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Kenny Mayne Spills the Details on ESPN Contract Negotiations: TRAINA THOUGHTS

1. We told you in Tuesday’s Traina Thoughts that Kenny Mayne is set to leave ESPN because he couldn’t come to terms with the company on a new contract after being asked to take a pay cut.

The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch spoke to Mayne, who spilled the details on that pay cut. According to Mayne, ESPN wanted to cut his salary by a whopping 61%.

I’m sure ESPN is thrilled Mayne is getting into specifics. Especially when Mayne is supposed to work through May 24. He also said ESPN wanted to cut his work load by 14%.

“I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for me,” Mayne told The Athletic. “It’s my choice to stay or not stay. It was still a good amount of money in the real world. I’m not trying to frame this as woe for me. Nothing like that. I just think I can do better elsewhere. So I told them that I feel like you’ve got a certain over-under on my worth and I’m going to go play the over. They did not seem to care that I made that choice.”

Mayne said he made a counteroffer, but ESPN “never really listened to my counter.”

And just to make it crystal clear ESPN didn’t want to keep him, Mayne said, “I don’t have some big vendetta against ESPN. It’s not, ‘Those bastards!’ Nothing like that. It’s all good. They gave me 27 years. I gave them 27 years. It doesn’t seem like they wanted me to stay very much. It almost seems like they offered me something that I would turn down, and I did.”

2. Everybody makes mistakes, especially people in media who are constantly churning out headlines and stories on deadline.

I usually try not to lambaste people when they make innocent mistakes. They happen. But when somebody doubles down on the mistake, all bets are off.

There may not be a more delicate topic to write about than someone’s death. You need to be respectful and compassionate and wording is extremely important.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution social media department passed on all of these things Tuesday when promoting a story about the shocking death of former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, who died Tuesday at the age of 37.

Here was the first insensitive tweet sent out by @AJCSports

How on earth did someone think that was an appropriate headline? The Twitter backlash was swift, and @AJCSports issued an apology.

That should’ve been the end of the story. Make a mistake, apologize and move on.

But no. For some reason, @AJCSports just decided to take out the Georgia reference. They still have this mind-boggling tweet up on their feed:


Still no mention of Colt Brennan’s name. Still a ridiculous reference to the Sugar Bowl. Still an embarrassing tweet.

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3. Here are some key 2021 NFL games based on what has leaked on Twitter this morning:

Week 1 will feature the Cowboys at Bucs for the Thursday opener, Bears at Rams on Sunday night and Ravens at Raiders on Monday night. There is no more Monday night doubleheader on ESPN.

Thanksgiving will reportedly look like this:

Bears at Lions
Raiders at Cowboys
Bills at Saints

4. In a new interview with GQ, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard revealed that he's all about meat–red meat with hearts and livers.

"And then I think every young athlete [should] invest in a personal chef. I found one a year ago. He comes over twice a week. He’s super educational and he‘s always learning. He knows a lot about nutrition. We don't really do, like, the normal “healthy eating,” as you would say, like the basic Tom Brady diet, which is ... don't get me started on that. A lot of red meat—grass-fed, grass-finished—none of that conventionally raised bulls---.

"I get this meat from this company called Force of Nature. They have this blend that's 75% muscle blend. You can get it bison or beef, and then the rest is 25% heart or liver, which is the most nutrient-dense food. I think western culture has completely canceled out eating nose-to-tail, which is not doing any good service to the animal itself."

5. When in Vegas ...

6. The latest SI Media Podcast features two interviews. The show kicks off with Ryen Russillo of The Ringer. I recapped a meaty portion of what we discussed in Thursday's Traina Thoughts. Other topics covered include going from ESPN to The Ringer, deciding to stick to sports, does he ever get sick of podcasting, why Pam Beesly is "evil," can we take any joy out of this NBA season and much more.

Following Russillo, Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin Malone on The Office, joined the podcast. Baumgartner talks about hosting The Office Deep Dive Podcast, what kind of Dunder Mifflin swag he has, the anniversary of his famous chili scene and how he feels about outlets editing out scenes from The Office. Baumgartner, who is good friends with Aaron Rodgers, also shares his insight on the Packers' quarterback's being unhappy with the team.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify and Stitcher.

You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I screwed up Tuesday, and despite writing a note for myself, forgot to mention it was the 15th anniversary of the Casino Night episode of The Office. Obviously, the episode, which was the finale of Season 2, was famous for the Jim-Pam kiss, but there are many other fun facts about the show.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.