During his more than three decades on WFAN, Mike Francesa did a great job of intertwining himself with the New York sports scene. But as the industry modernized, the connections Francesa built with Leon Hess, Barry Watkins, Bill Parcells, George Steinbrenner and others became obsolete.
Francesa touts having played a role in the Mets getting Mike Piazza, he also helped advance the decision to cancel the NYC Marathon after hurricane Sandy in 2012. And even as sports teams shifted to operate more privately, Francesa said on Adam Schein’s podcast that former Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan used to call the Sports Pope to “pick his brain.”
“I used to talk to Maccagnan, Maccagnan used to call me,” Francesa told Schein while commenting on current Jets head coach Adam Gase. “Now, Maccaganan was an odd guy. He didn’t give anybody extra favors. He never gave me a scoop. But he used to call and pick my brain, I can say that now.”
I can see taking credit for Piazza becoming a Met, but I’m not sure I’d admit to advising Maccagnan. The former Jets general manager is behind most of the personnel moves which helped Gang Green maintain their laughing stock status in the NFL. Bad drafts, bad free agent signings, and he hired a coach who somehow managed to have him fired before the season started.
It might seem a little crazy to believe Maccagnan was calling Francesa for advice on how to run the Jets, but we’ve witnessed similar instances. In 2019, then manager of the Mets Mickey Callaway asked Francesa on-air for advice on how to handle rookie Pete Alonso and the homerun derby.
“Speaking of Alonso, I’ve been wondering this, what do you think about him hitting the All Star Game, in the Home Run Derby?” Callaway asked.
Francesa told Callaway to let the kid compete, and Alonso went on to win the Derby. Maccagnan and the Jets weren’t as lucky.
Bob Ramsey Joins KFNS For Mid Day Show
“Bob Ramsey is a mainstay of sportscasting in St. Louis.”
With Tim McKernan moving his shows to Hubbard’s St. Louis custer of stations, there has been some lineup shuffling going on at 590 AM, where his The Morning After used to occupy morning drive.
The latest move according to Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, is the return of Bob Ramsey to sports talk radio in St. Louis. Ramsey will partner with Nate Lucas, who comes to town from Springfield, where he hosted a show on Jock 98.7 FM until he was fired in 2020 for making comments about Kamala Harris that were deemed offensive.
Bob Ramsey is a mainstay of sportscasting in St. Louis. His TV and radio career in the city date back 35 years, when he first took over as the play-by-play voice of the St. Louis University Billikens, a position he still holds today. He was also on the city’s first sports talk station, KGLD, when it launched in 1992.
Ramsey and Lucas will be on the air at KFNS from noon until two on the weekdays.
John Kincade Buys ‘BallsackSports.com’ After Daryl Morey Makes Joke
“I’m imploring people not to get too attached to Ballsack Sports tweets.”
During an appearance on Philadelphia’s The Mike Missanelli Show, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey made what came off as a throwaway joke about NBA trade rumors.
But Missanelli’s fellow 97.1 The Fanatic host, John Kincade, took the joke and ran with it for a funny, possibly opportunistic purchase.
First, the trade rumor that led to the joke. Missanelli asked Morey about rumors of a deal that would send Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, and two first-round picks. Morey dismissed the sources for most of these reports.
“We had a trade debated, it may have even been this one, that was tweeted out by Ballsack Sports,” said Morey, acknowledging that Sixers fans are starved for news. “People were treating that it was a real thing. I think that was yesterday or two days ago. Like, I’m imploring people not to get too attached to Ballsack Sports tweets.”
You can hear the exchange for yourself at the 11:43 mark below:
There is, in fact, a Ballsack Sports Twitter account. But the trade that the account claimed to report involved the Golden State Warriors, not the Sacramento Kings.
(To be fair, Missanelli was using rumors that have been posted elsewhere to get an idea of what Morey might be seeking in a deal.)
Naturally, Ballsack Sports took Morey’s remark and edited it to take credit for reporting accurate trade news.
But more importantly, Ballsack Sports doesn’t have a website. It’s just a Twitter account. That left an opportunity for someone to purchase the “ballsacksports.com” domain. On his show Friday morning, Kincade announced that he did just that.
Those looking for an opportunity in sports media might want to keep an eye on what Kincaid does with that domain. It appears that he’s looking for absurd content, so applicants and pitches should probably start thinking of the most ridiculous trade rumors possible.
Ian Eagle On Buffalo Sub-Zero Temps: ‘Let Me Live to See Another Play’
“You get… PTSD after the fact. I walked out yesterday to grab lunch and I’m like ‘Oh my goodness! I’ll go back in. Let me get another layer.'”
NFL Wild Card weekend had a variety of ups and downs for various teams around the league. Whether it was the Dallas Cowboys’ unexpected loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Cincinnati Bengals’ first playoff win in 31 years, or the Arizona Cardinals’ collapse against the Los Angeles Rams, the weekend was full of unexpected surprises – both good and bad.
Another significant area of fluctuation over the weekend was in the kickoff temperatures which, from a statistical perspective, possessed an immense standard deviation from the mean. The Los Angeles Rams kicked off against Arizona at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California at approximately 63 degrees Fahrenheit, albeit in a partially-enclosed stadium. But for the Buffalo Bills, at the open-air Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, their game versus the New England Patriots began at 7 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there was a wind chill making it feel as if it was negative five.
Barrett Sports Media’s Andy Masur recently wrote an article on broadcasting in the cold, something that Nashville’s JMart and Ramon took notice of and asked their guest, CBS Sports play-by-play Announcer Ian Eagle about at the top of their interview Thursday on 104.5 The Zone.
Jason Martin, co-host of the morning drive program, first reminisced with Eagle about his time calling games in cold temperatures.
“You were wearing the Kurt Warner jiffy-pop jacket on Saturday, and it reminded me of calling a high school game and standing on the roof in an ice storm and my mouth locking up in the second half,” said Martin. “There were words I wanted to say that my mouth would not allow me to utter, so it seems like that’s what you and [Charles Davis] experienced in Buffalo.”
Eagle concurred with Martin’s view of the situation and spoke about how he had to change his announcing style in order to ensure that he would be able to complete the game, which ended in a 47-17 “beatdown” victory for the hometown Bills.
“In the third quarter, I started shivering and I thought to myself, ‘All right. I can handle this.’ But once it made its way to my face, I had no other options,” explained Eagle. “There were a couple of times [where] I just cut my call off quicker and earlier than I normally would because I didn’t think I would get the words out. So instead of giving the tackler on a specific play, I was like: ‘You know what. I’m out. I’m good. He made the catch. That’s all I need to say. Let me live to see another play.'”
Upon returning home to New Jersey following the game, Eagle detailed his continuing struggle with cold temperatures, despite temperatures in “The Garden State” not being nearly as cold as those in upstate New York.
“You get… PTSD after the fact,” said Eagle. “I walked out yesterday to grab lunch and I’m like ‘Oh my goodness! I’ll go back in. Let me get another layer.'”
Eagle and Davis will both be on the call once again for Saturday’s divisional round matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans from Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Temperatures will hit a high of 40 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 24 degrees, with kickoff at 4:30 p.m. expected to be at around 34 degrees. Normally, that would be a disappointment for Eagle in traveling to a location partially known for its warmer temperatures. But this time…
“I’m psyched!” exclaimed Eagle. “I am pumped up for Nashville, trust me.”
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