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Barry Melrose Questions Sincerity Of Max Kellerman’s Hockey Comments

“Melrose was on The Jake Asman Show on SB Nation Radio on Tuesday and he talked about Kellerman’s comments and how maybe he felt Kellerman was trying to get stir up the debate with his comments.”

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Ever since Max Kellerman was on First Take last week saying that “in the United States of America, no one cares about hockey”, he has taken criticism from many in the hockey industry. First, it was ESPN anchor Linda Cohn, who tweeted her displeasure for the comments: 

Then, a couple days later, Colin Cowherd, host of The Herd on FS1, chimed in on Twitter by saying that college football was one of the big four sports in the US instead of the NHL, which was further behind on his rankings: 

This week, another major NHL expert chimed in with his thoughts. During the season, Cohn hosts a show on ESPN+ called In The Crease, which is a nightly show that shows all the highlights from that night’s games. Plus, you get analysis from former head coach and analyst at ESPN/NHL Network, Barry Melrose. 

Melrose was on The Jake Asman Show on SB Nation Radio on Tuesday and he talked about Kellerman’s comments and how maybe he felt Kellerman was trying to get stir up the debate with his comments. You can find the full interview with Melrose here.

“The funny thing about Max, I was at ESPN when he started a long time ago. He likes hockey. He likes all sports. I think he was trying to get a razz out of the guys.

Despite the comments that have been made, the NHL should get their chance to gain fans nationally when they resume play, which looks to happen this summer. Melrose addressed during the interview that while the NHL isn’t the most popular sport, it still is popular in its own right.

“In a lot of places, hockey is played in front of full houses every night. They are number one in a lot of cities. Hockey is a billion dollar industry. Are we as big as the other sports? No. But, I will tell you the product on the ice is great, the athletes are great. You don’t have to knock another product to make yours look better.”

One thing is for certain. The NHL is going to get an opportunity to gain more fans with an extended Stanley Cup Playoffs format and potentially more national TV exposure. Since the Olympics have been postponed until 2021, we could see more playoff games on NBC this summer, which can only help the sport. 

Even though ESPN does not have the broadcast rights to the NHL anymore, it is safe to say the network will cover it when play resumes as more and more sports start to come back. Once the Stanley Cup Playoffs start, the excitement for even the casual sports fan brings them to the television. 

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Damon Amendolara: Why Does Tom Brady Want To Call Games?

“I was just always convinced Tom Brady had bigger fish to fry than calling Cowboys, Commanders on Thanksgiving.”

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Tom Brady

Tom Brady is headed to FOX. According to Damon Amendolara, there is no question who is getting the better end of that deal.

The network’s interest in Brady has been well-known for months. Still, CBS Sports Radio’s morning man cannot believe it is actually happening. He said Tuesday morning that he can’t understand why Brady would want to pursue a media career after his playign days end.

“I was just always convinced Tom Brady had bigger fish to fry than calling Cowboys, Commanders on Thanksgiving,” Amendolara said. “I just always felt like Brady’s post-playing career was going to be pushing nutrition, pushing TB12 brand, pushing his apparel brand and doing kind of elite media work.”

A media career for Tom Brady is something Amendolara said he assumed would happen off-camera. He pointed to the Religion of Sport production studio Brady co-owns as an example of what he would expect Brady to want to be involved in.

Broadcasters work more Sundays during the NFL season than players do. No matter how good the games are, Damon Amendolara said that it is a grind he could not believe Tom Brady was willing to sign up for.

“They’ll get the number one games, but you still gotta do 17 or 18 of them before you get to the playoffs and not every one of them is a sizzler.”

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Ike Reese: ‘It’s Up To Us To Let Ray Didinger Stay Retired’

“I would imagine he’ll still watch a game still jotting down notes. There’s no way he’s gonna watch a game without doing his Ray Diddy thing.”

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Ray Didinger is feeling a lot of love from his WIP colleagues after announcing his retirement on Sunday. He will still be on the station through the end of the month, but on Monday, nearly the entire full-time air staff of the radio station was paying tribute to him.

Jon Marks and Ike Reese took time out of their afternoon drive show on Monday to replay Didinger’s announcement. Marks said that it was “as thoughtful as everything that he does.” He doesn’t doubt that Didinger is at peace with the decision.

Reese joked that it was good to hear PD Rod Lakin was not responsible for this. He also said that he was happy to hear that this was not a health-related retirement. According to the former Eagles linebacker though, that means it would be really easy for Didinger to want to abandon his plans if given the chance.

“We obviously know how much Ray Didinger means to us. And this WIP family, just like the Comcast Sports family I’m sure, is important to him,” Ike Reese said. “I’d imagine he would have a tough time saying no. That is why you leave it up to us to don’t bother him. Don’t put him in that position. Let him enjoy retirement.”

He knows that it will be hard for Didinger to not stay ready for a media appearance diuring the football season.

“I would imagine he’ll still watch a game still jotting down notes. There’s no way he’s gonna watch a game without doing his Ray Diddy thing.”

Both Marks and Reese said they hope that they would not hear from Didinger until at least the 2023 Eagles season and that Ray and his wife use that time to fully enjoy their new freedom.

Jon Marks reminded everyone that Ray Didinger is still an author with products to sell. If they really miss him, they can always go to a book signing.

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Mat Smith and Nate Jackson: ESPN Anger Over Nikola Jokic MVP ‘Is Garbage’

“He’s not as sexy as these other guys. But he does deserve the MVP, and shame on these guys to make it about them and their choices and their votes.”

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Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic has won the NBA MVP award for the second consecutive season. Jokic secured the award ahead of Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid.

ESPN NBA analysts Brian Windhorst and Tim Legler got the attention of Mat Smith and Nate Jackson on 104.3 The Fan in Denver Monday. Both Legler and Windhorst felt like Embiid was the MVP and sounded downright offended that he was not named the winner.

Legler said Embiid carried the Sixers and had a firm grip on the award from early February through the end of the regular season.

But Smith, who was filling in for Chad Brown on Monday, argued that the same things could be said for Jokic, adding that Jokic did more with less star power on the Nuggets roster. He didn’t understand how Embiid was Legler’s clear choice over Jokic.

“There’s so many different reasons why that specifically is garbage from Legler,” Smith said.

Jackson said Jokic is the Rodney Dangerfield of NBA players and made the point that it’s a continuation of a trend. For what ever reason, the national media overlooks the 27-year-old Serbian superstar.

“They don’t pay attention to it, they’re quick to write off this guy because they don’t appreciate his style of play,” he said. “He’s not as sexy as these other guys. But he does deserve the MVP, and shame on these guys to make it about them and their choices and their votes.”

Windhorst explained he went with Embiid based on what advanced statistics were saying. Smith said Windhorst basically laid out why Jokic was most deserving of MVP.

“He just gave every reason why Jokic should win and said, ‘Well I voted for Embiid, and I’m not taking it back,'” Smith said. He added that it was puzzling why so many voters were against Jokic. “These guys don’t like Joker. He’s not likable nationally, and why that is I’m not sure.”

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