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The Shame of Skip Bayless…and His FOX Bosses

“The FS1 personality made reprehensible comments about Dak Prescott’s depression battle, but don’t forget the executives who pay him and industry double-talkers who gave Charles Barkley a pass after similar remarks.”

Jay Mariotti

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Excoriate Skip Bayless. Eviscerate him, emasculate him. Attach him to a tackling dummy and let Dak Prescott take whacks at him, with follow-up body blows from Troy Aikman. Let his brother, the chef Rick Bayless, cover his body in hot chiles and threaten to deep-fry him until he apologizes.

But please know that the problems with this shameful story — Bayless mocking Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, for acknowledging his struggles with depression and anxiety — don’t stop at the microphone of the “Undisputed’’ opinion-spewer. Also to be indicted here, strongly, are the executives who employ this cantankerous cuss at Fox Sports 1, and the shallow-minded sports media peers who selectively admonish Bayless while not caring, say, when Charles Barkley makes similarly insensitive remarks about Paul George’s mental health challenges.

To me, last week’s Bayless eruption is what’s wrong with the profession in a single sound bite. He is paid handsomely not for his expertise but for his penchant to draw cheap attention by making outrageous, preposterous comments. FS1 thinks the formula is successful, even when lowly ratings suggest he has been a massive failure for his reported $5 million a year. So the boss who signed off on his 2016 hiring, Fox Sports CEO and executive producer Eric Shanks, continues to trot out Bayless like a baseball manager who won’t give up on a troublesome, washed-up pitcher. Shanks has been innovative in his career — he helped create NFL RedZone and the yellow first-down line on football telecasts — but the Bayless experiment is much like his glowing puck on long-ago hockey productions.

A grotesquely bad idea.

Media executives tend not to acknowledge their mistakes, you see. In this case, one of the Murdochs might notice the Bayless money drain and shank Shanks. Poaching Bayless from ESPN was the brainchild of Jamie Horowitz, who created the “First Take’’ success story in Bristol by pairing Bayless with Stephen A. Smith. But the hopes of then-fledgling FS1, which thought Bayless’ rants would make big noise, devolved into an undisputed ratings dud. The danger now is that he might be so desperate for attention and metrics that he’ll say anything. Should FS1 yank him from the chair before he sinks to even lower lows on the screech meter?

Let’s just make sure we point out, for the sake of accountability and fairness, that he’s not alone in the sin bin. The sports media, especially fanboy types who play favorites, expose their own flaws by trashing Bayless as a horrible human while giving Barkley his usual passes, which suggests their criticism is grounded in petty jealousy more than genuine disgust and nullifies their professional legitimacy.

Here is what Bayless said about Prescott’s depression issues, which surfaced early in the pandemic and worsened when his brother, Jace, committed suicide: “You are commanding an entire franchise. … And they’re all looking to you to be their CEO, to be in charge of the football team. Because of all that, I don’t have sympathy for him going public with `I got depressed’ and `I suffered depression early in COVID to the point that I couldn’t even go work out.’ Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s team. The sport that he plays is dog-eat-dog. It is no compassion, no quarter given on the football field. If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spot.”

The take isn’t hot. It’s heartless, repulsive and a fireable offense. But is it any less disgraceful than Barkley’s response when George, the Los Angeles Clippers star, said he was in a “dark place’’ within the restrictive environment of the NBA Bubble? “I don’t think guys making millions of dollars should be worried just because they’re stuck in a place where they can go fishing and play golf and play basketball and make millions of dollars,” the TNT analyst told Dan Patrick. “That’s not a dark place. The thing that happened in Wisconsin (the Jacob Blake shooting), the things happening with this pandemic, all these people losing their jobs — those people are in a dark place. We are the luckiest people in the world to dribble a stupid basketball and make millions of dollars. We’re never in a dark place. I just think we need to be careful what we complain about.”

Any mental health issue should be discussed with delicate compassion by everyone. If Bayless should be fired for his comment, Barkley should be fired for his. Don’t chastise one because he’s a former newspaper columnist who never played big-time sports and pardon the other because he’s an NBA Hall of Famer. Either focus on the verbal crime itself — and not the popularity or likability of who said it — or return to the grade-school sandbox where too many sports media people belong anyway. This isn’t simply about Bayless, per se. It’s about the shocking inability of network commentators, amid the turbulence of 2020, to understand the most fragile basics about depression.

Yet industry people who openly hate Bayless make it only about Bayless, such as Sports Illustrated media writer Jimmy Traina, who returns here for a second time because he lacks intellectual equilibrium. While obliterating Bayless, Traina ignores Barkley because he likes Barkley. If a critic can’t separate his professional work from personal favoritism, he’s shouldn’t be a critic. Such charlatans only let TNT — and parent company AT&T — off the hook without having to answer for Barkley’s numerous low-blow takes.     NBA star Kevin Love has been a robust spokesperson for mental health. He supported George after his recent comments, tweeting, “… post game speaking about being in a `dark place’ and underestimating the effects of mental health, depression, anxiety — is HUGE coming from a player of his caliber. Was always a fan of PG but now even more so.’’

But Love didn’t address Barkley, either, though naturally mentioning Bayless in a set of tweets: “You want to know why now, and always, it’s important for Dak Prescott to share his struggles … it’s because racial lines play a major part in people’s relationship with mental health — “opening up about a mental illness can feel like giving one more weapon to someone you know can use it against you.”…. Skip missed fact that BECAUSE Dak is the quarterback and leader of America’s team — him outwardly expressing this will lead young men and women of every demographic to be less alone and express themselves openly. Mental health issues rob us of achieving our full potential. … Dak helped move a number of people forward today.’’

Why do people attack Bayless and leave Barkley alone? Are they afraid of Chuck’s wrath? Is it the old Cosellian jockocracy at work? Hell, my phone used to ping every time Barkley torched me on “Inside The NBA’’ — not that my commentaries on “Around The Horn’’ ever exceeded a 7 on a scale of 1 (benign) to 10 (felonious). Think I cared about Chuck? The message of the column ALWAYS is more important than the preservation of relationships, kids. That’s why we’re columnists. We own the independent space.

In that vein, I’m not convinced Fox Sports would have issued a quick statement rebuking Bayless if critics and social media hadn’t railed against him. Shanks is attached to the hip of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, to the point Erin Andrews actually thanked Jones for conducting an interview last week on behalf of Fox (WTF?). Therefore, Shanks was answering to many when he approved this release: “At Fox Sports, we are proud of Dak Prescott for publicly revealing his struggle with depression and mental health. No matter the cause of the struggle, Fox Sports believes Dak showed tremendous courage which is evident in both his leadership on the Dallas Cowboys and in his character off the field. We do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion on Undisputed this morning. We have addressed the significance of this matter with Skip and how his insensitive comments were received by people internally at Fox Sports and our audience.”

Not that Shanks ever would suspend him, which would have been an appropriate punishment. There was Bayless the next morning, back on “Undisputed’’ and not exactly remorseful, claiming he wasn’t aware during his commentary that Prescott’s brother had taken his life. Being aware is a primary part of Bayless’ job description, and if he doesn’t study enough to know the particulars about a prominent NFL player, he shouldn’t be in the chair. Saying his comments were “misconstrued by many,’’ he explained, “The only Dak depression I discussed on the show was from an interview he taped with (talk show host) Graham Bensinger. Dak said that depression hit soon after the pandemic hit, right after the quarantine. I said that if Dak needed help for pandemic depression, he should have sought it then.”

He concluded by describing Prescott as “my quarterback,’’ as if Bayless’ status as a Cowboys fan should supersede any and all misconstruing. I remind you that in a few months, this man-child turns 69 years old.

If Bayless wants to discuss one’s “weakness,’’ I know his. He exposed it years ago when we competed in Chicago — I was the Sun-Times columnist, he was at the Tribune. To his credit, he was passionate about his subject material, more than I could say about the city’s other sports columnists during my 17 years there. But when I’d take a stand, he invariably would take the other side. I happen to be right more than I’m wrong — insert laughtrack here — so it caught up to him. Also, I was writing lengthier pieces and he was confined to a narrow hole down the side of a traditional newspaper broadsheet, which led to internal Tribune disagreements and his resignation. From there, he headed to ESPN and his eventual debate pairing with Smith.

So blame me for Bayless’ transformation as a TV monster.

With networks willing to do anything — unethical, immoral — to spike a ratings book, it’s no coincidence Bayless voiced such a low-brow opinion only a week after Smith’s own regrettable opinion on “First Take’’ about “White privilege’’ — his belief that Steve Nash was hired as Brooklyn Nets head coach only because he’s White. Just as Smith won two days of news-cycle attention — and viewers — Bayless got his two days of eyeballs. Their  programs do compete directly, with Smith and Max Kellerman regularly blowing away Bayless and Shannon Sharpe in the numbers game. And it surprises no one that Smith, who still hasn’t apologized to Nash, seized Bayless’ misfire by delivering a powerful commentary about mental health while sympathizing with Prescott. Of course, he did. Would Stephen A. have done so independent of Bayless’ comments? I doubt it.

Such is the slime game of morning daytime sports talk. Years after FS1 trumpeted Bayless, to the outrage of Fox teammate Aikman, the reckless take-artist appears to have singlehandedly ruined a stalled network and stolen a fortune from the Murdochs. This episode ultimately might push FS1 not to renew Bayless, but TNT still loves Barkley, who recently rebuked Smith and frequently rebukes Bayless, all in the name of televised sports gasbaggery that decency and dignity long ago forgot.

BSM Writers

Colorado Hiring Deion Sanders Will Be Constant Gift for College Football Media

“If Coach Prime achieves the same sort of success that he did with the Tigers, he will be far more than a curiosity. Sanders will be a disruptor.”

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Deion Sanders quickly made it clear why the University of Colorado chose him to be its next head football coach.

Coming off a weekend in which the four College Football Playoff teams were announced and all of the other bowl-eligible teams accepted their invitations, Colorado — which went 1-11 this past season — made news for hiring Sanders, the former NFL star who was phenomenally successful at Jackson State.

The media that covers college football and sports as a whole should be thrilled that the Buffaloes program decided to take a big leap for attention and notoriety. Sanders is a bold, risky hire. But he’s also been successful in virtually every venture he’s taken. “Primetime” had a Hall of Fame NFL career and also played Major League Baseball. And he’s a master at drawing attention to himself.

During his first meeting with his new team, Sanders made sure to mention that he has Louis Vuitton luggage to make the point that some of his Jackson State players are coming with him to Boulder — including his son, quarterback Shadeur Sanders. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart probably don’t cite luxury fashion when explaining to their players that they’ll have to compete for starting positions.

Coach Prime will not be boring to cover. (That self-appointed “Coach Prime” title, which was on his name plate at his introductory press conference, is a big clue there.) He never has been. This is a man who said during the 1989 NFL Draft, after being selected No. 5 overall by the Atlanta Falcons, that if the Detroit Lions had selected him at No. 3, he “would’ve asked for so much money, they’d have had to put me on layaway.”

Even if he doesn’t win as much as Colorado hopes, Sanders will pursue top talent — players who want to perform on a larger stage than the FCS-level Jackson State allows — and impact athletes will be attracted to him. He got the No. 1 recruit in the nation, cornerback and wide receiver Travis Hunter, to play for him. (Hunter is following his coach to Boulder.) Now that Sanders is at an FBS school in a Power 5 conference, more stars will surely come.

But if Coach Prime achieves the same sort of success that he did with the Tigers — going 27-5 in three seasons, including a 12-0 campaign in 2022 — he will be far more than a curiosity. Sanders will be a disruptor. And he’ll get the attention that such figures typically draw from media and fans. According to the Denver Post‘s Sean Keeler, at least 400 people attended what felt more like a celebration than a press conference.

Coach Prime wasn’t going to just win the press conference, which is what any school and fanbase want when a new coach is introduced.

If Colorado wanted someone to sit at a podium, and give platitudes like “We want to win the Pac-12 and get to the College Football Playoff,” “We’re going to build a program with young men you’ll be proud of,” or “It’s time to restore Colorado to the football glory we remember,” Sanders isn’t the guy for that.

“Do I look like a man that worries about anything? Did you see the way I walked in here? Did you see the swagger that was with me?” Sanders said during his introductory presser. “Worry? Baby, I am too blessed to be stressed. I have never been one for peer pressure. I put pressure on peers. I never wanted to worry, I make people worry. I don’t get down like that. I am too darn confident. That is my natural odor.”

To no surprise, Sanders announced his presence in Boulder with authority. He had cameras following him as he met with Colorado players for the first time. How many other coaches would have recorded what many would see as a private moment for posterity and post it online?

Sanders caused a stir by putting his players on notice. He warned them he was coming, telling them they’ll be pushed so hard they might quit. He told them to enter the transfer portal and go someplace else if they don’t like what he and his staff are going to do.

That candor, that brutal honesty surprised many fans and media when they saw it Monday morning. For some, that message might have felt too familiar. How many in media — or many other industries — have worried about their job status when a new boss takes over? What may have seemed secure days earlier is now uncertain.

But how do we know other coaches haven’t said something similar when taking over at a new job and addressing their team? We just hadn’t seen it before. But Sanders has been in the media. He knows social media. He understands controlling his own message and telling his story.

Sanders also knows what kind of value he brings to any venture he takes on. How many people would have left an NFL Network gig for Barstool Sports? But Sanders went to where his star would shine, where he was the main show, where he could be Deion Sanders. Maybe he’ll have to turn that down just a bit at Colorado. But athletic director Rick George knows who he hired.

Colorado could have made a safer choice, including previous head coaches Tom Herman, Bronco Mendenhall, or Gary Patterson. A top assistant from one of this year’s Playoff contenders — such as Georgia’s Todd Monken, USC’s Alex Grinch, Alabama’s Bill O’Brien, or Michigan’s Sherrone Moore — could also have been an option.

But what fun would that have been? What kind of tremor would Colorado have created in the college football news cycle? How much attention would a more conventional hire have received? Yes, Sanders has to recruit and win. However, if the objective was to make Colorado football a talking point again, that’s been accomplished.

There could be some friction too. Sanders has already been criticized for being a champion of HBCUs, only to bolt for a mainstream Power 5 program when the opportunity opened. (To be fair, other columnists have defended the move.)

At Jackson State, Sanders tried to control local media when he didn’t like how reporters were addressing him or covering a story. Last year during Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day, he balked at a Clarion-Ledger reporter addressing him as “Deion,” not “Coach,” insisting that Nick Saban would’ve been shown that respect. Earlier this season, Sanders admonished a school broadcaster (and assistant athletic director) for speaking to him more formally on camera than he did off-camera.

Will that fly among Boulder and Denver media, or the national college football press? It’s difficult to imagine. Maybe Sanders will ease back on his efforts to control reporters within a larger university environment, metropolitan area, and media market. But we’re also talking about Deion Sanders here. He doesn’t bend to outside forces. He makes them bend to him.

Sanders’ stint in Boulder — whether it lasts the five years of his contract and beyond, or less than that — will not be dull. There could be no better gift for the media covering Colorado football. Or college football, a sport already full of bold personalities, eccentric to unhinged fanbases, and outsized expectations. Coach Prime will fit right in.

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BSM Writers

The Media Is Finally Strong Enough To Take On The Rose Bowl

“The whole Rose Bowl organization is stuck in a black and white TV world. The future playoff is Marty McFly stepping out of a Delorean and the Rose Bowl is the Enchantment Under the Seas Dance.”

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I am a sucker for packaging. Take me to a grocery store and show me a uniquely packaged sauce or condiment or waffle syrup and I’ll give it a try just based on bottle size or design. The one packaging ploy that has vexed me is the “biggie size” at the local drive through. I’m always interested in the largest drink possible but don’t necessarily want a grain silo full of fries passed through my window. The College Football Playoff is going “biggie sized” in 2024 and I’ll take all of that I can get.

The College Football Playoff Committee made official last week what had long been speculated, that the four-team playoff field would increase to 12 teams starting with the 2024 season. This was an inevitable move for money and access reasons. The power conferences and Notre Dame stand to gain significantly in TV revenue and the “non-power” conferences finally get the consistent access they have long craved.

What may have finally pushed the new playoff over the finish line was the end of an ultimate game of chicken between college football powers and the Rose Bowl.

There is a scene from the movie The Hunt for Red October when the rogue Russian nuclear submarine is trying to avoid a torpedo from another Russian submarine. The American captain, aptly played by Scott Glenn, tells Jack Ryan; “The hard part about playing chicken is knowing when to flinch.”

The Rose Bowl finally flinched.

The only thing that delayed an earlier move to this new world was the insistence of the Rose Bowl Game to cling to the bygone era of the antiquated bowl system. Only in college football could an organization that runs a parade hold such outsized influence but, until recently, the Big Ten and PAC 12 gladly enabled their addiction to a specific television time slot.

Dan Wetzel is a Yahoo! Sports National Columnist, he also wrote the book Death to the BCS which laid out a very early argument for dumping the bowl system for a Playoff.

“The single hardest thing to explain to people is that the Rose Bowl and its obsession of having the sunset in the third quarter of its game was a serious impediment to a billion dollar playoff,” Wetzel wrote. 

Wetzel makes the point that simply moving the game up one hour would’ve helped the playoff TV schedule immensely, “They were adamant that they get to have an exclusive window on New Year’s Day, the best time of all, not only would they not give that up but they wouldn’t even move it an hour earlier (to help Playoff television scheduling) because then the sun would set at halftime.  It was so absurd but for a lot of years they got so much protection.”

We may never know what it was that finally forced the Rose Bowl to play ball with the rest of the college football world. There are many possibilities, not the least of which was the presence of SoFi Stadium just down the road. The College Football Playoff committee could have always taken the bold step of scheduling games at SoFi, in the Los Angeles market, opposite the Rose Bowl TV window to try to squeeze them out.

It is also possible the Rose Bowl scanned the landscape and realized that, if a 12-team playoff already existed, their 2023 game would’ve been Washington (10-2) versus Purdue (8-5). That shock of reality came with the understanding Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Utah and USC would enthusiastically choose a 12 team playoff bid over a Rose Bowl invite. That was the future the Rose Bowl faced with the departure of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten and the 12 team playoff gobbling up the top remaining PAC 12 teams.

I have proposed that theory to many people in the college football world and have received some version of this response from many of them: “They really wouldn’t care who is playing as long as they can still have their parade.”

That is one of the issues at play here; in many ways, the whole Rose Bowl organization is stuck in a black and white TV world. The future playoff is Marty McFly stepping out of a Delorean and the Rose Bowl is the Enchantment Under the Seas Dance.

One other possibility is that the television executives of the major networks, primarily FOX, may have put the pressure on the Big Ten and Pac 12 to have a little less interest in keeping college football stuck in the late 1970’s. It makes sense, FOX has nothing to gain by the Rose Bowl keeping influence. Fox may have everything to gain by getting a media rights cut of the future playoff. Many believe FOX was a driving force behind USC and UCLA bolting to the Big Ten. If that much is true, pressing for less Rose Bowl influence is child’s play.

No matter what was the catalyst to the expanded playoff, it worked and the fans benefited. College football is moving into a brave new world all because the college football powers finally stood up to the old man yelling at the clouds.

Turns out, it was all a game of chicken. And the Rose Bowl flinched.

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BSM Writers

Andrew Perloff Learned From The Master of Sports Radio on Television

“I think I’m really lucky because I went from a really fun and supportive place in the Dan Patrick Show and have now transitioned into what I would also call a very fun and supportive place at CBS Sports Radio/Audacy.”

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It’s a fact of life that not everybody loves their job. To have a job that you love and have fun at is pretty special. For Andrew Perloff, life is good.

“I’m just watching so much sports during the week,” said Perloff. “I don’t come up for air watching sports and I love that.  And the fact that we get paid to sit on the couch for 72 hours…oh my God…it really is the best job in the world.”

That job is being the co-host of Maggie & Perloff weekdays from 3pm to 6pm eastern time on CBS Sports Radio and simulcast on CBS Sports Network. Perloff was an on-air personality on The Dan Patrick Show beginning in 2009 before making the switch to CBS Sports Radio for the new show with Maggie Gray that launched this past January.

And so far, the move has worked out.

“I’m really happy,” said Perloff. “I think I’m really lucky because I went from a really fun and supportive place in the Dan Patrick Show and have now transitioned into what I would also call a very fun and supportive place at CBS Sports Radio/Audacy. I miss the DP Show but I love my new co-workers. (Vice President of Programming) Spike Eskin and (New York Market President) Chris Oliviero have been great. We get a lot of support and a lot of help from those guys and they’ve made the transition so much easier.”

When a new radio program begins, chemistry between the hosts is vital to the success of the growth and success of the show. In the case of Maggie & Perloff, they had an existing friendship from their time working together at Sports Illustrated. 

And that relationship is certainly evident to the listeners.

“I’m having a great time with Maggie,” said Perloff who was an editor and contributing writer at Sports Illustrated and SI.com. “We knew each other pretty well at Sports Illustrated. We’ve been friends for a while now. I have gotten to know her a lot better through the show. It took a couple of months to really find our rhythm and get the show to where we wanted to get it.”

There has been a fun and evolving dynamic to the on and off-air chemistry between the hosts.  Perloff is from Philadelphia and a die-hard Eagles fan while Gray is a fan of the Buffalo Bills.  The Eagles have the best record in the NFC at 11-1 while the Bills are among the best teams in the AFC at 9-3.

Perloff has come to understand just how much Gray loves the Bills and there is a chance that their two teams could meet come February 12th in Arizona for Super Bowl LVII.

“She’s a very passionate Buffalo Bills fan,” said Perloff.  “I always knew that, but to actually sit there on a daily basis and see her sweat out every detail about the Buffalo Bills has been a lot of fun.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we’re on a collision course for the Super Bowl and we’re already trying to figure out a Super Bowl bet.”

The easy wager to set up would involve food.

If the Bills win, Perloff would have to give Gray some Philly cheesesteaks.

If the Eagles win, Gray would have to furnish Perloff with some Buffalo Wings.

But it appears as if management wants there to be more at stake for the potential bet.

“Our boss wants us to do something more severe,” said Perloff. “The truth is I’m an Eagles fan so I’ve already won my Super Bowl. Maggie, on the other hand, has no idea what that feels like. I almost feel sorry for her because it’s tough being a Bills fan.

“We have a pretty big rivalry with our team because she’s a Mets fan and I’m a Phillies fan. We get along great expect for those areas.”

The Maggie & Perloff chemistry extends throughout the show and that includes producer Michael Samtur who has his own rooting interests.

Samtur is a fan of the New York Jets who are having a better-than-expected season.

“When the Jets win, I don’t want to see Mike on Monday mornings because he’s smiling so much,” said Perloff. “He’s an unbelievably cynical Jets fan…it’s hysterically funny.

“Mike is doing a great job. It’s really an all-hands-on deck show. I think we all sort of kind of wear each other’s hats at certain times.”

An added element to the show is that it is also simulcast on CBS Sports Network. If there’s one thing that Perloff learned from working with Dan Patrick — who also has a simulcast on television — is that the program is a radio show that just happens to have cameras in the studio. At the end of the day, it’s a radio show on television and not a television show on the radio.

“That’s also my philosophy,” said Perloff. “From a logistical standpoint, to do a good radio show you can’t really focus on the TV side of it. For us, the foundation of the base is to really focus on the radio show and the TV and video comes naturally after that.”

Perloff’s resume also includes writing and co-writing an assortment of magazine stories, books, and television shows while also hosting his own weekend show on NBC Sports Radio from 2016 to 2019. But it was working on The Dan Patrick Show where he learned an important aspect of being a talk show host that he continues to live by at CBS Sports Radio.

What he learned was that you just have to be yourself.

“Dan always wanted us to be authentic in the sense that don’t try to be someone you’re not,” said Perloff. “Don’t try to come up with hot takes just for the sake of hot takes. When you listen to Dan Patrick on the radio, you’re really hearing Dan. He’s not a radically different person off air.”

This is a huge time of the year for sports radio. 

The NFL’s regular season is winding down and college football is heading towards bowl season and the College Football Playoff. Throw in the NBA, college basketball, NHL, and the World Cup and there’s so much going on in the sports world to talk about. 

Perloff can’t get enough of it.

“I love it so much,” said Perloff. “College football is just huge right now. When we bring up a college football story, the phone lines just light up which I think is a reflection of the growing interest in that sport. This is the best time of the year. It’s incredible.”

As Maggie & Perloff head towards their first anniversary on the air, there are goals and expectations heading into 2023. The show has grown tremendously over the course of the first year and while that may have occurred faster than expected, the hope is that the trend continues.

“I’ve been a little surprised by how fast the audience has grown and our connection with the audience,” said Perloff. “One of the great things about The Dan Patrick Show was the community feel with the show and all of the listeners. That’s definitely growing with us and I’d like to see that really take off next year. It makes it so much more fun when you’re doing the show and everybody is along for the ride.”

It’s been a great ride so far and it should be interesting to see what happens if that ride includes an Andrew Perloff vs Maggie Gray Super Bowl matchup in February. It’s not even because the breakdown of Eagles vs Bills would be fascinating but the audience wants more.

That Super Bowl bet would certainly be intriguing.   

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