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Montana Senator Working To Bring College GameDay to State

“It’s time for the State of Montana to be in that spotlight. ESPN has never been here before, and it is time.”

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN’s College GameDay doesn’t have the extensive list of appearances at FCS schools as it does at FBS schools, but one legislator in big sky country is trying to convince the show to come to their state for the first time.

Montana state senator Ellie Boldman has drafted LC807, which she hopes will be come a joint resolution early next year and eventually culminate in GameDay setting up shop in Missoula at the University of Montana in 2023.

“The Montana legislature often sends this type of unified voice of support when we feel, as lawmakers, and as a body, we are compelled to formalize our beliefs, on behalf of the people of the State of Montana,” Boldman told 406mtsports.com. “Bringing ESPN College GameDay to the State of Montana is worthy of such an enthusiastic endorsement.”

GameDay has been to FCS schools only 11 times since 2002. The show has emanated from both North Dakota and South Dakota, but never Montana. GameDay was at Jackson State University this past weekend, and Boldman sees the value in having the national spotlight on a place that often gets passed over.

“The opportunity to host College GameDay is an economic driver,” she said. “The amount of money the free exposure provides for the universities featured on its program is enormous, coupled with the economic benefit for the private sector, including our hotels, restaurants, bars and related sales of game day gear. It’s time for the State of Montana to be in that spotlight. ESPN has never been here before, and it is time.”

The legislation will be taken up when the state government convenes in January. It’s Boldman’s hope that GameDay will come to Montana when the University of Montana and Montana State meet in their annual rivalry game. She said she hopes the resolution will have full support from both chambers.

“I would imagine it will be mailed to ESPN College GameDay officials with the signatures of all 150 Montana State legislators, representing urban, rural and Tribal communities,” she said. “You can tell Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Pat McAfee and David Pollack to pack their bags. Montana is ready, and we’re coming for them.”

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Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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Tim Brando Believes Executives Look For Familiarity, Not Great Voices For Announcers

“Executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio. As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tim Brando has seen the broadcasting industry has evolved in a lot of ways through the years, but one thing that’s remained constant is how infrequently some of the announcing gigs with major networks open up to younger voices.

That’s mainly because you have veteran talent already occupying those positions with no plans for the immediate future to step aside.

On a recent edition of The Sports Talkers Podcast, FOX Sports broadcaster and host Tim Brando spoke to Stephen Strom about the reality that many broadcasters face.

“Yeah there are a lot more jobs, but there are fewer great jobs,” Brando said. “A lot of guys are getting jobs, but it’s like a dead end.”

But in terms of hiring younger talent for network jobs, he thinks it’s become more about adding faces to broadcast booths rather than voices.

“There’s a tendency I think now in our business to hire more visible and perhaps more popular talent because they’ve been in the studio,” he said. “But they’re not ready to be in the booth. Not everybody can do both well.”

Tim added that there’s a nuance to calling play-by-play versus working studio coverage. Brando said that perhaps it has a lot more to do with young broadcasters bypassing getting their start in radio and going right into TV.

“It seems to me that in some circles anyway in our business, executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio,” he said. “As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Brando did mention some of the younger voices at FOX who have risen to the bigger opportunities in the booth, and how they ultimately worked their way up. He said he’s had the chance to offer advice to a few of them and act as a mentor in a way, because that’s how it was for him breaking into the industry.

“I believe in pouring into the young broadcasters out there, I really do,” he said. “Because Curt Gowdy poured into me. I think there’s a responsibility and a level of accountability for the generation before to help those that are coming up that you really respect.”

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MLB Network Airing 38 Hours of Winter Meetings Coverage

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jordan Bondurant

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The annual winter meetings for MLB are set to take place in-person for the first time since 2019 next week, and MLB Network is ready to bring viewers all the coverage possible from San Diego.

The network is devoting 38 hours of live programming on-site, with shows like MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, High Heat, MLB Now and Intentional Talk emanating from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fans tuning in to MLB Network can expect to see Greg Amsinger, Fran Charles, Brian Kenny, Stephen Nelson, Alanna Rizzo, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Lauren Shehadi and Matt Vasgersian hosting their respective shows throughout the week. Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Cameron Maybin, Kevin Millar, Dan O’Dowd, Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds will contribute coverage as analysts.

MLB Network will also carry coverage of the inaugural draft lottery from the winter meetings on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m.

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