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Todd McShay Says He Will Never Steal Mel Kiper Jr’s Job

“Although the debates between the two about draft prospects can get heated on occasion, McShay mentioned how Kiper has been a major support system for him.”

Ricky Keeler

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With the 2020-21 NFL season now in the books, the focus will soon go towards the NFL Draft in April. That means more people will be reading and analyzing mock drafts from Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. over at ESPN. This week, McShay released his second mock draft of 2021. 

Before that was released on Tuesday, McShay joined Marty Smith on the Marty Smith’s America: The Podcast to talk about the Super Bowl as well as the path that got McShay to ESPN. Both Smith and McShay joined ESPN back in 2006. 

Shortly after McShay got to ESPN, he got a call from executives in Bristol asking if he was interested in joining Mel Kiper Jr. on TV to debate the upcoming draft. The thing is, ESPN actually called him before they called Kiper.

Although the debates between the two about draft prospects can get heated on occasion, McShay mentioned how Kiper has been a major support system for him. 

“The thing about Kiper and I, the real story is we get hostile with each other once-in-a-while. But it’s like with your buddy who you are having a legitimate fight with and two seconds later, you are over with. He has been probably the top 2 or 3 people at ESPN in terms of supporting my career throughout and nobody knows that. The bottom line is for as much bickering as we do back-and-forth, he has always had my corner from Day 1. 

“He’s Mel Kiper. He’s the institution. He’s never had to worry about some young punk stealing his job and he’s acted with that confidence the entire time. He has always been in my corner and I will never forget what he’s done for me.” 

McShay’s early claim to fame was when he was helping Sporting News with their draft guide as a part of The War Room. The one thing that put McShay on the map, he revealed, came in the early 2000s. Before the draft that year, he had a higher evaluation than most on a certain seven-time Super Bowl champion.

“I graduated in 1999. I got an internship in ’98 with this guy named Gary Horton (worked for ESPN for a long time). He had started this company called the War Room that turned into Scouts Inc. I was making 12,000 calls my first year coming out of college. For the first 2 years, I studied tape and we wound up doing for Sporting News, a draft guide.

“At the time, I gave him [Tom Brady] a 3rd round grade and said he was the most underrated player coming out of that year’s draft. That got attention and helped my career at that point. I thought he was better than people thought he was, but I still gave him a 3rd Round pick, so I can’t take a lot of credit.”

You can catch McShay on the coverage of Trevor Lawrence’s Pro Day at Clemson on Friday beginning at 10 a.m ET on the ACC Network. 

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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