It will come as no solace to Eli Manning, but his measly 49 passing yards in four quarters of exhibition games has provided plenty of fresh meat in the Valley of the Stupid and other media precincts.
The butchers are engaging in panic-speak, which is always entertaining.
David Diehl, preparing for his first season on the other side, has heard the noise. His suggestion for the tizzed-out is close your eyes, take a deep breath, then point your toes toward the Meadowlands.
“Listen, there’s not a ball Eli doesn’t throw 100 times in practice, there’s not a route he doesn’t go over even more times with wide receivers,” Diehl, who played in front of Manning on the Giants’ offensive line for 10 seasons.
“Yeah, you want to do some things and show some stuff in the preseason but, at the same time, you are not really game planning,” Diehl told me during a phone conversation. “You want to get your base stuff down. You want to get into the flow of the offense and most importantly you want to get guys comfortable playing next to each other.”
Diehl said doubting Manning’s determination to make rookie coordinator Ben McAdoo’s West Coast offense a success would be a mistake.
“The fact Eli had ankle surgery in the offseason and them telling him to be patient and them having to drag Eli off the field and take away reps from him shows you just how determined he is going into this season.”
Manning doesn’t have an exclusive in that department. Diehl is just as determined to make the huge leap from the playing field directly into the broadcast booth. He retired last January.
A few months later, Fox hired him as a game analyst, placing him on the hot seat. Along side veteran play-by-play voice Thom Brennaman, Diehl will be working on the fly, three hours of live television every Sunday. This ain’t the controlled, often scripted, studio environment.
“I wouldn’t have auditioned if I didn’t think I can do this,” Diehl said. “Yeah, this is something that’s going to be different. This is something you are not used to seeing guys do (especially an offensive lineman), but I’ve done everything to get ready.”
This has been a long-term transition for Diehl. It started before he turned pro earning undergraduate and master’s degrees in communications and human resources at Illinois. Diehl signed a long-term contract extension with the Giants after they defeated New England in Super Bowl XLII. That’s when he re-focused on an off-field future. He attended the NFL’s broadcast boot camp and subsequently did internships for ESPN, NFL Films, NFL Network, NBC Sports and CBS Sports.
The foundation is fine. All players-turned-analysts know the X’s and O’s. What separates them is not only their personality and delivery but the ability to bring a critical eye to the booth. Diehl will be talking about guys he’s played with and against, even some friends.
“You don’t think playing for coach (Tom) Coughlin for 10 years I haven’t heard critical evaluations of myself?” Diehl, incredulously, asked. “I’m going to call people out if they are loafing, if people are lazy, if people are not working hard. But am I going to sit there and degrade anybody, talk down to them? Absolutely not.”
Throughout the conversation, Diehl’s tone of voice suggested a man obsessed with succeeding. His actions speak even louder than any words he delivered. Diehl has gone as far as being so persistent (emails or texts every week) with the legendary John Madden, that he flew to the Big Man’s home in Northern California five weeks ago for two days of a personal television tutorial.
They went over X’s and O’s and Diehl drew stuff up in the notebook he carries. They went over things to do while watching a game and studying for an upcoming tilt. “To be the best you have to learn from the best. John Madden has been in every single situation as an announcer,” Diehl said. “It was very important to me that he went over technical things (position players Diehl did not often study) that are outside my comfort zone.”
And after the Madden experience it’s no surprise Diehl came away thinking: “I want to have fun. The whole point of doing the broadcast is to entertain, but it’s also to teach stuff. I want to bring a different perspective.”
For the rest of the article visit the NY Daily News where it was originally published
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.