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Czaban and Pollin Create Podcast

Jason Barrett

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For more than a decade, Steve Czaban and Andy Pollin helped define the Redskins narrative in this town. Their “Sports Reporters” show — which launched in 2000 — was focused above all on the burgundy and gold, offering a perspective that was often skeptical, occasionally conspiratorial, and almost always entertaining, at least to this confused newcomer. I spent way too many hours of my life listening to Czaban and Pollin bicker about something or other while chronicling the team’s latest misadventures, and even some critics of the show respected the hosts’ obvious chemistry.

So when I saw Czaban and Pollin had collaborated on a 30-minute Redskins podcast this week, it was an instant click. No, I’m not necessarily proud of that. But this is where we are. Then I asked them how this came to be.

“You know what it is, it’s like a guitarist and a singer that used to be in a band together getting together in the studio and just sort of jamming, doing a side project,” Czaban said. “The one thing about Andy that is hard to replace — in fact impossible — is that he and I did the show together for 13 years. And there were so many episodes, so many stupid little things along the way that is all part of the big picture about the team and about the fan base. How did we get to this place?”

Pollin — who continued the “Sports Reporters” brand for 18 months after the duo broke up — still contributes to ESPN 980 on “The Man Cave,” the Redskins pregame and Monday morning shows and elsewhere. And Czaban continues to talk about the team in his traditional 4-7 p.m. weekday slot, with co-hosts Chris Cooley and Al Galdi. While I often listen to that show, as well — check the transcripts — the cadence and tone are obviously different than they were in the old format. Cooley has relationships with many people in the team’s front office, and he often leads the show’s on-field discussion. Galdi has been talking about the Redskins for years, but is far younger than Pollin.

“So that’s why I just figured it might be fun to talk to Andy once a week, because I believe this year is going to be an eventful year,” Czaban said. “I just get that feeling. This thing has the potential to be hugely entertaining, in a non-winning sense.”

Credit to the Washington Post who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

Danny Balis Joins 97.1 The Freak

“I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

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Longtime Sportsradio 96.7/1310 The Ticket producer Danny Balis is joining 97.1 The Freak in Dallas.

Balis was introduced Monday as the newest member of The Downbeat cast, which already features Mike Rhyner, Mike Sirois, and Michael Gruber.

“He was the one I want, and I get what I want here,” Rhyner said during Monday’s announcement.

“I’m excited,” said Balis. “I feel kind of nervous because I haven’t done this in a long time. I thought this may not ever happen to me again, to do radio with people I’ve known for a very, very long time.”

Balis left The Ticket in May, citing an interest in focusing on other areas of his life outside of radio. He served as a producer at the station for 22 years before stepping aside. At the time, he said “The room for growth for me up here is not going to open up until all you knuckleheads retire,” the 54-year-old joked.

In addition to his work with The Freak, Balis continues to co-own the Twilite Lounge in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

97.1 The Freak launched in October, and features a “broad-based, personality driven format” that features several former Dallas sports radio personalities including Rhyner, and Ben and Skin among others.

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Sports Radio News

Shan & RJ: We Have Questions About Jerry Jones But Washington Post Report Isn’t One of Them

“We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones found himself in the headlines last week ahead of the team’s Thanksgiving Day game, but it was largely seen as something that didn’t need to be dragged out into the spotlight, and 105.3 The Fan hosts Shan and RJ agreed.

The Washington Post last week published a photo from 1957 showing a 14-year-old Jones among a crowd of onlookers as white students tried to block the path of some Black students attempting to enter his North Little Rock, Arkansas high school.

The piece focused on Jones, who is the Cowboys general manager, never hiring a Black head coach in the entire time he’s owned the franchise.

On Monday, Shan Shariff said it seemed a bit much to use that photo and article to paint Jones as some sort of racist.

“There’s certainly a bunch of stories out there that we know on and off the record about Jerry Jones that makes me question his morals,” he said. “We all have some skeletons in our closet, but to throw the weight of the word racist on anyone, you’re gonna have to come with more than that.”

Cowboys insider Bobby Belt, who was filling in for co-host RJ Choppy on Shan & RJ, said Jones has likely evolved like a lot of people do over time. He didn’t think it was fair to necessarily say Jones was racist.

“I’m not gonna speak for anyone else but I don’t believe he’s racist,” Belt said. “I think there are enough people who have dealt with him who are African American who would tell you they don’t think he’s racist. But it’s still not a thing that you can just write off to ‘Oh I was just standing there.'”

Jones admitted to the Post that his football coach at the time told him and other players not to get involved or be among the crowd for that moment, but he went anyway.

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Sports Radio News

DiPietro & Rothenberg: NFL TV Partners Should Schedule Jets and Giants at Opposite Times

Jordan Bondurant

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For the first time in a long time, both the New York Giants and the New York Jets are factors in the NFL playoff picture. After years of both franchises occupying the bottom portions of the league standings, fans in New York and the surrounding area have a reason to believe. On DiPietro & Rothenberg on ESPN New York, Dave Rothenberg said he thinks the league should put both teams in more marquee windows.

“When you start to think about flexing games, you start to think about you know what, the Giants and Jets should be flexed into better time slots,” he said.

Co-host Rick DiPietro said it sucks now that both teams are playing well, fans are essentially forced to flip back and forth between games.

“It’s awful. It really is,” he said. “I wouldn’t say that it ruins the Sunday because that would be hard. But it’s not my favorite.”

Still, it’s not lost on Rothenberg that football fans in the city now have something to cheer for NFL wise as the last chunk of the regular season approaches.

“When was the last time the Jets and Giants in December had meaningful football games?” Rothenberg asked. “Years and years and years.”

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