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Mike Florio: NFL Gives ‘Word Salad’ Answers to Media When Pestered About Gambling

“I’ve sent two emails since then, because I tried to ask a follow up and they shut me down before I could.”

Jordan Bondurant

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A photo of Mike Florio
(Photo: Rebecca Kiger/For The Washington Post)

NBC’s Mike Florio has grown frustrated with the NFL and its response to questions about gambling and the integrity of the game.

On Pro Football Talk on Wednesday, Florio told co-host Chris Simms that he asked NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy Jeff Miller if the league office had been hearing all the talk in the media and by fans about games being rigged. But his question was shot down.

Florio prefaced the question using a quote from Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2012, where he said, “If gambling is permitted freely on sporting events, normal incidents of the game, such as bad snaps, dropped passes, turnovers, penalties and play calling, inevitably will fuel speculation, distrust and accusations of point shaving or game fixing.”

“My question for Jeff was, have you seen that kind of speculation and distrust, and what are you doing about it?” Florio said.

“The answer I got, and I don’t want to say word salad in a pejorative way, but it was a word salad of all the things we’re doing, and thank you for asking a difficult question, and yada, yada, yada,” he added. “But he never addressed the threshold question – are you witnessing it? Because Chris, we sure are.”

Florio felt like the legalization of sports betting at the state level has driven calls from fans that games are rigged. The league didn’t seem interested in having a conversation about it.

“It’s more than ever before because the legalized gambling gives people another layer to believe that people are fixing things,” he said. “And he never addressed it, and I’ve sent two emails since then. Because I tried to ask a follow-up and they shut me down before I could.”

“Regardless of what you’re doing to address it, is your fear coming to fruition?” Florio later asked.

Mike Florio was frustrated that the league won’t even entertain a simple question.

“Are they at least willing to address that what the commissioner said 12 years ago is happening?” he said. “You have to acknowledge that, because what you’re doing may not be working. That’s really the bottom line. Whatever they’re doing, it’s not working because the speculation and distrust is rampant right now, and we’re headed to Las Vegas, baby.”

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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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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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