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Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo: Pat McAfee is ‘Too Sensitive’

“Let it go, you’re making $85 million dollars or whatever you’re making. You can’t get that wrapped up when somebody writes something that’s not so much in your corner, you can’t come out swinging and bury everybody.”

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Chris Russo
Courtesy: Bedford & New Canaan Magazine

Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo was the latest guest host on The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast with Andrew Marchand and commented on the Pat McAfee and ESPN situation from last week.

In the podcast’s opening feature segment, ‘Who’s Up and Who’s Down,’ Marchand chose McAfee as his “Who’s Up,” for not having any ramifications from calling executive Norby Williamson “a rat.”

Russo quickly points out that McAfee could easily be in the “Who’s Down” portion just as easily.

“Listen, (McAfee) does a great job in a lot of ways, but you can’t be that sensitive. He is so sensitive.

“Let it go, you’re making $85 million dollars or whatever you’re making. You can’t get that wrapped up when somebody writes something that’s not so much in your corner, you can’t come out swinging and bury everybody.”

Speaking on some of the executives from ESPN who have had their names brought up in this story, Russo said, “Norby’s a good man. I dont know Burke Magnus but Norby’s a good man. Why would you go out there and throw gauntlets at him?”

Russo also brought up the short amount of time McAfee has been with ESPN and other outlets previously. “Remember, the one thing you can say about (McAfee) – he’s got to prove that he can last a long time with a network,” he said. “Whether it’s Barstool, whether it’s Sirius XM, FanDuel, he hasnt proved yet he could stay 5 or 10 years. Now, he’ll probably kill me for saying this but its true.”

Russo later added, emphatically, “Let it go, it’s not that important. He’s too much in the news for crying out loud.”

Andrew Marchand continued to look at the bright side for McAfee saying, “I think McAfee is in a good situation, he’s shown that he can say anything. There’s different rules for him and it continues to be that way. I think that’s a win for him.

Marchand continued, “The focus last week was all about McAfee and Rodgers, and they had just come off a semifinal of the national championship in colllege football where they had unbelievable ratings, approaching 30 million people, and everyone’s talking about McAfee, so again a win for McAfee overall.”

As they wrapped up the topic, Russo added, “If you’re getting this much power there’s no need to get that upset and throw somebody like Norby under the bus, it’s just not necessary.”

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured 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 — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. 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.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

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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Amazon Prime Video Logo

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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