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Why Does Eli Do WFAN Call-Ins?

Jason Barrett

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Eli Manning is not a local radio star. He just gets paid like one.

He earns somewhere around $250,000 per season, according to radio sources, for his weekly appearances that last a few minutes on WFAN. This is a mere pittance compared to the $84 million contract ($65 million guaranteed) he just signed with the Giants.

Manning does not need the radio money. So, why does he bother doing the weekly spot? Why deal with the aggravation these sessions produce? Likewise for all the other players — including Odell Beckham Jr., Muhammad Wilkerson and Prince Amukamara — who currently are paid (far, far, far less than Manning) to run their mouth on the radio. Outside of the cash, what good does it do them?

There’s much more downside, even risk.

Look at the week Manning just had.

His scatter-brained approach late in Sunday night’s Dallas fiasco had the media whipping him like desperate jockeys down the stretch at Aqueduct. Instead of being able to lay low Monday, Manning had to fulfill his radio commitment and explain his bizarre decisions to Mike (Sports Pope) Francesa, who on this occasion decided not to interrupt.

Granted, Manning’s audience with the pontiff was followed by a conference call with reporters. Still, Francesa had it straight from the quarterback’s mouth — first, which means even more now in the world of tweetily-dee. WFAN got its money’s worth out of Manning. It was a win for the FANdroids.

Manning? He may as well have left that interview session with a “Rip Me” sign on his back. By no means was this the first time Manning delivered, to his own detriment, on the radio.

In 2011, while yakking for ESPN-98.7, Michael Kay asked him if he was a “top 10, top five” quarterback.

“Yeah, I think I am,” Manning said at the time. Asked specifically if he was the same level as Tom Brady, Manning paused and then said: “Yeah, I consider myself in that class. And Tom Brady is a great quarterback.”

For ESPN-98.7, this was a major score. For Manning it was a another lesson on being an object of ridicule. He had deposited himself smack in the middle of a controversy and a debate that raged inside the Valley of the Stupid and other media precincts. To this very day, it still resurrects itself, especially when Manning pulls a rock and the first-time-caller, long-time-moron crowd takes over.

When station brass enters a radio relationship with a player it is always one-sided. The suits know the eventual upside (aka ANY type controversy) is worth their investment. The minor risk is the cat is reluctant to go off the script (that’s the direction Wilkerson has taken on FAN with Joe Benigno/Evan Roberts) written by the team’s PR department, leaving the Gasbags to carry him.

And Wilkerson is quite a load.

Benigno: “What about your contract, Muhammad?”

Wilkerson: “You better take that up with my agent.”

Scintillating radio, right?

Come on, Manning must have a valid reason to risk being put on the spot for what, in his world, is chump change. There’s this notion as the face of the Giants, Manning wants to put his “message” out to the unwashed masses after each game. That sounds nice but rings totally hollow. Is this about Manning looking down the road at landing a TV gig when he retires? His understated delivery suggests this is not what he aspires to.

A variety of marketing agents, who negotiate radio deals for current NFL players, say Manning actually extends his media profile by doing radio, which could help lead to more endorsements. Considering the number of commercials Manning appears in, the strategy is working.

Others who don’t possess a quarter of Manning’s marquee value take the radio plunge simply so the public can hear them speak. This helps when it comes to landing personal appearances, which are far, far less lucrative than commercial endorsements.

Yet for these guys, the odds of radio appearances leading to more money, in terms of endorsements or a TV job when they retire, are long. In fact, the appearances can have a far more detrimental affect than the fallout Manning got after the “elite” spot with Kay or Manning’s recent conversation with the Pope.

Like when Jeremy Shockey went into self-destructive mode in 2002 doing a weekly appearance with Francesa and Chris (Mad Dog) Russo. They came on strong with Shockey, who was taking their heat for the grand sum of $1,000 per appearance. Shockey reacted to FranDog’s tough line of questioning by either showing up late or not showing up at all. For this, the Gasbags labeled him “unreliable” and “unprofessional.” Shockey never shook that perception.

On the other side of the equation is Antrel Rolle, who was must-listen radio when he performed on WFAN with Benigno/Roberts. Rolle stirred the pot and took the heat that came his way. For all this, Rolle, now on the Bears, can’t get a radio gig in Chicago.

Maybe he should consult with Eli.

Credit to the NY Daily News who originally published this article

Sports Radio News

ESPN Radio Adds Lakers Games As LeBron James Nears Scoring Record

“As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.”

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The NBA’s all-time scoring record has stood for a long time. Kareem Abdul-Jabar, the current record holder, retired in 1989. LeBron James is on the verge of overtaking him though, and ESPN Radio wants to make sure it is part of history when it happens.

ESPN Radio has added two upcoming Lakers games to its schedule. The network will carry the national feeds of games on February 7 and 9. The first game is against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The second is against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Both games will be played in Los Angeles with a 9:30 PM Eastern tip. Marc Kestecher and Vince Carter will be on the call for both games.

As of Friday, February 3, LeBron James is 63 points away from Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 career points.

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Sports Radio News

FOX Sports Radio Broadcasting Live From Arizona & Las Vegas For Super Bowl Week

Jordan Bondurant

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Sports radio will descend upon Glendale, Arizona and the greater Phoenix area next week for Super Bowl LVII, and FOX Sports Radio will be out in full force.

FOX Sports Radio announced Thursday that Dan Patrick, Colin Cowherd, LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn, Jonas Knox, Doug Gottlieb, Steve Covino, Rich Davis, Chris Broussard and Rob Parker will all be live from either radio row, State Farm Stadium or Scottsdale Stadium starting Monday.

Dan Patrick and his crew will be at Scottsdale Stadium, which is the spring training home of the San Francisco Giants and the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. Colin Cowherd will broadcast two shows from State Farm Stadium, site of this year’s Super Bowl, on Thursday and Friday.

The rest of the FSR names mentioned above will all be doing their respective shows from radio row at the Phoenix Convention Center.

FOX Sports Radio also announced Jason Smith and Mike Harmon will broadcast from the Wynn Las Vegas resort on Thursday and Friday. They will have a strong focus on all things betting with regards to the Super Bowl.

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Sports Radio News

Alpha Media Ends San Antonio Sports Star Simulcast, 1250 AM Goes All ESPN Radio

“Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.”

Jordan Bondurant

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San Antonio now has a frequency where people can find local sports talk and the full ESPN Radio lineup.

RadioInsight reported owner Alpha Media has tweaked what was on 1250 AM, launching it as ESPN 1250. The station will be San Antonio’s 24/7/365 home for ESPN Radio. That will include NBA, NFL and MLB play-by-play on top of talk.

San Antonio’s Sports Star had been simulcasting on 1250, but Alpha will carry on with live and local programming on the stronger FM frequency. Alpha launched Sports Star on 94.1 back in June of last year, giving San Antonio its first FM sports talk station.

Sports Star is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers in San Antonio.

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