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ESPN’s Tirico On Top of His Game

Jason Barrett

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I don’t know ESPN announcer Mike Tirico, but if I ever spoke with him I believe he would tell me he is one of the most fortunate guys around.

He’s surely one of the most talented.

I don’t need to do research to discuss great announcers or pertinent voices of major sporting events from the last 75 years. We are talking legendary guys such baseball’s Vin Scully, Harry Caray, Red Barber, Jack Brickhouse, Mel Allen and Jack Buck. In college football, there were people such as Lindsey Nelson, who also announced for the New York Mets, the great Keith Jackson or the terrific Green Bay Packer announcer Ray Scott.

Every sport can boast some giants in broadcasting, but the greatest I ever heard on TV was the verbose Howard Cosell, a true icon but not necessarily a lead broadcaster.

The all-around performers were guys such as Curt Gowdy and Pat Summerall, and ones still around today such as Al Michaels, Marv Albert, Bob Costas and Dick Enberg. You can disagree and email me your support for anyone I might have forgotten at mike@northtonorth.com.

With all that said, there is a new dog in the hunt, and in 10 years he will be considered one of the best of all time.

As you know, I don’t throw around a lot of bouquets when it comes to sports announcers or talkers on TV or radio, but 47-year-old Tirico stands out.

I heard him doing the British Open this past weekend, and he mentioned he had been on the road for 47 straight days starting with the 2014 World Cup and ending at the Open. He made this comment Thursday, so Tirico was on the road for 51 days going into Monday.

At first I thought he was complaining, but then I listened and he wasn’t. He was just saying it in conversation.

I watched him for a good segment of his travels this time, and he’s been fresh and crisp on the air. His preparation is impeccable, and forget trying to look for mistakes from him — you won’t find any. All of us make mistakes every day and there are numerous on-air errors, but this guy seems be at a different level.

In 2009, a Yahoo sports.com poll done by David J. Halberstam named the Top 50 Network TV Announcers of All Time, and Tirico was 17th. In 2014, I think he would be ranked much higher and his cache just continues to grow.

Tirico seems to be more than capable at a variety of sports including college hoops, the NBA, tennis, golf and, of course, the NFL as ESPN’s Monday night football play-by-play commentator. I think he is the best out there and I just see his star climbing higher.

I’m writing about him today because many athletes complain about being tired, but there’s always the exceptional ones who can perform under any conditions.

Well, the same goes for broadcasting, and Tirico right now is that guy.

For more on this column check out the Daily Herald where it was originally published

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105.3 The Fan’s Shan & RJ Do Battle With 95.7 The Game’s The Morning Roast Ahead of 49ers vs Cowboys

“Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.”

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Sports radio content has fueled the hate between Dallas and San Francisco this week as the Cowboys get set to visit the Bay Area. A joke made by 105.3 The Fan’s GBag Nation made some 49ers fans angry. Gavin Dawson and Bryan Broaddus said the Cowboys “could use an injury” to 49ers running back Christian McCaffery.

Other hosts at 105.3 The Fan took to Twitter after a 49ers fan spread the clip on social media calling the joke “pathetic.” Shan Shariff and RJ Choppy were among them. They argued that it is crazy for anyone to think Dawson and Broaddus were serious.

The vitriol between the two towns played out Friday morning on two Audacy stations, the aforementioned Fan in Dallas and 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. Shan & RJ connected with Bonta Hill and Joe Shasky of The Morning Roast for a quarter-hour of smack talk.

“We’d like to congratulate you guys on still being there,” Shariff said. “We know the rotating door there normally. We didn’t think you’d still be there from last year.”

He then gave credit to Sahsky for contributing his winnings from their last bet to the families and community in Uvalde affected by the Robb Elementary shootings.

From there, the niceties were over. Hill and Shasky went after Shan & RJ’s ratings and Bobby Belt’s intensity. Shariff and Choppy fired back making fun of Hill’s voice.

All five hosts explained their pick for the game. Only Shariff went against his home team, predicting the 49ers to win by double digits. Belt and Choppy didn’t give a second thought to supporting the Cowboys.

Joe Shasky wasn’t buying the confidence.

“It’s gonna be Rangers and Bocci talk Monday when they lose,” he said as the two shows signed off.

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Sports Radio News

Sweeny Murti Departing WFAN

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here.”

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WFAN New York Yankees beat reporter Sweeny Murti has announced today is his final day with the radio station.

In a tweet announcing the move, Murti said “I tried to bring the right amounts of confidence and humility on the air. I strived to hold my own with the great hosts on our station and just tried to make good radio with every appearance.”

Sweeny started as a producer at WFAN in 1993, before eventually ascending to the role of the station’s Yankees reporter in 2001. He was grateful to his colleagues and friends for his time at the New York station.

“Thanks to everyone who helped to bring me here, keep me here, and thrive here. Thanks to so many wonderful friends and colleagues who made going to work fun. And thanks to every one of you for listening and taking this ride with me. It has truly been my honor, and I hope you will join me on the next adventure.

Sweeny Murti did not disclose what his next move would entail.

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Westwood One Releases Study of NFL Fans Following Playoffs on Radio

“The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.”

Jordan Bondurant

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The NFL will be one step closer to determining who will play in this year’s Super Bowl after this weekend, and one thing is for certain, football fans will follow the games any way they can. That includes listening to games on the radio.

Westwood One, which is the official network radio partner of the NFL, revealed just how strong listenership of the NFL on the radio is thanks to a recent study.

According to Westwood One’s Audio Active Group, which unveiled the data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough USA+ and MRI Simmons USA, NFL playoff listeners on AM/FM radio are more likely to work full-time and have higher disposable income compared to TV viewers.

Additionally, MRI Simmons found that radio listeners are keener to attend sporting events, look up sports information on their phones more frequently and be more active in fantasy sports than their TV watching counterparts.

The study also found that 82% of those surveyed who said they listen to the NFL on AM/FM radio consider themselves extremely/very passionate about the NFL.

The average age of radio listeners is younger than the average TV watcher. The study found that the average age of people who listen to the playoffs/Super Bowl on the radio is 46, while the average age of folks who watch on TV is 53.

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