Dr. Anthony Fauci sat down with James Wagner and Ken Belson of The New York Times on Tuesday to discuss the future of sports in America in 2020. The country’s top infectious disease expert says that there may not be a way for some sports to play their current or upcoming season. As recently as early April, Fauci was saying that there was a way for sports to return without fans in the stands.
“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” Fauci said. “If you can’t guarantee safety, then unfortunately you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.'”
Fauci says the key to the return of sports is no different than the key to returning to so many aspects of American life – the availability of rapid response testing. He noted that companies have made strides in developing those tests, but at this point there is nowhere near the broad access that would be necessary.
President Trump and New York governor Andrew Cuomo have both discussed the possibility of games being played again. The PGA Tour has already announced dates it intends to resume competition. Alabama governor Kay Ivey said she made the decision to issue stay at home orders with the goal of saving the college football season. Even on the day Dr. Fauci spoke with The Times, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper announced that NASCAR’s Memorial Day race in Charlotte could go forward without fans in attendance.
“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” said Fauci, who is an avid runner and baseball fan. He also is a former basketball player. “But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”
Mark Martello Fired For Remarks During Montana State Women’s Basketball Broadcast
“I am taking responsibility for what came out of my mouth. I will miss the team and coaches. There will be no apology, no one was harmed.”
Montana State broadcaster Mark Martello was fired recently for comments he made during Saturday’s women’s basketball game between the Bobcats and Portland State.
Martello had been the play-by-play man for MSU women’s basketball games since the 2020-21 season. He also held the position in 2005-06, the first season of Tricia Binford’s tenure as Cats head women’s coach. Martello has called games for the MSU men, high school, and Bozeman Icedogs hockey as well.
During the broadcast in question, Martello made multiple analogies, specifically comparing the city of Portland with the South Side of Chicago and trying to parallel the Portland team to Antifa in an attempt at a joke. LEARFIELD, which represents MSU, let Martello go after MSU’s 71-56 win at Worthington Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Joe Terry of Big Sky Valhalla was the first to report the firing and shared his thoughts in a few tweets on Martello’s comments.
Made a reference to Portland being like the Southside of Chicago earlier in the game.— Joe Terry (@joseph_terry) January 22, 2022
Seems an odd place to fire off political tales but here we are.
Martello said Tom Boman, LEARFIELD’S vice president of broadcast operations, fired him because of Terry’s tweets.
“I am taking responsibility for what came out of my mouth,” Martello wrote in a text message to 406mtsports.com on Monday. “I will miss the team and coaches. There will be no apology, no one was harmed.”
The comment comparing Portland and the South Side of Chicago came at the 8:25 mark of the fourth quarter, Martello mentioned that Portland State center Rhema Ogele was battling in the middle with MSU’s Taylor Janssen.
“Ogele, from Saint Ignatius College (Prep) in Chicago, which is South Side. You’ve heard of (it),” Martello said on the broadcast. “Portland not much different, I don’t think, these days.”
Martello was trying to make a reference to the rising crime rate of Portland, an odd opinion to include during the broadcast of a basketball game.
“I’ve been to the South Side, a lot. Portland looked worse when we were there last year,” Martello wrote in a text to 406 Mt Sports‘ Victor Flores, adding a laughing emoji.
Not long after the South Side comment, MSU’s Kola Bad Bear got the ball inside and missed a post shot. Martello said on the air that Bad Bear “got fouled two or three times” on the play, but no foul was called.
“Evidently, Cats are up 19, Portland can get away with whatever they’re going to get away with,” Martello said on the broadcast. “Portland’s like antifa after a riot. They might go to jail, but they get out right away. They can get away with it.”
Martello paused for a second, then apologized.
“Uh-oh,” he continued. “I shouldn’t say stuff like that. I’m sorry.”
He quickly got back to calling the game after that.
This was another odd comment that did not seem to relate much to the game or setting. However, Antifa is often associated with Portland largely because of Rose City Antifa, one of the United States’ oldest active antifa groups.
“This is part of the world we live in, a big reason why I hate Social Media,” Martello texted. “Dumb thing to say maybe, but firing me represents MONTANA values? I think not. MSU promotes Portland values, in Montana. Kneeling is fine, political warm-ups are no problem, but some radio yahoo making wise cracks is a capital offense. Everything I said was true. I guess the truth hurts.”
This was another bad look for Martello. While he was referring to Black Lives Matter warm-up shirts, the actual warm-ups MSU wore had the phrase “No More Stolen Sisters” which was intended to raise awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls during Saturday’s game. Martello later said he supported those efforts.
MSU did not make a big deal over the firing but mentioned Martello’s dismissal in a press release. However, the school didn’t comment further. Both LEARFIELD and ESPN (the broadcast was also televised on ESPN+) declined to comment.
The Portland State athletic department issued a statement through a spokesperson to 406mtsports.com.
“That type of commentary has no place in the description of a college basketball game,” the statement reads. “The portrayal of Portland State was both inaccurate and inappropriate. We appreciate that Montana State acknowledges that as well.”
Bernstein And Rahimi Mock Danny Parkins For Louie Anderson Gaffe
“You could tell something was wrong as soon as he said it.”
Mistakes happen in radio. There’s no such thing as perfection in the business. A sound byte might not play or play correctly, something might happen with a guest, you might flub a word or two. It happens.
On 670 The Score in Chicago, afternoon show host Danny Parkins made a blunder last week that had fellow hosts Dan Bernstein and Leila Rahimi having some fun at his expense on Monday.
Parkins was reporting on the deaths of singer Meat Loaf and actor Louie Anderson. A clip from the movie Fight Club, which Meat Loaf was a part of, played. But Parkins didn’t say Meat Loaf.
“Fight Club… RIP Louie Anderson… Wait,” he said after a pause.
“You could tell something was wrong as soon as he said it,” Bernstein said.
“The end of it is pricelessly good,” Rahimi added. “The ‘wait’ is my favorite part.”
Bernstein and Rahimi joked about how the mistake came right at the end of the show. There were literally minutes left before it was over.
“He’s sitting here, he looked through the glass, and he saw (Executive Producer Shane Riordan) absolutely explode,” Bernstein said. “He knew something went wrong.”
They did relate to Parkins’ mistake because, as mentioned above, mistakes happen. But they couldn’t help but have a little fun at their cohort’s expense.
ESPN Madison Adding Olympic Curler Matt Hamilton For ‘Rutledge & Hamilton’ Show
“Matt is a hometown personality with a passion for Wisconsin sports. He brings a unique perspective to our team through his Olympic experience.”
ESPN Madison (100.5 WTLX-FM) is getting a new afternoon show. The station announced on Monday that current afternoon host Jim Rutledge will get a new partner in March.
Olympic curling gold medalist Matt Hamilton is joining the show as Rutledge’s on-air partner after returning from the Beijing Winter Olympics. Rutledge & Hamilton will air from 2 to 4 p.m. CT. Alex Strouf will be the show’s producer.
Rutledge currently hosts The Jump Around from 3 to 4 p.m. and Hamilton has been a regular part of the show, so the rebrand is pairing the two together officially.
Hamilton, a Madison native won a gold medal in men’s curling at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
“We are looking forward to having Matt join our expanded of local programming,” said ESPN Madison market manager Tom Olson in the station’s official announcement. (The station currently airs ESPN Radio’s Bart & Hahn from 2 to 3 p.m.)
“Matt is a hometown personality with a passion for Wisconsin sports. He brings a unique perspective to our team through his Olympic experience, and I can’t wait for our fans and partners to get to know him as the newest member of the ESPN Madison team.”
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