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Ryan Fitzpatrick Was Worried About Being Critical Of Friends in the NFL

As long as you are fair as long as what you are saying isn’t coming from a place of attacking somebody because you don’t like them personally, but you are fair about evaluating what has happened throughout the season.”

Ricky Keeler

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Ryan Fitzpatrick is in his first season as an NFL analyst on Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. With Fitzpatrick only being a year removed from the NFL, there was one thing he thought he would struggle with when becoming an analyst.

Fitzpatrick was a guest on The Ryen Russillo Podcast last week and said he thought he would have an issue with being critical of players and/or teams, but it hasn’t ended up being an issue.

“The thing that I thought I would struggle with more is being critical. Being critical of friends. Before our Denver game, Nathaniel Hackett is a dear friend of mine. He recruited Sherman to Stanford, there’s some ties there where we know him very well, Tony knows his dad very well. As long as you are fair as long as what you are saying isn’t coming from a place of attacking somebody because you don’t like them personally, but you are fair about evaluating what has happened throughout the season. That part hasn’t been as challenging to me.

“I think I’ve very easily been able to make sure to watch film on a guy or a team and tell what I think and not necessarily worry about the feelings that much.”

With Fitzpatrick not too far removed from his playing days, he brought up an example from when he was with the Dolphins in 2020 and stories were coming up about when he was benched for Tua Tagovailoa that were not true.

“At one point, being on the inside when Flores decided to bench me and put Tua in, all of the stories that came about from that, I was just sitting there like ‘Wait a minute, I’m involved in this and that is not what happened’. But, because one person says it, then somebody else picks it up, then somebody picks it up, it’s sort of spins into the perceived truth of what’s going on. That part as a player is really frustrated.

“As an analyst, I don’t want to call let’s say Tua and say ‘Hey, what really happened?’ You never want to betray that trust or that confidence to figure out what’s going on on the inside. You give an informed take, but it is weird being on the outside looking in now.”

On the Amazon Prime Video set, Pitzpatrick is one of three players on the set who just recently retired. He said that Charissa Thompson and Tony Gonzalez have been a major help with their experience in television.

“With our crew, there’s three of us that are right off the field. It’s me, it’s Richard Sherman, and it’s Andrew Whitworth. Charissa Thompson has been a true pro and a vet, just kind of allowing us to figure It out as we go. We’ve got Tony Gonzalez, who has worked for a couple different networks and is kind of the uncle at the Thanksgiving table that tells jokes…It’s been a lot of fun.” 

Sports TV News

3.72 Million Tune In To See LeBron James Break Scoring Record

Jordan Bondurant

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Lakers star LeBron James surpassed the NBA’s all-time scoring record on Tuesday night, and TNT benefitted from the milestone ratings wise.

According to Sports Media Watch, Tuesday night’s game averaged 2.98 million viewers. That figure made it TNT’s biggest regular season audience in over two years.

The broadcast peaked at 3.72 million around 11:45 p.m. when James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the record.

Reporting also indicated that the game was the number one single-network program on TV in key demographics.

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Sports TV News

Disney Makes ESPN Independent Division In Corporate Restructuring

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN

Disney is in the process of reorganizing and restructuring the company, and details have emerged about the company’s plans for ESPN.

Deadline reported on Wednesday that ESPN will be one of three standalone segments comprising Disney. Entertainment and Parks, Experiences & Products are the other two segments.

The reorganization comes amid the exit of former CEO Bob Chapek and the re-entry of CEO Bob Iger. As one of Iger’s first moves back running Disney, he announced a restructuring of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

It was also reported that Jimmy Pitaro will continue as the president of ESPN.

In total, more than 7,000 jobs will be eliminated after the restructuring.

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Sports TV News

Roger Goodell: ‘Wouldn’t Surprise Me’ To See Thursday Night Football Move to Flex Scheduling

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon.”

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Thursday Night Football

In 2023, Monday Night Football will join Sunday Night Football in having the ability to flex NFL games into its window. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday Night Football could someday join that elite club.

During his “State of the League” speech Wednesday, Goodell said Thursday Night Football having the ability to flex matchups “wouldn’t at all surprise me”.

“Not today, but it’ll certainly be something that’s on our horizon,” the NFL Commissioner said.

ESPN bargained for the ability to move higher profile games into Monday Night Football during its negotiations with the league for the next television contract that begins this upcoming season.

NBC has long held the ability to shift a select number of games from earlier windows into the Sunday Night Football primetime slot.

Amazon Prime Video just completed the first of an 11-year contract that sees the streaming platform spend nearly $1 billion per year on the Thursday Night Football package.

One of the largest storylines of Amazon’s debut season with the NFL was the near-constant ridicule from play-by-play announcer Al Michaels over the lackluster TNF schedule. Michaels made headlines over several weeks for his candor on the lack of interesting matchups, going as far as to joke that if the schedule didn’t improve he would retire.

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