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Dan Le Batard: It Is ‘Beneficial to the NFL to Have Taylor Swift in the Super Bowl’

“I’m rooting for just the stories.”

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Dan Le Batard
Courtesy: Jason Koerner, Getty Images

With the championship round slate of games quickly approaching in the National Football League, a preponderance of sports discussion is centered around which teams will earn a spot in Super Bowl LVIII, taking place on Sunday, Feb. 11 from Las Vegas, Nevada. The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz will be on site in Las Vegas for its Thursday and Friday shows in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Ahead of the game though, the show discussed the potential featured matchup taking center stage.

In the NFC, the Detroit Lions will aim for a chance to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history. The team will face the San Francisco 49ers, who have two AP Most Valuable Player finalists in quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey. San Francisco aspires to snap a two-game losing streak in Super Bowl appearances and could have a chance to do so with a win on Sunday. The game will be televised on FOX with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. PST.

Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens will host the Kansas City Chiefs in the earlier matchup to determine the AFC champion, which will be televised on CBS. Kickoff for the matchup is slated for 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST, but consumers could be searching for award-winning singer/songwriter Taylor Swift beforehand. Swift has been dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce since the summer and has been at many of his games this year to support him, drawing intrigue from football and music fans alike.

Combined with the team’s recent success – which includes two Super Bowl championships in the last five seasons – Dan Le Batard is hoping the team wins the game on a controversial call.

“I don’t think it’s what’s going to happen, but it’s what I’m rooting to happen because with the refereeing crisis that they have in that sport, the content machine will melt down if that’s what happens,” Le Batard explained. “And then we’ll go flying into conspiracy theories – very quickly, we’ll be [going], ‘The whole thing’s scripted.’”

Before the season began, the NFL engaged in an advertising campaign featuring several of its star players participating in a table read and reviewing a season script. In the past, there has been speculation from some fans that outcomes and storylines are predetermined before the year, referring to potential results as being scripted per se. Le Batard’s co-host, Jon “Stugotz” Weiner, believes that the league may want the Chiefs to make the Super Bowl because of the team’s popularity. For reference, the team won the championship last season against the Philadelphia Eagles with an average audience of 115.1 million viewers tuning in on FOX television and digital platforms, rendering it the most-watched U.S. television program of all time.

“The city of Baltimore is prepared for this thing to feel rigged because of how obviously beneficial it is to the NFL to have Taylor Swift in the Super Bowl,” Le Batard explained. “She didn’t want to be in the halftime show, and everything that happened after that, people have talked about the idea that everything that happened after that could look orchestrated.”

Show producer Chris Cote conveyed that if Swift were to show up at the Super Bowl, the halftime show featuring Usher would feature various shots of Swift in the process. Cote has grown tired of the Swift phenomenon surrounding the team and is rooting for the Ravens to defeat them on Sunday afternoon. Outside of the halftime show, the show surmises that some fans of Swift’s will root for the Chiefs to win on Sunday and make the Super Bowl, which could result in an appearance from the superstar at Allegiant Stadium.

“You talk about the conspiracy theories on if the Chiefs get in on a bad call, but can you imagine Swifties who have now dedicated their lives to being so upset that Mecole Hardman is getting touches that if Baltimore gets in on a controversial call, what’s going to happen on social media with the Swifties; it’ll be a nightmare,” show contributor Jeremy Taché said. “That can’t happen.”

Even though Weiner believes it would be enjoyable to see the Chiefs lose the game in this fashion, he was surprised to find out that Le Batard is rooting for the reverse scenario. With Ravens quarterback and two-time league MVP Lamar Jackson trying to make his first Super Bowl, he seemed to believe it to be a more compelling angle.

“This is what I am rooting for when I root for the stories and not the content, Stugotz. I’m rooting for just the stories,” Le Batard said, proceeding to discuss the Lions upcoming game. He then continued by expressing his opinion on the AFC Championship game. “….I am not rooting for the underdog in this circumstance; in fact, I believe that Baltimore is going to drag Kansas City, but I am afraid that Patrick Mahomes might be Michael Jordan somehow, even though that’s not what I’ve seen from this team.”

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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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