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Stephen A. Smith: Shannon Sharpe is Neither a Journalist Nor an Entertainer

Smith’s comments came after Sharpe was criticized for his lack of follow-up questions to Katt Williams during a viral interview.

Jordan Bondurant

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Stephen A. Smith & Shannon Sharpe
Both Photos Courtesy: Getty Images

Stephen A. Smith said his podcast audience had been waiting for him to speak on Shannon Sharpe’s viral interview with comedian Katt Williams, and on Monday Stephen A. obliged.

Smith dedicated a segment of The Stephen A. Smith Show to speak life into Sharpe, who in his follow-up podcast with Chad Ochocinco responded to feedback from viewers suggesting that he should’ve asked more pressing follow-up questions on several topics Williams addressed.

“I never said I was a journalist. I never professed to be a journalist. I’m an entertainer,” Sharpe said in a clip from Nightcap with Unc & Ocho. “If you want hard-hitting questions, 60 Minutes is the platform for you. Dateline, 48 Hours. Go to Lester Holt. Go to somebody that does that.”

Stephen A. said technically Shannon Sharpe wasn’t wrong in saying he isn’t a journalist. But Shannon denigrated himself in the way he said he was an entertainer.

“He’s a Hall of Fame football player who’s a three-time Super Bowl champion, arguably the greatest tight end in football – and clearly one of them – who also happens to be an entertainer,” Smith said. “He did not tell a lie.”

“But Shannon Sharpe cut himself short,” Stephen A. added. “Shannon Sharpe is a voice in our community. He’s Unc. He’s conscientious, he’s thoughtful. I’m telling you the Shannon Sharpe I’ve come to know. I’ve known him for years, but I ain’t really know him. I love this brother. I love who he is. I got a hell of a lot of respect for him.”

Smith said when Sharpe was forced out from his seat opposite Skip Bayless on FS1 last summer, he was worried that Shannon would be blackballed from TV. He knew he had to get Shannon on First Take for good reason.

“I went and GOT HIM, ’cause I knew what he’d bring,” Smith said.

Stephen A. also felt empathy for Sharpe and recalled back to his 2009 firing from ESPN. He felt like Shannon was too gifted and too talented to not be on the number one show on the network. But Smith said it was bigger than that even.

“He’s too significant to our community. That’s why I’m bringing all of this up,” Smith said. “It’s not about me. This is his day. He’s the one that got the Katt Williams interview. He’s the one that sat down and talked to him. He did all of that.”

Stephen A. Smith continued saying that Sharpe slapping an entertainer label on himself was too limiting.

“He’s more than that. He’s a voice, and when he called himself an entertainer, that took me aback. Cause I know he’s not,” he said.

“You don’t have to be a journalist. All you need to do is be you and be that conscientious observer that you are,” Smith added.

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Sports Online

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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Sports Online

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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Sports Online

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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