Ramifications of Kirk Herbstreit’s Joining Amazon, ‘Thursday Night Football’: TRAINA THOUGHTS – Sports Illustrated

1. Amazon was not going to be denied.
The streaming service, which has exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football beginning this season, was determined to land marquee names for its booth and it appears it finally got one.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported last week that Amazon had interest in hiring ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit to be its TNF analyst. And today, Peter King reported today that Amazon had a deal in place with Herbstreit.
Amazon is clearly seeking instant credibility with its broadcast team. It originally wanted Troy Aikman to be its analyst, but he went to ESPN. So, Amazon then set its sights on Sean McVay, but the Rams coach decided he wasn’t retiring from his day job.
With deep pockets and no big wins yet, Amazon wasn’t going to give up. Enter Herbstreit, who told me in late 2020 on the SI Media Podcast that he was ready to add the NFL to his schedule.
“After that experience [of calling an NFL game], I’d say I would love to entertain both. I would love the challenge. I don’t know if anyone’s ever done that, where they do a big college game and then do a game in the NFL. It would have to be a Monday game, obviously. If it were a Sunday game I wouldn’t be able to do college and pro. Ideally, in a perfect world, I would love the challenge of trying to do both. But I’m now much more open to the idea of doing the NFL.”
College fans shouldn’t worry about Herbstreit’s new job. He will continue to appear on College GameDay each Saturday morning and call ESPN’s top game each Saturday night.
As for Amazon, they now turn their attention to finding a play-by-play person to work with Herbstreit. Al Michaels has long been rumored to join Amazon, but Al is now in limbo thanks to the Joe Buck situation.
ESPN reportedly wants Buck to join Aikman in its Monday Night Football booth, but Buck has one year left on his Fox contract. Jim Miller told the SI Media Podcast last week that ESPN and Fox are trying to work on a trade for Buck.
So here are some scenarios that can still play out in the madness that is NFL broadcasting.
• Buck jumps from Fox to ESPN. Al Michaels goes to Amazon.
• Buck stays at Fox. Michaels goes to ESPN.
• Buck jumps to ESPN. Michaels goes to Fox.
I’m sure there are a lot of play-by-play folks out there rooting for Michaels to either land at ESPN or Fox so they can follow in Herbstreit’s footsteps and get their hands on that Amazon money.
2. Glen “Big Baby” Davis played with the Celtics for four seasons, but Boston security still wouldn’t let him sneak into a better seat during yesterday’s game against the Nets.
3. I can’t remember the last time I saw a home player try to quiet the crowd while bashing an opponent, but that’s what happened Sunday when Jayson Tatum tried to get Celtics fans to stop chanting “Kyrie Sucks” at Kyrie Irving.
4. How bad have things gotten for the 28–35 Lakers? They’re now getting roasted on Saturday Night Live.
5. I love the bond between Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. Remember when Larry couldn’t take the noise at a fashion show?
Well, Jerry came prepared to the North Carolina–Duke game Saturday with his earplugs.
6. A brand-new SI Media Podcast dropped this morning, and it features an interview with Jim Miller. The author, reporter and podcast host shared his insights on all the NFL broadcaster madness that has and is expected to take place. Troy Aikman to ESPN. Joe Buck to ESPN? What is going on with Al Michaels? Where will Fox turn for a No. 1 NFL booth? Is Kirk Herbstreit in play for Amazon? All this and more is covered with Miller.
In addition, Andrew Perloff from The Maggie and Perloff Show joins me for this week’s “Traina Thoughts” segment, during which we discuss my recent appearance on his show, the MLB lockout, a rumored Vince McMahon vs. Pat McAfee match at WrestleMania and more.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on AppleSpotify and Stitcher.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: I can’t recommend this TikTok account enough. This guy has basically combined food porn with the Calm app.
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.
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