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Damon Amendolara & Jeremy Conn Share Memories Of Lil’ Mo

“During the last five years, Lil’ Mo became a regular caller into Baltimore sports radio station 105.7 The Fan, where his enthusiasm, laugh and wit quickly won over the hosts and listeners, helping build his celebrity status.”

Brandon Contes

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14-year old Mo Gaba is a Baltimore sports superfan who never sought to be a local celebrity, but it came naturally with his infectious laugh and personality. An Orioles Hall-of-Famer, inspiration, friend and hero to many, Lil’ Mo’s passing was met with heavy hearts Wednesday night. 

Having lost his vision at just nine months old, Lil’ Mo spent an estimated 75% of his life in the hospital and was battling cancer for the fourth time, but never lost his positive spirit. Thursday morning, CBS Sports Radio’s Damon Amendolara and 105.7 The Fan’s Jeremy Conn, two sports radio hosts who also became two of Lil Mo’s biggest fans discussed the friendship they built with Gaba. 

“Realistically you never know what he’s going to say,” Conn said on The DA Show with a laugh. “We were at Orioles FanFest and he told Manny Machado not to get suspended, we were doing the show with John Harbaugh and he said he thought the Tennessee Titans were a little bit more prepared. He’s just a kid and sometimes we’d forget it because he is so intelligent and knows what he’s talking about.” 

Conn became close with Gaba and his family in recent months, going to his house to play video games and even co-host a radio show with him on 105.7 The Fan. During the last five years, Lil’ Mo became a regular caller into Baltimore sports radio station 105.7 The Fan, where his enthusiasm, laugh and wit quickly won over the hosts and listeners, helping build his celebrity status. Thursday morning Conn also shared a picture of his new Mo Strong tattoo. 

Conn, who has two teenage children of his own, said he loves coaching basketball where he becomes a mentor and father figure to kids on the team. He described his initial relationship with Gaba as being similar to the kids he coaches, but added that the 14-year old stole a piece of his heart, became his friend and like a little brother.

“This one cuts deep,” Conn told DA. Amendolara regularly refers to Mo as his hero, having kept in touch with the superfan even after his show left the Baltimore market a couple years ago. DA was brought to tears Thursday morning as he spoke about his friend’s passing. 

“Most of us at 14 years old are barely getting a grip on this earth, on this life, on this society, on what it means to live,” DA said. “In 14 years, Little Mo changed the world. How did he do it? He woke up every day and made a choice, ‘today I’m happy and I pass that on to others.’ He is and forever will be, my hero.”

Sports Radio News

Longtime Hornets Analyst, Radio Host Gerry Vaillancourt Dies

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Gerry Vaillancourt, a voice synonymous with Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets basketball, passed away over the weekend.

According to information provided to the Charlotte Observer from the family, Vaillancourt, affectionately known at “Gerry V,” died due to complications from a heart condition.

Vaillancourt was a mainstay on Hornets broadcasts dating back to the franchise’s inception in the 80s. Additionally, he was a fixture on sports talk radio. Vaillancourt hosted shows on WCNT, WFNZ and WBT in Charlotte, as well as on 1280 AM and WRNO in New Orleans.

“Gerry was one of the originals in the start of sports talk in Charlotte: funny, entertaining and a basketball encyclopedia,” WBT and Hornets colleague Jim Szoke told the Charlotte Observer. “I used to love when Hubie Brown was on as a regular guest and listening to them talk hoops in great detail.”

Vaillancourt was born and raised in New York City. He played basketball collegiately at Gardner-Webb University and coached at James Madison, Davidson, and Appalachian State.

He was 72 years old.

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Sports Radio News

Andrew Fillipponi: Peter Burns Made ‘Innocuous Joke’ To Ben Watson

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

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The on-air spat between SEC Network host Peter Burns and analyst Ben Watson continues to be bandied about in sports media circles, with 93.7 The Fan hosts Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller discussing the topic Tuesday.

“I’m on Team Burns,” Fillipponi said.

“Forget who’s team you’re on,” Chris Mueller said. “I think you’ve do have to keep the wives and children out of this.”

“What are you talking about, keep the wives and out of it?!,” Fillipponi asked.

“Do we believe this is work or shoot here?,” Mueller wondered.

“Oh, I think this is real,” Fillpponi added, which Mueller agreed.

“Do you think a close fist from Ben Watson hit Peter Burns?,” Mueller asked.

“No, I think he picked him up by the lapels,” Fillipponi said.

When the subject of Watson’s religion was brought up, Fillipponi then pointed out the absurdity of the situation.

“So wait a minute? Because you believe in Jesus Christ you care about your wife more than other people? What are you talking about?”

“I think he might have a shorter fuse and not taking in humor that Peter Burns was giving out,” Mueller said.

“It was an innocuous joke!,” Fillipponi stated. “It wasn’t a joke! Why is it in bad taste?”

Mueller then added the idea of Watson’s wife texting Burns insinuates there’s an inappropriate relationship.

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Sports Radio News

Craig Carton: Booger McFarland’s Zach Wilson Analysis ‘An Embarrasment’

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Craig Carton

ESPN NFL analyst Booger McFarland raised eyebrows on Monday Night Countdown this week by saying New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has never been held accountable for his actions because he was a “young man who grew up with a lot of money”. WFAN afternoon host Craig Carton called out McFarland’s comments Tuesday as outlandish.

“It was an embarrasment,” Carton said. “Someone should ask Booger McFarland if his kids — who grew up with amazing wealth — have accountability in their lives or if having a little bit of money in your pocket immediately discounts the possibility to have accountability. He’s an idiot and we learned that last night.”

“It’s funny that Steve Young was on the other side of it,” Evan Roberts noted. “Because a long time ago, Steve Young criticized Chris Simms because he’s the son of a famous quarterback.”

“You don’t have to invent reasons for why Zach Wilson isn’t playing well,” added Carton. “Just watch his tape. He’s not playing well. Maybe he’s just not good!”

Carton later said NFL reporters “will try to make a name for themselves by putting out a story” about quarterbacks who take responsibility for their teams failures, while Wilson wouldn’t accept the blame.

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