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Howie Rose Says Calling 2015 Mets Run Trumps 94 Rangers

Jason Barrett

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Like everyone else with a passion for the Mets, Howie Rose has spent the week looking back and looking forward, but mostly decompressing as he returns to the humdrum of real life after an emotional crazy-quilt of a month.

In his case that meant calling a Devils-Islanders game in Brooklyn for MSG Plus Tuesday night when he would rather have been calling Game 6 of the World Series in Kansas City for WOR radio.

“It’s a bit of an adjustment, an adjustment that I’m not certain I’m ready to make,” he said. “That’s no disrespect at all to the other side of it. It’s just human nature. You’re riding this unbelievable wave, and then it’s a regular-season Islanders game in November.”

But what a wave it was. Rose, 61, called 2015 “the greatest damn season of broadcasting I’ve ever had.” “It was great,” he said, growing increasingly emotional as he spoke about the experience while preparing for the Islanders game at Barclays Center.

“I can’t find the right words to tell you how much I loved this season, from the 11-game winning streak and even through the down periods, because even at their worst they were in close enough proximity to first place. They lost that miserable game in the rain in July and were three games out, but then Washington comes in and they swept them and they’re in a virtual tie.

“It was an honor – an honor – to do those games. I can’t look at it any other way, man. Look, you want to take exception to this, or other media people want to, fine. But people know what I’m about. Cut me open and I have a Mets logo in there. I’m just so proud to have been there for this season. I can’t say it any other way.”

Nothing illustrates how much it meant more than this: He said it surpassed the 1994 Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup on his personal list. Yes, that includes his famous “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” call when those Rangers won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final over the Devils.

“Up until now I could say on one level ’94 with the Rangers was the biggest thrill of my career,” he said. “But when those words, ‘The Mets win the pennant!’ came out of my mouth in Chicago that beat everything. That was the trump.

“You have to understand, and I know this sounds contrived or hyperbole, but you have to trust me, it’s the honest truth: I knew when I was 12 years old, maximum, at the oldest, that I wanted to broadcast for a living. And my two favorite teams growing up were the Mets and Rangers.

“Those were the two teams in my wildest, almost unimaginable dreams to work for, and somehow I was able to do that. So obviously ’94 meant a lot.

“But there was a game the Mets played in ’66 that I was at when Ron Swoboda hit a pinch-hit homer to beat the Giants in the bottom of the ninth inning and all the way home from Flushing to Bayside on the bus all I could think of was: I wonder how Lindsey [Nelson] made it sound. I wonder how Bob [Murphy] made it sound.

“I would always put myself in their shoes in the biggest situations in my mind. So when I had those words spill out of my mouth, ‘The Mets win the pennant!’ everything came rushing back. I was literally getting images of being there in ’69, and in ’86, even though I was working.

“It was the most profound, deepest level of pride, satisfaction and, frankly, sheer joy I’ve ever had in the business.”

To continue reading visit Newsday which is where this article was originally published

Jason Barrett Podcast

Jason Barrett Podcast: Jeff Smulyan, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down

Jason Barrett

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There would be no sports radio if not for Jeff Smulyan. He takes JB through the triumphs and disappointments of his career and explains why he is sharing so many stories in a new book, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down. To pick up your copy, click here.

iTunes: https://buff.ly/3nTJC5K 

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Amazon: https://buff.ly/3w9hqAh

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Sports Radio News

Zolak & Bertrand: Kirk Herbstreit’s Comments A Wake Up Call For Patriots Fans

“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Zolak and Bertrand

Things appeared to come to a head for the New England Patriots and their fans last week as the team fell to the Buffalo Bills 24-10.

Many fans of the Patriots with the loss seem to have accepted the fact that the glory days of the franchise are officially over. Thursday Night Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit even noted that it was off-putting that fans near his broadcast vantage point were fine with the Pats coming out on the losing end.

“I just felt the sense of acceptance of where they are,” Herbstreit said during a Friday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “It really shocked me. I’m just so used to the Patriots’ 20 years of excellence, and not just the NFL in all of professional sports. And to see their fan base just like, we suck, whatever, game’s over, like early they were like that.”

On Zolak & Bertrand Monday, co-host Scott Zolak disagreed with Herbstreit’s take.

“I don’t know what you want from a fan base to do after that when the game’s over, and the place starts to dump out,” he said. “The game was well in hand.”

Zolak’s cohort Marc Bertrand felt differently, praising Herbstreit for offering that sort of perspective.

“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough,” Bertrand said. “They let ’em off the hook.”

Bertrand felt like Patriots fans had every right to be pissed off with the product the team put on the field last week and have done so far this season. Especially when people are paying top dollar for admission to games.

“That product doesn’t match those prices last Thursday night,” he said, continuing to agree with what Herbstreit said. “You don’t hear that a lot around here. So I thought it was a nice change up.”

Zolak and Bertrand both seemed to determine that perhaps it was a case of fans being too nice and being willing to accept failure from head coach Bill Belichick and his staff.

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Paul Finebaum: ‘I’ve Been Accused Of Giving Up Objectivity For Nick Saban’

“I’ve been a flag waiver for Nick Saban since the day he got there.”

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People not from the state of Alabama may not realize that there was a time when there was no more vocal critic of the football team than Paul Finebaum. On Monday morning, he told Cole Cubelic of JOX 94.5 in Birmingham that his perspective began to change in January 2007.

“I’ve been a flag waiver for Nick Saban since the day he got there,” Finebaum admitted.

To be fair to Finebaum, Saban and the Crimson Tide have won five national championships and eight SEC championships since his arrival. It has been way easier to wave the flag than find fault.

Paul Finebaum says that some people don’t see it as that simple though and he has had to learn to accept some criticism.

“I’ve been accused of losing all my objectivity and focus to support Saban,” he said. “I believe in that because I believe he has completely transformed that school into what it is today.”

Acknowledging that Saban has been a game changer not just for Alabama football, but for the university itself, doesn’t mean that Paul Finebaum never has anything critical to say about the coach and his team. In fact, he told Cubelic that he was really put off by the way Saban campaigned for Alabama to be included in the upcoming College Football Playoff.

“For a coach of Nick Saban’s intellect to go on national television and use the point spread as a reason for entrance, when he was a big favorite in the two games he lost, he was an overwhelming favorite at Texas, the game where he needed a last-second field goal, and probably was the game that cost him the birth in a TCU head-to-head comparison.”

Saban appeared on multiple television shows and halftime shows stating that if you put Alabama up against any of the other teams in consideration for the final two spots, they would be the favorites. Finebaum thought it was a step too far.

“I want to make it clear,” he said. “I understand Nick Saban standing up for his program. I’ve hear people say ‘well, every coach would do that’. Well, you know what? I didn’t see Ryan Day doing that. I didn’t see Josh Heupel doing that. I saw Nick Saban doing that and I think that is what was so startling to me.”

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