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Former KNBR Host ‘Razor’ Ralph Barbieri Dead at 74 Due to Parkinson’s

“Barbieri battled the disease since 2005. He did not tell listeners about it until 2011.”

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Longtime San Francisco radio host Ralph Barbieri died Monday after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 74 years old.

Barbieri spent 28 years with KNBR, becoming one of the dominant voices in Bay Area sports radio. He had battled Parkinson’s since 2005 but didn’t tell listeners about it until 2011. His exit from KNBR in 2012 was a high profile story for the wrong reasons. Barbieri sued his employer Cumulus Media for wrongful termination citing his age and disease as reasons for his exit. Despite the messy ending of his relationship with the station, it doesn’t erase the nearly three decades of success enjoyed by both the station and the Bay Area sports radio legend.

Nicknamed ‘Razor’ for his distinctive voice and delivery, Barbieri spent 15 years working alongside Tom Tolbert in afternoon drive on the popular ‘Razor and Mr. T’ program. Upon learning of the news, Tolbert explained what made Barbieri special.

Barbieri’s former partner Tom Tolbert shared his thoughts on the loss of his friend and former co-host. “He was one of a kind, man,” Tolbert said. “He was special. Him and (Gary) Radnich basically built this station. Those were the two guys, the two mainstays, the two pillars that got this thing going. He was fiercely loyal, loved his family, loved (his son) Tate, loved me, I loved him. It was just so much fun.”

Another centerpiece of KNBR’s decades of excellence was longtime host Gary Radnich. He joined KNBR yesterday to chat with Tolbert, Rod Brooks and Larry Krueger about the passing of his friend and longtime colleague adding “When you flipped that dial and heard Ralph’s voice there was nobody else like that. Ralph led KNBR into the hey day of sports talk. He was different on the air…different off the air. An original with a good heart.”

The news of Barbieri’s passing brought out tons of reaction from Bay Area media members and sports figures. All remembered the Razor for his unique gifts as a broadcaster and the memorable moments he provided on the air and inside the studio.

https://twitter.com/susanslusser/status/1290423514252447744?s=20

KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe issued a statement on the station’s behalf and said “We were all very saddened to learn of the passing of Ralph Barbieri. Ralph was a true legend during his 28 years career at KNBR, 15 of those teamed up with Tom Tolbert are a part of “The Razor and Mr. T” show. Ralph had a unique on-air style to go along with his unique voice. He was truly one of a kind. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his son Tayte who Ralph loved very much.”

KNBR also went into their audio archives and located a vintage rant from the Bay Area sports radio legend. To get a sense of who Ralph was and what made him unique click here.

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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Sports Radio News

Greg Hill: Ben Watson, Peter Burns Drama Was A Bit

“Be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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Peter Burns and Ben Watson shared an awkward exchange during the halftime show of an SEC Network football game over the weekend, and many are still debating whether Watson walking off the set was serious or not. Count part of the cast of The Greg Hill Show on WEEI as doubters.

“That was a a bit,” Courtney Cox said. “That was absolutely a bit.”

“Yeah, unlike the Chris Rock/Will Smith thing, I assume that was a bit,” Hill said. “I can’t believe that Ben Watson is really angry about that.”

“I dunno, man. There’s been a lot of speculation that it isn’t,” Jermaine Wiggins added. “There are people who are very sensitive about you clowning on them or joking with them. Especially with joking about their wife. Some people can’t handle jokes like that.”

After a back-and-forth with Cox about the legitimacy of the joke, Wiggins concluded by saying for some folks family is off limits.

“I’ve learned something in my 47 years on this Earth: be careful when you’re talking about somebody’s wife and their kids. ‘Cause not everybody jokes the same way.”

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