When one has a successful parent, it can be heard to emerge from their shadow, particularly within the same field. Chris Simms has followed his father Phil into both the NFL and the broadcasting world. The younger Simms has found a distinctive niche in infuriating NFL fanbases in mass with his annual quarterback rankings.
Simms went on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to discuss the rankings, which are unveiled sequentially over a period of time, and defend some of his positions. There is never a shortage of polarizing picks on the list, and the 2021 rankings were no exception. Reigning Super Bowl champion and widely accepted greatest QB ever Tom Brady came in at No. 10 on the list, behind newly-acquired Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford. When asked about it, Simms chastised the Detroit Lions for their lack of help for the quarterback in 2020, and mentioned Brady benefitting from the talent around him.
“I can look at Tampa Bay and they lost five (games) in the regular season, you can legitimately look at all five and say the main culprit in all five losses was Tom Brady.”
McLovin asked him to defend his pick of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray at No. 7 while asking why the Cardinals are picked by many to finish last in their division. Simms said he is intrigued by some of the offseason additions by the birds out in the desert, but did not appear to be impressed by head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
“He (Murray) makes them considerably better in my opinion,” Simms said. “They’re out of that spread, four wide. It’s a little predictable, and he’s the reason it goes.”
Anyone that has perused NFL Twitter in the last calendar year has seen a spirited discussion and a slew of blocked accounts stemming from the debate over Miami Dolphins second-year quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Simms has Tagovailoa outside of the top 32 quarterbacks in his rankings, and Patrick asked if Simms believes the Alabama product should be starting in the NFL.
“There’s question marks, certainly,” he said. “They had to micromanage him and whenever they had to let it loose, they had to put Ryan Fitzpatrick in. People think I hate Tua. I root for him, I like the guy, he’s charismatic as hell, no doubt about it, (but) there’s nothing to write home about from last year.”
The order of the top four quarterbacks on the list will be revealed on Monday with Simms refusing to give Patrick any insight ahead of time. That did not stop Simms from summing up the predestined outcome of the rankings.
“I’m just setting myself up to get crapped on, and I deal with it every year.”
16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in their latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.