the media empire he’s been able to build.

“He’s more talented, more authentic, and better than Stephen A. Smith,” Jason said. “Stephen A. Smith wants to move into this entertainment lane, and what he does not realize is Shannon’s already beat him there. That’s not a knock on Stephen A. Smith, because Stephen A. can do a little bit of what Shannon’s doing. But he is not as good as Shannon in the lane Shannon has built here.”

Whitlock told guest Steve Kim that the difference between the two media stars was gravitas, and that goes back to Sharpe’s playing career in the NFL.

“Because of that Hall of Fame football career there is a deference,” Whitlock said. “Katt Williams showed it multiple times. He basically was arguing like, ‘Shannon in the football world, you’re like me in the comedy world. We’re both Hall of Famers.”

“People like Stephen A. because of the position he’s been put in by ESPN, and they have to deal with him. But they don’t really like him,” he added. “People are looking at Shannon and are feeling like, ‘Man he earned this. He was a great Hall of Fame football player.'”

Whitlock praised Sharpe further saying he has become an excellent interviewer. Kim concurred.

“He’s an interviewer who lets the guy being interviewed have their viewpoints,” he said. “He’ll push back here and there. But it is absolutely something that gets on my nerves when I hear interviewers start to try to argue with people’s others opinions. If Katt Williams says something that I don’t like, I might interject, but I will always think ‘Katt, have your opinion, expound upon it.’ This is not meant to be an argument. It’s not a debate show.

“When you have a setting or a format where you can be a 5-minute interview, or a 5-hour interview like it was with Charleston White and Cam Newton, you can get into a lot of things. And you can allow your subject to expound. I believe that’s a much more effective way to get to somebody.”

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Return As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

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An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — the game’s longtime voices Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will return for its newest iteration, NCAA Football 25. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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