Matt Nahigian was named PD of SportsTalk 950 in Philadelphia in May 2007. Since then, he’s led the radio station to a decade of solid growth and success. But despite a great run, Nahigian’s time as The Fanatic’s head of programming has come to an end.
Under Nahigian’s watch, sports radio programs on 950AM moved to the FM dial, changing the radio station’s position to 97.5 The Fanatic. Top local stars such as Mike Missanelli and Anthony Gargano signed on to host shows on the station, and the 76ers and Flyers moved their games over after previously airing on local market competitor Sports Radio 94WIP.
The moves paid dividends as The Fanatic began battling WIP for local ratings bragging rights. In fact, The Fanatic’s success was strong enough to earn recognition from the National Association of Broadcasters, receiving a nomination for the 2017 Marconi Awards.
Why Nahigian is no longer in charge of The Fanatic’s programming department isn’t clear but the radio station now has big shoes to fill. The one positive for the next PD is that they’ll inherit a strong brand with top talent in a passionate sports city. That’s a testament to what Nahigian assembled over the past ten years.
Greg Papa on Wearing Only Socks in Green Bay During 49ers Playoff Game
“You have to keep your hands and your feet cold when it’s zero out.”
As is often the case for a game at Lambeau Field in January, the weather was a storyline during the divisional playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.
At kickoff, the temperature was 14 degrees with a 2-degree wind chill. When the second half began, those numbers dropped to 12 degrees and a zero-degree wind chill. It was cold, which was surely a factor in a low-scoring, 13-10 Niners victory.
Yet 49ers radio play-by-play broadcaster Greg Papa took off his boots during the broadcast, standing and walking around the Lambeau Field press box in socks. Producer Mike Hohler took a picture of Papa’s feet for posterity and the tweet went viral.
During his weekly appearance on KNBR’s ‘Murph and Mac,’ Papa was asked how he could go without boots in those frigid Green Bay temperatures.
“I went double socks, which I never do,” Papa explained. “And I was wearing my after ski boots. It was a little snug to have the double socks, but I love the double socks. You have to keep your hands and your feet cold when it’s zero out. So I did not complain and I was fine for the game.”
The hosts joked that this nearly put Papa in company with great musicians who performed barefoot, such as Sade, Robert Plant, and Henry Rollins. Papa said this made him a “smooth operator,” but clarified that he wore socks unlike broadcasting colleague Joel Meyers, who doesn’t wear socks.
As unusual as it might seem to wear only socks when Green Bay was so cold, Papa was inside the Lambeau Field press box. He wasn’t on the field. Plus, in addition to feeling too tight, maybe Papa’s feet got a bit sweaty with double socks and boots. Air those puppies out. Especially if it kept him sharp for the broadcast.
Jay Glazer Talks Anxiety Struggles on ‘The Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz’
“Every single time you’ve seen me on Fox NFL Sunday from 2005 on, I’ve had a massive anxiety attack before the first segment.”
Jay Glazer of Fox NFL Sunday appeared on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz Thursday to discuss his mental health struggles, specifically pertaining to anxiety.
Glazer explained that back in 2005 an anxiety attack hit him out of nowhere at the Oakland Raiders’ stadium. Since then, he’s dealt with them on a consistent basis.
“Every single time you’ve seen me on Fox NFL Sunday from 2005 on, I’ve had a massive anxiety attack before the first segment,” he told Le Batard.
Glazer continued to explain that 2005 was a time when people were not necessarily discussing mental health as they have in recent years.
“I had to go at it alone,” said Glazer.
Many of Glazer’s colleagues were oblivious to his ongoing struggles and only became aware of them as recently as a few days ago. Once his fellow broadcasters and analysts, such as Michael Strahan, realized what Glazer had been going through, they asked him why he never brought it up to them.
“Because I didn’t want to bring down your guys’ day,” he admitted.
Anyone familiar with the Fox NFL Sunday show realizes that Glazer has had a long list of anxiety attacks if they have happened before every show.
So how does Glazer get through it?
“What you’ll see from me is I’ll try and crack a joke, or smile, or something along those lines because that gets me through it,” he said. “The faster I can laugh, the faster I can get through it.”
Greg Olsen Wishes He Could’ve Called a Broadcast For This NFL Postseason
“You want the marquee primetime night games during the regular season. You want playoff games. You want games that matter.”
As Troy Aikman’s contract with Fox is set to expire at the conclusion of the NFL Playoffs, the color analyst and former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is undoubtedly a highly sought-after free agent in sports media.
While Aikman has not ruled out a return to Fox, he recently suggested there is a chance Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams could be his final matchup in the Fox booth. There’s a possibility that Aikman could leave Fox to call games exclusively on Amazon’s new Thursday Night Football package with Al Michaels, the current play-by-play announcer on NBC Sunday Night Football. If Aikman were to leave Fox, the question then becomes who would be his replacement as Joe Buck’s new broadcast partner.
On Friday morning, The Mac Attack‘s Chris McClain and Travis Hancock spoke on the NFL playoffs and Carolina Panthers’ offseason with former NFL tight end Greg Olsen on WFNZ 610 AM in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Olsen started working as a Fox NFL color analyst full-time this season after occasionally calling games while an active player for the Panthers. Since going into broadcasting following his retirement from football in 2020, Olsen has received positive reviews. According to McClain and Hancock, he could be an ideal choice to join Buck in the booth.
“Olsen could end up somewhere in a front office down the line, but he’s doing a phenomenal job in TV,” said Hancock. “With the way he explains stuff [and] the way he talks [about] the game, if Troy Aikman does leave for Amazon and doesn’t do the Amazon-Fox double, Greg Olsen’s a natural number one with Joe Buck as well. I know that [Sean] Payton’s been named, but come on – Greg Olsen could very easily be their number one.”
Olsen has respect for Payton, who stepped down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints earlier this week and is reportedly contemplating an entry into sports media, whether in radio or television, in studio or in the booth. At the moment, Payton is not sure what is next for his football career, but Olsen knows from his experience playing against him that he was a savant of the game.
“I obviously had a lot of respect for his football mind and what he was able to do with those guys there,” said Olsen. “I understand from a fan standpoint, you always hate whoever you feel like is your enemy, but from the field I always liked competing against guys like that because they brought a good energy to the game.”
Olsen also talked about not being able to call any playoff games this year for Fox due to the way the schedule of broadcasting rights fell. Despite this, he looks forward to being on the mic for the big games down the road as his career in sports media continues.
“I’ve been sitting there watching every other network call multiple games,” explained Olsen. “Those are the games everybody wants. You want the marquee primetime night games during the regular season. You want playoff games. You want games that matter. That’s what every broadcaster really wants.”
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