Michelle Beadle defends ESPN over Brent Musberg's comments about Katherine Webb

6:57 PM, Jan 10, 2013   |    comments
Katherine Webb. (Photo by Matt Cashore, USA TODAY Sports)
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Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY Sports

Having left ESPN, Michelle Beadle will co-host a new NBC Sports Network weekday talk show called The Crossover starting Jan. 28 which will incorporate various new-media tie-ins such as video screens that could flash viral videos.

In the meantime she has been able to catch a lot of football, including the BCS title game Monday on ESPN that included the uproar over Brent Musburger's comments about the girlfriend of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Katherine Webb.

"It cracked me up," Beadle told USA TODAY Sports. "It's sort of like you go to a restaurant with your dad and he starts flirting with the waitress -- eesh, kind of embarassing.

"But she's a beauty pageant winner and she looked fabulous on the Today show. So I don't know how it could be offensive to call her 'beautiful' or why ESPN had to issue an apology."

For anybody upset, Beadle suggests, don't blame Musburger: "Those shots happen when it's a boring game. So blame Notre Dame."

As to her upcoming show, it sounds a bit like the old weekday talk show -- SportsNation -- that she co-hosted at ESPN.

"I'd be lying if I said we're re-inventing the wheel," Beadle said. "I came from a show trying to not take anything too seriously, which is easy for me. I don't know if we'll introduce anything mind-dropping. But we'll be there for people who don't want arguments or yelling."

Dave Briggs, until recently a host of weekend Fox News' Fox and Friends morning shows, will co-host The Crossover, which will be on weekdays at 6 p.m. ET.

"A lot of people are asking, 'What the heck are they thinking to get a guy from Fox News?' '' Briggs said.

But, he suggests that background will help bring up topics outside sports -- "nothing will be off-limits" -- and that NBC "wanted someone who isn't intimidated by Michelle. And I'm not."

Beadle says she has "no regrets at all" about leaving ESPN, except missing some co-workers. But, "I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss talking football during this juicy season. Like with Tim Tebow, the poor kid. He's so lovable. But no one talked about him."


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