Mina Kimes Jun 10, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes celebrates with the Seattle Mariners mascot after throwing out the first pitch before a game against the Boston Red Sox at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Mina Kimes was recently profiled by Ben Strauss of The Washington Post, where it was noted that her latest deal with the network is set to expire in 2023. The NFL studio analyst has made quite the name for herself, cementing a place among the most sought-after talents in the sports media space. It’s no wonder then that The Ringer’s Bill Simmons laid down the gauntlet, saying that “she’s been my number one draft pick for a while.”

That challenge has been accepted by Dan Le Batard and, presumably, Meadowlark Media, which Le Batard founded with John Skipper.

In response to Awful Announcing’s tweet about Simmons’ interest in Kimes, Le Batard himself responded by saying “Line starts behind us, big boy.”

It seems unthinkable that Kimes would actively leave ESPN and the myriad options available to her there, but it also depends on where her career aspirations might take her (and how much money we’re talking about here). If she’s looking to plant a flag outside of the sports world, The Ringer, which is owned by Spotify, could offer that in a few different ways.

As for Le Batard and Meadowlark, they are obviously a player in the podcast space but are also very involved in various documentary projects and other multimedia opportunities. They also might be more amenable to Kimes pursuing other projects as well, including broadcasting opportunities with, say, Apple or Amazon.

Speaking of that, Kimes’ agent, Michael Klein, said in the profile that several networks reached out to schedule meetings this week at the Super Bowl.

We’ll believe that Kimes is leaving ESPN when we see it, but in the meantime, there’s no shortage of people in the sports media world rooting for her, and fighting one another on her behalf.

[Dan Le Batard Show, Awful Announcing on Twitter]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.