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Author Topic: The Sports Media Thread  (Read 113264 times)

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AO1

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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3450 on: October 01, 2018, 02:04:32 PM »

gargano has a massive ego...hes not gonna be like rob ellis grinding out midnight saturday shifts (i only know this because i was at lukes last week and he was on and i was like...what)

i dont know where he goes at IP

It was internally discussed offering him the fanatic afternoon slot at half his salary but they decided against it because he’s such a prima donna.

Ok looks like this was formally discussed and he’s now taking over middays. Harry’s gone
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Munson

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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3451 on: October 01, 2018, 03:31:34 PM »

No shtein. They've had Harry around forever, surprised they'd do him like that.

Is Martinez staying on with him?
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perhaps you could explain sd's reasons for "disliking" it as well since you seem to be so in tune with other peoples minds

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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3452 on: October 07, 2018, 08:57:25 AM »

Eytan and Harry were offered a pay raise to stay at the station in a new spot but decided to quit instead. Stupid, stupid move.
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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3453 on: October 07, 2018, 09:18:55 PM »

harry explained that...he didnt get enough to warrant getting up at 3am

eytan i dont believe for a second. hes a nobody with no money. hes not turning down a job, let alone one that pays more.
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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3454 on: October 21, 2018, 05:38:08 PM »

Why am I watching taterskins cowboys on cbs.
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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3455 on: December 28, 2018, 12:16:02 PM »

this is a really cool story...

Quote
NEW​ YORK — Maria Taylor is running​ late. In typical New​ Yorker fashion, it’s​ because​ the​ local train​ she​​ had been on decided to go express to the Bronx. Her roommate is worried about her, because even though they technically live on the Upper West Side, they’re rarely actually here. Even rarer are their times here together.

Holly Rowe — Taylor’s roommate — is nestled on the couch, admiring the Christmas decorations she has put up so far. (One pillow reads “Holly,” obviously.) It’s early December and an afternoon of overlap, with both ESPN reporters in town for pre-College Football Hall of Fame celebrations.

When Taylor finally arrives, she’s flustered. She’s been running around for meetings all morning and still isn’t 100 percent comfortable with the subway system when it chooses to go haywire. But she takes off her coat, cozies up to Rowe on the sofa and cracks a joke at her own expense.

Taylor and Rowe share this spacious two-bedroom apartment along with 23-year-old McKylin Rowe, Holly’s son. McKylin generally lives on the bottom floor, while Taylor and Rowe share the second-floor bedroom. When all three are actually present, like this day, McKylin sleeps on the couch and the two women get the real beds.

There are only a handful of times per year that this sort of thing happens. Taylor and Rowe travel extensively for work, primarily as college football reporters in the fall and then dabbling in men’s and women’s basketball among other duties in the winter and spring. Rowe has been with ESPN for two decades as one of its most well-respected and well-liked reporters; Taylor has only been at ESPN since 2014 but is becoming one of its biggest stars.

When they’re together, they vent and talk and bounce ideas off each other. “We’re stronger together,” Rowe says. They occasionally try to be domestic, which doesn’t always work out.

Rowe recently attempted “pie night,” because she wanted to teach McKylin how to bake a pie from scratch.

“Every good mother should pass down these skills — except for maybe I don’t possess those skills,” Rowe says, laughing. “We were here for four hours, but we had wine. It was fun.”

Taylor says: “It was like the apples were swimming in juice. You know what I mean? Nothing cooked.”

Rowe blames the size of the oven. She insists that the crust of the sweet potato pie came out perfectly. “That was good,” Taylor admits. There was a “fire detector problem,” as well, according to Rowe. McKylin watched this all unfold, making faces at them.

By 1 a.m., the pies still weren’t fully cooked. Taylor went to sleep without getting to try a slice before bed.

“You were the one saying, ‘I can’t be up late. I have to do (the ESPN show) ‘Get Up’ in the morning,’ ” Rowe says, laughing at Taylor. “I’m like, ‘Sorry!’ ”

It’s a quintessential roommate story, but it’s not exactly a story you’d expect from two grown women with high-profile careers. But what makes it unusual is what makes it fitting.

Few others understand the year-round grind, the public nature of the job and the uphill battles that women in sports media face quite like they do.

Taylor and Rowe first met at a boss’ wedding in Charlotte, N.C., in the summer of 2017. Rowe remembers it fondly, that they met and danced and got along just fine. Taylor remembers Rowe being mean to her. She had gone up to introduce herself to Rowe and gushed about how much she loved and admired her. Rowe responded, “OK.”

“In my defense, what are you supposed to say when people are like, ‘Oh, my gosh. I love you,’ ” Rowe says, laughing. “Like, what are you really supposed to say?” They both laugh.

The two reconnected in Orlando later that summer at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention. Taylor, who had been engaged, had called off her wedding three weeks prior. She didn’t want to do much of anything except sleep to help pass the days.

But she had to get herself together to present Rowe with the Merit of Honor Award, which goes to an individual with integrity and a tireless commitment to college sports. So Taylor went to Orlando. And to Rowe’s room before the event began.

“Everything that she said that day spoke to my heart,” Taylor says. “She was really open about her relationships and how difficult it is, and why you have to do what’s right for you. She made me feel like my decision was right and gave me the energy I needed to just get through that event because at that point in time I was trying to get through every moment.”

Rowe told her she was planning to move to Manhattan to be closer to McKylin, for those rare nights when she wasn’t on the road for ESPN. Rowe wondered if a fresh start in a new city might be perfect for Taylor, too.

“It’s just one of those weird things in life where you connect with people,” says Rowe, who split time between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles before the move. “Maria and I connect, me and Maria’s mom connect, Maria and my son connect and then my son and Maria’s mom connect. It’s just like this incredible force. We laugh our guts out.”

Rowe then persuaded her son to let her be his roommate. They decided to reach out to Taylor to see if she wanted in, too. Taylor couldn’t believe the sincerity of the gesture. She knew that Rowe wanted her to be happy, and to be happy again, she needed a change of scenery.

“I couldn’t be in Georgia full-time anymore,” Taylor says. “She says things like, ‘You want to live a wonderful life.’ And I realized, yes, that’s what I need. She changed my mindset.

“I felt really trapped, and she helped give me my freedom back.”

Meanwhile, Rowe was battling cancer. Again.

She had been diagnosed with cancer years earlier, when she noticed a small spot on her chest. It turned out to be a big tumor underneath her skin. She found out she had melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

She continued to work as much as possible as she underwent chemotherapy and various treatments. She posted videos on social media to inspire others who are “bald and beautiful,” and she eventually went so far as to rock a mohawk-style hairdo on the sidelines when her hair finally started to grow back and when she started to feel somewhat better.

But in the summer of 2017, cancer returned, and it had spread.

“I did this as a bucket list thing because my cancer wasn’t going great at that point, and I’d always wanted to live in New York,” Rowe says. “I also wanted to be close to my son because I didn’t know what was going to happen with my life. Not to sound too dramatic, but I was like, ‘I’m living big.’

“So we got a place on the Upper West Side that looks just like a movie set. Like, the street we’re on is so pretty, and we’re right by Central Park. So we’re living our bucket list life right now.”

Taylor’s presence only adds to that sentiment, even if they only overlap for extended periods three or four times a year. Rowe believes they were meant to be roommates and help each other through a difficult time.

Those dark clouds are lifting. Rowe says she finished her last chemo session in August and recently had a three-month scan, which doctors told her meant she was stable.

“I’ve gone from being like in survival mode to like, ‘Now what?’ mode, and am I really OK?” Rowe says. “It’s really weird, but life keeps me busy, so I don’t really sit around and think about it too much.”

Sometimes, it hits her all at once. During the broadcast of the Big 12 Championship Game earlier this month, the camera cut to Rowe as she spoke about Turner Cockrell, a 21-year-old Vanderbilt football player who had just died after a year-long battle with melanoma. Rowe’s voice grew shaky as she honored him on air. She starts to cry now, too, while recounting it.

“He had the exact same thing as I do,” Rowe says. “I’m Stage 4 melanoma. It’s really hard. I’ve been in contact with his mom. It’s been really hard because you’re just like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so lucky and I’m also really grieving this kid that I don’t know.’

“It’s been awful. So this has been a hard week, in a week that I also just got a clear scan that says I’m OK. I think I’m not celebrating myself as much as I’m mourning that kid.”

ESPN analyst Todd Blackledge knows how hard it was for Rowe to give that update about Cockrell, and how hard all of this has been for someone who is essentially a workaholic. Blackledge says that no one at ESPN works harder than Rowe — who covers college football, men’s and women’s college basketball, the WNBA, softball and gymnastics, often some at the same time.

“I have no idea how she does it because there’s no way I could do it,” says Blackledge, who has worked with Rowe for many years. “I’m not that kind of a multi-tasker. I lock into my game and I just focus on those two teams, and I just lock in through the whole week. So I really don’t know how she does it, but she does and she does all of them well.”

Rowe did as much as she could both following her initial diagnosis and then after its recurrence. She would go back and forth from California, where her doctors were.

“On weeks that she would have treatment, she would get on-site with us on Thursday and Friday and she was just not feeling great,” Blackledge says. “She would just kind of battle through it and she would be OK on the day of the game. She was a real warrior during that time period.”

Rowe has not missed a college football regular-season weekend in 23 years. This postseason, she will work the Cotton Bowl national semifinal game on Saturday, her fifth consecutive College Football Playoff semifinal. She also will work the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, and then she’ll report for ESPN Radio from the national championship game.

She has inspired many sports fans and athletes who have watched her public fight, but it’s also inspired those closest to her, those who have seen the private battles.

“Holly has cancer, so anything that I’m encountering is less than that,” Taylor says. “All I have to do is come through the door and see her working and be like, you know what? She just had chemo, and she just flew from L.A. and had this scan and that scan. Her body probably hurts. And she’s still like, ‘You want to go to (the restaurant) Good Enough to Eat?’

“That kind of energy and positivity — just being around someone who’s dealing with so much but never lets it hold her back or slow her down — is everything to me, because I feel like there are times when I’m like, ‘I just can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to do it.’ But that would be disrespectful to Holly Rowe.”

Taylor doesn’t talk to Rowe about this sort of thing often. Because Rowe refuses to let others know when she’s feeling bad, it’s up to her friends and coworkers to figure it out. An example: Rebecca Lobo realizes Rowe isn’t feeling like herself, so she’ll text Taylor and suggest that they relax with a movie the next night. Or it’s a message from a friend in the makeup department.

“We have a random cult of people who are texting each other all the time,” Taylor says. “We’re all concerned with the wellness of her. But we’re also not trying to make it everything. You would hate to constantly be having a conversation about cancer or constantly having a conversation about your health. But we’re still working all together to make sure that you’re taken care of.”

In August, Rowe and Taylor decided to go on a road trip. Not for fun but for work, even though work didn’t ask them to do it.

“Maria is the brave one in my mind,” Rowe says. “She’s looking around like, ‘OK, there are all these guys that have shows. Where are the shows for women?’ We love sports and talk about them and cover more sports than anyone, between the two of us. Why can’t we talk about it? Why can’t we have shows, why can’t we be Marty Smith and Ryan McGee? We’re hilarious in our own minds. We really think we’re hilarious. I think people would enjoy that because we’re exactly the same as all the guys talking about sports. We’re just women. It’s not that big of shock. Women have the same eyes and see the same things and can talk about the same things.”

Taylor has used her platform to try to highlight other women in sports media. She has organized for college broadcasters to shadow her during game days. She has pointed out that she and Rowe are just as qualified as the men who always get called to hop on “SportsCenter” to discuss breaking college football news.

“I have more accepted the roles they’d given me instead of trying to bang down doors even though I have in my way banged down a lot of doors,” Rowe says. “She pushes me and she pushes us. It’s awesome.

“We’re stronger together.”

There are moments when Taylor makes Rowe nervous. Are we really going to send that email? Are we really going to put this on our bosses’ desks? “It’s like, ‘Here I am, the old sage veteran reporter,’ ” Rowe says. “There are things, like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m grateful she has the courage to say that and do that.’ She’s not afraid of anything.”

“I just want her to flex that muscle more and more, because honestly, she’s where I would like to be one day,” Taylor says. “Even at whatever age, and we don’t have to put an age on it, I will still expect and deserve these things that all the men are getting. I just want her to say and do the same things. And if she doesn’t, I say it for her.”

So they mapped out their college football preseason camp road trip, making sure it would take them to campuses of teams they’d be covering early in the season. They called it the Taylor Rowe’d Trip and posted a number of video interviews on their social media channels.

Taylor put together a SWOT analysis after they finished their road trip. The report evaluated internal factors like strengths and weaknesses, as well as external ones involving opportunities and threats. It included how cheap the trip was and how valuable it ended up being. She put a copy of it on each of their bosses’ desks in Bristol.

“We said, well, maybe we just have to show everyone, show the world, that we can go out and do this,” Taylor says. “We can get the same access to players and coaches — and if anything, probably get even better access because they’re so used to seeing our faces all the time.

“It was a great idea, and it’s about just getting supported. I also wanted to have a hard copy of, ‘This is how many impressions we’ve received. These are the opportunities that we have. We’re doing it during a dead period. We don’t have any women in these roles. We’re serious. This is a business opportunity just as much. It’ll be good for you, and it’ll be great for us, because it’s finally giving an opportunity to women.’ ”

Taylor understands and appreciates that she is now one of the most recognizable women in all of sports. She just finished her second season as a reporter for ESPN’s “College GameDay,” a flagship program for the network. She also worked as a sideline reporter alongside Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit for the ABC prime-time game. That same crew will work the Orange Bowl national semifinal on Saturday, the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 and the national championship game on Jan. 7. Lately, Taylor also has been appearing sporadically on ESPN’s morning show “Get Up.”

“She’s obviously wildly talented and can handle any situation that’s thrown at her, but I think the No. 1 thing that she has is that she has poise, and she’s prepared,” “GameDay” host Rece Davis says. “She knows the subject matter, she relates to people well. … She’s also very good at working with the analysts and challenging them when they need to. She responds very well to the crowd. On this show, you can’t be locked in to what you thought you were going to say. We don’t do prompters, script, or anything like that.

“If somebody says something that sparks another thought or if there’s a sign or something that happens in the crowd … you know you’ve got to be flexible. I think she’s really good at that.”

Part of what makes Taylor successful is that she has a knack for relating to the people she covers. At 31 and a former college athlete — she played volleyball and basketball at Georgia — she relates to the experiences that college athletes go through today. Players respond well to her style; she goes out of her way to put them in comfortable situations, like riding a bike alongside Stanford running back Bryce Love.

“I try to communicate with them as if maybe I am still in college,” Taylor says. “Like, ‘That was a really tough situation for you to deal with.’ Or, ‘I know your coach was mad at you after that.’ I want to be like the Oprah of sports. I want to meet people where they are. I don’t want to talk down to them. I don’t want them to feel like they’re being threatened or being attacked. That’s not my style.

“My purpose hasn’t changed, I don’t think. My purpose is to be around these student-athletes to show them that they can have a woman of color in their space and talking to them, and meeting them where they are, and making them feel comfortable. It’s showing other women who are out there watching that we don’t have to be one thing. We don’t have to be pigeonholed in anything.

“I wear those burdens. Holly knows. It bothers me when I wear it sometimes. I have to let it go, but that’s what my purpose is. You can put me anywhere and I’m going to be thinking the same thing.”

ESPN vice president of production Lee Fitting says he sees that versatility, even as he’s cautious about putting reporters in roles in which they’re called upon to give their opinion — particularly if the breaking news involves Urban Meyer, for example, and they’re scheduled to work an Ohio State game in two weeks. But Fitting also sees how willing Taylor is to go to the athletes in their own environment, whether it be the weight room or a dorm room or the cafeteria. And that’s valuable from a television production standpoint.

“She’s willing to really work at it and foster the relationships,” Fitting says. “They both have a great work ethic, they’re really smart, they’re really likable on TV. If you have those three things, it really sets you up to succeed, and both of them have that. On top of that, you put their ability to build relationships with athletes and coaches and schools, and it just makes for a home run.”

Taylor and Rowe believe that their friendship was preordained. Someone, somewhere was looking out for them, giving each a family member she didn’t know she needed.

Someone to watch Hallmark Christmas movies with. Someone to do touristy things with. Someone to spend time with who understands the exhaustion and stress of the gig, but also when not to let that get to you. Someone who knows when you need a laugh or a hug or maybe just a cup of coffee.

“We have a similar heart,” Rowe says. “What we see in each other is a goodness, and a kindness, and a personality that’s open and loving. And I think that’s what we have found in each other.”

Taylor imagines a world in which their friendship didn’t exist, and she shudders.

“This is a white Mormon woman who’s going through cancer, and from a different part of the world, a young black girl just getting into the business, and we have the same heart,” Taylor says. “We enjoy the same things. And in all the ways that we’re different, there’s so many more reasons why we’re the same and can get along. Imagine if we just didn’t talk to each other because I looked at Holly and said, ‘Well, I probably have nothing in common with her.’ I would be missing out on a family member, essentially.”

Taylor and Rowe really do consider each other family, so much so that they’re already planning their second annual vacation. Last year, they went to Italy with Taylor’s mom and Rowe’s son. This coming offseason, the four of them are going to Bora Bora.

“What we have found in each other is beautiful,” Rowe says. “I’m glad that we can see past stereotypes or whatever you might think on the outside to find what’s inside.”
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Re: The Sports Media Thread
« Reply #3456 on: January 16, 2019, 01:13:46 PM »

Quote
Cincinnati Reds announcer Marty Brennaman announced a few moments ago that 2019 will be his last season in the broadcast booth.

Brennaman, 76, has broadcast Reds games since 1974 and stands as every bit an institution among Reds fans as any announcer ever has among his local fan base. In 2000 he won the Ford C. Frick Award award, presented annually by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He called Hank Aaron’s 714th home run, Tom Seaver’s no-hitter, Tom Browning’s perfect game and every other major moment that occurred in a game involving the Reds for the past 44 years. He also, of course, has called three World Series clinchers for the Reds.
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