1. Quick note before we get started. Please send me any and all questions you may have for this week's SI Media Mailbag. You can email questions to Jimmy.Traina@si.com or you can send them via Twitter. Thanks.
ESPN's iconic College GameDay was in Boulder, Col., last Saturday for a monster show. Buffaloes coach Deion Sanders joined the show for an interview, The Rock was the guest picker, and Lee Corso was celebrating his 400th headgear pick.
ESPN spent the morning giving that night’s Colorado State–Colorado a big-game feel. But for some reason, the network had its No. 1 broadcast crew of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit call that night’s Tennessee-Florida game, while Mark Jones and Louis Riddick worked the Colorado State–Colorado game.
For the record, this isn’t a knock on Jones and Riddick in any way, because they had a great call of the game and added to the already electric atmosphere.
Mark Jones screaming "STUNTIN' LIKE HIS DADDY!!!" for Shilo Sanders' INT return for a TD with Lil Wayne on the sideline is iconic. pic.twitter.com/vDq8zZ1PFB— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) September 17, 2023
The Colorado offense has struggled for most of the night. But Shedeur Sanders finds Jimmy Horn Jr. and then Michael Harrison on a game-tying two-point conversion.— The Comeback (@thecomeback) September 17, 2023
The Buffaloes drove 98 yards for the tying TD pic.twitter.com/qYAaYmMDhc
However, this was a curious decision for multiple reasons. All anyone associated with college football has told you for three weeks is that nothing in the sport matters except Deion Sanders. In addition, Herbstreit was already on-site. It just didn’t make any sense to me, and I threw out a tweet about it.
ESPN making Kirk Herbstreit fly from GameDay in Boulder to Gainsville for Tennessee-Florida when he could've just stayed there to call Colorado St-Colorado is weird.— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) September 16, 2023
According to sources, ESPN sent Fowler and Herbstreit to Florida for multiple reasons. The game was in prime time, the Vols and Gators have a rivalry and the Swamp offers an exciting atmosphere.
To be blunt, I don’t love those reasons, especially the one about prime time. Sure, Tennessee-Florida was a 7 p.m. ET game and Colorado State–Colorado was a 10 p.m. ET game, but the buzz for Tennessee-Florida was zero and the buzz for Colorado State–Colorado was a 10.
But everyone can make a mistake, and you move on and learn.
On Monday, ESPN announced this week's assignments and surely Fowler and Herbstreit would be in the booth for Colorado's game at Oregon. But as the great Lee Corso would say, not so fast.
Joe Tessitore and Jesse Palmer will call Buffaloes-Ducks at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC, while Fowler and Herbstreit will work Arkansas at LSU at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
What now? Arkansas-LSU instead of Prime Time? Huh?
According to sources, prime time vs. an afternoon game is a factor here. And again, ESPN has to stop using that logic. College football fans and noncollege football fans, because Colorado is drawing plenty of those these days, will watch the Buffaloes no matter what time they play. That 10 p.m. ET game against Colorado State last week drew 9.3 million viewers. It was ESPN’s fifth-most watched college football game on record.
The other factor this week is Herbstreit’s travel.
College GameDay is in South Bend for Ohio State–Notre Dame, which airs on NBC at 7:30 p.m. ET. That means Herbstreit would have to leave Indiana when GameDay ends at 9 a.m. PT and then get to Eugene, Ore., for a 12:30 p.m. PT kickoff, which would be cutting it close.
Like I said, where ESPN really messed up was last week. There’s nothing you can do about the travel issues this week, although, it will once again seem bizarre that Fowler and Herbstreit, the No. 1 crew, won’t be on the most anticipated game of the week or the most-watched game of the week on the ABC/ESPN family of channels.
2. Two notes on Monday Night Football. When it was first announced that ABC/ESPN would air a few staggered doubleheaders this season, I didn’t love the idea. After last night, I can say I’m a big fan. I thought it worked out nicely, and the 7:15 p.m. ET/8:15 p.m. ET split much better than a 7 p.m. ET/10 p.m. ET split.
Also, thanks to the writers’ strike and no new television shows being produced at the moment, Monday Night Football will now air on over-the-air ABC in addition to ESPN, which could be attractive to potential cord-cutters.
3. Here is this week’s always entertaining “Bad Beats” segment.
Bad Beats— Stanford Steve (@StanfordSteve82) September 19, 2023
Week 3 pic.twitter.com/VHILQIOkKx
4. So many people are looking for any nugget of confirmation of the Travis Kelce–Taylor Swift romance. NFL Network’s Rich Eisen had fun with the rumors by making several Swift-related puns on NFL GameDay on Sunday, and one very important individual took notice.
View the original article to see embedded media.
5. A lot of people are impressed with LeBron James’s TV setup. It’s a sweet setup, there is no doubt. But if LeBron Freakin’ James doesn’t have a good TV setup, there is a problem.
LeBron James’ NFL Sunday setup is crazy 🤣🔥— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 18, 2023
(via mrs_savannahrj/ IG) pic.twitter.com/Uk6T35Df73
6. The most recent SI Media With Jimmy Traina features a conversation with Scott Hanson, who is now in his 15th year as host of the NFL RedZone channel.
Hanson talks about what he remembers from hosting his first show 15 years ago, what has changed about the channel over the years, the use of the term “witching hour” and the show’s enormous popularity.
Hanson also discusses his postshow routine after not eating and or using the bathroom for seven hours, what his ideal 1 p.m./4 p.m. ET breakdown is in terms of number of games, famous people who have shouted-out him and RedZone.
Following Hanson, Sal Licata from WFAN radio and SNY TV in New York joins me for our weekly “Traina Thoughts” segment. This week, we discuss the Aaron Rodgers injury, Tom Brady nonsense and Week 1 in the NFL. We also read the most recent reviews readers have left for SI Media With Jimmy Traina on Apple Podcasts.
You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Goodfellas was released in the United States on Sept. 19, 1990, and the way people cut garlic was changed forever.