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DiPietro Enjoying Radio Life

Jason Barrett

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Rick DiPietro will not be playing professional hockey anymore, barring a dramatic medical advance.

As he put it, “Unless they develop some kind of bionic leg that I can get put on and try to get back on the ice.”

But at 33, the former Islanders goaltender appears to have found his post-NHL calling, something he “stumbled into” and as recently as Labor Day week 2014 was still little more than a lark.

Now it’s real, this Labor Day week more than ever.

After a year working mostly nights for ESPN New York radio, the team of DiPietro and Alan Hahn began Tuesday as the station’s regular midday team from noon to 3 p.m.

“I can’t believe that in a year this all would happen so quickly,” DiPietro said Thursday as he and Hahn carpooled into Manhattan from their Long Island homes.

“Alan joked [last year] every time we did a show, we’ll be here tomorrow, and we’re going to keep doing this until they tell us to stop.”

They never did, and now here “Hahn and Humpty” are, the first local voices heard on the station weekdays after six hours of national programming.

“It’s always nice to get the first word in on what’s happening in New York,” said DiPietro, whose “Humpty” moniker refers to his oft-broken body. (His Twitter handle is @HDumpty39.)

This all began on Aug. 11, 2014, when DiPietro joined Hahn and Brian Custer for a summer fill-in shift. Two nights later, Hahn was to work alone but invited DiPietro to come along.

The two had gotten to know one another during Hahn’s days covering the Islanders for Newsday. Hahn now is a Knicks studio analyst for MSG Network.

When Newsday first featured the duo on Sept. 5, 2014, they still had no idea how long their makeshift show would go on. By the end of the month they were the regular night-time team.

Now this.

“I think it just goes back to the fact that Alan and I are really close friends,” DiPietro said. “You can’t fake that kind of chemistry and we both love sports so I think that just kind of translates over the airwaves.”

DiPietro didn’t necessarily need the money from a new job. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2000 draft, 2006 Olympian and 2008 NHL All-Star signed a 15-year, $67.5-million deal with the Islanders that the team bought out in 2013.

But he certainly needed something to do, and he found a calling in a format that utilizes his quick wit, broad range of sports knowledge and athlete’s perspective. (One New York radio oddity: He hasn’t lost his Boston-area accent.)

“It’s a scary world and at my age, at only 33 and not able to play hockey anymore, it’s like, what do I do with my life?” he said. “You’re used to making a certain amount of money and doing a certain amount of work and you get to the real world and it’s ‘Where are you going to make that money?’ You’re not.

“You have to find something you love doing. Luckily for me, Alan dragged me out of the house and brought me in the radio studio with him and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out so far.”

To read the rest of Newsday’s article click here

Sports Radio News

Marcus Spears: Tom Brady ‘Let His Ego Get in the Way’ of Taking FOX Sports Job Instead of Playing In 2022

“Should we remind everybody that Tom Brady’s got $375 million waiting on him at FOX? Or did we all forget about that?”

Jordan Bondurant

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It’s possible that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady decides to retire for good at the end of the 2022 season, but that remains to be seen.

Brady’s decision to unretire not long after originally saying he was done playing shocked the football world, and some questioned why he wanted to come back and not make the transition into the broadcast booth.

ESPN NFL analyst Marcus Spears told Dan Patrick on Tuesday that the contract Brady signed with FOX should be enough incentive for him to call it a career at season’s end. Patrick asked him whether he thought Brady or Packers QB Aaron Rodgers would be back in 2023, and Spears said he definitely felt like Rodgers would be back.

“Should we remind everybody that Tom Brady’s got $375 million waiting on him at FOX?” Spears asked. “Or did we all forget about that?”

Perhaps Brady felt like he had unfinished business on the field after the Bucs got steamrolled by the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams in the playoffs last season. But even if that was the case, Spears said Brady couldn’t help himself and just stay retired. Now Brady’s chickens have come home to roost.

“He is learning that his damn ego got in the way. That’s what he learned,” Spears said. “Because what happened in Tampa based on what he needs can happen next year. They can suffer injuries next year. New contracts, guy moving places, can happen next year.”

Spears added that despite the Bucs still leading the NFC South with six games left, there’s a lot going on internally with the team that could persuade Brady to hang it up after this season.

“Right now it’s a bunch of disarray in Tampa,” he said. “So even if he decides to come back, is Tampa the right place? We don’t know that.”

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Sports Radio News

Merrill Reese Doesn’t See Himself Doing Anything Other Than Calling Eagles Games

Jordan Bondurant

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When it comes to voices synonymous with Philadelphia sports, Merrill Reese is among them.

The radio voice of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reese and his broadcast partner Mike Quick were recently featured on NBC’s TODAY. Reese, 80, said he still has a passion for what he does.

“I love it,” he said. “There’s nothing in the world I’d rather do than be out here broadcasting NFL football, especially the Eagles.”

Reese has been calling Eagles games for more than four decades. The job has evolved in a lot of ways since the days at Veterans Stadium, and Reese said despite having so much experience, it still involves putting in plenty of work.

“It’s a little bit different,” he said. “There are hours and hours and hours of preparation.”

But the product of that work, Quick added, makes listeners seem like just about anyone could do what they do.

“It’s so chatoic in the booth, but we have to make sure that it’s seamless,” Quick said. “It comes out like two guys just sitting and talking football.”

Reese and Quick are both members of the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame.

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Sports Radio News

Gregg Giannotti Asks Boomer Esiason If He’s Reuniting With Al Michaels

“Get (Kirk) Herbstreit out of there, and then you doing Amazon with Al Michaels. You could still do this job with that, though, I think.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Boomer and Gio

Boomer Esiason is content with the work he’s doing at WFAN and CBS, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.

On Tuesday’s edition of Boomer & Gio, Esiason told co-host Gregg Giannotti that he couldn’t watch the U.S. World Cup match against Iran with him, because he had an important lunch meeting to be at.

Gio wondered if that meant Boomer would be making a career move, but Esiason said it had to do with a charitable opportunity.

Still, Gio jokingly asked Boomer if he was being courted by Amazon to join forces again with Al Michaels on Thursday Night Football. Esiason shut that down quickly.

“No I don’t think so,” Boomer said.

Gio said he thought it would be interesting if Boomer got back with his former Monday Night Football broadcast partner.

“You and Al Michaels reunited. That would be some buzz around that, you kidding me?” Gio said. “Get (Kirk) Herbstreit out of there, and then you doing Amazon with Al Michaels. You could still do this job with that, though, I think.”

Boomer said that wasn’t happening, and reiterated that he had no plans on leaving WFAN or CBS.

“I kind of like the jobs I have. I love the jobs I have, actually,” he said. “I laugh a lot here which is great, and I laugh a lot on The NFL Today which is great.”

Esiason joined Michaels and Dan Dierdorf in the MNF booth for the 1998 and 1999 seasons. ABC parted ways with Boomer in 2000, and Esiason has said he and Michaels just never worked well together.

“It’s hard to do your job when you’re trying to offer humor and be provocative and the guy next to you isn’t trying to bring it out in you,” Esiason told The New York Times in March 2000. “Al could have been better for me, and I tried with him, but it never clicked with me because he never wanted it to click.”

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