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Tom Brady

Tom Brady To Join Fox Sports As Lead NFL Analyst Following Career

Following his playing career, quarterback Tom Brady will be joining Fox Sports as their lead NFL analyst. While the terms of Brady’s contract were not disclosed, the New York Post reported it to be a 10-year, $375 million deal.

It’s quite a historic contract on multiple levels if the report is accurate. Over his career, Brady earned over $302 million. He’s set to earn $15 million in 2022, meaning he’ll make $58 million more while sitting in a booth. Brady will also earn $7 million more annually than broadcaster Jim Rome, who makes $30 million a year.

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However, Fox corporate spokesman Brian Nick has disputed the report of Brady’s deal and value. “What has been reported isn’t an accurate description of the deal and we have not released details beyond what was disclosed on our quarterly earnings call,” Nick said.

The signing of Brady was first announced Tuesday by Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch during a corporate investors call. Brady will call games alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt, and work as an “ambassador” with respect to “client and promotional initiatives.”

The real question now is when Brady will finally quit. The 44-year-old announced his retirement in January, only to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two months later for his 23rd season. Given his competitive nature, one could assume Brady wasn’t happy with last season’s divisional round loss.

For Fox Sports, meanwhile, the coup of Brady is a huge — and necessary — one. The company lost announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast this offseason, with Burkhardt replacing Buck.

The New York Post added that ESPN also showed interest in adding Brady to its broadcasting group, though given its star-studded cast of announcers, there wouldn’t have been much room for Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion. While Brady continues to play, former All-Pro tight end Greg Olson will work alongside Burkhardt as an analyst.

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That shift in announcers was just one of many happening this offseason. Elsewhere, Al Michaels left NBC and Sunday Night Football to join Kirk Herbstreit on Amazon Prime’s new exclusive coverage of Thursday Night Football. Of course, given Tom Brady’s name recognition, his announcement certainly the biggest splash of them all and could help Fox to bring in more viewers down the line.

Brady also represents just the latest quarterback to step into the broadcasting world. Former Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo joined CBS Sports back in 2017. He turned into a masterful game-caller, and is now earning $18 million per year, the third-highest mark among sports broadcasters. On opposing channels, brothers Peyton and Eli Manning teamed up on ESPN’s well-received “Manningcast” broadcast for Monday Night Football, while Drew Brees joined NBC for Sunday Night football.

Certainly, the NFL — and those calling it — reign supreme on television. The league made up 75 of the 100 most-watched broadcasts in 2021, with the Super Bowl (91.63 million viewers) sitting in the top spot. Fox is set to broadcast two of the next three Super Bowls.

Over his career, Brady has thrown for 624 touchdowns and 84,520 passing year (both NFL records) and shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, the three-time MVP threw for 43 touchdowns and a league-leading 5,316 yards against just 12 interceptions, registering a 102.1 quarterback rating.

Basketball

NBA Board Of Governors To Discuss Future Of 2020 Playoff Season

The NBA’s board of governors will have a meeting this Thursday in which they will vote to possibly approve a plan that would restart the basketball season with 22 teams stationed in Orlando, Florida. While no formal plan has been proposed, and it’s unlikely that one will even pass given the current state of the country in regards to Covid-19, some title favorites are internally figuring out ways to make a season in Florida work; considering they’d be giving up the “home-court advantage” every game. 

All major sports leagues (and non-sports related industries as well) in America have learned throughout this pandemic that creativity and innovation are key in changing the way we run our lives and careers. However, for the NBA specifically, there is still a great chance that the playoffs will get cancelled, which would mean for the first time in the NBA’s 74-year history a champion team will not be crowned. 

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Some teams are trying to strategize ways of advancing their teams edge if they’ll be forced to play in just one stadium. 

“Executives from the teams that would host a first-round series in the playoffs told ESPN that they had internal discussions within their own front offices about reviving their home-court advantage in some fashion, and that some have already shared ideas with other teams in the same situation, with the hopes of having an ally when making an appeal to the league,” (ESPN).

Sources also told ESPN about what some of these options for “reviving their home-court advantage” would be, including giving the team with the higher-seed first possession during the second, third, and fourth quarters of the game. The higher-seeded team can also receive an extra coach’s challenge, and transport their actual hardwood home courts from their arenas to Orlando. 

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The NBA competition committee is made up of team owners, general managers, players, and coaches. The committee held a meeting this week and none of the above options were discussed, in fact, they didn’t even discuss the possibility of restarting the season. The purpose of this committee, however, is to act as the middleman between the players and the board of governors. They discuss new ideas and changes the league could make, compile a professional presentation and then present to the board; like any office job. 

“[I’m] more concerned about play resuming than getting a playoff benefit. I’ve been just so hoping that we actually play the games, I don’t care if they even give us the home-court advantage. I’m like, just be sure we play. We’ve got to get to Orlando. We’ve got to have a chance to play for a championship in the playoffs. I don’t care what they do. We have such a hungry team and mindset, that yeah, sure, great, give us an extra timeout, give us an extra possession. Whatever the ideas are, I’m all for it,” Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

So far, many executives and board members have emphasized the importance of health and safety during this pandemic, hence why the specifics of restarting the season haven’t fully been discussed yet. Like every other industry in this country, only time will tell how this virus will continue to impact the way in which they run. However, NBA fans can expect a little more clarity on the future of the playoff season by the end of this week.

ESPN

ESPN To Air International Sporting Events Amid Coronavirus Concerns In The US

This week, ESPN aired a Korea baseball contest as part of an agreement between the United States and Korea that claims the US’ sports network will air up to six KBO games a week. Those who watched the first aired game this past week may have noticed a slew of technical difficulties that occurred throughout the game, most of which were actually expected. 

Since all professional sports in the US are paused indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, sports fans all over the country are craving some sort of entertainment to turn on while they pass the time in quarantine. This was the main motivating factor in the collaboration between KBO and ESPN; and the other live sporting events that are beginning to start up again around the world which ESPN will also be attempting to air on their network. 

“I think there was an absolute hunger and desire to watch live sports programming. This is the time of year where baseball is played. And if you can provide that meal to a hungry audience, they’re going to eat it,” ESPN announcer Karl Ravech said. 

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The United States is the most infected country in the world currently, with over 1.3 million positive cases of Covid-19 and over 78,000 deaths, there’s no telling when we’ll fully return to a life of normalcy here. Luckily, other countries around the world, mainly in Asia, that are seeing a flattening of the curve are beginning to bring some sporting competitions back for online viewing. 

As previously mentioned, South Korea’s baseball league began playing again this week, while Taiwanese baseball began last month. There’s been some pressure put onto Europe as their lockdown policies begin to life, as fans are craving the country restarts their European Soccer season, as well as Australia for their Rugby season. However, Australia did recently announce that their National Rugby League would resume play at the end of May; Australian Football is also set to begin again in June. 

The goal worldwide is to provide streams of these global sports leagues and offer a sense of normalcy to those of us who are unsure when sports will begin again in our country. For the recent KBO game that was initially aired on ESPN this week, Americans watched two opposing Korean baseball teams that they knew nothing about go head-to-head, and minus a few minor differences in game regulation, the game was essentially like any other one. 

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Fans reacted positively to hearing commentary from Ravech and Eduardo Perez, the ESPN announcers who they all know and love. Hopefully, having their commentary over international sporting events will hold everyone over, because as of right now it’s totally unclear when the MLB season here in America will begin. There’s been some talk to sequester all 30 MLB teams to Arizona to play games in one crowd-less arena for the whole season, but having all of those players temporarily move to Arizona for an entire baseball season during a pandemic has made that plan complicated. 

“We have tried to be cautious about trying to go too soon, based on what the public health situation is. I think it’s incumbent upon us to turn over every stone to try to play the game in 2020 if there’s any way we can in the environment,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

Players in KBO are required to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer often throughout the games/practices, and also must receive daily temperature checks. Every player is also, for the most part, required to wear a mask and gloves (medical gloves not baseball gloves), except when on the field. Social distancing measures still must be put in place as much as possible, although it’s quite hard in any multiplayer sport to keep your distance. 

If any player tests positive, the entire league will be placed into quarantine for 14 days and the league will then review if it needs to be suspended or not. 

For now, it’s unclear when Americans will be able to turn on ESPN and see a normal jam-packed stadium cheering for their favorite teams again. In the meantime, sports fans all over the world are opening up their internet browsers and either watching past highlights, or doing their research on Korean baseball.

Golfing

Brooks Koepka Wants You To Stop Criticizing Athlete’s Bodies

Brooks Koepka wants you to stop criticizing athletes bodies and thinks he looks way better than you naked anyway. 

Sports Team

Mass Staff Exodus at Deadspin as Writers Defy New Owner

While ostensibly a sports-focused website, Deadspin has maintained a loyal readership base over the years by weaving social commentary and cultural criticism into its reporting, earning a reputation as a publication unafraid of speaking truth to power. However, after a private equity firm bought the website’s parent company, G/O Media, a rift emerged between the site’s new owners and the editorial staff, who strongly objected to various changes they were making at the publication. In keeping with their rebellious nature, Deadspin’s staff writers published posts criticizing their company’s new owners, revealing the extent to which managerial changes offended not only the website’s core staff but also the bulk of its readership. Though writers objected to changes like the introduction of auto-play ads and the prioritization of quantity over quality, the final nail in the coffin was a broad editorial edict to “stick to sports,” which writers understood to be code for “don’t write anything that will get anyone in trouble.”

The site’s writers initially reacted to this order with strong defiance; the site’s editor-in-chief, Barry Petchesky, featured a number of articles that did not concern sports but were nonetheless popular with readers on the Deadspin homepage, leading to his being fired. On Tuesday, October 29th, Petchesky announced his firing on Twitter. The following day, one by one, various other writers for the site announced they would be resigning in solidarity with Petchesky and in a total rebuke of the new management. As of this morning, more than half of the writing staff had left the company, and Deadspin has not been updated with any new stories, even in the aftermath of the Nationals’ historic win at the World Series. As such, the future of the website looks bleak; the Deadspin adored by a broad, loyal, and engaged readership is no more, and the brand is likely to be transformed into a clickbait farm or some other form of low-quality publication.

The collapse of Deadspin at the hands of an indifferent corporate class speaks to the negative impacts of a philosophy of putting profit above all else.

The mass exodus at Deadspin, which effectively killed the website, speaks to the importance of maintaining editorial independence in a media publication. In the article during which the site’s former editor-in-chief announced her resignation, Megan Greenwall described her understanding of the motivations of Jim Spanfeller, the company’s new CEO, thus: “he believed he could simply turn up the traffic (and thus turn a profit), as if adjusting a faucet, not by investing in quality journalism but by tricking people into clicking on more pages.” According to Greenwall, Spanfeller ignored evidence, both in the form of comments and traffic figures, that readers appreciated Deadspin for the variety of topics it covered. As such, Greenwall argued that the fundamental business model whereby writers and editors publish content that readers actually wanted to read, rather than maximizing volume in a narrow subject matter at the expense of quality, lead to the company’s financial success in the first place, which was jeopardized by decisions made by people who didn’t fundamentally understand the industry.

The widespread resignation of Deadspin’s staff is particularly notable in light of the reality of the current media landscape, where journalists are prone to fear of sacrificing their livelihoods for their principles, as it can be difficult to find work in the industry. Moreover, the collapse of Deadspin at the hands of an indifferent corporate class speaks to the negative impacts of a philosophy of putting profit above all else, and the self-destructive forms in which this philosophy, motivated by greed, can manifest. Ultimately, the loss of Deadspin is a loss to the broader world of sports journalism; the website was initially created as a response to the apolitical and at-times superficial ESPN and other sports media giants, and was founded under the belief that politics and cultural criticism are inextricably intertwined with sports, as they are with all aspects of life.