1. Now retired NFL quarterback and newly hired NBC football analyst Drew Brees spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon about his new gig.
Brees will call Notre Dame games with Mike Tirico, work in studio for Football Night in America and help with the network’s Olympics coverage. But NBC isn’t paying Brees just to call Notre Dame football games. The assumption is Brees will move into the Sunday Night Football booth at some point to replace Cris Collinsworth.
Naturally, NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood pumped the brakes on this narrative Wednesday.
“Cris remains among the very best who’ve ever done it and the plan is to keep him in that chair for a long time,” Flood said. “The opportunity down the road is not something we’re looking at right now.”
This is the right play by Flood for two reasons: 1) Obviously, he can’t go out there and say Brees will take over for Collinsworth when Collinsworth is still under contract and considered one of the top analysts on television. And 2) Nobody knows if Brees will be a great game analyst. If, while calling Notre Dame games next season, Brees shows he’s nothing special, NBC can simply keep Collinsworth in the Sunday night booth and say there is no reason to move on from Collinsworth since he’s still at the top of his game.
And if you’re calling Sunday Night Football, you can’t just be good. You have to be great. This isn’t a 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon game that’s going to 18% of the country. This is the top package of games the NFL has to offer.
The fact is, Brees has never called a football game. It’s impossible for anyone to know how he would do once the red light goes on at 8:20 p.m. on a Sunday night.
Most people now assume that because Tony Romo went directly from the playing field to the booth and became the top analyst in the game others will be able to do the same thing. But Romo isn’t popular just because he can break down the game. Personality and chemistry are huge factors. We won’t know if Brees is strong in those areas until he calls a real game.
2. Giannis gave us a great moment Wednesday night when he celebrated his 7–0 run late in the Bucks' win over the Sixers by taking a seat on the court.
Philadelphia center Dwight Howard shared his thoughts on Giannis's celebration after the game.
But, as always, Giannis gets it.
3. Apologies to Bears fans, but this is outstanding Internetting.
4. Most promotional gimmicks tied into the NCAA men's basketball tournament are lame or unrealistic, but this is a pretty solid effort from Buffalo Wild Wings. The restaurant will give away six free boneless wings when a tournament game goes to overtime. Here are the full details:
B-Dubs will be dishing out free boneless wings when games go to OT. To qualify, Blazin’ Rewards members just need to check in at a BWW or place an e-comm order via Blazin’ Rewards on the same day a game goes to OT, within 30 minutes of the game ending. If you’ve checked in or placed an order via Blazin’ Rewards and an NCAA tournament matchup goes to OT, six free boneless wings will be delivered to your Blazin’ Rewards account the following day.
5. Who on earth would ever have predicted in the late '90s that this would happen?
Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon have come a long way from this moment.
6. The latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features two guests.
First up is ESPN play-by-play man Ryan Ruocco, who was calling the Nuggets-Mavericks game on March 11, 2020, when the NBA announced the season would be suspended because of COVID-19. Ruocco talks about that experience, how his mindset about COVID-19 changed from that night until now, whether he'd be comfortable calling games in full arenas, whether he ever got used to calling games from home and much more.
Following Ruocco, Brian Stelter, CNN's chief media correspondent, joins the podcast to discuss how the media has covered COVID-19, what the media has done well and not so well, what the media's responsibilities are in reporting about COVID-19 vaccines, if he ever expected a pandemic to become so political, what it's like to cover media while working for a media company, the cable news wars and much more.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Jerry Seinfeld gave out some advice to random people on Wednesday night's The Tonight Show as only he can.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.