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Dan Le Batard: ‘I Couldn’t Do The Job ESPN Hired Me For Anymore’

“We left amicably and I don’t have hard feelings toward ESPN. They helped make us bigger.”

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Leaving ESPN has to come with an overwhelming feeling of uncertainty. Even if a star analyst or host is walking straight into a new job, there is still no way to know what is going to be next. That has to hold true for both Dan Le Batard and Cari Champion. 

On the latest episode of the Naked with Cari Champion podcast, Champion asks Le Batard about how he has felt since he and ESPN parted ways earlier this year. He noted that it wasn’t easy to walk away from the validation working from ESPN made him feel.

“That place is hard to leave because it is a destination and I’ve been single all my life so I had 30 years of savings as a single man and I had plenty of journalism bona fides and I had opportunities and it was still scary to leave.

“For where it is, all of us wanted to arrive with our vanities, with our insecurities because they would make you madder, they would give you the bona fides, they would give you the reach of television and those four letters behind your name. It sort of masked whatever it is you felt fraudulent. They knighted people.”

Le Batard didn’t have bad things to say about ESPN. He just felt like he could no longer do the job he was hired to.

“I was hired to be a fire-starter. I was hired to talk about some of the difficult stuff and the company changed and the country changed. What didn’t change is the reason I was hired and what didn’t change is that I was going to be my most authentic voice and self. We left amicably and I don’t have hard feelings toward ESPN. They helped make us bigger. It was a mutually beneficial relationship for as long as it was a mutually beneficial relationship.” 

One of the things that Le Batard enjoyed doing at ESPN was getting the chance to work with his father, but he revealed that Gonzalo “Papi” Le Batard didn’t want his television career to last as long as it did. 

“The daily grind of it was hard for him to come in. He is well and my father is enjoying his retirement. My father was threatening to quit if they did not pay him better. He did not think they would actually pay him better. It wasn’t a principle, he just wanted to stop doing the show because he was tired.”

As for how the Le Batard and Friends podcast is doing now, he noted that there are many responsibilities now that he never had to worry about at ESPN and there are times he just wants to be silly.

“I loved just showing up talking to a microphone and seeing that direct deposit. I was always fooling around. I was somebody doing a show with my father. I was doing stuff that was silly and didn’t have any of these real responsibilities making sure our employees have healthcare and talking to accountants and attorneys…I don’t want to do the stuff that’s conquering and ambitious, I just want to giggle snorts with my friends and I did that for a long time at ESPN.”

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Get a Grip

    October 20, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Saw this story on my news feed. Don’t know what compelled me to click on it. Can someone tell me who this guy is? It’s a headline story on my Google News feed.
    I never heard of him, and have no idea who he is. Who watches ESPN? The answer nobody with the exception of 16-18 year old teens. This guy appears to be 40 years of age, judging from the picture provided. And he thinks he is a known quantity to the entire nation because a handful of teenagers watch him?
    I think this guy needs two things….a vaccination to prevent further hallucinations of thinking he is famous….and a serious dose of humility.
    I also think the young man responsible for authoring this article needs to do a self check, and realize that an obscure figure who he seems to idolize, has no currency almost anywhere else.
    EECH!!

  2. Justin che

    October 20, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    Missed Dan Le Batard and Cari Champion on Firs Take

  3. Harry

    October 21, 2021 at 11:28 pm

    I think “Get a Grip” is LeBetard. If not, he’d certainly love the take.

    • Stugotzofwrasslin

      October 23, 2021 at 12:41 am

      He gets the show! (But no for real It feels like something Dan would type.)

  4. CHRISTOPHER

    October 23, 2021 at 7:41 pm

    I haven’t listened to espn since dan and the gang has left just not interested in therir programming anymore.

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Sports Online

Twitter Seriously Looking At Sports Betting Options

“The company is learning that fans want to talk about sports on Twitter and not necessarily watch games there.”

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Courtesy: Twitter

Twitter is experiencing growth in sports, and it’s sparked considerations on the sports betting front as well. According to Front Office Sports, tweets sent on the social media platform during NFL games are up 11% this year and unique college football tweeters are up 35%.

The company is learning that fans want to talk about sports on Twitter and not necessarily watch games there.

“We’ve learned significantly over the years of what is the best use case for live on Twitter for our users,” Twitter U.S. Sports Partnerships manager David Herman told FOS. “It’s not like ‘live’ doesn’t exist with our partnerships, it’s just not necessarily the full game like it was in many of those early executions. That’s from learning both what our users like and what advertisers are interested in.”

One example Herman brought up is Twitter’s airing of the first five minutes from FOX’s Big Noon Kickoff. The stream features a fan poll that picks which camera that broadcast is shown on.

Another large growth area for engagement has been sports betting. Twitter told FOS that sports-betting-related tweets are up 22% this season.

“Every single day, there’s more and more conversation and more and more happening in the sports betting world,” Herman said. “We think Twitter is a platform that plays well into gambling-related conversations. We’re live. We’re real-time. That’s what betting is. Betting and gambling have long been a core component of sports conversations on Twitter. Now things are legalized, more sports betting brands can be advertisers on Twitter than in the past, and as leagues are partners with official betting operators, it’s getting more visibility and exposure on a daily basis.”

Don’t be surprised if the social media platform experiments with its own sportsbook technology.

“We are consistently looking for new ways to enhance the user experience, and at some point, as it relates to betting, that could be great,” Herman said. “There are a lot of complicated components for us. There are only certain states where it’s legal so far, so we are still evaluating the space as a whole.”

Read the full story from FOS here.

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Scottie Pippen Writes That Michael Jordan Ruined Basketball

“I may go as far to say Mike ruined basketball.”

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Scottie Pippen has had a lot of ridiculous things to say about former teammate and NBA legend Michael Jordan, and it seems that he is not done yet.

Pippen recently released his memoir, Unguarded which challenges a lot of what Pippen believes was wrong in The Last Dance documentary, which Michael Jordan had editorial control over.

You have to buy the book though to read Scottie Pippen’s most shocking critique of Michael Jordan.

“I may go as far to say Mike ruined basketball,” Pippen writes. “In the 80s on the playgrounds, you’d have everyone moving the ball around — passing to help the team. That stopped in the 90s. Kids wanted to be ‘Like Mike.’ Well, Mike didn’t want to pass, didn’t want to rebound, or defend the best player. He wanted everything done for him.”

This sounds like the same type of people who say Stephen Curry ruined the game of basketball with how many three-point attempts he makes every game. On the contrary, both of them transformed the game of basketball into a game where guards are much more of a focal point than before.

And that is just on the court. Off of it, Jordan transcended the game of basketball and brought it into the spotlight. Without him, it is extremely possible that we wouldn’t view the game the same way in the national media as we do today.

Scottie Pippen also said that he was a far better teammate than Michael Jordan, which is just as hard to believe as his first statement considering Scottie wouldn’t take the court in the final seconds of a playoff game against the Knicks because the winning play was drawn up for Tony Kukoc and not him in the year Jordan retired.

Plenty of sports media commentators have said that Scottie seems very jealous in the passages of Unguarded that have been released.

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Sports Online

Barstool CEO Erika Nardini Offers Career Advice On Instagram

“Nardini has been the CEO at Barstool Sport for a little over five years after the company relocated from Boston to New York City.”

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Courtesy: Front Office Sports

Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini has a wide range of experience in the business world and offered some advice over that time to curious Token CEO podcast listeners on Instagram.

Nardini has been the CEO at Barstool Sport for a little over five years after the company relocated from Boston to New York City. Here are a few of the advice nuggets she handed out on the AMA.

“Never!!” Nardini said when asked how late is too late for career switching in the corporate world. “Do your thing; just have reasonable expectations about how hard it’s going to be & how long it will take. Also, have expectations for learning/growing and having fun. Change is good.”

Nardini graduated from Colby College in 1998 with a B.S. in sociology and philosophy and immediately jumped into a career at Fidelity Investments after interning at the company.

“Definitely!” Nardini’s said when asked if it’s ok to DM someone at a company after applying. “Only once tho or they’ll think you’re creepy.”

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy named Nardini the company’s first CEO in 2016 while appointing himself chief of content.

“Be experimental,” the Barstool Sports CEO said when asked about general tips for moving up in a career. “Be highly communicative, listen, make a plan, and execute.”

Nardini left Fidelity in 2001 and has since worked the majority of her time in the tech field before joining Barstool Sports. She has had stints with Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AOL.

“I struggle with this,” Nardini said when asked how to set and reach milestones. “It’s hard to create structure when you’re growing so fast. I’m trying to improve here. A small number of goals and clear metrics seems to work best; we’ll see…”

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