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Nick Khan: Vince McMahon Played WWE Hiatus Smart

“Sometimes I think it’s just a three mile radius of LA thing. The ‘Hey, step down and you have to be punished for it’.”

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Nick Khan is now the sole CEO of the WWE after Stephanie McMahon announced her exit from the company. McMahon’s exit followed the news that Vince McMahon would return to oversee the exploration of either a sale or merger of the company.

On the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Khan said that even while McMahon was away from WWE, he never considered himself the boss.

“My thought has always been there’s only one boss at WWE and it ain’t me,” he told Simmons. “Vince is the creator and founder of the company. He’s also the controlling shareholder, which as you know, that’s not a work term. That’s a legal term of art. So I think it was always my point of view or Stephanie’s point of view that at some point he would come back. I think the way that he played it was smart, Bill, in that he went away for five or six months — which the audience seems to like that — and then he came back and took control back of his company.”

Vince McMahon exited the WWE power structure five months ago amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and the revelation that he used company money to cover up those allegations.

When asked if he is worried that McMahon’s return could turn off business partners or fans, Khan pointed out that so far, that hasn’t happened. He wonders if there is really a strong feeling amongst the public about McMahon being back involved with the company at all.

“Sometimes I think it’s just a three mile radius of LA thing. The ‘Hey, step down and you have to be punished for it’.”

Nick Khan says he made it a point to visit Vince monthly during his hiatus. Those were not business visits. He said that he, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H had total control during that time.

Bill Simmons pressed Khan, wondering if it bothered McMahon that wrestling fans seemed very happy with the WWE product without his involvement. Simmons reasoned that when anyone builds a creative product for as long as Vince McMahon built the WWE, there is a part of that person that wants to know the product cannot survive without him.

“To me, I never got a sense from him of any sort of bitterness or anything like that,” Khan said. “He seemed, through the first month of his hiatus, thrilled.”

Since Vince McMahon’s return, Nick Khan says he has not expressed any concerns about decisions made in his absence and he has largely still been hands off with the creative side of the business. His sole focus is finding the right business relationship to secure WWE’s future. He added that it is not a responsibility that McMahon is taking on alone.

“I’m involved in it. Triple H is involved in it. The board is obviously involved in it, Triple H being on the board, as I have the good fortune of being as well. We’ll see how it plays out. It should not be a lengthy process.”

Khan did address two rumors floating around Vince McMahon’s return and the power structure of WWE. He said that any rumor that a deal had been done with Saudi Arabia to sell the company was “100 percent fake. 100 percent made up.”

Simmons also asked him about the relationship between Vince and his daughter Stephanie McMahon after she announced her resignation as co-CEO. Khan said that both he and Stephanie always assumed it was likely Vince would return to lead the company. Anything beyond that, he isn’t interested in commenting on.

“It’s important to anyone listening to this, if you’re going to join a family business and you’re not part of the family, stay out of the family business part. That’s rule number one.”

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Matt Ryan Joining CBS Sports As Guest Analyst This Weekend

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan is joining CBS Sports this weekend as a guest analyst.

Ryan will appear on That Other Pregame Show on CBS Sports Network at its regularly scheduled time of 9:00 AM ET before joining The NFL Today at 2:00 PM ET on CBS. The NFL Today — which usually airs from 11:00 AM-1:00 PM ET — begins at 2:00 PM ET before the network’s coverage of the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills at 3:00.

He will bring a fresh perspective to the CBS shows, after defeating two of the four remaining teams in the AFC.

The on-air opportunity could be viewed as a tryout of sorts for the 37-year-old quarterback. Ryan struggled in his first season with Indianapolis, playing in 12 of the team’s 17 games after being benched at the behest of owner Jim Irsay. Ryan was later reinserted to the starting lineup after the franchise fired head coach Frank Reich and replaced him with ESPN NFL analyst Jeff Saturday, before he was ultimately removed once more.

It is not the first broadcasting role Ryan has held. In 2020 — while still a member of the Atlanta Falcons — he hosted a 12-hour radiothon on 680 The Fan for Advance The Lives, a charity focused on combatting systemic barriers Black youth face in the greater Atlanta area.

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Mike Tirico: I Sound Like I Want to Be At The Game Because I Do

“People have said ‘When we watch the game, we feel like you want to be there,’ and I do.”

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Mike Tirico has received high marks from critics for his work over the closing weeks of the NFL season, as well as his initial playoff game that saw the Bengals defeat the Baltimore Ravens in thrilling fashion. He told ESPN 1000’s Waddle & Silvy he has been blessed with nice compliments.

“They’re fun. They’re why you do this. It’s why you’re sitting there on a Tuesday night at 10 o’clock asking ‘Do I have to watch another game of Jacksonville’s?’ It pays off. People have been very kind. The nicest thing that I’ve received from people that has made me– to be brutally honest with you — feel good is that people have said ‘When we watch the game, we feel like you want to be there,’ and I do.

“Other than being at home with my family, there’s no place I’d rather be. And every week, before I do the game, I take a little picture on my phone during the national anthem from our spot. It’s just great to look back. You’re sitting in the best spot, with all these cameras and all these TVs and all these stats. A 17-time Emmy Award winner in Cris Collinsworth right next to you. You are so lucky to do this, and I enjoy every second of it.”

Tirico’s excitement and enthusiasm were compared to his NBC cohort Al Michaels, who received heavy criticism for a perceived lack of enthusiasm as the Jacksonville Jaguars completed one of the largest comebacks in NFL history to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers in the Super Wild Card Round. Michaels dismissed the criticism as “internet compost“.

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Tom Brady To Take a Month Before Deciding To Return to NFL or Go to FOX

“Maybe he doesn’t want to broadcast, and that’s a standing offer. It’s not like he has to take it right now.”

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Tom Brady is 45 years old. His future will be a source of speculation every year at the end of the NFL season. The end of the current season is no different, but a 10-year, $375 million deal with FOX is an element that has not been in the mix before. Jordan Schultz says that could stretch out the timeline before we get any certainty from the GOAT.

“He wants to take a month or two to really evaluate everything he has,” The Score’s NFL insider told Pat McAfee on Friday. “That means on the field, off the field, I think there are a couple of really important things to consider.”

Those things for Tom Brady are his family and his goals. Schultz pointed out that Brady has two kids living in Miami, which makes the Dolphins a realistic option for next season. He also has a son living in New York, so the Jets cannot be ruled out. The Las Vegas Raiders were also mentioned as a potential landing spot.

Schultz described Brady’s deal with FOX as “the elephant in the room” right now. The dollar figure is making the decision hard, but it likely will not be the determining factor.

“The thing you miss the most is the guys and the camaraderie, maybe not the grind of football, but those guys and those experiences,” Schultz said. “You don’t get that in the booth, but you do get the money and the lack of stress.”

Complicating the decision is the fact that Brady is not under a time crunch with FOX. The network doesn’t appear to be taking the offer off the table if he is not in the booth alongside Kevin Burkhardt by a pre-determined date.

“Maybe he doesn’t want to broadcast, and that’s a standing offer. It’s not like he has to take it right now.”

Jordan Schultz says that based on what he has heard, it is more likely that FOX will have to keep waiting. While it isn’t clear exactly what Brady’s goal for 2023 is, Schultz said he would be surprised to see Brady retire now.

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