Jim Nantz explains why he gave up NCAA tournament, talks NFL future – Sports Illustrated

1. Longtime CBS play-by-play man Jim Nantz made news last week when it was announced he would no longer call the NCAA tournament after this season with Ian Eagle taking over as the lead voice in 2024.

Nantz, who has called the tournament for 32 straight years, will remain the network’s No. 1 voice on the NFL and golf.

During an appearance on the SI Media Podcast, which dropped Thursday, Nantz was clear that giving up the tournament is not the start of him pulling back on other assignments.

I asked him whether stepping away from the tournament means he’s thought about when he’d step away from the NFL or golf.

“I’m not even close to that,” said the 63-year-old Nantz. “I just signed a very long-term contract. And in that contract, I basically spelled out exactly what’s happening right now and I’ll be doing the NFL for a long, long time with Tony [Romo].”

Nantz added, “Everything eventually comes to an end, as they say. I think that the NFL and golf will probably run a pretty parallel track. I hope to be doing both for a long time.

“I did have some people who were friends of mine that weren’t in the business who were like, ‘I hate to see you retire.’ I said, I’m not retiring. I’m basically falling back into a schedule that’s about as busy as anybody else is. It’s the old [Pat] Summerall schedule, who was a dear friend and mentor to me, that Pat did the lead NFL game and he anchored the golf and he did it a long time and was brilliant.”

Was walking away from the NCAA tournament an agonizing decision for Nantz?

“It’s been a decision that’s been a long time in the making,” he said on the SI Media Podcast. “I could’ve made this decision years ago, but I love it so much and ultimately my desire to be with my children outweighed my love of being involved in 15 games in 23 days, every one of which is a joy to broadcast.”

Nantz also revealed he was going to give up the tournament in 2021, but COVID-19 ended up changing that plan. Nantz also wanted to be around for this year’s Final Four in Houston, where he started his broadcasting career. 

During the podcast, Nantz also discussed the differences between calling NFL, golf and college basketball, the upcoming CBS NFL schedule, whether it’s time for the NFL to boot the Lions from Thanksgiving, how Al Michaels has handled calling hideous games on Thursday Night Football and much more.

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

You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.

2. Here’s a weird ratings twist regarding the World Series: More people watched Game 1 on a Friday night (11.682 million) than Game 3 on Tuesday night (11.373). While Game 3 was a 7–0 blowout and Game 1 was a 6–5 10-inning thriller, it’s odd that a Friday, usually a dead night for TV ratings. would rate higher than a Tuesday. Game 2 on Saturday averaged 10.993 million viewers.

While hardly anything on network TV other than sports draws 10–11 million viewers these days, these are not great numbers for Fox and Major League Baseball.

It will be fascinating to see the ratings for tonight, which has Houston playing Philly in Game 5 of the World Series and Philly visiting Houston on Amazon Prime for Thursday Night Football.

3. I’m not sure what kind of answer this reporter expected by asking, “How do you feel about getting no-hit,” but Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber had the perfect response.

4. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson attended Wednesday’s AEW show and promptly got insulted by wrestler Chris Jericho, much to the amusement of Jackson.

5. Lakers guard Lonnie Walker IV had 28 points and drained five of nine three-point attempts in his team’s 120–117 overtime win against the Pelicans on Wednesday, which left him feeling very confident after the game.

6. For all my fellow Chris “Mad Dog” Russo fans out there, you can listen to the Doggie’s Radio Hall of Fame speech and Stephen A. Smith’s introduction here.

And if you haven’t listened to Russo’s recent appearance on the SI Media Podcast, you can do so below.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Lou Piniella was named Reds manager on this date in 1989. This is a good time to remember a truly “Imagine if Twitter was around for this” moment: Piniella getting into a physical altercation with his closer, Rob Dibble.

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 Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

This content was originally published here.

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