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Hasseltine Feels At Home In Memphis

Jason Barrett

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Eric Hasseltine, the radio voice of the Memphis Grizzlies since 2005, has made a solid start in becoming Cal Ripken-like in the realm of NBA play-by-play broadcasters.

“He’s never missed a Memphis Grizzlies game,” said Chris Wallace, General Manager of the NBA franchise that opens its 2015-16 regular season Wednesday night, October 28 against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at FedExForum.

Wallace introduced Hasseltine for a lunchtime speech to members of the Memphis Rotary Club.

The broadcaster has a long way to go working the microphone to top Ripken’s record of most consecutive baseball games played (2,632), but Hasseltine  quickly offered a play-by-play of his Grizzlies game days that helps explain his regular attendance on the job.

“Think about this: you wake up at a five-star hotel,” Hasseltine said. “You get on a bus. You bring coffee for an All-Star power forward, one for a back-up point guard, one for yourself. You sit in a seat that costs somebody $800 in a small market, $2,000 in a big market. That’s where you’re going to work for the night, and that’s the life I live every day,” the radio man said. “And every day I look at myself and say, how in the hell did you get here?”

The 43-year-old father of two grew up in Walnut Creek, California, and broke into sports radio at the University of California, Davis as a play-by-play broadcaster for the school’s football and basketball teams on station KDVS.

“Every day I wake up here as a native Californian–but now someone who considers himself a Memphian–I realize just how lucky I am,” Hasseltine said.

In order to pay his bills, Hasseltine worked as a bartender and parking valet and spent summers dealing blackjack and serving as a jet-ski instructor in Lake Tahoe.

After college, the aspiring broadcaster found an opportunity to do sideline and play-by-play coverage of the Oakland Raiders games on station KHTK in Sacramento.

A sports broadcasting website offered him his first glimpse of an opportunity to do sports radio in his new hometown.

“Where is Memphis?,” Hasseltine said he wondered as he sent examples of his on-air work to the home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Turns out that Hasseltine’s broadcasting career took a dramatic turn on September 11, 2001. A Memphis broadcasting manager called him and offered an opportunity to move to Sports 56, WHBQ.

“That year I got to know a guy named Don Poier, “ Hasseltine said. Poier was the Memphis Grizzlies’ original play-by-play man.

Hasseltine was hired to do pre and postgame shows for the Grizzlies while also hosting his own broadcast as he does every weekday from 2 to 4 p.m. on 92.9 ESPN Memphis.

To read the rest of this article visit Action News 5 where it was originally published

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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