During the baseball playoffs in October, 92.9 the Game host Mike Bell tweeted his displeasure seeing a softball player doing baseball analysis on ESPN, going after her with a sexist insult made famous by the film “Anchorman.”
After hurling potshots and defending his position with foes for hours, Bell made an on-air apology the next day and was suspended for three days.
Though his insult was aimed at Jessica Mendoza, the ridiculous nature of his comment wasn’t lost on Sandra Golden.
Golden — Atlanta’s only female sports talk radio host, heard daily on the Fan (680 on the AM, 93.7 on the FM) from 9 a.m. to noon — has survived in a male-dominated business by successfully battling this prevalent attitude about women in sports media.
“His argument makes about as much sense as saying men can’t be gynecologists,” Golden said. “Most of the men in TV and radio have never been professional athletes themselves.”
At the same time, she is actually friends with Bell and called him soon after the kerfuffle happened. “I said, ‘Hang in there. That “Anchorman” line is funny. People are too serious.’ I’ve called him a meathead myself, but he really has a big heart.”
Bell, in return, calls Golden “a great loyal friend. I always loved hearing her laugh at my corny jokes back in the day when we were on mornings together. She’s the best.”
Golden has been in sports media for more than two decades, coming to Atlanta in 1997 after multiple broadcasting stints in Florida. She has built a reputation for her preparation, her sports knowledge and ability to wrestle with the big boys in their playpen. Before joining radio in 2004, she spent seven years at Fox Sports South covering the Atlanta Braves and ACC sports.
“She’s a sweetheart,” said Chipper Jones, the legendary starting Braves third basemen from 1995 to 2012. “It’s not easy to be a female in a professional locker room. She carried herself with the utmost professionalism. She always had a huge smile on her face.” (Golden said she was “kind of tough on him, but he was always respectful.”)
Golden is part of “The Front Row,” a show that features bombastic veteran host Stephen “Steak” Shapiro and soft-spoken former Atlanta Falcon Brian Finneran.
On the show, the Buckhead resident plays like the sassy older sister to the two younger men. “It’s almost annoying how happy she is in the morning,” Finneran said.
She also possesses what she calls a “loud cackle,” which she tried to suppress when she first started on sports talk radio station 790 the Zone as the news update person for the morning show. But Shapiro told her that this was part of who she was, so let it rip!
David Dickey, who runs the Fan and hired Golden in 2010, said he loves the trio’s chemistry. “They can poke fun at each other, but it’s not mean-spirited. They can laugh at each other and themselves. Sandra is very comfortable in her own skin.”
Occasionally, she’ll get hot on a subject such as athletes committing domestic violence. When the video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice punching his fiance in an elevator leaked last year, she couldn’t believe Rice had defenders. “I didn’t hold back calling it reprehensible behavior,” she said. “Nancy Grace was calling me about it. It definitely bothered me more than most men.”
And when she heard last week that Rice was rallying to get a job back with the NFL, she wasn’t impressed, noting he had just had a subpar year. “He can get a job at UPS or RaceTrac,” she said on air Friday. “You can earn a living. Listen. If he was such a great running back, he’d be back on a team. I don’t think the NFL would get all high and mighty if he could play.”
To a younger generation of female sportscasters, “she’s like the godfather,” said Rachel Baribeau, a college football host and analyst for SiriusXM and a sideline reporter for the ACC Network. She spent 10 months in 2012 and 2013 as a co-host on 92.9/The Game.
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Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP
“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”
Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.
One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”
More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”
Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”
An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.
“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.
“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.
Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”