The Ohio State Buckeyes finally opened their 2020 football season on Saturday. That means that the majority of the media that covers the team had access to Heisman Trophy candidate QB Justin Fields for the first time after the game.
It’s 2020, so like with so many other sports and teams, the Buckeyes’ presser was done via Zoom call, and like so many other Zoom calls, someone who thought they were muted was not. That led to hurt feelings and shouts from one reporter.
Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises asked Fields if he was “better than last year, and if so how?”. Fields answered the question and then left the call. While reporters waited for Ohio State coach Ryan Day to show up, the game day broadcast from 610 WTVN in Columbus can be heard on the call. The hosts acknowledge they thought Lesmerises’s question was ridiculous. The feed is cut before they go any further.
Lesmerises was upset and took a shot back at who he thought was criticizing him.
“Can I shout out the Big Ten Network, who has no idea how this job operates,” Lesmerises says for all on the call to hear. “Hey Big Ten Network, sometimes you ask a question to get a good answer. You wanna go head-to-head on asking questions anytime, I’m here.”
Someone then points out that it was 610 AM in Columbus and not the Big Ten Network that Lesmerises heard. He then redirects his ire and amends his challenge.
“610…anytime…question-asking competition. You know where I am.”
That is the end of the exchange on the call.
The hosts on air at 610 WTVN at the time were Matt McCoy, Jeff Logan, and Bill Conley. None of them addressed the error on air. McCoy is the only one of the three with a public, updated Twitter account. He has not addressed it on social media either. Lesmerises seems to have let the subject drop as well.
Boomer Esiason: Joe Benigno Was Just Doing His Job
“Good for Joe B. for letting everyone know who he is. That was his job. And I guess still is his job to some point.”
Former WFAN host Joe Benigno continues to make headlines after he revealed sensitive text messages he had with New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh. Despite the controversy, Boomer Esiason believes Benigno was simply doing what was necessary.
After Boomer & Gio played a clip of Saleh saying he “still likes Joe B.”, Esiason argued that Benigno was doing his job by revealing that Saleh “didn’t like” Jets quarterback Zach Wilson.
When fill-in update anchor Chris Lo Presti pointed out that Saleh wouldn’t call Benigno by name — referring to him as “Joe B.” — Esiason said “That’s cause everyone knows who he is”.
“Good for Joe B. for letting everyone know who he is,” Esiason said. “That was his job. And I guess still is his job to some point. But man, I would think that Rob Saleh was pretty floored by all of that, I’d imagine.”
Co-host Gregg Giannotti agreed, questioning if Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke to Saleh about ceasing texting with the former WFAN host.
After originally revealing the text messages, Benigno has shared he wishes he hadn’t mentioned the comments made by Saleh in private. He later clarified that he took the coach’s statements out of context and misinterpreted them.
Anthony Lima: People Will Watch NFL Games No Matter Who the Quarterbacks Are
“The ratings show that people are going to watch no matter who the quarterbacks are; no matter how bad the teams are.”
As the NFL begins week 14 with a Thursday Night Football matchup that pits a pair of backup quarterbacks against one another, 92.3 The Fan morning hosts Ken Carman and Anthony Lima agree it doesn’t matter who’s under center, fans will still be tuning in.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are slated to face the New England Patriots as Mitch Trubisky and Baily Zappe will start at quarterback for each team. During The Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima Thursday, the hosts agreed they’ll still watch the broadcast.
“Do you think fans are bored by the league with this or are they more interested?,” Carman asked, referencing the Steelers-Patriots matchup.
“Well the ratings don’t show that,” Lima said. “The ratings show that people are going to watch no matter who the quarterbacks are; no matter how bad the teams are.”
Indeed for its Week 13 Thursday night game, Amazon Prime Video recorded an all-time high average of 15.26 million viewers, according to data from Nielsen Media Research. The matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys marked the 11th consecutive week of year-over-year, double-digit viewership growth for the property, and helped engender a 29% increase from last year’s 11-week average viewership.
Carman offered an analogy pertaining to wrestling, conveying how many people are interested in the sport when they are younger. He enjoyed the sport in his youth but it then began to phase out until he went to middle school and became interested again. These phases, however, do not seem to apply when it comes to the game of football.
“We line up for years,” Carman said of football. “There’s people who haven’t missed Monday Night Football no matter what incarnation [it is] for 30+ years. Is it an enjoyable thing to sell all the quarterbacks down?”
Lima is cognizant of what has happened at the quarterback position this year and feels that it makes him want to watch a game less, affirming that the starters on Thursday night will need to earn his attention.
“I think I’ll give it a quarter,” Lima said. “I might even be a little late… [but] I’ll put it on and see where the game’s at.”
Fred Toucher: What Did Joe Benigno Think Would Happen By Revealing Robert Saleh Texts?
“He’s on Zoom and he looks like he’s in his bedroom from like 1962. It looks like a little kid’s bedroom.”
Earlier this week, former WFAN host Joe Benigno raised eyebrows by revealing that New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh “doesn’t like” quarterback Zach Wilson. 98.5 The Sports Hub morning host Fred Toucher was dumbfounded by the entire situation.
During his morning show Thursday, Toucher questioned the motive behind Benigno sharing the text exchange, saying the former New York host “crossed the line” by revealing the coach’s texts.
“So what is it what is Joe Benigno thinks gonna happen? He comes on the air, he says he’s texting with Robert Saleh. He’s not lying,” said Toucher. “So if you’re Robert Saleh, you have this maniac old man texting you… You gotta be like ‘Alright dude, thanks. I shared with you my vulnerability and this is how you pay me back, you unempathetic prick. I expressed vulnerability to you, I showed you that I was concerned.'”
Fred Toucher did note that he actually likes Benigno and considers him a friend of the program, despite calling him a “psycho”.
“He’s an old guy. He’s a big-time Jets fan. Like, he loves the jets. Like really, really loves (the Jets),” Toucher said. “He’s on Zoom and he looks like he’s in his bedroom from like 1962. It looks like a little kid’s bedroom. There’s Jonathan Vilma jersey, it’s like tacked up hastily.”
Toucher concluded by noting he felt bad for Saleh, and hoped the revelation from Benigno didn’t cost him his job.
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