The rise of "Stat Boy" continues -- Tony Reali has just been called up to NYC where the host of ESPN's "Around the Horn" will now be featured on "Good Morning America."
Reali -- who started off as the research guy on "Pardon the Interruption" -- has signed a new gig to cover social media on "GMA."
To accommodate his new job, "Around the Horn" will move from from Washington D.C. to NYC ... where it will be taped in a new studio close to the "GMA" building.
Reali told the Hollywood Reporter, "I love sports and I love ESPN, but there's a lot outside of sports that I like, too."
Did He Drop an F-Bomb
During NBA Broadcast?
3/8/2014 11:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
During last night's game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls, ESPN's Jon Barry either dropped a very causal F-bomb or ... well, we really don't have another option.
As Grizzlies center Marc Gasol drained a midrange jumper, Barry remarked, "four f**king jumpers he's knocked down."
It's possible Barry said something else (one site postulated he was trying to say "flat-footed" jumpers), but it's clear he got a little tongue-tied.
[h/t the ironically named Fire Jon Barry]
Rape Arrest Warrant Issued in Big Easy
2/27/2014 2:16 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Darren Sharper is in BIG trouble in the Big Easy -- A New Orleans judge just issued a warrant for Sharper's arrest for allegedly raping 2 women.
New Orleans Sex Crimes detectives claim there's strong evidence Sharper and an acquaintance raped 2 women on Sept. 23. The rapes allegedly occurred in an apartment.
If convicted, Sharper will get life in prison with hard labor ... with no possibility of parole.
The New Orleans Saints safety faces a mound of legal problems. The L.A. County D.A. has charged him with 2 counts of rape by use of drugs, 4 counts of furnishing of a controlled substance and 1 count of possession of a controlled substance -- all felonies.
And there are rape investigations underway in Arizona, Florida and Nevada.
D.A. Is Tweet-Smearing Me
Destroying My Shot at Fair Trial
2/20/2014 4:11 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Darren Sharper is getting screwed by the L.A. District Attorney ... so says the NFL star's lawyer who claims prosecutors are unfairly trying to destroy his image 140-characters at a time.
Sharper's lawyer, Blair Berk, filed documents blasting the D.A. for an attempted "Trial by Twitter Feed."
In her scathing attack on the D.A., Berk unloads on prosecutors -- claiming they've "embarked on an orchestrated press campaign, through it's paid publicists, to smear Mr. Sharper in the media."
Berk says the D.A. has "intentionally [distributed] highly inflammatory and prejudicial, false, misleading and/or un-adjudicated evidence in this case, clearly intended to destroy Mr. Sharper's presumption of innocence and ability to get a fair trial without even a shred of evidence having ever been properly been admitted in a court of law."
Berk says the D.A. blew off Sharper's camp and ignored his request to present his side of the story before blasting out a statement to the media via the D.A.'s twitter account.
Berk is now asking the judge to step in and shut the D.A. up before they cause any more damage to Sharper's ability to get a fair trial.
Judge BANS Him from Nightclubs
And You Can't Be Alone with Women
2/20/2014 3:02 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Darren Sharper has just been BANNED from all nightclubs and bars PLUS he's not allowed to be alone with any new women ... so ruled a judge who just announced the terms of Sharper's bail in his L.A. rape case.
The former New Orleans Saints superstar -- sporting a grey suit with no tie -- just appeared in L.A. County Superior Court and plead NOT GUILTY to allegations he drugged and raped two women in L.A.
The judge set Sharper's bail to $1 million and set a series of strict terms, which were actually proposed by Sharper's lawyer:
-- Sharper is to remain in L.A. County
-- Sharper was ordered to surrender his passport
-- Sharper must stay away from nightclubs or bars or any other establishments where alcohol is the primary item for sale.
-- Sharper may NOT be alone with any female he did not know prior to October 30, 2013.
During the hearing, prosecutors claimed they have evidence which shows Sharper had gone through 70 pills of Ambien in 65 days.
FYI -- prosecutors allege Sharper would use Ambien to spike the drinks of his victims.
He's due back in court on April 15.
Michael Sam's Gayness
2/10/2014 6:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Well, Michael Sam ... here's what you're up against.
Former NFL coach-turned-ESPN analyst Herm Edwards went on the air last night and declared that Sam's sexual orientation is considered "baggage" and coaches will have to decide if they want it in their locker rooms.
"He's a player that has issues," Edwards said referring to Sam's sexual orientation ... "Off the field issues."
He continued, "The thing you talk about in your organization with the G.M. and obivously the owner is, 'Can we handle this guy?' Can we handle the media that's gonna come along with this situation?"
"He's bringing baggage into your locker room."
ESPN's Linda Cohn
RIPS FORMER CO-WORKER
Michelle Beadle Doesn't Belong In Sports
2/1/2014 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
ESPN badass Linda Cohn HATES people like Michelle Beadle ... telling TMZ Sports women who get into sports-reporting with an agenda to be on shows like "Access Hollywood" make her blood boil.
Cohn never mentioned Beadle by name when we ran into her in NYC this week ... but it's obvious she was talking about M.B. since Beadle was a sideline reporter for the Nets, worked for ESPN and then left to become the co-host of "Access."
Here's the backstory ... we were asking Linda about the ongoing battle that female sports journalists face in the workplace when Linda broke it down for us:
"I've been very outspoken I always tell young women they should aim HIGHER than being sideline reporter if they really love sports and have a passion for it."
"And if they're knowledgeable about it, do your homework ... show us how knowledgeable you are and go out there and kick some butt."
"But if you're just using it as a stepping stone to be on 'Access Hollywood' then you're not needed here."
11:04 AM PT -- Beadle just responded on Twitter ... and essentially blew the whole thing off.
"Just scheduled a sweet pillow fight with @lindacohn....kissing optional. Nice try, Internet. Smooches, mama. #nocatfighthere"
I Hate Tom Brady
... And His Stupid Hair!!
10/2/2013 1:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Baltimore Ravens badass Terrell Suggs ripped Tom Brady apart ... trashing the QB for his smug attitude, his god-like status … and worst of all, HIS HAIR!!!
Suggs spit the venom during an interview with ESPN's "E:60" when Lisa Salters asked T-Sizzle how he truly felt about the Pats superstar. T's response:
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for camera. I don’t like him. He don’t like me. I don’t like his hair.”
Suggs will have a chance to tell Brady how he feels about him in person on Dec. 22 – when the Ravens take on the Pats.
Still, we gotta ask …
FIRED FROM ESPN
Allegedly Called Co-Host 'Uncle Tom'
8/13/2013 11:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former NFL superstar Hugh Douglas has just been FIRED from his gig on an ESPN show in the wake of reports he called his co-host an "Uncle Tom."
Douglas -- a former Philadelphia Eagles defensive stud -- had co-hosted ESPN's "Numbers Never Lie" ... along with Michael Smith.
But according to several reports, Douglas and Smith got into a heated altercation at the National Association of Black Journalists Convention in Orlando last Tuesday ...with Douglas allegedly hurling the racially charged insult at Smith, who is black.
Douglas never confirmed the incident ... but ESPN had previously told media outlets they were "aware there was a disagreement" between the two men.
Moments ago, ESPN took action -- 86'ing Douglas from the network, effective immediately.
Douglas tweeted about the move -- saying, "I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time."
NBA Star Kenneth Faried
Let's Talk About My Giant ...
7/17/2013 3:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
NBA Star Kenneth Faried
My Dong Is
7/17/2013 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
OK ... this video is INSANE -- but in a good way ... a way that's going to make you laugh, make you shake your head, laugh again ... and then wonder, "What the hell did I just watch?"
The star of the video is Denver Nuggets superstar Kenneth Faried -- who also happens to be on the cover of the ESPN body issue ... the one with all the naked athletes.
The 23-year-old was leaving Lure nightclub in Hollywood last night -- and seemed a little boozy (but in a playful way) ... when things quickly spun out of control.
First -- our guy had no idea who Kenneth was (so Kenneth messed with him and told him he's a soccer player ... pretty funny).
As Kenneth continues to mess with our guy, one of the NBA star's friends whips out the ESPN mag ... and our photog finally puts 2 and 2 together. It's hilarious.
And that's when the REAL fun begins ... with our photog asking about the naked photo shoot:
Photog: Were you nervous in the nude?
Kenneth: No! My d**k is big!!!
Kenneth then holds up the cover and starts musing on and on about his physique ... "I'm a SEXY INDIVIDUAL. Look at that s**t. You see that s**t? Look at them yams! Look at them abs!"
KF also says he's down to do Playgirl ... but there's a catch.
The best part of the encounter ... Kenneth took the responsible route home -- and got into a waiting SUV.
Love this guy.
77-Yr-Old Golf Legend
I Was Born to Strip Naked
for ESPN 'Body Issue'
6/28/2013 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
77-year-old pro golfer Gary Player didn't do a lick of extra training for his naked debut as the oldest man ever in ESPN's "Body Issue" -- dude says he's been in tip-top shape since birth ... aka the '30s ... yeah, he's that old.
Gary tells TMZ, “I did not do anything special for the shoot" ... other than busting his hump working outdoors on his farm in South Africa everyday for a few months prior to dropping trou for ESPN.
He added, "I was already relaxed, tanned and ready to go.”
Before Gary flashed the family jewels for the shoot 2 weeks ago in Miami ... he says ESPN treated him like a king and provided a serious spread of his fav foods -- including crudités, fresh fruit, hummus, salad, and herbal tea. No wonder GP's in great shape.
As for the whole naked thing, Gary says it didn't bother him one bit -- "I was relaxed and confident in my own skin to do this."
Erin Andrews Nude Video
Peddled for Profit
7/20/2009 11:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Someone is trying to sell the secret videotape of ESPN's Erin Andrews and it's clear -- there's a pervert on the loose.
We will not publish the video nor did we purchase it. It's a clear invasion of privacy. But this is what we can tell you.
It appears the video was shot from some sort of spy cam. It looks as if someone drilled a small hole in her hotel room from an adjoining room.
The camera is clearly being operated by someone. It follows Erin as she moves about her room.
It looks like a high-end hotel, but Erin's people claim they have no idea where or when it was shot.
It's also clear Erin has absolutely no idea she's being videotaped.