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Steelers’ GM Welcomes Big Ben’s Radio Candor

“Big Ben has been heard on 93.7 The Fan for six seasons and continues to keep it entertaining.”

Brandon Contes

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Ben Roethlisberger’s weekly 20-minute spot on 93.7 The Fan during the NFL season is one of the best player segments in radio, largely because of the quarterback’s willingness to speak honestly.  While many franchises want their players to “follow the company line,” Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has no desire to hold Roethlisberger back from being candid.

“He’s the elder statesmen and the Super Bowl winner,” Colbert told a group of local reporters, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “If our players were smart, they’d listen to him because he’s been there. He’s done it. He can tell them, ‘No guys, what you’re doing is or is not good enough to do this.'”

During his segment on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger’s honesty has led him to criticize teammates, coaches, reporters and even share injury information with the audience.

After losing to the Patriots in an AFC Championship game a couple of years ago, Big Ben contemplated retirement while on-air with The Fan.  Roethlisberger once told the 93.7 midday show Martavis Bryant had to toughen up and this past season he criticized his soon to be former wide receiver, Antonio Brown’s route running.  Big Ben has publicly questioned his offensive-coordinator’s play-calling, but also won’t hesitate to admit when he doesn’t get the job done himself.

Roethlisberger’s thoughts on being candid while speaking publicly are in-line with his General Manager, “You have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways,” Roethlisberger told reporters last November. “I think that’s part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. So sometimes you just grab them off to the side, and sometimes you have to be honest with them.”

It’s common for radio shows to have weekly player segments during the season, Eli Manning joins WFAN, Tom Brady is heard weekly on WEEI, but rarely do they make the headlines Roethlisberger does.  Even with those consistent headlines, the Steelers don’t feel the need to end the segment.  Big Ben has been heard on 93.7 The Fan for six seasons and continues to keep it entertaining. 

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports Radio News

1010XL Jay Fund Radiothon Raises Nearly $250,000 For Pediatric Cancer Research

“In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.”

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Jacksonville’s 1010XL used its airwaves to raise money for the Jay Fund for the fifteenth year earlier this week. The radiothon was a smashing success, raising $249,784 to fight pediatric cancer.

This year’s total is a new record for the event. In the 15 year history of the radiothon, the station has raised just under $1.6 billion for the Jay Fund.

“I’m truly amazed at the generosity of the 1010 XL listeners in times when a carton of eggs cost six dollars,” said General Manager Steven Griffin, “and equally amazed how the hosts, producers, radio staff and volunteers come together with a singular focus to year-after-year produce these results in one broadcast day.”

Former Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin started the Jay Fund in memory of  Jay McGillis, who developed leukemia while playing for Coughlin at Boston College.  The organization has helped over 5,000 families and given away over $16 million in grants in Northeast Florida and the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area.

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Sports Radio News

Parkins & Spiegel Wonder If Trent Dilfer Will Still Appear On Their Show After Taking UAB Job

“I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

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Former ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer has been hired as the new head coach at UAB. However, Danny Parkins and Matt Spiegel wondered if that meant Dilfer would no longer be making his weekly appearances on Parkins & Spiegel on 670 The Score.

“Our guy is no longer gonna do a radio show out of Chicago?” Parkins joked, referencing an incident last month where Dilfer failed to say “Parkins & Spiegel during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I don’t know that that’s the case,” Spiegel replied.

“We don’t know that yet,” producer Shane Riordan said. “We have only shared a couple of text message — Trent and I — this morning and I will just say that his status with the show and the station is uncertain.”

Later in the show, Parkins and Spiegel jokingly wondered what jobs they could have on UAB’s staff, with Parkins balking at being a sports information director. He did say he would welcome being the offensive player caller, but believed that job might fall under the purview of Dilfer.

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Sports Radio News

Mike Milbury: Jack Edwards Is ‘Awkward’ and ‘A Different Breed’

“Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

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Boston Bruins television play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has come under fire for recent comments he made about Tampa Bay Lightning forward Pat Maroon and his weight. In turn, Maroon donated money in Edwards’ name to a mental health organization. On The Greg Hill Show Thursday, former NHL on NBC analyst Mike Milbury both slammed and defended Edwards.

“Jack Edwards. Who’s Jack Edwards? He went through all of junior high school being picked on and bullied,” Milbury said. “Now he’s trying to get even. Wouldn’t you want to smack that guy, Wiggy? Skinny, scrawny, mouthy son of a bitch.”

“Jack is screaming at the TV all the time,” he continued. “I gotta turn it down half the time.”

When asked by Courtney Cox if it was appropriate for Edwards to make comments about Maroon’s weight, noting that the comments were “awkward”, Milbury said Edwards is a divisive presence.

“Jack is awkward. I think half of Boston hates him and half of Boston loves him. He certainly loves the Bruins and is passionate about it but he’s a different breed of cat. Like him or love him, I’m not gonna judge him. As a guy that’s been cancelled, I have no right anymore.”

Milbury was “cancelled” after saying NHL players in the league’s playoff “bubble” weren’t being distracted by their wives and girlfriends being present. He was dropped by the NHL on NBC after the comments and has not resurfaced on a major network.

The comments and questions to Milbury came after Cox and co-host Jermaine Wiggins disagreed about whether Edwards’ comments were warranted.

Wiggins said he “thought hockey players were supposed to be tough”, adding “he’s got a few extra LBs. It’s a joke.”

Cox countered by saying “it’s not a joke. No one should be talking about it. Jack Edwards went on for like five minutes about it. It wasn’t funny.”

Hill said when Wiggins was in the NFL, nobody cared what television broadcasters said about them. Cox argued by saying “in your day, nobody talked to a therapist, either”.

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