Ernie Johnson may not be the focus of TNT’s Inside the NBA, but he is every bit as important as Kenny, Chuck and Shaq. He also has a unique story to tell about his life as a father. He has been using that story to inspire others for years.
Recently, Alabama football coach Nick Saban invited Johnson to come to Tuscaloosa and speak to his team. Using his son Michael’s relationship with his basketball coach, Johnson told the best college football team in America about his philosophies of making someone else’s day better and being a better human.
The University of Alabama posted highlights of the speech online.
Michael was adopted from an orphanage in Romania. The nurse that handed the child to Johnson’s wife told her that she didn’t want that baby because “he is no good.” He lives with muscular dystrophy. He did not speak until he was 8 years old. Ernie Johnson told the players that his son developed a relationship with his high school’s basketball coach, because the coach recognized how hard Michael worked every single day and was taken by Michael’s desire to say “love you too” before anyone said “I love you to him first.”
The coach ended up putting Michael on the basketball team to teach his players about sacrificing for others and creating a better world for someone else. A moment where fellow players and other students showed their respect for Michael at his high school graduation stuck with Johnson and made him realize how fortunate it was that the coach and the kid met.
Not just the story itself, but seeing it told by Michael’s father had a clear impact on many. That includes Ernie Johnson’s colleagues in the sports media, many of whom took to Twitter to share Johnson’s message and express admiration for him both personally and professionally.
Michael’s is a story that Ernie Johnson has told before. It was the focus of a critically acclaimed segment on ESPN’s E:60 in 2015.
Nick Saban has as much or more clout than any other coach in American sports. The athletic department at the University of Alabama is not shy about spending money. The coach can seemingly pick and choose who comes to talk to his team. The fact that he chose Earnie Johnson is a testament to the power of the message.
Marcus Spears: I Would Put Mike Greenberg In The Hospital
“I love him, he’s my brother, but I would try and saw him in half because he has that stank arrogance of a quarterback.”
Dan Patrick had ESPN’s Marcus Spears on his show Tuesday and presented him with a topic that was very interesting.
Let’s be real, we all want to hit our co-workers from time to time, and Dan Patrick presented Spears with this hypothetical scenario for three of his fellow co-workers at ESPN.
“If I gave ya a free shot, would it be at Keyshawn Johnson, Ryan Clark, or Dan Orlovsky?” said Patrick.
“Dan Orlovsky, and I would try and saw him in half DP,” Spears replied. “I gotta be honest with you.”
“I love him, he’s my brother, but I would try and saw him in half because he has that stank arrogance of a quarterback. That comes off and sometimes you just want to let him know, you really aren’t an athlete.”
Dan Patrick then took the question up a level by adding a fourth option to the mix.
“What if I threw Greeny (Mike Greenberg) in there, would you choose him?”
Spears replied, “Yeah, I would want to see how long he would be in the hospital.”
The answer caused Patrick to bust out in laughter, which in turn made Marcus Spears laugh.
It will be interesting to see how the challenge and answer play out on the NFL Live and Get Up sets. Marcus Spears is one of the most likable personalities at ESPN. Certainly, there will be no bad blood. It will be curious if anyone has a challenge to throw back at him though.
Viewership Growth Continues For First Take, Get Up
The success of both shows has lead to ESPN being the top cable network from 8:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m in the key demographic of 18-34 year olds.
ESPN is seeing growth in two of their signature morning shows. Get Up, with Mike Greenberg and First Take featuring Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim Rose are both seeing a rise in audience.
Get Up‘s audience is up a significant 27% percent compared to 2020. November was the most-watched month in the history of the show according to Nielsen. This is the ninth consecutive month that the show has shown year-over-year growth.
First Take is doing well in its own right, up 19% compared to 2020. The show has shown year-over-year growth in 6 out of the last 7 months.
The success of both shows has led to ESPN being the top cable network from 8:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m in the key demographic of 18-34 year olds.
“Get Up and First Take continue to bring top level information, insight and entertainment for our fans. Making the four hour block appointment television,” said David Roberts, ESPN senior vice president, NBA & studio production. “Beyond the 8 a.m.-12 p.m. viewership success, segments from both shows also perform extremely well with fans across social and digital channels, expanding their reach in meaningful ways.”
There was some question as to how First Take would do following Max Kellerman’s removal from the show back in August, but it seems that the format of rotating panelists on the show alongside Smith and Qerim Rose has been a success.
Robert Griffin III Book To Expose Washington Football Team
I want you to take this journey with me, as I walk you through one of the most dysfunctional franchises in all of sports.”
Robert Griffin III has a new book coming, and the topic is one that has been in the news as of late.
Griffin announced Surviving Washington on Twitter. The book is focused on the issues he had with the Washington NFL team at the beginning of his pro career. It’s set for an August 2022 release.
“Now, every experience that I’ve ever had has made me a better husband, a better father, and a better player. But I want you to take this journey with me, as I walk you through one of the most dysfunctional franchises in all of sports,” Griffin said in a video announcing the book. “I’m going to tell you the truth about what happened in that playoff game in 2012 against Seattle. I’m going to detail the medical mismanagement that I received during my time in Washington. I will open your eyes to the sexual harassment that permeated the walls of that building, and give you a deep dive into a power struggle between one of the most powerful coaches in all of sports and an owner that many of you want gone. They say, ‘The truth will set you free,’ so here it is, unfiltered. Pre-order now.”
Robert Griffin III said that signing with ESPN didn’t mean his playing days were over. He ever said that he would consider a return to Washington if that is what kept him in the NFL. That is obviously not likely to be happening anymore after openly blasting the owner. It could also rub NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell and other team owners the wrong way as they try to make the investigation into Washington’s corporate culture go away.
If Robert Griffin III is ending his playing career with the release of this book, it isn’t exactly bad news for ESPN. The former QB won rave reviews as a college football game analyst this season. He has also done well with studio coverage of the NFL. Surely the network would find a way to use him more.
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