What is really going on with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and the new ‘Monday Night Football’ kickers

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After the first year of his new cabin Joe Buck and Troy AikmanESPN changed the producer and director of “Monday Night Football.”

News: the producer Phil Dean and the director Jimmy Platt They are out, and producers Steve Ackles and the director Derek Mobley Platt will be the game director for the college football national championship, and Dean will go to the college’s No. 2 football team. As downs go, these are pretty good landing spots.

We talked about it in last week’s pod, which got quite a bit of attention, and in Awful Announcing Sean Keeley published a piece including my comments and citing some unidentified production people as well.

So let’s go over what we know after talking to non-assignment sources and talking to Buck on the record.

1. Let’s be fair: It’s not fair to say Aikman or Buck brought Dean and Platt down, but sources said ESPN executives knew they weren’t happy with the broadcast leadership. There was frustration with Dean from the booth. Known as a good guy and a strong producer, he was a bit too quiet for Buck and Aikman.

ESPN President Jimmy PitaroGetty Images

2. Aikman and Buck’s feelings were known: ESPN CEOs, incl Stephanie Druley, EVP of events and studio production, heard from Aikman and Buck’s sentiments. Druley is the one who told the president Jimmy Pitaro he wanted to make a change.

It was his decision because there were aspects of Druley and Druley’s broadcasting Lee FittingThe senior vice presidents of production were not seen being deployed because, according to sources, the cabin was not satisfied.

And like Buck and Aikman Ackles, according to sources. Broadcasts happen quickly, and you have to have complete faith in your producer if you’re in a booth.

Mobley apparently could have had the director’s job when ESPN made a change four years ago, but he declined at the time because he preferred to stick with the National Championship and ESPN still didn’t have a Super Bowl.

3. ESPN’s Super Bowl Game Plan: ESPN sees it this way: First, they got the rights to the Super Bowl. Then they signed Buck and Aikman. Now Ackles and Mobley believe they are their best combination in four years heading to the Super Bowl.

The Philadelphia Eagles play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57ESPN/ABC is preparing to broadcast the Super Bowl in 2027.AP

Ackles and Mobley are a package because they have worked together in the past. This affects all the crew because they can want their own people on their crew. So now some of the people who were lining up for the Super Bowl might not.

4. Private jets and zooms: Buck and Aikman fly privately on game day, some but not all Mondays. They started doing that when they were calling the No. 1 Sunday afternoon games on Fox. from CBS Tony Romo He arrives late on Saturday for some CBS games for Sunday games, according to sources. In the Zoom world, it can be argued that traveling on this schedule is more efficient than arriving at in-person meetings with coaches and players a couple of days early. But you have to maintain the quality of the show, and that’s been the problem for CBS Jim Nantz‘s and Romo’s regression. Buck and Aikman listened very well this past season.

5. The resulting schism: However, showing up on game day gives the feeling that the announcers are the stars within a team and the production people are helpful. Buck and Aikman fly in privately, arriving late and leaving right after the game. It is not John Madden entering the cruise ship However, if they are prepared and sound good, does the audience care?

Tony Romo and Jim Nantz in the CBS broadcast boothTony Romo’s travel habits may be similar to those of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, but the Romo-Jim Nantz broadcast showed signs of decline in 2022.AP

6. Here’s the deal: ESPN wanted Buck and Aikman. They paid them a boatload of money. ESPN wasn’t there to decide the terms on anything. If he wanted the networks, he had to agree to let Buck and Aikman have their way. Within a year, ESPN would do the deal again, even though Buck and Aikman were big proponents of Zoomer and conference calls in preparation. They’ve been calling games for over two decades, which means they’re seasoned enough to get away with it. They sounded good last season. We would not recommend it Tom Brady try this way as a beginner.

7. Confused 8?: Aikman likes things a certain way. If you ever saw Aikman on the sideline with the Cowboys, he would scream at his offensive line. That might be a stretch, but he won three Super Bowls and has risen through the ranks of analysts to receive a five-year, $90 million deal. There was a disconnect between Aikman and Fox at the end. It’s all part of the package.

8. What does Buck say: I spoke with Buck before the podcast last week, and he gave me a quote from the record.

“Those decisions are made above us,” Buck told The Post. “We’re the new kids on the block. They are rated higher where we sit. I’m proud of what we all did and where we’re going.”

Troy Aikman leads the Dallas Cowboys huddle.Troy Aikman likes things a certain way, dating back to his days as the Cowboys quarterback.New York Post

9. What does Aikman say: Aikman declined a request for an interview. A PR person said she appreciated reaching out.

Everyone wants to feel appreciated: from production workers to millionaires and executives in the cockpit. That’s the moral of the story.

Quick clicks

A bright moment on Friday for CBS/Turner’s Jamie ErdahlCoach Fairleigh Dickinson who had to be courted first Tobin Anderson amid the celebration, after his team’s epic upset of No. 1 Purdue and then asked about his late father, who was also the coach.

It brought a tear from Anderson and gave the instant classic even more meaning.

Greg Gumbel in the CBS broadcast boothIt was time for CBS to relieve Greg Gumbel of play-by-play duties.Allen Kee/CBS

…he had to make a change with CBS Greg Gumbel NFL play-by-play. It’s hard when broadcasters aren’t on top of the action, which makes it imperative to act. Gumbel, 76, called Super Bowls, becoming the only African-American to do so as a player. in 2004, Jim Nantz He replaced Gumbel. When I went back through the archives, I found this interesting quote after CBS played Nantz as the No. 1 ranked NFL player and Gumbel became the host of “NFL Today.” “My first choice would have been to move on,” Gumbel told the Dallas Morning News. Instead, Nantz took Gumbel’s place. Gumbel returned to play-by-play, but slipped down the depth chart. It will continue to serve as host for the NCAA Tournament. As for who replaces Gumbel, Tom McCarthy it would represent being in contention for more matches, and Andres Catalonia He would be the odds-on favorite to move up the depth chart behind Nantz, Ian Eagle and Kevin Harlan.

…MLB Network’s Intentional Talk will have a new look and sound Ryan Dempster and sierra santos He will join Kevin Millar on the show. The new setup will begin on March 31st, the day after Inauguration Day.

Pac-12 and Apple

Oregon State's Deshaun Fenwick #5 rushes for a touchdown against OregonWhere will Pac-12 football (like the Oregon-Oregon State showdown) be seen in 2024?Getty Images

In order for the Pac-12 to reach $300 million per year, essentially matching the deal the Big 12 received from ESPN and Fox Sports, the most likely platform to pay for it at this point would be Apple, as we reported last month.

To be clear, we’re not saying that’s happening, but Apple is the company that could reach that number, and adding the Pac-12 rights is in line with what Apple is apparently trying to do in sports. But it will be an Apple deal.

However, Apple’s Apple Watch goes on time, which means it doesn’t jump for anyone. They didn’t do it for the NFL in their failed negotiations for the Sunday Ticket. They didn’t make it for MLS. So if the Pac-12 wants answers by April 15th, it might get them from Apple, but it’s not a sure thing. It is one of the most powerful and richest companies, and those who make its decisions know it.

The Pac-12 could return to ESPN/ABC, but the deal that was once on the table — the $31 million a year the Big 12 got for each team — is no more. If the Pac-12 returns to ESPN, it likely means it’s willing to take less money in exchange for exposure. At this time, a deal with ESPN is not imminent.

The Apple logo seen in an Apple storeApple ranks as the most likely buyer of Pac-12 rights.Reuters

Amazon Prime Video is an option, but they don’t want a ton of it. A Friday night game might make sense with the Thursday Night Football promotion, but as we’ve said many times, Amazon will only do it if it makes sense. Amazon won’t be crazy about the Pac-12.

This leads back to Apple. The company is trying to figure out what it’s doing with sports on Apple TV+. They have a $2.5 billion MLS deal for a decade. With MLB, they pay $55 million a year in rights fees and a $30 million advertising guarantee. Although it’s just the beginning, a college football deal is included.

That said, Apple is honest and takes deals forever. There is no evidence that having college sports only on one streamer would work.

And we’re not sure where Apple stands in negotiations with the Pac-12. If not Apple, who?

There could always be other wildcards, but they are not obvious at this time. Therefore, when the president of the University of Arizona Robert Robbins He says he needs to see the numbers to compare to what the Big 12 can offer, which is the budget for the money in interviews with CBS Sports and The Athletic.

Schein signs up for new SiriusXM term

Adam Schein attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LVIIAdam Schein has signed a four-year contract extension with SiriusXM.Getty Images for SiriusXM

Adam Schein has agreed to a new four-year deal with SiriusXM, according to sources.

Schein, 45, is one of the top sports hosts and has become a mainstay on the network in mid-morning. Chris Russo in the evenings it comes on Mad Dog radio. Schein started there in 2004.

He will continue his podcast, which will now be called “Rise and Schein.” He is also signed to CBS Sports through next year.

If there is Michael Kay when he retired from radio, we thought Schein might be a good choice for ESPN New York in the evenings. Kay strongly considered leaving radio, but ESPN pushed through, and Kay re-signed for multiple years at seven figures a year, according to sources.

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