Before Sean Payton had even made his decision to leave the New Orleans Saints, his name was floating around to be one of the next big names in the booth.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler stated he believed Payton would be up for TV roles. According to Michael McCarthy at Front Office Sports, Payton would be “at the top” of the list to replace Troy Aikman in the booth for Fox assuming Aikman left for Amazon.
Since Payton made the choice to leave coaching, the rumors have ramped up. On Tuesday, he discussed the possibility of going to TV and said he’d be interested. But no one has reached out to him about it yet.
“I don’t know what’s next. And look, I haven’t spoken to anyone from a media outlet relative to doing television or radio. Maybe that opportunity arises,” Payton said during a press conference. “But every time I read something that’s like ‘He’s in line for this job,’ I call my agent Don [Yee] and say ‘Don, have you heard something, cause I have not heard anything?’ And that’s okay. I think I’d like to do that, I think I’d be pretty good at it.”
If Payton really wants a job on television, there will most likely be an opportunity for him. Multiple personalities are considering moves, including Troy Aikman on Fox and Brian Griese and Louis Riddick on ESPN.
Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported on multiple possibilities from ESPN for Payton. Apparently, the network is “contemplating a pursuit” of Al Michaels and could see him alongside someone like Payton.
ESPN will have more games next year as well under the NFL’s new TV deals, so it might benefit them to build a second NFL booth instead of bringing in the college team of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit, and that could make it possible for them to both bring back Griese and add Payton. It should also be noted with ESPN that there’s the opportunity to be an analyst in the studio.
”As for Payton, Fox could have interest in him, but its initial thought is more likely as a studio analyst than on top games, according to sources,” Marchand reports.
The major challenge with any of these networks hiring Payton is that he might not be done coaching. There have been talks that he may want to coach another team. (Mike Francesa wants the New York Giants to pursue him.) Payton is only 58, so the rumors of him retiring for a year or two then taking on a new job such as the Cowboys, if it were to pop up, are valid.
That’s not to say Payton still won’t get the opportunity. We’ve seen networks hire coaches in between coaching jobs such as Urban Meyer at Fox and Mack Brown on ESPN.
If Payton wants to be on TV talking football, expect to see him in the studio or in the booth very soon.
Peter King: ‘Tom Brady Needs To Study Cris Collinsworth’
“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”
Peter King dedicated a not-insignificant portion of his “Football Morning in America” column this week to advice for Tom Brady. FOX announced last week that the Buccaneers’ quarterback will become the network’s lead NFL analyst upon his retirement.
Brady’s decision and his reported salary have been the source of much speculation and prediction amongst his soon-to-be colleagues.
King is optimistic that Tom Brady will be entertaining and informative when he makes his FOX debut. He did offer the GOAT a little bit of advice about what he should be doing in the months leading up to calling it quits on his playing days and starting his new career.
“I think what I’d do if I were Brady is study Cris Collinsworth—and honest to goodness, I don’t say that because I work for NBC,” he wrote. “I say it because Collinsworth knows how to talk X’s-and-O’s conversationally, he’s an easy listen, and he can criticize when the time comes.”
Interestingly, last week, Collinsworth says he hears from most former players that are getting ready to make the jump to broadcasting. He was surprised he never heard from Tom Brady before FOX announced their deal.
King had two other suggestions. The first was that Brady watch multiple games from start to finish so that he can hear what the give-and-take between a broadcaster and analyst sounds like. The other is that he has to commit to being interesting and not censoring himself. King has faith that Brady will be able to do that.
“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is. On that LeBron James show last year, Brady said, ‘Ninety percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like conflict, so in the end I always just try to play it super-flat.’ That has to end once he’s on TV if he wants to be any good.”
Nick Wright Critical Of ABC Crew As Giannis Antetokounmpo Struggles In Game 7
“He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo started hot in Game 7 on Sunday. By the time the game ended though, the Boston Celtics were on their way to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the defending champions were headed back to Milwaukee.
The Celtics’ defense gave the Milwaukee Bucks fits in the second half. The ABC broadcast put a special spotlight on Antetokounmpo, who got multiple drives to the basket that he could not finish.
“The best has got to show up when the best is needed, and Giannis has been disappointing,” said Mark Jackson over a package of highlights of Giannis missing shots. “As great of a player as he is, given credit to the Celtics’ defense, but he has struggled offensively time and time again.”
Nick Wright of FS1 noticed and he didn’t appreciate it. He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.
Mike Been, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy were not particularly hard on Giannis. The trio made the typical comments we hear when things aren’t going a great player’s way.
Wright did not harp on the issue beyond the single tweet. The outcome was not in doubt as the clock winded down. He gave credit to the Celtics rather than tweet about the Bucks or Giannis.
Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is A Better Advertising Investment Than Sports
“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys.”
Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The storylines, the outcomes of matches, all of it is predetermined. But in the eyes of WWE, that’s what makes their product so different, and better than traditional sports.
WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told Deadline that when it comes to pitching advertisers, sports entertainment allows room for a range of different approaches to make something work.
“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys,” she said. “We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.”
McMahon added that WWE has a much easier process in dealing with sponsors. Everything is handled in-house.
“We own all of the IP,” she said. “When brands deal with us, they just deal with us. We create something together.”
WWE is coming off a positive Q1 earnings report, which had the company up 27% in total revenue. Its two weekly primetime shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, continue to do well in ratings, and all special and pay-per-view events, in addition to its streaming platform WWE Network, are all housed on Peacock.