For the first time in 20 years, ESPN is doing local morning sports talk in New York, bringing competition to WFAN who has controlled the city’s airwaves for more than two decades with Don Imus, Boomer Esiason, Craig Carton and Gregg Giannotti.
Chris Canty, Rick DiPietro and Dave Rothenberg can be heard on ESPN New York from 5 to 8 a.m. with their first hour going up against WFAN’s Warm Up Show with Al Dukes and Jerry Recco, then two more hours against Esiason and Giannotti.
For the ESPN personalities, the challenge of going up against the New York powerhouse is one they welcome, according to an interview with Newsday.
“I love the challenge,” Rothenberg, who grew up in Roslyn, told the paper. “I love the opportunity. I grew up listening to WFAN, and I never thought there would be another station in New York that would compete. I feel like there’s not only a station in New York that competes, but there’s a station in New York that’s right there with them.”
“We love the challenge, obviously,” DiPietro said, “but I think our main focus now is just making sure as a group we do the best possible radio show that we’re capable of doing.”
Newsday notes that at 8 a.m., ESPN New York reverts to national programming until 3 p.m., while Esiason and Giannotti go until 10 a.m., providing a juicy enough local radio story for those first two hours.
The addition of ESPN’s morning show took effect on Jan. 5 after Dan Le Batard left ESPN. As a result, Rothenberg’s crew moved up from their old 9 to 11 a.m. spot.
“We’re the first word in New York sports,” Rothenberg said. “A big event happens the night before, 5 o’clock the next morning, that’s us. These guys are the athletes and they’ve grown up in competitive sports. But I love the fact that we get the challenge of going up against a proven morning show and we get to prove ourselves.”
It takes quite a while for radio ratings to be reported, so it will be some time before a full picture of the new-look early morning race in New York takes shape, but there’s no doubt that people who follow such matters are awaiting the morning data with great anticipation.
Greg McElroy: ‘Kayvon Thibodeaux Offended Me’
“McElroy, while offended, decided to offer some friendly competition to Thibodeaux.”
Top NFL Draft Prospect, Kayvon Thibodeaux, had some harsh comments for the Crimson Tide in his interview with FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt on Monday. The Oregon defensive end claimed the difference in the quality of education between Oregon and Alabama was the reason he ultimately chose to head to Eugene out of high school.
“I already hate the stigmatism of football players being dumb jocks,” Thibodeaux said in an interview with FOX’s Joel Klatt. “So now, do you know the stigmatism of Alabama education? It ain’t the West Coast. It ain’t Harvard.”
Thibodeaux continued to bash the Southern institution’s quality and reputation.
“If I would have went to Alabama … I don’t know if my degree would mean anything,” Thibodeaux said.
National championship quarterback, media personality, and Alabama alum Greg McElroy took issue with the statements.
“I just take real personal offense, man,” McElroy said Thursday on JOX 94.5’s McElroy & Cubelic. “I genuinely do. I don’t care. Don’t come. If you think so little of us, don’t come. Fine by me, because I know the people that live in this state. I chose Alabama, because I love Alabama. If you don’t want to see Alabama for the greatness it can potentially provide you, it’s on you. You’re missing out.”
Cole Cubelic and McElroy also brought up the fact that Thibodeaux said “stigmatism” when he meant “stigma.”
“He says he doesn’t like the stigma that athletes are dumb jocks, and yet, he sounds like a dumb jock,” McElroy said.
McElroy, while offended, decided to offer some friendly competition to Thibodeaux.
“What I don’t understand is why he felt the need to cut down Alabama,” McElroy said. “And as someone who has always taken his academic situation very seriously, I’ll just come at him with this — if he’d like to take an IQ test, I’m available. If he’d like to take the Wonderlic test, I’m available. As a proud graduate with multiple degrees from Alabama, I will put my degree up against his any day of the week.”
“I’d like to show him the offers, because I would be willing to bet that Harvard didn’t offer him,” McElroy said. “I think they probably would have taken him, but Harvard did offer me — as did Yale, as did Princeton, as did almost every Ivy League school along with Duke, Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt. And I chose Alabama, so put ‘er there Kayvon Thibodeaux.”
Howard Eskin Tells Joe DeCamara & Jon Ritchie That Tom Brady Dyes His Hair
“Brady is leaking oil. The fact that he’s leaking oil and he’s not the same and his age shows a little bit, other than his hair which he colors, he’s really good but anybody can be beaten.”
Howard Eskin joined Joe DeCamara and Jon Ritchie on 94 WIP to preview the upcoming Bucs vs Eagles game. Eskin gave his thoughts on why the Eagles had a realistic shot to win. For Philadelphia sports talk legend, a lot of it came down to Tom Brady.
“Brady is leaking oil,” Eskin said. “The fact that he’s leaking oil and he’s not the same and his age shows a little bit, other than his hair, which he colors, he’s really good but anybody can be beaten.”
That statement caught DeCamara and Ritchie a little off guard. They weren’t convinced that Brady is using any artificial enhancement to keep his locks chestnut brown. Howard Eskin would not back down and told the hosts to check the archives.
“Look at the pictures over the years, there’s no question,” Eskin said. “He’s so vain so that just kind of falls into place. He’s a terrific quarterback but he doesn’t want people to realize he’s 44 or 45.”
Maybe Eskin is right, and the fountain of youth is starting to dry up for Brady. Or maybe, as he has done before, he’ll prove everyone wrong and win another Super Bowl. Only time will tell.
97.1 The Ticket Lets Fans Sound Off On Matthew Stafford With Playoff Watch Party
“The former Lions quarterback remains a polarizing figure in the city, so Costa and Riger are giving fans the chance to get whatever sort of closure they need with a playoff watch party.”
Jim Costa and Jeff Riger aren’t just hosts at 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit. They are also Detroit sports fans. That means they have strong feelings about Matthew Stafford.
The former Lions quarterback remains a polarizing figure in the city, so Costa and Riger are giving fans the chance to get whatever sort of closure they need with a playoff watch party. The pair will host the virtual event, which will stream on The Ticket’s website and Facebook page.
“It’s the rare chance to settle a sports debate,” Jim Costa, who still supports Stafford, told BSM. “It gives fans of Detroit closure on Matthew Stafford. People are still so emotionally invested in him even though he doesn’t play here anymore with both sides still believing they’re right about why he didn’t win a playoff game with the Lions.”
Other hosts from 97.1 The Ticket will pop in to watch along with Costa and Riger. They will play drinking games and place prop bets throughout the game.
With Jim Costa and Jeff Riger having strong, opposing feelings on Stafford, the final result will yield a punishment for the loser. Someone will have to take a “shot of reality,” which Costa promises will be “really gross”.
Matthew Stafford and the LA Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL’s first-ever Monday night playoff game this week. It will be the conclusion to the league’s Super Wild Card Weekend.
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