• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Shot Callers: Marcus Spears, Show Host, ESPN

After nearly a decade in the NFL, not to mention winning a national championship with the LSU Tigers, Marcus Spears has transitioned into a television career as an analyst on the ESPN family of networks. Currently, he hosts SEC Nation and Thinking Out Loud on the SEC Network.

In today’s episode of Shot Callers, FOS Senior Writer Michael McCarthy chatted with Spears about his journey to the world of television and his promising future in the field.

Edited highlights appear below:

On his experience so far in television (0:57)

Spears: “It’s amazing. I think the first thing that comes to mind is the experiences, right? When you’re an athlete, you never see behind the scenes. You never see what goes into a production of a game or an award show. The work that’s put in prior to everything, looking pretty to everybody that watches it on the tube. So it’s been an amazing experience for me. If anybody knows me, I’m myself on television. I don’t know any other alter egos and that’s been embraced by this company, I’ve been embraced by my colleagues and that’s what’s most important to me. So it’s been an amazing experience.”

On why sometimes big name former athletes and coaches have trouble as broadcasters (3:08)

Spears: “A part of it is [not realizing how hard the work is], and then the other part is sometimes I feel like alliances can cause guys like these friendships and alliances. Not saying any of these guys didn’t have what it took. I just think sometimes the protective nature of you being a former athlete can call you. That doesn’t mean you get on television and bash players. You tell the truth. That’s what I tell people all the time. I’m going to call it like I see it. I think that’s what ultimately people respect. They might not like what you’re saying because it’s a player that they love or organization that they love. But ultimately you just gotta be frank.”

On his ability to talk about all sports and not just football (4:56)

Spears: “I grew up arguing with my dad and my uncles about all sports. So it’s very normal for me…It’s about being a fan first and foremost, I think. The second thing is just wanting to expand your craft. Like there are other conversations going on outside of football. But one big thing for me, I never wanted to get pigeonholed as he’s this because once that runs out or once there’s no place for that, then you gotta find somewhere else to go. The one thing that I’ve learned from a lot of guys, especially bringing in obviously Stephen A and Max and Jalen is why not be involved in other sports? Why not have something to say?”

On why America cares so much about the Cowboys (7:39)

Spears: “The Cowboys are the face of the thing that we cherish the most in sports in this country: football. They’re the most popular product. Even though the New England Patriots are winning all the Super Bowls, the Cowboys are America’s team. People can debate that and take it out of context. There is a reason that it’s the highest grossing franchise. There’s a reason it’s worth more than any other franchise in the NFL because people gravitate to it….They’ve had some of the biggest names to ever play in the NFL…They’ve had multiple Hall of Famers. It’s been so many things of rich tradition that we hold and we cherish in this country so much. That’s what the Dallas Cowboys embody.”

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Ryan Clark

Tuned In: Ryan Clark Finalizing New Deal With ESPN

A pending contract could put him over $2 million per year, say sources.

Sham Gods: The Rapidly Growing World of Sports Impersonators on X

Fake Schefters and Wojs, fabricated trade demands, and borrowed profile pictures.

WBD Touts Streaming Profit, Sports Alliance While Stock Is Hammered

TNT Sports parent sees tough reaction from Wall Street to latest earnings.
Nick Saban

Coaches Aren’t Happy With College Football—Some Are Getting Out While They Can

NIL and the transfer portal have many college football coaches getting new jobs.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Just How Bad Are the New MLB Uniforms?

0:00
0:00

Featured Today

The Victor Wembanyama Rookie Card Market Hasn’t Matched His Hype

A cooling market and Fanatics autograph deal leaves big-money collectors waiting.
Sep 24, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; A general view of the Oakland Athletics dugout after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
February 24, 2024

Murky Future: Everything You Need to Know About the A’s Move to Las Vegas

Breaking down one of the most drawn-out, multifaceted sagas in sports.
February 18, 2024

Sabrina-Steph Wasn’t the ‘Battle of the Sexes’—But It Was Part of the Bigger War

The competition could play a factor in increasing the WNBA’s media value.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23), in a Star Wars rebel alliance X-wing fighter pilot-inspired race suit, motions to the crowd to get louder during the driver introductions for the Cup Series Championship race at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Nov. 5, 2023.
February 17, 2024

Celebrity Owners, International Ambitions, and $7B Media Deals: Welcome to the New NASCAR

NASCAR boldly keeps pace with the increasingly competitive sports and entertainment world.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Finance Manager
FanDuel
New York, NY
Senior Technical Artist - Sports Technology
EA Sports
Orlando, FL
Assistant Manager, Affiliate Operations
Adidas
Portland, OR

Fundamentals: Andrea Williams (Women In Sports)

Welcome to the latest episode of Fundamentals, a Front Office Sports interview…
November 17, 2020

Fundamentals: Women In Esports

On this episode of Fundamentals, three guests join the show to discuss the opportunities for women in the gaming industry, as well as the challenges they face.
February 24, 2021

Fundamentals: Women in Sports

Welcome to the latest episode of Fundamentals, a Front Office Sports interview…
Sponsored

Live Sports Are Now High-Tech Experiences

Oracle is leading the technology revolution happening in stadiums across the world.
September 22, 2020

Fundamentals: USTA CEO Michael Dowse

Dowse, the CEO and executive director of the national governing body for tennis, discussed the unique challenges of a fan-less US Open and growing the sport in the U.S.
July 28, 2020

Fundamentals: RISE CEO Diahann Billings-Burford

Diahann Billings-Burford is the CEO of RISE, a national nonprofit whose mission is to use sports as a means of eliminating racial discrimination and acting as a vehicle for social justice and societal equality.
July 24, 2020

Fundamentals: MLL Commissioner Sandy Brown

Sandy Brown — commissioner of Major League Lacrosse — discusses the logistics and realities of the league’s return to play with a single-location tournament format, along with the growth of the sport as a whole.
July 17, 2020

Fundamentals: Evil Geniuses CEO Nicole LaPointe Jameson

Nicole LaPointe Jameson, CEO of professional esports team Evil Geniuses, discusses the state of esports and what is next for the organization.