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Skip Bayless: My Tweet Was ‘Wildly Misconstrued & Misinterpreted’

“I have no idea how they are going to make this game up and I don’t care.”

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Skip Bayless

Skip Bayless was the subject of much ridicule and anger on Monday night. The game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals came to a standstill after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter. Players on the field were in tears as medics performed CPR on Hamlin. Social media buzzed with concern including from Bayless, who sent out two tweets expressing disbelief on what he had seen.

It was his third tweet that rubbed many people the wrong way.

Tuesday morning, Bayless appeared on his FS1 show Undisputed alone. His partner Shannon Sharpe had taken the day off. In fact, Bayless says that after the incident, there was debate about whether or not it was appropriate at all to shoot a new episode of the show.

The show’s opening segment featured Bayless looking into a camera and describing what he saw and felt.

He says that he just tweets. He usually does not read what others have to say. It was his bosses at FOX that alerted him to the reaction to his tweet. Bayless says it was clear that many people that objected did not comprehend his intended message. He said the tweet was “Widely misconstrued, misinterpreted.”

“As a journalist, I was putting myself in the heads of NFL executives, starting with Roger Goodell, who were having to figure out on the fly what to do here and I stated the glaringly obvious that no doubt the NFL is considering postponing the game,” he explained.

Skip Bayless then clarified that if you read the tweet outside of the emotional bubble we were all in after Hamlin suffered what turned out to be cardiac arrest, the message should be more clear.

“My point was it was all rendered irrelevant by what was happening on the football field in front of all those football players, those gladiators, those warriors. They were clearly shaken to their foundations.”

As of this publishing, Damar Hamlin is still in a hospital in Cincinnati. His heartbeat is back in rhythm, but he remains in critical condition.

Bayless added that this is one of the first times he can remember the NFL stopping a game for the good of the human beings on the field. Usually, the league operates with a “next man up mentality.”

“The NFL has done exactly the right thing,” the Undisputed host concluded. “They have postponed. I have no idea how they are going to make this game up and I don’t care.”

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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