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AA Podcast #120 - Kenny Mayne
December 02, 2015 03:13 AM PST
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As Awful Announcing begins a new season of the AA Podcast, we had a chance to talk with ESPN's Kenny Mayne exclusively about his new contract.

As the call began (before the interview even technically started) and the conversation veered into directions most ESPN stars wouldn't dare talk about on the record—what would Jesus do if Syrian refugees showed up on his shores, for one—Mayne insisted he was fine with the tape rolling, and off the conversation went.

We learned there is no real start to an interview with Mayne, and 45 minutes in to a ride that goes in directions neither thought it would go, part of you wishes there would be no end.

AA Podcast #119 - Men in Blazers
May 21, 2015 10:10 AM PDT
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We're privileged to be joined on this week's podcast by the biggest winners in our yearly People's Sports Media Awards - Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, better known as the Men in Blazers. The best British export since the Spice Girls have taken American by storm in the last year - first with their work at the World Cup for ESPN and then covering the Premier League for NBC. The duo has seen their popular podcast transform into a multi-platform brand with listeners, viewers, and fans all around the globe. In today's podcast, we chat with Rog and Davo about the following...

- Their chemistry together and what's made their partnership work.
- The importance of their connection to all the GFOPs.
- How EPL rights were central to choosing to join NBC instead of staying with ESPN or moving to Fox.
- The creation of their television show and how they find all the hilarious crap in football to feature.
- Why Mourinho and Van Gaal give them the most material to work with on a regular basis.
- Stevie G's Anfield farewell and the futures of Gerrard and Lampard in MLS.
- MLS vs EPL on American television.
- Which Premier League personalities would make the best crossovers into American sports?
- Looking ahead to the MiB season finale and secret plans for a summer holiday adventure to be chronicled on NBC.

AA Podcast #118 - Mike Breen
May 12, 2015 01:24 PM PDT
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Today we welcome the voice of the NBA Finals and one of our favorite guests, Mike Breen. The voice of the Knicks has also doubled as ESPN and NBA's lead announcer for almost a decade now. In today's podcast we talk about his illustrious broadcast career, the memorable Bulls-Cavs series that saw back to back buzzer beaters, and the overall state of the game. Topics include..

- The back-to-back buzzer beaters in Game 3 and Game 4 being the first that Mike has called in his career.
- How the second round of the playoffs has led to much more excitement than the first round.
- The physical nature of the Bulls-Cavs series and the health on both sides.
- How far Cleveland can go if Kyrie Irving is far from 100%.
- JR Smith as the potential X-Factor of the series.
- Being reunited with Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy together again and how Jackson has approached Warriors games this season.
- The challenges to Golden State and Atlanta and how many teams left have a realistic hope of winning the title.
- New stars rising up and the overall state of the league.

AA Podcast #117 - Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
April 29, 2015 08:07 PM PDT
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In today's podcast we welcome one of the top NFL Draft experts on the eve of the big event in Chicago. We're joined by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report to talk about the NFL's annual selection meeting as well as the site's evolution to a major mainstream force. Topics include...

- His writing career and how it's coincided with the growth of Bleacher Report.
- Evolution of b/r since he started writing till now with Turner's purchase of the site.
- His year-round work as a draft analyst and what that entails.
- What are the biggest challenges in analyzing the draft? How much time does he spend watching film and how does he slot players?
- What defines success as a draft expert.
- The strength of this year's draft class and who's his #3 QB.
- Where Marcus Mariota will eventually fall.

All that and much more on this week's AA Podcast.

AA Podcast #116 - Brandon Stroud
April 23, 2015 09:30 PM PDT
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WWE has made a lot of news in the sports world recently with Brock Lesnar announcing his re-signing with the company on ESPN, SportsCenter showing WrestleMania, and so many websites now covering the industry on a regular basis. With that in mind we welcome one of the best and funniest pro wrestling writers around, Brandon Stroud of With Spandex and Uproxx. Topics include...

- His journey online and how crazy intense it is to write about pro wrestling on the internet.
- Why Monday Nitro is Brandon's favorite show to review and some of its most lovable, ridiculous moments including The Giant surviving being thrown off a building by Hulk Hogan after a sumo monster truck match.
- All the mainstream sports media coverage WWE has received around WrestleMania and throughout various sports websites and why that might be driven by Attitude Era fans.
- The continued growth and future of WWE Network and what the best stuff is to watch on the network.
- Why Brock Lesnar is the only important person in WWE right now and whether someone can join him.
- The current philosophy of WWE and current state of the product. Why is it not as encouraging as a year ago?
- The evolution of the PG Era and why the Reality Era never took hold.
- Why NXT is the best thing going and how it can create the competition WWE has long needed.
- Rapid fire including best and worst announcers in WWE, the next first time champ, best promotion outside WWE, and the one matchup Brandon never wants to see again in a WWE ring.

AA Podcast #115 - Chris Webber
April 23, 2015 07:51 AM PDT
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It's NBA Playoffs time and we're joined once again by NBA on TNT analyst Chris Webber. The former All-Star has seen quite the rise in his broadcast career over the last 12 months as he's now the lead NBA game analyst for Turner Sports working this postseason with Marv Albert. We chat with Chris about his broadcast career and the NBA Playoffs. Topics include...

- OKC's firing of Scott Brooks and why the franchise needs someone with NBA experience to keep Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
- The local media's souring relationship with Westbrook and Durant and why that might play a role in their future in OKC.
- His growth as a broadcaster over the last three years and moving into a lead role.
- His relationship and chemistry with Marv Albert.
- Working the NCAA Tournament as a broadcaster for the first time.
- The Celtics-Cavs series and why he's been so impressed with Boston. Really good thoughts from Chris on why he's so high on Danny Ainge's rebuilding project.
- Why LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are really Cleveland's Big 2 and why that might be enough to see them over the line.
- The Hawks as the quietest #1 seed in NBA history, perhaps?
- Chris' NBA Finals pick.

All that and more on the latest AA Podcast.

AA Podcast #114 - Taylor Twellman
April 16, 2015 03:17 PM PDT
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On today's podcast, we recap another Dos a Cero victory for the USMNT over arch-rival Mexico with ESPN lead soccer analyst Taylor Twellman. TT joins us to talk about the state of the national team as well as to get caught up on his new contract with ESPN and the new MLS labor contract. Topics include...

- Staying with ESPN in spite of World Cup rights moving to Fox.
- How he hopes to expand and grow in his broadcast career beyond soccer.
- The MLS labor deal and why it maintains "status quo" for the league.
- How the players and the owners could have got a better deal for MLS's future.
- The good/bad side of the consistent Sunday evening broadcast windows.
- Why Kaka will make the biggest impact for a new MLS superstar.
- Reactions to the USMNT 2-0 victory over Mexico.
- The state of US Soccer under Jurgen Klinsmann.

All that and much more on the newest AA Podcast.

AA Podcast #113 - Steve Smith
March 25, 2015 05:28 AM PDT
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In this week's AA Podcast we become fully immersed in March Madness and chat with Steve Smith of Turner Sports. The longtime NBA veteran and Michigan State alum is one of the NBA personalities covering the college game for CBS and Turner during the NCAA Tournament. Topics include...

- Calling NCAA Tournament games from the broadcast booth for the first time.
- His chemistry working with Brian Anderson and seeing so many great games in Pittsburgh during the first week of the tournament.
- The challenges of shifting from covering the NBA to college basketball.
- His Spartans making another Sweet 16 run and how Tom Izzo (whose first recruit was Smith as an assistant at Michigan State) keeps doing it year after year.
- Notre Dame's great OT win over Butler and what makes them a threat to upset Kentucky.
- NC State advancing past Villanova with one of the second round's big upsets.
- Looking forward to working with Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter in the studio this week.

AA Podcast #112 - Leigh Diffey, NBC
March 19, 2015 10:32 AM PDT
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We shift gears (quite literally and figuratively) for this week's podcast by heading to the world of Formula One and open wheel racing. To do so we welcome NBC play by play man Leigh Diffey. In addition to his work calling F1, Leigh calls the network's IndyCar coverage and received acclaim for his announcing at the Sochi Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center. Topics include...

- His journey from Australia to the UK to the United States in his broadcast career.
- His experience in Sochi and the challenges of calling a completely new sport.
- Being able to go between calling F1 and IndyCar racing.
- How controversy sells in F1 and the various issues presently facing the sport including top team Red Bull threatening to quit.
- Lewis Hamliton's dominating win in Australia and why having teammate Nico Rosberg be his chief rival is good for the sport.
- The struggles of McLaren and how teams can catch up to Mercedes.
- 17 year old Max Verstappen and the young stars of F1.
- Whether or not Mercedes can complete a perfect season.

F1 and open wheel racing fans definitely want to tune in to this week's edition of the AA Podcast.

AA Podcast #111 - Peter Schrager
March 13, 2015 06:13 AM PDT
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In today's podcast, we get caught up on the free agency frenzy in the NFL with Fox NFL reporter/insider/draft guru/sideline reporter etc. Peter Schrager. Peter joins us from the University of Oregon pro day so we spend a bit of time on Marcus Mariota and his draft prospects before moving into all the major signings and trades of the last week. We also talk with Peter about breaking into the crazy world of NFL insiderdom. Topics include...

- Marcus Mariota's draft prospects and whether or not Chip Kelly channels his inner Mike Ditka.
- Kelly's "plan" in Philadelphia and whether it really does exist.
- How difficult it is to break into the world of NFL insiders and compete with Schefter and Glazer.
- How the reporting trail and player movement differs from the other hats he wears at Fox and why he felt like he needed to break more stories.
- Just how many retweets do you get for breaking the signing of Isa Abdul-Quddus?
- The very real pressure that exists for NFL reporters to break news around the clock, even the singles and doubles.
- What is going on in New Orleans with my Saints?
- Best and worst value signings in free agency.
- A look at the first 18 months of Fox Sports 1. We have a conversation about expectations, growth, challenging ESPN, and of course Mike Francesa.

And Peter also shares with us his vision of a travel/food show going to sports bars across the country. Think of it as a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives for Sports. How could that show fail? Make it happen, Fox Sports 1!

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