1. If you've been on the internet today, surely you have seen CBS Miami reporter Samantha Rivera stiff-arm the daylights out of an unruly fan in her camera shot during a live hit from the Stanley Cup Final in Las Vegas on Monday night.
Talking about Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, stiff-arming a fan trying to get on camera and getting into the highlights.— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) June 6, 2023
Quite the display of multitasking by Samantha Rivera of CBS Miami pic.twitter.com/yvP8C3V4BS
I spoke to Rivera on Tuesday morning about the incident, going viral, stiff-arm tips and more.
Sports Illustrated: Tell us what the incident was like from your perspective.
Samantha Rivera: I could see the guy and another guy out of the corner of my eye. It looked like they were staring at us right before we were about to go live, and I think at one point I saw them pointing at us, too. But we were already on camera, and I was afraid they were gonna take me too early, so I wanted to tell my photographer something, but I couldn’t, so I just kept my eye on him.
And then I don’t know if I heard him or felt him, but I sensed him, and the second I did, my arm just came out. It's not gonna happen! I was annoyed.
It's interesting because you see all the nice comments—“we’re proud of you,” “nice work”—but then you get all the people who don’t understand how media works, and they’re like, “Why were you there?” They don’t understand that spot was reserved for us. Security was there. I don’t know why they weren’t paying as close attention as we were, but obviously once they saw me try to push him away, they tried to grab him.
SI: Has anything like this happened to you before? Because you seemed very prepared.
SR: A similar incident happened when I worked in San Diego. I don’t think they purposely ... maybe they did, but it was a man walking his dog, and instead of going around me or behind me, he came right in front of me, in front of my camera, and I almost tripped. So that was the one and only time that was similar and kind of prepared me for last night. But nothing as crazy as last night.
SI: What happened with the guy immediately after you stiff-armed him out of the show?
SR: I honestly have no idea. I was just focused on having to go live again. And everybody back at the station was asking me if I was O.K. and everything. I think was just the adrenaline rush. I was fine, but honestly, I was just scared, nervous, because you didn’t know what that guy was gonna do. Thankfully it was him just trying to be annoying and get in the shot and make his way on but it could’ve been worse. You don’t really know in those situations.
SI: Were you aware he never got in the shot and your stiff arm worked to perfection?
SR: I think a quarter of his face got in, so it did feel good. It was like, “I did my job. I got him out of the way. He never got his five seconds of fame or whatever he wanted.”
SI: How does it feel to viral?
SR: It’s overwhelming. I don’t think I ever saw myself going viral for something like this, but it’s nice to see all the positive comments. Getting random calls, texts from old friends, even exes. It’s like, “I haven’t talked to you in years. Why do you think I'm gonna talk to you now?” It’s quite an experience, for sure.
SI: Any tips for other reporters on how to throw a good stiff arm at an unruly fan?
SR: Eat your veggies. Go to the gym. Do what you can.
2. The number of people across sports who have the awful take that it’s the media’s job to promote certain athletes is out of control. ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins was on Pat McAfee’s show Monday and blamed the media, including ESPN, for Denver’s Nikola Jokić not being more popular. It’s not a network’s job to make athletes popular. The networks and media react to what fans are watching or talking about.
3. The first part of ESPN’s two-part 30 for 30 on Bill Walton airs Tuesday night.
The latest @30for30 tells the story of a true sports original: Bill Walton.— ESPN (@espn) June 5, 2023
Episodes 1 and 2 of “The Luckiest Guy in the World” premiere June 6 at 8 PM ET on ESPN. Streaming the same night on @ESPNPlus 🍿 pic.twitter.com/qMPyBzbkPk
Walton appeared on Monday’s NBA Today to promote the 30 for 30. Richard Jefferson quickly learned what it was like to interview the talkative legend.
I related so much to Jefferson in this clip, because I learned the same lesson when I had Walton on the SI Media podcast in 2019.
4. I usually feature Scott Van Pelt’s “Bad Beats” only during the college football season, but I figured: Why not have a taste of the phenomenal segment today?
Bad Beats— Stanford Steve (@StanfordSteve82) June 6, 2023
Some college baseball and a PGA head to head you have to see. pic.twitter.com/2mePmj2Z9L
5. The WWE’s decision to have Roman Reigns beat Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania generated a decent amount of pushback from fans, but two months later, it’s hard to argue that the company didn’t make the right call. Thanks to the continuation of the “Bloodline” story line, the end of Friday's SmackDown, which saw Reigns confront his cousin Jimmy Uso for turning on him, has been viewed more than 40 million times on WWE’s social media platforms, making it the company’s most-watched clip of 2023.
That segment also drew SmackDown’s biggest audience of the year on Fox.
6. The latest SI Media With Jimmy Traina features an interview with Pat McAfee.
Topics covered with McAfee during the one-hour interview include:
• Why is he joining ESPN?
• Will he be able to have non-ESPN guests on his show?
• How much creative control will ESPN have?
• Why is he leaving FanDuel?
• Did his year as a cohost on College GameDay play a role in his joining ESPN?
• Will he ever go back to the WWE?
• His relationship with Vince McMahon
• How McMahon and the WWE’s Nick Khan helped him make a decision about his show
• Getting a compliment from former President Barack Obama
• His new spin on the famous botched fake punt he was a part of
You can also watch SI Media With Jimmy Traina on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Loved this insight from Julia Louis-Dreyfus on what it was like to film most of Seinfeld in one small room.
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