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DiPietro Enjoying Radio Life

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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

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FanDuel CMO: ‘We Will Never See All 50 States Legalize Sports Betting’

“I think you’ll see a continued, steady pace for the next few years and then you’ll get close to a critical mass, but my hunch would be no. You won’t get all 50.”

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Every year a group of new states decides to legalize sports betting. FanDuel CMO Mike Raffensperger doesn’t think means there will be a day when his company can take bets from wherever it wants in the United States.

“I don’t think it will ever get to 50,” he told Pat McAfee on Thursday.

There are still 15 states where betting on sports is totally illegal. Raffensperger cited Utah as an example, saying that in some places, the opposition to gambling is built into the state constitution. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t expect progress to continue elsewhere.

“I think you’ll see a continued, steady pace for the next few years and then you’ll get close to a critical mass, but my hunch would be no. You won’t get all 50.”

McAfee theorized that the Covid-19 pandemic, while not a good thing, was beneficial in the effort to legalize sports gambling across the country. He asked Raffensperger if it created a culture where more people became used to connecting to the rest of the world on their phones.

Raffensperger answered that it certainly helped. Plus, it was a time when state governments needed to find new sources of income. Sports betting created a whole new tax revenue stream in a time when large sectors of the economy were shut down. That is why he is confident that a good chunk of the 15 holdouts will eventually embrace sports betting.

“This is really common sense legislation,” he said. “Everybody pretty much wants this to happen. It’s taking a black market that is unregulated and unsafe into a safe and regulated environment and it creates new revenue for the state.”

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Dan Le Batard: ‘Fox Gave $375 Million To Someone Who’s Not Interesting’

“This is one of the easiest jobs in broadcasting. Sitting next to another professional and just being Tom Brady.”

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Reaction continued to pour in on Wednesday to the news that Tom Brady agreed to a massive contract to join the FOX NFL booth.

Dan Le Batard didn’t hold back. He said that $375 million is an absurd amount of money for anyone to make, but he did say that this is all part of a plan for the future Hall of Famer.

“He wants to conquer,” he said. “He’s going to want to conquer the next 20 years. He’s going to do it with a part-time job.”

Domination or not, Le Batard doesn’t think FOX thought much about making a deal with Tom Brady beyond name recognition.

“Tom Brady is not fun or interesting in front of a microphone, Stugotz,” Le Batard said. “They just gave $375 million to somebody who’s never said anything interesting.”

Le Batard added that even though Brady isn’t proven yet on the microphone as an analyst, Brady just being himself is the reason why he commanded so much money.

“This is one of the easiest jobs in broadcasting. Sitting next to another professional and just being Tom Brady,” he said.

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Laurence Holmes: Only Shaq & Kenny Smith Get To Clown On Charles Barkley

“People need to start putting some respect back on Charles’s NBA career.”

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Charles Barkley accomplished plenty in his storied NBA career, with the only real shortcoming being he never won an NBA title.

The lack of a championship is often a go-to when people, including his Inside the NBA cohorts, want to try and talk smack about the Hall of Fame player. But Laurence Holmes of 670 the Score in Chicago says that there are only a few people who can actually get away with some of that kind of ribbing.

Holmes made that point on Wednesday when talking about a recent interaction Barkley had while he was a guest on the podcast The Pivot.

In the exchange, co-host Fred Taylor was trying to ask Barkley about whether he felt like he wasn’t getting the proper attention while playing on the 1992 Olympic basketball team commonly known as “The Dream Team.” The way Taylor phrased the question, Clark and Crowder jumped in trying to kid Barkley for not being as good as he actually was.

Holmes said it was just ridiculous for a broader swath of people to think Barkley never had much of a career.

“People need to start putting some respect back on Charles’s NBA career. Like, for real for real,” he said. “It’s alright for Shaq to joke about Charles not having rings…It’s not cool for the rest of us to act like Charles Barkley was trash.”

Holmes added that Crowder and Clark in that instance were out of line.

“This is not having context, and you feeling like you’re in on the joke,” he said. “You’re not in on the joke.”

The fact is, and Barkley says this in the clip, that Charles was likely the second-best player on that team behind Michael Jordan. By the time the Barcelona Olympics rolled around, Barkley was coming off an MVP season.

“Charles Barkley was not just some dude. He was THE dude for a while!” he said. “This is a league MVP. This is an 11 All-NBA. Not just the all-star game, All-NBA. And people get really comfortable jumping in on what are a lot of times like inside jokes about guys, and occasionally they have to be checked. I’m glad that Charles checked them.”

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