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We Need To Know What Brady Said To Mathieu

In a volatile, racially divided America, the public deserves specifics about the exchange that prompted Brady to write a detailed apology text — answers that should be discernible by closely listening to CBS/NFL audio.

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Somewhere out there, someone has heard the audio. Technology, after all, is the enemy of the cover-up conspiracy. There were too many boom mikes on the field in Tampa not to pick up whatever Tom Brady said to Tyrann Mathieu, a comment sensitive enough that Brady texted an elaborate apology to Mathieu after Super Bowl LV.

“I’ve never really seen that side of Tom Brady, to be honest,” Mathieu said in a postgame interview.

Image result for tom brady tyrann mathieu

Later, in a since-deleted tweet, Mathieu added, “He called me something I won’t repeat, but yeah, I’ll let all the media throw me under the bus as if I did something or said something to him.”

Which prompted Brady, in a text that was read “out loud” to an ESPN reporter so it would be on public record, to write he was sorry for losing his poise and angrily confronting him, calling Mathieu “the ultimate competitor” and claiming he screamed at him in an attempt to match his intensity. Brady also said he wants to apologize in person to Mathieu, a mea culpa that was unusually detailed if he simply participated in typical football trash talk, such as “a—hole” or “f—wad” or even mother references.

This is where the NFL wants the story to end, of course, in the interest of preserving Brady’s ageless, god-like, G.O.A.T.-ish legacy and maintaining the league’s upbeat vibes after completing a pandemic-tangled season with zero canceled games.

Attention sports media: We cannot let it end there, not in 2021 America.

In the more important interest of truth and transparency, the media should demand that the NFL and its Sunday broadcast partner, CBS, publicly release the entirety of exchanges between Brady and Mathieu. Because if the league and network continue to sit on the audio in this racially divided country, many people will be inclined to think the worst and wonder if Brady used a racial slur. Fair or not, Brady kept a MAGA cap in his New England locker five years ago as an acquaintance, if not good friend, of Donald Trump. So Brady should be the first one demanding the tape be posted online to clarify any wandering imaginations, in that he’s among the most prominent White men on the planet — and Mathieu is Black.

Unless, I don’t know, Brady did say something that would severely damage his legacy. Which might explain the eerie silence.

Has there ever been such commotion over a comment when we have no idea what was said? Mathieu could do America a favor by simply telling us, but it’s clear he has been muzzled by the Kansas City Chiefs and/or the league, as evidenced by the deleted tweet. In addition to a miserable defeat to Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chiefs are dealing with a disastrous public-relations issue. A five-year-old girl continues to battle life-threatening injuries after Britt Reid, the team’s outside linebackers coach and son of head coach Andy Reid, drove his white Dodge Ram into a parked car in which the girl was a passenger. According to Kansas City police, Britt Reid said he had consumed “two or three drinks” and taken Adderall, his latest problem in a long battle with substances.

Think the Chiefs want Mathieu adding to their issues by revealing what Brady said or didn’t say? They just want him to shut up. So, unorthodox as it sounds, the league and Brady should collaborate on a statement and explain what was said, audio included. If the media are participants in the glorification of Brady — which, in turn, bolsters a triumphant NFL narrative that its health success was accompanied by a historic Super Bowl storyline — we deserve the complete, unvarnished story about the saucy exchange. That way, the public decides whether Brady deserves the worship he’s receiving after winning his seventh championship and fifth Super Bowl MVP award at age 43.

The legacy business can be cruel. Ask Patrick Mahomes, whose face — which symbolized the league only days ago — is now droopy. “It was a bad feeling in that locker room after the game. You don’t want to have that feeling again,” he said a day after the 31-9 loss. “It’s not the end of something. It’s going to be another chapter where we’re going to have to continue to drive to make ourselves better so we’re back in that game.”

Humiliating as the night was, Mahomes also had to deal with his mother’s embarrassing tweets. If it’s understandable why she was upset about the rash of penalties called against the Chiefs, Randi Mahomes didn’t shower the family in glory when she sniped at Brady’s wife, Gisele Bundchen. “If you really have the ref on your team is that really winning!!! @giseleofficial lol,” she wrote, adding crying and laughing emojis. What’s amazing, in our astonishment over Brady’s age-reversal story, is that Randi wasn’t yet a year old when he was born in 1977. Too bad she’s acting half her age. Randi then fired at ESPN, the network she admonished earlier in the season for referring to her son as “Pat” during a Monday night broadcast. “Love our chiefs!! Heartbroken to see how @espn @SportsCenter tried making fun of my son,” she tweeted. “But i know his heart and love for his team and chiefs nation! Thank you chiefs fans.. don’t forget these are someone’s sons.” Somehow, I don’t think we’ll forget that Patrick Mahomes is Randi’s son.

America isn’t in the mood right now to protect sports legacies. If Tom Brady just lost his cool and fired a playground term, fine. If he lathered Mathieu with a slur, yes, the public should know, as a country addresses social injustice of all forms. This story is not dead, by any means.

As they say, go to the tape. And if CBS says no, it can’t hear anything, ask why it was so easy to hear Brady screaming to his coaches, “No! No! Same! Same!” — and “Gronkowski!” — with 13 seconds left in the first half, just before he hit Antonio Brown for a devastating third scoring pass.

Image result for tom brady super bowl lv

The leagues can lie. The legends can lie. The networks can lie.

The boom mikes don’t lie.

BSM Writers

Media Noise – Episode 44

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This week’s episode is all about the NFL. Demetri explains why the league embracing kids is long overdue, Andy Masur stops by to breakdown the first Manningcast, and Ryan Maguire explains why some sports radio stations are missing a golden opportunity to shine on Sundays.

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BSM Writers

Interviews Thrive On Podcasts In A Way They Can’t On Radio

“Opportunities that a podcast creates open doors to audio that is simply superior to live radio.”

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Live radio vs. podcasts seems to be a heavyweight fight that isn’t ending anytime soon.  Podcasts are growing so much that companies that do radio are also now offering podcasts. This column is hardly about that fight. 

Instead, this is about how a podcast interview is a better way to get the best out of the guest than anything live on a radio station. This is not about downloads or clicks or sponsors. Solely about the content that is being produced.

A podcast makes the guest more comfortable and is more intimate than a live radio show.  Especially in sports.

Since 2015, I have hosted and produced 656 podcasts (yes it was fun to count them) and hosted many radio shows. My current shows are called Sports with Friends, Hall of Justice, and Techstream. That last one I host with tech expert Shelly Palmer.

On radio, there is a myriad of things the host has to do besides focus on the guest.

First, there are the IDs. Program directors have always told me ID the guest every chance I get. “We are talking with Eli Manning on WFAN,” is heard 7 times during an eight-minute segment.

On a podcast, the name of the guest is on the player or app that is playing the podcast. “Episode 1. Eli Manning, New York Giants” scrolls across smartphones, car radios, or other devices constantly.  Never interrupt the guest with an ID.

Then, there’s the fact that it is recorded and not live. I have a standard preamble that I say to any guest before any record light turns on.

“I will push,” I explain. “I will see where the conversation takes us, but I do tend to push. However, I’m on your side. This isn’t some expose’. If something comes up that you don’t like your answer, tell me. I’ll take it out. If there’s something that I say that is bad or wrong, tell me, I’ll take it out. This is a conversation, not an interview.”

In 656 podcasts, only one player, Bryce Harper (then of the Washington Nationals) asked me to take something out of a podcast.

We were doing Episode 54 of Sports with Friends when the subject of Dusty Baker came up.  He had just been hired to manage the Nationals. I mentioned in passing that Dusty had given the eulogy at my best friend Darryl Hamilton’s funeral.

Bryce was so intrigued that he recalled the comments I had made and asked if we could pause. We then spoke for a good 10 minutes about the kind of person Dusty was. Why Darryl held him in such regard.  It was a really inciteful chat.  Never was on the podcast.

Still, guests do relax when told that the editing option exists. They let their guard down. The host of a podcast can ask deeper questions.

“Who was the first person you called when you found out you were traded?”

“Have you seen a life for you after football?”

“How much do you hate a certain player?”

All questions, that if asked live, could seriously backfire. So not only does the guest have a guard up, but the interviewer also has to play it relatively safe, when they are not IDing the guest for the umpteenth time.

Time constraints also don’t exist in a podcast where they are beholden on live radio. The guest is just about to tell you they did cocaine during the World Series, and you are up against the clock.

ShinStation - Game Over - #017 - Wrap it Up - YouTube
Courtesy: Comedy Central

I have hosted shows over the years where the guest was phenomenal, but I screwed up the PPM clock. That was the takeaway.  The clock is important on a live medium that needs to get that quarter-hour.

I try to keep my podcasts short. You wouldn’t see it from looking at the lengths of my episodes. Still, I feel that if someone wants to talk and dive into a topic and it goes a little long, I will never cut the guy off.

Ken Griffey Jr. spoke for 45 minutes with a cigar and his feet up on the phone by his pool. He was telling jokes and stories. I wouldn’t have stopped that if a train was coming. When I hosted Mariner content at KJR in Seattle, our interviews usually last 5 minutes.

Jon Morosi broke down the future of clubhouse access and how he traveled during Covid. Then he told an amazing story of his wife working in the medical field and how that impacted all of his family. Shannon Drayer of 710 KIRO got so in-depth in her arduous journey from being a coffee barista to the Mariners on-field reporter. It was split into two episodes.

Former porn star Lisa Ann talked about her decision to quit the business. Even Jason Barrett himself was Episode 173 of Sports with Friends.

(When in the past has Jason Barrett been in the same paragraph as a porn star? Note to Demetri: please leave it in.)

The radio industry is seen to be cutting costs wherever it can. Mid-market stations are not doing night shows anymore, instead offering nationally syndicated programming. 

Weekends are another avenue that perplexes me. Talent that is not deemed good enough to be on during the week is often given weekend shifts. Also, some Monday-Friday hosts add a weekend shift to their duties. Here’s a theory: play podcasts. Format them to hit your PPM time marks. 

They don’t have to be my podcasts, but in the crowded podcast space, surely there are sports talk podcasts that are intimate, deep, and fun. Since we live in a data-driven age, let’s see how a radio station fares playing high-quality podcasts or portions of them, vs. weekend hosts.

Program directors often worry about the outdated nature of a podcast. That sells the podcaster short. As someone who has been in the podcast space since 2003, I know how to make them timeless, and companies make shows often enough, that rarely would they be outdated.  

Quality shines through the speakers.  The spoken-word audio format is continually evolving. Opportunities that a podcast creates open doors to audio that is simply superior to live radio.

How to Start a Podcast: Podcasting for Beginners - RSS.com Podcasting

The podcast industry is continually evolving.  Radio needs to evolve as well.  Then, it can be a fair fight.

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BSM Writers

National Voices Can Work For Local Clients

“Distance, like absence, can make the heart grow fonder.”

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Selling personalities is one of the hottest trends in media today. Sure, most of the buzz is around social media influencers, but radio has long had a relationship with its audience based on personal connections between host and listener. And nobody has a better relationship with their audience than a sports radio host.

I am sure you are leveraging your local hosts by now. Live spots, testimonials, remotes, and promotions are all great tricks of the trade, as well as sponsored social media posts. But does your station carry syndicated shows? I am sure you do either from 7 pm-12 am Monday-Friday or on weekends.

In 2018, The Ticket in Boise, Idaho brought CBS Sports Radio host Damon Amendolara and his co-host, Shaun Morash, to town for a Boise State football game. Damon had just switched to mornings from evenings, and his show aired in Boise from 4 am-8 am Monday – Friday. His ratings were decent, but nothing that stood out considering the daypart. It was thought to be risky to sell him into sandwich shops, pizza places, appearances at local legend hangouts, and so forth.

Boise State head football coach and QB Bryan Harsin and Brett Rypien did a live shot on the show from the on-campus bookstore. At dark thirty. It all worked. DA and Morash were hits! Everywhere they went, lines and crowds awaited them and they hit spots in a two-county area.  The few days of appearances worked so well that DA is back in Boise three years later, this time for a week. Now, DA is doing his show from resort hotels 2.5 hours away, taking riverboat adventure fishing trips in Hell’s Canyon, craft beer tours for his sidekick Andrew Bogusch and hosting college football viewing parties at brewpubs. Every station that carries syndicated shows probably has a DA success story waiting to happen. 

Start by listening to the shows, know the benchmarks and quirks of the national personalities or call the affiliate rep and ask. Does the talent discuss their love of beer, BBQ, pizza, whatever? If they do, then go ahead and sell them to a local client. The national talent can do the spot and endorse your client. If it’s a product, send one to them. Figure out how to get them a pizza. If it’s a service, do a zoom call with the client and let them start a relationship. Include some social media elements with video. The video can be used in social media and can sit on the client’s website. Yours too!

If you want to bring the talent to town, do it for a big game, local event, or 4th of July parade, and the sponsors will follow. Run a promo during the talent’s daypart asking local sponsors to text in to reserve their promotional spot. Have the talent cut liners asking the same thing. Take the NFL Sunday morning host and sell a promo to a sports bar where the host zooms in to a table or room full of listeners, and they watch a portion of a game together. Or sell the same idea to a national chain and do an on-air contest for a listener to have a home watch party with the zoomed-in host complete with food and beverages from your sponsors sent to both locations. How about sending your #1 BBQ joint that handles mail orders and sends some food for the talent? They can videotape themselves reheating the BBQ and make some great Facebook and Instagram videos.  

Distance, like absence, can make the heart grow fonder. Try selling a nationally syndicated host inside your market. I promise you’ll like it. 

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