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Musberger Will Not Stop Gambling for Raiders Gig

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Brent Musberger is the new voice of the Oakland Raiders. He is also the face of the sports gambling themed Vegas Stats and Information Network. Those may seem like two jobs that certain people would want to make sure never overlap.

Musberger, though, doesn’t just hold both positions, he won’t compromise for either. He told WOR radio in New York that he will still be placing bets on football games this season.

It has not been brought up to me and I insisted in my negotiations with the Raiders that I would not have to adhere to the NFL rules. I’m aware of the rules that exist and I understand why the players, the coaches, the people in the front office can’t, but I’m in the middle of doing gambling shows for VSiN, I participate in the Super Contest at the Westgate. So I wasn’t going to hide the fact that I take an occasional position.

The sports broadcasting landscape is obviously changing in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling to leave laws about sports gambling up to individual states. Networks have been launched. New shows have been launched. Established shows have added gambling experts.

Al Michaels has said that he won’t change his style and will still make references to the line during Sunday Night Football on NBC. Brent Musberger is the first team broadcaster to come right out and say that he will be gambling on games though. He did mention that he will not place bets on any games involving the Raiders.

I’ll probably stay away from the Raiders not because of any rules or anything, but because of a bias factor. You don’t want to do that if you’re gambling on football games. The truth is, I live here in Nevada and it’s perfectly legal and I bet at the Southpoint, I bet at the Westgate, I bet at the stations. I’m not a big-time bettor at all. I’m a recreational bettor. I enjoy it. It enhances the experience to me. But there have been no restrictions placed on me.”

 

Sports Radio News

Damon Amendolara: Steve Somers Has ‘Some Legacy’

“The CBS Sports Radio host admired Somers’s ability to listen.”

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Folks in the radio business felt Steve Somers’s influence far and wide over his 34 years at WFAN. CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara penned a tribute piece to “Captain Midnight” and highlighted the banter they shared.

“I worked overnights at the beginning of CBS Sports Radio’s existence in 2013, and moved to evenings two years later,” Amendolara wrote. “We shared a floor and neighboring studios with WFAN. For those four-plus years, I got to stand around and kibitz with Steve before shows. Sure, we could’ve talked sports, but we’d be doing that anyway, as soon as the red light turned on. So, we usually chatted about radio; the headaches, the beauty, and what makes the medium so imperfectly perfect.”

There has never been a voice like Steve Somers, a unique sounding instrument that Amendolara made sure to highlight in his ode to the retired late-night host.

“Better known as ‘The Schmooze,’ Steve’s voice is like New York rain dripping off an awning,” Amendolara described. “When you flipped on the FAN at night, it sounded like a guy chatting at Katz’s over a pile of pastrami on rye. He has that Big Apple hybrid dialect of a thousand ethnic backgrounds — his ‘awls’ and ‘tawk’ and ‘WHAT IS IT ALREADY?’ punctuating every sentence. If Batman was Gotham, he’d be Commissioner Gordon’s sounding board at the Gotham Diner. ‘Oy, the Bane and the Riddler and the noise and the chaos… WHAT IS IT ALREADY?’ There’s Steve, grabbing a pack of Camels and the New York Post from the corner bodega, lamenting over another Mets calamity.”

The CBS Sports Radio host admired Somers’s ability to listen. He zoomed in on the fact that Somers never lost his touch with the audience.

“Steve treated his listeners like gold, as though he couldn’t believe they would even care enough to call. He knew not to take himself too seriously. And he realized this is only sports, so don’t get too worked up over being right. I wish our industry did all of those things better. Thirty-four years on the air in one place is an extraordinary accomplishment unto itself, but also leaving everyone you ever spoke to feeling appreciated? Man, that’s some legacy.”

Check out Amendolara’s full tribute piece to “Captain Midnight” here.

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Sports Radio News

Titans Radio Voice Mike Keith: AJ Brown Saved Someone’s Life

“I’m so proud of A.J. Brown, and so thankful that he felt the comfort to do this and that he felt moved to do this in this way.”

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Earlier this week, Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown had a candid discussion about a social media post he madeencouraging those struggling with depression to seek help. Unequivocally straightforward and genuine in his rhetoric, Brown revealed that he nearly committed suicide last year during a particularly difficult time where he was struggling with his mental health.

In a press conference, Brown expounded on why he openly shared his message to fans and followers around the world.

“I posted it because I wanted to encourage others to seek help whenever they are down,” said Brown, who was selected to his first career Pro Bowl in 2019. “I didn’t know [or] really take into consideration what depression really was… That’s how I grew up. I just brushed off my feelings and it got the best of me.”

On Friday morning, JMart & Ramon on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville welcomed “Voice of the Titans” and team Vice President of Broadcasting Mike Keith to the program. Over his 22 years with the team, Keith avowed that he has never been more proud of a Titans’ player than he is of Brown for bringing light to the issue of mental health among young men, revering him as a hero and a lifesaver.

“He saved somebody’s life with that video,” said Keith, “and with the follow-up comments and being as direct as he is. We all know in our own lives people who are going through this; people who have been through this; people who are helping family members or friends through this. When somebody like A.J. Brown says something, I promise you there was… somebody out there who was on the ledge who heard that and stopped and ask for help.”

Brown has grown not only in his ability on the gridiron, but also internally as a man being able to cope with mental health struggles. Posting a video divulging his struggles and offering help to those afflicted, according to Keith, is something he would not have done two years ago; rather, it is indicative of the progress he has made in this regard.

“It’s something that he has developed, and something he feels comfortable in this culture laying out there,” said Keith. “I’m so proud of A.J. Brown, and so thankful that he felt the comfort to do this and that he felt moved to do this in this way.”

Co-host of the morning show Ramon Foster gave his thoughts on Keith’s answer, and thanked him for expressing his thoughts on the subject on-the-air.

“I almost feel like we can just end the interview right now,” said Foster. “Thank you for putting that in the way you did. People look at football players like their gladiators; they’re not supposed to get hurt. That’s the mentality. Watching a guy like A.J. Brown just expose himself — you’ve got to be proud of that.”

Conversations like these clearly highlight the impact radio can still have on the listening public amid a congested media landscape. Moreover, it provides the awareness to those struggling with mental health that they are not alone in their fight, and that there are people in the world willing to help them through their difficulties.

For those struggling with mental health, or having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at (800) 273-8255. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is free to call.

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Sports Radio News

College Football Media Calls Dan Patrick’s Expansion Report ‘Bogus’

“Everyone from Brett McMurphy to Nicole Auerbach clapped back, saying it can’t happen due to existing contracts.”

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Courtesy: The Dan Patrick Show

National college football writers quickly dispelled news that came from Dan Patrick on Friday. One of the radio host’s sources told him that the College Football Playoff would expand starting next year if the group agreed on all of the details by the end of December.

Yet, everyone from Brett McMurphy to Nicole Auerbach clapped back, saying it can’t happen due to existing contracts.

“I told you I’d have some information here from a source that I’ve been in contact with this morning,” Patrick said on his radio show. “12-team playoff is a go, but they want to get it done for next season. If it’s not approved in December, the playoff won’t be a go with 12 teams until 2025. We’re gonna know in the next couple of weeks if we’re gonna be expanding to 12 team playoff for next season, and if they don’t get it passed, it’s gonna be 2025.”

All that would be great for college football fans hoping to see their team get a shot at the playoff but the rest of college football media isn’t convinced by Patrick’s source.

Patrick’s source came back to him with a correction, saying the playoff could start as early as 2023. That claim flies in the face of the reporters who refuted the first statement.

“I got a correction here,” Patrick said. “I have a source who was telling me that there’s gonna be a vote in December for the College Football Playoff moving to 12 [teams]. Now, the 12-team playoff is a go; they wanna get it done for the 2023 season. Not next season. I made a mistake and said 2022.”

Patrick was led astray by a college football source last year as well. Last year, he had a source tell him Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium could be turned into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients.

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