Fox Sports personalities took E.A. Sports and their popular Madden video game franchise to task Wednesday for their inclusion of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and his player rating, on the most recent update to Madden 21.
Clay Travis was the most outspoken critic of the move, while Marcellus Wiley questioned E.A.’s motives. Even Emmanuel Acho, who says he likes Kaepernick, says E.A. went too far in giving him a player rating of 81 out of 100.
“They put him (Kaepernick) in the Madden video game and they rated him better than half of the starters in the NFL,” Travis said on Wednesday’s edition of Outkick the Coverage. “He has a better rating than Cam Newton, Jared Goff, Kyler Murray and Ryan Tannehill. He has the same rating as future Hall-of-Famer Ben Roethlisberger. It’s crazy… Madden ostensibly rates players based on their football abilities. Nothing else matters in the game, and yet they are going to argue that a guy who hasn’t played in four years is better than half the starters in the NFL? It’s lunacy.”
SFY co-host Wiley says that E.A, is simply trying to profit of Kaepernick’s popularity with the African-American community.
“Let’s be real for a minute,” Wiley said. “E.A. is sitting there thinking, let’s do something that we really don’t want to do, but this is the flavor of the month. Let’s take advantage of it. Then they season it up and make it real tasty by throwing a Black Power fist on there (the cover) because they know his followers are going to eat it up. It’s not even really what we want. It’s the extras, the left overs. It reminds me of Soul Food. I was told the origins of Soul Food and how our people (African Americans) would eat it up, even though we all know how it started. As leftovers. It was not what we really wanted. I wish the pandering would stop, but there are too many people supporting it.”
While fellow SFY co-host Acho is not as harsh in his criticism, he does admit E.A. made a mistake in rating Kaepernick so highly and then also questions E.A.’s motives.
“Y’all know in hoops when they miss an egregious call and back down the court they call something that was non-existent because they have got to make up for it?” Acho asks. “That’s a make-up call. That’s all they are doing. In 2018 E.A Sports left Kaepernick’s name off of the soundtrack. In 2019, he’s still not on the game. So in 2020, what do they say? We’re going to make a make-up call but not only are we going to make a make-up call, we are going to make it so outlandish, that he is rated higher than the reigning rookie of the year, former NFL MVP Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill, who had a historic season last year. I like Kaepernick and you know where I stand on all his stuff, but if you are going to do a make-up call, you have to be a little slicker with it. If Kaepernick was so important, why wasn’t he on the original release back in August? Why wait for the update? Was this done to be seen or was this done because it was the right thing to do?”
Eli Manning Gives ESPN2 Audience Double Bird
“This isn’t the first time something happening on Eli’s set has disrupted the Manningcast.”
Eli Manning didn’t have very many pleasant interactions with fans in Philadelphia. The former New York Giants quarterback was trying to convey his experience at Lincoln Financial Field to his brother Peyton and former Eagle Chris Long during the fourth quarter of this week’s Manningcast.
“You go to Philly, I mean, you’re getting the double bird right away from a nine-year-old kid. I would give the bird; I don’t know, can we do that?” Eli asked before raising both of his middle fingers. “I’m sure you can blur that out, right?”
Anyone that was watching the ESPN2 broadcast of Monday Night Football quickly learned that the assumption Eli Manning made was incorrect. There was his own double bird on live TV for all to see.
He was clearly informed during the commercial break that the gesture was not blurred. When the Manningcast returned, he apologized to the audience.
“Alright, alright, sorry. Earlier I did the double bird; I guess that’s frowned upon,” Eli Manning said over Chris Long’s laughter. So I apologize if I offended anybody. That’s what a nine-year-old did to me, so I thought I could do it back.”
This isn’t the first time something happening on Eli’s set has disrupted the Manningcast. In Week 1 his fire alarm went off in the middle of Peyton’s conversation with Travis Kelce. It seems unlikely that these moments would be planned, but they are certainly becoming the standouts of the broadcast.
Peyton and Eli Manning now get a little break from one another. They will take three weeks off. The Manningcast will return in Week 7 when the New Orleans Saints travel to Seattle. With guests becoming a staple of the Manningcast, it seems reasonable to think that may be the week it becomes an even bigger family affair. Peyton and Eli’s father Archie played for the Saints during his NFL career.
Archie did make an appearance in Week 3 but it was less about talking football and more about getting his son to fix his cellphone.
Freddy Rolón Elevated to SVP of Programming, Scheduling At ESPN
“The position leaves Rolón in charge of the schedule and content strategy for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, and ESPNEWS”
ESPN announced a promotion within their programming department this week. The network is elevating Freddy Rolón to senior vice president of programming and scheduling. Rolón previously held the vice president of programming and scheduling role.
The position leaves Rolón in charge of the schedule and content strategy for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, along with his role overseeing ESPN Deportes’ linear and digital business.
“The pause in sports caused by the COVID-19 break brought an unprecedented level of unpredictability due to the ever-changing landscape, thousands of cancelled events, altered or postponed seasons, and more,” said Burke Magnus, President, Programming and Original Content, ESPN. “Throughout that time, one factor remained constant – Freddy’s steady hand. While new to his role in programming and scheduling when the pandemic started, he led with excellence, and his strategic thinking guided us during a very tumultuous period.”
Rolón plays an integral part in ESPN’s appeal to Hispanic fans, working closely with production, audio, and digital areas to maximize the draw of English-language broadcasts.
The executive joined ESPN in 2004 and has spent the better part of this last decade building ESPN Deportes into the entity it is today. Rolón held the position of vice president & general manager at ESPN Deportes from 2016 to 2020. From 2011-2016, he served as vice president of ESPN Deportes programming and business initiatives. That title made Rolón responsible for overseeing all ESPN Deportes programming, from acquisitions and development, all the way to scheduling.
Like plenty of high-ranking ESPN voices before him, Rolón started at ESPN as an intern at the company. Shining in the ESPN International program. Rolón then joined the network as senior manager of marketing for ESPN Deportes upon earning his MBA.
That role led to a stint on the radio side of the network as senior director of marketing and integration of ESPN Radio from 2005 to 2007.
Michelle Beadle ‘In Talks With Several Suitors’ For Comeback
“Beadle has been out of the limelight for over a year now ever since ESPN bought out her $5 million per year contract in 2019.”
Michelle Beadle has been out of the spotlight for some time now, but Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy believes that’s about to change. McCarthy is reporting that Beadle could be back in the sports media saddle very soon.
“The former host of ESPN’s NBA Countdown is in talks with several suitors about possibly returning to sports media in time for the NBA’s 2021-22 season,” McCarthy wrote in his piece on the development.
Michelle Beadle has been away from the cameras ever since ESPN bought out her $5 million per year contract in 2019. During that time, plenty of ESPN ex-pats from Kenny Mayne to Dan Le Batard have found green pastures on the other side of ESPN life.
She rose in popularity alongside another former-ESPN stalwart in Colin Cowherd. The two hosted SportsNation together on ESPN2 starting in 2009, and the show saw instant success. Beadle eventually left for a short-lived show on NBCSN before returning to ESPN in 2014 to host SportsNation again and eventually take the reins of NBA Countdown three years later.
The host guided the NBA Countdown desk for one season before ESPN launched Get Up, with her, Mike Greenberg, and Jalen Rose as the headliners in 2018. The show never seemed to fit her style. Things came to a head with her and the network when she said she refused to watch the NFL or college football. Now Beadle can have her pick of the litter for a new role.
McCarthy expects Michelle Beadle to avoid a third stint with ESPN and instead explore a more independent follow-up act to ESPN a la Bill Simmons with The Ringer and Jemele Hill with her podcast network. Beadle’s representatives did not respond to McCarthy’s comment request.
Turner does not look like a great option in McCarthy’s eyes either, given that Ernie Johnson is their lead NBA host for the foreseeable future. Time will tell where Beadle eventually lands as the NBA season fast approaches.
Sports Online3 hours ago
Dan Dakich Joins Outkick, Rips ESPN, Matt Jones
Sports TV News1 day ago
Adele’s ‘Hello’ Used To Hype NBC’s Patriots-Bucs Sunday Night Game
Sports TV News22 hours ago
Jay Williams Off ESPN’s NBA Countdown
News Television1 day ago
Ana Navaro: Very Thankful to Get a Third Negative COVID-19 Test