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Rece Davis’ Goal at ESPN Wasn’t To Host College GameDay

“I love Gameday and I think I have the best job in television, but Chris [Fowler] was hosting that show and I didn’t feel like I had to have that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Photo Credit: ESPN

Rece Davis has been at ESPN for over 25 years and has had the opportunity to cover a variety of sports over his great career. In recent years, the broadcaster who was born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, has become the main voice on the network synonymous with hosting college football and college basketball for ESPN.

Davis was a guest on the Gramlich and Mac Lain podcast and he talked about what his goal always was in the industry. It wasn’t necessarily to be the host of College GameDay:

“My goal was always to have the most prominent position that I could in college football and college basketball. I’ve been asked many times if GameDay was my goal. It wasn’t. I love Gameday and I think I have the best job in television, but Chris [Fowler] was hosting that show and I didn’t feel like I had to have that.”

“I had what I considered to be as enjoyable a run as I could imagine in-studio for all those years, particularly (no disrespect to all of the other guys I worked with that are great) that decade-long run with Lou Holtz and Mark May. Mark and I were together for several years before Lou came and joined us . I cherished that time as well. It was time to make a change of some sort, whether it was into the booth or as it turned out to GameDay and I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

In his early years at ESPN, Davis was hosting shows such as NBA 2Night and RPM2Night and he covered soccer and horse racing as well. While some of these sports weren’t Davis’s expertise, it did prepare him for the role that he is in now:

“I did soccer and horse racing, all things that were completely out of my wheelhouse and I think it helped me long-term to not only learn how to prepare things that you don’t know or don’t have any preconceived notions about, but it gives you some confidence to execute things that are outside your field of interest.”

Since becoming the host of College GameDay in 2015, Davis and the GameDay crew have tried to improve the broadcast more in terms of getting the crowd more involved in the show:

“I think the thing that hopefully we’ve gotten better at over the years is capturing what’s going on in the crowd rather than just using it as a backdrop. They are like another character on the show. That was probably the biggest adjustment,” said Davis.

Even though the atmosphere for GameDay can be electric, Davis mentioned one of the biggest challenges for the show is trying to highlight the games of the day and not just the game they are at:

“Finding the balance between capturing the essence and energy of where you are and not allowing Gameday to turn into a pregame show simply for that game is one of the things that’s a challenge every week. You want to give the venue its due, but it’s also the pregame show for the entire day in college football.”

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Big Cat: Listening to ESPN Wisconsin After Packers Playoff Loss ‘Highlight of My NFL Season’

“For three hours, I sat in my car. I arrived home –it’s a 20-minute drive — I arrived home, and I sat for three hours listening to callers be like ‘blow up Lambeau!’, ‘get 12 (Rodgers) outta here!’, ‘we need to build a dome, this team isn’t built for the outside’, and that was the highlight of my NFL season. And I have no problem saying that.”

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During a recent interview with Barstool Sports, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a poignant question for noted Chicago Bears fan Dan “Big Cat” Katz that he then used to slam the Packers quarterback while also expressing his enjoyment for Green Bay fans.

“Is it hard, for you as a Bears fan, that some of your greatest moments are cheering against me when the Bears aren’t playing?”, the Packers quarterback half-jokingly asked.

“Very good question,” Katz responded. “No, it’s actually great, because what I’ve told everyone is — I’m very realistic about the Bears — ‘not a great franchise, (the Bears) just don’t do the right things’ for the most part. Every year I look forward to the playoffs and the game that you’re going to lose. I’ve told this story on air, but, when you guys lost to San Francisco this year we were watching the game in New Jersey and I drove back to Brooklyn — brag — and I listened to (Mark) Tauscher. For three hours, I sat in my car. I arrived home –it’s a 20-minute drive — I arrived home, and I sat for three hours listening to callers be like ‘blow up Lambeau!’, ‘get 12 (Rodgers) outta here!’, ‘we need to build a dome, this team isn’t built for the outside’, and that was the highlight of my NFL season. And I have no problem saying that.”

Rodgers laughed at Big Cat as he delivered the message, seemingly getting genuine joy out of the conversation.

“I know I’m a loser,” Katz continued. “That’s the best part. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’m a loser, so yes, watching you lose in the playoffs is…that’s my Super Bowl. And I’ve won a lot of Super Bowls if you do it that way. More than you.”

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Michael Silver Joins San Francisco Chronicle

“I’m ecstatic to join forces with some of my favorite journalists and be part of a publication I’ve been devouring for decades — in the greatest region on Earth,” Silver told The Chronicle.

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Veteran NFL reporter Michael Silver is joining The San Francisco Chronicle as their newest NFL columnist.

Silver will continue his work with The Volume, Bally Sports, and Backstage Media in addition to adding a column with the Chronicle.

“I’m ecstatic to join forces with some of my favorite journalists and be part of a publication I’ve been devouring for decades — in the greatest region on Earth,” Silver told The Chronicle. “It will be a thrill to write columns alongside Scott Ostler, a living legend, and my amazingly talented friend Ann Killion, who I’ve dreamed of working with since we were competing on the 49ers beat in the early ’90s. … As a native San Franciscan, this feels like home.

Silver has previously written for Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone, GQ, NFL Network, and Yahoo! Sports, among others. He’s also authored books on Jerry Rice, Kurt Warner, and Dennis Rodman.

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Skip Bayless Tries to Win Debate Rounds ‘Like Muhammad Ali’

“I must admit I have been known upon rare occasion to try to win a debate the way Ali won rounds with a flurry at the end trying to get the last word also going through the stop or wrap sign.”

Ricky Keeler

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Skip Bayless

When people watch debate shows, they sometimes don’t want the debate to end. However, bills have to get paid and commercials have to be shown. However, when is the right time for a debate show to air a commercial? On the latest episode of The Skip Bayless Show, Skip was asked in an email by a listener about when he and Shannon Sharpe know to go to a debate on UNDISPUTED on FS1. Bayless said the show has more room to roam in the first two hours, but eventually, he gets the signal from his line producer.

“We loosely plan on 22-23 minutes in what we call our A block. We block out 25-ish minutes for our B block, which is the only block in the show that has two topics in it.”

“Our line producer in the control room, Nick, who is in our ears. He tries to sense along the trail when we are winding down or when we are trying to push the clock too far. His first cue to us in our ears, he tries to avoid speaking when we are speaking, the first cue is ‘start to wrap’. Then, a minute or so later, he says ‘wrap’. If we continue to not wrap, maybe we get a much stronger ‘wrap’.”

However, it might not be easy for Bayless and Sharpe to end the debate, especially if they both want to be the one who wins the argument. So, sometimes, they can easily go past the hard wrap sign that is given.

“Sometimes the guy sitting across from me at the debate desk gets all worked up and barrels right through that stop sign. I must admit I have been known upon rare occasion to try to win a debate the way Ali won rounds with a flurry at the end trying to get the last word also going through the stop or wrap sign,” said Bayless.

If there is one thing that Bayless is proud of, it’s the fact that UNDISPUTED has never gone past the allotted time, which allows The HERD with Colin Cowherd to begin on schedule.

“I must tell you not in 6 years have we ever not finished a show right on time. Not once have we pushed Colin over the cliff as he begins his show. That is just not acceptable.” 

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