Notes: Jason Cabinda is destined for the broadcast booth

Pride of Detroit

The NFL is a smart business organization with a vested interest in making sure there is a lot of content to draw fans to their on-the-field product. Though the actual broadcast rights to games rake in huge money for the league, constant engagement via daily talk shows, local coverage, and their very own NFL Network pipeline of all things football are ways to keep fans dialed in even during the offseason. Serving up all that material in professional fashion is much harder than it looks, so the league started a broadcast boot camp program with its media partners 15 years ago to prepare former (and current) players for roles on television and radio.

The annual broadcast boot camp is usually held in April or May at the NFL Films studios, and this year’s event apparently just happened, though we don’t yet know exactly which days it was on this time. A tweet posted by the NFL Network (then retweeted by Jason Cabinda) came to the attention of our staff, and their eagle eyes picked out some familiar faces (plus there’s a former Detroit second-round pick linebacker in there):

What’s interesting to note here is this isn’t the first time Cabinda has been to one of these broadcast and media workshops. Back in 2019 while he was still with the Raiders, Cabinda was at the 2019 boot camp. Just last April, at the 2021 workshop hosted by Bowling Green State University again, Cabinda was part of a four-member SiriusXM Mock Talk Show Exercise with Bruce Murray (host of The SiriusXM Blitz) in the second session on April 6.

How serious of an affair was that 2021 panel with Charlie Batch, Cameron Lynch, and Will Blackmon? Immediately following the mock talk show exercise, the four got feedback from a four-member discussant panel of SiriusXM executives: senior director of sports programming Jason Dixon, vice president of sports programming Eric Spitz, executive producer Eddie Borsilli, and executive producer Michael Mazvinsky. So, yes, that was kind of a big deal!

As pointed out by the NFL Player Engagement programs’ “support for players” page, “Nearly 45 percent of the current players and Legends who participated in NFL Broadcast Workshops from 2015-19 earned media jobs.” Cabinda has already put in an enormous amount of work into video content for his personal YouTube channel and always appears comfortable on camera.

The superback has had a passion and knack for broadcasting for a very long time. According to MLive’s Ben Raven, Cabinda got an early start with NFL media by interviewing as a league intern, but it goes even further back than that. As he tells it in this video from his channel, he’s been interested in it since his junior year at Penn State and meticulously planned out how he wants to pursue the career after his playing days are over:

It’s hard to imagine a better person to put behind the microphone than Detroit’s 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee. At the moment, though, we hope he will be content to spend at least the next two years helping the Lions dominate the NFC North.

Now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • The Brian Flores lawsuit alleging discriminatory head coach hiring practices in the NFL just updated, and indirectly involves a former Lions coach. According to an ESPN story by Kevin Van Valkenburg, Steve Wilks and Ray Horton joined Flores in an amended complaint. The part where former Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin comes in has to do with Horton’s claim that the Tennessee Titans gave their head coaching job to Mike Mularkey in 2016 before even bothering to interview Horton or Austin. Mularkey admitted in the podcast’s audio recording that the Titans ran a sham interview process on a tiny Steelers podcast which came to light during investigations into the Flores lawsuit. Transcribed from the podcast in Van Valkenburg’s article: “I allowed myself at one point when I was in Tennessee to get caught up in something I regret it and I still regret it. But the ownership there, Amy Adams Strunk and her family, came in and told me I was going be the head coach in 2016 before they went through the Rooney Rule. And so, I sat there knowing I was the head coach in ‘16 as they went through this fake hiring process.“

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