1. ESPN recently announced that Pat McAfee’s daily show will move to the network as well as ESPN+ and ESPN’s YouTube channel beginning this fall.
McAfee addressed several issues surrounding the deal with me on this week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast.
On negative feedback from some of his fans about “selling out” and the potential for his show to change when it begins airing on ESPN:
“Our show stinks. We know that. We understand that. But there’s a lot of people that are incredibly cool and incredibly passionate, and they hang out with us every single afternoon, so I think any change I make, I had to learn through trials and errors, that there’s gonna people that are upset with it because they’re scared they’re gonna lose the thing that they get to hang out with and I am honored that that is how they view our show.
“But my big takeaway after this decision is a lot of our people have been with us for a long time and a lot of the decisions I’ve made, we’ve been through this a couple of different times where it’s like, ‘Hey, the show is gonna remain the show, though, and I would like a little bit more faith in the fact that we understand who we are, we understand what we are and we wouldn’t want to change it for anybody because that would be bad business and it would be bad because we can’t make a better show. We’re a bunch of doofuses that do what we do, and it just so happens to work.
“So I didn’t expect it to be as big of a drawback as it was. I knew that there would be some people, because there’s probably new fans of the show and new viewers of the show who hadn’t been through these types of situations before with our program, but it was big. You’re right. There was positive. There were a lot of people incredibly happy for us. There were a lot of people that were excited about what this means for the future of things. A lot of people were like, ’Next step, next evolution of the show, this is cool,’ but I did not expect the amount of people that were negative about it before even knowing what it was. I know it comes from a place of passion, so I’m honored about it, but it was alarming, Jimmy. It was alarming. I did not expect that many shots to the shins from my own people.”
McAfee also explained that his show will not be doing debates and top-five lists, a staple of ESPN’s daytime programming, when it moves to the World Wide Leader.
He also said that he will continue to have non-ESPN insiders, who are regulars on his current show, such as Ian Rapoport and Shams Charania, on the program when it airs on ESPN.
“I’ve never been told I can only have ESPN people on my show,” McAfee said on the podcast. “That was never even broached by them or by us.”
McAfee also gave us a breakdown on another huge issue facing his show when it goes to ESPN: the cursing.
Other topics covered with McAfee during the one-hour interview include:
• Why is he leaving FanDuel?
• Did his year as a cohost on College GameDay play a role in his joining ESPN?
• Will he ever go back to the WWE?
• His relationship with Vince McMahon
• How McMahon and the WWE's Nick Khan helped him make a decision about his show
• Getting a compliment from President Barack Obama
• His new spin on the famous botched fake punt he was a part of
• His weekly Aaron Rodgers interviews
• The person he'd most like to have on his show for an interview
You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.
2. I never thought for one second that Tom Brady would play for the Raiders, but there has been speculation about whether he will honor his Fox contract and join the network in 2024. The future Hall of Famer reiterated in a new interview with Sports Illlustrated’s Robin Lundberg that he will be going into the booth next season.
3. This was a completely ridiculous reaction and take from Phillies broadcasters over the way Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor threw the ball to first base to complete a double play Wednesday night. You have to find more significant things to get mad about.
4. Speaking of the Mets, they have a great radio play-by-play guy in Howie Rose. However, Rose is not great at throwing out a first pitch. But give Rose credit for acknowledging his choke job Wednesday.
5. We love petty, so we enjoyed scrolling this Instagram slideshow from Heat forward Max Strus.
6. HBO announced Wednesday that it is producing a new documentary on Barry Bonds. When I threw that news out on Twitter, several people replied that they’d like to see former Pirates manager Jim Leyland on the doc to talk about this famous confrontation.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 86th birthday to Morgan Freeman. One of the highlights during quarantine a couple of years ago was the legendary actor narrating a famous scene from the 1980s classic, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.