1. Former NFL cornerback Aqib Talib was a breath of fresh air calling two games for Fox this past season.
He was also a breath of fresh air on this week’s SI Media Podcast, where he opined on a variety of topics.
I don’t know how long it can last if Talib wants to become a part of sports media, but his authenticity and honesty are much appreciated here.
Here are some highlights of our conversation.
On how much Fox paid him to work as an analyst on two games last season:
“When I got the call from Fox, when my agent called me, he said they wanted to sign me to a three-game deal. It was a max of three games and a chance of no games because you’re not on the A team or B team, so you’re just filling in for guys with all this COVID stuff going on. Kinda like an audition, really. I probably got like $10K for the game. I ain’t really get no cash for the game. It was just an opportunity. Opportunity to go out there and see if you could do it or not.”
On whether Fox executives had any issues with Talib’s unique style in the booth:
“They had no problem with me being myself. I remember Jacob Ullman, the producer, he was like, ‘Aqib, don’t try to be nobody else. Just be regular Aqib.' They reminded me to be regular-ass, loose-ass Aqib."
On whether he’d want a network job that pays well, but he can’t totally be himself or a job where he can totally be himself but get paid less:
“Definitely the money comes first. You don’t work without seeing what that money looks like.”
On Bill Belichick’s personality:
“He’s witty, he jokes all day, he gets on guy’s butts. He doesn’t really show that to the media. I guess since SpyGate he’s changed his feeling toward the media, so he doesn’t really mess with the media, but in the building you can really see his personality.”
On whether former teammate Peyton Manning will ever become an NFL game analyst:
“I don’t think they got enough money to pay Peyton. They gotta double what they pay [Tony] Romo. I don’t know if they got $40 million a year to get Peyton to go in the booth. He’s too expensive. He’s gonna be the best one to ever do it. ... I know Peyton. Nobody thinks faster, is smarter, knows football better than Peyton.”
On Romo making $17.5 million:
“They gotta pay Peyton $35 million. Especially Monday Night Football. Oh, yeah. He definitely needs $35 million.”
Talib, who said he is currently a free agent and not sure if he’ll be back with Fox next season, also had thoughts on the plethora of mock drafts across the World Wide Web.
Some network needs to hire this man ASAP.
Talib joins the show around the 34-minute mark of the podcast. Sports Business Journal's John Ourand kicked off the podcast by discussing the NHL's new TV deals with ESPN and Turner, why this is a bad time to be a sports fan when it comes to game consumption and much more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
2. "Holy f------ s---. Mother-------, Kev. Every Goddamn time. What the f---."
Those were the words uttered by Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow last night after teammate Kevin Kiermaier made this terrific catch.
After the game, Glasnow got a talking to from his mom about his choice of words.
3. Social media is awful, but I guess one positive is that a player can get on there after taking a 97 mph pitch to the face and let everyone know he's O.K.
4. There isn't a person more synonymous with the NFL draft than Mel Kiper. The ESPN analyst has covered every draft for the network since 1984. Naturally, he's been right a lot and he's been wrong a lot, as you can see in these two videos.
5. Happy 67th birthday, Jerry Seinfeld.
6. "What am I supposed to do, go out there and let my f------ players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it for the nickel-dime people that show up? The mother------- don't even work. That's why they're out at the f------ game. They oughta go out and get a f------ job and find out what it's like to earn a f------ living; 85% of the f------ world is working. The other 15 come out here." Cubs manager Lee Elia went on one of the most famous—and NSFW—tirades in sports history on this date, April 29, in 1983.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I said this on Twitter this morning and I'll say it here. This is the single greatest piece of NFL draft content ever.
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.