It is the brand new New Journalism, Pat McAfee model!

Each time the youth ask me the best way to break into sports activities journalism — which they don’t as a result of I’ve by no means been approached to talk to a category, as a result of most adults furl their faces puzzlingly once I inform them I work for Deadspin — my recommendation is to play sports activities. To not fall in love with the video games or something sentimental like that, however somewhat to provide your perception validation, make connections with athletes who will go additional than you, however might additional your profession, and it seems to be good on a resume for the media shops who “cowl” sports activities and still have advantages.

When you can latch on as, say, a kicker or punter, even higher. There’s minimal threat of getting hit, and that lets you retain sufficient mind cells to construct a media empire advert hoc.

“Hey, I’ve acquired like $300K, and Aaron Rodgers’ cellphone quantity. How a lot do you assume it’d value to file him on a Zoom name?”

And on the seventh day, Pat McAfee, journalist, was born.

Now, I’m not naive sufficient to assume there isn’t somewhat pay-for-play taking place throughout all of sports activities journalism, or dumb sufficient to assume loads of sports activities figures view media hits the identical as Cameo appearances, however it’s extraordinarily triggering to listen to McAfee brazenly admit that he pays Rodgers, and Alabama coach Nick Saban, to return on his present.

The New York Submit reported that the Jets’ QB makes seven figures per yr for Tuesdays with Pat, with Saban is in that ballpark for his common Thursday spots, as effectively. The Submit’s supply? McAfee himself.

“Aaron has remodeled $1,000,000 with us, for positive,” the ESPN persona advised the Submit by way of DM.


Throughout my first semester of faculty — and this isn’t a J-school story (simply saying) — a bunch of my highschool buddies joined a frat. Seeing as I used to be about as ready for college as McAfee was to be a journalist, I requested them a easy query:

“So, it’s only a membership, and also you pay to bro out, and stay, with these douchebags?”

I didn’t put it fairly like that, however they nodded in settlement as if nothing was incorrect. You’d pay for intercourse, proper? So why not pay for mates? That’s primarily what McAfee — and the business as a complete — are doing.

Athletes are turning the enterprise right into a post-playing profession clubhouse, for athletes, populated by airheads, and run by grasping firms that worth entry over objectivity. Throw in somewhat identify recognition, and loads of bravado, and any outlet gives you an opportunity (or seven).

Take into consideration the lifetime of a contemporary athlete, and it’s no marvel each one in every of them is tailored for at present’s world of sports activities media. They’ve been educated to speak to cameras since highschool, have mates on the sphere and within the “newsroom,” are compelled to alter careers by their thirty fifth birthday, if not sooner, and assume rankings are simply one other dick-measuring competitors.

It’s both teaching or media, however if you wish to be a coach, performing some media doesn’t damage both. McAfee made $15 million throughout eight seasons as an NFL punter, greater than loads of journalists make in a lifetime, and used these sources to get entry that Joe Blogger can not. That’s the simplicity of it.

When Ryan Clark described Tua Tagovailoa as thick as an Atlanta stripper, he apologized not as a result of he didn’t do any reporting, and even cease to ask why a man who’s handled accidents his whole profession would get bulkier, however as a result of when he determined he was going to do TV — which means sports activities journalism — he made two guarantees to himself:

1. Respect all NFL gamers, coaches, executives, and workers members.

2. Earn and maintain the respect of these exact same individuals.

My man, these are in direct battle with what it means to cowl a beat. That stated, he realized from one of the best, so who can blame him?

Pat McAfee is both genius or extremely f*cking silly, but ESPN’s onboarding PowerPoint ought to comprise a minimum of a few slides on ethics. “Right here’s an instance of a number one query. That is what’s known as sufferer blaming. A settlement doesn’t imply an athlete ‘gained’ a sexual assault case. Truth-check your sources.”

So far as I can inform there are three primary methods to interrupt into the biz, and you may kind this down, aspiring sports activities journalists of America:

1. Play skilled sports activities

2. Befriend skilled athletes

3. Go to high school for journalism

Sean Beckwith added a tagline so the kickers to his items aren’t buried beneath 5 completely different cellular advertisements

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