When you look at sports morning shows that have multiple people on a panel talking about a specific topic, sometimes the person who goes last has the chance to access the most information before they have to speak. That happened on Wednesday morning on Get Up when Mike Greenberg, Dan Orlovsky, Adam Schefter, and Ryan Clark got into Kirk Cousins’ recent comments about COVID-19.
Cousins was on Kyle Brandt’s 10 Questions podcast on Spotify and the Minnesota Vikings quarterback gave his thoughts about why he was not too worried about the coronavirus.
Brandt asked, “If 1 is the person who says, ‘Masks are stupid, you’re all a bunch of lemmings’ and 10 is, ‘I’m not leaving my master bathroom for the next 10 years,’ where do you land?”
After a chuckle, Cousins responded, “I’m not gonna call anybody stupid, for the trouble it would get me in. But I’m about a .000001.”The New York Post
Cousins later said, “I want to respect what other people’s concerns are. For me personally, just talking no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it, I would say I’m gonna go about my daily life. If I get it, I’m gonna ride it out. I’m gonna let nature do its course. Survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach. And just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I’m going to be OK. You know, even if I die. If I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that.”
Ryan Clark gave a very candid perspective into how he feels about Cousins from being his teammate with the Washington Football Team back in 2014 and being a carrier of the sickle-cell trait that nearly cost him his life.
“I know tough people. I know a ton of tough people. Many of those tough people I have played with consider me a tough person,” Clark said. “As someone here who has dealt with something that happened on the field that almost cost them his life…Kirk Cousins ain’t tough y’all. This is not about toughness.”
Clark also said he would not include Cousins on a particular list and blasted the short-sightedness that leads to a comment like Cousins’s.
“I played with Kirk. Kirk’s a good football player. Kirk is a football player that will stand in and do things that a quarterback has to do. If I had 10 people to take with me and say I wanted to take the 9 other toughest people that played on my team, Kirk Cousins wouldn’t be in that group.
“I think when you make statements like this and you pound your chest like this, it doesn’t show empathy for the people that have lost their lives to COVID-19 and empathy to the people who have lost family members…When you think about protecting yourself and saying that you don’t believe in certain things, if you have compassion, if you care about other people, you are going to do at least what is being mandated of you by the NFL and by your team and listen to some of the things that are going on with the reports of what COVID-19 can do to certain people who are predisposed to having this disease take their lives or put them in the hospital and at least try to protect them.
“This is not a time to judge Kirk Cousins’ opinions, but it is time to talk about what the ramifications of this type of thought process could be for himself, his teammates, or this league.”
Clark took the right approach in not judging the thoughts of his former teammate, but also trying to have people understand things from his own perspective of playing with a health issue. That alone speaks volumes.
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Kay Adams: Pat McAfee Has Built ‘The Dream’
“it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”
Many in sports media have respect for former NFL punter Pat McAfee for what he has accomplished in his media endeavors, and you can add FanDuel TV host Kay Adams to that list.
“I’m just blown away by the success and by the leverage he has,” Adams said on the My Other Passion podcast. “It is uncanny, it is aspirational, and it is self-made, so it is a beautiful thing. I — of course — watch what he does. I don’t want to be just like him but I do think he is so disruptive.
“He has such a chip on his shoulder. It drives him but I almost wish I could see it relieved a little bit. He’s thriving, he’s happy, and I think the thing that sticks out to me about him is that he’s truly grateful. Truly is grateful for everything he has, his opportunities. He’s worked his ass off for it.”
Adams pointed to McAfee’s recent spat with the NFL over use of the league’s logos as an indicator of not only his success but his influence in the sports landscape.
“He is true to himself but he mostly leads with gratitude, which I think is the epitome of success. But he’s out there show you what can be done. He’s the first, but will he be the last to have that sort of platform? That sort of swing? What he does with the NFL the other week, I’m paying attention to that.
“Because I wanna see: is the NFL gonna bend the knee to Pat McAfee? Does the NFL care what he says? But it’s interesting because he’s built himself to such a place that he does not need anyone and that is the dream.”
The NFL did eventually “bend the knee” and reversed course on limiting McAfee’s use of league trademarks.
John Skipper: Bob Iger’s Return Won’t Effect ESPN
“If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”
There have been many questions about what Bob Iger’s return to Disney will mean for ESPN, but former ESPN President John Skipper believes it won’t change much.
Skipper pointed to Iger’s relationships with powerbrokers in the sports world as a positive, and also believes that the “streaming wars” will be won by those who hold the rights to live sports.
“As a moat, to get the pay-TV fees and to get people to pay more money to subscribe,” Skipper pointed to Sportico as the reason for ESPN to still have an agreement with the NBA for linear TV. He later added “If you’re going to win the streaming wars, you’re going to have to have sports.”
Skipper also said the network used to invest in constant studio programming but said that’s no longer a necessity.
“We did that type of programming because the economics were different at the time,” Skipper said.
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports President Departs
“His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”
Lenny Daniels is leaving Warner Bros. Discovery after 27 years with the company.
Daniels is the President of the company’s sports division in the United States, overseeing the contracts and strategic vision for the organization.
In a memo sent to staff obtained by Sports Business Journal, CEO Luis Silberwasser said “While this change will take place right away, Lenny has agreed to work with me to ensure a smooth transition.” He also added “I have enjoyed working with Lenny during these past few months and I respect his decision. Lenny has never been one to place a spotlight on himself; he’s always been quick to shine it on those around him. His enthusiasm and light-hearted demeanor are among his most endearing qualities, and they will be missed.”
The departure by Daniels coincides with a round of layoffs by the company and also the beginning of long-term agreements with the NHL and MLB. The network is also about to embark on negotiations with the NBA for its next media rights deal, with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO and President David Zaslav recently saying “we don’t have to have the NBA“.