With college football right around the corner, one program made the decision to cancel its entire season as UCONN shut down the program for the 2020 season due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Big Ten also made an announcement Wednesday as they unveiled their conference-only schedule, which is slated to begin on September 5.
All of this news comes days after PAC-12 players released a statement to The Players’ Tribune demanding safety precautions be put in place in addition to a 50/50 revenue split with the conference for the upcoming season. The Big Ten released their own statement on Wednesday:
During the first hour of The Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday, ESPN college football analyst Rod Gilmore joined the program. Gilmore, who is a Stanford alum, has been working at ESPN and ABC since 1996 and is one of the more familiar voices in the booth for PAC-12 games. You can catch the interview here at about the 20-minute mark.
Right at the beginning of the interview, Gilmore mentioned that he is worried about the start of the college football season, saying a bubble model, which has proven to be the most effective way to limit athletes exposure to the virus, is beyond what college football can do.
“I’m more worried today than I was yesterday. It just seems to fluctuate on a daily basis,” he said. “The events of the last few days are really unsettling. When you hear about a player at Indiana who has COVID-19 and winds up in the hospital, Rutgers shuts down, Northwestern shuts down…I am more worried today than I was a couple weeks ago. Add to the mix that the players have found their voice and they are weighing in with their concerns, which is perfectly legitimate. That was something conferences didn’t have to consider a couple of weeks ago.”
Gilmore, who has spoken with PAC-12 players about these issues, gave insight gave some insight into the players’ demands and their priorities.
“You have to step back and recognize we are in the midst of a sea change in college football, he told Finebaum. “The things that are concerning players just didn’t crop up this year….All these things have been percolating for quite a while. Then, we have 2020 where we have these incredible triggering events with George Floyd killing on video for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Social justice has become a very personal thing to a lot of players. They feel invested.
“You look at the PAC-12 players and their manifesto/list of demands. They included in there the reference to money and sharing the revenue but from talking to players the past few days, it seems clear their focus was really on health and safety, getting the testing right, and being able to make an impact socially. There’s a lot going on and a lot to unpack.”
During the interview, Gilmore said that university presidents and trustees should be worried about the optics of having a season just for financial reasons, noting that the desire to start a season can only take conferences so far.
“We may get a start, we may get teams that push ahead to start the season, but can we get through a season? I’m not optimistic right now at this moment.”
Of course, with all the conference schedules not having the same format, it also leads to the question that if one conference does not play, would the others follow suit? Gilmore would not be surprised if that did not happen:
While schedules are being released, there is still so much uncertainty surrounding college football in 2020. This interview between two prominent media members in college football highlights that.
Keyshawn Johnson Learns About Max Kellerman’s Rap Career On Air
“The topic came up now and then when Kellerman hosted his old radio show in Los Angeles.”
Plenty of athletes want to be rappers, and plenty of rappers want to be athletes, but it’s not often you hear about a rapper wanting to be a sportscaster.
That’s the case for ESPN’s Max Kellerman, who had to relive the 90s on ESPN Radio Thursday morning. His co-host Keyshawn Johnson hadn’t heard about Kellerman’s rap career. It came up when Jay Williams asked Kellerman what his rap name was.
“What was his what?” Johnson said with a perplexed look.
“You never knew this?!” Williams answered back. Johnson was surprised to find out that one of his co-hosts laid down enough bars in the mid-90s to ink a record deal.
Kellerman and his late brother Sam rapped together and even appeared in a music video as they took their shot at breaking into the rap game. Sam passed away in 2004 amidst a burgeoning career in NYC public-access TV. The rap duo sang songs like “Rumble Young Man Rumble” and kept their name simple, performing as Max & Sam.
“You didn’t know I had a record deal in ’94? Every couple months it comes up, people play the video and are like, ‘I didn’t know this!’ I’ve been dealing with this for 15 years,” Max Kellerman said on Thursday.
The topic came up now and then when Max Kellerman hosted his old radio show in Los Angeles. The former HBO Boxing analyst even had “The Game” on as a guest, and the rap star critiqued his interviewer.
“In 1994, I sounded ten times better than you,” The Game said. “Don’t quit your day job.”
Johnson got a big kick out of the revelation; maybe the Keyshawn, JWill, and Max crew will rekindle the glory days and spit some tracks with Kellerman. “We’re gonna have to pull that up and put that on the national TV screen for me,” Johnson said about the music video.
Citi Field Names Spanish Radio Booth After Juan Alicea
”The Mets have been my family for over 50 years. It’s very special to be remembered by them.”
Juan Alicea will forever be remembered at Citi Field. The New York Mets announced that they are naming the Spanish-language radio booth after the team’s longtime Spanish play-by-play voice.
Alicea has a tenure with the Mets dating all the way back to 1969, working as a team scout and helping in community relations before moving to the booth in 1982. He has been there ever since, working with a number of different radio networks for their broadcasts, which can currently be heard on Que Buena 92.7.
”I’m incredibly humbled and honored” said Juan Alicea. ”The Mets have been my family for over 50 years. It’s very special to be remembered by them.”
Mets President Sandy Alderson had nothing but praise for Alicea as he called him ”an innovator and pioneer in the Spanish broadcasting field.”
”He was instrumental in the creation of Hispanic marketing, promotions and community events. Juan has been a tremendously valued member of the Mets family” added Alderson.
“Juan has been a legendary figure on the Spanish Mets broadcasts,” Tim Scheld, the Program Director at the Mets’ English language flagship station, WCBS-AM, added. “We’ve been proud and honored to work alongside someone of such character and kindness and congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”
Colin Dunlap Wants Predictions For Colleague’s First Pitch
“The Pirates invited Richert to throw out the first pitch in celebration of his 20th anniversary with KDKA.”
KDKA morning man Larry Richert is throwing out the first pitch at PNC Park on Thursday. The struggling Pirates will host the Cincinnati Reds for a matinee at 12:35 pm Eastern.
No matter how bad the home team is, it is an honor when representatives ask you to throw out the first pitch. Colin Dunlap recognizes that. The morning show host at 93.7 The Fan celebrated his Audacy co-worker’s honor on Twitter.
Dunlap’s request for predictions on how the pitch would go was met with plenty of jokes. Many were at the Pirates’ expense. Some were based on Pittsburgh sports clichés. There were plenty of well wishes and congratulations fort Richert too.
Larry Richert has been in morning drive on KDKA since 2001 and has been on the air in Pittsburgh, either in TV or on radio, since the 1980s. Despite the news background, his voice is well-known to sports fans. He is the public address announcer at Heinz Field. He also hosts the pregame show for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers and began narrating NFL Films in 1985.
The Pirates invited Richert to throw out the first pitch in celebration of his 20th anniversary with KDKA. The station posted a video last week of Richert getting loose and tossing a practice pitch.
If the pitch on Thursday is anything like the one in the video, Colin Dunlap has nothing to worry about. It doesn’t look like Richert is destined for the same low light reel that includes Baba Booey, 50 Cent, and Carly Rae Jepson.
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