🎧 TFG Pod: An Ex-ESPNer’s New European Adventure + Odell Beckham’s Future

From The Football Girl Podcast, hosted by Melissa Jacobs. Please subscribe in iTunes to get new episodes of the pod in your feed the second we publish. If you like what you hear, please rate and/or review us! 

Highly respected journalist Jane McManus was one of the many stunning casualties during ESPN’s massive layoffs in April 2017. Faced with a jolt, Jane turned the news into a life-altering adventure for her and her family. Her husband, a teacher, got a new job in Surrey, England and they found a new rental with the help of House Hunters International!

In this wide-ranging conversation, Jane discusses the impetus for the move, takes us behind the scenes of her HHI episode (watch the whole ep. here) , the emotions of being laid off, her views on ESPN’s controversial trajectory, the treacherous media landscape, gun violence in the UK vs US and much more.

Later in the episode, Melissa has a special Passover edition of her musings with questions and answers on Odell Beckham’s future in NY, Johnny Manziel’s chances at an NFL job, Michael Bennett’s felony, and the new NFL rules.

If you like what you hear, please leave us a nice rating and/or review!


7:49: JANE MCMANUS conversation

10:25 Behind the scenes of Jane’s family’s stint on House Hunters International

12:02: How Jane got on House Hunters

15:30 How Jane and her husband refrained from laughter during filming

21:13: On finding peace and adventure after being laid off from ESPN

27:40: On not working in the aftermath of the layoff

31:20: How the NFL is covered in the UK

38:15: Whether or not she missed covering the NFL last season.

40:15: Gun violence in the UK vs. the US

49:30: How ESPN has changed in the past year

52:10: Jane’s views on sports media’s trajectory

56:13: Best place Jane has visited in Europe

57:45: MELISSA’S MUSINGS on Odell Beckham Jr, Johnny Manziel, Michael Bennett and player safety.



How the NFL has to market football to the UK:

“It’s interesting because it’s a clash of people who are super into football – and these games sell out instantly, they have no trouble selling out thee games, so it’s a combination of serious interest in the sport and knowledgeable fans who live here. On the flip side of that, if you’re not in that group, you know nothing. So they have to cater to both of these sides of football. “

How ESPN has changed since last April’s bloodbath:

“I look at ESPN and it’s like – look at Jemele Hill, who I adore and has been a mentor to me and I’ve seen her not be on SportsCenter anymore and go back to writing. I’m glad, she’s done some amazing columns since she’s gone back. But at the same time it does make me see that ESPN has changed and some of the focus it had has changed. I think there’s more emphasis now on being apolitical. They don’t ask you to take yourself out of it completely because they still ask you to bring your fandom so they want you bring parts of yourself in, not everything.”

The exhaustion of covering heavy sports issues:

“Covering the NFL the past couple of years, particularly through domestic violence, Title IX issues, sexual harassment, rape on campus. Some of these issues that we’ve covered are really important and hard to cover and hard to cover well. So I kind of felt like I needed a bit of a breather, a bit of a restart, a bit of stepping back and taking stock of things.”


Funky Cha Cha – Arturo Sandoval | Around the World – Red Hot Chili Peppers | All About the Money – Troy Ave | Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry | F*ck the Police – N.W.A. | The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats | Mr. Brightside – The Killers